How to Sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” | Vocal Lessons

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Hi I’m Cari Cole. I’m a celebrity vocal coach and artist development expert. And I help artist find their voice, craft their music, and create successful music careers. I’ve worked with Donald Fagen from Steely Dan, Courtney Love from Hole, I’ve worked with the band Journey. I’m going to teach you how to be a better singer and performer

So in teaching you a little bit about singing the National Anthem today, “The Star Spangled Banner”, and this is a big song. So, the first thing that you want to have down is the key. The key is essential and here’s why. Because you’ve got some big notes, and if you start singing just Acapella without even checking your key you’re going to end up in trouble. Especially when it comes to “The rocket’s red glare” because all of a sudden, you’re up on that high note,[singing] “And the rocket’s red glare”, and you want to be able to nail that note instead of [screeching sound]. Right? You want to be able to really nail that. So, you’ve got to check your keys. So from the beginning, so from the key I’m singing in right now is an F key which is pretty standard for most female singers some people take it a little bit lower, to a half-step down to an E, and some people bring it up to a G, but an F is a pretty comfortable key. But again, you want to check out the scope of the entire song before you choose that key.

So another thing that is super important is where you put your breath marks in this song. There are three spots that are crucial. One is before “The rocket’s red glare”, the other is “The land of the free”, where you have that big note. And then the last big note, “The home of the brave”. So you want to mark where you take your breaths there, and make sure you get that extra breath and practice it like that. So here’s a little example, [singing] “Oh say does that star spangled [takes breath] banner yet wave.” That was a nice breath there, here is another one [singing] “O’er the land of the free” [takes breath] “And the home of the [takes breath] brave” So you can see how you have those nice elongated notes there and how important that is to get that extra breath

33 thoughts on “How to Sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” | Vocal Lessons”

  1. Hi,I love you’re videos, can you explain me how to sing Love on top by
    beyoncè? please becouse I dont understand if is head or chest voice,
    becouse there so much power and I don’t understand, thank u

  2. thank god for all these national anthem lessons!! im singin’ it for Lundahl
    middle schools boys basketball conference game tomorrow! twice!! i can try
    to post a video but never know!

  3. Alfonso Lealcala

    It’s only a quarter note on the “ban” of banner. Way too many “singers”
    break it down to two eighth notes- each different in tone(?). Do you call
    that a slide? Maybe they get confused with the “ner-er, yeh-et,
    waaaayy-ave. Just a peeve of mine, sorry

  4. It’s lame to breathe in the spots you mention. Breaths go with syntax: you
    breathe where you’d pause when speaking, at commas and periods, or at least
    logical phrase breaks–NOT between adjectives/articles and the nouns they
    modify. You aren’t just singing notes; you’re telling a story.

    Part of singing at a high artistic level is managing your air supply and
    finessing the points where this kind of rhetorical continuity isn’t
    physically convenient. Inserting big gaps before “banner” and “brave” in
    the final phrase may be unfortunately common, but it sounds awkward & wrong
    to many listeners.

  5. This is wrong. “O say does that star spangled banner…”. O is one note,
    not 2 and banner is “ban-ne-er” and not “ba-an-ne-er”. This is according to
    the sheet music. Take a listen to Renee Fleming’s rendition.

  6. Some scientists suggest that, like other learning disabilities, congenital amusia might be treatable, hypothesizing that amusic children might have enough brain plasticity to be trained to distinguish musical differences.

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