How to fix weak singing voice? Your journey to a powerful singing voice can be easier. This video will help you get there faster.
Hi, I’m Chuck Gilmore, International Vocal Coach and Founder of Power to Sing and the Second Nature Singing System.
In this video you will learn:
A process to develop a powerful singing voice
Simple steps to speed up your learning
How to demonstrate control of your power by singing from soft to loud and loud to soft
I’m going to share with you my most disappointing private vocal lesson with Seth Riggs where I messed up big time…I’ll let you listen to the part where he lays into me…gently.
I’m also going to share an excerpt from a break-though lesson when I stumbled into greater power in my voice.
To do that, it will help you to know a little bit of my backstory. This will help YOU get more power and control in YOUR voice sooner than I did.
15 years. I think it took me 15 years before I started getting real power in my voice. Not yelled power, but a strong, healthy, quality power in my voice..that I could control and that was consistent.
In high school, singing was my whole life. Literally. I was in concert choir and madrigals everyday for 3 years. And when I wasn’t in the classroom, I was in rehearsals and gigs for madrigals and school musicals. My senior year we sang everywhere raising money for our upcoming madrigal three week tour of Europe.
In college I was a music major and sang everyday in the Brigham Young University Oratorio Choir.
But, instead of growing in singing confidence and ability, mine was declining. I experienced a major fail during a church solo performance at Christmas and as a result, I did not sing another solo for 24 years.
I gave up singing and performing and changed my college major. After leaving music, I never found a course of study I was excited about. For years afterward I longed to be singing and performing on stage again.
In 1996 I attended a vocal workshop featuring Seth Riggs, the vocal coach of Michael Jackson and many other famous singers and actors. After attending his workshop, I began studying with one of his associate teachers. Because of Seth’s amazing technique I experienced dramatic improvement in my voice. My vocal range increased over an octave and, for the first time in my life, I developed vibrato.
In 1997 I went to Los Angeles and took some lessons from Seth. Over the next 13 years I listened to Seth’s cassette tapes, took private singing lessons from Seth and his associate teachers, and in 2008 began certifying as a Seth’s Riggs Speech Level Singing instructor.
My whole life changed because I gained more confidence in my singing voice. I started auditioning and performing in musical theater again.
But I was still not fully confident with my voice because I lacked the ability to control my voice. When I sang loud, it sometimes felt like I was yelling and straining. It felt uncomfortable and scary, like it might break or crack.
When I played different characters in theater, my voice would get very tired at the end of the night. Sometimes I was a little hoarse.
In January of 2011, I traveled to Los Angeles to take an in-person lesson from Seth. During the first 30 minutes of my lesson when I did the exercises, I was brilliant. Then I sang a song. Within the first few measures I could feel myself struggling…like I was straining on some of the notes.
When I finished, Seth said, “I don’t know who’s letting you do that.” Listen to the recording.
Alright, now, I’ve written these things down. Thank you. When you say, “Laaaav”…hear the difference? LUV….your jaw drop is sometimes too much. I don’t know who lets you do that.
I was a 2nd year teacher and I felt bad I wasn’t more impressive during the song. He helped me fix my problems and when we finished, I asked him to autograph his book for me. I had my book with me because I was hoping he would comment in writing on how great I was. Instead, he told me the truth.
Here’s what he wrote in my copy of his book “Singing For The Stars”.
“You’re doing a great job. Careful on the application, it could knock your excellent scale work.”
I was disappointed. I resolved that this vocal problem of yelling in order to sound strong in songs, would be fixed by the time I did my next lesson with Seth.
Here’s how I fixed it. First, I took lessons regularly with a Seth Riggs master teacher who is also a friend and mentor to me.
During one of my lessons I experienced something new. It was something I hadn’t experienced before. I asked him, what happened. I knew I felt something different and better, but I didn’t know what.
Mum, mum, mum…You got it….way to go, buddy…..there you go!…Yes, sir. “What happened, there? I felt it, I don’t even know what happened. “You finally let go of that extra squeeze that you had on the cord structure and then the rest of the cord structure kicked in. You notice there’s a deeper quality now”.
I didn’t really understand what he meant by “deeper quality”. I thought he meant my voice sounded deeper.
But what he was saying was the vocal cords were adducting deeper from top to bottom in the horizontal view, and the result was a fuller component of sound on each note, all because I let go of the extra squeeze or tension which had been my lifelong habit of singing.
This should have instantly changed me…but it didn’t. It took another 2-3 months of consistent practice with my recorded lesson. I listened to it daily trying to hear the difference in my voice on the recording.
Then I recorded myself practicing the way I thought I sang it on the recording, trying to recreate the same condition in my voice. I also listened to the recording of my practice sessions to hear if I was doing it the same way I had done in my lesson. Eventually I was able to reproduce the feeling and the sound at will, when I wanted it.
I figured out a process for finding that feeling and sound in my voice so I could do it whenever I wanted to.
- The first step is to eliminate all vocal tension by producing a non-squeezed, non-reached head voice tone.
- Secondly, in the next instant…as soon as I produce a released tone, or in other words, a tone without tension or effort, I lean down on the feeling of release. By “lean down” I mean I instantly crescendo the effortless tone without letting the vowel spread wide.
That “lean down” is sometimes referred to as “pressing down into the sound” and weak singing. I can’t do that still, unless I let go of the extra squeeze of tension.
Anyone can get louder. But it’s wrong if you spread the vowel like this. Do it that way and you are just yelling. It’s also called pulling chest voice and the larynx comes up. You are not building power in your voice, nor are you building better control and confidence. You’re just building the bad habit of pulling your chest voice with a high larynx.
You now know more about building power and control in your voice than I did and you know how to go about doing it right in your own voice.
Like learning to swim, you can read about it or watch it, but you must do it in your voice and experience it yourself to really learn it. That’s when you start to feel and hear it. And like swimming, you will progress faster with the help of a singing coach who can do it and teach you to do it.
There’s an important bonus skill that you get when you learn this, which I’ll show you in a second.
But first, graduates of the Second Nature Singing System will recognize this as a major feature of Pillar #2, Strategic Songs, where you learn to develop power in your voice while singing songs.
Here’s the bonus skill: This process of building power and control in your voice also enables you to sing from soft to loud and loud to soft (and vice versa) easily like this.
The power you get in your voice is truly amazing, but the control and confidence you get is even better!
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- Today you learned a process to develop a powerful voice and fix weak singing voice. You learned that developing a powerful singing voice is a journey and process you must experience. Seek out great teachers who can help you discover it in your voice. It took me 15 years. Now you can be faster than me.
- You learned a simple way to speed up your learning by listening to your recorded lessons, practicing with them, recording your practice sessions and listening to them. Be sure to analyze if you are doing it right and correct it. This will take time.
- You also learned to demonstrate your control and power by singing from soft to loud and loud to soft. This also helps you build more control and power in your voice.
I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. For you, singing can be second nature.