THE 7 KEYS TO GREAT SINGING

BY JOHN FORD
$29.95

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.

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. less scary. easier. Not Born What it Takes The Top 10 Myths About Singing Why the Standard Approaches Fail A Better Way: 90% successful. 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 .

and do the exercises on the Vocal Workout CD. you'll sing like never before. and there's a 95% chance you will become a good or a great singer! That's all there is to it. often great singers. People come to me unable to sing at all. and went on to earn millions as a singer. they're giving me goosebumps! Read this book. maybe even a great singer! One of my clients came to me unemployed. because in my job as a singing coach. When you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing. I know this.INTRODUCTION Singing is fun! Singing feels good! That's why we do it. and next thing I know. For the past 25 years. But most people can't sing well without some help. my staff and I have helped many people like yourself become good. I see it happen every week. Read on and have fun! Get ready for one of the greatest emotional experiences of your life! . That's where I come in. This book will help YOU become a good.

PART 1 SINGING BETTER THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE .

What's exciting is that most people can learn to do what the pros do. strong and controllable voice. NOT BORN Nobody just wakes up one day and sings like Christine Aguilera. All the great singers I've taught had to work hard to build their voices. She was born with some natural ability. Can you learn to sing? . She had to study and practice just like you do. Surprisingly. 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. When you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing. I've analyzed what actually enables people to sing well. but that ability had to be developed. you will develop a passionate.CHAPTER 1 SINGERS ARE MADE. It took her many years to build that great voice. but because they use 7 special skills. The secrets of the world's greatest pop singers Over the past 25 years. great singers--from Lady Ga Ga to Adam Lambert--sing well NOT primarily because of better vocal cords.

Now she wanted more singing jobs! She has since sung at more weddings. . in four months! (It normally takes at least a year. but wanted to. It's hard for me to pass up a challenge. but she had none. Success Stories Now I'm going to tell you about some of my students. most of whom started off not being able to sing at all. if they learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing. After the wedding. She couldn't sing. No professional aspirations. I think they will inspire you as much as they have inspired me.In my 25 years of teaching I've learned that 95% of the general population can be trained to become excellent singers. Ricci decided to go for it. When I got a request for a wedding singer.) She was giving her husband a huge surprise party and wanted to sing for him. She told me she'd never had any lessons and I got the impression that she wasn't a good singer. just for the fun of it! After working with her for about a year. She auditioned and was immediately hired. In the back of my mind I had hoped she'd have some singing skills. I thought of Ricci. She had had a great time and was well paid. I called her and told her about the job. she began to sound great. she came to her lesson confident and satisfied. so I told her "Yes. Even though she initially told me she didn't want to work professionally. 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." When I heard her sing at her first lesson my heart sank. Ricci: From Hobbyist to Money-Earning Singer Ricci arrived at her first lesson a reserved woman. and has even begun singing the National Anthem at ball games.

The first few words that I sang were barely audible.She was a beginner who couldn't sing. I knew we'd make it. The introduction was quite dramatic... Two weeks later I received a large gift package from her. At the end of the third month. the music filled the room.during the performance it was not... and I had her practice for two hours a day. We doubled the number of lessons I'd normally give a beginner. she sounded good on one song and okay on the second. and during the sound check it was. (or haze) surround us on the stage. sound came out of my mouth and my body moved. I found comfort in that. 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.) After two months she was sounding okay on one song and pretty bad on the second. I was relieved. another explosive sound with a pyramid spotlight shining on me. The room was darkened. With the package was a letter in which she wrote: John. at all. except for the noise from the audience. There was a big explosive sound. There were four floor monitors on stage. and a pyramid spotlight shined on the first singer. I reminded the sound man that the microphone volume should be increased on "Diggin". and a third explosive sound followed by a pyramid spotlight on my sister.. I was happy. During the sound check. two days before her big performance. In addition to this. that blended in beautifully with our jade green costumes. But we were making progress and I continued to drill her hard. I had a soft green fog.However. thinking that I would be able to hear myself. actually it was a production. I told her she'd have to pick easy songs. . At her last lesson. she sounded good on both songs. (Normally I have beginners practice for half an hour a day. one close enough that I could kick.. And I probably would have been able to. I couldn't teach her to sing difficult songs in that short a time period. and the three of us found our way on stage.

Sylvia's letter thrilled me. When we got home that night he said. The audience was really receptive." she'd cry. She kept coming to lessons and eventually got to where she could sing for me. but she was so afraid of criticism that she could not let it out. With time and practice. My husband was in a state of shock. She would get up on stage during lessons and start to sing and then stop. camcorders rolling. If you could imagine 150 people out of their seats. I've never seen him so happy. 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 was so proud of her. Christine recently sang on some TV and radio commercials and earned $1. "I just can't do it. "I didn't know you could sing. clapping. I couldn't hear myself over the noise from the audience. and to get paid for her singing. I wasn't prepared for this. She worked hard and reaped the rewards. It was very hard for her. whistling. but she was stubborn and she persisted. she became a very good singer full of confidence and self-expression. It was quite an evening. Her next project is to sing at her fathers 75th birthday party. cheering. I am sure it was great for her self-esteem to hear herself on TV and the radio.500 for about ten hours of work. As a result. (the second song) I left the stage and sang directly in front of him. Did you take voice lessons? Of course I said "no". She had a beautiful and strong voice. which made it very easy for me to give or express myself. Christine: Well Paid for Singing Jingles Christine really had a hard time at her lessons. In retrospect. cameras flashing. David: Country-Western Success .While all of this lighting was happening. we were subconsciously doing our choreographed routine. I'm glad it happened the way it did. On "1-2-3". and to know I helped her get to that point.

Within two weeks the band began touring the West Coast. The second band she auditioned for also hired her. Next. He looked ten years younger and had a spring in his step. they released a CD which began getting radio air play. For about a year. I was blown away! So was she! Mary had reached her goal and was very happy. I was really impressed with the progress he had made. I didn't hear from him. When I saw him I was astounded.David arrived at his first lesson as a middle-aged man who couldn't sing. helping her become an exciting singer and performer. Then out of the blue. but not great. he showed up at a nightclub where some of my students were performing. Her husband had just abandoned her and her two-year-old son. At that point I didn't think she was ready to look for work as a singer. but she didn't like them so she immediately quit. He then put together a country-western band and began gigging. 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. I worked with her for six months. When I listened to his tape a few days later. worked hard. but she wanted to and began going to auditions. Mary's story is amazing because it all happened so fast. and very satisfied by the happiness that I saw on his face. and she liked these guys a lot. His new country band was gigging all over the area. He came to his lessons. he gave me a copy of his latest recording. I was blown away. I had her sing for me and she was okay. Before he left. Rarely is a student able to accomplish what she did in less than a year. and within two years he was singing well and writing good songs. She was hired by the first band she tried out for. . His goal was to be a professional country-western singer. No wonder they were performing so much. Working with her challenged my preconceptions about how long it should take for a student to reach success. and I'd never seen him so happy. He sounded totally professional and his band was hot.

When I saw the singer on stage. and looking for a career that she could sink her teeth into. that the music business had no stability. It took her about a month to resolve this conflict. I remembered her as a shy. but once she did.Cindy: Quit Her Boring Day Job to Sing Professionally Cindy called me during a transition in her life. She looked like a real singer. The only singing she had done was in high school chorus. conservatively dressed student. She had been working as a secretary and hated it. She sounded like a real singer. I thought I had walked into the wrong club. At her first lesson. There were two things in her life that she truly loved: painting and singing. Her friends and family told her she was foolish to start a singing career at such a late age. After that. and that she could never depend on it for an income. After about nine months. She didn’t think she was ready. another agent got her a two month job at a luxury resort in Southern California. She didn’t think she was good enough. She hadn’t been singing since she was five (she started at 33). Why was Cindy successful? She didn’t have a spectacular voice. She recorded her demo. put together a promo package. not at all conducive to singing popular songs. She sent me a letter from that resort describing her days of basking in the sun by the gorgeous pool. She wanted to explore the possibility of a singing career. But she knew what she wanted . Her voice was very light and operatic. and was ready to look for work. The first agent she visited gave her a job at a local hotel nightclub. She began to feel that working as a secretary wasn’t so bad after all. She was 33. repertoire and performance skills. Then she balked. where she earned enough to quit her boring day job. I recently went to see her at a club in San Francisco. She began to feel at home on stage. I sent her to some "open mics" so she could get some experience in front of live audiences. she was ready to step out into the real world. her nights of singing her heart out. I discovered she had an average voice that needed a lot of work. I didn’t recognize her. Her looks were average. recently divorced. nothing stood in her way. Together we worked to develop her vocal strength. not this hot singer with the Tina Turner hair. She was in heaven.

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!

I'll explain. If you can sing the "C" note as I am playing it. you are not singing on key. but not perfectly. Can you sing on key at least 70% of the time? In case you don't know what singing on key actually is. Let's say I play a "C" note on the piano. If you sing any note besides the "C" note. but they'll know something is! Fortunately. They might not be able to explain exactly what is wrong with the singer.CHAPTER 2 WHAT IT TAKES In order for you to become a professional singer. singing on key comes naturally to most people. Most beginning singers sing on key fairly well. 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. Being even slightly off key sounds awful. there are two requirements. That's why any group of people at a restaurant or party can sing Happy Birthday with relatively no problem. you are singing on key. so you'll need to learn to sing on .

If you can produce a loud and clear sound. these singer's end up with very interesting voices. Singing on key is a matter of getting your ear. These people cannot be trained unless they heal their vocal cords first. this just means a good rest for the vocal cords. There are some people who have naturally raspy voices. Don't worry! There is a 95% chance you can become a professional level singer. For now. who can still learn to sing well. But about one out of a thousand people have vocal cords that have been damaged by incorrect singing or speaking. This just takes practice. if you can sing on key 70% of the time you're in good shape. your vocal cords are healthy and will work for you when you are singing. Most people can pass this part of The Vocal Assessment because most people have healthy vocal cords. as long as they can learn to to apply good technique. 2. and they cannot produce this loud and clear tone. Do you have healthy vocal cords? The other thing you need in order to sing well is healthy vocal cords.key all the time. Eventually you'll sing on key without even thinking about it. your brain and your vocal cords to work together. I know most beginning singers worry about whether they will be able to sing well or not. In fact. In most cases. .

" but that's rare. But there are other myths that could get in your way. so they don’t bother learning. 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. just like you do . we've got the big myth out of the way: singers are made. 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. not born! Now you know that most people can learn to sing. The Truth: Most nightclub singers and recording artists never need to read music. Myth #2: Singers have to be able to read music in order to succeed. Occasionally it will take a singer more than two years to reach "nightclub level.CHAPTER 3 THE TOP-10 MYTHS ABOUT SINGING Okay.

or in some cases. you just don't have the kind of voice that could ever sing high notes. My first performances were so scary that my knees shook. The Truth: Drinking milk or orange juice doesn't limit your singing ability. Myth #3: If you can't sing high notes now. not your singing. and practice the Vocal Exercises. you have a 95% chance of being able to sing high notes with the best of them. . you'll become a confident and charismatic performer. When you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing. Myth #5: If you drink milk or orange juice before singing. singers who sing on TV and radio commercials. Myth #6: If you smoke cigarettes. you'll never be able to be a confident performer. you'll sing well no matter what you eat or drink. Most people who get up in front of an audience are afraid. However. Once you learn The 7 Keys to Great Performing. but they sing just fine. The Truth: Your fear is normal. Every one of my students who wanted to learn to perform became an excellent performer. So. learning to perform is a skill that anyone can learn. The Truth: There are many famous singers who smoke and it doesn't hurt their singing at all. But.when you sing "Jingle Bells" or "Happy Birthday. Myth #4: If you're scared to perform in front of people now. you'll never become a great singer. and most of us have to be trained to sing them well. stop smoking for your health. you won't be able to sing well. The Truth: High notes are difficult. The only singers who need to read music are opera singers. if you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing." Paul McCartney never learned to read or write music. They may die young. He never found the need to.

but it won't help you sing better. If your parents weren't great singers. Now that we've killed those myths. which is a good thing. many successful singers are in their seventies and still sing well. It may make you feel better. you won't be able to sing that well. drinking warm tea doesn't improve your singing at all. but otherwise don't worry about it. Sing away! Myth #9: If you didn't start taking voice lessons at age five. The Truth: Maybe if it was 80 degrees below zero your singing would be affected. Remember. so what? Myth #10: Singing is genetic. It's dependent on your willingness to learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing. you won't be either. You can learn to sing! . The Truth: I've had students well over 50 who began lessons with me. you have very little chance of succeeding. and they did just fine. and practice. If you start at 50 or 60. they can't stop you. Myth #8: If you sing in a place where it's very cold.Myth #7: Drinking warm tea before singing will help you sing better. The Truth: If that was all you had to do to sing better you wouldn't need to read this book. The Truth: Your singing potential isn't dependent on your parents ability. Unfortunately. Those are the deadly myths that stop many people from ever trying to sing.

and my songs were getting played on the radio. I was singing in a rock band. . When I began teaching voice.CHAPTER 4 WHY THE STANDARD APPROACHES FAIL When I was learning to sing. They were using a hit or miss approach that definitely missed. My teachers were not teaching me the same techniques the pros were using. many of my students had tried the standard approaches and still couldn't sing. I tried most of the standard approaches. It wasn't until years later that I discovered the real problem. most of them weren't teaching me any techniques at all. But part of me knew that the problem wasn't me. It was very frustrating for me because with all the classes and lessons I was taking. In fact. I took college classes. I had achieved some level of success so I couldn't be that bad. my voice just wasn't improving. maybe I just wasn't a good enough singer. I thought the problem was me. and tried to figure out how to sing on my own. private lessons. Their experience was much like mine.

My singing improved while I was studying with them. Also. old. but these teachers didn't have knowledge of the techniques the pros were using. Most of my students who have studied with other teachers have no knowledge of ANY of The 7 Keys to Great Singing. I have seen or experienced the results of each of these. and usually ineffective tools that just don't work for modern singing. Let's look at each of these approaches in detail. But finding a great voice teacher is almost impossible. and by working with students who have tried them. if you can find a great voice teacher. What are the standard approaches? There are basically four approaches people use in learning to sing. Standard Approach #1: Finding a voice teacher and taking private lessons. and therefore were unable to help these students. unless you live in Los Angeles. The standard approaches use outdated.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. New York or San Francisco. by using them myself. I believe their teachers tried their best and probably meant well. When I was learning to sing. great voice teachers are expensive. Success rate: About 30% This is a good way to learn to sing. Most people can't afford to study with them. 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. charging up to $1000 per hour. . Many of them have studied for years and still can't sing a single song well.

Some of my students who have learned on their own figured out a few of The 7 Keys to Great Singing. Taking a singing class at a college. Although this method works for some people. Success rate: About 10% I have rarely seen a student who learned to sing well at college. it's potentially dangerous because it's possible to damage your voice. However. I have never heard of a college trained singer going on to sell . I know of four great teachers in the United States.Most teachers use outdated. Standard Approach #2: Trying to figure it out on your own. Learning on your own often creates bad habits that can take months or years for a good teacher to repair. Standard Approach #3. Success rate: About 30% It turns out that no training is MUCH better than mediocre or bad training. I know this from working with students who have developed these bad habits. Some very famous singers developed great voices by figuring it out on their own. How much opera do you hear on the radio today? Not much! Today's successful pop singers are using different techniques than opera singers. It's pretty weird and not much gets accomplished. That's a drag. You have a teacher teaching opera technique to a bunch of students trying to sing pop. because it makes learning to sing very difficult. which is why they sound different! The main problem with this approach is that there's a scarcity of great voice teachers. some people who follow this path get into deep trouble. opera-based methods of teaching. They develop bad habits that really limit their singing ability. The problem with college classes is that the teachers use outdated methods which don't work for pop singing. and became fantastic singers.

or church. Now. There is an approach which has a 90% success rate. The main problem is that in choirs. Never! College classes are ok for messing around. singers are encouraged to express. Read on! .millions of records. They're told by the choir directors to be quiet and blend in. which allows natural voices to develop. there's a better approach to learning to sing With the dismal success rates of the common approaches. but for people who really want to learn to sing. college. Joining a choir in high school. Success rate: About 25% This is perhaps the worst way to learn to sing. Standard Approach #4. singers are rarely encouraged to really belt it out. there is one exception. Don't freak out. But don't lose heart. it's no wonder that many singers become discouraged and quit. African American churches have produced some incredible singers. they're usually not that effective. The choir singers I see are very quiet and timid in their singing. It's as if all the life was beaten out of them. In those churches.

