Thom Flora, Judy Rodman
singing background vocals at Eclectic Studio, Nashville
Doing your own background vocals on your recording project can be a very good idea, or can limit or even sabotage your project. Here are two big factors that should be… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on September 25, 2012 at 3:32pm —
Lyndsey Highlander on the road
Singing on the road brings with it both thrills and perils. My amazing vocal student Lyndsey Highlander is bracing for a big summer tour season. Lots of consecutive day shows, some long…
Added by Judy Rodman on July 5, 2012 at 8:41am —
Breath is the power source for the voice. Not having enough breath or not having control of breath for singing or speaking can cause all kinds of vocal problems, including:
- running out of breath (can't finish phrases well)
- not having enough volume (weak, quiet voice)
- strained or…
Added by Judy Rodman on April 28, 2012 at 1:13pm —
Well, actually singers can learn lots of things from master musicians, but I want to highlight this one today: The secret of the light-just-right touch. Great musicians know that pressure matters, for instance...
- When drummers hit drums too hard, they lose tone from their drums.…
Added by Judy Rodman on March 12, 2012 at 9:02am —
Have you ever been told (or noticed yourself) that you have a numb or lifeless singing voice? Getting to the cause is the only way to change ineffective, lifeless vocal performance into a voice that is understood at an emotional… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on January 7, 2012 at 3:21pm —
I got a great question about allergies through my Facebook page (and if you're on FB, pls join me there!) Continue
Rita asked about warding off allergies before a singing engagement. Of course it's best to deal with the allergens before they can trip the inflammation trigger. Here are some tips I've found helpful:
[Medical disclaimer... I am most decidedly not a doctor.…
Added by Judy Rodman on December 11, 2011 at 11:15am —
I don't know about you, but the recent advertizements for Black Friday shopping (having to compete with Black Friday Ninjas?!!) leaves me... well... afraid! I decided to stay home, play with my… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on November 29, 2011 at 1:00pm —
Did you know that talking on the phone for any extended length of time can sabotage your singing voice? Yep, it's absolutely true. Why? No one can see you. Therefore, you don't use the same kind of facial and body language that you would if communicating visually.
Here's the typical phone talker:
- Your face upper face goes inactive. When you don't use your eyes, eyebrows and mask area while sounding your voice, your vocal ceiling (soft palate, back of nasal…
Added by Judy Rodman on November 7, 2011 at 3:21pm —
A great question was just emailed to me:
"Could we discuss more the idea of letting your audience know a part of you without feeling like you have given them all of you. I think this is a problem for me.."
OK, lots of times athletes, singers, public speakers, etc. are advised to give ALL of themselves to their performances. The truth is, if you did that, there would be nothing left of you to do it again, would there? Also, it is NOT true that if you use your voice… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on July 5, 2011 at 8:20pm —
There is controversy in vocal training, and different teachers embrace differing philosophies. There is more than one effective way to accomplish training a voice. However, in my experience, there are some wrong-headed techniques that actually limit vocal ability... and that can actually cause damage the voice. Here are my top 7 counterproductive ideas about singing:
- When phonating (making a vocal sound) the belly should go out.
Nope. In my experience,… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on May 8, 2011 at 4:55pm —
Dear friends who record and release music... I'd like to help protect your interests by sharing the following cautionary tale:
I got a frantic message from an indie artist this week. She had a very upsetting note from one of my cowriters, saying to have her attorney contact her. He had been surfing the web, noticed that she cut his song and released it to radio. Problem was, he had not received any mechanical money or signed a… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on December 20, 2010 at 10:30am —
There is no substitute for experience. I've done every one of these things wrong... that's how I know what to tell YOU about giving a great performance...
- Sing full voice when rehearsing/preparing for a gig, don't just do vocal exercises. You have to have not just correct form, but also sheer vocal stamina to
- Wear shoes your feet feel great…
Added by Judy Rodman on December 8, 2010 at 8:46am —
Songwriters who perform live or record your voices: You need to be able to powerfully and effectively deliver your songs to your audiences. To do that, you have to know the difference between your songwriter and your performer voices- which are NOT the same thing.
Songwriter voice is internal. Performance voice is external.
Songwriter voice is a communication internally with yourself and does not… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on November 3, 2010 at 5:45pm —
Vocal strain is unfortunately a common issue for active live performers who are not doing good, consistent vocal training. Someone recently asked me this question:
I think that I overused my voice last week. I had a couple of extra gigs I picked up and am just not used to the extra singing and now my throat is all kinds of jacked
up... Any tips you can send my way to help me make it through tonight
and tomorrow night?…
Added by Judy Rodman on June 8, 2010 at 3:37pm —
Vocal Warm Ups: What They Should Accomplish
There are a
gazillion different vocal exercises out there you can do. How do you
know which ones are best for you? Know what they should and should not
do for your voice, and you will be better able to do productive vocal
1. They should relax your voice and make it feel good and ready
If an exercise leaves your throat… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on June 2, 2010 at 12:06pm —
There is a subtle psychological shift you can make to take your next performance out of the ordinary and into a real event. I call it "singing from the soul" instead of just from the head. I'll use an old standard to illustrate:
How many times have you sung "Amazing Grace"? When is the last time you ever thought about what the lyrics mean? It's usually played at a swift clip, sung with about as much emotion as "Row Row Row Your Boat" and if the lyrics aren't being read, the words… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on April 1, 2010 at 9:50pm —
Performing artists rise in my list of favorites based on one thing: Do they get my emotional attention?
There is a reason that Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and John Mayer don't move me in live performance like Bono, Sting and Mat Kearney do. The difference is surely NOT in brilliant, creative musicianship.. all six are full of that. It's not in the magic of their edited recorded vocal performances we hear on the radio in which we understand almost every word. The difference is that… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on January 14, 2010 at 6:58pm —
OK, admit it (check title)... I'm a poet!
H1N1, H3H4H5abcdefxy, whatever the name of the dang flu bug trying to jump on you, if you need to use your voice, your fear and justified paranoia is the same. I have it this week; you don't want it. (Don't worry, you can't catch it from a blogpost:) Here are some random thoughts:
1. The best offense is defense. In public right now, assume everything you touch has just been touched by a virus shedder (how's that for a visual?) If… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on September 5, 2009 at 2:01pm —
I was recently invited to a conference on Spasmodic Dysphonia (known as SD) sponsored by the Vanderbilt Voice Center
here in Nashville, Tennessee. Attendees included voice specialists and teachers as well as sufferers of SD who had traveled distances to get current information about their mysterious and frustrating voice disorder. Instead of being a dry, boring series of speeches, it was… Continue
Added by Judy Rodman on July 14, 2009 at 6:20pm —