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 Jeannie and I did some jamming together at the NAMM show, and her singing was amazing. She is a master of her instrument, and also a great teacher… 



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Rock Guitarist on Shrapnel Records
Singer’s Guide to Powerful PerformancesSinger’s Guide to Powerful Performances
Voice Consultation-Natascha CorriganVoice Consultation-Natascha Corrigan

Singer's Blog by Jeannie Deva

Using the Blog

Use the links above to see blog posts in those subjects. The numbers in parenthesis ( ) are the number of blog posts in that category. Within each category the posts are listed in date order from most recent to oldest. You can return to this main blog page from any category by using a link that appears at the top of each category page.

Or you can scroll down this page to see posts in all categories in date order from most recent to oldest.
  1. Singer's Guide to Powerful Performances by Jeannie Deva(Excerpted from chapter 12 of Singer’s Guide to Powerful Performances by Jeannie Deva)

    Developing Discipline
     
    When I attended college I had a terrible time with discipline.
  2. By Jeannie Deva

    "The club's second act canceled - now I have to sing for three hours - how do I do that?"

    Be a P.E.P. – Prepared Expert Professional. A prepared singer can handle surprise circumstances and succeed in the face of unexpected events. An expert singer has stamina because he/she has correctly developed their voice and can sing without tension or strain.

  3. Sleeping womanBy Jeannie Deva
     

    (Excerpted from her eBook “The Singer’s Guide to Powerful Performances”)

    Here are some more tips to help you sleep well. Adequate rest is important for your voice to work well for you.

    • Get regular physical exercise, but don’t do it late in the evening or close to bedtime.
  4. Sleeping WomanBy Jeannie Deva
     
    (Excerpted from her eBook “The Singer’s Guide to Powerful Performances”)
     
    Adequate Rest

    Your body and your voice need rest in order to function at their best. Since your voice is generated by muscle action, when you sing with a tired body and fatigued muscles you’ll generally use excessive effort to accomplish what a rested body would do more easily.
  5. By Jennifer Truesdale

    It was a beautiful spring morning.

    The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, but I wasn’t feeling it. Actually, I felt as if my world was crashing down around me. Okay, maybe a bit melodramatic, but man I was bummed!

    I was 18 and my band was on the verge of a label deal. This was it I thought, my BIG break!

    Then, in the blink of one band meeting gone sour, everything changed.
  6. Singer's Guide to Powerful Performances by Jeannie Deva(Excerpted from Singer’s Guide to Powerful Performances by Jeannie Deva)
     

    Ultimately, you’ve got to sing what you believe in. If you don’t believe in your choices, can’t relate to the message, don’t like the musical style, there will be no passion.

  7. Jeannie Deva
    What is The Deva Method?



    It is an effective, comprehensive non-classical approach for singers that gives you an understanding of your voice and puts you in control. This method was developed from the premise that the body has a natural voice production process and if you understand and work with it, you can sing any style without hurting yourself.

  8. Performance Microphone
    By Jeannie Deva

     
    The microphone should be thought of as part of your instrument. A key to good microphone technique lies in distance and direction. The best direction for your mic is straight in front of your mouth or slightly below and angled up towards your mouth.
     
    Generally, keeping a microphone between one half to one inch away from your mouth will help to capture the full tone of your voice.
  9. Jeannie Deva PerformingWhen you’re looking for a vocal method or a voice teacher, how do you choose the right one? This blog post is edited by Studio Staff from the works of Jeannie Deva.
     

    1. Working Professional

    Is your prospective voice teacher a working professional? Are they currently performing either live shows or in the studio? How does their voice sound? If they are retired from live performance, have they at least had a professional singing career and does their voice still sound good?
     
    A professional singer has to demonstrate competence and actually apply the theory of their voice technique to achieve results.

  10. Pavarotti
    By Jeannie Deva

    "Jeannie, I have been wondering for a long time how age (and other factors like weight), affect vocal range, tone, etc. I have been reading your email tips for a few months and have held off exploring my voice with professional instruction because I am already in my early 40s.
  11. Pavarotti
    By Jeannie Deva

    I think many people fear that as they grow older their voice will deteriorate. From my research and nearly five decades of experience, I would say that age alone is not the reason for decline of the singing voice. 

