My thoughts...Wisdom from over the years


Posted in: Blog, tip of the week ♦ Monday, April 22nd, 2013, 7:54 am ♦ No Comments on THE ULTIMATE VOCALIST PART 1

The Ultimate Vocalist

I have decided to put together a short list of what I consider to be some of the most important aspects of being a great vocalist. I have put them into a simple list of 5 words starting with “P”. These are simplified steps to becoming a great vocalist even without a lot of training. They are easy steps you can do on your own— even without the help of a coach (although the help of a coach is always better).  They are each distinct and yet all connected to each other. If there is even one of these aspects that we don’t get right, the whole “ship” can go down, so make sure you have a good grasp of these basics. Here’s the list:


Being prepared means being vocally and musically prepared. It’s imperative to prepare your body, mind and spirit. Many an opportunity has been lost simply due to lack of preparation.

Vocally: warming up is essential for the vocal mechanism to work at its best and to avoid unnecessary stress/damage to the cords.  NEVER sing without warming up. You will not only sound a lot better, but you’ll save (and extend the life of) your cords.

But beyond simply warming up before your presentation, you need to be preparing your voice to sing whatever song(s) you’ve selected. Each song will present unique and different challenges so you may find the need to work on certain technical aspects of a song until you feel more confident.  This often means breaking the song down into smaller sections and isolating the specific areas that need work.  Oftentimes there are vocalises that are applicable for exactly the problem you’re facing in your song. Having mastered a few of these key exercises can prepare you long ahead of time to be able to apply the technique right where and when you want to.

Musically: It’s important to choose music that is well suited for you. This includes range, style and appropriateness for your event.  Just because you really like a song, doesn’t mean its right for you to sing. (Having said that, there are times when a song can be adapted for you) Having the right song, in the right key with the right accompaniment is a very important component of being prepared.

Spiritually: Take time to pray about your upcoming event. Ask God to give you a clear vision of what He wants to do through you and you’ll have a much better chance of accomplishing more than just a “performance”.  You can actually touch people’s lives.


Practice may not make “perfect” but it will get us a lot closer.   We need to get really comfortable with whatever we’re singing if we’re going to be able to present our song in a manner that reaches people.  So we need to practice whatever song we’re singing until we not only get it right, but it’s like a second nature to us.

I like to quote my college vocal coach who once told me, “You can’t even START to work on a song until its memorized, and NEVER sing a song in public that you haven’t sung at least 100 times in private.” He was on to something.  Practicing well can truly help with so many things; including nerves. When you are confident that you know your song and that you can sing it effectively, you will be much less nervous. When you are less nervous and more relaxed, you can help your audience to be more relaxed and be able to enjoy your song and respond t the message instead of your nervousness.



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