Friday, August 1, 2014

How to Write and Compose A Great Contemporary Song

As my pop single Color Me Beautiful continues to get radio airplay across the United States and top US A&R and record executives continue to take interest, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about the art of writing good songs. Because that's what it really is. It's an art. 

Grammy Award Winning songwriter Diane Warren once said, "I just love writing a great ballad, something so essential that it reaches across genres. You could almost say that the best songs are 'genre-transcendent' -  they translate well into a variety of styles sung by different artists."





A couple of things I want to point out to you from the outset. There is no formula to writing a good song. You don't have to adhere to a specific format, because then it becomes too rigid. Because at the back of your mind you're trying to conform to what you think is the way it SHOULD be done. What that will do is stifle your creativity like you wouldn't believe. So don't go there! Just allow your creative juices to flow and WRITE.

INSPIRATION comes from all around us. It's from the variety of music we listen to; the experiences that we go through; the source of your inspiration therefore can be quite diverse. That said, I implore you, PLEASE don't go writing a song by someone
else and try to pass it off as your own. I've seen people write this way and the astonishing thing is they were completely unaware that their inspiration was basically a copy and paste job from another artist's song. Get real! Do something that YOU create yourself. There's nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from another song, or a set of ideas but DON'T copy lick for lick.

RECORD your ideas onto your phone as you go along. When an idea hits you, record it! Even if it's just a couple of lines or a lick, make sure you tape it. Ideas tend to vanish from your mind if you don't record them. I recorded all of Color Me Beautiful in bits and pieces on my phone over an extended period of time long before I even pieced the song together. So record your ideas. You'll be glad you did.

And one more thing. A song needs a memorable hook. Something that people can remember about the song if they didn't remember anything else. Imagine the note "Saving all my love for you" in the Whitney Houston song. Now, if you don't remember the song, that part you WILL remember. And on that note, I wish you all the best with your songwriting.

Thanks for dropping by, catch you in the next blog post!


JOETT
Vocal Coach & Author

FREE Letters from A Vocal Coach E-Book here!
Learn to Sing in 4-Hours Comprehensive CRASH Course

Download Joett tracks from iTunes, Amazon MP3, TuneCore.
Buy Joett CDs from A Novel Idea Bookstores Dar, Zanzibar, Arusha.
Nationwide CD distribution via Joett Music (Airtel Money, TIGO Money, M-Pesa).
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Color Me Beautiful by Joett Hits Radio Airplay Rotation in the USA

According to Digital Radio Tracker also known as DRT, a premier radio airplay broadcast monitoring service which tracks radio airplay of songs on more than 5000 plus radio stations worldwide (These stations include Major FM Terrestrial, College, Commercial and Non-Commercial as well as thousands of streaming Internet radio stations); in the past week from July 20th to July 26th 2014, Color Me Beautiful by Joett has been on rotation in the United States, on: KDGR - Dominion Hits Los Angeles, CA. KDOM - DJ Matrixx Tampa, FL. Party 105.2 Greensboro, NC. Power 99 Jamzz Houston, TX. Star 95.7 FM San Francisco, CA. V-100 FM Richmond, VA. and Wild 98 Dallas, TX.

I am delighted and very excited that Color Me Beautiful, in a slow but steady fashion, continues to grow an audience around the world. Thanks to all of you who've given me your support since the release of the single on December 10th 2012. I think this is testament to the fact that a good song CAN grow legs and potentially garner the longevity it deserves. I will keep you posted on developments.

I also want to thank my production team: Max Rioba (Authentic Records, Tanzania), Patrick Jonsson and Toby Warren (Ignition Sound, UK) who've all been an integral part of the creation process of Color Me Beautiful; and Meja (Sean Entertainment/Prime Films, Tanzania) for an absolutely outstanding video production. I couldn't have done it without you guys. Once again, a million thanks. You ROCK!

Thanks for dropping by, catch you in the next blog post!


JOETT
Vocal Coach & Author

FREE Letters from A Vocal Coach E-Book here!
Learn to Sing in 4-Hours Comprehensive CRASH Course

Download Joett tracks from iTunes, Amazon MP3, TuneCore.
Buy Joett CDs from A Novel Idea Bookstores Dar, Zanzibar, Arusha.
Nationwide CD distribution via Joett Music (Airtel Money, TIGO Money, M-Pesa).
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Letters from A Vocal Coach: Alternative Vocal Workout




My updated version of the Learn to Sing with Joett vocal training CD expands your use and benefits from using the program. The new version will be available on CD around mid August 2014. Hereunder are the variations of vocal exercises you can do with the program.
 
