Friday, September 19, 2014

A Simple Guide to Preparing Voice for Studio Recording Sessions

If you’re planning on going in for a recording session anytime soon, you’ll want to prepare the voice for the song you’re going to record. It breaks my heart to see people rushing to recording studios unprepared. You’re making a record for crying out loud! You want it to be good, right? So put in some time and effort to perfecting your voice for the song you intend to record. This article will guide you through the simplest and most effective steps to getting that voice ready for your studio recording session.

Now let’s assume you already know what you’re going to record; and that you’ve been rehearsing the song over and over again and perhaps you’ve already memorized the lyrics. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that isn’t quite enough. To deliver a song in a manner that best suits the mood and style of the song will take much more than just committing lyrics and melody to memory. (In fact, I would highly recommend that you READ your song in the recording booth. Just make sure you’ve laminated the paper it’s written on so the microphone doesn’t pick up the sound of shuffling paper. Reading helps you focus and minimizes error). I will explain in more detail in a moment, but before I do, let me ask you one question. Do you run out of breath when you sing? If you do, then let me show you how to put an end to that with correct breathing technique.

Correct breathing is vital for good singing. Imagine the note as a kite, resting on a stream of air – if there’s no air it can’t fly. In that same way, correct breathing supports your singing and enables you to hit any note you want, as loudly or as softly as you want, without hurting your voice. When we do not have enough air coming out to carry the note, it will waver and fall. Even worse, without good breathing technique, we may start to put pressure on our throats, which can cause great damage to the voice. But when you breathe correctly, everything you sing will feel and sound so much easier.

Open your mouth very slowly—the same way you do when you yawn—and breathe into your abdominal area. When you’re full, simply exhale with a hiss until you’re completely deflated. Do this several times and then try to use the same breathing technique to inhale for the next note when you sing. Take baby steps. Sing a-cappella and slow down your song to create spaces between notes to breathe. You can always speed this up later to your desired tempo when you’ve mastered the breathing technique. If you practice breathing this way, for long enough, breathing to sing gets easier – especially when you need lots of air to support your singing.  My next pointer is about training your voice.

For the purpose of this article, I will recommend that you do something very simple and basic—especially when you’ve never done voice training before. The arpeggios exercise is simple to do, extremely versatile and highly effective. Do the arpeggios combination exercises at least once a day. There are numerous ways of doing this. Using the lip bubble, tongue trill and humming as your basic system, you will very quickly transform your voice so that you get to broaden your range and to navigate with ease within your range. As a rule, make sure that just before you head out to the recording studio on the day, do your breathing exercise and a combination of arpeggios first.


IN CONCLUSION: Combine your breathing exercises with the arpeggio scales to train your voice. This will improve your voice and have you delivering tight notes sung with complete ease in the recording studio. I’ve recorded numerous breathing exercises on video, including arpeggio exercises with tongue trills, lip bubbles and humming. Run a search for “breathing exercise” and “arpeggios exercise” on this blog to locate videos and free mp3 download to the arpeggios piano track. 

Thanks for dropping by!

JOETT

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Need Professional Help with Vocal Production in Recording Studio?

I’ve had half a dozen calls and inquiries for voice training today, but this ONE caller who asked if I could assist with their songwriting and recording project triggered this blog post. Now here's the question. Do you need help with your vocal production in the recording studio? I do help my students all the time. Especially those signed to my record label like boy band Level One (in picture) and 3G before them. But I'm oftentimes asked to help out by people who aren't my students. Let me say this: I'm a very busy man but whenever possible, I'm always more than willing to help--providing you get the voice training prior to your recording session to take you to the next level; and we work on your composition in my voice studio before we even set foot inside a recording studio. Sounds complicated? Well, it isn't. I will explain.

I'm a stickler for high standards and if I'm going to have a hand in your project I'd really want your production to be the best that it CAN be. And with my help to prepare your voice, trust me, your success in delivering the best you possibly can is very much achievable. If that sounds like a challenge you'd like to take on, feel free to contact me. I'd be happy to assist you with vocal training AND your recording project.                                                                                                    
For more information please contact me on +255 787 364 045 / +255 715 364 045 

I shall look forward to hearing from you,

JOETT
Vocal Coach & Author

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


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Corporate Executives & Telemarketers Voice Training: The Benefits

Mr Moore writes of her delight when her nickname 'The Iron Lady' was coined in 1979 by the Soviet Red Army newspaper Red Star. It was the chance meeting that proved to be a vital turning point in the rise of Britain's most powerful post-war Prime Minister. Prior to the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979, her adviser Gordon Reece was traveling by train from Brighton and bumped into the legendary actor Laurence Olivier.

