After my post last week about our Summer Concert with Rock Choir that is getting quite near now I thought I might follow it up with a survival guide. Why you ask do we need a survival guide?
Well I know how some of our Rockies may be feeling at the moment. Maybe you’re thinking that you’d like to take part but you either don’t feel confident, a little nervous of a bigger show. Maybe you feel you just won’t remember those lyrics or the moves.
Take a deep breath because I’m going to talk to through it. I took part in my first big performance a couple of years ago which took part at The Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham. I hadn’t been with Rock Choir that long so I wondered whether I had done the right thing by volunteering to perform. There were a lot of songs to perform, more than we had sang at the smaller performances and the venue was huge so that meant the audience was going to be huge too.
I remember Jennie our choir leader posting a picture on Facebook of the view from the stage looking out to the auditorium and that was it…..I was nervous but at the same time I felt really excited. As soon as we all got together for the rehearsal I started to feel a bit more relaxed. I wasn’t on my own and I felt it was all going to be ok. The lights went up and it started, my heart was pounding but as soon as we got into our first song I was there in the moment and it felt great. I had suddenly forgotten all my worries.
That first round of applause after the first song puts you at ease and it’s like………ok let’s do the next one….I’m in the zone now. It’s a great experience and a chance to put all your hard work into something wonderful. So go for it!
Here are a few of my top tips for a big performance.
Lyrics - listen to your downloads as much as possible leading up to the show. While doing the dishes, housework, in the car, walking the dog - whenever possible so those lyrics start to sink in. The supermarket is ok but be prepared for a few looks particularly if you 'salsa' or 'sway' too close to the Chilli Con Carne there is enough spice in those moves eh?
Moves - if you can watch You Tube videos on the moves they help but don’t worry too much, concentrate on the singing first and the moves will follow. Yes they will - BELIEVE!!!
Newbies/First Timers - talk to other Rockies, we are all here to help each other. Grab as much information as possible about what usually happens and say if you are nervous and then someone can buddy with you to make you feel at ease. Everyone has been there so don’t worry.
Rehearsal - attend the rehearsals, this will give you a picture of how things are going to pan out and it also gives you chance to ask any questions you may have.
TRUST - trust your choir leader!! They are there to give you lyrics, the moves and your harmony parts. When you think about it you are trying to concentrate on one part but think about them, they have learnt all of them so imagine what is going through their heads but they remain cool don’t they? Watch them and follow their instructions. Everything you need is right there in front of you so make use of them.
Mistakes - Yes you may fluff up somewhere it’s only natural but if you do just act as if nothing as happened. You will notice the mistake but the audience won’t. They don’t know the harmonies or the moves so mistakes will usually go unnoticed. If you make a mistake, forget it and move on.
SMILE - probably the most important one. We all have those concentration faces especially when thinking about lyrics and the moves. It is a bit like rubbing your tummy and patting your head some of the time but a smile will get you through help you relax and show the audience you are having fun.
Enjoy it!! - you will be so surprised at how quick these performances go. The time zooms by and before you know it it’s the last song and it’s all done. Have fun, we are taking part for our own enjoyment and that’s what it should be all about. You can do this and the sense of achievement at the end is a great feeling. Before you know it you’ll be asking when you can do it again.
I hope that all helps. Please leave a comment below if you are a Rockie and feel a bit unsure about performing or feel nervous and I’m more than happy to help. I’ll let you into a secret though, I get nervous too but I just think it’s normal and ok to feel like that…..it shows how much it means and that you care. So forget that pressure and just go and sing your hearts out.
Have fun Rockies.
Thanks for reading today. Please join me again tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday but for now……
We get some great opportunities with Rock Choir and after the privilege of being able to record at Abbey Road Studios we now move onto our Live Summer Show. This takes place at The Albert Hall Conference Centre in Nottingham on the 14th and 15th July.
The Derbyshire Rock Choirs from Derby, Mickleover and Duffield will be performing on Saturday 14th and the Nottinghamshire Choirs from Mansfield and Beeston will perform on Sunday 15th. So pick a date a come along and see us.
We have many great songs and some new ones too so if you haven't seen us for a while you will experience some nice fresh tunes with super harmonies if I do say so myself. If you do fancy a bit of a night out then you won't be disappointed. The tickets are available by following this link
They are priced at £13.50 and on the night there will be representatives from The Alzheimers Society who will be raising money for their fabulous charity so what are you waiting for?
All of these lovely Rock Choir members enjoy getting together each week just to sing for fun. We are not professionals although I do think we have earned rock star status now we have been to Abbey Road (oops did I mention that again?) We do have a lot of giggles and so much fun but we also work hard learning our harmony parts, memorising lyrics and rehearsing to hopefully bring you a great sound to listen to.
