SINGER-SONGWRITER, POP, BLUEGRASS, ETC.

Student Accomplishment Gadiz, an international student who was (I think) 12 years old at the time, came in from Jakarta Indonesia for a very intense series of lessons. I am very proud of the work she did and she was singing through her vocal break very nicely within a few lessons. Upon returning to her home country, she nailed a #7 pop hit, did many appearances, and ended up the year by headlining the Bali Jazz Festival in Indonesia. Check out her line of saxophones as well – odds are if you are playing on a horn in Southeast Asia, you are playing on a G&B Sax – named after her!

Vocal exercises are given at all levels.

  • Beginning – MATERIALS: none used but I do show you some basic vocal exercises to learn technique and we will begin you by working on material that you select (which I can advise you on and which can be original material). Goals set by beginners will establish some of how we approach the lessons. For instance, if you are concerned about pitch we will work with that in addition to the basic vocal training. People whose goal is to play out will be taught a slightly different set of skills from those who want to learn “for fun” (mike technique would be important to a performer whereas it might not be to applicable to people who aren’t too interested in going on stage or recording at any point). Performance goals are very important for people working with original material so open mikes are a good way to do this. Good technique is important to a professionally-minded singer, but it is secondary to communicating and should always enhance this in any genre. Mainly, only one or two technical issues are brought up in songs so that the students don’t become over-analytical of their technique which definitely takes away from performance. The idea with this group of people is to build habits (muscle memory) during the exercises and in their normal life that will fall into place while you they singing since they will want to keep their mind on the music and not on technique. People in these genres can expect to spend about 15 minutes a day in order to improve. The more you practice, the better you will get faster.  A professionally-minded singer should spend at least an hour a day to make improvements that they will be happy with at a pace that they will feel good about.
  • Intermediate– Materials are provided by the students and originals are encouraged. Special concern the student has are addressed as well. Technique, interpretation, and listening assignments are usually a strong part of this although it varies according to the student’s stated goal.
    2005 Student Accomplishment Steve Bulger and his San Diego-based band 145th Street Blues in 2005 opened for BB King (at his request) and had their debut album nominated for Blues Album of The Year.  Because they opened for BB, that same year they also opened for Blues legend Bobby Blue Bland, and made the regional finals for the International Blues Challenge (IBC). DAMN! You make me proud, Son!  UPDATE: Steve has been back in for more lessons in 2010 and now 145th Street has WON the Regional IBC and is being sent off to Memphis by the San Diego Blues Society to compete at the national level for the honour of representing the US in the IBC.