Ukulele 4 Christmas!

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 11.39.32 PMI’m running a very special offer right now!

Get this starter ukulele with soft case and goodies when you register for 3 months of ukulele or voice lessons. Just say “Ukulele 4 Christmas!”
Good for local and Skype/iOS or other remote platforms. 

Learning to play the ukulele is fun and fast. Learn to play your favorite cover songs in just a few lessons.

 

The ukulele is perfect for little hands too! Ages 9 and up.

Promo ends December 25th!  Contact me for more information. 

 

Holiday Lesson Packages

Holiday discounts are on!  It’s been a while since my last post.. well, a really long while, so to show my appreciation to you for following me I’m posting a discount to help make your season bright.

Check out my IN PERSON LESSONS at TakeLessons.com’s.

TODAY only, save 20% on any new lesson package with me when you book with code CHEER20. This sale ends at midnight, so don’t wait. Visit my page and start doing what you love this season!

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 8.06.59 AM

Or, if you’re not local you can purchase lessons for yourself or buy a gift certificate for someone on your list for LIVE ONLINE LESSONS at my brand new Savvy.is page and give someone a gift that will help them reach their musical goals.

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 8.50.17 AM

 

And.. as an added bonus I also offer songwriting, acoustic guitar and ukulele lessons in both venues.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

Pitch . . . Then and Now

The music business today isn’t what it used to be in the 50s and 60s. In those days there were two kinds of performers. The singers with smooth velvety voices like Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald or Frank Sinatra to name a few.  On the other side of the vinyl record lables were the Motown singers like the Shirelles and the Marveletts, or the early folk singers such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie, who’s talent was often raw.   Many of these performers sang off pitch and had unpolished voices.  These were, after all, the voice of the people.  They were right out of the crowd folks who stood out in an industry that was just getting started.  Many of these singers didn’t have the training available to singers today and the general audiences were ok with that.

Today, technology in studio and in live production is very advanced and can make a huge difference in what the audience hears.  For example, if a singer goes off pitch the production team can send their voice through a pitch correcting device, autotune, and the audience is oblivious to the poor pitch issues of the performer.  Just do a search on youtube and you’ll find plenty of videos of pros getting caught with bad technique.  If the audience knew the truth it might not change the popularity of the performer but it would change how the audience listened.

On the other hand there are some performers that should use autotune to save their audience the agony of listening to their seriously pitchy performances.  Some people have no idea they are off pitch and would benefit greatly from singing lessons.

I believe technology like autotune can be fun when used as the special effect it was designed for.   It’s also quite acceptable when used in the recording studio to sweeten the production if pitch is an issue but too many singers rely on the technology to correct their bad technique.

It’s important for the singer to have taken the time to study pitch control through ear and vocal training. For that reason I work diligently with my clients to help them with pitch accuracy.  Then when they hit the studio or get in front of an audience they will have confidence their voice will be right on target and their audience will hear the naturally tuned voice they expected to hear instead of an electronic representation.

Putting it all together ~

It’s not unusual for my voice students to become interested in learning to play an instrument, especially the guitar or ukulele.  Why not? If you can sing and play then you can take your “backup band” wherever you go!

Learning to sing is a great challenge for many but learning to add to that an instrument is a whole new experience.  It takes some time to learn the coordinations of right hand and left hand and to add singing to that.

I’m so very proud of my students that pursue playing and singing.  They work hard and are consistent with their lessons and for that reason they progress and become not only great singers but great musicians too and as a result they gain a greater appreciation for music as a whole and a passion for music that lasts a lifetime.

I encourage and teach sight singing/reading, guitar and ukulele chords, tablature and music theory basics especially for those students who are considering music as a profession.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.59.46 AM

Instrument rentals available!

NEW YEAR SPECIAL!!

Happy New Year, singers! I’m celebrating the new year with a Buy One-Get One Special!

Did your voice go on vacation during the holidays? Maybe it’s time for a 10 week tune-up in the studio! Or do you have a loved one who wants singing lessons? Buy one 10 week package and another get 10 weeks 1/2 off.

