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Sing Free Now! Blog

Welcome to my Sing Free Now! blog. I’m excited to announce that starting this week I’ll be adding a new blog every Thursday, so be sure to check back each week for tips you can use immediately to experience more confidence in your singing and speaking.

With this blog I’m launching a 10-week series covering my Top 10 Tips for a More Confident Performance. Each week I’ll dive into one of the tips and create a practice goal for that week to help you “own” the new tip.

Want to go deeper with your voice? The pages listed with each tip are where you can find more info in my book Sing Free Now! 3 Steps to Power, Passion and Confidence. Don’t have the book yet? Click here to get a copy.

We love questions and comments--please post them in the discussion section below each blog post and share!

Categories

Technique

Here, Mark Bosnian will focus on singing techniques that will help you become the singer you were meant to be!

Recent Posts

  • Stars Don't Always Sing Better Than You Do

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    Stars Don't Always Sing Better Than You Do - by Mark BosnianPopular grammy-winning singer-songwriter John Mayer recently had to cancel all of his performances and the release of his upcoming album due to vocal problems. He has what is called a granuloma, a type of growth, on his vocal cords. This type of problem often stems from lack of good vocal technique.

    What I think is interesting here is not that this happened to a popular singer—I can’t tell you how many times famous national act singers have to cancel performances, parts of tours or entire tours due to “vocal fatigue”, laryngitis, exhaustion or other code words for voice problems. What’s surprising is how many of my voice students are shocked that a singer of this stature has voice problems at all.

  • Support is the Most Important Principle in Singing

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    Support is the Most Important Principle in Singing - Sing Free Now! MethodSupport is the most important principle in singing. Without it, everything else in the development of your voice is like painting a used car and calling it new. The major issues will still be present; they’ll just be covered up with a pretty veneer. I sang professionally for 10 years with absolutely no concept of support and it was very difficult for me to maintain my voice during that time. I got hoarse often, had serious trouble singing high notes; if I sang a song loudly and aggressively, I couldn’t come right back and sing one cleanly and gently. I often spent my days worrying about whether my voice would work that night. It wasn’t a lot of fun to have so little control over my voice but I believed that that was what singers had to go through.

  • Vocal Assessment Featured

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    If it’s not measurable, it’s not valuable

    Vocal Assessment - Big Three Vocal Principles: support, registration and resonationI’ve often had students attempt to describe what they hear in a recording of their own voice. “That’s awful,” “It sounds terrible,” or “I don’t like it” may be the first words out of their mouths. When I ask someone to elaborate, most of the time they use the same types of phrases to repeat the same theme. The problem with this approach is that nothing measurable is being described and it is extremely difficult to change a vocal performance when you can’t measure it. So how do you measure what you’re singing?

  • Warming Up and Cooling Down

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    Warming Up and Cooling Down for best Vocal PerformanceCooling down after a vocal performance is just as important as warming up. Because we are dealing with muscles, they must be warmed up before being exerted and cooled down afterwards to help prevent stiffening. The main reasons to warm-up and stretch out muscles are: 1) to prevent injury, 2) to be able to work longer before tiring, and 3) to increase range of motion. Too many singers do too little warm up before singing and then are disappointed in the results.

    Too many singers do too little warm up before singing and then are disappointed in the results. Merely singing a couple of scales or running through a song lightly on the way to a performance is not an efficient way to warm up.

  • From a High Note to a Low Note

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    From a High Note to a Low NoteWhen moving from a high note to a low note, very often singers experience the low note becoming noisy, breathy, out of tune, or unstable.  This may seem strange in that you would probably agree that singing a low note should be easier than singing a high note. Why the trouble?  Here is what can often happen.

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Creativity

Here, Mark Bosnian will post about creativity side of singing.

Recent Posts

  • The Meaning of “Free” In Sing Free Now? Featured

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    Buy Sing Free Now Book - 3- Steps to Power Passion and ConfidenceI played a gig today and after my performance I was standing at the back of the room chatting with some folks when my friend Linda walked up. “Hey, Mark, I have a question for you--why’d you use the word “free” in the title of your book? I’ve been wondering…..”

