Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Yesterday was Mother’s Day”)

Our annual tradition here in the United States is to celebrate mothers on Mother’s Day. For us it happened yesterday, as many moms were taken out to dinner and/or movies, etc. I had 2 church services starting at 7:30 (ending at 2:00 pm) and then a gig that started at 4:00 pm. On the way to my afternoon gig I wanted to pay respects to my own mother Rowena Jolly (who passed away in 2004 from ovarian cancer). However, the line into the cemetery was so long that I could not risk it, so I had to opt for getting to my gig on time. I will get out to the grave site sometime this week (maybe even today).  As for this special day, it is my hope that everyone got to pay homage to their own mother (or someone else who is a deserving mother) in some special way, even if just in prayer. Most women go through a lot when it comes to motherhood. It is often a thankless job for many. Mothers deserve to have at least one day out of the year, but truth be told they should be honored “every day.” Without them the human race would cease to exist. Many men will take for granted the duties of what mothers do, but the only way to truly appreciate their endeavors is to actually take on their responsibilities and see for yourself. For those of you who have never tried it, motherhood is no joke. It is my sincere hope that all mothers had a great day and were honored appropriately on this special day (and every day). You deserve that much… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Aretha Franklin with Brett Jolly on bass

Brett&Aretha-1

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“How to improve your singing voice”)

Some people are meant to sing. Others wish they could sing. I often hear from people who will ask me about tips for improving their abilities to sing. Please keep in mind that I am only a bass guitar player  who happens to sing. I am not a singer who happens to play bass guitar. When I first started out I was not singing at all, and I only got into it once I started playing with some band that “asked” me to sing. I must admit that I enjoyed it, but I also knew that I was no where near those talented people who sing “professionally.” Or was I? After a while I started to study those people who “played and sang at the same time.”  I then changed the way I performed to accommodate that style and it has helped me tremendously. For those of you who wish to sing I would strongly suggest you follow the same procedure. Small mechanics could be getting in your way for improving your vocals. Here are some interesting tips below:

http://ezinearticles.com/?7-Tips-to-Improve-Your-Singing-Voice&id=445673

Also, please keep in mind that what you sing is no where near as important as what you “hear.” No matter how great a singer you are, if you can’t place your vocals within the key of the song you will have problems. I know of several singers who are gifted vocally but have difficulty finding their “ranges.” Many artists will change the key of the song so they can sing it. I am not a big fan of altering the keys (most musicians aren’t). Sometimes a song loses its impact when that happens. I often tell singers that if you don’t feel comfortable singing in that key then just “leave the song alone.” The most important thing I tell singers is to “learn your voice.” Once you are familiar with how you sound and your strengths and weaknesses then you will automatically become a better singer. It helps to view recordings or videos or yourself to see what you need to work on. I am “still” working on improving my singing voice, but I have made some great strides over the years. I soon hope to get an even better microphone (that helps as well, because if you have to strain to sing then it will reflect in how people perceive you). Just because you “think” you can’t sing doesn’t mean that you really can’t do it.  There are proper ways and techniques for doing anything. Just learn them and see what can happen. Thanks for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Aretha Franklin with Brett Jolly

Brett&Aretha

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“The new age of singers: Better or not?”)

The evolution of great singers: Is it better or worse now?

