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BY JOHN FORD
Ever dream about singing on stage? In a recording studio? Just for yourself?
This is the e-book version of John Ford's extraordinarily successful and fun method of learning to sing. Among the world's premier singing coaches, Ford's students have grossed over $100,000,000. Will his method work for you? 9 out of 10 who use his method become good, often great singers. You'll discover how to: • Sing with a passionate, strong, controllable voice • Master The 7 Keys to Great Singing • Develop your own unique style • Become a conﬁdent and exciting stage performer • Predict your singing potential with the 15-minute Vocal Assessment • Record your ﬁrst demo tape • Join or form your own band • Earn money as a singer in 7 different ways • Get a recording contract and record your ﬁrst CD YOUR INSTRUCTOR: John Ford is founding director of the John Ford Voice Lab. For the past 25 years, he and his staff have helped many people to sing better than they ever dreamed possible, including many who thought they were doomed to a mediocre voice. Ford's students are working in local clubs and recording studios, and have been featured on MTV, The Late Show with David Letterman, the
Arsenio Hall Show, as well as most pop radio stations throughout the world.
Not Born What it Takes The Top 10 Myths About Singing Why the Standard Approaches Fail A Better Way: 90% successful. less scary.TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction PART 1: SINGING BETTER THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Singers Are Made. easier. faster and much less expensive than the standard approaches PART 2: THE 7 KEYS TO GREAT SINGING Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 6 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Key 2: Keep Your Vocal Cords Together and Maintain Total Control Key 3: Keep Your Larynx Neutral to Add Richness and Depth to Your Voice Key 1: Use Warriors' Posture and Experience Strength and Conﬁdence Key 4: Use Your 3 Voices and Enjoy a Huge Range Key 5: Use Singers' Ultra-Breathing to Release Your Maximum Power Key 6: Drop Your Jaw and Create a Resonating Cave Key 7: Add Vibrato and Enjoy Absolute Vocal Freedom .
PART 3: FROM EXERCISES TO SONGS Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Singing Songs Like a Pro Developing Your Own Unique Style Troubleshooting Guide How to Keep Singing 'til You're 95 PART 4: FROM UPTIGHT SINGER TO BLOW-EM' AWAY PERFORMER Chapter 17 Chapter 18 The 7 Secrets of Great Performing How to Ensure That You're Even Better on Stage Than at Home PART 5: HOW TO GET PAID AS A SINGER Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 7 Ways You Can Earn Money as a Singer How to Record Your First CD Getting a Recording Contract PART 6: INSPIRATIONAL STUFF! Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Final Thoughts How to Actually Achieve Your Goals More Really Cool Success Stories .
But most people can't sing well without some help. I see it happen every week.INTRODUCTION Singing is fun! Singing feels good! That's why we do it. maybe even a great singer! One of my clients came to me unemployed. they're giving me goosebumps! Read this book. When you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing. and there's a 95% chance you will become a good or a great singer! That's all there is to it. For the past 25 years. because in my job as a singing coach. People come to me unable to sing at all. my staff and I have helped many people like yourself become good. That's where I come in. I know this. often great singers. This book will help YOU become a good. and went on to earn millions as a singer. you'll sing like never before. Read on and have fun! Get ready for one of the greatest emotional experiences of your life! . and next thing I know. and do the exercises on the Vocal Workout CD.
PART 1 SINGING BETTER THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE .
I've analyzed what actually enables people to sing well. All the great singers I've taught had to work hard to build their voices. The secrets of the world's greatest pop singers Over the past 25 years. When you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing. but that ability had to be developed. It took her many years to build that great voice. She was born with some natural ability. you will develop a passionate. Can you learn to sing? . strong and controllable voice. When they sing they do things with their vocal cords and bodies that the untrained singers don't: they use The 7 Keys to Great Singing. She had to study and practice just like you do. great singers--from Lady Ga Ga to Adam Lambert--sing well NOT primarily because of better vocal cords. Surprisingly. What's exciting is that most people can learn to do what the pros do. NOT BORN Nobody just wakes up one day and sings like Christine Aguilera. but because they use 7 special skills.CHAPTER 1 SINGERS ARE MADE.
but she had none. . After the wedding. She told me she'd never had any lessons and I got the impression that she wasn't a good singer. Even though she initially told me she didn't want to work professionally. in four months! (It normally takes at least a year. When I got a request for a wedding singer.) She was giving her husband a huge surprise party and wanted to sing for him. Ricci: From Hobbyist to Money-Earning Singer Ricci arrived at her ﬁrst lesson a reserved woman. I thought of Ricci. No professional aspirations." When I heard her sing at her ﬁrst lesson my heart sank. She auditioned and was immediately hired. just for the fun of it! After working with her for about a year. she began to sound great. and has even begun singing the National Anthem at ball games.In my 25 years of teaching I've learned that 95% of the general population can be trained to become excellent singers. but wanted to. so I told her "Yes. Success Stories Now I'm going to tell you about some of my students. It's hard for me to pass up a challenge. I called her and told her about the job. She's having fun and getting paid for doing what she loves! Sylvia: "I've Never Seen My Husband So Happy" Sylvia called me one morning and asked if I could teach her to sing two songs at a professional level. she came to her lesson conﬁdent and satisﬁed. Now she wanted more singing jobs! She has since sung at more weddings. if they learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing. I think they will inspire you as much as they have inspired me. She couldn't sing. In the back of my mind I had hoped she'd have some singing skills. She had had a great time and was well paid. most of whom started off not being able to sing at all. Ricci decided to go for it.
. another explosive sound with a pyramid spotlight shining on me. I had a soft green fog. at all. actually it was a production. two days before her big performance.) After two months she was sounding okay on one song and pretty bad on the second. The room was darkened.. (or haze) surround us on the stage. We doubled the number of lessons I'd normally give a beginner. and I had her practice for two hours a day. I found comfort in that. and during the sound check it was. I told her she'd have to pick easy songs. the music ﬁlled the room. There were four ﬂoor monitors on stage. The introduction was quite dramatic. except for the noise from the audience. And I probably would have been able to. At her last lesson. I knew we'd make it. and the three of us found our way on stage. (Normally I have beginners practice for half an hour a day. she sounded good on one song and okay on the second. I reminded the sound man that the microphone volume should be increased on "Diggin". But we were making progress and I continued to drill her hard.She was a beginner who couldn't sing. In addition to this. that blended in beautifully with our jade green costumes.However. she sounded good on both songs... With the package was a letter in which she wrote: John. The ﬁrst few words that I sang were barely audible. I couldn't teach her to sing difﬁcult songs in that short a time period. Two weeks later I received a large gift package from her. and a pyramid spotlight shined on the ﬁrst singer. thinking that I would be able to hear myself. At the end of the third month. sound came out of my mouth and my body moved. Sincere thanks!! I couldn't have and wouldn't have done it without your coaching! It was quite an experience!! I now know what it is like to have an out of body experience!! My brain was completely shut down. I was happy. one close enough that I could kick.during the performance it was not... I was relieved.. During the sound check. and a third explosive sound followed by a pyramid spotlight on my sister. There was a big explosive sound.
Christine: Well Paid for Singing Jingles Christine really had a hard time at her lessons. whistling. The audience was really receptive.500 for about ten hours of work. I am sure it was great for her self-esteem to hear herself on TV and the radio. Christine recently sang on some TV and radio commercials and earned $1. It was also exciting for me to hear her commercials. I really missed being in your studio and having the comfort of hearing myself through headphones. I wasn't prepared for this. When we got home that night he said. I've never seen him so happy. David: Country-Western Success . (the second song) I left the stage and sang directly in front of him. we were subconsciously doing our choreographed routine. My husband was in a state of shock. With time and practice. Sylvia's letter thrilled me. but she was so afraid of criticism that she could not let it out. "I didn't know you could sing. which made it very easy for me to give or express myself. It was quite an evening. I couldn't hear myself over the noise from the audience.While all of this lighting was happening." she'd cry. Her next project is to sing at her fathers 75th birthday party. I was so proud of her. I'm glad it happened the way it did. and to get paid for her singing. She had a beautiful and strong voice. If you could imagine 150 people out of their seats. She worked hard and reaped the rewards. cheering. cameras ﬂashing. camcorders rolling. In retrospect. On "1-2-3". She kept coming to lessons and eventually got to where she could sing for me. As a result. It was very hard for her. clapping. but she was stubborn and she persisted. She would get up on stage during lessons and start to sing and then stop. she became a very good singer full of conﬁdence and self-expression. "I just can't do it. Did you take voice lessons? Of course I said "no". and to know I helped her get to that point.
he gave me a copy of his latest recording. worked hard. Before he left. Next. Working with her challenged my preconceptions about how long it should take for a student to reach success. but she didn't like them so she immediately quit. I was really impressed with the progress he had made. No wonder they were performing so much. Her husband had just abandoned her and her two-year-old son. When I saw him I was astounded. I didn't hear from him. they released a CD which began getting radio air play. and within two years he was singing well and writing good songs. His goal was to be a professional country-western singer. he showed up at a nightclub where some of my students were performing. I had her sing for me and she was okay.David arrived at his ﬁrst lesson as a middle-aged man who couldn't sing. His new country band was gigging all over the area. She was hired by the ﬁrst band she tried out for. He then put together a country-western band and began gigging. I was blown away! So was she! Mary had reached her goal and was very happy. He sounded totally professional and his band was hot. . but not great. but she wanted to and began going to auditions. For about a year. Mary: From Secretary to Recording Artist Mary sat on the couch in my studio and told me she wanted to quit her ten dollar an hour day job and become a professional singer. He came to his lessons. He looked ten years younger and had a spring in his step. Within two weeks the band began touring the West Coast. The second band she auditioned for also hired her. and she liked these guys a lot. Then out of the blue. I worked with her for six months. At that point I didn't think she was ready to look for work as a singer. When I listened to his tape a few days later. helping her become an exciting singer and performer. I was blown away. Mary's story is amazing because it all happened so fast. Rarely is a student able to accomplish what she did in less than a year. and very satisﬁed by the happiness that I saw on his face. and I'd never seen him so happy.
I didn’t recognize her. Her looks were average. another agent got her a two month job at a luxury resort in Southern California. Her friends and family told her she was foolish to start a singing career at such a late age. repertoire and performance skills. It took her about a month to resolve this conﬂict. where she earned enough to quit her boring day job. her nights of singing her heart out. I remembered her as a shy. When I saw the singer on stage. She sounded like a real singer. Then she balked. After that. The only singing she had done was in high school chorus. Why was Cindy successful? She didn’t have a spectacular voice. But she knew what she wanted . conservatively dressed student. I discovered she had an average voice that needed a lot of work. and was ready to look for work. she was ready to step out into the real world. The ﬁrst agent she visited gave her a job at a local hotel nightclub. but once she did. I thought I had walked into the wrong club. Together we worked to develop her vocal strength. and that she could never depend on it for an income. She was in heaven. At her ﬁrst lesson. She didn’t think she was ready. recently divorced. not at all conducive to singing popular songs. and looking for a career that she could sink her teeth into. She recorded her demo. put together a promo package. that the music business had no stability. I recently went to see her at a club in San Francisco. She began to feel that working as a secretary wasn’t so bad after all. There were two things in her life that she truly loved: painting and singing. I sent her to some "open mics" so she could get some experience in front of live audiences.Cindy: Quit Her Boring Day Job to Sing Professionally Cindy called me during a transition in her life. She looked like a real singer. She sent me a letter from that resort describing her days of basking in the sun by the gorgeous pool. She hadn’t been singing since she was ﬁve (she started at 33). nothing stood in her way. She began to feel at home on stage. She didn’t think she was good enough. Her voice was very light and operatic. She was 33. not this hot singer with the Tina Turner hair. After about nine months. She wanted to explore the possibility of a singing career. She had been working as a secretary and hated it.
to do, whatever the odds, and she did it. Linda: Grossed Over $50 Million With Her First CD When Linda Perry, the lead singer for 4 Non Blondes came to her ﬁrst voice lesson, I had no idea she would become so successful. To me she was just another starving musician with an okay voice. Little did I know that two years later her ﬁrst CD would sell over 5 million copies. I remember turning on my TV one night and there she was on The Late Show with David Letterman. She sang better than I had ever heard her sing. It was really exciting for me to see her on this big show, doing so well. Linda impressed me because she was so committed. She had devoted her entire being to her music. She had no other options. The passion you hear in her voice is a result of her intense commitment. How I became a singer I started my musical career as a guitar player. When I joined my ﬁrst band, we didn't have a lead singer. I always thought the lead singer got the most dates, so I volunteered, even though as a singer I didn't really know what I was doing. We wrote a bunch of songs, and soon had our ﬁrst public performance at a large outdoor concert in Berkeley, California. My ﬁrst performance was frightening and exciting. I stood on the edge of the stage, my knees shaking, shyly looking out at the huge audience. I wanted to be there, but a big part of me wished I had never put myself in this agonizing position. My band and I began our ﬁrst song. My rhythm was shaken by my fear. We were loose, but we were loud! I barely remembered what chords to play and felt like I could fall apart at any moment. Even though our ﬁrst song was only three minutes long, it seemed like it would never end. My knees shook so hard I wondered if I would collapse. How would I make it through our whole set? We ﬁnished our ﬁrst song and the audience of over a thousand went wild. They shrieked, screamed and clapped. Their response surprised me.
I thought they had seen my shaky knees and would boo me off the stage, but they loved us! The second song was easier. I lifted my head and watched the audience move to our music. I began to play guitar with power and authority. I sang with passion. I was expressing! The audience was responding! It was quite an experience. We ﬁnished our last song and the audience was screaming louder than ever. I was hooked. I wanted this feeling again. The only problem was that I didn't really know how to sing very well. The main reason I got the singing gig in my ﬁrst band was that I was willing to do it. It then became my mission to improve myself as a singer. I began taking voice lessons from various teachers. However, the lessons didn't improve my singing at all. I was frustrated and disappointed, and thought maybe the problem was that I really wasn't cut out to be a singer. But I loved singing and continued to record and perform in different bands. I quit my day job so I could devote my life to my music. At this point I was singing for at least three hours a day, and my voice improved because of the sheer number of hours I was devoting to singing. Also, through trial and error, I had discovered some of The 7 Keys to Great Singing. Eventually I found a teacher who taught me more of The 7 Keys to Great Singing, and my voice improved dramatically. I was in complete command of my voice and loving it. I sang in many bands, wrote a lot of songs, and received radio air play. I've recorded in world class studios and worked with famous singers and musicians. It's been a wild ride, and I wouldn't have missed it for anything. You really can learn to sing In my teaching practice, I have seen many students succeed, and they weren't always the ones who started out with great voices. They succeeded because they loved singing, and were willing to put in the time to learn the craft. You don't need to be born with a great voice in order to succeed as a singer. All you need is an intense desire to sing, and the willingness to
work, struggle and learn. Your success is largely up to you. If you work hard and hang in there through the hard times, you have an excellent chance of success. It won’t be easy. You'll have to practice, and you'll deﬁnitely face periods of frustration and disappointment. People may tell you that you can’t sing and are foolish for trying. But one thing is certain: if you love singing with all your heart, and you have even an ounce of talent, your persistence and hard work will pay off. Decca Records told the Beatles that their records would never sell in America. Bruce Springsteen’s early bands were rejected by New Jersey nightclubs when they tried to get work. But fortunately these artists were persistent. If they had given up, we would never have been able to enjoy their music. So remember, with desire and dedication, you can learn to sing!
Can you sing on key at least 70% of the time? In case you don't know what singing on key actually is.CHAPTER 2 WHAT IT TAKES In order for you to become a professional singer. Being even slightly off key sounds awful. you are not singing on key. That's why any group of people at a restaurant or party can sing Happy Birthday with relatively no problem. I'll explain. you are singing on key. but not perfectly. there are two requirements. but they'll know something is! Fortunately. Let's say I play a "C" note on the piano. singing on key comes naturally to most people. Most beginning singers sing on key fairly well. so you'll need to learn to sing on . They might not be able to explain exactly what is wrong with the singer. If you can sing the "C" note as I am playing it. If you sing any note besides the "C" note. Singing on key is very important because even the most musically ignorant audience member will know when a singer is singing off key. Here's what they are: 1.
your brain and your vocal cords to work together. and they cannot produce this loud and clear tone. Singing on key is a matter of getting your ear. Most people can pass this part of The Vocal Assessment because most people have healthy vocal cords. But about one out of a thousand people have vocal cords that have been damaged by incorrect singing or speaking. These people cannot be trained unless they heal their vocal cords ﬁrst. I know most beginning singers worry about whether they will be able to sing well or not. There are some people who have naturally raspy voices. this just means a good rest for the vocal cords. Don't worry! There is a 95% chance you can become a professional level singer. as long as they can learn to to apply good technique. who can still learn to sing well. This just takes practice. your vocal cords are healthy and will work for you when you are singing. Do you have healthy vocal cords? The other thing you need in order to sing well is healthy vocal cords. 2. Eventually you'll sing on key without even thinking about it. If you can produce a loud and clear sound. For now. if you can sing on key 70% of the time you're in good shape. these singer's end up with very interesting voices.key all the time. . In most cases. In fact.
The Truth: Most beginning singers who learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing and practice on a daily basis are ready to perform in entry level nightclubs within a year or two. so let's deal with them right now! Myth #1: It will take many years for a total beginner to learn to sing. They sing by ear. so they don’t bother learning. But there are other myths that could get in your way. Occasionally it will take a singer more than two years to reach "nightclub level. The Truth: Most nightclub singers and recording artists never need to read music.CHAPTER 3 THE TOP-10 MYTHS ABOUT SINGING Okay. just like you do . we've got the big myth out of the way: singers are made. not born! Now you know that most people can learn to sing. Myth #2: Singers have to be able to read music in order to succeed." but that's rare.
