When acting a song, remember to SAY your words! This may sound silly or obvious, but try speaking the lyrics of a song you love to sing and you'll quickly notice how unnatural some of the speech patterns become. Every word is part of a sentence, even though this is always obvious in the rhythms of a song. That's why it can be easy to neglect these inflections and phrasings when we're caught up in a soaring melody or a fun groove. As you work through a new song, practice SPEAKING the lyrics. Really make sure that the meaning of your sentence remains honest even as you return to the rhythm of the song. Follow the WORDS to your destiny of beautifully acted songs!
Have you ever tried singing a song you learned many years ago? It's no easy task! Why? Because the muscle memory of how your first sang the song will still be there - even though your technique has grown. The good news is that there are strategies for "relearning" old songs and making them new. Try starting with the last page and practice the phrases in backwards order. Or, try singing the notes without any words or reciting the words without notes. Experiment singing in a silly "character voice" or two before returning to normal. Sing the song in a few different keys or in a few different tempos. However you choose to dust off the vocal cobwebs, you can find success in RE-discovering a new "old favorite"!
What makes a singer succeed in the Music Industry? Those with the greatest longevity and prowess generally share THREE qualities - Humility, Hard Work, and Generosity. Pro-level singers are typically HUMBLE because they do not feel the need to try to impress others. Rather, they relish the work that they do with great passion! Singers with music industry success are HARD WORKING, knowing that there is always room to improve and to challenge themselves. Lastly, top singers have a GENEROUS spirit and seek to inspire many people through their work. Strive for Humility, Hard-Work, and Generosity at any level of your vocal journey! The rewards will last you a lifetime!
If you take an audition workshop or ask people for audition tips, you're almost guaranteed to hear contradicting advice. "Always introduce yourself" - "Never introduce yourself". "Look at the people at the table" - "Never look at the people at the table". But, one piece of advice you that always remains constant is - "Be respectful to everyone in the room". From the monitor, to the accompanist, to the casting team, to the reader. Even to the other artists you are up against. Everyone is there to do their job and be a professional. So, this is your chance to be the kind of person that everyone wants to work with. You may not do everything perfectly in your audition, but by consistently being a respectful and courteous professional, you can never go wrong!
Do you ever listen to other singers and say to yourself "I DON'T sound like that" or "I WON'T be that good" or "I CAN'T sing"? It's important to remember that the artists you admire had to start somewhere. A great singing voice isn't something people are born with. Every singer at a certain point in their life makes an inner decision of "I CAN sing". This decision translates into a variety of action steps. Practicing every day. Studying with a Voice Teacher. Listening to new artists and analyzing their work. Seizing opportunities to perform. Making a full commitment to vocal excellence. These actions steps are what truly make singers great. But, the hardest part is making that inner decision. Some people make it at an early age. Some make it later in life. But, the truth is, if you believe you CAN… you WILL.
What do you do when it's time to sing your awesomest HIGH NOTES? Do you close your eyes? Do you stare straight ahead like a deer in the headlights? Do you have a ZOMBIE-like out-of-body experience? It's important that in performance we drop any EYE habits that we may have developed during practice. When we listen and focus too hard, our eyes freeze up and we lose our stage presence. For the audience, this is like watching a singer take a BREAK. Momentarily, the singer is thinking about something else that the audience is not a part of. The performance only continues after the high and difficult part of song is over. When a High Note is approaching, stay connected to your audience and your message. Don't place your High Notes in the back of your mind. Place them in the hearts and SOULS of your listeners.
We all have days when we don't feel 100%, but we still go to work and get things done. The voice is exactly the same. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, it just doesn't feel at its best. Does that mean we should hide away and make no sound? Not at all! Professional performers sing through allergies, colds, and plain old bad days all the time. The secret is recognizing the limits of your voice while maintaining healthy technique when something feels a little different. Perhaps that high note just isn't going to sound as clear as usual. Maybe a long sustained note won't make it quite as far. That's okay! A day where you're not at 100% is an opportunity to bring your vocal technique to 200%!
Don't know much about HISTORY? Well, there's no time like the present! Think of one artist who inspires you. Have you ever researched an artist who inspired THEM? Or, maybe even researched the artists who inspired THAT artist? It could go on and on. However, there's tremendous value in seeking out this type of musical history. This discipline reveals a wealth of artists, songs, styles, and information that can be used to enrich your vocal and musical life! Go to the library or go online and start investigating. Find interviews of artists you admire. Read biographies, autobiographies, or books on fascinating music history topics. Listen to recordings from a specific year or decade. If you take this journey to the past, you'll become an artist brimming with appreciation, nuance, depth, and soul! And who knows? You might even make history YOURSELF!
Can GOOD posture be the enemy of free and easy singing? Well, sometimes yes. Beautiful, tall posture is obviously fantastic for the voice. Yet, sometimes sitting or even slouching can be surprisingly helpful in unlocking new levels of freedom. Our postural muscles help us stand and walk upright. These include the Sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, lumbars, hip adductors, and hip extensors. These muscles are in continuous use to some degree and have a tendency to become too tight. Nobody ever complains that their lower back is too loose, do they? So, when you're feeling locked vocally, try a different stance. Lean on a doorway, sit down, lay down, or just lean to the left or right. The redistribution in tension could unlock your next vocal breakthrough!
In the female voice, there is a major Passaggio (or transition) that occurs between D5-G5. Males sing these notes less often, but will also will notice the same phenomenon these pitches. At this part of the voice, singers usually benefit from a slight opening of the mouth if they are seeking a stronger sound. This opening aids the strength of First Formant (F1) resonance. Either a slight jaw opening or a small widening of the lips typically helps this resonance to intensify. In general, we don't want to open up the mouth or spread the lips to sing higher notes. Instead, we should learn to sing them with a neutral mouth first. But, if you're seeking more power through this particular Passaggio, try letting Acoustics work for you!