It would be a very, very long list to mention all of the singers I’ve worked with in 30 years of teaching, but I wish I could. They’ve all made it possible for me to continue this remarkable journey of understanding this marvelous instrument known as Voice. 2022 marks 30 years of teaching voice and nearly 40,000 session. Yes…40K. It would be over double that if I hadn’t insisted on continuing my own music career over all of these years. I feel that continuing my own professional career has dramatically effected my understanding of the true necessities of a professional and artistic singing career.
A small list of pro’s I’ve worked with would include Rachel Platten, Colbie Caillat, Andy Grammer, Drake White, Eli Teplin, Ryan Hurd, Ryan Griffin, Steve Augeri, Marc Roberg, Sally Taylor, LC Gunn, String Cheese Incident, Brazilian Girls, Elephant Heart, and many more. P.S. I love teaching beginners and aspiring Pros.
Producers : Quincy Jones Productions, Busbee, Jason Evigan, Malcom Burn, to name a few….
Rachel Platten came to me in 2003 as a young singer working very hard to make it in NYC. She was very talented of course, but was what I call a high maintenance singer. It took a long time for her to warm up, and she was very inconsistent in her level of execution. Rachel and I worked very hard for several years with her voice and music, including co-writing and recording several projects together. Rachel said to me many times, “I feel like you really gave me my voice.” But the real truth is of course that Rachel worked very hard with what we were working on and with the intensity she brought to it to become to outstanding singer she is today. I’m still very lucky to continue working with Rachel on an ongoing basis including flying to LA to help with rehearsals, warming her up regularly before shows of all kinds and helping her prepare for big events like (The Star Spangled Banner opening day of the World Series, TV Christmas Special with Seth Macfarlane, TV appearances on Ellen, The View, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Etc, Etc). Recently (July 2022) I was fortunate enough get to warm Rachel up and get to hang for some remarkable studio dates here in Nashville.
Colbie Caillat, A truly natural singer, Colbie showed up after a mysterious affliction (virus / allergy ) Spring 2022 had rendered her voiceless for days. She had a very big show the next day, and had no voice. One of my specialties is voice recovery. After about an hour, we were boarding on performance voice, but since the show wasn’t until the next day, I had her relax that night and the next day we did it again, but to full voice. She sang truly beautifully that night for that show.
Andy Grammer. Andy showed up to me as the already awesome natural singer he is. But often in the grueling schedule of a pop singer, some of those talents that come so natural to Andy don’t want to show up night after night. So it’s my job to massage his voice back into shape and keep him up and running at the incredible pace he rocks it at.
Mark Roberge from OAR. came to me because he was constantly in pain from singing night after night. It only took about 6 weeks of intense sessions and Mark spending some extra time with my instructional materials to get him on the right track. Marc was so excited about our progress and had become a fan of my music, that he and the band asked me open for them at Irving Plaza in NYC.
Steve Augeri came to me after he’d been with Journey for 9 years. Obviously a great singer already, he still had issues to work out and was a very high maintenance singer that required forever to warm up. I spent a lot of time over several months helping Steve find more power in his voice and transition over to more of a belt from the mix he’d been using forever, and to find his voice with a lot less struggle and maintenance. Wonderful guy.
Billy Nurshi & String Cheese Incident…….String Cheese may not be known primarily for their vocals, but vocals are in fact a big part of their deal. And Billy was clearly struggling the most of any of the members with his vocals. He came to me when they weren’t touring for around a year and a half. A few months after we’d started, the band would hire me to come to rehearsals and work with them as a band as well. After a while they started working on a new album (One Step Closer) with producer Malcolm Burn. They flew me out for a week of a pre-production and then again for a week during recording. Michael Kang later thanked me and said they couldn’t have done it without me. I know that they certainly could have, but it was great to be in on the process of recording with so much talent.
Jesse Murphy from Brazilian Girls. I’ve done a lot of projects with Jesse as well as Aaron Johnston and Didi Gutman of Brazilian Girls. I’ve worked with Jesse on both Brazillian Girls projects as well as for another band he’s in called California. During vocal tracking for California I would warm Jesse up before recording. He’s expressed to me many many times since how those basic, on the spot warm ups completely changed his perspective on singing, and opened up a world of possibilities for him to explore.
…And countless other working singers I’ve been privileged to work with over the last 30 plus years.
Singers in full on study mode, studying their craft and preparing themselves for a future of professionalism and greatness. All ages, all styles.
Songwriters are a specialty of mine. I raise the bar for singers without compromising a natural unaffected sound.
Record Labels, Managers and Producers
Labels, managers and Producers of all levels send me singers to “tune up, solve problems, and get them in shape for upcoming recordings, tours and performances.”
Other Voice Teachers
Other Voice teachers have referred countless singers to me over the years….My background has equiped me to peel away the layers of built in habits and overcome some of the larger obstacles that plague some singers. I have also trained several voice teachers over the years. Some were practicing coaches that needed to bring their vocal mechanics skills up to a higher level, and some were long term students that I helped develop into teachers and start their own studios.
Those that either have aspirations to become performers or simply want to sing for the pure joy of it, and want to have fun doing it. I love working with complete beginners and hobbyists…..Love, love, love it. Everyone is unique, and when someone approaches a new interest, it deserves the special attention of someone that can recognize from the start the best way that individual will grasp the material, overcome the obstacles, and make the most growth possible…….and enjoy themselves. All ages, all styles.
Musicians that have focused on other instruments throughout their careers, and have always felt they didn’t have a functional or good enough singing voice to take the lead. It’s fun to hear all of that existing musical talent come to life through a new instrument (voice).
Anti-Singers and Anti Pros
I will not impose my agenda on to you. I get the punk mentality, and if all you want is to get to where you can punk out all the night without hurting your voice, I’m all for it. And of course that doesn’t only go for punksters, but anyone who has no real aspirations to become a great singer, but sings anyway. I’m at your service.
Natural singers present a unique challenge. What I’ve noticed with a great deal of singers that singing came easy to, is that it actually sounds a little too easy. There’s a part of performance that is enhanced by the performer being a bit on the edge. In fact, in some high energy styles, it is imperative to hear that “hanging on by your finger nails sort of energy.” And even in more personal and up close styles of singing, energy and that depthy “singing from the gut” quality still go along ways in translating emotional content. For some singers that it’s all come very easy to, they often come across like they’re coasting. Coasting doesn’t have a lot of drama, and fails to maintain a lot of emotional reaction from the listener.
I also hear this quality in a lot of contemporary singers that have studied exclusively with contemporary vocal method that don’t really dig down deep into tone development (Even if they might make claims to the contrary). Although some great singers have attached some of the very valid teachings from some of these methodologies (provided they were taught by a highly skilled teacher) they did not stop there. When singers fall short in their exploration of what this instrument (voice) is capable of, they come off with a very “over safe,” very “almost singing” kind of quality. To all you natural singers out there, once you’ve done some great “tone work,” that natural quality you already possess will turn into into a deep, resonant, dynamic, dramatic, emotional, powerful force of nature.
The Bar is High…….Reach For It
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