Jonelle Mosser is an older woman in her early 50s with a heart still in her 20s. Full of passion for life, music, and signing, Jonelle brings us much more than vocal lessons, but has caused most of us to be able to truly appreciate music in being a human demonstration of the kind of life it gives. I’ve particularly enjoyed her affinity for old gospel from the 20s, 30s, and 40s, and negro spirituals. The wakening of the soul is just as important as the wakening of the heart in making music. Without a soul full of live, music is sterile and without hope.
Jonelle taught us basic breathing technique today for singing. Think of a balloon in a bottle filled with air. As much air as you need to sustain the note, but don’t take huge deep breaths. Lean against a wall with both hands on it and make a plank out of your body – like you were doing pushups on the wall. Breathe bottom to top as you’re headed towards the wall, exhaling. Breathing is one of the most important things needed to phrase properly. As bass players, it’s easy to become detached from our instrument. Don’t be detached from it, and don’t be detached from your audience. Everything has its place and time… including breathing.