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.