Light and right / Strong and wrong

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This is Brett Manning’s most recent video about extending chest voice.

This is such an important video for those of you trying to “belt”. The first and foremost thing you must be able to do before belting, is know that you are mixing!

If you feel a ceiling as you try to sing higher, or if you have to sing louder and push harder to reach higher notes, then you are not mixing well.

Brett talks about a wide open mouth at 1:30. This is essential for safe belting.  You must be able to allow the sound to reach the front of the mouth and teeth, as well as ring freely in your head register.

Brett talks a lot about results. There are many factors to extending chest voice in your mix. Here are a few details:

1. Optimum breath control. (Engage your upper abdomen and rib cage area).

2.  Keep a stable larynx. (Put a sob or moan in your coordination. This will help keep your larynx from rising).

3. Optimum cord closure. (Initiate your onset with a “cry”. This will help you with cord closure. This sensation is small and light as Brett talks about at 2:00. It is challenging to keep it “light and right”. But, that is your job! That is the exercise!)

3. Optimum thyroid tilt. (The more you “cry” at the onset of cord closure in your upper  register, the more your larynx will tilt. This is essential for safe belting).

4. Oral twang. (The ability to say your words in your upper register. This is like sounding like a cartoon character).

Questions? Comments? Please leave them here!






Why I Admire Seth Riggs

Seth Riggs, the man behind the incredible singing technique called Speech Level Singing. Many great singing coaches have learned from his early teachings. Teachers such as Brett Manning (Singing Success), Roger Love  (The Perfect Voice), and Roger Burnley (Singing Made Simple) have gone on to create fabulous singing programs in their own right.

What makes this man so incredible is that he realized that many trained singers had a consistent and ongoing problem negotiating the middle of their voice. He realized most trained singers had only a head voice coordination when singing notes below their first passagio, and singers on Broadway would typically “flip” into their chest voice to get their speech-like belt, and end up yelling out the high notes, until they needed to flip back to their head voice coordination to continue on higher pitches.

He also realized that many untrained voices did the exact opposite. These singers would typically sing with a chest voice coordination only, and they usually ended up yelling and splatting on their high notes.

So hooray for Seth Riggs! This man has created a system of scales and awareness that strengthens the middle voice. This is called mixing!


I vocalized with my new app today driving into church. Have you tried the VocalizeU app yet!? It’s fabulous and FREE!

Singers, you may be thinking…wow, that’s all I need, the VocalizeU app, and I’ll get all the exercises I need to learn how to sing better! Right?

No, that’s wrong. Here lies the problem. Singers, you must realize this. It’s not the exercises in themselves that lead to a better singing voice; it’s HOW YOU DO the exercises!

You see, we all have unique bodies, unique vocal cords, an unique larynx, etc. (do I need to go on?) Therefore, every single voice has it’s own “issues” or “habits” that need to be addressed (including mine!) Therefore, without seeing a professional vocal coach who can assess what is actually going on with your voice, how can you, as a singer, possibly know if you are exercising properly in order to get the desired results? For all you know, you are merely reinforcing the issue that you actually want to change!

Don’t get me wrong. I am a huge fan of this app for singers! I’m also a fan of many vocal coaching sites that give free tips and exercises, such as Brett Manning’s Singing Success TV, Dave Brooks Vocal Coaching (great for country singers), and Eric Arseneaux’s Approach (great for R&B and pop). These are just to name a few.

Singers, soak it all up. There is a lot of information out there. You just need to learn how to sort through it. But first, get to know your voice by seeing a voice professional. Find out what your teacher thinks about these sites. Ask questions and try to figure out if you are on the “same page.” Without a coach’s input, you may simply be going through the motions, and not actually taking the correct steps to a better singing voice.

I’d be please to answer any questions, or recommend a good coach in your area. Leave me a comment!

The benefits of vocal fry when singing

What is vocal fry?

When speaking, vocal fry is simply the vocal cords coming together with very little air passing through, usually at a lower-than-your-normal speech pitch. It sounds like a gritty, broken up, growl….usually at the end of your sentence, and happens frequently in the morning when you first wake up. I hear it frequently, mostly in women. Now that it has made top-headline news recently, I’m sure everyone will start noticing the people around them who speak with some vocal fry.

But now I want to talk about vocal fry from a singing point of view. This is much, much different!

The ability to create vocal fry as you ascend in pitch is one of Brett Mannings’ top three vocal exercises. Why? Because the ability to keep the vocal cords connected with vocal fry as you ascend, is a challenging balance between thinning out the cords and controlling the amount of air passing through. With the correct balance, the cords will touch and vibrate on the edges creating a vocal fry sound. Too much air will either blow the cords apart, or not allow the fry sound to happen. This is the challenge to be able to decrease your air flow just enough to maintain the fry connection in the higher register.

I challenge my students with vocal fry exercises regularly. It really enforces the “less is more” mentality. You should try it. It’s not as easy as you might think. But, let’s be clear we are talking about vocal fry in your “higher” register….not lower.

Please let me know your thoughts!  Check out Brett Manning from Singing Success here

How to Sing Better…

If you have tried to learn how to sing better by reading information online, or by purchasing online products, then you have noticed that a lot of the information out there differs and it can be confusing. How is a singer suppose to know what is actually going to help them sing better? I have outlined some points below that may help.

Compare singing well to having a body that is in good shape. A good singer would be like a fit body. There are various shapes and sizes of fit bodies. Some are short, some are tall, some are muscular while others are not so. But, they are all “fit”.

Getting fit with singing means balancing your low voice, with your middle voice, with your high voice. In other words, a strong and consistent voice through your entire singing range….much like a fit body would have the correct balance of lean muscle versus fat content.

Where things get confusing is when we bring “style” into the concept of singing.

