Music & Entertainment

Singing

Usher

Lesson time 11:32 min

If you're a performer, your voice can be your most important instrument. Learn how to identify and expand your range, warm up your voice, and take care of it pre and post performance.

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Usher
Teaches The Art of Performance
In his first ever online class, Usher teaches you his personal techniques to captivate audiences across 16 video lessons.
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Every song that I ever heard on the radio as a kid, I made it a point to try to out-sing the artist. It's pretty hard, it's difficult, especially if you're listening to Boyz II Men, Wanya. You're listening to Tevin Campbell, you're listening to R. Kelly, you're listening to Jodeci, all of these guys who kind of gave me an idea of what I wanted to do-- Hi-Five, Shai. If you truly want to find the sweet spot in your voice, one group that I'll tell you to go look into is Take 6. I used to listen to Take 6. And I would go after each note specifically in the song, and I would follow only the baritone note. I would follow only the tenor note. I would follow only the high alto to soprano notes. And that would help me kind of massage and work my tool to perfection. Now, it's very difficult to do it. And you might not be in a group, but it actually trains your ear. It also too, really does strengthen your voice. Hearing yourself live, in a live environment requires you to be accustomed to hearing yourself out loud which is why you practice singing out loud in private. Sometimes there is a wedge, which is a speaker that sits on the floor, that once you sing in to a microphone, the sound comes back up and you can hear it. Now sometimes it may be loud. Sometimes it may not be loud. Sometimes the music inside of that maybe so loud that you can't hear yourself. So there's little bitty things that you could do, to be able to hear yourself, to make sure that your tone is right. There's a little technique where you take your hand and you place it over your ear, just like this and you can hear yourself a little bit louder. Now you can't stay that way because you don't want to get so absorbed that you're not giving any energy to the audience. But just to make sure that you're on key, you can hear yourself, and then you just keep moving right back into your performance. There's little bitty techniques that you can use to be able to hear yourself. [MUSIC PLAYING] You have two strips of muscle in your throat. These muscles are not like the rest of your body. Once you've destroyed these muscles they don't rejuvenate. Now you can build them up. You can stretch them. All of these things. But once you've destroyed these two strips of muscles right in your throat, it's done. Understanding when you begin to do too much, then you need to begin to downshift. OK, you may go to a different part of your register. If you sing really, really high, you might drop an octave down. And then sing in a lower octave so that you can still work on whatever you're trying to get tight, but not straining your voice. Drink a lot of water. Tea and lemon is always a good one-- throat lozenges. Also to finding an ear, eye, and throat doctor to really analyze your throat if you can, if you have the resources to do so. But these other things like understand...


Meet Your New Mentor

Usher, winner of 8 Grammy Awards, reveals the technical skills, career lessons and breakthrough advice that he has used to captivate audiences for over 25 years. For the first time ever, learn how Usher approaches performance and wins over audiences from the studio to the stage. There has never been a class like this before.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I have two Ivy League degrees (nbd) , this class has touched me to my soul. Your kindness, fun and work ethic are shining thru. Thanks for your gift

Usher Is Amazing! What a gift to be able to meet my mentor in person!

The lesson about finding your inspiration and the inspiration of others hit home. I was surprised at how applicable this Masterclass is to my own life even though I have no desire to be a singer or dancer. This class was like a good movie- I didn't want it to end.

Though my art and style are very different from Usher, I have huge admiration for his impeccability, his clarity and his desire to share his knowledge. His career can inspire any artist to succeed!


Comments

James C.

This advice was very helpful. I did see an ENT and the acid reflux and post nasal drainage caused by allergies was affecting my voice. I could no longer reach the high notes without cracking and screeching. hydrating is extremely important. I had been singing soprano. (This is Anna Cameron, wife of James) Thank you

Ocubox

I can run at my highest speed and still have a smooth controlled tone, I have been doing do for years, so not a secret to me ;) It helps so much, all that Usher says. I started because I cannot listen to 21 pilots or Imagine Dragons without singing, and those are usually what I listen to when I run lol (I'm sure it blows peoples minds too.../I call it my vocal practice/lung capacity expansion)

Marion B.

Philosophy wise, this definitely gave me a different look on show preparation through mental focus.

Kaizer H.

It's safe to sing other vocal types? Wouldn't it be damaging for a tenor to sing baritone or bass songs and vice versa?

Emiliano C.

Usher is a fantastic person. I am not in this field, but the suggestions he gives can be applied to every field. Usher is an extraordinary teacher.

Yve R.

I am an Auctioneer and luvd learning how to warm up yes...but warm down. What I do is all audible so I fail if my vocal quality is poor. Thank you Usher!

Kalia D.

I noticed many people these days don't want to do classic exercises anymore. And who do you know who is not an opera singer who takes 40 minutes to warm up with scales and arpeggios! He is right, effortless skill is the basis for being freely creative.

Lemonhead

I love his advice to try to sing when running. Such a good idea to improve breath support.

Darian R.

Singing can be thought of as vocal athleticism. You're a voice athlete. This is such an epiphany for me, I never thought of it that way.

Supriya J.

Thanks a lot for informed me about warm down because it was quit new to me.. voice is very precious so we all need to take care of it.. Thanks usher for this lesson.. Regards