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. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Your "One Thing" For Better Voice

I want to thank my friend, singer/songwriter Robert Anderson, for something he said in a phone conversation that has led to this blogpost. Robert is also a master of martial arts and one of my blog readers. He said that his method of digesting one of my posts is to apply a Bruce Lee principle of training is to...
 go for mastering 1%, not 100%
I thought about it and actually find this principle of simplicity to be a secret of effective vocal improvement. I would change the phrase a bit and call it...
"go for mastering 1 thing, not 100".

There is so very much that goes into the workings of all our vocal instruments. Teaching voice has really opened my eyes to "stuff that can go wrong". I feel like Sherlock Holmes especially at initial assessment lessons... I must sleuth out the sneaky weakest link culprits sabotaging the voice of my client. I also like to move people fast... increasing vocal ability as rapidly as possible. However... like a computer with too many programs open, the brain can only operate on so many levels without "freezing".

There is, as my students know, an incredible synergy to Power, Path and Performance vocal training. Applying the method correctly, if you get one vocal technique better, it will help improve others. I may give you more than one thing to think about at your lesson or in my cd courses, but as part of the training team you must ask yourself what helped the most? That's your one thing!

My job for you is to discover your most important one thing. Your job is to act with passion and persistence on re-training that one thing. That way we can get on with the next thing!

So what is your one thing? Here are some possibilities:
  • not enough breath
  • lack of breath control
  • pitch problems
  • pushing your sound
  • tight throat, jaw, lips, shoulders, neck, upper spine
  • holding a mic wrong
  • hanging your arms heavy
  • too much or too little articulation
  • performance numbness
  • physical illness
  • tense, stiff body language
  • inefficient nutrition, sleep or exercise
  • too much weight training of shoulders and neck
  • a bad back, upper or lower
  • fear
  • trying too hard
  • perfectionism
  • drug and alchohol addictions
  • smoking
  • stage fright
  • check the titles of my blogposts...I could go on and on and on and on:)
Tell me your one thing, or add one, in the comments... thx!

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  • At August 7, 2010 at 12:47 PM , Blogger Avocational Singer said...

    This is a really great concept. Besides being an avocational singer, I also belong to a Kung Fu school. One of the slogans from our school (which is on the logo Tshirt as well) says "One technique mastered is greater than a thousand half-learned."

    I have a lot of "one things" right now, but I think I need to work on raising my energy level. I have a lazy kind of big voice that's "slow to speak" and tends to hang on to each pitch a little too long -- not wanting to move. I need a little less luxuriating and a little more "c'mon, let's go!" energy.

  • At August 7, 2010 at 8:37 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

    Av. Singer...Awesome feedback. Re your slow voice...You might do a little checking to see if your "one thing" is not a big of a tight jaw and/or tongue. Big voices especially need to keep the jaw muscles out of the articulation process. Thx for the comment!

  • At August 9, 2010 at 11:18 PM , Anonymous Kim Rushing said...

    HI Judy
    I had the great fortune to hear Sachal Vasandani recently in a small venue (btw, he's great! www.svjazz.com)
    and i realized later that I inhibit myself with
    thoughts/worries such as "am i too loud? am I too soft? Does the audience (or someone in it) like this song? etc. etc. etc."

    What i observed about Sachal was how he was totally immersed in the act of singing in a completely relaxed way.

    so self distraction due to inhibitory thoughts?

    great post, thanks
    it reminded me of the concept of learning new tunes--that one should slow down the tempo while learning the tune until one could practice it w/o making mistakes. . .

  • At August 9, 2010 at 11:19 PM , Anonymous Darby Haas said...

    Funny this goes with the thing I wanted to talk with you about.
    I did a show the other night and sang Martina's Wrong Baby Wrong, highs and low. In my room or in the car I hit every note, on stage I can't do it. I fall off my low notes. I think its the energy! So focusing is important, that is definitely my one thing

  • At August 9, 2010 at 11:19 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

    We will work on that very thing next time your in, Darbs… for now, just think “re-lift” at the end of your phrases, like the last word is important to the meaning of what you’re saying. Glad you’re singing out! YAY!


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