From wannabes to singers who’ve kicked around singing in garage bands, in bars, at bar mitzvahs, weddings, etc., if you’re serious about having a long and successful singing career…you’d better learn what makes your voice work and last. And, to do that, you need a great vocal coach.
Notice, I said “great,” not good or mediocre. If you’re a singer or recording artist, your voice is the most important instrument and career tool you have. You need to build it, nurture it and protect it. In my 30-plus years in the music industry, I’ve found only two great vocal coaches. One is the legendary Ron Anderson, with whom I studied, and who has taught everyone from Steve Perry of Journey to Axl Rose. The second is one of Ron’s most talented and diligent students – and now great vocal coach in her own right – Nancy Badger.
I have sent singers to Nancy who have had no vocal training, as well as singers who have abused their voices and gotten vocal cord nodes. She has amazed me in working with and dramatically helping both kinds of singers. Nancy teaches the bel canto technique she learned from Ron. Bel Canto is the amazing technique that the great classical and operatic singers have used down through the centuries.
Ron, an operatic singer, took these coveted techniques and refined them to build amazing voices in pop, rock, R&B, gospel, country and opera. Nancy continues Ron’s legacy. There are several coaches out there who purport to teach bel canto. Truth is – they don’t. The proof is – ask them to sing for you. Then, ask Ron or Nancy. You won’t believe the difference!
There are some really crappy vocal coaches in L.A., New York and Nashville. Some show their students basic diaphragmatic expansion lessons and then teach them how to harmonize melody lines. That’s not building your voice, or teaching you how to connect your chest, head and falsetto voices – seamlessly. That’s not taking singers with a mere one-octave singing range and expanding that range into three connected octaves.
Nor do most of vocal coaches teach you much about vowel modification to attain pitch, vibrato control, how to properly warm up the voice before singing – and the importance of warming it down, after singing. These are some of the technical things Nancy teaches. She also teaches her singers to incorporate these exercises into a daily regimen – to build not merely good, but great lasting and unique voices.
Most importantly, Nancy teaches students to believe in themselves. And, that great voices, like Rome, aren’t built in a day. Practice makes perfect. Half-hearted work ethics produce half-baked vocalists. You want to be great? You have to work at it.
Nancy gives you the tools, confidence and techniques to make you a great singer. The rest is up to you.
Larry Cox – Music producer, songwriter and artist manager