Applying Vocal Technique To A Song - A Singing Lesson With Actress Krista Allen

So you’ve sung scales. You’ve practiced exercises. You’ve spent hours on end honing your vocal technique. 

But it all means nothing if it doesn’t translate into singing a song well! 

So let’s look at that. 

Using a real world singing lesson we are going to look at how to take the technique you’ve learned and apply it to improving your singing in a performance. 

The singing lesson we are going to use is a private session I did with actress Krista Allen. 

Krista is a wonderful talent and has appeared in many movies and TV shows such as Baywatch, Days of Our Lives, Anger Management, Significant Other, and many more. 

Developing a great singing voice can be very valuable to an Actress or Actor as it can really broaden the roles they can go for. It can open doors to doing a Broadway show or Musical (Who wouldn’t want to be in the next Grease!) 

So let’s check out this lesson and see what practical tips we can take from it.

First, if you’ve checked out my other tutorials you’ll know that I encourage you to practice exercises that help correct your vocal technique.

The thing to remember is these exercises have a important purpose. 

And that is to be able to sing better and control your voice in the context of a song. 

So let’s first watch Krista’s first go at singing Angels from Montgomery and then we will look at how we can apply some small changes that will result in an improvement.

Click below to watch (it will begin at the correct time)

The first thing we notice is that Krista felt it was at the edge of her vocal range. I’m excited about this because I know that as she begins to use her body more correctly, she will easily be able to hit these notes. In fact, she has the potential to go much higher! 

So the first thing we will do is get Krista to put her hands on her cheeks and sing the part that’s tricky (because it feels high). 

Krista puts her hands on her cheeks to give her awareness of where her sound placement is.

By doing this she can focus on keeping her sound above her cheeks, which is good vocal placement.

Another thing is she will attempt to pull the high notes down instead of sing up to them. 

This is a mental exercise, but it can really change the way you sing. Because if you’re trying to “sing up” to your notes it can easily lead to pushing your voice and moving your voice box out of place. 

But by “pulling the notes down”, it keeps everything in place and balanced. 

An added benefit is that when your voice is staying above your cheeks you will be able to hear your pitch a lot better. This makes it easier to sing in tune. 

“I Didn’t Even Know I Could Sing That High!”

Even Krista is impressed that she is singing those high notes! 

Now Krista will sing the song a second time and you will hear the improvements happening already.

Let’s watch it and then see if there are any more tweaks we can make. 

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time you will know that I’m always giving you lots of different things to think about. Exercises, mental concepts, visualisations, etc. 

The good news is that eventually you won’t have to think about any of this because your body will form a new muscle memory. And from here it will just do things automatically. 

That’s the entire point of doing exercises! 

So the next concept we are going to have Krista do is when she’s going up to her high notes, using the idea that she’s “letting go”. 

This idea of “letting go” combined with pulling the note down (instead of singing up) is a very effective way to stop pushing your voice. 

If you’ve ever been singing and your voice has “cracked” or “fallen apart” it’s because of one thing. And that is... 

You Are Pushing And Straining!

Letting go and pulling your high notes down starts to change that.

And after a while of doing it, it will become very natural. You have to think about it in the beginning as you’re getting used to it, but then it just becomes the way you sing. 

Let’s see how Krista goes adding this new concept. Press play below (the video will begin at the correct time for the demonstration) 

While Krista is still feeling a little uncertain we can still hear some impressive results. 

More control. More certainty. And she could hear herself so much better. These are very positive steps forward! 

The Big Takeaways From This Singing Lesson

  • The exercises and concepts that you practice are so you can develop a new muscle memory that gives you a better voice
  • Singing up to higher notes requires letting go and pulling the notes down (as opposed to singing and straining up to get the notes)
  • Be patient with your practice. It takes a little time for the new technique to take hold
  • Have fun! You can see how much Krista enjoys herself in this lesson and that attitude is what helps you to keep moving forward
Having fun is a must! If you enjoy yourself it will be easier to keep going. And if you keep going you will get better!

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About The Author

Roger Burnley - Vocal CoachRoger Burnley - Vocal Coach

Roger Burnley is a vocal coach located in Hollywood, California. He has been teaching the voice for over 30 years and singing for even longer than that. 

Notable past and present clients include Macy Gray, Brandy, Ray J, The Beastie Boys, James Torme, Taylor Lautner, Nona Gaye, and many more.

His clients have collectively sold more than 30 million albums, with several reaching Platinum and Gold status. 

Roger has been featured on VH1, TV Guide Channel, TV One,
and MTV appearing as a vocal expert.

About The Author

Roger Burnley - Vocal CoachRoger Burnley - Vocal Coach

Roger Burnley is a vocal coach located in Hollywood, California. He has been teaching the voice for over 30 years and singing for even longer than that. 

Notable past and present clients include Macy Gray, Brandy, Ray J, The Beastie Boys, James Torme, Taylor Lautner, Nona Gaye, and many more.

His clients have collectively sold more than 30 million albums, with several reaching Platinum and Gold status. 

Roger has been featured on VH1, TV Guide Channel, TV One,
and MTV appearing as a vocal expert.

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