Posts Tagged :

singing tips

Vocal Warmup to Open Your Voice (and Give Yourself Love!)

Singer buds! Many of you have talked to me about the incredible amounts of tension you experience while singing, and I want to help!

I’ve been cooking up some cool warmups that (1) Relax you, (2) Open your voice, (3) Get you LOVING on yourself and feeling confident. 🙂

(I’ve been trying to come up with a title for these, I’m thinking “Let’s Get Singer-High”?)

Anyway, I wanted to give you a short ‘n’ sweet preview of one warmup that will get you to:

(1) Open your voice and relax your throat and larynx

(2) Lift your soft palate while relaxing your jaw

(3) Look at yourself in the mirror and think HEY I LOVE MYSELF!

And here it is!

The sung line is “I LIKE LOOKING AT YOU” and the musical pattern is 1-1-3-2-1-1.

Simple, right?

Here’s the nitty gritty:

 

(1) Look in the mirror while you do this. It will help to make sure….

(2) You keep the back of your mouth open and relaxed the whole time, kind of like you’re yawning. So you sing “I LIKE LOOKING AT YOU” more like “I LAHK LUHKING AHT YUH.”

(2) When you create these words, keep your jaw dropped and try not to move it. Stay open.

(3) Your tongue basically has two “touch points”: the back of your bottom teeth, and the back of your top teeth.

(4) Start around a middle C and go for about an octave and change. Stop if it starts to hurt.

(5) As always, breathe using your diaphragm!

(6) Really heed the words you’re saying. YOU LIKE LOOKING AT YOURSELF because DAYMN you’re sexy.

 

Hope this warmup is helpful! Leave me a comment to let me know (1) if some more warmups from me to relax you and get you feeling the love for yourself and your voice sounds fun, (2) whether you enjoyed this warmup!

Love,

Fel

 

P.S. Fellow songwriters! Tonight at 8PM my voice teacher Cari Cole is doing a Facebook live event for songwriters!

It’s her 2nd free training before her Signature Songwriting Circle begins this week — enrollment period is almost over and the course is almost sold out.

 

The free training topic is:

 

Songwriting Shop Talk: Writing Songs That Will Get You Discovered

 

…and it’s going to be rad.

 

Cari Cole is an Artist Development Expert & New Music Business Mentor, and she has so much wisdom to offer to aspiring songwriters ready to get serious. She’s going to share how there are no real “tricks” to songwriting, and describe how you can hone your artistic process to truly reach your full potential.

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE TONIGHT AT 8PM! >

 

See you soon, amigos! xoxoxo

 

 

What If Your Voice is Not Perfect?

Here’s a thought… What if the qualities you believe make your voice less than, actually make it cool and interesting?

I’ve contemplated this question a ton as I venture into writing my own music. So far I’d describe my strange songs as a cross between: Grimes, Lana Del Rey, and Every Broadway Show Ever.

ANYWAY. My vocal background and training is musical theater singing, which means I’m hardwired to think: “These notes (high, low, whatever) need to come out cleanly, perfectly, and without any noticeable variation, damnit!”

And while I still love that I’m able to unify my chest, mix, and head voice cleanly (for the most part) — and I believe it is important for singers not to be held back by any technical “holes” in their voices —

The truth is: for many genres of music, embracing our imperfections, or the reasons our voices are unique, can unlock a whole world of interpretation, variation, color, emotion, and interesting style choices.

Take it from the Leaning Tower of Pisa: imperfect is cool.

Take it from the Leaning Tower of Pisa: imperfect is cool.

For example, I am naturally higher-voiced, meaning I was born with thinner vocal folds and at certain parts of my range my voice lacks dark undertones. It instead seems to float “on top” of notes, with an almost cutesy sound to it.

When I record my voice in my home studio, I will often adjust my face shape to develop a darker tone — I open my mouth more, drop my jaw down, and make sure I’m engaging the lower half of my face. I also stand up straight and utilize my chest resonance.

But recently I wrote a song where the character seemed…well?

Vulnerable. Feeling small. Expressing thoughts that were difficult to express.

So what did I do? I recorded a take where I thought, “Let me just embrace ME, however it comes out. Let me use this higher voice. Let it thin out where it wants to, sometimes breaking, sometimes being breathy, and maybe this will better reflect the vulnerable nature of the song.”

And the result is…

NOT perfect. 🙂 But (in my opinion) way, way more interesting!