ALTERNATIVE VOCAL WORKOUT
The alternative to the VAAAGH scales is a piano recording with no vocals, that allows to switch your training to a hum (Mm), NA and also NO (pronounced NOU).
Arpeggios vocal exercises on track 6 hereunder are your alternatives. Note all vowels have been isolated. And I’ve also added the lip bubble, tongue trills and humming (mm/nn/ng) to this as well. Remember, to find video demonstrations of these variations run a quick search on my blog or go straight to youtube to locate my illustration videos.
a)      Mm
b)     I (eee)
c)      A (uh)
d)     Lip Bubble
e)      Tongue Trill
f)       Aah
g)     Oh
h)     U
i)       Ng
j)        Nn
k)     Eh
Octaves alternative are as follows:
a)      Mm
b)     I
c)      UIU
d)     Tongue Trill
e)      Lip Bubble
Chromatic Scales alternative exercises are as follows:
a)      Mm
b)     Lip Bubble
c)      Tongue Trill
d)     UIU (with extended Uu in places)
e)      Na
f)       Mum
g)     Ney
Descending Scales alternative exercises are as follows:
a)      Mm
b)     Lip Buble
c)      Tongue Trill
d)     Ng
e)      N
f)       I
g)     U
Vowels and Lyrics
A O I E U … “I Could Never Live”
Arpeggios
Rose petals {fall} upon your feet
Octaves
I {could} never live
Chromatic Scales
I’m on my knees and I r-e-a-ll-y do want your love I am on my knees and I r-e-a-ll-y do want your love
Descending Scales
I could never {live} without your love
Articulation Exercise
Exercise 1: I could never live, I could never live, without your love
Exercise 2: I could never never live X 2 without your love
Exercise 3: I could never never never live X 2 without your love


Thanks for dropping by!


JOETT
Vocal Coach & Author

FREE Letters from A Vocal Coach E-Book here!
Learn to Sing in 4-Hours Comprehensive CRASH Course

Download Joett tracks from iTunes, Amazon MP3, TuneCore.
Buy Joett CDs from A Novel Idea Bookstores Dar, Zanzibar, Arusha.
Nationwide CD distribution via Joett Music (Airtel Money, TIGO Money, M-Pesa).
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mrembo wa Kiafrika, Bongo Flava Trak Mpya toka Kwa 3G

Vijana wakitanzania watatu wajulikanao kama 3G, wakombioni kuachia singo yao ya kwanza, Mrembo wa Kiafrika. Vijana hawa, ambao wali rekodi singo hiyo mwaka jana ni G Fullah, Frankie G na Oz Bitala. Wimbo huo, ambao pamoja na harmony na kuchana, unamandahari ya zilipendwa kama za Miriam Makeba na Abeti Masikini. Wimbo unaladha tofauti kidogo, na ni mziki ulioyotulia ukiambatana na acoustic guitar pekee.

Tafadhali sikiliza track hii, alafu kama umeikubali, tafadhali share kwenye Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs na kadhalika. Na-tungependa maoni yenu. Download free MP3 hapa! 

Joett Music - 3G Management

Friday, July 4, 2014

SIA Couture Sea Cliff Sponsor Joett Sundowner Jazz Dancers

On the judge panel of Miss Universe, I met Priyal Lavingia of SIA Couture Sea Cliff. At the time I had plans to relaunch my jazz show, and I asked her if she'd be interested in sponsoring by dressing my dancers as she did the girls on the Miss Universe pageant, and she kindly agreed. And so ever since my jazz show went back on the road, she has clothed my dancers with some really elegant outfits. Priyal, thank you for your support. I couldn't have done it without you.

The only public show we've had thus far was the appearance at Melmoz Jazz bar on November 28th 2013. All performances thereafter have been at corporate events, the most recent of which last Friday and Tuesday this week being for the firm Price Waterhouse Coopers. The Friday event at the Double Tree by Hilton featured only my dancers doing the chacha on two numbers: Earth, Wind & Fire's Evil, and Paul Carrack's cover version of the Isley Brothers' Harvest For The World.

And on Tuesday, they opened with these two numbers at the Serena Hotel and then I got up on stage to sing Walk On By, Cry Me A River and Besame Mucho, with the dancers returning to do the tango as I sang Besame Mucho. Loads of fun! I think this is by far our best ever performance yet, especially because the audience was absolutely wonderful. It doesn't get better than this...when the audience is focused on the show and has your full attention. I loved the decor that evening too. It was awesome! Take a look at my stage propped up in the corner there. What I like about my stage is that it actually feels like home to me. I designed it, and commissioned an iron smith to build it -- complete with intricate stool. I move around with it from event to event, so a venue is never alien to me. Isn't that pure genius?