    My Story

    First let me share my personal experience. You may have difficulty believing what I am about to tell you because it is not what you generally observe as singers age.

  12. Jennifer TruesdaleBy Jennifer Truesdale

    Woody Allen is famously quoted as saying that “80% of success is showing up”. While I’m not sure I agree with his percentages, I agree completely with the sentiment. The percentage really isn’t the point here and while we all know that success doesn’t happen merely by showing up; we also know that success won’t happen if you don’t show up.
  13. Singer's Guide to Powerful PerformancesBest singer foods are discussed in other posts in the Vocal Care category of this blog.
    This post focuses on singer beverages, exercise and rest and is excerpted from Jeannie Deva’s eBook Singer’s Guide to Powerful Performances.
  14. Deva Method Vocal Exercises and Warm-upsBy Jeannie Deva

    Do you want to sing effortlessly with a strong wide vocal range? Do you want to sing with confidence and freedom to express your emotions and touch your audience? Well, you can do that if you are willing to do the work developing the natural function of your voice.
  15. Contemporary Vocalist by Jeannie DevaBy Jeannie Deva

    In my blog post Register Break – What Causes It?  I said that “the keys to singing without register break are:    

    1. A properly regulated air stream is sent to your vocal folds.
  16. Vocal ResonanceBy Jeannie Deva

    No Tension = Big Sound


    Many singers subconsciously associate tension with big emotion and a powerful voice. Unfortunately, just the opposite is true. To sing louder and harder you need less tension so you can get more resonance. How to do this is the trick.
  17. Resonant Singer Head
    By Jeannie Deva

    Surveying the thousands of singers I have coached, I’d say that wanting to sing with volume and power is perhaps the second most common wish right behind the number one request which is expanded vocal range. Before we discuss what may prevent you from acquiring these illusive gems, let’s take a look at singing with power.

  18. Contemporary Vocalist Improvement Course by Jeannie DevaThe next cause of throat muscle tension is:

    3. Over-Articulation


    Articulation is essentially saying words clearly. If you want to be understood when you sing, you articulate, however it can be overdone. One way to over-articulate is to tighten your lips and stretch your jaw wide to emphasize consonants while you sing.
  19. Contemporary Vocalist Improvement Course Volume OneBy Jeannie Deva

    “More vocal range” is the most frequent wish I have heard from the thousands of singers I have coached. Yes they want more control and better tone, but it is range, range, range that is the illusive gem they seek. When I speak of expanding range, I mean having a wide continuum of notes from high to low that you can use to create varied volumes, colors, textures and emotions.

  20. Deva Method Vocal Warm-upsBy Jeannie Deva

    In Part 1 we began discussing vocal range expansion from the perspective of some basics such as how the voice works and breathing versus singing. If you don’t know such fundamentals, you may try to expand your range by doing things that are counter-productive.

  21. Contemporary Vocalist Improvement Course
    By Jeannie Deva

    In teaching thousands of singers around the world, I have never met one who did not have more potential range than they knew and were using. Sometimes factors such as smoking cigarettes or marijuana, heavy drug or alcohol use, etc.

  22. Singer's Guide to Powerful Performances by Jeannie Deva(Excerpted from chapter 12 of Singer’s Guide to Powerful Performances by Jeannie Deva)

    Do you have what it takes? Many singers share this question. They may already be performing but still secretly wonder: “Do I really have what it takes to succeed?”
     
    You may think the answer has to do with the quality of your voice or your image, your age, how well you can dance, how easily you can memorize lyrics or who you know.
  23. Singer in Spotlight

    Fifth Harmony and their lesser known British counter-parts Little Mix are quite popular right now and for good reason. Besides singing harmonies very well, looking fantastic, enamouring young men and making young women envious, they use riffs, runs and embellishments well to enhance their vocal performance.

  24. Destiny's Child Vocal GroupRecently Fifth Harmony performed a Destiny’s Child medley on ABC’s new show Greatest Hits. You can see a teaser video of the performance using the link at the end of this blog post. Whether or not you like the music of Fifth Harmony as much as they like to sing Destiny’s Child songs, you probably would agree that they are a talented vocal group.
  25. Contemporary Vocalist DownloadMany singers lack the confidence to be fully expressive performers because of either a small vocal range or a "breaking point" that segments their range. Still others have come to believe that the "breaking point" in their range, otherwise known as register break is a natural part of a singer’s voice.
  26. Lyrics to Songs
    (This exercise is excerpted from “The Singer’s Guide to Powerful Performances” by Jeannie Deva.)  

