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Found 117 results

  1. Just getting tips on YouTube is NOT EVER going to help you to sing better. A free tip without content and your commitment to practice and train, will do nothing for you. To sing better, you have to train, practice and sing songs. TheFourPillarsofSinging.com.
  2. Hello I found out i have absolutley no singing voice or quality in my voice. I even listened back to when i was singing children of the damned by iron maiden and i could tell this sounds horrible. So for someone who cannot sing anything. Is it something you are just born with or something you can learn?
  3. Robert Lunte - "Nocturne" I love this song, I hope you do too... Some of you have heard this. This is the Final production. Special thanks to my team Zack Uidl, Jason Shavey and Clay Copeland.
  4. I was on youtube and I found this gem. Brett Manning is not only a gifted coach but also an extremely gifted songwriter. This song has been stuck in my head all day.
  5. Robert Lunte, "Timeless Chains". A song about my "x" Anna Christina. Enjoy. Silently your, beauty took my breath away... Now comes the rain, can I feel another day. So much time has past away from that fateful day. So much time has passed, since you turned away. Chorus Now timeless chains, there's no escape! You walked Away Just when I started to get my life back under me. Berlin skies of gray, so cold I cannot breath Cause I lost, mean Frau in the storm, that marked my destiny! But here I stand defiantly mending a heart ripped to shreds of tragedy But my face to the wind, Im washed from my sins, but you still keeps haunting me Chorus Timeless chains, there's no escape! You walked Away Just when I started to get my life back under me So much time has past away from that fateful day. So much time has passed since you turned away. Chorus Timeless chains, there's no escape! You walked Away Just when I started to get my life back under me!
  6. CVI vs TVS: Review of “The Four Pillars of Singing″ BY FELIX, ON APRIL 21ST, 2015 So I finally decided to buy “The Four Pillars of Singing″ by Robert Lunte (TVS, The Vocalist Studio). Some of his tutorials and lectures on YouTube caught my attention and after a few days of consideration (+200$ is a lot of money) I decided to give it a try. When I started my singing studies I had decided to look at as many different approaches as possible and learn as much as I can and Robert Luntes perspective is certainly interesting and he definitely knows what he is talking about. I will compare his training system to CVT (Complete Vocal Institute) because it seems to be aimed at the same target audience. “The Four Pillars of Singing” is a comprehensive vocal training system that includes a book, over 350 videos, audio training content, detailed training routines, guide files and a robust learning management system that allows you to take a comprehensive course to study and master the TVS Method. It offers workouts starting in the key of C and G (to make it easier for women to use), training work flows and training routines for over 64 workouts, guide files that help you learn how to perform the workouts quickly and a very useful interface that organizes this massive amount of content. A user interface like this, is not available in any other program.. Robert advertises it as being the system with "the most content in the history of mankind". That is not only marketing but certainly a fact. But what does it mean? There is a lot of data in here, that’s for sure. The content of the book is similar to what CVT teaches. Especially the TVS method for organizing the vowels of singing into what they call, "Acoustic Modes". But unlike the CVT vocal modes, the TVS Acoustic Modes have stripped out a lot of additional levels of complexity, focusing only on where the singing vowels resonate in the voice and their respective sound colors. It is a very effective and intuitive way to learn about the acoustics of singing. In addition to ideas from TVS such as training work flows (teaching students to train with "step by step" instructions), specialized onsets and vowel modification formulas, "Pillars" also offers "physical modes" which are essentially very similar to the EVTS voice qualities or Estill modes. If your looking for CVI and Estill concepts as well as the unique TVS techniques, you can only find it in The Four Pillars of Singing. The focus is on all styles of singing. The 616 page book includes descriptions and illustrations of all the important components for singing; physiology, acoustics and mental imagery. The product is very comprehensive and a lot of work has clearly been put into it. With CVT, you only get a book and some sound samples and that leaves the less skilled voice student lacking for guidance and instruction on how to train and practice. One of the strongest aspects of The Four Pillars of Singing very well may