The Real X-Factor for Musicians

Arlen Card loves good acoustic guitars.The X-Factor is a very popular show because it shows people just like you getting a shot at their big break. Fact is, all of you can create your own opportunity for your music careers if you understand what the real “X-Factor” is for musicians.

All the heart and desire in the world is worthless if you rush the groove or perform out of tune. Being out of tune is clearly an amateur mistake, and no musician who performs out of tune deserves to win X-Factor, American Idol or The Voice.

To correct this, you need to practice with a digital tuner while recording yourself. Try matching the electronic tone, then bending the pitch first above then below the guide pitch, then bring yourself back into tune. Now listen to yourself in the recording, and go back and fix the problems you heard. Do that a few hundred times and after a while you’ll find that your sense and control of pitch have both drastically improved.

Next, as to groove, there is only one path to success in performing exactly with the grove, or “in the pocket” as it’s called in the business. You have no idea how important this element is.

Those who are unmistakably in the pocket, time-wise, rise to the top much easier than their competitors. Case in point: David Archuleta. Despite his inexperience and youth, his fundamentals were so completely sound, no pun intended, that he sounded professional in every way.

The same will be true of every season of The Voice, Idol, or The X-Factor. If you want to get past the audition and onto the show, you absolutely must have the most accurate of pitch and three coolest sense of groove.

The final lynchpin in your progress towards winning award shows or gigs or whatever you’re going for, is to have listened to so much great music that you have a natural sense of what “groove” should be. You must get thousands of hours of listening to the very best talent before your mental concept of grove will actually be valid.

Just remember, you can only improve if you actually hear yourself. Recording and playback of your performances and practice sessions is a must.

So, friends and colleagues, I hope this helps. I promise you, you’ll have a lot more “luck” if you’ll take the time to get these two elements totally in your command.

Best,

–AC