" Paul McCartney never learned to read or write music. . He never found the need to. not your singing. and practice the Vocal Exercises. But. you just don't have the kind of voice that could ever sing high notes. or in some cases. singers who sing on TV and radio commercials.when you sing "Jingle Bells" or "Happy Birthday. The Truth: There are many famous singers who smoke and it doesn't hurt their singing at all. Myth #3: If you can't sing high notes now. you'll sing well no matter what you eat or drink. you'll never be able to be a conﬁdent performer. Myth #6: If you smoke cigarettes. you'll become a conﬁdent and charismatic performer. So. The Truth: Your fear is normal. learning to perform is a skill that anyone can learn. The only singers who need to read music are opera singers. you have a 95% chance of being able to sing high notes with the best of them. They may die young. stop smoking for your health. Myth #5: If you drink milk or orange juice before singing. However. The Truth: Drinking milk or orange juice doesn't limit your singing ability. Myth #4: If you're scared to perform in front of people now. Most people who get up in front of an audience are afraid. you'll never become a great singer. Every one of my students who wanted to learn to perform became an excellent performer. The Truth: High notes are difﬁcult. and most of us have to be trained to sing them well. My ﬁrst performances were so scary that my knees shook. but they sing just ﬁne. you won't be able to sing well. When you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing. Once you learn The 7 Keys to Great Performing. if you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing.
and practice. It may make you feel better. you won't be either. If you start at 50 or 60. The Truth: Maybe if it was 80 degrees below zero your singing would be affected. many successful singers are in their seventies and still sing well. you won't be able to sing that well. but it won't help you sing better. but otherwise don't worry about it. drinking warm tea doesn't improve your singing at all. which is a good thing. The Truth: Your singing potential isn't dependent on your parents ability. Now that we've killed those myths. It's dependent on your willingness to learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing. You can learn to sing! . If your parents weren't great singers. Unfortunately. Myth #8: If you sing in a place where it's very cold. The Truth: If that was all you had to do to sing better you wouldn't need to read this book. The Truth: I've had students well over 50 who began lessons with me. Remember. Sing away! Myth #9: If you didn't start taking voice lessons at age ﬁve. and they did just ﬁne.Myth #7: Drinking warm tea before singing will help you sing better. you have very little chance of succeeding. Those are the deadly myths that stop many people from ever trying to sing. so what? Myth #10: Singing is genetic. they can't stop you.
They were using a hit or miss approach that deﬁnitely missed. My teachers were not teaching me the same techniques the pros were using. . my voice just wasn't improving. I tried most of the standard approaches. many of my students had tried the standard approaches and still couldn't sing. But part of me knew that the problem wasn't me. most of them weren't teaching me any techniques at all. It was very frustrating for me because with all the classes and lessons I was taking. I took college classes. Their experience was much like mine. and tried to ﬁgure out how to sing on my own. maybe I just wasn't a good enough singer. In fact. It wasn't until years later that I discovered the real problem. I had achieved some level of success so I couldn't be that bad. private lessons. When I began teaching voice.CHAPTER 4 WHY THE STANDARD APPROACHES FAIL When I was learning to sing. I thought the problem was me. and my songs were getting played on the radio. I was singing in a rock band.
Many of them have studied for years and still can't sing a single song well. Also. But ﬁnding a great voice teacher is almost impossible. What are the standard approaches? There are basically four approaches people use in learning to sing. I believe their teachers tried their best and probably meant well. Most of my students who have studied with other teachers have no knowledge of ANY of The 7 Keys to Great Singing. old. . and by working with students who have tried them. Let's look at each of these approaches in detail. unless you live in Los Angeles. charging up to $1000 per hour. Standard Approach #1: Finding a voice teacher and taking private lessons. My singing improved while I was studying with them. great voice teachers are expensive. if you can ﬁnd a great voice teacher. When I was learning to sing. Most people can't afford to study with them. but these teachers didn't have knowledge of the techniques the pros were using. 75% of the teachers I studied with were of no help to me whatsoever! Finally I did ﬁnd some teachers who taught me some of The 7 Keys to Great Singing. by using them myself. The standard approaches use outdated. I have seen or experienced the results of each of these. Success rate: About 30% This is a good way to learn to sing. and therefore were unable to help these students. and usually ineffective tools that just don't work for modern singing. New York or San Francisco.Why the standard approaches don't work The main reason that the standard approaches usually fail is that they don't teach aspiring singers THE ACTUAL TECHNIQUES THAT TODAY'S SUCCESSFUL SINGERS USE: The 7 Keys to Great Singing.
Taking a singing class at a college. Standard Approach #2: Trying to ﬁgure it out on your own. Some of my students who have learned on their own ﬁgured out a few of The 7 Keys to Great Singing. it's potentially dangerous because it's possible to damage your voice. Learning on your own often creates bad habits that can take months or years for a good teacher to repair. It's pretty weird and not much gets accomplished. Although this method works for some people. I know this from working with students who have developed these bad habits. Success rate: About 10% I have rarely seen a student who learned to sing well at college. They develop bad habits that really limit their singing ability. However. How much opera do you hear on the radio today? Not much! Today's successful pop singers are using different techniques than opera singers. and became fantastic singers. You have a teacher teaching opera technique to a bunch of students trying to sing pop. opera-based methods of teaching. which is why they sound different! The main problem with this approach is that there's a scarcity of great voice teachers. That's a drag. some people who follow this path get into deep trouble. I have never heard of a college trained singer going on to sell . The problem with college classes is that the teachers use outdated methods which don't work for pop singing. Some very famous singers developed great voices by ﬁguring it out on their own. I know of four great teachers in the United States.Most teachers use outdated. Success rate: About 30% It turns out that no training is MUCH better than mediocre or bad training. Standard Approach #3. because it makes learning to sing very difﬁcult.
Success rate: About 25% This is perhaps the worst way to learn to sing. Now. or church. it's no wonder that many singers become discouraged and quit. Don't freak out. Standard Approach #4. African American churches have produced some incredible singers. there's a better approach to learning to sing With the dismal success rates of the common approaches. singers are encouraged to express. they're usually not that effective. They're told by the choir directors to be quiet and blend in. which allows natural voices to develop.millions of records. Never! College classes are ok for messing around. There is an approach which has a 90% success rate. The choir singers I see are very quiet and timid in their singing. Read on! . But don't lose heart. The main problem is that in choirs. college. In those churches. It's as if all the life was beaten out of them. singers are rarely encouraged to really belt it out. Joining a choir in high school. but for people who really want to learn to sing. there is one exception.
who knows The 7 Keys to Great Singing. You need to learn to do what they are doing. but I can't just DO what they are doing. You'll do this by learning and experiencing The 7 Keys to Great Singing. It's simple and effective. The reason professional singers sing so well is that they are using these 7 Keys. This better way can be stated in one sentence: IF YOU WANT TO SING WELL. of course I'd sing well." You're right! You can't just DO what they are doing. you'll sing better than you ever dreamed possible! Anecdote I used to play golf with a guy who had been golﬁng for 20 years. "Well if I could do what the greatest singers in the world are doing. By reading this book and connecting with a singing teacher. You're probably thinking. gradually. Most of the students who use this method become excellent singers. and I beat him almost every time we played.CHAPTER 5 A BETTER WAY There is a better way to learn to sing. If it was that easy I'd be singing well already. The reason I beat him was because I took dozens of lessons and . I'd been playing for just two years. DO WHAT THE GREATEST SINGERS IN THE WORLD ARE DOING.
I found that following The 7 Keys to Great Singing made me a better singer than I ever imagined I could become. or ﬁnding a good singing teacher.learned the right way to swing my clubs. There are some Keys that are difﬁcult to learn without help. Learning to do what the pro's are doing is the key When you learn the techniques the pro's are using. They charge between $300-$1000 per hour. My friend never took a lesson. that is better. Next. Poorly! Then he'd act surprised when his ball went into the forest instead of onto the green. You have in your hands a method THAT WORKS. If you've always dreamed of singing well. But an amateur coach who charges $50 per hour and teaches you . It does what I want. and giving you powerful Vocal Exercises to practice. A good singing teacher will teach you how to incorporate The 7 Keys to Great Singing into your singing AUTOMATICALLY! That's the beauty of this system. He had bad technique and he never improved. or even better. It's almost impossible to fail. my singing ability was limited and I felt permanently stuck. Before I discovered these techniques. and then practice. He just got up and hit the ball the same way he had been hitting it for 20 years. Now I have control of my voice. That's what this book is about. you can begin looking for a qualiﬁed singing teacher. your singing voice will improve dramatically. How do you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing? First. Good coaches are expensive. you can begin applying these techniques to your singing on your own. If you can ﬁnd a good singing teacher to help you. read the next chapter to gain an understanding of The 7 Keys to Great Singing. I learned the same techniques the greatest golfers in the world were using. when I want. You can learn most of The 7 Keys to Great Singing on your own. now you can! Learning on your own. teaching you correct technique with The 7 Keys to Great Singing.
There is a lot to . how good can the teaching methods be? Would you attend a law school where none of the graduates were able to ﬁnd work as lawyers? 2. What are your students doing professionally? If a coach’s students are working regularly in reputable clubs and recording studios. If it takes longer than that. something is wrong.incorrectly is really expensive. 4. however. study with an opera teacher. it is important for your coach to be teaching and singing pop music. the students aren’t working. 3. They sounded old fashioned and rather odd. If you want to sing opera. By the time they got to me they sounded like opera singers trying to sing pop. ask each prospective coach the following questions: 1. I'd rather take two half-hour lessons per month with a great teacher than four one-hour lessons with an ineffective teacher. If. How long does it take your average student to begin performing publicly? If a coach is good. you can be assured that his/her teaching methods are effective. and it took some work to help them learn to sound like pop singers. most of his or her students should be performing within a year or two. I can learn more in 30 minutes with a great coach than I could in a year with an amateur one. because you invest a couple of years studying and never learn to sing. What styles of music can you teach? If you are interested in singing pop music. What have you done professionally? If a coach has performance experience in the ﬁeld you are pursuing. not a rock teacher. If you decide to look for a coach. I've had many students who studied opera even though they wanted to become pop singers. great! Even better is a coach who is still active as a singer.
it's easy to wander aimlessly through lessons and achieve little or nothing. Try one lesson and check out the teacher in person If a coach passes your telephone screening. interview all the teachers. Ask the questions. Do not be intimidated by voice teachers. keeping the larynx neutral. If they haven't worked professionally. If they cannot demonstrate techniques do you want to learn. Some of them can be very arrogant. and don't be afraid to pay high rates for a great teacher. stay away. they probably aren't experienced enough to be a great coach. Ask to hear some of their recordings. Do you help your students work towards speciﬁc goals. or using a blend to get above your chest voice. they will work harder to help the student reach those goals. Perhaps the most important thing you can do. If at the end of the ﬁrst session your singing and understanding of singing have improved.learn from someone who has been where you want to go. you may have found a good coach. 5. vocally and professionally? If a coach asks you to write out your goals and bring them to your ﬁrst lesson. If they are singing in a way that you want to emulate. is to have the coach sing for you. set up an initial session. then they can probably be of help to you. As the sessions . you can. Without speciﬁc goals. great! When a coach sees a student's goals written out. you will probably be disappointed. Do you understand the techniques the great singers of the world are using? Be sure the coach is familiar with and can demonstrate most of The 7 Keys to Great Singing. look for another coach. If they don't understand what you're talking about when you mention keeping the cords together. 6. If they don't have a demo or CD of their own singing.
. I recommend trying them for awhile.progress. Some coaches are great in the beginning but as time goes by they slack off. remember many great singers have done so. and make sure the teachers understand and can teach what this book contains. This book contains valuable information on the techniques of good singing. be sure the coach continues to deliver. If you live in an area where are you can ﬁnd a good voice coach. A great way to keep coaches on their toes and to document your progress is to tape the sessions. Apply what you learn here. If you need to learn on your own. Coaches tend to work harder when they’re being recorded.
PART 2 THE 7 KEYS TO GREAT SINGING .
. It's like the foundation of a house. There's nothing glamorous about a foundation. or a big voice. but you sure need one if you're building a big house. Singer's Posture consists of four simple parts: Part 1: Stand straight and strong Singers are unique because their bodies are their instruments. effortless and passionate singing.CHAPTER 6 KEY 1: USE SINGERS' POSTURE AND ENJOY FREEDOM AND CONFIDENCE Singers' Posture lays the foundation for powerful.
Now go inside of yourself and see what you're feeling emotionally. and try to keep this posture. defeated position with your eyes closed. while remaining relaxed. Try this now: Stand in a slumped. with your weight on both feet and your knees unlocked. Do you feel . You're not slumped. the note will be much easier to sing. Next. You'll feel feel comfortable. Try this now: Stand with your back to a wall. if your posture is good. What we are looking for is a combination of a relatively straight body. Look straight ahead and unlock your knees. Our posture has real impact on what we feel. your body is straight and relaxed. It will also boost your conﬁdence and help you look great on stage. balanced. nor do you push your head forward like a turtle. Imagine your favorite singer trying to wail on a high note while slumped over.Standing straight and strong puts your body into a good position so that instrument of yours can sound as good as possible. and ready to move. Even she probably couldn't pull that off. Standing straight and strong makes the difﬁcult notes much easier When you're trying to sing that tough-to-reach note. you'll feel stronger and more conﬁdent emotionally. step away from the wall. That's just ﬁne. Now you have a good straight and strong posture. The ideal singing position When you're in the ideal singing position. Your posture may slip a little bit as you step away from the wall. with your entire body and head touching the wall. relax. Standing straight and strong helps you to feel better If you're standing straight and strong.
It takes real attention to remember to hold the posture through the hard parts. . and see what you're feeling. They shrink about two inches. but when a high note comes. Don't let the hard parts of songs or Vocal Exercises bully you. If you knew a gorilla was about to enter your room. Take the stance. 2. stand straight and strong. especially under pressure. It will help you feel better. back. but hard to remember. Practice standing straight and strong throughout your day. their bodies cave in. See how much better that feels. But caving in prevents us from ever hitting the note. close your eyes. and crash on the high note. but it does give you the feeling of a straight and open body. they instantly sing better and have more fun. they sing poorly and have a miserable experience. Standing straight and strong is easy to learn. Tips for mastering Part 1 of Singers' Posture: Keeping Your Body Straight and Strong 1. They begin to smile as they are singing. drop their posture.strong or weak? Happy or sad? Conﬁdent or scared? Next. Many students start off singing with good posture. Notice how you feel when you stand straight and strong and when you don't. and sing better. When I remind them to stand straight and strong. and you “wimped out. This is an exaggerated position. Our tendency is to cave in when approaching a difﬁcult note. Sing with your heels.” the gorilla would probably sense your weakness and wipe you out. and head against the wall for 5 minutes per day. Keep your strong posture even when you're scared Many of my students have good posture. but not when they get up to sing their ﬁrst song for me. With the bad posture. They get scared. and not as relaxed as we ultimately want. Stand straight and strong.
" That's what you think! Relaxing your upper body while singing is hard. How do you get your body to relax? The key to relaxing your body while singing is to move the parts of your body that tend to tighten up. "Relax my upper body. Hey that's easy. shoulders. If your neck. In just a few hours she would be opening for Primus at San Francisco's Warﬁeld Theater and she was afraid she wouldn't be able to sing her best. I asked her to sing a song so I could see what the problem was. it will make singing much more difﬁcult. Upper body tension is one of the main reasons a singer's voice sounds strained and harsh. When a singer learns to relax through the challenging parts of a song. Example One of my students came to her lesson terriﬁed and in tears. the entire song sounds and feels better and the challenging part becomes easier. roll them while singing.Part 2: Relax your upper body Now we take your straight and strong body and help it to relax! Relaxation is as important for singers as for any athlete or performer. If your neck is tight. Most beginning singers automatically tighten their upper body when they're about to sing a difﬁcult note. If your shoulders are tight. As you do these exercises. It's difﬁcult to remain tight while you are moving. She would be singing for thousands of people and probably felt like her career was about to end. your singing will become easier. Walk around and let your body go loose like a rag doll. Her shoulders were as rigid as concrete. As she began. I immediately saw what was wrong. This tension makes the hard note almost impossible to hit. face or jaw are tight. move your head. They get scared. which makes them physically tense. arms. throat. but necessary. She was holding on for dear life and her voice was suffering .
That's your ideal open-chested posture. Just think of your image of Mary Lou Retton. The shallow breathing makes them feel even more uncomfortable and their bodies become tenser. Just keep moving your upper body while you're singing. but this time to roll her shoulders while she was singing. Remember. many singers get nervous. her voice became freer. and yoga masters have open chests. 2. . I stopped her in the middle of her song and told her to sing it again. Tightening up is normal The tendency to tighten up your upper body while singing is completely normal. She looks proud. especially publicly. dancers. Gymnasts. The solution is to begin breathing deeply before you start singing. Then when you begin singing. and all of my students have to deal with it. At the end of the lesson she had a smile on her face and gave me a kiss on the cheek. straight and relaxed body and shapes it into an even better instrument. Roll your neck and shoulders while singing. and you'll learn to keep your upper body relaxed. Don't stress about it. Before singing. Part 3: Open your chest Part 3 takes your strong. and their breathing gets shallow. she went on to get a major recording contract. your body will be more relaxed and you'll feel better emotionally. When your chest is open. Practice deep breathing 30 seconds before you even begin singing.because of all the muscle tension in her shoulders. Tips for mastering Part 2 of Singers' Posture: Body Relaxing Your Upper 1. After that performance and others. singing becomes much easier. Hearing her voice improving gave her conﬁdence. As she began moving them. and she began to let go even more. and to sell millions of CDs. open and conﬁdent.
your body is your instrument. your chest will naturally open. As you lie on the pillow. Even if some part of you resists. and will help stretch open your chest. and when your chest is open. Your singing will become easier and you'll eventually use and enjoy your vulnerability in adding expression in your songs. Try this while you're singing: Open and raise your arms while you are singing. Really relax your body. Try this now: Put a ﬁrm but small pillow on the ﬂoor. which can be uncomfortable. Opening your chest also opens your heart to yourself and the world. Breathe deeply. your instrument has a good shape. keep opening your chest. Lie down on your back with the pillow under your shoulder blades. You'll need to continuously remind yourself to keep your chest open. I recommend that you do this exercise before each practice session. so you can do it while you are standing and singing. . Then fear and the need for self-protection kicks in and the upper body starts to cave. As you breathe you'll notice how your chest expands. This exercise will show you what it feels like to really open your chest. Extend your arms over your head and really stretch. Really open up your chest. Open your arms so your look like Jesus on the cross. This position will free your body and your voice. Exaggerate this exercise. Continue this exercise for ﬁve minutes. When your heart and body are open your voice and emotions can be released. Keep your chest open the whole time you're singing Singing with an open chest is easy for awhile. Opening your chest will help open your heart Opening your chest will make you more vulnerable. yet liberating.
Tips for mastering Part 3 of Singers' Posture: Opening Your Chest 1. With time. and still sing well. As you advance. Most of my beginning students habitually raise their chin in order to hit the high notes. bring it back down to the level position. Try this when you're singing: Start with your head in a level position. 2. you can raise your chin if you want to. looking straight ahead. In the beginning. Spend some time singing in front of a mirror because you may be raising your chin without knowing it. you'll look better and singing will be easier. Part 4: Keep your head level Keeping your head level is easy to learn and when you learn it. If you notice yourself raising your chin. Sing in front of a mirror while trying to keep your chest as open as possible. open-chested posture and notice the conﬁdence and security that follow. but it doesn't work. Practice walking and standing in a proud. Remind yourself to keep your head level Keeping your head level is not hard to do. As you sing. you'll need to keep reminding yourself to do it. Then you'll be raising your chin for expression. The tight muscles make it much harder to sing well. That's the position you should sing from. Keeping your head level keeps the muscles relaxed. Do this during your daily activities as well as when you're singing. It's a kind of body English designed to help hit these notes. Sing with open arms. keeping it level will become automatic. Raising your chin tightens the muscles around your throat. but it's easy to forget. not as a response to . 3. watch for a tendency to raise your chin as you hit a high note.
