Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'respiration'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • WELCOME & HOW TO GET STARTED!
    • Welcome New Members!
  • SINGING & TRAINING TECHNIQUES
    • General Discussions
    • Vocal Health
    • Webinars
  • SINGING REVIEWS & FEEDBACK
    • Review My Singing
    • The TMV World Challenge
  • VOCAL GEAR
    • Vocal Gear Reviews
    • Microphones
    • Recording For Singers
    • Vocal Effects / Processing
    • Vocal Gear - Others
  • SEEKING VOCALIST / VOCALIST AVAILABLE
    • Seeking Vocalist / Vocalist Available
  • ARTICLES / GEAR REVIEWS / INTERVIEWS
    • Vocal Gear Reviews
    • Singing Articles
    • Expert Interviews
  • SINGING PROGRAMS & TEACHERS
    • The Vocalist Studio
    • Other Vocal Programs

Blogs

There are no results to display.

Categories

  • Singing Reviews, Programs & Lessons
  • Microphones (Live & Recording)
  • Vocal Pedals (Effects)
  • Home Recording Gear
  • Services For Singers
  • Singing Applications
  • Vocal Health Products
  • TMV World Exclusive Interviews

Categories

  • Product Reviews
  • Articles
  • Interviews

Found 24 results

  1. An excerpt from the 2nd webinar with Robert Lunte & Draven Grey. In this excerpt, Robert Lunte explains his unique perspective on support for singing. There are two sources of support when singing. When we understand that, doors will open to reveal the need to train the musculature for singing. View full articles
  2. An excerpt from the 2nd webinar with Robert Lunte & Draven Grey. In this excerpt, Robert Lunte explains his unique perspective on support for singing. There are two sources of support when singing. When we understand that, doors will open to reveal the need to train the musculature for singing.
  3. Robert Lunte from The Vocalist Studio provides an overview of the significance of the Bernoulli effect in singing and how understanding this principle, can help you to train more efficiently and gain more progress as a singer. This excerpt is from the 2nd webinar with Draven Grey.
  4. Robert Lunte from The Vocalist Studio provides an overview of the significance of the Bernoulli effect in singing and how understanding this principle, can help you to train more efficiently and gain more progress as a singer. This excerpt is from the 2nd webinar with Draven Grey. View full articles
  5. First of all, just thought it would be nice to point out that i sent this question to Rob by email. And he sent me here, so that he could answer it in public and everyone could benefit. What a nice guy Rob is. Been learning a lot from his program, still studying and working on all the stuff, registered not long ago. It's quite a lot of content to fully diggest and grasp!. And most of all, actually apply!. Which is awesome of course, haven't had a course as detailed/comprehensive as this one. Not even close. Before i bought it i was actually wondering why many people called it "comprehensive", now it makes total sense. And the time i spent wondering on if i should get it, could have been spent further studying and applying the techniques. So i encourage others to start ASAP. On to the question, might be a rather simple question, that i probably know the answer too but just am not concious enough to apply it, it can be easy to forget. So of course asking will save me the doubts. And hopefully others as well. This quote from the program/book "Engaging the respiratory system sufficiently to optimize your phonations as a singer is not intuitive for the body. Even after 30 years of singing, training and teaching around the world, i still, to this day, have to be very conscientious of engaging my respiratory support when i train and sing. If i do not, just like everyone else, i start sounding like a duck (and get tired from all the squeezing)." So basically what i took from this was, concious support is mandatory, both in training and singing. Basically you should ALWAYS engage some sort of support. Both in training and singing?. Now i didn't include this part in the email but i want too add a question, how "key" is this?. I think a lot of students these days need a lot of "value guidance" in order to fully recognize what they should be working on. It seems self explanatory, but on a scale of 1/5 - i'd like to know where this stands specifically in your program. Just for perspective. Which btw reminds me of a feature i really liked in the program, in which Rob basically does what i just said. He outlines the most "key" lessons to work on of every section/module. And of course each one also has long detailed descriptions/ illustrations / examples / and my favorite - benefits and troubleshooting. He clearly put A LOT of effort into this. Very thoughtful effort, might i add. Since a lot of programs out there don't go into such detail. Anyways, That's the question. (With some extra rambling included). Heck in a sense that's a mini review. Although i could say a lot more. Rob deserves the praise. Also thanks Rob for encouraging me to get registered, there is clearly a lot of value in this forum i was missing on.
  6. Proper Breathing for Vocalists

    Proper Breathing for Vocalists Breath is the motor of our voice. Knowing how to breathe correctly and being able to control it is one of the most important skills a singer can have. A proper breathing technique will enable us to sound great and to improve the tone of our voice. Our ability to sustain notes will increase and we will master to sing longer phrases more effortless. Breathing is a natural process of our body and therefore a good breathing technique comes natural and unforced. Methods of Breathing The human body knows several different ways of breathing which are called costal or chest breathing, clavicular breathing, abdominal or belly breathing, and diapragmatic breathing. The latter two are to prefer when it comes to singing, though only the diapragmatic method allows for full breath with maximum control. The diaphragm by the way is a muscle system that is located in the abdominal region right under the lungs. It controls the air flow by contracting when we breathe in and relaxing when we breathe out. Breath Support As a singer you want to learn slowing down the relaxation of the diaphragm to gain extra volume used for sustaining notes and sing longer phrases. This is called "breath support" and can be achieved in two different ways, either by adding a bit of muscle force during exhalation and while using your voice, or through lowering the muscle force used during inhalation. While the first method allows for an increased volume the latter will result in less air pressure in the lungs which in turn will slow down the exhalation process to the extent that you can sing longer. The second method is popular through the "Italian School" of singing, also known as Appoggio, which includes resonance factors in form of phonation alongside the breath management. Exercises to improve breathing Understanding the theory behind how the body masters the task of breathing builds the base for the vocalist to improve upon his or her own breathing technique, however the singer also needs to build an understanding on an experimental level. For this reason it is well worth to experiment with a few exercises to gain an additional understanding. At Lead Vocals we have collected a number of exercises to get you started. Continue reading about the topic and these exercises at - http://www.leadvocals.ca/improve/breathing Additional Information Our Practice Section at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/practice Try to Sing Along at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/lyrics/songs What is Lead Vocals? Lead Vocals is a free of charge online resource for aspiring vocalists, who are learning the craft of singing and who practice their art by singing along to playback recordings and to other selected musical performances on video. All recordings are hand selected and the lyrics are spot on matching to the performance of the lead vocalist. The tool allows for quick access to practice specific parts within a song. We especially took care in avoiding clutter and disruptive advertising. Follow us on Social Media https://facebook.com/leadvocals.ca https://plus.google.com/+LeadvocalsCa https://www.linkedin.com/company/leadvocals https://www.twitter.com/leadvocalsca https://www.youtube.com/LeadvocalsCa
  7. Keeping Your Voice Healthy in Cold Weather

