Tag Archives: connecting

How To Practice Singing While Performing Live

how to practice singingHow to practice singing while performing is a fun way to develop your voice. As a full time musician, it’s hard to find the right time to practice my vocal exercises. I rely on my music career to keep my income coming. I can’t afford to take months off at a time and solely work on my singing voice. So for me, I practice my vocals during the day quite often, but at night even more so.

Every night before I take the stage, I run through my warm up, and throw a few new exercises in to try new things with my voice. I come across a lot of different songs that enable me to challenge specific areas in my vocal range. So I make note of these as they come up.

If I am about to sing a lower song, I will direct my focus to connecting in my chest voice, and making sure I have the correct power there that I need. Then I will back off the intensity. I don’t want to sound like I’m about to sing “Old Man River” fortissimo, when all I am singing is “Forever in Blue Jeans” mezzopiano. Of course this all starts before I walk in the door.

As soon as my feet hit the pavement I think about cleansing my lungs. As a former smoker who now walks .5 miles to work from the parking lot, I know that supercharging my blood and lungs with fresh oxygen is a good way to start the process of singing. It’s nice to just breathe and exist. Plus I like to cut my walk time down quite a bit each night. I look forward to staying in great fitness shape.

As I walk to work I slightly connect my voice. I rely on my speech to be the level where I start. But I will do some simple vocal fry exercises, humming, and lip rolls as I walk, maintaining a speech level output on my voice. So I’m not singing while walking. Just stretching the voice. Singing on the level of speech requires elasticity in the voice and body. I want to have a flexible voice, and a relaxed body when I sing. This produces the greatest output vocally.

If you notice in the picture above, I am keeping my head perfectly level as I sing Mark Cohn’s “Walking In Memphis.” I’m singing in mix in that photo. It was taken at my wedding. The eyes closed and expression was a selling point for my wife’s family who had never heard me sing. So I had to show off a bit.

As I sing different songs throughout the night I keep a close awareness on my vocal folds. What are they doing right now? Am I pulling up chest voice? Am I relaxed in my face, and is my head level? If not, I need to make a correction. I recently started lowering the keys to many of my songs for two reasons. One, to allow my chest voice to develop more, as that is the area of work I need the most. And two, it just sounds better. My voice isn’t falling apart after work, and I am warming down, and keeping a healthy voice. Healthier than I ever had before.

Applying some simple awareness to my voice, and even speaking some of my vocal exercises to my audience without them being aware of it has also made it possible for me to practice while I am performing. As we talk to our audiences every night, I sometimes slide up and down in pitch while speaking sentences. I even use the “hey” exercise when I greet guests. I simply speak the word “hey” a few times while sliding from low chest into mix. They think I just sound silly. But it’s a great way to evaluate how warm my voice is.

Develop a few little tricks you can apply to help create and elastic voice and reap the benefits of healthy singing! If you can learn how to practice singing while you are already performing you can improve your voice on the job.

How To Practice Singing

At True Connected Voice we are always available for one on one training and lessons, weather via Skype or if you are in Tampa FL, Orlando FL, or any of the surrounding Central Florida areas contact us today and unlock the true potential of your singing voice.

John Kenney is a musician in Central Florida and is training to become a certified vocal instructor.

Truly Connecting Your Voice

 

speech level singing vocal cords open and closed

speech level singing vocal cords open and closed

In order to truly connect your vocal range from top to bottom, you must have a deep understanding of your chest voice and head voice. This is very important for singing on the level of speech. You, the singer, must firmly be established in chest when below your first bridge. Then you begin lightening up and narrowing through your bridges after chest to connect and have an expanded singing range. As you move up in your vocal range, you use less air, sing lighter and don’t push to connect through the bridges.

 

Speech level singing requires your voice to be relaxed and connected. Every singer struggles with different parts of developing their voice. Some singers have not discovered their chest voice. Some singers have no understanding of how to narrow and lighten into their head voice. Either way, training with an educated teacher that can demonstrate these things in their own voice is the first step. Training on your own has some success, but an outside set of ears listening and watching you is important when developing.

Again I caution you, find a speech level singing teacher that can demonstrate these things.
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  1. Chest voice
  2. Head voice
  3. Mixed voice
  4. Bridge areas
  5. Explain clearly how you can develop these techniques!
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At True Connected Voice we are always available for one on one training and lessons, weather via Skype/Facetime or if you are in Tampa FL, Orlando FL, or any of the surrounding Central Florida areas contact us today and unlock the true potential of your singing voice.

Joe Genuardi

Joe Genuardi is a master vocal technician in Central Florida and performs voice lessons in and around Central Florida, Orlando, and the Tampa Bay area.

Training and Retraining Your Voice

Everyone knows when it comes to entertainment, practice and training is necessary to become a better and more versatile musician. But in the world of singing, so few singers seek good training, until things go wrong. Some examples of things that can go wrong with a singer are loss of range, loss of power, breathiness in your vocal tone and far worse nodules, hemorrhages and so on. They are not singing on the level of speech, meaning they are not using their voice properly.

