A great vocal recording is all about the performance.
Emotion, energy and vibe are so much more important than microphones, plugins or recording techniques.
But how do you learn to sing with confidence?
How do you write songs that fit your natural voice?
How do you know what you're even capable of, so that you can really give it your all in the recording session?
And what can you do to make sure your voice will last and you won't hurt yourself even after days of full-on recording or touring?
Well, there are a couple of great exercises, habits and things you can implement right away. Great starting points that are available to everyone who's willing to put in some effort.
And if you're serious about it and really want to take your vocal technique to a new level?
That's where a voice teacher comes in. Vocal lessons are so underrated and so many artist don't take advantage of this opportunity to drastically improve their songs and recordings.
For this episode we sat down with vocal coach Matt Ramsey of ramseyvoice.com to talk about all of this, give you plenty of actionable advice that you can implement right away and to get answers to our own burning questions on how to improve our vocal recordings.
Matt is a voice teacher and YouTuber with over 170,000 subscribers who's helped thousands of people find their natural singing voice and level up their vocal game.
Now he's here to help you and your band, too!
Find your vocal range in 3 simple steps with Matt's free web app:
This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.
Benedikt's voice on this episode has been recorded with the Antelope Axino Synergy Core.
[00:00:00] Matt: I love the mystery of, helping people, you know, kind of unblock things or overcome obstacles in their voice.
[00:00:07] It's endlessly fascinating. And, uh, you know, a lot of it is just doing a bunch of crazy exercises that
[00:00:13] no one would ever think
[00:00:28] Benedikt: Hello, and welcome to the self recording van podcast. I am your host
[00:00:31] any time, and I'm here with my friend and cohost Malcolm Owen flood.
[00:00:36] How are you?
[00:00:37] Malcom: Hello. I am great man. Off to a good start this week already, already. Awesome.
[00:00:43] Benedikt: That's awesome. any, like, what, what happened on
[00:00:46] the film side of things? What did you work on music?
[00:00:48] Malcom: I did work on some
[00:00:50] film stuff. I, yeah, it was cool week. I got to connect with like some mixers. I really
[00:00:54] respect and hear some amazing stories from what
[00:00:58] they've done now. [00:01:00] Got to work on a cool production, just over the weekend that had me
[00:01:03] on a boat, up in the portal, Bernie, in that he
[00:01:05] saw bears and giant
[00:01:07] And it was like, I like literally was laughing
[00:01:10] at one point. Cause I was like, I can't believe this is like what I get to do, like sitting in the sun, ripping around on a boat and go, okay, this is cool.
[00:01:17] Benedikt: we we gotta stop this at some point. like our audience is really thinking, we are like, yeah. we always said, and we're living the dream. Right? Like
[00:01:26] you, you, you do for sure right
[00:01:27] Malcom: dream things are good. Yeah. How, how about you, sir?
[00:01:31] Benedikt: and back mixing after the vacation. Um, I've been in a lot of running lately. I don't want to bore our audience with running stories again, but I'm really into running again. and, uh, I did a trail half marathon yesterday. I bike by myself, not a competition just by myself and
[00:01:46] Malcom: that's
[00:01:47] Benedikt: I was kind of surprised by how well it went. like I haven't run that far in that fast in a while, but it was really cool.
[00:01:54] Malcom: Good for you, man. That's great.
[00:01:56] Benedikt: Yeah, so All
[00:01:57] good. All good. I got an interesting [00:02:00] new gear day, which is also running related, but I finally got myself an ultra west, which is like, you know, these things, the ultra vest,
[00:02:06] um, it's, uh, not a backpack, but a vest where we can, where you have like two bottles in the front and you can have your, your sticks, like your hiking sticks. If you take some with you, you can, you can put them, on that thing. And, uh, yeah, it's like a. Uh, cool little device that, that makes you, that helps you run fast with it and take all your nutrition and water with you and stuff.
[00:02:25] Malcom: Killer. That's great. That's great. I actually am getting back into music this week though. So after months of talking about film gigs to this podcast that wants to hear about music stuff, I am mixing songs this week.
[00:02:38] Benedikt: That's good to hear. Yeah, it's getting, I'm getting more busy again as well. Now it seems like there's the summer dip, like every, every year where at least. Half a month or maybe a month. It's a little slower and I usually use that to go on vacation, but now the calendar is pretty, pretty filled up again to the end of the year. And, um, It's probably the same when you're.
[00:02:58] Malcom: Yeah. Great. To hear [00:03:00] more good music on the way.
[00:03:01] Benedikt: Exactly awesome. Now, today is a little special episode because we're not talking about recording techniques or anything like that, but we're talking about something that is very, very important. At least if you have a singer in the band, or if you are a singer it's important to the quality of your recordings of your record. And it's something many people just ignore or neglect or don't want to take. And, um, the topic is vocal lessons or proper vocal technique and getting help with that. So because of that, we just don't talk about that on our own, because we're not experts. We have a guest today who knows way more about it than we do. And this guest is Matt Ramsey. Matt is a YouTuber, he's a vocal coach, more than anything, but he's also YouTuber. And because he's so good at what he does, he has built a massive, impressive following on.
[00:03:50] he has a very successful website where he offers a vocal
[00:03:53] coaching and
[00:03:54] he's just, I don't know. He's just a very very fun guy to talk to and, [00:04:00] he's, I don't know his way of explaining things. Just speaks to me. What about you, Malcolm? I really liked the way he explained this.
[00:04:06] Malcom: I, I can't wait to share this episode with our listeners because Matt is like, he's the real deal he can, he can walk the walk, talk the talk, and tell it to you in a way that you want to hear. Like he's really able to communicate so clearly and precisely, and in ways that you can understand and also just make you comfortable. Like we were kind of getting a vocal lesson at points. It was, it was amazing. So yeah, I think people are going to really connect with this and uh, hopefully I hope consider taking their vocal chops to the next level, because as we know, that is what most people think is the most important part of how we connect with music. And I think that's largely true. So it has to be on point, uh, you know, for your band even live, you know, like we, we talk about recording, but you also have to connect with people when you play for them. Performing and and vocals are paramount to that. There are paramount to the recording, the paramount to [00:05:00] you, being able to do the recording and touring. It's like, it's all around just incredibly important as a musician. So I hope this episode helps with all of those things.
[00:05:10] Benedikt: I'm pretty sure it does. And just so you know, like how legit this guy is, like, if you go to YouTube and you search Ramsey voice studio, you'll find this YouTube channel. He has 169,000 subscribers. Some of his videos has have millions of use. So people really, the kiss stuff seems to really resonate with people and he's helping a lot of people.
[00:05:32] If you look through the comments and stuff, people really find that helpful. And he also has a cool little tool on his website that I want to share with you, which is a great starting point. if you go to rangefinder dot Ramsey, voice
[00:05:44] dot. Uh, it's a little app you
[00:05:46] built or had someone built. And it's, it's really a fun thing to try because you hit the microphone button, you sing the lowest note, you can sing and then you hit it again and you sing the highest note you can sing, and then it tells you your range. And I've played [00:06:00] around with that before we started recording this episode and we talk about it on the episode as well. I just want to put that in the beginning here in case you want to, you want to try that out.
[00:06:08] Malcom: do check it out.
[00:06:09] Benedikt: that that's a pretty cool thing. And, uh, now without further ado, here is our actual conversation with Matt. We're talking about things you can do to not hurt yourself, to make sure you can perform constantly on tour. And in the studio ways you can improve your range, use your existing range, better, um, exercises you can use before you go into recording session or before you hit the state. All of those things and, uh, yeah, let's dive into our conversation with Matt Ramsey. Hello matt, how
[00:06:43] Matt: everybody. I'm doing great. Thank you guys for having me.
[00:06:47] Malcom: Hey, our pleasure.
[00:06:48] Benedikt: Thank you for taking the time.
[00:06:50] Matt is a vocal coach, a voice teacher, if you will. And we're going to talk about how to improve your vocal technique, warmup, exercises you can [00:07:00] do before you hit the studio. Before we go into
[00:07:01] recording session, and we're going to talk about the importance, like the overall importance of like taking vocal, vocal lessons or improving your technique because there's, I mean, I'm no expert, Matt's going to tell us about this, but I assume there are multiple like benefits to this.
