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Importance of the mental factor

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Watching an interview of a soprano - Joan Sutherland - i understood among other things that mental factors can be very important about singing. Let me explain with a couple examples.

In one of her interviews she states that a high C would be the end of the world for her she just couldnt go above, she also states that she doesnt have perfect pitch. So her husband/coach had a different opinion, he changed the key of what she was training, without telling her, up a 5th(!!!) or in case i dont remember correctly - im pretty sure but i dont have good memory - 5 semitones a 3rd(!) also a big pitch change. The rest you can understand, she sang that without a problem.

Another example is me in my car with the radio and listening to a song, i remembered it went high enough around but didnt give much of an attention hitting the notes effortlesly, maybe not right in pitch but effortlesly. Going home i checked and it was a B or C something, if i was told to sing a C5 i would start tensing, my throat would rise, id strain probably...

I thought its very intersting, training for years and limiting herself by just the thought of a "HIGH" C. If the frequency of C5 changed from 520 to ~586 D5 without the new singers knowing, how would the % of the difficulty for people that would reach a high C change? Or if the C5 was not given a name, just C5... Might not be a valid or well phrased question but you get the point.

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While psychological barriers are very real and important, its not the only barrier. Given that all other issues are out of the way, you are correct, fear or magic associations with any part of the tessitura is problematic as it tends to create overcompensations.

If you trick the persons they can experiment on the idea. Still, it is very important that this person later transposes the execution to an aware state AND, this trick does not work with everyone, a lot of people will reccon the pitch they are producing by sensation... Speed may be a better resource in this case.

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Watching an interview of a soprano - Joan Sutherland - i understood among other things that mental factors can be very important about singing. Let me explain with a couple examples.

In one of her interviews she states that a high C would be the end of the world for her she just couldnt go above, she also states that she doesnt have perfect pitch. So her husband/coach had a different opinion, he changed the key of what she was training, without telling her, up a 5th(!!!) or in case i dont remember correctly - im pretty sure but i dont have good memory - 5 semitones a 3rd(!) also a big pitch change. The rest you can understand, she sang that without a problem.

Another example is me in my car with the radio and listening to a song, i remembered it went high enough around but didnt give much of an attention hitting the notes effortlesly, maybe not right in pitch but effortlesly. Going home i checked and it was a B or C something, if i was told to sing a C5 i would start tensing, my throat would rise, id strain probably...

I thought its very intersting, training for years and limiting herself by just the thought of a "HIGH" C. If the frequency of C5 changed from 520 to ~586 D5 without the new singers knowing, how would the % of the difficulty for people that would reach a high C change? Or if the C5 was not given a name, just C5... Might not be a valid or well phrased question but you get the point.

That is why it is sometimes better for a teacher to tell a student to go sideways for a note, like you do on a piano, rather than reaching up or down.

And I did something similar with myself, working on "Don't Stop Believing." It had parts that felt like a passagio to me, and it was hard to get the Perry sound out of my head. So I raised the key of the song one whole step. And that broke me out of my vicious cycle. I could do the song more easily and once I figure out how to do it, I could lower it to the original key and it was okay. All for a song I don't plan to record and kept as a personal exercise. Not bad for a lazy guy not doing enough with his voice,eh?

:lol:

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Singing is very much related to the body (obviously) and therefore the mind. Anything kinesthetic like singing, dancing, martial arts, acting, etc are very psychological things. Technique is technique, and it is important, but all it really is, is training the body to react in a certain way when your brain decides to do something. The term "muscle memory" is thrown around a lot and it's important to keep in mind that training your voice is not so much about the actual muscles to get stronger (although that is important), it is mostly about training your muscles to act in a way.

If you've ever been hit by a little lady who is very good at martial arts, you get a real world experience of how technique is important... but ask her what she was thinking when she hit you: I bet she won't say she was thinking about joint rotation, kinetic chains and force vectors, she was just thinking "hit!". In the same way is singing.

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Singing is very much related to the body (obviously) and therefore the mind. Anything kinesthetic like singing, dancing, martial arts, acting, etc are very psychological things. Technique is technique, and it is important, but all it really is, is training the body to react in a certain way when your brain decides to do something. The term "muscle memory" is thrown around a lot and it's important to keep in mind that training your voice is not so much about the actual muscles to get stronger (although that is important), it is mostly about training your muscles to act in a way.

If you've ever been hit by a little lady who is very good at martial arts, you get a real world experience of how technique is important... but ask her what she was thinking when she hit you: I bet she won't say she was thinking about joint rotation, kinetic chains and force vectors, she was just thinking "hit!". In the same way is singing.

I've been saying that for a while. I have been hit by a small lady skilled in martial arts. In the late 80's, I taking classes in Tae Kwon Do and Aiki-jujutsu. And we had sparring in class, regardless of gender, regardless of belt rank. And I learned the most about fighting from women. On average, a woman cannot match the strength of a man. And doesn't try to. So, women are faster and more accurate with their targets. So, I had to learn to be. But I got my butt kicked for a while before I learned. And now, I am the most dangerous thing on two feet - a man who fights like a woman (smile when you say that.)

Singing is mental.

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Martial arts is an awesome experience and benefits you in many ways, I'm sure Dan Formica can weigh in here too.

But yes, it's all mental. You train so that when you sing you just trust your body. And even when you're training, sometimes you have to trick yourself into things to get the right training response. If you're working on support then your pitch might be hard to control; if you're working on special effects then you will probably sound "bad" at times, and that's okay. We're all too hard on ourselves :P

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