"HEY! Keep it down in there!!!" This is NOT what you want to hear when you are practicing your singing! Yet, it is actually critical for your vocal progress that you find a practice space where you are FREE to make sound. Improving your vocal technique requires that you make lots of "ugly" sounds and plenty of mistakes. If your practice environment causes you to have to keep your voice quiet, or to make only "pleasing" sounds, then your growth will be severely stifled. So, be sure to find a practice spot where you feel 100% free to experiment, to make some bold mistakes, and to "Make A Joyful Noise!"
"Networking" or "Schmoozing" are key parts of building connections and contacts within the entertainment industry. These things often have a negative connotation because they seem to imply that you have ulterior motives. That is, that you are falsely cozying up to someone for your own benefit. But, it actually should never be that way! Instead, successful Networking can best be thought of as a sincere desire to connect with and help others. If you consider your relationships from that perspective, it can be a VERY fulfilling and effective experience. As Zig Ziglar often said, "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want".
KNOWLEDGE is power! That's why the most important part of the Audition process comes before you even walk through the door! You want to be able to enter an audition room thinking "I KNOW this." This knowing feeling comes from having done everything in your power beforehand. Make sure you've practiced your material inside and out. This will ground you psychologically and physically, allowing you to release nervous tension, calm your breath, and support your sound. A calm mind and a relaxed breathing system are big keys to expressing yourself freely and artistically. So, make sure you KNOW your stuff. If you do, the casting panel will also KNOW exactly what you are capable of!
Singing is Joyful. Yet, sadly it often has FEAR surrounding it. Do you sing more quietly because you're scared of someone hearing and judging you? Do you avoid telling people you sing? Do you constantly say negative things to yourself about your own voice? If so, fear might be one of your biggest vocal challenges. But consider replacing fear with JOY! "I have a wonderful gift to share." "I make good vocal choices and I'm kind to my singing voice." "I draw inner strength, confidence, and bravery from my vocal life." And most importantly: "I trust myself." These thoughts can help you before auditions, performances, and other situations that scare you. Singing doesn't have to be a fearful noise. Let it be a Joyful one!
Are you having difficulty developing a free Vibrato? There are a few factors that might be contributing to this. Using too much breath to force the sound out might slow the rate of the Vibrato down. Having too much compression or squeezing the vocal folds too tightly also might slow the Vibrato or potentially even stop it all together. Lastly, any larynx, neck, and jaw tension can contribute to the vocal folds not being able to make the quick and free pitch changes that Vibrato requires. Focus on keeping your breath controlled, your vocal folds gently compressed, and your larynx and related muscles free of tension. If you do, you might be amazed at the movin' and shakin' you can accomplish!
Singing is a SPORT! It's truly a MUSCULAR event. And, any muscular improvement requires training, workouts, personal wellness, rest, and a healthy diet. Thus, as Vocal Athletes, we must not neglect the whole of our Athleticism if we want our voices to excel. Singers are often astonished after beginning a workout program that involves cardio, stretching, weight training, dietary changes, and overall physical fitness. Almost as if by magic their VOICES improve suddenly by leaps and bounds! Why? It's because singing really is a SPORT! So, try becoming a "two-sport athlete" by getting your body AND your voice into their finest forms! See you at the gym (and in the practice room)!
When seeking new song material for your Repertoire, don't just search based on your musical and stylistic preferences. Instead, search also by what stands out to you LYRICALLY. Songs can be altered to suit many different styles in more ways than are initially obvious. If you find songs with lyrics that are meaningful, powerful, and personal to you, then your chances of eventually creating a magical performance increase exponentially. So, in selecting new songs, don't just consider the SOUND - consider the special part of yourself that you would like to share with us.
What do singers and toddlers have in common? They both like to blow BUBBLES! Not only is it great fun, but it can also help eliminate vocal tension. You just need two things: a regular drinking straw and a glass of water halfway full. Round your lips, put the straw into your mouth, and blow some bubbles into the water! It's okay if your cheeks puff out! Experiment with how big and small you can make the bubbles. The size, motion, and consistency of the bubbles will give you an indication of how much breath you are releasing. Then, vocalize through the straw! You can use scales, musical patterns, or even the melody of your songs. Continue to be mindful of the bubbles' size and consistency. Discover which combination of these two things minimizes your vocal tension the most. Ah! Singers are forever YOUNG!
Are you a PUSHER or a PEEPER? Pushing is singing with too much pressure and tightness. Peeping is holding back by not using enough breath and vocal fold compression. Either way, the Vocal Fry can help you fix your problem! Try letting your voice make a lazy, low, creaking sound in a very relaxed way. It should be so low that you don't hear a note, but rather a series of pops and bubbles. Next, gradually glide up to the first note of a sung phrase (where you usually push or peep) and then sing confidently. Monitor what you feel and hear. If all goes well, your voice will have enough compression and breath flow to keep your sound solid, but will also be free from excessive force and tension. No more PUSHING, no more PEEPING!
From rappers to auctioneers - We have all stood in AWE of those who possess the ability to speak quickly and clearly with prolific prowess. If we challenge ourselves via exercises (cue: TONGUE TWISTERS!), speaking in real life will seem easy in comparison! Start slowly, carefully, and deliberately to achieve the full integrity of each individual sound. Then gradually speed up until you can go five times as fast for each of these Twisters! - "Red leather, yellow leather." - "My cutlery cuts keenly and cleanly." - "Shy Shelly says she shall sew sheets." - "You know New York,â€¨You need New York,â€¨ You know you need unique New York." ... Word...