Source: The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles
“Since belief is all important, it behooves you to guard your thoughts; and as your beliefs will be shaped to a very great extent by the things you observe and think about, it is important that you should command your attention.
And here the will comes into use; for it is by your will that you determine upon what things your attention shall be fixed.
If you want to become rich, you must not make a study of poverty.
Things are not brought into being by thinking about their opposites. Health is never to be attained by studying disease and thinking about disease; righteousness is not to be promoted by studying sin and thinking about sin; and no one ever got rich by studying poverty and thinking about poverty.
Medicine as a science of disease has increased disease; religion as a science of sin has promoted sin, and economics as a study of poverty will fill the world Do not talk about poverty; do not investigate it, or concern yourself with it.
Never mind what its causes are; you have nothing to do with them. What concerns you is the cure.”
“Do not spend your time in charitable work, or charity movements; all charity only tends to perpetuate the wretchedness it aims to eradicate.
I do not say that you should be hard hearted or unkind, and refuse to hear the cry of need; but you must not try to eradicate poverty in any of the conventional ways. Put poverty behind you, and put all that pertains to it behind you, and “make good.”
And you cannot hold the mental image which is to make you rich if you fill your mind with pictures of poverty.
Do not read books or papers which give circumstantial accounts of the wretchedness of the tenement dwellers, of the horrors of child labor, and so on. Do not read anything which fills your mind with gloomy images of want and suffering.
You cannot help the poor in the least by knowing about these things; and the wide-spread knowledge of them does not tend at all to do away with poverty.”
“What tends to do away with poverty is not the getting of pictures of poverty into your mind, but getting pictures of wealth into the minds of the poor.
You are not deserting the poor in their misery when you refuse to allow your mind to be filled with pictures of that misery.
Poverty can be done away with, not by increasing the number of well to do people who think about poverty, but by increasing the number of poor people who purpose with faith to get rich.”
The poor do not need charity; they need inspiration.
Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two; but inspiration will cause them to rise out of their misery.
If you want to help the poor, demonstrate to them that they can become rich; prove it by getting rich yourself.
People must be taught to become rich by creation, not by competition. Every man who becomes rich by competition throws down behind him the ladder by which he rises, and keeps others down; but every man who gets rich by creation opens a way for thousands to follow him, and inspires them to do so.
You are not showing hardness of heart or an unfeeling disposition when you refuse to pity poverty, see poverty, read about poverty, or think or talk about it, or to listen to those who do talk about it.
Use your will power to keep your mind OFF the subject of poverty, and to keep it fixed with faith and purpose ON the vision of what you want.”
I’ve been inspired by recent news stories of children who are working to make a difference in the world, committed to projects much bigger than themselves. There’s Malala Yousufzai, the young advocate for girls’ education in Pakistan; Craig Kielburger, who advocates for the abolishment of child labor; and Ryan Hreljac, who raises money to build wells in developing countries. The list goes on and on.
But there’s a flip side to these stories. Research suggests that some young people in the United States are actually becoming more self-absorbed and less connected to others.
A recent study that examined the empathy levels of almost 14,000 university students between 1979 and 2009 found that students have become dramatically less empathic over the years, particularly since 2000.
In addition, narcissism, which correlates negatively with empathy, is on the rise amongst university-aged students. Narcissists, by definition, are extremely self-focused and tend to see other people in terms of their usefulness rather than true friendship—not exactly a recipe for empathy.
What’s more, a 2006 survey showed that 81 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds think getting rich is an important goal, and 64 percent think it’s the most important goal. Sadly, only 30 percent believe that helping others in need is important.
While these studies focused on university students and young adults, the findings suggest that somewhere in their earlier development, they weren’t cultivating the skills needed to connect with others.
So how can teachers help students avoid the joyless path of self-absorption and instead cultivate a life in which they feel part of something larger than themselves—one of the keys to a meaningful life?
There are, of course, many strong programs that have been designed to help students develop empathy and positive relationships.
But new research suggests another way: awe.
Very little is known about the experience of awe; however, several new studies, many conducted by the GGSC’s Dacher Keltner, have shown awe to be a potentially powerful positive emotion that might just help our students develop empathy.
