New Entertainment

Why sing?

Posted By singingcoach 1 day 8 hours ago on Music - For many of us, we don’t even know why we sing - we just know “it makes me
happy,” and that’s enough.  Scientific research backs this feeling up -
endorphins are released when we sing, and studies show that serotonin and
dopamine levels increase when we sing in a group.  Sign me up, please! But
guess what, there is more!

The Case for Drake: Why You Don’t Need to Be a Great Singer to Be a Superstar

Posted By singingcoach 2 days ago on Music - If you LOVE to sing, if you LOVE to perform, and you dream of “making it
big,” but you know you’re not the best singer out there….who cares?!  Now
more than ever, the days of needing to be an amazing singer to be a pop
star are over, at least for the time being.  Years of technical training -
not needed.  Perfect pitch - not needed.  Powerhouse vocals, huge ranges
and intricate runs - not needed.  So what do the biggest singers have

The Mighty Tiger in Chinese Culture, History, and Mythology

Posted By ScribblingGeek 2 days ago on Entertainment - The post The Mighty Tiger in Chinese Culture, History, and Mythology appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.
33 Chinese tiger facts to welcome the new Year of the Tiger 2022 with. Let’s all roar with tiger might and vitality in the new year!
The post The Mighty Tiger in Chinese Culture, History, and Mythology appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.

Strategies for Performance Anxiety

Posted By singingcoach 2 days ago on Music - You’re not alone if you feel anxious and nervous before performing in any capacity.  Performance anxiety affects 70% of the population worldwide.  Here are some strategies to manage your anxiety and have a great performance. Practice, Practice, PracticeKnow the songs inside out, practice them till you can perform them in your sleep.  Pay particular attention to the tricky spots.  Practice until you get through the tricky spots consistently.  If possible, do some practice performances in front of a “low-stakes audience,” - your parents, children, a close friend.  Being well-prepared is one of the best ways to boost confidence for a performance. Practice Making MistakesRemember, it’s human and okay to make mistakes.  What is your biggest fear when you think about performing?  Forgetting the words?  Voice cracking?  People booing at you?  Practice the song and mimic/imagine that worst case scenario happening.  Now imagine how you would work through it, and make it a graceful/victorious outcome.  For example, you “practice” your voice cracking, you don’t even show a reaction on your face, you keep going and end strong, smile and bow, and you imagine the audience cheering and smiling!  Ask yourself, if the worst thing happened, would the world stop turning? Practice shaking off your disaster, smiling and enjoying the rest of the day, and celebrating your courage for getting up in front of other people despite your fears!  Practice Connecting with the MusicAt some point, your practice sessions should go from nailing the technical aspects, memorization, and staging/performance techniques, to just feeling the music and being in the moment. Practice connecting to the song. That means just loving what you’re singing - loving the melody, the words, the rhythm, everything that makes that song great.  Get into the music, completely immerse yourself in it, and don’t worry about anything else. Dress for ConfidenceWear something you feel good in! Arrive Early and Be Warmed UpYou don’t need the stress of running late adding to your nerves.  Warm up your voice in the car or at the venue so that you can feel confident that your voice is ready to go.  If possible, warm up your body too, by taking a walk around the parking lot or doing some jumping jacks before getting on stage.  Moving your body can you help you release some nervous energy. Take Some Relaxation BreathsAs your time on stage approaches, take a few deep, grounding breaths.  Breathe in slowly (low, diaphragmatic breathing) for four counts, hold it for four counts, and breathe out slowly for four counts.   Stay in the MomentAs you wait for your performance, say “no thank you” to your brain’s attempts to swamp you with fear and doubt.  Consciously make an effort to “be present.”  If you have to mingle first, really listen and participate in the conversations.  If you’re watching other people perform first, don’t compare them with you - enjoy their music and send them good energy as you want the same when it’s your turn on stage.  If you’re backstage waiting, look around and be curious about everything going on. You can also take that time to give yourself an internal positive pep talk, “I’ve rehearsed a lot, I know the song. I trust my skills and abilities. Now my only job is to have fun with it and connect with the music.  I love music, I love this song, and I am grateful for the opportunity to create this unique musical moment in time.” Fake It till You Make It Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by the audience, or any individual in the audience, by putting them on a pedestal. This is where the well-known “picture them naked” or sitting on the toilet images comes into play - we’re all humans.  You got this. Walk on stage with confidence, introduce yourself with confidence, adjust the mic stand with confidence (practice this at home, too, so that you really can do it with confidence)…you get the idea.  You Are a VesselDon’t think of your performance as a moment where you have to prove how talented you are, or a moment where a whole bunch of people are judging you.  Try thinking of it this way:  This is an amazing/fun/beautiful piece of music, and I have been given this opportunity to be the vessel for this song, to share it with people.  I may not be the VERY BEST vessel on the planet to deliver this song, but I’m the one that’s going to do it, and I’ll do my best to immerse myself in the song, so that others can connect with what makes this song special. Reward Yourself, BabyPlan to give yourself a treat after the performance is complete, it can be something small like going out for a drink afterwards with the people who came to support you, or a little gift to yourself, maybe a tub of your favorite ice cream, that pair of earrings you’ve been lusting over for a while, or a massage the next day!  Remind yourself, this is a celebration of you being you, of you sharing your art, and of you conquering your fears.  This is not about celebrating how well you did - some performances will be better than others, so why measure it?  Enjoy what you’ve done and give yourself that proverbial pat on the back - you earned it!

