Ep2: Why Don’t I Sound Good & How to Sing Better / The Path to Vocal Mastery

Why Don’t I Sound Good & How to Sing Better.
Singing Lessons with Phil Moufarrege & Marnell Sample.
Marnell Sample’s YouTube:

Episode 1:


00:00:00 Intro
00:01:22 Marnell shares his struggles with sounding good
00:02:31 Phil shares his personal struggles with sounding good

00:06:01 What is phrasing?
00:06:52 Singing with emotion
00:07:51 TIP #1: Listen to instrumentalists
00:09:07 Song Application: “Just a Prayer Away” by Yolanda Adams
00:15:35 Casually singing a song will NOT develop these abilities
00:17:43 Song Application: “Can You Stop the Rain” by Peabo Bryson
00:21:14 Contour of musical phrase
00:22:28 TIP #2: Sing the melody on a vowel/ a hum
00:23:16 Shaping of vowels
00:26:45 Individual differences between voices
00:27:47 Demonstration of voice differences on “Can You Stop the Rain”
00:32:46 Comments about the differences in approaches
00:34:56 Marnell’s vocal cord paralysis & how it affects the tone
00:36:19 Anatomical variations unique to you that affect the tone
00:37:01 TIP #3: Make your own songs

00:38:03 Song Application: “Can You Stop the Rain”
00:39:17 Song Application: “Another Part of Me” by Michael Jackson
00:41:39 TIP #4: Move your body to the beat
00:43:03 Singing with emotion
00:44:07 Song Application: “Do I Do” by Stevie Wonder
00:46:01 Song Application: “Without You” by Mariah Carey
00:49:23 Emphasizing the down beat
00:50:39 Accenting the beat in syncopated music
00:52:28 TIP #5: Practice musicality in whatever range you currently possess
00:54:22 Song Application: “We Will Rock You” by Queen
00:56:51 TIP #6: Practice a song at a slower speed in VLC Player

00:57:28 Marnell’s personal struggles with phrasing
00:58:28 Singing phrases with different colors
01:00:36 Leaning into the voice too much in the low range
01:01:43 “Bloom” spot of different voice types
01:05:51 Song Application: “To Where You Are” by Josh Groban
01:07:42 Song Application: “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5

01:09:23 Conclusion

Frustrated with your singing? Straining for high notes? Sang for years but still sound terrible? Tired of hearing the same vague tips?
I’m the vocal coach singers go to when they’ve tried everything else.

Phil Moufarrege – professional vocal coach and singer/songwriter

27 thoughts on “Ep2: Why Don’t I Sound Good & How to Sing Better / The Path to Vocal Mastery”

  1. I made it to the end! Do you guys remember when youtube didn’t even allow
    uploads over 10 minutes? HA!

    I was most surprised and intrigued about how different people’s mouth shape
    and stuff like that affect how their voices naturally want to operate, and
    also the point about studying instrumentalists.

    Also this video gave me a song idea, it’s sung like the Peabo Bryson one:
    “Baby can you stop Marnell / From singing?” hahahaha jk. I love the energy
    and singing from both of you. I can totally see that Marnell is one of
    those characters that’s ready to burst into song any second…but also
    ready to continue through the whole song!!!

    Definitely keep doing videos together please. Like someone said in the last
    episode, you two make a good team!

    By the way Phil, I noticed your off the cuff F1 was actually an F1, nice.

  2. not sure if that was the best video i’ve ever seen on how to sing, or the
    bestestestest hm… but damn this needs more views, that’s for sure. nice
    job guys, keep going, already waitin for the next vid.

  3. hey guys! writing from the phone so it will be short haha.
    I loved the vid. watched it in two sessions, yesterday and just now, and i
    found it really helpful.
    Dynamics is something a lot of people overlook, and it is in the end.. the
    heart of the singing itself.

    What I found the most interesting was comparing tour two voices. There are
    so many different voice typed (mellow, bright, sharp, metallic, round,
    thick, thin..) and it totally makes sense that the same song wont feek or
    sound the same on diferentes people.
    The “blooming point” for example, or the power with which one can sing on
    los notes, its very important to know your voice and what sounds better in
    YOU ^.^ ( and obviously depending of your artistic choice too)

    So this reminded me, and encourages me even more to make covers in my own
    style. I mean.. using my voice as it wants to be used I guess.

    Off topic, now that you are in japan, Phil, I guess you’ve heard of the
    band Dir En Grey. Have you listened to Kyo? Do you have any opinión of
    views on his voice? He is a very particular singer.

  4. Hello Phil, how are you ?

    I made it to the end too. I found it very interesting to see the difference
    between the voices singing in the same area and also the physiology
    differences and coordination necessary to achieve the tonality desired. I’m
    very related to r&b and soul as you know. I loved the music’s you guys
    choose to show the examples in this. Also I found very important when you
    talk about segmenting and training each part of the song individually.

