online singing tips and advice with Melissiah (page
up today for my FREE course
"10 ways to take your singing to the next level."
Every week I'll send you valuable singing information
that has been implemented by thousands of successful
singers across the globe.
I also need to mention that we hate spammers as much
as you do and will NEVER rent, give away or sell your
information to any 3rd parties.
You can opt out at any time
voice creating problems for aspiring star.
Q61. Since i was very little i have wanted to sing!
i go to singing lessons and i practise regually. my
question for you is how can i hit the high notes with
out going into my head voice? your help will be much
driving around in a beautiful Rolls Royce car. Now imagine
that you could only use first gear to drive anywhere. It would
be pretty bad wouldn't it? But this is equivalent to a singer
who only wants to use chest voice.
The larynx or voice box is designed perfectly - like the gear
box on a car - to allow us to sing within a range of two,
three or even four octaves. And just as you could never reach
100km per hour in first gear in the Rolls Royce, you could
also never reach top C using chest voice.
the huge number of 'singing competitions' now on TV, it's
easy to recognize singers that have learned incorrect vocal
technique. As they sing higher their voices sound more and
more strained. Then when they finally flip registers, their
high notes are weak and breathy. In many cases their high
notes are non existant. In one instance I even recall a contestant
developing singers' nodules.
the voice is trained with the larynx in a low or yawning position,
and the breath is not forced, then the vocal registers will
take care of themselves. This is healthy singing. The two
opposing sets of muscles that control pitch are the Arytenoids
and the Cricothyroids. On low notes 'chest voice' the arytenoids
are more active, while higher notes 'head voice' rely more
on cricothyroid activity. When you reach the 'register break'
or passagio these muscles engage in a 'tug of war'.
smooth out the passaggio try vocalising on the 'u' vowel as
in the word 'put'. You'll find it very difficult to know when
the register change has occurred. It will usually take some
time to smooth out the register change completely. Which brings
me to my next point. There are no registers in the singing
voice when it is correctly produced. Listen to a really good
singer. Their 'gear' or register changes will be impossible
to notice, just as the gear changes in that Rolls Royce.
have a really really important audition for Eponine
in Les Miserables. I have to sing On My Own and it
is really hard to 'make the song my own.' By this
I mean, sing the song in my own style. I know that
this is a really hard thing to do, and i would really
appreciate it if you could help me. What else is there
I can do to the song besides rhythmic changes and
contrasts in emotions? I have to make all the words
interesting filled with emotions and attitude. Secondly,
I am also having difficulty with presenting the song.
I do not know what to do with my hands and my face.
Please help me asap. Many Thanks.
overwhelmed by the number of singers who come to me, who've
been told to stand still by their previous singing teachers.
Some have even been told to stand as if their arms are glued
to their side. Of course when these singers start performing
on stage they look like they want to join the armed forces
rather than be an entertainer!
lessons integrate movement, emotions and characterisation
as these elements of stage craft usually take as long to develop
as vocal ability. Firstly start moving around when you sing,
even when you sing your exercises. Try finding what movement
helps to make the sound flow. Eventually you'll start to feel
that the movement is actually helping create the sound in
your body. You can also imagine that the sound is coming from
your hands. Experiment with singing your exercises and songs
using different emotions and notice what body language and
facial expression is needed to convey the emotion. In regards
to the song, what is your character trying to portray? What
is the purpose of her communication? How young/old/poor/rich/beautiful/talented/fortunate
in front of a mirror and you'll begin to discover your destiny
as a natural and exciting performer.
puzzles over voice training.
Dear Melissiah (I think I would even call you Messiah
after finding your site and this great FAQ). I'm 19,
male. I know nothing about singing (tones, range,
keys, etc.) never sung before until this summer with
friends for fun, but somehow, we started taking it
seriously (we are separated by thousands of miles
but we're managing: thank God for the Internet). I,
as you might suppose am going to be the singer in...
Progressive Death/Black Metal. Yes I am perfectly
aware of all the damages that might occur. But during
the songs I am not always going to sing raspy and
harsh voices, so I hope I'll keep damages to a minimum.
