Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/singing

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Question
Hi!
Is learning how to sing country music about vocal technique or do you need something else? Any tips on how to learn this kind of music?
Sometimes I wonder if vocal technique is even that important as one might think. Do country singers even sing the exact pitches that a piano can play? I mean, is it even possible to play the exact melody they sing on a piano?

Answer
Learning how to sing anything is about vocal technique.  You start with learning to use your voice as an instrument and then you learn to sing in various styles.  That would be the most effective way to approach singing. A good singer can sing any pitch that the human voice is capable of making.  The piano, being divided up into discreet pitches, is not really a comparable instrument.  A violin would be more comperable because it has no frets.

Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting

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Penny Nichols

Expertise

I can answer all kinds of questions regarding singing techniques, practice, performance, vocal recording technique and harmony vocal arranging.

Experience

I have been a professional singer/songwriter and vocal arranger and teacher in the music business since 1965.

Organizations
BMI, Folk Alliance, SummerSongs, Inc. (I am the founding director)

Publications
Singer Magazine

Education/Credentials
I have a doctorate in Music Education from Harvard.

Awards and Honors
Platinum record for my vocals on Jimmy Buffett's Son of a Son of a Sailor, 3 times nominated for a Grammy in the background singing category, MVP in the motivational singing category of the Assoc. of Multi-image Assoc. Annual awards two years in a row.

Past/Present Clients
I have sung with, recorded with or opened shows for Mort Sahl, The Byrds, The Dillards, Dillard and Clark Expedition, John Kay (Steppenwolf), The Association and Big Brother and the Holding Co. (Janis Joplin), Steve Miller, Quicksilver Messenger Service, 13th Floor Elevator, Chocolate Watchband, Jefferson Airplane, Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks, Cream (the Santa Monica Civic auditorium 1968), Little Feat in concert.  I wrote and performed commercials for Toyota's campaign to plant a tree for every car bought, Carnation Dairies, and produced a public service announcement for the Navajo Nation called "Black Mesa" to protest the misuse of the land around the Four Corners power stations in Arizona. In 1977, while working with Emitt Rhodes on a record for Elektra, I joined Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefers.  I appeared in the movie FM with the band, toured the U.S. and earned a Platinum Record for my singing on Son of a Son of a Sailor. Also, I've recorded with Art Garfunkle (Fate for Breakfast) Suzi Quatro, Danny O'Keefe, Yvonne Elliman, Jennifer Warnes, Albert Brooks, The Credibility Gap, Steve Gillette and earned a Grammy nomination for my work on Arlo Guthrie's album The Power of Love.  In addition, I have recorded a series of singing lessons which have been sold world-wide by Homespun Tapes since 1985.

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