The idea of speech level singing is that singing should be as easy as speaking. If you are straining your voice, you are not singing with proper technique. As you begin to train your voice, you train the muscles in your larynx and pharynx as well as the muscles you use to swallow, cough, yawn, etc. Singing on the level of speech shouldn’t be such a challenge. Using the technique of singing like speaking, you can create dynamic vocals without causing vocal strain and fatigue which can lead to vocal damage.

Luciano Poverati describes singing as sustained crying. He develops his vocal tone by engaging the muscles around his voice very sparingly. His speech and his singing are the same. He knows how to keep everything relaxed in order to develop his powerful singing voice. You can do this too. As you begin to train your voice using our technique or any speech level singing coach and the technique they teach you will begin to discover yourself.

You will notice how sounds you already know how to make can create a powerful chest, mix and head voice. These are the areas where your voice resonates. Just like when you speak, your speech level is relaxed and comfortable. You should be able to speak clearly for long periods of time. When you sing, you are just manipulating the pitch. The relaxation in the voice on a singing level should be the same as speech level, thus the term speech level singing.

With good training you should see things like, connection, more range, more power without fatigue, more flexibility, and more stamina. Although these improvements can’t happen over night, and you have to practice consistently, you should see, feel and hear differences after a few lessons and practice with a good teacher directing your training.

Notice, consistent practice is a key topic I keep bringing up. Most bad teachers teach the same bad teachings and techniques they learned themselves and now sit in a studio and teach, because they can’t do themselves, there are a few exceptions, but it is a vicious cycle. You need an outside set of ears to really train your voice, there are some great at home programs, but they all fall short. These at home programs can’t develop from what your current abilities are and where you need development.

Remember if you have been singing up to this point, you probably have developed some bad habits that need correcting with proper exercises and development, only a good teacher will hear this and point and train you in the right direction. Here is a simple list of things you need to hear a teacher telling you.

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  • Connect Your Range
  • Develop Your Mix Voice
  • Vocal Cord Closure
  • Resonators (head and chest)
  • Translating the exercises that will enable you to do the same
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A good teacher should also be able to demonstrate a connected range in their own voice. If they can’t demonstrate what a proper singing voice singing on the level of speech sounds like, you will most likely never achieve your goal of speech level singing. There are many programs, videos and audio on the internet that will introduce the idea of speech level singing to you if you’re not ready to commit to taking dedicated lesson with an SLS voice coach. However, only training with a voice coach will give you the maximum benefit and unlock your true singing potential.

A voice coach can listen to you and guide you through the exercises to help you achieve the vocal tone and quality you are looking for. Training without a voice coach may only delay your vocal progress and create a long run of bad habits that will hurt your voice. If you are a professional singer, or aspire to be a singer, investing in your instrument is and investment that promises a great return.

At True Connected Voice we are always available for one on one training and lessons, weather via Skype/Facetime or if you are in Tampa FL, Orlando FL, or any of the surrounding Central Florida areas contact us today and unlock the true potential of your singing voice.

Joe Genuardi

Joe Genuardi is a master vocal technician in Central Florida and performs voice lessons in and around Central Florida, Orlando, and the Tampa Bay area.

Training as a Vocal Athlete: How To Be A Singing Star

Vocal Athlete- How To Be A Singing Star

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 How To Be A Singing Star

As a singer- especially if you sing regularly or professionally- it is important to adopt a specific mindset. The mindset of an athlete that is training for a marathon, the Iron Man competition or the Olympics is obsessed. Obsessed with their training, and seeing progress. The difference between a hundredth of a second faster or slower for a 100 meter sprinter in the Olympics could be the difference of training 20 hours per week or 30 hours per week. Every muscle twitch, movement and development is factored by diet, exercise, training, rest, supplements, and many other variables.

To the athlete, however, he or she is just focused on staying strong and healthy, and trusting in the training.

A vocal athlete follows a very specific regimen of food intake, exercise, vocal training, application, mental awareness, and rest. On gig days, the vocal athlete may follow a routine like the one listed below.

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  1. Sleep 10 hours. Wake up at 10 A.M.
  2. Morning meditation (10-20 minutes)
  3. Light breakfast/nutritional intake (5-15 minutes)
  4. Morning Exercise (30-60 minutes)
  5. Rest/ Lunch (60 minutes)
  6. Afternoon Vocal Training (20-60 minutes)
  7. Rest/Relaxation (60 minutes)
  8. Daily errands, chores/work
  9. Rest until dinner
  10. Dinner
  11. Rest for 30-60 minutes before vocal warm up
  12. Vocal warm up before performance (10-20 minutes)[/ordered_list]

This routine can vary from singer to singer. This is not far off from my daily routine on performance days. Exercise can be cardiovascular, weight training, yoga, etc. I do all kinds of exercises to keep my body tuned up for the day. However it is very important to ensure adequate rest and hydration, as well as refueling with proper nutrition. Over eating can cause acid reflux, so spreading your meals out can help you avoiod anything that can cause irritation to your voice.