be, that it seems to not miss the important point that students of singing technique programs have to have the content and guidance that no only teaches them the method and techniques, but also teaches them how to apply the techniques with training and practice routines. The sound samples with CVT are helpful, but the value is far below what you get with The Four Pillars of Singing. Then there is Robert. He sure is an interesting voice coach, he sounds very credible and his way of teaching is captivating. In a real-life coaching situation, that might be great and it certainly is important if you want to reach your full potential as a singer quickly. What is better, CVT or TVS? Should I buy Complete Vocal Technique or The Four Pillars of Singing?... or BOTH? It is important to point out that both systems are actually compatible together, but if you had to make a choice, given that "Pillars" already includes the main CVT premise, vocal modes oriented around singing vowels, then The Four Pillars of Singing is the way to go, given that they cover that topic with the "TVS Acoustic Modes". If you are a person who needs or learns faster with video tutorials and audio files to listen to in the care and practice with, then "Pillars" might be the better choice for you. Learn more about "The Four Pillars of Singing". Read reviews on Amazon.com. CLICK HERE FOR AMAZON.COM REVIEWS >>>
  7. I’m interested in doing real-time analysis on vocals in order to rate how "in tune" they are, using a programming language called Max/MSP, which I've been working with for a couple of years now. Something that’s sophisticated enough to be able to point out when the singer hits a wrong note. I'm on this forum to address a more basic question before I can begin and that's how exactly to quantify "when the singer hits a wrong note". How would a singing professional, like a vocal coach, define a missed note? I'm talking as far as pitch only, not tempo or anything. It may seem like an obvious question, but it's really not. There are plenty of programs out there already that detect pitch and perhaps compare it to a reference melody in a karaoke sort of fashion, but that’s not exactly what I’m asking. My question is: how does one take completely freeform input and decide if there are mistakes in it? As a test, I thought I could use a clip of some a cappella singing, something professional that definitely doesn’t have any off notes. However when I run my pitch tracking analysis on it, it seems that the singer spends an equal amount of time in the gray area between pitches as near or directly on them. I suppose this is because the singer’s voice slides all over the place and rarely stays completely stationary for long. So what exactly makes a note sound bad, when a skilled singer is using vibrato and sliding through all sorts of off key pitches all the time anyway? My hypothesis is that it’s the moments that the pitch does stay stationary that count; the mind doesn’t really pin anything down as being on or off key as long as it keeps moving. Kind of like how you can vibrato your way out of a shaky landing at a pitch and still make it sound alright. Is this a sound assumption to make? Any other insights into these questions?
  8. Hey everyone! Just wanted to check in with some interesting reflections that I had recently with the folks who could benefit. So for background, I recently started med school and we have to take a pretty detailed course in gross anatomy that covers the entire body head to toe. I found that as a singing student, learning gross anatomy in lab and lecture has been extremely beneficial. There are so many things that we talk about and try to cue ourselves and others to do in order to achieve certain qualities in vocal production that now seem so much less mysterious, mystical, and/or unclear to me. 1. Twang - quacking, pharyngeal voice, narrowing of ari-epiglottic funnel/space/whatever people want to call it. I have seen SO many thread about "what is twang, how do we do it"... seriously, cutting into the back of the pharynx and looking at the picture like this taught a very real lesson of how close the muscular back of the tongue is to the epiglottis, which creates the necessary twang to help us negotiate pressure to adduct our vocal folds for good singing. This explains why the cue of "raise back of tongue to molars" can help get the epiglottis to move if the student does not know what it means to "twang". There are three muscles attached to the pharynx called "superior, middle and inferior pharyngeal constrictors", the infrahyoid muscles, and some of the tongue (more on that later) muscles... some of the enemies of beginning singers. 