Here’s how it works:
When we see a grand vista in nature such as Victoria Falls, or experience an inspiring work of art such as Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” or Michelangelo’s Pieta, or ponder the phenomenal inner strength of a great soul like Gandhi who non-violently led India to independence, we often feel two things: 1) a sense of vastness that gives us 2) a new perspective on the world and our place in it. This is awe.
Dacher’s lab has found that awe makes us feel very small and like we’re in the presence of something greater than ourselves. We also may lose awareness of our “self” and feel more connected to the world around us.
Imagine the potential of this life-changing emotion for students—and, in particular, for our hyper-self-focused teens! Since adolescence is a crucial period for identity-formation, some researchers have suggested that adolescence is a particularly important time to experience awe—it could help them see themselves as deeply connected to the world around them, not the center of it. Inducing the uplifting experience of awe could also be a positive way to keep narcissism in check.
While scientists haven’t yet examined if this temporary loss of self-focus directly impacts empathy levels, they do know that awe makes people feel less impatient and more inclined to volunteer their time to help others—strong evidence that it makes them feel more connected and committed to something bigger than themselves.
So can teachers actually create awe-inducing experiences for their students?
Absolutely! In an experiment to see if awe could be elicited, Dacher and his team had one group of university students look at a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and another group look down a long hallway. On a follow-up survey, the only difference between the groups was that members of the T-Rex group felt like they were part of a larger whole—a defining feature of awe.
It’s probably not too difficult to imagine something that might induce awe in teens, or kids of any age; I’ve named a few examples above. Stories of exceptional modern-day figures such as Nelson Mandela (consider his ability to forgive) or pictures of the universe such as the birth of a star may be engaging and effective—especially if you find the subject matter to be awe-inspiring. Many teachers already bring content like this into the classroom, and this research on awe validates that approach and suggests it should be tried with more frequency and focus.
Here are two important points to remember if you want to expose your students to awe-filled experiences:
1) Not all students will get it. Dacher has found that some people are more prone to awe than others—usually the ones who are comfortable changing how they see the world. So, if you’ve got some students who seem immovable, don’t fret. If nothing else, they’re still learning about “awesome” art, music, nature, and people.
2) Help students process what they’ve experienced. Awe requires what psychologist Jean Piaget called “accommodation”—the process of changing our mental models to incorporate something to which we’ve recently been exposed. Discussing and writing about experiences of awe will help students understand and process at a deeper level what they’ve just felt.
Awe is not a term heard very often in schools, but its potential is vast. Think of the enthusiasm and wonder and joy that awe-filled experiences could bring to our students—experiences that could not only help them out of the narcissistic funk of adolescence, but also put them on a path to a life lived in compassionate connection with others. Awesome!
This article is printed here with permission. It originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC). Based at UC Berkeley, the GGSC studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.
his week we are going to take a brief look at the importance for you and your band to be an active member in today’s social networks, as well as some basic brand marketing tips for your band.
In our current society we are constantly glued to our tech devices and continuously downloading massive amounts of data through both our personal computers and mobile devices. In fact, over 488 million people use Facebook over a one month span with numbers growing everyday. With evidence like this it is no wonder that it is so important for artists to “put themselves out there”. Gone are the days of searching the Yellow Pages for a phone number, or buying a map to plot a course for vacation. These tasks and more are easily and efficiently carried out over the internet.
So what are some of these social networks, and which ones do I need?
An all-too-popular answer is: “all of them!” And though I don’t think this is necessary, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Remember, your goal when marketing your music will be to spread your band’s name and music as far as you can, and to everyone you can. The greatest benefit of social networking is the ability to reach millions of potential fans in mere moments, and at little to no cost to you.
Some of the most popular and beneficial social networks used today:
- Facebook – Ask just about anyone these days, and its pretty likely they have a Facebook account. One of the most popular social networks with over 488+ million users monthly, and over 42 million “Pages”, literally everyone is on Facebook. Though there is a large amount of speculation on whether or not Facebook will stand the test of time, it is clear that this social network will play a large and vital role in your bands social image. Recently Facebook has also added a hashtag (#) feature similar to Twitter which is certain to increase branding for those looking to market and advertise within the network.
