Saturday, December 23, 2006

A voice to love in hip-hop

Mat Kearney began lessons with me a few years ago as a Christian rapper/songwriter. He learned to find his full, natural voice and last year became a monster hit maker- amazingly signing to major labels in Christian and pop music, simultaneously. His first single, "Undeniable", shot out of the box as the most-added single in the history of Christian Hit Radio (CHR).

He is now also shining in the mainstream secular field. Artists he's toured with include John Mayer and Cheryl Crow. He is EVERYWHERE in the media... check it out on his website

If you want to buy a positive, urban-real, extremely intellegent cd in the hip/hop and alternative rock genre with GREAT MESSAGES, get Mat's breakout cd titled"Bullet", or his new cd "Nothing Left To Lose" They would make a great last minute stocking stuffers, too!

By the way, if you are a hip-hop artist, please know that you will help yourself by singing with the same body language with which you rap. This encourages confidence, staying loose, tall, and communicative.

Oh, and may God bless you and your loved ones this Christmas season with happy memories and great music!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Studio Singing Techniques: Body Language

Ever have trouble getting your vocals as good in the studio as you do in live performance? How you stand at the mic in the studio makes all the difference in the world.

If your hands hang limply at your sides, your face frozen in a zombie stare, your voice doesn't know what to do. If you were speaking or singing to the one to whom the lyrics of the song is directed, you would probably use a much different body language- the LANGUAGE OF COMMUNICATION! You would probably make facial expressions, use your hands, even your legs and spine would move with the groove. Technically, this tells your voice what to do in three areas: breath (your arms are connected to your spine, your spine works your ribcage), tone (moving your face and eyes make differences in your vocal resonators), and real-ness of your vocal performance. Heck, it gets YOU into your own song.

Think about it this way: Someone listens to your recorded voice on their cd player. You should affect them like a great actor who pulls you into their performance. At the mic, use body language like you naturally would if you were talking or singing the song in live performance. It's a great way to make your cd listener feel something.

In my experience ...Move it... or lose em!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

When mucous membranes go wrong

A couple of tips for allergies and thick mucous membranes of the nose… First one:
try using a “Neti Pot” filled with saline solution to wash the allergens out of your nasal passageways. For some sufferers, this can work miracles. Get the Neti Pot and the non-iodized salt you must use for saline solution at your local health food store.

Second one was sent to me by recording engineer Ronny Light. He tells me this tip is listed in Wikipedia under Vomer. It's under the heading Trivia.
“Clear your stuffed nose!”

“Forget Sudafed. An easier, quicker, and cheaper way to relieve sinus pressure is by alternately thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone, which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds, you'll feel your sinuses start to drain.”

Also- Ask about the many herbal preparations to boost the immune system as well. DRINK A LOT OF WATER!!! Half your weight in ounces is a good amount to shoot for. If you can, put ceyenne pepper in everything you can think of - food and drink.

A wonderful throat soother is a glass of water with a heaping tsp lemon juice, heaping tsp honey, and a dash or three of ceyenne... just have something handy to blow your nose with! :)

And lastly- I had great results by drinking a very diluted pineapple juice and water mixture when I was sick and had a loooooong day of recording sessions to sing.

Let me know if you have a favorite remedy for singer's crud!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Breath work for singing- WALL WORK!

Ever had trouble having enough breath to singing?

Try this: Stand with your back to the wall. Keep the back of your head and at least one of your heels firmly planted against the wall. Put your finger on your chin so your chin stays level- DON'T LIFT YOUR CHIN!. Now try singing that song again.

Let me know how it works for you!