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Singers Key Notes: A Healthy Belt

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The longevity of a singer's career depends on having the skill to consistently deliver quality sound without compromised vocal integrity i.e. sing your guts out without hurting yourself. A powerful belt, capably executed with good technique is an indispensable expressive tool. Yet ever since the belt became a necessary skill for singers, the debate has raged on how does one produce a healthy belt?

First we need to define what is a belt. Easier said than done. The debate rages on in professional vocal circles. Here's my definition, which has been formed through research, experience and sitting through many professional voice organization seminars.

To belt means: clearly spoken lyrics and unaffected vocal production a natural, powerful, communicative sound. In other words, speech on musical pitch, which admittedly may sound like an oxymoron, but voice science supports this concept. Done poorly, the belt boarders on a harsh shout or yell and often causes vocal damage. Don't do that!

As an alternative to traditional vocal training, which does not teach belt, I developed a specialized technique that fills the gap between classical training and contemporary vocal needs. The Morganix Method, Sing Like You Speak, is designed to produce an open, clear, communicative instrument flexible enough to sing any style and play any character without strain even when belting.

Singing has traditionally been considered a right-brain only activity. Yet as emerging research improves our understanding of the acoustics and mechanics of the vocal apparatus, the rules of theater performance voice and singing blend into one voice.

Speech is a left-brain activity that is natural, comfortable and easy. You talk all day long without a passing thought to technique. You speak on pitch in normal conversation. And you speak in rhythm sometimes smooth and legato, sometimes pointed and staccato.

Neurologically, speaking on musical pitch requires a crossover in the brain in order to speak (left brain) on musical pitch (right brain). Yet, it has been proven that emotionally inflected speech, i.e., speech with pitch variation, crosses over from left-brain to the expressive right-brain where music is processed. It does so without the physical tension and psychological fear surrounding singing. That is why the foundation of a healthy belt, healthy singing in fact, rests in speaking on pitch to combine the ease of speech with the music of singing.

For more creative tips visit my website, www.VocalPowerTools.com . Sign up for my mailing list and receive one practice tip per week for a year! Go forth and create wonderful music!


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