" You're right! You can't just DO what they are doing.CHAPTER 5 A BETTER WAY There is a better way to learn to sing. This better way can be stated in one sentence: IF YOU WANT TO SING WELL. Most of the students who use this method become excellent singers. "Well if I could do what the greatest singers in the world are doing. DO WHAT THE GREATEST SINGERS IN THE WORLD ARE DOING. The reason I beat him was because I took dozens of lessons and . It's simple and effective. You'll do this by learning and experiencing The 7 Keys to Great Singing. You're probably thinking. of course I'd sing well. but I can't just DO what they are doing. I'd been playing for just two years. and I beat him almost every time we played. The reason professional singers sing so well is that they are using these 7 Keys. gradually. 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. who knows The 7 Keys to Great Singing. If it was that easy I'd be singing well already. You need to learn to do what they are doing. By reading this book and connecting with a singing teacher.

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. my singing ability was limited and I felt permanently stuck. you can begin applying these techniques to your singing on your own. now you can! Learning on your own. Poorly! Then he'd act surprised when his ball went into the forest instead of onto the green. He just got up and hit the ball the same way he had been hitting it for 20 years. teaching you correct technique with The 7 Keys to Great Singing. or finding a good singing teacher. You have in your hands a method THAT WORKS. If you've always dreamed of singing well. You can learn most of The 7 Keys to Great Singing on your own. How do you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing? First. Now I have control of my voice. It's almost impossible to fail. and then practice. you can begin looking for a qualified singing teacher. That's what this book is about. If you can find a good singing teacher to help you. There are some Keys that are difficult to learn without help. or even better. Before I discovered these techniques. when I want. I learned the same techniques the greatest golfers in the world were using. Learning to do what the pro's are doing is the key When you learn the techniques the pro's are using. My friend never took a lesson. Good coaches are expensive. It does what I want. He had bad technique and he never improved. that is better. your singing voice will improve dramatically. Next. But an amateur coach who charges $50 per hour and teaches you . read the next chapter to gain an understanding of The 7 Keys to Great Singing.learned the right way to swing my clubs. and giving you powerful Vocal Exercises to practice. I found that following The 7 Keys to Great Singing made me a better singer than I ever imagined I could become. They charge between $300-$1000 per hour.

it is important for your coach to be teaching and singing pop music. something is wrong. you can be assured that his/her teaching methods are effective. What are your students doing professionally? If a coach’s students are working regularly in reputable clubs and recording studios. If you want to sing opera. however. What styles of music can you teach? If you are interested in singing pop music. By the time they got to me they sounded like opera singers trying to sing pop. 4. They sounded old fashioned and rather odd. not a rock teacher. I'd rather take two half-hour lessons per month with a great teacher than four one-hour lessons with an ineffective teacher. 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. If. I can learn more in 30 minutes with a great coach than I could in a year with an amateur one. most of his or her students should be performing within a year or two. and it took some work to help them learn to sound like pop singers. What have you done professionally? If a coach has performance experience in the field you are pursuing. If it takes longer than that. because you invest a couple of years studying and never learn to sing.incorrectly is really expensive. If you decide to look for a coach. the students aren’t working. I've had many students who studied opera even though they wanted to become pop singers. 3. ask each prospective coach the following questions: 1. study with an opera teacher. How long does it take your average student to begin performing publicly? If a coach is good. great! Even better is a coach who is still active as a singer.

stay away. then they can probably be of help to you. you may have found a good coach. If they are singing in a way that you want to emulate. set up an initial session. If at the end of the first session your singing and understanding of singing have improved. If they cannot demonstrate techniques do you want to learn. it's easy to wander aimlessly through lessons and achieve little or nothing. Without specific goals. Try one lesson and check out the teacher in person If a coach passes your telephone screening. is to have the coach sing for you. If they haven't worked professionally. interview all the teachers. look for another coach. great! When a coach sees a student's goals written out. As the sessions . 6. Ask the questions. Do not be intimidated by voice teachers. or using a blend to get above your chest voice. they probably aren't experienced enough to be a great coach.learn from someone who has been where you want to go. If they don't understand what you're talking about when you mention keeping the cords together. Some of them can be very arrogant. keeping the larynx neutral. 5. you can. vocally and professionally? If a coach asks you to write out your goals and bring them to your first lesson. 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. they will work harder to help the student reach those goals. Do you help your students work towards specific goals. Ask to hear some of their recordings. If they don't have a demo or CD of their own singing. you will probably be disappointed. Perhaps the most important thing you can do. and don't be afraid to pay high rates for a great teacher.

and make sure the teachers understand and can teach what this book contains. If you need to learn on your own. This book contains valuable information on the techniques of good singing. be sure the coach continues to deliver. A great way to keep coaches on their toes and to document your progress is to tape the sessions.progress. Coaches tend to work harder when they’re being recorded. I recommend trying them for awhile. Some coaches are great in the beginning but as time goes by they slack off. . remember many great singers have done so. If you live in an area where are you can find a good voice coach. Apply what you learn here.

PART 2 THE 7 KEYS TO GREAT SINGING .

.CHAPTER 6 KEY 1: USE SINGERS' POSTURE AND ENJOY FREEDOM AND CONFIDENCE Singers' Posture lays the foundation for powerful. or a big voice. but you sure need one if you're building a big house. It's like the foundation of a house. There's nothing glamorous about a foundation. effortless and passionate singing. Singer's Posture consists of four simple parts: Part 1: Stand straight and strong Singers are unique because their bodies are their instruments.

Standing straight and strong puts your body into a good position so that instrument of yours can sound as good as possible. Now go inside of yourself and see what you're feeling emotionally. Your posture may slip a little bit as you step away from the wall. your body is straight and relaxed. nor do you push your head forward like a turtle. You'll feel feel comfortable. with your entire body and head touching the wall. The ideal singing position When you're in the ideal singing position. You're not slumped. Look straight ahead and unlock your knees. Now you have a good straight and strong posture. It will also boost your confidence and help you look great on stage. you'll feel stronger and more confident emotionally. if your posture is good. Next. Imagine your favorite singer trying to wail on a high note while slumped over. and ready to move. balanced. Try this now: Stand with your back to a wall. Try this now: Stand in a slumped. That's just fine. Even she probably couldn't pull that off. step away from the wall. and try to keep this posture. Do you feel . relax. with your weight on both feet and your knees unlocked. defeated position with your eyes closed. Standing straight and strong helps you to feel better If you're standing straight and strong. Our posture has real impact on what we feel. the note will be much easier to sing. What we are looking for is a combination of a relatively straight body. while remaining relaxed. Standing straight and strong makes the difficult notes much easier When you're trying to sing that tough-to-reach note.

Standing straight and strong is easy to learn. Don't let the hard parts of songs or Vocal Exercises bully you. When I remind them to stand straight and strong. Practice standing straight and strong throughout your day. especially under pressure. and see what you're feeling. and head against the wall for 5 minutes per day. Tips for mastering Part 1 of Singers' Posture: Keeping Your Body Straight and Strong 1. This is an exaggerated position. they instantly sing better and have more fun. drop their posture. and not as relaxed as we ultimately want. 2. Our tendency is to cave in when approaching a difficult note. See how much better that feels. back. but hard to remember. but it does give you the feeling of a straight and open body. stand straight and strong. but not when they get up to sing their first song for me.” the gorilla would probably sense your weakness and wipe you out. Stand straight and strong. and you “wimped out. It takes real attention to remember to hold the posture through the hard parts. close your eyes. Sing with your heels. . Many students start off singing with good posture. and sing better.strong or weak? Happy or sad? Confident or scared? Next. They shrink about two inches. they sing poorly and have a miserable experience. If you knew a gorilla was about to enter your room. their bodies cave in. Take the stance. Notice how you feel when you stand straight and strong and when you don't. But caving in prevents us from ever hitting the note. Keep your strong posture even when you're scared Many of my students have good posture. They get scared. It will help you feel better. and crash on the high note. but when a high note comes. They begin to smile as they are singing. With the bad posture.

If your neck is tight. roll them while singing. throat. face or jaw are tight. Upper body tension is one of the main reasons a singer's voice sounds strained and harsh. move your head. the entire song sounds and feels better and the challenging part becomes easier. Her shoulders were as rigid as concrete. shoulders. When a singer learns to relax through the challenging parts of a song. Most beginning singers automatically tighten their upper body when they're about to sing a difficult note.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. They get scared. your singing will become easier. This tension makes the hard note almost impossible to hit. but necessary. Walk around and let your body go loose like a rag doll. As she began. She would be singing for thousands of people and probably felt like her career was about to end. I immediately saw what was wrong. Hey that's easy. 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. As you do these exercises. If your shoulders are tight. which makes them physically tense. Example One of my students came to her lesson terrified and in tears. "Relax my upper body. She was holding on for dear life and her voice was suffering . It's difficult to remain tight while you are moving." That's what you think! Relaxing your upper body while singing is hard. If your neck. it will make singing much more difficult. 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. arms.

Just keep moving your upper body while you're singing. Part 3: Open your chest Part 3 takes your strong. and to sell millions of CDs. her voice became freer. Tips for mastering Part 2 of Singers' Posture: Body Relaxing Your Upper 1. The shallow breathing makes them feel even more uncomfortable and their bodies become tenser. many singers get nervous. I stopped her in the middle of her song and told her to sing it again. As she began moving them. and all of my students have to deal with it. After that performance and others. straight and relaxed body and shapes it into an even better instrument. Then when you begin singing. Just think of your image of Mary Lou Retton. your body will be more relaxed and you'll feel better emotionally. Before singing. and their breathing gets shallow. She looks proud. That's your ideal open-chested posture. When your chest is open. Roll your neck and shoulders while singing. singing becomes much easier. and you'll learn to keep your upper body relaxed. but this time to roll her shoulders while she was singing. The solution is to begin breathing deeply before you start singing. At the end of the lesson she had a smile on her face and gave me a kiss on the cheek. and yoga masters have open chests. Remember. dancers. she went on to get a major recording contract.because of all the muscle tension in her shoulders. especially publicly. Hearing her voice improving gave her confidence. 2. Gymnasts. Don't stress about it. Tightening up is normal The tendency to tighten up your upper body while singing is completely normal. Practice deep breathing 30 seconds before you even begin singing. open and confident. and she began to let go even more. .

Then fear and the need for self-protection kicks in and the upper body starts to cave. This position will free your body and your voice. your instrument has a good shape. Keep your chest open the whole time you're singing Singing with an open chest is easy for awhile. Try this while you're singing: Open and raise your arms while you are singing. Exaggerate this exercise. When your heart and body are open your voice and emotions can be released. and when your chest is open. This exercise will show you what it feels like to really open your chest. which can be uncomfortable. Extend your arms over your head and really stretch. Breathe deeply. Really relax your body. . Open your arms so your look like Jesus on the cross. Really open up your chest. keep opening your chest. Continue this exercise for five minutes. so you can do it while you are standing and singing. I recommend that you do this exercise before each practice session. Even if some part of you resists. Try this now: Put a firm but small pillow on the floor. yet liberating. and will help stretch open your chest. your chest will naturally open. As you breathe you'll notice how your chest expands. As you lie on the pillow. Opening your chest also opens your heart to yourself and the world. Opening your chest will help open your heart Opening your chest will make you more vulnerable. You'll need to continuously remind yourself to keep your chest open. Lie down on your back with the pillow under your shoulder blades. Your singing will become easier and you'll eventually use and enjoy your vulnerability in adding expression in your songs.your body is your instrument.

Try this when you're singing: Start with your head in a level position. Practice walking and standing in a proud. you'll need to keep reminding yourself to do it. 3. open-chested posture and notice the confidence and security that follow. keeping it level will become automatic. Part 4: Keep your head level Keeping your head level is easy to learn and when you learn it. 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. Then you'll be raising your chin for expression. you can raise your chin if you want to. Raising your chin tightens the muscles around your throat. As you advance. Sing with open arms. and still sing well.Tips for mastering Part 3 of Singers' Posture: Opening Your Chest 1. That's the position you should sing from. watch for a tendency to raise your chin as you hit a high note. With time. If you notice yourself raising your chin. Most of my beginning students habitually raise their chin in order to hit the high notes. you'll look better and singing will be easier. Remind yourself to keep your head level Keeping your head level is not hard to do. looking straight ahead. Keeping your head level keeps the muscles relaxed. Sing in front of a mirror while trying to keep your chest as open as possible. bring it back down to the level position. but it doesn't work. Spend some time singing in front of a mirror because you may be raising your chin without knowing it. The tight muscles make it much harder to sing well. In the beginning. As you sing. 2. not as a response to . but it's easy to forget.

at work and while you're walking to the grocery store. Sing with your back to the wall. You will not feel relaxed. and free. this key will make singing much easier! CHAPTER 7 . Spend half your practice time singing in front of a mirror. the easier it will be to master Singers' Posture when you're singing. In the end. In the end. This is the same exercise we did in Part 1. The more you practice while you're not singing. relaxed. but now the focus is on keeping your head level. 2. while looking straight ahead. because you are changing the bad habits that you are used to. Tips for mastering Part 4 of Singers' Posture: Keeping Your Head Level 1. and keeping the back of your head touching the wall. and if you find yourself raising your chin. you want a body that is open. powerful. but your voice will be released as a result of keeping your head more level.fear. You can practice Singers' Posture at home. bring it back down. you will experience some discomfort. 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. This is an exaggerated position. While you are learning this key.

resonant. they vibrate against each other. When you whisper. you have no idea of what I am talking about! RELAX. I know. DON'T FREAK OUT!! You're not supposed to know what I'm talking about. and produce a loud. When they are moved close together. Your vocal cords. your vocal cords are far apart. their are fairly close together. edgy sound. located in your throat.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. When you shout or talk in a normal voice. Try this now: . are two flaps of flesh that can be moved close together or pulled far apart. not yet anyway. Whey they are far apart they have nothing to vibrate against so they produce a quiet and airy sound.

I know I'll hit the notes I go for. I gave her an exercise which forced her to keep her cords together. When she sang her first song. she took my breath away. the vocal cords in action. My experience: When I used to sing songs with my cords apart. is to go to youtube. She was powerful. You can type in vocal cords. I could never trust my voice. . A beginners' vocal cords will come together and go apart randomly.Take a big breath and sigh. She couldn't even do the most basic Vocal Exercises. as indeed he or she is.com and search for vocal cord videos. Anecdote Jeaneen came to one of her lessons and she was sounding terrible. Once you see. Her singing improved instantly. and if I want to sing with alot of power.. I had to work hard to produce any volume. and you produce a louder sound. Now take a big breath and say "awe" as in awesome and hold it for five seconds. with your mouth open That's what it feels like when your vocal cords are far apart. At this point. just to see what it feels like. Try it a couple of more times. your cords are closer together. Now that I know how to keep my cords together. These random happenings will make a beginning singer feel out control. you'll be amazed at how simple their function is. I can. When you're singing. The first thing to do. Her vocal cords were coming apart and she had no control. you'll produce a powerful sound with very little effort. confident and expressive. or Video Stroboscopy of the Vocal Cords. the goal is to learn to keep your cords close together all of the time. She had total control of her voice. When you do this. singing is much easier.

It automatically brings the chords together at the beginning of a phrase. 3. It is a very common and powerful technique. This whining brings your cords together automatically. where a good singing teacher could help. if you were telling a scary story. But. . but very noticeable. Listen to the way singers begin phrases with the creaky doors sound. Summary of Key 2: Keep Your Vocal Cords Together Learning to keep your cords together is not that difficult. and they tend to stay together until you finish the phrase. Really "whine" like a little kid when you sing. and this is a Key. Practice this on your songs. Practice making a "creaky door" sound .Tips for mastering this Key: 1. and wanted to make the sound of a creaky door. This is the sound you would make. It is subtle. 2.

more expressive sound.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. The key to opening your throat is learning to lower your larynx. Most untrained singers don't know how to open their throat. deeper. I'm going to teach you how. . As you drop your larynx. your throat opens and you produce a richer. You open your throat by lowering your larynx. Your larynx (or Adams apple) is that grape-sized bump on the front of your throat.

