VoiceCouncil will no longer be updated. Articles will still be available for some time.

NEW Vocal Coach in Residence: Mister Tim

He’s a man with many lives: vocalist, beat-boxer, composer, coach, live-looper, passionate advocate of original a cappella music and perhaps the only singer to have ever successfully pulled off heavy metal…a cappella.

And now, Mister Tim is your Vocal Coach in Residence for the next 8 weeks.

We’ve given Tim only one sentence to respond to each of the following questions…

Vocalists who inspire
Bobby McFerrin, Freddie Mercury, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Matthew Bellamy, Andrea Bocelli, Jimmy Rogers, Danny Kaye, “Weird” Al Yankovic, Peter Garrett … so many great singers to be inspired by!

Worst advice on singing that you’ve ever heard
That singing without vibrato would destroy my voice. Or, that I should try to sound exactly like a different singer. Or, that there is only ONE way to sing correctly.

Bad thing to say to a sound engineer:
“You’re doing it wrong. Also, your gear sucks.”

Good thing to say to a sound engineer:

A secret good luck charm for traveling/performing
I don’t believe in that kind of luck: if I’ve got the right pants on and I’ve had a good sound check, the show is going to work; if it doesn’t, it’s my fault, or the fault of circumstance, but LUCK has nothing to do with it.

Sleeping through my alarm clock and missing something important; losing one of my kids; forgetting one important wire for a vital gig (and it’s always only one wire, or one power cable…)

A favorite nerves remedy
Reminding myself that I LOVE doing this, and that I’m EXTREMELY FORTUNATE to be doing this, so I might as well ENJOY doing this!

The perfect mic for you
No such thing as a perfect mic. Lots of great ones out there. I currently favor the Shure Beta58 because it’s versatile: great solo/lead mic, great for singing a cappella bass, great for beatboxing, and I jump between those constantly.

My wife.

Big government.

Weirdest thing to happen in a performance
I’ve been singing professionally for ten years, most of that doing comedy music… weird things happen every night! Hecklers, hiccups, burps, shoes falling off, singers falling off the stage, calling audience members SIR when they are actually a MA’AM, daydreaming mid-performance and completely forgetting where I am or what I’m doing… I once threw up in my mouth mid-solo (a consequence of eating too much, too soon before a performance)… weird things are part of a performers life!

What drains your batteries?
Rehearsing with people who are unprepared, unqualified, or who are negative, critical, or selfish.

What charges them?
Gentle, powerful honesty and sincerity, in performance—or in life.

Your biggest performance blunder
I don’t have a ‘biggest,’ not because I don’t have blunders, but because I have MANY major blunders. That’s a performer’s life.

Where most singers mess up with vocal health
Spending so much time on “technique” that they don’t learn what their own body wants and needs. Technique is important, but discovering YOUR voice is VITAL.

Fav. Album
Completely unfair question. That’s like asking what my favorite food is (the answer, of course, is YES please and may I have a second helping?).

Best advice someone ever gave you about performing
The audience did not come to have a miserable time: they want me to succeed, not to fail. So just go succeed.

What you’d never leave home without.
A Sharpie marker and Gaffer’s Tape

Top recording tip
You make a recording to make a great recording, NOT to (necessarily) reproduce what you do live.

Your life philosophy in 10 words or less
The world does not need more mediocre crap.

Favorite quote about singing
God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If you’re signed up to VoiceCouncil’s Peer-Review, you’ll be receiving unique coaching feed-back from Tim for the next 8 weeks.

You can sign up now

Useful Links

Star Wars: Revenge of The Vocalists

Singing Naked


Mister Tim on YouTube

More About Mister Tim…

Mister Tim is the mastermind behind more than a dozen award-winning a cappella groups, including 2010 Harmony Sweepstakes champions Plumbers of Rome, internet sensations moosebutter, beatbox quartet Mouth Beats, and all-original vocal bands VoxBom and THROAT. He is a published composer and arranger, a dedicated teacher, and a solo artist, most recently with his solo vocal live looping show “Vocal Magic.” He was a headline performer in the Las Vegas Strip production of “Toxic Audio,” is in demand for speciality corporate music projects, and is an active educator, coach, and clinician. mistertimdotcom.com