Summary of Key 1: Conﬁdence Use Singers' Posture and Enjoy Freedom and Singer's Posture is great because it helps you to sing better and feel more conﬁdent. because you are changing the bad habits that you are used to. 2. Spend half your practice time singing in front of a mirror. relaxed. This is an exaggerated position. at work and while you're walking to the grocery store. this key will make singing much easier! CHAPTER 7 . You will not feel relaxed. Sing with your back to the wall. In the end. The more you practice while you're not singing. you will experience some discomfort. but your voice will be released as a result of keeping your head more level. while looking straight ahead. but now the focus is on keeping your head level. and if you ﬁnd yourself raising your chin. In the end. This is the same exercise we did in Part 1. You can practice Singers' Posture at home. bring it back down. powerful. and free. and keeping the back of your head touching the wall.fear. you want a body that is open. Tips for mastering Part 4 of Singers' Posture: Keeping Your Head Level 1. the easier it will be to master Singers' Posture when you're singing. While you are learning this key.
DON'T FREAK OUT!! You're not supposed to know what I'm talking about. you have no idea of what I am talking about! RELAX. When you whisper. Whey they are far apart they have nothing to vibrate against so they produce a quiet and airy sound. resonant. and produce a loud. When you shout or talk in a normal voice.KEY 2 KEEP YOUR VOCAL CORDS TOGETHER AND EXPERIENCE TOTAL CONTROL One of the most important things you will learn is how to sing with your vocal cords close together. not yet anyway. located in your throat. they vibrate against each other. Your vocal cords. edgy sound. Try this now: . When they are moved close together. I know. your vocal cords are far apart. are two ﬂaps of ﬂesh that can be moved close together or pulled far apart. their are fairly close together.
My experience: When I used to sing songs with my cords apart. conﬁdent and expressive. I could never trust my voice. She had total control of her voice. At this point. Now take a big breath and say "awe" as in awesome and hold it for ﬁve seconds. When she sang her ﬁrst song. Her vocal cords were coming apart and she had no control. singing is much easier. or Video Stroboscopy of the Vocal Cords. I gave her an exercise which forced her to keep her cords together. I know I'll hit the notes I go for. She couldn't even do the most basic Vocal Exercises. Once you see. Now that I know how to keep my cords together. your cords are closer together. the goal is to learn to keep your cords close together all of the time. you'll produce a powerful sound with very little effort. Try it a couple of more times. She was powerful. as indeed he or she is. with your mouth open That's what it feels like when your vocal cords are far apart. You can type in vocal cords. .com and search for vocal cord videos. and if I want to sing with alot of power. the vocal cords in action. is to go to youtube. just to see what it feels like.Take a big breath and sigh. When you're singing. I had to work hard to produce any volume. Her singing improved instantly. A beginners' vocal cords will come together and go apart randomly. These random happenings will make a beginning singer feel out control. you'll be amazed at how simple their function is. When you do this. she took my breath away.. The ﬁrst thing to do. and you produce a louder sound. I can. Anecdote Jeaneen came to one of her lessons and she was sounding terrible.
This is the sound you would make. It automatically brings the chords together at the beginning of a phrase. Practice making a "creaky door" sound . and they tend to stay together until you ﬁnish the phrase. if you were telling a scary story. 3. and wanted to make the sound of a creaky door. Summary of Key 2: Keep Your Vocal Cords Together Learning to keep your cords together is not that difﬁcult. but very noticeable. Listen to the way singers begin phrases with the creaky doors sound. But. This whining brings your cords together automatically. It is subtle.Tips for mastering this Key: 1. . where a good singing teacher could help. It is a very common and powerful technique. Really "whine" like a little kid when you sing. and this is a Key. 2. Practice this on your songs.
more expressive sound. You open your throat by lowering your larynx. your throat opens and you produce a richer. The key to opening your throat is learning to lower your larynx. deeper.CHAPTER 8 KEY 3 OPEN YOUR THROAT TO ADD RICHNESS TO YOUR VOICE Opening your throat will have a huge effect on the sound of your voice. . Most untrained singers don't know how to open their throat. I'm going to teach you how. Your larynx (or Adams apple) is that grape-sized bump on the front of your throat. As you drop your larynx.
If nothing happens when you swallow or yawn. 3. Mens' larynxes are usually easier to ﬁnd than women's. Neutral. move your ﬁngers up or down on your throat until you ﬁnd your larynx. You'll learn to control your larynx by doing the larynx exercises that follow. Down. Up. Then try swallowing and yawning again and notice how it moves. Your larynx goes down. Why do I need to control my larynx? Good question! When you learn to control your larynx. The three basic positions of the larynx are: 1. when you're yawning. Now yawn. which is where it is when you are reading this page or talking. Try this now: To ﬁnd your larynx. place your ﬁngers near the top of your throat where you think your Adam's apple is. Your larynx will rise. when you're swallowing. Now swallow. The three basic larynx positions You just discovered how your larynx can move up and down. 2. you'll . Eventually you'll be controlling your larynx when you're singing songs. Your goal is to keep your larynx neutral or slightly down when you're singing.Finding your larynx Some people have a larynx that sticks way out and others have a larynx that is somewhat hidden.
open and full of expression and soul. your throat is somewhat closed. Your sound will be much fuller now and you won't feel like your straining or about to choke on the note. Singing will be easier. At this point your sound will be even louder. which is why he has that somewhat operatic sound. We usually won't take it all the way down in pop singing because we don't want to sound like opera singers. But as you start to sing higher notes. This is a reﬂex that happens automatically with most beginning and untrained singers. But singers like David Bowie take it down pretty far. who developed . When your larynx is up. If you take this further and drop your larynx to its lowest position. your throat will open to the size of a half dollar. Won't my larynx stay neutral all by itself? No. (which caused her throat to be more open). Your sound will be thin.automatically be controlling how open our closed your throat is. deeper and somewhat operatic in nature." When your larynx is in a neutral position. she began belting like a great blues or gospel singer. Anecdote When Emily started taking lessons with me. your throat opening is about the size of a quarter. I've had many other students like Emily who had quiet voices to begin with. you'll be able to control the richness. she had a tiny. When you sing low notes. and as it does. Your voice will tend to "break" or "warble. Sometimes you'll want a sound with alot of authority and power. your larynx will remain neutral all by itself. depth and volume of your sound. the opening in your throat becomes smaller. Now her voice is big. your larynx will gradually begin to rise. Well. wimpy and potentially obnoxious. and the air and sound pass through an opening about the size of a dime. When you have complete control over your larynx. When she learned to control her larynx. just drop your larynx slightly and you'll get that big sound. quiet voice. Your throat has different degrees of openness.
Larynx Holds. You're building strength and gaining control. That's okay. The easiest way to talk "hooty" is to yawn and count to ﬁve out loud while yawning. then rest and lower it 20 more times. Exercise #2. With your ﬁngers on your larynx. As you're holding your larynx down. How do you learn to control your larynx? Since you don't have any other activity in your life that asks you to control your larynx. Notice how it goes down.powerful voices as a result of learning this key. keep your neck. yawn. then let it come back to the neutral position. the muscles will begin to fatigue." Talking "hooty" forces you to drop your larynx. If you need to jump start it with a yawn. which will then allow you to open your throat. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Your goal is to lower it rapidly 20 times. You'll learn to control your larynx by doing the larynx lowering exercises. Larynx Lowering Exercises: The purpose of these exercises is to give you control over your larynx. Talk "hooty. Exercise #1. Now try to make it go down without yawning. that's ﬁne. you probably don't know how to control it yet. Larynx Push-downs. While you're doing each exercise. Deputy Dawg or Elmer Fudd? They all talk "hooty. With practice you'll learn to talk "hooty" without yawning . Exercise #3." Remember the cartoon characters like Goofy. This is good. Lower your larynx and hold it down for 20 seconds. jaw and throat muscles relaxed.
ﬁrst. Spend ﬁve minutes a day talking "hooty." If you're unclear about what talking "hooty" sounds like, listen to the examples on the Vocal Workout CD. Note: These larynx exercises are difﬁcult and it takes many students up to three months before they really master them. My experience: I was in the recording studio having trouble with a high note. This note was unstable and felt like it was about to break. Then I realized that my larynx was rising on that note. I lowered my larynx to a neutral position and tried again. I was amazed. The note was now easy to sing. Tips for mastering Key 3: 1. Practice moving your larynx throughout your day, at work, in the car, while watching TV.
Summary It will take a few months for you to have enough control over your larynx to really control the openness of your throat. But if you start practicing the larynx exercises now, you'll be very grateful when you start singing songs.
USE YOUR 3 VOICES AND ENJOY A HUGE RANGE
The only way to have a huge range, is to use your three voices. You're about to learn what your three voices are, and how to use them. What are your three voices? There are three voices that singers have available to them: the Chest Voice, the Blended Voice, and the Head Voice. Many singers have built successful careers by just using the chest voice, but there are advantages to
using all three voices. You don't need to learn to sing in all three voices to have fun and succeed as a singer, but you'll ﬁnd singing more exciting when you have different voices to work with. For me, one of the biggest advantages of developing my blended voice and my head voice, is that my chest voice got a lot better. Remember that the chest voice is the voice singers use most frequently. The chest voice and the head voice are fairly easy to master. The blended voice is a bit more elusive. Once you experience the blended voice, with time, it will become as natural as the chest voice and the head voice. Here are some descriptions of the three different voices: 1. Chest Voice: When you speak, you're using your chest voice. Many rock, and country singers use their chest voice, and nothing else. It has grit, power, authority and muscle. It's big and impressive. The only problem with the chest voice is that you can only take it so high before it begins to break. In order to sing higher notes, you'll need to learn to use your blended and head voices. Or you could do what some singers do; just sing in your chest voice and be content to never sing high notes. 2. Blended Voice: A blended voice is a combination of chest and head voices. The blended voice allows you to sing beyond the break at the top of your chest voice. Also, by singing in the blended voice, you prevent the strain that comes from pushing the chest voice too high. Listen to Seal or Christine Aguilera sing high notes. Go to iTunes right now. You'll notice that their high notes have some edge to them, yet there is no sign of strain. If they were to sing those same notes in their chest voice, it would sound like they were shouting, and it would be easy to damage their voices. If they were to use their pure head voice, they would
sound like opera singers trying to sing pop music. The blended voice is ideal for singing the higher notes that the chest voice just can't hit easily. 3. Head Voice (sometimes called falsetto): Your head voice is what you will use to sing the super-high notes. It has kind of an operatic quality so you won't use it all that often. Try this now: Count to ten in a voice like Mickey Mouse. That's your head voice. Now count to ten in your regular voice. That's your chest voice. Try your head voice again. It feels and sounds much different than your chest voice. Learning the lip bubble The lip bubble gets your vocal cords doing the right thing, through most or all of your range, automatically! It makes it easy to work through all of your voices, and most importantly it helps you get your vocal cords close together! Once your cords learn what to do with the lip bubble, it will become easier to sing correctly with open vowels. How to do the lip bubble: 1. Place your thumb and foreﬁnger of either hand gently on the corners of your mouth. Now, barely grazing the skin, slide your thumb and foreﬁnger down half an inch, then spread them one quarter to half an inch wide. This is your starting position. 2. Squeeze your ﬁngers together as if you were picking up an egg and push your ﬁngers up to where your teeth come together. This is your bubbling position. 3. Separate your teeth about a quarter of an inch, keeping your jaw totally relaxed.
If you ﬁnd this to be the case. their lips bubble too fast and too much air escapes. make the sound "buh" as in butter. so be patient. You now have the lip bubble. and practice singing along with them. 2. Practice whining in a fairly high tone. you're on the right track. Be sure to keep your lips relaxed. Now blow through your lips and make a sound like a horse snorting. that's ﬁne. If your lips bubble at all. Doing the lip bubble without using your ﬁngers Some of my students ﬁnd it easier to do the lip bubble without using their ﬁngers. The solution is to keep your lips very relaxed while making the "buh" sound. who uses their blended voice. . When this happens. It takes a month or two for most people to become consistent. Just be sure that you are producing the slow bubbling. Choose one of your favorite singers. This will naturally bring out the most elusive of the three voices. the beneﬁts of the lip bubble are erased. or your ﬁngers aren't in the right place. like a little kid who doesn't want to do his homework. Troubleshooting: If your lips aren't bubbling. 5. You know. you are either tightening your lips. It took me 3 months to get my lips to bubble. Imitating the blended voice can be an easy way to learn what it feels like. Sometimes when my students don't use their ﬁngers. 3. Tips for mastering this Key: 1. Listen to singers on the radio and notice the different singing voices they use. With your ﬁngers still in place.4. the blend. and play around with ﬁnger placement until your lips do bubble.
and they are all accessible to you. If the teacher cannot demonstrate the blended voice. This key will be a lot easier with the help of a good singing teacher. keep looking for a better teacher. .Summary That's it! Only three voices.
Singers' Breathing consists of 3 simple parts: Part 1: Take a 100% full breath before singing each line. . When you learn how to do it you'll sing with more power and less effort.CHAPTER 10 KEY 5 USE SINGERS' BREATHING TO RELEASE YOUR MAXIMUM POWER Singers' Breathing is quite different than the breathing you're doing right now.
Try a couple more. Tips for mastering Part 1 of Singer's Breathing: Take a 100% full . as fast as you can. How will this full breath help me to sing? The advantage of taking this full breath will be obvious once you start doing it. in a fairly loud voice. With a full breath you get the most sound with the least amount of effort. Next. release all your air and try shouting "Hey You!" without the full breath. Notice the difference. Take the biggest breath you can. you have the maximum power. or a full breath. That's a pretty good deal! A full breath is like a big backswing Think of taking a full breath like a baseball player taking a full backswing. and are about to jump in and hold your breath underwater. With the small breath you have to work harder and you get less sound. When I show it to my students their singing improves instantly and they think I am a genius! Try this now: Here's all there is to taking a good singers breath: Pretend you're standing on the edge of a swimming pool. With a full backswing. Now exhale.This part of Singers' Breathing is my favorite because it's the easiest to learn and produces the most dramatic results. through your mouth. The next exercise will help you experience the advantage of a full breath! Try this now: Take a 100% full breath and shout "Hey You!". That's all there is to it! Taking a full breath is very easy and natural.
Letting go of your voice gives you a very relaxed and pleasant sound. Holding back is like stepping on the brakes. Pushing your voice is like stepping on the gas pedal of your car. Do not ﬁll your lungs so full that you experience effort and attention. Try this now: Take a breath and sigh. Do some heavy aerobic activity for 30 minutes/day. The next two exercises will help you to experience what releasing feels like.breath before singing each line. then take your ﬁngers off the opening. You can release it. Do it . 1. If you were to blow up a balloon. Part 2: Release your low notes. You wouldn't need to push on the balloon to get the air out. Part 2 teaches you how to release and push your voice and how NOT to hold back. Once you take that big breath there are three things you can do with it. 1. Really let all the sound and air out. Just ﬁll them up in a natural and easy relaxed manner. 2. the trick is knowing when to release and when to push your voice. or hold it back. (with doctors approval. When you're singing. Practice deep breathing at work. the air would release naturally. Releasing Releasing happens naturally if you ﬁll up your lungs and then just let go. at home and in your car. Releasing your voice is like taking your foot off the gas and letting your car coast down a hill. push it.) 3. Releasing feels good because you're totally letting go. push your medium notes and push hard on your high notes.
Yes. when your vocal cords are apart. Let's try releasing with the vocal cords closer together. 2. Try this now: Take a full breath and sing the word "Ho" with the same sense of release you had when you sighed. Holding back When a singer holds back. But holding back is guaranteed to make them sound bad. Why do singers hold back? Most beginners hold back their voice because they're afraid of sounding bad. only this time really hold the sound back. let all of your voice out. When you are sighing your vocal chords are far apart. Really open your mouth and let go. The rule for holding back is simple: DON'T HOLD BACK!!! 3. This is what releasing feels like. you'll feel like you're at the wheel of a . You won't be as loud and it won't feel as good. but you will be building a good voice. When you're singing. When you're singing you'll be letting go in the same way. Pushing When you learn to push. Therefore. Try this now: Go ahead and sing "Ho" like you did before. When you hold back you're not building anything. their voice sounds weak and lacks passion.again. I don't want you to hold back. Hold the note for at least ﬁve seconds. But I do want you to know what holding back feels like so you can avoid doing it. you'll sound bad some of the time. but with your vocal cords close together.
Release before you push When you're singing middle and high notes. get low and shout a fairly loud "Hey You!" from your lower abdomen. It's pretty simple. You just learned about releasing and pushing. you'll make a lot of mistakes. all by yourself. Now you're going to learn about pushing in more detail because every note gets a .. Since I've never given birth I don't really know. really bend your knees. As you're shouting push down from your lower belly.Ferrari on a huge race track. your voice will sound harsh and will lack freedom. without releasing ﬁrst. Try this now: Get into a strong stance. If you just push. when you like! Pushing your medium and high notes gives them power and stability. You release your low notes push your middle and high notes. When to release and when to push Now that you know what releasing and pushing feels like. then push. If you've had a baby this image may help. Let that new voice come out. The key to pushing is to push from as low in your belly as you possibly can. but you'll also hear a new and exciting voice begin to appear. spread your feet. As you experiment with releasing and pushing your voice. to use as you like. You'll be in control of tremendous power. but I can imagine. If you don't push them they will be weak and will tend to "break". you always release ﬁrst. Some of my female students said it's like trying to push out a baby. Part 3: Sing louder as you get higher. you need to learn when to release and when to push.
different amount of push. ﬂowing voice with no effort or strain. you will sound bad. You need to increase the volume as you get to those high notes. That makes sense. If you sing a note too quietly. Valuable information about this Key: You may have noticed that professional singers sing at different volumes depending on where they are in the song. your voice will sound forced and harsh. especially when they get to the high notes. singing will be much easier and you'll have tremendous power and control. you get a good and powerful tone. but when you learn it. medium notes at a medium volume. you'll make mistakes. Most beginning singers hold back. with no effort or strain. and you'll quickly strain your voice. and who wants to make a bad sound at a high volume? The problem is that if you are quiet on a high note. When you ﬁnd that sweet spot you'll experience a smooth. When you sing a note at the right volume. you would see that they are singing the low notes at a low volume. As you experiment with different volumes. If you were to analyze what they were doing. . and the high notes at a high volume. It will feel fantastic! Summary of Key 5: Release Your Maximum Power With Singers' Breathing Singers Breathing takes some time to learn. Sometimes you'll sing notes too loud and sometimes they won't be loud enough. If you're too loud. your voice will be weak and unstable. because it's easy to lose it on the high notes. powerful.
