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Monday, September 14, 2015

This blog has moved!

Dearest readers of the Unnaturally Green blog,

As of August 2015, this blog has moved to a new location! It is now parked at my official website, FeliciaRicci.com, under Free Singing Tips / Blog.

Visit this blog in its new location!



The move was made in an effort to keep all my professional goodies in one place -- from online course listings and info, to news and updates, to free singing videos and bonuses. That way, all my resources will be in one place for you, and you won't have to scour around the internet trying to figure out what's new with me on many different web addresses.

And, in case you were wondering, previous posts of Unnaturally Green (the blog) will continue to exist in its full form. It's a five-year archive of my mid-twenties journey, starting from the moment I was cast in Wicked to a couple of months ago.

But now the journey continues here... Please visit frequently, let me know what you think! (You can comment on my website's blog posts, just as you can here.)

With love and address changes,
Fel


Thursday, July 2, 2015

VIDEO: 1 Easy Trick for Learning How to Sing

Hello there, my buds!

My latest singing tips video offers a super helpful tip for learning and teaching yourself how to sing - and it's all about harnessing the power of VISUAL CUES and "face shapes."

Singing can be super confusing if you think of it as an infinite number of sounds and possibilities. But if, instead, you memorize (1) where you feel the sound in your face, (2) and what that shape "looks like" to you in your mind, you'll start to internalize and memorize technique MUCH MUCH FASTER!

It also gives you an excuse to watch tons of YouTube videos of singers performing - oftentimes the way their faces LOOK can give you valuable clues about their singing technique and how they're creating their singer sound.

Hope this is helpful!
xo Fel


Thursday, June 11, 2015

VIDEO: How to Memorize Songs & Lyrics

Hi there! Today's singing tips video is all about memorizing songs and lines! Memorization is a key skill in the music, theater, and entertainment industries, but not many singers often discuss their strategies for memorizing.


Since I am pretty horrendous when it comes to learning lyrics and lines, I thought I would let you in on the top methods that help me learn new material.

I'm not an expert on this topic of memorization, but these methods have worked well for me -- and I hope they'll help you, too!

Let me know what you think of these techniques - try them out, and report back - and please share with any friends you know who have had trouble memorizing songs or lines in the past.

xo Fel

Thursday, May 28, 2015

VIDEO: How to Relax Your Tongue While Singing

My newest singing tips video gives you 3 suggestions (+ 1 bonus tip) for how to relax your tongue and get it to stay neutral while you're singing!




Two ways to gauge tongue tension are:


(1) how your voice sounds (do you sound like Kermit the Frog?)

(2) How your throat or neck feels (dull pains along your jaw or at the top of your voice box).


If you have tongue tension or a tense tongue, fear not! 3 easy triggers to get your tongue to chill include:


(1) Thinking "UH" while you sing

(2) Pretending you're drunk (not kidding)

(3) Practicing a "conversational" version of your song or warmup


And as a bonus tip? Don't make an enemy out of your tongue! As a singer, it does more harm than good to be stressed out about the body part that's causing you tension. Instead, think positively about your tongue, remember that it's just trying to help, and eventually it will learn to back off and stay out of the equation.


Enjoy! :)

xo Fel





Thursday, May 14, 2015

How to Sing "Somebody to Love" by Queen

Ahoy there, singers!

My latest singing tips video breaks down and teaches you how to sing "Somebody to Love" by Queen! Trying to sing like Freddie Mercury can at first seem like an epic challenge, but it's my job to help you break it down and find some easy, effective strategies for approaching this song.


In this video you'll learn:

(1) How to break down the song "Somebody to Love" in stages so it's easier to sing

(2) Some key vowel and lyric modifications that are going to help you sing higher without tensing or cutting off the sound

(3) Tips for getting your head voice to be stronger, louder, more focused and powerful

(4) Tips for contrasting that head voice with a full, impressive belt sound, since belting is perfect for rock singing (like Queen)

I hope you enjoy this video! Let me know how your practice goes, or if you find these tips helpful.

xo Fel

Thursday, May 7, 2015

How to Sing When You're Sick

This video is a sick-singer's guide to staying healthy when you're not feeling 100%. How much should you practice (or not practice) while you're sick, and how can you tell if it's the type of sickness that can support some gentle warmups?

This video is all about sick singing and how to avoid making the mistake of over singing when your sinuses are blocked or your throat isn't cooperating.


Lots of you have asked me, what's the best way to sing with a sore throat?

Unfortunately, the answer is....don't. Singing with a sore throat is a definite no-no.

Phlegm, a blocked sinus, and other symptoms have a bit more grey area, which I'll explain in the video.