Special starts January 6th and goes all month. Contact me for details.

1503886_426194714195072_1422294597267871332_n

Back to School Special!!

What about a Back To School Special on lessons? Message me with the code HSGLEE and get 15% off your next lesson or 15% off 1 month paid lessons.
Refer a friend and receive 30% off your next lesson for every friend that registers for a monthly contract.
And remember: New students get a free intro lesson.

I also teach basics for acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele and piano. Tell a friend! Offer ends 9/31/14Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 11.03.05 PM

For the sake of Zion I will not be silent!

“For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name. You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God. You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the LORD delights in you, And your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:1-5, NKJV

SurrenderedCover

Full length CD ~ Surrendered

 

Find my music on:

CDbaby

iTunes

When Is Enough, Enough?

How do you handle interruptions like ringing cellphones or chatty people at a gig or concert? And, when is a good time to let your audience know you care about delivering the best “show” possible? How about this…?
“At a concert in Gothenburg Concert Hall October 23, 2013, Christian Zacharias stopped playing in the middle of Haydn’s Piano Concerto, interrupted by a cell phone ringing for the second time the same concert. He also shares his views on disturbed concerts.”

The whole concert will be published at http://www.gsoplay.com in November 2013.

Taking singing lessons isn’t just about recitals and karaoke….

So proud to sing along side these two beautiful voices this morning. This was their first opportunity to sing together and they did great! Their blend is a bit uncanny and I can see some good stuff happening with the three of us.

I’ve enjoyed teaching Mary (center) and Suzette (far left) and being part of their vocal journey.  It brings great pleasure to watch your students grow their gifts and use them for others.

Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 7.16.04 PM
There are some real opportunities to use your singing talent in more ways than recitals and karaoke!… And if you aren’t the “put on a show” type and you are part of a church perhaps singing as a worship vocalist is where your voice belongs.  The value of this kind of singing may far exceed your expectations! And, if you aren’t sure your voice is “ready” then there’s not better time than now to begin your own vocal journey.  Who knows where your talent will take you.   Sing On!

Having trouble blending vocals? Here’s a reblog from 2008.. Sing On!

The Voice Box

picture-2.png

I’ve always been attracted to musicians who could really sing together, blending their voices until you couldn’t distinguish between them as they sang as one before the Lord. Musicians like Shane and Shane for instance.

Have you ever listened to a worship team and wondered who the lead vocalist was because they were all “leading” and all the singers stood out in the crowd? How about this, have you heard a team and couldn’t figure out which one was singing which part because they all sang “together” so well? Which would you rather listen to? Which one do you think represents worshippers who worship as one voice? (II Chronicles 5)

When we sing lead we use all our expression or all our tone to express the song in a way that others will “feel” the song. For back-up vocalist it’s a different story. If we are all trying…

View original post 104 more words

This week in The Studio

Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week

Jaw and tongue tension can wreak havoc on a vocalist’s endurance during a performance not to mention, make singing difficult and exhausting while limiting one’s full vocal potential. But if you can’t identify and isolate the offending muscles then you won’t gain control. No control – no vocal freedom.

Try these exercises to get started identifying and isolating tension in your jaw and tongue in order to get in the best position during singing.

  • Gently drop your jaw down and back while opening your mouth as if to say, “ahhh.”

tongue tension

  • Then move your tongue out of your mouth and drape it over your lower lip while keeping it flat and very relaxed.  Hold it there for several seconds while singing a comfortable scale with the “ahhh” sound. Be sure to keep it resting very still but not tight.  The tongue should feel relaxed from tip to root except for the least amount of effort it takes to keep it extended and over the lower lip.

tongue tension 2

  • Last, retract your relaxed tongue and place it flat, just touching behind the lower front teeth.  Repeat the “ahhh” sound on a comfortable scale.  Again, the tongue is kept relaxed and still with no tension.

Do this exercise through a series of scales from chest voice to head voice noting whenever there is tension until you can sing through your range with no tension.

