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  • Recent Posts

    • yeah, motor skills etc...more control and freedom. (freedom being the opposite of impediment)  
    • The funny thing about that is I used to have a huge speech impediment. I went to a speech pathologist and it didn't get any better. My friend told me I could learn to sing and when I started doing lessons, after 2 years, it was just gone. Wicked.
    • Yeah man once you find the coordination things can happen fast... I sort of went from F4 to C5 in an hour too. But the next part is taming this new part of your voice, not as quick
    • I highly suggest what's in the video below. I explain why in the first part. If she's having trouble with the straw, then have her start at very low volumes, even if flipping into head voice. If she's having trouble with the bridging sirens, then do lip trill sirens instead.  
    • I am working with a new voice student. She has been a piccolo and flute 8+ years. I am trying to find some effective warm-ups for her. She is able to match pitch and has more confidence singing in her lower range. She has been recently singing with a very pressed sound and is very tense when beginning warm-ups. Trying to find warm-ups to help combat these things! 
    • It might help just relating to him that he probably doesnt need to do anything "fake" or "contrived" like that but rather just develop his own basic natural sound Other than that, I think its a good idea for all of us to experiment and try out all the different sounds we can make. That way we can see whats possible and get a good lay of the land. If he is "swallowed" then he needs to start working with some of the opposite sounds. Im going to assume "swallowed" means sort of muffled and maybe dopey sounding. Well the opposite is nice and bright. Are you familiar with the IPA vowel chart? Its a great tool IMO (sometimes u have to look at numerous versions to find one that shows decent examples etc). But basically it shows the "position" of the different vowel sounds. IMO it can also give good clues to a persons basic sound. The chart is basically a representation of the side view of a persons mouth if the person is facing left. Here is one with example words: So basically the vowels on the right side will resonate more in the back of the throat or head, whereas the vowels on the left side will resonate more toward the front of the mouth/face etc. The vowels on the bottom of the chart are "open" vowels which basically means the tongue will be low in the mouth. The vowels on the top of the chart are "close" vowels which basically means the tongue will be close to the roof of the mouth. So whats that got to do with anything? The vowels on the left side are generally brighter while the vowels on the right are warmer or darker. So if a person is sort of "swallowed" or muffled sounding, they are probably shading all their vowels and their general sound towards the back of the throat and thus the back of the chart. To brighten them up it may help to have them work on the front vowels and start to get used to how they feel etc. See how bright they can get etc. Your student may be unconsciously shading everything back towards the back. He might be making everything sort of sound like the "aw" (ball) vowel or something similar I have made up many of my own exercises using the chart, just to amuse myself but also as I said earlier, to find all of the boundaries of my voice. I used to do one where I start on a vowel on the back of the chart, like "oo" (pool) and id sing it and gradually change it to "ee". So thats going from back to front, from darkest to brightest. Then of course there are all of the other variations. Front to back, top to bottom, diagonal etc. I used to do fun stuff like sustain a note starting low in the front of the mouth "park" and then gradually morph it upwards thru the different vowels all the way up to the brightest "ee" Your guy can work all of the vowels on the front of the chart and see how it feels different to being muffled back in the back. Thats a partial answer anyway here are some more cool versions and variations:     Peace, JJ
    • Hi All! I have a question regarding baritone singing. So my student is a new solo singer (he's an adult male who has been singing in choir for 5 years). Baritone/bass voice type. We're working on his confidence when he sings, as he has a "swallowed' sound of sorts. He mentioned to me last lesson that he thought he had to swallow his sound in order to sound more manly (he's had some issues with orientation and masculinity). Are there any exercises or concepts we can work on to improve confidence/decrease the swallowed sound?
    • Great advice JonJon,  For those who(at this point in the game) do not believe they have a good sounding Natural voice, i was letting people know that all those expressions of emotion and the different sounds that go with them, are a way to find the good sounding natural voice. Some people think they have no choice but sound the way they do and it is really just a matter of changing an attitude. If you are sitting in your room silently singing to yourself trying to get better, you will not make much progress because being loud and moving air with enough pressure to move the vocal cords is the first step. And yes, I would advise imitating other singers, This natural voice thing is not about not singing like other singers but not SOUNDING like other singers. If you are singing LIKE Adele you will not sound like Adele but imitating her will allow you to find different qualities to your voice. When you are imitating for the purpose of Training or practicing......really imitate meaning say the words the way the other artist says them. For instance if the words are " I want you" and the singer sounds like she/he is saying " A Won't yo"  Sing " a Won't yo". There is a reason for it. Use your emotions to find other voices or qualities to your voice. If you are pissed off at your boss or brother/sister whatever.....find a nice place to VENT and let them have it...But pay attention to how your voice sounds and what your body is doing to create that sound. Use frustration or wining in the same way.....Pay attention to the difference in sound qualities while doing this. But be loud also. If you are the type with a quiet high voice try this on low notes......you will be surprised at how you CAN sound. 
    • Bruce Dickinson is a small guy and Dio was described having the voice of a monster emerging from the body of Carla from Cheers. A lot of rock powerhouses are not particularly big guys - I read a theory that being shorter is actually an advantage for powerful high vocals because the muscles, sinews and tendons in the neck / laryngeal  being in general smaller mean that they don't have to exert as much force to get the same result as a tall guy with proportionally longer neck. I don't think Pavarotti was tall either, stout maybe but not tall.
    • the first thought that comes to mind if you dont like your overall voice or u feel u were disadvantaged voice wise. Find ONE voice that you like. In other words, find ONE vocal setup, one style, one range etc etc. Either a strong belty chest voice, or a something that feels more like a low head voice all the time etc. get that one style really solid and let that be your base. When I think of a guy like Huey Lewis I just think of that one voice. Pretty much the same all the time and im no speech therapist but if u hate the way u talk or whatever......change it. No different than a fat kid from a fat family who wants to get in shape. If u talk too high, slow down and bring it down some. If u talk to low and grind on your cords all day, then make a point of moving the voice up higher out of your low throat Me personally im probably on the opposite path. I dont necessarily HATE my voice so I experiment all over the place. (I hate parts of it like the low chest voice when it gets too close to speaking voice, ugggh,lol). So I dont have that ONE voice that I go to on all my songs etc. Im all over the map and I sort of train that way, trying to at least touch on all aspects of the sounds that can be made. When I think of guys like David Bowie and Mick Jagger, I dont really think of any ONE particular voice. Chris Cornell also comes to mind....very hard to typecast him because he liked to do a little of everything So far my "natural" tendency has been to be slightly "back" towards the back of my throat and also when I go higher I have started really favoring really closed sounds. Its nice for what it is but one of the sounds I really want is that chesty David Lee Roth type of belt so now I am starting to work on getting more forward and way more open Its no different than golf. if you are struggling and spray the ball all over the place, develop ONE "go to" shot and make it the basis of your game   Peace, JJ
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