Kevin Richards

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Kevin Richards last won the day on February 12 2017

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About Kevin Richards

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  • Birthday June 14

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  1. If you noticed I used the words "for now". Its not needed right away, it can come later. Getting a good visualization of the sound in the mind's eye is the first step. Knowing what "TA involvement" means isn't going to help anyone since you cannot see, nor directly control those muscles; they are controlled through reproducing a sound that activates them. You then experiment with the sound. The nomenclature is OK to learn later on, but in the early stages its more about sound and feel; as that is what we as humans are most familiar with.
  2. Robert, That is why I used the words "help you achieve the End Result now. " (now being the key word) We've had this discussion before privately, but I'll repeat it for our viewers at home. I'm NOT against learning terminology or the physical process, but in my experience throwing terms like "tuning the formant" or "semi-occluded phonation" at someone carries no relevance if they haven't come close to feeling the sensation of the movement first. Learning the refined process of the coordination will help them focus and control the coordination later on. Gross Motor Control precedes Fine Motor Control in the learning process of the brain. (Stand>Walk>Run) "Wax On, Wax Off" from 'The Karate Kid' is a great example of learning the gross movement first. That is all. Signing off from beautiful Uptown New York City.
  3. The idea now is balance. Now that you know the two extremes - very forward, overly bright "Masky" sound and the more "droopy" or dopey sound - you can find the midway point. The forward bright sound gets the range to go up but it lacks compression or cord closure. The dopey sound has the compression from the dampened larynx but it carries too much weight or lower resonance. Strike a balance between the two by using the exercise word "Law". The "aw" sound strikes a good balance of edgy resonance and dampened compression by combining the properties of both the "ah" and "uh" sounds. If you feel its too "heavy", tilt the resonance forward to open the sound more toward "ah"; if its too bright and/or lacks compression - tilt the sound back toward the "uh" feeling. With experimentation you'll find the right balance for your abilities at this stage of development. As the coordination becomes stronger, you can lean on the "uh" feeling more and add some depth to your upper mix area (F4-Bb4).
  4. I will chime in here. I would say, for now, forget all the terminology (TA musculature, formant tuning, semi occluded phonation) and concentrate on the sound you want. Your "End Result". Knowing all the physiology or terms IS NOT going to help you achieve the End Result now. Knowing how to manipulate the sound and feeling of your voice WILL. Listening to recordings can be VERY deceiving. You are listening to a voice that has been recorded through a $3,000 microphone, into expensive pre-amps, compressed, EQ'd, aural excited etc. Its a very different vocal than what came out of the mouth. What you hear as "loud" may not have been originally. Its been processed to sound big. A good example is "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. That's an extremely weak vocal that's been processed in the studio to sound full. With that being said, you can pick up some clues as to what singers are doing if you know what to listen for. The singer in question is singing in a light, heady mixed voice with good closure. He is blending nicely between lower mix and upper mix without his tone changing much. (A good indicator that his closure/compression is consistent). What some are describing as a "chesty" tone is just a good mixing of both mouth and nasal resonances (the upper 2/3rds of your pharynx/throat), without losing compression. The "trick" is developing balanced compression without adding or pulling too much throat resonance as you go from your lower range to the mid and upper portions. Someone suggested SS/SLS exercises. I agree, as this is the very type of "light mix" singing is what that method is designed to produce. Exercises like a "Mum" or "Nah" on a 5 tone scale - ascending or descending. I also like "Yuh" or "Vah" or "Nuh" on that as it keeps your resonance out of the throat and more "Masky". If you like visual examples, I have a YouTube playlist on Mixed Voice https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNvaKcRmv_1ShEEu86hIuKO74E9pYr0RL Keep us informed of your progress. It will take some time to get this light coordination fairly good, so let it. Kevin Richards http://www.rpmvocalstudio.com 5-tone-scale.mp3
  5. Agree on most points brought up here. Before approaching the F4 and anything above that - make sure your notes below that (C4-E4) are clean, solid, have a core and feel relaxed in the throat. You should be most of the engagement from the mid body area, not the neck. Your issue is thinking you need more air to sing higher - nope. It takes less air to sing higher, but the air is more refined/targeted because the smaller glottal opening producing the tone. Pay attention to how much compression you use on the D4 and apply that to the notes above. Tweak ONLY if it needs it. Makes sure your face looks relaxed. A distorted face is a telltale sign of a poorly executed phonation. If lessening the air causes distortion, hold back the sound more. Think in the opposite direction of the sound. This will create more glottal compression and reduce the rasp. But be cheap with the throttling back - too much and you'll choke off the sound. Experiment. Most of voice training is discovery through trial and error.
  6. View File Vocal Fire Warm Up Vocal Fire Warm UpA proper vocal warm up is essential to maintaining your singing and speaking voice over the course of your lifetime. Professional singers and public speakers have known for hundreds of years that properly preparing the voice before a performance is the only way to inspire confidence and reach a true emotional connection with an audience. Vocal Fire also includes a special cool down routine to help prevent hoarseness and soothe a tired voice. Easy to do "on the go" exercises that effortlessly warm up up your voice without needing vocal scales.How to develop very strong and even breath support - essential for a healthy, balanced voice.Understand the reasons why a proper vocal warm up - done everyday - helps promote a healthy body.Discover voice balancing techniques that clear your voice of bumps and cracks in just minutes.Includes an exclusive 35 minute video with more vocal warm up tips.vocalfire_sample2.mp3 vocalfire_sample1.mp3 Submitter Kevin Richards Submitted 07/11/2015 Category TMV World Teacher Workouts
  7. Version 1.0.0