Neutral. Up. move your fingers up or down on your throat until you find your larynx. when you're yawning. Now yawn. Your larynx will rise. 2. You'll learn to control your larynx by doing the larynx exercises that follow. Now swallow. you'll . place your fingers near the top of your throat where you think your Adam's apple is.Finding your larynx Some people have a larynx that sticks way out and others have a larynx that is somewhat hidden. Then try swallowing and yawning again and notice how it moves. when you're swallowing. which is where it is when you are reading this page or talking. The three basic larynx positions You just discovered how your larynx can move up and down. 3. Mens' larynxes are usually easier to find than women's. Try this now: To find your larynx. Your larynx goes down. Down. Your goal is to keep your larynx neutral or slightly down when you're singing. Why do I need to control my larynx? Good question! When you learn to control your larynx. If nothing happens when you swallow or yawn. Eventually you'll be controlling your larynx when you're singing songs. The three basic positions of the larynx are: 1.

she had a tiny. deeper and somewhat operatic in nature. depth and volume of your sound. But singers like David Bowie take it down pretty far. your larynx will gradually begin to rise. wimpy and potentially obnoxious. she began belting like a great blues or gospel singer. Well. If you take this further and drop your larynx to its lowest position. and as it does. This is a reflex that happens automatically with most beginning and untrained singers. who developed . open and full of expression and soul. you'll be able to control the richness. quiet voice. I've had many other students like Emily who had quiet voices to begin with. But as you start to sing higher notes. your throat is somewhat closed. just drop your larynx slightly and you'll get that big sound. When you have complete control over your larynx. Sometimes you'll want a sound with alot of authority and power. Anecdote When Emily started taking lessons with me. Now her voice is big. Your voice will tend to "break" or "warble. When your larynx is up. your throat opening is about the size of a quarter. At this point your sound will be even louder. Your sound will be thin. Your sound will be much fuller now and you won't feel like your straining or about to choke on the note. your larynx will remain neutral all by itself. When she learned to control her larynx." When your larynx is in a neutral position. Your throat has different degrees of openness.automatically be controlling how open our closed your throat is. which is why he has that somewhat operatic sound. and the air and sound pass through an opening about the size of a dime. the opening in your throat becomes smaller. Won't my larynx stay neutral all by itself? No. Singing will be easier. We usually won't take it all the way down in pop singing because we don't want to sound like opera singers. your throat will open to the size of a half dollar. When you sing low notes. (which caused her throat to be more open).

Exercise #2. Lower your larynx and hold it down for 20 seconds." Remember the cartoon characters like Goofy. jaw and throat muscles relaxed. Larynx Lowering Exercises: The purpose of these exercises is to give you control over your larynx. keep your neck. Deputy Dawg or Elmer Fudd? They all talk "hooty. Exercise #1. You're building strength and gaining control. then let it come back to the neutral position. That's okay. the muscles will begin to fatigue. then rest and lower it 20 more times. you probably don't know how to control it yet. which will then allow you to open your throat.powerful voices as a result of learning this key. If you need to jump start it with a yawn. While you're doing each exercise. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Larynx Holds. yawn. that's fine. With your fingers on your larynx. Now try to make it go down without yawning." Talking "hooty" forces you to drop your larynx. Talk "hooty. Your goal is to lower it rapidly 20 times. Exercise #3. 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. Larynx Push-downs. Notice how it goes down. You'll learn to control your larynx by doing the larynx lowering exercises. With practice you'll learn to talk "hooty" without yawning . The easiest way to talk "hooty" is to yawn and count to five out loud while yawning. As you're holding your larynx down. This is good.

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.

CHAPTER 9

KEY 4
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.

It takes a month or two for most people to become consistent. or your fingers aren't in the right place. .4. You now have the lip bubble. you're on the right track. Choose one of your favorite singers. The solution is to keep your lips very relaxed while making the "buh" sound. With your fingers still in place. make the sound "buh" as in butter. the blend. Practice whining in a fairly high tone. Doing the lip bubble without using your fingers Some of my students find it easier to do the lip bubble without using their fingers. Sometimes when my students don't use their fingers. 2. If you find this to be the case. so be patient. Be sure to keep your lips relaxed. If your lips bubble at all. and play around with finger placement until your lips do bubble. It took me 3 months to get my lips to bubble. their lips bubble too fast and too much air escapes. like a little kid who doesn't want to do his homework. Now blow through your lips and make a sound like a horse snorting. Just be sure that you are producing the slow bubbling. the benefits of the lip bubble are erased. This will naturally bring out the most elusive of the three voices. Imitating the blended voice can be an easy way to learn what it feels like. who uses their blended voice. and practice singing along with them. Listen to singers on the radio and notice the different singing voices they use. 5. Tips for mastering this Key: 1. You know. Troubleshooting: If your lips aren't bubbling. When this happens. 3. you are either tightening your lips. that's fine.

. and they are all accessible to you. If the teacher cannot demonstrate the blended voice.Summary That's it! Only three voices. keep looking for a better teacher. This key will be a lot easier with the help of a good singing teacher.

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. When you learn how to do it you'll sing with more power and less effort. . Singers' Breathing consists of 3 simple parts: Part 1: Take a 100% full breath before singing each line.

How will this full breath help me to sing? The advantage of taking this full breath will be obvious once you start doing it. as fast as you can. Take the biggest breath you can. or a full breath. you have the maximum power. Try a couple more. With a full backswing. release all your air and try shouting "Hey You!" without the full breath.This part of Singers' Breathing is my favorite because it's the easiest to learn and produces the most dramatic results. in a fairly loud voice. Notice the difference. 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 breath you get the most sound with the least amount of effort. With the small breath you have to work harder and you get less sound. That's all there is to it! Taking a full breath is very easy and natural. and are about to jump in and hold your breath underwater. Next. 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!". Tips for mastering Part 1 of Singer's Breathing: Take a 100% full . Now exhale. through your mouth. 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.

the air would release naturally. Letting go of your voice gives you a very relaxed and pleasant sound. the trick is knowing when to release and when to push your voice.breath before singing each line. You can release it. Pushing your voice is like stepping on the gas pedal of your car. or hold it back. Releasing Releasing happens naturally if you fill up your lungs and then just let go. Just fill them up in a natural and easy relaxed manner. You wouldn't need to push on the balloon to get the air out. Releasing your voice is like taking your foot off the gas and letting your car coast down a hill. Once you take that big breath there are three things you can do with it. then take your fingers off the opening. push it.) 3. at home and in your car. Releasing feels good because you're totally letting go. 2. (with doctors approval. When you're singing. Part 2 teaches you how to release and push your voice and how NOT to hold back. Really let all the sound and air out. Part 2: Release your low notes. 1. Do some heavy aerobic activity for 30 minutes/day. Try this now: Take a breath and sigh. Do it . Practice deep breathing at work. Do not fill your lungs so full that you experience effort and attention. push your medium notes and push hard on your high notes. The next two exercises will help you to experience what releasing feels like. Holding back is like stepping on the brakes. 1. If you were to blow up a balloon.

let all of your voice out. Yes. When you are sighing your vocal chords are far apart. their voice sounds weak and lacks passion. The rule for holding back is simple: DON'T HOLD BACK!!! 3.again. Really open your mouth and let go. When you hold back you're not building anything. But holding back is guaranteed to make them sound bad. Therefore. only this time really hold the sound back. I don't want you to hold back. but with your vocal cords close together. Try this now: Go ahead and sing "Ho" like you did before. Holding back When a singer holds back. When you're singing. This is what releasing feels like. when your vocal cords are apart. You won't be as loud and it won't feel as good. Hold the note for at least five seconds. When you're singing you'll be letting go in the same way. Pushing When you learn to push. Let's try releasing with the vocal cords closer together. you'll feel like you're at the wheel of a . Why do singers hold back? Most beginners hold back their voice because they're afraid of sounding bad. But I do want you to know what holding back feels like so you can avoid doing it. but you will be building a good voice. 2. Try this now: Take a full breath and sing the word "Ho" with the same sense of release you had when you sighed. you'll sound bad some of the time.

Some of my female students said it's like trying to push out a baby. without releasing first. It's pretty simple. When to release and when to push Now that you know what releasing and pushing feels like. your voice will sound harsh and will lack freedom. The key to pushing is to push from as low in your belly as you possibly can. spread your feet. If you just push. Part 3: Sing louder as you get higher. If you've had a baby this image may help. Since I've never given birth I don't really know. you'll make a lot of mistakes. You just learned about releasing and pushing. Let that new voice come out. but you'll also hear a new and exciting voice begin to appear. all by yourself. get low and shout a fairly loud "Hey You!" from your lower abdomen.. You'll be in control of tremendous power. really bend your knees. Try this now: Get into a strong stance. As you're shouting push down from your lower belly. Release before you push When you're singing middle and high notes. If you don't push them they will be weak and will tend to "break". to use as you like. then 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.Ferrari on a huge race track. but I can imagine. As you experiment with releasing and pushing your voice. Now you're going to learn about pushing in more detail because every note gets a . you need to learn when to release and when to push. you always release first.

medium notes at a medium volume. you will sound bad. with no effort or strain. If you're too loud. flowing voice with no effort or strain. Valuable information about this Key: You may have noticed that professional singers sing at different volumes depending on where they are in the song. You need to increase the volume as you get to those high notes.different amount of push. If you sing a note too quietly. When you sing a note at the right volume. singing will be much easier and you'll have tremendous power and control. especially when they get to the high notes. 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. you would see that they are singing the low notes at a low volume. That makes sense. your voice will sound forced and harsh. you get a good and powerful tone. 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. your voice will be weak and unstable. powerful. If you were to analyze what they were doing. Most beginning singers hold back. you'll make mistakes. because it's easy to lose it on the high notes. As you experiment with different volumes. and the high notes at a high volume. but when you learn it. and you'll quickly strain your voice.

then you'll learn what to do with your tongue. If it's partially closed. you're mouth is the megaphone of the whole operation. Imagine running . If it's wide opened your voice is amplified. the sound becomes trapped within your mouth. When you're singing.CHAPTER 11 KEY 6 SHAPE YOUR MOUTH AND CREATE A BIG OPEN SOUND There are two parts to this key. Part 1: Sing with a very open and relaxed mouth. you'll learn how to shape your mouth. First.

Try to keep your mouth as open as possible. Keeping your mouth open When you start singing. Tip: Practice singing in front of a mirror and watch your mouth. 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. The sound is then amplified even more by your open mouth. your sound will be thin and lacking in volume. If your mouth is shaped like a barely opened smile. This bone vibration amplifies the sound so that by the time it reaches your mouth it's much louder. Try this now: Drop your jaw into the "O" position. Your mouth will in the shape of a . which is now acting like a megaphone. Pretend you're yawning. you'll notice that keeping your mouth open is not that easy. and much louder because it's amplified by the mouth. while you aren't singing. as soon as your attention wanders. The sound would become trapped inside the megaphone. the sound becomes richer.over a megaphone with a truck and then trying to use it. your mouth may begin to close. but it won't be an "O" shape anymore. That's the "open mouth" position we're looking for. Even if you start with a fully open mouth. How sound is created The actual sound you make when singing or talking starts with your vocal cords vibrating in your throat. producing a tiny buzzing sound. If you open your mouth to a relaxed "O" shape. This buzzing sound then vibrates the bones in your chest and/or head. Your mouth should still be as open and relaxed as possible. The sound becomes trapped.

the sound becomes louder and richer. Notice the difference in the sound? As you open your mouth and separate your teeth. do it. You just want . If you can separate your teeth more than half an inch and still keep the pure "EE" sound. you can learn to open your mouth wider which will give you more volume. Try this now: Take a full breath and sing "WE". It will also help you to keep your mouth fully opened while keeping it relaxed. with about half of an inch of space between your teeth. Be careful! It will take time and experience to train your jaw to drop to the correct position. but don't stretch so much that you hurt yourself. But when you learn to do this. Simply open your mouth as wide as you can. take another breath and as you are singing the "WE" sound. and it will feel so good to sing! Keep in mind. and hold it for ten seconds.very relaxed smile. By stretching your jaw muscles. Now. The space between your teeth will give you the volume you need. if you did that. Most people have a hard time opening their mouths fully when singing. Hold the note for about five seconds. and your teeth slightly clenched. that you don't want your mouse and a large old shape all the time. your sound will improve tremendously. Relax and repeat the procedure for a total of five times. You would sound very strange. and your "EE" sound will actually sound like "EE". keeping your jaw very relaxed. That's because the jaw muscles are tight. Jaw stretch exercise: You can do this exercise in your car or while you're watching TV. open your mouth a little wider and separate your teeth at least half an inch. with your mouth in the shape of a wide smile. Be sure to really stretch while your mouth is open. It's tough to get a good "EE" sound with an "O" shaped mouth.

You can be the judge of how much sound you want to create. When your tongue gets in the way. It's easy enough to do when you are not singing. Again. There are two things you'll do to keep your tongue out of the way. you'll block some of the sound. First. Imagine what would happen if you stuck a pillow in a megaphone. hump up. and block the sound. Keeping your tongue flat and forward is harder than you think. The sound would be muffled. If your tongue gets in the way. Note: This Key only applies to singing vowels.to generally keep your mouth. When you sing consonants let your mouth and tongue do whatever it wants. you know. looking at the mouth as a megaphone. Warning: One common problem singers have while keeping their tongue flat and forward is that the words they sing get distorted. e. Be sure to keep your vowels pure. keep your tongue as flat as possible. and u. Part 2: forward Keep your tongue flat and Now that we've got your mouth open we need to work on your tongue. . a. When you want more sound opener mouth wider. o. but when you start singing your tongue will want to pull back. more open then you would when you are talking. When you want less. i. Second. it's like putting a pillow in a megaphone. if you're singing the word "free" be sure it sound like "free" and not "fray". it's possible for the tongue to get in the way and block the sound. close it more. even though your mouth is open. In other words. the tip of your tongue should be touching the back of your bottom teeth.

you'll also see that their tongue is completely out of the way. 3. . Summary of Key 6. flat and forward. but don't obsess on what your tongue is doing. 2. Keep it as flat as possible while keeping the tip touching the back of your bottom teeth. My recommendation is to be aware. If you get a close-up. Many singers never need to pay attention to their tongue. and the tongue does not block the sound. Their voice comes out naturally. Be patient with yourself in learning this key. Sing in front of a mirror and watch your tongue. because it doesn't come automatically. and you'll see just how open their mouth can be sometimes. Shaping Your Mouth Watch great singers on TV.Tips for keeping your tongue flat and forward: 1.

Many successful singers never use vibrato when they sing. When you . The benefits of vibrato 1. 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. Vibrato is that wavering or pulsating sound that singers add to the notes they hold. You don't have to use vibrato. Vibrato improves the sound of the notes you hold. It is used in most styles of music with the exception of some rock or alternative songs. but most do. if you want to.

If you like the sound. If you don't have fire brought on naturally in your voice. learn it. If you're singing a style of music that doesn't use it. and you're TOTALLY POSITIVE you don't want to learn it. a natural vibrato begins to appear Do some people have vibrato in their voice naturally? Yes. Vibrato helps the voice to release fully. in my teaching practice. This produces a fuller and richer sound. all my students who have wanted to have a good vibrato have been able to develop it. The voice seems to relax. It took me two years! Be patient. you produce a better sound. It also feels really good to add vibrato. you will probably need the help of a good teacher to help you develop it. . 2.need to hold a note. About 40% of my new students have vibrato with no training or practice. Sustained notes without vibrato usually sound stark and unprofessional. Something amazing happens when vibrato is added. How long does it take? It takes up to a year for most people to develop a good vibrato. They are the lucky ones. it's tough to make it sound good without vibrato. Should you learn to use a vibrato? That's up to you. You'll see what I mean. (Sting is one of the few singers I've seen get away with it. Can anyone learn vibrato? So far. and singers are able to really let go. don't learn it. Many times after learning the other keys. The rest of us have to learn it.) When you add vibrato.