    Great video :D

  5. Awesome video! 🙂 I also like that you talked about voice types and you
    kind of deliver information to people that it’s ok not to be able for your
    voice to do it all. Which is a very good message. I think it might help
    people embrace their abilities and appreciate their voice. And also
    understand that they can find what they are really good at vocally and
    showcase it to make them sound better for listeners and stand out.
    P.S. I’m also Marnell’s student. :)

  6. I made it to the end, lots of fun, very informative and interesting! I hope
    you and Marnell will make a lot of those long conversational videos :)

  7. Great video guys, thank you! These problems are so complex, I’ve been
    struggling for years and years to connect with an audience. To sing at a
    high level is very very tough I wish anyone trying the best of luck!

  8. You guys are awesome! Really refreshing to see teachers truly trying to
    help singers. I have (one stiff fold) vocal paralysis as well so really
    cool to hear your experience with that Marnell.
    Thanks again both for doing/posting this!

  9. +Marnell Sample Very nice B-flat at 12:10! 🙂 Your giggle after Phil
    complimented you made me LOL. I love that you’re the same humble person
    I’ve known for 9 years! Another laugh-worthy moment was when Phil called
    you “beastly.” It is TRUE, though! :p

    I liked the contrast between your example at 14:13 and the neighboring
    demonstrations; at that point, you’re singing in tune with the right
    rhythm, a great tone, and an appropriate volume, but without the nuanced
    phrasing, it sounds good but not great. The use of the word “contour” also
    works wonderfully. One of the things that a former choral director taught
    me that stuck in my mind is that not only does every phrase have a contour
    but so does every note. You and Phil have covered this by talking about the
    fading in and out effect on notes, but it’s cool to think about how that
    “contour” analogy works on a macro-level and then also shrinks down to a
    micro-level too.

    Phrasing is such a great topic; what I found most interesting was the
    advice to listen to saxophone and trumpet music. I admittedly do not listen
    to those particular instruments very much (although violins I do!), so I’m
    going to give it a whirl. On a slightly related note, those instruments
    lend themselves well to jazz, which is an awesome genre to talk about
    phrasing with. Ella Fitzgerald is one of the phrasing greats who’s inspired
    so many singers, and of course, as someone who could scat her face off, she
    knew a thing or two about imitating instruments.

    Also, side note for the curious, listen to Amber Holcomb’s version of
    “Without You” if you want to see how NOT to sing the rhythm of “Without
    You” correctly. (Sorry, Amber!)

  10. excellent points made in this video 🙂 I learned a lot of good stuffs from
    this 🙂 thank you for sharing 🙂

    I have some suggestion for the next video of you guys 🙂 I’d like to see
    more about high range songs such as from like A5-E5 kinda songs,that
    females usually sing at in their chest voice and also about mixed voice,I
    really like Maroon 5 since Adam levine has this unique mixed voice and
    everytime I wanna sing his song its either I am belting the notes out or
    getting this soft head voice tone so if you guys could make a video about
    just those two topics it would be really great 🙂 I am sure a lot of us
    would like to know about these two topics :)

  11. It would probably be good idea to do the voice experiments in the same
    space with same mics.Moufarrege’s space and/or mic adds loads of lower
    frequencies to the sound. Marnell on the other hand seems to be on a
    cheaper setup that’s distorting with not much lows.

  12. I made it! I would say I was surprised by how round Phil was able to get!
    Any Brian Mcknight covers comin up?

    Would you say a great drill for improving focus on phrasing would be to
    learn to play mouthtrumpet? 😛

    And foreal, that was an exceptional rendition of the Yolanda Adams song. I
    loved the breakdown too. Thanks for doing these videos, guys!

    Have yall considered the idea of breaking one of these 1 hour chats down
    into a series of sorta self-sufficient topic collab videos released over
    time to get more views on more videos and more content out more frequently
    – boost the visibility of your channels on some level maybe?

  13. ive been seeing your videos and i find i them very interesting. I have
    problems with ventricular bands (false chords, a muscles i am not supposed
    to be using, due to jaw and mouth tension) this causes me to have a very
    limited range (about Eb2 to an acceptable but bad executed C4)… I have
    seen two teachers but they didnt helped me. I have a feeling, someting
    tells me you could help but i must ask: how much do you charge…?

  14. This video was so insightful. Literally every minute and every example
    touched on so much. Notes need to be taken for sure. Kudos to the both of
    you for being great as well as transparent teachers.

  15. Roberto Zampella

    Hello Phil, first I want to thank the both of you for this wonderful
    videos, they really helped me a lot to kick up a notch my artistic
    development. I’m studying a bit of Mr R.Kelly and I noticed that sometimes
    it feels like is a bit off in his vocal tone like some riffs in “I believe
    I can fly”. It sounds odd to me even thinking it, but I have this doubt in
    my mind if he really goes off on purpose. Maybe is the result of “speaking”
    some words instead of trying to sing always with impeccable vocal tone. Is
    that possible?
    I don’t know if I explained my feeling well, if not, let me know. Thank you
    very much!!

  16. A transportable CD player or mp3 is needed to play the singer of your choice and the songs you wish to learn.

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