I just got off the phone with a brilliant singer whose career has been dying a slow death over the last few years (goes back before Covid). She has a wonderful instrument, tons of talent and so much passion. But her recordings don’t make an impact, she has no real fan momentum, her live shows don’t get her any traction…….and it’s killing her career. Thing is, she’s working her tail off: Practicing every day. Writing/recording/releasing new material all the time. Networking. Auditioning for opportunities. Posting on Instagram six times a day. Grinding out YouTube videos. Doing everything she can to get noticed……but she just can’t seem to rise above the noise. Like so many other talented singers, she’s stuck in the talented singer burnout spiral. With so many singers out there all fighting to be relevant, she’s twisting herself into pretzels just to get noticed. But in doing so, the game is over before it’s even started. The bottom line: it all comes back to the voice. If you’re not performing in a way that makes an impact…your story, your music, and YOU will never break through the noise to get the attention you deserve. BUT…what if there were another way?
This one’s for you if you get frustrated with breath support. Trust me, you’re not alone if you: Struggle to make it to the end of long phrases Have an airy sound Deal with tension or strain (yup….that’s a support issue) Feel like you never get enough air on your inhale Have trouble transitioning between registers (yup….also a support issue) I want to let you in on something. . . . .there are three simple changes you can make that will improve your support right away so that you’re not frustrated with breath support anymore. Here’s what I want you to know: Your ability to improve your breath support involves the synthesis of a few essential things. You’ve probably heard me say before that singing is not just an artistic endeavor, it’s an athletic endeavor. And not only that, singing is also a cerebral endeavor. It’s body AND mind. One thing matters more than anything else when it comes to how the mind & body communicate. . . . drum roll please. . . . Words! The words we choose to direct ourselves around our singing really affect how we embody our technique, for better or for worse. Changing
Let’s talk about RESULTS for a second……there are so many online voice teachers and singing workshops these days, but do they actually deliver lasting results in your singing, and if so, how long does it actually take to SEE results? Most singers have been conditioned by voice teachers to believe that singing at the level they want is a looooooong and gradual process. And they’re right in the sense that if you do it their way – the old, traditional way – it IS a long and gradual process. But what if there were another way to get results MUCH more quickly? What if there was something different then the online voice teachers and singing workshops you’ve been doing that have disappointed you because you’re STILL dealing with the same old issues in your singing and your career? Today I want to introduce you to the fabulous blues/folk singer-songwriter Grace Theisen. Grace is a blues/folk singer-songwriter who went from being sidelined by the effects of nerves, tension and vocal fatigue to blazing a new trail in her career with rock solid confidence in her voice, zero vocal fatigue AND a brand new record. . . . .in EIGHT WEEKS. If
Is your singing career stuck in first gear because you’re afraid of really putting yourself out there? 😬 Or did it used to be easy to put yourself out there, but now…..after so much time and energy constantly chasing this dream and constantly coming up short, are you so beat down that it’s becoming harder and harder to keep putting yourself out there? So many giant talents never reach their potential because of fear. In my studio and in my Intensive program, a lot of the singers started out that way. They’re knowledgeable and talented and want to build a world-class singing career……. But they’re stuck. Bottom line is, you can’t be successful if all these things are dragging you down, no matter how talented you are. If you want to understand how to master your fear and trust your voice so that you can stand in your greatness every time you sing and open all the doors to an impactful career, join Daron Larson and I for a fascinating discussion on artistry, singing, fear and trust. Daron is the host of a great NPR show (and podcast) called “The Art Of Attention” and he had me as a guest
When it comes to vocal technique, I think the thing singers struggle with the most is (drumroll please). . . . breath support! Would you agree?? That’s why regardless of if you’re a pro who’s been at this for a while or you’re a new singer just starting out, you can never have too many tools in your arsenal for good breath support. And of all the things you can do to improve your breath support, there’s one global idea you need to know to make all the other tools work. Watch this video to find out what it is and learn how to implement it!
