Gospel Legend, Yolanda Adams, Teaches How To Sing Better Instantly | Soul Train Awards ’19


– I’m Yolanda Adams, and today
I’ll be your vocal coach. (upbeat electronic music) The characteristics that make a singer great are enunciation. Please pronounce your words. The next thing is inspiration. Be inspired by what
you’re singing, because if you’re not inspired
by what you’re singing, you cannot inspire others. And next, posture. Don’t sing like this. Sing like this. Wow, all great singers have,
first of all, breathing. You must know how to breathe, and I try to teach young
people how to circular breathe. Circular breathing is the
breathing that a lot of horn players and
orchestra folks know how to do. It’s learning to take the
note around, well, actually, the breath
around and around and around for example, like this.
(vocalizing) And you go through your nose and try to bring it
out through your mouth. I know it would take two hours for me to teach you how to
do that. The next thing that great
singers do is we learn how to start speaking lower
when we are not singing because it does not tax
the voice. The third thing that great
singers know is that rest, rest, rest is
so important. You can have the most
beautiful voice in the world, but if you’ve only gotten
30 minutes of sleep and you think you’re going
to do a four hour show, you are kidding yourself. Adlibs and runs are
very important. Let’s go with adlibs first. Adlibs are what you sing around
the chorus or around the bridge that
gives you something other than the
actual lyric that’s there. For example, if we’re talking
about joy, what makes you joyous? Then you can start talking
about the smile of a child. The beat of a heart,
the this or that. Those are adlibs. If the line is, I have joy,
I have joy, the choir or the background
singers are saying I have joy, I have joy, it is your
job as the lead singer to say something more
than I have joy. Because if all you’re
gonna sing is I have joy, what do we have you for? Because the choir is doing the
same thing. And so, knowing words other
than the lyric of the verse, or the lyric of the chorus,
or the lyric of the bridge is very, very important,
especially when it comes to adlib. You know, and then
that’s where puzzle books and thesauruses and
dictionaries come in. Learn words if you wanna
adlib well. And runs, I am not, like, a run, run, run, run,
run, run person, but I do a few of them. You can either start
up, you can start down. Of course the descending
scale. (vocalizing) Of course that sounds
really horrible because it is early in
the morning and I have not warmed
my voice up. Or you can do the, well, one
that ascends. (vocalizing) That is not a run, though. Trust me (vocalizing)
that’s a run. (vocalizing) That’s a run. That other thing that I
did, that wasn’t a run. Don’t do that. Just don’t try that at home. Wow, high notes are, there’s a technique to
doing high notes if that is your voice. If you are a soprano, you
are born with high notes. If you are an alto,
contralto or tenor, you have to kind of
fake your high notes unless you’re a first tenor, and most first tenors,
they’re just covered, that’s a nice way to
call you an alto. I’m just saying. (laughing) First tenors are like, well,
why she gotta call me an alto? You know, you can
do a head tone, you can do a nasal tone, or
you can do a throat tone. Most sopranos are,
most true sopranos, first sopranos,
they’re all throat. There are some who
sing for opera purposes where you come from
the head, you know, or the nose, but those
high notes, man. It’s early in the morning. But (laughing) those
high notes are, those open wide if you’re
doing it from the throat but make sure that you’re
coming from your diaphragm. So breathing,
like I said before, breathing is so important,
so breathe in. Not like (sharp inhale),
no, you’re choking yourself. Breathe in from your nose,
warm that throat up real quick. (belting out a high note) You know, do something like
that. That was really horrible,
but it’s okay, ’cause I’m just trying to teach
you how to do it right now. And then if it’s head
note (screechy vocalizing) you hear the difference? Because I’m coming from
the head and the nose as opposed to the throat
and the diaphragm. Again, take it for what it is. Singing is all about emotion. Now, if you’re trying to
evoke a certain emotion, if you’re singing about love and you want someone to
capture what you’re doing, you know, of course it
starts with the face. Everything starts with
the face in singing. If you’re just looking like
this, nobody’s gonna believe it. If you’re singing about love
and you’re looking like that, that’s why Gerald Levert
was so great at doing it, because he’s just (grunting). That’s it. But if you wanna evoke a
certain emotion, okay, let’s use love as
an example. I’ll do a couple of lines
from one of my favorite songs by
a pop artist. The straight emotion. Well, the straight face,
no emotion. ♪ Love, look what you’ve
done to me ♪ ♪ Never thought I’d
fall so easily ♪ Okay, that’s the straight face. You can’t even fake that. If you sing that to
someone like that, they’re like, no,
you don’t love me, ’cause you ain’t into this. And so, here it is,
emoting and having emotion. And really feeling it. This is what I believe,
you know. Don’t laugh at my crazy face, ’cause my cry face and
my crazy face, they kinda match, but
here it is emotionally. I know that’s the actress in me. I’m just going into character.
(laughing) ♪ Love, look what
you’ve done to me ♪ ♪ Never thought I’d fall
again so easily ♪ ♪ Oh, love ♪ See? So you see the difference? You know. ♪ Love, look what
you’ve done to me ♪ That’s somebody
that’s mad at love. That’s somebody that
hates love right now. But somebody that’s like. ♪ Love, look what
you’ve done to me ♪ That’s somebody that’s in love. Mm, which one are you? Vocal warm-up exercises for
me are really kinda crazy. You know, my vocal
warm-up exercises really don’t have to
do with notes. I usually do something
like this. (blurting out through lips) It sounds like a note,
but it doesn’t, because it clears this
and it clears that, and so, by the time I get
through doing that a couple of times, I’m laughing so hard that
there’s my vocal routine. Best practices for singing
live are these. Number one, make sure that you have something to wrap
yourself in just in case you get
to your dressing room and it’s cold, and then
when you get out on stage, you’re freezing and your
notes come out like this. We don’t want you cold. So make sure you
wrap yourself up. And onstage, your onstage
persona, listen, have fun. Those are the best
practices for live music. Have fun,
relate to your audience, let them know that
you’re there with them for the next two hours
or the next 30 minutes, whatever it is, just to
give them a part of you and just to serve them, and I guarantee you,
you will get benefits over and over and over again. ♪ So much joy into
all of our lives ♪ ♪ What would we
be without this joy? ♪ (audience cheering uproariously)

