Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Guide To Karaoke Confidence" by Jeffrey Allen

Illustration Copyright © 1995 Warner Bro. Publications Inc. All Rights Acknowledged.

Aspiring performers, discount this publication on account of its title at your peril!

If the mark of true understanding is the ability to distill that which is complex into a work of simplicity and brevity, then Jeffrey Allen is a Master of Performance and Singing. This is the quickest route to getting ready for vocal performance bar none.

The blurb describes it as: "A quick, simple and fun course for everyone who loves to sing. Designed for all vocal ranges and styles, Jeffrey Allen's Guide to Karaoke Confidence offers numerous, invaluable performance and singing tips to insure that each and every moment in the Karaoke spotlight is successful."

I can attest that the schedule of development is indeed brief, easy to follow, and has plenty of lively learning points. I make it no secret that I'm a fan of Jeffrey Allen's work and found the second part: "The Vocal Makeover: Tricks, Tips, And Secrets Of Singing" highly familiar, drawn as it is from his comprehensive "Secrets of Singing".

But for those who can already sing, and to some extent those who can play, it's "Part 1: Secrets of Living Comfortably Onstage" which promises the elevation from musician to performer - it details succinctly the mental preparation required to take to stage. Even then, a good deal of effort needs to be invested on your part; those hoping for the lurking of magic words in Mr.Allen's handbook, the mere reading of which to transform them instantly into a mesmerist on stage, are going to be sorely disappointed.

Take, for example, the critical self-reflection he demands of the singer in order to breathe life to performance:
  • "Why did I choose to sing this song...?"; and
  • "To whom am I singing this to?";
are but a pair of sample questions. Applying them all in turn to each song, yields insight into and artistic confidence in, every work.

Pound for pound, word for word, the compact "Guide to Karaoke Confidence" provides the best value in self-schooling for the Performing Arts.

Loo Yeo