Consider this. Let’s say some fit people focus on their biceps, while other fit people focus on their chest. Then there are some fit people who work harder on their 6-pack, while others still work overtime on their back muscles. The one thing the all have in common is that they are first and foremost…fit. They look good everywhere, but some look extra muscular in a certain area.

If you use this analogy with singing, then you realize that every good singer must be fit first. Again, this means being able to ascend and descend through their entire singing range without strain or breaks. Once a singer is fit, then they can sing in any style they choose from classical to rock. This enables the singer to get “extra” fit in some areas.

Before you rock out, you need to know that you are singing well through your bridges, and then you learn to style in rock. Rock singing can be very damaging on the vocal cords, so being fit and staying fit is absolutely necessary. If you are a classically trained singer then you may be more fit in your upper register, but you may want to style in another genre of music. Blues, jazz and pop singers all have a stronger chest tone in their middle voice, while classical singers generally have more head tone in their middle voice. These differences are all about style.

Why I Chose Seth Riggs…

I’ve been training and teaching voice for many years. I’ve always found it fascinating why some people can sing sooooo beautifully and others have such trouble, with or without vocal coaching. Some people are just born with the freedom and ease of singing more than others………….or are they?

I first came across Speech-Level Singing and Seth Riggs when looking online for more vocal information. Seth Riggs’ “Singing for the Stars” was the best thing I ever found. Here is a technique that finally makes sense. No more manipulating your face, your body, focusing on your diaphragm and breath, but rather a technique that simply gives the vocal cords a good work-out. Very much like going to the gym. Finally exercises that take you through as much as an octave and a half of your vocal range in ONE SCALE. Now this makes sense. Flexibility and ease getting from your chest voice to your head voice in one scale EVERY TIME.

This was the first time I’d ever heard of “mixed voice”. Again, what a concept for a pop singer! Speech-Level Singing that uses a strong chest voice in the “mix” is what most singers are looking for these days. We all want to have a powerful, strong voice that can sing on and on and on…..

I’ve since joined the Seth Riggs organization and will be certified Level 1 this year. I continue training weekly with master SLS teachers all over the world. Seth Riggs, himself, cannot teach everyone. Instead, he has hand-picked his teachers to teach SLS to the world at large.

If you have the opportunity to take Speech-Level Singing lessons from a certified coach, you will not be disappointed. The CD’s and book are only so helpful without the feedback of someone who can tell you what your voice should be doing. We all have habits that stop us from freeing our voice through the bridges (breaks). Only a real-life coach can help you learn what your tendencies are. Then, the CD’s and book really make sense.

There is a lot of information online about Speech-Level Singing. Brett Manning has created an empire with his Singing Success package. Brett Manning was also a long-time student of Seth Riggs before the Seth Riggs SLS organization was started. Brett’s online videos are very helpful at understanding the aspects of Speech-Level Singing, and he has associates now teaching style along with the technique.

So, check out Brett Manning and Seth Riggs online. You can find certified Speech-Level Singing teachers at this website All SLS teachers in the Seth Riggs organization must continue their training so that the true definition and benefit of “Speech-Level Singing” doesn’t become tarnished or changed. The method is set by Seth Riggs. It produces excellent results and should not be modified or manipulated with other exercises or methods. It doesn’t need to be. It is complete as it is. It works and it was created by Seth Riggs!

Why not leave your comment? Have you tried SLS? Will you in the future?

Brett Manning’s “Singing Success” OR Seth Riggs’ “Singing For The Stars”

First, let me say I have both SLS products for about six years and they are both fabulous! However, neither can beat personal one-on-one SLS lessons with a coach to get instant feedback for your voice.

My goal with this blog is tell you about my experience with SLS (Speech Level Singing).

Let’s review — Brett Manning has an extremely successful SLS reputation. His online marketing is amazing, and my guess is his Singing Success CD/book program has outsold “Singing For The Stars”, but I have no proof of that.

Let’s review — Brett Manning was a student of Seth Riggs for many years. Brett Manning learned from the best. He has a spectacular voice and can demonstrate the whistle. My goodness!!

Speech-Level Singing teaching took a turn in about 1995 when Dave Stroud, a then-longtime student and friend of Seth Riggs, knew something had to be done to uphold the integrity of teaching Speech-Level Singing. It was Seth who created the exercises that make such great logic in the way to teach SLS.

The Bel Canto technique (beautiful singing) is still at the heart of SLS.  Seth Riggs has updated and simplified the logic of teaching voice, and made it easier for teachers to understand and thereby, get great results immediately from their students. You probably know that Seth Riggs is the master vocal coach of many great singers such as Michael Jackson. The list is long so if you want to know more about Seth Riggs, go here

Let’s be very clear that SLS has been the choice of many opera singers and musical theatre singers. This method is not just for country and rock singers. It doesn’t matter what style you sing because SLS is not about style. It has nothing to do with style. It has everything to do with balancing the voice through your entire range. If you must abuse the vocal cords during your concerts, then at least SLS can help you stay healthy and grounded in between concerts.

The world of SLS changed in about 1995 when Dave Stroud created an organization whereby teachers who want to teach speech-level singing need to “tested and approved”. This was a  huge undertaking but it has strengthened the method of “Speech Level Singing”.  All teachers wishing to associate themselves with Seth Riggs must now undergo lessons and testing from 1 or more of 7 SLS master teachers in the world. These are level 5 teachers who have reached this level with Seth Riggs. They are (in no particular order) Dave Stroud, Jeffrey Skouson, Wendy Parr, Kathy Kennedy, Greg Enriquez, John Henny and Spencer Welch. You can learn more about these teachers, and others at

Well, that’s it for now. I will continue talking about SLS in future blogs, so stay in touch! I welcome your comments please!