How to Prepare Your Voice for a Songmaker Session!

Whether you keep your singing in the shower or want to give Mariah Carey a run for her money, over the next few weeks I will be giving you some essential tips that will help you get the most from your voice. What better way to prepare for your Songmaker experience?!

This post is all about the importance of warming up and cooling down. I am a fellow singer such as yourself and I have dedicated years of time, trial and error and endless research into vocal development. Below I have listed a few exercises that I personally find really effective. I hope you find them as helpful as I do!

Your vocal cords are muscles not much thicker than your finger nail

This means they are delicate and need looking after!  It is important to warm up and cool down before and after singing. You wouldn’t run a marathon without warming up first, right? Singing with cold cords is like blowing up a balloon without stretching it out first, only you put your voice at risk too. This results in reduced range, strain, lack of stamina and if continued it can lead to more severe health issues such as nodules (trust me, I learnt the hard way!)

 

Here are some ways to warm up:
Guideline time: 15 minutes
This completely depends on your ability to listen to your body and your voice. How long do you need to sing for? How demanding is it? What qualities do you need from your voice? Have you been ill recently? How long do YOU feel you need to warm up to get the best from your voice?

ladies room

**Personally I like to take my time warming up during the day of a performance and then take 5 minutes to myself in the ladies room at the venue to prep my voice just before show time**

 

  – Just keep Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’…
Lip rolls over a 5 note scale and sirens from low to high are great for stretching those cords out so they are ready for action. Just take a deep low breath (keep those shoulders relaxed!) and start from as low as you can comfortably go (remember it’s all about comfort and ease!) and slide up and back down repeatedly, gradually getting higher and higher (as high as you can go without straining, go on, squeak!)

– Hold the last part of the word sing – “ng”
Repeat the exercise above using this sound rather than lip rolls

– French “ons” pronounced like the O in the name Oli – only with a bit of nasality!
Sing this on a 5 note scale and sustain the top note and apply vibrato. This is a great way to add resonance and relax your voice into the note (and therefore developing that part of your range, woohoo!)

– “Nay” on an arpeggio (if done correctly this WILL sound naaasty!)
Start somewhere comfortable in your range and sing the arpeggios with good speed. This prevents your voice from straining with witchanticipation when going high! Pretend to be the most nasal, evil, annoying wicked witch you can be when doing this exercise. Put all the weight on the “n” as if you are using it to flick off the “ay”. This should help you get higher easier. As you go higher, do not increase volume, do not strain and do not raise your voice into a shout. Instead just get even witchier and engage with your lower abdominal muscles. Do not confuse this with pushing.

Great ways to cool down:
Guideline time: 5-10 minutes (just until you feel relaxed)

– Lip roll sirens low to high and back down again. Keep repeating and gradually decrease your range so you end up in a comfortable place – usually speaking level. To find your speaking level say “uh oh” as if you just did something wrong. Then just sing it 🙂

dog

– Whimper like a dog
If people don’t already think you’re nuts this should do the trick! This exercise gently stretches out your vocal cords and relaxes them. It helps relieve any tension you may have built up and prevent health issues.

– Vocal fry (the noise the Grudge makes…unfamiliar? Pretend you are just lying your head down to go to sleep and you let out a low creeky yawn) This is super important because this noise is the result of your vocal cords vibrating at a VERY slow pace. After all that singing it’s the closest you will get to giving them a well-deserved massage! Use this exercise whenever, wherever you like, not just for cool downs. It’s awesome.

Future topics include:

–       Vocal Health (How food, drink and everyday life can affect your voice and what you can do to combat it)

–       Stage freight (How to develop your mind set and take control of your nerves)

–       Finding your USP (What are your real strengths and how do they set you apart from others?)

If you would like to request a topic or have a question answered personally then don’t hesitate to leave a comment

If you found this blog helpful please share with your family and friends online!

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5 steps to become a Pop Star

You’re very talented and you see on magazines plenty of people that have got it. Why aren’t you sharing pages with them? Why don’t you have a hit striking on Youtube with millions of visits? Why aren’t you invited to the VIP lounge at your favorite venues? Well here are some tips that can help you to light up as much as they do. Become a Pop Star!

1. Know yourself

This one can seem obvious but, are you aware of this things that makes you special? Take some of your best traits, those that the people use to describe you to other people, compliments that you get from your friends often, the skills you know that you have and maybe not everyone knows and the things that you love to do and make them an essential part of your life. You want to be the most YOU possible, strong and consistent behaviours that makes no one doubt your authenticity. You want to differentiate from “normal people” that haven’t convictions. You want to be more black or white than grey. Don’t waste your time doing things that are not part of your personality because others want you to do. At this point you can say that you are already cool enough to start your journey. Feels good, doesn’t it?

