Dress for success in your auditions! But, when selecting your perfect audition outfit, be aware that certain clothes can actually interfere with your singing. Avoid tight-fitting pieces that can restrict the expansion of your abdomen or ribcage and hinder your breathing. Also, don't forget about your shoes. Changes in heel height can alter your body's ideal alignment and your technique. To avoid being surprised on audition day, try rehearsing in the shoes and outfit you plan to wear. Finally, make sure that your outfit makes you feel confident in who you are. Wear something that makes you stand out, but also stays true to the person you are and the message you want to send to the world through your art! Look good... sing GREAT!
Happy Easter singers! Today we celebrate Rebirth, Rejuvenation, and New Beginnings! As singers, we are a conscientious group of people who often strive for perfection. We keep record of our flaws and mistakes with brutal detail. So much so that we can sometimes stymie our growth and fail to recognize all the wonderful strides we have taken. Let Easter be the day to wipe the slate clean. Forgive yourself. Make a promise to let go of your shortcomings. After all, the mere thought of your flaws is probably holding you back more than any actual flaw ever can. Remember that no one is perfect. No. Not even one. And, with an Easter Spirit - celebrate the Rising of your music, your voice, and your New Beginning!
The music industry is a JUNGLE! You must find your own noble path through the jungle one step at a time. Luckily, there are some common steps that have helped other artists find their way. Step 1 - Gather some great original songs or covers and record a demo. Step 2 - Make your music available in places like Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and Social Media. Step 3 - Submit your music for performances at festivals, competitions, or live shows. Step 4 - Advertise your music by inviting friends, artists, engineers, producers, and agents to hear your music. Step by step you will find your own untrodden path through the music industry jungle! One day others you've inspired may very well want to follow in your footsteps!
"Two is better than one!" This goes for singing as well. Have a friend that loves to sing? Try practicing with them! We usually only think about practicing alone or with a vocal coach, but having another set of friendly ears can be helpful and inspirational. In addition to singing your favorite duets, you can give each other feedback and learn from one another's strengths. Plan to meet at least once a month and keep each other positive and accountable. Record your sessions so you can document your mutual progress from month to month. So go ahead - set a date, create a song list for both of you, and get started with vocal growth x 2!
Where is the line between ACTING and LIVING? There's a well-known story about Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier. In preparation for a difficult scene, Hoffman hadn't slept for a few days. Olivier asked him why he was putting himself through such an ordeal. Hoffman said that he wanted to be convincing in the role. Olivier replied, "Try ACTING dear boy". Many actors feel the need to live every experience that their character is going through. But, Acting is really more about being able to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances. Do your homework of course. Investigate the life of your character. Research who they are, where they've lived, and what they want. Ultimately, though, using your imagination and preparing your character will do the job. And, it will save you from unnecessary pain and sleepless nights!
Have you ever wondered why your voice sounds different to you when you hear it back on a recording? The answer: ACOUSTICS! When you hear someone else speak or sing, you're hearing their voice completely via sound waves traveling through the air. When you sing or speak, you're hearing approximately 20% of your voice through the air. The other 80% is sound that vibrates in your body, bones, and head. This is why our perception of our own voice is quite skewed. These perceptions can wrongly influence our opinion of tone, beauty, and dynamics and thus limit our progress. Take the time to record your lessons, practices, and performances regularly and then listen back so that you can hear 100% of what others hear. And as you do, remember to be kind to yourself about what you're hearing!
How often do you COMPLIMENT other singers? It's easy to get wrapped up in competition and trying to make a name for yourself as an artist. But, true Artists appreciate all the beauty around them - even if it's being made by someone else. As Artists, we should be able to genuinely appreciate the work of others without having to compare it to our own. Even when we're comparing ourselves to other voices as a learning tool, we still need to be able to step back and simply ENJOY other singers! Valuing and encouraging fellow vocalists will keep you focused on singing as an art instead of a contest. With this approach, every singer truly wins!
Did you know that the simple act of looking down at our phones can impact our posture? We tend to lean our heads forward by as much as 60 degrees as we scroll through a smartphone or tablet! This act of tilting forward and downward becomes a burden on the cervical spine, creating excess tension in the back of the neck. Our bodies habituate this position so quickly that straightening up can actually cause discomfort! It then becomes difficult to sustain vertical alignment while singing because the body simply isn't used to the proper position. Ideally, phone and computer screens should be placed at eye level. If this isn't possible, be mindful of how far you're jutting forward. Avoid looking down or leaning forward for extended periods of time or make sure to take breaks. This subtle change will relieve the muscles in your neck and encourage ideal alignment!
Every singer works on improving their RESONANCE. The Pharynx is the voice's primary resonator. It's divided into 3 sections. There's the LaryngoPharynx (Larynx space), OroPharynx (Mouth space), and NasoPharynx (Nasal space). Lowering the LARYNX increases the darker Resonances of the voice. Raising the Larynx makes the sound brighter. Opening the MOUTH makes the sound appear stronger. A narrow or neutral mouth position increases Head Resonance and often the beauty of the tone. NASAL Resonance is added when the soft palate is lowered. This provides flexibility to the voice and assists with vocal placement. All these important Resonance adjustments take place in the 3 sections of the Pharynx. There's so much great singing going on in the back of your mouth!
Is there a difference between breathing for singing and breathing for everyday life? YES! In everyday life, our vocal folds generally stay apart, allowing air to enter and exit the body with ease. During singing, our breath is constantly flowing and our vocal folds are constantly vibrating. Great singing requires a balance of airflow and compression. Airflow from the lungs and muscular compression between the vocal folds interact to help create pitch, volume, vocal registers, and timbre. Lots of airflow and very little compression could result in a whispy or breathy vocal quality. On the other hand, lots of compression and very little airflow will likely result in a "pressed" or harsh tone. There are infinite gradations in between these two examples that can be explored! And, while regular folks might not explore these things in everyday life - YOU will never run out of possibilities as you breathe, experiment, and master your singing voice!