Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

When are you available for teaching?

I’m available Sundays through Thursdays starting around 1pm with the last lesson usually starting at 7pm (MST).  You can absolutely schedule weekly or bi-weekly.  To view the full teaching calendar, you can signup to access the student portal here. If you have other questions, give me a call or shoot me a text at 720-314-8054. -Draven

Where are you located?

I’m located in Northwest Denver, Colorado, USA. I’m also available to do lessons online through Skype. Currently over 75% of my students are online. I teach students across the world, from Austin, Texas to Australia, from Utah to the U.K.

How much are lessons?

We operate on a simple flat-rate system. Weekly lessons are $335/month (4 lessons/month, which works out to be $83.75/lesson). Biweekly lessons are $170/month (2 lessons/month, which works out to be $85/lesson). We send out invoices on the first and are due by the third. Individual lessons are $105/lesson and are paid per lesson. Payment for individual lessons is due a week prior to confirm booking. Your initial vocal assessment is only $45. Click to request a lesson now.

What genres do you specialize in?

Although I specialize in Hard Rock, I have a background in performing a wide variety of genres. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching students in R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Musical Theater, Grunge, Pop, Hard Rock, Metal, Hardcore, and many other styles going as far back as the 1930’s.

What style of music will my voice sound best with?

Think about what you find yourself enjoying the most. We can work on giving you the tools you need to sound however you like. So when it comes to where your voice will sound best, it’s mostly a matter of knowing what songs energize you and where you want to go from there.

Can you get me to sing higher?

Believe it or not, you can sing almost any note. You just have to learn how to sing them. Range is mostly a matter of correct placement of the resonance. Most of my students gain half an octave on their range in the first lesson just by learning how to place correctly. It’s more about how you shape the notes than if you’re able to hit them. With some practice, you should be able to confidently and consistently expand your range. Yes, even a Baritone can learn to sing in Tenor or even Soprano range.

What should I bring to the first lesson?

Come with a song in mind that you are comfortable with and one that you would like to be able to sing. We’ll quickly go over some basics of what we’ll cover, get a baseline for you, and then jump right in! If you want to perform with a guitar or another instrument, bring it with you for the lesson. I have a piano keyboard in the studio as well. If you’ve watched my videos, you’ve probably noticed I also mention a cocktail or stirring straw. These are the 3mm in diameter straws you can often pick up at a gas station or by the paper coffee cups at Walmart. We’ll be using these for warmups and training too. Don’t sweat it if you can’t find one before the first lesson.

How are tone and range connected and how can I improve mine?

Tone and range can be thought of as directly correlated, so I think you’ll be happy to experience that improving your tone will also allow you to sing higher while staying relaxed. When you learn to tune the formant correctly (the pressure and resonance of your singing voice), tone becomes a matter of how you shape your tongue; and range becomes a matter of where you point and pull your resonance while still keeping it stable through breath support, mouth shape, and volume. One of the most powerful things you can do for your voice at first is to gain control of the bridge that separates your “full” chest voice, from your lighter, head voice. We’ll work on specific exercises for this type of voice control. Once we can make it a smooth transition, then you can more easily learn to mix the two resonances together (mixed voice), eventually extending your “full” voice sound to as high as your head voice can go. Singing in pitch can also be helped by learning to correct yourself in real time, using a tuning app.

Can you help me record?

Yes!  If recording is something you would like to work towards, I have a fully equipped home studio.  I also encourage all of my students to have their own small recording setup.  Whether you are taking lessons in-person or online, a simple setup will help you take the next steps in producing your music (or even hear how you sound to your favorite songs)!  Depending on the setup and how involved you want it, you can get started for as little as a few hundred dollars.  I will help you learn how to use it, give you feedback, and even polish your recordings.  If you’re interested in a fuller recording package, such as for an album or demo release, we can discuss that too. I have many years experience as a recording, mixing, and even mastering engineer.

How do I know if I'm singing/screaming properly?

Screaming correctly should never hurt, and singing full and loud should never be a strain. It’s all about getting control over the right muscles, and moving the resonance of the sound into the right place so that you can sing relaxed and still get a full sound. The simple rule of thumb, if it hurts, you’re damaging your vocal cords.

Can you teach me to add grit or fry to my voice?

Yes. Grit, fry, and other vocal distortions, are all learnable. First, it’s all a matter of getting fry from the “false cords” above the vocal cords. Next, you’ll learn to move that sound to the correct part of the soft palate for the sound you want, and then amplify it.

If I'm dealing with a cold, how can I get my voice back quickly?