[00:07:15] It's you're not going to hurt yourself. You're going to sound better. There's a lot of benefits to training your voice, learning proper technique. And we're going to ask
[00:07:24] Matt ton of questions about this today, and we're So
[00:07:26] stoked to have him on. So well, Matt, um, maybe start by telling us a little bit about yourself and maybe describing what exactly is it that you do.
[00:07:36] Matt: So I'm like 22 years old graduate college. And I studied advertising in school because I really, really wanted to find a way to kind of marry my creative side with my business side. And, so my first internship right out of college brings me into San Francisco. And what happened was I had the worst three [00:08:00] months of my entire life. I mean, this internship was horrible. I was like working like crazy hours, you know, just writing tons and tons and tons of copy that I would never own. It would always eventually be for somewhere else. And so at the end of that three months, my boss has this, conversation with me and he's like, Hey, matt, you know, you seem like a really great guy. And you seem like you like to talk a lot about, about this creative stuff, but I didn't really, see you do a whole lot. Anything. And he's like, I think you should probably investigate why that is. And so I was very decidedly not hired, at this, at this advertising agency, after my, my internship. So I have this period of unemployment, but also a lot of self kind of exploration and reflect. And my whole life I've been playing music. I've been playing music. You know, I've been playing guitar since I was 11 years old. I [00:09:00] had been in screamo bands in high school and stuff like that. Not, not really any real vocal technique or anything like that to speak of. And so for the first time, I'm kind of like, well, if you know, getting, you know, not hired at this advertising job is, is the worst thing that's going to happen to me. Cause I felt really bad I was like, well, what could I do. What can I do that? I'm really actually passionate about. What's something that I want to do that I could continue doing for a long time, and for me at the time, I was like, oh, I'm going to start playing music again. I'm going to start writing my own songs. I'm going to start singing at every opportunity that I can. I'm going to play all the shows. I'm going to do all the coffee shop gigs. And I start playing in the train stations to the in San Francisco. It's called the Bart station, the bay area, rapid transit. And uh, so it has, it's this huge hall has a beautiful acoustics, beautiful acoustics. I mean, these huge halls and people are walking through and I'm horrible. I mean, [00:10:00] my voice is terrible because I've never learned how to sing the right way. Never. I mean, I could maybe hold a tune a little bit, but my tone is bad. My pitch is bad. And my favorite singers at the time are like Jeff Buckley and Elliot Smith and Tom York, all these guys that sing incredibly high and very, very well. Well, the interesting thing about vocal technique is that it's really easy to sing high notes at a really low volume. So if you're recording yourself and you're in your studio and you're like, you know, you can basically just, just kind of BS those notes and, and what I'd call falsetto. And so I'm out and I'm performing in a public space and I'm trying to be heard over the trains and over all the people walking through in my voice is just terrible because all of a sudden I have to learn how to project that sound, and I have no idea how to do it. and so after [00:11:00] Every, you know, performance of this after like, uh, you know, I could usually maybe do an hour, maybe two hours of singing. My voice would be completely shot. and so I'm like, wow, I really need, and it all culminated one day because someone threw a can at me while I was singing it. I was like, man, I, I need to I need to do this thing a little bit better. I mean, who knows, maybe he was just having a bad day, you know,
[00:11:23] Benedikt: Yeah. Benefit of the doubt. Yeah.
[00:11:26] Matt: you think, I think it was, I think part of it had to do with me. And I was just maybe the icing on his, on his crappy cake that morning. Um, so I'm like, man, I need to get some help. So I asked around and I'm like, Hey, does anyone know anyone that takes voice lessons, anyone know a vocal coach? And, uh, this guy that I worked with named Thomas was like, oh yeah, there's this guy that, that. This person that I knew from this band who knows this guy, they know this guy who teaches voice lessons over in Oakland. So I go and I start taking my [00:12:00] first voice lessons And for the next three months, I'm taking voice lessons every week. And my voice is getting way, way better. Fast forward. After that three months, I have to move from San Francisco. It's just too, gosh, darn expensive. It's just crazy. I'm living in a walk-in closet for $600 a month. I mean, it's just nuts. And so I moved to austin and I find this fantastic voice teacher. And he's teaching more of the great stuff. My voice continues to improve. I'm playing better gigs, I'm joining bands, all that stuff. And then after a year of working with him, he's kind of like, you just figured out what I was doing. Why was doing this exercise? Why don't you start teaching some of the stuff yourself? And I'm like, no way, man, I'm going to be on tour. I'm going to be selling records. I'm going to be hooking up with hot chicks, all this stuff. And, uh, no thank you. No interest in teaching. And, uh, what eventually happened was I got kind of curious and I was like, why not just give it a try? So I started [00:13:00] teaching a couple of my friends from. And what I found was I absolutely love teaching. I love the mystery of of helping people, you know, kind of unblock things or overcome obstacles in their voice. It's endlessly fascinating. And, uh, you know, a lot of it is just doing a bunch of crazy exercises that no one would ever think of as being helpful, but they are actually incredibly helpful. And, uh, of course, you know, you don't want to just lip trill really well. You actually want to sing really well. But the thing is, is that those exercises actually do translate, to singing your songs better. And I think that not enough bands do them.
[00:13:44] Benedikt: I totally agree. There's so much to unpack there. Thank you for sharing that story. First of all, that's, that's really impressive. I think It's kinda funny that you first, we're sure that you have no interest in teaching and then found out that it's actually really funny or like really not funny, but like, [00:14:00] um, really it's fun to teach. That's what I was saying. So that is, I found that it's just interesting because sometimes we just don't know what we're really good at and what we actually like doing. And, um, but I also think it's a story that so many people can relate to because I'm pretty sure that most people in bands have never either even thought about taking vocal lessons or like, like, yeah. And, and most of them definitely haven't taken vocal vocal lessons. And especially in those heavier genres, you mentioned, singing in a screamo band. And I was, I am a part of that scene as well. I know so many people who definitely hurt themselves on a regular basis because they just don't know how to do it properly.
[00:14:39] And for some reason, , it's kind of I don't know what it is. It's I don't know. What's, what's, what's holding people back, but for some reason it's it's as if you were not supposed to take lessons or it was just something, I don't know. Um, it's, it's this weird thing where people think you not only that. you don't have to, but you shouldn't take lessons or something like that. It's it's, it's, it's really weird.
[00:14:58] Matt: I mean, there's kind of this [00:15:00] inverse relationship sometimes I think with like it's like, the heavier, the genre, the more damage it's, the more risk there is to hurting your voice. But also the less likely that person is to take lessons because it's like, it's kind of like, oh, that's the wimpy thing to do. Like you just need to sing through it. Cause it's all passion. Right. Will I see my job as kind of like in, in two specific ways of helping those kinds of people, number one, you want to. You never, as a vocal coach, you never want to stop somebody from doing what they need to do for their genre. Like, so let's just get that out of the way right now, if you start taking vocal lessons, you're not going to turn into an opera singer. That's not the goal. The goal is to help you do what you're already doing, but better. So that's like the on the one hand is like eliminate as many of the bad habits as you can. And I know that's going to sound really scary because it's, like, well, the bad habits are what makes me sound really good. They're not like, [00:16:00] whatever, whatever it is that you're doing, there's a healthier and a better way of doing it, which guess what is going to help you do it even and sound even better. Now, you know, you might go into the recording studio and there might be that one take where you just, you know, you just really go for it. And it just, that's the take that everybody can. But we're talking about like doing this in a sustainable way. You go on tour, guess what? You have to do that every single night. And what do we see at the end of the performance? Hey, you guys sing it, you know, you guys do this part now, right? It's like yeah, it just, just can't hold it together.
[00:16:37] Benedikt: Yeah, abs absolutely.
[00:16:39] Malcom: There's a parallel in every instrument. I think that might help our audience understand why we're saying that you need lessons because when you first pick up a guitar, most people have tried to play guitar. When you first pick up a guitar, it is easier to play with one finger like giant and smoke on the water with one finger.
[00:16:55] And you're, you know, you're fucking with your thumb because that's also feels more natural, but. It [00:17:00] turns out you're going to suck at guitar. If you stick with that, right. Unless you start using all your fingers and learn some technique and grab a pick or whatever, you're going to be a terrible guitarist. that is kind of the, the parallel of, of singing, right? Like naturally you might have a good tone. You might have be able to be loud just with natural talent. Some people can, some people can't and that might kind of lead to the illusion of, I don't need lessons. I can sing. This is working. But imagine if you learn the right way, how much that you just, that your projectory of talent would just kind of bypass your natural ability very quickly. And, and then all of a sudden you're on a whole new pain plane. Um, and it's also, uh, like the longevity is there as well, because vocals is the one thing that if you don't do it right, you might not be able to do it in the future. Um, but like there's, there's so much potential for damage where guitar, you might get a blister on your thumb if you don't use a pic, but you're going to get through it.