Imagine running . First. If it's partially closed. If it's wide opened your voice is ampliﬁed. then you'll learn what to do with your tongue. you're mouth is the megaphone of the whole operation. you'll learn how to shape your mouth. the sound becomes trapped within your mouth.CHAPTER 11 KEY 6 SHAPE YOUR MOUTH AND CREATE A BIG OPEN SOUND There are two parts to this key. When you're singing. Part 1: Sing with a very open and relaxed mouth.
but it won't be an "O" shape anymore. producing a tiny buzzing sound. and much louder because it's ampliﬁed by the mouth. The sound becomes trapped.over a megaphone with a truck and then trying to use it. Even if you start with a fully open mouth. as soon as your attention wanders. The sound is then ampliﬁed even more by your open mouth. the sound becomes richer. your sound will be thin and lacking in volume. If your mouth is shaped like a barely opened smile. Keeping your mouth open When you start singing. If you open your mouth to a relaxed "O" shape. That's the "open mouth" position we're looking for. This buzzing sound then vibrates the bones in your chest and/or head. now. How to sing an "EE" sound with an open mouth One exception to the "O" shaped mouth is when you're singing an "EE" sound. Your mouth should still be as open and relaxed as possible. This bone vibration ampliﬁes the sound so that by the time it reaches your mouth it's much louder. The sound would become trapped inside the megaphone. Try this now: Drop your jaw into the "O" position. How sound is created The actual sound you make when singing or talking starts with your vocal cords vibrating in your throat. Try to keep your mouth as open as possible. which is now acting like a megaphone. while you aren't singing. Pretend you're yawning. Your mouth will in the shape of a . Tip: Practice singing in front of a mirror and watch your mouth. you'll notice that keeping your mouth open is not that easy. your mouth may begin to close.
Notice the difference in the sound? As you open your mouth and separate your teeth. keeping your jaw very relaxed. Now. But when you learn to do this. but don't stretch so much that you hurt yourself. Be sure to really stretch while your mouth is open. and hold it for ten seconds. Simply open your mouth as wide as you can. if you did that. that you don't want your mouse and a large old shape all the time. The space between your teeth will give you the volume you need. It's tough to get a good "EE" sound with an "O" shaped mouth. the sound becomes louder and richer. That's because the jaw muscles are tight. Be careful! It will take time and experience to train your jaw to drop to the correct position.very relaxed smile. you can learn to open your mouth wider which will give you more volume. take another breath and as you are singing the "WE" sound. and your "EE" sound will actually sound like "EE". with about half of an inch of space between your teeth. Try this now: Take a full breath and sing "WE". You just want . open your mouth a little wider and separate your teeth at least half an inch. Jaw stretch exercise: You can do this exercise in your car or while you're watching TV. You would sound very strange. By stretching your jaw muscles. It will also help you to keep your mouth fully opened while keeping it relaxed. Most people have a hard time opening their mouths fully when singing. and your teeth slightly clenched. Hold the note for about ﬁve seconds. Relax and repeat the procedure for a total of ﬁve times. If you can separate your teeth more than half an inch and still keep the pure "EE" sound. and it will feel so good to sing! Keep in mind. with your mouth in the shape of a wide smile. your sound will improve tremendously. do it.
You can be the judge of how much sound you want to create. Keeping your tongue ﬂat and forward is harder than you think. Warning: One common problem singers have while keeping their tongue ﬂat and forward is that the words they sing get distorted. When your tongue gets in the way. First. the tip of your tongue should be touching the back of your bottom teeth. i. it's possible for the tongue to get in the way and block the sound. hump up. When you sing consonants let your mouth and tongue do whatever it wants. but when you start singing your tongue will want to pull back. a. if you're singing the word "free" be sure it sound like "free" and not "fray". If your tongue gets in the way. It's easy enough to do when you are not singing. o. e. Be sure to keep your vowels pure. close it more. even though your mouth is open. more open then you would when you are talking. it's like putting a pillow in a megaphone. Again. Second. Part 2: forward Keep your tongue ﬂat and Now that we've got your mouth open we need to work on your tongue. and block the sound. There are two things you'll do to keep your tongue out of the way. keep your tongue as ﬂat as possible. When you want less.to generally keep your mouth. you know. When you want more sound opener mouth wider. Note: This Key only applies to singing vowels. Imagine what would happen if you stuck a pillow in a megaphone. looking at the mouth as a megaphone. you'll block some of the sound. and u. The sound would be mufﬂed. In other words. .
2. . 3. Be patient with yourself in learning this key. Their voice comes out naturally. but don't obsess on what your tongue is doing. Sing in front of a mirror and watch your tongue. My recommendation is to be aware. ﬂat and forward. and you'll see just how open their mouth can be sometimes. Summary of Key 6. because it doesn't come automatically. If you get a close-up. Many singers never need to pay attention to their tongue. and the tongue does not block the sound.Tips for keeping your tongue ﬂat and forward: 1. Shaping Your Mouth Watch great singers on TV. you'll also see that their tongue is completely out of the way. Keep it as ﬂat as possible while keeping the tip touching the back of your bottom teeth.
When you . Vibrato is that wavering or pulsating sound that singers add to the notes they hold. if you want to. but most do. The beneﬁts of vibrato 1. Many successful singers never use vibrato when they sing. It is used in most styles of music with the exception of some rock or alternative songs. You don't have to use vibrato. Vibrato improves the sound of the notes you hold. I recommend you learn it so you then have the choice.CHAPTER 12 KEY 7 USE VIBRATO TO ADD BEAUTY TO YOUR VOICE Key 7 will teach you how to add vibrato to your voice.
This produces a fuller and richer sound. you produce a better sound. all my students who have wanted to have a good vibrato have been able to develop it. The rest of us have to learn it. How long does it take? It takes up to a year for most people to develop a good vibrato. and you're TOTALLY POSITIVE you don't want to learn it. you will probably need the help of a good teacher to help you develop it. It also feels really good to add vibrato. The voice seems to relax. If you like the sound.) When you add vibrato. it's tough to make it sound good without vibrato. Can anyone learn vibrato? So far. About 40% of my new students have vibrato with no training or practice. learn it. If you're singing a style of music that doesn't use it.need to hold a note. don't learn it. If you don't have ﬁre brought on naturally in your voice. It took me two years! Be patient. Many times after learning the other keys. a natural vibrato begins to appear Do some people have vibrato in their voice naturally? Yes. 2. Vibrato helps the voice to release fully. in my teaching practice. Should you learn to use a vibrato? That's up to you. You'll see what I mean. They are the lucky ones. and singers are able to really let go. (Sting is one of the few singers I've seen get away with it. Sustained notes without vibrato usually sound stark and unprofessional. . Something amazing happens when vibrato is added.
This activates the muscles needed to create virato. at times I would kick and scream during my lessons. I ﬁnally found a teacher who said he could teach me how to develop my vibrato. It felt wonderful. Just remember that it could be easier to learn with a good teacher. I remember the moment vividly. I couldn't believe it. We started with the basic vibrato exercises. Summary of Key 7 Vibrato is something you can add to your voice with practice. after about six months. It took me an additional year and a half to learn how to control my vibrato. Now it is easy. I was so frustrated. But I tried to do it again and couldn't. Tips for mastering Key 7: Add Beauty to Your Voice by using Vibrato 1. It was hard! Finally. a beautiful vibrato appeared. just for a couple of seconds. trying to start. Practice making a sound like a car engine. At ﬁrst I was just doing the exercises on faith.My experience with learning vibrato: I sang for many years without vibrato. I didn't really believe I would get it. It didn't come naturally and I didn't believe I would ever be able to sing with vibrato. RECAP OF THE 7 KEYS TO GREAT SINGING Key 1: Use Singers' Posture and Enjoy Freedom and Conﬁdence Key 2: Keep Your Vocal Cords Together and Experience Total Control Key 3: Open Your Throat to Add Richness to Your Voice Key 4: Use Your 3 Voices and Enjoy a Huge Range .
Key 5: Use Singers Breathing to Release Your Maximum Power Key 6: Shape Your Mouth and Create a Big Open Sound Key 7: Use Vibrato to Add Beauty to Your Voice
PART 3 SONGS
SINGING SONGS LIKE A PRO
Now will start working on singing songs. This is where it gets fun. Your voice, body, and emotions all come into play. This is where you get a chance to be great! Using Karaoke tapes and CD's I know the word "Karaoke" has a bad connotation with serious singers, but Karaoke tapes and CD's are a fantastic way to develop your voice and learn songs. Karaoke tapes and CD's have the full version of the song (with the karaoke singer), as well as another version of the same song which has no singer, just the band. Singing with Karaoke tapes and CD's is better than singing with the original artist, because when you sing with the original artist, you can't really hear what you sound like because you're blending with them. With a karaoke tape or CD, you can follow the Karaoke singer in order to learn the song, then once you feel comfortable, you can sing
but not fantastic. you have to think about it. Practicing the song When you're ﬁrst learning a song. refer back to the lyric sheet. Step 2. Then put them aside and try to sing them from memory. The song will sound better at this point. Get some songs. Step 3. Once you know the melody. If you get stuck.with the band. and start practicing. Owning the song There will come a time when you really own the song. At this point it's really easy for you to sing. You'll have a great time! Practicing your songs There are three phases singers go through in learning a song. Most large cities have stores that sell nothing but karaoke tapes. These tapes and CD's are fun and inspirational because most of them sound great! You can purchase them at many record stores and on the Internet. Memorizing the melody and lyrics The best way to memorize the melody is to sing along with the Karaoke singer. You're just learning the song. minus the Karaoke singer. Phase 1. The only way to have a song become second nature is to sing it over and over again. You probably will too. It doesn't come automatically. Don't expect to sound good at this stage. I need to sing a song at least 100 times before I really know it. This will allow YOUR VOICE to fully develop. Memorize the lyrics by reading them while you're singing the song. You know it so well that you can start to . practice the song without the singer. A song should not be performed publicly until you have gotten to Phase 3.
is they sing the beginning of the song fairly quietly. I'll talk more At this point you'll be conﬁdent. you'll sound great and you're ready to perform the song. You can also start to put your heart into the song. the words may still come to you. Adding dynamics to a song will make it much more interesting The other approach singers use. This technique is known as dynamics. The best way to approach dynamics is to sing the low notes at low volumes. so really exaggerate the lows and highs. you'll notice singers belting out certain parts. "faking it" will allow you to get through the song . The reality is: you will! Professional singers who have been singing all of their lives forget lyrics. and then as they get towards the end of the song. With time. Forgetting the words I wish I could tell you that you'll never forget the words to a song. the medium notes at medium volumes. there are some things you can do to minimize this problem." When you really do forget the words. First of all. Listen to songs on the radio and you'll see what I mean. don't panic! If you remain calm. You can hold notes. You want to feel the contrast between the different sections of a song. Many times I remember the words a split second before I need to sing them. It's part of being a singer. you'll develop faith that the words will often come to you. about that later. Playing with dynamics If you listen to songs on the radio. The other skill you need to develop is "faking it. and coming down in volume in others. belt notes. or get very quiet in parts.play with it. they increase the volume. However. and the high notes at high volumes.
Songs to learn Songs ready to perform . If you sing the wrong verse they usually won't notice. Repeat lyrics you've already sung. As you practice "faking it". In order to keep track of the status of your songs. The key here is to keep singing no matter what. The audience will probably think your creative genius is coming out. 2. Songs to buy 1. Scat. You should try to learn at least two to four new songs per month. Learn new songs so you don’t get tired of your old ones. and using the form below: Category 1. Just keep going. Category 3. Remember the audience isn't sitting their with lyric sheets in their hands. Learning new songs Keeping your practice sessions fun is very important. “Songs to learn” are songs for which you have the Karaoke tape but don't know yet. it will become easier and easier for you to do. 4. 3.without the audience even knowing there was a problem. I suggest putting all songs into one of the following categories. but are not yet singing. “Songs ready to perform” are songs which you have learned and are now ready to perform. Category 2. Make up lyrics. “Songs to buy” are songs you want to learn.
7. 6.5. .
In fact.CHAPTER 14 DEVELOPING YOUR OWN UNIQUE STYLE My goal is to help you develop the most interesting. But so did all the great singers. The ﬁrst thing you need in order to develop that unique voice is the total willingness to crash and burn. the more creative and interesting you'll be when your voice develops. you'll develop a safe. If you want soul. you have to be willing to take risks. in the beginning. If you're not willing to do that. because you didn't want to sound foolish. Yes. the more wild and out of control you sound now. quite often. The baby never got a chance to be born. white-bread. as you begin taking chances. Well those days are over! You can't afford to hold in your wild ideas anymore. Inside of you is a new voice that no one has ever heard. The ﬂower never got a chance to bloom. If you have a . Taking chances and making mistakes is the key You've probably had moments where you heard something in your head that you wanted to sing. boring voice. So you held it in. passionate. you'll sound foolish. unique voice possible. but didn't.
I don't even know how to really describe it."live wire" voice. I'm able to . That encouraged me to give even more. I tell my students that I want them to make at least 20 mistakes per lesson. So. in this incredible moment. I was singing like I had never sung before. The students who are willing to experiment. let go and fall apart are the creative ones who learn at an accelerated rate and become fantastic singers. This was better than sex! Well. they laugh it off instead of cringing. When I sing now. Every cell in my body was expressing. great! Let it out! Mistakes are great Mistakes will help you grow! I let my students know that it's not only ﬁne for them to make mistakes. singing an Elton John song. I could hardly believe it was me singing. the more the audience got into it. With this understanding. Sweat poured from my body. I had wanted to sing like this for years and never had. It's PURE ART! Anecdote I remember vividly the ﬁrst time I experienced a heightened level of pleasure while singing. but it's great. at least as good! The more I expressed. You're growing now! Finding pleasure will help you develop your style There is a level of pleasure available to you that you can't imagine. It's dreamlike and totally wonderful. About 30 seconds into the song something happened. when you're practicing. Wow! I'll never forget those moments. My entire body began expressing the song. I experience pleasure most of the time. Neither will you when you experience singing in that way. but now. Their bodies relax as do their spirits. take chances and let yourself make lots of mistakes. when they do make a mistake. I was! I poured my soul into the lyrics. I was on a medium sized stage. Welcome them. Their singing improves.
you won't be worrying about how you look or sound. your voice and the life experiences and emotions that you express through your singing are unique to you. Let out that raw. work and experience will bring it to you. it will mature into a voice that will bring you the greatest pleasure and success. . Cloning other famous singers can bring limited pleasure for awhile. Remember. With time. You'll feel great and so will your audience! There is no quick way to ﬁnd this dreamy world of singing ecstasy. I experience physical and emotional pleasure and satisfaction. Audiences and record companies are interested in hearing unique voices. You'll simply be expressing. Pleasure is your payoff and the payoff is HUGE! Summary Developing your own style is what singing is all about. When you're experiencing the real pleasure of singing. rough voice from the bottom of your soul. Time. Share your real self with the world and experience a bliss you can't imagine. but eventually you'll become bored and so will your audiences.connect with a part of myself that doesn't get to come out in my normal life.
pick another song. If that's the case." Following are solutions to common problems you may encounter while singing songs. Maybe the key is too high. Symptom: My song sounds rough and unprofessional.CHAPTER 15 A TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE Sometimes a song just won’t "feel right. Most beginners need to practice a song close to one hundred times before it begins to feel and sound comfortable. Solution: You simply need to sing the song more. It's also possible that this particular song isn't right for you. . and save this song for when you are at a more advanced level. or too low. or the style doesn't ﬁt your voice.
Solution: You probably are. try singing a song much louder than you ever have.Symptom: It sounds like I am singing off pitch in places. when you sing your song. you'll notice that the song is much louder and more released than before. and lots of practice. you get a lot of release. Symptom: I can’t sing the high notes. Solution: Before singing each song. Symptom: My songs sound quiet and weak. you can eat or lower the keys of the troublesome songs. Go ahead and try to double the volume. you may have to ﬁnd the song in a woman's key. ﬁnd a time and place where you can sing without worrying about that. Solution: The song is probably too high for you. Your low range will expand some as a result of doing the exercises. If you are holding back because you are afraid of bothering someone. It's hard to hold back and sing loud at the same time. Solution: The song has been recorded in too low a key for your voice. The other reason singers hold back is because they are afraid of people hearing them sing. but if you're a woman singing a song in a man's key. Notice when you are off pitch and correct it on the spot. If that doesn't give you enough power. Try to follow the karaoke singer. at this stage of your development. If you're having trouble with high notes in general. Call the Karaoke store and see if they can order it . making corrections. You'll notice that it's alot easier to let go. shout three strong “Hey Ho!”s. Symptom: The low notes are too low to sing. be sure you take full breaths and let out all the sound. When you sing your next song (without trying to be especially loud). or you can look for a good teacher to help you increase your range. Then. Singing on pitch is simply a matter of paying attention. You'll ﬁnd that if you sing real loud.
There are thousands of songs. Symptom: I am getting bored with certain songs. or buy the sheet music and hire a keyboardist to record the song in a better key. pick another song. The key is to bring new songs into your practice sessions so you don’t become tired of the others. Solution: If you spend six months singing one or two songs.in a higher key. you will become bored. Try to learn two to four new songs per month. you only need to sing it a couple of times a week. If not. Symptom: I don’t enjoy singing the song. Once you know a particular song and can perform it well. so pick songs you like. don’t sing it. . but dislike singing it themselves. It's common for a singer to like a song they heard on the radio. Solution: If a particular song doesn’t inspire you or you can’t relate to the lyrics.
When you're practicing.CHAPTER 16 HOW TO KEEP SINGING 'TIL YOU'RE 95 Remember. rest! . if you use The 7 Keys. and take good care of yourself. One of the great things about singing is that you can sing well into old age. but not so strenuous that you injure yourself. and as you grow older. you should feel like you're getting a workout. Build your voice gradually The process of building your voice is very similar to the way professional athletes build their bodies. let all your voice out. Athletes and singers build muscles and develop focused muscle control. your body is your instrument. Your ideal practice routine is challenging enough to cause your muscles to grow. but when your voice is tired. the better you'll sing now. Here are some tips for taking care of your body and your voice. The better you take care of your body. but not like you're hurting yourself. Push yourself.