    Hi Everyone! Now that winter weather is upon us, many of you will be turning up the thermostat to keep your home warm and comfortable. If your heat is turned up too high, you will be drying the air in your environment. Dry air will dry your throat and vocal folds. To remedy this problem, I am suggesting that you use a hot steam bacteria killing vaporizer unit. You will definitely feel the comfortable and soothing heat that is moist. You will especially feel this wonderful moist heat at night when you sleep. I suggest that you close the door of your bedroom to keep the nice moist heat confined in the room. You will be pleasantly surprised how warm the room gets with the awesome moist heat! In this day and age of high fuel costs, you can easily save money on heat if you turn down your thermostat to 66 to 68 degrees with the vaporizer. For those of you cranking up those thermostats at night, it will be a pleasant change and save you money on your gas or oil bills. More importantly you will save your voice. Since vocal fold hydration is our prime concern during the winter because we go from dry cold air outside to dry warm air inside, the vaporizer use combined with a good amount of water. This really applies to singers and speakers who speak and sing many hours every day. Drink your water! But don't over hydrate. The current water craze with everyone carrying around bottled water is just that a craze a fad. A few years ago an article came out that said everyone should be drinking 64oz of water a day. Where did this writer live The Sahara Desert? Unless you're running the marathon in 90-degree heat, nobody needs to be THAT hydrated. Somehow the human race got along just fine without drinking 64oz a day before the article. BUT drinking FLUIDS is important. While water is the absolute best hydrate for the body, don't skimp on your fruit juices either. But watch the apple juice its gaseous and Orange juice can be very acidic. Distilled fruit juices or power water like those made by say, Snapple are very good. When you venture outside be sure to keep your neck warm by wrapping it in a scarf or turtleneck. Also remember to breathe in through your nose at ALL times. Breathing through the nose warms and moistens the air before it passes into your lungs- a really good thing. Mouth breathing can - and will - lead to respiratory infections, dryness and inflammation of the vocal folds. If you're taking any decongestants or antihistamines that can dry your voice or throat, you should take Robitussin DM or Mucinex to increase the secretions on your folds as a medicine supplement. This applies to everyone who takes antihistamines or decongestants for colds or allergies. I strongly recommend that you use these drying agents only when necessary. Consult with you doctor on their usage. I suggest you consult your allergist or ENT doctor to go over your own personal issues regarding voice disorders and voice issues. We recommend a dust free and pollen-free environment. You should keep your bedroom clean by sweeping or vacuuming as often as possible! We hope that you find these tips to be useful as always. Finally, if you do get a little phlegmy or get a build up of mucous in your throat, there is a great product called Alkalol which is like paint thinner for the vocal folds. Even though the bottle says to distill it, I've found it best to gargle with it at full strength. It can be found online at most online drugstores like Walgreens.com or drugstore.com. It's a singing trade secret. Stay warm and keep practicing. Until next time, Kevin Richards www.rockthestagenyc.com
  8. Hi Everyone! Now that winter weather is upon us, many of you will be turning up the thermostat to keep your home warm and comfortable. If your heat is turned up too high, you will be drying the air in your environment. Dry air will dry your throat and vocal folds. To remedy this problem, I am suggesting that you use a hot steam bacteria killing vaporizer unit. You will definitely feel the comfortable and soothing heat that is moist. You will especially feel this wonderful moist heat at night when you sleep. I suggest that you close the door of your bedroom to keep the nice moist heat confined in the room. You will be pleasantly surprised how warm the room gets with the awesome moist heat! In this day and age of high fuel costs, you can easily save money on heat if you turn down your thermostat to 66 to 68 degrees with the vaporizer. For those of you cranking up those thermostats at night, it will be a pleasant change and save you money on your gas or oil bills. More importantly you will save your voice. Since vocal fold hydration is our prime concern during the winter because we go from dry cold air outside to dry warm air inside, the vaporizer use combined with a good amount of water. This really applies to singers and speakers who speak and sing many hours every day. Drink your water! But don't over hydrate. The current water craze with everyone carrying around bottled water is just that a craze a fad. A few years ago an article came out that said everyone should be drinking 64oz of water a day. Where did this writer live The Sahara Desert? Unless you're running the marathon in 90-degree heat, nobody needs to be THAT hydrated. Somehow the human race got along just fine without drinking 64oz a day before the article. BUT drinking FLUIDS is important. While water is the absolute best hydrate for the body, don't skimp on your fruit juices either. But watch the apple juice its gaseous and Orange juice can be very acidic. Distilled fruit juices or power water like those made by say, Snapple are very good. When you venture outside be sure to keep your neck warm by wrapping it in a scarf or turtleneck. Also remember to breathe in through your nose at ALL times. Breathing through the nose warms and moistens the air before it passes into your lungs- a really good thing. Mouth breathing can - and will - lead to respiratory infections, dryness and inflammation of the vocal folds. If you're taking any decongestants or antihistamines that can dry your voice or throat, you should take Robitussin DM or Mucinex to increase the secretions on your folds as a medicine supplement. This applies to everyone who takes antihistamines or decongestants for colds or allergies. I strongly recommend that you use these drying agents only when necessary. Consult with you doctor on their usage. I suggest you consult your allergist or ENT doctor to go over your own personal issues regarding voice disorders and voice issues. We recommend a dust free and pollen-free environment. You should keep your bedroom clean by sweeping or vacuuming as often as possible! We hope that you find these tips to be useful as always. Finally, if you do get a little phlegmy or get a build up of mucous in your throat, there is a great product called Alkalol which is like paint thinner for the vocal folds. Even though the bottle says to distill it, I've found it best to gargle with it at full strength. It can be found online at most online drugstores like Walgreens.com or drugstore.com. It's a singing trade secret. Stay warm and keep practicing. Until next time, Kevin Richards www.rockthestagenyc.com View full articles
  9. Good singers are often described as having a unique personal style, a special way of expressing a song. But in the larger picture of singing, let's talk about vocal styles in general. First off, you want to be clear on which style you sing the most. Pop, rock, jazz, country, blues, R&B, classical, folk, gospel, Broadway belting or perhaps a combination of one or more of these styles? I frequently encounter singers who think they're singing in a pop style but are actually singing in a classical style because of prior training. It can sound quite strange and disorienting to the listener to hear someone sing in a wrong style. The conventions and techniques of classical singing are so different from popular, commercial styles that classical voice training can become a disability to the budding pop singer. Every vocal style is a recipe using only certain ingredients. Like a cook who knows the difference between braising and grilling, you should have an acquaintance with the recipe for your desired style. Let's start by comparing classical and non-classical styles: simply put, non-classical sounds like speaking or yelling and classical singing doesn't. If you've ever heard an opera singer speak then sing, you might be shocked to notice how different these two modes of vocal production are. Whether you sing classically or in a commercial vein, your choice of ingredients will determine if you're nailing your style or not. What are some of the ingredients of vocal style? Laryngeal Height - Your larynx (voice-box) can easily move up and down. Which vertical position you choose, regular, raised or lowered, will affect your sound. You might lower it for classical or soulful R&B and jazz, keep it regular for pop or legit Broadway singing, or raise it for rock and country. Airflow - How much air should you have in your sound? In country, there's typically not a lot of air coming through the vocal folds, but when singing sultry R&B or jazz, you may allow the folds to open more. Resonator Shape - What is the shape of your throat and mouth? For country, I recommend constricting the pharynx slightly under the jawline (never constrict the vocal folds themselves), while in classical or R&B I recommend widening that area to give me a more open sound. Shape decisions also include how open your mouth should be and if you're mostly smiling or pursing your lips. Nasality - Air which is routed through your nose creates the buzzy sound of nasality. Listen carefully to your favorite singers to see if you can discern how much nasality you hear. This important resonance is a must in rock and country, less so in pop and jazz, and not desirable in classical production. Dialect - Can you imagine hearing a country singer with a Russian accent? Or a blues singer with a French accent? Might sound strange. Consider a Southern accent for R&B and country, a standard American accent for pop and Broadway singing, perhaps even an English accent for classical. Stance - Ever notice how classical singers seem like they're leaning forward but some R&B singers may be leaning back on their heels? Subtle stance differences can make a difference in vocal production and are interesting to watch for. Volume - In sultry jazz singing, you may hear singers shift their volumes suddenly from loud to soft and back again, while in opera the vocal dynamics mostly range from loud to louder. Pop is often soft to medium loud, never getting very loud. When country, which is fairly soft to medium loud, gets louder, it then enters the world of country-rock. So volume can be a determining factor when combining styles. Stylisms - Each vocal style has particular stylisms which act as style hallmarks. For example, vocal fry can be heard in pop, jazz, and rock, which cry is common in country. Yodel can be heard in country and alternative pop, while stops are only heard in Broadway belting. There are different slides and swoops used and using the wrong swoop can get you into big stylistic trouble. Ornamental riffs such as R&B runs are important to master as well as classical ornamental runs called melisma or coloratura. Emotions - No one style has a monopoly on the human experience. For dignified and regal, no style comes closer than classical. If you want to express sensuality or ecstasy, look no further than R&B. Pop is sincere. alternative pop is quirky, rock is anti-social and powerful. You get the idea. A fun way to hone your style discernment skills is to sit at the ole radio tuner and go from station to station. See how quickly you come to a conclusion on the vocal style(s) you hear. It's not easy sometimes. Are you hearing country, pop-country, rock-country or R&B-country? Can you identify WHY you came to your conclusion? Remember that like in cooking (Thai, French, etc), each vocal style has conventions; rules that have developed over time. These conventions arise out of the particular culture and history which are the roots of a style. Listen and watch your favorite singers. Everything you see or hear helps to determine style choices. Styles are not accidents- make sure your style choices are well thought-out. Your next step? Pick a style, listen to the greats, observe everything, imitate, THEN play around to creative your own unique expressive masterpiece. Stay true to your style before you venture forth into uncharted territory. Lisa Popeil - Voiceworks Method - www.popeil.com 818-906-7229 View full articles
  10. Ingredients of Vocal Styles

