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12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert-Review Print E-mail

When Is It Time to Stop Singing?

Did you see the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert last night? We here at Dot's Voice Studios support when artists unite and make music for a good cause.  Overall, I thought it was an entertaining evening full of good-spirited musical legends who made a huge difference in many lives. It's amazing to consider how artists like Paul McCartney, at age 70 still sounded phenomenal, sailing through 3 octaves like it was nothing, from fast-paced hard-rock, to the peaceful ballad "Blackbird." And that is proof that the voice gets better with age if you look after it.

I would like to highlight a legendary artist with amazing presence, physique and vocal ability ... the first few moments of his solo performance gave me chills...but then I started to wonder about his voice. Was he compensating because he couldn't hit the notes?

Bon Jovi & Bruce Springsteen sing


Do you know who I'm talking about? It was Jon Bon Jovi, who tore it up with Bruce Springstein. By the time he got to solo his #1 hit "Living on a Prayer", he still commanded the stage with his power and presence, beginning his song in an a cappella ballad style, immeditatley connecting to the auidence and letting them finish the phrase, "Oh we're half way there, oh oh, we're livin' on a prayer." I got chills up and down my spine.

Next the song began with the whole band. Did you notice that every time it jumped up to the higher chorus, he didn't sing it, but instead, he let the crowd do it? It sounded awesome. I waited for him to belt it out, like he does so well the second time around. Again, he let the auidence sing it. Then when the song modulated even higher, I got very excited and just knew he would sing it. Again, he held the mic out to the audience - and they sang. He never sang the chorus.


So, the question is - did Jon Bon Jovi let the audience sing his chorus because he wasn't able to hit the notes, or did he do it for the entertainment factor?  My opinion is...maybe a little bit of both. But what does it matter anyway? He told a story with the song, stayed connected to it, and kept it authentic. There were other singers who sounded like their voices might be in trouble (like Alicia Keyes), but he wasn't one of them. Jon had great chord closure on the higher notes and sailed through his chest and middle registers gracefully. However, after belting out the first few songs with Springstein, I wonder if he trusted is voice enough to sail through the "oh oh" and "livin'" (the highest notes in the range of that song being a C# and D above high C), so he made an artistic choice to not risk it - and it worked and I loved it regardless. So did the crowd. And I'm sure, unlike some of the singers who pushed through their voice, Jon Bon Jovi at 50, will have vocal longevity because he is now using correct technique and is connected to his CORE when he sings. (He had to learn the hard way, like many singers–not to push).

 To summarize, remember:
1. As a singer, it's important to always look after your voice. Warm up your voice by doing stretches, lip trills and humming. (Click here if you do not have a vocal warm up program).

2. Remember that it's your authentic emotional connection to the message that is most important.

3. Connect to yourself first and know your limits, then your song, and lastly, your audience. Never push your voice and you will have it forever.

Jon Bon Jovi is an excellent example of a powerhouse singer who is doing it right now, and hopefully he will never stop singing, just like Paul McCartney!

I will be sharing holiday vocal tips during this season and product that will help you find your CORE Voice, keep it safe and take it to new levels, because empowered singing is more than just hitting all of the right notes!

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