Sunday, May 31, 2015

Learn to Sing with Joett Artist Development Program for Video Documentary


This has been something I've wanted to do for a while. Amazing how some things take time to get off the ground. Anyway, the pilot was when I documented and published video footage of Airtel Trace Music Star Mayunga in Training. That's when it occurred to me that I really ought to do this as an ongoing support system to more people out there. Because the response to video clips I posted at that time has been absolutely phenomenal. The best ever!


There's only so much I can do to help the community, but to really make this work on a grand scale, I'm going to have to find a way to monetize this concept so that it is self sufficient. And there's no better way to do this than to invite Tanzanian businesses to brand their products and services on my YouTube video clips. This is a growing niche and nobody else in this country is doing this. So let's be honest, it's a win win for ANY business, and with your business helping to keep my business afloat, I'll be able to comfortably maintain my pro bono service to the community. So if yours is the kind of business that wants to give something back to the community, this is most certainly one way of doing it. Please do feel free to contact me for more information.

Thank you for dropping by,

Vocal Coach
Need Private Singing Lessons? Click Here!

A Mini Course on Pitch: Vocal Cord Grip

{Published in Business Times Newspaper Friday May 29 - June 4, 2015} Another common cause of pitch problems is the lack of grip on the vocal cords. The idea when you sing is to convert air into sound as quickly as possible. So when a little bit of air escapes and you have this breathy tone instead of a hard click sound like you would when you did something like say a GOO GOO, your voice becomes more air than it is grip. A breathy voice from a stylistic standpoint is okay, but a breathy tone because you can’t get a grip is most definitely faux pas. This article will aim to discuss a common pitch problem and the different ways to get a firmer a grip on your vocal cords to correct that.

I always say that there are those that have a natural gift of voice, and those that have to work really hard just to sound average. And believe it or not, in my line of work, I’ve seen them ALL. I suppose working as a vocal coach has exposed me to all sorts. So brace yourself to get a better understanding of what this thing ‘vocal grip’ is all about and what you can do to fix the problem.

If you’ve worked in local recording studios you may have heard the producer demand ‘punch’ in your vocal. Well, what exactly are they asking for? How do you even begin to define punch? From a listener’s standpoint, if when you sing you don’t project that accelerated fuller voice that resonates and has your hairs stand on end, then you’re not quite capturing the attention of your audience. Suffice to say, the conclusion would be that your voice lacks power and that much-needed takeoff to make it work. So let’s go right ahead and fix it, shall we?

Try singing “Mama Mia,” and record yourself when you do. Play the recording back, and if your vocal doesn’t have the desired projection (or punch), then go back and do this in a different way. This time hold your ‘m’ a little longer and extend your ‘I’. Here’s how. Begin by pretty much humming before you sing mama, like this: Mmmama. You should sense your power has increased tremendously just by making this slight adjustment to your takeoff. Now let’s take a look at the word ‘Mia’. With this word I want you to extend the vowel ‘I’ like this: Miiia. Now you ought to have a much clearer and more powerful pitch like when you hummed your way into mama earlier. So let’s round this all up by singing both words using the extended examples. Sing “Mmmama Miiia!” Now that that is all sorted out, let’s take a look at doing something similar using the vowel ‘A’. And here’s what I want you to do next. Sing an extended “Aaaaa” but try dragging out your Aaaa with a more brassy tone from start to finish. You’ll notice that if you had a breathy tone, it’s now all gone.

A great way to get your vocals sorted is to do the Warm-Up Alternative vocal workout from my Learn to Sing with Joett vocal training CD, with a “Niii Niii” all the way up the scale. If you have the reissued CD, the piano track is on track 5. Alternatively, you can download it for FREE from my HulkShare page here!

Thank you for dropping by,

Vocal Coach
Need Private Singing Lessons? Click Here!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Joett Vocal Training Product Review for Home Learning

Any Texts   As I  move more and more towards online tutoring using WhatsApp, Skype, Viber and email, I now see the need to recommend and to avail vocal training programs to my students that can help you train from home.

I don't do this a lot (recommend), but on occasion I would pass on specific exercises to my students providing I'm absolutely certain that you are able to perform the exercises correctly.

Nothing defeats the object more than performing vocal exercises incorrectly. It is the fastest way to hell for your voice. This is why I'm very particular about ensuring that my pupils really know what they're doing.