When someone is asked who the greatest singers of all time are, which era do you “think” they will choose from? Also, what particular criteria would they “use” to “determine” who the best actually is? The thing that makes this even more complicated is the fact that people’s voices usually change as they get older. Rarely does someone keep the same tone and delivery of what they may have had 10 to 20 years ago. So with that being said, has the quality of promoted singers gotten better or worse over time? Can a Justin Bieber or Rihanna compare to Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston or Aretha Franklin? What about Beyonce? Let’s consider a few things: First record labels from “back in the day” used to be concerned with how well vocalists could actually “sing.” If they had a great voice, their chances were much better to get signed. However, most of today’s labels seem to only be concerned about “the marketability of the artist.” In other words, it won’t make a difference if they can sing or not as long as they can “sell.” Back in the day they wanted artists to sell too, but they preferred them to be able to sing more than anything. Another difference is technology. 20 years ago a singer had to “practice” a song before going into the studio so that the time would not be wasted learning material. However, today even if the artist is “off key” most engineers will simply “auto tune” the vocals to the desired pitch. As for the live concert, today’s artists use auto tune and/or voice samples to save their voices (and hopefully not embarrass themselves by hitting “ugly” notes). Today’s singers sound absolutely perfect, but is it really them singing? Years ago concerts would be cancelled or postponed if a singer had a sore throat. Now the show goes on and you will hear their voices clear as a bell while the artist simply “lip syncs” to the vocal track. Does this make today’s singers better? We all know that the human voice can often be a fragile instrument. Over exertion can lead to a singer going hoarse and ruining the performance. I remember years ago with I was traveling along with Jeffrey Osborne for part of his tour, he would often “keep a scarf around his neck” to “preserve” his voice. Many established groups (old and new) are relying more on the “vocal  sample” to fine tune their performances. Is that fair? If someone asked you what era produced the greatest singers, what would “you” say? Chris Brown can sing (from the new generation), but even on his own shows you will still hear voice samples all over the place. Some of the singers from the old days that could sing a show live and have no problems were Luther Van Dross, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Teddy Pendergrass, Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Gerald Levert, the O’jays, Temptations, 4 tops, the Supremes, and Aretha Franklin, just to name only a few. Great singing is always up to the interpretation of the listener. While I am not a big fan of most of today’s new  generation singers, I will give high props to Beyonce. At least I “know” she can sing (even though she will still do a good deal of lip syncing during part her performances). The best is “all speculation,” and most times what the audience doesn’t know “won’t hurt them.” However, I feel the artistry of the human voice should be a “natural phenomenon,” and great singers should be people who “actually sing.” I hope that we all will still support live music, for it is one of our valued treasures that is slowly headed towards extinction… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Aretha Franklin and Brett Jolly (with red bass guitar in background)

Brett&Aretha

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (The “Transformation of Life”)

The “transformation of life.” As I go through life, I have noticed that some of my friends are going through hardships. People that I have performed onstage with before are now having difficulties with illness, chronic pain, and mobility. To me it wasn’t that long ago where we were jamming onstage together and seemed to be “invincible at that time.” What happened? “Life happened.” The friends I grew up with are encountering chronic back pain, arthritis, and even diabetes. Just the other day a man who was a great NBA basketball athlete named Moses Malone passed away at the early age of just “60.” So far I have been “very blessed and very fortunate” but I know that there is no way I can go forever in life unscathed.This has made me realize that just because you may have been athletic at one point in your life doesn’t mean that your physical condition will sustain you “throughout life.” In order to maintain a healthy existence you need to maintain a healthy exercise program. I may not always eat right (My eating habits are probably my worst vice) but I will take walks around the block periodically. If I have enough time I may take walks around the neighborhood. Physically I feel great but “even that is no guarantee.” Doctors can tell you how to live right but even they live no longer than the rest of us. A singer friend of mine was recently hospitalized the other day, and the doctors told her that she needed to lose 150 pounds or her life was going to be a very short one. I sincerely hope she listens. Everyone is different, so the same principles can’t be applied equally for the same results. The trick here is to do all the things that make your body feel rejuvenated. If you need to walk, then walk. If you need to run, then run. your blood needs to circulate throughout your body, and the best way to do that is to start “shaking things around in there.” The easiest thing to do is take life for granted, but a lot of people regretted that decision. I plan to listen, and I will take a walk this morning. I value my existence and I only want to make the most of it. Hopefully you will feel that way too. Enjoy your day today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com
email: Brettjolly@aol.com
Skype: Brettjolly1

Aretha Franklin and Brett Jolly

Brett&Aretha

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Pain”)

