Conference Morsel: TOO Concerned with Tuning?
Date: April 9, 2014
(An excerpt from the interest session “Starting a Group,” presented by Deke Sharon during the 2014 Western Division Conference)
People in "a cappella" [the form of pop ensemble singing] have become too concerned with tuning.
Perhaps it's the prevalence of pitch correction in recordings and pop music, but groups seem ever-concerned with their pitch, and moreover judge other groups as if tuning is the point.
People usually do not decide what they like or want with their logical minds. They make them with their hearts, and then they justify them intellectually. That's been proven time and again, and is at the core of everything from political campaigns to grocery store product placement.
To bring it closer to home, do you remember when Ben Folds said to the Beelzebubs in Season One of The Sing Off: "There were some tuning issues, but I just didn't care!" That's exactly what I'm talking about. A great performance with heart and sincerity will always trump technical prowess.
Do you know who else doesn't care? You don't care. Do you hate all Motown music? Most likely not. I'll bet there are many songs that make you happy But the vocals are well outside what would be considered "in tune" nowadays. And they're beautiful. And real.
Moreover, if you're focusing primarily on tuning on stage, you're not performing and you're not communicating. You're manufacturing sound.