The great singers you hear on the radio spent years developing their vocal power. This does two things for him. you don't know just how much of a workout it really is. in many regards. Until you've been on stage singing. I get a tremendous physical and emotional high.If you came to me as someone who wanted to become a professional runner. weights and yoga. and it gives him the endurance he needs to run around on stage for an hour. You may have to force yourself to get started. try to ﬁnd some form of exercise that you like. stronger and louder. After a few weeks you'll notice your body toning up and you'll feel incredible after each workout. Remember. Then I'd build you up to three miles a day. If you're the type of person who likes exercise. My greatest reward is how I feel after exercising. I would start you out on an easy program. you are an athlete. It takes real physical stamina and strength. while giving you an aerobic workout. It will become richer. you'll begin to notice the changes in your voice. you probably would have injured yourself and quit. If I had you try to run 25 miles a day during your ﬁrst week of training. I work out ﬁve to six days per week for about 90 minutes per day. It's important to be reasonable and build slowly. You're dependent . One of my students works out like a madman. I happen to enjoy swimming. That's the hardest part. It gives him vitality that gets expressed in his voice. As you gradually increase the time and intensity of your practice. and as you became stronger. aerobics and tennis are all good. It may take six months or longer to achieve that level. Any exercise that gets you breathing hard is great. He's in incredible physical shape. but had never even been jogging. great! If not. Keeping in shape Many singers are on intense exercise programs. I'd keep increasing your workout until you were running 25 miles a day. Swimming laps is wonderful because it works so many muscles. Maybe a mile a day for the ﬁrst month. It's important to like the exercise you're doing so you'll keep it up. Running. Vocal Exercises that used to be difﬁcult will become easier.
Start by letting your head drop towards your chest and then gently roll it to your right. then three times in the other direction. 1. You should feel your chest stretch. you don't use your body that much. Shoulder rolls Stand in a comfortable position with your arms at your side. But as a singer you do. very very slowly. so keep in shape! Body Tune-Ups Professional athletes spend much time stretching and limbering up. not an oval or a square. Be sure to let yourself stretch at all points of the circle. or if you want a real stretch. Spend one to two minutes in this position. The muscles they use need to be strong and ﬂexible. Your head and chest should be hanging over the edge also. This exercise will really open up your chest. Then reverse the direction and roll your shoulders backwards. Repeat this for a total of ﬁve times. Here are some exercises that will work on areas of the body that most singers need to loosen up. .on your body. 2. If you're working as an accountant. Repeat this ﬁve times also. just like an athlete is. on your back with your shoulder blades at the edge of the bed. Let your hands and arms go wherever they feel comfortable. let them extend over the top of your head. Neck rolls Stand in the same position and roll your head. Chest stretch on bed Lie on your bed. until you complete a circle. and slowly roll your shoulders forward in a big circle. Be sure to breathe deeply while doing these exercises. 3. Really feel the stretch. Do it three times in this direction. Now take deep breaths into your chest. Concentrate on making a circle.
4 Ways to avoid damaging your voice It's difﬁcult to damage your voice. they are using bad technique and will frequently end up damaging their voice. not pull them. So while you're singing. Do not stretch beyond where you feel comfortable. but it is possible. Remember how dry your mouth gets after a night of drinking? Your vocal cords get dry also. Use correct technique When someone sings without using any of The 7 Keys to Great Singing. In this way. Alcohol is not good to drink because it dehydrates you. most people don't sing when they're sick because they . Here are the best ways to prevent that from happening: 1. The profession is too competitive for you to be wearing yourself down with drugs and alcohol. most of the professionals I know are incredibly clean and sober. be sure to have a glass of water. 2. The solution is simple: use The 7 Keys. it's like driving your car with no motor oil. Drink lots of liquids Singing dries out your throat. Use common sense while practicing these exercises. When that happens. When you use good technique you run little risk of damaging your voice. The goal is to stretch muscles.The best time to do these exercises is right before you sing. Besides. Don't sing when you're real sick Fortunately. Never go to practice or a gig without something to drink. you'll be preparing your body by releasing any constrictions that could be getting in the way of your singing. These singers often become chronically hoarse and are unable to hit any high notes. juice or tea by your side so you can keep your throat well lubricated. So keep your liquids non-alcoholic.
if you're one of those diehards. but shouting for long periods of time will cause your vocal cords to become inﬂamed and limit your ability to sing. you would be overusing your voice. if you were to sing for three or four hours the next day. even when you feel like you're near death. She'd come to her lessons very hoarse. who tried to lead a normal life. They came to their lessons and just couldn't sing. Keep shouting to a minimum I've had students blow their voices out because they had non-singing jobs where they were shouting for practically eight hours straight. You probably won't either. She'd been singing in a band for some time and was using terrible technique. After a couple of weeks you could move up to an hour and a half. 4. If you're going to increase your singing time. At the end of that time your voice feels tired and you really don't feel like singing anymore. The solution is to keep shouting to a minimum. and you can still sing fairly well. She was thrashing her voice at every rehearsal and gig. and you have an important gig. Anecdote Jean began studying with me about a year ago. . Now. Singing when you're slightly sick is fairly safe. But. If you're just a little sick. go ahead and do the gig.just don't feel like it. do it gradually. stay away from singing. 3. Just go slow. as long as you don't have laryngitis. After work they'd try to sing but couldn't because their vocal cords were so inﬂamed. Going from an hour a day to an hour and ﬁfteen minutes a day is just ﬁne. The only solution for these students was to quit shouting or ﬁnd other jobs. I've also had students lose their voices after shouting for hours at a ball game. Don't overuse your voice Let's say you're used to singing for an hour a day. You could hurt yourself. Shouting occasionally is no problem.
Be very tactful when making this request. you'll come out ﬁne. Now she's one of the best singers I've ever worked with. You are supposed to be heard and need to be heard. Remember. She got pregnant and had a baby. she had a month to rest her voice completely. and your microphone is already at maximum volume. I love to blast the neighborhood. but if you are polite and tactful. We were making very slow progress. because she couldn't sing or work at her job. and you won't blow your voice . It feels good! But when I am singing I need to turn it down. When she came back to her lessons. Could you please try turning down a little to see if this helps. I am a guitar player and I like my amp turned to to ten. but was unable to stop shouting at work and she continued to use bad technique with her band. her voice was completely healed." Musicians have fun playing real loud.and I had a hard time getting her through the Vocal Exercises. At that point it was easy to get her to use The 7 Keys. She tried. A tip for singing with musicians When you ﬁrst start singing with a band or musicians. you need to ask them to back off." Instead try something like "You guys sound fantastic loud. I told her she needed to rest her voice completely before we could do any real work. Then a miracle happened. If the keyboard player or guitar player is overpowering you. ask them to simplify what they are playing or play quieter. you are the focal point. which meant her voice never had a chance to rest. Right after having the baby. and we were both frustrated. Her singing improved dramatically in just a few weeks. We're working towards building her an international career where she'll be selling albums and performing in concert. but I can't hear myself and I am starting to strain my voice. If you can't hear yourself during parts of a song. be sure they don't drown out your voice. She also had a job where she was frequently shouting. This issue will probably follow you through all your bands. Don't say "I am the focal point and you are here to just back me up.
out. As you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing and keep practicing. How to rest a thrashed voice You will wear your voice out from time to time. your voice will return to normal. Try to keep your talking to a minimum. they just won't improve much. give your voice a week or two to rest. Most singers peak at around age 55. your vocal cords become inﬂamed. When this happens you need to stop singing and rest your voice for a few days. . Don't sing at all during this time. and rest your voice when it needs it. your voice will keep getting stronger as the years go by. singing becomes slightly painful. When this happens. Summary When you use good technique. Many of the top money earners ($50 million a year and up) are singers 40 and older. In other words. With rest. With rest. your voice will work for you well into grandparenthood. they keep getting better and better until they reach 55 or so. When you overuse your voice. A great example is Tina Turner. I think she sounded better in her 50's than she did in her 20's. From that point on they level off. They won't get worse. your vocal cords will return to normal and you'll be able to sing as well as ever. It's the only way to discover your true limits. and your volume decreases.
PART 4 FROM UPTIGHT SINGER TO BLOWEM AWAY PERFORMER .
this may apply to other singers. but I'm not sure I could ever learn to perform. skilled and exciting performer! The 4 Steps to learning The 7 Secrets to Great Performing: Step 1: Read this chapter to get a general understanding of The 7 Secrets to Great Performing.CHAPTER 17 THE 7 SECRETS OF GREAT PERFORMING Learning to perform is a skill that can be learned by anyone! Every one of my students who practice The 7 Secrets to Great Performing become good performers." I'll tell you right now. You may have a voice in your head saying "Well. Step 2: Begin studying and practicing each Performance Secret on your . Just read this book and do the work. you can learn to perform. You'll become a conﬁdent.
. you'll be awesome. The next day you feel compelled to tell all your friends about this performer. captivating and energizing. By the time you ﬁnish Step 4. practicing the skills you learned in your Performance Team. Step 3: Join or form a Performance Team. You'll be able to get up on any stage and look and feel like a professional singer.own. I'll explain all about Performance Teams in the next chapter. exciting and charismatic performer. and will help you become a conﬁdent. This will help you to develop your performance skills in a supportive group setting. you are seeing The 7 Secrets to Great Performing in action. Their performance is alive. Step 4: Perform at "Open Mics" and Karaoke bars at least twice a week. The 7 Secrets to Great Performing are powerful. The 7 Secrets to Great Performing work! When you watch a great performer.
dances wonderfully and has a perfect voice. However the world's greatest singers are emotionally expressive. and pours his heart out to the audience. This sounds easy. He makes mistakes. but he is not very expressive emotionally. You'll give passionate. He's not particularly attractive. I used to think I should feel happy and conﬁdent whenever I got . Singer “B” has an average voice. this singer has one of the ﬁnest voices the world has ever heard. Many singers ignore the emotional part of their performance and wonder why they never succeed. and emotions. But he's incredibly expressive. In fact.Performance Secret #1: Keep Emotionally Honest The beneﬁts of learning this Secret: 1. Singer “A” is incredibly attractive. The audience will be impressed with his voice but won't really connect with this singer on an emotional level. Which singer will receive the standing ovations? Singer “B” will! Audiences respond to emotion before perfection. exciting performances. Let yourself feel whatever you feel! Your goal as a singer is to feel your emotions and let them ﬂow through you. When he sings a sad song and tears stream down his face. body. When he sings a happy song the audience feels incredible joy. Alot of the time we are feeling one emotion but trying our best to feel a different one. Let’s look at a hypothetical concert at Madison Square Garden in which two singers are performing. the audience cries also. For example. Your stress level will decrease When you're performing. but is actually difﬁcult. His voice is rough and gravely in places. You'll sing better 3. you're using your voice. 2.
Remember that it's normal to feel fear when you start performing. to some degree you close the door to the other emotions. When you allow yourself to feel and express what you're really feeling. Accept it. fear and anger all in a matter of minutes. when I was really feeling scared. in order to give an honest and convincing performance. When you let yourself feel the fear. When you ﬁght your fear. you need to accept and experience your fears. Become aware of it. I was in major disharmony! I looked uncomfortable to my audiences. This isn't so easy because you'll probably want to deny . because you'll be using so much energy trying to push away that emotion. we need the same emotional freedom the two-year-old has. you'll be convincing to your audience. This shouldn't be too hard. I felt freer. Just sing in front of someone. The steps to dealing with it are as follows: 1. Learning from kids If you want to learn about emotional honesty. Just be aware of it. the audience won't know what's going on. As singers. When I learned to be honest with my emotions by allowing myself to feel my fear. Dealing with fear Most of us don't even like to admit we have fears. my performances got much better. When you close the door to your fear. all emotions are accessible. watch a two-year-old. You'll probably be somewhat afraid.on stage. 2. You need to be able to focus your energy on the song and all your emotions. sadness. However. So there I was. What I actually felt was tremendous fear. I didn't feel so blocked and conﬁned. let alone experience them. They can go through happiness. trying to feel conﬁdent. your performance will be limited. If you're feeling one thing but trying to feel another.
3. It becomes "excitement". If you get in front of audiences once or twice a week. you'll have a new found conﬁdence. I recommend forming or joining a Performance Team. But. You'll also have less fear and more conﬁdence because you'll have learned The 7 Secrets to Great Performing. Think of a quart bottle. It had a big roar.it or push it away somehow. You're stuck with it for only as long as you hide it or try to push it away. I sat in a chair. The best way to lessen your fear is to perform in front of people alot. you're pouring out the bottle. which will activate your fear. I felt really scared. you'll feel a whole lot better! You'll probably always have some fear Most singers. I don't remember about what. in a couple of months. My experience with fear I was feeling really scared one day. When you feel the fear. and I decided to try facing the fear head on. even ones who have been singing professionally for years. Let yourself feel it. As you feel the fear. but no real . which they use to give their performance energy and life. Then when you do get on stage in a nightclub. but you'll be in a safe place where you can talk about and diffuse it. You may never empty the bottle completely. However. you can deny and push all day and the fear will probably remain. it can go through you. Then a surprising thing began to happen. still have some fear before each performance. I imagined every terrible scenario and took each one to the limit. full of fear. but if you cut your fear by 50%. There you'll be performing in front of a group. As I let the fear run it's course. the fear doesn't disable them. closed my eyes and focused on how scared I was. I began to see fear as a paper tiger. your fear will be diminished because you'll have dumped alot of in in your Performance Team.
The following ancient Hindu scripture gives us another way to look at fear: The content of fear may be intense and gripping. it sure seems like the terrible events we're stewing about will happen.power. I would have died along time ago. Most of what we worry about never comes to pass. but it's much more bearable when I remember that it is simply a paper tiger that can't really harm or control me. At the end of that experience I was no longer afraid and I felt lighter and kind of happy. what do we ﬁnd? Pure energy. But when we are feeling the fear. If they did. I'm really glad that most of my worries never came to pass. It reminded me of the Wizard of Oz who turned out to be meek and harmless. or intense concentration. But when we look beyond that content of fear itself. so much so that it overwhelms us completely. or love. but most of them never happened. fear is still very uncomfortable for me. but was really quite powerless. It was a great feeling and a relief to see that fear wasn't so "all powerful. the energy of fear can actually lead us to a state of exhilaration. Most of what we fear never happens Fear is generally not a messenger of truth. instead of ﬁlling us with agitation. if we focus on it directly. will begin to reveal its real nature." Today. I love the following quote by Mark Twain: I am an old man and have a great many troubles. . energy which. Then. Fear tried to be big and mean.
and your voice becomes freer. The class loved him. pay attention to any body tensions and let those muscles relax. He had strength and integrity. When my students allow . you'll experience a freedom in your voice and body that will feel fantastic. An example of how emotional honesty works One night. He freed up a tremendous amount of energy. angry. I suggested he allow himself to feel the anger and perform another song. but didn't want to let it show. your body relaxes. keep this physical and emotional awareness going. Try this before singing: Here's an exercise that should help connect you to your body and your emotions. he was able to give an honest performance. He looked spaced out and unfocused. or maybe you're feeling a combination of many emotions? Remember it's normal for people to feel these emotions. You're not crazy or weird for having human feelings! Now. close your eyes. He did and this time I found myself captivated by his performance. your body tenses up. Are you scared. As you're breathing. Because he let himself feel the anger and any other emotions that were there. When you let your feelings go as you are singing. your you won't be able to sing your best. That's the way humans work! If your body is tense. and take some deep breaths. When you feel your emotions.Feeling your emotions helps your body relax and frees your voice When you hold back emotions. This happens often in my teaching practice. He was using his energy to keep us from seeing that he was angry. stand in a relaxed position. Kevin sang a song which totally bored myself and the rest of the class. when you start to sing. Then notice what you're feeling emotionally. He looked and sounded great. Before you start singing. which is why he looked so spaced out. In our culture we are taught not to express them. in a performance class I taught. After his performance. he told us that he was feeling angry.
Pay attention to what you feel throughout the day. Recite song lyrics to a friend and talk about their meaning in your life. 2. Tips for mastering this Secret: 1. Remember that a emotion is a powerful fuel for your performances. but when you experience emotional honesty. their performances improve tremendously. you'll ﬁnd great relief and satisfaction in your singing. let yourself feel whatever you feel! Don't judge it. . on an emotional level.themselves to be emotionally honest. run from it or try to change it! At ﬁrst it may be difﬁcult. When you're singing.
They're thinking about how they sound. At that point I have them do the following exercise. or when they might make a horrendous mistake. You won't worry about how you're doing because you'll be expressing rather than trying to impress 2. Speak the lyrics without singing them. 4. . You'll have an easier time remembering the lyrics. So how is their performance? Not very interesting. which usually doubles the effectiveness of their performance. But as you go over the song several times. 3. Look for ways to tie the lyrics into your life experiences and emotions. it is obvious that the last thing on their minds and hearts is the meaning of the lyrics. Remember. and more importantly. There will probably be very little emotion. The ﬁrst few times you speak the lyrics it may sound like you're reading a grocery list. This will get you in touch with what the lyrics really mean. they're really crying because they're getting in touch with past experiences that made them cry. whether or not I like them.Performance Secret #2: Feel Every Word in the Song The beneﬁts of learning this Secret: 1. Your audiences will love you A lot of times when my beginning students perform songs for me. I recommend you do this exercise with all of your songs. Lyric Speaking Exercise: 1. the emotions should begin to appear. what they mean to you. This is what great actors do. Singing will feel great. when you see an actor cry.
I may shed some tears while singing the song but I'll sound better and feel better afterwards. Tips for mastering this Secret: 1. .2. Talk about what the song means to you. Ask a trusted friend to do this exercise with you. Be speciﬁc and relate the song to your own life experiences. while trying to feel each line intensely. one line at a time and ﬁnd ways to tie your life experiences and emotions into each line in each song. it will be painful for me to remember the women who really did leave me. in your own words. Resistance is normal You may ﬁnd some resistance to really feeling the lyrics because you may be avoiding a painful place within yourself. Forget about how you sound or look. If I am singing a song about a woman who left me. Emotions will probably be stronger at this point. This exercise can be done alone. but it's most effective when you do it with someone. That's great! Let them ﬂow! 3. Sing the whole song. I try not to remember those painful experiences. Just feel each lyrics and your emotions. You'll both have a powerful and rewarding experience. In my normal "non-singer" life. But as a singer I need those feelings. Go through each song.
and it breaks contact with the audience. There were about 10. There will be times when closing your eyes will be effective. But if you are closing your eyes because you are scared and want to hide.Performance Secret #3: contact. Maybe the mood of the song warrants it. Your audience will like you better Maintain eye A friend of mine saw Tina Turner at a large concert. That's eye contact! The natural human tendency is to avoid eye contact when feeling uncomfortable. You'll look strong. you'll look like you're hiding and you'll have less energy to put into the song. In that case keep your eyes focused in the direction of your audience. Look at your audience and really communicate with them. The beneﬁts of learning this Secret: 1. or close your eyes for more than 60 seconds at a time. Think about this: .000 people in the crowd. and to them it will look like you're making eye contact. But. She felt like Tina was singing to her personally. you'll see nothing but bright white lights. Whatever you do. Some nightclubs where you perform will be intimate enough for you to make real eye contact with most of your audience. if you want to give your best possible performance. 2. secure and professional. It makes you look nervous and amateurish. you need to maintain eye contact with your audience. don't look at the ground. However in large nightclubs or concert halls. You won't be able to see your audience at all.