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Now you have the attitude, next step would be to be as good as you can doing what you wanna do for your living: Sing! This is very important, you are aiming to be a superstar, you don’t want to be “any” singer, you want to be “the” singer. Remember that singing is a form of art, don’t just imitate your idols, instead have your own ideas, try new timbres, melodies that come to your mind, go crazy with the energy of your own songs, make your words be brushstrokes and your crowd your canvas. Record yourself, listen to yourself, maybe you are alredy cool but, and this is the most important think, everything can always be improved, that’s what differentiate the nice and good singers and AMAZING singers, everything can be pushed forward, that doesn’t mean that you are doing bad always, you are cool already, do you remember? But that attitude will bring you the results.

So many people is always gonna try to prove that you have failed any how. They will find the way, but don’t worry, you are gonna have an army of fans that are gonna protect you and you aren’t gonna freak out with the bad critics, after all you have done your homework and you’ll be proud of yourself. Everyone has a bad day. TIP: Record videos of yourself if you are very young, people love talented young performers and will support you through your journey (Justin Bieber is a good example of this)

3. Make good contacts

You have the attitude and a gorgegous, personal voice, what’s next? You would like to have people that help to raise your profile up. You aren’t not gonna see often someone in the music industry talking to strangers and telling they that they’ll invest a lot of money to put in an album, promotion and touring without even knowing if they are reliable. That’s like a fairy tale! Most of the people in the industry are normal people, surrounded by their friends that are gonna be mostly part of the industry too. They, as you also do, trust their friends and they are gonna listen to their advices. Knowing this you should start making friends, meeting musicians, going to gigs, talk with promoters, learn from them how everything works, make them to introduce you to others, and always deliver a good impression to them, they wanna know that you are working hard chasing your dreams and that you are 100% involved. You’ll surprise how the friend of the friend of your friend has an good opportunity for you, and of course you’re are gonna fulfill their expectations.

4. Jump on to the stage and shine!

It’s happening constantly! People with great voices getting stuck on the stage. Stage fright is a disgusting feeling, all your insecurities show up, you can hear your hearbeat louder than yourself, your throat and your mouth drys up and it’s like it’s not enough air in the world to fill your lungs. There are two ways to avoid this: 1. Experience and 2. Accept the failure. Most of the people learn the second one through the first one as long as they are more confident with themselves but, seriously, if you just jump on to the stage and have fun of, no matter what are they gonna think about you, not only they are gonna enjoy more but you’re gonna be definitely doing better and, which is very very important, having fun. Get experience and learn on the way, be aware of the details, share everything with the audience because when you are linked to them is when the magic happens. TIP: You’ll want to watch your performances, you’ll learn a lot of how you look like and be sure that you weren’t act too ridiculous.

5. Reinvent yourself

If you are already on the top, don’t settle you butt down. You want everyone not to forget you in a couple of months, revisit every stage of your process everyday and improve it. Remember what we already said, everything always can be improved. Take the biggest ones as example they are changing their music, their looks, their souls (Madonna, Michael Jackson, …)

Last Advise: Defeat all your fears and go for it! And never… never give up! Soon you’ll be on the cover of all the magazines, your songs will be sounding everywhere and you’ll  be drinking mojitos daily with all the artist that you used to be fan of.

Golden Oldies

So Glastonbury 2013 is in the books!

And what did it have to offer? Well there were breath-taking sets from band-of-the-moment Mumford and Sons, Arctic Monkeys storming back onto the music scene with an awesome set on Friday night, as well as great sets from Dizzee Rascal, Azelia Banks and Haim. But the talk of the weekend was of a few pensioners- The Rolling Stones and Bruce Forsyth!

The Stones (finally) played a headline set at Glastonbury, in what you have to call even with there legacy is a landmark/career defining gig. They rocked the pyramid stage for just shy of two hours, belting out classics, crowd pleasers, and even some obscurities, proving to the world on one of it’s biggest stages that they can still go some!

The other big story coming from Glastonbury was Brucie. To simply put it, he was amazing. Entertaining, funny, crowd pleasing, proving why he is such a legend in the world of showbiz.

So with Brucie and the stones stealing the limelight from there younger counterparts this year, what does the younger generation have to do? Is it simply just because of legacy? or is there just a lack of interest in the new crop of talent?

New Steps Forward!!

Very long time……not much speak!

We’v been away for a very long time (as you can see the last post was around 6 months ago).

However we now have new people, new offices, and lots of new projects in the pipeline, as you know there is the big daddy Songmaker recording experience at the top of the tree, there are now several more projects just about to take off. We have plans to move forward and take the songmaker foundation in a new direction, as well as a new publishing arm in The Sync Co, there are also other areas where we are expanding and looking to make big strides, so watch this space people…….this summers gonna be huge!!!

This was just a quick update and why we’v been away and what’s gonna be coming to you in the next few months (as well as all the top entertainment news coming straight from this blog of course).

