As a solo performer (piano/vocals,) I am constantly looking for tips on how to improve my singing voice. The truth is, I thought I was destined to have a whiny, high-pitched voice with limited range. And EVERY time I would go for those high notes, I would be pulling it up from my chest and belting so loudly, that it would become difficult to play and sing at the same time.
The weird thing I noticed, was that if I practiced a song in my speaking voice (not really singing, but just memorizing the words,) I’d have no problem. In fact, I could play the piano better, and remember the words better. But when it came time to sing, I’d be taking in these enormous breaths to get those high notes out. I’d belt at the top of my lungs, and all concentration was simply on hitting that note. Meanwhile every other aspect of the music was falling apart.
It gets worse. Imagine playing in a coffee house, or a place where the background volume was relatively low. Maybe a nice dinner restaurant, as an example. Nothing annoys the crowd more than someone screaming, when they shouldn’t be.
That had been the frustration and embarrassment of my life as a performer. Then I discovered Singing Success. I think I found it first on YouTube, back in the days when Singing Success was just getting started. They had a few promo videos at the time that promoted their program. Now they have a ton of free videos online to promote their products (which have expanded.)
Here’s a quick background on Brett Manning, the man behind what I think are the best vocal lessons you’ll find online or through CD, DVD, and video lessons.
He is not your average (or average above-average) instructor. Brett understands the mechanics of the voice in an insane way. His ear is trained to understand exactly what your vocal chords are doing. Where your breath is coming from. He’s a computer that deciphers your vocal output. He understands your strengths and weaknesses and exactly what you need to do to correct problems you may have. I know that is a pretty bold statement. But take a look at some of his students:
- Keith Urban – Grammy-nominated artist and CMA Male Vocalist of the Year (2 years straight)!
- Mark Kibble – Member of Take 6 and 10-time Grammy Award Winner
- Wes Hampton – Gaither Vocal Band
- And many more successful vocalists!
Brett has a prolific ability in explaining how and why certain exercises are going to help singers achieve a greater range, flexibility, and confidence in their vocal abilities. In fact, Brett spent many years of frustration with various vocal coaches as he developed a keen sense of controlling and improving his own voice. Now his talent is being used to help singers tap into a potential they never believed existed in their own voices.
In the past, for a private lesson with Brett, you would need to be prepared to put down over $200 for just one hour. And if you were not already living in Nashville, you would have some travel expenses to take care of. Luckily for me, I am getting plenty of work from the CDs even a few years after the purchase. There are also plenty of free media lessons that you can find from the Singing Success website or on YouTube.
But for that more personalized experience, you can now sign-up for online private video lessons with any member of his trained staff. They have all studied through Brett, and developed the same awareness to help each individual with their own voice.
One of the things that I really love about the program, is that it explains why you are doing certain exercises. Lets face it – Vocal exercises can be pretty weird. Not everyone feels comfortable making the awkward sounds that are designed to help your voice. But if you know why you are making those sounds, and you can feel and understand how it accomplishes certain goals, you’ll feel a lot more confident about practicing.
Although I know I still have much to accomplish (we’re students in music for life, right?) I have noticed increased vocal range. But what I’ve noticed more than that, is the ability to hit higher notes with less struggle. There are many songs that I used to scream. Now I can now sing at a level similar to my speaking voice. And the tone sounds so much better.
The breaks in my voice (which I feel is a huge problem for me) are smoothing out. In other words, I’m able to transition between chest voice, head voice, and falsetto without cracking. Those high notes continue to become fuller and easier to hit. I attribute that specifically to the “vocal fry” technique. By using the demonstrated vocal fry exercises, I have been able bridge the gaps and provide a smooth and full sound in the high notes that I had not been able to reach before.
Here are some benefits of the program:
- Increased vocal range
- Less effort with a fuller sound
- Greater vocal flexibility for riffs and runs
- Seamless blending between vocal breaks
- Renewed enthusiasm towards singing
- A whole new repertoire of songs that I could not pull off before
I honestly give Singing Success a 5-star rating. After nearly two years of training with the program, I’m still using his workouts every day to continually improve my voice. I invite anyone to post comments about singing. I’d love to talk about the different exercises with you.
The fact that the vocal techniques Brett teaches can be used over and over again without expiring or without bringing students to feel as if there is nothing more to gain is a terrific testimonial to its continuous benefits.
I have not tried the phone consultation or video lesson, although I have been seriously thinking about it. I would love to have that more personalized lesson, and I think with the background I have now achieved it would be suitable to give it a try.
The program comes with a workbook, videos, and CDs, all of which cover exercises that will benefit singers of all levels.
If you want to learn to sing, or improve your vocal skills, Brett covers a variety of styles and techniques that I’m certain will help you in a multitude of ways. After scouring the Internet, I know I’m not the only one to agree with the success of the program.
Brett’s program is available from his Singing Success website. I urge you to take a look!