Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog: October 2012

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, October 22, 2012

SIngers and Speakers: Want to Quit Smoking?

It's nuts to smoke if we want to sing... or speak... or of course, live long. Yep, we know that. Yet dedicated, serious singers and speakers all over the world have not been able to quit. Guess what? Now you - even you - really can this time join the millions of people who have put the last one out for good.

I found out about this method from a touring singer who learned about it in Europe. It's called "The Easy Way To Quit Smoking". There are clinics all over the world (now finally even in the US) who report over 90% success rate, but all the ex-smokers I know did it just with the "easy way to quit smoking" book. There's now even an audio CD of the book.

Buy it. Read it. Spread the news. And let me know how you did! YAY

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Monday, October 8, 2012

How a Music Career Is Like a Boogie Board

Me on a good ride

It was that time again last week... for my annual boogie boarding vacation at the beach! While I was out in the ocean this week looking for the perfect wave to catch, it hit me that there are a lot of parallels between boogie boarding and a music career. A great ride, either on the ocean or in music, requires:


  • Your board needs to be strong enough to ride.
After many years of using white styrofoam boards (they looked like cheap cooler material) that barely lasted for the vacation, I bought a much better board, designed for more serious riding. It cost more and has dings but it's still going strong after several years of use, and gives me a much more satisfied ride.
  • Your voice needs to be strong enough to sing.
 To be at 'ride' level, you need to develop your physical voice by practice correctly til your voice has the stamina required. There is no substitute for full voice singing with correct technique! It may cost you some time and money for training and dedicated practice, but your voice will last much longer without strain, and gives you the possibility of a much better career ride.


  • You need to know how to ride.
You have to start somewhere. BUT... if you are a novice boogie boarder, stick with the easy waves near the shore before you go out and try to ride the big ones. The wipe out can be painful and humiliating (ask me how I know!) I had to learn not just to jump on a wave but to move with it, and to wait til the initial breaking was done, then quickly to shift my weight forward and angle the front of the board down as I rode. Also I had to learn the coordination to steady the board over the ever changing wave as I went.
  • You need to know how to sing.
Of course you can sing as a beginner... and the more performance experience you have, the better! BUT... If you try and sing live or record your voice for significant career makers hoping your performance will turn into a good career ride, you better have your 'chops up' as they say. YouTube is full of bad video performances that have the power to end careers before they begin. The wipe out can be painful and humiliating! I learned (and teach) the fine art of balancing breath support and control, a concept I call 'pulling instead of pushing' the voice. It's also vital to keep an open throat and to connect and communicate authentically through the song. I call this combined synergistic vocal training method Power, Path and Performance.


  • Learn to read the ocean waves.
You can't predict with certainty which waves will give you the best ride. I've jumped on some waves that jumped back on me!) However, there are some indications. Catch one too soon or too late and the wave breaks at the wrong time to ride. Catch one too small and it won't take you very far... catch one too big and it can really injure you. Catch a good one just as it breaks and you can ride all the way to shore. My favorite one was the first one I caught this year: It was a double... a high one with another just behind it strengthened by a sandbar, creating ideal conditions of power and forward motion. I rode all the way to shore, actually running my board aground!
  • Learn to read the music industry.
There are no guarantees in the music biz. It has broken many a talented heart. But... preparation, research, planning and developing the right network of industry professionals can vastly increase your 'luck'. If your music isn't what the major industry seems to be looking for, try creatively marketing and promoting your unique music another way. You could ride the industry as the next leading edge instead of just another artist clone. The current music industry has created much wider opportunity for all ages of artist and sub-genres of music to succeed in ways impossible not that long ago. Do remember that any deal - small or large - offered you should be thouroughly vetted by an enertainment attorney who can help you avoid a financial or emotional wipe out.


  • Too much concentration on the next wave keeps me from enjoying the ocean I'm in.
Boogie boarding gets me out into the ocean, makes me breathe deeper, puts me in the sun that feeds my mind and spirit. It's not just about the perfect wave. It's about the joy of the whole process and reality of riding.
  • Worrying about the music business too much keeps me from enjoying making the music.
Making music is ALWAYS a ride. It feeds the soul, connects us to people and gives our voices meaning. If you catch a ride in the music biz, large or small... don't forget to be joyfully present with the music you're making... that's the only way to make it a truly great ride!

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