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/SongmakerFoundation

https://www.facebook.com/TheSyncCo

https://www.facebook.com/songmakermagazine

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Live-at-Tower-Studios/550798764954611

https://www.facebook.com/SongmakerExperiences

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Highest Paid Musicians for 2012

We never thought we see Take That cracking the top 5. Well done lads

Cyber Gazing

Dr. Dre, known for hits like “Nuthin’ But a G Thang,” “I Need a Doctor,” “Still D.R.E.” and “California Love,” tops Forbes‘ new list of The World’s 25 Highest-Paid Musicians — largely due to the success of his Beatsbydre headphones line which he sold for a reported $100 million.
#2 Roger Waters
#3 Elton John
#4 U2
#5 Take That
#6 Jon Bon Jovi
#7 Britney Spears
#8 Paul McCartney
#9 Taylor Swift
#10 Justin Bieber
Dr.-Dre-

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Viral Video of the Week-‘The Big Bang Theory’ flashmob to ‘Call Me Maybe’

Haha, this video made our entire week. When we first watched this video, we didnt know what to expect but we were cracking up all the way through the video. Who would have thought that Penny, Raj,Sheldon, Leonard and Howard had it in them to pull this off genius dance routine. Forget they are dancing to one of the most annoying songs of all time. Just sit back and admire the sheer audacity of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ crew

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MySpace Vs Spotify- Can MySpace make a successful comeback?

      Vs. 

The big news this week is the announcement of MySpace throwing their hat into the music streaming ring. The ‘original’ social networking site is being re-branded and re-vamped as a music streaming site looking to compete with the current king of the music streaming world: Spotify. MySpace is trying to raise $50 million to finance next year’s relaunch in an attempt to attract investors with a new design interface and backing from global superstar Justin Timberlake. Timberlake, who partially funded the $35 million purchase of mySpace from Newscorp, has stated that he is ‘excited to revitalise MySpace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community’. The new MySpace hopes to become a central hub for music fans allowing them to listen to music, watch videos and share cool stuff.  The company intends to spend $10 million on advertisement alone and plans to launch a mobile phone app allowing users to subscribe to their music streaming services. MySpace has alreadly claimed to have an advantage over its major rival Spotify in terms of the number of tracks in its music catalogue.MySpace claims to have 42 million songs on offer compared to Spotify’s 15 million songs. However Spotify has built up a userbase of 23 million users around the world.

In short, the battlelines have been drawn for supremacy of the music streaming world. Will mySpace be able to make one of the greatest comebacks and dethrone Spotify as the no.1 music streaming service? Only time will tell! However it is going to be a wild and exciting time for music lovers all over the world.  Let battle commence!

We would like to hear your opinions and views on this story. Please feel free to leave a reply and reblog it!

             

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Magic Mike DVD Review

How can you turn a story of a male stripper into a major success at the box office?

First of all you deliver the plot to the crafty hands of a director such as Steven Soderbergh. Second, you choose a ridiculously hot actor  named Channing Tatum as the main character and hint at the fact that the story is inspired by his real life story as a stripper.  The girls will be seized!
So here we go: The plot revolves around a male stripper with a heart of gold known as Mike (Channing Tatum) who takes under his wings a young, penniless and good looking guy called Adam aka The Kid (Alex Pettyfer). Mike introduces him to the glamorous world of  male stripping and to his fellows peers: Dallas, the boss played by Matthew McCounaghey, Ben (Matt Bomer), Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tito (Alex Rodriguez) and Tarzan (Kevin Nash). The Kid (aka Adam, aka Alex Pettyfer) soon finds out the best and worst sides of the job.
Designed to arouse women, the movie doesn’t offer more than the astonishing dance performances of Channing Tatum. The story line is sometime too slow and dull with no interesting turning  points. Warning, what follows is a spoiler! The Kid loses himself in the sinful environment and Tatum finally gets the girl after being used and left heartbroken. Predictable and pointless, you will be left slightly disappointed by the clever director of Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight and the Ocean’s trilogy.

Sorry Americans you take this stuff too seriously. Watching Magic Mike will probably make you regret not been entertained by the 1997 UK comedy The Full Monty. Way more fun!

 

Magic Mike is released on Blu-ray and DVD on the 26th November

We recommend you rent it rather than buy it!

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Alicia Key’s new music video: Girl on fire (Inferno version)-ft. Nicki Minaj

The ever-beautiful and ever-talented Ms. Alicia Keys is back with a bang with her fifth album ‘Girl On Fire’.  Fresh off her marriage to producer Swiss Beatz and giving birth to her first baby Egypt, Alicia Keys is back with her title single Girl On Fire (Inferno version) featuring Nicki Minaj. This midtempo R&B single features big, hard drum beats in the background adding a edginess and rawness to the track marking a new and exciting direction from Alicia Key’s previous work. The result: A catchy and powerful comeback single from Alicia Keys. In short, we love it!

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