Once you have the tools... the training program, USE it! It is the only way you're going to keep on developing your voice. When in doubt, please do feel free to contact me. We could easily go over things on Skype or WhatsApp; or if you live in Dar es salaam, you may book private one-on-one lessons with me in my studio.

If you keep up with my regular blog posts AND my weekly Letters from A Vocal Coach column in Business Times newspaper (published in Tanzania), you'll find helpful tips on how to stay on track with your training wherever you are. It's quite simple when you put your mind to it and when you follow some basic rules and principles.

That said, the purpose of this article is to recommend vocal training programs that cover the entire spectrum in voice training to include: Pitch, Tone, Vocal Agility, Head Voice, High Notes, the Mix, Vibrato and MORE. To BUY these AMAZING programs online click here!

This is what I personally recommend, and use myself, so it's worth its weight in GOLD. With this you will get results if you follow instructions and when you put in some work. I GUARANTEE it!

I trained Airtel Trace Music Star Pan African Winner, Mayunga, to win the competition using this Superior Singing Method program. Mayunga went on to sign a recording deal with Universal Music in South Africa, and then flew off to LA to spend a week being mentored by superstar Akon, with whom he also recorded the hit track Please Don't Go Away.

If you really want to develop your voice, Learn to Sing Like a Pro and ENJOY the experience while your'e at it, download these AMAZING vocal training programs here!

(You may purchase now, but please use a computer to download from a link sent to your email, as the files are too large to be downloaded onto your phone).

And to show you how this works, I have also compiled a series of video diaries, wherein, I train Mayunga using this incredible vocal training program.

To find out more, read my blog posts Diary Of A Vocal Coach: Training Sessions Part 1, 2, 3 & 4 and Training Sessions Part 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9.

To your singing success,

Vocal Coach & Author "Letters from a Vocal Coach"
Need Private Singing Lessons? Click Here!

A Mini Course on Pitch – Pitch vs. Tension

{Published in Business Times Newspaper 22-28 May 2015} Strain equals flat notes. If you struggle with your high notes, like your throat begins to strain as if you’re trying to pull up your chest voice into your head voice (like going into shout mode), then chances are you are recruiting your larynx muscles to produce the sound. Your outer larynx muscles need to stay down, and there are specific exercises that can help you develop the technique to keep them from interfering with your singing. This article is the first installment of A Mini Course on Pitch that talks about Pitch vs. Tension. If you should ever get stuck, you should be able to return to this article for guidance. There are only a couple of things you need to do to fix your voice wherever and whenever this problem presents itself. So let’s begin.

Pitch problems as a result of tension on your way up the scales is common, especially when you’ve had no voice training at all AND you’ve been using your voice incorrectly for a long time, it gets harder to lose that tendency. You’ll want to relax, and by this I don’t mean go all slurry and lazy, but be conscious of what you’re doing when you’re doing your exercises. Avoid forcing and pushing, because what you do in practice is what you’re going to end up doing when you sing. One way to eliminate that weighty sound on your way up into the higher notes is to try applying the ‘NG’ sound (Nggg) as it will help you flip into your head voice and get into that mixed voice very smoothly. And it takes away a lot of that weight and strain that makes you go flat. And here’s something else you can do. Stick your tongue out and do any piano based scale using the vowels AA but done with an EEER, to help you hold it in.

I would highly recommend that you start out with a simple arpeggio exercise using the above ideas. Try both these methods, but if you’re still straining on the ‘NG’ workout then chances are you’re not quite there yet. So to eliminate the problem, only do the tongue-out workout on the scale until you’ve learned to keep your larynx muscles from rising. Trust me, with your tongue sticking out like that it will stay put.

Thank you for dropping by,

Vocal Coach
Need Private Singing Lessons? Click Here!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to Stay Motivated when Training Your Voice

{Published in Business Times Newspaper 15-21 May 2015} Procrastination is inevitable, as it were, especially when you’re training on your own—without supervision by a tutor. Nothing is easier than losing interest in your training. Once you begin to skip training a couple of times, before you know it you’ve skipped so many vocal training sessions that the thought of getting back on track in itself sends you right back into procrastination, so much so that if you’re not persistent in your resolve to get back on track you’ll probably never go back at all. In this article, I will offer quick and simple tips on how to self-motivate into pursuing your goals without ever falling off the wagon again.