At first I was just doing the exercises on faith. It didn't come naturally and I didn't believe I would ever be able to sing with vibrato. We started with the basic vibrato exercises. I was so frustrated. a beautiful vibrato appeared. It felt wonderful. I couldn't believe it. I finally found a teacher who said he could teach me how to develop my vibrato. I didn't really believe I would get it. But I tried to do it again and couldn't. I remember the moment vividly. Practice making a sound like a car engine. after about six months. This activates the muscles needed to create virato. It took me an additional year and a half to learn how to control my vibrato. just for a couple of seconds. at times I would kick and scream during my lessons. Now it is easy.My experience with learning vibrato: I sang for many years without vibrato. Just remember that it could be easier to learn with a good teacher. Tips for mastering Key 7: Add Beauty to Your Voice by using Vibrato 1. trying to start. It was hard! Finally. 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 . Summary of Key 7 Vibrato is something you can add to your voice with practice.

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

CHAPTER 13

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

You'll have a great time! Practicing your songs There are three phases singers go through in learning a song. 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. Then put them aside and try to sing them from memory. Memorize the lyrics by reading them while you're singing the song. A song should not be performed publicly until you have gotten to Phase 3. Practicing the song When you're first learning a song. Step 3. I need to sing a song at least 100 times before I really know it. You're just learning the song. It doesn't come automatically. You know it so well that you can start to . minus the Karaoke singer. refer back to the lyric sheet. but not fantastic. If you get stuck. Once you know the melody. you have to think about it. The song will sound better at this point. You probably will too. The only way to have a song become second nature is to sing it over and over again. Don't expect to sound good at this stage. Get some songs. At this point it's really easy for you to sing. Step 2. and start practicing. Phase 1. Most large cities have stores that sell nothing but karaoke tapes. Owning the song There will come a time when you really own the song. This will allow YOUR VOICE to fully develop.with the band. Memorizing the melody and lyrics The best way to memorize the melody is to sing along with the Karaoke singer. practice the song without the singer.

" When you really do forget the words. Playing with dynamics If you listen to songs on the radio. you'll sound great and you're ready to perform the song. you'll develop faith that the words will often come to you. belt notes. don't panic! If you remain calm. the words may still come to you. I'll talk more At this point you'll be confident. The reality is: you will! Professional singers who have been singing all of their lives forget lyrics. It's part of being a singer. and then as they get towards the end of the song. You can also start to put your heart into the song. This technique is known as dynamics. With time. You can hold notes.play with it. you'll notice singers belting out certain parts. "faking it" will allow you to get through the song . The other skill you need to develop is "faking it. The best way to approach dynamics is to sing the low notes at low volumes. the medium notes at medium volumes. and the high notes at high volumes. so really exaggerate the lows and highs. and coming down in volume in others. First of all. Many times I remember the words a split second before I need to sing them. is they sing the beginning of the song fairly quietly. about that later. However. they increase the volume. Forgetting the words I wish I could tell you that you'll never forget the words to a song. there are some things you can do to minimize this problem. Listen to songs on the radio and you'll see what I mean. You want to feel the contrast between the different sections of a song. Adding dynamics to a song will make it much more interesting The other approach singers use. or get very quiet in parts.

Just keep going. Songs to learn Songs ready to perform . 2. If you sing the wrong verse they usually won't notice. Scat. In order to keep track of the status of your songs. Category 2.without the audience even knowing there was a problem. “Songs to learn” are songs for which you have the Karaoke tape but don't know yet. I suggest putting all songs into one of the following categories. “Songs to buy” are songs you want to learn. “Songs ready to perform” are songs which you have learned and are now ready to perform. Songs to buy 1. As you practice "faking it". Make up lyrics. Remember the audience isn't sitting their with lyric sheets in their hands. but are not yet singing. The key here is to keep singing no matter what. Category 3. 3. it will become easier and easier for you to do. The audience will probably think your creative genius is coming out. Learn new songs so you don’t get tired of your old ones. Learning new songs Keeping your practice sessions fun is very important. You should try to learn at least two to four new songs per month. 4. and using the form below: Category 1. Repeat lyrics you've already sung.

7.5. 6. .

CHAPTER 14 DEVELOPING YOUR OWN UNIQUE STYLE My goal is to help you develop the most interesting. the more wild and out of control you sound now. 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. If you have a . quite often. The baby never got a chance to be born. In fact. you'll sound foolish. because you didn't want to sound foolish. The flower never got a chance to bloom. If you're not willing to do that. Well those days are over! You can't afford to hold in your wild ideas anymore. in the beginning. white-bread. but didn't. as you begin taking chances. If you want soul. Yes. unique voice possible. you have to be willing to take risks. The first thing you need in order to develop that unique voice is the total willingness to crash and burn. boring voice. But so did all the great singers. you'll develop a safe. the more creative and interesting you'll be when your voice develops. Inside of you is a new voice that no one has ever heard. So you held it in. passionate.

I don't even know how to really describe it. but it's great. let go and fall apart are the creative ones who learn at an accelerated rate and become fantastic singers. I tell my students that I want them to make at least 20 mistakes per lesson. at least as good! The more I expressed. 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. when you're practicing. when they do make a mistake. I could hardly believe it was me singing. I was! I poured my soul into the lyrics."live wire" voice. The students who are willing to experiment. Their singing improves. I'm able to . Wow! I'll never forget those moments. the more the audience got into it. It's dreamlike and totally wonderful. I was singing like I had never sung before. Their bodies relax as do their spirits. Welcome them. I was on a medium sized stage. That encouraged me to give even more. It's PURE ART! Anecdote I remember vividly the first time I experienced a heightened level of pleasure while singing. 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. I experience pleasure most of the time. About 30 seconds into the song something happened. but now. With this understanding. My entire body began expressing the song. Neither will you when you experience singing in that way. Sweat poured from my body. When I sing now. take chances and let yourself make lots of mistakes. So. This was better than sex! Well. I had wanted to sing like this for years and never had. in this incredible moment. singing an Elton John song. they laugh it off instead of cringing. Every cell in my body was expressing.

You'll feel great and so will your audience! There is no quick way to find this dreamy world of singing ecstasy. your voice and the life experiences and emotions that you express through your singing are unique to you. rough voice from the bottom of your soul. Cloning other famous singers can bring limited pleasure for awhile. I experience physical and emotional pleasure and satisfaction. With time. Pleasure is your payoff and the payoff is HUGE! Summary Developing your own style is what singing is all about. it will mature into a voice that will bring you the greatest pleasure and success. When you're experiencing the real pleasure of singing. Share your real self with the world and experience a bliss you can't imagine. . work and experience will bring it to you. Remember. you won't be worrying about how you look or sound.connect with a part of myself that doesn't get to come out in my normal life. You'll simply be expressing. Let out that raw. but eventually you'll become bored and so will your audiences. Time. Audiences and record companies are interested in hearing unique voices.

Symptom: My song sounds rough and unprofessional. or the style doesn't fit your voice. . If that's the case.CHAPTER 15 A TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE Sometimes a song just won’t "feel right. Solution: You simply need to sing the song more. Most beginners need to practice a song close to one hundred times before it begins to feel and sound comfortable. or too low. 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." Following are solutions to common problems you may encounter while singing songs. pick another song. Maybe the key is too high.

at this stage of your development. If you are holding back because you are afraid of bothering someone. be sure you take full breaths and let out all the sound. Solution: The song has been recorded in too low a key for your voice. you can eat or lower the keys of the troublesome songs. Solution: Before singing each song. Symptom: The low notes are too low to sing. when you sing your song. Solution: The song is probably too high for you. Symptom: I can’t sing the high notes. Go ahead and try to double the volume. making corrections. You'll find that if you sing real loud. you get a lot of release. or you can look for a good teacher to help you increase your range. Solution: You probably are. you'll notice that the song is much louder and more released than before. You'll notice that it's alot easier to let go. Notice when you are off pitch and correct it on the spot. find a time and place where you can sing without worrying about that. and lots of practice. Symptom: My songs sound quiet and weak.Symptom: It sounds like I am singing off pitch in places. Singing on pitch is simply a matter of paying attention. If you're having trouble with high notes in general. Your low range will expand some as a result of doing the exercises. shout three strong “Hey Ho!”s. Try to follow the karaoke singer. If that doesn't give you enough power. you may have to find the song in a woman's key. The other reason singers hold back is because they are afraid of people hearing them sing. Call the Karaoke store and see if they can order it . try singing a song much louder than you ever have. Then. It's hard to hold back and sing loud at the same time. but if you're a woman singing a song in a man's key. When you sing your next song (without trying to be especially loud).

you will become bored. Symptom: I don’t enjoy singing the song. Solution: If you spend six months singing one or two songs. Solution: If a particular song doesn’t inspire you or you can’t relate to the lyrics. you only need to sing it a couple of times a week. Try to learn two to four new songs per month. pick another song.in a higher key. so pick songs you like. . or buy the sheet music and hire a keyboardist to record the song in a better key. Symptom: I am getting bored with certain songs. It's common for a singer to like a song they heard on the radio. If not. but dislike singing it themselves. don’t sing it. The key is to bring new songs into your practice sessions so you don’t become tired of the others. There are thousands of songs. Once you know a particular song and can perform it well.

and take good care of yourself. The better you take care of your body. but not so strenuous that you injure yourself. When you're practicing. let all your voice out. you should feel like you're getting a workout. but not like you're hurting yourself. Here are some tips for taking care of your body and your voice. Build your voice gradually The process of building your voice is very similar to the way professional athletes build their bodies.CHAPTER 16 HOW TO KEEP SINGING 'TIL YOU'RE 95 Remember. Athletes and singers build muscles and develop focused muscle control. rest! . if you use The 7 Keys. but when your voice is tired. your body is your instrument. Push yourself. the better you'll sing now. and as you grow older. One of the great things about singing is that you can sing well into old age. Your ideal practice routine is challenging enough to cause your muscles to grow.

You may have to force yourself to get started. I'd keep increasing your workout until you were running 25 miles a day. It may take six months or longer to achieve that level. I would start you out on an easy program. great! If not. Vocal Exercises that used to be difficult will become easier. It will become richer. He's in incredible physical shape. aerobics and tennis are all good. Running. The great singers you hear on the radio spent years developing their vocal power. weights and yoga. You're dependent . Remember. It takes real physical stamina and strength. you'll begin to notice the changes in your voice. you are an athlete. I work out five to six days per week for about 90 minutes per day. while giving you an aerobic workout. Swimming laps is wonderful because it works so many muscles. Until you've been on stage singing. but had never even been jogging. Any exercise that gets you breathing hard is great. This does two things for him. My greatest reward is how I feel after exercising. If you're the type of person who likes exercise. That's the hardest part. If I had you try to run 25 miles a day during your first week of training. and as you became stronger. try to find some form of exercise that you like. I get a tremendous physical and emotional high. in many regards. As you gradually increase the time and intensity of your practice. Keeping in shape Many singers are on intense exercise programs. and it gives him the endurance he needs to run around on stage for an hour. I happen to enjoy swimming. One of my students works out like a madman. It gives him vitality that gets expressed in his voice.If you came to me as someone who wanted to become a professional runner. It's important to be reasonable and build slowly. It's important to like the exercise you're doing so you'll keep it up. you don't know just how much of a workout it really is. you probably would have injured yourself and quit. Then I'd build you up to three miles a day. Maybe a mile a day for the first month. After a few weeks you'll notice your body toning up and you'll feel incredible after each workout. stronger and louder.

You should feel your chest stretch. Spend one to two minutes in this position. 2. Start by letting your head drop towards your chest and then gently roll it to your right. But as a singer you do. so keep in shape! Body Tune-Ups Professional athletes spend much time stretching and limbering up. Neck rolls Stand in the same position and roll your head. on your back with your shoulder blades at the edge of the bed.on your body. Repeat this for a total of five times. The muscles they use need to be strong and flexible. Now take deep breaths into your chest. 1. Do it three times in this direction. Here are some exercises that will work on areas of the body that most singers need to loosen up. If you're working as an accountant. 3. . Really feel the stretch. Concentrate on making a circle. Chest stretch on bed Lie on your bed. just like an athlete is. not an oval or a square. Then reverse the direction and roll your shoulders backwards. Your head and chest should be hanging over the edge also. Let your hands and arms go wherever they feel comfortable. and slowly roll your shoulders forward in a big circle. let them extend over the top of your head. Shoulder rolls Stand in a comfortable position with your arms at your side. until you complete a circle. then three times in the other direction. or if you want a real stretch. Be sure to breathe deeply while doing these exercises. This exercise will really open up your chest. very very slowly. Repeat this five times also. you don't use your body that much. Be sure to let yourself stretch at all points of the circle.

most people don't sing when they're sick because they . it's like driving your car with no motor oil.The best time to do these exercises is right before you sing. These singers often become chronically hoarse and are unable to hit any high notes. not pull them. Here are the best ways to prevent that from happening: 1. 4 Ways to avoid damaging your voice It's difficult to damage your voice. Remember how dry your mouth gets after a night of drinking? Your vocal cords get dry also. When you use good technique you run little risk of damaging your voice. Alcohol is not good to drink because it dehydrates you. The profession is too competitive for you to be wearing yourself down with drugs and alcohol. be sure to have a glass of water. most of the professionals I know are incredibly clean and sober. Use correct technique When someone sings without using any of The 7 Keys to Great Singing. juice or tea by your side so you can keep your throat well lubricated. The solution is simple: use The 7 Keys. Besides. In this way. The goal is to stretch muscles. they are using bad technique and will frequently end up damaging their voice. So keep your liquids non-alcoholic. Don't sing when you're real sick Fortunately. So while you're singing. When that happens. 2. Do not stretch beyond where you feel comfortable. Use common sense while practicing these exercises. Never go to practice or a gig without something to drink. but it is possible. you'll be preparing your body by releasing any constrictions that could be getting in the way of your singing. Drink lots of liquids Singing dries out your throat.

The solution is to keep shouting to a minimum. The only solution for these students was to quit shouting or find other jobs. but shouting for long periods of time will cause your vocal cords to become inflamed and limit your ability to sing. . After a couple of weeks you could move up to an hour and a half. 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. Now. Anecdote Jean began studying with me about a year ago. After work they'd try to sing but couldn't because their vocal cords were so inflamed. She was thrashing her voice at every rehearsal and gig. stay away from singing. If you're just a little sick. Just go slow. If you're going to increase your singing time. do it gradually. even when you feel like you're near death. I've also had students lose their voices after shouting for hours at a ball game. They came to their lessons and just couldn't sing. as long as you don't have laryngitis. She'd come to her lessons very hoarse. 3. you would be overusing your voice. You could hurt yourself. She'd been singing in a band for some time and was using terrible technique. if you're one of those diehards. Going from an hour a day to an hour and fifteen minutes a day is just fine. 4. You probably won't either.just don't feel like it. go ahead and do the gig. Don't overuse your voice Let's say you're used to singing for an hour a day. But. Shouting occasionally is no problem. who tried to lead a normal life. At the end of that time your voice feels tired and you really don't feel like singing anymore. Singing when you're slightly sick is fairly safe. and you can still sing fairly well. if you were to sing for three or four hours the next day. and you have an important gig.