    Good singers are often described as having a unique personal style, a special way of expressing a song. But in the larger picture of singing, let's talk about vocal styles in general. First off, you want to be clear on which style you sing the most. Pop, rock, jazz, country, blues, R&B, classical, folk, gospel, Broadway belting or perhaps a combination of one or more of these styles? I frequently encounter singers who think they're singing in a pop style but are actually singing in a classical style because of prior training. It can sound quite strange and disorienting to the listener to hear someone sing in a wrong style. The conventions and techniques of classical singing are so different from popular, commercial styles that classical voice training can become a disability to the budding pop singer. Every vocal style is a recipe using only certain ingredients. Like a cook who knows the difference between braising and grilling, you should have an acquaintance with the recipe for your desired style. Let's start by comparing classical and non-classical styles: simply put, non-classical sounds like speaking or yelling and classical singing doesn't. If you've ever heard an opera singer speak then sing, you might be shocked to notice how different these two modes of vocal production are. Whether you sing classically or in a commercial vein, your choice of ingredients will determine if you're nailing your style or not. What are some of the ingredients of vocal style? Laryngeal Height - Your larynx (voice-box) can easily move up and down. Which vertical position you choose, regular, raised or lowered, will affect your sound. You might lower it for classical or soulful R&B and jazz, keep it regular for pop or legit Broadway singing, or raise it for rock and country. Airflow - How much air should you have in your sound? In country, there's typically not a lot of air coming through the vocal folds, but when singing sultry R&B or jazz, you may allow the folds to open more. Resonator Shape - What is the shape of your throat and mouth? For country, I recommend constricting the pharynx slightly under the jawline (never constrict the vocal folds themselves), while in classical or R&B I recommend widening that area to give me a more open sound. Shape decisions also include how open your mouth should be and if you're mostly smiling or pursing your lips. Nasality - Air which is routed through your nose creates the buzzy sound of nasality. Listen carefully to your favorite singers to see if you can discern how much nasality you hear. This important resonance is a must in rock and country, less so in pop and jazz, and not desirable in classical production. Dialect - Can you imagine hearing a country singer with a Russian accent? Or a blues singer with a French accent? Might sound strange. Consider a Southern accent for R&B and country, a standard American accent for pop and Broadway singing, perhaps even an English accent for classical. Stance - Ever notice how classical singers seem like they're leaning forward but some R&B singers may be leaning back on their heels? Subtle stance differences can make a difference in vocal production and are interesting to watch for. Volume - In sultry jazz singing, you may hear singers shift their volumes suddenly from loud to soft and back again, while in opera the vocal dynamics mostly range from loud to louder. Pop is often soft to medium loud, never getting very loud. When country, which is fairly soft to medium loud, gets louder, it then enters the world of country-rock. So volume can be a determining factor when combining styles. Stylisms - Each vocal style has particular stylisms which act as style hallmarks. For example, vocal fry can be heard in pop, jazz, and rock, which cry is common in country. Yodel can be heard in country and alternative pop, while stops are only heard in Broadway belting. There are different slides and swoops used and using the wrong swoop can get you into big stylistic trouble. Ornamental riffs such as R&B runs are important to master as well as classical ornamental runs called melisma or coloratura. Emotions - No one style has a monopoly on the human experience. For dignified and regal, no style comes closer than classical. If you want to express sensuality or ecstasy, look no further than R&B. Pop is sincere. alternative pop is quirky, rock is anti-social and powerful. You get the idea. A fun way to hone your style discernment skills is to sit at the ole radio tuner and go from station to station. See how quickly you come to a conclusion on the vocal style(s) you hear. It's not easy sometimes. Are you hearing country, pop-country, rock-country or R&B-country? Can you identify WHY you came to your conclusion? Remember that like in cooking (Thai, French, etc), each vocal style has conventions; rules that have developed over time. These conventions arise out of the particular culture and history which are the roots of a style. Listen and watch your favorite singers. Everything you see or hear helps to determine style choices. Styles are not accidents- make sure your style choices are well thought-out. Your next step? Pick a style, listen to the greats, observe everything, imitate, THEN play around to creative your own unique expressive masterpiece. Stay true to your style before you venture forth into uncharted territory. Lisa Popeil - Voiceworks Method - www.popeil.com 818-906-7229
  11. Top 10 Tips for Vocalist

