How To Make A Connection With Your Audience

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Uncategorized


How do you classify emotional expression in music? Well - to do that - you first have to classify emotional expression in humans.


People say things like:

  • “that was touching”
  • “that gave me chills”
  • “that was moving”
  • “wow”
  • “that was sick”
  • “you have to see them live! Unreal”
  • etc…


People also say things like:

  • “yeah, it was nice”
  • “it was pretty cool”
  • “pretty good”
  • “eh”
  • “he/she had an alright voice”
  • “at least they hit the notes”
  • “that one part was kinda catchy”
  • etc…


But why? What's the difference?


True. Human. Emotional. Connection.


That's the difference. It means so much - that I can barely express it to you with these little black letters on this stark-white page.

And the truth is - no matter how hard I try - these typed words may fall flat! Causing no emotional response in you whatsoever.

But if you take the time to search yourself with the following perspective in mind - you may just find something interesting happens.


Gut instincts are real. That initial feeling you get from an experience tells you so much.


When I work with musicians on true self-expression - this is my mantra:

“If you truly feel it - the listener will too.”


That's all you have to do.


It's pure intention. The moment you find yourself thinking about expression or you attempt to “do something”...you've lost it.

You've moved from emotion to logic.

The goal is to stay with youremotion. Just feel. It's truly that simple. This is the answer to real emotional expression.




The moment you become self conscious…

You've lost it.

The moment you TRY to move the listener…

You've lost it.

The moment you wonder how you sound...

You've lost it.

The moment you look at yourself through the eyes of the listener…

You've lost it.


Think about it for a moment.


In the past - if you've been driven to tears for one reason or another - you didn't TRY to cry. You didn't MAKE the tears come. You didn't actively persuade your brain to cause the chain reaction it took to deeply feel what you felt and bring you to that particular emotional response.




You simply felt - and your emotion brought about your uncontrollable physical reaction.

I use the word reaction purposefully - because you had no control over it. You were compelled by your emotion, and no matter how hard you fought - you couldn't stop the tears from falling.

Staying with your emotion is paramount for self-expression.


Here are a few visual examples: Can you spot the REAL and the FAKE?

In A Hug:

insincere hug.png sincere hug.jpg


In a facial expression:

poser face Kim.jpg  michael-fassbender-look.jpg


In a live performance situation:

justin bieber poser.jpg  jbannon real.jpg

For example:

When I coach vocalists in the “hardcore” genre - I typically have this to say from the start: “don't scream if you don't have anything to scream about. Screaming is aggressive. Screaming is passionate. In nature, screaming is an all-out guttural, visceral reaction. If it's contrived...we will know, and we won't believe you.”


Same goes for “clean singing” -  and every other musical aspect for that matter.

It isn’t about an “emotional look on your face” or clinching and pumping your fist with “passion”. Not unless your raw emotion(s) summon those reactions from the gut. Viscerally.


So in quick summary:

This isn't about “sounding good” - it's about being real.

No posing. No characters to play. No nonsense.

Being genuine and sincere is a matter of simply being genuine and sincere.


You can't TRY. You don’t try. You just DO....from the gut.

Easy Songwriting Idea: Melody Variation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Uncategorized

Remember to step away from your song.

Get a birds-eye-view of it once in awhile.

As you work in one area, don't forget that there are other ingredients to it.

or what I call the "5 Elements of A Song".

Which are...

• Rhythm

• Harmony

• Melody

• Structure

• Lyrics

It can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you're working on one element at a time.

Here's a little exercise for ya:

You're gonna use 2 of the 5 elements for this.

Harmony & Melody.

Chord Option: G 

Melody Note Options: G A B C D


Your main focus here is on MELODY. So play your available G chord and see how many variations you can come up with to make your available melody notes sound interesting over that single G chord.

Come up with AT LEAST 3 options

That's it. That's your exercise. 

It's an exercise in creativity!


Limiting your information forces you to be inventive!

It also helps to relieve you from overwhelming yourself with options which leads to getting things done - instead of experiencing "analysis paralysis".


So remember to "zoom out" once in awhile and see your song as a whole. You may be tired of hearing that same old chord, but if you add a fresh new melody over it...that one single element could change it into something entirely new and exciting!


Give it a go!

If you have any questions - don't hesitate to ask me RIGHT HERE



Writing Time: Tips & Tricks

Friday, February 27, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Uncategorized

Workin' on a new song! Starting to look forward to getting into the studio now. This one will most likely be the first available song from the EP. It's called "A Piece of Us" - can't wait to share em all with ya ?

I'll also be posting some VERY COOL tips and tricks for you on:

setting up

starting a song

developing a song

polishing a song

Stay tuned!

