Skills for Beginning Jazz Vocalists

As a person taking jazz vocal lessons in NYC, there are a number of things that you’ll need to learn that are really specialized and that pop, theatre, classical, or cabaret teachers won’t know about – even in the big jazz city of NYC.  So I’m going to post some tutorials here for my students and the general public in the hopes that new jazz singers can learn this stuff at least “kinda” online and spend time on polishing skills and singing technique during vocal lessons – the NYC market can eat your budget pretty easily, so hopefully you will get a leg up on some of this stuff.

Improvisation is one of the cornerstones of jazz.  But if everyone in the band just played whatever they wanted in an uncoordinated way, chaos would reign.  In other words, it would look like my bedroom.  That style of jazz has actually a name – Free Jazz – Google it if you’re bored!  But for us who play non-free jazz, there are a number of customs in place to keep the train on the tracks but still create a space where improvisation can occur.   And those skills, which many people would say are equally important to being able to sing well, are necessary pieces of a jazz singer’s skill set.  Be careful cause some of the skills that we take for granted in jazz, will get you yelled at in your musical theatre class which being yelled at by musical theatre singers, I think we can all agree, is non-desireable. Plus none of the instrumentalists in most other genres will understand what you’re getting at, but for jazz these are the truths we hold to be self-evident.

Article index below

How To Use These Articles

Check out the articles on jazz vocals and try them at home.  Then come by for a jazz vocal lesson in NYC (or online) and we can make sure you got it down!  Most of these skills you will need to work as a jazz vocalist – NYC or elsewhere.

Okay – hope today finds you well and enjoying your love of jazz vocals!



Article Index

Hand Gestures in Jazz

Choosing a Key for Your Tune – in jazz, it’s a lot more than just what sounds best on your voice