    Top 10 Tips for Vocalists Students are always asking me what to remember technique-wise when they sing. My approach is to get a technique in your body so that "thinking" about technique is at a minimum. The more you have to think (or even worry) about singing while you perform, the further away you get from singing from your heart - soulfully with intent. Athletes train for many years to be able to rely on their body to support their athletic decisions; it's the same with singing. It may come as a feel (to drop your jaw) while singing higher notes that won't release, or something you notice onstage (like you are hunching over). Pros can self-correct quickly, and the audience never knows. That said, as you develop your vocal instrument, some techniques will become seamless, while others require focus. In the studio, for instance, having a microphone technique and a technique for projection goes a long way in getting a great performance. Here are some tips: 1. Drop Your Jaw - This is Rule #1 and Rule #2. In pop singing, dropping the jaw (in a vertical direction) allows you to hit pitches without pushing and without vibrato to reach the placement. 2. Body stance -Holding up -Keeping your chest chest up and shoulders back is key to supporting your diaphragm. If you hunch over, it's easier to go flat, and pitches easily can migrate to the back of your throat. You end up working harder with less sound and poorer quality. 3. Loose jaw - dumb duh - Think of how guitarists or pianist warm up their hands to get them more flexible. This is what a dumb-duh does for singers. Because your jaw is loose, you have more flexibility to create more vowel shapes and sing higher notes easily. 4. Send the sound up and over - Sound has direction, and it has energy. Onstage and in the studio, pick a point across the room and send the sound there. The sound carries in a way that is focused and lifted. 5. Command the stage - Your body stance and energy communicate who you are to an audience before you sing a note. With chest up and shoulders back, imagine your arms are embracing a big beach ball. This is the breadth of your stage. 6. Sing through the microphone to a point in the distance - Be mindful of the dynamics of the microphone, and project the sound forward. You can sing into a microphone and not project but the sound is more confined. Try it both ways and see the difference. 7. Keep your eyes open - Being emotional and evocative is good, but closing your eyes shuts out your audience. Your eyes are the windows to your emotions - let your audience in on that. 8. Don't expel for more tone - Having a reservoir of air is essential in great singing. You don't have to effort for air. Not expelling allows you to use that air more effectively and have more mouth sound (shaping the sound as well). Pop singing is about mouth sound and having a distinct vocal tone. Expelling, of course, can be effective with a breathy style. It doesn't work to get more volume or tone. 9. Fake it til you make it - No one is perfect, and anything worth doing is worth doing badly to start. They call it artist development for a reason. Start where you are and take baby steps until you get where you want to be. 10. Work with a coach - Athletes don't do it on their own, and neither do singers. Whitney Houston's mom is a professional singer, so was Mariah's. Even if you have natural talent, it still needs to be developed. You won't know what you actually have until you work it. From The Singer's Newsletter #82 - email vocalcoach@teridanz.com to sign up. ***This is an excerpt from Teri Danz's upcoming book Nail It Every Time: The Pro Singer's Guide to Everything Vocal with singing tips and more. Reprinted only with permission. All rights are reserved. More vocal tips are published on http://www.a2z-singing-tips.com.
  12. Top 10 Tips for Vocalists Students are always asking me what to remember technique-wise when they sing. My approach is to get a technique in your body so that "thinking" about technique is at a minimum. The more you have to think (or even worry) about singing while you perform, the further away you get from singing from your heart - soulfully with intent. Athletes train for many years to be able to rely on their body to support their athletic decisions; it's the same with singing. It may come as a feel (to drop your jaw) while singing higher notes that won't release, or something you notice onstage (like you are hunching over). Pros can self-correct quickly, and the audience never knows. That said, as you develop your vocal instrument, some techniques will become seamless, while others require focus. In the studio, for instance, having a microphone technique and a technique for projection goes a long way in getting a great performance. Here are some tips: 1. Drop Your Jaw - This is Rule #1 and Rule #2. In pop singing, dropping the jaw (in a vertical direction) allows you to hit pitches without pushing and without vibrato to reach the placement. 2. Body stance -Holding up -Keeping your chest chest up and shoulders back is key to supporting your diaphragm. If you hunch over, it's easier to go flat, and pitches easily can migrate to the back of your throat. You end up working harder with less sound and poorer quality. 3. Loose jaw - dumb duh - Think of how guitarists or pianist warm up their hands to get them more flexible. This is what a dumb-duh does for singers. Because your jaw is loose, you have more flexibility to create more vowel shapes and sing higher notes easily. 4. Send the sound up and over - Sound has direction, and it has energy. Onstage and in the studio, pick a point across the room and send the sound there. The sound carries in a way that is focused and lifted. 5. Command the stage - Your body stance and energy communicate who you are to an audience before you sing a note. With chest up and shoulders back, imagine your arms are embracing a big beach ball. This is the breadth of your stage. 6. Sing through the microphone to a point in the distance - Be mindful of the dynamics of the microphone, and project the sound forward. You can sing into a microphone and not project but the sound is more confined. Try it both ways and see the difference. 7. Keep your eyes open - Being emotional and evocative is good, but closing your eyes shuts out your audience. Your eyes are the windows to your emotions - let your audience in on that. 8. Don't expel for more tone - Having a reservoir of air is essential in great singing. You don't have to effort for air. Not expelling allows you to use that air more effectively and have more mouth sound (shaping the sound as well). Pop singing is about mouth sound and having a distinct vocal tone. Expelling, of course, can be effective with a breathy style. It doesn't work to get more volume or tone. 9. Fake it til you make it - No one is perfect, and anything worth doing is worth doing badly to start. They call it artist development for a reason. Start where you are and take baby steps until you get where you want to be. 10. Work with a coach - Athletes don't do it on their own, and neither do singers. Whitney Houston's mom is a professional singer, so was Mariah's. Even if you have natural talent, it still needs to be developed. You won't know what you actually have until you work it. From The Singer's Newsletter #82 - email vocalcoach@teridanz.com to sign up. ***This is an excerpt from Teri Danz's upcoming book Nail It Every Time: The Pro Singer's Guide to Everything Vocal with singing tips and more. Reprinted only with permission. All rights are reserved. More vocal tips are published on http://www.a2z-singing-tips.com. View full articles
  13. YOUR INSTRUMENT - UNDERSTANDING THE WHOLE VOICE: A 4-PART SERIES Co-authored by Dena Murray & Hilary Canto The series is presented as downloadable pdf files below so that you can easily print them. We'd love you to have a discussion thread here in the comments section. Please add any questions/comments below. We hope you enjoy the series! Thank you Dena & Hilary Left-Click here to download Part 1 Left-Click here to download Part 2 Left-Click here to download Part 3 Left-Click here to download Part 4 Dena Murray teaches in- home and online beginners as well as professionals with her own style technique for correct placement of the voice as well the art of breathing. Books available are: Vocal Technique: Finding your Real Voice (Hal Leonard Corp. 2002), a beginner's book separating the voice before teaching how to bridge the passaggio. Advanced Vocal Technique: Middle Voice, Placement & Styles co-authored with Tita Hutchison (Hal Leonard Publishing 2007) focuses strictly on placement and a unique technical approach to bridging the passaggio. Vocal Strength and Power: Boost Your Singing with Proper Technique and Breathing to be published By Hal Leonard Publishing, end 2009. You can find her on the TMV Directory Of Experts. www.denamurray.com Hilary Canto teaches in-home and online and developed the TRUE VOICE COURSE specially for allowing the voice to flow freely from the heart and to teach healthy vocal technique for performance singing. The course is available as mp3 files with written sheets to download. You can purchase it through and see her training videos to accompany the course on her TMV, youtube and myspace pages. You can find her on the TMV Directory of Experts.
  14. YOUR INSTRUMENT - UNDERSTANDING THE WHOLE VOICE: A 4-PART SERIES Co-authored by Dena Murray & Hilary Canto The series is presented as downloadable pdf files below so that you can easily print them. We'd love you to have a discussion thread here in the comments section. Please add any questions/comments below. We hope you enjoy the series! Thank you Dena & Hilary Left-Click here to download Part 1 Left-Click here to download Part 2 Left-Click here to download Part 3 Left-Click here to download Part 4 Dena Murray teaches in- home and online beginners as well as professionals with her own style technique for correct placement of the voice as well the art of breathing. Books available are: Vocal Technique: Finding your Real Voice (Hal Leonard Corp. 2002), a beginner's book separating the voice before teaching how to bridge the passaggio. Advanced Vocal Technique: Middle Voice, Placement & Styles co-authored with Tita Hutchison (Hal Leonard Publishing 2007) focuses strictly on placement and a unique technical approach to bridging the passaggio. Vocal Strength and Power: Boost Your Singing with Proper Technique and Breathing to be published By Hal Leonard Publishing, end 2009. You can find her on the TMV Directory Of Experts. www.denamurray.com Hilary Canto teaches in-home and online and developed the TRUE VOICE COURSE specially for allowing the voice to flow freely from the heart and to teach healthy vocal technique for performance singing. The course is available as mp3 files with written sheets to download. You can purchase it through and see her training videos to accompany the course on her TMV, youtube and myspace pages. You can find her on the TMV Directory of Experts. View full articles
  15. It has always been my understanding that correct support of the diaphragmatic region is a direct result of right breathing. In my experience I've noticed that most instruction has been about manipulating this region of the body in attempts to control the flow of air, unaware that the vocal cords are responsible for controlling the flow and compression. The vocal folds, and proper placement in the mask, have just as much to do with support of the singing mechanism as the diaphragm. Through extensive study and research over the last 15 years, I have discovered a little-known secret. Proper use of the diaphragm is an automatic result of having learned how to inhale the air correctly. In my latest book, Vocal Strength and Power published and released by Hal Leonard Corp., I have included a glossary of the most commonly used words by instructors to describe how to employ and gain support with this region of the body. Frankly, when looking up some of these words, I was quite surprised myself by the true meanings. This forced me to change my own vernacular when instructing after realizing that all the faulty perception with regard to how to engage this region of the body properly came down to the true meaning of words. In my first two books, I purposely stayed away from instruction on the diaphragm and focused on how to get the other two support mechanisms (the cords and the mask) to work together. At the time, I still did not have the words to describe how to engage the diaphragm correctly. I only knew what was wrong: Singers were squeezing the neck and belly muscles, pushing up the belly muscles, and putting strain on the neck muscles. Squeezing of any kind only results in feeling like you must force and blow the air out for sound. This habit not only feels unnatural and strained, but after a few years of singing this way, many singers find themselves in doctor's offices trying to uncover the reasons why they are no longer able to sing like they once did. Unfortunately, some will require rehabilitation and in other cases, surgery. About the Inhale Air is already in the lungs and body from natural breathing and inhales. Because of this truth, it is a misconception that more is needed for singing. In fact, if you take in too much, the vocal folds will be unable to control the flow for sound and compression. There is an art to inhalation. Taking in heaps of air can be not only be damaging, but it also brings on fatigue. See for yourself. Take in as much air as you can and then exhale it. Repeat this action over and over again for about five minutes and you're bound to feel a little tired if you don't faint from hyperventilation in the meantime! Now imagine breathing heavily and hard like this, but with sound, over and over again between words and phrases of songs. A tired singer's instinct will say, I need to take in more air in order to keep that power going, hit those higher notes, and sustain the note (or notes) if needed. Not so. This is literally exhausting, especially on a gig. The more air you keep losing, your head will keep telling you to take more and more in. This will set you up for a no win cycle. Important to remember but not so easy to employ is the idea that the vocal folds do not need much air to produce a strong tone, or to prolong one. In my latest book I have created exercises to re-train how to take the air in properly through use of the staccato. This staccato is a bit different than most. It requires that you take tiny puffs of air between each note of the exercise. However, a tiny bit does not mean to hold the breath in any way. Nor does it mean to blow it all out on every phonated pitch. It's tricky but once learned, all three-support mechanisms will work as they should: naturally and automatically. You will not have to manipulate by tensing the muscles of any region of your body to achieve what you have wrongly perceived as support of the diaphragm. Natural and Automatic Going from one way of breathing to another is difficult; it takes the ability to focus one's efforts on re-training and requires repetitive practice of exactly how much air should be taken in for each phonation. For engaging natural support upon inhalation during a staccato run, the belly (below the navel) will automatically become firm. It should stay nearly unmoving until after you have finished the last tone of a run. You should not have to strain it for this region to remain firm. If you strain to hold the belly out, you'll be holding the breath. Because it is internal, it's hard to feel the movement of the diaphragm itself. The only part of your body you should feel moving is the upper abdomen (above the navel) jumping out and in as it is indirectly compressed by the moving diaphragm inside your rib cage. You can place your finger just below your breastbone to feel this movement. On an inhalation, the diaphragm will automatically move down a bit. As it goes down, it pushes the upper abdomen out. On exhale the diaphragm and upper abdominal muscles very slowly return to their starting positions. (There is no need to blow out the air for this. You only need to relax your belly and leftover air is automatically expelled. Try it. Take in a breath and then just relax the belly. You should feel the air having left by itself). Only when the diaphragm relaxes completely do the upper abdominal muscles move back into their normal position. Squeezing the lower belly muscles at this point only fights the diaphragm's natural action). Through the use of the new exercises I created to re-train the inhale/exhale action, the movement is much faster because the point of the repetitive exercises is to do everything in rapid succession. This will help to get the air and sound producing as if it is one continuous action, and working like a single unit. www.denamurray.com Books: Vocal Strength and Power, published by Hal Leoanrd Corp, 2009 Advanced Vocal Technique: Middle Voice, Placement and Styles, published by Hal Leonard Corp, 2008 Vocal Technique: FInding Your Real Voice published by Hal Leonartd Corp 2002
  16. It has always been my understanding that correct support of the diaphragmatic region is a direct result of right breathing. In my experience I've noticed that most instruction has been about manipulating this region of the body in attempts to control the flow of air, unaware that the vocal cords are responsible for controlling the flow and compression. The vocal folds, and proper placement in the mask, have just as much to do with support of the singing mechanism as the diaphragm. Through extensive study and research over the last 15 years, I have discovered a little-known secret. Proper use of the diaphragm is an automatic result of having learned how to inhale the air correctly. In my latest book, Vocal Strength and Power published and released by Hal Leonard Corp., I have included a glossary of the most commonly used words by instructors to describe how to employ and gain support with this region of the body. Frankly, when looking up some of these words, I was quite surprised myself by the true meanings. This forced me to change my own vernacular when instructing after realizing that all the faulty perception with regard to how to engage this region of the body properly came down to the true meaning of words. In my first two books, I purposely stayed away from instruction on the diaphragm and focused on how to get the other two support mechanisms (the cords and the mask) to work together. At the time, I still did not have the words to describe how to engage the diaphragm correctly. I only knew what was wrong: Singers were squeezing the neck and belly muscles, pushing up the belly muscles, and putting strain on the neck muscles. Squeezing of any kind only results in feeling like you must force and blow the air out for sound. This habit not only feels unnatural and strained, but after a few years of singing this way, many singers find themselves in doctor's offices trying to uncover the reasons why they are no longer able to sing like they once did. Unfortunately, some will require rehabilitation and in other cases, surgery. About the Inhale Air is already in the lungs and body from natural breathing and inhales. Because of this truth, it is a misconception that more is needed for singing. In fact, if you take in too much, the vocal folds will be unable to control the flow for sound and compression. There is an art to inhalation. Taking in heaps of air can be not only be damaging, but it also brings on fatigue. See for yourself. Take in as much air as you can and then exhale it. Repeat this action over and over again for about five minutes and you're bound to feel a little tired if you don't faint from hyperventilation in the meantime! Now imagine breathing heavily and hard like this, but with sound, over and over again between words and phrases of songs. A tired singer's instinct will say, I need to take in more air in order to keep that power going, hit those higher notes, and sustain the note (or notes) if needed. Not so. This is literally exhausting, especially on a gig. The more air you keep losing, your head will keep telling you to take more and more in. This will set you up for a no win cycle. Important to remember but not so easy to employ is the idea that the vocal folds do not need much air to produce a strong tone, or to prolong one. In my latest book I have created exercises to re-train how to take the air in properly through use of the staccato. This staccato is a bit different than most. It requires that you take tiny puffs of air between each note of the exercise. However, a tiny bit does not mean to hold the breath in any way. Nor does it mean to blow it all out on every phonated pitch. It's tricky but once learned, all three-support mechanisms will work as they should: naturally and automatically. You will not have to manipulate by tensing the muscles of any region of your body to achieve what you have wrongly perceived as support of the diaphragm. Natural and Automatic Going from one way of breathing to another is difficult; it takes the ability to focus one's efforts on re-training and requires repetitive practice of exactly how much air should be taken in for each phonation. For engaging natural support upon inhalation during a staccato run, the belly (below the navel) will automatically become firm. It should stay nearly unmoving until after you have finished the last tone of a run. You should not have to strain it for this region to remain firm. If you strain to hold the belly out, you'll be holding the breath. Because it is internal, it's hard to feel the movement of the diaphragm itself. The only part of your body you should feel moving is the upper abdomen (above the navel) jumping out and in as it is indirectly compressed by the moving diaphragm inside your rib cage. You can place your finger just below your breastbone to feel this movement. On an inhalation, the diaphragm will automatically move down a bit. As it goes down, it pushes the upper abdomen out. On exhale the diaphragm and upper abdominal muscles very slowly return to their starting positions. (There is no need to blow out the air for this. You only need to relax your belly and leftover air is automatically expelled. Try it. Take in a breath and then just relax the belly. You should feel the air having left by itself). Only when the diaphragm relaxes completely do the upper abdominal muscles move back into their normal position. Squeezing the lower belly muscles at this point only fights the diaphragm's natural action). Through the use of the new exercises I created to re-train the inhale/exhale action, the movement is much faster because the point of the repetitive exercises is to do everything in rapid succession. This will help to get the air and sound producing as if it is one continuous action, and working like a single unit. www.denamurray.com Books: Vocal Strength and Power, published by Hal Leoanrd Corp, 2009 Advanced Vocal Technique: Middle Voice, Placement and Styles, published by Hal Leonard Corp, 2008 Vocal Technique: FInding Your Real Voice published by Hal Leonartd Corp 2002 View full articles
  17. Singer's Secrets to beating a Cold