[00:17:55] Matt: Yeah. I mean, even, even singers with really, really good [00:18:00] vocal technique, still have this issue sometimes. Like we're looking at like Justin Timberlake, Sam Smith, Adele, like even singers that not that a Dell necessarily has great technique, but. Non aggressive forms of singing those singers deal with this too.
[00:18:15] If you put them on tour 200 days a year, you know, so it's like, this is not something that is just, just for aggressive singers only it's kind of singer wide. It's really just more of a, if you're just a little bit off-kilter, it's kind of like a ship. If you just turn the ship, just a couple of degrees, you're not going to notice a big difference right away, but you leave that ship in that same course for two weeks. And all of a sudden, you're way, way, way off in the middle of the ocean, where you never want it. to be. And that's what often happens with vocal technique, You start off with these little cheats and then it builds up and builds up and builds up. And because you're not able to hit that note anymore, you start pushing and then it's even harder to hit that note. So you push some [00:19:00] more and then it's even harder to hit that note. And then you're not even close to it.
[00:19:04] Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. And I think also just, like, it can be effortless, but it doesn't have to sound effortless. Like it can sound full of energy and as if the voice was breaking up, but it doesn't have to be that way, you know, like that there's this difference. So, because people are afraid that it's going to sound weak, but you can still make it sound as aggressive and desperate or whatever you want to. We want it to. sound like, but it can be effortless at the same time or at least require less effort than before. So
[00:19:31] I'm pretty sure I'm pretty sure that's the case. And then, but there's one thing that I'm curious about if you have any advice on this, because the one thing that I always struggled with that I don't really have a solution other than just shut up is what do you do after, like when you were on tour or when you're in between like long recording session? What do you do before the show? After the show in between the sessions? Because I often found that the, the, the talking, , in a loud environment for hours after the show, before the show [00:20:00] is, would, would do more damage than the actual, like 60 minutes on stage or whatever. So is there anything we can do, um, when we're not singing just like in our normal life or just when we're talking to people, that can improve the longevity and like, make sure we can, we can do this four weeks.
[00:20:19] Matt: That's a great question. Benetech so let's, let's set the scene for a second. So it's it's 6:00 AM. You've been driving all night. Then you have to wake up early to do this radio interview. So you're talking, talking, talking about promoting the show tonight. Right? Then you go back to the hotel, you eat some crappy food. You maybe get a couple more hours of sleep, then you have to wake up and you have to do sound check, and then you go back to the hotel. You probably eat more crappy food, all this stuff it's getting close to Showtime. You have a couple of drinks to get into the mood and to start calming the nerves and feel, feel good about what you're about to do. You get up on stage, then you sing your 60 minutes, you throw it all out on the [00:21:00] stage. And then after the 60 minutes is over, you've got meet and greets. You got to talk to a bunch of people. You're probably having a couple more drinks. You're in a loud place where you have to really project a lot. , and then you go and you know, it's super late. You go and have a, a few crappy hours of sleep and then you do it all over again. That's pretty much like you could, you could optimize almost every step of, of that day and you could, and you would have a much, much better, uh, experience, a much better singing experience, especially when you look at things cumulatively. Now, Maybe surprising to a lot of the people that, are listening to this. But the majority of the students that I teach are, are more at the beginner level, intermediate level. But what I'm talking about is when you are coaching somebody that's at that level where they have to be out all the time, and they're constantly working, you got to think of your voice, like a gas tank. It's like how much gas do you need in order to make it through that at 60 minutes? And where can you save some [00:22:00] gas along the way? Right. you know, maybe you could be eating more healthy food along the way. You could be making sure that you're getting better sleep if at all possible. Um, you can limit your talking throughout the day. If you want to, uh, you know, talking's kind of a double-edged sword. I don't see any. Issue with talking at the level that we're talking at, but if you're like trying to get over people in a crowded bar and there's alcohol and smoke and all that other stuff involved. Yeah. I mean, these are some of the other factors that can add to it and don't, let me, don't let me take, uh, take it away because the. Or the person that's doing this knows their voice best. I'm just a person that like I've been doing this long enough. Like, I know that my voice is like a little bit of a princess and that like it needs and needs good sleep. You know, it needs to have lots of water. I need to warm up before I do stuff. If I feel, if I'm going to feel good about what I'm going to do up there.
[00:22:57] But there are other people that it's like, [00:23:00] There's a,
[00:23:01] there's a bar here, in Austin, this little hole in the wall called the Skylark lounge. It's literally like, in-between like a bunch of tractor trailers and it's like this tiny town, probably like 20 square feet wide. like you walk in and it's like walking into a railroad car and I've seen some dudes there that are just like, they're singing old school blues and they've got like a cigarette hanging out of their mouth. And they're just drinking scotch, you know, in between every, every set. And like he goes off and solos so I can drink some more scotch and it's like, they're fine. You know, it's totally fine. So you have to know your own body and you have to know what you personally can deal with. And unfortunately, so many singers only find that out the hard way.
[00:23:44] Benedikt: Okay. That's an interesting conversation to have as well, because some people think that like the whole drinking, smoking, whatever is part of, of, or think it's part of their genre, what they're seeing or the style they want to, or what
[00:23:57] the hero's data or whatever people think [00:24:00] that, that, that, that is required to sound like that sometimes.
[00:24:03] And they, they just, and I don't, obviously, I don't wanna encourage anybody to smoke or drink alcohol or anything. So I. I always think. And I really think that, that you can sound like that and you can have just as a, like a dirty voice or whatever you want to call it without doing those things. But what do you
[00:24:23] say if, if like, people really believe that this is part of not only of the lifestyle, but if they think they have to have a whiskey and a cigar or whatever, or a cigarette or whatever in order to sound like that.
[00:24:34] Matt: Oh man. So this is, this is the worst thing to do. Let me just tell you the worst thing to do. So at that same time, 21, 22 years old living in San Francisco. , my, one of my favorite artists at the day, was Tom waits And he's got, you know, super rattling, raspy voice. And so I was reading his, his biography and Tom wakes, Tom waits makes a ton of stuff [00:25:00] up, so you never know what's true and what's not. But I read that he got that voice by screaming into pillows. He would literally cover his face with pillows and scream into that. Before he would record a vocal take. And he was also of course, a big smoker and stuff like that. So this is the worst thing to do. I did that for like three months, because I was like, I wanted to sound just like him. Now, anyone that's listening to this, you can probably tell that I am a higher voice type. I've got a higher voice for a dude. I'm a very, very typical tenor sound. , matter of fact, I'm a little bit of a higher tenor sound, which usually means that my voice is going to be pretty bright. It's going to be pretty clear. It's going to behave pretty well on high notes. Tom waits is the complete 180 opposite of that. I mean, he is born to sing those low notes. That's all just kind of built into his voice now. Yeah. The cigarettes and the alcohol probably, you know, helped accentuate some of that for him. [00:26:00] But one of the worst things that you can do, and this is kind of the, this is kind of what I've learned is like trying to. Adapt someone else's style as your own, especially if they're not a good fit, like Tom waits is the worst fit for my voice. , and a lot of, you know, people when they're first starting out or, or when they're first writing music, they have no idea where they kind of fit into the, into the, into the, uh, vast, you know, spectrum of things and, uh, voices and of singers. So, I would just say that you could probably do a lot of exploration about where your voice behaves best. Just be really curious about like, Hey, where does my voice sound good? What, what are other singers that the sounds like, rather than saying, like, I want to sound like X, so I'm going to do everything that X did in order to to get that. sound.
[00:26:54] Malcom: Right. Yeah. It's, it's a lot harder to lift the style of like a vocalist than any [00:27:00] other instrument, you know, and sure you can learn tricks. I'm sure. By trying to like pick up what other vocalists do. Like I remember when I was first getting into singing, Chris Martin, pat fascinated me with this like little like shifts into head, voice and Midwest kind of thing. So I wanted to learn that, but obviously I have a pretty low voice. So like Chris Martin is not who I sound like when I sing at all.