- Twitter – The second most popular social networking site would definitely have to be Twitter. Intended for short bursts of information, it is a great way to reach your audience on a more personal level. Garnering attention through re-tweets is a great way to allow your fans to advertise for you by means of sharing stories with their respective followers. Offering incentives to your followers is a great way to get re-tweets flowing by encouraging fans to do the heavy lifting for you. Though not as popular as Facebook, Twitter still sees about 107 million US users, a great reason to get your band started.
- Youtube – Though Youtube isn’t exactly a “social network”, many of the features and abilities within the website create enormous potential to reach new audiences all over the world. Apart from having a massive collection of musicians and artists alike posting their work, Youtube has the benefit to post and catalog your music videos which you wish to showcase, as well as the ability to post content related to your brand and music such as concert announcements, backstage features, or video blogs.
- Google+ – Still fairly new to the social network game, Google started its social networking platform, Google+, in August 2007 and has been growing in users steadily since its opening. Though only about 8% of Americans older than the age of 12 have Google+ accounts, almost 48 percent of Fortune Global 100 companies are now on the new social site and growing in popularity. Fan communities are fond of the new “Circles” feature which allows users to organize groups with similar interests. Probably the most popular reason to have your band’s profile on Google+ is the ability to improve search results on Google’s parent search engine.
- Soundcloud – Easily known as one of the most popular free websites to host and stream music, since its opening Soundcloud has improved and offered many great features to help musicans and sound artists share their music. Not only can you stream your music here to your fans, your fans will be able to favorite, share and comment on tracks you post.
- Reverb Nation – Though decreasing popularity in recent months, Reverb Nation is still a popular place for musicians to host their music and share it with fans. Hosting a bokeh of different features and insight to help progress you and your band’s music, Reverb Nation can be a great place to host music and share tour dates with your fans. However, with Facebook’s new linking feature, artists can link their page to their Reverb Nation account quick and easily. By linking the two, artists can then easily share their new music on their page and direct fans to the rest of their catalog through the application.
- Myspace – Easily one of the least popular social networks today, Myspace used to be the biggest name of the block. Though not used much today, some analysts are predicting a comeback for Myspace with its revamped focus on music. In fact, this past SXSW saw the reemergence of the site as a competitor, with Justin Timberlake endorsing the new site. In order to get a chance at getting into his secret show during SX, eager fans had to create a new account on the site. Though a successful marketing ploy, I am still unconvinced of a Myspace re-emergence.
Ron Young the lead singer of Little Caesarposted this earlier this week and it hit me as a great inspirational post for all those musicians who think you need a label, a manager and big money to make it. In the 80s Little Caesar were signed to Geffen Records, that is the label mentioned below who would not give them the funds to get to Europe to perform at Donnington. Now they are a self-sustained and self-supported band… with the aid of a support team of people who believe in the band.
As Ron puts it, “…we have some amazing people that prop us up, inspire us, and bless us with their talent, energies and most priceless, their friendship!”
Do you have a team of people who you could say this about?
Go create a team of people who will help prop you up.
Little Caesar will be appearing at The Download Festival in Donnington Park, England on Sun Jun 16th…. over 60,000 people!! We are so excited!! But what strikes us most is a feeling of gratitude….20 years ago we were offered to play this same festival when it was called Monsters Of Rock. We had to turn it down because our label would not give us the funds to get there.
So today, with no label, or Manager or big money supporters…. we finally made it. We got there because we have some amazing people that prop us up, inspire us, and bless us with their talent, energies and most priceless, their friendship! People like Penny Rosen, Michael Brandvold, Alan Niven, Mitch Lafon, Bruce Witkin, Heather Harris, Scott Rowley, Dave Everley, Joey Malone, Ryan Dorn, Doug Dubin, Martin Jarvis, Manny Montana, Carmen Elekktra and Steve Waite, Jake Bradbury…to name a few.
They have helped us accomplish what we couldn’t do with a lot of powerful people behind us. What they all have in common is their passion for music and talent to bring music to others…. and Little Caesar and our fans are the beneficiaries of those talents.
