Best “Ah-ha” moment

One of the best “ah-ha” moments about my voice came to me the summer I had a quaint little gig in the bar area of a classy restaurant. It was a quiet room that only sat about 6 people at the bar, and had six tables in a room approximately 20′ X 20′.

I had a small speaker system that was a perfect set-up for me and my digital piano. Now, the point I’m making here is how I learned to sing better that summer.

Prior to this, I always sang in bands. Loud bands. Big bands.

This experience was revolutionary for me.

You could hear a pin drop at times. My job was to entertaining the romantic couples who were waiting for their table, or who came in after dinner for a dance or two before going home. My job was to sing my heart out without being annoying loud.

Have you ever tried to sing/belt your heart out to a Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, or Kelly Clarkson tune, without being too loud? It’s an interesting combination, and one that is the key to your success as a strong singer.

I must say I did this well, and got better at it week after week.

The effort came from deep within. Almost deep within my soul, if that makes any sense. I had to take in huge breaths to build enough pressure to create the illusion of singing loud and belting. With careful play on the microphone, I was able to add emotional intimacy to my voice on the verses (usually the lowest pitches of a song), and then build intense dynamic power by increasing the strength and breath pressure in my body for the choruses.

Yes, the choruses were a bit louder, and I would simply back of the mic just enough to create that build up of intensity that matched the intensity of singing close to the microphone in the verse.

Does any of this make sense to you?

Questions? Comments? Please let me know below.


Singers Beware!

Oh, isn’t it great! You’ve formed a band and you have a regular paying gig now at the local club every week! Life is good, but you’ve noticed that after three nights in a row of singing there is absolutely nothing left. You start out fine with lots of belt and volume, but by the end of Saturday night you are ready for a long vocal break……

If this is happening to you, then you need to read on. Vocal exhaustion and abuse is not unusual when you sing in a loud room, but it’s deadly. It can kill your career as a singer. No band will want a singer who can’t perform for days or weeks in a row. Consider this…

First, are you warming up? Do you have all resonators buzzing with anticipation? Hope so. Secondly, how’s your vocal monitor? Can you hear youself over the drums and guitar when you talk. That’s a good test……can you “speak” and hear your words while the drums and guitars are blaring. If you don’t have a good monitor then that’s the first sign you’re in trouble.

Second, just because everything is loud around you doesn’t mean you should be loud. You have amplication to do that. You may need to make it appear that you are singing loud to our audience (body language, facial expressions), but the bottom line is, if you are over-blowing your vocal cords then you are causing abuse which may lead to hoarseness and loss of the voice. You should be singing a “moderate” volume with good articulation and presence.

Thirdly, are you in the mix? Are you asking what is the mix? Well, the mix is when your chest voice and your head voice work very well together creating a balance that makes it very easy to sing any style of music you want.

Got questions? Drop me a line….