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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

  • Living Your Life Out Loud

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    How We're All Vocally "Shut Down" And How To Recover Your Voice

    Singing LoudMost everyone I talk to about their voice tells me that their number one wish is to be more confident. My experience is that the biggest roadblock to vocal confidence can be summed up in the Stephen Stills lyric from For What It's Worth, "It starts when you're always afraid, step out of line, the man come and take you a way." Does this mean that were all in constant fear of being snatched up by the police? No, of course not. What I mean by this is that we've all been taught to "turn it down," and the idea of singing out, speaking out, especially with power, triggers thoughts of "getting in trouble" for it.

  • The Myth of 10,000 Hours to Mastery - How to Practice Effectively

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    The Myth of 10,000 Hours and Effective Vocal Practice Sessions

    The Myth of 10,000 Hours to Mastery - How to Practice EffectivelyYou've probably heard that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master something. Want to be a great swimmer, golfer, dancer, painter, singer? Got to get your 10,000 hours in. The problem is that without the awareness of effective practice techniques, 10,000 hours can not only be way more time spent than is necessary, it can actually have negative consequences on what you're attempting to master.

  • Myth #3: Training Your Voice Is Really Hard And Takes A Long Time

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    Today I'll be talking about Myth #3: Training Your Voice Is Really Hard And Takes A Long Time

    Myth #3: Training Your Voice Is Really Hard And Takes A Long Time(If you missed the 3 Biggest Myths About Your Voice list you can read about it in my November 6th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! 3 Steps To Power, Passion and Confidence, where you can find more info).

    Don't have the book yet? Click here to get a copy.


    Myth #3 could be applied to not only developing your voice but to learning just about anything. "If I want to learn to:

    • play golf
    • speak a foreign language
    • dance the tango
    • do anything I don't already know how to do

    it will be really hard and take a long time." What keeps this myth alive? It's partly the "immediate gratification syndrome" that our society suffers from.

  • Myth #2: Voice Lessons Are Only For Singers, Actors or Public Speakers

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    Today I'll be talking about Myth #2: Voice Lessons Are Only For Singers, Actors or Public Speakers

    Myth #2: Voice Lessons Are Only For Singers, Actors or Public Speakers(If you missed the 3 Biggest Myths About Your Voice list you can read about it in my November 6th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! 3 Steps To Power, Passion and Confidence, where you can find more info).

    Don't have the book yet? Click here to get a copy.

    Myth #2 plays into something promoted all the time–"if you're not already doing something (or doing it well), it's not yours to do." There's a belief held by many that you must already be a singer, actor, or professional speaker to need voice lessons. Why would you take lessons if you didn't already use your voice well? Because you want to use your voice with confidence and you don't have that experience now. It's as simple as that.

  • You’re Either Born With A Good Voice Or Not. If Not—Forget It!

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    Today I'll be talking about Myth #1: You're Either Born With A Good Voice Or Not. If Not—Forget It! ......pg. 32.

    Myth #1: You're Either Born With A Good Voice Or Not. If Not—Forget It!(If you missed the 3 Biggest Myths About Your Voice list you can read about it in my November 6th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! 3 Steps To Power, Passion and Confidence, where you can find more info).

    Don't have the book yet? Click here to get a copy.

    Myth #1 is absolutely the biggest lie you'll ever hear about your voice. If you can talk and hear your own voice, you were born with everything you need to have a powerful, passionate, confident voice.

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Creativity

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

Recent Posts

  • I Don’t Think People Like My Singing…

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    I Don’t Think People Like My Singing…At various points in my life, I've been convinced that no one liked my singing. And as I trained to teach voice, interacted with voice clients and continued to perform, I've come to see how important it is to talk about our motivation to sing.

    One of my clients recently shared with me that's he's pretty sure no one likes his singing. When I asked him why he believed this to be true, he replied, "because when I play recordings I've made to different people, no one tells me that they like my voice." The problem with his conclusion is that he's making an assumption. He assumes that because no one comments on his voice, they don't like it.