When we hit that stage on Jun 16th…. you will all be there with us. Thanks to you all from the bottom of our hearts.
Mind, body and soul
It’s one thing having a great set of pipes, but learning how to perform on stage or in a recording studio requires a whole new skill set. Mary Hammond, Karen Rabinowitz and Dominic Alldis explain how it’s done
In this section you will learn about stagecraft: how to sing with a band, how to memorise lyrics, how to combat stagefright. The key throughout is to remember why you started in the first place: because you love singing. While there are many different tricks and techniques, there are few hard-and-fast rules. So once you have an understanding of the technical side of performing, it’s imperative you watch others perform, noting which elements you like and which you dislike. You can then try some of those things out in the company of friends and family.
Singing on stage
When you’re singing on stage, you’re not only combining language and music – you’ve also got to deal with spatial awareness and be aware of the people around you. There’s a lot going on, so watch the conductor if there is one. Enjoy the feeling of being on stage, look around you in rehearsals to get used to the size of the performance space and think how much energy you will need to fill that space. Ensure that the energy of a song is conveyed in your singing and not just in your dancing; thinking that the vigour of your movements will carry a song is a common trap to fall into.
People are sometimes frightened of overpreparing because they think the material will somehow get stale. But that shouldn’t be a worry. Every time you perform, it changes: the atmosphere in the room is different, the people watching you aren’t the same. By preparing as much as possible, you’ll have the ability to deal with anything that happens, you’ll have more confidence and you’ll enjoy it more. Being in a show is an exhilarating experience but it’s also a big responsibility: you want to feel reliable. On the other hand, overpractising, for instance singing the one note you’re worried about 30 times before you go on stage, is to be avoided; you’ll only wear yourself out. Instead, you should just slide through your range once, with that note included, to reassure yourself that you can do it.
To get the right sense of spontaneity to your performance, you have to be thinking of the next line at just the right moment. This thought about the next line is key; it should show you or your character having a new idea and, because of that, it is central to the way you’ll end up delivering the line. To see if you are thinking of the next line soon enough, walk around a room while singing, and change direction every time you have a new thought. If, by the time you’re changing direction, you’re already singing the line that made you change, you’re too late.
When a dancer is about to do a turn on stage, they do something called spotting: they will fix their eye on a spot so that they don’t get giddy. It’s an invisible part of their technique; you wouldn’t notice it from the audience. Similarly, you should identify the precise moments in a performance that you find difficult and focus on working out some specific techniques to overcome them. This will do wonders for your sense of security; you’ll walk out on stage and know you’ll be safe. For example, if you’re in a particularly strenuous scene, such as Kim and Ellen’s confrontation in Miss Saigon with its high-energy singing and belting, is it possible to lean against some part of the set, to help you to be aware of how you are using your back muscles?
Or, if you’re performing a Gilbert and Sullivan number or a big Frank Sinatra song and there’s a particular note that’s been worrying you, will holding the preceding vowel or emphasising a certain consonant help you through? You can leave these techniques behind when your confidence has improved and you’ve performed the piece a few times.
Singing in character
Your route into a character or song can come from many different sources – there’s no one right way. Imagine, for example, playing Little Red Riding Hood’s wolfish stalker in the musical Into the Woods. For inspiration, some actors would take a trip to the zoo, to find out how wolves behave. Others, who work from external factors, would need to find the very shoes or clothes that make the character real – the top hat, perhaps. Others like to work from the text itself, taking not only what the character says, but what others say about them, and deciding which parts speak truly. Of course, the music itself also tells you a huge amount about the character and the emotional path of the story.
When singing in musicals, you have to perform in a heightened manner in order to be able to launch from speech into song. You can’t speak at your normal level and then jump into song and expect it to be credible. In rehearsal, try muttering to yourself before your lines come up, so as to build up your energy levels before it’s time to speak. Then speak with more energy as you come up to a song. You’ll probably be speaking over a musical introduction, which will demand this energy anyway.
