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Candy DeClue / Blog

An unlikely education.........

Years ago I began private lessons with guitar and voice. And I can say that they both taught me a great deal, most of which I still use today. As I have started preforming more it has taught me alot about my own voice. Its true that you learn alot through lessons, but I have to say that you actually learn alot more by actually performing. Lately I have been wanting to improve my talents but I had no where to turn to. So I began asking around at the sources I did have. Now they are not traditional Voice teachers, many have not sung much at all. I have been taking lessons through asking other talented musicians what they knew. And things that I have learned has completely surprised me. Yesterday, I was working out a line for one of the tunes I will be performing. It sounded fine to me, I had the notes and the timing was ok. But when I listened back to what I had sung it just seemed flat. Luckily I had the help of a great musician named Arthur Carvajal. He taught about how to interpret the line of the song not only but feel and dynamics. but with the right syllables. My understanding of this simple music line became much deeper then I had ever considered. After doing all I could with the line it was refreshing and mind blowing at the same time to get help from someone who understood music much deeper then I could. Later that night I rehearsed with my Jazz combo at Texas State. Unfortunately it was a small rehearsal consisting of Piano, Bass, Alto Sax, and myself. We started running through a few of my arrangments for the band, and even though we were missing the other half it opened up our rehearsal to concentrate on some other problems to work on. I was introduced to a new breathing technique by the instructor, and our Alto Sax player. They were teaching me how to phrase a certain line almost like a horn player would. I was blown away not only how much it helped, but by how they were so willing to help and teach me the things that they knew. I think it's so important for Vocalists especially to look at music the way a horn player would, there is an entire new world articulation and developement that can be achieved, and also a deeper understanding. Most of the time Vocalists think of the hitting the right notes, and the lyrics which is important. But how often do we think about a musical line? Why the composer chose to place that particular not on that syllable? Its crazy how when we explore that side of the music, how much more we can understand. Its also important to note that if you want to be a better singer talk to a Sax player, a guitar player, or a piano player. Ask them what they know, and how they came to know it. You will be surprised at how much you can learn from someone that is not a Singer per say. So the moral of the story is, you can find education anywhere. Im not a Vocal major, infact i have been rejected twice from the program. But by involving myself in any Jazz program I could, I have grown so much more, and have been handed so many opportunities. So all it takes is a desire to learn. Even if it is from an unlikely source as long as you keep searching you can find exactly what your looking for.

First Step!

Since this is my first blog post, and it's very late at night, and I have been at this for 4hrs......I'll make this quick. I say a few words about what I've learned over the past few years. Sometimes all it takes is one little step. A step to realize who you are, and what you are capable of. A step to realize that your dreams are not as far away as you thought they were. That's all it took for me. The path that led me here, and will continue to lead me in the future will consist of small little steps in the right direction. No matter what your goal is in life, it's always in within your reach. You just have to take that small little step and start reaching for it! That will give you something to contemplate for now.................please keep reading to hear many more thoughts on life, music, or other humiliating stories in which I learn some sort of deep lesson and then narrate it while a tune from The Shins plays in the background (...........the Shins is an awesome band by the way, still one of my favorites).