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sls singing lessons

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Benns
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hi guys,

I was just wondering if anyone knew how effective sls singing lessons are?I have been taking them for almost like 9 months now or so. I must say, i have seen a massive improvement in my voice. I think we're just about entering my mix. However, my chest sounds 10 times lighter and better than it did before i took the lessons. Anyways, from my understanding, it seems that the end goal is to be able to sing in my mix/middle. I have heard that sls is not the greatest of all techniques and i don't really want to go into a long debate guys about the best technique. Personally, i'm not looking to be the next stevie wonder or whoever. I just wanna sing and be able to have a decent sounding voice which i could put on any tracks i make.

Anyways, i just wanted to know if there was anyone here who managed to be able to sing in their mix/middle through sls lessons? And also if they work? If it helps, i am trying to lean more for a r&b sorta voice.

Thanks!

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SLS means speech level singing, which is what everyone that uses a mic to sing does, or should be doing at least.

The quality of the work will depend on your teacher competence, your discipline and the teacher/student exchange.

This way you will do what you need, and train. 9 months for a well developed chest voice is very fast by my book, if you have good quality and its comfortable, stick to it.

GL.

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Results is always what counts... Always, does it matter what guys on a forum thinks? Also it's also alot on what coach you got. A good coach is a good coach regardless of method

Yeah, that is true. It's all about the results. I just wanna make sure i am getting the right results. I have been with singing teachers in the past and they basically screwed me. No results, and no improvement.

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SLS means speech level singing, which is what everyone that uses a mic to sing does, or should be doing at least.

The quality of the work will depend on your teacher competence, your discipline and the teacher/student exchange.

This way you will do what you need, and train. 9 months for a well developed chest voice is very fast by my book, if you have good quality and its comfortable, stick to it.

GL.

Well, i am not sure if developed would be the word but i know it's just getting better and better as i continue to practice the exercises. Thanks

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It's all the same it depends on the teacher..the family tree of contempory vocal study is very small. So do the exercises and work hard..make sure you understand exactly why you do certain exercises and that some are what Seth would call "unfinished" which means you exercise a certain way, sound etc but you don't sing like that.

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Personally I have been training these last 2 months with Singing Success and Mastering Mix. As I tend to have an airy voice, SLS excercises have worked awesome for my voice, it has helped me correct it in very little time and in a constant, steady progress.

As some say here, it is all about working smart. More than the system itself it's about HOW you do the excercises and what your goals are, what do you want to achieve. I have had just one coach in my life, and I feel I didn't really progress much... what I learnt was more theorical and about breathing. In fact she was the one that started the airyness in my voice., so there you have it. Sometimes it is better to learn alone and go very, very conscious about what you are doing than to have external input that can misguide you through misinterpretation.

Of course external opinions are always needed, and if you find a good coach it can be a great advantage.

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Nine months to get into the "mix" seems like a long time to me, but it is what I would expect from SLS. With the right techniques and coach, most people can bridge in about 2 -8 weeks. I'm not a big fan of SLS, it has a lot of issues that mislead students and for most people, the results are lacking. I'll just leave it at that.

However, if you are enjoying it, then keep exploring. The thing is, what you think is big progress, is probably not so big if you were able to experience a different routine and techniques. I wish you the best.

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If you lip-roll, nei nei nei, mum mum mum… etc... from your bottom voice to your top voice without a change in quality you are in a mix. SLS is all about mix or balancing the registers. No SLS teacher is gonna work your chest voice first and then 9 months later start teaching you how to mix.

Nick

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While I prefer the perspective of 4 Pillars, especially earlier texts as it mimicks the classical techniques I have been familiar with, I would also say, Benns, if something is working for you and taking you in the direction you want to go, then do it. Like Jenns said, results are what counts. And if you are getting the results that you want, then good for you. Regardless of time-table. And I think any student is going to have different results at different times, just like what I saw with students when I was teaching the electrical trade. Some students grasp some things right away and others take longer. And that the actual lesson plan needs some flexibility. Letting my students do their own dis-assembling and re-assembling of a 3-phase motor starter and explaining each part as they pull it out and letting them put it back together resulted in having students who understand so fully the operation of such a device more fully than working electricians with more actual "experience" than the students had.

Having a student trip up on the word reciprocal but totally get the concept involved because he better understood the word "inverted" revealed, instead, a lightning quick math whiz who easily got a 100 percent on his next math quiz. (Total resistance of series and parallel resistive networks requires reciprocals, big time.)

And, at some time in the future, you may find that the system you are working with doesn't bring what you want. So, you find another, such as the systems you find discussed in here. That's okay, too. To extend my teaching analogy, sometimes, you are going to get the concept with the word "reciprocal." Other times, the word "inverted" will work for you. And that can change over time. How much time? Who cares? You will get there.

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SLS didn't work for me but I also did not train it correctly. I tried to learn it from the internet for a year or so and then took a couple lessons with an SS associate teacher who was, despite being a fantastic singer, the worst vocal teacher I've had.