If you have an event coming up and would like it all jazz and classy, take a closer look at the banner above and if it sounds like what you're looking for, give me a call! I'd be glad to furnish you with more information on what the show is about and what your guests can expect. I shall look forward to hearing from you.

Hope to catch you in the next event!

Thanks for dropping by!


JOETT
Vocal Coach & Author

FREE Letters from A Vocal Coach E-Book here!
Learn to Sing in 4-Hours Comprehensive CRASH Course

Download Joett tracks from iTunes, Amazon MP3, TuneCore.
Buy Joett CDs from A Novel Idea Bookstores Dar, Zanzibar, Arusha.
Nationwide CD distribution via Joett Music (Airtel Money, TIGO Money, M-Pesa).
Follow me on Twitter

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Where to Find Great Backing Tracks to Practice Your Favorite Songs



If you are taking voice lessons to improve your singing, then what better way is there than to practice with the songs you love to sing… using good backing tracks that deliver instrumental music to your favorite songs! When I teach voice in my studio, after practicing the scales I would throw in songs and backing tracks to help my pupils apply their training to singing. The songs that I use are very carefully selected for a purpose.  I tend to want to work with classics. Songs from yesteryear were sung without the aid of computers and techno gimmicks. Back then you really had to sing. You had to become an instrument. Hence, what you get to draw from working with such songs is real and achievable when you put your mind and practice to it.  

RECOMMENDED BACKING TRACK SITES

I’ve used numerous sites to get my backing tracks. Hereunder I’m going to review a couple of the good ones.

This site has great jazz backing tracks of absolute top quality production in .WAV format. I use these backing tracks for my live performances. They’re that good. If you want jazz backing tracks to perform live with, standardstrax.com will provide you with the best. They sell for about £5 per track and they also giveaway some great offers from time to time. The producer, Alan McPike, is a really good man. He is very helpful and will go out of his way to help you. 

For me this is a relatively new find. What I like about this provider is that they have a very wide selection of genres, including piano versions to most songs. Something else I like about their backing tracks is that they are of good MP3 quality. I wouldn’t use these for live performances though. I don’t think they’d be good enough for me in that department, but if you want to practice singing at home, have fun and hone your vocals at the same time, there’s something for everybody at karaoke-version.com

I hope this information comes in handy for you. And for those of you taking lessons with me, feel free to download whatever tracks you fancy. Just make sure you bring along the original track (with vocals), and two copies of the lyrics (as which you can download off the net), and be sure to put those on CD (the quality is better) when you bring them to my studio. 

Thanks for dropping by!

JOETT
Vocal Coach & Author

FREE Letters from A Vocal Coach E-Book here!
Learn to Sing in 4-Hours Comprehensive CRASH Course

Download Joett tracks from iTunes, Amazon MP3, TuneCore.
Buy Joett CDs from A Novel Idea Bookstores Dar, Zanzibar, Arusha.
Nationwide CD distribution via Joett Music (Airtel Money, TIGO Money, M-Pesa).
Follow me on Twitter


Friday, May 23, 2014

Joett Voice Lessons EXCLUSIVE Audio Files Part 1

This is something else that I've wanted to do for a while...to upload vocal training session audio recordings to my blog, just to show you how I work and what a dedicated and talented singer stands to gain when they take voice lessons.

In this recording, I'm in a session with Sonia, an 11 year-old Tanzanian girl with exceptional talent. We'd done a one hour session of practice with the scales, and this was the culmination of the session where I gave her the Dionne Warwick classic That's What Friends Are For to sing to a piano backing track.

I cannot emphasize this enough, if you do the scales CORRECTLY it gets a lot easier to apply technique to songs. Why? Because the voice will have been there in the scales IF you did them correctly. And one more thing: you need to throw away your inhibitions and ALLOW the voice to do the job. Sonia pays a lot of attention during training; is very focused; and follows my advice and instructions to the letter. And she has no inhibitions when singing. Whatsoever. Which brings out her unique personality and emotion in her vocal. The result of which is what you'll hear in this recording. Enjoy!


As always, thanks for dropping by!

JOETT
Vocal Coach & Author
FREE Letters from A Vocal Coach E-Book here!
Learn to Sing in 4-Hours Comprehensive CRASH Course

Download Joett tracks from iTunes, Amazon MP3, TuneCore.
Buy Joett CDs from A Novel Idea Bookstores Dar, Zanzibar, Arusha.
Nationwide CD distribution via Joett Music (Airtel Money, TIGO Money, M-Pesa).
Follow me on Twitter
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