The old cliche is that you sing when speech isn’t enough, and on stage we have to believe that there’s a need, at a certain moment, to sing. Take the line from the musical Anyone Can Whistle: “Everybody says don’t walk on the grass/ Don’t disturb the peace/ Don’t skate on the ice/ But I say do.” What the character J Bowden Hapgood is singing is essentially “break the rules”. But, behind that sentiment, the actor should have a whole internal list of reasons for why he is singing this: because he’s lived life as a political dissident, because he sees the woman he’s singing to as stuck in her ways, because he fancies her too, because he genuinely wants this for her and because she probably could achieve it. All of that personal history and information about a character’s intentions should be in the performer’s head before singing the line “But I say do”.
The musical theatre actor should always ask six questions about their character:
• Where has this character been?
• What are they doing now?
• Where are they going?
• Are they working through a problem in the song?
• Do they come to any decisions?
• Who are they talking to – who is the song for?
• How do they physically reflect their state of mind?
When the actor can answer all of these questions, they will know why they’re saying every line. This “why” is the first step to embodying a character.
Remembering your lyrics
Remembering lyrics can be hard work, and each person responds to things differently, so it really depends on what works for you. Start by reading the lyrics out loud to yourself and then consider them both by themselves and with the music. In order to make them stick, you have to make your own detailed analysis of what the words mean. Avoid trying to memorise too much in one go; concentrate on one page at a time.
When you know the lyrics a bit better, a good idea is to walk around singing them so fast that you’ve got no time to think, so they become an automatic response. The music won’t let you stop and think while you’re performing, and there will be a whole lot of other things happening on stage that can make you forget what you’re doing. So repeat the lyrics while doing something else, such as throwing and catching a ball, walking round the supermarket, cooking or doing the dusting.
If you find that you’re forgetting certain parts of a song, work out which lines you tend to forget and look for some kind of pattern. It can be as simple as an alliteration, such as the two Ws in the line “When I am with you”, or a pattern of ideas, such as the similar sentiment of “on my own” and “all alone” in On My Own from Les Misérables: “On my own, pretending he’s beside me/ All alone I walk with him ’til morning.”
When people forget lyrics, the problem is nearly always that they haven’t been clear in their mind about the story they’re trying to tell. By making sure you know exactly what story you’re getting across, you can solve this problem. On stage you can also use your location as a physical prompt: when practising Joe Gillis’s song in Sunset Boulevard, the cast found it useful to have a different physical position on stage for each phrase, so the song was ingrained in their muscle memory and they could remember where they were.
Even once you’ve learned the lyrics and have been singing them over and over again, try to return to them from time to time to refresh your understanding of what they mean.
Stagefright is not something that only happens to beginners; it can and does happen to anyone, including some of the most experienced performers. For years they’ll happily perform in front of thousands of people, and then, one night, they’ll go out on stage and think to themselves: what am I doing here?
There are several techniques that can be used to combat stagefright, but most of them focus solely on getting through that very first line. Once that’s out of the way, everything tends to fall into place, so giving yourself something specific to do before singing your first note can work wonders.
Stress is often relieved by physical exercise, so stretch and run on the spot before you perform. If you suffer from a dry throat, which is a classic symptom of nerves, try gently biting your tongue to increase your saliva flow. Also, stagefright is a great hunger killer, but it is important to eat: go for complex, easily digestible carbohydrates such as rice or pasta.
If you’re singing a song by yourself, a good ploy is to use the opening line to raise a series of questions that will help distract you from the task at hand. So, using the Beatles’ A Day in the Life as an example, which begins with the line “I read the news today, oh boy”, imagine somebody asking you a question such as: “What did you do when you woke up this morning?” Now you’re answering a simple question, rather than singing an opening line, which should take away most of your nerves.
Remind yourself why you perform in the first place. Think about how good you can be, about how much pleasure you could be giving to others. Try to remember times when you received compliments for a performance that you gave. And of course there’s the old cliche of closing your eyes and imagining the audience in their underwear – it really can work!
If these techniques don’t work, you may consider visiting a hypnotherapist or psychotherapist, who are trained to deal with mental blockages. Stagefright is usually triggered by something we are able to control, but it can sometimes take a trained expert to identify what might have caused our uncertainty.
