Vocal Nebula Review – Beware of Paralysis By Analysis
I have reviewed quite a couple of online singing courses out there, and I must say - I have never seen one quite like Vocal Nebula created by voice teacher Joe Naab.
In short, I have mixed feelings about this very unique singing course. Because as a voice teacher, Joe Naab really opened my eyes with his vast knowledge of singing history and vocal methodology.
On the other hand, I'm afraid that the way he presented this vocal "training" program would not be an effective one for the training of aspiring singers.
In this Vocal Nebula review, we will take an in-depth look at was is offered in this singing course, and I will also give you my honest opinion and professional analysis about the quality of this vocal training product.
Vocal Nebula Review Summary
Product: Vocal Nebula
Founder: Joe Naab
Description: This is an online singing program produced by voice teacher Joe Naab. This training program covers all the essential aspects of vocal training that including voice building, strengthening "breath engine," voice shaping, and many more.
Price: USD $150 or 6 payments of $30
Best for: Experienced singers
Who is Joe Naab? Can he really sing?
While there's not much information on the Internet about Joe Naab - the founder of Vocal Nebula, I did learned that he has a background in Accounting and Finances and has been an entrepreneur for more than 12 years.
Joe does have a Youtube channel for teaching singing and demonstrating techniques through his own singing. My utmost respect to voice teachers who have the courage to sing for their students.
Let's hear a little bit of Joe Naab's own singing:
Not too bad for a voice teacher!
I say that with a taste of humor because of the number of voice teachers who cannot really sing. It's not even funny!
From the limited knowledge I have of Joe's background and the demo of his singing, I can tell that this is a man with a passion for the art of singing!
Making a transition from Finances and Accounting to voice-teaching is something that takes zeal and enthusiasm for this art that we love so dearly.
In terms of the study of vocology, vocal history, and vocal methodology, Joe is very knowledgeable and learned.
It is fascinating the information he is presenting in this singing course.
Need to know theory to sing well? No...
Most voice teachers, including myself, don't know what Joe knows about the history and methodology of singing. But, there's a reason for this - you don't need to know all these to be effective as a voice teacher or singer.
In fact, I do not encourage singers to learn about theory and vocal science in the beginning of their training, because you just don't want to think too much when you sing on stage!
The only voice teacher I know that has successfully presented practical vocal science for singers to easily apply to their singing is master teacher John Henny.
Singing is about sensation - how your body feels when you are singing correctly. That's all we really need to build a great singing voice.
Now, you can be analytical when you are teaching singers, but you don't want students to be the same way. I'm afraid that's what students might experience with Vocal Nebula.
What's Inside Vocal Nebula?
When you log into the training platform of Vocal Nebula, you will see 4 main courses covering the major areas of vocal training that covers the concept of voice building, breath training, vocal production, vowel shaping, etc.
Inside each main courses, there are different training modules that contain video lessons with Joe Naab lecturing and demonstrating his methods.
The lesson content and materials presented in the modules are very extensive. Joe explains his methods very thoroughly...and a little bit too thorough and detailed including the sensation of the vocal exercises, historical quotes from great(dead) singers from the past, vocal science, etc.
Other than Joe's very extensive lectures and lessons, there is a very user-friendly audio playlist of vocal scales for students to practice with.
These audio tracks are very easy to follow and tailored for, not just male and female singers, but low, middle, and high voices.
I have seen many online singing courses over the years. Not many training platforms have audio playlist for students' vocal practice as complete and detailed as the one on Vocal Nebula.
Is the Vocal Method being taught correct?
The vocal methods being taught at Vocal Nebula are mostly safe and correct, such as the concept of Voice Building - some voice teachers don't believe you need to actually build a voice in a singer, training how to breathe for singing, and the adjusting the vowels and resonant spaces.
Something that most voice teachers and singers don't do is READ about singing - something Joe obviously does very extensively.
I actually admire Joe about that. After all, the great singing traditions from the past are past down in writing. Enrico Caruso, Luisa Tetrazzini, William Vennard, and many other great singers and teachers all wrote books to educate singers about the art of singing.
The problem is - it is very hard to learn how to sing from reading, especially from reading old literature from the past. (They did write differently back then, which makes it harder to understand.)
I read books and articles about singing, but just enough to get me the answers I need for singing.
What I don't like about Vocal Nebula
1. Too much talking about singing.
Joe reminds me of my music professor Matt back in college. Matt talks too much about singing and theory in our voice lessons.
I still remember standing through our voice lessons thinking, "When are we going to sing?" This maestro talked and sang more than I did in our lessons.
In order to write a fair review, I had to really force myself to sit through and watch every lesson on Vocal Nebula.
Let me tell you- it gets really boring after a couple of lessons, and there are a lot of lessons here.
2. Ineffective vocal training.
I feel really bad about pointing this out, but it's true. The voice teacher is supposed to be a trainer guiding the singer through vocal exercises and challenging them to practice consistently.
The same holds true with online singing courses as well. Although you cannot see the students, you can do your best to guide the students through the exercises.
The point is - singing is a physical activity or sport, not a cognitive one.
There's nothing wrong with what is being taught on Vocal Nebula. I just think the "training style" is not an effective one.
It's like learning how to play golf by reading a book or sitting through lectures.
For singing, you really need to learn by doing!
3. Unscripted lessons.
It is safe to concluded that most of the lessons are not scripted, which I believe is very important for a course like this, especially if you're not too experienced teaching singing in front of the camera.
Scripting lessons is essential for quality control. Without scripts, you're just improvising with a lesson outline. The teachers might be rambling, and the lessons might become very draggy.
Brett Manning originally wrote 400 pages of lesson scripts for the production of the Singing Success program. If Brett Manning had to do it, we voice teachers should learn from him.
The Pros and Cons of Vocal Nebula
I have presented my main analysis and critique of this singing program. I respect Joe Naab for his knowledge and passion for the art of singing.