    Here is an exercise to help you learn lyrics faster and express them with more feeling when singing.
     
    1) This exercise is done without musical accompaniment and using printed lyrics for a song you are learning.

  27. This week's Blog post is a short sample video lesson from Jeannie Deva's Online Vocal School at Artistworks.com. The school features over 200 video lessons recorded by Jeannie and more.

    This three minute video lesson teaches you a simple exercise that will help you sing with more accurate pitch.
    Watch, enjoy and learn. 

    Check out the curriculum and other free lessons at the 

  28. Jeannie Deva at Sunset

    On January 17, 2016 the wonderful spirit we have known as Jeannie Deva departed her body. Jeannie has touched and enriched the lives of so many people and she will be missed. 

    She was passionate about singing and helping singers to reach their full potential.

  29. The holidays can be a joyous time of year or sometimes a dreaded season from which to recover. Often the difference between the two depends upon how well we deal with familial relationships and whether or not we over-indulge. If you are doing any performing during the holidays, you certainly don’t want to over-indulge in all the fabulous food, libations and desserts.
  30. Singer on a StageDo you get stage fright? Stage fright is more common for novice performers but even seasoned professionals may be plagued by it. While the specific reasons for it vary, there is one general state of mind that is common to all stage fright.  

    Center of Attention- The Singer

    In general the singer is the center of attention for the audience except when their perception is drawn to other band members during solos or other stage antics.
  31. Here are four steps to learn a riff, run or embellishment:

    1. First learn the notes. Most riffs are short, two, three or four note patterns. Longer riffs are usually several short riffs strung together. Listen to the melody carefully and don't worry about the vowels or words initially. Focus on learning the melody first.
  32. Jeannie Deva Singing RiffsHistory

    Most Pop R&B singers I have coached in recent years want to sing riffs, runs and embellishments like Christina Aguilera, Beyonce or Mariah Carey. These divas and other Pop R&B singers like Yolanda Adams, James Ingram, Justin Timberlake and Luther Vandross are outstanding singers who have made vocal embellishment a hallmark of contemporary singing.
  33. Vocal Recording Room AcousticsDuring the 27 years I have been producing singers in studios, I have discovered often surprising ways to help them sing better. Here is a gem of a tip about the little known “sweet spot.”

    While room acoustics can influence how you sing in a live performance, the impact is even more pronounced in the recording studio.
  34. Alcoholic DrinksHow often have I sat in a club and watched the singer down shots of hard liquor or bottles of beer. In certain genres of Rock music it was so common you’d think alcohol was a “singer’s drink.” Fortunately in recent years this trend has diminished but I recently received an email from a singer asking me if drinking alcohol would adversely affect his voice.

  35. The Voice Open Call Auditions just took place this weekend in Los Angeles and have been done in other US cities over the last two months. So why am I posting this blog now? You can always submit a video audtion to The Voice. The 2016 season starts September 21st, so there is still time to become involved.

  36. Jeannie Deva Singers World App Icon
    They say hindsight is 20/20 and I certainly agree when I look back at my early years as a performing singer. It never occurred to me then that I was totally unprepared when I arrived at rehearsals or gigs. In this blog post, I’ll help you be sharp and professional at your gigs by applying a well-known Boy Scout motto.
  37. Relax Lips to Sing Better FastWhen you sing do you tense your lips? Are you exaggerating their movement or that of your cheeks or the opening of your mouth? Do you try to form your vowels with your lips?
     
    Try this with a song you like to sing or perform.
     
    Stand in front of a mirror and watch yourself as you sing. Really put yourself into the song and watch your face, especially your lips and mouth.
  38. Rib Cage and SingingBreathe into your back.

    Have you been taught to push your stomach forward when you take a breath and then hold it still or push it​ in as you sing? Or ​perhaps you've been told to slowly exhale as you sing​ or "sing on an exhale"​?