And when you're bed ridden or feeling sick and you want to still practice your singing, the best way to stay in touch is to do some simple breath exercises or lip trills.

I hope this video is helpful! Don't get down on yourself when you're sick. The best thing you can do as a singer is not to attempt strained or uncomfortable "sick singing," but to let your sickness run its course.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ellie Goulding - "Love Me Like You Do" (3 New Videos!)

Friends! This week I'm bringing you THREE new singing videos!

1. The first is my first-ever cover... :)

I's pretty close to the original in terms of arrangement. In case you don't know my channel, most weeks on YouTube I give you guys singing tips videos and how-to sing lessons, but a bunch of my subscribers and buddies kept suggesting I sing a song the whole way through... so I recorded this one!




2. This video is bundled with 2 other related videos. The second is a HOW TO guide for how to sing "Love Me Like You Do!"


This video recommends vowel and lyric modifications that help you place the sound, as well as focus your head voice and voice in general to maximize resonance. Altering the lyrics with new vowels, consonants, and phrases will help your wrap your mouth around the sounds. I'll also address breathiness and how to do it healthily, using the false vocal folds.

When it comes to singing and creating a signature sound, you don't manipulate the cord, you manipulate the resonant space in your face and mouth.

And for video 3....

3. Now you can sing along to the song! I've made a karaoke track with singer-friendly lyrics (also pasted below). Enjoy!



Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding
alternate lyrics for singers by Felicia Ricci

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Singing the Right Way - How to Tell If You're Singing Correctly

I lost my voice this week, so I decided to post a "Strategy" lesson from Singing Transformation 2.0, my elite singing training program, since it's an interesting topic that I think you'll find helpful!!

This video answers a question I get a lot which is -- "How can I tell if I'm singing something 'right'?" Lots of singers are worried about "correct singing" and frequently feel somewhat lost when practicing alone.


The video outlines three principles, which are:

1) Singing should never feel PUSHED, FIXED, or FROZEN, or like it hurts,

2) You can always use audio and visual feedback to gauge your sound and technique (i.e. record yourself, and look in the mirror!)

and, third (and most importantly)...

3) Learn to trust yourself and embrace being self taught!

Let me know what you think of this topic... I'll be back soon with a new song breakdown video!

xo Fel

Thursday, March 19, 2015

How to Do Riffs and Runs with Your Voice

Hiya singer friends!

This video is all about riffs and runs, and how to achieve riffing as effortlessly as possible. You will first and foremost learn how to riff by practicing and breaking down certain patterns, but this video offers some key technical adjustments to make riffing easier.


When it comes to learning how to riff, there are a few measures you can take to ensure your voice is as agile and supported as possible, including:

(1) Practice your riffing on a narrow, non-breathy vowel for maximum control and focus

(2) Using "G" or "B" to seal your cord and make sure you're not leaking air

(3) Making "Fish lips" to minimize jaw and tongue tension and to keep your larynx neutral as you riff or run

(4) Using the "opposite cue" to ensure your breath energy and mouth/throat space doesn't collapse or tense when you're riffing down.

Try out these suggestions, and let me know if they help you learn how to riff!

xo Fel

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How to Fix Flat Singing

Singer friends!

My new video explains the most common reasons why singers fall or sing flat (beneath pitch) which breaks down to: (1) Not enough breath support, or, more commonly, (2) not enough space in the face and mouth to allow the pitch to resonate.


Staying on pitch for singing requires also that you anticipate jumps in notes, like ascending intervals, and it's important to get your "landing gear" out and ready BEFORE you land (sing a note).

If you've been told you have "pitch problems," don't worry. Learning how to stay on pitch is simpler than you think. Learning how not to sing flat takes some practice so your cords have more control, but it also is a mental process. And the more you can utilize these mental cues, the better pitch you will have!

Hope this video is helpful!
xo Fel

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

3 Tips to Find Your Singing Voice

My latest singing tips video is all about how to find a singing voice that is uniquely "yours." It offers my top 3 tips for doing so...some of which might surprise you!


1) Pay attention to the natural variation in "color" (or resonance, or tone) when you speak in the day-to-day. Become aware of all the variations that are possible, and what kind of emotional intention or context usually prompts them.

2) Start by imitating! This one might be a bit controversial, but even the seemingly most original singers had influences that turned to inspiration, that eventually led to their creating their own sound.

3) Don't be afraid to be weird and look silly! Get rid of those blocks of what you're "supposed" to sound like will allow you to experiment more freely, which will unlock tones you didn't know were possible.

What do you think about this topic? Don't forget to leave me a comment!
xo Fel

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Personal Q&A with Fel! (New VIDEO)

I'm back with a brand new video!

