While a cappella is typically a group endeavor amidst a niche, but large community, For Your Own Good focuses on what individuals can do for their own betterment in this realm.
After the initial rush of getting hooked on a cappella, it’s not uncommon for a young singer to lose heart at the realization that she’s part of a small group, and one that will probably not (at least in her time with the group) achieve the fame and the sheer reach of groups like On the Rocks, The SoCal VoCals, or Pitch Slapped.
If a group wants to develop a major league reputation, it should, by all means, strive toward that goal. In the meantime, though, there are also some distinct advantages for individuals involved in relatively low-profile groups.
Learn from the ground up. Once a group has established its identity, and especially after it has done so on a national or international level it becomes increasingly difficult to either live up to that reputation or overcome the stigmas that may come with it. As a newer or less-known group there’s all the room in the world to start from the beginning, determine your own priorities, and carve a unique path based on what the group members of the moment would like to do.
Concentrate on music without distractions. Having too many bookings might seem like one of the nicest “problems” in the world, but when a group is constantly performing and traveling, the odds are that group isn’t spending nearly as much time arranging new music or working out the kinks in the rehearsal room. Take advantage of your low profile to hone your craft.
Innovate.Along the lines of learning from the ground up, and operating without expectations hanging over your head, a low profile allows you and your group to try something off the wall and innovate—taking on different artists, original songs, new styles. Worst case scenario, the experiment is a bust and you move on to the next thing. In the best case scenario, truly innovative a cappella has the potential to push the entire genre forward, not to mention catapult your group to niche fame. Too often, unknown groups try to reach the big time by imitating people who are already there. More often than not, it’s the people who think differently who actually make it to the next level.