I played and twisted something in my back, and now I am having extreme difficulty moving, turning, and getting into and out of my car. I have one of those icy hot patches on, and I plan on taking it easy as much as i can today. When you have something that feels like a lower back sprain, it can be truly painful, because a lot of the time your lower body has to support the weight of your upper body and that can cause a lot of aggravation. I know, because that is “exactly” what I am experiencing right now. I have a gig tonight so I have to be careful. My bass guitar is really heavy so the chances of aggravating it even more seem very high at this point. Through it all I expect to smile  and do my best to show that I am not in pain. When performing people don’t realize that you can have a bad day, but for me the show must go on. If I have to, I will joke about it, laugh about it, and make light of it, but rest assured I will give the best pain filled show I can give. Yes, I hurt… I am going to see if I can walk some of this off this morning. If not, then I will be headed back to bed. I apologize for not having a true Daily Thought for this morning, but I hope to be better soon. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Aretha Franklin and Brett Jolly

Brett&Aretha

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Some ideas to feel secure in a relationship”)

Relationships are somewhat like roller coasters. You will often find that you have as many “ups” as you have “downs.” Even the “best” of couples will have “disagreements” from time to time. I have seen many couples “fight” over things that I didn’t think were even worth the battle. While I have never considered myself to be an expert on the game of “love and happiness” I still think there are certain things that a couple should keep in mind to keep things cool. For one, unless you have experienced something to “shatter” your security, I think couples should have faith in each other. That means that you should never “expect the worst” each and every time your lover is not within your sight or able to contact you for a small period of time (naturally if you have not heard from your lover in a day or two, that is a VERY extreme reason to have doubt). If your lover has been good then he or she should at least be given the “benefit of the doubt.” Also, if you are one of those who expect consistent accountability from your mate, there needs to be definition as to how “far” that accountability is expected to go. For instance, it is one thing to ask how your day was. It is another to immediately demand that your lover divulge each an every thing that he or she is doing (or has done). For people who don’t like to be controlled or constantly interrogated, that can be a major turn off. It is also important to be understanding of your lover’s responsibilities. If your lover has a new job (or some other new obligation) then you should not have the same expectations when it comes to “availability and accountability.” I have seen couples get upset when they can’t reach their mates and they actually KNOW they are at work. One of the WORST things people can do in a relationship is allow “others” into it. When you confide in an outsider’s opinion (especially when that outsider has either ulterior motives or just highly opinionated) it is no longer about the “two” of you. That means you are trying to please a third party who in most cases shouldn’t even be involved in your relationship to begin with. Finally, fights will happen. If you can, try to limit your fights to times when both people are not emotional, stressed or exhausted. A lot of times when couples try to debate a point when under these conditions they rarely hear each other or comprehend what the other is saying. There is nothing wrong with waiting until “cooler heads” prevail. Last night I witnessed a couple arguing over things that to me sounded meaningless, but that didn’t stop them from going at it. It is okay to agree to disagree, and then pick up after rest the next day. I hope the couple from last night finds a way to mend fences, because we all do need each other to survive. This is only my opinion, and I have no problems if anyone else disagrees. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always, i wish the very best that life has to offer you today.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Aretha Franklin and Brett Jolly

Brett&Aretha

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“My favorite female vocalist of all time”)

When it comes to rating my favorite female vocalist of all time I think about all the factors that should be considered when presenting my answer. This particular artist had a voice that was so radiant that she didn’t need any “sex appeal” to sell. In an industry where looks mean so much this lady had a voice that was so compelling that it didn’t even matter how she dressed, how she looked or how elegant her moves were onstage. She sold millions of records based on the quality and style of her voice alone, and while she used no gimmicks to make it big, people still came out just to hear her sing. The years may have taken some of her vocal ability but she still has a LOT of it left. The deep part is that when listening to her you can already “tell” that she was a “naturally born singer.” In other words, there wasn’t much you could teach her that she didn’t already possess. That’s a blessing and we were very blessed to have this lady’s music over the years. For the record, there are MANY ultra gifted vocalists out there who can sing off the hook. However, there will only be one “Aretha Franklin.” She hit notes so effortlessly that most people don’t even realize how difficult it would be for someone else to do it. I have enjoyed working with her personally, and here is a live version of one of my favorite songs by Aretha Franklin done live. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Aretha Franklin and Brett Jolly

Brett&Aretha-1