Seeking Help With Vocal Technique Before Blowing Out Your Voice!
What I've determined in the last 44+ years that I've been in the industry, as a vocal artist/Vocal Pre-Producer of modern/ street music (no Opera, Classical or Broadway), is that there were no vocal coaches to help me with the styles that I was singing or the feel required for the audiences. If I was still an artist today, I still would not be able to easily find anyone to coach me with my vocal feel.
Good News, using my own creativity and effort; I have figured this out myself (over time). So, the Good News is that Vocal Pre-Production is now available to coach modern genre’ artists in technique and feel.
(I spent 4 years with Seth Riggs correcting my technique and then 3 years as his partner coaching. Seth corrected my technique, but never helped me with the feel of my genres’ since he was an Opera coach. For this reason, I had to adjust my technique to avoid sounding Operatic/Theatric because as a pop artist; I always sang with a microphone. Working in this way, I learned how to adapt vocal Operatic techniques to be applicable to modern genre’ and feel.)
Note: See my blog: What is the main difference between opera and modern styles of singing? - The MICROPHONE.
Again – Problem: Why Vocalists Do Not Seek Help Until a Major Vocal Blow Out:
I already mentioned this in previous blogs, but the same problem exists for a lot of artists. They don't want to be changed, or hear operatic examples from their vocal coach. So, if they try a teacher or coach, most of the time; they're going to get Broadway or Opera suggestions and examples, and so … these artists quit.
However, the surgeon surgeries and vocal therapist exercises are very powerful and can repair your voice. A Vocal Pre-Producer, also, can assist with vocal therapy, depending on the vocal problem (which should always be diagnosed by an ENT physician). But, it's a shame when someone like Adele (signed at 18) didn't seek help until she lost her voice for several months while on tour; Sam Smith; Steven Tyler; … etc., - other sad examples.
Train - Before You Blow Your Voice Out:
What this blog is about is how to find the vocal training before you blow out your voice. You need to work with someone that can imitate your genre’ and really demonstrate how you want to sing. When you sing something and they sing it back to you, it should sound fairly close to your genre’; whether it be an exercise or whether it be a song.
We, as vocal artists, don't want to be told what to do; we just want to know how to sing the way we desire with touring stamina. Don’t believe a teacher or coach that tells you that their technique cover all styles, until you’ve heard them demonstrate these styles.
(Don’t get suckered in, or if you do … when the coach can’t demonstrate in your style - don’t go back!)
Finding the Right Fit:
The key here is finding a vocal coach/Vocal Pre-Producer who can help you find your sound or your signature voice to enhance your career; not destroy your style and career. We are artists not Broadway singers, not Opera singers and certainly not classical singers. True vocal artists want to develop their own signature voice.
When you seek out a vocal coach/Vocal Pre-Producer, you should make sure that they can demonstrate vocal technique in your genre’. A good coach, also, needs to coach you on how to express the deep emotional artist that you want to be, and that audiences and producers love to feel. They don’t want to listen to your shows or you’re recordings, if there is no vibe and no feel.
Warning - About Canned Vocal Programs And Apps:
Please do not buy CDs and tapes (some made by celebrity coaches are very expensive). That is, unless you are determined to give away some money and ... want to take a chance of developing bad habits and/ or ruining your voice.
These programs aren't specifically for you (they are canned) and they can't hear you and provide feedback. You play the program exercises, and attempt to imitate them; but, you don't know whether you are doing them right or wrong. Then, you call the coach and if they are very famous, they charge you a large fee to take a half-hour session to see how you're doing. That's not near enough. (Even Berkley school of music sells a ‘how to sing’ program.)
You're better off paying five dollars for a half-hour voice coach, who will listen and give feedback; then you are in buying a $1000 (canned) vocal program. I’ve heard many singers create bad habits from these programs that afterwards called me to fix their bad habits. (This happens a lot.) Without the feedback and the demonstrations at least once a week, your art can really can get side-railed, where you end up losing your career… All of a sudden you start singing like somebody else (i.e. your coach).
One More Thing:
Also, I do want to mention the fact that record producers have thrown voice coaches out of their studio for interfering with the feel of the artist. For this reason, many producers refuse to suggest vocal coaches, fearing that the vocal coach will destroy the feel which the producer has developed with the artist for tracking.
Find a coach that talks to your producer and works to ensure that the coaching is producing the results required by the producer. The coach, the producer, and the artist should be working as a team to produce the vibe and feel envisioned by the artist and producer.