Three questions for you:

1) Have you ever wondered whether “perfect singing” is really “the best” singing??

2) Are there any artists performing today that you admire who don’t have perfect voices but who you LOVE to hear sing?

3) Wanna hear my first song? (Currently finishing the mix and planning to post a video soon to YouTube, but my mailing list will be the first to hear it AAAAAH!)

Leave me a comment here on my blog!

Lots of love,
Fel

P.S. I don’t often fish for encouragement but, man I could use a little right now! 🙂 Very different process creating music versus teaching or filming tips videos. But onward I go!

Love ya.

Singing Into a Microphone – How to Record Vocals for Best Results

Here’s a lil video all about microphone singing! My best 6 tips for knowing how to record vocals for optimal results.

My tips include….

1) Set levels so they’re not too high; otherwise you’ll max out and distort your vocal recording — and, worse, try to hold back or sing tentatively to accommodate this too-high setting. Instead, aim for a lower microphone level. You can always boost it later.

2) Get your live monitor/headphone levels right! Singing with headphones always presents its own set of challenges, so I almost always leave one ear outside of the headphones as I’m singing to get some live feedback.

3) Don’t forget your breathing DOWN BELOW! The microphone picks up what you’re creating up top, however, the work and effort happens via the rest of your body. Don’t forget your technique or become a “neck-up” singer in the studio.

4) Be mindful of how distance to the microphone affects the nuance, intimacy and volume of what you’re singing. Closer = more intimate. Further away = taller, more echo-y, for louder moments.

5) Learn how to breathe without harsh, noticeable gasps (super distracting — and in the video I give you a quick tutorial on how to do this).

6) Finally, experiment! Microphones are incredible tools, so don’t be intimidated! Just practice and see what sounds good, then trust your instincts. 🙂

In the video I also mentioned that I was using an Audio-Technica AT4040 condenser microphone for $299 – http://amzn.to/29hKetW

Ooh! Even better — AT4040 plus pop-filter and XLR cable, for $299: http://amzn.to/29gKJVd

Other good condenser microphones….

AT2020 microphone is $99 – http://amzn.to/29lNwh2

AT2020 microphone with USB hookup is $149 – http://amzn.to/29gLqOE

MXL 770 for $75 – http://amzn.to/29fUlDm

My headphones are also Audio-Technica (see a trend here?) and you can find them here: http://amzn.to/29fUiaP

*Please note, these are Amazon affiliate links.

Hope this video and these resources are helpful! Please leave me a comment to let me know whether you’ve been recording some vocal projects, and whether you’d like more videos like this!
xo Fel

 

How to Fix Sharp Singing!

Sharp singing is when you go for a note but land a little bit too high, which is a hurdle for many singers.

So today I will answer your question: “What do I do if my singing is consistently sharp?”

In this video, you will learn some powerful approaches that will help fix your pitch and make it much more accurate.

Notes are like circles, and your pitch can move up and down the circle. When you’re singing a note, you’re creating a tone that is round. If you’re used to landing sharp, aim at the bottom of the note’s “circle.” This will help “average out” the pitch.

Stay grounded. Literally, stay connected to the ground and remember your lower body! Pitch often reflects your energy and focus. If you’re nervous or “floating up” into your head, your pitch can start to drift upward, too. Remember, singing involves your whole body!

Your breath support is your pitch buddy! Thrust your focus down to the lower part of your body — to your diaphragm. Building on tip 2: you can even picture roots growing from your diaphragm, down to your feet, digging into the earth.

If you’re a singer who tends to go sharp, follow these simple steps and you’ll notice your energy, your focus, and, ultimately, your pitch will start to correct itself.

Do you struggle with sharp singing? Leave me a comment and let me know if these tips helped!

xo Fel

What Does Vibrato Feel Like? – How to Sing with Vibrato

When you’re singing, vibrato is that slight oscillation in pitch that varies a note from a straight tone.

In this video, I’ll describe exactly what vibrato feels like and how you can achieve it using some mental adjustments. (Yes, singer buds, it’s primarily a mental process!)

