Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog: November 2021

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!

Friday, November 26, 2021

My Voice's Gratitude List - updated 2021

It's really a LOT longer ... 

NOTE: The audio player should appear below, if not, please click on the title of this post and go online to hear. 
Available also on iTunes , Google PlayTuneIn Radio, Android apps


As Thanksgiving approaches this year, I am reminded of a thousand blessings that keep me in a state of gratitude. In keeping with All Things Vocal, here's a sampling of what's on my voice's gratitude list:

  • Knowing that vocal damage can completely heal 

I know this from personal experience, after losing an octave and a half from an endotracheal tube down my throat for an extended time in the hospital. As a vocal coach, that experience has helped me help others. I have seen vocal polyps, nodules, and vocal cord paralysis disappear with corrective vocal re-training. Surgery can almost always be avoided if the damage is stopped in time.

  • Not having grown up with auto tune

I had to learn precision technique and control the hard way... and now it helps me teach you!

  • Conversations with other curious, caring vocal coaches

I have had fantastic conversations, in person and online with coaches including Jeffrey Allen, Jeannie Deva, Jamie Vendera, Lisa Popeil, Joana Cazden, Richard Fink IV, Mark Thress, and many others.  Mr. Allen granted me permission to use his hook-shaped voice path in my teaching, and Joana Cazden suggested improvements to my vocal health document. I love sharing information as a member of NATS  (National Association of Teachers of Singing),  trading lessons and ideas in classical and contemporary voice with singers and teachers such as my dear friend Mark Thress! I'm grateful when a teacher or other voice expert comments on a post in this blog. We may not see things exactly the same way, but these conversations have all given me insight and made me a better and more effective teacher.

  • Great voices and music creators

Without the inspiration of incredibly talented singers, writers and musicians, my voice would be just a collection of various noises. My singing and speaking are influenced by decades of other voices from multiple genres and eras of music. 

  • My vocal coach, Gerald Arthur 

When I moved to Nashville, I found that Gerald was the coach for the top studio session singers I worked with. I got in to see him, and he fit me into one of his 8:30am 1/2 hour spots, which helped get singers ready for their 10am recording sessions. The first thing he told me was to stop 'guarding'. Many of you have received that instruction from me; well that's where it came from. Gerald not only helped me get my damaged voice back and then some, he also taught me how to teach. He showed me that the voice is a deep part of the psyche and that a vocal coach often becomes part-counselor or life coach. I can't imagine teaching someone without loving and caring about them. Gerald gave me that blueprint. His passing left a big hole in the vocal coaching universe.

  • The gift of insight and intuition.

I'm just not that smart. But I know that if we are open, useful wisdom is somehow channeled to all of us from the ultimate source of all wisdom. I'm so grateful to God for taking all I've done in my career, adding other illumination and creating in me the ability to teach voice. I had no idea how fulfilling it would be for me to help nurture other voices and be the wind at someone else's back. Now it blows my mind.

  • Every vocal student I've ever had 

...especially the ones with toughest, peskiest problems. Your patience and your dedication to your training have led to breakthroughs and of course, to solutions for the next student who comes in with that issue. I love you for trusting me with your precious voices, and being willing to go down the rabbit trails we explored until we found your answers!

  •  My husband John and our son Peter 

John makes everyone I work with feel welcome, sometimes stopping by the webcam to say hello! He also helps me to remember to power down at the end of the day and gives me a great reason to. He is my most important critic, sounding board and encourager. He also joined me to create and perform our surprise last album "Here We Are". There aren't enough words for what that album means to us both!
Our son Peter is our most precious legacy. As a photographer, craftsman, digital designer and musician is a creator in his own right, and helps me with all things technical. I can't imagine life without either of them.

  • Listeners

A good voice is said to have a 'gift'. But If no one is there, how can a gift be given? Every once in awhile I still perform in front of listening audiences. I sometimes regale my family and friends with a song or two to get their reaction.  Thank goodness people not only have voices but also ears! I'm so grateful for everyone who has ever come to one of my shows or presentations and I love to take my turn listening to your performances, too! 

  • Friendship, trust, inspiration, and support

My first question about how to sing something came from my fellow session singer/co-writer Carol Chase. She really sparked the idea in me to become a vocal coach. After a few years of teaching, I began creating my first Power, Path & Performance course at the request of producer/friend Dick McVey, who suggested that I record some vocal exercises for people. That was over 20 years ago. People like this have driven me to do things I'd never have otherwise done. Thank you! 

  • Pineapple juice

I had no idea when I poured a little can of pineapple juice into that 13 oz glass of water that it would go on to be my best recommendation for dry or irritated throats! I rarely leave home to sing without it. Oh... and coffee. Without my morning joe, my voice would still be staring at the alphabet rather than stringing it together into sentences:)

  • The transpose button

A big thank you goes up to whoever invented the transpose button on my keyboard! That way my students and I can sing in for instance the key of B, while I play it in my fingers' much preferred Bb or C! 😀

  • YOU

I am very grateful for you, dear reader and supporter of 'All Things Vocal'. You are the reason I do this. If you have a suggestion for this blog or podcast to make it of more value to you please let me know. Your comments and reviews are incredibly important and I am so very grateful to those of you who take the time.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving... 
And once more, thanks for being a part of this All Things Vocal village! 