Eye contact works! Tips for mastering this Secret: 1. If making direct eye contact scares you at ﬁrst. When you're practicing.Imagine someone was speaking to you and they were constantly looking at the ground or looking away. look just above the heads of your audience and to them it will seem like you're looking right at them. pretend you're looking out at huge audience. . 2. How would you feel? Now imagine that same person is speaking to you while maintaining eye contact. Better huh! It's the same with singing.
It's not that hard to learn. You'll look good on stage 2. Most beginners aimlessly wander because they are nervous. Here are three approaches you can take with your movement: 1. Moving from inspiration: This is what most singers do. They don't have moves worked out. they just move as they feel inspired. It often involves shufﬂing from one foot to the other. 3. Aimless wandering. Moving on stage will help you to feel better and look better. It looks amateurish and isn't very fun to do. their voice improves instantly. because moving loosens them up physically and emotionally. . It will become easier to let go vocally and emotionally 3. For example there could be a line in a song that talked about heaven. It makes sense.Performance Secret #4: Move your body. It would be a planned move that you did every time you sang that song. but they're always moving. Moving with intent: This involves planning or choreographing moves to go with each song. which helps them to sing better. 2. even though you might be a little scared in the beginning. or wandering around stage with a very weak posture. Your singing will improve Almost every time I get a new student to move while they are singing. At that point you could look and point up to the sky. The beneﬁts of learning this Secret: 1.
you'll need to force yourself to move. Let yourself move to the music in the biggest. shout. without the possibility of anybody walking in on you. and it really works. Aimless wandering will be boring for you and the audience. But that awkwardness only lasts for a short time. totally private. Most of my students feel real awkward when they start to move. Combinations of the two are great. get down on your knees. Find a time and place where you can be totally alone. most expressive way you can. 3. have fun! You should be sweaty and totally winded by the end. Here's what you do: 1. It stretches you emotionally and physically and forces you to break out of old safe habits. It's your fear that stops you. How do your learn to move? In the beginning. Your body really wants to move to music. The hard part is to get started. Do this exercise for about 20 minutes. For most people it doesn't come automatically. This exercise creates miracles for my students who do it. Make a commitment to yourself to start today! . 2. movement will become natural. movement becomes fun and pleasurable. three times per week. Jump over the couch. In other words. It's main function is to have you go beyond where you would normally go. Put on some music that really makes you feel like dancing. In time.Which approach to moving is best? Moving with intent or from inspiration is good. Go totally crazy! Let it feel good. Here's an exercise that will help you begin: Wild Man and Wild Woman Exercise This exercise is fun and scary. Once they get past the uncomfortable beginning stage.
Anecdote I remember a time when one of my students did the Wild Woman exercise during her lesson. It was very liberating and made moving while performing much easier. At ﬁrst she was very restrained and uncomfortable. most anything can be . Some of my moves did look incredibly dumb. and certain I looked like a total fool. After viewing the video I felt alot more comfortable moving. you are a beginner and beginners are supposed to stumble. I was just curious. If that critical voice in your head starts rattling. tell it to shut up. My experience The Wild Man Exercise really helped me to loosen up. she became more comfortable and began to really express herself with her body. I remember one time when I decided to video tape myself while doing the exercise. but I looked really good. By the end of the lesson her body was loose and free and she had a big smile on her face. in this aspect of your life. Remember. As the lesson progressed. Doing the Wild Man or Wild Woman while singing By now you may realize that with practice. She described it as an unpleasant and awkward experience. She was also singing much better! It's okay to stumble in the beginning When you ﬁrst start this exercise. I am not a trained dancer and don't have any particular talent in that area. don't expect to be a pro. But before viewing the video I was sure ALL MY MOVES looked that dumb. and made me really uncomfortable. because I knew that most of my moves looked good. Most of my moves looked fantastic. When I viewed the video I was really surprised. She wanted to stop. but I encouraged her to keep going. At that point she began to enjoy moving and came up with some great moves.
It will make your performance more fun for you . You've probably been under doing it up to this point so it's time to break out of old habits and go wild! Tip: Using your hands and arms Use your hands and arms to express what you are saying. it's ﬁne to move from one side of the stage to the other. do the Wild Man or Wild Woman exercise while singing. they usually have their movement down. and when possible. Use the whole stage. That's what you need to do. Watch video performances and learn what the pros do You can learn a tremendous amount from watching video performances. This is deﬁnitely true with moving while singing Now it's time for you to incorporate movement into your singing routine.accomplished. Using the whole stage Most of the time a beginning student will use a very small portion of the stage. but not from front to back. It looks non-professional. No longer can you just stand there like a student giving a recital. If you need to move towards the back of the stage. Once you're at the back of the stage. you can create a powerful effect by moving forward while you're singing. Just don't move backwards while you're singing. You want to avoid this move because it looks incredibly weak. It's okay if you feel like you're overdoing it. Walking backwards while singing When you are actually singing. Every time you sing a song. You do it when you talk. or from back to front. you'll look totally amateurish. By the time a singer gets to the level of performing on video. do it during a time when you are not singing. the whole room. You can learn some good techniques by watching these singers. If your hands are just hanging at your side. It's no different when you're singing.
and try that wild idea! Stage lighting Be aware of the lighting. Trust your intuition when you have an idea. If you're in a dark part of the stage or room. Taping yourself is also a good way to check out and improve your costume and makeup.and your audience. Do the Wild Man/Wild Woman three times per week 2. If you don't own a camera. Know where you are in relation to the lights. the audience won't be able to see you. . If you just spend a day or two in front of the camera. If the light is in your eyes. you will be able to make improvements that would take months without a camera. Using a video camera Home video cameras can be a tremendous tool for your movement development. Go club dancing once a week Summary This Secret is fairly easy to master and produces big beneﬁts. You'll heal your soul and look great when you're on stage. Many places don't have movable spotlights that can follow you wherever you go. Get down on your knees. I suggest you tape your rehearsals and your "Wild Man/Wild Woman" exercises. curl up in a corner. It will be the best investment you'll ever make. the audience can probably see you. Tips for mastering this Secret: 1. borrow or rent one. They allow you to see what really works and what needs changing. stand up and explode. Use your space vertically as well. You'll be surprised at how good you look. Jump in and start moving.
3. It helps the singer to understand and feel the lyrics. 2. A good intro tells the audience what the song is about." by helping the audience to know the singer a little better. This song reminds me of those times. What is a good intro? 1." 2. It breaks down the wall between "performer" and "audience. Your audience will like you better because they'll know you.Performance Secret #5: audience. Talk to your The beneﬁts of learning this Secret: 1. Example: "When I was little. The easiest way to talk to your audience is to give introductions to some of your songs. A good intro allows singers to share themselves personally. This song is dedicated to the new love of my life. I grew up on a farm. and every summer we spent our days on the lake swimming and ﬁshing." . Example: "When my wife left me. Talking to your audience can be great fun. You'll be able to relax while you're singing 2. It makes the audience want to listen to the lyrics. But I just met someone new. I thought my life was over. and now I feel like my life is just beginning. A good introduction can double the effectiveness of a singer's performance because: 1.
You don't want your audience to be thinking about the original artist while you are singing. A bad intro tells the audience nothing about the you. . but it also will cause us to compare your rendition to Barbra Streisand's version." Not only does this tell us nothing about you. 2.. who it was with. Watch singers in concert and on TV and notice how they talk to their audiences 2. trafﬁc and violence." So what! Tell us about YOU falling in love. people are there to be entertained. what it was like." Remember. artist. all the pollution. Example: "This is a song about falling in love. Tips for mastering this Secret: 1.What is a bad intro? 1. A bad intro is whiny or negative in nature. Practice making up song introductions and rehearsing them by yourself and for friends. Example: "Living in this city is horrible. A bad intro makes the audience compare you to the original Example: "The name of this song is 'The Way We Were' by Barbra Streisand. Let us get to know you! 3. The world is really going down the tubes.. not reminded of the things they already hate..
Then. when you are on stage. I recommend practicing many times before getting on stage. you'll ﬁnd a good intro comes more easily.Summary Talking to your audience is a skill that is easy to learn. . as long as you keep practicing.
Not 90%. As we are liberated from our own fear our presence automatically liberates others. satisﬁed and free after each performance. but 100%. vocally and physically. An audience can immediately sense when a performer is giving 100%. Physically and Emotionally. Your playing small does not serve the world. You'll feel totally relaxed. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. big time! It will feel great. Audiences expect and want performers to give all they have. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. which really inspire me to give 100%: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. . You'll be sweating. Every cell in your body will be expressing the emotions of the song. All singers do. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. The beneﬁts of learning this Secret: 1. It is our light.Performance Secret #6: Give 100% Vocally. gorgeous. And as we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. It's exciting and satisfying. emotionally. When a performer holds back. You'll get great responses from your audiences 2. That's what makes a performer truly entertaining. an audience feels cheated or bored. not our darkness that most frightens us. An audience can also tell when a performer is holding back. You know when you are giving 100%. You'll be working out. Nelson Mandela delivered the following words. In his inaugural speech. talented and fabulous?" Who are you not to be? You are a child of God. We ask ourselves "Who am I to be brilliant. So what does it mean to give 100%? It means giving everything you have.
Summary Mastering this Performance Secret will begin at home. Experiment with letting all your voice and emotions out. Watch some videos of today's top performers. but with time you'll stabilize. In the beginning you'll crash. You won't be able to give 100% in your ﬁrst few months of singing. you'll be able to give more and more. The more you give the better singing will feel! . because your voice won't be able to handle it.Tips for mastering this Secret: 1. But as your voice grows stronger.
your audience usually won't notice or care. The band should be able to follow you. The beneﬁts of learning this Secret: 1. sing lyrics from a verse you remember. Many people believe that great singers just don't make mistakes. which you will. If you keep singing." Then when you get on stage. Many of my beginning students will roll their eyes when they make a mistake as if to say "Did you all see that huge mistake I just made. This will help you develop the skill of "faking it. When you're practicing at home and you make a mistake. DON’T STOP! DON’T MAKE FACES! JUST KEEP SINGING. If you come into a verse too early or too late. 2. Here's the key to dealing with mistakes: When you do make a mistake. If you forget some lyrics in a particular verse. the audience usually won’t notice your mistakes." It is as if they had a gigantic neon sign on stage behind them that said"I GOOFED UP! I GOOFED UP!" When you do make a mistake. You'll deliver a very professional performance every time you perform.Performance Secret #7: Don't advertise your mistakes. When you make mistakes. Don't turn on that neon sign. Well that's not true. keep singing. try to fake your way out. ALL SINGERS MAKE MISTAKES! The pros learn to get through their mistakes gracefully. Tips for mastering this Secret: . play it cool. you'll have some skills that will help you out when you make mistakes in public.
2. Practice making up words when you forget lyrics. keep a cool expression even when you make mistakes.1. This is also a good time to use a video camera. ﬁrst at home and then in public. Summary The only way to learn this Secret is to perform. If so. you'll get through your mistakes as gracefully as the pros. Practice in front of a mirror and notice if you are making weird faces when you goof up. With time. .
What's the best way to learn The 7 Secrets to Great Performing Work on these Secrets one at a time. Each time you learn a new Secret. physically and PERFORMANCE SECRET #7: Don't advertise your mistakes. PERFORMANCE SECRET #2: Feel every word in the song. PERFORMANCE SECRET #5: Talk to your audience. HERE'S A RECAP OF THE 7 SECRETS TO GREAT PERFORMING: PERFORMANCE SECRET #1: Keep emotionally honest. your performance will improve. PERFORMANCE SECRET #6: emotionally. . PERFORMANCE SECRET #3: Maintain eye contact. PERFORMANCE SECRET #4: Espress with your body. then gradually try to incorporate them all into your practices and performances. Give 100% vocally. If you want to accelerate your learning and growth. read the next chapter and form a Performance Team.
CHAPTER 14 HOW TO ENSURE THAT YOU'RE EVEN BETTER ON STAGE THAN AT HOME The 7 Secrets to Great Performing will transform you into a great performer. You've already begun by reading about The Secrets. Step 2. Form a Performance Team and practice with your team. Step 3. if you practice The Secrets. Practice The 7 Secrets to Great Performing while singing on . The next steps are: Step 1. Practice The 7 Secrets to Great Performing on your own.
. One by one I began to master The 7 Secrets to Great Performing. I'd been teaching a performance class. and within a year they were performing like professionals. was terrifying. and that I would become one of their fellow classmates. my conﬁdence and performance skills improved. I was no longer contained. After about six months in class I had a huge breakthrough. and how to begin performing publicly. I never got to the level of performing that my students were getting to. Before I took the class. was when I quit being a teacher and became a student. First let me tell you about my experiences as a singer in learning The 7 Secrets to Great Performing . I wanted what my students had. I was singing a ballad. I sang like I never sang before. This chapter will show you how to form your own Performance Team. But I loved it! I looked forward to each class. Even though I'd been the lead singer in all my bands. I made many of the mistakes I'd been helping my students work through. It was incredible. I walked into class one night and announced that one of the other teachers at the school would be teaching the class. This was a very humbling experience.. I wasn't sure how they would respond. I was expressing with every cell of my body. They would join the class as terriﬁed beginners. When The Teacher Became The Student One of my best memories of running The John Ford School of Voice. but they were very open to the idea. and was getting jealous of the incredible progress my students were making with their performance skills. a certain dread preceded every performance. I had to start off as a wobbly beginner. or holding back. I was communicating with my audience. in front of the class I'd been teaching.stage in front of live audiences. and as I did. and always did my homework. and using their energy to give even more. My ﬁrst night on stage. and in the middle of the song something happened.
Every week you'll sing for each other. But I grew and changed. and receiving honest. Never once did I feel criticized in a competitive or cruel way. What is a Performance Team? If you want to receive the beneﬁts I received from the performance class. Experience is the only way to really learn these Secrets. The class was hard. You'll have so much fun and you'll grow beyond where you ever thought you could. I kicked and screamed and resisted facing my internal demons.I didn't have the skills or conﬁdence to do a good job. How to form a Performance Team Wherever you live in the world. You'll meet once a week for three hours per meeting. or is about to go through what you're going through. In a class like that there is a built-in safety valve. The rewards you receive from your Performance Team will blow you away. loving and supportive feedback. because the person giving the feedback has been through. and give feedback. You can meet in a garage or a living room. and came out with a self-conﬁdence and selfrespect that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Each person commits to the team for a minimum of one year. Since every student has to perform. practicing 7 Performance Secrets. A Performance Team is a group of ﬁve to ten singers who meet once a week and help each other learn The 7 Secrets to Great Performing through experience. The structure is simple. Your progress comes from performing. do The Performance Exercises. The skills I learned in the class came from singing in front of my classmates every week for a year. I thought I would die before doing some of the exercises. there are other singers nearby who want to overcome their fear of performing and become great performers. You don't need a big stage or fancy sound equipment. put together a Performance Team. Now I look forward to performing. . all feedback is underscored with compassion and understanding. and receiving feedback.
. The variation of formats will help you develop many skills. and again receives feedback. You'll be amazed at how your movement improves. the audience gives honest feedback. I suggest using the Basic Performance Exercise every other week. You bring in a song. What do you do once you have your team? You'll meet with your team each week and work on one or more of The 24 Performance Exercises.You're not the only one! Put up ﬂyers. Basic Performance: Whole group. and perform the song without singing. Your goal is to express emotions and communicate the meaning of the song using only your body. After the ﬁrst singer sings two or three songs. Then perform the same song while singing. This exercise is scary. Before you know it you'll have a team. and using different Exercises on the alternate weeks. Performance Exercise #3. Movement: Whole group. Performance Exercise #2. and call vocal teachers. talk to your friends. After they ﬁnish each song. place ads in newspapers. the next singer does the same thing and receives feedback." The singer then incorporates the suggestions into their next song. Each person sings two or three songs. For example: "I loved the way you sounded but I wished you would have moved around more. This exercise is powerful because it forces you to move. but produces amazing results. The 24 Performance Exercises Performance Exercise #1. Brainstorming: Groups of 2-4. and will keep the sessions interesting.
you report to the group what you have accomplished. If you get stuck. Monologues: Groups of 2-4. Time: 2 minutes per person. the group again asks "What's the problem?" Time: 5 minutes per person. Time: 5 minutes per person. . Performance Exercise #5.• Part 1: You talk about your goals and the group asks "What's the problem?" You talk about what's holding you back from achieving your goals. Performance Exercise #6. • Part 2: The group asks you what you are going to do to improve yourself as a singer. Goal Commitment : Whole group. • Part 3: You tell the group what you are going to do to improve as a singer. You write down your homework assignments. • Part 2: The group gives solutions for the problem or problems. Skills Assessment: Groups of 2-4. the next person takes his or her turn. After you're ﬁnished with the exercise. • The group forms a circle and each person talks about their goals as a singer. Performance Exercise #4. and at the next team meeting. • Part 1: You talk about what you need to improve upon as a singer. There is no feedback. Time: 5 minutes per person.
a singer. Time: 5 minutes per person. • Part 3. 1. • Part 2: The whole group comes together and each person discusses their own experience. Be honest. Why don't I commit totally to my singing career? 4. etc. Go wild! Don't hold back.• Part 1: You stand up in front of the group and answer the following questions. There is no response from your team members. Time: 30 minutes. Groups of 3-4. I'm Really Bad and I'll Prove It to You: • Part 1: You talk for 5 minutes explaining why you are so bad as a person. Why am I afraid to show what I really feel on stage? 3. Why am I afraid to be intimate with the audience? Time: 20 minutes per person. spending 5 minutes on each question. There is no feedback from the group. Performance Exercise #7. Everybody in the group has something good said about . Why am I afraid to perform? 2. Time: 20 minutes. You'll be surprised at the outcome of this exercise. • Part 2: The whole group comes together and discusses their own experience.
The group says good things about you while you write them down. and look into each other's eyes without talking or breaking eye contact. Time: 10 minutes. • Part 1: Sit in chairs facing each other. • Part 1: You sit in a chair with you back to the audience. Time: 20 minutes. • Part 2: The whole group comes together and talks about their experience. knees almost touching. • Part 2: The whole group meets and discusses their experience.them by everyone else in the group. and perform it for the entire group. • Part 3: Repeat parts 1 and 2. . Groups of 2-4. Time: 5 minutes per person. Performance Exercise #8. Time: 20 minutes. Praise Behind Your Back: Whole group. Songwriting and Performance Teams: • Each team of 2-4 people make up a song. Performance Exercise #9. Staring Partners: Pairs. rehearse it. Performance Exercise #10.