I knew SLS wasn't working when it caused me to have extreme difficulty singing loud. It got to a point where if I tried to sing high at anything other than a medium soft volume, I'd crack horribly. And for the styles and situations I was singing in, I needed to be able to sing louder.

But I'd be willing to bet that experience had far more to do with me not interpreting and training the material correctly than SLS being a bad method.

So I switched to TVS which was a lot better, and because that was working, I stuck with it for a year and a half.

Since then I have moved on to explore some other methods/teachers a bit. But the reason I can do that is because I've developed a foundation, a sort of maturity about vocal technique, where I can accurately judge whether a particular method or teacher or whatever form of vocal instruction, is right for me or not.

But until you get to that point where you know what you're doing enough to know whether someone is teaching you the right techniques, you just have to ask yourself, is this working or not, and if it's working, follow through, give it a good year or so of commitment. The follow through is key.

Even so, asking that question of is it working or not is the final decision maker.

IMO any good method should be able to result in some slight improvements within weeks. If by then you're not finding any evidence it's helping you as a singer, it would be smart to drop it right there and find something else. Do the method choosing quick like that, but then don't be perfectionist about it because there is no perfect method. If you've found a method that's good and it helps more than it hurts, stick to it for at least a year. It sounds like you should do that will SLS, since it seems to be working. Just give it a year, or a few years, THEN if you feel like changing approach to gain new perspective, consider exploring something different, but make sure you can just add it on without having to tear down the foundation you've already built with the previous method.

Hope that helps. I've been through a lot of methods/teachers, and the key, at least for my personally, was, find a good one quick, make a long term commitment (at least months, preferably years), and then if you feel like you're starting to hitting a wall, make the necessary changes to get yourself back to consistent progress toward your goals as a singer.

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I don't think 'mix' ought to be some elusive thing that takes months to discover. A good teacher ought to be able to take you up into the break within a few lessons (depends on your starting level of course). What does take months and years is getting really good at singing 'mix'.

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And kudos, Benn, for getting a singing teacher, something that is often recommended, here. Of course, then, there comes the recriminations that your teacher is not doing enough with you because it does not match what other teachers envision for themselves and their students. Again, if you are getting results that you want, win-win. If there are some things you wish to be working on, first go to the teacher and express these desires.

And remember that descriptive terms can change from teacher to teacher. What if you were already mixing and didn't realize it because you have been doing the "wax-on, wax-off" and "paint the fence," all along, akin to the Mr. Myagi school of thought? I don't know. Maybe hearing some of your singing would be cool. And it also is a matter of what style of singing most pleases you. For some, raspy singing that sounds really loud is the whole thing to shoot for and there are other systems aside from sls that will spend more time on that, for example. I could be wrong but most of what I have seen in discussions of sls is that it is good for making the clean tone on pitch. Which, as far as I know, is what you are supposed to do, first off, before you worry about anything else.

And one of our intermittent members, Snax, had good things to say about this and similar systems. Anyone care to crap on Snax's singing?

Hello? Is this thing on? Can you hear me in back?

I am not even an sls guy, per se. But I have often been tasked to back up what I say.

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Super excellent post, Bob. Like that video that was shared from the body-builder. Follow whatever path you are on. Even give it a year. There will be some improvements. And re-examine if it is taking you where you want to go. What adjustments can you make. Does another style then appeal to you? Etcetera. We are always learning.

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I used SS MM for a couple years and am aware of some of the common issues people might have with SLS. First off, starting off with the technique, your going to get softer before you get stronger. Basically, SLS is about getting rid of unnecessary tension out of the voice and vocal apparatus, creating a nice free uninhibited tone. This may give you a weak, heady sounding voice at first, this is the good clean foundation you want (there are exceptions, as some people naturally sing decently enough that they dont have much tension to deal with). A lot of people dont like to accept this foundation building process and dismiss SLS, and in some instances, I cant blame them, as some people actually sound better with a rougher edge to their voice and can sing the way they want with tension ( dude from kings of leon sounds fine with tension all over his neck etc.. some people can handle it, but they can be better off) . Which is why SLS isn't really the go to for hard rock singing, although I highly recommend it to all beginners no matter their genre.

With that said, 9 months is a quite long to me, especially if your training with a teacher, you should be building mix voice by now with mix training exercises, and have a decent mix going. So I suggest you seek out a second opinion on your voice from another teacher, maybe even post a clip of you singing so we can have a grasp on whats going on. I also suggest you make a post on the singing success.tv forum, a user namd Kendrick there can hone in on your voice if you provide a singing clip. Its a nice resource to have another set of ears to check out your voice.

Any way, i dont want to open up the can of worms on SLS here.. just some advice to the OP as far as how I know the technique works, to an extent (let me emphasis the "I" here, im not an SLS vocal coach).

Best of luck.

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