    If you experience strain, tension or register break​ when you sing, it could be coming from tensing your ​belly in some way.
  39. Sam Smith
    To get to a point where vocal surgery is required is definitely no joke no matter who you are. But when it means having to cancel numerous concerts part of a full-out tour, undergo surgery and then undergo absolute and complete vocal rest for weeks and carry the weight of uncertainty on just how your voice is going to sound once recovered, well… my heart is heavy.

  40. Mariah CareyPerhaps the journalists who criticized Mariah's performance should get their ears checked or at least stop using the reactions of select celebrity audience members to determine the quality of a performance. The majority of the live audience in Las Vegas who heard Mariah Carey sing her new song "Infinity" responded with resounding applause.

  41. JamHub rehearsal mixerDo you have no place to practice or rehearse without disturbing neighbors? Well the good people at JamHub have come to the rescue. This product has been on the market for some years and I have a more detailed review of it on my web site, but I wanted to revisit it from the perspective of allowing singers and musicians to practice or rehearse when they ordinarily wouldn’t due to noise restrictions.
  42.  Dealing with a Critical PersonNegative People

     
    I’ve talked about the influence of negative people in previous articles but it is important enough to warrant repeating. Passing acquaintances that make you feel bad about yourself are easier to cease interacting with, but long time friends or even relatives are much more difficult to deal with.
  43. Jeannie Deva's Hollywood Voice Studio

    Constructive vs. Destructive Criticism 


    Perhaps not so obvious to some is the big difference in effect between constructive and destructive criticism. I'm bringing this up now, because how you critique yourself will either advance or thwart your progress as a singer and performer.
  44. Jeannie Deva Vocal WorkshopYou can achieve at least part of your growth as a singer alone, free from the opinions of others. Self-critiquing is a valid tool of development, but your success with it depends upon how you do it.

    Perhaps you already improve your singing with any number of the following activities:
    taking voice lessons, rehearsing with a band, recording, performing and getting audience feedback, listening to other singers and singing with recordings.
  45. Audix VX5 Microphone ReviewThe power of the Audix VX5 mic totally surprised me and it has a unique “high tech” look. This microphone brings out brighter aspects of the voice which can make it feel easier to sing. If you have any tendency to push for power, the VX5 may reduce that inclination. It resonates well for quiet vocals as well as for a full voice sound.
  46. HD 280 Professional – Studio Monitoring Headphone
    Deva Straight Talk:
    The HD280s are the BEST I've ever used in the studio - and I've sung with many. They help to make singing easy which keeps the session fun and efficient in achieving final vocal tracks. They are light weight and adjustable with very comfortable and luxurious ear pads permitting extended wear.
  47. Does your tongue tense as you sing? Does the back of it pull up as you go for a higher note? Does it push down into your throat?  (That will cause your voice to get tight and lose tone.)

    Here is a quick tip to relax a tense tongue. Do this as an exercise, not when actually performing.
     
    As you sing a song, rest the tip of your tongue behind your bottom teeth.
  48. Free Singer Tips
    On a scale of one to ten how enjoyable is singing for you? Is it still as much fun as it was at some time in the past? If you are enjoying it more, keep doing what you are doing, as it is obviously successful. If you are enjoying it less, perhaps it is time to change some things and adopt a new perspective.
  49. Opera Singer PavarottiThank you for your comments to last week’s blog post. I hope you don’t mind me using one of them to lead into this week’s wrap-up of our discussion of Classical vs. Contemporary technique.  

    “Isn't there really just one singing technique? - diaphragm regulates airflow….”  

    I believe that there is just one singing technique and that it’s based on how the body works and needs to work to create vocal sound.
  50. Opera Singer PavarottiSinging with a "Yawn"

    Some Classical techniques focus on lifting the soft palate and maintaining an open throat as you would if you were yawning. To get some idea of this, yawn and while holding your throat in that open position, try sustaining an "Ah" sound. Now say "Ah" like you would in normal conversation and without manipulating your throat, sustain an "Ah" as you would normally speak it, letting your throat shape itself.
  51. Opera Singer PavarottiQ: "Dear Jeannie… I would like to know if there is a difference between Classical and Popular music vocal technique. Thank you for your (magazine) column. It keeps a lot of us out here going." A.T. Boston, MA

    Are you really studying Contemporary Technique?

