The Answer – Was Lady Gaga lip syncing at the Superbowl AND how YOU can work the stage like a pro

The Answer – Was Lady Gaga lip syncing at the Superbowl AND how YOU can work the stage like a pro

 

In the last post, I gave you some tips to assess the video of Lady Gag at the Superbowl with new eyes.

Now that you’ve had a chance to learn how to spot a lip syncing singer and put your new skills to work, it’s time to answer the question: was she actually lipsyncing?

(If you haven’t, click here to read the previous post so you can see how much you know!)

 

Those of you who said she was NOT lip syncing are…….CORRECT!

 

All of the tips from you used to tell if a singer is faking it usually give you pretty solid results.

But the one reason people call out singers for lip syncing when they’re really NOT is because we think this:

“They HAVE to be lip syncing!  

How can anyone run around that much and still hit all the notes?!”

Good question.

 

 

Where do singers learn to look so great on stage?

 

There’s a reason singers improve so fast on shows like The Voice, America’s Got Talent and the now debunked XFactor.  And it ain’t the vocal coaching (which btw, is worth it’s own post since it has damaged more voices than it has helped.  Don’t get me started).

The real answer is live show producers.

Just like record labels or tour management, TV shows employ a live show producer (sometimes under other titles, but the purpose is the same).  They are the ones who create the vision that the choreographers, vocal coaches, the wardrobe department, and the singer(s) will use to bring that incredible performance to life.

Live show producers know exactly how to look at what a singer can and can’t do and move them quickly through what they should master next to look incredible, inviting, and much more marketable on stage.

The longer a singers career involves a live show producer (& depending on the level of commitment of the singer), they can be transformed to the level where they can do amazing things like you Lady Gaga do.

 

How do I try things on stage as a singer without looking stupid?

 

It’s one thing to have the vision of what you want your live performance to look like and quite another to know how to make it happen.

Most singers don’t get a lot of experience ‘filling a large stage’ until until they’re performing on one. And that’s not the best time to try to figure it out,

But long before then you WILL have opportunities to sing on a platform that’s big enough that you really should be moving on it. 

How do you know how MUCH to move?

The more energy a song has, the more movement there needs to be on the platform.  The type of music you sing will determine what that movement should look like.  Look at videos of the top five artist in your niche (no one lower – you may just pick up the same mistakes they’re making). Below I’ll show you how to go from watching their show to designing yours.

Now it’s time to ask that question again: how can I sing that incredibly demanding song AND move all over the place without having a heart attack on stage?

 

Here is the ‘trick’ to what Lady Gaga did on stage live

 

There is only one way to sing your very best while really ‘working’ the stage without faking it: Exercise.

Stick with me here.

We’re not talking bench pressing 250lbs. or looking like some of the borderline anorexic singers you’ve seen.  What we ARE talking about is being at a physical level that allows you to sing full out without the activity affecting your voice.

As far back as singers have been their own dancers, managers and show producers have put singers through as much physical exercise as vocal exercise.

The Back Street Boys once complained that their manager made them jog in a line while singing their entire set during tour training.

 

Do you really need to jog for two hours while singing or sing while descending from a wire in a harness?  Proooooobably not.

Here’s a good starter guide for working up your physical fitness to meet your performing demands.

 

Infographic-How to Work the Stage Like a Pro

Determine what level of movement works for what you’re doing.

  1. Watch any videos of the top 3-5 singers who do the kind of music you do.  Skip other singers,  We’re hoping the top three have been coached out of their bad habits so you don’t pick them up. Pick songs with the same kind of energy as the songs you sing.
  2. Identify the ‘attention grabbers’: dancers, pyrotechnics, video backgrounds, etc.  Ignore any that you won’t have in your performance.
  3. Ignore any movements the lead singer uses that utilizes props or stage items you won’t have on stage (like jumping off an 8 foot speaker stack)
  4. Taking those items out, how much does the lead singer move?  What kind of things do they do?
  5. Pick the 2-3 you feel most comfortable doing and work them into your song.

 

Build the muscle memory & the mojo.

  1. Do any of the movements you’re adding require more physical stamina than you currently have?  Up your cardio workout.(anything you enjoy doing that makes you sweat.)
  2. After you’ve up’d your cardio for at least two weeks (preferably), start singing your song(s) during your cardio workout at tempo. Expect your singing to suffer at first.  This will become a gage for how well you can really move comfortably on stage.
  3. Take out your lyric chart and note where you’re going to add movement and what kind of movement it is.  It makes learning the new pattern of movement much faster..
  4. Every time you sing the song, add the movements (make them as big as your practice space allows).  Prioritize your weakness!  You can’t focus on singing and moving the exact same amount.  Get one down well.  Then only focus on the other.
  5. PRACTICE!  Every time you sing the song the muscle memory for movement needs to be attached. This makes it look like second nature even if you feel weird doing it.

