30 Day Singer Blog - archives - page 8

Jazz Vocals For Beginners

Posted July 2, 2021

This article will give you an introduction to jazz vocals with musical examples from singers like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and more.

How To Memorize Lyrics

Posted June 25, 2021

Pure repetition works if you have plenty of time. But if you’re on a tight schedule and want to speed up the memorization process, here are some tried-and-true tips used by professional singers.

How To Change The Key Of A Song

Posted May 21, 2021

The quickest way to make a song easier is to change the key so that it fits comfortably within your range. But most beginning singers - whether or not they play an instrument - don’t know how to change keys without the help of a teacher. Today, I’m here to help!

How To Practice Riffs & Runs

Posted May 14, 2021

Riffs and runs, though they originated in gospel music, have made their way into almost every contemporary music genre, including r&b, pop, and even country. We might define a run as “one lyric or syllable sung with many fast-moving pitches in succession”, while a riff is often more improvisational and can be vocal or instrumental (ie: guitar riffs). Read on for tips on how to improve and practice this skill.

Build Confidence As A Singer

Posted May 7, 2021

When it comes to nerves and confidence, we can work from the inside out. That entails gaining performance experience, identifying your strengths, listening to encouragement from others and addressing any underlying fears at the root of your nerves That’s all great, and it’s the main way singers build confidence over time. But we can also work from the outside in to get some more immediate benefits. Read more to learn how you can do this too!

Vowel modification is simply: changing a vowel sound to make it easier to sing AND improve the tone quality. Why would we need to change vowels, though? Aren’t they all basically the same? No! Each vowel is the result of a slightly different shape in your vocal tract (the pathway from your larynx to your lips). Different mouth posture, tongue placement and lip closure make up the difference between an EE sound and an OO sound, for example. It’s getting a little sciencey, but I promise it’ll make sense!

Beginners Guide To Belting

Posted April 23, 2021

man singing

Belting is a high-energy, high-volume mode of singing in which a singer maintains their “chest voice” sound into the middle and upper portion of their range. Belting is both a vocal fold event AND an acoustic event, as described by master teacher John Henny this way: “Your vocal cords come together more strongly and hold back more air in a belt, creating a stronger sound wave. You then create brighter sounds (with your resonators) to give more edge and bite to the sound” (“Healthy Belting for Singers”). Although it might look and even sound quite similar to a “yell”, healthy belting requires finely tuned coordination that yelling does not.

A few weeks ago, I came across this video of Alicia Keys and Billie Eilish performing “Ocean Eyes." Many commenters have already noted that Alicia does not sound her best on this song. But why? Alicia Keys is a professional vocalist - can’t she sing anything? 

That brings me to the topic of this post: how to choose a good song for your voice. Alicia Keys is incredible within her style, just as Billie is incredible within hers. You truly can’t compare them, nor should you ever have to! They have unique voices with different strengths, and they’ve both found their wheelhouse. 

Most students can easily find their chest voice and head voice placement. But where many struggle is in transitioning between the two, resulting in an inconsistent tone quality with noticeable points of weakness, strain, and/or “cracking”. What can we do about this? Read on for some practical tips and application. 

Online video lessons allow you to learn at your own pace, review previous lessons on demand, and access instruction on any topic, any time. But there’s one component that video lessons can’t easily account for: the ability to measure your pitch accuracy. Within a private, one-on-one lesson (either in person or online), a skilled teacher is the one providing feedback on your pitch accuracy. Chances are, you’ve chosen video lessons for both the convenience and the cost. So how can we get that feedback without a teacher?

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