    7 downloads

    Vocal Fire Warm UpA proper vocal warm up is essential to maintaining your singing and speaking voice over the course of your lifetime. Professional singers and public speakers have known for hundreds of years that properly preparing the voice before a performance is the only way to inspire confidence and reach a true emotional connection with an audience. Vocal Fire also includes a special cool down routine to help prevent hoarseness and soothe a tired voice. Easy to do "on the go" exercises that effortlessly warm up up your voice without needing vocal scales.How to develop very strong and even breath support - essential for a healthy, balanced voice.Understand the reasons why a proper vocal warm up - done everyday - helps promote a healthy body.Discover voice balancing techniques that clear your voice of bumps and cracks in just minutes.Includes an exclusive 35 minute video with more vocal warm up tips.vocalfire_sample2.mp3 vocalfire_sample1.mp3

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  8. Ken studied in Italy for 3 months so I guess he figures that allows him to talk about Bel Canto. Kind of like "I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express" last night.
  9. Yes. If you want to see the worst of humanity... or at least 2nd worst to ISIS... go to YouTube and read some of the comments I DON'T approve some day... about one out of 10 people is nothing but a mean, bitter, nasty individual that is not giving their opinion... they are just making a post to be mean and insulting. I don't approve them. These kinds of posts are not published with me. Its because of the anonymity of YouTube/Twitter etc. People will write the most horrible things they would never say to someone's face because they're cowards. You also have a certain subset of asperger types who can't let that one little mistake go and will relentlessly harp on it. Then you have the jealous who will cut you down because they can't do what you can do. In any event, you can't win with some people.
  10. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that in the context that Ken is putting it in his teaching, he is referring to the ideals behind what goes into Bel Canto and how it can be applied to his technique and modern day pop/rock singing. Heres my question to you guys; if the term "Bel Canto" simply means beautiful singing in Italian but there are techniques that go into it, wouldn't that make the word more than just an adjective? I don't know if calling it a technique is that far off the mark but if there are constants to what makes Bel Canto Bel Canto and it has the traits of classical singing as well, what is wrong with using the word "Bel Canto" and "Classical Singing" interchangeably? Man, semantics in vocal teaching sure is something Not really. Classical methods (of which there are many) are designed to achieve "beautiful singing". An adjective. The word Bel Canto has become a noun over the years and it's not. It's a descriptive word.
  11. The idea that which way your eyes are looking tells if you're lying or remembering facts has been proven to not always be true. Especially if the person knows you're looking for it. The same goes for eye contact - someone not looking you in the eye does not mean they're lying; it could mean they're simply embarrassed or ashamed. Body language is not an exact science - it's close - but not exact.
  12. Bel Canto is NOT a method or technique (regardless of what every current classical coach says), it is a style of singing. "Bel Canto" loosely translated means "beautiful singing". Classical teaching methods (mostly open throat, appoggio and legato) are what produce Bel Canto singing. Like "Speech Level Singing", the word "Bel Canto" has become a buzzword in the teaching community in regards to technique because it's a way to label a way or method of teaching. But you will not find any books prior to 1950 that refer to "Bel Canto" as a method or pedagogy. Many terms in vocal training have been twisted over the years into either very different from their original meaning or have become myth based on some small detail of fact. An example - The story of the death of "Mama" Cass Elliot was that she choked while eating a ham sandwich and died. Not true. She died of a heart attack in her sleep in a hotel in London. On the bedside table was an untouched ham sandwich and a can of Coca-Cola. So it goes with Bel Canto.