Mini-Sets: Whole group. Time for writing and rehearsing: 15 minutes. the next week the other half does the same. Skit Teams: Groups of 2-4. Performance Exercise #11. Performance Exercise #15. rehearse it. the audience turns and faces you.Time for writing and rehearsing: 15 minutes. Time for performing: 3-5 minutes. half of the group performs a Mini-Set (5-8 songs sung by each person. and perform it for the entire group. • Each team of 2-4 people make up a skit. Time for performing: 3-5 minutes. After performing. you talk about your experience with the rest of the team. Time: 10 minutes per person. • The entire group invites family & friends to come and be part of the audience. the guests give feedback. uninterrupted). • You perform half of a song with the audience's backs turned. In the middle of the song. At the end of the show. Performance Exercise #14. . Performance Exercise #12. Guest Night: Whole group. Written Feedback: Whole group. Feedback is given at the end of each singer's Mini-Set. Nobody's Watching: Whole group. Performance Exercise #13. • One week.
After that. • Each person gives a ﬁve minute entertaining & honest speech before singing one song. This goes pretty fast. Video Night: Whole group. so participants will begin to develop their improvisational skills. and then receive feedback. Performance Exercise #17. Random Topics: Whole group. then the entire group watches the videos. You'll learn a lot by seeing yourself on TV. or completed songs are ﬁne. There is no verbal feedback. so you may have time for other exercises. Speech Night: Whole group. The audience writes out feedback and gives it to them to read at home. Time: 15 minutes per person. Songwriting Night: Whole group. • Everyone performs one song which is videotaped. words and melody. • Everyone brings in two songs or song ideas that they wrote.• Each person performs three songs. Words. the audience gives feedback. • Each person talks for 1-2 minutes on a question randomly asked by an appointed leader. Time: 15 minutes per person. Questions could be anything from "Why do you think geese ﬂy in formation?" to "Do you think the president is doing a good job?" Performance Exercise #18. They present the songs to the audience. Performance Exercise #16. . Performance Exercise #19. The questions should be unusual and unexpected.
Performance Exercise #24. each singer will sing up to 12 songs during the night.Performance Exercise #20. If it sounds like they are reading a grocery list instead of really feeling the lyrics. There is no feedback. When it comes back to the ﬁrst singer's turn. Collaboration Night: Pairs. Then they sing the same song. really getting emotional with each line of the song. he sings a second song. and is followed again by the next singer. • Students pair up outside of class and write a song to be performed in class the following week. • Students bring all of their Karaoke tapes. Song-a-Thon Night: Whole group. and is followed by the next singer. Duet Night: Pairs. You'll get a chance to ﬁeld test what you've learned. • Students pair up outside of class and rehearse duets to be performed in class the following week. Performance Exercise #23. Lyric Expression: Whole group. they do it four more times. with feeling. Karaoke Night: Whole group. and see what . This goes on for the full three hours. Each singer sings one song. Performance Exercise #21. Depending on the size of the group. • The entire group goes to an open mic or karaoke bar and everyone sings. • Each person recites the lyrics to a song. Performance Exercise #22.
they need to know. But it's not. This is harder than it seems. When a singer ﬁnishes a song and is awaiting feedback. What was going on with you at that time?" It's easier for someone to hear "I found myself drifting off" than "You were boring. 2. Do use all the formats. because they're all helpful in different ways. they are usually very vulnerable. Choosing Formats Be ﬂexible when choosing Performance Exercises for a given night. You may want to use the Basic Performance Exercises for the ﬁrst couple of months. If you're feeling bored. they can relax ﬁrst and then hear your suggestions for improvement. If you were bored during part of a performance. Think how unkind it would be for them to think you enjoyed the performance. honest and gentle. just to get your team comfortable. My experience with The 24 Performance Exercises . Giving Feedback When giving feedback to a team member. it's not easy to tell the singer you were bored. always keep these guidelines in mind: 1. It's better to say "I felt" rather than "You were. I usually word it like "I found myself drifting off during the second verse." or "You did. while you were ready to fall asleep. Start with a positive comment about the performance. and you and your team mates will grow. So be kind." It's easy to think that not telling them you were bored is a kind and supportive thing to do." Always begin your feedback with "I" statements. Tell them honestly how you reacted to their performance.else needs to be worked on. By starting with a positive comment.
Most large cities have Karaoke bars and nightclubs which feature "open mic nights. I suggest you do it as often as possible. and when you start looking for jobs as a singer. Once you have your demo. and how much fun they had singing in front of such a large crowd. Give them a try. My students who take advantage of these performance venues really beneﬁt. After several months of performing in clubs. They brought out skills I didn't know I had. They changed me as a person and as a singer.I've done most all of these exercises. make a bunch of copies and send them to ball clubs in your area. . This should take about an hour at most. because there are so many ball games on any given night. You'll be amazed with the results. they'll assume you're a real singer. When you tell people you've sung the national anthem at ball games. you'll be a solid performer. then when you get some experience go for the majors. but they're a fantastic place for you to hone your performance skills in a low pressure environment. this is one of the easiest singing jobs to get." Either of these places will give you the opportunity to practice your performance skills. you'll be ready to begin regular performances in front of live audiences. Start with the minor league and college teams. I know that Karaoke bars have an amateurish reputation. You'll become a better singer and performer. All you have to do is go into any recording studio and record yourself singing the anthem. and they often are in great need of qualiﬁed singers. able to get on any stage and give a great performance. and they are incredible. Believe it or not. A good place to begin performing publicly is Karaoke bars and open mics. this will add to your credibility. My students who have done this rave about how easy it was to get hired. Going to Karaoke bars and open mics on your own After working with your Performance Team for a few months. Singing the national anthem at ball games Another great way to try out your performance skills is to sing the national anthem at ball games. You'll be gaining valuable performing experience.
predictable phases when developing your public performance skills. When you are singing softly. you'll begin using a microphone. Watch performers on stage and notice how they adjust the distance between the microphone and their mouths. You'll probably do worse than you do during your practice sessions at home. Your ﬁrst few times on stage will be the most frightening. Phase 1. You'll sing better than you ever did at home. You'll be as good on stage as you are at home. The key to good microphone technique is to really listen. The concept of using a microphone is simple. You should look at these performances simply as exercises. or with your Performance Team. You'll be using your excitement and the audience's energy to fuel your performance. Performing will be an incredible experience. When you have dozens of performances under your belt. Phase 2. even though you were scared. pull it away. and you'll begin to experience some conﬁdence. You want the volume of your voice to be just above the volume of the music. your conﬁdence will allow you to experiment and expand your level of emotion and dynamics. bring the microphone in close. You'll be hooked on performing when you experience Phase 3! Microphone technique When you start performing in clubs. When you are singing loudly. Don’t expect to be great (not yet anyway).The 3 Phases of performing You'll go through natural. Give yourself credit for getting up there. This will be one of your peak life experiences. After several performances you'll still be nervous before you go on stage. Phase 3. the louder your voice projects. If the . but the on-stage experience will be more familiar to you. The closer you are to the microphone.
Your favorite performers made them as they were learning. Many famous singer's began their careers as the shaky performers. You'll need to be careful when pronouncing words that start with the letter "p. you hear a mini-explosion every time you sing a word that begins with "p. You can do the same. Summary Learning to perform is just like anything else in life. Most beginners need about 20 hours of microphone use before they master mic technique. Once they gained experience. the audience will be blasted out of their chairs." What you need to do is hold back on the "p." When you sing these words into a microphone. they developed into great performers. Allow yourself to make mistakes. ." Use the same repair technique for these consonants." Don't let it explode as it comes out of your mouth.microphone is too far away and your voice is quieter than the music. the audience won't be able to hear you. they tend to pop. Some singers have trouble with other consonants such as "t" or "b. Learning to use a microphone is just a matter of practice. If the microphone is too close and your voice is much louder than the music. In other words. You need to do it in order to become good at it.
PART 5 HOW TO GET PAID AS A SINGER .
WORKING AS A BACK-UP SINGER 7. SINGING ON Radio and TV commercials 5. SINGING ON Songwriter demos 6. RECORDING AND SELLING CD'S . you may have the desire to sing somewhere and actually get paid for it! There are seven common ways you can earn money as a singer: 1.CHAPTER 19 7 WAYS YOU CAN EARN GOOD MONEY AS A SINGER Now that your singing and performance skills are getting strong. PERFORMING AT "CASUAL" GIGS 3. SINGING AT Wedding CEREMONIES 4. SINGING IN Nightclubs 2.
you won’t feel such a need to prove yourself when you actually sing with them. You can either join a band or put your own band together. First. ask them why. There are several publications where bands advertise. Let's begin with nightclubs: 1. If you get the gig. If they like your demo. in San Francisco. letting the world know that you are available. BAM Magazine. and just how much you can earn in each venue. SINGING IN NIGHTCLUBS Singing in nightclubs is a lot of fun.We'll look all these ways you can earn money. you'll need some musicians to back you up. Put up ﬂyers." That's where the bands looking for singers will advertise. In Los Angeles there is Music Connection Magazine. Someone else has already put the show together. There is also a section called "Musicians Available. or you may need to work on certain areas of your . Most singers need to audition for several bands in order to ﬁnd a good match. Joining a band The easiest way to begin performing in nightclubs is to join an existing band. so all you have to do is show up and learn their songs. Your ﬁrst step is to advertise yourself as an available singer." That's where you will place your ad. Talk to musicians in the clubs and music stores you frequent. These publications have a classiﬁed section called something "Musicians Wanted. you need to like them as well as having them like you. in New York. Networking can also be productive. and respond to ads placed by bands looking for singers. the Village Voice. When you ﬁnd a band you like. congratulations! If not. Remember. play them your demo tape (explained in the next chapter). It may be a matter of style. You would be surprised how many singers ﬁnd bands way.
while others will be booked by outside agents. you'll probably be the one who has to look for the gigs. Visit the clubs in your area so you can decide where you would like to perform. Some clubs will look fantastic and others won’t be appealing at all. joining an existing band is much easier than forming one. The advantage of forming your own band is that you are in control. The advantage is that you are a self-contained unit. Other types of acts you can put together Solo act: If you play guitar or piano well enough to accompany yourself while you sing. directions and personalities are compatible. so if you do decide to put your own band together someday. Some will be booked by owners and managers. patience and persistence to put together a group of musicians whose styles. Send your promo package (deﬁned below) to whomever does the booking. Call the clubs where you'd like to work and ﬁnd out who does the booking. Begin a list of all the clubs that you like. This isn’t as exciting as performing with a full band. but the money is good because you are splitting it with only one other person. You learn the ropes. The primary disadvantage is that it takes time. you'll be prepared. If you're just starting out. Solo back-up: Another approach is to work with a keyboardist or a guitarist. and you can keep all the money you're paid. you can be your own band and work as a solo performer. Looking for work in nightclubs If you put your own band together. You don’t need to depend on anyone else. Forming a band You'll look for musicians in the same way you look for a pre-existing band: through networking and advertising. You can do things your way in your own time frame.presentation or your voice before your next audition. .
. Their take ranges from 10%-25%. so they have agents bring in the bands. then call the person who does the booking. wait a week or two. Your demo CD. If not. Often these clubs are inside large hotels where the hotel managers don't want to hassle with auditions. Some clubs will hire you and some won't.After mailing your packages. and the musicians you’re working with. Your promo package will be the equivalent of a resume. Send them your promo package and call them in a week. Working with agents Some nightclubs only hire bands through booking agents. You'll present it to club owners and agents. Looking for work in nightclubs is much like looking for any other job. you'll need to present a promo (promotional) package. or look in the yellow pages. Find out if they received your promo package and if they have any performance dates in mind. Many club owners won’t expect it. ask when you should call them again. Be persistent and you will ﬁnd work. To ﬁnd agents. A good promo package consists of the following: 1. This document will state your performing experience. 2. As a beginner. The agent takes a percentage of what you earn in exchange for getting you gigs. A cover letter or “bio”. talk to the musicians in the hotel nightclubs. recording studios you’ve worked in. An 8" X l0" black and white photo of you or you and your band 3. you may choose to omit this part of the promo package. but you'll end up doing ﬁne because the hotel gigs generally pay better than other gigs. Assembling your promo package Whether you look for work through an agent or go directly to the club owners.
These gigs will pay you $100-$400 for a 1-4 hour 3.What you'll earn: You earn $50-$300 per night singing in nightclubs. they hire that singer again and again. work will come to you. Casual gigs can be fun because you get to sing with so many different musicians in all types of venue. and very responsible. You should deﬁnitely get your demo and business card in the hands of . You'll usually ﬁgure out what songs to play when you arrive at the gig. If you get the word out. you'll start getting the job offers. a local nightclub. Let your friends know you are available. and then sent their wedding demo to the bride and groom. What you'll earn: session. I know singers who have gone to the courthouse to ﬁnd out who's getting married. so when they ﬁnd someone who shows up on time with a smile and a positive attitude. She had more job offers than she could handle. a party or a wedding reception. I remember a student who did nothing but casual gigs. You also get paid fairly well. The musicians either know the songs by heart or read sheet music as they play. But once musicians get to know you as a talented and reliable singer. PERFORMING AT "CASUAL" GIGS Casuals are jobs where the musicians often meet each other for the ﬁrst time at the gig (job sight). There are usually no rehearsals. You may be singing at a medical convention. so if you're just starting out you may not be offered casual gigs. SINGING AT WEDDING CEREMONIES Singing at wedding ceremonies is a low-pressure and fun way to get started. a nice person. Advertise in local newspapers. because she was a good singer. Musicians get sick of ﬂaky singers with attitudes. This type of gig involves a high level of musicianship. 2.
. except you record commercials instead of songs. These can be jingles that you make up. get on the phone and talk to recording studios and ad agencies. once you break in. The work provides a fairly reliable source of income. In this case your demo will just be wedding songs. What you'll earn: You'll earn $100-$400 for singing 2-4 songs. But when you're in. When an opening occurs. You'll learn how to record your demo in the next chapter. One of the cool things about singing at weddings is that you can often sing with Karaoke tapes. If you don’t know anyone in the advertising ﬁeld. but it does take time to break in. improvisational skills. 4. and then call them at least once a month. The best way to get started is to record a jingle demo and present it to the producers who do commercial work. The steps for recording your jingle demo are the same as those for recording your song demo. Sometimes a piano player or keyboardist will be provided by the wedding party at no charge to you. Ask who the producers are and how to get in touch with them. Better yet. they will be likely to remember your perseverance and honest interest in working for them. the money is good and the work is exciting and satisfying. SINGING ON RADIO AND TV COMMERCIALS Singing jingles and commercials requires a high degree of vocal control. Send the key people your demo. letting them know you are interested in working for them. A jingle demo is a recording of you singing commercials. and the ability to perform under pressure. or copies of jingles on the radio or TV. Breaking into this ﬁeld often takes a year or more of phone calls and knocking on doors. and sometimes you'll be expected to bring your own. visit them in person. which means you don't have to split the money with a keyboardist.every wedding planner within 100 miles of where you live. One thing about singing at weddings is that every situation is different.
Also. WORKING AS A BACK-UP SINGER Many aspiring singers love the idea of becoming a back-up singer. What you'll earn: You'll earn $10-$50 per hour. . a couple of my students saw a tiny classiﬁed ad in the Oakland Tribune. but doesn’t pay as well. It will be easier to relax on stage. Most of the work will consist of singing for songwriters who don't sing well enough to sing on their own demo. After a couple of jobs. We both ﬁgured it was some garage band that was going nowhere. You'll get hired as a back-up singer by submitting your demo tape and going to auditions. A few years ago. you don't have to be the main focus of an audiences attention. as a back-up singer. 5. 6. If you're looking for this kind of work. you need to be a great singer! However. Oakland California isn't one of the world's major music centers. The ad basically said "Band needs back-up singers. You'll have to learn songs that you've never heard. I suggest taking your demo to smaller studios in your area and letting them know that you are willing to work for free. and sing them in a way that pleases you and the songwriter. Before Huey Lewis was well known. WRONG! If you want to get hired as a back-up singer by a major recording act. singing back-up is a good way to become used to singing for large audiences. and you'll learn alot by watching the lead singer. This is a real good way to gain experience as a studio singer. he was singing on songwriter demos for $25 a song. be sure to follow all leads and respond to all ads.What you'll earn: $50-$200 per hour. SINGING ON SONGWRITER DEMOS Singing on songwriter demos is easier than singing commercials. After all. After all." They didn't think much of the ad and neither did I. you don't need to be as good a singer to get hired to do back-up. you can start charging for your services.
They auditioned and two weeks later they were on stage. Annie DeFranko took the do-it-yourself approach and sold 300.000 CD's while touring the United States and singing in coffee houses. Most artists go for the recording contract. you might as well look for work as a back-up singer. That's pretty good. With a well know act you'll earn up to $200 per hour. Let's say she charged $12. You can either record your own CD and sell it yourself. radio oriented . Since she recorded her CD's in her living room so her expenses were very little. But they didn't even listen to her demo. she would have been lucky to earn $500.000 and she could have been dropped by the record company. When you start looking for work. This "band" turned out to be a major recording artist signed to CBS records. They had a great time singing with this artist. you'll need high quality.When they showed up at the audition they were blown away. RECORDING AND SELLING CD'S This is the most challenging and the best paying gig of all. because record companies can generally sell alot more CD's than the average singer ever could. You'll learn more about getting a recording contract later on in this book.00 per CD.000 CD's while signed to a record company. 7. in front of a huge audience. Another one of my students recently had an interesting experience when she auditioned as a back-up singer for a local band.000 to be very successful or proﬁtable. She was shocked. or you can try to get a recording contract and have the record company sell your CD's. give you valuable experience. She show up at the audition with demo in hand. If she had sold 300. and I suspect they were well paid. because they don't consider sales of 300. Instead they studio her in a recording studio and had her sing back-up to the bands ﬁrst single. That brings her earnings to well over $3 million. It just goes to show that you never know what will happen at an audition. and be a whole lot of fun! What you'll earn: With a small time band you'll probably work for free. Which ever route you choose. It can pay well. while you're looking for other kinds of work.
you could earn millions. you'll have to pound the pavement and use the telephone. Many singers who begin working for free. Janis Joplin began by singing in small clubs for $4 a night. Working for free. or close to it I recommend volunteering your services whenever and wherever possible.000 a night. Later in her career she was earning $30. ﬁnancially and emotionally What you'll earn: If your CD's don't sell. most of all. just to get experience. Summary It’s important to remember that looking for work as a singer is like looking for any other job. persistent. If your CD's sell well. . You don’t have to be a great singer to work. Once you get established. soon ﬁnd themselves with paying gigs. you'll earn nothing. but it can be tremendously rewarding. Recording a CD will be one of the most demanding things you have ever done. Even great singers aren't stars in the beginning. The ones who get hired are professional and. Don't be too proud to start at the bottom and work your way up. it will be easier to get paid gigs. In order to ﬁnd work. you just have to be a good detective and keep looking. or very little.original songs.
you may not get a shot at what they have to offer. The steps required to produce a quality demo are: Step 1.CHAPTER 20 HOW TO RECORD YOUR FIRST DEMO CD The ﬁrst step to becoming a working singer is to record a demo (demonstration) CD. you'll ﬁnd it a lot easier to audition when the band has heard your demo prior to you getting on stage and singing for them. Step 3. It's a calling card which represents you at your best. and you'll give a better live performance. Step 2. Pick the songs you're going to record. A demo CD is to a singer what a portfolio is to a visual artist. When you start auditioning for bands. . the ﬁrst question they'll usually ask is “Can I hear your demo?” If you don't have a demo. Find the backup musicians. Rehearse the songs. When you tell someone in the music business that you are a singer. You won't feel such a need to prove yourself.