2022 Yamaha Electone Arrangement 1: Da Di Hui Chun (大地回春)

Posted By ScribblingGeek 3 days ago on Entertainment - The post 2022 Yamaha Electone Arrangement 1: Da Di Hui Chun (大地回春) appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.
Electone sheet music and registrations for Da Di Hui Chun (大地回春), one of the most well-known Chinese New Year songs in East Asia.
The post 2022 Yamaha Electone Arrangement 1: Da Di Hui Chun (大地回春) appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.

3 Ways To Look Like an Amateur at Open Mic Before You Even Start Singing (and 3 Ways to Look Like a Pro)

Posted By singingcoach 3 days ago on Music - Don’t Have Your Accompaniment Track Pulled Up and Ready to GoEveryone wants their turn.  As time ticks on and everyone has to wait while you fiddle with your phone (“Wait, I just had it, where did it go?”), or spend more than a few seconds tuning your guitar, the nerves and the tension in the room builds…and is directed towards you!   The Pro Way: Respect your fellow singers by having your track cued up and tested before your turn.  If you are using a track on youtube, check to see if an ad is going to run first, and run the ad before you plug your phone into the sound system!  If you’re accompanying yourself, make sure your guitar is tuned up, your strap is tight, your capo is on, the batteries are fresh,  etc.  The longer you take to get to your actual performance, the more you will lose the interest of your audience, and you might not ever get them back. 2. Tap the Mic or Blow Into the Mic to Test If It’s On Classic amateur moves!  Just, why?!  You better hope the mic is NOT on when you try one of these, because you might cause ear-piercing feedback, which will surely be a great way to get the crowd skeptical about your performance skills.   The Pro Way: Simply start talking into the mic.  You can say, “check, 1, 2,” a few times, introduce yourself, or give a (very short) introduction of your song, like what made you write it or what your connection to the song is.  You will be able to hear when the sound is on (or the crowd will let you know, by shouting, “can’t hear you!”).  If you’re not hearing yourself, keep talking while checking to see if there is a power button on the mic or a cord is not plugged in.  Most likely, it will be up to the sound person to get your sound going, and they will see you’re ready to start and switch the volume on for you.  As soon as you hear the volume up, repeat anything you want to make sure they hear, and get to the song! 3. Ask For Help Adjusting the Mic Stand Needing help getting the mic stand adjusted to your height will make it very easy for the audience to see you’re new to this.  It will also give you a nice subconscious feeling of insecurity as you get ready to start your song. The Pro Way: Look confident from the moment you walk on stage by adjusting the stand yourself.  Study that mic stand as you wait your turn, watch how people adjust it when it’s their turn, and make note that there may be several adjustment points, depending on the type of stand it is.  Observe which point looks the easiest to adjust, and works the best.  This will be especially easy to do if you have a mic stand at home and you’ve practiced with it (over-preparing is extremely sexy, if you ask me :D).  Round base stands are the easiest to adjust, so consider buying a tripod boom stand which are commonly used on stage (you can get one for $20-$30) and get really familiar with the adjustment points.  While you’re at it, practice singing your song with your mic stand, getting familiar with reaching out and holding the stand in different ways as part of your performance — super pro preparation here!