For jaw tension try this ..
Jaw tension

  • Find the joints located just in front of your ears, place your fingertips just by and in front of your ears on both sides of your face and open your mouth. The space that opens up as your jawbone moves is your temporal mandibular joint. Massage these joints using your fingertips or the palms of your hands. Release your jaw further and massage deeper as you exhale.

Do these exercises a few minutes at the beginning of your daily vocal exercise routine and watch that tension begin to melt away.

Tips for Better Barre Chords

One way to get those chord progressions to sound fabulous is by making sure you are optimizing your hand position. Here’s a video that teaches you some quick tips for making barre chords ring true.

Elmore Music has some great videos that can get you playing in no time. Check out their 6 Free Beginning Lessons and have a look around their site for more great guitar playing instruction.

So if a guitar player starts to play one of these hit songs, what enables other people to figure out which song it is before the singing starts?

Strumming!

A song like Sweet Home Alabama for instance, is just plain old D, C and G chords…

But it is the WAY those chords are played that makes that iconic song instantly recognizable by anyone in the room.

Strumming makes a HUGE difference.  Check out this video for more instruction on strumming.

Using the iPad on your Vocal Journey

Did you know that most people, when trained, can learn to sing really well? To be one of them, you need two things: 1. vocal training, 2. a good sense of pitch. The Erol Singers Studio app gives you not only world-class voice lessons to develop your voice, but also instant visual feedback on your pitch during the lessons, so you also develop an accurate sense of pitch. It’s a complete voice and ear training program that comes with dozens of voice lessons that were designed by an award winning singer and vocal coach to help you learn about your voice and become a better singer.

During practice, target notes and your actual pitch are simultaneously displayed onscreen, so you can actually see and correct any pitch problems before they become habits.

The app comes with 36 unique voice lessons ranging from beginner to advanced, each individually crafted to build a specific skill, each with detailed instructions and audio examples for both males and females so you know exactly what to do.

All the essentials you will need are already included, and you don’t need to make any additional purchases to get all the benefits. With regular use of the app, your breathing, tone, range, and vocal flexibility will improve, and you will sound better singing your favorite songs.

See how fun it can be to develop your voice and be able to sing songs you never could before!Erol Singer’s Studio is not only the most beginner-friendly voice training app on the market, but with its support for standard sheet music notation, accurate pitch analysis, and exercises for all levels of singers, it is also the most powerful one for more advanced singers.

“Certainly the best App for singers in the App Store! … A Killer App!”
– Apps4iDevices

“This is a near perfect system. I am thrilled with the scope and effectiveness of this app. … I’ll be sharing this with many others.”
– Forum comment on Vocal Health section of the User’s Manual

How I use the Erol Singers Studio App
BEGINNERS:

  • Listen to you to detect vocal range, and customize the lessons to a comfortable range for the students voice type. I use this feature from the first lesson; it makes the notes much easier to sing, which helps the student to focus on learning.
  • Shows when the student sings the right notes and help them sing on pitch
  • Teaches correct singing techniques that are widely used around the world
  • Allows practice that encourages the students that may be shy about singing in front of others.

INTERMEDIATE SINGERS:

  • Helps students identify and focus on parts of their range where have problems
  • Increases range and tracks progress
  • Improves the quality of their tone
  • Helps smooth vocal breaks
  • Improves musical ear

ADVANCED SINGERS:

  • Provides effective warmup/cooldown exercises
  • Keeps the voice in top shape with a thorough voice exercise program
  • Improves sight singing when following the music notation instead of the note bubbles
  • (Optional) See the “Ear Training for Singers” package mentioned below

AS A TEACHER:
– I’m not much of a piano player so scales and arpeggios take some concentration. This app gives me some great exercises I can use with my students so I get to focus on the student
– Helps my new students see when they’re flat

I hope you check it out. The price is right at $14.95 on iTunes. Erol Singers Studio is a serious tool that’s fun. The app that will truly improve your singing. It comes with 36 lessons included (covering beginner to advanced), with an option to buy more exercises such as the “Ear Training for Singers” bundle that includes an additional set of 60 exercises for scales, intervals, and arpeggios that will greatly expand your musicianship.