Self Judgment

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Uncategorized

When "performing" it can feel like all eyes are on you - and for the most part you're right...they are.

BUT that doesn't mean YOUR eyes need to be on you...

Here's the truth - Most people wanna see you do well. They're trying to connect with you, and in that act THEY want to feel "well" also.

Place your focus 100% on the story of your song.

Don't perform...

Find a sense of openness and SHARE yourself with others.

Self judgment has no place in sharing...

5 Ways To A New Habit

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Uncategorized


1. Time

2. Location

3. Preceding Event

4. Emotional State

5. Other People

In order to advance our skills in any way - in any chosen art form - we absolutely, without a doubt, MUST visit the desired skill DAILY.

Let's cover a way that you can put these triggers to use in YOUR life so that you form the HABIT of exploring your art on a daily basis without fail - leading you to progress!

Time: Make the choice to practice your guitar for 10min at 8PM every single night. Set an alarm reminder if needed.

Location: Leave your instrument out of its case where you can see it. Every time you enter that particular room in your home...pick it up and practice for 10min. Remember - out of sight - out of mind.

Preceding Event: Let's say that every evening when you finish dinner - you grab your instrument, and...practice for 10 min! Or maybe after you brush your teeth and get ready for bed..?

Emotional State: The emotional states of depression or boredom are triggers for negative habits - like "overeating", "watching too much TV", "smoking" etc...In this case you can learn to reprogram whatever these negative habits are for you by replacing them with some quality musical exploration. This one can be kinda tricky, because emotions are subconscious and awareness is conscious - so you'll have to keep an eye on your emotional state to utilize this one.

Other People: the best way to make use of this information is to surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Seek out other musicians - find a good coach - get a family member or friend to join you in lessons. Skype with other musicians around the world via websites like bandhub.com.

The bottom line is this - if you want to get better you HAVE to schedule the time to make it happen. There's no way around this. At the end of the day we have either 1 of 2 things... RESULTS or EXCUSES

Don't get caught up in the big picture goal...just focus on forming your positive daily habit.


*concept and framing based on "triggering our behavior" in social psychology.

Fun + Progress = Win!

Thursday, February 19, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Uncategorized

Should you REALLY be "practicing"?

Well...it's all in how ya look at it.


Instead of wasting time doing dozens of random "exercises" - concentrate mostly on taking the music that inspires you and using it to create the "exercises" you need to

improve your musicianship.

This will keep your "practicing" fun while helping you to make progress.

Fun + Progress = WIN!

It will also prevent you from spreading your "practice" time too thin working on exercises that have little or nothing to do with the exact music YOU actually WANT to PLAY.


When you do this -

"Practicing" becomes PLAYING!

"Practicing" becomes EXPLORATION!


What Exactly Are You Doing?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Uncategorized

Choosing one area of focus when you practice is crucial for positive results and manageable progress.

I'm personally working on relieving strain and constriction while being mindful of vocal support and breathing.

The video snippet above is an example of me doing these very things.

Choose a skill.

Choose a song.

Set aside some time.


#mikkyekko #rihanna #stay #CVT

Making Changes

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Uncategorized

Wanna make some changes? 

Here's how -


This is the secret formula – memorize it.

It is your new best friend for spearheading personal change.

EXPOSURE to new ideas and experiences stretches your brain.

REPETITION causes your brain to store these new concepts in short-term memory.

REPEATED APPLICATION moves the knowledge into long-term memory – meaning you have adopted your new habit or thought process permanently.

Let's put a plan together for you!

The Voice Killer

Thursday, February 12, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Uncategorized


Most vocal difficulties come from strain and constriction.

If this is happening - then typical vocal "exercises" will only help to reenforce this strain and constriction - making it a habit, and locking it into your muscle memory.

Learning to disengage these muscles is absolutely CRUCIAL for ALL vocalists!

Singing must always feel comfortable.

• no itching

• no coughing

• no pain

• no strain

• no tightness

• if it doesn't feel good, that is a sign from your body that something is wrong

• even the best voice teachers in the world cannot live inside your body. They can listen, but they cannot feel what's going on inside. You must feel that for yourself.

SOUND will not strain or hurt your voice - CONSTRICTION will.

Don't Sit And Wait

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Uncategorized

All too often we sit and wait to be told what to do, where to go, or how to do things.

Reality - our "true north" is decided by our internal compass.

Practice thinking!

Pay attention to those seemingly small ideas that tend to flash by so quickly.

Practice observing!

Watch. Listen. Taste. Touch. Smell. Move.

Then take notes.

Subjectively as well as objectively.

You are important.

You are needed.

Your ideas could change things.

See them through.

Let them breathe.

They have life - let them live.


-To all of US!