  • Singing is Like Driving a Car

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    Singing is Like Driving a Car

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    Singing is very much like driving a car. When you learn to drive, you're usually not taught about how the car engine works. You're shown where to put the key, how to start the car, and then you just drive. If the car starts running poorly, your options are to live with the problems, wait until the car dies or just stop driving for a while. You might even daydream that if you let it rest, it will start running better on its own.
    For most of us, singing is the same type of situation. At some point in your life you started singing. You didn't really know what was "under the hood," and if things stopped working well, you probably stopped singing. Or, you're tried to sing, couldn't even get your voice "started," assumed your voice was a "lemon," and abandoned it.

    Like an automobile, your vocal mechanism is made up of parts that work together. The challenge is that most of the parts are inside your body where you can't see them. This makes it much harder to learn how to use these parts, to troubleshoot when your voice isn't working well, and to be able to adjust your vocal mechanism to get the singing results you want.

  • 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 #6: Endings

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    Today I’ll be talking about Tip #6: Endings

    Tip 6 - Endings(If you missed the Top 10 Tips list for better vocalizing you can read about it in the January 29th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! where you can find more info).

    Your tip for today is something that’s a real confidence killer–fading the volume to end to the line you’re singing. People often complain that when they hear their voice on a recording they hear the ends of lines “run out of gas” or sound weak.

    This is an important point to focus on in your vocalizing, as it directly relates to your endings in songs. Most people don't realize that when they come to the last part of a line, they tend to fade the volume as a way to end it. It’s very difficult for anyone to successfully fade out the volume, even intentionally. It’s especially hard when you don’t know you’re doing it.

  • Tip #5: Sing A Clean Sound

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    Today I’ll be talking about Tip #5: Sing A Clean Sound

    Tip 5 - Sing A Clean Sound(If you missed the Top 10 Tips list for better vocalizing you can read about it in the January 29th 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 deals with an element in singing that causes lots of debate–noise in the voice. I’ve had many clients over the years that didn’t want me to “take away their style,” and in their minds noise was part of their “sound”. The important point here is whether or not the sound is intentional. Making noise in a song can be effective but not being able to turn it off during practice limits your options.

  • Tip #4: Volume & Vowel Color

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    Today I'll be talking about Tip #4: Volume & Vowel Color

    Tip 4 - Volume & Vowel Color (If you missed the Top 10 Tips list for better vocalizing you can read about it in the January 29th 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 deals with one of the most powerful ways I can help you experience your confident voice—making your singing measurable. I could rename this tip "Put A Number On It."

  • Tip #3: Ribcage and Shoulders

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    Today I'll be talking about Tip #3: Ribcage and Shoulders

    Tip #3: Ribcage and Shoulders(If you missed the Top 10 Tips list for better vocalizing you can read about it in the January 29th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! where you can find more info).

    Imagine you're having a dream where you're about to go onstage and perform. You're standing in the wings in your underwear (yep–it's one of those dreams) and someone hands you a pair of jeans five sizes too big. You can't keep the jeans up with your hands because they're holding the sheet music you'll be singing from. The only way you can keep those pants from falling down in front of the whole audience is to expand your rib cage and keep your rib cage and shoulders stable.

  • Tip #2: Jaw & Lips

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    Today I’ll be talking about Tip #2: Jaw & Lips

    Tip #2: Jaw & Lips(If you missed the Top 10 Tips list for better vocalizing you can read about it in the January 29th blog post. The page numbers with each tip refer to the location in my book Sing Free Now! where you can find more info).

    One of the most important tips I can give you when vocalizing is to keep your jaw and lips as open as you comfortably can. Here’s why:

    When you sing a note, you have to close your vocal cords. This process is similar to blowing over a Coke bottle vs. blowing over a mayonnaise jar. Air rushing over a small opening will make a sound but over a large opening will not.

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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.