voice coach reacts
Voice Coach Reacts to Sia
It is time for a Voice Coach Reacts to Sia’s “Best Live Vocals”! YAY! I chose to react to this video thanks to one of my viewers, Kartik Sharma. Kartik watched my BTS video and asked about breaks when transitioning vocally.
A Great Question
“Are they bad for all singers or only some? Because Sia also has breaks and voice cracks, but to me they seem intentional and good.”
This got me motivated to do a reaction video that has been a popular request: Sia’s Best Live Vocals. However, I realized rather quickly once I started recording, that I had never really watched Sia sing live before. With her back turned to the audience or long wigs covering her face, I realized quickly that I had never noticed her technique…or lack thereof. Oh boy.
How NOT to Sing Like Sia
Guys, I really want to be as positive a coach as possible, whether I work with clients in person, online or via ScaleAbout (coming soon! I’m so excited that I finally qualify thanks to gaining 5000 subscribers on YouTube this week). Yet, once I saw how Sia creates her sound, it became clear quickly that I needed to do damage control on this reaction video.
You see, Sia sings with a tremendous amount of jaw tension and laryngeal tension that could be problematic for somebody trying to emulate her. She shows on this video exactly what NOT to do as far as phonation goes. I want to make it clear: I am not worried about Sia. I am worried about YOU trying to sing like Sia.
When you clamp down on your jaw, it creates tension all the way down into your larynx. Your vocal folds are not free to vibrate like they should and it can create vocal strain. You can hear Sia straining through clenched teeth. I literally felt physical pain watching her do this.
Now listen. Sia is awesome. I love her music and I love her voice. It is just the way she thrashes her voice that as a voice coach I can’t support. She obviously has managed to keep her voice going strong for years and years, so more power to her. My concern is YOU, or your kid sister, or some precious lady down at the Blue Moose trying to karaoke it up like Sia. Please, for the love of your voice, don’t try to sing like Sia! You can get as much power in a belting range as she does without all of that tension, dear ones. I promise you can.
Vocal Transitions Guide
As far as Kartik’s question about breaks and cracks the answer is YES. Sia does use breaks and voice cracks to her advantage. It adds a great deal to her style and unique artistry. She is like none other, which is such a breath of fresh air. YOU too can use breaks and voice cracks as a ‘color’ or style choice as instead of singing smoothly through your register transition from chest to head/falsetto (like what I was addressing in the BTS video).
KEEP IN MIND: If you are wanting a more clear break, it is going to be important that you vocalize in a more defined way to keep that clear delineation. Buzzing or sliding the voice through vocalise exercises will make for a more connected sound. Vocal exercises that SLIDE through the registers are like sandpaper for the voice making it nice and smooth. You will want to avoid those. Instead, flip the voice from one register to another to keep the break more defined. You can flip your voice while singing an octave from low to high with an “Ah-EEE” vowel sound will keep the break more defined. (This exercise sounds like a donkey.) I used the term ‘yodel’ in this video to describe a clearly defined vocal break.
MASSAGE THE JAW
Massage that jaw to keep it nice and open (I wish I had talked more about that in this video as well, darn it.) You need to really make massage part of your daily self-care if you struggle with jaw tension. If you suffer with extreme jaw tension, find a massage therapist who can work on your jaw from inside your mouth. They put on latex gloves and work the muscles, both from the outside on the face, as well as inside the mouth. It is not comfy to have this done (experience talking here), BUT it helps so much! You will be able to drop your jaw more effortlessly for a more free sound. Open your mouth and ‘sang, y’all. Your precious vocal folds will thank you.
In closing, I admit that this video is not one of my better offerings overall. I think it about every video I make, but this one was rushed to production without proper time to really dig in and fix its inconsistencies. I could have said things better or differently or more concisely. In short, it is far from perfect.
However, my goal right now with The Voice Love Co. is to get stuff done. Yes, I am going for quality, but MAINLY I’m going for the imperfectly perfect and DONE on a consistent basis. In order to show up for you every week on YouTube I force myself to stand by this imperfect offering by reciting my manifesto which I include in the description box of EVERY video I produce. It says:
I am allowed to be BOTH a work in progress AND to help others grow at the same time. I refuse to wait until I believe I’m perfect or someone else has deemed me worthy of impacting others. I am unapologetically accepting a life of massive growth and improvement.