Simply go through these steps to find your own vibrato:

  1. Good technique means good vibrato. As annoying as it sounds, start with good technique. Period. Good breath support creates a seal with your vocal fold so your cords vibrate evenly and don’t leak too much air. A tone that’s leaking air sounds whispery, and that can make it very difficult to layer on healthy vibrato.
  2. Vibrato is felt in the back of your mouth. Migrate your mental eyesight to the back of your mouth, to your soft palate. When you smile or laugh, you can feel it kinda raised, right? Singers who engage in correct vibrato can feel a little flicker or tickle on their soft palate — and it doesn’t have to involve your throat at all!
  3. When activating vibrato, relax into it. Let your vocal folds chill out slightly. Relieve a little bit of pressure — that’s the feeling that creates vibrato.
  4. Don’t push harder. Vocal wobbles happen when you push down or add more effort on your throat. Your voice box is basically shaking around, causing a large jump between pitches versus a vibrato which is lighter and more subtle. So if you ever get the urge to press down — don’t.

Just remember, good vocal technique will lead to a healthy and pleasing vibrato, but these mental adjustments will get you that much closer to easy, natural-sounding vibrato.

Keep practicing, my friends! 🙂

xo Fel

How to Stay Healthy During Winter (For Singers)

Maintaining good vocal health is especially crucial in the winter months! If you’ve found that your singing just gets harder in the winter, you’re not alone, and you’re not a weirdo. The combination of cold weather, dry indoor environments, and nasty colds makes singing in winter harder….period!

In this video you’ll learn why it’s important to:

(1) Sleep with a humidifier next to your bed

(2) Drink tons of water

(3) Bundle up when you go outside!

(4) Warm up in the shower

(5) Take longer to warm up (in general)

Hope this is helpful! Stay healthy, my friends.

Love, Fel

How to Sing “Hello” By Adele

After a mini-break from singing tips videos (due to Singing Transformation launch), I’m back!! I’m so excited to be teaching you how to sing “Hello” by Adele because, well, this song ROCKS.

This video starts with a bit of straight-up singing technique to help you engage with breath, and then learn how to let your resonance hit the “bulls-eye” and deliver maximum power and volume.

And then who could forget my weird-as-hell vowel modifications?? Well, they’re in there, too, my friends.

These will give you clues about how to shape and aim your sound to make singing the powerful chorus of “Hello” much, much easier.

Leave me a comment to let me know if you like to sing this song, and whether this tutorial was helpful!

Lots of love, Fel

VIDEO: How to Memorize Songs & Lyrics

Hi there! Today’s singing tips video is all about memorizing songs and lines! Memorization is a key skill in the music, theater, and entertainment industries, but not many singers often discuss their strategies for memorizing.

Since I am pretty horrendous when it comes to learning lyrics and lines, I thought I would let you in on the top methods that help me learn new material.

I’m not an expert on this topic of memorization, but these methods have worked well for me — and I hope they’ll help you, too!

Let me know what you think of these techniques – try them out, and report back – and please share with any friends you know who have had trouble memorizing songs or lines in the past.

xo Fel

VIDEO: How to Relax Your Tongue While Singing

My newest singing tips video gives you 3 suggestions (+ 1 bonus tip) for how to relax your tongue and get it to stay neutral while you’re singing!

Two ways to gauge tongue tension are:

(1) how your voice sounds (do you sound like Kermit the Frog?)

(2) How your throat or neck feels (dull pains along your jaw or at the top of your voice box).

If you have tongue tension or a tense tongue, fear not! 3 easy triggers to get your tongue to chill include:

(1) Thinking “UH” while you sing

(2) Pretending you’re drunk (not kidding)

(3) Practicing a “conversational” version of your song or warmup

And as a bonus tip? Don’t make an enemy out of your tongue! As a singer, it does more harm than good to be stressed out about the body part that’s causing you tension. Instead, think positively about your tongue, remember that it’s just trying to help, and eventually it will learn to back off and stay out of the equation.

Enjoy! 🙂

xo Fel

How to Sing “Somebody to Love” by Queen

Ahoy there, singers!

My latest singing tips video breaks down and teaches you how to sing “Somebody to Love” by Queen! Trying to sing like Freddie Mercury can at first seem like an epic challenge, but it’s my job to help you break it down and find some easy, effective strategies for approaching this song.

In this video you’ll learn:

(1) How to break down the song “Somebody to Love” in stages so it’s easier to sing

(2) Some key vowel and lyric modifications that are going to help you sing higher without tensing or cutting off the sound

(3) Tips for getting your head voice to be stronger, louder, more focused and powerful

(4) Tips for contrasting that head voice with a full, impressive belt sound, since belting is perfect for rock singing (like Queen)

I hope you enjoy this video! Let me know how your practice goes, or if you find these tips helpful.

xo Fel