Do you need help learning to do Vibrato? Here's a helping HAND! Start by singing a single pitch on any vowel. Then, move that pitch up and down on a small interval such as a half step. Move your hand up and down as you move between the pitches. It might be slow at first, but see how quickly you can move between the notes. To speed up, rather than try to move your voice, move your hand quickly instead. Due to kinesthetics, Vibrato will often begin to appear almost like magic as it replicates the hand's motion. Remember, Vibrato isn't as complex as many people think. Nor does it always come naturally. Sometimes it just needs a helping HAND!
ALCOHOL. You may know that it has some not-so-great effects on the voice, particularly the night before a big performance. But not all drinks are created equal! If you find yourself in a situation where drinking simply can't be avoided, opt for white wine. Wine is generally less harsh on the vocal apparatus than beer or hard liquor. Red wine, though high in antioxidants, contains tannins that can irritate the soft tissue in the vocal tract. If you do choose to indulge, remember to compensate with extra water to counteract your drink's diuretic effects. Keep in mind that all forms of alcohol contribute to dehydration and acid reflux. But, with moderation and care, you should be able to enjoy a drink or two without ever worrying about your voice!
How is your Repertoire DIET? Is it balanced and healthy or is it only vocal Junk Food? The songs we sing have a direct affect on our vocal growth, coordination, and health. If, for example, we only ate food that we enjoyed the first time we tasted it, our diets would probably consist of chocolate ice cream and pizza. But, we would miss out on healthy foods that we can later come to love and appreciate for their benefits. In the same way, it's important that you sing the songs you LOVE. But, it's also important to sing the songs that you NEED. Some songs can be advantageous for our vocal growth while others hinder our development. Consider what qualities your voice is missing and be sure to find Repertoire that benefits you in those areas. Strike a balanced Repertoire DIET and you'll grow big and strong vocally!
Don't be a Vocal POWER LIFTER! When attempting high notes, vocal tension can be caused by too much "weight". Vocal "weight" means that short vocal folds are doing the work long vocal folds should be doing. When you're Chest Voice, for instance, the vocal folds are generally shorter. Shorter folds tend to close with thicker vocal fold mass and musculature. High notes require the vocal folds to vibrate quickly. So, maintaining thick vocal fold contact higher up is a LOT of heavy lifting! Lengthening the vocal folds via Falsetto, Head Voice, and Mix is the way to prevent yourself from weighty strain. A good motto is "Lengthen THEN Strengthen". If you can hit the notes in a lighter register, then you always have the option of adding the mass back in gradually from there! In fact, this is exactly how to achieve powerful high notes! Don't be a Vocal POWER LIFTER!
MOVING DAY! Today is the day that New York Vocal Coaching moves to it's glorious new home! Our new full-floor facility features 8 soundproof private vocal studios, a large group classroom, and a recording studio alongside stunning views of Midtown Manhattan. If you're a current NYVC student or coming to visit NYVC from abroad - please note our NEW address: 242 W. 38th St. 11th Floor. We are so blessed and grateful to have this magnificent space that will allow thousands of vocalists to "Make A Joyful Noise" for years to come. A heartfelt THANK YOU to every NYVC singer and supporter that made these dreams come true. Here come the MIRACLES ON 38TH STREET!!!
Did you know that you can sing many notes in your range in MULTIPLE registers? In other words, you have the ability to sing a "G" (for example) in Chest Voice, Head Voice, Chest Dominant mix, Head Dominant Mix, Falsetto and everything in between! Oftentimes we get stuck thinking we have only two vocal options - a strong Chest Voice... or... Falsetto. Yet, your voice has so many more possibilities than this! Try an experiment! Sing any ol' note somewhere in the core of your range. Sing that note in your strongest Chest Voice. Then, sing the same note in your flimsiest Falsetto. Then, experiment with as many Mix gradations as you can in between. The changes will occur in terms of volume, compression, resonance, and intensity. If you can do all this on just ONE note, imagine your voice's INFINITE possibilities!
Have you ever wanted be the INVENTOR of your own original Riffs? A great way to start creating Riffs is to become aware of their specific components. Start by listening to as many great Riffs as possible. Observe the rhythm, the amount of notes, the melodic contour, the vowels and words used, the vocal register, and the stylistic nuances. Write out a list of these items. Then, challenge yourself to design at least 5 unique Riffs using these elements. You might write out the rhythm, vowels, and notes before you sing. Or, you might experiment with your voice to find the exact elements you desire. Either way, you'll soon find yourself becoming the inventor of all kinds of Riffs that you can truly call your OWN.
Improve with IMPROV! One of the best things you can do to improve your vocal and performance skills is to take a few classes in Improvisational Comedy. Whether you're interested in singing, acting, or better speech - Improv is an amazing tool. In this discipline, you learn to listen and react in entirely new ways. Your Improv success lies in your ability to listen carefully and then let your voice and body LIVE in the moment. You must not overthink, hesitate, or plan. Instead, you must react spontaneously! Many singers and performers focus on great vocal technique, but lack spontaneous creativity with their musical, acting, and performance choices. Even a few basic courses in Improv can help you to be more comfortable outside your comfort zone!
Adjusting your Larynx position can be quite jarring to the soul! It sometimes feels like you aren't yourself anymore. Or, that your voice isn't YOUR voice anymore. If you're having trouble accessing new skills or stepping outside your comfort zone, then embrace the RIDICULOUS by imitating character voices! Need a higher Larynx? Sing like a cartoon baby, a tiny mouse, or someone on fast forward mode. Need a lower Larynx? Pretend you're a giant, a sad or dopey character, someone moving in slow motion, or even Darth Vader. Embracing the silly and the comical gives you the security to explore the extremes of your vocal abilities and discover new vocal abilities that you never knew you had! LUKE... I AM YOUR LARYNX…
How many decisions do you make in a day which directly affect how you present yourself to the world? "What should I wear?" "How should I do my hair?" Your personal style says a lot about how you hope people will perceive you. But what about how you use your SPEAKING voice? Are you a loud or soft speaker? Do you construct long sentences or use fewer words? How often do you gesticulate and how big are your gestures? Is your face very animated when you talk or is it more calm? Communication style is as important as appearance when making an impression. So, whether it's a big audition, a job interview, a date, or a friendly outing - be aware of how your voice affects your presence. To know YOU is know your voice!