This one answers top questions asked by you guys! Those of you who took my singer survey asked me quite often about my own experience singing and other more "personal" questions. I realized that while you may have gotten to know me through my singing lessons, courses and YouTube channel, you might still be curious about the Fel on the other side of the camera!

This video is a big departure from me, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Let me know if you'd like more videos like this or if you'll pass in the future :)


In this video I answer the questions:

(1) When did you start singing, and was it natural for you?
(2) Were you always this self-confident on camera, and in life?
(3) What drives you to be a voice finder?

In the video I also mention my nonfiction book UNNATURALLY GREEN, which chronicles the time I was in the musical Wicked, and you can learn more about it here: http://www.UnnaturallyGreen.com.

Lots of love,
Fel

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Does Voice Classification Matter? (VIDEO)

Singer buddies!

My latest video addresses voice classification, or voice part (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and answers a common question I get from singers, which is: what's my voice classification, and does it matter?

Basically, it doesn't really matter. Voice classification describes the thickness of your vocal folds. Sopranos and tenors are born with thinner folds, while altos, baritones, and basses are born with thicker vocal folds. This means you are naturally predisposed to sing higher (in the case of tenors and sopranos) or lower (altos, baritones, basses), and you can usually tell which voice part you are based on the natural tone of your speaking voice.

Check it out!


What I want to stress in this video is that your voice classification is a starting guide. It's like saying: "I have long legs." It describes your body and the way you were born, but it does not determine your ultimate range or what you will be able to sing in your career as a singer. It may describe what is *easiest* for you at first -- but just as someone with short legs can learn to run fast, so can someone with thick vocal folds learn to sing high.
Loads of baritones and altos can sing high, and likewise many tenors and sopranos have impressive lower ranges. So don't get bogged down in assigning a label to yourself. Any singer can successfully grow his or her voice and learn to increase their range.

Hope you like the video! Please leave me a comment. xo Fel

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Sing "Black Widow" by Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora

Another week, another singing tips video!

This video breaks down "Black Widow" by Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora and recommends vowel and lyric modifications that help you place the sound for Rita Ora's tone and styling, as well as pop out your belt singing voice.


The sung hook and "pre-chorus" of this song is belty and hefty sounding, it's important to know where to place the sound to be able to bust tension and get the notes to flow.

Altering the lyrics with new vowels, consonants, and phrases will help your wrap your mouth around the sounds. When it comes to singing and creating a signature sound (like Rita Ora), you don't manipulate the cord, you manipulate the resonant space in your face and mouth.

Hope this is helpful! Leave me a comment and let me know. Complete lyric modifications below...
xo Fel

BLACK WIDOW BY IGGY AZALEAN & RITA ORA
Lyric Modifications by Felicia Ricci

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mixed Voice Technique and Exercise

Hello ladies and gents!

Here is my newest video explaining how to approach and use a mixed voice. Mixed voice means singing "between" chest and head voice by accessing your nasopharynx (which lets the sound vibrate in the "mustache" region of your face). Accessing the mixed voice technique itself is not super complicated, but sometimes using muscle memory to master it can be tricky. This video explains some simple exercises that will help you practice.

Let me know if this video helps you access you vocal mix!

Thanks :)
xo Fel


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

How to Be More Confident - 3 Tips for Singers

Hello again, singer friends!

Are you looking to beat stage fright and be more confident when it's time to perform a song? This video offers three main tips to help singers be more confident. No more choking up or freezing when you sing in front of people!

Check it out below :)

Love,
Fel



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Sexy Party: Part 2

(Read Part 1 here)

The wine bar where Becky hosted her party was large by New York City standards, which is to say, two people could stand side by side in between the bar and the wall, if those people were okay with touching intimately. There was a separate area in back with couches, rugs, and low-hanging exposed lightbulbs, the kind that indicate that this wasn’t your run of the mill bar, this was a sophisticated bar where you might hit your head on a low-hanging exposed lightbulb, but not even care.

Becky’s fiancé Phil greeted us at the door with large engulfing hugs. Phil went to Yale with me and was in my secret society (don’t tell anyone) so we have a pretty great friendship groove already carved out. Waiting with him was Marshall, my fiancé. Two fiancés in a wine bar! They’ve been known to pal around. Once I witnessed a 45 minute conversation in which Marshall and Phil discussed teaming up for an “Apocalyptic Extraction” business, wherein the super-rich could get flown away by helicopter in the event of a zombie uprising.

“Hello, ladies!” they both said, almost in unison. The four of us retrieved wine from the bartender and we toasted the occasion. Meanwhile, the room was filling with people. Instantly I spotted some familiar faces.

This is going to be a great party!