    It’s funny she asked because just yesterday I was looking at an old file in my computer of possible titles for my book. For a whole year, as I was finishing up the writing, the book had a different title. At the last minute I decided it wasn’t right and spent weeks wrestling with one title after another. In the end it was simple–the answer came when I asked myself, “What have I been teaching people to do in my voice studio for the past 26 years? What is it that people want most?” Just about everyone tells me they want to feel confident when they sing or speak—they want to feel free.

  • Be Your Own “American Idol”

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    Learn How to Sing with Mark BosnianIf you watch American Idol, The Voice, Glee, The Sing-Off, America’s Got Talent, The X Factor or any other reality show that features singing, and you say to yourself, ”I can do that!” you’re in the minority. Most people feel pretty intense fear when they think of singing, especially in front of others. “No way!” is more likely to come out of their mouths.

  • Being In Touch With Your Body

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    Being in touch with your body is so important for general health and well being but is critical for a singer.Being in touch with your body is so important for general health and well being but is critical for a singer. An awareness of any physical challenge, from muscle pain, to tiredness, to a stuffy nose, can help you make adjustments as you sing and achieve better results. This seems obvious but so many of us ignore what is going on in our bodies. We may not want to acknowledge that our bodies are challenged in some way because it might mean we have to limit an activity.

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Singer Spotlight

This category is for all of the singers who have been vocal coached by Mark Bosnian that he wants to spotlight.

Recent Posts

  • Haley Johnsen June 2012 Singer Spotlight

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    Haley-Johnsen-Sweet-Dreams-StudioThis month we shine the light on a great singer--Haley Johnsen, who recently began working with Mark. An Oregon State grad who sang in college, Haley decide to try out for American Idol this season and impressed the judges enough to make it to Hollywood. With her, rich powerful voice she made it all the way to the semi-finals.

  • Nikki Horner March 2012 Singer Spotlight

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    Nikki Horner - Sing Free Now! Student SpotlightThis month of March, 2012 we shine the light on a great singer--Nikki Horner. Nikki's been studying at Bosnian Vocal Studios since 2007 and has developed into a strong, expressive singer with great range and power.

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Top 10 Tips Series

10-week series covering my Top 10 Tips for a More Confident Performance. Each week I’ll dive into one of the tips and create a practice goal for that week to help you “own” the new tip. 

Recent Posts

  • Tip #10: Make A Move, Make A Connection

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    Today I'll be talking about Tip #10: Make A Move, Make A Connection

    Tip #10: Make A Move, Make A Connection(If you missed the Top 10 Tips list you can read about it in the August 7th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! where you can find more info).

    Tip #10 is one of the most important tips I share with my clients. It's the foundation of dynamic stage presence. It helps separate you from singers who "just stand there." And, it's easier to use than you may think!

    What this tip refers to is the essence of dynamics–change. If you don't change what you're doing on stage, you'll no longer connect with your audience.

  • Tip #9: If You Don't Show It, They Won't Know It

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    Today I'll be talking about Tip #9: If You Don't Show It, They Won't Know It

    Tip #9: If You Don’t Show It, They Won’t Know It(If you missed the Top 10 Tips list you can read about it in the August 7th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! where you can find more info).

    This tip is an important part of having a dynamic stage presence and keeping your connection with the audience, no matter what happens. It refers to a common problem for singers–"telegraphing" mistakes to the audience. Here's a story about one of my first experiences with this concept.

  • Tip #8: Tell The Story of Your Song

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    Today I'll be talking about Tip #8: Tell The Story of Your Song

    alt(If you missed the Top 10 Tips list you can read about it in the August 7th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! where you can find more info).

    When I ask most singers what would need to happen in order for them to have a great performance, they usually say one or all of these 3 things:

    1. "I sing in tune"
    2. "I don't forget any of the lyrics"
    3. "I sing the high notes well"

    I get it! Those are all benchmarks and are important for your confidence. But, I've heard many a singer achieve all 3 of those intentions in a performance and still leave the audience saying, "that was pleasant..."

    I don't know about you, but when I sing, "that was pleasant" is not what I aim for.

