By Jennifer Barlow

What’s one of the things about your performing that if you improved, would help to captivate your audience more when you perform?

You might think it’s your stage moves, maybe playing more complicated songs, or maybe even improving the sound of your singing. 

All of these are important but there’s something else you can do that will help to get your listeners attention and keep hold of it throughout entire songs, or even entire shows.

The big skill for you to work on

The big skill that is most overlooked is something called “dynamics” (put simply, playing loud and quiet). 

This is one skill that great performers are using throughout every song they ever play. Here’s how you can use dynamics to improve the sound of your songs:

  1. Loud vs Quiet

The first thing you want to look at is to take different sections of a song and practice playing them louder or quieter than others. 

A great place to start would be to play the verse slightly quieter than the chorus.

  1. The ‘peak’

Just like a mountain has a peak at the top, your songs need to have something you’ve building up to. 

With every song that you play, pick a point in the song where you want everything to be at its loudest. This is called the “peak”, or more commonly, the “climax”. 

Usually this takes place in the bridge of a song or the last chorus. You’re welcome to experiment, but if you put the “peak” too soon, the rest of the song will seem to ‘drag’. 

To create this, try to start your song quieter so it gives room for your song to build. This could be coupled with a less rhythmically dense strumming pattern. And also singing quieter as well. 

How to practise this

Make sure for practising any part of your guitar playing and if you are singing as well, to always practise whatever it is quietly and loudly. 

This will help you build confidence long term to be able to switch between different dynamics. And even do it on the spot. 

Try to watch other guitarists as well and what they do in their music to build up to the climax of the songs. Live performances, and acoustic singer songwriter performances are great for this. Because it’s really down to the guitarists and their voice to changes the whole dynamic of the song. 

Moving forward, I’d like you to apply these two tips to every song you learn and play. Practising your song at different dynamics and experimenting with where to add louder sections. 

And when you do perform, pay attention to how people react when they listen to the songs you’re playing. You’ll be surprised at the difference. 

About author
Learning the acoustic guitar can be taunting, especially if you want to be able to sing and play confidently. At Guitar Tuition East London, they help acoustic guitar students play their favourite songs confidently, performing and also be able to write their own music as well. Focusing on not only the basics of guitar playing and helping them improve their creativity and musicianship as well.