Which brings me to this: what should I do if I want
(I have to anyway) to start from scratch. I mean,
how do I know what kind of voice I have, what type
of training should I follow, etc. When I sing clear
voices (as opposite to growling which I'm good at
and improving), I really can't go high. I don't know
if it has any relevance, but I can make myself heard
at a great distance (is that what you call projection?)
when shouting (clearly). And one last thing, I've
found a book on the Internet that claims that it covers
the voice in its entirety for singing purposes and
can help anyone wanting to learn or improve his voice
whatever the singing style (including growels). And
if you don't answer this mail, I still thank you very
much for all the support you're giving to the singing
M.L Lancaster University UK
you really want to learn singing, it's best to learn one-on-one
with a teacher. If you really can't afford a teacher, have
you thought about trying a set of instructional CDs? I've
come across what I consider some good teaching products on
the internet - the "Singing Success Program" by
and for opera singers there's "An Introductory Lesson
with David Jones".
Dreamquest will also be releasing a set of training CDs later
in the year so stay tuned.
what kind of voice you have is a bit like exploring a thousand
roomed palace full of treasures and monsters. The quest takes
time, patience and courage. Eventually
you'll discover that you can sing higher and you won't need
to shout to project your voice. (I like to think of projecting
as directing your voice inwards and finding all the resonators
in your body.) Good luck on your journey.
cough bugs country music singer.
I'm a 19 year old girl and I sing country music. I
have done for most of my life and I find that I have
extensive trouble with continuous singing. It doesn't
create vocal strain or a hoarse voice but I cough
mid song. I do not smoke or drink or do anything that
I can attribute such a cough to. It is basically a
clearing of the throat as opposed to a hacking cough
that usually smokers get. I also have a lump in my
throat which my doctor reassures me is just my tonsils
but I'm concerned that perhaps this could be part
of my problem. I know you aren't a doctor but you've
probably encountered situations such as mine before
and I'm curious to know what your opinion is concerning
my problem. Thankyou.
taught several singers in the past with enlarged tonsils and
I've noticed that they also have a throat clearing problem.
It may have something to do with the immune system working
overtime and producing more mucus. Your problem may also be
related to airborne particles and allergens such as pet hair,
pet saliva (on the hair shed by pets), pollen, car fumes,
dust mites and even wool or angora sweaters. Sometimes simple
things like replacing feather pillows with latex or foam can
make an enormous difference to the quality of breathing. As
you come from Perth, which has a relatively dry climate, it
might also help to leave a few bowls of water around the house
to increase humidity.
interesting and thought provoking concept of health and immune
function can be found in the book "Eat Right For Your
Lessons vs Vocal Coaching
Just a question 4 melissah. ive just started singing
lessons a couple months ago and so am not too sure
as to wat to expect. the tutors method involves getting
us to bring in music 4 to a song and getting us to
sing along to it 4 the half hour duration of the lesson.
is this method adequate or should i perhaps look 4
a new teacher.
only on a song is fine if you're already a good singer, but
a good teacher will train you with specific exercises designed
to improve certain areas of your voice eg range, vocal tone,
evenness, breath control, vibrato, etc.
Hi, I'm a 13
year-old girl who has never had singing lessons. I
sang in a local choir for two months (I had to quit
because of expense), and have been in my school's
choir for two years. I am about to start taking lessons
from my choir teacher, who was previously an opera
singer and has been in a few broadway plays. Recently,
she told me that I sing "nasally". From my research
on the internet, everyone uses their nasal cavaties
to sing, right? I am under the impression that singing
"nasally" is always bad. I don't consider myself a
great singer, but I know I'm not bad, either. How
can I tell if I'm singing too nasally? Thanx.
Sierra Vista USA
does use their nasal cavities to sing, but a nasally voice
results when the tongue is too high in the mouth or the soft
palate too low. A
good singing teacher shouldn't just tell you that you sing
nasally - she or he should also give you guidance to fix it!
remove the nasal tone practice singing open vowels like 'Ah'
or 'Oh' like you are yawning or pretending that your mouth
is a big vacuum cleaner! Shine a torch into the back of your
mouth when you're practising these vowels and you'll see the
difference between a beautiful tone and a nasal one. If you
can't see into the back of your mouth it also means your jaw
needs to be relaxed and dropped a bit more. On the other hand
singing nasally isn't always bad. Many RnB singers use a more
nasal tone than pop or rock singers, as do native singers
from France, India, Asia and the Middle East.
stars questioned over talent.
