Love & Laughter Music Group
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News, Tips, and Spotlights

Songwriting is Driven by Influence

Right now, it’s a Saturday afternoon and I am sitting in my office listening to Joe Sample’s album, “Carmel” (1979). 

Like the sea of long ago, sliding back to my early college days, I remember wishing I could play keys like Joe did. The music of Mr. Sample quiets my soul and makes me feel whole inside. I’m told he sat on the cliffs of Carmel, California and took in the wind and the sea as he wrote his music. 

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Hitting a High Note

All of her life, Stella wanted to be a singer. She came to me a year ago with the desire to improve vocally and eventually sing well enough to perform in public. The good news was that she came equipped with many musical skills – wonderful tone, a great sense of rhythm, and a strong sense of pitch. The bad news was that she carried an overwhelming belief of inadequacy; that she would never sing well and that it was somehow hopeless. Despite my repeated attempts to assure her that she had all the natural components for an amazing voice, she still had a hard time believing that she was good enough. I considered her a soldier however because she was willing to keep trying…coming back lesson after lesson to continue working at it.  

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The 3 Most Powerful Things All Singers Should Know

1. Tension is the enemy.

I see it all the time – tension in the jaw, in the shoulders, neck and face. And I mean tension with a Capital T. I can tell right away when a singer is holding on to things or holding back from letting go. Not only is tension visible and obvious on the body but the vocal tone is the first to suffer. A tense sounding vocal is usually audibly “squished”, small and restrictive. 

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