  • Tip #7: Make It Your Own

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    Today I'll be talking about Tip #7: Make It Your Own

    Tip 7 - Make It Your Own(If you missed the Top 10 Tips list you can read about it in the August 7th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! where you can find more info).

    Just about everyone that comes to my studio wanting to be a more confident singer at some point asks me about how to have a more unique voice. They say things like, "I sound like everyone else and I want to sound like me," "I want to have my own style," and the ever-popular, "I want to find my voice." All of these are great ideas and have less to do with the sound of your voice than they do with how you use it.

  • Tip #6: Turn Off Your Vocal Defense Mechanism

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    Today I'll be talking about Tip #6: Turn Off Your Vocal Defense Mechanism

    Tip #6: Turn Off Your Vocal Defense Mechanism(If you missed the Top 10 Tips list you can read about it in the August 7th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! where you can find more info).

    Whether you know it or not you have a mechanism in your subconscious that tries to protect you from embarrassing yourself when you perform. It's called your vocal defense mechanism (VDM). It became active the first time you had a negative experience when you sang.

    That could've been your second grade teacher saying, "Johnny, why don't you just mouth the words while the rest of the choir's singing...," or "class, do not sound like Mary over there when you perform this song!" Or it could've been as simple as someone raising an eyebrow during your performance.

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Recent Comments

Five Tips for Better Singing

Vocal Registration is like an Automatic or Manual Transmission in a Car

The heavy and light registers of every voice (sometimes called “chest” voice and “head” voice or falsetto) can operate automatically as you sing higher or lower pitches and you can learn to manually shift registers to get different sounds. This gives you the option of sounding the way you want to on any given word or line in a song. The Sing Free Now! Method helps you create many choices—not just one sound when you sing.

Singing in pure heavy register with dark vowel color to establish the strength of the voice. I teach you how to make a tone called “dark vowel color” that will allow you to sing higher notes with more ease and control that you ever thought possible. This teaches the body how to set up for high notes and will allow you to then sing them with whatever tone you want (yes, you can intentionally change the tone of your voice.)

Modifying vowels to “oo” as pitches get higher. This technique will help you to sing high notes easier by slightly changing the pronunciation of vowels. The effects of this are dramatic.

Modifying vowels to “ah” as pitches get lower. This technique will give you stronger and more present low notes.

Singing different ratios of balanced registration. You will be able to blend heavy and light register in whatever ratios you want to create more colors on your palette to paint with. Another way to have many options with which to sing—not just one “right” sound that most voice teachers demand you use.

Using Scales of 1-to-10 for the Bridge to Communicate to the Engine Room

If you think of your body as if it were the crew in the engine room of a ship and your mind as if it were the captain of the ship, you can learn to send commands to your body and get the vocal results you desire. I teach you how to assign a number on a scale of 1-to-10 to any vocal element so that the crew in the engine room knows exactly what your intention is. With the Sing Free Now! Method you’ll just have to picture the sound you want and your body will make that sound.

Tell the Story of the Song and Get Your Audience Rooting for You

Through song analysis and dynamics exercises I will show you how to introduce emotion and style to your singing. This allows you to connect the story of the song to your audience--your main job as a singer. If the audience is captivated by your story-telling, perfect delivery becomes less critical and you leave the audience wanting more.

Learning about The Vocal Defense Mechanism and How to Override it

We all have a Vocal Defense Mechanism (VDM) that is a subconscious system working to protect you from harming your voice, from embarrassing yourself, and from working too hard during singing. Singing a loud note, singing a high note, or singing anything that seems in the least bit threatening can trigger this mechanism. It often sabotages your singing, making it harder for you to do what you want with your voice. The Sing Free Now! Method shows you how to override the VDM so that you can sing what you want to sing the way you want to sing it.

Using Interim Sounds vs. Always Going for Performance Sounds

It is often easier and faster for you to develop a performance sound by practicing a sound you would not perform with. This sound may seem unmusical to you at first but it will develop the strength, coordination, and control you need to make the performance sound you want. It will get you to that point more quickly than banging your head against a performance sound that you cannot make at first.