On your site, you have a question asking at what age
it is advisable to begin singing. You say "as young
as six". Just so you know, singing lessons before
the age of 14 are practically useless-- your voice
is still changing. Plus, your vocal chords are too
immature and easily damaged before the age of 14.
It may be sooner for some, but the average age is
13-15. I have verified this fact with several vocal
teachers, and did not begin my own training until
I was 15.
R. Wyckoff, USA
are correct when you say that your voice is still changing
as a teenager - yes the whole vocal apparatus is still growing,
However, singing lessons before the age of fourteen are certainly
not "practically useless". Just ask Michael
Aled Jones (boy soprano now operatic baritone), Tina Arena
and Mariah Carey. I
am well aware that the vocal cords are immature and still
developing, along with the rest of the body. However should
we also stop children from playing, dancing and doing sport
because the body is still developing and easily damaged? Of
course not! Most children often vocalize loudly ie screaming,
for extended periods of time with no apparent damage to the
great majority of young children love to sing, and VoicePower
lessons for young children are far less serious and formatted
than singing lessons designed for adults. Children's VoicePower
lessons involve fun and educational voice/speech exercises,
nursery rhymes, acting, movement, percussion and improvisation.
And it's the children who love performing the most at the
Dreamquest Talent Shows!
Based on a growing body of research, music education
at an early age conveys four great benefits - success in society,
success in school, success in developing intelligence and
success in life. Further info is available at the Music Education
Facts and Figures site http://www.menc.org/information/advocate/facts.html
case of the vanishing falsetto.
I've been a professional singer for 12 years performing
solo on average 4 nights a week for 3 1/2 hrs per
night. I've always had a strong falsetto when doing
Bee Gees, or female vocal songs in a parody. It has
been deteriorating over the past few months and now
can hardly get any falsetto at all. I saw a specialist
and he said there were no problems with my vocal strings.
My falsetto is a big part of my show and I'm wondering
what to do? I thought it was from overwork and just
got back from 3 weeks holiday. During that time I
was trying to do easy practice to get it back. It
hasn't. I'm having to push more air through to get
the notes and can't perform a whole song like that.
only other thing I could think of is that a smaller
PA I bought is making me push harder cos' I can't
hear certain frequencies as well. Is falsetto the
1st part of your range to go? Do singing teachers
know enough about falsetto for men? I'm 37. Do your
vocal strings thicken as you get older? My range is
Bass Baritone or lyrical baritone. Having to sing
rock and pop with this vocal range has always been
difficult. I've also lost about 3 tones from my chest
voice. Can you give me some advice? Thanks
B.G. Leichhardt, Australia
believe the answer to your problem could be either one or
a combination of three things. Firstly, even though you have
been singing for many years, you don't mention voice lessons.
It is very easy for faults to creep into vocal technique,
even with accomplished singers. These little faults then multiply
to such an extent that they may cause major vocal problems
or even disorders such as vocal nodes or oedema.
Just as top sports people work with coaches, it is important
that working vocalists receive some sort of coaching - even
if it's only once a month. I say this because many of my voice
rehabilitation clients were working vocalists with heavy schedules
before their voices deteriorated. All of them were either
untrained or hadn't had lessons in years. In this instance
their vocal problems were troublesome to eliminate due to
The second reason your voice could have deteriorated may relate
to your new PA. The eminent French ear, nose and throat specialist
Dr Alfred Tomatis, proved that "The voice contains only
what the ear hears." Therefore if certain frequencies
are missing from what you hear when you perform, especially
the higher overtones, your voice will immediately deteriorate.
Tomatis also discovered that "If the lost frequencies
are restored to the hearing they will automatically be restored
to the voice." If singing through a better PA doesn't
restore your voice, then your problem may relate to a deterioration
of hearing. (Ringing in the ears after a gig is a sign that
hearing is being damaged.) Faulty hearing and tinnitus may
be remedied with sound therapy.
Hormones could also be the third reason behind your voice
deterioration. As men age, production of testosterone decreases,
which usually results in the voice losing both power and depth.
