11 Elements of Success

11 Elements of Success

Luck is great when it comes – in the meantime, invest in these actions – says Jeannie Deva.

Frank Sinatra said:

People often remark that I’m pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.

I’ve worked with some of the best.

And I’ve also tried to help some singers who, while talented, lacked the personal attributes needed to rise to the top.

From my over 38 years of experience in the entertainment industry, I’ve created a list of “successful actions” taken by successful singers.

This list is not complete, but embraces the most important actions. You may find them to be common sense. Well, sometimes we all need a gentle reminder.

  • 1. Technical expertise

    Develop your technical expertise so you have the ability to express yourself the way you intend. (Vocal technique should not limit but support your communication: the gateway to your freedom of expression.)

  • 2. Self-improvement

    Strive for continued self-improvement: Do not rest on past achievements.

  • 3. Keep learning

    Strive to learn at least one new thing a day.

  • 4. Ask for help

    Ask for help and be willing to commit to the process not just the daydream.

  • 5. Be professional

    Approach life with a “professional attitude.” Strive to achieve your best in everything you do.

  • 6. Choose songs carefully

    Choose your song material carefully: believe in each song you sing. (If you don’t, your audience won’t.)

  • 7. Connect

    As a result of #6, use the song to connect with and create an emotional effect on your audience.

  • 8. Like people

    If you don’t like them, they won’t like you. Use your performance to reach out and connect with people: Make a difference in their lives.

  • 9. “Hold” the stage

    Own your performance space; be interested in and embrace your audience = Charisma. (Your live show must be able to engage your audience from beginning to end by your mere presence and connection/interest in your audience.)

  • 10. Stand up for what you believe in

    Don’t settle for low grade, mediocre products.

  • 11. Invest in your career

    Only bring onto your “dream team” those who have a proven track record of success.

What Does It Take?

To become a truly excellent singer and performer and stand out from the crowd, it takes determination, courage, commitment and discipline.

And even so, putting in the work can keep it fun.

My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids

Danielle Fink Danielle Fink – “The Chain” (Cover)

You have a lovely vocal quality – which got better and steadier as you got into the song – the kind of female vocal quality that Disney likes using in their films, by the way. This was a great song choice for you as it complemented your voice and your voice complemented the song – choosing the right song is more than half the battle. My suggestions for improvement: Your breathing frequently interrupted your phrases which was distracting and made it a bit difficult to follow the story line of the song. Practice breathing into your back (which is where the largest part of your lungs reside); Let your back open with your inhale. Also practice saying each phrase – the complete thought as in each complete sentence of the song – as If you were actually speaking the lyrics of the song as a communication to someone – so that you can find places to breathe without interrupting yourself. Then practice singing it that way. You have the talent, continue cultivating it.

Michael Hoffman Michael Hoffman – “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen (Cover)

Wow! Your passionate performance made this very exciting. Fantastic! You have an excellent vocal instrument. Some work in a few areas will give you mastery: On the words that ended with an “o” vowel such as “know” and “go” you exaggerated your lip closure. This caused your voice to go from full to nasal and a bit blocked: it also causes the muscles in the back of your mouth to tighten, pulls down your soft palate (the back roof of your mouth) and this blocks your voice. Practice singing those lines and words letting your lips remain relaxed – you can still create that vowel sound without the lips which will permit a full and consistent sound. On occasion you tighten the back of your tongue whilst sustaining a vowel this also robs you of vocal tone consistency and resonance. The back of the tongue may move naturally at times but should never tighten. At 2:40 – the bridge and final chorus – your performance got particularly exciting. Bravo!

David Bonin David Bonin – “Forever” (Original)

Hi David – lovely to receive an original song! Thanks for sharing it. Your guitar accompaniment was nicely done and helped to convey the mood. In hopes that you would like some pointers to improve your vocals, here they are: When a singer tightens their lips, which occurs in over pronunciation of words, muscular constriction in the throat is the result. The sounds of your voice come from the vowels sounds, not the consonants. I noticed you were “working” your articulation during which this exaggeration of lip positions was the result. Let your word pronunciations become more natural – like when you speak comfortably to someone. Without speaking with you, I don’t know what sound you’re going for in this song or in general with your voice. If you want to have more tone and reduce a slight strain in your voice and as well have an easier time singing in general, consider that your sound comes from the vibration of your vocal folds (housed in the front of your throat just behind your Adam’s apple), NOT from pushing out air. Instead of “singing on an exhale,” think of sustaining vowels or singing vowel to vowel. This will help.


Jeannie Deva Pic cr. Bob McClenahan www.Bobmcclenahan.com

Jeannie Deva is an International Vocalist, Grammy member, Celebrity Voice and Performance Coach, Author of voice enhancement books and CDs, and a Recording Studio Vocal Specialist endorsed by Producers and Engineers for Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones. Originator of The Deva Method®, Complete Technique for Stage and Studio™ her unique method is used by singers and teachers worldwide.

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