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Thanks to Bob (Videohere)

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For linking in a Mark Baxter video in another thread. I already have Mark's book, for a year or so, now. And of course, found it most enlightening.

But, from the video, I linked to his other "tip of the week" videos. And he mainly addresses the mental aspects, which does not take away or negate the need for exercises, mind you. But it does keep the end goal in mind.

Soemthing I did learn from him that I did not think of before. And you would think I would have thought of this since I am king of "good job" and positive reinforcement. He suggests, when doing sound check at a club, make sure the first person you bribe, I mean, tip, is the FOH person. My previous advice was to carry a Louisville Slugger for persuasion. But I think his method will work better. It's like giving a tip to your barber. The next time you get your haircut, he will do it the way that you want and make you look great. So, tip the FOH more than the guitar player tips him.

I also like his definition of copy versus cover. Copy is where you are in a tribute band or a top 40 band in a club. It only works for the audience if you sound just like the original. As opposed to a cover, where you sing the famous song in your own style. And the farther away the style, the more distinctive the cover. Like Dolly Parton doing her bluegrass cover of "Heaven" by Collective Soul. Or Thin Lizzy or Metallica doing their respectively hard rock and heavy metal covers of the irish folk song, "Whiskey in the Jar." Those are covers, rather than copies or being a tribute band.

And that you need to choose carefully.

Or his exercise for developing coordination and flexibility or strength in the voice with the hee sound, making sure to not disengage breath support. Too many will try to punctuate the h by alternately loosening or tightening the belly when the pressure should remain constant. Brilliant.

And,of course, I applaud when he points out where the voice starts. Anyone care to guess? Which does not negate the physical work. It just helps to remember where you are driving from, so to speak.

And that the reason for vocalises and exercises is to later allow the freedom in your voice to sing what the heart feels. Just as Robert has shown the difference between a vocal exercise and feeling a song. So, while we worry about whether to do this or that exercise, in the end, it is the strength and flexibity it creates that helps us sing, not the odd sound itself, to be the goal. Technique is to make a sound. Singing is to feel.

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:) I decided to give this a bump. I had forgotten about this thread.

What I like about Mark Baxters videos is that he gives advice on things other than technique that singers still need to know.

I did not jump on this thread before because many members on this forum have given the same advice at different times. I also am not promoting Baxters teaching over anyone elses.

But take a look at his videos.

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This is important, and it does not stop only at melodies:

Yeah I like this, this is so true.

I actually figured this out right from the beginning, I don't have a ton of performing experience but some of my first performances just so happened to be in situations where for whatever reason I couldn't warm up or whatever. In the beginning I would still sing the normal melody and it would be mediocre. But then people (family mostly) would tell me my voice was off on that tune, or in one case my voice yodeled. So from those experiences I developed the wisdom to avoid notes if I'm not gonna make them.

Sometimes you don't even have to prepare an alternate melody, just improvise a different melody, in the moment. But you have to be good at that. I guess I am?

I did that recently. Did a talent show where I was primarily the soundman, and just performed one acoustic song, in the middle. Also had to be fully focused on setting up the equipment beforehand. So, a warm up was not gonna happen. I think I wasn't that hydrated either. At the end of the original song I was performing there is this set of high notes that really doesn't HAVE to be there, and I had no idea what would come out if I attempted it. So I sang something different, just hung around in my comfortable range and riffed. No big deal, it probably sounded just as cool as the original melody. And better than cracking on a high note.


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