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Any personal voice teacher recommendations in Los Angeles?

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Hi everyone,

Apologies if this is the wrong location to post this request.

This is my first post on TMV world, so thank you for taking the time to read it.

I've been wanting to seriously pursue voice lessons for the past couple years, but am finally taking a proactive step towards it, and this post marks that.

I live in Los Angeles, and there are more voice teachers than one could count. I don't want to leave it up to chance or some yelp review to guide me towards a teacher that might not fit with me. I've read other posts about how finding the right teacher is part of the journey, but if I could hone in on a more appropriate one from the get-go, it would certainly be helpful.

In terms of my background: I'm a music major in junior college, and will soon be transferring to a university to finish completing my degree. I began playing the drums at a young age, but decided I wanted a melodic instrument to be my primary focus, so I began learning the guitar about six years ago. I began taking voice training lessons at my school last year, but I've come to the conclusion that I need a more personalized and one-on-one approach.

I've read conflicting viewpoints about how much a "classical" background will truly benefit a modern vocalist, so for what it's worth, my primary interest is in singing Rock (although I would love to be able to sing some Jazz as well).

I've also read about whether it's better to spend $10 on 10 relatively good lessons, or $100 on ONE really good lesson, so I think it would be wiser to choose the latter (no matter the new ramen diet I would have to incorporate into my life :) ).

Finally, it would be preferable if the teacher were male, as I am male, and have read (I probably sound like a broken record at this point) about the pros and cons about having a member of the opposite sex teach one about vocal technique.

I hope I have been helpful in my ideal descriptions, at the risk of being too verbose...

I don't assume this will be an easy journey, but I hope to get some solid direction from some helpful members of this forum.

Thank you again for taking the time to read this, and I hope to hear from somebody soon!

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In my experience, the things you have read about choosing a voice teacher are true. The teacher should be specialized in something close to the style you want to achieve but should also have a good classical technique background, they should be a similar voice type, and quality wins over quantity.

Consider skype lessons. Some of the best teachers may not live near you but modern technology allows you to take lessons with them, and as someone who has done both, I can assure you there is very little difference between a skype lesson and an in person lesson. Skype lesson with a great teacher beats a real lesson with a mediocre teacher any day of the week.

With that in mind, some teachers I can recommend from what I have heard from them. Some of which are members of this forum. I think they all offer skype lessons.

Robert Lunte (my vocal teacher)

Daniel Formica

Ken Tamplin

Jaime Vendera

Kevin Richards

These guys all have a bit of a "rock" center which would definitely be a good fit for your goals. Not that they don't teach other styles, but they all sing mostly rock or similar styles.

Here are their approximate voice types, what I know about them. Pick the one that is closest to yours, not the one that has the voice type you want to have. They all have incredible range and power, their abilities extend way outside of their "classification", so you want to learn from the guy who knows first hand the techniques to get that out of your voice.

Robert: lighter baritone

Daniel: tenor?

Ken: heavier high baritone

Jaime: bass (this is what he says although i believe it was a misclassification at the time)

Kevin: bass baritone

However, you don't have to be super precise about getting a teacher with your exact voice type. It's probably more important that their teaching style fits the way you learn best and their method will get you the sounds you want.

They all have youtube channels, etc. stuff all over the internet, so you can hear them teach and sing. Easily found on google.

Hope that helps.

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Thank you very much for the detailed response, Owen. I hadn't even considered the fact that they should be within my vocal range, so thanks for bringing that up!

To be completely honest, I certainly do have my reservations about taking online lessons, but have also seen more and more threads popping up with people praising them... I think in my baby stages of singing I might still want to have a few in-person lessons so that they can see/feel where I have any unnecessary tension and things of the sort, just to lay the foundation down. I will most likely be contacting your teacher within a few months after I take some local lessons and see how we jive together. I wholeheartedly agree that one of the most important things to take into consideration is whether or not you have that "chemistry" with your teacher. I suppose for now, I'll just go through a few different options and hope that I stumble upon a relatively good one in Los Angeles. Thanks again!

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Ken Tamplin is in Costa Mesa, just a 30-40 minute drive from LA. He would be my strongest recommendation if you really prefer in person instead of over skype (for whats worth, my best vocal lessons have all come over skype)

There is also a guy named Daniel Knowles in West Hollywood who teaches something called "Progressive Vocal Techniques" I enjoyed my lessons with him, extremely knowledgable

I'd like to add another name to the skype list

Dante (http://www.vocalliberation.com)

He's probably the best I've had, and trust me I have had a TON of different teachers over the years.

Good Luck!

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You guys are awesome! And yet another tally for Skype lessons, huh? I'll have to look through the forums some more and see what your guys' reasons were for being equally satisfied with them!

I have to point out that James Lugo's website says he is located in North Carolina? Does anyone know if this is outdated, or did he used to live in Los Angeles and then relocated?

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Yes, apparently James moved to N.C. in 2011 >> http://www.jameslugo.com/bio.shtml ("2011 ended with James loading up the family and studio and moving to Raleigh, North Carolina for a better life for his wife and kids. Now a days with skype, source-live and the internet he's still able to work at the same level and with the same TV and record companies he did in Hollywood. So in many ways things haven't changed much just way less bills and way more trees. Nice!")

I KNEW he was located in Hollywood in the past. I suppose I haven't been to his website for quite awhile.

My apologies, Vox !!!

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Vox, my first skype lesson with Rob Lunte probably helped me more than all the weeks of in person lessons I had taken beforehand with my local teacher combined. Who was still an okay teacher. But the difference between an okay teacher and a great teacher is huge, and the difference between skype and in-person is so small.

I think in my baby stages of singing I might still want to have a few in-person lessons so that they can see/feel where I have any unnecessary tension and things of the sort, just to lay the foundation down

The first few lessons are really not about finding unnecessary tensions. That's a generally pointless procedure I've heard referred to on here as "witch hunting for tensions". It is not what will really make you a better singer. A great vocal teacher will probably only do a little of that stuff. It's not the difference between a great singer and a horrible singer. Most great professional singers sing with a lot of unnecessary tension actually, but it just doesn't matter that much. That's not where the fundamentals lie. The fundamentals of vocal technique lie in what the main muscles of singing are doing. That's what the foundation is. Any extraneous tensions, you can get rid of that later, or it will go away naturally as a result of achieving a better foundation.

And the teacher won't be looking for or feeling tensions to detect them. That's an unreliable way to determine it. That's what old naive classical teachers might have done, but modern vocal teachers, especially those teaching powerful singing, know better. You are the one to detect tensions, to point them out to your teacher. If you don't feel them they are generally not that problematic. If you don't feel pain you're not straining. If you teacher is telling you you're straining and you have no idea what they're talking about and your voice feels like a million bucks, your teacher is wrong, not you.

I could keep rambling on about how skype lessons are totally fine, basically the same as a normal lesson, just without the extra seasoning, you know? You miss a couple things but those extra things are simply not that important in the first place. Skype lessons share the same overall substance as an in-person lesson. They enable your teacher to accurately hear what you're doing, help you build a foundation, demonstrate techniques, make suggestions to diagnose problems, pick the right exercises to fix those problems, coach you through songs, etc. etc.

Really, the only way you can totally screw up a skype lesson is to be not technologically prepared; to have a poor internet connection, bad audio level, things like that. If you get all of the technology configured right and ready to go, it feels just like an in-person lesson.

Hopefully you get the point. Do you need me to make a stronger argument? :lol:

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