The Sing Off- It's Harder Than it Looks
Last night on Nbc's hit show The Sing Off, it was hip hop week. With this theme for the week, it brought quite a few challenges to most of the groups, due to the fact that this genre was a style that they are just not used to. As i sat and watched the show, I thought to myself, Wow what a stressful process. Being a performer is extremely fun and exhilarating, but it is also very nerve racking and uncertain. Performing, and the acceptance of a performance is all based on opinion. That is a hard enough concept as a singer even when you have instrumentalist backing you, I can't even imagine the pressure that these acapella groups go through each week. Crazy! We get to see the end product that looks so easy and effortless, after what has really been a grueling week of prepartion.
Each group has one week to prepare a song. During this week they must first choose a song that is going to show their groups personal style but all while still allowing the song to stay recognizable. Many groups pick a song at the beginning of the week but end up changing their song choice.
Once they have their song picked, now they must arrange the song so all the members of the group have a part to sing. Remember this show is strictly acapella, so there are no instruments at all. So each group has vocal percussionists that does the "drum beats," while other performers will imitate sounds of other instruments to give it more of a track feel. Arranging music in itself is very difficult. It is all trial an error, trying to make sure the different parts people are performing blend together allowing their performances to sound full, and not bland.
Once the arrangement is complete, the actual rehearsal begins. They don't want to just come out and sing they want to make it a performance. The groups have to rehearse making sure everyone is staying together and is on pitch. Again remember, there are no instruments so the groups don't have background music to rely on to make sure they are on key. Some groups like to add choreograhpy and movement to up the performance level. The talent and hard work that goes into each of these performances is extremely impressive, and is much harder than we could Imagine.
That video was my favorite performance from last nights show. It is the group Penatonix performing " Love Lockdown" by Kanye West. I think why i like this group is there are only five of them, but man do they sound larger than life. For there to be only five in this group they have such a big sound and can make their performance full, where there doesn't seem like there is a gap of tones, or sound gone.
I truly respect all these acapella groups that go on this show trying to do something different in music. It is extremely inspiring and I know is much more difficult than they make it appear in their seamless performances each week.