Posts By :

Felicia Ricci

Why Do You Want to Sing?

The real, deep reason why you want to sing is either EMPOWERING you or HOLDING YOU BACK.

How can you tell which it is?

Read my story below, and then hit reply with your response. I want to hear from you.

(Warning: It's a long post...but it was important for me to write.)

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It was freezing outside, and the sun hadn't fully risen. I checked my alarm clock and saw I was late for freshman English class.

I rolled out of my twin bed and hustled to my dorm bathroom.

While brushing my teeth, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a scale. On a whim, I decided to step on.

My heart sank.

I'd gained 20 pounds??

I felt totally awful looking at the number, but even worse when I turned back to the mirror.

What had happened?

I felt despair and confusion, a sense of futility, and the feeling that I'd failed myself.

But I had no idea what to do.

I guess I have no choice but to start working out and dieting....maybe?

I didn't even know what losing weight felt like.

Worse, I didn't even know if it was possible. 

In my mind, I wasn't someone who "worked out." I wasn't someone who was "in shape" or would ever "look good enough."

I was just a theater nerd who liked to prance around and sing songs and eat whatever she wanted (pasta all day!) and not really think about her body.

So what was the point of trying?

But the achiever in me wasn't prepared to give up.

Over the next many years I proceeded to yo-yo in weight by about 15 pounds each year, working out hard, then going for long stretches without touching a treadmill or a dumbbell.

I watched my body get stressed, gain weight, lose weight, gain strength, lose strength, and generally feel like crap most of the time.

As far as my body was concerned, I was still lost.

I felt frustrated, full of despair, and just as confused as I was on that day freshman year when I stepped on the scale.

All the while, I thought -- is there even a point?

  • I thought -- no matter what I do, I'll just never be "hot enough." 
  • I thought -- I'll never be part of the "gifted elite class of hot people" who exude confidence and sexiness.
  • I had such a skewed perception of my own body and potential, that I continually sabotaged myself at every turn.


Why? Because:

To me, the point of fitness was to look good to others.

But oh my goodness, I was so, so, so wrong.

One afternoon this past March, after sitting hunched at my computer for hours on end, I stood up and realized my whole body ached from neglect.

I hadn't worked out in weeks. I was eating corn chips for lunch about 3 days a week. I hadn't touched a vegetable in who knows how long.

I knew I had to change -- not my body, but my point of view.

I was done using the world as a distorted mirror that showed me whether I was good or not.

I wanted to wake up and feel great in my clothes, to feel capable of running, sprinting, or dancing, or doing whatever the hell I wanted in my own body (and still sometimes eat pasta)!

When I finally realized this, it was a turning point.

The point of fitness (it turns out!) is to FEEL GREAT in your own skin!

To look good by your own standards and goals! Not for anyone else! For yourself! I'm screaming!

Working out lets you connect with your muscle tissue, and your skin, and your bones, and your lungs, and to celebrate your super capable bod every time you hit the weight room or the yoga mat.

I decided to COMMIT to working out, to eating more healthily, and to doing whatever it took to stay in touch with my body.

Not for anybody else, but for me.

Since then it's been slow, but every day feels like a chance to shake hands with myself and be like "Hey, Fel. I believe in you. I love you. Let's move our bods and celebrate the day."

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So what the heck does this have to do with SINGING?

I need you to ask yourself : Why do you want to be able to sing?

  • If you want to sing to PROVE to yourself (or to someone else) that you're good enough....
  • If you want to sing to feel worthy, like you're one of those "gifted, elite, talented class" of people who sing....
  • If you want to sing to once and for all feel like you have a right to be seen or heard....

You are sabotaging your own progress!

You, like me on my fitness journey, are not honoring the true reason why we sing.

So, what's the reason why we sing?

Take a deep breath.

We sing to feel joy.

That's it. End of story.

🙂

The "joy" has many wonderful, related effects, of course:

  • We sing joyfully to connect with others.
  • We sing joyfully to shed light on our humanity.
  • We sing joyfully to process emotion and share our deepest feelings.
  • We sing joyfully to get out of our own heads and feel connected to our bodies.

But at its core, singing is about joy.

Do you agree? Can you relate to this?

My singer friend, have you ever told yourself:

  • "There's no point in my learning to sing, because I'll never have the tools? I'll never be good enough?"
  • Have you let past bad experiences with voice teachers who told you "you just don't have what it takes?" hold you back from following your dreams?
  • Have you had a "yo-yo diet" of making singing progress, only to feel discouraged the next month and like you've "lost it all"?

If so, I'm here to help. Once and for all.

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It's time to get in touch with your SINGING JOY. 

Once you let go of your sabotaging thoughts and your negative feedback loops -- and find EFFECTIVE METHODS THAT WORK -- there are no limits to what we can do together!

I want to show you exactly what I mean. I want to provide you with incredible tools both for your technical progress and for a huge mindset reboot.

It all starts with my free training series.

I am obsessed with this training series because it's so, so, so effective and in-depth (and 100% free).

It's called:

UNLOCK YOUR TRUE SINGING POTENTIAL: YES, MY DUDE, YOU CAN BECOME A GOOD SINGER.

RSVP - LIMITED SLOTS AVAILABLE >

If you can relate to my fitness yo-yo-ing story, and see the ways it parallels your own singing mindset, this voice training will be life-changing.

