Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method.

Monday, September 13, 2010

How To Determine Your Vocal Genre

There are times when a singer wants to make a decision to pursue a particular vocal genre or vocal style. Sometimes you want to deliberately learn to sing a new category of song. You may want to explore out of your comfort zone to see if you're missing something you would do well. When going after a commercial career (meaning you're trying to sell your music), this becomes especially important. To make the decision, yourself these questions:
  • What's natural? 
You're trying to find out what genre is the most natural for your vocal ability, which includes "nature" (the size, density and other characteristics of your physical instrument) and "nurture" (your current vocal technique which you've developed).
  •  What does my heart want to do? 
When you sing or hear music that moves you, what genre or style is it? When something genuinely moves you, you can make a safe bet it will have a natural audience who it would also move.
  • What do I want to learn?
What do I want to do with my voice that would move my voice past it's comfort zone? Do I want to learn to sing classical music, authentically deliver folk or country, develop some r&b riffs, find the vocal control to sing jazz or bluegrass, learn to articulate differently for or from musical theater or gospel, power my voice into rock, experiment with the rhythmic and instantaneous rhymes of hip-hop?
  • What's commercial?
What is selling? A much better question to ask would be: What genre is selling that...
  1. my voice can confidently sing or that I want to learn to confidently sing and... 
  2. satisfies and moves my heart.
This is the best way to pursue the business of music. Your priority is on the music, not on the business; you let the music drive the business. To do this, don't over-think it. But don't limit yourself if all it would take to fulfill #1 and #2 above would be some training.

For a great example of music driving the business, discover the amazing story of Eva Cassidy. She chose to do the music that satisfied her own heart, and refused to be catagorized in any particular genre. Though Eva is gone, her music lives on and has garnered the kind of music business success that has made her a true singing legend.

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5 Comments :

  • At September 30, 2010 at 7:16 AM , Anonymous Kim Rushing said...

    YES so true
    i tried to quit singing once and was i MISERABLE
    now i'm having so much fun, music is life!!

    singing replaces doubt with LOVE

    i just got a great job teaching at a music school
    see
    www.dustystrings.com

    what a great post,

    thanks
    kim
    PS
    i'm married to a drummer too! LOL

     
  • At September 30, 2010 at 7:18 AM , Blogger Judy Rodman said...

    Congratulations, Kim, that is great news about your job at Dusty Strings!! So you got a drumming man, too, eh? God bless ya!

     
  • At November 2, 2010 at 1:17 AM , Blogger LUCKee said...

    Hello, dear Judy! I am so happy to have an opportunity to read your articles and to be guided this way by you. Thank you for sharing with people your priceless knowledge. You inspire me all the time. Was happy to work with you. Hugs from Ukraine.

     
  • At November 2, 2010 at 1:29 AM , Blogger LUCKee said...

    Hello, dear Judy! I am so happy to have an opportunity to read your articles and to be guided this way by you. Thank you for sharing with people your priceless knowledge. You inspire me all the time. Was happy to work with you. Hugs from Ukraine.

     
  • At November 2, 2010 at 11:48 AM , Blogger Judy Rodman said...

    Oh my gosh, so great to hear from you, Lydia! And it was an honor to work with an artist such as yourself. Please keep in touch!

     

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