3 Foolproof Steps for Looking Like a Pro On Stage

  • Stage movement always LOOKS smaller than it FEELS.  Plan to go over the top.
  • It’s NORMAL (even for pro’s) to feel weird, nervous or stupid when adding something new.  Expect it.  Embrace it.  Do it anyway.
  • Your FACE will tell your audience if they should love it or judge it.  Your face must say “Heck YEAH I meant to do that!”, never “oh…crap.  you didn’t see that did you???” regardless of what you think about how you look or sound.

 

You’ll be amazed how much more revved up your audience will be when you make the choice to give them a better show.  Two artists or bands can do the same song just as well and the audience will chose the one that moves every time.  That’s because it gives THEM permission to move and enjoy what you’re bringing them.  And that’s what they wanted all the time.

Note for worship musicians: Don’t think this doesn’t apply to you.   It’s probably more important for you. What you do or don’t do on the platform will determine your audience’s focus.  If you’re not comfortable moving during worship music, look for artists videos that don’t come off as ‘me-me!’  Try those, then let your authenticity drive you on from there.

But for heaven’s sake, please don’t just close your eyes and stand there!  That says. ‘hey I’ve got a really cool thing going on here….butt out.”

 

Looking like you’re having a great time on stage is more important than you think.  We’re a very visual generation with short attention span.  If your music, your message, your identity as an artist is important to you, take it seriously and grab their attention.

If you don’t, something else will.

Was Lady Gaga Lip Syncing at the 2017 Superbowl?

Was Lady Gaga Lip Syncing at the 2017 Superbowl?

Ok, Gaga haters. Stick with me because I live in your camp.   Gaga lovers – don’t judge… just yet.

I’m not a Gaga fan and I honestly wasn’t planning to watch Lady Gaga’s performance at the 2017 Superbowl Half Time Show live.  I just happened to walk in as she descended from the heavens and struck a pose.

I rolled my eyes and almost left but the vocal coach in me made me stay for the game.  Not football.  I mean a little game I play while watching live performances where I spot the non-singing ‘singers’ who are paid to not sing.

 

Let’s face it, many singers are not signed because they can (or can’t….Madonna..shhhhhh) sing.  The lable just fixes it in the mix and runs the ‘fixed’ version over the live vocal on tour so that the ‘singer’ can sing as much, but usually as little as they want.

It’s been done that way longer than most people know.  And now that you’re onto them, producers have gotten better at hiding the lip syning in live shows. But there are still ways to know if you’re really getting a ‘live’ show.

Maybe you’re ok with paying premium ticket fees for a not-really-live show.  That’s ok too.  It’s a bit tougher for the hundreds of genuinely good live singers out there.  Singers who have spent years honing their skills, learning how to keep their pipes in shape on the road and doing the work of developing their own sound.  Singers who are really worth hearing live.

For them, watching a sometimes 100% lip synced concert is like watching a robot take your job and do things not possible for a human.   It’s kind of buzz kill.

 

Whether you relate or not, it’s handy to have a way to know if you’re getting what you thought you paid for.

Wanna learn how?

 

 

How to Spot a Fake Singer

 

Since I know a few of the tricks commonly used to fake a live show I like to look for the signs of a cover up.  Educated guesses, let’s call them.  If I can spot three or more incidents of any of them, it’s proooooobably not a real live vocal.

Here’s how you can spot a ‘faux’ singer (which appropriately means ‘fake’) next time you see a live show.  Look for ‘faker flags’ like these:

  • The singer is very physical on stage (lots of dancing, running, etc.) but you never hear breathing when you would expect to
  • You don’t hear the singer breathe between phrases of the songs, only when speaking (or at the beginning and/or ending of songs for the sneaky ones)
  • The singers mouth doesn’t line up exactly to the vocal you hear (there’s a reason there’s not a close up shot sometimes)
  • You see 3 backup singers (and those dancers really are just lip syncing so they don’t count) but it sounds like there’s 10.
  • There is any volume change when the singer moves between singing and talking.  This one is harder to detect because live show arrangements are generally produced so this there’s more time to make the switch. But if the singer is talking to the crowd, starts to sing and they’re suddenly louder, you get the bonus point.

 

Keep in mind sometimes only parts of a song or just certain songs are not 100% live.  This is usually due to a singer recovering from surgery or damage or because the singer can’t dance and sing at the same time without breathing like a creeper on a prank call.

I just call ’em like I see ’em.