Keep putting forth YOUR imperfectly perfect offerings in life. Take care of yourself and your voice. Until next time…
Work with me! Send me a DM on my Instagram or comment down below (all comments are held until approved) and let’s get rolling this summer. Whether it is one session or many, I’d love to work with you. Blessings and thanks for reading!
From Lara with Love
This was a really enjoyable Voice Coach Reacts: Lara Fabian to film. Spoiler alert: I was dazzled by Lara Fabian singing her original composition, ‘Adagio’ during her “From Lara with Love” concert! This concert happened back in late 2000 and was released for television in 2000.
The Artistry of Lara Fabian
Lara credits her influences as Barbara Streisand and Freddie Mercury. I can definitely hear Streisand in her sound, and can see by her theatrical performances, and even her writing how Mercury crept into her aesthetic. Lara is an artist through and through. She sings with such attention to detail with every lyric. Her body language is constantly communicating the emotions she is trying to get across. Sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly. Lara is a joy to watch and a joy to listen to.
How To Sing Like Lara Fabian
What is constantly amazing to me is how Lara has maintained her voice all these years later. It speaks to her impeccable technique in the midst of her passionate artistry. We will be enjoying her voice until SHE decides to retire. NOT when her voice poops out because of misuse. As a vocal coach who sees vocalists day in and day out, I can’t tell you how this warms my heart! I am a geek about such matters, I know.
How do you sing like Lara? In this video…
•I unpack the technique she employs to hold out the very long phrase (15 seconds or so of power singing) without breaking a sweat!
• AND teach YOU a breathing exercise that will strengthen your intercostal diaphragmatic muscles.
Don’t forget to check out my other Voice Coach Reacts videos: Ariana Grande, Lara Fabian, Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper, Adam Lambert, Dimash, and Sohyang. Leave a comment below with YOUR thoughts on this performance of “Adagio” by Lara Fabian! YOU ARE LOVED! ♥️
Welcome to another Voice Coach Reacts! I am having so much fun with this series! This week: Voice Coach Reacts to Sohyang singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.
What a beautiful vocalist Sohyang is! This 41-year-old (what?!) South Korean singer has been delighting audiences worldwide, having worked with American artists like David Foster and Michael Bolton. She is a pupil of Michael Jackson’s voice coach, Seth Riggs, which means she employs his ‘Speech Level Singing’ technique of keeping the larynx low and relaxed. This is obvious as you watch her navigate her voice and it’s wonderful flexibility through the registers. She ranks right up there with Mariah, Whitney and MORE.
Voice Coach Reacts
As a voice coach, reacting to this performance was so delightful for me! Sohyang is such a natural and relaxed vocalist and it is easy to see why her fans adore her all over the world. It was so much fun seeing people in the audience just basking in her greatness. And that arrangement is INCREDIBLE! After her performance, I give a few tips in this video on how to sing like Sohyang!
How To Sing Like Sohyang
You will have to watch today’s video to see the two technique’s I share below. In this video you can…
•Learn how to learn to ‘move your resonators’ to get Sohyang’s bright, breathy straight tone at the beginning of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
• Gain a more cohesive performance in your high straight tone sound at a medium volume the way Sohyang does when she sings “and friends just can’t be found” by using my “Rehearsal Protocol”.
Let me know what YOUR favorite Sohyang performance is and anything else you noticed about her singing in this video in the comments below. And don’t miss my other voice coach reacts videos and posts for Dimash and Lara Fabian. Thanks for watching!
Need voice help? People are raving about my little mini course! You get to study with me via five mini voice lessons that come to your inbox. Get my free 5-Days to a More Powerful Voice e-course HERE!
This week I am so happy to introduce my American audience to a true wonder singer through this video and post: Voice Coach Reacts to Dimash Kudaibergen! You’re welcome, America!
Considered by some to be the best male vocalist in the world, Dimash Kudaibergen, a 24-year-old Khazakstani singer, is wowing audiences. He sings with a flawless 6 octave (and then some!) range. This means that he possesses the ability to sing in EVERY vocal range, from Bass to Soprano. 😳What in the world?