  13. BlahBlah: I thought as much when I started it, since the main exercises feel more like the stuff Cunodante wrote about sometime ago, about maximizing resonance with minimal effort. There's still a lot of stuff that caused me, for one, to misunderstand how the physical sensations should feel. But like I said earlier, Myles has that same weird tongue thing going on the sweet child vid. it's interesting that you mention the tongue. I really thought that would be one of the tenants of good singing in general and not really specific to a certain technique or style of singing. It creates more space for resonance and gets rid of stricture in the throat. Steve Perry does it, Myles, Dio, Ron Anderson in his demonstrations, all the 'Divas', Sam Cooke, Pavarotti even pokes it out a little sometimes like Ken on the big notes. Sorry but you will not find video of Dio, Steve Perry, Sam Cooke or even Pavarotti singing high notes with their tongue raised and pointed like a lizard the way Ken does it. In the videos linked Steve Perry's tongue is flat and forward (the proper way), Pavarotti's tongue is lifted in the rear but not raised and pointed -the base of the tongue is down. Big difference. I have over 100 books on singing technique and the voice and I have yet to find one reference to using the tongue in such a raised and pointed way. Raising the tongue like that adds constriction in the throat because you are lifting the larynx. As many of you may or may not know, the larynx is attached to the bottom of the tongue; if you lift the tongue, you lift the larynx and close off the resonance space in the mouth. (the main problem with the "Ee" vowel) Watch Ken's neck when he sings those "tongued" notes, it's tight and he raises his head slightly. He gets away with it because of his stamina strength, but it's a dangerous practice for any beginner or intermediate. 99% of vocal technique teaches the tongue to remain relatively flat and forward because THAT is what keeps the throat and mouth space wide. If you want to just widen the throat space, stick your tongue forward (i.e. Adam Lambert) Ken, as awesome as he is as a singer, is basically a "one trick pony". What you see is pretty much all he does. It's sounds awesome, but unfortunately it gives the wrong impression that if you train with him you'll achieve his level off power, range and strength. Maybe, just maybe 5% of his students will achieve that - maybe. Ken is unique. There aren't even many professionals who can sing like Ken does - that's why he sounds so awesome when you see him. It's a rarity.
  14. Here is a great video on Bel Canto with three of the greatest voices in classical singing at that time. '>
  15. OK gotta chime in here as this is in my ballpark. There is NO specific pedagogy called "Bel Canto" - it is a style of singing not a technique. In the past couple of decades it has become associated with classical voice training. There are a couple of schools of classical voice training that will train one to sing "Bel Canto". I do say in some of my videos that I was initially taught a form of "Bel Canto singing" from one of the 4 teachers I've had over the years. Technically he taught "Open Throat" technique, but that is a lesser known "buzz word" to most singers. I was also taught by someone who was taught from an early age the old Italian school of "One Register/Appoggio" voice training, but since he was now singing Rock, he took out the things that make classical singers sound, well... classical. Namely vibrato, vowel enunciation and embellishment. By stripping away the "style" of what defines classical singing, he was able to keep the best parts of "One Register" singing without sounding like Pavarotti doing Black Sabbath. This is the basis from which I teach. It's a classical approach of open throat/one register/appoggio technique without all the stylization of classical singing. I've had many Skype conversations with Maestro Franco Tenelli on my type of minimalist classical approach. He gave me some great ideas on how to teach from a classical perspective but keeping it sounding contemporary. He himself sings Jazz and loves Led Zeppelin, so he understands the differences in stylistic approaches. To answer a previous question - yes I firmly believe that a classical approach has awesome benefits for the Pop/Rock/R&B singer. Why? because good technique is good technique regardless of the genre(s) you sing. As long as the underlying technique is solid and healthy, use whatever you can to achieve your vocal goals. Now go out there and great.