    When I began teaching voice nearly 40 years ago, there was no one teaching a really contemporary technique.
  52. Rock Singer Performance TipsMusical Genre
     
    How do musical genres such as Hip Hop, Pop, Rock or Jazz intertwine with your personality, vocal skill and ultimately your personal style? Since each of these qualities will vary from singer to singer, there is no one answer, but you can use what we have covered in this and earlier blog tips to guide your journey to your own unique vocal style.
  53. Rock Singer Performance TipsVocal Technique
     
    You might ask, “What does vocal technique have to do with my style?” Well, I believe that the purpose of vocal technique is to give you the skill to sing what you want in the way you want, without hurting your voice. As long as your vocal instrument can function properly and freely you will have vocal consistency, control, increased range, and yes, a wealth of different sounds such as rasp, belt and wails.
  54. Rock Singer Performance TipsLearn - Don't Clone
     
    Copying what others do is a fundamental way to learn. Babies and young children do this all the time. So how do you copy and learn from singers you admire without becoming a clone? The keyword is “knowingly” copying your favorite singers.
     
    When you sing a song, a phrase or even just a riff like a singer you admire, do it to learn how they do it.
  55. Rock Singer Performance Tips
    "You gotta have style" - a slogan popularized by celebrity fashionista Diana Vreeland, the editor of Harper's Bazaar (1936-1962) and Vogue Magazines  (1962-1971), may now have become trite; but, if we define it as "a characteristic or distinctive manner of expression," it remains to this day as a keystone of every successful performer.
  56. Vocal Care Singer Blog Flu Season
     
    Even though the holiday season can be fun and joyful, it is also a time when colds and flues seem more prevalent. A common query I get at this time of year is whether or not you should sing when you’re ill. 

    In general the answer would be no, but depending upon which areas of your body are effected, it may be possible to sing if you prefer not to cancel an important performance.
  57. Vocal Care Blog Tips Q: If a singer develops nodules or polyps on their vocal cords from overuse, what is the likelihood of recovery and continued success as a vocalist?" Nola

    A: To begin with, nodules (nodes) and polyps are not the result of "over-use." These vocal fold maladies derive from misuse.
  58. Relax Your TongueSing Easier - Relax Your Tongue

    Does your tongue tense as you sing? Does the back of it pull up or push down as you use more range? 

    When the back of the tongue is pulled up or pushed down, inner throat muscles are being tensed. Sometimes this is done by a singer trying to open the space of the back inside of the mouth, perhaps thinking it will provide more resonance.

  59. Microphone Technique and TCH Mic Review Video

  60. Mariah CareyWithin hours of Mariah Carey opening her Chanteuse tour in Tokyo on October 4, 2014, the media was awash with insulting videos and news stories about how badly she sounded. If you listen to the sample YouTube video of her show that is posted on TMZ.com, even taking into consideration the poor recording quality of the video, it is clear that a once great singer has run aground on the rocks of vocal blow-out like so many before her.
  61. Singer Performance Skills BlogWhat a Difference a Mic Makes

    This blog tip is adapted from Jeannie Deva’s eBook: Singer’s Guide to Powerful Performances, Chapter 22: Finding the Right Microphone.
  62. Contemporary Vocalist singing technique - Jeannie DevaIn my nearly 40 years as a vocal coach and voice teacher, I have worked with thousands of singers. They are all individuals but have one thing in common. Nearly all of them have been confused about vocal technique and have been unsure of what to do or not do when singing.
  63. Vocal Care for SingersThis information is not intended as medical advice and does not replace competent medical treatment when symptoms are severe or the result of infection.

    The following four herbal supplements can usually be purchased at most pharmacies and health food stores. All four can assist in reducing vocal hoarseness and fatigue.

  64. Vocal Care for SingersWhen your voice is tired and irritated from over use or misuse, there are several remedies that help it recover faster. None of these remedies, however, take the place of seeking professional assistance if your vocal problems are chronic or serious. You can seek assistance from a good vocal coach and/or an otolaryngologist or ENT(a medical doctor who is Ear Nose and Throat specialist).
  65. contemporary vocalist singing technique Teachers have always coined terms to explain and classify the voice in an attempt to add credibility to vocal pedagogy (teaching). Trying to make an art form sound more credible by using impressive terms unfortunately does not make it scientific. Not being scientifically sound, some of these terms would occasionally clarify concepts for a singer but more often they would generate confusions which actually hinder one’s understanding and potential.
  66. Jeannie Deva Vocal Warm-upsYour singing voice is produced from the rapid and highly precise actions of small muscles in and around the larynx (voice box). As with any type of demanding physical activity, circulation increases and the muscles swell with blood. Blood supplies all the cells in the body with three essentials for life: oxygen, nutrients and water.

