Tag: performance training

Singers, Have You Found Your Sound?

How do you describe your own vocal sound?

Is it smooth and resonant?  Is it a bit hoarse, tight or tense sounding?  Is it pinched, scratchy or throaty?  Is it as pleasing, mellow and relaxed to listen to as you would like it to be?

Finding, or discovering your best, most natural vocal sound gives you a benchmark.  A place to go back to when you may be abusing or overusing your voice.  What we’re really talking about here is the sound you get when there  minimal tension in your voice and when your posture, breathing and other basics are working fairly well.

Your vocal sound is the result of a number of factors

One of those factors is the vocal characteristics of the people you imitated while learning to speak. That can include the overall sound, diction and even the tonal quality of those you first listened to.  Other aspects of your vocal sound are a result of your physiology.  Are your adult vocal folds long or short, thick or thin, what is the size and shape of your sinuses and nasal passages etc.  Even your native tongue determines much about your basic, default sound.  English, Spanish, German, French and Chinese all use very different sound characteristics Yet all can be spoken with relative freedom, or tension.

Then, there is your physical makeup and how that effects the acoustics of your voice such as the length and thickness of the vocal folds, the size and shape of your sinuses, nasal passages, oral cavity etc.

In other words, there are a lot of variables, yet most of us, with some right training and guidance, can learn to product an attractive vocal sound.

Complete Tone

In the Vocal Coach Complete Tone CD we take you on a journey that will help you do several things.

  1. It makes you vocally aware of your own vocal characteristics and sound.
  2. It leads you through exercises to help you determine what it feels like when you are doing things right.
  3. It helps you develop muscle memory.  And, muscle memory will bring you back to that place of freedom.

Serious Fun!

Finding, then being able to reproduce your own best sounds is one of the most exciting and practical things any singer can do.  Then, you can choose to change and alter that sound for various styles, while at the same time keeping your voice and not sacrificing vocal health or style.

If you haven’t worked with the Complete Tone CD yet you should.  It’s just a download away, or available as a physical CD at vocalcoach.com.

Serious Singers Need To Stay In The Game

Non-Singing Part Of Your Life Effects Your Singing

Serious singers need to “stay in the game” even in non-singing times. The way you live your daily life heavily impacts your singing voice. Many singers are very surprised at how little they consider their voices during non-singing times. But if you’re a real singer, one who is looking for the most from your instrument you will keep your head in the game all day, every day.  Why? Because all parts of your life are intertwined.

A Sobering Truth

Most serious students-in-training are very focused during their lessons, practices, rehearsals and performances.  But, the minute they leave the training environment they pay little attention to posture, vocal tone quality and speaking diction.

The other area of abuse is the lack of attention and discipline in the areas of eating, exercise and rest. High school and college age singers in particular seem to live life to the fullest and try and squeeze in some vocal disciplines “as needed.”  And guest what? If you’re a casual singer there is nothing wrong with that.  You can’t focus on all things all the time.  But know that the way you schedule and use your time shows your real priorities.  If you are set on making your voice the best, most consistent instrument it can be, you need to put in the work and pay the price.

Put In the Work

The mental and physical work required to become an excellent singer are substantial. You not only have to develop the voice, you have to become more knowledgable in the things of music.

Pay The Price

Developing any skill to the point of excellence requires sacrifice in the areas of time, energy and often, finances.  Many times it’s not inconvenient or easy.  This is true for academics, sports and, not surprisingly, singing.  That’s just the way most things work.

Start Where You’re Planted

Begin, by taking full advantage of the people and situations around you.  If you’re in school that means get in every singing group you can, whether school or church to develop your ear and musical disciplines.  Even if that’s not the style you are heading for it can still help lay the foundations of ear training, tone, blend and the mechanics of posture, breathing and diction. If you’re a bit older look for local community college classes or personal training.  Larger churches may have Fine Arts departments with training available. You might be surprised at the level of teaching available in your community.

Other Options

Somewhere along the way you may want to invest in training materials from Vocal Coach. For many, this may even be where you start, but I wanted to make sure your eyes were open to all the options available to you.

 Need Feedback Along The Way?

Throughout the process, whether working on foundations or getting a song ready for performance or recording Vocal Coach is here with our Online two-way coachingCheck the web site for details.

 Summary: Get In The Game and Stay In The Game.

Don’t just think about.  Don’t just dream about it. If you really, really want to sing in public, and do it well then do the work.  Pay the price.  Make the sacrifice.  Get the training.  Then carry what you’re learning into your daily life.

 

If you have questions for vocal coach Chris Beatty just email chris@vocalcoach.com

Spring Training For Singers


They're not waving. They're stretching!

NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU ARE, YOU NEED ONGOING TRAINING & COACHING

Having just returned from yet another month of Major League Baseball Spring Training in FL I am again reminded of this: We all need on-going training, no matter how good we are.  In fact, it was the big name superstars that were the first on the field before every game with their trainers.  And these guys were already partially warmed up and in extremely good shape.

We, singers need to take our craft just as seriously.  We need to stop being satisfied with just acceptable singing and push to be all we can be.  Singing up to your potential is more satisfying in every way.  Plus, it makes you more valuable to those you sing with and those who hear you. That being said, consider these training opportunities:

GOOD TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

ANOTHER DALLAS AREA WORKSHOP MAY 12, 2012 9:00-Noon

Due to the success of our last Online Video Workshop at the Voice Kitchen in Plano TX we’re doing it again! I’ll be live in our Brentwood TN studio connected to the Voice Kitchen video studio. This class is limited to the first 15 who sign up and is a great way to get small group training at an exceptional price.  There are also two slots remaining for 30 minute one-on-one sessions that afternoon.