So are you saying Lady Gaga did NOT sing LIVE at the SuperBowl?

 

 

 

 

As if I’m just going to give it away.  Come on.  I just told you how to find out.

So you tell  me!  Click the video above to watch it again.

Look for Faker Flags. 

Tell me what you see in the comments below.


Next time, I’ll tell you exactly what I saw. AND I’ll spill an ‘industry insider tip’ that you can use to sound so good live, your audience may think you’re lip syncing.

(Join the mailing list so you don’t miss it!)

WHY you still don’t sing better (sorry)

WHY you still don’t sing better (sorry)

If you’re like me and you’ve sat through endless hours of singing lessons (and if you aren’t, be REALLY glad!), you know that these singing lessons are NOT for asking questions.

They’re for doing what you’re told.

 

If you’re one of the very bravest (or like me, completely clueless of impending scorn) and you have dared to timidly raise a hand in the presence of the almost-mythically-robed-wise-ones and ask the dirtiest three letter word to ever exist, you know the wrath of a teacher without a good answer.

Why you don’t ask why

I have always been a front-row, hand-always-raised kind of girl. So I’ve had the opportunity to experience the entire pool of possible reactions from a teacher who is…

a) caught of guard

b) doesn’t have any idea how to answer

or 3) has their identity way too tightly strung around their vocal degree

 

If you’ve had a teacher that can’t help you, everything that follows your question will boil down to this:

It’s YOUR fault!

  • You didn’t practice hard enough.
  • You didn’t listen to the directions clearly enough
  • You didn’t rub your tummy and pat your head in the right order while you sang and missed that note.
  • You’re just getting too big for your britches listening to all that ‘pop-singer-voodoo’ and what-not.

Blah blah BLAH.

GOOD LORD!  It’s no WONDER we all think we can’t sing!

 

THE POWER OF WHY

“WHY?” is the single best question you can ever ask. And it is absolutely essential if you’re trying to sing better.

“Why does it hurt when I sing?”

…can be opening to a discussion that gives you the tools to avoid serious damage or an understanding of when you need to see a doctor and what to ask them.

“Why can’t I hit this note?”

…could lead to a the design of a simple to remember quick tip you can use so you never miss it again.

“Why is my voice strong here, but too soft here?”

…is a wonderful invitation to learn HOW your voice works and how you can learn to DECIDE how EVERY note comes out, EVERY time.

“Why isn’t the training I’m following giving me better results?”

Be prepared.  THIS is the question at the bottom of it all.  But this one isn’t for your voice teacher.  This one is for YOU.

If you have listened intently to your teacher and followed precisely what they’ve given you as the solution to your concerns, there should be a reasonable expectation that you will see. hear, and/or feel a difference very soon.  With The Voice Club Method, we expect it pretty immediately.

Because if nothing changes and you’re left not knowing what to do outside of blaming your own lack of ability, one of these things has happened:

  1. You weren’t honest about following what they gave you (you have to be responsible to do your part)
  2. Your instructor didn’t know how to effectively communicate to you, or
  3. What they gave you isn’t going to give you the results you wanted

(spoiler alert: it’s almost always #3)

How can I claim that spoiler alert?  Because the majority of singing lessons and vocal instruction out there does not take one major thing into consideration: your anatomical voice.

Sound like a no-brainer, but then I’m simple girl.

 

What Can I Do?

Start asking ‘why’ about everything when it comes to your voice.  If the answer makes sense to you, ask yourself ‘why’?  If it makes no sense at all, ask yourself ‘why’?  This is the start of taking control of your own voice and vocal education.

Now go through our Vocal Bootcamp training video.  It’s basically a roadmap through vocal myths and fluff with clear, concrete tools to see the truth of how your voice works.

We don’t train a single singer or group of people at a conference without starting with our Vocal Bootcamp training. It is literally everything you should’ve been told about your voice and what you need to be empowered to ask even better questions so you can know what to look for when you’re trying to sing better.

 

Start Now

Whether you’re working with a singing teacher or not, take this challenge:

Get a notebook and any time a question pops into your head, write it down.  No question is too stupid.  Actually the ‘stupidest’ questions are usually the ones with the most ‘ah-ha’ invoking answers!

Then go through Vocal Bootcamp When you’re done, go through your list and see how many questions you can answer.  The next time you’re around a singing teacher, ask them the same questions. 

Then write down the answers you got from them. 

THEN, ask yourself which one makes the most sense and ask yourself ‘why’.  You will be amazed at how much you know and clear things become!

 

 

The more you know about your voice, the better you’ll be at seeing what will really help  your voice get where you want to go.

 

Go forward…..and ask ‘WHY?’

 

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