By Johnny Dwinell
[prag-muh-tiz-uhm]Â Â Show IPA
characterÂ orÂ conductÂ thatÂ emphasizesÂ practicality.
aÂ philosophicalÂ movementÂ orÂ systemÂ havingÂ variousÂ forms,Â but generallyÂ stressingÂ practicalÂ consequencesÂ asÂ constitutingÂ the essentialÂ criterionÂ inÂ determiningÂ meaning,Â truth,Â orÂ value.
I am wondering, how do you run your career?
I am wondering, how do you approach your art, your talent?
Many of you are suffering artistically and stagnate in your careers because you are trying to be something youâ€™re not.Â Some of you are pushing for things you think you need to do and ignoring the lanes that options that will bring actual momentum to your career.
In short, many of you are creating your own obstacles unnecessarily.
Yes, it is much easier and quicker to start a fire with a blow torch or flame thrower, but if you donâ€™t have these things, then the more pragmatic approach is to set up smaller kindling wood stuffed with newspaper. The paper burns immediately catching fire to the kindling which catches fire to the big logs in your fireplace; then just keep stoking.
You can choose to lament the fact that you donâ€™t have a flame thrower/blow torch which results in no fire, OR you can work with something more practical, something you do have, and the end result is a nice fire.
EVERY ARTIST has their strengths and weaknesses.
Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.
An artist really is not going to gain serious momentum until they can objectively sit down and pragmatically determine where the strengths and weaknesses are in their live show, recordings, images, lyrics, melodies, market approach, business plan; their art essentiallyÂ
Madonna is an Icon.Â She isnâ€™t a good singer.Â Sheâ€™s a good dancer, a great business person, and a great entertainer.Â Her live shows do not focus on her singing do they?
She focuses on her strengths.
Ray LaMontagne has a voice that is like butter.Â He is an AMAZING singer/songwriter.Â Listen to his tracks.Â They are decidedly arranged with space.Â Space that allows that voice and those lyrics to easily shine through and change your life; thatâ€™s how he touches you.
He is accentuating the positives.
Ray is not trying to blow you away with vocal acrobatics.Â That is not his lane and he knows it.Â His lane is in the tone and the story, like Stevie Nicks or Rod Stewart.Â These kinds of voices just need to sing good songs and the tone feathers out in your chest like a really good scotch.
If you listen to pop music with a pragmatic ear you will notice that many of the artists canâ€™t sing.Â Consequently the musical arrangements around their voices are akin to a sonic circus.Â By design, they donâ€™t really want you to focus on the voice all that much.Â Itâ€™s more about the hooks and the feel.Â Pop music has always been lyrically “light” so much that the words donâ€™t even have to make sense, they just has to sing well; remember Phil Collinâ€™s â€œSussudioâ€?
Two different approaches.
Each approach is appropriate to the artist and genre, yes?
Are you pragmatic with your songwriting?Â Do the songs you write fit your vocal range and style?
Are you pragmatic with your live show?Â Does your show accentuate your positives and eliminate the negative?
Are you truly a captivating act?
Are you pragmatic with your sonic production and arrangements in the studio?
Are you overplaying?
Are you over-singing?
Are you over producing a great voice?
How about your marketing approach?
Pragmatic is about focusing on what you do have instead of what you donâ€™t.
Be pragmatic.Â Get momentum.
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