Behind the Scenes at X-Factor With Vocal Coach Stevie B.

photoDid you catch The X-Factor last night? There’s definitely a lot of talent on the show this season! Among this talent is power pop trio Girls United, who earned a coveted spot in the Top 16 last night.

But behind every great performer is also a great teacher, coach, or mentor. And in this case, the girls can credit Los Angeles-area teacher Stevie B., who has been working with the group since the beginning.

We recently caught up with Stevie to get the low-down on the behind-the-scenes action, the role of a vocal coach, and more. Here’s what we learned…

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Get into the Rock Star Mentality

rockstar mentalityThe risqué performances of Elvis Presley, the screaming crowds that followed the Beatles, the instrument-smashing antics of The Who, and the countless other charismatic and iconic contributions to the music of their day are all defining chapters of rock-n-roll that would shape the outcome of nearly all popular music to follow. Just like the swing-dance halls of the 1920s and 30s, the music would draw the attention of the masses and bring uncountable patrons together for something that can only be described as an experience. Read more

Change Your Thinking to Get Better Stage Presence

How do great performers seem to “become” their characters? Knowing your notes and your lines goes a long way, but what else is there? New York singing teacher and performer Danya K. muses on the lessons and experiences that have helped her get better stage presence and push her performances to the next level…

Imagine your heart pounding at 150 beats a minute. Each thump against your ribcage is a pulsating reminder of the adrenalin surging through your veins. Each accelerating heartbeat strikes your eardrum like a thrashing timpani in an orchestra. Your heart is a small, but feisty, animal desperately trying to free itself from the confines of your chest cavity. Read more

Stage Fright: Your New Performance Secret

overcoming stage frightRapidly-racing heartbeat and sweaty palms are symptoms most musicians experience at one point or another.  Stage fright is certainly no fun.

But a recent study aims to shift the perception of these all-too-familiar feelings of stress. The idea: overcoming stage fright is as simple as thinking of it as your ally!

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How to Sing Like Beyonce

How to Sing Like BeyonceBeyonce has been the center of pop culture attention lately, following her Inauguration Day performance, and love-it-or-hate-it Super Bowl spectacle. The singer is often praised for her vocal range and powerful sound – but perhaps her most well-known stylistic specialty is her use of melisma – moving between several notes in succession to create a dramatic, “bluesy” effect. The technique is attributed to gospel and jazz music, but has become more mainstream as artists like the late Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Christina Aguilera have incorporated melisma into their style.

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Battling Your Inner Critic During Performances

microphonePerforming in front of others can be both exhilarating and frightening. And often, the biggest critic you come in contact with – both before and after your performance – is yourself. Luckily, there are methods to use to combat the anxiety and get through it unscathed. Here’s some great advice from Philadelphia teacher Victoria W


You rehearse endlessly, and you enjoy the material you’ve been spending hours upon hours mastering. You’ve done this a million times now; performing it should be no problem, right? But when the lights come up and you’re standing in front of a crowd of people, your mind goes blank and your competence seems to go out the window. Though this is an immensely frustrating problem to encounter, it is a tragically common one. The idea of performing in front of people remains one of the greatest fears among adults. So one can conclude that the first rule of overcoming this problem is…. to give yourself a break! There is nothing wrong with you. In fact, you can count yourself as being incredibly normal (whatever that means these days!). There’s definitely no formula for curing this problem, since every individual is so different, but here are a few ideas that you might find helpful…

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The Shy Singer’s Survival Guide

shyGetting up on stage can be scary for any new musician, but the feelings of anxiety can be even more intense if you consider yourself on the quiet side. So how can a shy singer survive?

Before you relegate yourself to the audience for the rest of your life, know that many timid musicians have made a name for themselves – Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan and Carly Simon, to name a few, have all dealt with anxiety or shyness off-stage. The good news is that there are ways to train yourself to become a confident, energetic performer even when you’re battling nerves. Here are a few things to keep in mind to keep your spirits up:

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