It’s time to visualize your ideal vocal life –says Jaime Babbitt
First off, HI, EVERYBODY! I’m looking forward to hanging with you this month and yakking about different topics…like this one!
FYI, to clarify: I don’t mean, “What do you sound like?” I mean, “How do you want to spend your life…while building your career?”
(Yes, you might become a pop star or an “Idol” or “X Factor” winner. Then you’ll sing, make money and have a fabulous time…but what if that isn’t what happens? Not that you shouldn’t go for it, though!!)
Who We Are
We singers are: bar-band singers, singer/songwriters playing colleges/house concerts, church singers, wedding/corporate event singers, cruise ship singers, children’s music singers and session singers.
We are background singers, demo singers, stunt singers (who sing while the musicians track if the artist isn’t there) and ghost singers (who sing in place of–or along with–recording artists and aren’t credited), with different and specific sets of skills.
Who We Might Want to Be
Get quiet and visualize YOU living your ideal singing life. See it in your mind’s eye. Meditate on it.
Get a pen & paper (or computer-ish thing) and start writing down your answers to these questions (remember, writing things down is a great way to set your intentions):
- Is performing your thing or do you prefer studio singing? Are you a folkie, an R&B diva, a rocker, or a total chameleon?
- Is training involved? Are you prepared to take voice and/or Pro Tools lessons or attend classes?
- Are you a songwriter or do you just want to sing?
- Do you want to be rich? Famous? Would you be happy making a very comfortable living, or do you just want to make enough to get by?
- Do you want to tour or stay put?
Can you live where you are now or must you move? Where to? In the US, we’ve got New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Nashville…but how about Toronto, Tokyo or Barcelona? Do you love beaches? Skiing? Growing vegetables? Rock climbing? This all adds up to having a happy life, y’know!
Remember, there are no right answers, only right now answers; you can always make changes if things aren’t feeling right.
Still, discovering your preferences, strengths and weaknesses will dictate the path you choose
…and choose you must, because the act of choosing is a vote of confidence in your abilities!
So start thinking about who YOU are and…keep singing!
My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids
Tori Campbell – “Day Old Hate” by City and Colour (Cover)
I LOVE LOVE LOVE your voice: powerful, mellifluous, crystal-clear…and full of personality! Truth be told (don’t be mad): I didn’t like this song for you–at least not this arrangement (Your Ed Sheeran cover, however, was awesome!). If you continue to explore this one, I’d make the vocals more dynamic from start to finish (starting really quietly and building later, perhaps). Also, I’d stick to the original tempo…and practice with a metronome to avoid speed-ups/slow-downs . FYI: make sure your guitar is in tune—it was a bit ‘out’ here.
Bradly Akeman – “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” by The Script (Cover)
I’m speechless. I got nothing. You KILLED that song. It’s dead! Give me a minute. Okay. You accomplished your intention: sounding like Bradly, not like dude from The Script.. Congratulations–this is a HUGE accomplishment! One tiny non-deal-breaker suggestion: when going for the 2nd “I’m not mo-VIN’…”, going into your falsetto: I wouldn’t put too much of a ‘HA’ in front of the word “I’m”…lots of air can escape that way, sometimes leaving singers a bit out of support by the end of a phrase. But believe me, you sound outrageous regardless of my two cents!
Hadassah Johnson – “Invincible” (Cover)
I love your sound, style AND vibe, girl! I wanted to hear more–next time, give us the whole song! Your head voice is wispy, fragile…very endearing. Keep finding more shades and colors, okay? Try lower notes, sing louder (without straining!), go more whispery…explore! Also: practice guitar and vocals separately (or concentrate on one and then the other); working on vocals without guitar to distract you (and vice versa) can make for stronger performances in both areas. Try it for a few weeks, then try playing and singing TOGETHER—bet you’ll notice a difference!
Jaime Babbitt is an-in demand voice teacher/vocal coach, session singer and performer who started as a Musical Director for Disney Records. Believing that no two singers are alike, Jaime assesses each client, providing personalized vocal tips and techniques relevant to their specific material for real-world application. Check out her book, Working with Your Voice.