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Monday, November 8, 2021

Gift Suggestions for Singers, Songwriters, Speakers and Musicians UPDATED 2021

...whatever it is, wrap it with love

Do you have singers, speakers and/or musicians on your gift list? Here are some suggestions, updated for 2021:

$25 or less...

$26 - $65

  • Singing In The Studio course (the ultimate professional level course for any singer who will be recording vocals.) If ordered thru Dec 31, 2021 you get a 50% rebate!
  • Vocal Production Workshop (for engineers/producers who want to get the best vocals possible out of their singers) This too...if ordered thru Dec 31, 2021 you get a 50% rebate!
  • HearFones  I have these back in stock!! (Domestic shipping only)
  • 1/2 hour vocal lesson with me in-person, online or phone (I'll provide gift certificate)
  • Posture trainer - a hunched back is terrible for health and for the voice! This looks like a great little product that gently prods you when you slouch.
  • Microphome foam microphone cleaner All of us should have a bottle of this.
  • A limited subscription to Netflix or boxed set of a TV series (for idle hours on the tour bus)
  • A music "fake book" or sheet music
  • Stands - music stand, mic stand, guitar stand
  • iPad stand holder
  • Tickets to a live concert event
  • mini-trampoline for core and wellness physical workouts all voices need.
  • A thumb drive for music tracks and vocal exercises
  • Mp3 speakers (some of the cheap ones sound fine and work with not only iPhones but also Android phones, tablets, laptops, etc.)
  • iPhone adapter (for newer iPhones that don't have a phone jack)

$65 - $250

  • One or two hours of vocal lessons with me in office or online (I'll provide gift certificate)
  • My full UPDATED 6-disc Power, Path and Performance vocal training course - plus bonus 30 minute vocal lesson if ordered thru Dec 31, 2021 (email me for gift certificate). Please specify if you want the course on disc, or prefer the files on thumb drive.
  • A JBL Bluetooth Speaker
  • A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) such as ProTools, Studio One, Logic, Reaper.

  • A course by Bree Noble in music business such as "Profitable House Concerts" (she has several more)
  • Music marketing/promotion training by Rick Barker
  • backup hard drive for recording projects
  • A Cajon, Djembe or frame drum 
  • A new smartphone and/or data package
  • Membership(s) in NSAI (for songwriters), AFM (Musician's Union) or SAG/AFTRA (singer/actor union)
  • Photoshop Elements (An affordable version to create web banners, flyers, edit photos, all kinds of photo uses)
  • Masterwriter software 
  • Gym membership and/or personal trainer (for health, looks AND vocal stamina!)
  • Acting or dance lessons... Google classes and prices in your area, get recommendations.
  • Live performance coaching
  • A microphone - spend some time finding out what is needed. Will it be for stage performance or recording? For a speaker, say a lavalier mic system (this is what I have)? A podcast? There are cheap and more expensive mics for all these applications, do some digging around. An economical time-tested stage or rehearsal workhorse is the Shure SM58 or Sennheiser 835.
  • Mp3 player or speaker (and if you're dealing with the newer iPhone, you'll need wireless)
  • A small mixing board
  • A quality pair of headphones  
  • turntable (LP vinyl player - and hey, discriminating ears love vinyl!) 
  • An instrument case with wheels, or lightweight gig bag
  • Digital recorder 
  • Surprise your performer at a show with flowers!

$250 and up...

  • Funding for my vocal production and/or bgvs (contact me if you'd like to discuss)
  • A series of vocal lessons with me (I'll be happy to provide a gift certificate) 
  • Lessons on an instrument.
  • Mixing board
  • A camera, GoPro or camcorder
  • The Shure SM7B cardiod dynamic vocal microphone (I am now recording bgvs and my podcast on this). 
  • An audio interface - simple, or complex like the Apollo (mine is the Twin - the PC version) which comes with console and plugins.
  • A web or Facebook designer
  • DragonSpeak - Voice Recognition Software  (for songwriters and speech writers)
  • In-ear monitors
  • Stage clothes and/or bling
  • Wireless mic system
  • A photo session
  • CD graphics design
  • A music marketing seminar or bootcamp
  • Funding for video shoot
  • An instrument.. guitar, keyboard, mandolin, violin, etc
  • New road cases
  • Home studio recording gear
  • A live PA system
Gifts of Your time/expertise -
  • Host an outdoor socially distanced karaoke party or guitar pull!
  • Write song charts for your loved one.
  • Set them up on a social network they are new to.
  • Teach them to use some software you know they need.
  • Videotape them for TikTok, Instagram, Youtube Live or Facebook Live.
  • Do or better yet, teach them how to do some video or audio editing, such as with Audacity (free software).
  • Type up and organize their worktapes and lyrics, or convert them digitally and save.
  • Write a song in honor of them them (priceless!)
  • Commit to a number of hours of computer work... updating databases, uploading videos and pictures, social network friending, researching, etc. 
  • If you have a home studio, record a song demo or worktape on them.
  • Carve out special time to listen and critique their song, performance, speech.
  • Give them a day of complete voice rest! Do the talking for them.
  • Babysit or dog sit while they perform, record or attend someone else's show.
  • Attend their online show and invite friends!
  • Recommend their music or show on your social network sites

