Monday, January 23, 2012

Singing Tips - Part 1 Diaphragm

Yea, Yea, I know... I am not a "Great" singer, more like a Good singer of a large variety of different styles of music. If I was a Great singer, I would have made my millions while I was much younger. I do however have fun singing, and do my best to make it un-painful for my audiences. So why am I giving advice, being the novice that I am. Well I hang out with a lot of novice singers. We have good voices, and through this Karaoke jam that we have created we have found that we get a little applause now and then, and it kinda feels good, and hearing ourselves over a nice sound system kinda adds to our presentation over singing in the car or the shower.

I am no expert here, so take my suggestions how you want. I have learned a few techniques over the years that are certainly worth passing on. While breathing is very important for holding those notes, more important is the use of your diaphragm. No not that one, the one that exists in your body just below the center of your ribcage. When you sing, you actually should not be using massive amounts of air from your lungs to push the notes out. If you use your diaphragm correctly while singing you should be able to project your voice at its most powerful state without blowing out a candle six inches from your mouth.

Now don't catch your hair on fire trying this, but it is absolutely true. Try it. First lets see how to find and use your diaphragm. There are some actual exercises that you can do to enhance the use of your diaphragm. Place your hand at the center of your rib cage and make the che che che sound. You will feel this muscle tightening up, that is your diaphragm. If you tighten that muscle while you are singing you will project your voice rather than blow your voice out with air. Like any other muscle, if you don't use it, you lose it. To prepare your body to start using this muscle, you need to exercise it. Try this:

1. Make the Che Che Che sound, (like the little engine that could)  but thrust it as hard as you can 20 times

2. Then do the same saying Pa Pa Pa, with emphasis on the consonants, almost holding your breath before you release each sound, 20 times again.

3. Then the same with The The The.

by now your diaphragm will feel like you have been pumping iron if you are doing it correctly. Now try singing with the candle in front of you holding your diaphragm tight and you wont blow out the candle.

If you can exercise this little muscle enough, and then remember to use it to sing with rather than a volume of air, you will be able to hit notes better, project them and not ruin your throat, and also hold notes for as long as you can hold your breath. This doesn't work for every style of singing, sometimes you need to use some air too, but it is one more tool in your arsenal.

I will have other tips for singing soon, like shaping your mouth, position of your chin cool little tricks that allow us to hear the finest part of your human instrument. See you at my shows!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Growing the Entertainment Biz

Just want to take a minute to thank all of my comrades in the Entertainment Business out there. One thing that I have really noticed from last year is the ability of us all to join forces and work together to increase attendance at all of our events.

Facebook has probably done more for communication and advertising our events, but just having your own page limits the exposure for each event we perform at strictly to those that follow us as individuals closely. Through networking and real friendships with our peers we have been able to multiply the number of people that find out about any given event at which we are performing. Our working together promoting each other has helped all of us get more gigs, increase our attendance, and then get even more gigs.This excitement transfers to more fans showing up at any given gig that we do.

I was going to tag all of you that I am referring to, to thank for this wonderful networking, but I didn't want to miss anyone, because you are all so important. The Venues, the Bands, the DJ's, the Solo Artists, and the Fans, are all equally important in the growth of our industry. Just know that I know, and I am sure that you have realized or are realizing that we are not competition, or enemies, rather all in this together. More and more of us are banding (no pun intended lol) together and sharing leads, and recommendations, and fans, and venues and eventually even the wealth. We have finally realized that the more people we can get interested in coming out to our shows, the more hooked they will be at coming out to have a good time even more often.

I can only do so many shows a year. When I get booked up on any given date, I still get calls for that date. Knowing people in this business gives me the ability to be a problem solver for customers, and a marketing asset for my peers. What goes around comes around. 4 shows that I did last year were referred to me from those that you would think were my competition turning into real profit dollars for me. I was able to return the "favor" 3 of 4 times, but the good news is, we aren't keeping score.

Here is to more of the same in 2012, we can all use a boost in sales. A big thank you again to my partners in Business... that is you! the Venues, the DJ's, The Bands and especially the Fans!

Happy New Year!