On Being a GREAT Singer

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When you have sung professionally for nearly forty years, have been a vocal coach for 35 years, you’re exposed to a veritable many problems, all of which have begged or screamed for solutions.

As a student of the voice, music, arranging, composing, songwriting, etc. continues to be and will be continuously staring at the science and the art from the aforementioned. There have been debates in recent times as to whether it is possible and even prudent to “mix art with science”. In fact, one may well realize that the two are inseparable, for the reason that one cannot exist minus the other.

Acoustics, being the science of sound, has played an integral part in the development of better wind instruments. They’re better in sound quality and in playability. Just ask an authentic professional musician concerning the difference between the trumpets of the 40s and the ones today, such as the trumpets of Chris Botti, Wynton Marsalis, or Arturo Sandoval.


Acoustics as to voice is alive and well on many levels. The inside of the singer’s pharo-maxo-naso-laryngeal cavities is different from one singer to a new and all result in adding to the unique sound of each one singer. Inside are some variables including a unique shape and size in which will be the absorption, reflection, resonance, diffusion, and reverberation of sound. Many of these affect the tone quality, timbre, sound level, projection, along with the overtones of the sound which is emitted.

We could say we can ignore doing this because we are “just singing” and that’s true to an extent. Definitely we should instead ignore specific things even as we perform because the distraction will diminish our performance in a variety of ways. When the problem arises of an singer attempting to sound or sing a certain way which is contrary to the natural “equipment” of the singer, a solution or solutions could possibly be addressed and explored. Science may hold some recommendations for the solutions.

For years anatomy, medicine, and physics were largely ignored by singing teachers and vocal coaches. People’s tongues, teeth, lips as well as the interior resonating chambers are as individual as a fingerprint. How do you think you can identify the uniqueness of your speaking voice or even a singing voice? These 4 elements all play a part. Singers will have a tendency to work for or contrary to the natural equipment they may be born with. Like a vocal coach that has studied the variables as listed above, I can assist in seeking the natural road of least resistance to a person’s own unique sound. This is one area where it isn’t nice to try to fool mother nature. And this is not to say that things cannot be manipulated, such as doing character voices, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. Incorrectly may lead to vocal injury.

Singing can be a hearing art. The crowd hears the art however the singer hears a lot more. After years of singing, a lot of things transcend mere thought and occur by using an intuitive level. To get to this level, organic beef learn several things at the profound level in the process.

Singing is musical. The top singers I have heard know music. They could or may not have in mind the nomenclature or the terminology of music, nonetheless they still know music. It’s purported that the great drummer Buddy Rich failed to read music. This has not been verified but I recommend searching for some clips you Tube and pay attention to his playing. Musicianship may be accomplished at a very high level without getting past musical illiteracy. I don’t know if Frank Sinatra could read or write music. Or even, that didn’t get in the way of his long career.

Musicianship is often a vast subject, when broken down into all the component parts, and so is a subject on its own. It will be noticeable in the results of hearing all of the components of music which include: rhythm, time, pitch, dynamics, tone, timbre, style, form, structure plus more. If we could at one time “download” this and the most what makes a great singer, I believe your head would explode because there is much more to this when compared with meets the superficial ear and eye. Musicianship is very large. There is no getting around the importance of it as a singer.

Acting may lead to being able to more easily perform like a singer but if the singer doesn’t move forward from acting, the performance will look like the singer can be a “fake”, or even worse, a liar. The emotions have to be freed up and express-able with appropriate degrees of intensity. Great singers perform to their audiences and are not a “parody of a singer”. Still there is the factor of “communication”. A great singer will make everyone in the audience sense that he or she is in the conversation, not only observing it. I felt this from your distance of perhaps 200 feet. The singer was, in reality, Frank Sinatra. People do not go to concerts to simply listen to a singer. They could do that on an I-pod or having a radio. Something else happens in a live performance and although lip synching sounds about the same, an almost magical phenomenon happens at a concert and it has everything to do with the live show. You cannot scientifically measure it nevertheless, you can definitely feel it, unless there’s wrong with you at some level.

The condition of mind of the singer could make or break the greatness of the singer. I saw two famous singers one New Year Eve in Sin city practically fall flat. What you know already that their integrity as professional artists and singers might have been sufficient to not get a new performance but they obviously failed to do their best that evening. It was disappointing, annoying, sad and even just funny to watch them make fools of themselves (compared to their usual numbers of performance). The disappointment was that the audience paid and also the performers were paid to complete. They did perform nonetheless they brought the effects of the argument to the stage together. I felt cheated. I felt that they betrayed the target audience. I had seen them more often than not before but not 1 time after that ridiculous and immature debacle of a show.

The overall physical health of a singer will impact the greatness of a singer. You can think of examples of this yourself. Tiredness, illness, or injury will all affect singing. I will be of the belief that you can find levels of health which can be above what is considered normal or healthy. There are optimal levels of health which, since we use our bodies to sing, will make subtle or even great variants our ability to “do our best”.

Talent and intelligence will get a new greatness of a singer because ability and intellect are the areas from which we draw for singing in a star quality professional echelon. We simply cannot pretend that these factors do not have anything to do with greatness. We cannot necessarily create this stuff of intelligence and talent whenever they do not appear to be present. We can easily work harder at developing other strengths and improving weaknesses, though. If an individual has a passion with an ability for singing, several things can be overcome but there might need to be compromises made concerning how and where singing is done.

Work which is carried out a diligent and educated manner will produce improvement provided that all other factors of greatness exist in the singer. Work done in a slipshod manner will produce no or little improvement. Work carried out in the presence of misinformation or false information regarding and of the factors of greatness will produce no results as well as bad results. Singers can, have, and definately will injure their voices or if not that, never ever reach their full potential.

On Being a GREAT Singer