When it comes to vocal powers there is no better vocal coach than the glass -shattering vocal expert, Jaime Vendera. He has written various books regarding vocal power, stamina and range. However, it was his search for vocal knowledge, specifically rock vocal, that pushed him to learn, to be a vocal expert and write about it.
There are already a number of rock celebrities who are proud clients of Jaime Vendera. However, with his online vocal lessons, worldwide workshops and an increasing number of books, he has helped both amateur and professional singers. He also offers printed books, eBooks, MP3s, videos and other vocal instruction materials.
It is the passion for music, singing and performing that keeps Jaime going. He knows whatever he is teaching others will work! A lot has been written about how great and effective his techniques and teachings are. The celebrities have also spoken through various testimonials and blogs about it. Book sales, workshop attendance, online lesson schedules, speak for his successful methods that offer everyone a breakthrough not just in their performances, but also in their careers.
Why is vocal training so important?
Many singers don't realize the importance of vocal training. We are our instrument, which can be a crutch. For example, when a person decides to play guitar, they aren't able to pull it out of the box without ever playing a guitar before, and instantly know every chord to play along to the songs they hear on the radio But, we, as singers, can vocalize right along to the radio, which means we are already playing our instrument to some extent. Therein lies the trouble. Without training, some can fall into poor vocal habits, such as lack of support or adding neck tension to hit higher notes. With training, you strengthen the muscles involved in singing and develop proper vocal technique to assure that you can sing night after night.
Do big stars have training? If so, why?
Some do, some don't. Some eventually seek training because of running into trouble on the road, such as having to cancel a gig because they've blown out their voice from the show the night before, or losing range from years of wear and tear, possibly developing nodules. In my line of work, I see more artists coming for training after the fact. But, that is a good thing, much wiser then ignoring any potential long-term vocal issues.
You are known as a vocal coach to the stars. How did your journey begin from singer to coach?
I never wanted to be a coach, but I did want a better voice. So I attended the Musician's Institute in Hollywood, California to study voice. As well, I studied the Vocal Power scales created by metal singer Jim Gillette, who, ironically, taught me to shatter glass with my voice years later. I started giving various lessons in 1996 based on the materials I had collected in a series of hand-written notebooks and before long I decided to write a book. I started writing my first book, Raise Your Voice, is the year 2000, releasing it in 2004, and since that time have written 15 books, most on vocal instruction, as well as produced dozens of fiction books for 711 press, with my partner, Daniel Middleton. The books are an extension of my unique training system, The Isolation Method, which I've taught to countless singers around the world.
Do your clients participate in person or via phone or Skype or ...?
Very rarely do phone, but I do get a lot of calls around the clock from singers looking for tips, ha-ha. I teach in person, as well as over Skype, which has enabled me to train singers from all over the globe. I even wrote a book about how to use Skype for lessons called Online Teaching Secrets Revealed. You're probably laughing, but my mind feels as if it is linked to an endless supply of creativity (thus, my book Unleash Your Creative Mindset) therefore I am always writing whether it is song lyrics or writing a new book, as I love to get my creative thoughts into word.
There are lots of other techniques out there for vocalists, such as Seth Riggs. How does your technique differ?
I don't know much about SLS besides the fact that it focuses on a mixed voice, or a mixture of falsetto and full voice. I also believe there is little focus on breathing. I actually prefer to focus on solid breath support and teach the "pushing down" approach for support as a means to lift the sensation of the voice up into the palate and minimize breath pressure. This is the same as the baby cry, the uninhibited release of pure vocal tone. I know for a fact it has worked for many singers, myself included, especially when I'm breaking glass on television shows around the world. On a recent show for Discovery Channel, "Superhuman Showdown," a team of ENTs from Ohio State University observed my vocal cords with a scope and were surprised that I showed no signs of wear and tear on my cords as well, the surrounding muscles were well developed which the doctors attributed to my vocal technique and exercises.
Who are some of the well-known people you have coached?
I''m truly the baby of the bunch concerning well-known coaches, so I'm sure my roster isn't as impressive as others, but a few well known artists would include James Labrie of Dream Theater, Ben Thomas of Zappa Plays Zappa, Kevin Rudolf, Kevin Richardson, Matt Devin, Phil Taylor to name a few US rockers. As well, I've given tips to Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge/Slash) but he is not my student, though I do know he carries a copy of Raise Your Voice with him on tour.
Will you have an online course available?
Right now, we do have The Ultimate Vocal Workout (theultimatevocalworkout.com) available which is my full system, newly revised in February for 8 books, 2 hypnosis mp3s, two warm up mp3s, and over ten hours of bonus instructional audio and video. But I am soooo much more excited about my new BuildaBetterVoice.com, which will soon feature "The Vendera Vocal Academy", a monthly training facility to take you through my entire program covering technique, exercises, stage presence, recording, performing, and more.
If someone is interested in your services, how do they contact you?
You were on shows like MythBusters and Dr Oz. How is it possible for you to shatter glass?
It's not easy because I use the Schott Zwiesel top Ten Titanium crystal line which are more break resistant than most glasses. As stated earlier, my coach, Jim Gillette of the 80s band Nitro taught me to break glass. He could do it and was asked to perform this feat for MythBusters, but was too busy, so he taught me to take his place. I've since done shows all over the world and sometimes it was difficult, but I always got the job done. Even in front of thousands of people on a live show in China in 2012, I shattered three in a row. However, for Superhuman Showdown, I broke two with ease at Guitar Center in Columbus, Ohio, but it took me quite some time to break the third in the Ohio State University Horseshow stadium. It's always much, much harder when echo or resonance is involved because it seems to confuse the glass, ha-ha. Which leads me to Guinness World Records Gone Wild, another show. To my surprise, I didn't break a glass. But, when I entered the facility, which was a large bunker with echo, I knew I'd have to work harder, told the producers it would take 5-6 minutes to break the three glasses they wanted. Unfortunately, there was some lack of communication because when I hit the stage, I was immediately told I only had sixty seconds. It was nerve wracking. I went against my protocol and just grabbed glass after glass, knowing well, I needed that sixty seconds just to build my resonance. So, instead of forgetting about attempting three and just focusing on shattering the first, I tried to quickly search for any glasses that would explode. Big mistake, ha-ha. But, I'm not upset at all, and I know how echo affects them. I came home and have shattered many more since then, including 3 in a row just to send to Guinness which we will do early this year when my production partner, Sean Daniel, send me the clips:_