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Singer's Guide

A Singer's Guide to The Muse's Muse
Compiled by Jodi Krangle

This compilation of information resources is put together for those songwriters who are also singers and looking for a way to improve both crafts at the same place. Being a vocalist myself, I'm somewhat biased towards providing resources for singers here. You'll find quite a lot to help you here on The Muse's Muse. Below is just a sampling:

Articles | Columnists | Resources | Tools


These articles will be useful to you as you improve your guitar playing and learn the craft of songwriting.

  • Safe Voice Revolution? - Diana Yampolsky, a professional vocal coach/consultant, talks about some of the things that make a voice "safe", not sorry - and why a singer should care.

  • How The Voice Works - Eric Frey talks about the vocal fundamentals of vocal fry, chest voice, middle voice, head voice, whistle voice and falsetto.

  • The Technical Elements of Vocal Style - Diana Yampolsky explains how to merge physical sound and emotional style.

  • Vocally Speaking... The Cutting Edge - Diana Yampolksy gives hints to vocalists about how they can make themselves stand out from the crowd.

  • How to turn Shaking Knees into a nice Vibrato - Do you get stage fright? Toronto singer/songwriter, Don Bray has some thoughts to help you get that added rush working for you instead of against you.

  • Be It, Feel It, Love It, Live It - Diana Yampolsky talks about the dedication required to become a truly great singer.

  • Effective Lead Vocals - Jeannie Deva talks about what makes one singer's voice "really do it to you" while another's leaves you feeling ho-hum. Is it just that some have it and some don't - Some indescribable and mysterious achievement of luck and lineage? Read on to find out.

  • Singers As Athletes - For those of you just embarking on your vocal journey, this article will outline what parts of the body are used to vocalize and why vocalists are just like athletes. By Dagmar Morgan.

Other articles can be found both in the Songwriting Articles section and in the Newer Articles section.
There are a lot of them and I highly recommend that you check them out!

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There are a lot of columnists here who have been incredibly generous with their time and have contributed excellent articles. Though columns that deal specifically with guitar playing are few and far between, some have been recently started here and I'd like to draw your attention to them. I invite you to continue checking their columns regularly for additions. And if you don't find the answer to your particular question, feel free to ask the columnists directly! Each one has an email address you can write to at the bottom of their menu page.

  • Fine Tuning
    Dagmar Morgan's column dealt with singing and how it was affected by general health and well-being. As a a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Specialist and Personal Trainer as well as a singer/songwriter, she was uniquely qualified to make suggestions in these areas and while she wrote for The Muse's Muse, she contributed many very helpful articles.

  • Singer's Corner
    Jeannie Deva is a versatile vocalist, master voice teacher, recording session vocal coach/producer and columnist. while she wrote articles here, she also contributed many very helpful articles in regards to training and improving the quality of your voice along with hints on how to make your sound distinctive.

There are also a bunch of fantastic articles listed in the Previous Columnists section - the place where I put all the columns by folks that are no longer writing for the site (and there have been a lot over the years!). Many of them would be very useful to you as a songwriter (even if they aren't specifically a singer) and deal with a whole host of different topics from where to find your inspiration to how to get along in the music business and what to watch out for.

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Here are some locations around The Muse's Muse that might be particularly helpful to you.

  • Help For Newcomers - Tips on how to get the most out of this website.

  • Muse's Muse Music Resources - A huge number of links in any number of musical categories - quite a lot of them having to do with singing, buying microphones for a home studio, demo houses that can help you get your music out to the wider world, etc. If you don't find precisely what you're looking for here on The Muse's Muse, you're bound to find it in this database.

  • Muse's Muse Message Boards - A place for you to talk with fellow songwriters about topics that are of interest to you. There's a very large amount of information for vocalists - and in fact, a forum dedicated to it (The Vocal Score) that I recommend you check out and participate in, if you're interested.

  • The Muse's News - The website's monthly e-zine and newsletter had its first issue released in March 1998. 13,000+ subscribers later (and growing!) the newsletter is one of the most popular features of The Muse's Muse. There are also frequently articles about guitar playing or resources that mention it. Have a look at the back issues on this page.

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These links will provide you with the tools to keep yourself organized, find that perfect chord, allow you to find some great reading resources to supplement your knowledge on the craft of playing guitar, find the best deals on purchasing guitars, and lots more.

  • Online Courses - At this famous music school, you'll find a whole host of different courses you can take to further both your singing skills and your songwriting skills. And you can take them whether or not you're able to actually be in Boston. Check out their current roster of instructors and courses.

  • Information on Recording Equipment For Songwriters - As a vocalist, chances are you might be interested in having some means of recording yourself - or at the very least, be on the lookout for a good microphone when you're performing at gigs or in the studio. This is a section devoted to more information about recording gear, offering possibilities and great deals through Musicians Friend. There's also a short history of recording along with some suggestions on the basic equipment you might need for a simple home studio.

  • Online Songwriting Courses - At, you can take over 30 instructor-led and self-paced songwriting courses 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for one affordable yearly tuition. Learn from a faculty of successful award-winning industry professionals and active hit songwriters. In addition to personal feedback from the instructors, online guidance counselors and coaches will provide you with a customized learning path tailored specifically to your goals. Special for Muse's Muse visitors: Take a free songwriting course to familiarize yourself with SongU - before you buy a membership! Click here to learn more!

  • Lyricist V3 Songwriting Software (Newly updated!) - Organization for songwriters - receive a $5.00 discount just for purchasing it here (normally $49.95)! Read a review to learn more. Just thought I'd mention this as it really is a great piece of software for any songwriter - vocalist or no. :)

  • MasterWriter Songwriting Software - "This remarkable piece of software turns your Mac or PC into a valuable songwriting partner" -- Richard Leiter, Keyboard Magazine - Find out more about this program (and receive a $70 discount for purchasing it here!) - by visiting this page. You can even try it for 30 days before deciding if you want to keep it!

  • Brett Manning's Singing Success Systematic Vocal Training System, is the "secret weapon" used by some of the winners of the world’s most prestigious vocal awards, including the Doves, the CMA Awards, and yes, the Grammies. It also comes with an unbeatable guarantee.  If you don't see an improvement in six months, you can return the package for a full refund, no questions asked.  Get your package today!

  • Suggested Reading - A list of books that are a worthy addition to any songwriter's library and including the books that are reviewed in the newsletter. These books are a great source of inspiration and instruction and definitely recommended. While I don't have any at the moment that are for singing alone, you'll find links there that will allow you to do further searches within if you're looking for something specific. You can also try looking through Berklee's list of great books. To do that, start by clicking on this link.

  • Find Music-related Software @ SharewareMusicMachine - A huge database of various freeware and shareware software programs to help you with your songwriting, to help you record on to computer, and lots more. WELL worth checking out!
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by Jodi Krangle


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