Welcome to The Voice Connection Sound Off; a forum for users of books like Raise Your Voice, Melody to Madness, The Ultimate Breathing Workout, and Unleash Your Creative Mindset, as well as a place for Vendera Vocal Academy members to interact.

This message board was created so that singers could come together and "sound off" to help support each other during vocal development and the creative process of unleashing the creative spark that occurs when writing and producing music. Currently, myself and vocal coaches Ben Valen, Ray West, and Ryan Wall are here to respond periodicially to your questions, with new vocal coaches coming soon. But, feel free to help each other too:)

This board is here for you to ask questions about my and my fellow coach's books, videos, and MP3 programs, as well as offer others help with our vocal techniques. You may also post videos of yourself and your band to share your music and ask for critiques.

Please refrain from negative comments, profanities, spamming, and inappropriate criticisms of vocal methodologies, vocal coaches, and singers. All negative posts will be deleted and subject to banning without question. I will not respond to negative posts, because, as Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” With that said, positive criticism is welcome because that is how you'll grow as a singer during the training process.

The Voice Connection - Sound Off
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Here's my double pennies -
Technique in it's true form has nothing AT ALL to do with style. If your technique is effecting your style you are COMPLETELY misinterpreting and misusing the technique.
Technique when used/done/taught/understood properly gives you the canvas to impart whatever colors of style you could possibly imagine - or, as you said, want to use.

NO movement I make causes unwanted tension, I don't have to hold my jaw open for big Ah's or do anything that feels unnatural. And getting into the song making tension?? I don't know where you are getting your information - especially since the voice is an emotionally driven instrument by it's nature.

You only learn what you want?
"My point is I only EVER set out to learn technique to enable me to sing the stuff I want. That's all I ever learned technique for. I didn't learn it to be able to do fancy whistle tones. I couldnt' care for it because I don't need it. Some do for their style but I don't."
How can you teach what you don't understand and can't explain?

I seriously doubt you even READ RYV... Not to be rude, but ****, I haven't seen so much misinformation in a post in a long time, and the fact that you call yourself a coach makes it that much more disturbing....that and an "anti-technique" post on a forum specifically FOR technique?? Seriously??


Oops I forgot to include the original post I was referencing. I should have explained the context of this post. Someone was saying that they were taught not to furrow their eyebrows as it's unnecessary tension, but I have heard this person and he has much bigger problems to fix before worrying about ANYTHING as insignificant as that. So my post was saying, if we are worried about such a small degree of tension then just about anything you do will bring in that degree of tension when you're on stage "getting into the groove of the song". Hell, just walking on stage or blinking will do it LOL. and so I was saying "does it even matter?" It's miniscule and doesn't affect the ability to sing well at all.

Yes I only learned what I wanted. I wanted to become a great singer, so I learned how to do that. Now I teach it because I understand how to build the range, pitch, tone, stamina, stylistic qualities etc. You are artificially trying to force a point that doesn't hold water.

"not to be rude" I have owned RYV for almost 10 years and read it many times. more importantly, i've applied the information this and other good sources and turned it into knowledge and actually sing and perform live and have transformed other singers.

Remember the person I am posting this to...a beginner worried about eyebrows furrowing. That is the last thing on one's list to "fix"! I can furrow my eyebros all i want, it won't stop me or affect me in anyway from bridging the pasagio smoothly and holding out a belted C5 or god forbid SINGING (not just exercising). But there's a heck of a lot of other things that can prevent you from doing that and those are the things that need to be addressed.

And there will always be minute forms of tension if you are truly performing, unless you are willing to stand completely still with a blank face and only perfectly isolate the correct muscles without any extrinsic tension. of course our goal is to minimize as much unnecessary tension as possible. This is what I was getting at. It's my fault for not making that clear.

so of course, relax the eyebrows, but don't think for a minute that i will keep a blank face when i'm in the middle of emotionally connecting to a song that automatically will cause my face to EMOTE. "ooooh tension watch out!!!!" it doens't matter!

And vocal technique has everything to do with style. It gives the freedom to use the voice how you want to use it. The less freedom one has, the more stylistically limited one is. In fact, the two things that will get you closest to a style/genre than anything else is the brightness of the timbre and the intensity/weight. Just by changing those two things on can morph their tone to fit many different styles. And morphing those two things correctly takes good vocal technique.

My post was not "anti-technique".

None of it is theory, I prove it in the singing.

Good singing to you,
Phil Moufarrege


To someone reading your original post completely out of context with no backstory it was as I said. You didn't at all explain WHO the post was to or that you were being sarcastic or facetious - Just making radical claims and claiming technique was "over-rated". Perhaps you should to be more thorough in your communications so you are fully understood by your audience and avoid miscommunications such as what we had. In it's current context you were basically saying - "screw technique, just learn what you want because it's all irrelevant and impractical anyway". I thought you were nuts!! LOL

Funny how you disagree with my technique v. style comment, then reinforce it. Again, bad communication. Technique being a "blank canvas to color with any style" as I said and "giving freedom to use the voice how we want" as you said - are in fact the same thing. But technique does not create style, the singer does - You can have style with no technique and vice versa, so although they aid or retard each other they are separate entities to be developed. Therefore technique - in it's true form - again, true form as in solely technique, technique all by itself - is completely separate from style developmentally. If your technique is hindering your style or adversely effecting it then you are misusing , misinterpreting or just missing the technique all together. You must work on the canvas before you can hone in on your colors. Then you have to remix the colors so they show up right on your canvas. Old style and new technique can sometimes cancel each other out.

I think what beginners fail to realize is that "tension" - in the context coaches are conveying - is not a small muscle flex, it's consistent, hindering tension. If we had no tension AT ALL when singing our vocal folds wouldn't produce sound! I think "stiffening" is a better term to explain it. Muscles are meant to flex, move, support & suppress - but they shouldn't get tight and these "tensions" should be passing, not permanent. If you have specific musculature constantly stiffened and stressed you are forcing other muscles to compensate for the "abnormal" posture of the tense muscle(s) as well as causing wear and possibly injury to the tense muscle OR possibly even causing a domino effect and damage to the other musculature that is working so hard to compensate. But once you understand technique and relaxation you can have these passing tensions because you are aware how things should feel and can return to it.

I THINK what you were trying to say in your original post was that you have to have a solid foundation and practice of the "rules" so that when you break them you can do so properly and safely.

I too have "been around" the vocal world, have gathered much information from MANY (possibly too many) techniques over the decades and helped many people...I too have been on stage for many years, writing, recording, preforming, but I will NEVER in any aspect consider myself done learning or evolving. Like you, I don't speak out of theory... unless I'm actually discussing music theory.


When I write a long post I write it in a text editor just incase my internet freezes up. Then I copy and paste from the text editor to the browser. For some reason I must have not copied the original post I was referencing. So all you got was my reply to it.

There is no sarcasm or facetiousness or radical claims. No matter how good the communication is there is always a level of interpretation. If you are unsure of what I am communicating please ask me to clarify and I will be happy to do so.

"If your technique is hindering your style or adversely effecting it then you are misusing , misinterpreting or just missing the technique all together."

What you said here is the entire point of my initial post. Nice analogy to painting by the way.

Good singing to you,
Phil Moufarrege