Watch the Guitar Player Wanted: Vocals A Plus! online guitar lesson by Karan Andrea from Guitar Player Wanted: Vocals A Plus
So you've dedicated all your time to mastering your instrument, and then you see ads like these. They make you realize that you aren't that comfortable singing - or are downright terrified. Or worse, you have been told "don't sing - stick to guitar." For most of you, singing is secondary, but to get good gigs, you find that you have to at least be able to sing harmonies, or do some lead vocals, and you aren't sure of yourself. When you step up to the mic, you aren't certain of what is going to come out of your mouth.
This training course is for players who just want the basics. You may be a seasoned player who needs to develop some vocal chops, or you may be a beginning musician who wants to start out with a solid foundation. You will be surprised to learn that the basics are less about singing scales, and more about understanding your voice as an instrument that you can control. If you think about it, you realize that your voice is a fretless instrument that you cannot see. It couldn't get much tougher, could it?
What makes it seem worse is that there is some sort of mysticism surrounding great singers, which certainly isn't encouraging for the rest of us. In actuality, learning to sing correctly is simply a matter of learning to coordinate the muscles involved, and it doesn't mean that you are going to sound like an opera singer. Not at all. You can sing in your own voice, in your own style, with great technique, and sound natural. So we can take the mystery out of it, really.
If your goal is just to become a better background singer, with the odd lead vocal, you do not need intense, formal training, and you don't have to dedicate endless hours to practice. This is not to say that you will never have to practice - you will - but you will not have to invest lots of time to get positive results.
As a guitar player, you have quite a few advantages over non-players who sing. You understand basic music theory and structure. You understand keys, chords, melody, harmony, intervals, keeping time - all those things that a performing musician must know. You can communicate both musically and verbally with other instrumental musicians. For someone not playing an instrument, it is easy to get a little lost in a song during extended jams, or even simple solos, but you always know where you are in the song, and where the vocals should be placed.
You have already done at the very least, passive ear training. In fact, in my experience, guitar players often have much better pitch and pitch recognition than singers do. As an added bonus, you are always holding your pitch reference in your hands. You understand tone, timbre, pitch and resonance as it applies to your primary instrument - the guitar.
All of these are skills that you pick up as you learn to play an instrument. If you are a seasoned player, you will have a great musical foundation to build upon, and you have a better technical foundation than most singers - even trained singers. Why? Because these are not skills that singers pick up even if they have some formal vocal training.
For example, many pop singers have no idea what key they are singing in, or how to communicate musical ideas to their band mates. I use the term "pop" as a catch-all for "popular music" - all the various genres that have splintered out of blues and country of the early 1900s. So when I use that term, understand that I include all the styles you might be working in. Speaking of style, this program is not about singing style; rather, it covers the basics of how to sing. You are going to put the style into it. A song is just a melody, meter, chords and lyrics until you put it into a genre. I encourage you to listen to all styles of music and all styles of singers, and be open to hearing them.
I always loved to sing, but when I started playing guitar and writing songs, I started hearing things in my head that I wanted to do vocally, but I didn't have the chops. This put me on a quest to learn how to sing the things I wanted to hear in my songs. I started with some basic training materials and ended up working with my current voice coach, who has helped me find my own way.
With her guidance, not only has my technique and ability improved, but my understanding of what specifically is going on with my 'instrument' has made it more consistently reliable. This has given me the ability to work through difficult situations, pulling off vocals that I never thought I could. What I have done with this course is distill the concepts and exercises that are the most effective and most beneficial to give you a basic foundation from which to work.
You are a guitar player - you know that instrument. You know how to control its pitch, tone, timbre and resonance consistently. I am going to teach you how to get that same control over your voice, which I encourage you to think of as an instrument just like your guitar - although it requires different care and feeding.
First, I'll explain the basic anatomy or structure of your voice, and the anatomy of the breath. I will cover the basics of breath control. Next, I will explain in more detail the importance of your larynx position with regard to singing.
I realize that these first two parts may seem a little tedious, but trust me. Once you get these concepts, you will know more than most singers do. Then I will explain the exercises I have included on the companion CD. They are in three groups, so you can break them down and work on one section at a time.