All posts by kim@helpmyvoice.com

10-Singing with Total Control


There is more vocal damage in singers today than ever before.  What causes pain and lack of control in your voice?  What about hoarseness and sore throats?  I answer these questions and more in response to Michael’s question.

 

Michael asked:

I’m a worship singer in New Jersey. I’ve been singing solos and duets for 3-4 years now but I have an issue with hoarseness and singing in my lower register.  But the problem I’ve noticed is a HUGE difference in my tone because of the hoarseness I’ve been having.Now I have a raspier voice and some days I sound so bad I just don’t go to worship practice, especially when I have to sing 4-5 songs every service.

My lower register sounds so dark, dull and boring and since I’m not too comfortable in my lower notes I get a sore throat after singing low. Even worse, I have to avoid head voice at all costs because I hat the way my head voice sounds.  It sounds like a yelling old lady or it’s so breathy you can’t hear it.

I need your help Kim!  I want to be able to feel confident in my WHOLE voice.  I need a technique that helps me get better tone in my whole voice so I can stop feeling like I’m forcing or pushing down to hit those low notes, and increasing my range.

 

And I answered by sharing details about:

  • What pain in the voice tells us
  • Signs of irritation or damage in the voice
  • Why the voice sounds like two different voices

 

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

Other Episode Mentioned:


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To get more Help My Voice content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes!

Also, reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

I read every single one of them and they help others to find help for their voices more easily.


 

And lastly, if you have any questions about your voice, click the microphone on the right side of the screen to record it or click here to type in your question.

Thanks again for listening!

09-Why Don’t I Sing Better?


Nothing is more frustrating than spending money to get better at singing then, not getting better.  How do you know you’ve got the right vocal training for you?

I lay out the biggest reasons your training may not be helping your voice in my answer to Marina’s question.

 

Martina asked:

I’m a teenaged girl who has always wanted to sing really well.  So much that it emotionally distressed me at one point.  I have experience with music study and voice lessons but I really want to progress further adn leave this statues que.

I was wondering what is keeping me from progressing further.  Singing can be sometimes so hard to do at a subconscious level.  Mind you I have poor coordination and a lack of natural sense of pulse.  I think it would take scientific reasoning to make me better and overcome the limitation.  What should I do?

 

And I answered by sharing 6 things all good vocal training involves:

  1. Developing a strong HEALTHY voice
  2. Expanding/doubling the vocal range
  3. Develops your personal vocal style
  4. Always has a plan to get you to your next level
  5. Is easily understandable so you can put it into practice
  6. Should always encourage and answer your questions

 

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

The Cover Song Challenge I gave my student (mentioned in the podcast):

(from the ‘singers like you’ critiques section of The Voice Club Academy

Thank You For Listening to the Show!


To get more Help My Voice content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes!

Also, reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

I read every single one of them and they help others to find help for their voices more easily.


 

And lastly, if you have any questions about your voice, click the microphone on the right side of the screen to record it or click here to type in your question.

Thanks again for listening!

08-Confidence on Stage


Nervousness affects many more singers and speakers than you would ever imagine.  The difference between looking like a pro or an amateur is in how you follow the five steps I outline in my answer to Alex’s question.

Plus I share a singer you know but would never expect suffers from crippling stage fright.

Alex asked:

Do you have a video or something about how to increase your confidence level for different settings?  ie. on video, in front of a group of people, in the shower, etc.  Maybe it just comes naturally or with enough time and practice?  Or maybe it has nothing to do with vocal mechanics.  Just curious if you had any thoughts about this.

 

And I answered by sharing:

  • Why you always sound your best singing in the shower
  • Why nervousness affects our voice so much
  • What kinds of situations you can put yourself in to train confidence
  • The five keys to gaining the confidence of  pro;
  • 1) expect to be nervous,
  • 2) train to be good,
  • 3) train to have options
  • 4) make a failure plan, and
  • 5) a super singing tip to start every song in a way that stabilizes the vocal muscles and prevents them from being affected by nerves
  • PLUS the story of how a famous singer deals with major stage fright

 

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

A Stars Coping Mechanism for Stage Fright:

How many props can you count that she can touch, hold or use when her nerves kick in?

 

 

Thank You For Listening to the Show!


To get more Help My Voice content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes!

Also, reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

I read every single one of them and they help others to find help for their voices more easily.


 

 

And lastly, if you have any questions about your voice, click the microphone on the right side of the screen to record it or click here to type in your question.

Thanks again for listening!

07-Why Your Voice is Cracking


Hearing your voice crack can undermine any speaker or singer.  Why does it happen?  And, more importantly, what can be done about it?