[00:27:21] Matt: Well, what's interesting about what you said, Malcolm is you might actually have an easier time. So I have a harder time kind of shifting into that. No, I have a harder time with that, uh, than a lower voice actually might because for a lower voice, they have a, they have a harder time getting up to the. Those head voice notes in a full sound, uh, by a full salary.
[00:27:50] Malcom: Right. So you can stay in chest the whole
[00:27:51] Matt: Yeah, with that. Yeah, exactly. and So um, with a lower voice. they might be more attempted to know, but it said they might, [00:28:00] they might actually nail that falsetto it better than I can. Just a quick little tidbit there because I have to really concentrate on making those flips because my
[00:28:08] Malcom: Are you saying I can be Chris martin?
[00:28:10] Matt: can get, sorry. Forget everything. I said 10
[00:28:14] Malcom: I've been following the wrong dreams.
[00:28:17] Benedikt: you're saying that I want to hear what you just did. Matt. I want to hear that from you Malcolm right now.
[00:28:22] Matt: Yeah.
[00:28:22] Malcom: That would take some whiskeys.
[00:28:25] Matt: Oh no. Oh no. This podcast is going wrong. It's all wrong.
[00:28:29] Benedikt: exactly.
[00:28:31] Matt: They've learned nothing.
[00:28:36] Benedikt: So well, I learned something earlier today when I was trying out your app, by the way, because I dunno, um, I did that experiment with the rangefinder app. Um, like if I could, I'd try it the first falsetto and the lowest notes, and like, I try to figure it out, figure out my. And I was apparently not, I think I don't do very well because compared to other people that I know who tried this app, uh, it said, uh, I'm, [00:29:00] I'm close to three octaves, like from a flat to F sharp, I think, or something like that. Um, yeah. And, uh, I'm just curious, like, if, if you're wondering people listening, go to range, finder dot Ramsey, voice.com, rangefinder dot Ramsey, voice.com. we're going to put that. in the show notes and you can try it out yourself. It's a funny app where you can see what your, what your range is like, how far, how low you can go, how high you can go and how much space is there in between basically. And, um, I'm wondering what's the average there? What do people typically hit? Do you see those numbers?
[00:29:34] Matt: Well, actually actually Benedict, I'm going to turn this around on you for a second. So you said that you saying it was nearly three octaves, is that what it was? Okay, great. From a what? To what
[00:29:45] Benedikt: I think a. Oh, what was it? Oh, no. I said he completely wrong from an F sharp to an, a flat, I think. Yeah.
[00:29:53] Matt: F sharp, what? To a flat, what
[00:29:56] Benedikt: Um,
[00:29:57] Matt: F
[00:29:57] sharp F sharp three F [00:30:00] sharp to.
[00:30:00] Benedikt: I've shot two, I think. And then it was, it said, it said, well down, like, oh, over to octave. So, and then I just looked at the notes. So it was almost three octaves, I think.
[00:30:10] Matt: Okay, great. Okay, cool. So let me ask you Benedict, what do you think the average range of a singer is?
[00:30:20] Benedikt: I have no idea actually, because, uh, I don't even know if I did it properly because I did the lowest note I could, do. And then I did obviously did the highest falsetto squeak that I could do. Like, it was not really a note from like, not nothing from the jest. I just did that. The highest noise I could make,
[00:30:35] Matt: And that is totally fine. That's exactly the way you're supposed to use it. Use it and abuse it. Malcolm, do you have a guess on the, on the average focal range
[00:30:44] Malcom: Uh, I would've said three, but I, I don't know.
[00:30:47] Matt: Nice. Okay, cool. So you guys are both victims of propaganda of, of, this, of these, of these singers that they look at these ranges and they're like, I've got six octaves of range and you, [00:31:00] and you see that you've got like three octaves and you're like, ah, and you feel bad about yourself. Right? So here's the thing. So I've analyzed over 300 vocals. For males and females, I put them together in two different books, uh, which will be really soon. But part of the analysis was I analyzed the vocal range is used in that. And we're talking about huge songs. I mean, like for instance, I demo the scientist by, by Coldplay. , and you know, there Sam Smith, there's heavy rock there's Chris Cornell there's, you know, tons of stuff. So across those 300 songs, the average range of the, vocal of the of the vocalist during the song is just an octave and half
[00:31:42] Malcom: right, right.
[00:31:43] Matt: an octave and a half. When you see three octaves, you feel bad because you hear like Mariah, carey's got like six octaves cause she can sing and crazy whistle register. Or maybe they can sing like vocal for like way down to like a low note or something like that. [00:32:00] But here's the good news you really just have to have, I would say a really really good command of two octaves of range. Now that's harder than it sounds because most people before they do any sort of vocal training, they probably about have it like an octave of range that they use tip. Before they start running into, uh, what we in the biz called their first passage, their transition between their chest voice in their head voice. So a lot of people, uh, and they will just try to pull the bottom part all the way up to their high notes rather than making that transition, uh, up to the top part of their voice. So a lot of singers have a really hard time bridging the gap between those two places. So um, when I say an octave and a half range, typically that means you're going to have to do some work to, to make it through that passage and sing through that area. Well, uh, we were talking about the [00:33:00] scientist a second ago, learning how to sing between that falsetto and that chest toys really, really important to learn how, to do, because if you're not most likely, you're eliminating a lot of your potential vocal range. So once you get that, getting an octave and a half is pretty darn easy, it's pretty darn easy to do. It's just more about making those notes sound good. So people are like, oh, I've got seven octaves. It's like, yeah, but you know, how, how good do the notes sound? You know? Is it,
[00:33:28] Malcom: Who wants to hear
[00:33:29] Matt: know? Yeah. It wants to hear that.
[00:33:32] Benedikt: yeah, totally. totally. I, I think, I just thought I did bad because I did badly because AI, I cheated, I did the, the highest noise and not really a note, but you said it's not cheating, but that
[00:33:43] was what I did. Yeah. And then the second thing is I know that I've tried to sing in bands a couple of times and it never worked out really well. I mean, I can, I can, hit the, like the intonation is not bad, but just my voice is not, not trained. And I, I, and I always felt like I had a very, very limited range [00:34:00] because I can sing along to like any of my favorite songs when I'm singing quietly. like, as you did in the intro and you showed, like, you can just can just sing along and you think like, I can do this. And as soon as you start to sing loud, It's either too low or too high, but rarely is there a song where I can really sing it? Like really? I feel like it's in my range. And even when I'm writing songs or when someone in the band writes a song, I always instantly have the, I feel like I need to transpose it. Like it never fits. And like either it's too higher, it's a little bit, it just never fit. So I'm always assuming that I just have a limited range like that. I think that's where it comes from. So your app says I have these three octaves, but I don't, I can't really use the.
[00:34:41] Matt: Right. Right, right, So, so you go to the gym, right. And there's, there's all those resistance machines that you can lift weights with. Right. And so you can, let's say you can just do like, kind of like a, uh, a barbell curl or something like that, where you're just lifting up your arms with no [00:35:00] weight and you can actually do that full emotion. Well, that's vocal range. Once you start putting weight on it, once you start increasing the. resistance, all of a sudden things get really tough. And that's the volume issue that you're talking about. It's like, you can say
[00:35:18] No, problem, you know? Oh, whoa.
[00:35:22] Benedikt: Yeah.
[00:35:23] Matt: But once you start adding some weight onto that, guess what you're going to start breaking. Why? Because all of a sudden you've put some resistance onto those vocal chords. You're actually using more of the muscle. And as a result of that, your voice does know how to handle that because it hasn't been trained to do that. So everyone's, I wouldn't say everyone, but 97% of people, at least out of the ones that I've taught all have the ability to expand their range dramatically, but actually making that connect, um, with, with the right amount of muscle that's that's the [00:36:00] work. when you look at a singer, like for instance, like I grew up loving the used, like Burton, McCracken, like fantastic singer, right? Like love his voice. And what I love about Burt's voice is that he has the clean tone. That's often where like really nasal and he also has a, you know, that really, really likes screamy kind of stuff, too. , and what's interesting about that is like, he's kind of learned how to do both and what I want to encourage a lot of the people that are listening to more aggressive, music and trying to sing that kind of stuff is like, learn how to do both because they'll start to kind of balance each other out a little bit.
