I Tried MY OWN Singing Course For 6 Months [You Won’t Believe The Crazy Results!]
As a beginner singer, I often wondered whether my singing teacher REALLY practiced the same exercises and routine as they had given me – I mean, surely there’s a point where your singing voice is just “great” and you don’t really need to practice anymore right?
As a voice coach myself with a decade of professional teaching experience, I found myself giving people the same advice over and over and telling them to stick to the coaching schedule shared in my Foundation and Growth 101 courses; until one of students asked me point blank;
“Kegan, do you actually do these courses yourself every single day?”
And while there were exercises and elements of my Foundation and Growth 101 courses that I obviously used each day to warm up my voice and troubleshoot any challenging songs or issues that came up in the process of helping others reach their goals each week – I honestly had to say “not consistently”.
From this point, I realised that I had been giving great advice to others and watching them build incredible voices (that even surpassed my own range and abilities from time to time!) without taking the same advice myself – and my own personal progress as a singer stalled as I rested on the laurels of having a fairly formidable range already, along with the ability to troubleshoot and problem-solve other singer’s issues with great success.
So I set myself a simple goal for 2020 – treat myself as a brand new student and follow my own course material and advice day in, day out to see if it was possible for an already advanced singer with a mature voice to develop even MORE range and power using my simple but proven “4 Vocal Fundamentals” vocal approach – and I can tell you my mind has been absolutely blown by the results.
Let me start by showing you where I was about this time last year with one of the songs off the first Dead Spirit Communion album. The range was impressive, especially for a guy with such a low voice naturally – but I do remember struggling a little bit to get this one “right” in the studio, especially in the higher harmony in the chorus. I actually wrote this song intended to be sung the higher octave, but decided at the last minute just to sing it in a comfortable low to mid range as it just sounded and sat better in my voice. All in all, I love the song – but when you see the progress I’ve made since this recording your mind is going to be blown.
January 2020 Notes and Observations
As of January 2020, I started using the Foundation 101 course – and while it was easy and effortless for me to power through each of the exercises and concepts that the course is designed to build, I realised that my onsets need a little bit of work in my higher range, and that it actually took me a few tries to really master each exercise into a warmed up state. I’ve got to say, it’s pretty weird seeing/listening to a demonstration of your own singing, and not really being able to match it as well as I did when I first put the course material together – so it was back to the drawing board with each concept from the course, even the basics like silent trills, placement trills and those pesky classical “hoot” exercises until I was again completely happy with how I was setting up each vocal fundamental.
I’d say it took me around two weeks to really get re-acquainted with the full warmup and course material in Foundation 101, at which point I started replacing the vowel portion of Foundation 101 with the extended warmup available in the Growth 101 course – and BOY was I surprised at just how challenging some of these exercises were to begin with, in particular the descending “head voice builder” exercise and the vowel modification scale – both of which I had been practicing already, but probably not with the care or ease with which I had been encouraging my students to practice these exercises with.
March 2020 Observations
After about 8 weeks solid practice – and a little break as my Daughter entered the world (welcome to the family, little bear!), I headed back into the recording studio and started working on new material for the next Dead Spirit Communion album and ended up with two tracks finished by the end of March, “The Dead Generation” and “Flowers In The Valley” which you can check out below.
Now, comparing this track to the songs I recorded less than 12 months earlier for the first Dead Spirit Communion album; I think it’s pretty obvious that my range and power had grown immensely at this point. From a personal perspective, it was also tons of fun to go in and nail the songs in a few takes each on the first day of recording rather than taking a few days or weeks to really get the ‘right’ take like I had with the first album – I think a large part of this was the confidence I had gained in the process of having a regular practice regimen again, which I really hadn’t stuck to since I was a student myself 10+ years ago.
Keep in mind that my very first vocal teacher told me that “you’ll only ever sing Johnny Cash songs” – care of my naturally low baritone voice.
March 2020 was really exciting for me as a singer!
July 2020 Conclusion
At this point, I’ve been using a combination of Foundation and Growth 101 along with a few other specialised tools and exercises I’ve developed for myself consistently for 6 months straight and have just released a new song “Follow and Obey” which I believe really shows the incredible progress I’ve made using these simple but practical vocal courses, especially in the higher range which once upon a time didn’t even exist in light sounds like lip trills or classical ‘hoot’ exercises.
If I really had to pick one thing that has changed the most in my voice over the past 6 months of sticking to the Foundation and Growth 101 learning schedule, it’s my ability to sing in head voice with the same power and ease that I’ve enjoyed in chest and mix voice for many years – sure, the range “was there” in exercises, but I never really felt confident enough to write a song that just sat in the B4/C5/D5+ range rather than just a note or two that slid up to this high range, until now.
Can Anyone Build This Kind Of Singing Range?
I’ve started sharing my students’ progress on Instagram as they work towards the same goals as myself using the Foundation and Growth 101 courses, and you can also join the Mixed Voice Singing FB group to see the progress that my students are making.
So, the short answer is absolutely YES – but, you need a solid routine and a bonafide’ Real McCoy vocal approach that isn’t just speech sounds disguised as a vocal course, but one that will teach you how to;
- Connect chest and head voice
- Sing in mixed voice
- Balance your onset
- The Four Vocal Fundamentals;
- Height In The Vocal Tract
- Forward Placement
- “All In One Flow”
- Mixed Tonality
- How to extend your range
- How to modify your vowels
- How to apply all of the above in a practical sense
The Foundation 101 course takes care of The Four Vocal Fundamentals and the first half of this list as you start developing a rock solid foundation for your voice, and Growth 101 will take you to the next level with a more intense forward placement, vowel modification and compression.
Are you ready to see just how much range you can develop and how much you can really improve as a singer (yes, even you advanced and mature guys like me!) with a proven and practical vocal course that isn’t just a marketing hype?
It’s time to develop The Four Vocal Fundamentals with the Foundation 101 singing course and take your voice to the next level with Growth 101!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.