To Close or Not to Close: The Relationship Between Your Eyes and the Audience

Posted By singingcoach 4 days ago on Music - Being a singing nerd, this a topic I love to seek out and discuss with other singing nerds because it’s a controversial topic, but it’s not the kind of controversial talk where you leave the conversation asking, “how can we ever be friends now that I know we have completely opposite views about this?”  :)A few years ago, I attended a live set by a well-known and adored (but previously unknown to me) indie singer/songwriter.  He had definite fans in the audience who cheered wildly after pretty much every song.  I immediately understood the allure of the artist - he had a distinct vocal tone, had written compelling songs, had a quirky, left of center personal style (ie wearing a trench coat), and in addition to his cool and contemporary vocal sound, he was an excellent guitar player.  However, I just wasn’t able to really connect, to become a new fan myself.  And the reason was because I never saw this artist’s eyes.  He kept them shut the ENTIRE set.  He would open them to say “thank you,” between songs, and then they’d disappear under his lids for the duration of each song in its entirety.  Usually performers are taught to keep their eyes open.  We’ll get to some of the reasons why in a minute.   But first, let’s examine some reasons why it’s GOOD to close your eyes:It helps you connect to the emotional content of the songIt can help overcome stage frightIt helps you focus on key moments in your vocal delivery (it’s a gut reaction for most of us to close our eyes for belted high notes, for example)It tends to be a natural means of expression, which is much more authentic and believable than, for example, hand gesturesOn the other hand, here are some very important reasons it’s BAD to close your eyes:We know what they say - the eyes are the windows to the soul.  When you shut your eyes, you create a barrier between your inner self and your audienceThis gives the audience the perfect opportunity to do anything else - check their texts, start chatting with their friends, get up and go to the bathroom - all of which mean you have lost their attentionShutting your eyes can give the audience the impression that you are nervous, whether it’s true or notClosing your eyes can be seen as performing selfishly - you’re connecting to the song deep inside yourself, but you’re not sharing that connection with the audience. Everything in Moderation As you can probably guess, the correct answer here is to close your eyes…but in moderation!  I recommend limiting the amount of time your eyes are closed to 40% of your performance maximum, whether that’s one song, or a full set.  And that’s being generous - 25-30% is probably the sweet spot.  In the case of a full set, that means you could actually close your eyes for the whole song for a few songs in a ten song set, if that’s what really works for you.  Choose and use those moments to really dig into the emotion, to calm your stage jitters, to focus in on nailing those killer high notes, and then let the audience back in, let them connect, let them feel your essence!   But if my eyes are open, I know people are watching me, yikes!!!Be authentic to yourself - if you find yourself losing the connection to the song when you keep your eyes open, do what you gotta do.  But start practicing performing with your eyes open.  This doesn’t mean you need to uncomfortably stare at people while they watch you.  For the most part, the best thing to do is to gaze out, slightly above their heads, to the back of the room.  Occasional glances directly at people, especially accompanied by a smile, may make people weak in the knees for you!  But too much direct eye contact will make them squirm.  Revert your gaze to the back of the room.  And be sure to use your angles, shift your gaze to different parts of the room, the left side, the right side, the balcony, the front row.  Doing this includes and invites more people into this musical moment you’re sharing with them. You Be The JudgeHere’s an excellent example of a performance with about 25% eyes shut.  Bruno Mars closes his eyes when he’s connecting emotionally and when he’s working his power notes.  Notice that when his eyes are open, he works his angles, he smiles when he makes direct eye contact, and he let’s the audience see how much he’s enjoying singing the song FOR THEM. This is an older video but I chose it because of the intimate setting where Bruno really has a chance to connect with the crowd (which he goes 100% all in on) rather than a big stadium show.  Bruno Mars - Nothing On You Live Now here’s an example of Bruno Mars keeping his eyes shut for nearly 100% of the song.  It’s a very emotional, heartfelt song (with a vocal performance that is absolute perfection), so it’s more appropriate to have more time with the eyes closed.  But is 90-100% of the time too much?  You decide!  Bruno Mars - When I Was Your Man (Live)

