Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/Expert Profile

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I can answer all kinds of questions regarding singing techniques, practice, performance, vocal recording technique and harmony vocal arranging.

Experience in the area

I have been a professional singer/songwriter and vocal arranger and teacher in the music business since 1965.


BMI, Folk Alliance, SummerSongs, Inc. (I am the founding director)


Singer Magazine


I have a doctorate in Music Education from Harvard.

Awards and Honors

Platinum record for my vocals on Jimmy Buffett's Son of a Son of a Sailor, 3 times nominated for a Grammy in the background singing category, MVP in the motivational singing category of the Assoc. of Multi-image Assoc. Annual awards two years in a row.

Past/Present Clients

I have sung with, recorded with or opened shows for Mort Sahl, The Byrds, The Dillards, Dillard and Clark Expedition, John Kay (Steppenwolf), The Association and Big Brother and the Holding Co. (Janis Joplin), Steve Miller, Quicksilver Messenger Service, 13th Floor Elevator, Chocolate Watchband, Jefferson Airplane, Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks, Cream (the Santa Monica Civic auditorium 1968), Little Feat in concert.  I wrote and performed commercials for Toyota's campaign to plant a tree for every car bought, Carnation Dairies, and produced a public service announcement for the Navajo Nation called "Black Mesa" to protest the misuse of the land around the Four Corners power stations in Arizona. In 1977, while working with Emitt Rhodes on a record for Elektra, I joined Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefers.  I appeared in the movie FM with the band, toured the U.S. and earned a Platinum Record for my singing on Son of a Son of a Sailor. Also, I've recorded with Art Garfunkle (Fate for Breakfast) Suzi Quatro, Danny O'Keefe, Yvonne Elliman, Jennifer Warnes, Albert Brooks, The Credibility Gap, Steve Gillette and earned a Grammy nomination for my work on Arlo Guthrie's album The Power of Love.  In addition, I have recorded a series of singing lessons which have been sold world-wide by Homespun Tapes since 1985.

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Onwell Makondo01/27/14101010Thank you very.I'm back on track
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Recent Answers from Penny Nichols

2016-06-29 singing:

Everyone has a god given right to sing. It's part of human self expression.  Go ahead and sing all you want. It's good for your health.  If you don't want to take lessons, dont.  If you want to become

2016-05-27 Why is it that I can only sing one song?:

Hi Amanda:    You need to work on expanding the range of your voice.  You can hire a voice teacher for that or you can get my vocal training CD's on Homespun tapes, you can find them on the internet, or

2016-03-03 scales:

Hi Andrew:    I think if you listen to classical singing, you will hear the vocal equivalent of fast scales up and down. Also, some Jazz vocalists do some good work that way,  It's more like using the

2015-12-14 vibrato:

Some people have it and don't know why, other people don't have it, but it can be developed.  John Denver did not have a strong vibrato, Tom Jones has a strong vibrato.  Dolly Parton's vibrato is very

2015-12-09 singing:

Learning how to sing anything is about vocal technique.  You start with learning to use your voice as an instrument and then you learn to sing in various styles.  That would be the most effective way to


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