- To be nobody but myself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting . . . e.e. Cummings
- This thing we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down . . . Mary Pickford
- Singing is the ultimate do-it-yourself activity. No one can do it for you and no one can make you feel good about the discouraging days. No one will get you to work on it tomorrow. Singing is your job. It’s a test of will. But if you find this will, you will also find the voice of your dreams . . . Jeffrey Allen
- Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn’t want me to be too famous too young . . . Duke Ellington
- Learn from your very first steps to listen to, understand, and love the bitter truth about yourself. Find out who can tell you that truth. Talk of your art only with them and let them scold you to their heart’s content . . . Constantin Stanislavsky
- Where you practice can be as important to your vocal workout as how much you practice. Make sure you practice in a place where you feel free to sing out — without worry as to who might be listening
- Singing at gigs, recording sessions or band rehearsals should not be considered practice. You must also make time for yourself to sing without the pressure of having to sound good. Give yourself the luxury of taking chances and making mistakes during your own, private workout.
- When you practice, do so slowly and give yourself the time to relax before your workout — don’t rush! Haste is the #1 enemy of meaningful vocalizing.
If you vocalize for a half and hour everyday, you’ll be surprised at how much more ready to sing you’ll always be.
- Always train yourself to be able to sing one or two notes higher than required in your performances. This insurance will allow you to relax on stage.
Looking after your voice Tips
- The muscles used for sit-ups or leg lifts are the same used to support (or press) air through the cords to bring forth a singer’s sound. Some of these exercises, on a regular basis, add power to your overall tone.
- Your jaw should drop — as it does when you yawn — whenever holding a note in your upper range.
- If you have to cough or clear your throat, do so gently. These actions are like sandpaper to your vocal cords
- Eat and sleep properly — and ideally — exercise daily. All of these things will enable your body to achieve a state of relaxation and vocal-cord readiness and will benefit your singing more than you’d think.
- Maintain a high level of water in your body. The old adage eight glasses a day… helps keep your vocal cords lubricated and conditioned.
- The significance of the diaphragm as a muscle of breath support is over-emphasized by most music singing schools and teachers. The diaphragm has two jobs: it furnishes the power for inhalation and then controls tone support.
- When you take a breath for singing — to open the throat — add a yawning feeling as you’re about to produce the tone (the beginning of a yawn, to be exact).
- Be sure the shoulders do not raise when taking a breath
- If you can hear your inhalation, you’re taking in too much air or your stomach is tense. Be sure your stomach is relaxed before, and as, you inhale.
- Always inhale gently when singing. Heavy gasping of air will tighten your throat.
- Posture is the foundation. Be sure your posture is erect when singing — not a military stance, but comfortably upright. This positions you for maximum support.
- Always imagine the sound that you want to make and then sing it — using all resources available — your entire physical being, emotions, psyche and spirit.
- A tight jaw is bad for good singing. Do whatever is necessary to relieve your jaw, neck and shoulders of tension before you sing.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking puts at risk the entire mechanism you’re going to stake your claim to a vocal career upon.
- Don’t try to imitate another singer’s voice. Discover your own, unique, vocal identity.