No Hands, No Flow

You know how when some people are singing on a TV show or at a karaoke bar, they move and wave their hands up in the air as they sing the melodies?  Have you ever thought that was strange?

I thought it was slightly… well, “fake” is not the word I’m thinking of… maybe over-doing it?  It would often seem like the person was acting and I would wonder, “If the person’s hands were tied together, would they still be able to sing?”

I used to think this way… until today. 🙂

This morning, there was a narration job in my schedule.  (A two-hour job at a recording studio in town)  I’d gotten home after 4am from a separate recording/singing job, slept as long as I could and took off to do my best with narrating.

Got to the studio, called my contact, he showed up a couple of minutes later, had a short meeting with him and the mixing/sound engineer, and into the recording booth I went.

Things started out a bit rough.  For some reason, there was an echo in the headphones as I read.  Told the sound engineer about it and he thought it was something to do with my volume controls in the booth.  Tweaked things a bit… no change.  Continued with the narration and just couldn’t get into the groove at all.

Finally, the sound guy found it was a control on HIS side.  (And the echo disappeared… yay!)  We re-recorded some of the beginning and it all began to flow smoothly.

It was then that I made a new discovery.  As I read a phrase like, “This process will be harmonious to our natural environment,” with as much feeling as I could, I noticed my hands.  They were moving and flailing about, as if they were attempting to be as descriptive as the words on the page!  It was SO comical!  For the next several sentences, I put my hands on my lap and guess what happened?  It was as if the gentle flow of the words started to bump and bounce around.  What?!!  Why?!

I asked the engineer if we could record that part again and once the red cue light flickered, I began to read and let my hands do what they wanted to do.  Once again, they were moving, explaining, describing… and the flow was smooth.

So, to all those people out there who flail their arms around while singing, I apologize for my former opinions and won’t doubt you from this day forward.

Lesson learned! 🙂

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. keith
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 13:04:28

    too funny! I still think that some singers do it as a crutch. Then again, we all gesticulate as we talk so why wouldn’t we when we sing or narrate?

    Reply

    • Birdie
      Feb 21, 2012 @ 14:23:19

      You are always so kind, Keith-kun! Do your hands/arms move around when you sing? (Haven’t heard the word “gesticulate” is SO long! Guess I need to brush up on my English vocabulary, ne?) 🙂

      Reply

  2. keith
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 14:16:19

    My hands move when I sing ONLY when I have watched the original singer and will ‘imitate’ or move similarly. Of course, this only takes place in my car😉 Story telling on the other hand, or talking…I do use my hands often. However I do fully understand the power of stillness when the story is good enough. (if that makes sense)

    Reply

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