Posts Tagged :

voice lesson

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

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

How to Sing Any Song with Modified Lyrics

This video is about my favorite singing "hack" - modified lyrics! This easy singing tip will give you the most bang for your buck, even (especially) if you're a beginner.

If you've watched my "How to Sing Chandelier by Sia" video, or any others in my pop song series, you know that I like to take regular English words and translate lyrics into singer-friendly vowels. Why? It can do WONDERS for your singing.

When you rewrite singing lyrics with more "open" vowels, which are easier and more resonant to sing, they become a million times easier for singers to tackle.

What's more, it makes your singing tone less closed or pinched, and more open, rich, and resonant.

I get tons of requests to translate specific songs, which I will keep doing in future, but I also wanted to give you my guidelines so that you can do it for any song that you like to sing!

Be sure to download my .PDF summary so you can check out the best singer vowel translations and start singing in with a more open, resonant, and beautiful tone.

Please leave me a comment to let me know if this video helped you translate and sing your favorite songs!

xo Fel

Sing Without Tension - 3 Easy Warmups

Vocal tension is the #1 culprit of strained singing, vocal fatigue, burnout, and vocal problems! These 3 warmups will help prime you for relaxed, open, free singing.

Remember: if you're someone who experience lots bodily tension (like yours truly!), singing without tension is possible -- you just have to incorporate relaxation techniques into your vocal routine.

The 3 vocal warmups in the video below are:

(1) The Teapot Hiss - eliminates lower body, ribcage, and lower back tension that can creep "up the chain" and affect your voice.

(2) The Scary Lion's Yawn - busts jaw, tongue, neck, and throat tension, all in one!

(3) "Oh, Wow!" - a simple warmup to reinforce a relaxed jaw and open throat.

Try these simple vocal warmups and let me know if they help you relax and free up your voice! I'd love to hear from you in the comments section.

Also -- stay tuned for my vocal warmup series called "The Lazy Singer's Warmups," coming soon! Sign up for email updates to the right and you'll be the first to hear about them, along with fun bonus goodies, once they're released.

 

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

3 Tips to Find Your Singing Voice

My latest singing tips video is all about how to find a singing voice that is uniquely "yours." It offers my top 3 tips for doing so...some of which might surprise you!

1) Pay attention to the natural variation in "color" (or resonance, or tone) when you speak in the day-to-day. Become aware of all the variations that are possible, and what kind of emotional intention or context usually prompts them.

2) Start by imitating! This one might be a bit controversial, but even the seemingly most original singers had influences that turned to inspiration, that eventually led to their creating their own sound.

3) Don't be afraid to be weird and look silly! Get rid of those blocks of what you're "supposed" to sound like will allow you to experiment more freely, which will unlock tones you didn't know were possible.

What do you think about this topic? Don't forget to leave me a comment!
xo Fel

Does Voice Classification Matter? (VIDEO)

Singer buddies!

My latest video addresses voice classification, or voice part (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and answers a common question I get from singers, which is: what's my voice classification, and does it matter?

Basically, it doesn't really matter. Voice classification describes the thickness of your vocal folds. Sopranos and tenors are born with thinner folds, while altos, baritones, and basses are born with thicker vocal folds. This means you are naturally predisposed to sing higher (in the case of tenors and sopranos) or lower (altos, baritones, basses), and you can usually tell which voice part you are based on the natural tone of your speaking voice.

Check it out!

What I want to stress in this video is that your voice classification is a starting guide. It's like saying: "I have long legs." It describes your body and the way you were born, but it does not determine your ultimate range or what you will be able to sing in your career as a singer. It may describe what is *easiest* for you at first -- but just as someone with short legs can learn to run fast, so can someone with thick vocal folds learn to sing high.
Loads of baritones and altos can sing high, and likewise many tenors and sopranos have impressive lower ranges. So don't get bogged down in assigning a label to yourself. Any singer can successfully grow his or her voice and learn to increase their range.

Hope you like the video! Please leave me a comment. xo Fel

How to Sing "Black Widow" by Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora

Another week, another singing tips video!

This video breaks down "Black Widow" by Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora and recommends vowel and lyric modifications that help you place the sound for Rita Ora's tone and styling, as well as pop out your belt singing voice.

The sung hook and "pre-chorus" of this song is belty and hefty sounding, it's important to know where to place the sound to be able to bust tension and get the notes to flow.

Altering the lyrics with new vowels, consonants, and phrases will help your wrap your mouth around the sounds. When it comes to singing and creating a signature sound (like Rita Ora), you don't manipulate the cord, you manipulate the resonant space in your face and mouth.

Hope this is helpful! Leave me a comment and let me know. Complete lyric modifications below...
xo Fel

BLACK WIDOW BY IGGY AZALEAN & RITA ORA
Lyric Modifications by Felicia Ricci


I'm gonna love ya
Until you hate me

UMKUNAH LAHVYA
UHN TEHYAH HEH(T) MIH

And I'm gonna show ya
What's really crazy

UNUMKUNAH SHUHYAH
WUH ZRIHLIH KREHSIH

You should've known better
Than to mess with me, honey

YUSHUHDUH NOH BEDAH
THEDUHMEH SWITHMEE  HAHNEH

I'm gonna love ya, I'm gonna love ya
Gonna love ya, gonna love ya
Like a black widow, baby

AHM GHANA LAHVYA
AHM GHANA LAHYVA
GHANA LAHVYA
GHANA LAHVYA
LAHKA BLAH KWIDAH BEHBIH

....

You used to be thirsty for me
But now you wanna be set free

YUHYUH STAHBEE THUHSTIH FUHMIH
BUNAH YUHWAHNA BIHSEHFRIH

This is the web, web that you weave
THISIH DAH WUHB
WUHB DACHOO WIH(EE)V

So baby now rest in peace (It's all over with now)
SUH BEHBIH NAHRESTIH PIH (S)

(P.S. Background track is a "karaoke" version of the song I arranged myself on GarageBand, dubbing vocals over afterward with my computer microphone. But most of the sung parts in the video are live. Kind of low budget for now but hopefully it does the trick so you can get the feel for the song.)