Voice talent/voiceover coaches train on delivery, not on care for the voice so they can’t help on this one.  Most singing teachers don’t know how to effectively address this either.

So I’m going to put on my vocal repair clinician hat to break down the causes and remedies for Mark’s question:

 

Mark asked:

I’m just getting started as a voice talent and working on my demo but I find my voice is cracking when I’m in the studio.  How can I get it to sound as good there as it does at home?

 

And I answered by sharing details about:

  • The main causes for a voice that cracks in the studio (or on stage)
  • How to prepare your voice in a way that prevents cracks
  • What to do in the studio to minimize cracks
  • PLUS, 2 great vocal exercises to keep your pipes piping hot

 

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

Exercises & Resources Mentioned:

  • The bubble slide:  fingers push up the bottom lip, blow a raspberry (like a baby does) and fall forward from the waist as the tone goes up
  • “Aw” slide down or ‘the yawn’: make the sound you would sinking down into a comfy chair at the end of a long day.  This is relaxed and unattached to any notes.
  • organic-throat-coat-teaThroat Coat Tea: slippery elm and licorice bark/root are key to the effectiveness of this magic voice smoothing drink

Thank You For Listening to the Show!


To get more Help My Voice content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes!

Also, reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

I read every single one of them and they help others to find help for their voices more easily.


 

And lastly, if you have any questions about your voice, click the microphone on the right side of the screen to record it or click here to type in your question.

Thanks again for listening!

06-What is My Vocal Range?


***Caution – hot button topic ahead.***

Why don’t most singers (or teachers for that matter) know the difference between a voice classification and your vocal range?  What should your vocal range be?  It will all be made clear….or at least clearer.  So leave behind what you’ve believed and be prepared to approach the idea of vocal range in a new way.

 

Joshua asked:

I would really love to understand what my vocal range is.  I know I can sing very low and kind of high.  I can reach high notes easily in falsetto.  Can you help me?

 

And I answered by sharing details about:

  • What the majority of people/teachers think is the definition of your vocal range
  • What bass, baritone, tenor, alto, and soprano mean
  • The actual definition of your vocal range
  • How any singer or speaker can greatly increase their vocal range and have the same strength on every note in it

 

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

The basic breakdown of voice classifications – NOT VOCAL RANGE (though this is what most people will tell you it is):

 vocalRange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gradient of the balanced mixed voice:

 

<<LOWEST COMFORTABLE NOTE—————————————HIGHEST COMFORTABLE NOTE>>

mix-gradient-nomix mix-gradient

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The video I put up years ago that people are still arguing about:

 

 

Thank You For Listening to the Show!


To get more Help My Voice content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes!

Also, reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

I read every single one of them and they help others to find help for their voices more easily.


 

And lastly, if you have any questions about your voice, click the microphone on the right side of the screen to record it or click here to type in your question.

Thanks again for listening!

05-What are Voiceovers?


It’s not just the typical pro’s who are making money with their speaking voices.  In this episode I’ll give you a general flyover of what VO really is and who’s getting the work.

 

Shawna asked:

I heard you talking about VO and voice talent.  What is that?  Is that something average people can do and do you make money at it?

 

And I answered by sharing details about:

  • The surprising amount of paying work that you hear other voices do everyday
  • What voiceovers really are
  • Who used to make all the money
  • Who’s making the money in the current market

 

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

Links and Resources:

Thank You For Listening to the Show!


To get more Help My Voice content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes!

Also, reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

I read every single one of them and they help others to find help for their voices more easily.


 

And lastly, if you have any questions about your voice, click the microphone on the right side of the screen to record it or click here to type in your question.

Thanks again for listening!

04-Stop Singing Classically


Please pass this episode on to all of your classical sounding singing friends….even if they like sounding that way.   Singers today want and need the flexibility to sing a variety of different styles of music without sounding like they’re a classical singer trying to sing (country, rock, etc.)

And there IS a way!  The problem is that even most highly degreed singing teachers have no clue that it can even be done.  In this episode I walk you understanding the difference between training the voice and training the style so you can learn to separate the two, even if your teacher can’t (or won’t).

 

Gabrielle asked:

I’m supposed to sing the national anthem at our local fair.  I have taken a couple of singing lessons but I’m having a hard time trying to sing it in a classical way that the teacher is teaching since I’m not used to singing that way.  Is that would be something I could get help for?

