Master Vocal Technique Teacher/Coach for Singers, and Published Author
Vocal Technique: A Guide to Finding Your Real Voice
James Lugo, Master Vocal Coach/Record Producer
After receiving my copy of ‘VOCAL TECHNIQUE – A Guide To Finding Your Real Voice’ by Dena Murray I grabbed the cd out of the book and put it in my car for a long trip to Santa Barbara from Hollywood. The cd blew me away. After only 10 minutes or so my voice was wide open and poppin’! When I bought the book I didn’t look at who the author was but when I was in the car I was wondering who it was on the cd singing so high, clear and in tune. Later I read that it was acclaimed Hollywood vocal coach Dena Murray (actually my competition…lol). Dena’s approach to singing was spot on and her voice was inspiring. The book is concise and easy to understand with everything a singer needs to know and none of the wordy bla bla bla. Dena you rocked it! I highly recommend this book and cd instructional kit to any singer, regardless of style or level. Thanks Dena for helping me with my voice.
Luca Iori (Italy)
Jaime Vendera, thevoiceconnection.com
Dena Murray, head vocal instructor of the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood California, introduces a book dedicated to the art of vocal technique. As the name suggests, this is a guide to finding your real voice. The book sticks to the basics, in order to uncover your natural voice, and give the singer a foundation to work upon.
In this 60 page book, Dena focuses on approaching vocal instruction from a standpoint of finding and eliminating ‘trouble’ in the voice. Her expertise lies in the area of taking a voice apart to train or re-train from scratch, in order to teach the singer to strengthen their weaknesses, and free his/her voice, as opposed to vocal manipulation.
Vocal Technique covers such topics as the voice and how it works, correct vocal placement, vocal registers, and breathing. She states that correct breathing is accomplished when the air flows freely, not squeezed or pushed.
Vocal Technique comes with two CDs. CD one is a series of lessons with guided exercises, illustrations, and tracks for practicing along with. CD two is specifically focused on four vocal exercises, designed to isolate and strengthen the separate registers. Although Dena uses more than 25 different vocal exercises in her practice, for the sake of the book, Dena purposely chose exercises to get the voice flowing. She wanted this book to be simple and easy to understand, as well as educate the beginner, and help each singer begin the path to vocal freedom.
Although this book is excellent for beginners, any vocalist will benefit from Dena’s knowledge. If you are having trouble around your break points, Vocal Technique is an excellent book for strengthening the registers and break area. I recommend this book for all vocal enthusiasts.
Dena Murray offers private instruction to beginners and advanced students who are interested in topics such as bridging the break points and developing individual style.
Yasmine Arshia from Los Angeles, CA
I have finally learned how to sing! if anyone is serious about learning to sing, they MUST get this book.The content of this book contains SUCH valuable information, information that is crucial to know if you want to be a singer. The Cd’s have transformed my voice. At first it felt like my vocal chords were getting a good work out, now they feel strong. I can feel them stretch, I use her Cd’s everyday to make my voice stronger and to maintain my newly developed singing capabilities! I was seriously considering giving up singing, then I bought her book and finally learned HOW to sing. It did not take a long time and it was easy and fun.Dena is so knowledgable and has such a passion for the voice, she is also such a wonderful person.
Thank you Dena Murray, You were a God Sent.
Advanced Vocal Technique: Middle Voice, Placement, & Styles
Amazing book! It is an amazing book! It is very well written and explained. I love it! They did a very nice job A must-have for vocalists.
One of the difficulties in learning how to use your voice properly is that you cannot see what happens physically. This book explains and illustrates as accurately as ever the way the vocal chords and the whole vocal apparatus work. The cd is full of very helpful examples for men and women to cover all needs and ranges. Simply Fantastic!
it’ll be your perfect guide for singing. If I teach someone how to sing, I’d like to have this book as a curriculum for my students. it’s really easy to understand and has good exercises you can follow. definitely 5 stars and two thumbs up!
For those who want to take their singing to the next level, this particular book is a map to success. It’s easy-to-understand and designed in a way that helps you collect in your mind the steps to becoming a real skilled vocalist: proper resonance and placement, bridging from chest voice to head voice, and developing power and dynamics. I learned also that singers have off days and the voice is something that needs to be nourished and cared for, particularly for a Rock vocalist. Issues like Acid Reflux are discussed which can wreak havoc particularly on a vocalist because of the use of the diaphram. Also, there is a nice explanation of the different musical genres: Rock, Pop, R&B, etc., and the particular vocal skills needed per genre. Another bonus is the inclusion of a practice with helpful exercises. I hear that another book is slated to release soon. From these authors, (Dena Murray is a very highly regarded vocal instructor) I can’t wait.
