Push past the limits you’ve put on your voice by strengthening your instrument –says Jenn Bostic
I hate to admit it, but in college, I used to sing four-hour cover gigs without warming up.
What was I thinking?
The voice is a muscle that needs to be warmed up, stretched and rested.
I’ve become aware of the relationship between my running schedule and the way I should treat my voice.
I ran my first half marathon last April, and had a very specific training program.
The week would start with short runs, finish with a long run, and included about 2 rest days.
If I had gotten up that April morning and ran 13.1 miles without any training I could have seriously hurt myself.
Work It Out
Thomas Jefferson said it best, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
Warming up the vocal cords allows us to push past the limits we’ve put on our voice to strengthen our instrument.
If there’s a note or tone quality you’re struggling with, disciplined practice can help you achieve it.
Don’t wait until the big gig to warm up your voice, make it part of your daily routine.
When I wrote “Not Yet,” it was out of my range. I was stretching to hit the high notes.
After a lot of hard work with my vocal coach, Jeff Mathena, I can now sing it with ease.
However, I had to stretch past my comfort zone and work patiently until it became effortless.
Never lose the hunger to learn and become better at doing what you love.
You can discover new things about your voice that you never realized you could do just by experimentation.
Having a vocal coach can give you a fresh spin on what you’re practicing alone in your bedroom.
I started taking voice lessons again about a year ago after a few years of absence and it was the best decision I could have made.
I wasn’t challenging myself the way an outsider does, and it has pushed me to work so much harder.
Warming up can save you from painful, frustrating and expensive damage to your vocal cords. So bring on lip rolls!
It has been an honor and a privilege to be your vocal coach in residence for the month of September.
Thank you so much for coming along with me on this journey.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on facebook and twitter.
My final piece of advice: “Never, never, never give up.”
My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids
Amber – “Beach Blonde” by This Century (Cover)
Amber, you have a really pretty voice, well done on your cover of Bleach Blonde. I would have loved to see you experiment with dynamics, possibly starting your verses softer and giving the song a chance to grow into the chorus. This song is so fun and has some really cool rhythms, I’d also love to see you connect to the lyric emotionally, and become a bit more playful with your voice. I think it would create an even more captivating performance. Great job!
Austin Jones – “The Tallest Man on Earth” by The Wild Hunt (Cover)
Austin, I loved your performance, and I was shocked to hear that raspy, deep voice! You did an amazing job with The Tallest Man on Earth. I love that way you use your falsetto in only a few areas, it kept an element of surprise throughout the song, waiting for it to come back after the first time I heard it. The one technical thing I would suggest is to enunciate a bit more, as I had trouble understanding the words at times. Your voice has so much emotion in it, I would also like to see a little more of that sin your facial expressions. Incredible job, good luck with your music!
Kaj Frilund – “Long May You Run” by Neil Young (Cover)
Kaj, great performance of Long May You Run! The clarity in your voice is classic, and you have a great use of diction. I really appreciate your musicianship, the harmonica and guitar combination works great with your voice. The only thing I might suggest is to experiment with dynamics a little more, giving the song a chance to grow. I really enjoyed this!
Jenn Bostic is an award-winning singer songwriter hitting the top of the iTunes charts. She has just completed a North American tour, with sold-out shows at the Hotel Café in L.A. and Rockwood Music Hall in N.Y. Jenn’s albums “Change” and “Keep Lookin’ for Love”, as well as single releases, are available for purchase at www.jennbostic.com