2. Support - If anyone wants any cool pictures of support muscles, please let me know and then tell me how real you want the pictures to look haha I have a better understanding now of... what muscles are used in support, how to use them, do I tighten/tense them or not?! how proper support is almost as easy as learning a few things about what proper "bracing" for daily activities and athletics is from a physical therapist. How you can squeeze your glutes to "set" the spinal alignment before you work on the breath so you KNOW 100% that you are straight. How the pelvic floor contributes. How scapular stability relates to consistent support and expansion. How pulling in from the stomach is invariably requires strength and command of the transverse abdominal muscle, so telling students to "just relax and breathe and pull in but stay relaxed" can be counter-productive because they don't realize they're engaging one muscle while keeping the other muscles in check. Also, Phil is totally right about the "fist into the gut" feeling, and Marnell is def talking about the transversus abdominis when he talks about the sensations of support (vomiting, etc) in that 1 hour long video. 3. Soft palate, the nasopharynx, sinuses - After seeing the sinuses in real life and finding them myself, I can definitely say I have a new appreciation for how vibrations and sound and fluid all interact with the sinuses in the nasopharynx. Also a new appreciation for how bad head colds with sinus problems can be. 4. Ken Tamplin's tongue - that's right, I said it. So many questions are asked every year about "wtf his tongue is doing" and if it is okay or not. My personal verdict on the topic is now out: what I learned suggests that it is indeed okay to change the shape of the tongue in the mouth while singing if you want - to a certain extent. The genioglossus (the largest tongue protruding muscle) and some other tongue muscles are attached to a bone can cause unintentional larynx raising (as larynx is also connected to said bone lol) if the tongue is protruded too far out, but where and how to shape the tongue otherwise is rather individual and totally cool if you can still form your vowels and consonants the way you want (I admit some of Ken's vowels are not how I personally would sing my vowels but I know he likes em and that's cool): this is because the muscles that do that part of tongue shaping "making concave U's or fat lizard tongues or flat tongues" are NOT attached to any bones, making them totally cool to do what you want with them, including help you form consonants. Stopping myself from going on forever now. tl;dr: Med school anatomy has confirmed to me and taught me even more about many things in vocal pedagogy that I was not sure about before, feel free to discuss how you guys might have already known this stuff or whatever or ask for cool pictures.
  9. Vocal Twang is a term that refers to a physical configuration for the singing voice that is characterized by tilt of the thyroid cartilage, compression on the vocal folds and an amplification of the voice. This "vocal mode" is ESSENTIAL for great singing. It is the most important physical setup that a singer needs to train to develop to become a great singer. Vocal Twang explanations, techniques and training are all provided in The TVS training program, "The Four Pillars of Singing". www.TheFourPillarsofSinging.com. WHAT IS VOCAL TWANG?
  10. 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!
  11. A GREAT BOOK ON THE ACOUSTICS OF SINGING I just had a great discussion with Ken Bozeman, the author of the book, "Practical Vocal Acoustics - Pedagogic Applications for Teachers & Singers". We talked a lot about how the CT and TA relate to each other and specifically, what they are doing inside of contemporary belt voice. I think I am lot more clear on CT/TA involvement now and "get it". I also have this book guys. It talks a lot about the acoustics of singing, but is practical and not too difficult to follow. It comes with a CD and a web site you can check into with supporting materials. I highly recommend. I'm posting it here since there was a lot of discussion about CT/TA in here and I think Ken's publication needs to be brought to your attention. CHECK IT OUT! CLICK HERE TO GET THE BOOK! http://www.kenbozeman.com
  12. Enjoy this new video that provides an overview of what vocal modes are and why they are important. If you train and study vocal modes, your understanding of the singing voice and vocal technique will be vastly superior then dealing with training methods that can't explain the physiology and acoustics of singing. The whole point about vocal mode pedagogy is to make the understanding and execution of singing better EASIER, not harder. So don't let anyone tell you that "vocal modes are necessarily too complicated". That is simply not true. If you take a little bit of time to just learn how it works, you will open up a huge door to understanding the voice and singing better. And of course we cover this in The Four Pillars of Singing 4.0! http://bit.ly/TFPOSONLINE. Enjoy this video and hope we can have some discussion about vocal modes.