The secret to staying motivated is to consider what you’re doing as YOUR journey into discovering yourself AND your voice. With every exercise that you do, stay alert and tuned to your senses so that you can actually FEEL the progress you’re making. Believe me, every vocal training session—whether you’re doing it alone or with a teacher—gets you closer and closer to discovering more about your voice than in the previous session. This is how to stay motivated. It may sound a little simplistic, but when you begin to think of your training as a journey into yourself, you’ll never get bored. If anything, you’ll be looking forward to your sessions with every passing moment.

Another simple trick is to change your exercises and their durations more frequently. For example, you may choose to train for an hour one day and only for forty five or twenty minutes in subsequent sessions. It helps to keep your training more interesting. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. It works every time.  And if you find you don’t have an hour to spare, simply shorten your session—but do SOME training. So stay focused, and be blessed with a beautiful voice.

I offer FREE vocal coaching via WhatsApp. Download FREE MP3 to vocal exercises here!

Thank you for dropping by,

Vocal Coach
Need Private Singing Lessons? Click Here!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

How Mayunga Beat Contestants from 12 African Countries to Win Airtel Trace Music Star Singing Competition

{Published in Business Times Newspaper 1-7 May 2015} Trace TV aired the Airtel Trace Music Star Grand Finale on Saturday April 18th and I’ve never seen such drama and tension in singing competitions before. Priceless! But the purpose of this article isn’t to talk about how the competition went, I’m sure you can follow that up on YouTube. In this article I want to spill the beans on HOW Mayunga beat all these other contestants from all over Africa hands down, to walk away with the prize.  It wasn’t pot luck. It wasn’t JUST talent. And it certainly didn’t happen by accident. Do you want to know what went down? Read on!

While training Mayunga for the Kenya Grand Finale, he mentions… “The Ugandan singer is so good; and the Nigerian girl is amazing.” I could see he was a little uneasy. And I said to him, “I’ve watched videos of ALL the winners from the rest of Africa, and you know what? YOU have something they ALL don’t have. You have the training.” And I went on to say, confidently, “YOU are going to win this competition!” Well, he didn’t believe me then, but he does now.

Three songs were required for the Grand Finale. My song selection therefore was More Than Words by BBMak (which he’d sung at the Tanzania finale), and Michael Jackson’s One Day In Your Life… a very big and difficult song. Mayunga asked me if he could sing My Baby You by Marc Anthony. I asked him sing it to me, and I immediately agreed to let him do the number. What had become very apparent to him was that although he’d been singing the song for a while—long before Airtel Trace Music Star came to town—AND knew the lyrics, he admitted he’d never been able to scale the high notes and that it was, back then, all a bit of a struggle. Previously, he said, he would shout his way around the song. Well, evidently, all the vocal training to this point had paid off. But we had a lot of work to do to refine his voice for the song. And so I sought to train him specifically to sing the Michael Jackson song One Day In Your Life—because it was way harder—and assured him that when he’d mastered Michael’s song, Marc Anthony’s would be easy.  What I gave Mayunga in training I have never given ANYBODY else. My reputation was riding on this. We had to win this competition. Period!

I decided to compile a special combination of sixteen vocal exercises that lasted exactly forty two minutes. In the first segment, the voice got a gradual warm-up that then lead on to an intensive vocal agility workout and concluded with a very specific vocal mix exercise. All of which I compiled especially to help him navigate One Day In Your Life with precision, pitch accuracy and control reminiscent of the King of pop Michael Jackson. I will hand this to Mayunga, HE really works hard. On the last day in training he left my studio at 22 minutes past midnight and he was flying out to Nairobi at mid day. I remember him say, “and people think singing is easy?” I simply quipped “well that’s what they think, but now you know what it takes to sing to an international level!” So in essence, and let this be a lesson to all of you, if you want to learn to sing, you have got to put everything you’ve got into honing your craft. I’ve come across way too many people who are so casual about this, it’s annoying. Mayunga is SO refreshing and a joy to work with because he WANTS to do this in earnest. And he brought home the trophy because he put EVERYTHING he had into this AND followed my instructions to the letter. That’s what it took. Watch Mayunga in training Part 1 to 4 here, and Part 5 to 9 here.

Thanks for dropping by my blog, and please share!