SIGN UP TO RESERVE A SPOT AT MY FREE TRAINING >

Sending love and JOY,
Fel

P.S. My free training series features over 90+ minutes of voice lessons, but also includes live events with me over the next couple weeks -- so I have to keep slots limited!!

Don't miss this!! I only do it a couple times per year, and will most likely discontinue it after this year.

CLAIM YOUR SPOT AT MY FREE TRAINING SERIES > 

Live Lesson Replay!

If you missed my live YouTube lesson on June 29, 2017 you can still watch it! I'll leave it here for a limited time.

The topic is: What separates AVERAGE singers from AWESOME singers?

(Psst! I even sing a song I write at the end.)

I've got lots more free trainings coming up, including a re-release of my 90-minute voice lesson series called Unlock Your True Singing Potential: Yes, My Dude, You Can Become a Good Singer. 

The ONLY way to get notified of these events is to be on my mailing list for Singing Transformation, my elite training program. Sign up HERE or beneath this video so you don't miss more upcoming trainings and events this week! xo Fel

Be a Great Actor While Singing

A couple months ago I wrote an article on how to hold a difficult emotion while performing -- without breaking down or losing it.

But because it's a complex subject, I wanted to follow up with a video explaining exactly how to do this.

Today's video tackles the "acting" side of performing a song. How do you embody real emotion while you sing -- without buckling under the weight of that emotion?

In the video below, you'll learn:

  • How meaningful memories from your life can anchor you to certain emotions
  • Why it's important onstage to have imagery that keeps you grounded & safe
  • How emotion "lives" in the body
  • How singing "from" that body part can make your performance truly soar!

If this sounds weird, don't worry -- I'll walk you through each step!

 

Was this video helpful? Will you use these techniques when you perform? Are you ready to take your performing to the next level?

Let me know what you think!

xo Fel

P.S. If you watched all the way until the end then you heard -- I'm re-opening my elite training program, Singing Transformation, very soon!

This year is going to be awesome....more live hangouts with me, and other goodies. There are limited slots, so be sure to sign up for the waitlist below!

Being An Old Man Helped My Singing (No, Seriously)

What do a park-dwelling Birdman, an old hunchback, and a golden-kneed soccer player have in common?

Watch my latest singing tips video to find out!

In this video, you'll learn how my performing onstage with my musical improv group gave me insight into a new strategy for relieving vocal tension. Specifically: that my playing *old, male characters with hip-loaded posture* helped me to bust singing tension!

Here's my conclusion: loading your hips, tucking your pelvis under, and bending slightly at the waist can help to un-tense your neck, shoulders, and throat. (This is similar to the "butt clench" technique I often advocate for belt singing -- thrusting your energy DOWN into your lower body can help to free up your upper body.)

Yup, I know it sounds crazy. And no, I'm not kidding about this!

 

(NOTE: In the video, when I play my weird old man characters, I stick my neck out a bit, kind of like a "chicken-neck." Resist the urge to do this. The most important part is sinking into the hips, not craning your head forward.)

You, too, can wield the power of singing with a more hip-loaded posture, and feel firsthand how it helps to relieve tension in your neck and face.

Practice using the tips contained in this video -- and let me know what you think!

Improvisationally yours,

Fel

Sing Better By Opening Your FACE

Today's topic: Your FACE affects your singing!

Don't believe me? In my latest video, you'll learn how a personal vocal struggle led me to investigate the inside of my mouth -- specifically, my soft palate and cheekbones.

What did I discover?

An open, expanded, relaxed face and soft palate are crucial to creating a full, open, and beautiful singing tone.

In my personal experience, having a locked right side of my face (caused by tension and stress) can seriously limit vocal range and vocal tone.

Your face is a key RESONATOR for creating beautiful singing tone -- so if you're droopy, tense, or not creating space as you should be, you are seriously cutting off what's possible for you as a singer!

In this video, I'll give you some cues for expanding not just the middle of your soft palate -- but also the left and right sides -- which will, in turn, make pitch and tone much easier for you.

I'll also show you a (hideous!) face stretch that you can do before and during warmups.

Give it a watch and let me know your thoughts!

Love and weird face stretches,

Fel

How to Be a Great Singer Using Musical Phrasing

In today's video we'll explore the question:

What separates a good singer from a GREAT singer?

The answer, in my opinion, is musical phrasing. 

Good singers get the job done and not much more. They think about individual notes and whether or not they can hit them right, and then stop there.

Great singers think about how those notes relate to each other and how they can sculpt them into something memorable and moving.

This is musical phrasing. And it's tons of fun.

Phrasing can be altered by adjusting the following 4 components:
1. Dynamics (how loud or soft you get)
2. Rhythm (how fast or slow you sing the notes)
3. Onset (how you start the line)
4. Cut off (how you end the line)
(Admittedly, there are some more factors, but those are the broadest and most apparent.)

The easiest component for a singer to adjust and make their singing instantly better is the first one -- dynamics, or singing volume.

Watch in the video below as I explain how vocal dynamics have a huge effect on phrasing.


After that I'll demo a "good" version of "The Star Spangled Banner," followed by a "great" -- or at least better 🙂 -- version that has noticeable dynamic variation.

 

In this video I'll also teach you a simple vocal warmup that will help you rehearse dynamic range and learn to control your volume as you sing.

Please enjoy, and let me know your thoughts on phrasing in the comments below!

(And remember to share this with any singers you know hoping to take their voice to the next level!)

xo Fel