Top 3 Best and Worst Holiday Pop Song Vocal Performances

Posted By singingcoach 4 days ago on Music - THE BESTAdam Lambert - Please Come Home For Christmas  2019 - a funny introduction (warning! there is an F-bomb dropped with much gusto), plus the emotions, wailing high notes, and vocal perfection* that we always expect from Adam, delivered with plenty of green glitter.  (*there may actually have been a note or two that were a tiny bit flat at the end, but easily forgivable for everything else he gives to this performance) - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 2009 - flawless pitch, nice use of dynamics, adding some nice style with riffs but not overdoing it.  Only problem is the song is just too easy for him, there’s only so much he can do with it. Carey - All I Want For Christmas 1996 - The song that everyone wants to be able to sing, but few can really pull off.  Here’s the OG herself, rocking this performance. WORST Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas 2015 - Oh yes, I did it.  I put her on the best AND the worst lists.  Even Mariah can have a bad singing day, as showcased in this bombed performance.   It sounds like she had nodes or at least a case of laryngitis on this day.  In any case, it goes to show we are all mortals.  This video is a few moments with the vocals isolated, the whole performance can also be dug up. Swift - Silent Night 2007 - What I do love is the glittery guitar!  Unfortunately, there is a lot to NOT love - the melodic arrangement makes the song almost unrecognizable, she is either singing super breathy or with a painfully pinched nasal belt, she has not discovered the use of her very nice chest voice yet, and there are some definite pitch issues.  But this video is a testament to how far Taylor Swift has come as a singer, the years of training have paid off! Brown - This Christmas 2015 - This really isn’t a terrible performance, but it’s on the weak side.  Scrolling through the comments, it became apparent that Chris was sick at this performance, and to be frank he kind of looked it, he is doubled over like he is about to puke for the majority of the performance.  He also stumbles around the stage and is quick to point the mic away from his mouth for the high notes, and sometimes just doesn’t attempt them at all.  Being sick is a legitimate excuse to have an off night, and I agree with the commenters who gave him credit for showing up and doing as well as he did considering he was under the weather.