Singing with a band
There is nothing quite like singing with a band or orchestra. After having spent some time rehearsing with accompaniment, look for opportunities to meet other aspiring singers and band musicians. A good place to do this is at an open-mic session.
When singing with a band, you will have a wealth of musical activity going on around you, and you will have to communicate with all of the band members. The pianist’s attention will now be divided between supporting you and leading the band, but if you are lucky enough to perform with experienced players you should find them extremely adept at supporting your performance.
If you come in at the wrong place, your best bet is to keep singing and let the band find you. If you come in on the wrong note, you will have to make a quick decision whether to find your key or abort. Either way, trust in the band and take comfort in the fact that they will follow you. When you’re nervous, it’s easy to set a tempo that is too fast and you are then stuck with it for the rest of the song. Remember to take your time and only indicate your chosen tempo to the band when you’re ready.
If you accidentally drop the microphone, get feedback from the PA or your music crashes to the floor, don’t panic. Any experienced band will simply slip into solo mode, and give you a cue when to come back in.
If you’re singing with a jazz band, remember that each band member should be encouraged to take a solo from time to time. When they do this, step aside but maintain eye contact and listen attentively to whoever is taking a solo. Remember that even when you are not singing, you are still part of the show.
Endings are tricky, though any experienced band will find a convincing way to end a song, even if you do not! One familiar ending is called a “turnaround”. This means the last phrase is repeated three times to signify the end of the song.
If you are lucky enough to sing with an orchestra or big band, this new sound may be overwhelming. Your own performance may not be very different to singing with a small band, but be aware that the orchestra has very specific parts and the conductor will set the tempo and indicate when you should come in. When singing with an orchestra or jazz band behind you it will be especially important to get the volume levels correct during rehearsal so that you can hear yourself clearly while singing. It is extremely important that you can hear all the instruments that are accompanying you, particularly the rhythm section – piano, bass and drums.
Singing in a studio
Before you go into a studio, make sure you know exactly what you’re going to do. Studio time is expensive, so preparation is essential. If you do have to make a decision on the day, make it quickly – if it turns out to be wrong, so be it. The worst thing you can do is stand around dithering.
When doing a live recording you have to intensify everything. People won’t be able to see your face, so everything you’re communicating needs to come across in the sound. Flaws are exacerbated. Before your session, practise singing your material into any recording equipment you can get your hands on – you’ll be able hear if there’s a difference between what you think you’re singing and what you’re really singing. If there are flaws you can then identify them and take steps to correct them.
A common mistake, especially when people are singing with a group, is to hang around for too long in the studio before actually getting to the vocal part, by which time the singer might be hungry, tired or have a dry throat. On the day of recording, try to avoid tea and coffee, as these will dehydrate you. Give yourself breaks; if you’ve been standing around all day and you’re just about to record, go for a walk or a gentle jog round the block. You need to get your whole body going – not just your voice. You should do a physical warm-up just as you would if you were singing live.
There’s usually very little resonance in the studio; it can be a pretty dead sound. Even if you’re singing something that really matters to you, it can be hard to stir the emotions when there’s nobody around. To counter this, imagine that you’re not confined to the booth, that you’re singing in front of an audience – and try to remember what the material means to you.
How to Perform Well On Stage
on the stage, you should have time to review the space and
get to know it. The last thing you want is to trip over a
wire or collapse on stairs because you’re not certain what it
2. Practice Incessantly – This goes without saying, but
you should be very organized with the material that you
could sing it in your sleep. There is no such thing as
over preparing when it bears on a live show.
3. Arrive Early and Map out Any Changes – If you were
on stage three days ago but haven’t witnessed the space since
then, get in there and review what to assume at show time.
Sometimes, chair placements, stage setups, or curtain
arrangements can change at the last minute.
4. Relax in Peace before the Performance – Locate the
green room and relax. If there is no green room, hide in
your car for a handful of minutes. Complete silence and time to
evaluate your space is highly recommended if you want to be
ready for what comes next.
5. Communicate with the Audience – When you get on stage,
the audience should be the central focus of everything you
do. Don’t go over their heads unless it’s the only thing
keeping you upright. Make eye contact, smile at them, and
feed off that energy.
