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...
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1 Simple Trick for Easy Singing (Enter: the Fish Lips!)

When it comes to singing, I'm all about shortcuts and easy singing tips! Sometimes the simplest adjustments can yield big results, fast. Enter: Fish Lips!

What are the Fish Lips? It's a simple cue/adjustment that will help your singing get much easier. Because who doesn't love easy singing?

You'll find Fish Lips helpful in the following ways -- they will help to:

  1. Relieve tension,
  2. Neutralize your larynx,
  3. Get your jaw to relax,
  4. Help you sing through your vocal break(s),
  5. Create a less spread, more focused vocal tone.

One way to practice the sensation is to sing lip trills as part of your vocal warmups (check out my quick demo in the video).

Layer this cue onto your practice or song prep, and let me know if it helps!

xo Fel

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I Hate My Singing Voice, Help!

Have you ever listened to your own voice and just thought, “I absolutely hate it. Even frogs sing better than me!”

I know a lot of you have been there. You love to sing, but feel like you suck. So what do you do if you hate your own voice? And how do you get over that?

Here is an 8-minute video to help!

Everyone can shape their own vocal tone! We all have vocal folds that are of a certain thickness, that we genetically inherit. But there is a ton you can do to shape the way you sound! Think of yourself as a vocal chameleon, and feel empowered to know your voice is much more versatile than you might think.

Love yourself and love the process of change. Working on your singing and working on your body means learning to love yourself the way you are now. But if you’re constantly sending negative thoughts to yourself, progress is impossible. So be committed to the path, but do it out of love for your voice, your singing, your instrument, and your body.

Don’t be...

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The Ultimate 154-Song Medley

10 years. Four medleys. Zero cue cards. One take. Read below for an explanation of this crazy video....

This 154-Song Medley video is dedicated to the die-hard fans who started watching me and my lil sister Tessa's weird videos back in 2010! If you're one of these amazing people, you already know what this insanity is: our 3 epic medleys from 2010-2011 strung together, PLUS one more glorious medley (Medley 4!), created and filmed in December 2015.

(New medley song titles are in RED, and start at 6:49)

Making medleys with my sister began while we were riding in the back of a van in Ireland, on the rainiest, most miserable 2006 family vacation of all time. To pass the time and feel less like prisoners, we sang and hummed and strung together 38 songs that we felt just "flowed together."

There was no further explanation. It just had to....click.

Four years later, in 2010, when Tessa was visiting me in San Francisco (I was living out there because I was performing in "Wicked") we...

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Fix Your Singing Using Breath - Breathing for Singers

Isn't it frustrating when you feel like you've worked so hard on a certain singing skill, but then when you go to actually do it, you get blocked by tension?

My newest video gives you some powerful imagery, or visualizations, for you to use while you're singing -- designed to fix about 95% of your singing problems!

When I say "fix your singing," I essentially mean: get out of your own way, and rely on your breath to guide you. When you learn how to relax, trust, and let go, singing is finally possible!

In this video you'll get 3 powerful mental images that I use with my students when I cue breath.

I'll also take some time to re-teach you how to breathe for singing -- zooming in on the actual sensation of what breath feels like (which so often confuses singers). Breathing for singers can be tricky to get the hang of at first, but once you understand it and memorize the sensation, you're going to make lightning progress.

Basically, breath for singers feels a bit like you're filling...

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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

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Can Everyone Sing? Here's the Truth.

Today's singing tips video is in direct response to a question I get all the time.

"Fel, can everyone sing? Or only the chosen few??"

Be sure to watch for my answer -- and I'll also describe some recent cool articles / studies about this very topic that are VERY encouraging for singers.

If this topic interests you -- or if you're a singer, at any level, looking to improve your process and truly maximize your potential -- be sure to sign up for my FREE webinar on 10/11/15 which explores this topic more fully and helps you (1) uncover your singer potential, (2) learn the PROCESS behind true singer progress, (3) integrate your mind, body, and emotions for awesome singing, (4) much more!!

To sign up for the webinar is click here.

**Editors Note: As of August 2017 Felicia is no longer offering Singing Transformation.**

Enjoy!!

xo Fel

P.S. If you know someone who gets discouraged easily or who has been told they just "don't have what it takes," be sure to send them a...

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My Love Affair with BBC Radio 1

I've always secretly wished I was British. If you were to crack open my middle school diary, one of its first sentences would read: "I am writing in an effort to sound and feel more British." Ignoring the identity crisis component, I want to cite this as definitive proof of my lifelong anglophilia.

So imagine my delight last Christmas when I received an email out of the blue from The Scott Mills Show, a national British radio program on BBC Radio 1. They had seen a few of my "How to Sing _____ by ______" YouTube video series (in which I break down lyrics from popular songs and give you alternate, more "singer-friendly" vowels) and asked me to call in and teach Chris Stark, the co-host, how to sing "Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues.

To accommodate the time difference, my interview was at 6am (see haggard photo below). I was incredibly nervous, but Scott and Chris instantly put me at ease. Plus, it was interesting to experience...

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What is "Back Phrasing?" (Hint: It's Awesome for Song Interpretation)

Hey there, singer buds!

I'm back after a week vacation (during which I happened to get married...more on that later!).

My latest singing tips topic deconstructs one of my favorite singing tools: a technique called BACK PHRASING.

What is back phrasing? Back phrasing refers to the art of slowing down or speeding up certain lines of a song. Why would you ever want to do this? Basically, back phrasing helps to alter the emotion behind what you're saying, which can add nuance and impact to your song delivery.

In other words, it makes the audience get all tingly and be like "ooooh, that was cool!"

So how does one back phrase? Well, like most singing techniques, it's more of an art than a science! However, there are certainly guiding principles to help you. 

In this video, you'll learn:

  • What back phrasing sounds like
  • An exercise for deconstructing your lyrics and figuring out where to back phrase
  • How to tell when it's appropriate to back phrase
  • Why...
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How to Talk with Confidence - Healthy Speech Habits

Ahoy there!

This video provides my top 3 tips for speaking healthily!

Unhealthy talking that strains your throat and deflates your breath is sort of the "silent killer" for singers. A lot of the time, unhealthy speaking habits can contribute to fatigued vocal cords and unhealthy singing technique in the long run.

Luckily, if you've been keeping up with my blog and videos and know how I roll as a teacher; many of the core principles of singing also apply to speaking!

In this video, learn how to talk with confidence -- producing volume that lets you talk louder without the strain. You'll learn:

(1) Where to "aim" the sound for maximum volume (hint: it's not on your throat!)

(2) A simple and crazy effective exercise to help you activate your breath (to make sure you're not holding your breath while you talk)

(3) Why posture can make or break your speaking voice - and how to fix it.

Tips to improve speech for singers apply to non-singers, as well; so if you're a public...

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