#5: Know your limitations. Learn to EXPLOIT them.

Photo: Marco Quiroga Marazzato

We usually think of limitations as something negative. Something we can’t do. But the truth is, there is a positive side to limitations. Our limitations focus us, much like a camera lens.

Limitations give us our flavor, specialization… even our identity! Think of how uniform and boring it would be if everyone could do everything perfectly.

Think of Bob Dylan. What if he’d been born with a perfect voice, instead of that nasally whine? Then he wouldn’t be Bob Dylan, would he?

First figure out your limitations, and then figure out how to operate within them. Are you a horrible dancer? Try delivering your performance from a solid, powerful stance to communicate confidence. You may find out you don’t need to move at all because you’re charismatic enough when you’re still. What kind of a singing voice do you have? If your range consists of three or four notes, maybe you’d shine more with Limp Bizkit or Pantera than the great, operatic Queen and Guns ‘N’ Roses anthems.

Maybe you can’t reach the high notes, but you certainly have other strengths. Maybe you’re a good mover. Maybe you’re good at being scary or dramatic. Maybe you’re good at transmitting your enthusiasm and getting the entire crowd to sing along and pump their fists in the air.

One of the biggest stars of AK — and I don’t think he’d mind me saying this, because he’s perfectly aware of and comfortable with this fact — is also one of the most limited, singing-wise. I’m talking about the great Uvejo Rock-n-Roll of A.K. Madrid. What’s his singing voice like? Well, let’s just say, he’s no Jon Bon Jovi. Most of the time, you can’t even figure out what the hell he’s singing, as far as the words go.

But Uvejo has other gifts: enthusiasm, passion for rock-n-roll, a love of performing, and tons of charisma and charm. And the thing about the unintelligible lyrics? He’s turned it into a phenomenon that his fans call “Uvejozation”.

The point is, everyone has something interesting to offer. Your job is just to find out what that is, and magnify it — not get hung up and discouraged about what you lack.

(Video of Uvejo Rock-n-Roll by Nuevo Mc)


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2 comments to #5: Know your limitations. Learn to EXPLOIT them.

  • Giulio y Las Historias Tensas

    Love live Uvejo. The man’s a LEGEND!

  • Rob D

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. We all must acknowledge limitations, but remember that on stage, you’re giving the crowd YOUR interpretation. Learn and understand the words of the song. What do those words mean to you and how do they affect you? What do they mean to the audience? What are the connections between you? Choose a song based on what it means to you as opposed to how popular it will be. Soul will always carry more weight than vocals. At the end of the day, a great voice is appreciated, but your passion is what will be remembered…

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