You are on page 1of 5

Top Advice from Legendary Celebrity Coach | VoiceCouncil Magazine

4/11/16, 8:04 PM

April 1st, 2016 | by VoiceCouncil

Top Advice from Legendary Celebrity Coach

Ron has been seen and heard on Entertainment Tonight, The Voice, Oprah Network, and BBCs Simply
Classics, to name a few.
His work has been featured by CBSs Entertainment Tonight and NBCs The Sound of Music
Live where he prepped Carrie Underwood.
He performed with Aretha Franklins backing singers and orchestra and networked with
international royalty during the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize concert.
Ron shares his trade secrets on technique, inspiration and motivation!
So tell us about your perspective on voice training do you have a motto or
philosophy?
I think we were all born to sing, which is why the voice instrument is a permanent fixture in our
throats so the air can easily play us when it exits the body! Its easy and we started singing
http://www.voicecouncil.com/top-advice-from-legendary-celebria98880b21f&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=Read%20More

Page 1 of 5

Top Advice from Legendary Celebrity Coach | VoiceCouncil Magazine

4/11/16, 8:04 PM

day number one as a baby! Voice


techniques are great IF, and only if, they
return the voice to the way we were as
babies, and as kids on the playground
noises freely made! That thought guides my
approach to freeing the voice.
What vocal obstacles did you have to
overcome in your personal
development?
I had to figure out breathing, but only because I had terrible asthma and the worse allergies
and sinuses in the world. Also, I was forced to get my diet under control because everything I
ate turned to phlegm, which is no good for singing or acting (sorry, dont mean to be gross but
its the truth). As a result, Im gluten, dairy, soy, corn, egg, and meat free! Oh, and no
nightshades! Also I was shy that had to go!
What is the most common technical problem in singers today? How do you fix that?
Many of them over-produce everything from breath to special effects and they use what I call
fake soul and not enough of just singing the dang tune! When they come to me I make them
get on the witness stand to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I force them to get
real! No fake stuff! I bring them down a few notches where their stories (songs) are more
convincing.
How would you remedy a tired voice during a
busy schedule / run / tour?
Free moaning while getting a massage is awesome!
Sounds weird but it works like a charm! (A licensed
massage therapist, here) I have the singer put a
straw into a glass of water and blow to make
bubbles. They can hum their songs as a warm up
through the straw.
What does free moaning and this strawhumming do?
It normalizes breath, support, and keeps the singer I have the singer put a straw into a glass
from over producing and uses minimal effort to
of water and blow to make bubbles.
produce the easiest and best tone, bringing
They can hum their songs as a warm up
everything to the front of the face, the mask. This
through the straw
relaxes the voice and gives confidence when the
singer realizes they dont have to work so hard. Lip
trills are also great. I tell them to sing like a smart-ass. That frees everything up and theyre
http://www.voicecouncil.com/top-advice-from-legendary-celebria98880b21f&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=Read%20More

Page 2 of 5

Top Advice from Legendary Celebrity Coach | VoiceCouncil Magazine

4/11/16, 8:04 PM

suddenly not as tired anymore.


Tell us about your celebrity clients. How do you meet them? Who is your most loyal
student?
I have many and in all the different genres. Im very fortunate! The record labels send them to
me, and the TV networks as well. Also, I get a lot of referrals through other celebrity clients.
Alison Krauss and Wynonna Judd, both are very loyal, and both send me a lot of wonderful
clients. Alison is especially fascinated with the voice and loves learning all she can about it.
Was there a client who was having a major voice problem moments before show time?
The incredible Patti LaBelle! She had completely lost her voice and they were going to cancel
her show. Wynonna forced her to meet with me several hours before show time to see if there
was anything I could do. I got her complete voice back for her and she called me a miracle
worker and thanked me 3 times from the stage. It was indeed a miracle, considering she
couldnt do anything but whisper when I went to her hotel room.
Do you have any magic trick exercises that are instantly effective?
Yes. For singers who seem to wrestle with the high notes in songs I will have them drop the
lyrics and sing the melody on yum yum yum as if they are bored to death. That keeps it ALL
in front of the face with a smaller mouth resonator, which takes the weight off notes, and gives
them the right amount of energy. The sound will then thin out and be mostly projected onto the
hard palette where great pitch and projection are much easier.
How can singers help themselves with
their practice and lifestyle choices?
A smart daily voice workout routine is
mandatory, one that involves general tonic
exercises that covers all the basics, always
making room for new techniques. The
workout also needs to include work on the
new material the singer is working into their
recording project or show.
What about diet advice?
Stay hydrated! Eat foods that cause no or very little phlegm. Asthmatics, diabetics, reflux-ers
know what you can and cannot eat. Do everything in moderation, unless you have a medical
condition that dictates otherwise.
Tell us about your career counseling service. Are singers often under confident or
critical of themselves?
Yes both. But a lot of the low confidence thing is there because they simply dont have their
voices together, or they dont know how to interpret or connect with the song, or they do not
http://www.voicecouncil.com/top-advice-from-legendary-celebria98880b21f&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=Read%20More

