On Being a GREAT Singer


If you have sung professionally for nearly forty years, have been a vocal coach for 35 years, you are exposed to a veritable myriad of problems, all of which have begged or screamed for solutions.

As a student of the voice, music, arranging, composing, songwriting, etc. continues to be and will be continuously checking out the science and the art from the aforementioned. There have been debates over time as to whether it is possible or even prudent to "mix art with science". In most cases, one may well learn that the two are inseparable, because one cannot exist with no other.

Acoustics, being the science of sound, has played an integral part in the development of better wind instruments. They may be better in audio quality and in playability. Just ask a genuine professional musician about the difference between the trumpets of the 40s and the ones of today, such as the trumpets of Chris Botti, Wynton Marsalis, or Arturo Sandoval.


Acoustics as to voice is alive and well on many levels. The interior of the singer's pharo-maxo-naso-laryngeal cavities differs from one singer to an alternative and all result in adding to the unique sound of each one singer. Inside are a couple of variables including a unique size and shape in which will be the absorption, reflection, resonance, diffusion, and reverberation of sound. Many of these affect the tone quality, timbre, sound level, projection, and also the overtones of the sound that is emitted.

We could say that we can ignore this because we are "just singing" that is certainly true to an extent. Definitely we must ignore specific things even as we perform because the distraction will diminish our performance in several ways. When the problem arises of your singer attempting to sound or sing in a certain style which is contrary to the natural "equipment" with the singer, a solution or solutions could possibly be addressed and explored. Science may hold some keys to the solutions.

For many years anatomy, medicine, and physics were largely ignored by singing teachers and vocal coaches. People's tongues, teeth, lips as well as the interior resonating chambers are as individual as being a fingerprint. How do you think you can identify the uniqueness of the speaking voice or possibly a singing voice? These factors all play a part. Singers will tend to work for or against the natural equipment these are born with. As a vocal coach who's studied the variables listed above, I can assist in finding the natural road of least resistance to a person's own unique sound. This really is one area where it isn't nice to try to fool i think mother nature. And this is not to say that things cannot be manipulated, such as doing character voices, but there is a right way as well as a wrong way to do this. The wrong manner may lead to vocal injury.

Singing can be a hearing art. The target audience hears the art nevertheless the singer hears a lot more. After years of singing, lots of things transcend mere thought and occur on an intuitive level. To arrive at this level, we might learn several things at the profound level as you go along.

Singing is musical. The most effective singers I have heard know music. They will often or may not have in mind the nomenclature or the terminology of music, but they still know music. It's purported that the great drummer Buddy Rich failed to read music. This has not been verified but I recommend searching for some clips for you Tube and listen to his playing. Musicianship can be carried out at a very high level without getting past musical illiteracy. I am not sure if Frank Sinatra could read or write music. Or even, that didn't get in the way of his long career.

Musicianship is a vast subject, when separated into all the component parts, and thus is a subject unto itself. It will be noticeable within the results of hearing all the components of music including: rhythm, time, pitch, dynamics, tone, timbre, style, form, structure plus much more. If we could at the same time "download" this and the remainder of what makes a great singer, I think your head would explode because there is much more to this when compared with meets the superficial ear and eye. Musicianship is large. There is no getting around the need for it as a singer.

Acting may result in being able to more easily perform as being a singer but if the singer doesn't move past acting, the performance may be like the singer is a "fake", or even worse, a liar. The sentiments have to be freed up and express-able with appropriate levels of intensity. Great singers perform for their audiences and are not a "parody of a singer". Still there is the factor of "communication". A great singer will make everyone in the audience feel as if he or she is in the conversation, not only observing it. I know felt this from your distance of perhaps 200 feet. The singer was, in reality, Frank Sinatra. People do not head to concerts to simply pay attention to a singer. They are able to do that on an I-pod or having a radio. Something else happens at the live performance and although lip synching may sound about the same, an almost magical phenomenon happens at the concert and it has something to do with the live show. You cannot scientifically measure it however, you can definitely feel it, unless there is something wrong with you at some level.

The state mind of the singer can make or break the greatness of the singer. I saw two famous singers one Year Eve in Las Vegas practically fall flat. You'd think that their integrity as professional artists and singers would've been sufficient to not get a new performance but they obviously didn't do their best your evening. It was disappointing, annoying, sad and sometimes even funny to watch them make fools of themselves (in comparison to their usual levels of performance). The disappointment was that the audience paid and the performers were paid to perform. They did perform nevertheless they brought the effects of their argument to the stage using them. I felt cheated. I felt that they betrayed the audience. I had seen them often times before but not one time after that ridiculous and immature debacle of your show.

The overall health of a singer will get a new greatness of a singer. You can think of examples of this yourself. Tiredness, illness, or injury will all affect singing. I'm of the belief that you'll find levels of health that happen to be above what is considered normal or healthy. You'll find optimal levels of health which, since we use our bodies to sing, can make subtle or even great variations our ability to "do our best".

Talent and intelligence will modify the greatness of a singer because ability and intellect are the areas from which we draw for singing at the star quality professional echelon. We can't pretend that these factors don't have anything to do with greatness. We also cannot necessarily create these things of intelligence and talent should they do not appear to be present. We are able to work harder at developing other strengths and improving weaknesses, though. If a person has a passion as well as an ability for singing, several things can be overcome but there might need to be compromises made regarding how and where singing is completed.

Work which is carried out in a diligent and educated manner will produce improvement provided that all other factors of greatness exist in the singer. Work done in a slipshod manner will produce no or little improvement. Work completed in the presence of misinformation or false information regarding and of the factors of greatness will produce no results and even bad results. Singers can, have, and may injure their voices or maybe not that, never ever reach their full potential.