    Urggg, that dreaded cold. If you are like me most humans these days, there are times when you feel like you're a flu magnet. But, there are precautions that you can take to battle, prevent, and flush a cold right out of your system. The following excerpt is from my book, Raise Your Voice Second Edition, to aid you in your fight against infection: Nothing is worse than having to deal with a cold. Many singers refrain from singing (and speaking in some cases) with a cold, due to the fear of damaging their voices. Singing with a cold is quite possible, although uncomfortable. If you use proper vocal technique, your voice will be fine. A cold is an infection in the sinuses, the throat, or the lungs, or it could be a combination of all three. An infection of the upper throat is referred to as pharyngitis. Your throat will be sore but you will still be able to speak or sing. Pharyngitis may be very painful, but as long as there is no infection in the vocal cords, you'll still be able to make it through a performance, although it won't feel that fun. Keep the sound out of the throat and focused into the resonant cavities of the head. The only time you should avoid speaking or singing is if you have laryngitis, which is an infection of the vocal cords. Your throat will feel swollen and sore. It could be so painful that you might not be able to speak. Swallowing will be difficult. The vocal cords are swollen due to the infection and enlarged blood vessels. In this state, the cords will not vibrate correctly. Do not speak or sing with laryngitis. You could damage your vocal cords. This includes whispering and gargling. Whispering is a quiet shout and gargling forces air past the irritated cords. The best remedy for laryngitis is plenty of water and absolute silence. Try a warm mist umidifier at night to moisten The air. Give your voice time to heal. Visit your doctor to see if antibiotics could help. If you are developing a cold, this is a signal that your body is full of toxins and needs to cleanse itself of toxin overload. Once you notice cold symptoms developing, there are several things you can do to help the cleansing process along and shorten the duration of the cold: When you notice the first signs of a cold's supply of vitamin C and Calcium are rapidly depleted. Bothsore throat, congestion, coughing, etc., you must take immediate action. If you are under physical or mental stress, your body are important nutrients in fighting infection. At first sign of a cold, I've been told that if immediately increase your vitamin C and Calcium/Magnesium intake, it will help to speed up the cold-elimination process. Both can be purchased at any drug store. Magnesium helps to increase the body's absorption of Calcium, so it is wiser to take a combination of the two. Zinc lozenges are beneficial during a cold. Zinc is proven to fight infection and to relieve a sore throat. An herbal combination of Goldenseal and Echinacea is excellent for fighting infection in the body. A few drops of Colloidal Silver under the tongue will be absorbed into the blood stream. Colloidal Silver is like a natural antibiotic and fights all forms of infection. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. If you feel you might have pneumonia, see your doctor. To break up chest congestion, tap repeatedly on your chest to loosen phlegm in your lungs. This will enable you to cough up and expel the mucus. Cup your hands and tap on your chest as if it were a drum. If you have someone tap on your back, the results will be better. Breathing steam or using a vaporizer helps to keep your lungs hydrated and will also loosen mucus. Choose wisely any over-the-counter drugs you might take to fight a cold. Many only mask the symptoms, slowing down the healing process. There are several herbs listed in the next chapter that relieve pain, loosen congestion, and aid the healing process. A throat gargle is beneficial for a sore throat. These methods are discussed in the next few chapters. Now you have the means to fight off a cold. Jaime Vendera Author of "Raise Your Voice", "Mindset: programming Your Mind for Success" and "Online Teaching Secrets Revealed" jaimevendera.com theultimatevocalworkout.com
  18. Urggg, that dreaded cold. If you are like me most humans these days, there are times when you feel like you're a flu magnet. But, there are precautions that you can take to battle, prevent, and flush a cold right out of your system. The following excerpt is from my book, Raise Your Voice Second Edition, to aid you in your fight against infection: Nothing is worse than having to deal with a cold. Many singers refrain from singing (and speaking in some cases) with a cold, due to the fear of damaging their voices. Singing with a cold is quite possible, although uncomfortable. If you use proper vocal technique, your voice will be fine. A cold is an infection in the sinuses, the throat, or the lungs, or it could be a combination of all three. An infection of the upper throat is referred to as pharyngitis. Your throat will be sore but you will still be able to speak or sing. Pharyngitis may be very painful, but as long as there is no infection in the vocal cords, you'll still be able to make it through a performance, although it won't feel that fun. Keep the sound out of the throat and focused into the resonant cavities of the head. The only time you should avoid speaking or singing is if you have laryngitis, which is an infection of the vocal cords. Your throat will feel swollen and sore. It could be so painful that you might not be able to speak. Swallowing will be difficult. The vocal cords are swollen due to the infection and enlarged blood vessels. In this state, the cords will not vibrate correctly. Do not speak or sing with laryngitis. You could damage your vocal cords. This includes whispering and gargling. Whispering is a quiet shout and gargling forces air past the irritated cords. The best remedy for laryngitis is plenty of water and absolute silence. Try a warm mist umidifier at night to moisten The air. Give your voice time to heal. Visit your doctor to see if antibiotics could help. If you are developing a cold, this is a signal that your body is full of toxins and needs to cleanse itself of toxin overload. Once you notice cold symptoms developing, there are several things you can do to help the cleansing process along and shorten the duration of the cold: When you notice the first signs of a cold's supply of vitamin C and Calcium are rapidly depleted. Bothsore throat, congestion, coughing, etc., you must take immediate action. If you are under physical or mental stress, your body are important nutrients in fighting infection. At first sign of a cold, I've been told that if immediately increase your vitamin C and Calcium/Magnesium intake, it will help to speed up the cold-elimination process. Both can be purchased at any drug store. Magnesium helps to increase the body's absorption of Calcium, so it is wiser to take a combination of the two. Zinc lozenges are beneficial during a cold. Zinc is proven to fight infection and to relieve a sore throat. An herbal combination of Goldenseal and Echinacea is excellent for fighting infection in the body. A few drops of Colloidal Silver under the tongue will be absorbed into the blood stream. Colloidal Silver is like a natural antibiotic and fights all forms of infection. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. If you feel you might have pneumonia, see your doctor. To break up chest congestion, tap repeatedly on your chest to loosen phlegm in your lungs. This will enable you to cough up and expel the mucus. Cup your hands and tap on your chest as if it were a drum. If you have someone tap on your back, the results will be better. Breathing steam or using a vaporizer helps to keep your lungs hydrated and will also loosen mucus. Choose wisely any over-the-counter drugs you might take to fight a cold. Many only mask the symptoms, slowing down the healing process. There are several herbs listed in the next chapter that relieve pain, loosen congestion, and aid the healing process. A throat gargle is beneficial for a sore throat. These methods are discussed in the next few chapters. Now you have the means to fight off a cold. Jaime Vendera Author of "Raise Your Voice", "Mindset: programming Your Mind for Success" and "Online Teaching Secrets Revealed" jaimevendera.com theultimatevocalworkout.com View full articles
  19. As I previously mentioned, the tongue is often a source of unwanted tensions for singers. It is important to be aware of the engagement of the hyoid or digastric muscles at the base of the tongue, near the chin. Just the awareness of their activity helps in loosening their grip. Place both thumbs under your chin and sing an ascending passage. If you feel pressure from the tongue pushing downward, those muscles are getting in the way of efficient tone production. Also, if when watching yourself in a mirror you notice your tongue pulling backward in your mouth, it is being disruptive to good singing. WE DON'T WANT THAT!!!!! I like to start my warmup time with some tongue stretches before I actually vocalize. This routine I learned from Nate Waller, who was my speech pathologist when I was preparing for vocal fold surgery. Since then, they have become a regular part of my daily regimen. So here goes: 1) Stick the tongue out of the mouth pointing upward. Hold for 3-4 seconds and release. Repeat 3 times. 2) Stick the tongue out pointing downward for 3-4 seconds then release. Repeat 3 times. 3) Stick the tongue out to the each side of the mouth for 3 repetitions, holding for 4 seconds each time. 4) With the tip of the tongue behind the lower front teeth, extend the body of the tongue forward and out . Hold for 4 seconds. Repeat 4 times. Make this a regular part of the vocal warmup process. You will be so very glad you did!! I like to monitor the activilty of the muscles under the chin throughout my practice time. If I feel that my production of sound is getting more difficult, I place the thumbs under the chin to check for tightening of those evil tongue muscles. Often, that is the source of the imbalance. If you're like me and had a lot of problems in this area early on, you must remain vigilant in self-monitoring. View full articles
  20. ArticlesA Singers Breath

