Being An Old Man Helped My Singing (No, Seriously)

May 30, 2017

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...

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Singers, the Mirror is Your Best Friend

May 10, 2016

About two months ago, I was singing some warmup scales, and my voice just STOPPED WORKING.

The higher I got, the more I felt stuck.

I took a moment, reset, and tried again.

Same weird thing!

Even worse, this second time through, I could feel my throat compensating, trying to push the notes up rather than feel them float out easily, effortlessly.

Crap, I thought. What the heck is going on?

Trying not to get too hard on myself, I took an inventory of my body and how I was feeling.

Breathing? (I took a deep breath and did a quick hiss exercise, counting to 45 seconds.)

Check.

No tension in my lower back? (I draped over in rag doll pose, and let my body hang.)

Check.

Tongue relaxed? (I opened my mouth and stuck out my tongue. Then I flicked my tongue back and forth like a snake tasting the air.)

Check.

Third time’s the charm…

I did the scale again.

NOPE.

What the f(*&$%(*???

Then, luckily, I remembered a tidbit from a voice lesson I had about 8 years...

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

Feb 10, 2016

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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Fix Your Singing Using Breath - Breathing for Singers

Dec 30, 2015

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 Talk with Confidence - Healthy Speech Habits

Aug 12, 2015

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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How to Sing Chandelier by Sia

Jul 24, 2014

Hi singer friends!! I've just finished my latest singing tips video, this time breaking down "Chandelier" by Sia! It's a super cool song that got requested by lots of you on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and this blog.

When it comes to singing and creating a signature sound (like Sia), you don't manipulate the cord, you manipulate the resonant space in your face and mouth. Please watch and let me know what you think! Was this helpful? Which parts of the song give you the most trouble? Which songs / singer styles would you like me to break down next? Thanks, as always, for watching!

Love, Fel

 

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