[00:36:39] Benedikt: Okay. Cool. So you're saying it's actually, for most people, not as important to, to increase their actual range as it is to be able to control the range they already have, or like use it properly and use it loud. So that what you're saying, because we think we have to increase our range, but basically we already got it. We just have to train it so we can actually use [00:37:00] it and put more weight onto it. And like, as you said,
[00:37:03] Matt: And then you'll get to a certain point. So it's like to go back to the weightlifting analogy. So you can, you can lift, let's say like 50 pounds with that full extension. Right. , but as soon as you knock it up to 60 pounds, all of a sudden you can only go like three quarters of the way. Right? So your range is kind of like is kind of, uh, inhibited somewhat. So what you have to do is you have to like, stay at that 50 pounds until you can get the full range and that's comfortable, and then you can start to add more weight onto it again. So oftentimes when I'm working with people in lessons, yeah. We're expanding the range a ton, but at the same time, I may be, you know, I may bring them up to like an E five for, for a male tenor or something like that. But I'll really be focusing mostly on the four or the F four or the G four or the G sharp four, because those are the really tricky notes.
[00:37:55] Benedikt: Okay. Cool. So do you have any quick, exercise or something we can do on a daily [00:38:00] basis or regularly just to help. That a little bit or, or maybe, um, yeah, maybe expand our range or just, or just get more confident with hitting those high notes a little louder or like, is there anything we can do?
[00:38:11] Like a quick little.
[00:38:13] Matt: Absolutely. So, I think a lot of people have probably, and I've talked about it already. They've seen like these lip trills demonstrated before, but what I want to tell you is more importantly than just this crazy exercise, why you want to do this exercise. So in a elliptical, in case you're unfamiliar is like the thing where you take your two fingers, you place it in the middle of your cheeks and you let your lips slop together, like, like that. And then you add in a little bit of voice like a to it. And then what you do is you can put that on a scale. So for instance, I'll do an octave and a half arpeggio like this. Now, what you can do is you can take that lip trill and you can put it on that Okta and a [00:39:00] half, so you can move it around. And by the way, I know I'm playing that really fast, but you can find all that stuff on my YouTube channel. But the reason why, I mean, let's all be honest. This is a crazy exercise. Like there's no reason like everybody, like the last thing that the lead singer of a metal band
[00:39:30] to be seen
[00:39:31] Malcom: be seen doing.
[00:39:31] Matt: is Nan. I really thought a lot about Randy Bryce before, but now, you know, so, so, um, but the reason why this exercise is so helpful is basically any time you close something in your. And I'll define closure in just a second. Anytime you close something in your throat, you're keeping more of the sound waves that you're [00:40:00] creating from the vocal chords in your throat. And that actually helps the vocal cords close and vibrate better. So any time you're introducing some sort of a resistance in your throat, it usually helps the vocal cords close a little bit better. What's an example of a closure in your throat. Well, in the case of the liver, I'm closing my lips. My lips are flopping. So the sound waves are hitting my lips and yes, some of them are leaving my voice, but many of them are actually going back to my vocal chords and that's actually helping them to close better. What's another example of a closure in your throat. Well, how about like with your tongue? So you can do a if you're really good at rolling your RS, or you could even do the same thing on an like rung where I'm dropping my soft palate in all of the sound is vibrating in my nasal cavity and not all of it is leaving my nose. So some of it is actually going back to helping my cord. So [00:41:00] now it sounds nasal and ugly and all of these exercises. Are horrible sounding, they're terrible sounding exercises, but what they all do is they all help your vocal chords to continue closing. And that's exactly what you want when you're going from low to high, because everybody has that, uh,
[00:41:26] Benedikt: Yeah,
[00:41:26] Matt: voice. Exactly. But if you do it, if you go all of a sudden, there's no break, well, there is a break, but you just can't hear it as well, which is kind of the goal,
[00:41:41] right? It's like, you want it you want those notes sound powerful and you don't also don't want to just, just straight up to it and you also don't want it to be. So if instead you get that, you can [00:42:00] find that nice middle spot.
[00:42:01] Malcom: Right. So I was told that doing lip trills is, uh, it's like makes it harder for you to hurt yourself as well. Like it's a great warm-up because it doesn't strain you pretty much. Is
[00:42:13] Matt: Yeah. Well, why, why would that be Malcolm thing? think about what we just talked about. why
[00:42:18] Malcom: Yeah, I think it, like you're helping your yourself out by like sending the energy back. Um, and then also like the volume is somewhat limited. You can't really shout a lip trill. Right,
[00:42:29] Matt: Yes, exactly. Exactly. So, you know, if you're saying, you know, just really, really, or, uh, I think, uh, one of my favorite, I think it's an, you know, or something like that, like a strike anywhere kind of sound. If you're doing those nodes on a trill, you're getting all of that beneficial energy going back to the vocal chords. So guess what? You don't have to try as hard.
[00:42:55] Malcom: right.
[00:42:55] Benedikt: Yeah, yeah.
[00:42:56] Matt: You don't have to push quite as hard just to make the same sound. [00:43:00] Um, so things just get a lot easier. And yes. , just to go back to Benedict's earlier question about, Hey, what can you do? like You know, before a performance or after a performance? Well, honestly, I would recommend doing these lip trills before performance, and even after, , as Malcolm mentioned, it's like, you know, this is one of the best exercises to kind of help relax and decompress your voice, after a really big performance. So if you're just like really, really going for it for a long time and your voice is feeling totally, I wouldn't say totally shot, but pretty, pretty roughed up. Then you can add these in, but if you're always just feeling totally shot vocal rest, for sure.
[00:43:39] Malcom: Right.
[00:43:40] Benedikt: What about keeping the vocal cords and everything wet? Because I know, or like keeping the moisture like up because obviously drinking a lot of water is important. But I know, a couple of singers, a couple of hardcore singers as Well, Greg Bennett is an example of the band trial. I don't know if you know them. It's, it's a pretty well hardcore band and he always travels with a small [00:44:00] electric kettle. and as soon as the show is over, he would sit backstage, open up the kettle and just breathe steam for an hour or so. And he would do that every night and he'd drink lots of water and he basically keeps it wet all the time. Um, so is that something that.
[00:44:14] Matt: Absolutely. Yeah. And they even have like personal steamers, which sounds kind of weird when you say that it's a personal steamer. It's my own. Um, but there's like, what do you use that for? Um, but they actually have ones that fit like over your nose and over your mouth that like a generates steam and you just inhale it. Um, steam is very, very beneficial for, for the singing voice, for the, exactly the same way that you're saying, like, you want to keep the vocal folds hydrated. Cause what they actually do. Is thin layers of muscle and mucus and membrane. And that's it. That's like, oh, that's your, that's your guitar string rather than it getting made out of steel, it's made out of flesh and blood. and so if it gets dried out, if it gets abused, if there's too much smoke going across it,[00:45:00] or if you're just waking up in the morning and you're totally dehydrated usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes for the water that I'm drinking right now to actually circulate through my body and make it to my vocal folds.
[00:45:12] Whereas with steam, boom, it's there, it's immediate. So, and you don't have to get super crazy. You don't have to go and buy a personal steamer. You can just get into a hot shower in the morning or before you, you, your performance or something like that, and breathe in the steam there as you're doing some, some crazy exercises.
[00:45:30] Malcom: Yeah. So Benny and I are both, uh, we're both runners and, and like with running, you gotta stay hydrated, but the best time to hydrate is before you feel like you need to hydrate, but by then, it's too late. You're already dehydrated and it's Yeah. It's the same thing you said it takes a while for drinking to actually do anything that helps you. I mean, it feels like I'll awesome. As soon as you start drinking something when you're thirsty, but I mean, beer does the same thing and that's not going to help you while you're running. Right.