  13. "Listen" is οne of four new songs written for the feature version of Dreamgirls (originally a 1981 Broadway musical). Ιt's lyrics make reference to tenacity, love, the refusal to defer dreams and finally rise towards fame.In the film version of Dreamgirls, Knowles portrays the character of Deena Jones, a pop singer loosely based on Motown star Diana Ross. The story explores the life of The Dreamettes (based on The Supremes), a fictional 1960s group of three female singers,whose manager Curtis Taylor (based on Berry Gordy and played by Jamie Foxx) manipulates their personal and professional relationships.I Hope you Enjoy it!Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChryssanthemisModern Music Arts Facebook Page: :https://www.facebook.com/modernmusicartsModern Music Studios Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/modernmusica...Video Editing: Modern Music StudiosElectric Guitar: Steve SovolosPianoAikaterini DeliyiannidouBass Guitar: Dimitris VerginisKeyboards: Kleanthis KonstantinidisDrums: Fotis Yiannopoulos
  14. Hello! I want to share with you my Official Cover of the song At Last. Is a song of Etta James which is one of my biggest influences in jazz singing. The song’s lyrics refer to the love of a young woman that’s finally fulfilled. This song encapsulates the youth spirit of 1960’s. First Official Release: November 15,1960 by Etta James.The song was originally written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren for the musical film Orchestra Wives (1941), starring George Montgomery and Ann Rutherford.I Hope you enjoy it!Recorded - Produced & Mastered at Modern Music Studios Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChryssanthemisModern Music Arts Facebook Page: :https://www.facebook.com/modernmusicartsModern Music Studios Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/modernmusica...www.modernmusicstudios.comby:Chryssanthemis (Chrysanthi Papanikolaou) &Steve Sovolos Video Production: at Modern Music Studios.
  15. What do you mean by the above, you may ask? What I mean is that the person in question, immediately after recovering their speech (or their singing voice for that matter), goes on the binge marathon. It's like a person who has been on a diet for sometime, after loosing the desirable weight, goes right back to their bad eating habits and binges on everything they were deprived of. No doubts that their lost weight will come back really fast and often double their original weight. Sad? Indeed! But that’s haw the human body works. Similarly, it happens with voice repair clients. They acquire virtually a "verbal diarrhea" And in spite of all my warnings and pleadings, they cannot stop talking until they again become raspy and hoarse! Now they are, so to speak, in their "comfort zone" but upset and frustrated that they have lost their ability to communicate with no pain or strain on their vocal anatomy, like they did during the instruction. Whose fault is that? Obviously their own. They obviously have not followed the recovery protocol, which was thoroughly and strongly advised to them. Who could they blame now? Obviously themselves. However, all of us are human and it is understandable that when we become deprived of something, we want to regain it back real fast and that's where the problem begins. We do not have patience, at least the majority of us. And those who do, we applaud! Nobody would imagine the athlete with an injured leg, (with only a few treatments behind his belt) suddenly start running a marathon! To regain the normal function of any organ, especially the limbs, spine and yes, voice, requires time and a strict regimen. In the case of the voice repair, the person requires to speak much less then before (at least for some time). They have to continuously consume the natural herbs and remedies that were suggested to them. The absolute minimum amount of hours to start the rehab to concur the voice issue would be 30 consecutive hours of unique instruction and natural treatment. For some people that is enough, and they can carry on from there on their own. For others, it requires 2 or even 3 times of repetition of the same and then maintenance - In other words, “tightening the screws” should prevail. It also depends on the severity of the vocal disorder However, the strong and determined people require less repletion and less maintenance. The more healthy and fit people usually have much less struggle with the instruction, treatment and aftermath. Those (with psychological problems and poor diet) require more attention on both parts – instruction and treatment. And, as a rule, they have many more problems during and after the process. Very often, the voice repair clients suffer from many physical and emotional problems, which also contribute to their voice loss and their voice dysfunction. So the voice problem could be a very complicated and deep matter, as the voice loss might be just a symptom of something much more serious going on with the person. Therefore, the voice issue cannot be taken lightly and should be addressed immediately, as it could be an indication of something serious yet to come, for example, a stroke or heart attack. I want my readers to understand the seriousness of any voice disorder and address it, if not medically, then alternatively, as soon as possible.
