Los Angeles Vocal Studio
A student of mine sent this quote to me from Robert Plant recently. If you don't know Robert Plant, listen to Led Zeppelin. My favorite song of all time by them is "The Ocean".
Plant's voice was raw, sexual, high pitched and far from perfect. And guess what? People loved it. For me, I am never trying to get a singer to sound like anything but themselves. The most important thing to me is that they deliver boundless emotion (on pitch) and make me feel something. They have to connect and however they need to deliver this to me is all that matters. Last month, I listened to a Song Exploder podcast featuring Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey isolates the vocals- demonstrating the iconic band's vocal production behind the instruments. They are far from tight and even a bit pitchy, but it doesn't sound this way on the final recording. I know well from being in the studio that having sloppy/loose background vocals can actually create a WORLD of frequencies that elevate the overall feel of the track if you get them right in the recording process.
For a current example,I've had countless students come to me wanting to learn Rihanna's Higher. This song overflows with cracks, yells, growls and screeches in her voice harkening back to the best blues singers such as Bessie Smith and Sarah Vaughan. It resonates with my singers, because it is filled with emotion and the lyrics authentically pour out of Rihanna.
The point is, being an artist is not about copping someone else's style. To be an artist, you must have your own voice which comes from having an opinion and strong sense of self. If your voice has a flaw, it might so happen to be what makes it unique so refine it and accentuate it! (As long as you maintain singing in tune and still have rhythm :-)
Many voice students feel that it is important to take voice lessons in-person, but there are so many conveniences to online. Applications like Zoom and Skype have countless new ways of communicating which make it feel closer to being in person than ever. Zoom allows audio sharing with perfection and clarity as well as separate audio recordings of the session. Each has great mobile applications that make it easy to learn from your phones as well as create clearer video than Facetime. Furthermore- with the screen sharing capabilities, you can share lyrics, videos, sheet music etc.. with your coach. Of course, there is always Facetime if you prefer the hassle-free use of built-in apps.
One of the greatest parts of online lessons is the flexibility of scheduling. For example, if you have an audition within hours, this saves you the drama of flying around the city and stressing yourself out during a time when you should be at ease and focused. Furthermore, in a city like Los Angeles- where traffic is INSANE- why not study from the comfort of your own home? Lessons can be costly and it's great to save money on gas, parking and time.
Another benefit to online lessons is the fact that you can take lessons with a coach from anywhere in the world. Long gone are the days of having to move to a city like New York or Los Angeles to get the benefits of world-class coaches with music business experience. You can now get lessons with people who have had students on shows like The Voice or been in Broadways shows without having to travel.
Consider trying lessons with us online! We provide big discounts on packages, because we too benefit from not having to rent studio space to teach lessons and can provide more affordable options.
Book now at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here it is: my inaugural podcast for LAVS. The first interview features the amazing music publisher, Suzan Koç as I ask her questions about music publishing. Listen if you want to know more about publishing for songwriting, music libraries and creating beats. Lots of quality information in here. It will also be available on Spotify, I heart radio and Apple Podcasts in the next few weeks. For more info on Suzan, go to www.suzankoc.com
Next Monday I will be starting a monthly podcast to answer questions from my students. Comment if you have any questions you'd like me to tackle whether you are a student of mine or not. We can talk about the business, singing, songwriting and even social media! xo
Living in Los Angeles, I frequently have new students tell me they are trouble by a dry throat. It is important to remember that you live in the desert despite the massive Pacific Ocean seated at the edge of our city. It it much drier than the east coast, where it can rain for days on end -as opposed to LA where 2 inches a year can be a big deal! This doesn't only apply to people living in the desert though! Working in a bar, dry east coast winters sleeping beside a hot heater or a fan in the summer can cause the same problem.
One of my favorite tools for fighting dry vocal cords is a facial steamer.
You simply put about an ounce water in the base, push power and within minutes it will create steam for you to inhale. Your goal should always be to hydrate your vocal cords. Drinking water is the number one solution, but this doesn't always do the trick fast enough. Sometimes after late night gigs where I had to speak to a lot of fans after singing a heavy show -I needed some instant hydration. Coming home and leaning over the steam always relaxed my throat and took some of the fatigue away. Add this to your arsenal of tools for maintaining vocal hygiene and set up a lesson with me if you have further questions at: email@example.com