  67. Vocal Recording BlogHello! I hope you’re doing well.

    Since vocal recording can be an important part of a singing career, this week's blog post is a question sent to me and my answer which I hope you find informative.


    Q.
  68. Vocal Recording BlogVocal recording is an art unto itself. During more than 26 years of experience as a recording studio vocal specialist, I have amassed lots of practical know-how that I will share with you in this blog category of Vocal Recording. First I'd like to address pre-production.

    Most musicians can’t afford to waste recording studio time.

  69. Singer Performance Skills BlogThere’s a secret reason and wonderful result achieved when you practice the melody separately from the lyrics.

    Some years ago, while I was helping an experienced singer learn a song for her next show, I noticed that certain spots in the song sounded off.

  70. Singer Performance Skills Blog

    At each point in your ever-developing career, it’s essential to always put forth your best presentation. This includes knowing how to choose a song key that enables you to sound your best and feel comfortable. In general, it’s important to base your choices on your current ability rather than what you hope to be able to achieve in the future.
  71. Singer Performance Skills Blog

    Basically, anyone can sing a song. But not everyone can sing a song that captivates and enchants the listener. To help you develop this ability, I’m going to detail the process of how to become one with a song.

    You might think that the process is obvious: learn the words; learn the melody.

  72. contemporary vocalist singing technique
    1. Pulse Vibrato is achieved through changes in the volume of the note. The rapid interruptions of the tone that create the wavering effect are caused by increases and decreases in volume, not pitch. This type of vibrato is stylistically appropriate for rock, pop and some R&B.
  73. Vocal Care for SingersSteaming your voice is a soothing treatment you can use to help clear the mucous build-up on the membranes of your vocal folds, larynx (voice box), trachea (wind pipe) and bronchial tubes in your lungs. You can buy a personal steam inhaler or use this home remedy:

    Boil some water, pour it into a soup bowl. Cover your head with a large towel and make a tent over the bowl being careful not to burn yourself.

  74. contemporary vocalist singing technique The word vibrato is Italian for “vibrate.” It’s a pulsating effect created within a sustained tone. These pulsations are created through a slight wavering of the pitch.
  75. Singer's Guide to Powerful Performances Jeannie DevaWhen you blend vocal harmonies you are not only bringing together the pitch of each voice but also its tone, pronunciation, phrasing, volume and rhythm. Tone refers to the timbre or characteristic sound of your voice. For the best blend, work on matching your tone to one another.
  76. Food for SingersI’m not a nutritionist, but from my many years of experience with numerous diets and thousands of singers a pattern has emerged of which foods are beneficial and which are detrimental to the voice.

    Any foods or beverages which stimulate phlegm (mucous) or stiffen muscles, particularly in the vocal folds, would be the ones to avoid for singers.
  77. contemporary vocalist singing technique - jeannie devaHaving worked with thousands of singers over the years, I have found that many are confused about technique and what they should be doing when singing. They are uncertain whether the directions they have been given are correct because they are usually based on opinion or personal taste rather than on fact.
  78. Jeannie Deva Vocal Warm-upsResonance Wake-Up

    This warm up does as its name suggests: It wakes up the resonance of your voice. Resonance equals volume without force. This warm-up is also excellent for examining and developing the basic vowel sounds used in singing. Do this warm-up until you notice a difference in the relaxation of the muscles and the resonance of your voice within your mouth and throat.
  79. Jeannie Deva Vocal Warm-upsRock singers and musicians are part of a special non-conformist rebel clan. Sounding raw, powerful and natural are valued and important attributes. Yet, in aspiring to achieve these qualities we create and are daunted by our own nemesis. Aggressive singing, competition with band volume and often insufficient monitor support leads to the Frankenstein monster of “Vocal Blow-Out.

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