  16. What an experience I had teaching two masterclasses at Mount Saint Mary's University in Brentwood, California for The Vocalizeu artist intensive week, April 10-19th, 2015. I have to admit, I was extremely nervous as I do not like public speaking. Throw a wig on me and ask me to perform for thousands- that's easy. But speaking about something as divided and controversial as singing technique, well, that's another animal. During the months leading up to the presentation, I was trying to figure out how to present my philosophies about singing not only to a room full of artists, performers, singers, and musicians, but also to a round table of "who's who" in the singing/science of singing community such as Mindy Pack, Dave Stroud, and Karin Titze Cox MA CCC/SLP/Vocologist (Daughter of Dr. Ingo R. Titze- if you don't know him, Google him. He's basically the father of science and practice of voice rehab. Nobody is more in the know of voice than this brilliant man) as well as many other professional teachers. With that being said, I wrote some notes and tried to follow a script. But in the end, I just had a blast helping a lot of singers. Everyone at the Masterclass was so understanding of my nerves. They put me at ease so I was able to explain and demonstrate the tools that I have been using onstage and in my home, scaring my neighbors to death, for the past 25 years. Not to mention my wife and daughter dealing with my ups and downs and keeping me moving forward as an artist. I would like to thank everyone for making this a great experience. A special thanks goes to Mindy Pack for asking me to do this, Dave Stroud for believing in me when I didn't believe in myself, Fawna and Ian for dealing with my horrible internet skills, and lastly Karin Titze Cox for giving me confidence by letting me know that the things I teach and believe in are solid, making it a little bit easier for me to believe in my abilities. Thank you everyone! I can't wait to do more with the VIP Crew! Daniel www.yourvocalteacher.com
  17. Hey all! I recently discovered my two favorite vocalists (Aaron Tveit and Jeremy Jordan) both went to the same music school, and I would love to go there. Unfortunately, the tuition for the school is about $35,000, and I don't think I can afford that. Could private vocal lessons with the right teacher help me just as much? For example, I'm currently trying to sing Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, and I'm doing it in Bb which is already a full one and a half steps down from the original, but I can't sing the chorus without straining. Wouldn't a vocal teacher be able to help that? Thanks in advance for the help!
  18. I found this cool web site that offers bed tracks for Classical arias and art songs! Check it out! http://www.virtualorchestra.eu
  19. 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?
