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What Would John Doe Do? – Singing Technique Tips

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John Doe is the founder of the seminal Los Angeles punk group X, a solo artist and actor. John answers questions from our community members in the WWJDD? blog.

A Question from Jon

Hey there John!

I’ve been a huge fan of X, the Knitters, and all of your solo work for a long time. You always sound great live when you’re singing even when you’re moving around. I’ve been having trouble with getting volume out of the mic, and I was wondering how you get your sound. So what, are you yelling your head off? Do you have an amazing sound guy that tours with you? Were your vocal chords blessed by the pope? What exactly does John Doe do? Thanks in advance for any help you give me.

- Jon

What Would John Doe Do?

Hey Jon,

It’s really pretty simple. Yeah I guess that I have been very fortunate to have good genes and, knock on wood, no accidents w/ my voice. But other than that there are several basic techniques that will give you the best out of whatever you have. First is learning how to project & breath from yr diaphragm, not yr lungs & throat. Any vocal coach/teacher can show how to start doing this and then it’s just a matter of practice. Projecting is how you get volume from yr voice. And as you learn more, you’ll find out that it will help you sing softly too. Don’t forget there are plenty of great singers that sing quietly. But that takes vocal control too. After that, which will take yr whole life if you keep paying attention, it’s simple stuff like not doing the following: smoking, snorting coke, drinking rot-gut, smoking crack, screaming & yelling w/ yr pals all night after a show, and doing the following: sleeping, drinking water & again, not smoking. If you do get hoarse, rest & gargling w/ salt water usually does the trick for me. See, really quite simple.

I hope this helps and as always, thanks for writing.

yrs,

JD

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If you have questions for John Doe about music, the music business or life feel free to email them to wwjdd@knowthemusicbiz.com.

For more information on John Doe check out theejohndoe.com or YepRoc.com .