A tip for singing with musicians When you first start singing with a band or musicians. It feels good! But when I am singing I need to turn it down. If you can't hear yourself during parts of a song. Right after having the baby. Remember. She also had a job where she was frequently shouting. If the keyboard player or guitar player is overpowering you. This issue will probably follow you through all your bands. be sure they don't drown out your voice. I told her she needed to rest her voice completely before we could do any real work. She got pregnant and had a baby. You are supposed to be heard and need to be heard. her voice was completely healed." Musicians have fun playing real loud. Don't say "I am the focal point and you are here to just back me up. ask them to simplify what they are playing or play quieter. I love to blast the neighborhood. you are the focal point. We're working towards building her an international career where she'll be selling albums and performing in concert. and you won't blow your voice . Then a miracle happened. We were making very slow progress. Be very tactful when making this request. and your microphone is already at maximum volume. because she couldn't sing or work at her job. When she came back to her lessons. she had a month to rest her voice completely. Her singing improved dramatically in just a few weeks. but I can't hear myself and I am starting to strain my voice. but was unable to stop shouting at work and she continued to use bad technique with her band. Now she's one of the best singers I've ever worked with. which meant her voice never had a chance to rest. Could you please try turning down a little to see if this helps. She tried. you need to ask them to back off." Instead try something like "You guys sound fantastic loud. but if you are polite and tactful. I am a guitar player and I like my amp turned to to ten.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. and we were both frustrated. you'll come out fine.

singing becomes slightly painful. give your voice a week or two to rest. I think she sounded better in her 50's than she did in her 20's. your vocal cords become inflamed. With rest. When this happens you need to stop singing and rest your voice for a few days. your vocal cords will return to normal and you'll be able to sing as well as ever. and rest your voice when it needs it. How to rest a thrashed voice You will wear your voice out from time to time. They won't get worse. your voice will keep getting stronger as the years go by. In other words. With rest. When this happens. Don't sing at all during this time. Try to keep your talking to a minimum. your voice will work for you well into grandparenthood. and your volume decreases. Many of the top money earners ($50 million a year and up) are singers 40 and older. Summary When you use good technique.out. . they just won't improve much. It's the only way to discover your true limits. A great example is Tina Turner. From that point on they level off. When you overuse your voice. As you learn The 7 Keys to Great Singing and keep practicing. your voice will return to normal. Most singers peak at around age 55. they keep getting better and better until they reach 55 or so.

PART 4 FROM UPTIGHT SINGER TO BLOWEM AWAY PERFORMER .

Just read this book and do the work. 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. but I'm not sure I could ever learn to perform. You'll become a confident. You may have a voice in your head saying "Well. you can learn to perform. Step 2: Begin studying and practicing each Performance Secret on your ." I'll tell you right now. this may apply to other singers.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.

You'll be able to get up on any stage and look and feel like a professional singer. 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. and will help you become a confident. practicing the skills you learned in your Performance Team. I'll explain all about Performance Teams in the next chapter. The 7 Secrets to Great Performing work! When you watch a great performer. Their performance is alive. Step 3: Join or form a Performance Team. The next day you feel compelled to tell all your friends about this performer. Step 4: Perform at "Open Mics" and Karaoke bars at least twice a week. By the time you finish Step 4. captivating and energizing. exciting and charismatic performer.own. . you'll be awesome. The 7 Secrets to Great Performing are powerful.

He makes mistakes. this singer has one of the finest voices the world has ever heard. dances wonderfully and has a perfect voice. His voice is rough and gravely in places. Alot of the time we are feeling one emotion but trying our best to feel a different one. But he's incredibly expressive. Let’s look at a hypothetical concert at Madison Square Garden in which two singers are performing. 2.Performance Secret #1: Keep Emotionally Honest The benefits of learning this Secret: 1. Many singers ignore the emotional part of their performance and wonder why they never succeed. exciting performances. For example. The audience will be impressed with his voice but won't really connect with this singer on an emotional level. When he sings a sad song and tears stream down his face. Singer “A” is incredibly attractive. In fact. You'll give passionate. You'll sing better 3. the audience cries also. Let yourself feel whatever you feel! Your goal as a singer is to feel your emotions and let them flow through you. you're using your voice. This sounds easy. Which singer will receive the standing ovations? Singer “B” will! Audiences respond to emotion before perfection. and pours his heart out to the audience. He's not particularly attractive. body. When he sings a happy song the audience feels incredible joy. but he is not very expressive emotionally. Your stress level will decrease When you're performing. Singer “B” has an average voice. However the world's greatest singers are emotionally expressive. but is actually difficult. and emotions. I used to think I should feel happy and confident whenever I got .

fear and anger all in a matter of minutes. When you fight your fear. watch a two-year-old. When I learned to be honest with my emotions by allowing myself to feel my fear. trying to feel confident. let alone experience them. all emotions are accessible. The steps to dealing with it are as follows: 1. you'll be convincing to your audience. I was in major disharmony! I looked uncomfortable to my audiences. When you allow yourself to feel and express what you're really feeling. What I actually felt was tremendous fear. 2. I felt freer. Just be aware of it. Dealing with fear Most of us don't even like to admit we have fears. Just sing in front of someone. I didn't feel so blocked and confined. because you'll be using so much energy trying to push away that emotion. Become aware of it. As singers. However. When you close the door to your fear. This isn't so easy because you'll probably want to deny . your performance will be limited. my performances got much better. You need to be able to focus your energy on the song and all your emotions. we need the same emotional freedom the two-year-old has. This shouldn't be too hard. Accept it. sadness. to some degree you close the door to the other emotions.on stage. If you're feeling one thing but trying to feel another. They can go through happiness. Remember that it's normal to feel fear when you start performing. So there I was. when I was really feeling scared. in order to give an honest and convincing performance. you need to accept and experience your fears. Learning from kids If you want to learn about emotional honesty. You'll probably be somewhat afraid. the audience won't know what's going on. When you let yourself feel the fear.

but you'll be in a safe place where you can talk about and diffuse it. I don't remember about what. closed my eyes and focused on how scared I was. You're stuck with it for only as long as you hide it or try to push it away. you'll feel a whole lot better! You'll probably always have some fear Most singers. which will activate your fear. even ones who have been singing professionally for years. but if you cut your fear by 50%. I began to see fear as a paper tiger. and I decided to try facing the fear head on. You may never empty the bottle completely.it or push it away somehow. When you feel the fear. It becomes "excitement". you'll have a new found confidence. As you feel the fear. I felt really scared. Then when you do get on stage in a nightclub. Let yourself feel it. I recommend forming or joining a Performance Team. Then a surprising thing began to happen. still have some fear before each performance. full of fear. You'll also have less fear and more confidence because you'll have learned The 7 Secrets to Great Performing. your fear will be diminished because you'll have dumped alot of in in your Performance Team. you're pouring out the bottle. I sat in a chair. If you get in front of audiences once or twice a week. Think of a quart bottle. As I let the fear run it's course. I imagined every terrible scenario and took each one to the limit. you can deny and push all day and the fear will probably remain. the fear doesn't disable them. It had a big roar. 3. However. which they use to give their performance energy and life. in a couple of months. The best way to lessen your fear is to perform in front of people alot. but no real . But. My experience with fear I was feeling really scared one day. There you'll be performing in front of a group. it can go through you.

" Today. or love. At the end of that experience I was no longer afraid and I felt lighter and kind of happy. The following ancient Hindu scripture gives us another way to look at fear: The content of fear may be intense and gripping. I would have died along time ago.power. . or intense concentration. but was really quite powerless. energy which. Then. Most of what we worry about never comes to pass. It was a great feeling and a relief to see that fear wasn't so "all powerful. fear is still very uncomfortable for me. what do we find? Pure energy. Most of what we fear never happens Fear is generally not a messenger of truth. It reminded me of the Wizard of Oz who turned out to be meek and harmless. so much so that it overwhelms us completely. instead of filling us with agitation. but it's much more bearable when I remember that it is simply a paper tiger that can't really harm or control me. Fear tried to be big and mean. it sure seems like the terrible events we're stewing about will happen. but most of them never happened. if we focus on it directly. If they did. I love the following quote by Mark Twain: I am an old man and have a great many troubles. the energy of fear can actually lead us to a state of exhilaration. But when we are feeling the fear. I'm really glad that most of my worries never came to pass. will begin to reveal its real nature. But when we look beyond that content of fear itself.

He looked spaced out and unfocused. He looked and sounded great. pay attention to any body tensions and let those muscles relax. When you let your feelings go as you are singing. In our culture we are taught not to express them. but didn't want to let it show. your body tenses up. Are you scared. Kevin sang a song which totally bored myself and the rest of the class.Feeling your emotions helps your body relax and frees your voice When you hold back emotions. he was able to give an honest performance. close your eyes. After his performance. When you feel your emotions. he told us that he was feeling angry. Then notice what you're feeling emotionally. keep this physical and emotional awareness going. angry. He was using his energy to keep us from seeing that he was angry. and your voice becomes freer. in a performance class I taught. Try this before singing: Here's an exercise that should help connect you to your body and your emotions. you'll experience a freedom in your voice and body that will feel fantastic. An example of how emotional honesty works One night. which is why he looked so spaced out. and take some deep breaths. when you start to sing. When my students allow . He had strength and integrity. He did and this time I found myself captivated by his performance. or maybe you're feeling a combination of many emotions? Remember it's normal for people to feel these emotions. your body relaxes. The class loved him. Because he let himself feel the anger and any other emotions that were there. your you won't be able to sing your best. He freed up a tremendous amount of energy. stand in a relaxed position. As you're breathing. That's the way humans work! If your body is tense. You're not crazy or weird for having human feelings! Now. This happens often in my teaching practice. I suggested he allow himself to feel the anger and perform another song. Before you start singing.

Recite song lyrics to a friend and talk about their meaning in your life. . let yourself feel whatever you feel! Don't judge it. run from it or try to change it! At first it may be difficult.themselves to be emotionally honest. you'll find great relief and satisfaction in your singing. on an emotional level. but when you experience emotional honesty. Remember that a emotion is a powerful fuel for your performances. their performances improve tremendously. Pay attention to what you feel throughout the day. When you're singing. 2. Tips for mastering this Secret: 1.

Speak the lyrics without singing them. They're thinking about how they sound. Your audiences will love you A lot of times when my beginning students perform songs for me. 4.Performance Secret #2: Feel Every Word in the Song The benefits of learning this Secret: 1. You won't worry about how you're doing because you'll be expressing rather than trying to impress 2. Remember. I recommend you do this exercise with all of your songs. and more importantly. what they mean to you. This is what great actors do. At that point I have them do the following exercise. Look for ways to tie the lyrics into your life experiences and emotions. You'll have an easier time remembering the lyrics. . whether or not I like them. Lyric Speaking Exercise: 1. it is obvious that the last thing on their minds and hearts is the meaning of the lyrics. the emotions should begin to appear. 3. they're really crying because they're getting in touch with past experiences that made them cry. This will get you in touch with what the lyrics really mean. The first few times you speak the lyrics it may sound like you're reading a grocery list. Singing will feel great. which usually doubles the effectiveness of their performance. or when they might make a horrendous mistake. There will probably be very little emotion. So how is their performance? Not very interesting. when you see an actor cry. But as you go over the song several times.

In my normal "non-singer" life. You'll both have a powerful and rewarding experience. I may shed some tears while singing the song but I'll sound better and feel better afterwards.2. Be specific and relate the song to your own life experiences. I try not to remember those painful experiences. Ask a trusted friend to do this exercise with you. But as a singer I need those feelings. Forget about how you sound or look. Go through each song. That's great! Let them flow! 3. . it will be painful for me to remember the women who really did leave me. Resistance is normal You may find some resistance to really feeling the lyrics because you may be avoiding a painful place within yourself. Just feel each lyrics and your emotions. Emotions will probably be stronger at this point. in your own words. Tips for mastering this Secret: 1. but it's most effective when you do it with someone. one line at a time and find ways to tie your life experiences and emotions into each line in each song. If I am singing a song about a woman who left me. Sing the whole song. This exercise can be done alone. Talk about what the song means to you. while trying to feel each line intensely.

However in large nightclubs or concert halls. The benefits of learning this Secret: 1.Performance Secret #3: contact. She felt like Tina was singing to her personally. you need to maintain eye contact with your audience. or close your eyes for more than 60 seconds at a time. you'll see nothing but bright white lights. you'll look like you're hiding and you'll have less energy to put into the song. There were about 10. Some nightclubs where you perform will be intimate enough for you to make real eye contact with most of your audience. and it breaks contact with the audience. That's eye contact! The natural human tendency is to avoid eye contact when feeling uncomfortable.000 people in the crowd. It makes you look nervous and amateurish. Maybe the mood of the song warrants it. But. In that case keep your eyes focused in the direction of your audience. You won't be able to see your audience at all. if you want to give your best possible performance. don't look at the ground. secure and professional. Look at your audience and really communicate with them. Think about this: . Your audience will like you better Maintain eye A friend of mine saw Tina Turner at a large concert. and to them it will look like you're making eye contact. 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. 2. Whatever you do. You'll look strong.

Better huh! It's the same with singing. look just above the heads of your audience and to them it will seem like you're looking right at them.Imagine someone was speaking to you and they were constantly looking at the ground or looking away. If making direct eye contact scares you at first. 2. Eye contact works! Tips for mastering this Secret: 1. . When you're practicing. pretend you're looking out at huge audience. How would you feel? Now imagine that same person is speaking to you while maintaining eye contact.

which helps them to sing better. but they're always moving. Most beginners aimlessly wander because they are nervous. their voice improves instantly. Here are three approaches you can take with your movement: 1. The benefits of learning this Secret: 1. they just move as they feel inspired. It makes sense. Your singing will improve Almost every time I get a new student to move while they are singing. because moving loosens them up physically and emotionally. 2. Moving on stage will help you to feel better and look better. It's not that hard to learn. It would be a planned move that you did every time you sang that song. 3. You'll look good on stage 2. Moving with intent: This involves planning or choreographing moves to go with each song. Aimless wandering.Performance Secret #4: Move your body. It will become easier to let go vocally and emotionally 3. . or wandering around stage with a very weak posture. even though you might be a little scared in the beginning. At that point you could look and point up to the sky. It looks amateurish and isn't very fun to do. Moving from inspiration: This is what most singers do. For example there could be a line in a song that talked about heaven. They don't have moves worked out. It often involves shuffling from one foot to the other.

Let yourself move to the music in the biggest. For most people it doesn't come automatically. shout. Your body really wants to move to music. The hard part is to get started. Aimless wandering will be boring for you and the audience. Make a commitment to yourself to start today! . It's your fear that stops you. Go totally crazy! Let it feel good. Combinations of the two are great. Find a time and place where you can be totally alone. without the possibility of anybody walking in on you. It's main function is to have you go beyond where you would normally go. Jump over the couch.Which approach to moving is best? Moving with intent or from inspiration is good. Put on some music that really makes you feel like dancing. movement will become natural. have fun! You should be sweaty and totally winded by the end. In other words. 3. How do your learn to move? In the beginning. 2. get down on your knees. Most of my students feel real awkward when they start to move. This exercise creates miracles for my students who do it. you'll need to force yourself to move. It stretches you emotionally and physically and forces you to break out of old safe habits. most expressive way you can. Here's what you do: 1. three times per week. and it really works. In time. totally private. But that awkwardness only lasts for a short time. Once they get past the uncomfortable beginning stage. Here's an exercise that will help you begin: Wild Man and Wild Woman Exercise This exercise is fun and scary. Do this exercise for about 20 minutes. movement becomes fun and pleasurable.

She wanted to stop. and made me really uncomfortable. you are a beginner and beginners are supposed to stumble. most anything can be . At that point she began to enjoy moving and came up with some great moves. I remember one time when I decided to video tape myself while doing the exercise. tell it to shut up. and certain I looked like a total fool. Remember. in this aspect of your life. By the end of the lesson her body was loose and free and she had a big smile on her face. because I knew that most of my moves looked good. but I looked really good. but I encouraged her to keep going. Some of my moves did look incredibly dumb. she became more comfortable and began to really express herself with her body. After viewing the video I felt alot more comfortable moving. It was very liberating and made moving while performing much easier. She was also singing much better! It's okay to stumble in the beginning When you first start this exercise. At first she was very restrained and uncomfortable. My experience The Wild Man Exercise really helped me to loosen up.Anecdote I remember a time when one of my students did the Wild Woman exercise during her lesson. Most of my moves looked fantastic. I was just curious. don't expect to be a pro. When I viewed the video I was really surprised. 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. If that critical voice in your head starts rattling. But before viewing the video I was sure ALL MY MOVES looked that dumb. I am not a trained dancer and don't have any particular talent in that area.

It's no different when you're singing. You want to avoid this move because it looks incredibly weak. Every time you sing a song. You do it when you talk. you can create a powerful effect by moving forward while you're singing. If your hands are just hanging at your side. It will make your performance more fun for you . and when possible. Walking backwards while singing When you are actually singing. It's okay if you feel like you're overdoing it. If you need to move towards the back of the stage. or from back to front. you'll look totally amateurish. but not from front to back. do it during a time when you are not singing. Watch video performances and learn what the pros do You can learn a tremendous amount from watching video performances. Use the whole stage. 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. This is definitely true with moving while singing Now it's time for you to incorporate movement into your singing routine. the whole room.accomplished. it's fine to move from one side of the stage to the other. Using the whole stage Most of the time a beginning student will use a very small portion of the stage. That's what you need to do. they usually have their movement down. Just don't move backwards while you're singing. Once you're at the back of the stage. By the time a singer gets to the level of performing on video. No longer can you just stand there like a student giving a recital. It looks non-professional. do the Wild Man or Wild Woman exercise while singing. You can learn some good techniques by watching these singers.

