Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vocal Training: Finding Your True Voice, How Long Will it Take?

I received a call from a prospective student today, and they asked me a very interesting question. They wanted to know if by the end of the course they'd be able to sing. Well, without going into a long, drawn out song and dance over this, I simply replied that it all depended on the individual's ability (and talent!). Excellent question, it has to be said. And I'd like to expound on that in this blog post.

From when I started out vocal coaching in Dar es salaam in December last year, I've signed just over 70 students. But before I sign anybody up, I would have them pop round for a free thirty-minute assessment session where I'd want to hear them sing; after which I would run them through a breathing and vocal training exercise (with the scales) in order to assess where they're at vocally, and to demonstrate how I work. If I think they've got what it takes, I would invite them to sign up for the Beginners 1 Vocal Training Program. That said, during the fifteen hours of training they will receive on the program, I endeavor to help them improve the voice they already have. Thus far, my success rate has been pretty high. I'd say near enough 95% of my students have come away with remarkably better singing voices... and some have been outstanding. When I work my students through cover songs (or songs THEY, or I have written), the idea is to rein them in to apply what they've learned, to song (it works every time). I can help you improve your range, pitch accuracy, flexibility, and, of course, the quality of your voice through proper breathing techniques, but at the end of the day, YOU are the instrument and it's all down to you to make it work. My job is to help you find YOUR true voice and to help you use your God given instrument as best you can. I hope this has answered your question.

I'd like to thank the caller (you know who you are) for inspiring this blog post.



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How to Improve Your Tone When You Sing - Say Vaagh!

I was saying to one of my new students just yesterday that I ought to blog more often. Well, here's a quick line to just let you know that all is going well with my studio recording project, but hey, it is turning out to be quite a lot of work. I don't have a clue when all of this will end, but I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Some of the pointers (and exercises) in my upcoming vocal training CD will include how to say VAAGH to eliminate the nasal sound, and to improve your projection. Try this: Say VAAGH (the G being silent) ... make sure you open the mouth and ‘gradually’ drop the jaw – all the way down – as you say VAAGH. You'll notice that not only does everything come out the mouth, your voice is clearer and more powerful. This, I find, is one of the best ways to produce your real voice. Give it a go whenever you feel you're not hitting the mark with the tone when you sing.

Have fun!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Piano and Vocal, Making Music the Old Fashioned Way

I just got back from a recording studio...where I was recording my next single I Could Never Live (Without Your Love). Piano and vocal... it's wonderful to make music the old fashioned way. I've tremendously enjoyed writing and composing this new track with my co-composer Luigi Tamburi -- a remarkably talented and skilled pianist -- it's an honor to be working with you, Luigi! It feels great to be recording again. All wrapped up now. We've nailed it! Next week we're back in the studio to lay down the vocal training module built around the song. After which, all the sound files go to a state-of-the-art recording studio in London for mixing, mastering AND we're getting a couple of dance remixes thrown in for good measure. I quite look forward to that. I'll keep you posted. Gotta catch some sleep now. I am exhausted and I've got a long day tomorrow.

Good night!