He also possesses a tremendous sense of artistry. I was blown away by his performance of “Love is Like a Dream” that I filmed here:
DIMASH is like a dream!
When I see somebody this good at what they do, I immediately think of what it took that person to get them there. I think about how Dimash had to be a beginner as a little boy in Kazakstan 20 years ago in order for us to enjoy him as the master he is today.
There are many who wish to be able to sing like their favorite artists. Yet so few who are willing to take the time and effort required over hours, years and even decades to make their dream a reality.~Christi Bovee, www.voicelove.co
Dimash started his training from an early age. He was born to musical parents, and there is no doubt that some of that talent is innate. However, he has gone on to put hours, years and decades of time and effort to get the training required to become the master musician he is today. And he keeps learning! He is currently getting his Master’s Degree in Composition!
You Have to Start
My point? Dimash had to start.
You also will have to start if you want to be really good at anything. You must start and you must push past that uncomfortable gawky stage that being a beginner requires. Learning is an awkward process. If you are trying to look cool as you are building your skills in whatever it is you are doing, you are NEVER going to make it.
Trying to play it cool all the time could be your downfall. It is one of my biggest pet peeves, especially amongst my high school aged clients. You’ve got to get over the bad habit of trying to fit in if you are ever going to be good at anything.
How about this? Make friends with looking foolish instead. I know, I know. Easier said than done. However, hear me out! Learning to accept and allow yourself to be a beginner will reap untold rewards in the end. Just look at how it is paying off for Dimash.
How to Be Extraordinary
Dimash is extraordinary and people who do extraordinary things are the ones who are not afraid to fail. We see him at his pinnacle, but this kid has spent 20 years building up to the success he is enjoying today. I can guarantee you, with a talent like this? He has failed at some point and failed publicly. That is part of the process of becoming a master! You are never going to get it all exactly right all the time. Especially when you are just starting out!
People who go on to become extraordinary masters like Dimash never worry about what other people think of them or that they might look stupid if they ‘go for it’. They aren’t focused on others. They are focused on the prize of getting better, of being best in the world in their area of expertise.
Accept & Allow
I encourage you to start YOUR journey to being a master in YOUR field. You are going to embarrass yourself as you start to reach for more. This is true for whatever mark you are called to make in the world. Refuse to let the fear of looking foolish control your actions. Refuse to quit so that you may go down the path of mastery like Dimash has.
It is crucial that you take the long view! Stop looking through the lens of this failure, that break-up, or the negative opinion from someone who was an ‘expert’ who shut you down. Pick that dream back up and dust it off! Force yourself to take the long view…the 20-year view. Focus on not quitting. Focus on mastery of whatever it is that you are called to do and be in the world.
You are not going to be good at first. That is part of the process. Accept that. Allow yourself room to grow. Try again. And again. And Again. Close your ears to the naysayers and keep going! Keep trying and perfecting your technique until you acquire the skills in your brain and in your physiology to be able to do the thing you feel called to do and do it well.
Quit worrying about how you look and accept that this path means you have to step out and be a beginner. You have to start. No matter what it is. Accept that. Move through it and keep going. Don’t quit!
It is worth it, Beloved. It is worth pushing through the pain, the awkwardness the judgment to be a master. Let Dimash inspire you. Be so good that the world can’t ignore you. Hang up messages like the one below to inspire you and keep you going!
The world is waiting, praying even, for you to get that good!
It is silly I know, but I feel like a protective mama when it comes to Ariana Grande.
When I saw her play Cat Valentine on Disney channel, I thought she was so funny and talented. Playing a comedic role like that takes smarts, and she obviously had that and so much more as an actor. Then I heard her sing and remember thinking, “Holy moly, what a voice!”
I see private voice clients of all ages every week. It used to be that when one of my younger female singers wanted to do an Ariana Grande song, I immediately thought, “Disney Channel. That’s cool.”
Then the client would play the song for me and I would have to back it way on up.
“Oh, that’s right. Cat Valentine is all grown up.”
I know it has to happen. I know that these Disney channel girls have to shed their squeaky-clean-mouse-ear-wearing images in order to make the leap into the adult pop music world, but it is hard. For me. As a voice coach. As a protective mama who cares for the Cat Valentine Ariana. As a coach who cares for my female clients.
