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Energy and Attitude in Singing

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Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5
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Just a quick question good people:
My singing teacher says I need more energy when I sing and more attitude. She says that if I don't give her attitude I will end up singing like a classical singer. Is there any way to know if I have this attitude correct? What does this attitude do exactly when it comes to singing? How does it make you sound better? (I'm a physics major so I need an explanation of everything lol)


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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454

I'm a physics major so I need an explanation of everything lol

I can see your difficulty. :mrgreen:

This is a great question, largely because it's pretty much unanswerable. So one opinion is probably as good as another. Explaining anything mysterious and creative in technical terms is always tough.

But what I think that it means is (and this may not be worth much, so look for other answers too :wink: ) that you need to put something more into your delivery than just what's written in the score. Make it more ...umm... adjectival (?)... i.e. ballsy, sexy, pushy, jazzy, husky, wheedling, comic, daring, offbeat, chilling, weird, commanding, sly, soaring..... or whatever you think suits you and will help give you and your song some character and presence. It's the difference between a computer generated midi file which is accurate but rather mechanical, and something with warmth and style. My guess is that the options are pretty much to develop your own unique style or to copy somebody else's. Having no style at all is not a happy prospect. Most people probably experiment a bit with copying a few other styles until they hit on one of their own, which is then usually a blend of 'influences' and something that's uniquely theirs.

Cut loose a bit. Perhaps you could try and sing like somebody else - in fact lots of somebody elses, the more the better - and see how it feels. Put on some CDs and try and match their phrasing and timing. Along the way, as you try and sound like a bunch of distinctive and well known singers you'll start to hear another voice, one that you can't quite place but which has its own character too. That could just be the 'you' that you're looking for. :D

Well, that's my theory anyway... I'm still looking for my own special voice. The one I've got seems to have rusted up from lack of use. So I'm needing to pick people to learn from, not so much from the singing greats, as from the Elmo, Bugs Bunny, and Kermot the Frog end of the catalogue. But it's a start...

Good luck,



Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6

Hi All
One of the things that is hard to teach is a believable delivery sing with authority as if you've been there...that you have acctually experienced the emotions that you are singing about ...sell the song...make it real. This is hard to teach, you have to develop it yourself and it's something that young kids have trouble with because of there lack of life experiences.
Imagine in your head that you are where the song is ...experiencing what the song says.
It's hard ...but don't give up!!!!!

Adelaide.South Australia

Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 59

Jerry - if you check out the "Singing" tag on this site there are some articles that maybe what you are looking for. Perhaps you need to tear apart the song and see what it is trying to say. Then say it with as much conviction as you can.

If you've ever listened to a monotone speaker giving a speech and then a speaker that uses, pitch and pausing, gestures, good eye contact, etc., it can be a world of difference. The good speaker, the one with 'attitude' makes the speech come alive, the other one puts you to sleep.

So, just as you might look over a musical score to get the feel of what the composer is trying to say, the same holds true for the lyrics. Sing with 'attitude' and make the song come alive.


"I've got blisters on my fingers." - Ringo Starr

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 189

Great Question! I think this is even more important than good technique--for certain forms of music at least.

Anyway, to put the matter in technical terms, try focusing on phrasing rather than individual notes. When I was in my obsessive vocal technique period, I would concentrate so hard on hitting and sustaining each note that I lost all control over phrasing, dynamics, etc. At best my singing was like a parody of the bad lounge singer, at word it was staccato. :shock: If you think primarily about the phrase, you are using the words well as the melody, to shape your voice. It feels more like you're telling a story, less like you're an athlete try to nail a performance goal.

It works for me--and I usually do hit the notes as well! 8)