VOCAL STRENGTH & POWER: Boost Your Singing with Proper Technique and Breathing
This third book in Dena Murray’s series is a clearly-written and expert guide to how to use the power of the breath to activate proper vocal support. For too long, teachers have either been ignoring the issue of support, or telling their students to ‘sing from the diaphragm’ or ‘use more support’ – neither of which is helpful to the poor singer! Vocal Strength and Power takes you step-by-step through how to use correct inhalation before getting caught up with exhalation. Miss Murray’s stance is that if the singer gets the inhalation right, then the rest will follow much more efficiently and easily. Done correctly, the exercises in this book will help singers to adjust to the idea that vocal strength and power comes from a combination of correct inhalation, plus support from the abdomen, the vocal folds and resonance. The exercises assist in decreasing throat tension (the silent plague of many singers!), and teach that you simply don’t have to heave, push and strain to get power, lots of range and stamina in the singing voice. If you like flashy, hyped-up books with lots of self-promotion and little content then this one isn’t for you. Ditto if you like being blinded with pseudo-science and highbrow observations. If you prefer a simple, straightforward guide to a much-misunderstood problem, then I can recommend it! With a foreword by eminent vocal researcher Steven Fraser, who describes the book as containing the ‘startling results of (Miss Murray’s) enquiry into how to teach proper vocal support without improper control and manipulation of that region’, you will find it a useful addition to your bookshelves.
I’m a vocal instructor in Thailand. I met Dena and study with her. She has really good ears she see through your bod y by her ears and she can tell what’s wrong in your body? This Books helps me a lot it because she explain everything cleary and I can explain to my student why it has to be that and why it’s wrong. This book have many many information that important to singing and she explain to work your voice it helps me to design the scale exercise to for my students too. I really recommend this book for who interested in singing and the people who be a vocal instructor as me. Excuse for my English because I’m Thai.
Wow, I am honored to be the first reviewer of this book. I’ve always been a fan of Dena Murray. She has always released great books on vocal pedagogy, but this third installment is by far my favorite. She delves into an area that is dear to my heart- breath support, which is something that is often overlooked. In “Vocal Strength and Power” Dena unveils the myths of breathing as opposed to singing; singers have a wide variety of ideas of how you should “inhale” and “exhale” that can cause vocal problems in the long run. Dena shows you how easy it is to do correctly which will instantly be noticed in your voice once applied. This book is a quick, easy read that doesn’t waste time on extra pages for the sake of extra pages. She gets right to the point with each sentence she writes, explaining the application of breath support to improve a singer’s projection and power. The book comes with many illustrations and audio examples/exercises to guide you through her approach, which not only covers breath support but proper vocal placements in order to release a small, strained voice. Her knowledge is beneficial to both student and teacher alike and her approach has always been focused on a healthy approach to singing to prevent vocal abuse. I love the fact that she covers many problems facing singers today, such as straining from the throat, dealing with singing tricky consonants, effortlessly feeling the sensation of the voice in the mask, all without over-exerting force or adding unnecessary effort. If you are a fan of Dena Murray’s books, this third installment is a must-have that will work with the exercises from her first two books. This approach will even help to improve your voice when working with her earlier exercises. Bottom line, if you want a strong voice, check out “Vocal Strength and Power”.
D. Steven Fraser, Vocal Scientist, Bachelors of Music, Millikin University Masters of Music (Choral Conducting), Washington University
“Vocal Strength & Power” In her latest book, ‘Vocal Strength & Power’, Dena Murray brings her extensive experience as a vocal technique teacher and coach to the aid of singers working to improve or sustain their singing ability. The materials are suited for singers of all experience levels, from beginner to professional, and even instructors. Her writing style is direct, as is her approach to technique, introducing ideas in the same, clear way she would explain them face-to-face. In this newest offering, author Murray has extended her approach to how the entire body works as a unit in singing: The first book, “Vocal Technique: A guide to Finding Your real Voice”, examines the character of the head and chest registers, with emphasis on strengthening the muscles that control the voice in both those areas. This emphasis prepares for the connection of the registers into a seamless, continuous whole, and also introduces a way of training to induce proper engagement of the diaphragm without pushing. The second book, “Advanced Vocal Technique: Middle Voice, Placement, and Styles” (co-authored with Tita Hutchison,) focuses on placement in the mask and how to bridge. By using perception of feeling and sensation, it builds a step-by-step progression from a thin to thicker voice without vocal ‘breaks’. In ‘Vocal Strength & Power’, Dena brings our attention to the diaphragm, and especially to the startling results of her enquiry into how to teach proper vocal support without improper control and manipulation of that region. Together with her prior two books, this volume forms a complete set of understandings and exercises for bringing the voice to its full potential. When the elements are properly combined, the voice develops and problems are avoided. Without successful combination, the voice collapses, leading to eventual difficulties and uncomfortable singing. Since singing technique is about doing some things, and avoiding others, Dena’s approach in this volume is very practical. In these pages, for each concept and singing action described, she provides exercises on the accompanying CD for self-paced practice to build habit. The book is organized into sixteen content areas, beginning with her foundation concepts of the breath and engagement of the vocal cords. Once these core concepts are well-established, the middle chapters build and expand upon this foundation, and connect together thoughts on the speaking voice, resonance, projection, placement, self-diagnosis, muscle strength and overall vocal coordination. The latter chapters incorporate the more advanced topics of registers, consonant articulation, accomplishment of multiple vocal styles, and procedures that the student can use to master difficult words and song sections. Rounding out this fine book are two sections of special interest: a comparison of breathing techniques for meditation vs. singing, and a Glossary of voice-related terms.