It will be the best investment you'll ever make. If you just spend a day or two in front of the camera. Trust your intuition when you have an idea. If you're in a dark part of the stage or room. . Get down on your knees. Many places don't have movable spotlights that can follow you wherever you go.and your audience. Tips for mastering this Secret: 1. Go club dancing once a week Summary This Secret is fairly easy to master and produces big benefits. Using a video camera Home video cameras can be a tremendous tool for your movement development. you will be able to make improvements that would take months without a camera. borrow or rent one. They allow you to see what really works and what needs changing. and try that wild idea! Stage lighting Be aware of the lighting. stand up and explode. the audience can probably see you. If you don't own a camera. Do the Wild Man/Wild Woman three times per week 2. Know where you are in relation to the lights. You'll heal your soul and look great when you're on stage. Jump in and start moving. You'll be surprised at how good you look. I suggest you tape your rehearsals and your "Wild Man/Wild Woman" exercises. If the light is in your eyes. curl up in a corner. Taping yourself is also a good way to check out and improve your costume and makeup. Use your space vertically as well. the audience won't be able to see you.

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It breaks down the wall between "performer" and "audience. I thought my life was over.Performance Secret #5: audience. 3. 2. This song is dedicated to the new love of my life. I grew up on a farm. A good introduction can double the effectiveness of a singer's performance because: 1. What is a good intro? 1. You'll be able to relax while you're singing 2. Example: "When my wife left me. A good intro allows singers to share themselves personally." . and now I feel like my life is just beginning. It helps the singer to understand and feel the lyrics. A good intro tells the audience what the song is about. Example: "When I was little. and every summer we spent our days on the lake swimming and fishing. Talking to your audience can be great fun. Your audience will like you better because they'll know you. This song reminds me of those times. The easiest way to talk to your audience is to give introductions to some of your songs." 2." by helping the audience to know the singer a little better. It makes the audience want to listen to the lyrics. But I just met someone new. Talk to your The benefits of learning this Secret: 1.

" Remember.. who it was with. A bad intro is whiny or negative in nature. but it also will cause us to compare your rendition to Barbra Streisand's version. A bad intro tells the audience nothing about the you. not reminded of the things they already hate." So what! Tell us about YOU falling in love. Let us get to know you! 3. Practice making up song introductions and rehearsing them by yourself and for friends. people are there to be entertained. artist. The world is really going down the tubes.. 2. 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. Example: "This is a song about falling in love.." Not only does this tell us nothing about you. what it was like. . You don't want your audience to be thinking about the original artist while you are singing. all the pollution. traffic and violence.What is a bad intro? 1. Watch singers in concert and on TV and notice how they talk to their audiences 2. Tips for mastering this Secret: 1. Example: "Living in this city is horrible.

. when you are on stage.Summary Talking to your audience is a skill that is easy to learn. as long as you keep practicing. I recommend practicing many times before getting on stage. Then. you'll find a good intro comes more easily.

You'll feel totally relaxed. It's exciting and satisfying. Your playing small does not serve the world. Nelson Mandela delivered the following words. big time! It will feel great. Physically and Emotionally. which really inspire me to give 100%: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. The benefits of learning this Secret: 1. It is our light. So what does it mean to give 100%? It means giving everything you have. talented and fabulous?" Who are you not to be? You are a child of God. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. Audiences expect and want performers to give all they have. We ask ourselves "Who am I to be brilliant. An audience can also tell when a performer is holding back. You'll get great responses from your audiences 2. You'll be working out. As we are liberated from our own fear our presence automatically liberates others. an audience feels cheated or bored.Performance Secret #6: Give 100% Vocally. In his inaugural speech. You'll be sweating. gorgeous. All singers do. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. An audience can immediately sense when a performer is giving 100%. Not 90%. When a performer holds back. emotionally. Every cell in your body will be expressing the emotions of the song. That's what makes a performer truly entertaining. And as we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. but 100%. You know when you are giving 100%. vocally and physically. satisfied and free after each performance. . not our darkness that most frightens us.

but with time you'll stabilize. Watch some videos of today's top performers. Summary Mastering this Performance Secret will begin at home. But as your voice grows stronger. you'll be able to give more and more. In the beginning you'll crash. because your voice won't be able to handle it. You won't be able to give 100% in your first few months of singing. The more you give the better singing will feel! .Tips for mastering this Secret: 1. Experiment with letting all your voice and emotions out.

which you will. Don't turn on that neon sign. When you're practicing at home and you make a mistake. DON’T STOP! DON’T MAKE FACES! JUST KEEP SINGING. Tips for mastering this Secret: . try to fake your way out. you'll have some skills that will help you out when you make mistakes in public. keep singing. If you come into a verse too early or too late. play it cool. The benefits of learning this Secret: 1. If you keep singing. You'll deliver a very professional performance every time you perform. ALL SINGERS MAKE MISTAKES! The pros learn to get through their mistakes gracefully. Well that's not true. your audience usually won't notice or care." 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. This will help you develop the skill of "faking it. 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. sing lyrics from a verse you remember. the audience usually won’t notice your mistakes. 2.Performance Secret #7: Don't advertise your mistakes. Many people believe that great singers just don't make mistakes. The band should be able to follow you. If you forget some lyrics in a particular verse. When you make mistakes." Then when you get on stage. Here's the key to dealing with mistakes: When you do make a mistake.

Practice making up words when you forget lyrics. If so. keep a cool expression even when you make mistakes. With time. first at home and then in public. Summary The only way to learn this Secret is to perform. This is also a good time to use a video camera. Practice in front of a mirror and notice if you are making weird faces when you goof up. 2.1. . you'll get through your mistakes as gracefully as the pros.

If you want to accelerate your learning and growth. PERFORMANCE SECRET #2: Feel every word in the song. read the next chapter and form a Performance Team. PERFORMANCE SECRET #4: Espress with your body. physically and PERFORMANCE SECRET #7: Don't advertise your mistakes. PERFORMANCE SECRET #3: Maintain eye contact. HERE'S A RECAP OF THE 7 SECRETS TO GREAT PERFORMING: PERFORMANCE SECRET #1: Keep emotionally honest.What's the best way to learn The 7 Secrets to Great Performing Work on these Secrets one at a time. your performance will improve. then gradually try to incorporate them all into your practices and performances. . Give 100% vocally. PERFORMANCE SECRET #6: emotionally. Each time you learn a new Secret. PERFORMANCE SECRET #5: Talk to your audience.

Practice The 7 Secrets to Great Performing on your own.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. Form a Performance Team and practice with your team. Step 2. if you practice The Secrets. Step 3. Practice The 7 Secrets to Great Performing while singing on . The next steps are: Step 1. You've already begun by reading about The Secrets.

I made many of the mistakes I'd been helping my students work through. Before I took the class. One by one I began to master The 7 Secrets to Great Performing. I sang like I never sang before. and using their energy to give even more. I was no longer contained. and as I did. When The Teacher Became The Student One of my best memories of running The John Ford School of Voice. But I loved it! I looked forward to each class. or holding back. Even though I'd been the lead singer in all my bands. and that I would become one of their fellow classmates. I was singing a ballad. and within a year they were performing like professionals. my confidence and performance skills improved. My first night on stage.. in front of the class I'd been teaching. was when I quit being a teacher and became a student. I walked into class one night and announced that one of the other teachers at the school would be teaching the class. It was incredible. I'd been teaching a performance class. and always did my homework. I had to start off as a wobbly beginner. I wasn't sure how they would respond.stage in front of live audiences. After about six months in class I had a huge breakthrough. I was communicating with my audience. This chapter will show you how to form your own Performance Team. . and how to begin performing publicly. a certain dread preceded every performance. This was a very humbling experience. They would join the class as terrified beginners. and in the middle of the song something happened. I wanted what my students had. and was getting jealous of the incredible progress my students were making with their performance skills. I never got to the level of performing that my students were getting to. I was expressing with every cell of my body. but they were very open to the idea. First let me tell you about my experiences as a singer in learning The 7 Secrets to Great Performing . was terrifying.

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. and receiving feedback. there are other singers nearby who want to overcome their fear of performing and become great performers. and came out with a self-confidence and selfrespect that will stay with me for the rest of my life. . You'll have so much fun and you'll grow beyond where you ever thought you could. because the person giving the feedback has been through. loving and supportive feedback.I didn't have the skills or confidence to do a good job. What is a Performance Team? If you want to receive the benefits I received from the performance class. You can meet in a garage or a living room. How to form a Performance Team Wherever you live in the world. and receiving honest. Never once did I feel criticized in a competitive or cruel way. In a class like that there is a built-in safety valve. The structure is simple. I thought I would die before doing some of the exercises. and give feedback. put together a Performance Team. I kicked and screamed and resisted facing my internal demons. Your progress comes from performing. Since every student has to perform. practicing 7 Performance Secrets. all feedback is underscored with compassion and understanding. Each person commits to the team for a minimum of one year. The skills I learned in the class came from singing in front of my classmates every week for a year. You'll meet once a week for three hours per meeting. do The Performance Exercises. Experience is the only way to really learn these Secrets. The rewards you receive from your Performance Team will blow you away. The class was hard. You don't need a big stage or fancy sound equipment. But I grew and changed. Now I look forward to performing. or is about to go through what you're going through. Every week you'll sing for each other.

You're not the only one! Put up flyers. Performance Exercise #3. This exercise is powerful because it forces you to move. Your goal is to express emotions and communicate the meaning of the song using only your body. This exercise is scary." The singer then incorporates the suggestions into their next song. The variation of formats will help you develop many skills. I suggest using the Basic Performance Exercise every other week. Basic Performance: Whole group. but produces amazing results. Each person sings two or three songs. Brainstorming: Groups of 2-4. the audience gives honest feedback. Before you know it you'll have a team. 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. and again receives feedback. For example: "I loved the way you sounded but I wished you would have moved around more. . the next singer does the same thing and receives feedback. talk to your friends. You bring in a song. and perform the song without singing. and using different Exercises on the alternate weeks. and call vocal teachers. The 24 Performance Exercises Performance Exercise #1. Movement: Whole group. Performance Exercise #2. After the first singer sings two or three songs. place ads in newspapers. Then perform the same song while singing. and will keep the sessions interesting. You'll be amazed at how your movement improves. After they finish each song.

the group again asks "What's the problem?" Time: 5 minutes per person. the next person takes his or her turn. Goal Commitment : Whole group. If you get stuck. Time: 5 minutes per person. After you're finished with the exercise. • The group forms a circle and each person talks about their goals as a singer. Performance Exercise #6. Monologues: Groups of 2-4. Skills Assessment: Groups of 2-4. • Part 3: You tell the group what you are going to do to improve as a singer. and at the next team meeting. • Part 1: You talk about what you need to improve upon as a singer. • Part 2: The group gives solutions for the problem or problems.• 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 #5. . There is no feedback. Performance Exercise #4. • Part 2: The group asks you what you are going to do to improve yourself as a singer. Time: 2 minutes per person. Time: 5 minutes per person. you report to the group what you have accomplished. You write down your homework assignments.

a singer. • Part 2: The whole group comes together and each person discusses their own experience. Why don't I commit totally to my singing career? 4. 1. Performance Exercise #7. etc. Why am I afraid to perform? 2. Be honest. Why am I afraid to be intimate with the audience? Time: 20 minutes per person. 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. Groups of 3-4. Time: 5 minutes per person. spending 5 minutes on each question. 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. • Part 2: The whole group comes together and discusses their own experience. Time: 30 minutes. There is no feedback from the group. Time: 20 minutes. • Part 3. Everybody in the group has something good said about . You'll be surprised at the outcome of this exercise.

• Part 3: Repeat parts 1 and 2. Staring Partners: Pairs. Time: 5 minutes per person. • Part 2: The whole group comes together and talks about their experience.them by everyone else in the group. Songwriting and Performance Teams: • Each team of 2-4 people make up a song. . Time: 20 minutes. Praise Behind Your Back: Whole group. Time: 10 minutes. Groups of 2-4. Time: 20 minutes. • Part 1: Sit in chairs facing each other. • Part 2: The whole group meets and discusses their experience. • Part 1: You sit in a chair with you back to the audience. and look into each other's eyes without talking or breaking eye contact. Performance Exercise #10. Performance Exercise #9. rehearse it. The group says good things about you while you write them down. Performance Exercise #8. knees almost touching. and perform it for the entire group.

Nobody's Watching: Whole group. Performance Exercise #14. the audience turns and faces you. Skit Teams: Groups of 2-4. the guests give feedback. After performing. Time for writing and rehearsing: 15 minutes. and perform it for the entire group. half of the group performs a Mini-Set (5-8 songs sung by each person. In the middle of the song. Feedback is given at the end of each singer's Mini-Set. • You perform half of a song with the audience's backs turned. Time for performing: 3-5 minutes. Performance Exercise #15. • Each team of 2-4 people make up a skit. uninterrupted). rehearse it.Time for writing and rehearsing: 15 minutes. . Written Feedback: Whole group. Time for performing: 3-5 minutes. At the end of the show. Mini-Sets: Whole group. • One week. Performance Exercise #13. Time: 10 minutes per person. the next week the other half does the same. • The entire group invites family & friends to come and be part of the audience. you talk about your experience with the rest of the team. Guest Night: Whole group. Performance Exercise #11. Performance Exercise #12.

The questions should be unusual and unexpected. and then receive feedback. or completed songs are fine. This goes pretty fast. the audience gives feedback. Time: 15 minutes per person. • Everyone brings in two songs or song ideas that they wrote. They present the songs to the audience. There is no verbal feedback. words and melody. After that. Performance Exercise #16.• Each person performs three songs. then the entire group watches the videos. The audience writes out feedback and gives it to them to read at home. • Each person gives a five minute entertaining & honest speech before singing one song. Performance Exercise #17. Performance Exercise #19. so you may have time for other exercises. 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. Time: 15 minutes per person. Speech Night: Whole group. so participants will begin to develop their improvisational skills. . Words. Random Topics: Whole group. You'll learn a lot by seeing yourself on TV. • Everyone performs one song which is videotaped. • Each person talks for 1-2 minutes on a question randomly asked by an appointed leader. Video Night: Whole group. Songwriting Night: Whole group.

Performance Exercise #24. Performance Exercise #21. and is followed by the next singer.Performance Exercise #20. and see what . with feeling. Then they sing the same song. When it comes back to the first singer's turn. If it sounds like they are reading a grocery list instead of really feeling the lyrics. Each singer sings one song. really getting emotional with each line of the song. • The entire group goes to an open mic or karaoke bar and everyone sings. You'll get a chance to field test what you've learned. There is no feedback. Song-a-Thon Night: Whole group. Duet Night: Pairs. Collaboration Night: Pairs. Depending on the size of the group. they do it four more times. • Students pair up outside of class and write a song to be performed in class the following week. Performance Exercise #23. he sings a second song. and is followed again by the next singer. • Students bring all of their Karaoke tapes. each singer will sing up to 12 songs during the night. • Each person recites the lyrics to a song. • Students pair up outside of class and rehearse duets to be performed in class the following week. Karaoke Night: Whole group. Performance Exercise #22. Lyric Expression: Whole group. This goes on for the full three hours.

My experience with The 24 Performance Exercises . If you were bored during part of a performance. honest and gentle. But it's not. So be kind. just to get your team comfortable. Choosing Formats Be flexible when choosing Performance Exercises for a given night. and you and your team mates will grow. This is harder than it seems. because they're all helpful in different ways. they can relax first and then hear your suggestions for improvement. You may want to use the Basic Performance Exercises for the first couple of months. while you were ready to fall asleep. they are usually very vulnerable. I usually word it like "I found myself drifting off during the second verse. it's not easy to tell the singer you were bored." or "You did. If you're feeling bored. By starting with a positive comment. Start with a positive comment about the performance. It's better to say "I felt" rather than "You were. 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." Always begin your feedback with "I" statements." It's easy to think that not telling them you were bored is a kind and supportive thing to do. Do use all the formats. 2.else needs to be worked on. Giving Feedback When giving feedback to a team member. Think how unkind it would be for them to think you enjoyed the performance. When a singer finishes a song and is awaiting feedback. always keep these guidelines in mind: 1. they need to know. Tell them honestly how you reacted to their performance.