New Year, New Strategy for Practicing Singing

Posted By singingcoach 5 days ago on Music - My theory on practicing singing is this:  Practice a lot or a little, but practice with meditation-level dedication.How often you practice, and for what duration, depends on your goals as a singer.  We all know that practicing improves skill, but do you want to become the next opera singer, pop star, or do you just want to improve your singing-in-the-shower skills?  For dedicated singers with professional level goals, or professionals preparing for concerts, you might practice as long as one or even two hours a day.  On the other end of the spectrum, even just a few minutes of practicing a day, or 15-30 minutes two or three days a week can pay off in big ways. However much you decide to practice, spend your practice time focused 100% on your practicing.  Can you imagine meditating with the television on, or while checking emails, or cooking?  What makes practicing singing effective, is when you really pay attention to how the singing sensations feel - it’s all about placement.  Some questions you might ask yourself as you sing:How much air am I using to nail this note or passage?How fast is the air flow?How relaxed does my neck feel?Am I raising my larynx too high?Do I feel or see tension anywhere? (Watch yourself in the mirror, or film yourself on your phone)How open is my mouth?Is my tongue down?Is my soft palate raised?Is the tone forward in my mouth?Is the placement in “the mask”?Am I feeling like I’m about to lose control?When I am working on difficult notes, exercises, or passages of songs, I pay attention to these sensations, and make adjustments accordingly.  Once I nail what I’m working on, I don’t stop just yet.  I practice for consistency, repeating the passage again and again, paying attention to all the sensations, so that both my mind and my body learn to recognize how it feels when I do it right.  If I’m working on a song, I am a diligent note taker!  Some of my professional singer colleagues use their iPads for everything, but I’m old school and know that writing things down with a good old fashioned pen helps me remember things, and here’s a great study that backs this method up.  Everything I want to remember about how to sing a song, I make a note of on my printed lyric sheet or sheet music.  “Big breath,” “open,” “round,” “relax,” “use head voice,” plus all kinds of dynamic and expression markings are all notes your might see on one of my lyric sheets.  That way, I can remember everything I worked hard to improve on during my practice session, and reciprocate it until my muscle memory takes over.  So as with many things, it’s not necessarily about quantity, it’s about quality.  Commit to focused, dedicated practice time, and whether it’s a lot of time or a little, make it count!Join our mailing list and receive instant access to our free 5 Minute Warm Up Video for those quick but focused sessions.

How Deep Is Your Love? 8 Great Love Songs to Sing to Your Special Someone on Valentine’s Day

Posted By singingcoach 6 days ago on Music - I have selected a song made famous by a female and by a male for each category, but you do you and sing the song you connect with most. Anything goes!YOU’RE INVOLVED, BUT IT’S NOTHING SERIOUS YETRight now it’s all about seduction!  Impress your potential S.O. with a song that suggests more is to come.Female:  I Want a Little Sugar In My Bowl - Nina SimoneSweet, simple, and playfully suggestive without being blatant, which could be too much at this early stage!  Male: Turn Your Lights Down Low - Bob MarleyAgain, going for the seductive vibe without coming on too strong.  Besides, is there anyone who doesn’t love Bob Marley?FALLING IN LOVE…Things have heated up and infatuation has started to turn to something deeper and more meaningful, you’re falling in love.Female:  Boom Clap - Charli XCXThose butterflies, that pounding heart.  That moment when you start to think this could be forever.  This is your song.Male:  In Your Eyes - Peter GabrielSwoon worthy ever since John Cusack held up that boombox 30+ years ago, this is the song that will let your S.O. know they rock your world.IN IT FOR THE LONG HAULYou’ve been together for a while, weathered some storms, learned and have grown together.  You are solid…solid as a rock!Male:  Thinking Out Loud - Ed SheeranIf you can sing and play guitar, you can expect positive results with whatever you’re hoping to achieve with singing this song..unless you’re seventy years old, in which case your honey might start to get concerned that you’re ready to wrap things up.  :PFemale:  You’re Still the One - Shania TwainOne of several obvious choices for this list, it’s a slam dunk for this category.  The range and movement of the melody make this song singable for most levels of vocal ability - bonus points.A LOVE OF A LIFETIMEYou may or may not have been together for a long time, but your love is the kind of love that goes down in history, the Romeo and Juliet kind of love…the Jack and Rose kind of love.  Kinda just gave that one away, didn’t I?Female:  My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion Interestingly, my two choices for the highest level of relationship intensity are also the hardest two songs to sing on the list - they require range, power, and passion.  So get your warm up on before belting out this big song for a big love.Male:  Unchained Melody - Righteous BrothersI neeeeeeeeeeeed your love. Need I say more?