6. Get along with Positive Energy in the Room – There will
always be a vibe during your performance. It’s tricky to
explain, but when you get on stage, you’ll feel it. When
things not work out, look for one person having a good time.
Give attention on that one positive point and feed off that energy.
7. Be Yourself – Finally, be yourself. This is the
end result of everything you’ve worked for. Don’t feel
like you should adjust your mannerisms or style to fit the
audience. Demonstrate them who you are and be certainty in your
abilities. Actual inner sureness will have a profound
impact on everyone listening.
Singing Tip #1: Breathing Correctly
Perform this quick test to see if you are breathing correctly:
Place your hand on your stomach and breathe. Do you feel your stomach move outwards? If your stomach moves outwards then this is good news; this is what people mean when they say “breathe from your diaphragm.” If your shoulders are rising up when you breathe in then that is a sign of poor breathing technique. your shoulders should NOT rise up when you breathe in. Your stomach SHOULD move outwards when you breathe in.
Stomach moving outwards when you breathe in = GOOD
Shoulders rising up when you breathe in = BAD
View more information about breathing for singing.
Breathing is important
but should always be simple!
Singing Tip #2: Eliminate a High Larynx
How to fix a high larynx:
To eliminate a high larynx and sing with a free and natural tone you must practice with exercises that work to disengage the outer muscles of the larynx as well as the muscles under the chin that are responsible for a strained vocal tone.
Learn how to eliminate strain and how to improve vocal tone quality.
A high larynx
causes vocal strain.
Singing Tip #3: The Secret “Ng”
One of the most effective vocal exercises!
Watch Jesse Nemitz of Singing Success explain how to perform this vocal exercise correctly to improve your singing voice. When performed correctly, the secret “ng” sound helps to prevent pulling up chest voice and shouting due to altered resonance patterns.
Singing Tip #4: Shift Vocal Registers
Singing Tip Shift Vocal RegistersThe key to vocal range increase is to learn how to shift through your vocal registers just like you would shift gears in your car. If you take your chest voice (lower range) too high then you will start to experience strain and you will “max out” before reaching the ceiling in your small vocal range as a result of incorrect vocal technique. That is why you must learn to shift into head voice to allow for a much easier transition into your upper range. When performed correctly, this shift in vocal registers will allow for an explosive vocal range increase, and best of all… effortless vocal range increase!
Learn more about shifting vocal registers to increase vocal range.
Improve Your Singing Voice
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Singing for the Stars: A Complete Program for Training Your Voice (Book & 2 CD’s)
by Seth Riggs
by Hollywood’s famous vocal trainer Seth Riggs
Singing Tip #5: Always Warm Up
Vocal Warm Up Singing TipWarming up your voice is one of the most overlooked singing tips. You can get so much more out of your vocal practice sessions if you warm up your voice. Warming up your voice allows you to ease your way into a vocal workout instead of just jumping straight into action. By starting light and right, a proper warm up session will also help you find your sweet spot before you begin your training for the day which is crucial!
Some recommended vocal warm ups include humming on a scale, lip rolls on a scale, and tongue trills on a scale. You are always told to warm up or stretch before engaging in any physical activities, and it should be the same for singing. Ease your way into your practice sessions.
Warm up your voice
to get the most out of practice.
Singing Tip #6: Learn To Use Vocal Resonance
Vocal Resonance Singing TipSo many unsuccessful singers believe that more muscle equals more power, and that is why they sing with such strain and constriction in their voice. More power comes from vocal resonance.
Vocal resonance is the amplification of the sound produced by your vocal cords. Properly used vocal resonance is what results in that powerful booming voice you hear from professional singers that can sing so powerfully but without any strain!
Being aware of resonance and using your knowledge of resonators to your advantage can result in beautiful vocal tone qualities such as the much desired commercial sounding mix voice.
Learn more about vocal resonance.
Using vocal resonance
will give you a bigger voice.
Singing Tip #7: Don’t Sing… Vocalize!
Tools to Build Your Voice
Vocalizing ToolsVocalizing is the idea of training your voice using exercises without actually singing a real song.