To sign up go to voicekitchen.com or call Jill at 469-383-8885.

VOCAL COACH PACKAGES – Physical product or Download.

If you’ve visited the Vocal Coach Online Store Recently you know we are constantly offering new packages and bundles and special pricing.  Being able to master the foundations in the convenience of your own home, when it works for you is just part of what Vocal Coach is all about. You can download Vocal Coach training CD’s in a matter of minutes and be on your way to better singing.

FACE-TO-FACE PERSONAL TRAINING

Online training is getting more and more popular.  It allows us (you and me) to see and hear each other without anyone having to drive or fly anywhere.  You’re at home; I’m in my studio. If you have Internet and a webcam on your computer you’re good to go!  Check out details by clicking here

Hope to see you soon in an Online session.

Chris

CAN YOU TEACH ME TO SING?

Every few weeks I get asked that question so I thought I’d respond to it here. 

Singing is one of the most fulfilling ways to express yourself, and most people have some or all of the necessary starting tools.  But, can anyone be taught to sing?   To help you get in the right mindset, ask yourself this question:  “Can anyone be an outstanding cook, songwriter or athlete?”  Let’s consider those first, then singing.

Can anyone be a great cook?  Not if you have problems with your sense of smell or taste.  Knowledge of how foods go together can be learned, but the “smell” and “taste” also need to be present in great cooks.
What about songwriting? Can it be taught?  Yes, but there are some foundations that can make the difference between a casual writer and one who develops and creates amazing songs. I’m a great example.  I know music theory, love to use words and have a very musical ear, so I have a lot going for me. One of my songs is on dozens of CD’s and several more are published. However, I don’t do what serious songwriters do: Spend hours writing and co-writing songs.  It’s not priority for me, and until it is I won’t be a good, consistent songwriter.
Playing sports is a whole other subject.  To play any kind of ball well, you have to be in reasonably good shape, practice regularly (not once a month) and actually know and understand the rules of the game. Being a fan and being a player are completely different.

NOW, WHAT ABOUT SINGING?  Here are the elements that need to be working well and working together in order for you to sing with good quality, accuracy and consistency.

  • THE DESIRE AND WILLINGNESS to open your mouth in front of others and sing.  Seem obvious?  I  work with some singers who have enormous desire and passion but are literally terrified to sing in public, which is rather limiting.  Why this fear?  They don’t know what will come out under real-life  pressure.
  • THE MECHANICS of posture, breathing, tone and expression are all part of what makes a singer effective.  If any of those areas are weak, you will lose quality and consistency.
  • A MUSICAL EAR (ear, brain, larynx connection) is a must.  Without it you won’t have good pitch center (be on the right note), dynamics (loud, soft) and phrasing (what you “do” with the phrase). With decent training, someone with reasonable pitch accuracy can usually develop a good musical ear, but it takes time.
  • THE DESIRE TO COMMUNICATE A MESSAGE is what separates those who just “sing” from those who “CONNECT” with the audience, which is the ultimate goal.  That means analyzing the message (lyrics and musical style) and coming up with a game plan that includes expression, gestures, meaningful dynamics, phrasing and more.  It’s a real effort, that when done well comes off as easy and natural. That’s what allows the listener to relax and take it in, rather than nervously wondering if you will hit the high notes.

Now, it’s time to list your strengths as well as the areas that need some work.    Then, make the time to get the tools necessary to turn those weaknesses into strengths.  It may be one of the most satisfying things you ever do.

If you need guidance regarding which tools will serve you best explore the vocalcoach.com web site or email me at chris@vocalcoach.com We are here to help you be your best and get the most enjoyment out of singing possible.

“I WANT A VOCAL COACH, NOT MORE CD'S!”

REMINDER OF DALLAS VOCAL COACH WORKSHOP

HAS YOUR VOICE HAD A TUNE-UP LATLEY?

There are still a few openings left for the Saturday, November 12th Vocal Coach Workshop in Dallas. It will be held at the “Voice Kitchen” video studio and limited to 15 students. I will be teaching “live” from my studio in TN and we’ll all see and hear each other throughout.  9:00-Noon Nov 12th. This is a great value.  Just click here for more info or to sign up.

 “I WANT A VOCAL COACH, NOT MORE CD’s!”

I totally get that statement.  Regular, personal training from a skilled and experienced teacher/coach is the ideal.  BUT, in real life that means living near one of those teachers who is probably going to charge a good bit, and they deserve it.

I HONESTLY BELIEVE you can get the “information” and “personal feedback”  you need by using a combination of affordable methods.

TO START WITH, you really can learn (or be reminded of) much of the fundamentals through carefully structured CD’s. (There has to be a reason we’ve sold over 1 million of them.)

TO CONTINUE learning you will, at some point, want feedback and interaction from a teacher, or coach. In my case I am both voice teacher (technique) and coach (expression, interpretation, staging etc.). Because we live in the Internet Age you can literally be interacting with a teacher fom a desktop, laptop, iPad or even iPhone with full audio and video.  If you’re in the Dallas areas you can start with the Nov small class. Or just schedule an ONLINE SESSION with me on our site.  All you need is an Internet connection and a web cam and mic which are part of most computers or very inexpensive to add.

SUMMARY: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT ALL TO BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE.  You can download a training CD in 5 minutes from our VOCAL COACH STORE at vocalcoach.com where you can also schedule an online session.  And, don’t forget the free tips and other free resources our site, or email me at chris@vocalcoach.com.

Hope to hear from you or see you soon Online.

Chris