Page 3 of 5

Top Advice from Legendary Celebrity Coach | VoiceCouncil Magazine

4/11/16, 8:04 PM

have their show put together well. Sometimes a singer might not feel good about their body
and how they move around in it. Maybe they need new photos.
So, your advice extends to branding?
Yes, sometimes singers dont understand how to
create a brand that their fans stay excited about.
Once work is done to make a more stellar looking
and sounding commodity, they become more
excited and confidence returns the magic spark.
Sometimes a new look is the answer. Or a new
website. Its amazing what small things can derail an
artist. A few extra pounds? OMG yes!
How would you assist a singer who is struggling
with stage presence / stage craft?
Sometimes a new look is the answer
I have them study facial gestures and
conversational hand gestures on YouTube of
several of their favorite artists with the sound turned completely off. They have to borrow 10 or
15 gestures (face and body) that they would probably not consider doing on stage. Then I have
them work those into one of their songs, regardless how uncomfortable it seems. I have them
take it to cheese level FULL OUT like a lounge lizard. Then after they do that, I have
them back up a few degrees and relax with it OWN IT! I video them and they see how natural
and expressive it is. They always think theyre going to see cheese but there is NONE!
Which singers inspire your personal style? Any favorites?
There are too many to list, but early Aretha still takes my breath away! Ray Charles too.
Theres nothing more honest and soulful than those two. Streisand caught my ear years ago
with her belt and her straight-toned middle voice and her ability to milk notes. She can turn
anything into a diva note.
What is one of the components of the magic of these singers?
They have the right idea when it comes to GROOVE, which is one of the key ingredients that
sells records. It dont mean a thing, if it aint got that swing! (Duke Ellington).
Is there a singing book that you would recommend?
Yes, several. Oren Browns Discover Your Voice, Richard Millers Structure of Singing,
Lampertis Vocal Wisdom, and Roger Loves Set Your Voice Free, and mine of course when
they come out.
With vocal technology readily available such as live autotune, do you feel that voice
training is still as important?
More than ever! The fact that autotune is used as much as it is shows a lack in singing ability
http://www.voicecouncil.com/top-advice-from-legendary-celebria98880b21f&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=Read%20More

Page 4 of 5

Top Advice from Legendary Celebrity Coach | VoiceCouncil Magazine

4/11/16, 8:04 PM

today. Weve all become perhaps a little


lazy, thinking that well fix it with autotune.
If anyone wants to be a professional singer,
then they are expected to have all the
basics under their belt and good pitch is
one of the biggies. Or, at least, thats how it
used to be! Singers should be able to
produce great vocals LIVE without the
technical tricks period. However, autotune can create a cool sound that has a certain robotic
/ futuristic flavor thats fun. The song Believe by Cher is a good example.
Ron Browning is internationally known as the Voice
Coach to the Stars. His clients include all levels of
singers from beginners to Grammy-winning celebrities in
all genres of music. Ron works with the major record
labels producing vocals and preparing artists for radio,
concert tours, and special television appearances. He is
a voting member of the Grammy Foundation and the
CMA Awards. Ron has been seen and heard on
Entertainment Tonight, The Voice, Oprah Network, and
BBCs Simply Classics, to name a few. He is a
successful songwriter, jazz pianist, painter, and is
currently writing a series of voice and performance
manuals, which will include interviews with many of his
students and celebrated clientele. His solo jazz piano CD, In a Sentimental Mood, is available
on iTunes and CD Baby.
Website

| CD Baby

VoiceCouncil Magazine is commissioned by

http://www.voicecouncil.com/top-advice-from-legendary-celebria98880b21f&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=Read%20More

Page 5 of 5