Breaking down the day

Morning Routine

Your morning routine can set up your day to be a success and prepare your voice for the demands that you are going to put on it. These tips will help you develop a good morning routine to prepare your voice for a performance.

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  • To Sing Clear, Pee Clear – In the morning when you first wake up, it is important to evacuate waste that has been stored up in your body. This is an opportunity to examine how much hydration you may require in the morning. The rule is “to sing clear, pee clear.” If you find your urine is colored, you are dehydrated. A properly hydrated body will omit a clear urine stream. In the morning you also want to hydrate yourself to start your day.
  • Gradually Warm Up Your Voice- Take some time in the morning while preparing breakfast, or getting dressed to slowly and gradually warm up your voice. Do some simple humming on a single note, then slide your voice up and down. this will help you evalate your vocal health, and warm up your voice. If your voice is rough sounding, don’t push it. Just relax your voice and continue with your day.
  • Remove Tension From Your Body by Exercising- Doing a little yoga, stretching, walking, running, or any kind of light to medium exercise when you first wake up can help remove tension from the body and generate internal heat. This is also good for the voice.
  • Eliminate Phlegm- A thin layer of mucus develops over the evening to help protect your voice. Gargling with warm salt water mixture can help get rid of any unwanted phlegm or mucus that can hinder the vocal chords. Avoid dairy products and acidic foods that develop mucus in your voice. That mucus is there to help carry those products through your body and eliminate waste.
  • Ease Into The Day- Don’t force anything. Naturally go about your morning without haste. Let your body and your voice take their time to wake up. This process can take a few hours if done right. However, vocal health is our focus. So taking your time is the best way. Do not try to speed up the process.
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Afternoon Routine

If you are singing in the evening, then relaxing afternoons are a good way to prepare for your performance.

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  • Do some vocal exercises. Training your voice using the exercises we teach will condition your vocals for optimum performance.
  • Don’t get involved in high pressure situations. The more you stay relaxed, the more energy you preserve for your body to use for your performance.
  • Spend some time relaxing. Watch a movie, do some meditation, take a leisure stroll, enjoy a book, do anything that is relaxing.
  • Rest Your Voice. After you do some vocal exercises, make sure you rest your voice for an adequate amount of time.[/unordered_list]

Evening Routine

If your performance is in the evening, gradually begin warming up the voice and preparing for the evening.

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  • Eat a light dinner. Over eating can lead to acid reflux.
  • Gradually warm up the voice. Do some humming, lip rolls, etc, to start the warm up process. *See Below For Warming Up The Voice
  • Get rid of tension. Stretch, and loosen up the body. The body is the core of your instrument.
  • Focus on your performance. The wandering mind is one of the biggest deterrents of a quality vocal performance. Stay focused on the task at hand. *See Below For Extra Tips
  • Warm Down The Voice after Your Performance. A proper warm down can help create longevity in your vocals. Much like an athlete will stretch and warm down after an event, a vocal warm down is a necessity to any vocal athlete. [/unordered_list]

You are a vocal athlete. Identifying with that mindset can assist you in creating great vocals, and developing yourself as a great vocalist. Your routines may vary from what is listed above, however any changes you make with healthy vocals in mind will start to lean you in the direction of a healthy vocal athlete. Becoming obsessed over your voice can be a good thing. Remember that this is a mindset, and a lifestyle. With a healthy mindset, and attitude toward your voice, your vocal health will increase and maintain itself naturally. Keep a positive frame of mind at all times. Do not let doubt or fear interrupt your new mindset.

*Note: If you are approaching this mindset with a sore voice, a long track of unhealthy vocal practices, ease into the idea of being a vocal athlete. It takes time to comfortably transition into a healthier lifestyle, as well as a healthier vocal lifestyle. The benefits of developing a healthy vocal lifestyle for any singer very much outweigh unhealthy habits. The confidence boost and the feeling of physical well being alone are very noticeable right away.

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Additional Resources

Warming Up The Voice- Our Vocal Warm Up audio program is available for instant download on iTunes.This is the same routine we use to warm up before a performance.

TCVwarmupcover

 

 

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Warming Down The Voice- Our Vocal Warm Down audio program is available for instant download on iTunes.This is the same routine we use to warm down after a performance.

Warm Down iTunes Cover

 

 

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Mind Tools: Slow down the mental chatter, and stay focused.

The Power of Now- A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment

 

The Calming Collection – Goodbye Worries. ** Guided meditation to train your mind to quiet your thoughts – Train your mind to quiet your thoughts CD – Hypnotic Guided CD **

*If you would like more information regarding meditations, controlling your mind and mental health, please feel free to email John Kenney at johnny@trueconnectedvoice.com.

Yoga and Exercise


Brilliant Yoga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Be A Singing Star

At True Connected Voice we are always available for one on one training and lessons, weather via Skype or if you are in Tampa FL, Orlando FL, or any of the surrounding Central Florida areas contact us today and unlock the true potential of your singing voice.

John Kenney is a musician in Central Florida and is training to become a certified vocal instructor.