 

And I answered by sharing details about:

  • The two elements that should be taught by any instructor and why they’re just not taught
  • What kind of instruction you need to sing any song well, in the style you want
  • How styling tools can take any song and make it unique to your voice

 

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

Links and Resources Mentioned:

  • Listen to Episode 9 where I talk specifically about how to find the right training and show an example of developing your unique style.
  • 7 Steps to Successful Styling – if you want my step by step guide to understanding vocal styling tools (from the product store of my studio)

My guide on how to sing the National Anthem better every time:

Thank You For Listening to the Show!


To get more Help My Voice content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes!

Also, reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

I read every single one of them and they help others to find help for their voices more easily.


 

And lastly, if you have any questions about your voice, click the microphone on the right side of the screen to record it or click here to type in your question.

Thanks again for listening!

03-Get More Power and Range


Both guys and girls want to be able to sing more high notes with full power.  But it seems like less and less singers are able to do it like the rock stars of the 70’s like Kansas and Foreigner.

So why could they do it?  That’s what we narrow down in this episode.

 

Bob asked:

In their heyday, Lou Gramm (Foreigner) and Steve Walsh (Kansas) had similar voices.  Their voices seemed to have the same attributes: power and chestiness up top, a strong head voice/falsetto, rich tone (somewhat operatic), vowel shades of ‘ooo’ and ‘uh’ in their sound, full voice all the way up past C5 and voices that could sit up high.  What would you say accounts for their power and tone?

 

And I answered by sharing details about:

  • Falsetto: what it is…and what it’s not (plus why we may be wrong when we think we’re singing in falsetto)
  • What is responsible for the tone of a voice; singing with ‘one voice’ without sounding different on low or high notes
  • Where vocal power (on any note) comes from and some of the wrong ways we try to get at it

 

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

Thank You For Listening to the Show!


To get more Help My Voice content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes!

Also, reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

I read every single one of them and they help others to find help for their voices more easily.


 

 

 

And lastly, if you have any questions about your voice, click the microphone on the right side of the screen to record it or click here to type in your question.

Thanks again for listening!

02-When Your Voice Won’t Work


 

Some vocal problems sneak up on you overtime until you realize you’ve lost partial or full use of your voice in some vocal activities.

This was the case for Htein Lin Aung.  It’s also the case for many singers, including a high level broadway singer I worked with.  There is a reason it happens.  There is also hope for repairing the damage that is the underlying cause for chronic hoarseness, cracking voice or laryngitis.

 

Htein Lin Aung asked:

I’m a person with frequent laryngitis because I have asthma as a natural gift so I cough one third of the year, especially in the winter.  Now I suffer from acute Laryngitis.  I cannot sing anymore.  Can you give me any advice?

 

And I answered by sharing details about:

  • My own experience with the damage of my voice and how I came back from the medical opinion that I would never speak or sing again.
  • What causes Laryngitis and other similar issues that can greatly impact the voice
  • How to know when it’s time to see a doctor and what you should be asking them
  • The difference between ENT’s, speech therapists and a trained vocal repair specialit
  • PLUS, a vocal exercise you can use to both assess the weak points in your voice and start gently getting the vocal muscles to move toward better vocal cord closure so you can start doing something to benefit your voice.

 

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

My vocal damage story in song:

Thank You For Listening to the Show!

 

To get more Help My Voice content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes!

Also, reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

I read every single one of them and they help others to find help for their voices more easily.

 

And lastly, if you have any questions about your voice, click the microphone on the right side of the screen to record it or click here to type in your question.

Thanks again for listening!

01-Why You Have Vocal Strain


Why do I have vocal strain and can it be fixed?

Vocal strain is the #1 complaint from singers, so it seemed fitting to kick off our podcast by addressing an all to common problem that prevents you from singing or speaking to your full potential.

There is a wealth of bad information about this issue, leading already frustrated singers to believe it might not even fixable.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I hope you find hope based on the science of vocal anatomy in the answer I give to Alyssa’s question.

Alyssa asked:

I’m an aspiring voice actress and singer.  I can hit notes really good sometimes but other times I feel tension in my voice.  Sometimes I get so scared about vocal damage that I get discouraged about doing voice acting and that makes me so sad.  Is it too late for me?

 

And I answered by sharing details about:

  • What actually causes strain, pain and tension in the voice for both singers, speakers and voice talent
  • What few people (that includes teachers, trainers and professors) know about vocal strain
  • How strain, pain, tension and even vocal damage can be reversed for good
  • What your voice will really be like once vocal strain is removed the right way

 

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

Thank You For Listening to the Show!


To get more Help My Voice content sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes!

Also, reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

I read every single one of them and they help others to find help for their voices more easily.


 

And lastly, if you have any questions about your voice, click the microphone on the right side of the screen to record it or click here to type in your question.

Thanks again for listening.

– Kim Snyder, host of the Help My Voice Podcast