Most beginners want to immediately start singing their favorite songs, but you have to learn about your voice and how it works before you start singing songs. Vocalizing allows you to become familiar with your voice and acquire the tools necessary to put together a song for you to sing.
You have to learn how to use your voice before you sing, just like you have to learn how to use tools before you build a house, correct? Vocalizing will teach you how to use your voice just like you would learn how to use a tool. Before you build an entire house on your own, you must first learn how to swing a hammer, turn a wrench, use a saw, etc. Before you go and try to sing an artistically advanced song, you must first vocalize in order to learn the basic sounds, sensations, and coordinations of your voice that are used for singing with correct vocal technique.
You will get there soon, but be patient or else you will discourage yourself and cheat yourself out of something that you can learn how to do if you put your heart into it.
Vocalizing allows you to practice individual parts of your voice and then piece them all together to form a new singing voice.
Learn more about how vocalizing will make you a better singer.
Develop each part of your voice
before trying to sing songs.
Singing Tip #8: Record Yourself
Singing Tip Record YourselfThis is one of the easiest vocal tips because all you have to do is push a button on a personal recorder and record yourself singing. The advantage of recording yourself singing is the fact that sometimes it can be MUCH easier for you to hear what you are doing wrong when you listen to a recording of your voice being played back to you. It can be much harder to tell what you are doing wrong as you are singing since you are sometimes thrown off by the way you sound to yourself inside your head.
You can also listen to yourself over and over again which allows you to really focus on what you are doing incorrectly. This can be a major advantage in diagnosing your problems, so get an inexpensive handheld personal recorder and listen to yourself the way others hear you. This will be a huge help!
Singing Tip #9: Start Light and Right
sing light vocal tipStart light and right, then add power later.
ATTENTION: If you try to sing with power right off the bat then you are more likely to NEVER learn how to sing without strain!
I can’t stress this point enough. I never saw much improvement in my own voice until I toned things down a couple notches and sang lightly. Singing lightly allowed me to be more aware of the precise and delicate coordinations used for singing. By trying to sing powerfully at first I was just repeating the same bad habits over and over again and my strain was not going away. Then when I started light and right, I was able to start adding in the power later. You absolutely must learn the foundation of proper vocal technique before you start trying to sing with power. Starting light and right will help you discover correct vocal technique.
It worked for me, it can work for you too!
Start light and right
then add power later!
Singing Tip #10: Absolutely NEVER Give Up!
never stop singing tipI was so frustrated with my “bad voice” that I almost gave up before I discovered my true and natural singing voice. I can personally guarantee you that all of the hard work and potential frustration will be well worth the time spent once you finally discover what your voice is capable of sounding like. I started to believe that singing just wasn’t for me and I was ready to give up, but luckily I kept trying and eventually I did it… I went from bad-to-good!
A bad singer can become a good singer!
Singing is a skill that can be developed!
Anybody can learn how to sing good, so don’t you dare give up. You just need to learn the correct vocal coordinations and then master them. It is like learning how to play a new instrument.
Stop Keeping Score. Happiness is the True Measure of Success.
Too many people try to numerically measure success. Most of these numbers relate to wealth, age, intelligence, and seniority. The problem with trying to numerically calculate success is that it doesn’t account for personal feelings, thoughts, and general happiness. That which makes one person happy does not necessarily make everyone happy. Thus, the qualities that make one person successful do not automatically represent a universal measure for success.
As tragic as it is, you must keep in mind that some of the most famous, wealthy intellects fall victim to addictions and suicide. Why? Because even though these folks possess numerous quantifiable elements that society typically uses to measure success, nobody can accurately estimate how they truly feel about their personal lives.
Take away all the excess minutiae. You cannot be successful if you are unhappy, and happiness cannot be measured in numbers. It is impossible keep an accurate score of success when the game is based on personal feelings and beliefs. The key is to realize that success is multidimensional. Just because someone is visibly successful at something they do, does not always mean that they are successful in life as a whole.
To be truly successful you must never suck it up to being unhappy for extensive periods of time. Life is just too short for that kind of sacrifice.