Now that I more or less have my anxieties about recording myself on video singing done with, I want to move on to working through other things via camera. The two things I really want to work on is actually talking on cam, like in vlog format, and being able to add facial expressions and be more animated while singing. For the ladder, I think it’s fine to not look animated when all you’re doing is a lot of “oos” and “ahs”, but with songs that have lyrics, I really want to look like I’m invested in the song. It’s frustrating though, because every video I’ve looked at says look at yourself in the mirror and practice, but I can’t do that and haven’t found any alternatives. I thought of recording demos on camera and sending it for advice, but not sure how that would help unless I know someone who could give me pointers on how to perform a song with more than my voice. This is when I wish some sort of acting class was in my area! Though I really just want to know about how to perform a song, I think it’s something I need some one on one coaching with, and I just can’t wrap my head around being able to find some help, other than like I said shooting camera footage and asking for advice and hoping who I ask knows a little about performing with facial expressions.
I found one interesting tid bit that I am probably going to try, where it was you make a character for yourself while singing the song by reading the lyrics beforehand and putting yourself in the characters shoes. Also, staging what you’ll be doing before performing the song as well: I know for some things, I’ll just be playing an instrument, but when it’s just me sitting and singing I’d like to have something to look like I’m invested in the song because that’s been a chronic issue for me, even back when I did live gigs. SO my new goal since I will be back on the saddle of YouTube this month is to work on those things. In the back of my head, I always say “Just don’t put yourself on camera because of those issues” but then I realize that so many YouTubers started off by being awkward, and maybe meh looking while doing their videos, but they only learned by putting themselves out there, and having an audience that gave them critiques, and an audience that they were accountable to so they were more likely to want to up their quality of content. I guess since I actually want to upgrade my performances and quality, I’ve gotten to that point too! Only took a year of YouTubing 😄
For the vlogging, it’s weird because I used to podcast and didn’t have a problem talking there. But with the camera on me, it’s a whole other animal, and nerves tend to get me to stammer and stumble. I can always edit things out, sure, but I tried that on a test video and it’s really tedious and annoying, so I’d rather just do things in one take, then if I want to talk more, stop that and do another take. Because having to go through like an hour of footage because I just kept on talking isn’t something I’d like to do. And, since I would rather not put my friend who would be editing stuff for me through the torture of me rambling, if I vlog I think I’d do that multi take format, and write down an outline of what I want to say. On my test footage I didn’t have an outline, and it showed because I just was talking with a lot of ums and ers and it was so awkward 😄 As I did different takes it got easier, so that’s why I think an outline to bounce off of would work best for me if I do vlogs.
But I’m excited! Next week is when I’m getting all of my audio equipment, and I’m probably going to go to Guitar Center and see what hand drums they have there, and hopefully I can grab one to drag home. With that, I’d have a whole mini percussion section I’ve been wanting, and with the keyboard, I’d be good to go! I got some virtual instrument VSTs that were on sale for a dollar (they’re usually 100) and one has strings in it, the other an array of instruments. I can use my keyboard as a midi controller, so I plan to do that with the virtual instruments, and hope it works well enough to just be able to flip through the different instruments with my keyboards keypad and play them on my keyboard. I’ve tried VSTs in the past, but on a computer their accessibility factor has not been very good. So I’m hoping with a piece of hardware, where clicking with a mouse won’t be a factor, I’ll be able to use them to the extent of switching instruments with the keyboards keypad and using them, then mixing them with effects on my DAW. I was sooooo excited to find those two VSTs for such a steal, I was like “I don’t care if they are accessible or not, they are a dollar so I will buy them and use them” haha. I need my computer fixed before doing that, but I have my keyboard until then so nbd~
After picking up a drum, the only other physical instruments I really, really want are an ocarina and a mountain dulcimer. The ocarina because Legend of Zelda, come on (I also think it’s overall just a beautiful sounding woodwind, as is the recorder) and the mountain dulcimer, because it’s from what I’ve read, the easiest string instrument to play, but once you learn it you can do complex stuff with it. It also sounds so beautiful and folksy, and really fits my aesthetic of Celtic-folk style that I love! An ocarina is very inexpensive, so I’ll be picking one up this month. A mountain dulcimer of good quality is a bit more pricy, so I’ll be buying it a bit later. Really happy that my one-woman band is starting to come together though! So cloooose, just got to pick up some things to get the ball rolling woot woot!
That was a lot longer of an update then I expected haha. I’m just so excited February is here, because I can finally start arranging covers on my own again, only this time the way I’ve wanted to with actual instruments! I know it won’t be super easy, as I’ve seen from singing along and playing piano to some arrangements I’ve been hashing out, but I’m ready for the challenge. I’m really excited to grow as a musician this year, and onward!