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:
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!
**Editors Note: As of August...
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...
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.
If you've ever written to me and said:
Fel, when I sing a song I become very overcome with feeling and want to cry, and then I lose my technique.
Fel, how do I show real emotion when I sing?
-- then the following process will serve you incredibly well.
But first, a quick story . . .
This past Friday I attended a business conference, and in one of our small group exercises, I started crying.
My attempt at a "business suit"
If that sounds weird, it's because it kind of is. But this was no ordinary business conference. The goal of our group exercise was to relive a past memory and to hold the feeling of that memory in our bodies.
(Among other things, one greater goal of the conference was to expand our consciousness, to learn to hold feelings, and to use these skills in the service of creating...
“We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” --Archilochos
Last month I began performing onstage with my musical improv group Thank You, Places: An Improvised Musical at the Philly Improv Theater. Every other Friday we make up a one-hour musical, on the spot!
If you're thinking: That sounds hard, Fel is so BRAVE! -- well, I have news for you:
It freaking ter-ri-fies me.
Seriously. I think I was more nervous on February 17, 2017, our opening night, than I was when I first went on for Elphaba in Wicked (and that's not a joke).
The face of a woman doing everything she can not to freak out
Why was performing made-up songs so psychologically stressful for me? You already know the answer, I'm sure:
No preparation means you have nothing to hold onto, no rules to follow, and no way to anticipate the challenging parts of a song.
In contrast, if you want me to do "regular"...
You know what bugs me most? When singers don't realize their full potential -- not because they're incapable, but because they don't have the right tools.
In our online singing community there are over 90,000 singers who tweet me, email me, leave awesome comments -- you name it! And I can sense the love-hate relationships they have with their voices.
They have spent years (decades, even!) spinning their wheels and not making lasting progress.
Maybe you can relate. You're a singer with boatloads of potential, trying to piece together the "clues" of how singing should feel. But you feel way more frustrated than triumphant.
You see progress, then setbacks. You learn tips and tricks (possibly from me, on YouTube :-) ), but nothing truly STICKS.
You don't know how to put it together in the right order.
Your voice comes and goes, never seeming predictable.
You start to worry: "Am I just not cut out for this?"
"Do I have to be blessed with that elusive 'it' factor that makes singing...
Time for a ridiculous, holiday-themed video that explores the differences between pop singing and musical theater singing!
More specifically, I will sing "Silent Night" two different ways, all while wearing an ugly Christmas sweater.
The gist of the two approaches is:
This isn't a detailed musical theater or pop singing tutorial per se, but it's a fun 'n' silly video that contrasts some key approaches that can help make your singing sound more pop-py.
(Because I personally am a beginner pop singer, I would consider this pop singing for beginners. :) )
It's the most wonderful time of the year. Nope, I don't mean the holidays....
I mean: it's time for my Singing Survey and Skype Lottery! Woooooo!
Can you lend 3 minutes to answer my quick survey?
Every year I revise my elite 8-week training program Singing Transformation directly from your singer feedback. Singing Transformation is my "teaching opus" -- my mondo fun and cool singing course designed to teach CONFIDENCE and CONSISTENCY in a truly epic and comprehensive way.
The best part: I add to it every year, and use your comments to help shape (1) the way I teach, (2) what I teach. Plus, I'll use your feedback for all of my future courses / videos / teaching topics.
The more I can get to know you, the better I'll be able to help you. :)
Extra cool part? If you complete the survey you'll be in the running to get a free Skype session / convo with me -- I'll be picking 3 singers to chat with from all those who enter.*
Hey, great idea! Here are the instructions.