I’ve got a question for you. . . . How do you feel about singing in your head voice? Is it no biggie? Or do you cringe at the mere thought of it? Or somewhere in between? If you’re a classical singer: You probably luuuuuuuuuuv singing in your head voice. After all, it’s the warm fuzzy place you call home ninety percent of the time. It’s your happy place – UNTIL – someone asks you to sing a contemporary pop type song (think cousin Ida who will just die unless you sing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” at her wedding) and then you panic! You think: How do I sing those notes in a healthy way without shoving my chest voice up too high? If I use my head voice I’ll sound like an opera singer trying to sing pop which is the worst. (Sigh – maybe I’ll be mysteriously sick for the wedding) How do I sing in head voice for pop music? If you’re a pop singer: You probably have more of a love-hate relationship with singing in your head voice. Using head voice for pop music seems to bring up all kinds of anxiety and confusion. Maybe you’ve even gone so far
Ever wonder if there’s one thing you could do to always sing well? Kind of like a secret weapon that would give you power & reliability every single time. Well, I happen to believe there actually is such a concept to sing well. And once you know it, it globally changes what your body does to make sound when you sing. I know your curious. . . . I call it a secret weapon because of the dramatic effect it has on eliminating strain and creating stability and reliability in your voice. So no matter what genre you sing or what level singer you are, your chances of maximizing your technique to sing well go WAAAAAY up when you understand this key concept. So what is it???? Drum roll please. . . . . OPPOSITION Yup. . . . That might sound totally esoteric to you, but I’m goin’ SUPER fundamental with this one. The concept of Opposition is a game changer. TRUST ME. And you know me, I’m in this for the long haul with you. While I enjoy giving you tips and tricks to sound better singing in the short term – my ultimate goal is to set you
My voice teacher in grad school would always say that unlike instrumentalists, singers are not able to objectively look at our instrument. So the development of our imagination is crucial to how we “play” it. If your goal is to play your instrument to it’s potential, then opening your imagination to conceive of your singing technique in new and different ways is essential. Today I’ve got a new image for you that will stabilize your breath support. If you are a singer who has ever struggled to get through a long phrase. . . . If you are a singer who has ever experienced tension and strain as pitch rises. . . . If you are a singer who has ever struggled with stamina. . . . This one’s for you!! You just need some better tools to stabilize your breath support. I bring you this image courtesy of two of the great vocalists of the last century. Thomas Hampson, one of the great baritone voices of the last 50yrs, and Richard Miller, a vocal pedagogy pioneer, voice teacher (at my alma mater) and author of the seminal book on singing technique “The Structure Of Singing”. Both Hampson and
Having a present moment sensory awareness of your body while you sing is a MAJOR key ingredient to your ability to take your singing to that next level. One thing I know for sure: you can not change what you are not aware of. So an essential component of singing to your potential, and the thing that has the biggest effect on how successful you are in doing so, is your ability to be present to ALL the sensations of your singing in your body in the moment (both the efficient and the inefficient). Rather then writing a lengthy blog, today I’m pulling back the curtain and taking you inside my studio to be a fly on the wall as I work with one of my students on this very thing – returning to the present moment sensory awareness of her body while singing. In today’s video you will learn one of the exact step-by-step methods I use (that you can use too!) linking present moment sensory awareness to your vocal technique. Spoiler alert! This video isn’t filled with sexy high notes, power belting or fast passage work designed to impress you. Nope. This is the nitty-gritty work. It ain’t
Lately I’ve been noticing just how much confusion and frustration singers have around breath support and breathing for singing. Singers can get SO down on themselves when they don’t feel their breath is beneath them. Do you relate? You’re tired of the fear of not making it to the end of the phrase. You wonder why your high notes feel strained. You’re frustrated when you don’t consistently sing the way you want to. You start blaming yourself that it’s all your fault you don’t really have what it takes. You start wondering if you are talented enough to be on this path. The Inner Critic runs riot when, in reality. . . . . it’s not your fault! It ALL comes down to breath support. And you just haven’t been given the right tools to unlock the foundation of your support yet. In my 20 years of helping singers and being a professional singer myself, I’ve discovered this: The key to unlocking the foundation of good singing starts with getting under the hood to understand a few simple concepts about the physiology of breath support and sound. It’s a step that SO often gets skipped. But that stops today!! Now