  20. For every singer, the question should be; do I possess the distinct tone and the uniqueness of the sound overall?It is easier said than done. Majority of people could carry a tune, but not too many could sing, I mean, really sing. First of all, the person who likes to call him/herself a singer should possess a proper vocal technique, which will allow the singer a freedom to vocalize to their hearts content. They should be able to do it with absolute ease and pleasure, and not to have hardship while trying to deliver their message to their audience. If they don’t know how to work smart, so to speak, and not hard, they also could ruin their voice in the process. And if that happens, their artistic tendencies would not count for anything. Just like in figure skating, the artistic merit is very important, as well as looks, costumes and presence on the ice. But if the skater lands 3 out of 4 jump combinations flat on the ice, the former will not count, and vice versa. So obviously, both technical and artistic merits should be very strong. Similarly in singing, the person might have a strong and powerful voice. That person could even have some knowledge of vocal technique, but his tone is not pleasant, and his passion is not there, so he sounds, quite often, very harsh, loud and robotic. There is nothing unique about that singer and he does not possess any identification of his persona. So his ‘biometric data’ is pretty shut down and obviously not thriving. If that singer performs at the bar, he will find that within the first few minutes, he has “lost” his audience. People are not listening, talking loud, eating and drinking and not paying attention to what’s happening on stage. On the contrary, when there is an artist singing in a bar or in a concert hall, projecting the right power and dynamics, knowledge, intelligence and proper vocal technique, the audience are captured by the singer and stop talking and stop eating….and stop drinking. Interestingly enough, many years ago, I was invited to do a presentation/workshop about the Vocal Science ™ technique in one of downtown Toronto’s venues. The pretty respectable bar was holding some kind of a music related event and I was invited to tell and show to the up and coming artists what the Vocal Science method is all about and how to apply it to the actual singing. The first 15-20 minutes, I thought, were very successful, as the audience was silent and completely taken by me. Then somebody tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to finish my presentation in a short order. I was extremely surprised, as the audience obviously loved it and wanted more. But then, I realized that I was producing an ‘opposite effect’ for the venue: I “took away” their customers, as almost everybody stopped talking, stopped eating, and mainly… stopped drinking. LOL.Obviously, I realized later, and after the fact, that the whole Idea for that bar was to invite as many drinking musicians as the capacity would allow. Go figure! In any other occasion, it would be considered as a desirable outcome, and so it should be! So if your biometrics are intact, your vocal technique is impeccable and your passion and desire is present, you will be remembered as, in this instance, your tone will be unique and your sound will be distinct. Achieving all of the above, consider your entire being (voice included, nevertheless) fully optimized!
  21. Song selection is sometimes the most important factor in an audition preparation. What type of song you pick depends entirely on what you audition for. Here is what to consider. Musical: Take time to get to know the show. Choose who you want to be and pick a difficult song from another show by a similar character. For instance, if you want to be Marian in Music Man, find a piece similar to her hardest solo, “My White Knight.” Several aspects of the song are difficult, but focus on singing something in the same vocal range and style. Opera: Whether you audition for the chorus or as a soloist makes a big difference in the world of opera. You may sing one selection to sing in the chorus, and at least two to sing solo. Pick an aria in German, Italian, English, or French. Do not audition with an art song. Typically as a soloist, you pick one aria to perform and prepare and list several others for the casting director to pick from. List at least one serious and one funny selection, represent several languages, pick arias from several periods (Mozart, Rossini, Massenet), and be prepared to sing whatever they ask you to. Jazz Gig: With jazz gigs, most managers expect you to either play the piano yourself or provide your own live accompaniment. Be proactive and ask at restaurants or department stores whether you may audition. They may want background music or a main attraction. Try to find out before the audition, so you can select music accordingly. Prepare at least 30-45 minutes of repertoire for a performance. If you are hired for a longer period of time, just take a break, and then run your set again