Mr Reece, a former journalist and television producer, had been tasked with overhauling Mrs Thatcher's dowdy image – and asked Olivier's advice about the problem of her voice, which critics considered too shrill. The actor arranged for her to have lessons with the speech coach at the Royal National Theatre, which helped lower her pitch and develop a calm, authoritative tone. Margaret Thatcher underwent a training programme which included special humming exercises aimed at lowering the pitch level at which she formerly spoke. From tape recordings of speeches made before and after receiving tuition, a marked difference can be very clearly heard. When they are played through an electronic pitch analyzer, it emerges that she achieved a reduction in pitch of 46 Hz, a figure which is almost half the average difference in pitch between male and female voices. Listen to the Margaret Thatcher voice before and after voice training below. You'll be amazed at her transformation.

Such is the POWER of voice training, whether you're a politician, business executive or telemarketer, your number one asset is your voice. If voice lessons worked for Margaret Thatcher, voice lessons can work for you too.

Over the years, in addition to training singers, I have also trained lawyers and corporate executives—the latter groups had one thing in common—they wanted to sound better, more assertive and confident when they spoke. And the feedback from my clients was that people had noticed the difference in their voice. They'd acquired a tone that people actually wanted to listen to. It’s really quite remarkable how your voice can make a world of difference to your persona.

I worked in telemarketing in the UK for a while, where, the first criterion for getting hired is your voice. If you sound good over the phone, you’re hired! And needless to say, trained singers and actors oftentimes landed the job. The reason is obvious. They knew how to use their voices to grab the attention of the person on the other end of the phone--because somewhere down the line, they’d been through voice training. Well, in the West if you want to sing or act, the competition is SO stiff, you'll have to get voice training for anybody to take you seriously.

My corporate voice training programs therefore, can be tailored to individual needs; and in consideration of busy schedules most corporate executives endure, I also offer the flexibility of training in my studio for preliminary sessions, and over the internet via SKYPE in subsequent sessions.

For more information please contact me on +255 787 364 045 / +255 715 364 045 

I shall look forward to hearing from you,

JOETT
Vocal Coach & Author

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

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to Maintain a Beautifully Healthy Voice for Singing: The Do's

I'm asked from time to time WHAT I would recommend to preserve the voice? A hard question. And there's never one answer to this question either. I've always focused on what you SHOULDN'T do (like don't smoke, don't take cold drinks and so on). But in this article I will focus more on quite the opposite...what you SHOULD do to preserve your voice.
SO: What then would aid in keeping your voice supple and healthy for a better singing voice? Well, I'm going to be completely honest with you. I take a lot of stuff. And here's my nutritional story. And be sure to check out all the links I've included in this short article.

I'm sure you're aware of the importance of taking multivitamins. Your body needs them, badly. And if you are to maintain healthy cells inside your body, the same automatically applies to your voice. The benefits are all round. I use Advanced Liquid Nutrition to give my body all the nutrients it needs in the quickest time possible. Why take a liquid nutrition? One word--ABSORPTION!!! The nutrients in TripleClicks's Advanced Liquid Nutrition are up to 98% absorbable. Compare that to the less effective 5-10% absorption rate for capsules or hard-to-swallow compressed "horse pills" with unfavorable vitamin aftertastes. And if that wasn't good enough reason (for me) to go liquid, the berry flavored formula with Acai Berry Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Omegas 3 & 6, and Calcium sure is!

If you've never taken antioxidants to fight free radicals invading your body from all sources the elements throw at you, then it's time you did. I take Super Antioxidant Formula to do the job. It neutralizes the free radicals and helps to reverse the aging process as well; and if you can achieve that, the healthier your voice will become. Let's look at it this way. When your body ages, so does your voice. And what's more, with this in your diet you are less likely to catch the flu and catarrh. Another good reason for a singer to take antioxidants--to keep throat infections at bay. And this powerful formula will not only boost your energy levels and destroy free radicals ... it will promote a healthy lifestyle.

And last but not least, are you concerned about your weight? If you're in the music business, especially, I'm going to be very honest with you: how you look is critical to your success. Sorry, but that's just how the world of show business works. I didn't invent this, it's been there for generation. How you look matters. Period. Now the first problem area is the weight issue. It's easy to put on weight but very difficult to lose the weight once you've gained it...well, unless you exercise a lot and really watch what you eat (counting calories, how boring!). To throw away this tedious way of keeping your weight in check, I take Ultra Slim Down meal replacement shakes to replace up to two regular meals a day. (To make them more interesting and delicious, throw in some fruit like papaw, banana, strawberry etc. into a blender). This helps with weight management, and because I do weight training I would also take Supreme Whey Protein as a pre-workout or post-workout shake. Not only does it build muscle, it helps my muscles to quickly recover from training. And I'm going to ask you a quick question. Would you like to have smooth, flawless skin? Well, Super Seven Skin Support works for me! Honest. You only need a couple of drops in water per day. So there you have it. All my little behind-the-scenes secrets to a healthy body and singing voice REVEALED! 

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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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 7 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).
Follow me on Twitter

Follow me on Facebook
LIKE me on Facebook