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Vocal Coach in Residence August: Mark Baxter

Vocal Coach in Residence August: Mark Baxter

Not only has he sung over 3,000 gigs and worked as a coach with the likes of Journey, Aerosmith and other legends…

Not only has he created publishing landmarks with The Rock-N-Roll Singer’s Survival Manual and his latest offerings…

Mark Baxter has personally coached thousands of singers in his many studios – so we’re tickled to have him with VoiceCouncil this month!

Quickest way to hurt your voice
Sing like an idiot.

Best way to a healthy voice
Don’t sing like an idiot!

Define ‘Idiot Singing’ in one sentence.
When you continue to sing in any manor that triggers warning signals from your body (tickles, pains, chokes and tensions).

An unforgettable vocal performance you witnessed
Stevie Wonder (Madison Square Garden, NYC)

What made it so?
The tears streaming down my face.

What do you think is at the heart of Stevie Wonder’s Vocal Magic?

Best advice you’ve heard on dealing with nerves
Realize that it means you’re excited – that’s a GOOD thing!

Is “X-factor” a bad word?
It’s not really a word – it’s a phrase – and it’s bad because it’s a cowardly way to say someone is either connecting or not with their singing.

Best coaching experience in the past year
A student named his newborn son after me.

Is there anything all vocal coaches agree upon?
That they have the best job in the world!

If an alien landed in front of you and asked you to define singing – what would you say?
“Expressing an emotional state in a musical way.” Then I would run like hell!

The final result is ALL that matters – not the process it took to achieve itBest advice about tech you ever received?
It works for you – not the other way around.

What should a vocalist know about tech beyond their mic?
Learn what frequencies are dominant and lacking in your voice.

Did you have a career setback that turned out not to be a setback?
Yes – every single one of them!

Bad thing to say to your backing band
“You guys are MY backing band.” (Unless you’re Madonna, Katie, Beyoncé or anyone else going by one name)

Good thing to say to your backing band.
“You guys are on fire tonight!” (Unless they’re not!)

Most important thing to know about singing in the studio
The final result is ALL that matters – not the process it took to achieve it.

One way a singer can find their unique voice?
Stop singing cover songs and spend more time on vocal exercises.

Quote about singing that inspires you
We talk about important things – but sing about the things we can’t live without.

If you’re signed up to VoiceCouncil’s Peer-Review, you’ll be receiving unique coaching feedback from Mark for the next 4 weeks. You can sign up now.

Mark Baxter Professional Shoot

Mark Baxter has worked as a coach with Aerosmith, Journey, Goo Goo Dolls — and many others. He is the author of The Rock-n-Roll Singer’s Survival, creator of The Singer’s Toolbox instructional DVD, Sing Like an Idol instructional CD. Mark operates vocal studios in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and online via Skype.

You can see more of Mark’s work here.