I have probably read over a hundred books on the subject of the voice, covering topics such as; vocal instruction, vocal anatomy, voice psychology, breath technique etc. I have read books on the about singing that have dated as far back as the 1890’s. The Rock-N-Roll Singer’s Survival Manual was the first book I have ever read on the subject of voice, and to this day, remains one of my favorite books thus far! Author Mark Baxter presents an easy to understand guide to the art of rock singing. He has taught many professional singers such as; Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and Steve Augeri, formerly of Journey. Following is the story about how I discovered this wonderful book:
In the early years of my quest for vocal knowledge, I struggled to find the information I so desperately desired. If you’ve read the Jim Gillette interview, you know that I never received my vocal lessons I had ordered in the mail. So I sought out the expertise of an older woman who had taught voice for over 30 years. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t rock vocals she was teaching, so that experience didn’t make it past 2 weeks. I’ll never forget her face when I let out one of my metal screams. She said, “Young man, you are going to ruin your voice”, so I bid her farewell. A few years later, I did get Jim’s exercises, which helped to instill the art of practice upon me. But I was still curious as to how and why the voice worked the way it did.
Lucky for me, I stumbled across the path of The Rock-n-Roll Singer’s Survival Manual when I went to visit a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. He let me borrow it for the night. I stayed up all night reading it. I knew very little about vocal anatomy and correct vocal technique. This book was very thorough on these subjects. Not only did Mark explain how to use the voice, but he also explained the principles of why the voice works the way it does. Before I read The Rock-N-Roll Singer’s Survival Manual, I knew about the falsetto and diaphragmatic breathing, but now I understood the falsetto and the purpose of diaphragmatic breathing. I was so excited by what I had discovered, that the next day, I ran down to the local music store to see if they had it in stock. I bought my very own copy and re-read it by the weekend.
Mark Baxter, the author, has put together an excellent, easy to understand, vocal instruction manual, specifically geared towards the rock vocalist. This 231-page book is full of illustrations, lessons, and vocal tips which are guaranteed to enhance the vocal knowledge of any aspiring singer, from beginner to pro. The book covers topics such as, vocal health, breathing technique, vocal technique, and the mental side of singing. The book also contains an “Animated Breather”, which is an animated illustration that comes to life when you flip the pages of the book, illustrating proper breathing. Mark also presents a series of exercises to help you reach your voice potential.
Whether you are a beginner, or a professional, I suggest adding a copy of The Rock-N-Roll Singer’s Survival Manual to your bookshelf! Mark Baxter has also produced a companion video to the book entitled The Singer’s Toolbox. If you are serious about singing, I’d suggest purchasing both.
If you wish to purchase either The Rock-N-Roll Singer’s Survival Manual, or The Singer’s Toolbox, or you’d like to learn more about Mark Baxter, check out his website at http://www.voicelesson.com.