Singing Tips from the Stars
We're so pumped for the upcoming musical comedy Pitch Perfect, but it doesn't come out till October 5! In the meantime, we're trying to hone our own Bey-grade pipes, and have compiled some tips and tricks from our fave voices. (And, okay, I put a few tips from me in there because I'm a singer. Take 'em or leave 'em!) Anyway, the following advice will guarantee that we all rock out at our next performance. And we won't judge if your next performance just so happens to be in the shower.
Confidence is key.
Ummm, get your alter-ego ready. We all know Queen B has Sasha Fierce, but did you know Adele has Sasha Carter? Adele suffers from anxiety and actually hates touring. (Stars, they're just like us! ) To get herself in the zone, she took a page from Beyonce's book and developed her own confidence-boosting babe name: Sasha Carter (a mashup of Sasha Fierce and June Carter). Does it make you feel better to know even those two need to pump themselves up before going out onstage? I feel like the balance has shifted back and us mere mortals now have a chance at greatness. If you need me, I'll be at L.L. Bean getting everything monogrammed with my new name: GlitterBomb Fey-Poehler. She's gonna to run for president … and she's gonna win.
Treat your vocal chords like you would a piece of Italian bread.
Everyone's family. According to Selena Gomez (who I know is not necessarily the most legit singer in the world, but apparently she learned this trick from the gospel of Kelly Clarkson and I believe Kelly Clarkson may have heard it from an old Italian fisherman but don't quote me on that), olive oil is the jam. She drinks a little bit before she needs to perform and it coats her vocal chords. KC did it before she won American Idol and look what happened to her, you guys! I personally like the tea + lots of honey and lemon but whatever works, you know?
Lay off the high ones. I like the high ones. Mule! Nag!
(That quote's from League of Their Own, by the way.) Okay, maybe don't lay off the high notes, but you should know how to finesse them. There's no need to powerhouse belt every single one. You'll run out of breath or crack or simply overdo it. You know that crazy lady who wears every piece of jewelry she owns like every single day? That's the person who blows the roof off multiple times in one song. It's too much. Christina Aguilera coaches her team on how to do this in "The Voice" but she isn't super vocal (ahem) to the general public about her secrets. Ugh, give up the goods, XTina! Whatever. I'll give it a whirl: Rehearsal is key, of course, but in my experience, it's also about knowing the story your song is telling. The high point is the climax of the piece, so treat it as such. It usually comes at the end. There might be other high notes in there, but these are just decoration. My two cents.
Idina Menzel, another belter you can believe in, offered up advice to her mentees on "The Voice" (yes, that ole chestnut again). She told them it's not always about flying on a broomstick or throwing down a smoke bomb or being suspended from a flying trapeze or singing underwater or whatever. You don't have to be the Drama Queen of 2012 to make it happen. A great performance is about being honest and fearless. (This is where your version of Sasha Fierce, Sasha Carter, or GlitterBomb Poehler-Fey comes in.) Find the emotions in a song and work those. Pull on those heartstrings, you golden-voiced puppet master, you.
And some last little bits of advice:
• Keep it simple like Adele at the 2012 Grammys.
• If you fall down, get back up and shake your weave out like nothing happened.
• Get into it: pound your chest, throw your arms out, be in the moment.
• Learn the words to the damn song.