You'll become a better singer and performer. and how much fun they had singing in front of such a large crowd. they'll assume you're a real singer. and they often are in great need of qualified singers. They brought out skills I didn't know I had. and when you start looking for jobs as a singer. but they're a fantastic place for you to hone your performance skills in a low pressure environment.I've done most all of these exercises. You'll be gaining valuable performing experience. You'll be amazed with the results. A good place to begin performing publicly is Karaoke bars and open mics. They changed me as a person and as a singer. I suggest you do it as often as possible. This should take about an hour at most. you'll be ready to begin regular performances in front of live audiences." Either of these places will give you the opportunity to practice your performance skills. and they are incredible. Going to Karaoke bars and open mics on your own After working with your Performance Team for a few months. Start with the minor league and college teams. My students who take advantage of these performance venues really benefit. After several months of performing in clubs. When you tell people you've sung the national anthem at ball games. . All you have to do is go into any recording studio and record yourself singing the anthem. you'll be a solid performer. My students who have done this rave about how easy it was to get hired. this will add to your credibility. Once you have your demo. able to get on any stage and give a great performance. I know that Karaoke bars have an amateurish reputation. 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. because there are so many ball games on any given night. Most large cities have Karaoke bars and nightclubs which feature "open mic nights. Believe it or not. this is one of the easiest singing jobs to get. make a bunch of copies and send them to ball clubs in your area. Give them a try. then when you get some experience go for the majors.

Performing will be an incredible experience. This will be one of your peak life experiences. When you are singing softly. Watch performers on stage and notice how they adjust the distance between the microphone and their mouths. The concept of using a microphone is simple. When you are singing loudly. You'll be hooked on performing when you experience Phase 3! Microphone technique When you start performing in clubs. Your first few times on stage will be the most frightening. The closer you are to the microphone. or with your Performance Team. You want the volume of your voice to be just above the volume of the music. You'll be using your excitement and the audience's energy to fuel your performance. The key to good microphone technique is to really listen. You'll sing better than you ever did at home. If the . and you'll begin to experience some confidence. When you have dozens of performances under your belt. your confidence will allow you to experiment and expand your level of emotion and dynamics. Don’t expect to be great (not yet anyway). After several performances you'll still be nervous before you go on stage. predictable phases when developing your public performance skills. Phase 1. Give yourself credit for getting up there. You should look at these performances simply as exercises.The 3 Phases of performing You'll go through natural. Phase 3. You'll be as good on stage as you are at home. Phase 2. you'll begin using a microphone. the louder your voice projects. even though you were scared. bring the microphone in close. but the on-stage experience will be more familiar to you. You'll probably do worse than you do during your practice sessions at home. pull it away.

You can do the same. . Allow yourself to make mistakes. If the microphone is too close and your voice is much louder than the music. the audience will be blasted out of their chairs. the audience won't be able to hear you. You'll need to be careful when pronouncing words that start with the letter "p." Don't let it explode as it comes out of your mouth." When you sing these words into a microphone. In other words. Your favorite performers made them as they were learning." Use the same repair technique for these consonants.microphone is too far away and your voice is quieter than the music. they tend to pop. Learning to use a microphone is just a matter of practice. Many famous singer's began their careers as the shaky performers. they developed into great performers. You need to do it in order to become good at it." What you need to do is hold back on the "p. Summary Learning to perform is just like anything else in life. you hear a mini-explosion every time you sing a word that begins with "p. Most beginners need about 20 hours of microphone use before they master mic technique. Some singers have trouble with other consonants such as "t" or "b. Once they gained experience.

PART 5 HOW TO GET PAID AS A SINGER .

RECORDING AND SELLING CD'S . SINGING AT Wedding CEREMONIES 4. SINGING ON Radio and TV commercials 5. PERFORMING AT "CASUAL" GIGS 3. 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. SINGING ON Songwriter demos 6. SINGING IN Nightclubs 2. WORKING AS A BACK-UP SINGER 7.CHAPTER 19 7 WAYS YOU CAN EARN GOOD MONEY AS A SINGER Now that your singing and performance skills are getting strong.

There is also a section called "Musicians Available. the Village Voice. you won’t feel such a need to prove yourself when you actually sing with them. so all you have to do is show up and learn their songs. SINGING IN NIGHTCLUBS Singing in nightclubs is a lot of fun. Joining a band The easiest way to begin performing in nightclubs is to join an existing band. When you find a band you like. Networking can also be productive." That's where you will place your ad. you need to like them as well as having them like you. It may be a matter of style. If they like your demo." That's where the bands looking for singers will advertise. You would be surprised how many singers find bands way. in San Francisco. Put up flyers. Remember. Most singers need to audition for several bands in order to find a good match. and respond to ads placed by bands looking for singers. First. Someone else has already put the show together. There are several publications where bands advertise. You can either join a band or put your own band together. BAM Magazine. Talk to musicians in the clubs and music stores you frequent. play them your demo tape (explained in the next chapter). Your first step is to advertise yourself as an available singer. Let's begin with nightclubs: 1. or you may need to work on certain areas of your . you'll need some musicians to back you up. In Los Angeles there is Music Connection Magazine. These publications have a classified section called something "Musicians Wanted.We'll look all these ways you can earn money. letting the world know that you are available. congratulations! If not. ask them why. If you get the gig. and just how much you can earn in each venue. in New York.

joining an existing band is much easier than forming one. . you can be your own band and work as a solo performer. You don’t need to depend on anyone else. You can do things your way in your own time frame. Visit the clubs in your area so you can decide where you would like to perform. Call the clubs where you'd like to work and find out who does the booking. but the money is good because you are splitting it with only one other person. Forming a band You'll look for musicians in the same way you look for a pre-existing band: through networking and advertising. The primary disadvantage is that it takes time. you'll probably be the one who has to look for the gigs. Looking for work in nightclubs If you put your own band together.presentation or your voice before your next audition. Some will be booked by owners and managers. Some clubs will look fantastic and others won’t be appealing at all. you'll be prepared. The advantage is that you are a self-contained unit. Solo back-up: Another approach is to work with a keyboardist or a guitarist. so if you do decide to put your own band together someday. while others will be booked by outside agents. and you can keep all the money you're paid. This isn’t as exciting as performing with a full band. Begin a list of all the clubs that you like. Send your promo package (defined below) to whomever does the booking. If you're just starting out. directions and personalities are compatible. Other types of acts you can put together Solo act: If you play guitar or piano well enough to accompany yourself while you sing. You learn the ropes. The advantage of forming your own band is that you are in control. patience and persistence to put together a group of musicians whose styles.

and the musicians you’re working with. you may choose to omit this part of the promo package. You'll present it to club owners and agents. . Your promo package will be the equivalent of a resume. wait a week or two. Often these clubs are inside large hotels where the hotel managers don't want to hassle with auditions. Many club owners won’t expect it. Working with agents Some nightclubs only hire bands through booking agents. Looking for work in nightclubs is much like looking for any other job. Find out if they received your promo package and if they have any performance dates in mind. then call the person who does the booking. ask when you should call them again. This document will state your performing experience. Be persistent and you will find work. talk to the musicians in the hotel nightclubs. Your demo CD. Send them your promo package and call them in a week. Some clubs will hire you and some won't. or look in the yellow pages. A cover letter or “bio”. 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. recording studios you’ve worked in. An 8" X l0" black and white photo of you or you and your band 3. 2. If not. As a beginner. The agent takes a percentage of what you earn in exchange for getting you gigs. you'll need to present a promo (promotional) package.After mailing your packages. To find agents. Their take ranges from 10%-25%. A good promo package consists of the following: 1. so they have agents bring in the bands.

Casual gigs can be fun because you get to sing with so many different musicians in all types of venue. You should definitely get your demo and business card in the hands of . 2. I know singers who have gone to the courthouse to find out who's getting married. If you get the word out. you'll start getting the job offers. so when they find someone who shows up on time with a smile and a positive attitude. You may be singing at a medical convention. a nice person. But once musicians get to know you as a talented and reliable singer. You'll usually figure out what songs to play when you arrive at the gig. so if you're just starting out you may not be offered casual gigs. She had more job offers than she could handle. work will come to you. and very responsible. This type of gig involves a high level of musicianship.What you'll earn: You earn $50-$300 per night singing in nightclubs. they hire that singer again and again. What you'll earn: session. Let your friends know you are available. because she was a good singer. a party or a wedding reception. I remember a student who did nothing but casual gigs. PERFORMING AT "CASUAL" GIGS Casuals are jobs where the musicians often meet each other for the first time at the gig (job sight). The musicians either know the songs by heart or read sheet music as they play. and then sent their wedding demo to the bride and groom. There are usually no rehearsals. SINGING AT WEDDING CEREMONIES Singing at wedding ceremonies is a low-pressure and fun way to get started. These gigs will pay you $100-$400 for a 1-4 hour 3. a local nightclub. You also get paid fairly well. Musicians get sick of flaky singers with attitudes. Advertise in local newspapers.

the money is good and the work is exciting and satisfying. Better yet. Ask who the producers are and how to get in touch with them. What you'll earn: You'll earn $100-$400 for singing 2-4 songs. but it does take time to break in. Send the key people your demo. they will be likely to remember your perseverance and honest interest in working for them. except you record commercials instead of songs. 4. If you don’t know anyone in the advertising field. You'll learn how to record your demo in the next chapter. In this case your demo will just be wedding songs. or copies of jingles on the radio or TV. which means you don't have to split the money with a keyboardist. Sometimes a piano player or keyboardist will be provided by the wedding party at no charge to you. and the ability to perform under pressure. A jingle demo is a recording of you singing commercials. 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. The steps for recording your jingle demo are the same as those for recording your song demo. visit them in person. and then call them at least once a month.every wedding planner within 100 miles of where you live. get on the phone and talk to recording studios and ad agencies. SINGING ON RADIO AND TV COMMERCIALS Singing jingles and commercials requires a high degree of vocal control. One thing about singing at weddings is that every situation is different. once you break in. But when you're in. letting them know you are interested in working for them. One of the cool things about singing at weddings is that you can often sing with Karaoke tapes. . The work provides a fairly reliable source of income. These can be jingles that you make up. The best way to get started is to record a jingle demo and present it to the producers who do commercial work. When an opening occurs. improvisational skills.

" They didn't think much of the ad and neither did I. Oakland California isn't one of the world's major music centers. and sing them in a way that pleases you and the songwriter. you can start charging for your services. The ad basically said "Band needs back-up singers. 6. as a back-up singer. After all. SINGING ON SONGWRITER DEMOS Singing on songwriter demos is easier than singing commercials. A few years ago.What you'll earn: $50-$200 per hour. singing back-up is a good way to become used to singing for large audiences. WRONG! If you want to get hired as a back-up singer by a major recording act. This is a real good way to gain experience as a studio singer. If you're looking for this kind of work. you don't need to be as good a singer to get hired to do back-up. It will be easier to relax on stage. After a couple of jobs. Before Huey Lewis was well known. Most of the work will consist of singing for songwriters who don't sing well enough to sing on their own demo. and you'll learn alot by watching the lead singer. Also. . WORKING AS A BACK-UP SINGER Many aspiring singers love the idea of becoming a back-up singer. You'll have to learn songs that you've never heard. What you'll earn: You'll earn $10-$50 per hour. but doesn’t pay as well. We both figured it was some garage band that was going nowhere. he was singing on songwriter demos for $25 a song. be sure to follow all leads and respond to all ads. you don't have to be the main focus of an audiences attention. You'll get hired as a back-up singer by submitting your demo tape and going to auditions. 5. a couple of my students saw a tiny classified ad in the Oakland Tribune. I suggest taking your demo to smaller studios in your area and letting them know that you are willing to work for free. After all. you need to be a great singer! However.

you might as well look for work as a back-up singer. 7. That's pretty good. It just goes to show that you never know what will happen at an audition. They auditioned and two weeks later they were on stage.000 to be very successful or profitable. you'll need high quality. while you're looking for other kinds of work. because record companies can generally sell alot more CD's than the average singer ever could. That brings her earnings to well over $3 million. because they don't consider sales of 300.000 and she could have been dropped by the record company. Most artists go for the recording contract. But they didn't even listen to her demo. When you start looking for work. radio oriented . Another one of my students recently had an interesting experience when she auditioned as a back-up singer for a local band. They had a great time singing with this artist. If she had sold 300. She show up at the audition with demo in hand. This "band" turned out to be a major recording artist signed to CBS records.000 CD's while touring the United States and singing in coffee houses. It can pay well. or you can try to get a recording contract and have the record company sell your CD's. in front of a huge audience. and be a whole lot of fun! What you'll earn: With a small time band you'll probably work for free.When they showed up at the audition they were blown away. she would have been lucky to earn $500. Annie DeFranko took the do-it-yourself approach and sold 300. You'll learn more about getting a recording contract later on in this book. Let's say she charged $12. With a well know act you'll earn up to $200 per hour.000 CD's while signed to a record company. Instead they studio her in a recording studio and had her sing back-up to the bands first single. and I suspect they were well paid. Which ever route you choose. give you valuable experience. You can either record your own CD and sell it yourself. RECORDING AND SELLING CD'S This is the most challenging and the best paying gig of all. Since she recorded her CD's in her living room so her expenses were very little.00 per CD. She was shocked.

Once you get established.original songs. Don't be too proud to start at the bottom and work your way up. Janis Joplin began by singing in small clubs for $4 a night. Even great singers aren't stars in the beginning. you'll have to pound the pavement and use the telephone. financially and emotionally What you'll earn: If your CD's don't sell. If your CD's sell well. you just have to be a good detective and keep looking. or very little. it will be easier to get paid gigs. Recording a CD will be one of the most demanding things you have ever done. You don’t have to be a great singer to work. soon find themselves with paying gigs. persistent. or close to it I recommend volunteering your services whenever and wherever possible. you could earn millions. you'll earn nothing. most of all. The ones who get hired are professional and. Many singers who begin working for free. Later in her career she was earning $30.000 a night. just to get experience. Working for free. but it can be tremendously rewarding. .  In order to find work. Summary It’s important to remember that looking for work as a singer is like looking for any other job.

Pick the songs you're going to record. When you tell someone in the music business that you are a singer. Rehearse the songs. 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. When you start auditioning for bands. Find the backup musicians. Step 3. It's a calling card which represents you at your best.CHAPTER 20 HOW TO RECORD YOUR FIRST DEMO CD The first step to becoming a working singer is to record a demo (demonstration) CD. Step 2. and you'll give a better live performance. A demo CD is to a singer what a portfolio is to a visual artist. . The steps required to produce a quality demo are: Step 1. You won't feel such a need to prove yourself. you may not get a shot at what they have to offer. the first question they'll usually ask is “Can I hear your demo?” If you don't have a demo.