[00:45:56] Matt: Yeah. and and also with, with alcohol, you know, your [00:46:00] body interprets alcohol as a toxin, you know, and so your vocal cords react to that by swelling up slightly. So not only is it going to, you know, make you pee more and dehydrate you and all that other stuff, but also it's going to add a little bit of inflammation to your vocal chords And, stuff like that. But again, you know, as, as the singer, like you know what you can handle for me, like, I can't have any drinks before I sing, I'll drink after, after the show or whatever it is,
[00:46:32] Benedikt: Yeah. Depends on what you have to do the next day, but
[00:46:35] like, yeah. And like how long the tour still is and stuff like that. But yeah, for sure. Right. now there, isn't a thing that I've always been wondering, because. I heard that drinking certain teas that people sometimes drink because they think it improves their voice, um, might actually hurt your vocal chords or is bad because of some essential oils that are like the acidity or whatever is in there. I dunno, it's like bad for the [00:47:00] vocal chords. So I heard that water is actually the best and you shouldn't even drink certain types of tea or certain types of things that people often think are good. like, what about that is, that w what is, what is true about that? Or false
[00:47:14] Matt: Well, Well, you, you heard right Benny. Um, any, anything that's not, that's not water, you know, it's just like, So people, people get kind of crazy about, you know, their, their rituals. They, you know, they're like if I just drink throat coat tea, or if I, you know, drink this, you know, licorice tea or whatever it happens to be, they're like, this is the thing that, that really works for my voice. And if it works for you, then keep doing it, you know? But like if we're just talking general, general, general, general, anything besides water is just kind of like, you know, probably gonna, you know, add something that you might have to get rid of somehow. Um, you know, for, for years and years and years, people were like hot water with lemon and honey,
[00:47:58] and I don't [00:48:00] really see any big benefit with either of those things. Uh, so, you know, I, I, it, I think it makes the hot water tastes better is I think what really is what's really going on here. So that's, you know, whatever it takes to get you drinking, drinking more water, uh, this.
[00:48:20] Malcom: Yeah, I think it's like the illusion of soothing.
[00:48:23] Matt: Yeah.
[00:48:23] Malcom: It's kind of the benefit
[00:48:26] Benedikt: Yeah, probably. And then the, I remember one thing you said before, Matt, like right in the beginning, you said briefly that you should sleep enough and that sleep is obviously important when you're on tour, but in general, It's important. I think so. And that is something that I think is really underrated and people don't even make the connection between how well or how much they sleep and how, how well they are able to perform and what their voice sounds like.
[00:48:48] So w what's actually the important thing about getting enough sleep and good quality sleep.
[00:48:53] Matt: Yeah, well, I mean, the, your, your body has a lot more important priorities. [00:49:00] When you have really poor sleep than helping you sing better, it's like on the,
[00:49:05] on the, yeah. On the evolutionary, you know, pyramid of this is what's gonna keep, you know, Benny alive today. Um, you know, eating metabolism, like all that stuff, co completely supersede singing even on days when you sleep really well.
[00:49:21] Um, so on days when you're not sleeping well, literally like your brain is just not optimized for helping you access those kind of a finer muscle details. It's more about like, because that's why you just feel so groggy, right? It's like, okay, we're, we're spending a lot of energy on just keeping this dude awake, alive alert, you know, making sure that the saber tooth tiger doesn't eat him. Singing can probably just get to the back of the line. And of course, your, body at your, your evolutionary body doesn't know that you're a singer and singing just to bring it to a larger point is like very unimportant in [00:50:00] general, of of, of the business of keeping you alive. I mean, it's kind of a miracle of evolution that we even figured out how to use this kind of really crazy valve that we have in our throat to make all the sounds that we do. But over time, of course, you know, people grew to love that sound and, you know, it's, it's a really interesting thing. But yeah, we're one of the few, few, uh, beings in the world that can actually make art with our, with our throats, which primarily they're just for yelling for help or, or communicate communicating, ah, food, you know, whatever it happens to me.
[00:50:39] Benedikt: Maybe if we sing really terribly, the saber tooth tigers stays away. I don't know
[00:50:42] Matt: Yeah, maybe
[00:50:51] Benedikt: exactly now. That is actually pretty cool. That would probably put him asleep or something. I don't know.
[00:50:55] Matt: Yeah, right. No, I'm just going to try singing to him. Hold on one second. [00:51:00]
[00:51:00] but but but you, you have a point you sick? No, I'm just going to try something real quick. I'm just going to try to say woo.
[00:51:08] Malcom: All right. Small, a small, uh, irrelevant story, kind of relevant. But I met up with, uh, a mixer, his name's Tim Archer, and he does Like the location sound and post mixing for IMAX movies. Um, and he went and recorded wolves and ran into a Wolf, like really close to them, set down his recorder and he just kind of sat there and he ended up howling at the Wolf and the Wolf held back and then they just like exchanged towels, like eight times in a row. It's fricking amazing. So, so cool. But like, that's like, imagine it's kind of, I mean, it's so weird, to two different animals communicating with their voices.
[00:51:43] Matt: is a Wolf, one of those that you're supposed to make yourself look really big. I know that's for a bear, but what
[00:51:47] Malcom: Yeah. I believe so. Cause have sort of like pack animals. This one was on its own. So it probably would've been like, I'm not messing with this big, big guy.
[00:51:57] Matt: yeah,
[00:51:58] Malcom: He's tall and he can also [00:52:00] Powell.
[00:52:04] Matt: I don't know what I'm dealing with here.
[00:52:07] Benedikt: I wonder what the Wolf was hearing, like what the guy was saying to the
[00:52:10] Wolf. Basically. That would be interesting to know.
[00:52:15] Matt: Do you guys remember that scene at the end of anchorman where the, the dog is like barking at the bear and it's like, the bear can understand what he's saying. It's like, I met one of your tribe in my travel. It's like,
[00:52:28] Malcom: After he was punted
[00:52:28] Matt: there's yeah. There's by Jack Black. No less.
[00:52:34] Benedikt: yeah. That's awesome. Now you've been saying. Before that you are, you obviously give lessons to people. Um, that's what you do as a vocal coach. And you do that online. I, um, I think primarily, right. Or Do you do in person as well?
[00:52:51] Matt: Yeah. I do. I, so I started off, uh, teaching, in-person lessons 10 years ago, uh, here in Austin [00:53:00] and, you know, almost from the very get go almost as soon as I had my YouTube channel and my blog and stuff like that, people would, uh, people would take online lessons with me as well if they didn't happen to be in Austin. And so, you know, during the pandemic, it not a whole lot really changed for me cause I'd already been teaching online. the weird thing now is when I'll have a student from austin, take an online lesson with me. And I'm like, yeah, we're, we're like only 20 minutes away from each other, but traffic's really bad here. So I, I even, I didn't even ask some people. I was like, Hey, you know, like if I started doing in-person lessons again, you know, would you, is that something that you'd want to do? And they're like, honestly, I think it's just really convenient to just pop online. So literally like, to the people that are, listening, there's literally no difference between the in-person And the, the Skype or the zoom Or FaceTime lesson.
[00:53:59] Benedikt: I'm [00:54:00] asking, because I'm wondering, what is the main thing, the main reason, the main, why behind, yeah. People coming to you, like, why do people hit you up? Why do people want to, take vocal lessons primarily? Like I'm really interested in that. Is it because of the range thing? Or is it the longevity or is it because they want to sound like somebody and if so, like which type of voices do they want to mimic or what, what is it, why do people come to you and to take lessons in the first place?
[00:54:24] Matt: Well, those are certainly some surface reasons Benedict of like, why people they're like, oh, I want more control. I want more range. I want to improve my tone. But like, I'm always looking at like the deeper why with my singers too, of like, Hey, what, like what, why now what's going on? And oftentimes what I see is this pattern of a person I'll tell you, like right now, my kind of like my target audience, but also the people that just, I shouldn't even say target. It's just the people that find me and really connect with me are usually like, they tend to be in like their mid twenties or their thirties. They're pretty [00:55:00] stable in their career. Usually they're usually doing something kind of creative. That might also be an Austin thing too. But like, oftentimes they're like programmers or they work in marketing or sales or something like that. And it's like singing was this thing, that. Uh, fell by the wayside sometime during their life, or it was something that was actively discouraged and they're like, Hey, I'm finally at a point in my life where I'm feeling good, I'm feeling secure. like I know where my next paycheck's coming from. And I, I want to be creative. I want to access that feeling again. And with singing, there's just something about it that is so incredibly creative and unique to you. But at the same time, very vulnerable. Right. So you've got both sides. You've got this, like, you know, I'm teaching guys that like played football all through high school and were taught. Like they, you know, maybe learn to play like three chords on an acoustic guitar. But they were like, oh, I've always [00:56:00] wanted to, you know, to be a singer. And now they've, they've got it. They're in a place where it's like, I'm interested in learning how to do this thing. And it's like, we have to like dig down and like get into like some of that stuff sometimes, which is like, yeah. Who told you that you couldn't sing? Cause you're doing just fine. Like you match this pitch. And that is so, so common. And it bums me out sometimes, honestly, um, that there's so many people that are like, oh, I love singing. I could never do that. And it's like, oh, those are two completely different ideas. You know, those are two. If you have a, if you can speak, you can sing.