  22. Hello All: I thought that since I have not seen much on TMV regarding SLS or Speech Level Singing, which is the technique pioneered and taught by the master vocal teacher and one of my greatest teachers ever, Seth Riggs, I would post an introduction to the principles of SLS for everyone to read and learn from. Introduction to Speech Level Singing Overview Speech Level Singing is not new. It is a technique devised and originated by Seth Riggs of Los Angeles, California that has produced over 100 Grammy winners and many Metropolitan Opera winners. Seth Riggs is the most renowned voice teacher and vocal technician in the industry of performing arts and teaches around the world. Some names of famous singers who use this technique are Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton, Janet Jackson, Bonnie Raitt, Ricky Martin, Julie Andrews, Connie Stevens, Bernedette Peters, Natalie Cole and many, many others who are in the singing industry today. Some of the groups who have worked with SLS are Kiss, The Eurythmics, Chicago, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, etc. Speech Level Singing is a technique that allows a person to sing with a "free voice." The only muscles that are engaged when singing with this technique are the muscles attached to the vocal cords, inside the voice box (larynx), i.e., the muscles of speech, as well as keeping the larynx at the level of speech production, hence the term "Speech Level Singing." It allows you to sing freely and clearly anywhere in your range with all your words clearly understood. Since you are not learning what to sing but rather HOW to sing, you can apply this technique to ANY type of music. Simply put, Speech Level Singing states that if the larynx stays down and the vocal cords stay together from the very bottom of the vocal range to the very top everything is fine. This also applies to all vowel and consonant combinations through out any phrase. If at any point the larynx jumps up or down or the tone becomes breathy then there is something wrong with the vocal process. The larynx is the big bump in the middle of the neck just below the chin. This houses the vocal cords and controls the process of swallowing. When the larynx moves up, the muscles around the cords act as a sphincter and closes so as to prevent swallowing down the windpipe and into the lungs. This is a very important process when you need to swallow, but it is a very poor process when you are trying to sing. If you place your hand on your larynx and yawn, you will find that you can bring your larynx down as well. This is a good way to learn what it feels like to have the larynx stay down. The end goal here is to be able to keep the larynx from moving too far down as well as too far up. It should stay in a fairly stable and speech level position as you ascend and descend. This is a very brief and condensed version of SLS, there is obviously a lot more to it. But, to give you an idea of what is correct, take these two ideas and while you are singing, monitor them. See if you can keep your larynx stable and your cords together. You will probably find that there is a certain area of your voice that is easy for you to accomplish this, and certain points of your voice that are more difficult. These harder areas are called bridges. Breathing Breathing for singing is a very relaxed process. When it is said that you can regulate it, what is meant is that you allow it to happen so that inhalation and exhalation are done in a way that best suits your musical needs. You do not have to work at breathing correctly unless you have poor posture or a tendency to raise your chest and shoulders and take shallow breaths. Your diaphragm, rib muscles and abdominal muscles are already strong enough for your needs as a singer. If you maintain good posture when you sing, and are careful not to let your chest collapse as you exhale, your diaphragm is able to move freely and be regulated by your abdominal muscles automatically. There is no need to consciously exert tension in those muscles. If you do try to directly control your breathing muscles when you sing, the extra tension in your body will only cause your vocal cords to overtense and jam up. Very little air is required to produce a good tone. Even for a loud tone, the amount of air you use need only be enough to support the vibration of your vocal cords no more, no less so that your tone is produced without any effort or strain. Just as trying to control your breathing muscles directly will cause your vocal cords to jam up, so will using too much air. That's because when you sing, your cords are instinctively committed to holding back (or at least trying to hold back) any amount of air you send their way. And the more air you send them, the tighter your cords have to get to hold it back. Also, this is when the outer muscles around your larynx will assist the cords by pulling on and tightening around your larynx in order to hold back the excess of air blasted at your cords. You know you have proper breath support when there is a balance between air and muscle. There will be a mutual and simultaneous coordination of the proper amount of air with the proper adjustment of your vocal cords. Bridges A bridge is a spot where resonation shifts from one area of your body to another (for example, from your chest to your head). Another term for a bridge is the Italian word for passage, passagie (passagio when plural). When you hear the word passagie, you are hearing a reference to a bridge. Knowing where your bridges are can really help you smooth out the resonation from one area of your body to the next. Bridges take place in different spots for men and women, but they are fairly universal within a gender. We will deal with four areas