    Many singers can sing like an angel, but have horrible breathing technique, if any. Correct breathing is a basic principle that is often absent in a performance, and that is tragic. If one learns to breathe correctly, they have to ability to greatly improve sound and also expand stamina and range. Also, breathing and relaxation go together like a hand and glove when done the right way. What is "A Singers Breath"? A singers breath is a term that I coined to make this type of breathing distinct from the shallow breathing that we do in everyday living. When a singer takes a breath to sing a note, it should be very calculated and technique driven. When I was growing up, I was always told to "sing from you diaphram", but correct breathing is so much more than that. Your diaphram is only one of the muscles involved with singing. In acutallity, your entire abdomen should be engaged when you sing, not just "the diaphram", as many people think. How to breathe Shallow breathing is the only thing essential for maintaining life. It is what we do everyday without any thought. It involves part abdominal muscles, part chest muscles. However, when a singer is performing, they must learn to think differntly about how to take a breath, and how to let that breath out. A short excersise: Stand upright and when you breathe in, fill your abdomen with air (Your abdomen shoud look and fill up like you are blowing up a balloon). Do this as slowly as possible. When you have completely filled your abdomen with air, slowly blow the air out. Maintain as much control as you can using your muscles in the abdomen, and no other muscles. Your objective is to take in as much air as you can, but you don't want to involve your chest muscles at all when taking in the breath. When letting the breath out (which is what happens when you sing), you want to be as controlled as possible, using only your abdominal muscles to allow air to seep out (Imagine that you are letting the air out of the balloon that you just blew up while pinching the entrance of it. Only allowing the air to leak out, not flow out). The focus is filling with air the right way by isolation of the abdominal muscles(breathing in), and exhaling with a strong and controlled motion(Singing with control). Do this repeatedly by counting to ten while you slowly fill your abdomen with air, and also when you are letting the air out. If you look into a mirror, there should somewhat of a butterfly motion going on only in your abdominal area. The rest of your body should be as relaxed as possible. If you have been breathing incorrectly for years, this is something that takes work, but don't be discouraged. You must retrain yourself to correct something that you have been doing for a long period of time. That is where a Professional Vocal Coach comes into play. If you are a serious singer, seek one. You will only get better at your art if you do! I hope that this will at least start you on a quest to become the best singer that you can be. Angelia Williams Professioal Vocal Coach "Where Voices are Developed" View full articles
  21. A Singers Breath