[00:56:38] Malcom: Right.
[00:56:39] Benedikt: an encouraging thing to say and really, really cool to hear that. And yeah, I was, I was asking for exactly that reason, because I thought there was a deeper why for most people, so yeah. I mean, that's interesting because as you said, it's this it's the only, the voice is really the only instrument I feel like that has this, this personal vulnerable, um, component [00:57:00] to it. Like most people are not like, you can tell a guitarist that he messed up a take or she messed up the tape. You can say to a drummer that like do it over again. Like that. was not in time and they won't probably won't be hurt as quickly.
[00:57:12] Matt: Uh, I don't know, I've met, I met some sensitive drummers and I've just kidding.
[00:57:17] Benedikt: Yeah, you're right. You're right. You're right. But I think that, um, you got to be especially careful with vocalist, just because it's such a personal thing. Like the instrument is you and there's so much that goes into, in to being a singer or wanting to sing. and like, and then if they write the lyrics themselves, there's even more to that. And I don't know, it's just a very special thing.
[00:57:38] Matt: well, yeah. I mean, it's, it's very. Going back to kind of the psychology of singing. It's like, oftentimes I'll see people that were in choirs and stuff like that when they were kids. And they had acquired teacher, that was probably like super overworked, probably super stressed, had to teach a bunch of other stuff in addition. And it, for me, it's easy. Like I just, I show up, you know, he's sit in front of my piano and I help people sing [00:58:00] better. And it's, it's not like the same kind of thing. much love to my choir teachers out there by the way. But oftentimes I'll have some singers that come to me. And there'll be like, oh yeah, my choir teacher told me that I couldn't do this. Or, or, you know, I had a neighbor who said they heard me and said, I sounded terrible or whatever it is. And it's Like you've got to really get to the root of that stuff sometimes, and really show that and it's, it's an uphill battle, frankly, because a lot of people get discouraged from singing very young. It's kind of like any artistic thing where it's like, as kids, we're all like drawing and we're all painting and stuff like that. and how many of us do that as adults? Very few of us,
[00:58:40] Benedikt: That's
[00:58:40] Malcom: Yeah.
[00:58:41] Yeah. There's a, like, there's this thing I heard once. Everybody's bad at math when they first try it. Cause mass heart, it's not like nobody's good at math. And because of that, we usually get told that we're bad at math because we literally are. And most people then take that first [00:59:00] impression of trying math for the first time in school being told that they're stupid. And now as adults, everybody thinks they're bad at math. Almost every single person thinks they're bad at math because of just their first impression. But it's like if, of course you're bad at math, you just, you're a kid trying to learn to do something hard. And, and so, so much of what, like how we think, what we think we can do. And our talents is just based on our first, like the first thing somebody said to us about it and singing is exactly that it's like, I tried this and somebody who didn't like it and that, like, you can just take that with you your whole life. which is totally a shame because like you said, we all can sing. You just have to learn.
[00:59:38] Matt: Yeah.
[00:59:38] totally. And it's like, we're all bad speakers at first
[00:59:41] too. I mean,
[00:59:43] my, my girlfriend has a little nephew not great at speaking yet. He's only three years old. He's working on it. He's making some sounds, he's jamming. Um, but that's one of the coolest things about, uh, you know, I, I think it was a talk by Victor Wooten, um, where he was [01:00:00] talking about as kids were just jamming all the time with our words, we're just jamming. We're constantly. And, more importantly, we're jamming with experts. We're jamming with adults who can speak that language, but with singing it's just like, it's like, this thing that, you have, or you don't have. And that's absolutely not true at all.
[01:00:17] Malcom: right. Yeah.
[01:00:18] Benedikt: so funny because I feel like that every single week, when I'm talking to You Malcolm, be like, I feel like, I'm jamming with an expert in a language that I don't speak very well because I'm not a native speaker. That's exactly why, what I'm feeling every week. Like I'm making noises and you're like the expert.
[01:00:34] Malcom: Yeah. We're jamming. through very well. Let's don't worry.
[01:00:40] Benedikt: Thank you
[01:00:41] Matt: Like, oh, man, I don't know, if you can sit in on this. I don't know if you can handle this stuff,
[01:00:45] Malcom: Then leave this to Matt and I,
[01:00:48] Benedikt: exactly.
[01:00:50] Um, so now for those people going into, let's say for people going into a recording session or planning their next record or whatever, and they feel like, they, they are not there yet, or they are not confident [01:01:00] with their voice or they want to improve, but maybe they are so hesitant to take vocalists or, or they think, um, I'm not sure if I want to spend the money yet or whatever, like what, isn't easy. First step people can take, like how, like where can they start? What's the first thing people can do. And then maybe figure out if vocal lessons is something they want to, they want to do.
[01:01:21] Matt: man, that's such a great question. There's so many different entry points for people that are getting started off with this. Because you're right. I mean, it is like a financial commitment and stuff like that. And, and to follow back on my story, it's like, I. Didn't take vocal lessons until I. hit a problem. Right. So I, I see a lot of people that, that have that in common that they're like, oh, I have this performance coming up. Or I have a recording even with amateurs, by the way, too. They're like, I really wanted to record this for my husband or something like that. And it's like, I need to, I need to take some lessons to feel better about that. But I would say, and this is just being completely honest. I would say, start with my YouTube channel. Just like, I [01:02:00] mean, that's where most singers start off anyway. They're like, it's, it's totally accessible, but I would say, and this is something that I don't see a whole lot, is also try if you can, if at all possible to get feedback on your singing as you go and try to get expert feedback. um, because we all know like the neighbor's mom or whatever that like is like, oh, you sounded pretty good, a little off. And this part that's not helpful at all because you have no idea what it was that wasn't good. Most likely you're just going to, be like, oh, none of it was good. You know, when you get the opinion of a vocal coach, when you get feedback from someone that actually knows what they're talking about, or even another singer, they might be like, oh, I noticed that your pitch was bad in this section. Why don't you try slowing that melody down? Try that again. Or, yeah, I noticed that you broke on this note. Why don't you try it on this exercise? That'll be, and why did you break? Well, because you were straining. So how can we reduce some of that strain to make that easier for you? So more importantly [01:03:00] than, than just getting started, it started off with YouTube, which is most what most people do is like, see if you can find some ways to get expert feedback, to kind of figure out how to make that next step, because I will be honest. I have seen so many people, um, that they go down the YouTube rabbit hole and they think that they have one issue. But they actually have a completely different issue. They're like, man, I, I cannot sing notes strongly enough. And then I get them in a lesson. They're like, ah, it was like, whoa, dude. No, you're that is not your issue. That is not, maybe it was, you know, six months ago, but it's like, let's move on. Let's figure out the next, the next step here.
[01:03:43] Benedikt: Thank you. Yeah, that, that that's really cool. So your YouTube channel is Ramsey voice studio. So go, just go to YouTube and search Ramsey, voice studio, but I also find pretty compelling and maybe it's also a good, a great entry point is on your website, Ramsey, voice.com. You [01:04:00] have a free video, like you have an offer there that says, learn the, uh, the top 10 mistakes singers make and how to fix them in only 20 minutes.
[01:04:06] So that sounds like a pretty quick win to me where people could start. Um, so if you go to Matt's website, just watch that video and see if it can help you. And then on his YouTube channel, obviously like there's a ton of great tutorials and exercises and all of that. Um, so I think, I think with that alone, like if I look at your library of content you have there on, on YouTube, I think with that alone, you can go pretty far probably. And
[01:04:33] Matt: yeah. you can, you can at least take the next step. Right. Um, because just like I was saying a second ago, and it's like, the hardest part is like, actually knowing what's holding you back, like what's, what is the biggest thing? You know, so many people will be like, oh, my pitch is bad. So they'll watch it. Like how to sing on pitch. Well, it wasn't their, yeah, their pitch was bad, but the reason their pitch was bad was because they were straining. They were like pushing for the note. And, uh, and [01:05:00] that's why it was flat, for instance. So it's like, they're, they see the symptom, but sometimes they misdiagnosed the condition. So I always think that like, if you've never done any, any, any vocal training whatsoever, YouTube is a great place to get started. Absolutely. Um, but most of the, time you'll see people kind of hit a stumbling point and that's, that's a great time to start getting a little more one-on-one.