 Or...get creative. Give to a charity in your loved one's name, buy them a star, make a memory spending some time together in a group Zoom or Skype meeting, or volunteering to help safely deliver food or other goods to doorsteps of those in need!

Now: What do YOU want for Christmas? You can leave a hint here in the comments and then send a link to the post:) I intend to update this list every year... so bookmark this post and check back whenever it's gift-giving time for you again!

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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Interview With Texas Legend Radney Foster

Radney has 'reinvent' on his daily to-do list

NOTE: The audio player should appear below, if not, please click on the title of this post and go online to hear. 
Available also on iTunesTuneIn RadioStitcherSpotifyAmazonPodbean, most other podcast apps
   
PLEASE REVIEW at ratethispodcast.com/atv
I am so happy to have Radney Foster on today's episode! I met Radney when he and I were artists signed to MTM Records. I had the honor of working with him as vocal coach when he lost his voice a few years ago. The story of how, instead of giving up, he used his temporarily forced silence to plow new creative ground is truly a wild adventure... join us!

Our talking points include:

  • How our vocal lessons helped Radney recover his lost voice.
  • How Grammy producer Brown Banister gave Radney 'permission' to make the move from Texas to Nashville. 
  • How roadblocks in his life changed his trajectory.
  • What 'artistic success' is. Radney says, "It's about the work". The insecurity of the business of the arts. What you do about that.
  • Funny story about how country artist T.G. Sheppard got his start.
  • Radney's sons and the way their music is evolving, and how they and Radney learned from each other.
  • The fascinating creation process for the short stories and songs of Radney's multimedia project 'For You To See The Stars'.
  • Radney's journey into acting. The stunt he pulled that got him the part in Kristian Bush's musical 'Troubadour'.
  • The scare of really losing your voice. The importance of believing it can come back, and doing the work required. The importance of having a village around you, including a small inner circle of accountability and support. The value of having 'no' people in your life.
  • Radney's work with young artists, including Kasey Musgraves and MCA artists 'the Randy Rogers Band', who Randy is now producing again.
  • The impossibility of stopping the creative process, but how important it is to listen to wisdom and change the way you work as you go. 
  • The screenplay he is writing with his amazingly creative wife Cyndi, which has now been optioned for filming.
  • His upcoming promotion activities and performances for the 30 year anniversary of 'Del Rio 1959'.

More About Radney Foster:        

  • Radney was born and raised in Texas. He started singing and writing early, and as a young touring musician with long hours on the road between tour stops, he became an avid reader of books by authors such as John Steinbeck, Larry McMurtry, and Harper Lee. His reading would influence and inform his writing to come.
  • He was signed as part of the hit-making duo ‘Foster & Loyd’, and then as solo artist. In 2015, Radney developed a severe case of pneumonia and laryngitis and was put on 6 weeks of vocal constraint. This roadblock to his singing channeled his creative juices into writing a short story, which became the genesis of his latest endeavor ‘For You To See The Stars’. This is a two-part project: a book of short stories and a CD of songs that correlate to the stories, though both book and CD can also be enjoyed separately.
  • So far, Radney has written 8 #1 singles and scores of other songs recorded by artists including Keith Urban, The Dixie Chicks, Luke Bryan, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Marc Broussard, Hootie & The Blowfish, Kenny Loggins, Los Lonely Boys. He has also become a successful studio producer and mentor of new artists.
  • Radney has successfully delved into a new creative art – acting. He was cast in the starring role of a musical theater production co-written by Sugarland’s Kristian Bush and playwright Janece Shaffer called 'Troubadour’ and appears in the feature film 'Beauty Mark'.
  • During the 15 months he was off the road during COVID, he worked on several more different creative projects – cowriting a screenplay with his wife Cyndi and writing and recording a bachelor pad/lounge record with his sons.
  • Coming up: 2022 will be the 30th anniversary of “Del Rio, TX 1959,” Radney’s solo debut. He’ll be doing an anniversary tour with surprises in store.
Radney's Website: www.RadneyFoster.com
Be sure to check out his book and CD 'For You To See The Stars'  

Need me? 

Contact me for lessons and studio work at my website. I'd love to help you!

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