I love Rock Choir as you know and I'll not shut up about it as it just makes me so happy. Taking part in the performances we do and in a show like this gives me and the others a chance to put what we have learnt into something spectacular so we would all like to share that with you.
Hope to see you there!
Take care for now and I will return tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday.
I am loving this new album from Roger Daltrey. He not only looks fab here on the cover - such a great photo, but he sounds just awesome on all these eleven tracks.
Now for you younger kids, Roger was in a smallish band way back in the olden days called The Who.....if you haven't heard off them which I'm sure is not the case - you need to go and look them up right now.
So back to today Roger Daltrey is just as good as ever if not better. This album is a mix of classic rock, just how it used to be and some great bluesy songs. Most of these songs are covers from artists such as Stevie Wonder, Nick Cave and Stephen Stills but he makes them sound his own and so original you wouldn't know. It's as if he's waved the Daltrey magic wand over them and woosh they are his.
This album was due to be shelved and chucked aside, a bit like Squeaky from Toy Story, all dusty and broken on that shelf and then fellow Who member Pete Townsend showed an interest in playing guitar on most of these tracks and hey presto the album was born. I'm sure Pete would have help Squeaky too but that was left to Woody and it worked out well for them too.
All these songs are raw and emotional. You can feel his voice really tell the story within the lyrics and he is backed by some great singers making an overall outstanding sound. Into My Arms is so heartfelt and the emotion is all there.....you can can feel it.....just a man and a piano, so simple but gorgeous. I'm hooked. I've always like this guy, I think he's had an amazing musical career and he tells some great stories from back in the day.......Total rock and roll!!! Love it.
Go and have a listen and let me know what you think. It's a complete cliche and there are always those adverts around certain occasions......can't actually believe I'm going to say it but it would make a great Father's Day pressie. There ya go it's out! Did I get to say it before some major big supermarket? Yes!!! Woo.
Thank for reading today.....if you think I'm bonkers but still want to follow my days then join me again tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday.
Cheers and take care now. x
Well what a day, probably one of the best days of my life. Just waiting outside was exciting but when I stepped in to the place it was magic. We dropped all our belongings in Studio 2 which is just one of the iconic studios here and then we went to have a big group photo outside at the front of the building on the steps. Then the fun began.
We were taken into Studio 1 which you can see in the photo. This is the largest of the studios and it is where the big film scores are recorded with those big orchestras. I cannot tell you what it feels like to sit there. I suppose if you're not a big music fan you will be thinking 'what are you talking about Sue from the Brew?' I sat there like all my Christmas's had come at once, just like a big cat that had got the cream (not cheap tip top in a can but proper premium stuff). I just kept visualising the many music icons that had been in this very room.
We started off with our first track which was Beyonce's 'Halo'. The red light came on, the piano started playing and away we went. It was so educational learning about the actual recording process. We were given headphones and I just felt like a top recording artist with those on before we even sang a note. It's all very technical stuff you know but we got that track done and got stuck in to the next which was Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'. We sang this to the track and it just sounded fabulous. A little weird at first through the headphones but my goodness we were treated to hear all the tracks at the end of the session on the speakers and I nearly lost all my emotions, right there in musical paradise......almost like emotional diarrhoea.
We did so well for time we were able to record another song so we added 'Don't Stop Believin' to the mix. This was getting exciting and I was feeling very comfortable in my new role as recording artist. I felt an album coming on if I'm honest. We hadn't sang this song for a while so although it was sprung on us we coped well, we added in air guitars and they were magnificent. We got so carried away with our air guitars (multi tasking like the big guys) there came a moment where we had to do a bit of 'dropping in'.
What's that Sue from the Brew? Well my fellow brewsters it is when you just drop into a part of the song and just record a small part of the song that just needs doing again or improving. Wooooah get us - even get the technical jargon......this is so going on my CV.
It was just a fantastic experience and we were so lucky to be able to have this chance. The opportunities with Rock Choir are great and just get more exciting. It was worth every moment so a big thank you to everyone at Rock Choir for allowing us to go and most of all to Jennie our Choir Leader who is just the best motivator and inspiration to us all. She gives us so much confidence and without her I don't think we would sound as good as we do.
Remember if you think 'I fancy a bit of all this' well you can sign up for a free taster session at any Rock Choir and there are many all over the UK. Just go to www.rockchoir.com and search for your nearest session.
Thank you reading today and letting me get all this excitement out....I am honestly still buzzing from the day and it will stay with me for years to come. Join me again tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday but for now.......
Today is about anything to do with my love of music.