This month’s vocal coach is a vocal producer with award-winning artists and top production teams.
She’s also been winner of the ACM “New Female Vocalist” award and Billboard Magazine’s “Top Country Female”. If that wasn’t enough, she is a top session singer on decades of hits as well as a songwriter and staff jingle singer.
We bring you Judy Rodman – and have given her only a sentence to answer each of our questions!
Weirdest thing to happen in a performance?
Performing outside in Kansas in the middle of locust season and the grasshoppers were so thick I had to inhale through my nose so I wouldn’t breathe in a bug.
Worst singing advice you ever heard?
Keep your face still!
Where most singers mess up with vocal health?
Lack of sleep – especially with touring professionals.
I get a good night’s sleep, warm up with my own vocal exercises, hit a couple of Italian art songs, drink water like a fish, hot bath, sing my hardest song before leaving the house.
What you’d never leave home without?
A water bottle or a plan to get one!
A deep and abiding fear of laryngitis!
A favorite nerves remedy?
Rehearsal… till my cords are in shape and I know the material backwards!
The perfect live mic for you?
The thing I find that matters isn’t so much the mic… it’s the soundperson!
The perfect recording mic for you?
I love a Telefunken C-12, but there many others that I’ve gotten a great sound on… so I do a mic shootout with what’s available.
Bad thing to say to a sound engineer?
Your monitors suck!
Good thing to say to a sound engineer?
I need [exactly what].. in the monitors… yeah, great, thanks!
A secret good luck charm for travelling/performing?
My old grey backpack… it really frees my hands and arms and evens out stress on my shoulders.
My old vocal coach Gerald Arthur – my damaged voice recovered so well under his brilliant care that I had a hit recording career!
The creators of rigged contests (names withheld to protect the guilty).
Your biggest performance blunder?
I sang my highest song once transposed a whole step up because I forgot I’d hit that “T” button on my keyboard.
Currently Sara Bareilles’ “Between the Lines: Live at the Fillmore”
Best advice someone ever gave you about performing?
Sing every performance no matter how many are in the audience like the most important person you could sing for is there ~Sarah Cannon.
Top recording tip?
Use active hands, face and body language in the vocal booth to enable breath support, open throat and freedom of expression.
What’s different about a vocalist vocation today compared to 20 years ago?
Today’s sound and recording equipment, capable of correcting (or over-correcting) pitch, rhythm and tone, have changed what the audience’s ear expects – so live vocal ability is more important than ever.
Favorite quote about singing?
“A friend is someone who knows the song in my heart and sings it back to me when I have forgotten.”
Your life philosophy in 10 words?
To live according to these priorities… 1. spiritual, 2. relational, 3. physical, 4. creative.
The perfect day?
Devotional with coffee, hang out with husband, drink fruit smoothie, exercise, give vocal lessons, warm my own voice up, take hot bath, eat salmon dinner, perform full band show to S.O. and get back in time for Letterman.
If you’re signed up to VoiceCouncil’s Peer-Review, you’ll be receiving unique Insight from Judy Rodman for the next 4 weeks (these are your 4 articles) You can sign up now.
My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids
Eric Bolton – “The Girl” by City and Colour (Cover)
Eric, great playing! You have that smooth tenor tone that can do Bolton material justice. Tweaks for you: Focus on performing as singer first instead of guitarist – your hands know what they’re doing, trust them! Sit flexibly taller, head over tailbone instead of guitar. Sense your power coming from lower… pelvic floor, not chest. Use more face… loosen frozen jaw, open mouth, communicate with eyes! Lastly, talk TO the lyric-specified heart, not your guitar. You have more vocal potential than you know!
Andrew Ferris – “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz (Cover)
Good song for you! Love the dynamics of your performance. Great that you’re not looking at your guitar, but unfreezing and communicating more with your eyes will free up your emotional delivery even more. You need better breath control to eliminate range limitations and strain. Move your head back, centered over your tailbone. This should widen your ribcage and stretch your diaphragm, enabling it to control your voice much better. You’ll find high notes and vocal licks easier. You have an artist’s heart to draw from!
Judy Rodman is an award-winning vocal coach, session singer, recording artist, songwriter, producer. Creator of “Power, Path and Performance” vocal training, named “Best Vocal Coach” by NashvilleMusicPros.com, she trains singers and speakers nationally and internationally. Judy authored PPP vocal training courses, “Singing In The Studio”, “Vocal Production Workshop”.