[01:05:23] Benedikt: Yeah, the feedback is important and that's, as far as I can, like as far as I can see on your website here, you, you offer one of like sessions. Like if people want to just want to try it, they can just book one session with you and at least get that feedback and see how it goes for them. Right? So you have this, this booking button on your website. So if you just want to try it, and if you want to take the next step, why don't you just book a session, with Matt and see, and, and get that feedback sort
[01:05:48] Matt: yeah.
[01:05:48] Benedict you start, uh, just pull out your credit card, go ahead and just, you know, select a good time for you. And I'll S I'll see you soon.
[01:05:57] Benedikt: I might even do that. I, it [01:06:00] could be that I, that I really do that because I'm not singing the band right now, but I it's something I always wanted to do taking vocal lessons. So maybe I'll maybe I'll really start doing that.
[01:06:09] Matt: Yeah, not, not, not being an abandoned is a great time to start, working on some of that stuff too, because honestly, honestly, I mean, it's like when you're in a band you're usually so busy, like trying to rehearse and stuff like that, that oftentimes I'll see that like I'll give someone, you know, some techniques or something to improve a section of a song.
[01:06:29] And then as soon as they go into the rehearsal, they go right back to what their old habit was. They revert right back to their, their latest update. And it's like, no, I want you, you updated a 14, you went right back to 13. Give me 14 again, you know? So it, it is interesting to kind of see the pressure that being in a band or being in a performance mindset where it's like, okay, go, go, go, go, go.
[01:06:52] What that kind of does to a vocalist. Sometimes we don't have that choice though.
[01:06:56] Malcom: So, okay. First offer for people [01:07:00] listening. If you haven't had a vocal lesson, vocal lessons are incredibly fun. They make you feel like physically happy and, and energized and like it like, just like you actually feel really good, after it, but they're also just really fun. And the progress is something you can actually like feel yourself.
[01:07:17] So it's, it's kind of a parent. You, you can tell that you're getting better when you're in vocal lessons. So highly recommend doing it even just for like fun. Like honestly it doesn't have to be for any professional pursuit at all. Even if you don't want to be the singer in your band. Um, then the second thing, just as to what you were saying there, Matt is that rehearsing and learning and practicing are three different.
[01:07:39] Right. So rehearsing with your band is playing the same songs over and over and practicing nailing how they're meant to be. But learning with somebody like Matt here is going to teach you new things and how to do things that you might be doing wrong, better, and new techniques. And then there's practice to kind of build those into your routine and make them how you actually sing.
[01:07:58] So if you can hear dogs right now, [01:08:00] uh, and then you've got to take all that stuff and put it into practice, like into your rehearsal. It has to implement into that. Like you said, I like the version analogy. It's like, all right, we have to update my band singing persona to version 15 now and bring this in.
[01:08:14] Um, but I wanted to do talk about, uh, group lessons. I don't know if you've ever done that, but one of the biggest steps my band ever took was going from having our lead singer who could sing and had started taking lessons eventually as well, while we were in the band, um, which was, was hugely beneficial.
[01:08:30] But at a certain point, we were like, okay, every big band we opened for. Everybody on stage is singing wicked harmonies, and we're not doing that. So our manager called us out on it too. And he's like, you all got to be on that level. Like you all need to be triple threats apparently. Like, and, uh, so we got like group lessons essentially.
[01:08:52] And we started, uh, learning how to sing as a band and, and, uh, you know, communicate with each other in that. And we would have [01:09:00] warmups before the show of just like the whole band sitting there, practicing our harmony parts and warming up together, which was hugely beneficial for our live sets. We could actually sing in tune.
[01:09:10] We were warmed up, uh, especially great for our lead singer. Cause it kind of gave him. Like the excuse to do lip trills and stuff. He didn't have to do it on his own. We're doing it as a group, you know? Um, and then I think it brought us closer as like friends and stuff, you know, it was like this like thing we did and we could do while we're driving to the gig in the RV or whatever on tour.
[01:09:27] It was awesome. Um, so if you're a band and I mean, everybody listened to this podcast is in a band. That's what we do. Uh, you should totally look into like group vocal lessons as well. I don't know if you even offer those maps, but it's, it's definitely
[01:09:41] Matt: Oh, yeah. So that's, that's actually some of the really fun stuff. Cause you get to stretch from, from a musical, uh, theory perspective. You get to kind of stretch those muscles a little bit more. Whereas with like solo singing, it's kind of like what's written on the page. It's kind of what you follow, but you know, when you're working with a band, usually there's [01:10:00] already a melody that's written maybe not a second or a third harmony.
[01:10:04] So that's that. I actually absolutely love that stuff because I'm like, okay, so you're taking the route, you're taking the third, you're taking the fifth and then we all modulate to the two chord or whatever it happens to be. And sorry if that sounds like gobbledygook to some of you guys out there, it's just, what's going on in my brain.
[01:10:20] Um, but oftentimes when I'm working with someone, they just find it incredibly helpful to be like, oh, this that's your note. You start on that note and then you kind of figure everything else out and you have this beautiful, it's almost like a choir experience. You almost have this beautiful kind of choir experience of all of your voices blending together.
[01:10:40] And you're absolutely right. Like these days you have to be good. So everybody in the band has to be a singer to, you know, once we get to a certain level.
[01:10:49] Malcom: Yeah. They should at least look like they are
[01:10:51] Matt: Yeah. Okay. So we turn down James as Mike. Okay. Got it.
[01:10:56] Malcom: this one's not meant to be on.
[01:10:59] Matt: D [01:11:00] do you guys know that, uh, the band, when they were recording the last waltz, they all turned down. And so Robbie Robertson, you know, a fantastic songwriter, not a good singer, but he was surrounded by other good singers. And so in the first of the reason that they actually rerecorded every song on that album, I think they just kept Livan Helms drums.
[01:11:20] Um, but they actually got rid of, uh, Robbie's voice because he kept singing throughout the, the recording. Um, and they just had to strip his voice out completely. Uh, so yeah, you should, you should all learn. Everyone should learn how to sing.
[01:11:37] Malcom: Yeah.
[01:11:38] Benedikt: That's I think that's actually a great way to add this episode. Like everyone should learn how to say and, um, yeah, totally. So thank you so much, Matt, for taking the time and coming on. Um, maybe you, you do you, because you do a better job at this than I do. Maybe you could quickly sum up where people should go now, because we mentioned so many different things, maybe a quick summary of where we [01:12:00] should send people would be awesome.
[01:12:01] Matt: sure. I think a great place to get started if you're kind of new to the whole singing, the whole singing technique thing, um, just go to rangefinder dot Ramsey, voice.com. It'll, it's kind of a fun little tool, very little, very low barrier to entry, and it's kind of fun to do. So you just sing your lowest note.
[01:12:18] It turns on your microphone, then you sing your highest note. It turns on your microphone, you sing your highest note. It does not have to be perfect. It's not have to be pretty. We're just looking for some raw data about like what your range is and then you can be like, huh? Well, that note didn't sound very good.
[01:12:32] Maybe I should work on that. And it gives you a great place to get started.
[01:12:37] Benedikt: Awesome. Very cool. Well, thank you again. Uh, I'll definitely check out your YouTube channel first thing, and then maybe, maybe I'll book a call I'm really interested and I've never done that. So I really curious.
[01:12:52] Matt: this would be the first time that I booked one on error. So that's what I want Benedict. I need, I need, I need you to follow through with that right [01:13:00] now. Um, no, it's, it's been a pleasure guys. Thank you guys so much for having me. It's really fun.
[01:13:04] Malcom: Yeah. Thank you, Matt. And, uh, yeah, I, I told the intent, uh, to ask you onto my other podcast, uh, your band sex of business, cause like what you've done, audience building wise, like I know Ben has just been itching to ask questions about that, that weren't relevant for this audience. So we're going to have you back and be chatting with you soon.
[01:13:21] I hope.
[01:13:23] Matt: Right on.
[01:13:23] Benedikt: Alright, take care of. Thank you.
[01:13:26] Matt: Thanks.
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[…] 86: Unlock Your Voice’s Full Potential And Record Better Vocals – With Matt Ramsey […]
[…] 86: Unlock Your Voice’s Full Potential And Record Better Vocals – With Matt Ramsey […]