of resonation: the first is chest voice, the second is mix voice, the third is head voice, and the final is super head voice. All combine to create ONE FULL VOICE. Men's Bridges Men, with the exception of basses or dramatic baritones, start their first bridge at E-flat above a keyboard's middle C. This is the first note in the mixing or blending area of the voice (a blend of chest voice and head voice), and each chromatic move up will transition the voice toward a headier position and sound. The male vocalist will not feel completely in his head voice until an A or B-flat. This is where the second bridge is. This second bridge goes from A or B-flat above a keyboard's middle C to D above the keyboard's high C. Women's Bridges Women's bridges are similar to men's: they exist within approximately an augmented 4th interval. But they begin where a man's second bridge is. So, generally speaking, a woman's first bridge is on a A or B flat above the keyboard middle C. Below this is a woman's chest voice, and above this, up to a D, is mix voice. Once a female vocalist hits an E-flat (or sometimes an E), she is in head voice. Strictly on a technical level, a woman shouldn't sing completely in head voice until an E-flat. This area of resonation will continue up to an A or B-flat below a keyboard's double-high C. This third bridge puts the female singer in a super head voice, and she will stay in that until she reaches an E-flat above a keyboard's double-high C. When singing most songs, women don't need to go much past this fourth bridge, but there are a few more bridges beyond this fourth bridge. Once again, they are at intervals of an augmented fourth above the E-flat above a keyboard's double high C: the fifth bridge is on A, and the sixth is on the E-flat above that. These last two areas of resonation are known as the whistle range, and as I stated, most women don't use these areas, but they do exist and can be developed. Crossing Bridges You may have heard about vocal-cord adduction and the need to develop good cord closure. It is essential that the vocal cords stay together as a singer crosses the bridges. Your first bridge is the most critical. It's where the outer muscles (if they haven't done so already) are most likely to enter into the adjustment process. When they do, they pull on and tighten around the outside of the larynx in an effort to stretch the vocal cords to get the necessary tension for the pitch or volume level you require. Stretching your cords in this manner causes your entire singing mechanism tone and words to jam up! Fortunately, there is an easier and much better way to stretch your vocal cords to achieve the necessary tensions without disrupting your tone-making process or your word-making process. The key is to do less in order to do more. To be specific, the higher you sing, the less air you should use. When you reduce the amount of air you send to your vocal cords, you make it possible for the muscles inside your larynx to stretch your vocal cords by themselves. Your outer muscles are less likely to interfere because there isn't as much air to hold back. Your outer muscles will interfere in the vibration process whenever you use more air than your vocal cords and the other muscles inside your larynx are able to handle. As the pitch ascends, sound traveling from the vocal cords shifts paths. Chest voice travels to the hard palate and out of the mouth. As the pitch rises and goes over the first bridge, the sound begins to split, going behind the soft palate as well as to the hard palate. This is a balancing act of sorts. If too much sound is traveling in front of the soft palate and out of the mouth, the result will be a wide vowel and what is called pulled chest. A residual result will be a high larynx. The right balance depends on which note within the mix is being sung. By the time you're completely in head voice, much of the sound will be traveling behind the soft palate before exiting the skull. Each time a singer reaches a bridge, more sound must pass behind the soft palate and more resonation within the skull should take place. Singers resist letting sound pass behind the soft palate for a couple of reasons: The first is that they hear the tone bouncing within the skull and feel that it sounds too ringy. They don't realize that the sound they're hearing is not what the audience is hearing. They're picking up this sound through the skull, not from within the room they're singing in. One way to deal with this is to record yourself passing into mix and head voice; then play back what you've recorded. You will hear the difference between how you really sounded and the sound you heard resonating in your head. The second reason for resistance is that many singers get used to feeling that they have to muscle notes. As you learn to master the bridges, you'll feel very little pressure. There is compression from the diaphragm and resistance from the cords being held together, but there will not be any tightness in the neck or under the chin. This lack of pressure can be unfamiliar and uncomfortable for many singers and even feel a bit precarious, especially if the strength in the mix is not quite there. Once again, recording an arpeggio that ascends into the head voice and playing it back can shed some light on the relationship between what a certain note sounds like and what it should feel like as you sing it.