Try to find songs that really show off your voice Step 2. Use your Karaoke tape or CD. putting up flyers in music stores and talking to all of your friends. guitarist or keyboardist and have them accompany you in the recording studio. and the cost is low. But I will tell you. Find a band and pay them to accompany you in the recording studio. You'll need three songs that are somewhat varied in style. They should charge around $50$100 per song to rehearse and record with you. Step 5. Pick the songs you are going to record. Find a recording studio. A good band will charge between $100-$300 per song. . 3.Step 4. but it's illegal. Pick songs you love and that are easy for you to sing. that many singers do record their demo with Karaoke background music. Find a piano player. Karaoke tapes and CD's are copyrighted and it's illegal to make copies of copyrighted material. You can find bands and musicians by calling music stores. Record your demo. This is the cheapest way to record your demo. The quality is very good. Many times the recording studio you choose will be able to help you find musicians. 2. There are basically three ways you can provide back-up music: 1. placing ads in publications that musicians read. Lets take a look at each step: Step 1. At least one of the songs should fast. The last thing you want is a demo with three slow songs on it. Find the back-up musicians.

and when you find one you like. The engineer will help you decide which performances are good. Step 5. Rehearse the songs. book the recording session. you'll need the use of a 4. Part 1.Step 3. Call different studios and explain your needs. This is where he takes the instrumental tracks and the vocal tracks and mixes them down to your final cassette. Practice the songs until you can perform them in your sleep. Part 2. Visit the ones that sound good. If your keyboardist or other musician friends are not able to recommend a recording studio. You now have your demo! Tip When you sing your vocal tracks. Next. 8 or 16-track studio. you would be wasting your money. the engineer will record the instrumental tracks (either your keyboardist’s or band's performance). Be sure that you hear in your headphones . First. you will record your vocal tracks. or with your Karaoke tape. Step 4. Record your demo. For your first demo. Find a recording studio. Your focus should be on singing the song with maximum emotion. Part 3. the engineer can “overdub” the part that needs correcting so that you don’t have to sing the entire song again. Next. except for a small mistake or two. the engineer will "mix" the song. but for your first demo. You should plan on spending $25-$50 an hour for a good studio. look under “Recording Studios” for your particular city on Google. you will be wearing headphones while you're singing into the mic. You can spend up to five hundred dollars per hour for a recording studio. The recording session will take place in three parts. If you sing the song well. You can rehearse with a practice tape that your musicians make for you. Do not go into the studio with a song you barely know. Sing along to be sure the tempo (speed of the song) and style are right.

The mistakes you make will enable you to do better work in the future. you'll be able to enter a whole new league in the music industry. After many years of singing in recording studios. you'll sing much better. I still learn something new each session. If you are happy with the "headphone mix". tell the engineer to adjust it. . Your opportunities for success will be increased greatly because more high level people will be able to hear you. Once you have your demo. recording studios and record companies. If something is too loud or too soft.sounds great to you. You can send your CD or MP3 file to bands. Summary Consider your first couple of times in the studio as learning experiences.

If you're interested in pursuing a recording contract. here's what you need to know: Music as a business Music has an artistic side to it. It signifies a certain level of success. a recording contract does not guarantee success. If you want to make money as a recording artist. you need to understand how the business side works. However. If you understand where the money comes from.CHAPTER 21 GETTING A RECORDING CONTRACT A recording contract is the ultimate dream of most singers and musicians. but when their CDs didn't sell. The dollar flow starts with the consumer.. The music business is a multi-billion-dollar industry. the record companies dropped them and they were never heard from again. and a business side. Many bands and singers have been signed. They buy your recordings . you'll have a better chance of prospering as a singer. and where it goes.

If you have a sound that the public likes. The Rolling Stones' Tours often earn over $300 million. the record company will probably drop you because you aren't earning them any money. . the record company will treat you like God. The money you earn from concerts or club performances will be little to none. the profits become significant. The more people buy your records. in the beginning. Before a record company will sign a new artist. When you're selling out stadiums. and that people like. Your demo must show that you have a radio quality voice. It takes most beginning singers five to ten years to develop their voice to this level. you probably won't be able to interest a record company. As you can see. They will buy your CDs and you'll get paid. three elements must be present. For example. 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. If any of these elements are missing or underdeveloped. The record companies are in business to make money. However. The record company then gives you a portion of what they get. The artist must have a radio quality voice. Radio quality voice: This is what we've been working on. the more money you make. you can't lose. They aren't in the business of developing talent. They sign fully developed artists with the hopes of making huge profits. It's a voice that sounds good on CD. The most important thing to remember is this. Record companies look at concerts as a way to promote record sales. contemporary hit songs. and a good stage act. If millions of people buy your CDs. emotional and unique. A voice that is rich.and part of that money goes to the record company. powerful. Concerts usually aren't profitable until you've been around for a few years and have a big following. it's a money game. I did have one student who got a recording contract after singing for just three years. Let's look at each element: 1. If nobody buys your CDs.

How do you know if you're ready to look for a recording contract? Take a look at yourself as a marketable package.2. they may make you an offer. or bands the singers are with. You should plan on writing these hit songs yourself. Learning The 7 Secrets to Great Performing will help you develop a good stage act. Anyone Can Write Songs 3. You can learn to write songs. A very small percentage of singers are able to get record deals without bringing in hit songs. listen to the radio. but it's rare. Just read my book. If someone likes your demo. If you wonder what a hit song is. 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. because hit songs are needed in order to sell records. How do you get record companies to hear your demo tape . they'll want to see your stage act. but weak on stage? Then work on your stage act before trying to get a record deal. Ten to twelve contemporary hit songs: Record companies are only interested in hit songs. Good stage act: If you can get on stage and hold the audience's attention for an hour. Make your presentation as solid as possible before approaching record companies. Record companies will come to the clubs where you're performing to see how you are with an audience. Are you strong as a singer/songwriter. you have a good stage act. Most of the songs on the charts were written by the singers. If they like your stage act. Marginal songs don't sell. Shopping your demo means mailing or emailing MP3 files to record companies.

The record companies have to listen to new artists in order to stay in business. but he managed to see someone at Sony Records. You can get your tapes heard. If the public loves you. These attorneys are easier to reach than alot of the record company people. on top of charging you an hourly rate. you'll have to work to get your tape heard. Your goal is to get anyone to listen to your tape. In the end CBS offered more than Sony. He told CBS that Sony made a great offer and wanted to know if they wanted to hear Erics tape. and began taking Eric's demo to record companies. He worked as a waiter at a small Mexican restaurant in San Francisco. They usually take a percentage or your earnings. if you use the phone and beat the pavement. They did! Then the bidding war began. Start calling and visiting the record companies. but he did know that in order to succeed. but it can be worth it in some cases. Anecdote Eric had been studying with me for about a year and had developed himself to the point of being marketable to record companies. After that Eric's manager didn't have any trouble getting in anyone's door. Fly to Los Angeles or New York and get a cheap hotel for a week. I'm sure a lot of doors were slammed in his face. They're always looking for new talent.If you really want a recording contract. using Sony's offer as a way to get in.A. but your prime target is the A&R person (Artist and Repertoire). So the manager flew to L. Eric's new manager knew nothing about the music business. you've got it made! . Another common approach is to have an entertainment attorney shop the tape for you. and offered to manage him. The owner of the restaurant liked his music. Eric's manager then went to CBS records. and you'll need one eventually to negotiate your contract. Sony loved Eric's tape and offered him a record deal. Eric needed a record deal.

you are a money earner. If you do that. If you please the public. the record companies will eventually be banging on your door. That's the hard part. Record companies earn their money by signing money earners. making offers. . Summary If you have the three elements described above. If most people get excited. your success is inevitable. 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. There's money to be made and somebody will see that and invest in you. you'll sell CDs and concert tickets. If the public likes you. Your challenge will be to develop yourself to the point where the public and the record companies feel you are ready. getting a record deal isn't that difficult. you need to figure out why and make some changes.

PART 6 INSPIRATIONAL STUFF! .

Waiting to be discovered will not get you discovered. Elbert Hubbart Writer. Get a 3X5 card and write down your goal as an "I am" or "I have" . These exercises are as important as anything you will learn in this book. early 1900s The most important thing you can do is to act. Some students aren't able to write down their goals at all. My students often remark how difficult this was to actually do. When I take on a new student. Write down your goal. Their old self is being challenged by a new creative and brave person.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. I have them write out their goals and bring them to their first lesson. 1. It stirs up all kinds of emotions. Do something! Get started! Thinking about becoming a singer will not make you a singer. The following three exercises will help you to reach your goals.

if we are willing to put in the work. but not on the first projected date. The exercise works like this: Let's say a thought pops into your head like "I could never be good enough to sing professionally. I instantly had more friends. Keep doing this until you reach your goal. my life improved dramatically. I understand this because I have been the king of whiners for most of my life. Olympic athletes have successfully used visualization for years. If we expect negative results and events in our lives. For example: "I am singing three nights a week for large appreciative audiences and am earning $300 per night. 2. and these new friends were also positive people who I really enjoy." You need to counteract that poison with a statement like "I am a powerful." Say it out loud." Put down what you really want to be doing. The problem is that all of this negative talking and thinking is very destructive. Spend 15 minutes per day visualizing yourself having achieved your goal. My daily life became much more satisfying and enjoyable. Our friends usually just nod their heads and try to give us comfort. Make any statement you . However. Replace all negative statements and thoughts with positive ones. doing what you want to be doing. successful singer whom audiences love. 3. Most things we want to do we can do.. once I began replacing my negative thoughts and statements with positive ones. how we keep getting bad breaks. If the date arrives and you haven't achieved your goal. Imagine yourself where you want to be. My experience with this exercise is that I usually reach my goals. and include the date by which you expect to be accomplishing this goal. we'll probably have them. Here's what you do: Find a quiet place and get comfortable. you are living your dream. be realistic. See yourself on stage and in the recording studio singing your heart out. etc. In our culture it is totally acceptable to whine and talk about how inferior we are. get another 3X5 card and write out your goal again with a new date.statement. This is a fun exercise because while visualizing.

waves crashing on the rocks behind me. The first few times I tried windsurfing." "I could never get the money. I wasn't very good. I had a belief that I could never windsurf. by listening to those quiet voices in our minds and hearts. you'll generally get what you expect. or should produce a book. nurture it like a tiny flower. and then try it." and as long as it's a positive statement. I realized: Hey. Remember. the rest will take care of itself.like as long as you start with "I am" or "I have. But here I was. you can do it! Last week as I was windsurfing under the Golden Gate Bridge. and not killing them with negative thoughts like: "I could never do that. jumping waves. If you stomp on all your seedlings. The hardest part for most of us is listening to the ideas. and shouting with joy. I did it because I enjoyed writing the book." etc. not because I thought I had to practice writing. you'll have no garden. but it was so much fun that I kept doing it. But there is one more element here. I wrote because I had a strong desire to write. When an idea comes up. You won't be able to figure out all the angles and outcomes before . if I find someone to teach me. I believe that if we figure out what we really want. I'm actually doing it! Eight years earlier. It feels much better to verbalize your dream than to talk about how bad things are or will be. I had the same experience. You may feel a bit uncomfortable the first few times you do this. through experience and lessons. I kept windsurfing because it was fun! If I hadn't loved it so much I would have quit. I could never learn and I believed them. but after awhile you'll probably begin to enjoy it." "people won't like me. Eventually I improved. When I wrote my first book. That sounds so simple it's boring." "I'm too old. and then keep doing it. racing along. That taught me something: I can learn most anything. so expect the best! If you can dream it. Someone told me that if I didn't start in my early twenties.

the older man replied. "How could you achieve so much by making bad decisions?" Tho older man replied with great enthusiasm. The universe has an amazing way of solving problems for those who jump in with both feet. He owned houses. "Good decisions. boats." the older gentleman answered calmly. "How did you achieve your high level of success?" Being a man of few words. So just start. planes and corporations. "Bad decisions. They hurt. This young man wanted to be rich like his neighbor. We can rely on other peoples wisdom some of the time." "How did you learn to make good decisions?" the younger man asked." This left the younger man totally confused. We aren't born with all the answers. But things always worked out. I had no idea how I would be earning a living after my savings ran out.you start. fall and learn. we have to risk. One opportunity led to another. There's no ." The more mistakes the better Once there was a young man who desired success but had no idea how to achieve it. When I quit my safe corporate job to pursue my singing career. he was invited into the study. Feeling somewhat frustrated. and I was forced to develop skills I would have never developed under the safe umbrella of "The Corporation. he almost shouted. paused for what seemed like an eternity and spoke these two simple and powerful words. When he arrived at the man's mansion. The young man began his questions. He had a neighbor who lived up the hill who was very successful. "Experience. and you'll discover solutions at each turn of the road. "Bad decisions are my greatest teachers. so he decided he'd pay him a visit and find out how he became so successful. emotionally and financially. Mistakes cause me to do things differently the next time. "Well how did you get experience?" He looked the younger man straight in the eye. but if we are entering uncharted territory.

The younger man grew to be happy and successful. In everything I did. 20 mistakes per day I've lived much of my life with the deadly disease called perfectionism. Mistakes were great teachers." The younger man left the mansion somewhat dazed. depressed and self-berating. I looked at mistakes as being good. or I would feel like a failure. This is to be your goal and when you achieve that goal you have succeeded. I didn't have to be perfect anymore. only 19 more to go. I am giving you the assignment of making at least 20 mistakes per day. full of risking and living. What she told me changed my life. Now when I make my first mistake of the day.other way! All great discoveries come from venturing into unexplored territory. I say to myself "Good job. From now on. I'm giving you the assignment of making at least 20 mistakes per day. I no longer feel the intense fear I used to feel. 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. Life is much better! So now. an 89 year old woman of great wisdom." I feel light and successful instead of heavy. and he vowed to live life in a way where mistakes were frequent and honored. It was a hellish life and I avoided doing new things in which I was sure to make mistakes. I had to do it perfectly. you've had a good day." I felt relieved after our conversation. What ended up happening is I would always make mistakes and then beat myself up for not being perfect. He realized that all the effort he had been using to try to be perfect was in vain. It isn't easy breaking out of a safe lifestyle. The pressure was off. I was complaining about my latest mistakes and how bad I felt about making them. but relieved. I am willing to do more new and scary things. When you've done that. She said "John. You cannot achieve greatness by following someone's safe path. You will be . One day I was on the phone with one of my most supportive friends.

I know this from personal experience. It's human nature. However. Go for your dream and you'll find happiness and satisfaction! .continually challenging all parts of your being. But you'll be happy! Most people choose comfort over happiness. comfort becomes very uncomfortable when a dream is being crushed.

He played well and his career progressed. One of the nurses who had befriended him asked him if there was anything he wanted. But he had 12 hours a day to practice. until one day he began to move his fingers on his right hand. and within 6 months he was playing and singing to other patients and the staff. As he grew older. He was ecstatic. With time he regained the use of both hands and arms. He asked for a guitar. One night on the way home. For three years he showed little sign of improvement. his paralysis disappeared. Everyday after school. He found he really enjoyed this. his dream came true: he was offered a position on a professional team. He was devastated. Miraculously. his car had a blowout and he became involved in a very serious accident. He began to have hope.CHAPTER 23 MORE REALLY COOL SUCCESS STORIES Once there was a small boy who loved playing soccer more than anything in the world. he discovered he was paralyzed from the neck down. realizing his soccer career was over. When she brought it to him. he couldn't play. he would get together with his friends and practice. He regained use of his entire . he dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. On his 18th birthday. to help pass the time. When he regained consciousness in the hospital room.

but not ready to quit. and up-and-coming singers go there to test their skills. I don't know if I could handle that. It's a huge place and performing there must be intimidating. we would not be able to enjoy his music today. He was unable to finish the song because they were so loud. A young male singer decided to give it a try. It wasn't until his fifth attempt that he was able to get through the entire song without being booed off the stage. He left the stage. He was down but not out. . Now. only to have the same thing happen again. He had kind of a strange voice. what chances do you think he had of succeeding? He started relatively late in life. and now singing. Now I would have been very discouraged at this point. very loudly. and about 20 seconds in. He got on stage and started to sing his song. His name is Lionel Richie. This time he got halfway through the song and the same thing happened. He did. If he had given up.body. He is the most successful male singer in the world. Two weeks later he went back. But what's really hard is that if the audience doesn't like you they will start to boo. His name is Julio Inglesias. He went back two more times. the audience started to boo. Now it was time to leave the hospital and rebuild his life. he has sold over 100 million albums. He could always go back and try again. This young man was certainly discouraged. 15 years later. Once a week they have a talent contest. He had never been properly trained. until you're forced to leave the stage. The Apollo Theater in Harlem is a place where singers get started. humiliated. Now that's perseverance. 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 had to ask himself what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

great looks.com . Contact information: bajarest@gmail. or parents that gave them singing lessons at age six. The turtle won.CONCLUSION In my 25 years of teaching voice. If you really want to be a singer. It wasn’t talent. Remember the story about the race between the turtle and the hare. What they all had in common was a strong desire to sing and the ability to keep on pushing. no matter what the obstacles were. I have seen a common denominator among my successful students. I have seen singers with incredible voices who never succeeded because they didn’t have the perseverance necessary for success. The hare had the talent (speed) but the turtle had tenacity. you will be! Good luck.