100 comments

the Straight face vs Emotional face LOL BUT… I felt that emotional face version. the other one, you look bored! LOL!!

Seeking a vocal coach, in need of great help. I once had a beautiful singing voice, but I haven't been using my voice and is a strain on my vocal cords while pursuing an high notes. My Congregation shows no emotions when singing hymns, just unmovable.

She’s so humble and encouraging. I remember a similar video by Christina Aguilera and one of her points was “be born with a great voice”, which obviously isn’t helpful to anyone. Lol.

This is wonderful. She's definitely a legend and I'm taking notes or everything, even if I don't song well lol just watch my channel

Love this. I feel like I should pay
When she said “I’m not a run person “ I was like , 😐 really Yolanda… Really 😐… yes you are 😁

Lmao all these singing coach videos are here to prepare us for the Christmas carols cause no one wants to be screeching Susan in the office. 😅😅😅🙏🏾

Soon as I was about to STOP doing lip trills..I find out SHE DOES THEM????!!! starts doing them again cuz she SAAAAANGGSSS!!!

I remember you Yolanda from Oakland. Don't you remember John McBride and the Gospel Truth I was in his choir. Daryl Coley and the New Generation Singers. R.I.P. Daryl Coley.I was a soprano. I couldn't sing worth anything. I don't know why they let me be in their choir. Lol. I remember Fred too. I was a very young teen then.. BLESSED BE.

The school teacher in Yolanda is very apparent. She is a teacher education graduate of Texas Southern University and was a celebrated school teacher before becoming a famous Gospel singer.

These are a nice set of tips. However, it is impossible to achieve circular breathing with an open mouth because it involves storing air in your cheeks and using the reserved air to produce a sound (in let’s say and trumpet or saxophone) while you simultaneously inhale. It is absolutely impossible to store air in your cheeks when singing because your mouth is open. I’d be interested to know what technique she was actually trying to describe.

Wow …Yolanda needs to have a vocalist singing school 🏫 Teaching young vocalist stage presence things like that , this was a great video .

Absolutely LOVE this awesome lady. I am such a fan. I wish she could come to my school and just offer encouraging words to out adult learners who are going thru trials and tribulations.

Honestly though, what is she chatting 😂😂
Everything she said about technique literally made NO sense… Yolanda just got it. You can’t teach natural talent. Haha

The ad b4 this started was some infomercial dude saying "I can teach u to sing better" blahnik. I was like skip no u cant but Yolanda Adams will.

Excellent tips! I’ve definitely used these suggestions and they are super helpful! Thanks Sister Yolanda!🥰❤️

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