I’m always looking for age-appropriate music for my younger female clients. Heck, even for my older female clients. Ariana’s material is decidedly not age-appropriate, which is too bad.
Her voice and technique are SO GOOD, they are definitely worth emulating. I just wish her lyrics were, too.
Maybe I’m just a big old Mom, but I’m wishing she would put forth material that would empower her teen and twenty-something audience to neither sensationalize their sexuality nor throw it away so cheaply. You can argue with me about this in the comments below, but let’s be real: Her lyrics glorify casual sex and the objectification of women. I just don’t understand that especially in the era we are currently living in. It makes me feel sad that we as women are still being put into these roles by male producers. I don’t care how talented these gentlemen are or how much power they wield, haven’t we outgrown this fantasy characterization of women?
It would be so amazing to see Ariana choose material that encourages her fans to make empowering choices for their bodies, intellects, and lives. (Maybe she has a song I don’t know about? Leave a comment below!)
I know, I know. It’s pop music. Sex sells. This is just my wish, people. This is my space to express that wish. You are welcome to express your heart on this matter in the comments below.
Ariana Grande Fan
When it was requested by my sweet audience to make a video about Ariana, I knew that I would have to share my true thoughts on this. So, there you have ’em. I know that I am unable to make any change happen in this situation, but it does feel good to vent. I’m tired of being super uncomfortable when a kid wants to sing “One Last Time” for her grandma at the Mother’s Day voice recital. That’s all.
Ariana’s music is off limits and remains so until she has daughters of her own. Surely then she will understand what this Mama’s heart is feeling.
Onward to her stunning technique!
Ariana Grande’s Technique
I LOVE ARIANA’S VOICE. If I did not make that clear, let me say this louder for the people in the back: Ariana is a great singer! She is flawless and this video performance of her singing live and acapella proves that point. She is part of a small margin of master vocalists who can actually sing live without all of the bells and whistles from their elaborate shows.
Points covered in this video:
•Note her breathing. Is she gasping for breath? Do you see her shoulders and clavicle raising and lowering at all? Nope. Can you see how her breathing is nice and low?
•What is her jaw doing? You can see it lift and lower and she keeps it very open and relaxed. Can you see how she makes room up by her soft palate for her sound? How does this change for low notes? For High notes?
•Notice how she is constantly moving while she is singing in this video. She is singing on an empty sound stage (with amazing acoustics!) just before she is to go out and perform. Pacing back and forth, relaxing your body, swinging the arms and bending at the waist are all great things to do while YOU practice. Do this!
•Buzzing or lip trilling through the melody line can assist you in getting that focus that Ariana gets so effortlessly up in her upper mix register. It is one way she keeps the tension out of her throat. She is an absolute master at this! She focuses the sound toward the nose without it being nasal sounding. Her tone melts me! Gah! 😍
•Singing on a “Vvvvv” sound can help you get that velvety straight tone texture in your head voice like Ariana. Try it and let me know how it works!
What other things do YOU appreciate about Ariana’s technique? Leave a comment down below!
Cat Valentine’s Mom 😉
Want to expand your voice to find more power? Get my free 5-Days to a More Powerful Voice e-course TODAY!
Did you know I put out a newsletter with content just for my subscribers each week? I talk about the voice, my life and much more! I’d love to have you join the fun!
After requests from my students, I am trying my hand at a Voice Coach Reacts! video to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s wonderful performance of ‘Shallow’ at the 2019 Oscars. I realize I’m a little late on the draw for this video, but it took me a bit to figure out how to make it! So, here I’ll leave this right here to see how you like it. Let me know in the comments below!
While you are here, check out my 5 Days to a More Powerful Voice e-course. It is one video sent to your inbox for 5 days and it is getting wonderful feedback on it. If connecting your mind and the way you think to your vocal performance is a new concept to you, this is a great place to start as you learn more about my Functional Voice Coaching™ method. Check it out!
What do YOU think of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance? It was so hard for me to critique! I tend to live in the moment as I observe artists and just take in the beauty of what they are making. Are you the same or do you see how you would do it differently as you observe it? Comment down below if you have any thoughts! Should I keep doing Voice Coach Reacts videos? If so, let me know who you would like to see! Thanks for stopping by The Voice Love Co. Today!