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Found 39 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.
  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. View full articles
  3. 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.
  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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. Control Master

    I had mentioned this singer "Chris Stapleton" in another thread. Thought I'd share this video/song he recently published. I was really struck by the numerous examples of solid vocal athleticism that arise in this performance. I try not to overanalyze every good vocal too often, cuz sometimes I loose the "soul" of the song in my ear from all of the deconstruction I use to understand the vocal. Couldn't resist on this one. Still "hearing the soul" to date. I've tagged all the key words that I believe I recognize "done well" in this composition. Personally, I'm most impressed with his mastery over what I would assume are the critical configurations which bring great resonance with comparatively low level respiration. I'm convinced that, with the best possible formant, combined with the strength support of skilled appoggio, the "illusion" of a belt is created. He is singing at a relatively low volume yet, the intensity of his voice is sustained. The same nuance is applied to his vocal distortion, which he employs mostly in the higher notes. Those are my impressions.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. How much breath is good?

    I am really struggling to improve the legato feel of my singing. I came across a post that says excessive air and breath pressure will be counterproductive for smooth legato. What extent of breath is required for various pitches(High, medium and low), to lets say sing the same duration? Also, to what extent transition through passagio is related to breath pressure
  11. have heard the song a million times. Never payed attention to the breathing but once you hear it, you cant unhear it lol Is it normal to have this amount of breathing. Could he have gotten by on about half that amount of inhales? Ooh, mama Well (breath) look what's been done (breath) You can only see the stars After a (breath) setting sun (breath) You (breath) run for the money (breath) You don't even know about wild (breath) mountain honey it especially strikes me as odd to have the breaths right in the middle of phrases such as "after a (breath) setting sun" and "wild (breath) mountian honey" wouldn't the equivalent be "and she's (breath) buying a (breath) stairway (breath) to heaven" discuss
  12. I believe I am using too much air while singing clean vocals, this is great for when I want a breathy tone and when the song calls for it, but the thing is I don't know how to cut back on the air without letting my voice distort. Whenever I cut back on the air, vocal distortion kicks in, and my vocals get a grunge like rasp tone. I've discovered that whenever I sing anything above F#4, I can't sing it without vocal distortion kicking in. I don't believe it's an issue involving breath support, because I can sing all the way up to A4 comfortably, even though I can only sing above F#4 with a distorted tone. Too much air dries out my vocal chords pretty fast whenever I sing clean, and I often have to pause between lyrics and inhale fast so I can get enough breath for the next phrase, I manage to do it flawlessly, but it is annoying. Why can't I cut back on the air without my vocals distorting into a grunge/raspy tone?
  13. Hi, I'm practicing since a year now. And I can sing quite good now. But whenever I perform in public, most of time I feel my voice very shallow and hallow kind of. I find certain strength lacking in my voice. When I practice alone, and with my friends, then I'm OK. I feel lake of connection when singing in public. Even sometimes I hit wrong notes, which sounds weird. I don't get too nervous, at least physically. I don't shiver so I'm unable to find the reason of this. Please help me out. What kind of practice should I do to rectify this problem. Thanks is advance!
  14. This is one area of singing that has always confused me a bit. I've been studying and practicing for about 4 years now, and I am a decent singer with power throughout my range, but my voice can be inconsistent, and I believe that the main issue I'm having is with breath management. It's one of those things that I know is important, but I don't quite know enough to apply it effectively and consistently. The reason it confuses me is that I have read many different things about "proper" breath management/support for singing, and it just seems like there isn't much consistency with vocalists and teachers on what the proper way is. All I really know about it is how the basic physiology works. I hear some say there should be little to no conscious effort involved, and I hear others talk about all the different muscles involved. When I was a senior in high school, a classical singer came to our choir class, and she mentioned something about using pelvic muscles to push. I don't know a ton about classical technique, so maybe it's something different, but to me that seems like it would be a bit unnecessary and possibly even bad to push like that with so much muscular force. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that when the diaphragm is in the inhale position, the muscle is tense, as opposed to the exhale position where it is relaxed. So if I inhale I have to "hold" the breath, and when I relax completely it all rushes out on it's own quite rapidly. I imagined it being like a balloon. When you blow it up is when the air pressure is higher, and opening the neck (the airway) will allow all the air to rush out. If you pull the sides of the neck while the air is rushing out, it makes two folds in the rubber that vibrate a high-pitched squeaky tone, which seems remarkably similar to the way the voice works (minus resonance). If this is an accurate analogy, shouldn't that mean that the goal of breath management is not to push at all, but rather to keep the diaphragm stable and to control the speed at which the diaphragm relaxes, thereby controlling the rate of airflow needed for any given phonation? You wouldn't really want to push the air up and out, but you wouldn't want to feel totally relaxed either; you would want to use surrounding muscles to stabilize and control the diaphragm so it relaxes slowly and at the rate you want rather than pushing. Right? By the way, I do have The Four Pillars of Singing and the appoggio techniques have helped me. I just feel I'd be able to better understand and apply the techniques if I understood the physiological and technical components more precisely.
  15. I know how to apply breath support and I generally believe in its usefulness. I can feel the sensation of release when doing more intense singing and it seems like there is a change in resonance according to how I'm applying it. At the very least, I feel more confident when my voice is supported so there is a psychological benefit. But what is actually occurring in the body mechanically that produces these effects? How does breath support appear to reduce tension and alter resonance. What are the mechanics? Does air inhale lower into the lungs and does this create a different kind of vacuum for the air to exist? Is it based on the chamber being altered in shape? Is it based on there being alterations in muscular tension which would alternate how the air would be flowing through the chamber (harder surfaces reflect air differently than softer ones). If you could hook up a device that could use air particles to visually measure air flowing, inside the chamber all the way from the lungs, out through the larynx, what would be different vs not supporting? When reading about Estill, I noticed it seemed to dodge breath support and claimed as long as the rest of the tract is operating correctly it is not needed. Now that was a very scientific endeavor. She hooked up sensory devices to musculature to figure out as objectively as possible anatomically how each component of the tract functions, and perhaps visualizing airflow in a complex chamber was beyond the scope of what they could do. Does anyone have any insight or harder evidence of what is actually occurring, vs our subjective sensations that it seems helpful? Has there been any significant research to measure the various muscles traditionally involved with support or the chamber itself and how it relates to the voice usage, compression of the air, the types of stress the vocal tract might be under, and how resonance might be changing, or are we kind of in all in the same boat that I'm in, where it seems helpful, it's traditionally seemed to help a lot of people, so we do it without a really concrete explanation?
  16. upper back tension

    Hi, I have an obstacle when adopting apoggio breathing while rehearsing singing. After only a handful of exercizes, tension begins to build up in my upper back. Not my lower back but my upper back. It has been this way for weeks now. Can anyone help me overcome this? Thank you very much. Sincerely, Jay Peek
  17. Many teachers will tell you to squeeze your bum cheeks to eliminate strain and to sing higher notes. What do you guys think of this technique, does it work?
  18. Learning to sing and perfecting your voice can be a daunting task. Sometimes i feel like i cant handle it and i feel down without any will to continue, but the very next day all those clouded emotions go away and i get back on track. Sometimes the "dark" periods are longer and they get to me more.   To me, Love i feel for music and singing is what drives me forward and can turn the tides even in the darkest of days.   I was wondering what made you guys go on? How was it for you from day 1 until now. What did you do when having bad days or did you ever feel like that?   Even coaches. How do you vocal coaches handle the stress that come from the "industry" and constant nagging and shady bussiness moves that some teachers shamelessly use.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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.