Learn how to sing with feeling!

Improve singing vocal technique with  this step by step action plan

9.Action: Choose three songs.

10.Action: Maintain a regular practice schedule.

  • As I said before, GET A TEACHER. Don't just do these dumb exercises, they are for an overview and basic understanding. A teacher is key. At best these exercises will fill in what you do with your teacher, or just get you started until you find one. Keep working your singing vocal technique.

11.Action: Use your " safe" song to anchor the " feel."

  • Utilize all the techniques you've been working on and perfect your vocal performance of your safe song. Anchor that feel in your muscle memory, for whenever you are challenged you will go for that feel and be able to sing your best.

Result: Your technique is freeing up.

12.Action: Sing through with just vowels.

Ingredients: your challenge song.

  • It most probably has some high sections that are at the top of your range. You know how to sing vowels in exercises properly, and you've worked a bit on getting consonants out of the way. What you want to do now if do this in a song.

  • First, sing it though a few times with just vowels - omit the consonants. This should be smooth for you, and help anchor how the song should feel when properly sung. (Note - diphthongs, double vowels, should be sung with the first vowel and only at the end round out the second. For example, instead of " I" , sing " Ahhhhhhh ee" .

13.Action: Circle the " power words."

These are the words that move the story forward and have greater significance. They may be words that can mean different things, all relevant, depending on how you say them. You are looking for your story anchors here, words that capture the essence of the moment.

Ingredients: a blank sheet of paper.

  • Write or print the lyrics.

  • Circle the power words, usually one per line or so.

  • Practice saying the sentence stressing those words in different ways.

Result: The song interpretation begins to take shape.

14.Action: Sing the song through.

Ingredients: the proper key, your marked sheet.

  • Sing the song through three times, noticing the possibilities of your power words. Don't forget that the more meaning you feel in the song, the better your vocal techniques will become, because you will be less tense.

15.Action: Ask the " story questions."

Ingredients: the lyric sheet.

  • Answer the following:  

  1. Where (physically) am I in this song? A garden? on a ship? Is it dark out? Cold, etc... Sometimes just visualizing one detail can create a whole scene picture in our minds.

  2. Who am I singing to? And, while we're at it, how is he/she reacting? Try to see those reactions, as if the song is a dialogue.

  3. What am I doing in this song? Am I seducing? Teasing? Attacking? What?

  4. What forced me to start singing? Imagine something happening, your scene partner saying or doing something that MAKES you have to sing, to achieve your goals.

16.Action: Give three sets of answers.

  • Each one a vibrant possibility, so you can choose the one that your gut tells you is closest to home.

17.Action: Perform the song as a monologue.

Ingredients: The lyric sheet with the notes.

  • Now that you have some ideas for the story you are telling in this song, say the song out loud as if it were a real conversation with your scene partner. Try out your options, and feel which is the most real, the most honest. That will be your scenario. Yes, my friends, this is the acting part.

Result: The nuances make sense.

18.Action: Videotape your practice.

Ingredients: a video recorder, musical accompaniment, if possible.

  • Perform the song as you've decided on video tape. Do it a few times, each one trying more and more to really see the scene, communicate the message and fill your words, especially anchor words, with sincere meaning. That does not mean to over ham it up. Sometimes an understatement is much more powerful. Be creative.

  • Watch the videotape and notice any habits you may have, like awkward hand gestures, tension, leaning in too much, clenched fists. Take note and try and correct those that interfere with your performance.

  • See where you felt most connected to the song/story, and where you were more concerned with how you sounded. Be honest.

  • Go back and practice it again, integrating what you've learned.

Result: You have more awareness of your presentation.

19.Action: Do a " variety practice."

Ingredients: patience.

  • This is a tough practice, because it's easy to do the song twice and say you've got it. Practice the song over and over again for about 15 times. Each time try to integrate something new. You may even consider trying to record the song, because with each take you'll grow into it.

Result: You become very comfortable with the song, and you see even more possibilities.

20.Action: Practice with a coach.

Ingredients: A theatrical singing coach.

  • Not to be confused with a traditional voice teacher, this person will guide you towards a truly effective musical performance. I write this for pop singers as well, because any singing is about communicating a story. Someone who's just there to make sounds will not move an audience (unless she's not wearing very much, which is how some of today's " stars" make their millions.) If you are committed to art, well, when the magic of the story comes out, THAT'S ART!!! It's glorious.

Result: You gain new feeling in the songs.

21.Action: Perform your songs in public.

Ready to take it on the road. Here's where you will grow the most.

Ingredients: A good venue, open mic, and good accompaniment.

  • Find the spot, and go out and sing. Don't be afraid. Those who do, even if their stomachs are churning, will succeed. the public is rooting for you. I'm rooting for you.

Result: You are a master at singing vocal technique and song interpretation. Your audiences worship you! Time to an album

 |Vocal Technique | |Interpretation |



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