Ester C, Ionic Zinc (or just vitamin C and zinc in general, if your stomach can handle it), and a ton of water are your friends right now – not just for getting over the cold, but for prevention as well. A decent nasal rinse can help too, such as a nettie pot. I personally use Yin Chiao or Old Indian Wild Cherry Bark when I have a cold, and often get rid of it in a couple of days. Be careful with antihistamines, because they can dry you out. In the long-run, preventing a cold is easier than getting rid of one. In short, immune boosters, hydration, and the straw exercise I describe in my warmup videos, will help you recover much more quickly than without them.

What do you recommend to stay hydrated while singing?

I suggest purchasing a small pump spray bottle that you can put water in to keep your vocal cords specifically hydrated during singing. It will help you during our lessons as well, so we don’t have to worry about you drying out while we work on expanding your range. Remember to drink plenty of water and that it can take 10 to 20 minutes to cycle through your body and affect your vocal cords. Additionally, I’ve found that using a personal steam inhaler for 10 minutes before singing works wonders for the voice, and super hydrates your vocal cords.

What can you do to help me have more endurance on stage?

As you learn better singing techniques, you’ll find you’ll already begin to have more energy. With endurance exercises on top of it, you will build the strength to perform longer. The biggest things you can do right away is relax your throat when you sing, relaxing into the palate resonance of your voice, push into your upper abdominal and oblique muscles for volume, and then rehearse with the same energy you would like to have on stage. The amount of energy you exert during rehearsal will translate directly to the stage.

I'm not exactly sure what my singing goals are. Can you help me?

Figuring out what your singing goals are can be tough. The following goals are some that my students have stated and that we have worked towards. Maybe they will give you some ideas, I’m also available to chat with you to get a better idea of your goals.

  • I want my voice to be unique, lock on a specific sound
  • Improve my projection and breathing
  • Extend my range
  • Be ready to hit the studio in a couple of months
  • Get a side or full career singing
  • Properly develop grit
  • I wish to one day sing on The Voice
  • I need to learn the proper way to sing, preserve my voice and not strain
  • Hit round notes as well as high notes
  • Build endurance throughout shows
  • I need to improve my tone and intonation first, then range
  • Be able to do some serious screaming/growling without damaging anything
  • Increase the power and range of my voice
  • Improve my voice and specialize in range control and fry screams
Who are some musicians that your current students are into?

Knowing who your favorite musicians helps me know if we will be a good fit with styles, it also gives us some beginning steps to developing your own unique voice.  My students have listed the following artists as giving them their inspiration, but I’m sure the list can go on!  Don’t worry if you don’t find similar artists here, let’s talk and figure out what style you are wanting to develop.  Alter Bridge, Tremonti, The Gaslight Anthem, Daughtry, Aerosmith, Dream on Dreamer, Shinedown, Adele, Paramore, Flyleaf, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys, Motley Crue, John Mayer, Iron Maiden, Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters, Disturbed, 30 Seconds to Mars, Against Me!, Killswitch Engage, Falling in Reverse, and a number of other artists ranging from hardcore and metal to country, gospel, and even 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s music. Needless to say, it’s all over the map for genre and influences.

What will our first few lessons look like?

Think of it as starting a sort of personal training for your voice.  When we start out, I’ll ask you to have a song or two in mind that you enjoy singing along to. We’ll find out your natural (most comfortable) voice range, work on getting good breath support (which will strengthen your voice), and help you learn how to change your tone to fit the sound you would like the most. We’ll also work on learning to “zip up” your vocal cords rather than strain them, so that your range will improve much more easily.

After you learn the fundamentals, we’ll sing through your favorite songs, and I’ll give you real-time feedback to help improve your technique. Although each student’s needs and goals are unique, typically, we will first focus on switching smoothly between registers, breath control, resonance and placement, and getting you to relax. While I do use some of the techniques that are taught more traditionally, I want to let you know up front that I try to focus only what’s most effective for you, and really scale back on tradition.

Will I get the same out of online lessons as in-person?

Students say they love the format of online lessons because they have increased focus and excel at the pace they are learning. Plus, they can take lessons from anywhere, including locally saving them the trouble of travel. If you want exceptional rock voice training, don’t be limited by the choices of local instructors in your area. Learn how to sing,  grit, scream, or belt from anywhere with the same exceptional instruction of those standing in my studio.

How can I get the most out of online singing lessons?

You will love the control and accessibility you have with online rock singing lessons!

Get ready for your lessons by downloading playable copies of the music you want to sing along to (not streaming). This will reduce lag, and provide a smoother (aka more pleasant) lesson experience.

The first lesson we will spend a little time adjusting mic volume so that we have the best sound quality. (The microphone on your computer is good enough). Don’t worry about this taking too much time, I will still make sure to pack in as much teaching as you can handle!

Finally, arrange your setup so that you can stand. Our temptation with using the computer could be to sit down, which doesn’t allow you proper physical support. (I stand in all my lessons, both in-person and online)