. They should charge around $50$100 per song to rehearse and record with you. putting up ﬂyers in music stores and talking to all of your friends. 3. The last thing you want is a demo with three slow songs on it. Lets take a look at each step: Step 1. but it's illegal.Step 4. A good band will charge between $100-$300 per song. Step 5. The quality is very good. Find the back-up musicians. Record your demo. Find a piano player. guitarist or keyboardist and have them accompany you in the recording studio. You can ﬁnd bands and musicians by calling music stores. Find a band and pay them to accompany you in the recording studio. This is the cheapest way to record your demo. Karaoke tapes and CD's are copyrighted and it's illegal to make copies of copyrighted material. You'll need three songs that are somewhat varied in style. and the cost is low. placing ads in publications that musicians read. Pick songs you love and that are easy for you to sing. Try to ﬁnd songs that really show off your voice Step 2. Find a recording studio. 2. But I will tell you. Many times the recording studio you choose will be able to help you ﬁnd musicians. Use your Karaoke tape or CD. At least one of the songs should fast. There are basically three ways you can provide back-up music: 1. Pick the songs you are going to record. that many singers do record their demo with Karaoke background music.
If your keyboardist or other musician friends are not able to recommend a recording studio. Step 5. The recording session will take place in three parts. Do not go into the studio with a song you barely know. Part 2. Rehearse the songs. the engineer can “overdub” the part that needs correcting so that you don’t have to sing the entire song again. Next.Step 3. This is where he takes the instrumental tracks and the vocal tracks and mixes them down to your ﬁnal cassette. book the recording session. or with your Karaoke tape. you'll need the use of a 4. You should plan on spending $25-$50 an hour for a good studio. You now have your demo! Tip When you sing your vocal tracks. except for a small mistake or two. but for your ﬁrst demo. Sing along to be sure the tempo (speed of the song) and style are right. 8 or 16-track studio. Part 3. you will be wearing headphones while you're singing into the mic. For your ﬁrst demo. you will record your vocal tracks. You can spend up to ﬁve hundred dollars per hour for a recording studio. First. If you sing the song well. Call different studios and explain your needs. Record your demo. You can rehearse with a practice tape that your musicians make for you. Your focus should be on singing the song with maximum emotion. Part 1. the engineer will "mix" the song. you would be wasting your money. look under “Recording Studios” for your particular city on Google. the engineer will record the instrumental tracks (either your keyboardist’s or band's performance). Next. Be sure that you hear in your headphones . Find a recording studio. Practice the songs until you can perform them in your sleep. The engineer will help you decide which performances are good. Step 4. and when you ﬁnd one you like. Visit the ones that sound good.
I still learn something new each session. Summary Consider your ﬁrst couple of times in the studio as learning experiences. Once you have your demo. . After many years of singing in recording studios. you'll sing much better. Your opportunities for success will be increased greatly because more high level people will be able to hear you. tell the engineer to adjust it.sounds great to you. you'll be able to enter a whole new league in the music industry. recording studios and record companies. The mistakes you make will enable you to do better work in the future. If something is too loud or too soft. You can send your CD or MP3 ﬁle to bands. If you are happy with the "headphone mix".
the record companies dropped them and they were never heard from again. If you want to make money as a recording artist. a recording contract does not guarantee success. you need to understand how the business side works. you'll have a better chance of prospering as a singer. Many bands and singers have been signed. and where it goes. It signiﬁes a certain level of success. The music business is a multi-billion-dollar industry..CHAPTER 21 GETTING A RECORDING CONTRACT A recording contract is the ultimate dream of most singers and musicians. The dollar ﬂow starts with the consumer. They buy your recordings . and a business side. If you understand where the money comes from. here's what you need to know: Music as a business Music has an artistic side to it. but when their CDs didn't sell. If you're interested in pursuing a recording contract. However.
They sign fully developed artists with the hopes of making huge proﬁts. the record company will probably drop you because you aren't earning them any money. The Rolling Stones' Tours often earn over $300 million. Radio quality voice: This is what we've been working on. If any of these elements are missing or underdeveloped. The money you earn from concerts or club performances will be little to none. They will buy your CDs and you'll get paid. The most important thing to remember is this. If nobody buys your CDs. The record companies are in business to make money. three elements must be present. contemporary hit songs. the record company will treat you like God. Your demo must show that you have a radio quality voice. emotional and unique. However. Concerts usually aren't proﬁtable until you've been around for a few years and have a big following. If you have a sound that the public likes. For example. It's a voice that sounds good on CD. . the more money you make. it's a money game. in the beginning. and that people like. and a good stage act. you probably won't be able to interest a record company. you can't lose. A voice that is rich. powerful. Before a record company will sign a new artist. What does it take to get a recording contract? One of the most commonly asked questions I receive is "How do I get a recording contract?" Believe it or not the answer is relatively simple. I did have one student who got a recording contract after singing for just three years. When you're selling out stadiums. As you can see. The more people buy your records. Let's look at each element: 1. It takes most beginning singers ﬁve to ten years to develop their voice to this level. They aren't in the business of developing talent. If millions of people buy your CDs. The record company then gives you a portion of what they get. The artist must have a radio quality voice. the proﬁts become signiﬁcant.and part of that money goes to the record company. Record companies look at concerts as a way to promote record sales.
How do you get record companies to hear your demo tape . they'll want to see your stage act. Shopping your demo means mailing or emailing MP3 ﬁles to record companies. How do you know if you're ready to look for a recording contract? Take a look at yourself as a marketable package. Just read my book. If they like your stage act. The ﬁrst step in pursuing a recording contract What do you do once you're ready to start looking for a record deal? You need to "shop" your demo. Anyone Can Write Songs 3. Ten to twelve contemporary hit songs: Record companies are only interested in hit songs. Learning The 7 Secrets to Great Performing will help you develop a good stage act. If you wonder what a hit song is. or bands the singers are with. Make your presentation as solid as possible before approaching record companies. because hit songs are needed in order to sell records. but it's rare. You should plan on writing these hit songs yourself. Good stage act: If you can get on stage and hold the audience's attention for an hour. You can learn to write songs. listen to the radio. Marginal songs don't sell. A very small percentage of singers are able to get record deals without bringing in hit songs. If someone likes your demo. Record companies will come to the clubs where you're performing to see how you are with an audience. you have a good stage act. but weak on stage? Then work on your stage act before trying to get a record deal.2. they may make you an offer. Are you strong as a singer/songwriter. Most of the songs on the charts were written by the singers.
Eric's new manager knew nothing about the music business. and began taking Eric's demo to record companies. After that Eric's manager didn't have any trouble getting in anyone's door. Anecdote Eric had been studying with me for about a year and had developed himself to the point of being marketable to record companies. He told CBS that Sony made a great offer and wanted to know if they wanted to hear Erics tape. So the manager ﬂew to L. They usually take a percentage or your earnings. If the public loves you. you'll have to work to get your tape heard. on top of charging you an hourly rate. Start calling and visiting the record companies. and offered to manage him. if you use the phone and beat the pavement. but he did know that in order to succeed.If you really want a recording contract.A. but your prime target is the A&R person (Artist and Repertoire). Eric needed a record deal. Eric's manager then went to CBS records. Your goal is to get anyone to listen to your tape. Sony loved Eric's tape and offered him a record deal. but he managed to see someone at Sony Records. Fly to Los Angeles or New York and get a cheap hotel for a week. The record companies have to listen to new artists in order to stay in business. you've got it made! . You can get your tapes heard. and you'll need one eventually to negotiate your contract. These attorneys are easier to reach than alot of the record company people. He worked as a waiter at a small Mexican restaurant in San Francisco. In the end CBS offered more than Sony. using Sony's offer as a way to get in. I'm sure a lot of doors were slammed in his face. The owner of the restaurant liked his music. Another common approach is to have an entertainment attorney shop the tape for you. but it can be worth it in some cases. They did! Then the bidding war began. They're always looking for new talent.
If the public likes you. you'll sell CDs and concert tickets. making offers. Record companies earn their money by signing money earners. That's the hard part. you need to ﬁgure out why and make some changes. If the public doesn't respond well to you.The most important factor in this equation is how the public responds when they hear your CD or see you perform. getting a record deal isn't that difﬁcult. you are a money earner. If you do that. If most people get excited. Your challenge will be to develop yourself to the point where the public and the record companies feel you are ready. the record companies will eventually be banging on your door. There's money to be made and somebody will see that and invest in you. . If you please the public. Summary If you have the three elements described above. your success is inevitable.
PART 6 INSPIRATIONAL STUFF! .
These exercises are as important as anything you will learn in this book. I have them write out their goals and bring them to their ﬁrst lesson. early 1900s The most important thing you can do is to act. It stirs up all kinds of emotions. Elbert Hubbart Writer. The following three exercises will help you to reach your goals. Waiting to be discovered will not get you discovered. Some students aren't able to write down their goals at all. Do something! Get started! Thinking about becoming a singer will not make you a singer. My students often remark how difﬁcult this was to actually do. 1. Write down your goal. Their old self is being challenged by a new creative and brave person. Get a 3X5 card and write down your goal as an "I am" or "I have" .CHAPTER 22 HOW TO ACTUALLY ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS People who want milk should not seat themselves in the middle of a ﬁeld in hopes that a cow will back up to them. When I take on a new student.
For example: "I am singing three nights a week for large appreciative audiences and am earning $300 per night. but not on the ﬁrst projected date. If we expect negative results and events in our lives. you are living your dream. I understand this because I have been the king of whiners for most of my life. In our culture it is totally acceptable to whine and talk about how inferior we are. and these new friends were also positive people who I really enjoy. if we are willing to put in the work. This is a fun exercise because while visualizing. and include the date by which you expect to be accomplishing this goal. Imagine yourself where you want to be. get another 3X5 card and write out your goal again with a new date." Say it out loud. 3. doing what you want to be doing.. If the date arrives and you haven't achieved your goal. my life improved dramatically. However. My daily life became much more satisfying and enjoyable. Keep doing this until you reach your goal. See yourself on stage and in the recording studio singing your heart out. Here's what you do: Find a quiet place and get comfortable. Olympic athletes have successfully used visualization for years. My experience with this exercise is that I usually reach my goals. once I began replacing my negative thoughts and statements with positive ones. we'll probably have them." You need to counteract that poison with a statement like "I am a powerful." Put down what you really want to be doing. Make any statement you .statement. etc. I instantly had more friends. be realistic. Most things we want to do we can do. The exercise works like this: Let's say a thought pops into your head like "I could never be good enough to sing professionally. successful singer whom audiences love. how we keep getting bad breaks. Our friends usually just nod their heads and try to give us comfort. Spend 15 minutes per day visualizing yourself having achieved your goal. Replace all negative statements and thoughts with positive ones. 2. The problem is that all of this negative talking and thinking is very destructive.
Remember. I wrote because I had a strong desire to write. I realized: Hey. you'll have no garden. so expect the best! If you can dream it. I had the same experience. The ﬁrst few times I tried windsurﬁng. I'm actually doing it! Eight years earlier. and then keep doing it. You won't be able to ﬁgure out all the angles and outcomes before . racing along." "I'm too old. You may feel a bit uncomfortable the ﬁrst few times you do this. If you stomp on all your seedlings. I did it because I enjoyed writing the book. I could never learn and I believed them. jumping waves." "people won't like me. but it was so much fun that I kept doing it. and shouting with joy. but after awhile you'll probably begin to enjoy it. you can do it! Last week as I was windsurﬁng under the Golden Gate Bridge. waves crashing on the rocks behind me. I had a belief that I could never windsurf. not because I thought I had to practice writing. nurture it like a tiny ﬂower. I believe that if we ﬁgure out what we really want. you'll generally get what you expect. That taught me something: I can learn most anything. by listening to those quiet voices in our minds and hearts. When an idea comes up. It feels much better to verbalize your dream than to talk about how bad things are or will be. I wasn't very good. through experience and lessons. the rest will take care of itself." and as long as it's a positive statement. if I ﬁnd someone to teach me. or should produce a book." "I could never get the money. But here I was.like as long as you start with "I am" or "I have. The hardest part for most of us is listening to the ideas. Eventually I improved. I kept windsurﬁng because it was fun! If I hadn't loved it so much I would have quit. But there is one more element here. When I wrote my ﬁrst book. That sounds so simple it's boring. Someone told me that if I didn't start in my early twenties. and not killing them with negative thoughts like: "I could never do that. and then try it." etc.
planes and corporations. He had a neighbor who lived up the hill who was very successful. "Bad decisions are my greatest teachers. I had no idea how I would be earning a living after my savings ran out. we have to risk. This young man wanted to be rich like his neighbor. We can rely on other peoples wisdom some of the time. fall and learn." The more mistakes the better Once there was a young man who desired success but had no idea how to achieve it. paused for what seemed like an eternity and spoke these two simple and powerful words. The universe has an amazing way of solving problems for those who jump in with both feet. "How did you achieve your high level of success?" Being a man of few words." "How did you learn to make good decisions?" the younger man asked. so he decided he'd pay him a visit and ﬁnd out how he became so successful. emotionally and ﬁnancially. he was invited into the study. There's no . We aren't born with all the answers. Feeling somewhat frustrated. "Bad decisions. the older man replied. They hurt. When he arrived at the man's mansion. but if we are entering uncharted territory. and I was forced to develop skills I would have never developed under the safe umbrella of "The Corporation. Mistakes cause me to do things differently the next time. "Experience.you start. boats. When I quit my safe corporate job to pursue my singing career." This left the younger man totally confused. But things always worked out. and you'll discover solutions at each turn of the road. So just start. he almost shouted. He owned houses. "How could you achieve so much by making bad decisions?" Tho older man replied with great enthusiasm." the older gentleman answered calmly. The young man began his questions. One opportunity led to another. "Well how did you get experience?" He looked the younger man straight in the eye. "Good decisions.
Life is much better! So now. I am giving you the assignment of making at least 20 mistakes per day. I had to do it perfectly. but relieved. I looked at mistakes as being good. The pressure was off. One day I was on the phone with one of my most supportive friends. you've had a good day. I am willing to do more new and scary things. Mistakes were great teachers. In everything I did. I'm giving you the assignment of making at least 20 mistakes per day. What ended up happening is I would always make mistakes and then beat myself up for not being perfect. You will be . full of risking and living. The younger man grew to be happy and successful. and he vowed to live life in a way where mistakes were frequent and honored. 20 mistakes per day I've lived much of my life with the deadly disease called perfectionism.other way! All great discoveries come from venturing into unexplored territory. an 89 year old woman of great wisdom. You cannot achieve greatness by following someone's safe path. She said "John. I was complaining about my latest mistakes and how bad I felt about making them. only 19 more to go. This is to be your goal and when you achieve that goal you have succeeded." I felt relieved after our conversation. From now on. What she told me changed my life." I feel light and successful instead of heavy. It isn't easy breaking out of a safe lifestyle. Do you want to be comfortable or do you want to be happy? While you're working towards your goals you'll probably experience alot of discomfort." The younger man left the mansion somewhat dazed. He realized that all the effort he had been using to try to be perfect was in vain. It was a hellish life and I avoided doing new things in which I was sure to make mistakes. When you've done that. I no longer feel the intense fear I used to feel. I say to myself "Good job. or I would feel like a failure. depressed and self-berating. I didn't have to be perfect anymore. Now when I make my ﬁrst mistake of the day.
Go for your dream and you'll ﬁnd happiness and satisfaction! . I know this from personal experience. But you'll be happy! Most people choose comfort over happiness.continually challenging all parts of your being. However. It's human nature. comfort becomes very uncomfortable when a dream is being crushed.
When he regained consciousness in the hospital room. When she brought it to him. On his 18th birthday. He asked for a guitar. his dream came true: he was offered a position on a professional team. his car had a blowout and he became involved in a very serious accident. until one day he began to move his ﬁngers on his right hand. He was ecstatic. he dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. With time he regained the use of both hands and arms. He played well and his career progressed. to help pass the time. He found he really enjoyed this. realizing his soccer career was over. he discovered he was paralyzed from the neck down. he couldn't play. One of the nurses who had befriended him asked him if there was anything he wanted. For three years he showed little sign of improvement. He regained use of his entire . He began to have hope. One night on the way home. he would get together with his friends and practice. Everyday after school. As he grew older. and within 6 months he was playing and singing to other patients and the staff. He was devastated. But he had 12 hours a day to practice.CHAPTER 23 MORE REALLY COOL SUCCESS STORIES Once there was a small boy who loved playing soccer more than anything in the world. his paralysis disappeared. Miraculously.
the audience started to boo. I don't know if I could handle that. It's a huge place and performing there must be intimidating. very loudly. Now I would have been very discouraged at this point.body. Now that's perseverance. The Apollo Theater in Harlem is a place where singers get started. He had never been properly trained. This young man was certainly discouraged. we would not be able to enjoy his music today. but not ready to quit. He had kind of a strange voice. He had to ask himself what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. 15 years later. He did. But what's really hard is that if the audience doesn't like you they will start to boo. Once a week they have a talent contest. Now. humiliated. . he has sold over 100 million albums. He went back two more times. His name is Lionel Richie. This time he got halfway through the song and the same thing happened. Now it was time to leave the hospital and rebuild his life. A young male singer decided to give it a try. The only two things he really enjoyed were soccer. He wasn't able to compete professionally in the soccer leagues so he decided to devote his time to singing. He is the most successful male singer in the world. only to have the same thing happen again. If he had given up. and about 20 seconds in. He got on stage and started to sing his song. and up-and-coming singers go there to test their skills. He could always go back and try again. He was unable to ﬁnish the song because they were so loud. It wasn't until his ﬁfth attempt that he was able to get through the entire song without being booed off the stage. and now singing. until you're forced to leave the stage. Two weeks later he went back. His name is Julio Inglesias. He left the stage. what chances do you think he had of succeeding? He started relatively late in life. He was down but not out.
CONCLUSION In my 25 years of teaching voice.com . you will be! Good luck. Contact information: bajarest@gmail. I have seen a common denominator among my successful students. The hare had the talent (speed) but the turtle had tenacity. The turtle won. no matter what the obstacles were. or parents that gave them singing lessons at age six. great looks. It wasn’t talent. What they all had in common was a strong desire to sing and the ability to keep on pushing. Remember the story about the race between the turtle and the hare. I have seen singers with incredible voices who never succeeded because they didn’t have the perseverance necessary for success. If you really want to be a singer.
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