(Vocal cords are receptor sites for sex hormones in both men
and women.) Androgen deficiency in men and andropause (male
menopause) may be determined by a series of blood tests. Your
doctor could then advise on appropriate HRT if needed. Further
information is available from this link http://www.antiaging.com/cyberhealth/CyberHealth_11.htm
to opera easier than you think.
wondered how is it that your method of voice training
- VoicePower - enables one to transcend through opera
to pop singing quality without sacrificing the singing
technique and voice quality from opera to pop??? Normally
if an opera singer sings pop, they sound too operatic.
And if a pop/modern singer sings opera, they don't
sound operatic enough. Does VoicePower have the ability
to let the same singer sing really like the correct
natural voice quality in any music gene (eg.operatic
in the classical/opera music) whenever he/she wants
without much difficulty???
experimenting with the placement of vocal sound in the various
resonators of the body, students of VoicePower discover the
difference between opera and pop singing, and all the shades
in between as well! Though
it is rare to find any student who wishes to master their
instrument in the genres of both pop AND opera, all
students are introduced to both styles and eventually come
to the conclusion that pop singing is a compromise of the
vocal apparatus. A
compromise because pop singing involves less of the body's
most efficient resonator the pharynx. This is not to say I
am against pop singing - far from it! In fact I love mixing
both pop and opera styles into individual songs (just like
Russell Watson) as I feel it adds greater dimension to my
For students who wish to master both pop and opera singing
the study is arduous but ultimately very rewarding. One of
the exercises involves singing the same vocalise three times
in the style of pop, 'popera' or musical theatre, then operatically.
When a student masters this exercise they often sound like
three different singers!
fears laid to rest.
I want to know if is it better to have singing lessons
in a group or to have private lessons?
M.N. Brampton, Canada
all depends on your age, budget and how far you wish to develop
as a singer. I
take on many students who have previously tried to learn singing
in large group lessons. Much of my initial work with them
is to undo bad singing habits that have developed or have
gone unnoticed in the group classes. As no two voices are
the same it makes sense to work with a teacher who will use
exercises specifically designed for your vocal range, voice
type and developmental issues.
the other hand, group singing lessons are a fantastic way
to learn how to sing harmonies, improvise and develop confidence
in front of other people. In fact our grading qualifcations
for singing specify minimum attendance in group class attendance.
Children also prefer the stimulation of group classes. It's
essential however that you join a group class appropriate
to your level of voice development. I have heard stories of
talented professional singers - one of them an international
performer - being placed in group classes alongside beginners.
for shy singer.
am only 12 but want to be a singer, i'm very shy and
don't like to sing in front of people can u help
M.M. Narangbe, Australia
about every performer in the world feels some sort of anxiety
before they have to sing publicly. This
includes the big stars! You'll probably find that your shyness
disappears the more you keep training your voice. Working
with a singing teacher or coach will also help you develop
your vocal instrument and your ability as a performer. When
you feel ready, try singing a song in front of a few friends
or family members. You might feel a bit nervous at first but
after you've actually done it you'll feel a huge sense of
achievement. With more performances you'll gradually realise
how exciting and exhilirating it is to share your talent with
has my voice gone?
I saw that you have some questions posted and would
like to know if you could answer one for me. I have
never had any professional voice training. I always
have sung since I was a child. I was complimented
on my voice and range. Recently when I go to sing
nothing comes out. My voice is almost locked?? I will
apply more force but still no voice comes out any
more....I thought maybe it was a cold or winter flu
thing but it has been 6 months now? Have I ruined
my voice somehow??! Is their anything I can do or
M.D. Concord, USA
say your voice is locked but can you still speak? If you can
then it sounds like your singing problem is tension related.
When we hold our breath or are about to lift a heavy object
our vocal cords close together. To vibrate the cords as in
singing or speaking a small stream of air needs to be pushed
through the cords. It sounds like you are applying excessive
force to close your vocal cords instead of using your abdominal
and lower back muscles to push out the necessary flow of air.
I recommend trying some primal sounds to get your singing
voice back. Try a big sigh or yawn on 'Ah', then try a surprised
sound on 'Oh'. Gradually lengthen these sounds, keeping your
throat relaxed and you should be singing again in no time.