    Many singers can sing like an angel, but have horrible breathing technique, if any. Correct breathing is a basic principle that is often absent in a performance, and that is tragic. If one learns to breathe correctly, they have to ability to greatly improve sound and also expand stamina and range. Also, breathing and relaxation go together like a hand and glove when done the right way. What is "A Singers Breath"? A singers breath is a term that I coined to make this type of breathing distinct from the shallow breathing that we do in everyday living. When a singer takes a breath to sing a note, it should be very calculated and technique driven. When I was growing up, I was always told to "sing from you diaphram", but correct breathing is so much more than that. Your diaphram is only one of the muscles involved with singing. In acutallity, your entire abdomen should be engaged when you sing, not just "the diaphram", as many people think. How to breathe Shallow breathing is the only thing essential for maintaining life. It is what we do everyday without any thought. It involves part abdominal muscles, part chest muscles. However, when a singer is performing, they must learn to think differntly about how to take a breath, and how to let that breath out. A short excersise: Stand upright and when you breathe in, fill your abdomen with air (Your abdomen shoud look and fill up like you are blowing up a balloon). Do this as slowly as possible. When you have completely filled your abdomen with air, slowly blow the air out. Maintain as much control as you can using your muscles in the abdomen, and no other muscles. Your objective is to take in as much air as you can, but you don't want to involve your chest muscles at all when taking in the breath. When letting the breath out (which is what happens when you sing), you want to be as controlled as possible, using only your abdominal muscles to allow air to seep out (Imagine that you are letting the air out of the balloon that you just blew up while pinching the entrance of it. Only allowing the air to leak out, not flow out). The focus is filling with air the right way by isolation of the abdominal muscles(breathing in), and exhaling with a strong and controlled motion(Singing with control). Do this repeatedly by counting to ten while you slowly fill your abdomen with air, and also when you are letting the air out. If you look into a mirror, there should somewhat of a butterfly motion going on only in your abdominal area. The rest of your body should be as relaxed as possible. If you have been breathing incorrectly for years, this is something that takes work, but don't be discouraged. You must retrain yourself to correct something that you have been doing for a long period of time. That is where a Professional Vocal Coach comes into play. If you are a serious singer, seek one. You will only get better at your art if you do! I hope that this will at least start you on a quest to become the best singer that you can be. Angelia Williams Professioal Vocal Coach "Where Voices are Developed"
  22. Dealing With Tongue Tension

