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Showing results for tags 'James Lugo'.
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So now that I am in full swing back to singing professionally between my cover band and getting back to session singing and staff writing the demands on my voice are heavier then they have been in 20 years. Especially in the band where we are doing a lot of R&B, Top 40, dance and disco. A couple of things I have realized for myself living now on the frontline of the reality of singing is that training my voice as a rock singer for all these years did some great stuff but I feel I neglected a lower bridge and lower falsetto, 2 things that are absolutely paramount with that style that aren't really that important when you're a slammin rock singer and can actually be a detriment because it can make you sound 'unauthentic'. But for all this Pharrell, Kool and the Gang, Cupid, Bruno Mars etc.. it is absolutely critical to have, not only for stylish reason but so that you can sing 50 songs every night while dancing. It all came to a head about a week and half ago, my voice felt exhausted. I was getting gassed just talking. Took a few days off, also went to the ENT to get scoped and everything is perfect looking so it's just muscular. So I started to really dig into what was going on with me and where I could improve. I started reading, watching videos, pulled out all my old workout CDs etc.. Also started back training with a few different coaches and have really learned a lot about myself and my voice the past week or so. Voice is feeling and sounding way better. So here are some of my epiphanies: 1. I need to put time in everyday working my lower blend, head voice, falsetto and lower falsetto. Both with the feeling higher in the head and more in the mask. I've been studying with Johanna Boberg who is one of the absolute most incredible R&B singers and sings full-time in a working band. She has really helped me to start to identify what's going on. She's also really boosted my confidence by appreciating my voice. 2. I need to stay diligent everyday with the right life habits; eating a healthy non-acid reflux causing diet, not eating 2 hours before bed, using humidifier at night, not drinking cold water, long hot showers, doing vitamins & throat gargle, throat coat tea. I also ordered a oil diffuser humidifier for my studio. 3. Exercise and stretching; My buddy Jaime ran through all his vocal enhancing stretches with me this week and I have been doing them along with a little passive yoga and working out. Huge difference. Anyway, these are some of what I am doing if anyone has some cool tricks they want to ad that be great. I am more into singing now then ever in my life and I am actually enjoying being serious about singing again. That was one of the things that kept me from wanting to sing in a band again because I just wasn't willing to do the right thing, I always knew what it took to sing full-time and just didn't want to do it but now I do and I am enjoying it. No more slacker s**t. A few companies that I have publishing deals with have been asking for me to release something new for the past few years and I just balked, I felt I didn't have anything new to say. That's gonna change after this transformation. I will definitely do a new video/audio. Probably not a book though. Here are a couple of videos I have been enjoying to watch and are resonating with me.
Hey guys, I've been off the map lately, a lot going on. I had a question/thoughts on the topic of how we train our voices and train students. I have a keyboard controller that runs a piano program in protools, sounds nice. That's how I train singers and how I work myself out. This past week I have been in Las Vegas rehearsing for a show I am going to be a sub guitarist for (Rock Of Ages), we've been doing all the blocking on stage but we have been running the parts in a piano room backstage. It has a nice black lacquer Yamaha upright piano. I have to tell you I did vocal warmups with it and sang better then I do with the keyboard. It was real, resonant and inspiring. It was very different then hearing a piano coming through studio monitors. So many of the great teachers I have trained with used real pianos. So I just wanted to get you guys feedback. Also I am moving to Nashville September 1st and really want to reestablish myself as a top tier vocal coach and am considering buying a piano. So what do you guys think? Who's on a real piano vs keyboard/DAW controller? P.S. On a side note, as a lot of you guys know I got very sick with pneumonia in October 2014, took months to get better. And I really blew my voice out coughing. The journey back has been slow but steady. I have been singing a lot during the process which at times has made it difficult. Well about a month ago I realized I wasn't really fully healing, my falsetto was still not all the way there and it had been 8 months since the onset of the illness. So after 2 doctor visits and 3 ENT scopings over the last 6 months (where everyone said my vocal cords were perfect) I set up an appointment at Duke University Otolaryngology Department. What a great place and I met with the best of the best there. When he scoped my left nostril I saw white sores all the way down to my throat. I was like 'What the hell is that?'. The doctor said it was a severe and chronic sinus infection, that to his eyes looked to be maybe a year old. I had it the whole time and no one saw it. He also said it was so bad that it morphed into a fungal infection that settled on my left cord and made the cord not want to vibrate. Hence that was what was causing my singing issues. So he put me on a 14 day, very aggressive medication treatment, Amoxicillin, Prednisone and the anti fungal medicine Flocasson (sp?), he also had me on 14 days no singing (I only had 2 gigs I had to do, other then that no singing and little talking) and he sent me to an awesome Speech Therapist. It has been 1 month, I started singing for the first time 2 days ago and my voice is f**kin back! Hell yeah. Sounds and feels great. Endless top end again. The reason I tell you guys this is sometimes in life what we think is our greatest deficit becomes our greatest asset, This experience has been excruciating but I have learned more about the human voice in the last 6 months then I did in 25 years of studying and teaching. It wasn't until my ass was on the line till I really felt the full scope of what my professional students have to do to keep themselves in fighting condition so to speak. So in the end all is good. I am ready to sing and teach! maybe with a piano...
Ok guys so I have my new cover band. First time I'm doing this in over 20 years. I am having the toughest time memorizing lyrics. Lots of 80s, funk, Top 40 and disco. I was never the best at remember lyrics but it just seems impossible these days. Not sure if it's my years of killin brain cells as a kid. Either way I have to get my s@@t together. What do you guys do to remember lyrics??? I know Formica knows the words to a 1000 tunes. Maybe he can throw in some insight.