    As I previously mentioned, the tongue is often a source of unwanted tensions for singers. It is important to be aware of the engagement of the hyoid or digastric muscles at the base of the tongue, near the chin. Just the awareness of their activity helps in loosening their grip. Place both thumbs under your chin and sing an ascending passage. If you feel pressure from the tongue pushing downward, those muscles are getting in the way of efficient tone production. Also, if when watching yourself in a mirror you notice your tongue pulling backward in your mouth, it is being disruptive to good singing. WE DON'T WANT THAT!!!!! I like to start my warmup time with some tongue stretches before I actually vocalize. This routine I learned from Nate Waller, who was my speech pathologist when I was preparing for vocal fold surgery. Since then, they have become a regular part of my daily regimen. So here goes: 1) Stick the tongue out of the mouth pointing upward. Hold for 3-4 seconds and release. Repeat 3 times. 2) Stick the tongue out pointing downward for 3-4 seconds then release. Repeat 3 times. 3) Stick the tongue out to the each side of the mouth for 3 repetitions, holding for 4 seconds each time. 4) With the tip of the tongue behind the lower front teeth, extend the body of the tongue forward and out . Hold for 4 seconds. Repeat 4 times. Make this a regular part of the vocal warmup process. You will be so very glad you did!! I like to monitor the activilty of the muscles under the chin throughout my practice time. If I feel that my production of sound is getting more difficult, I place the thumbs under the chin to check for tightening of those evil tongue muscles. Often, that is the source of the imbalance. If you're like me and had a lot of problems in this area early on, you must remain vigilant in self-monitoring.
  23. Much is written and talked about breath control for classical singing, and the related tension it can lead to in the abdomen, the jaw and the tongue. I have many enquiries and new students who talk about learning the control required for singing. They seem surprised when I start by getting them to release and de-control. They can be scared of it at first, but many go on to find it an exhilirating experience. So, where does this idea of control come from? Surely it must be all of those old texts, translated from Italian, that seem to hold no place for singing in the modern world? Well, here are a couple of snippets from Giovanni Battista Lamperti (of course translated into English) that may not be what many expect. The degree of loudness of tone depends on the quantity of breath released by letting go muscularly. There is no attack, no mouth position, no tongue control, no voice placing,no fixed chest, no relaxing this or that muscle, no stiffening any part of the body, in fact, nothing that would not spring from instinctive utterance. And, from Mathilde Marchesi on the concept of Coup de Glotte It should be understood that the Coup de Glotte is a natural movement of the vocal organs, and that the pupil has only to bring under the control of the will this spontaneous action which has been developing since the first cry at the moment of birth. It is, in fact, the possession of this same natural faculty that enables us to form unconsciously all the vowels in speaking. So, there is mention of release, of instinctiveness, and of relating singing to being as easy as talking. So, maybe the concept of control came with the well intentioned introduction of science into vocal teaching. Well, Oren L Brown, teacher for 19 years at the Juilliard School in New York, was always held up as being someone who kept up with the latest research into voice science. His book Discover Your Voice contains chapters on resonance, overtones, vocal registers, laryngeal anatomy, and perhaps most interestingly Neurology and the Brain. Because, after all, we may sing with our bodies, but the impulses to do so come from our mind. When it comes to teaching how to sing, rather than what is happening in the body, what does Brown instruct us to do. The opening of the chapter on program thoughts reads Your voice knows how to sing. it knows how to sing better than you do. Think the music and your voice will sing it for you. Elsewhere he states that an efficient and natural supply of air is needed for voice production. I would emphasize natural  here, because the fact is that we all breathe. We all need to breathe, and we breathe without thinking about it. From the moment we let out our first cry after birth, our diaphragms descended to draw in breath, and then relaxed to let it out. It will continue doing the same until we breathe our last, and it is mostly unconscious precisely so that we don't need to keep thinking about it. So, why would we want to artificially control that which nature has provided for so well? It seems that much of it surrounds trust, and vulnerability. Our breathing is bound up in our emotions, and by freeing our breath we often free emotions that many of us would prefer remain hidden. However, it is those very emotions that move audiences, and so by freeing our breath we will increase our communication with the audience. By controlling the breath we put an artifical barrier between ourselves and the audience. Finding the connection between our voices and our emotions is not always an easy journey. Some are more comfortable than others in laying their emotions bare for all to see. However, it is this connection that many great singers display. Pavarotti had it, Callas too, and Ponselle, Flagstad, and many others. Their singing grabbed our guts and had us on the edge of our seats. It's not just classical singers either. Sinatra could excite and sway, as could Billie Holiday, reaching directly into our emotions and pulling at them. In order to do this, they had to let their voices and breath be guided by their bodies and emotions, rather than imposing control upon them. I'll leave a last couple of thoughts to my late teacher Howard Milner. Joining is what singing does for us. It joins us with the audience, with each other and inside ourselves. The diaphragm, breathing, works beyond volition, doing what the body feels rather than what the mind thinks. The only thing you can consciously do to breathing is to mess it up. The only way to make it better is to let go of it more, to de-control it, to agree to let it take its course. This is the principal of allowing. It is about setting free the unconscious movement that enables us to sing. Your job is to find where and what it is and connect with it. View full articles
  24. Breath Control - or is it?

    Much is written and talked about breath control for classical singing, and the related tension it can lead to in the abdomen, the jaw and the tongue. I have many enquiries and new students who talk about learning the control required for singing. They seem surprised when I start by getting them to release and de-control. They can be scared of it at first, but many go on to find it an exhilirating experience. So, where does this idea of control come from? Surely it must be all of those old texts, translated from Italian, that seem to hold no place for singing in the modern world? Well, here are a couple of snippets from Giovanni Battista Lamperti (of course translated into English) that may not be what many expect. The degree of loudness of tone depends on the quantity of breath released by letting go muscularly. There is no attack, no mouth position, no tongue control, no voice placing,no fixed chest, no relaxing this or that muscle, no stiffening any part of the body, in fact, nothing that would not spring from instinctive utterance. And, from Mathilde Marchesi on the concept of Coup de Glotte It should be understood that the Coup de Glotte is a natural movement of the vocal organs, and that the pupil has only to bring under the control of the will this spontaneous action which has been developing since the first cry at the moment of birth. It is, in fact, the possession of this same natural faculty that enables us to form unconsciously all the vowels in speaking. So, there is mention of release, of instinctiveness, and of relating singing to being as easy as talking. So, maybe the concept of control came with the well intentioned introduction of science into vocal teaching. Well, Oren L Brown, teacher for 19 years at the Juilliard School in New York, was always held up as being someone who kept up with the latest research into voice science. His book Discover Your Voice contains chapters on resonance, overtones, vocal registers, laryngeal anatomy, and perhaps most interestingly Neurology and the Brain. Because, after all, we may sing with our bodies, but the impulses to do so come from our mind. When it comes to teaching how to sing, rather than what is happening in the body, what does Brown instruct us to do. The opening of the chapter on program thoughts reads Your voice knows how to sing. it knows how to sing better than you do. Think the music and your voice will sing it for you. Elsewhere he states that an efficient and natural supply of air is needed for voice production. I would emphasize natural  here, because the fact is that we all breathe. We all need to breathe, and we breathe without thinking about it. From the moment we let out our first cry after birth, our diaphragms descended to draw in breath, and then relaxed to let it out. It will continue doing the same until we breathe our last, and it is mostly unconscious precisely so that we don't need to keep thinking about it. So, why would we want to artificially control that which nature has provided for so well? It seems that much of it surrounds trust, and vulnerability. Our breathing is bound up in our emotions, and by freeing our breath we often free emotions that many of us would prefer remain hidden. However, it is those very emotions that move audiences, and so by freeing our breath we will increase our communication with the audience. By controlling the breath we put an artifical barrier between ourselves and the audience. Finding the connection between our voices and our emotions is not always an easy journey. Some are more comfortable than others in laying their emotions bare for all to see. However, it is this connection that many great singers display. Pavarotti had it, Callas too, and Ponselle, Flagstad, and many others. Their singing grabbed our guts and had us on the edge of our seats. It's not just classical singers either. Sinatra could excite and sway, as could Billie Holiday, reaching directly into our emotions and pulling at them. In order to do this, they had to let their voices and breath be guided by their bodies and emotions, rather than imposing control upon them. I'll leave a last couple of thoughts to my late teacher Howard Milner. Joining is what singing does for us. It joins us with the audience, with each other and inside ourselves. The diaphragm, breathing, works beyond volition, doing what the body feels rather than what the mind thinks. The only thing you can consciously do to breathing is to mess it up. The only way to make it better is to let go of it more, to de-control it, to agree to let it take its course. This is the principal of allowing. It is about setting free the unconscious movement that enables us to sing. Your job is to find where and what it is and connect with it.