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  1. Hello, fellow performers, fans and students! I've launched a video series for the solo singing guitarist, both professional and hobbyist, who'd like to know how another soloist goes about his work in rehearsal. The series takes the viewer through the determinations I make for each song I include in my repetoire. I'll cover topics such as choice of key, feel, meaning, vocal delivery, rehearsal and more. Click here for the first episode: Episode 1 on Vimeo Episode 1 on YouTube In music & mirth, Richie Kaye Richie Kaye Website BLAST-OFF!
  2. www.vocalizing.com By Karen Oleson and Timothy Strong The genesis for this article comes from a workshop I was asked to present for a local chapter of NATS (National Assoc. of Teachers of Singing). It is only in very recent history, that performance studies in vocal jazz have been offered in academic settings. Prior to this if one wished to be a jazz singer they learned by listening to, following and copying other singers and experimenting and performing at every opportunity. Now that jazz styles have been codified it is easier for modern educators to expose jazz singing to students at almost any age. It can be confusing for both student and teacher to try to translate the voice building techniques and exercises needed to produce desired results for both classical and jazz singing. The vocal choices one makes for singing jazz are quite different from a classical singer. My students love singing jazz and are thrilled when they are accepted into their jazz choir or ensemble but are challenged to bridge the differences between techniques. So what are these differences? Can we bridge these diverse techniques? Can they be compatible? Have we been allowing style differences to interrupt the goal of voice building? The following chart suggests some of the presumed differences in vocal technique and style. Classical Technique Voice Quality: Resonant, full bodied, clear. Breath Management: Fundamental building block for voice development. Opera singers need to sing for hours over symphony orchestra with no mic(rophone). Articulation: Pure vowels, clipped consonants, years of study in at least four languages Range: Wide range, 2 1/2 to three octaves, top notes of prime importance no matter what voice type. Flexibility: Desirable for keeping voice fresh and healthy. Necessary to negotiate challenging cadenzas. Registers: Blended, seamless connection between registers Posture: Very important consideration for breath management and voice projection. Dynamics: Requires large dynamic range from pp to ff. Messa di voce important study for voice building. Vibrato: Used extensively, integral part of the vocal quality. Jazz Technique Voice Quality: Can be earthy or breathy. Close to speaking voice. Breath Management: Singers also required to sustain long phrases and scat. But since the sound doesn’t need to as resonant, or as powerful, learning nuances of mic technique becomes essential. Articulation: Very close to speaking voice. Diphthongs are used according to singers’ choice. Range: Ranges of more than an octave unnecessary but often desired. Vocal improv takes the singer to the extremes of the voice both low and high. Flexibility: Desirable for improvisation. Registers: Breaks in voice often dramatically emphasized. Posture: Appearance often cool, dispassionate Dynamics: Fewer vocal extremes required. Vibrato: Often used minimally and at end of phrases. Classical Style Pitch: Often taught to come in on top of pitch, but to sing in middle of pitch. Rhythm: Precision is important. Runs done as meteronomically accurate as possible. Rubato done at specific places in music and according to era of music and composer. Attack: The onset of the pitch is executed gently. Letting the breath lead. The pitch needs to be precisely in tune. Musical Accuracy: Do not deviate from composers apparent intent. Sing rhythm and pitches according to what is written in the score. Improvisation: Improvisation is dictated according to current trends. Improv is allowed only in certain styles and periods of music Other features: Acting and presentation skills are important in classical singing. The quality of the sound, communicating the text and music are prime considerations. Jazz Style Pitch: Sing on lower part of pitch. Enter or scoop from under pitch. Rhythm: Fluidity within the meter is allowed and desired. Sing against or after the beat. The pause is strictly kept by the drummer so that the rest of the group can play with the rhythm. Attack: Sometimes hard onset in used, other times soft. Enter from below pitch, strong blues influence. Musical Accuracy: The whole point of singing jazz is to be a co-creator with the composer in that particular moment in time. Next time it will be different (hopefully). Improvisation: Scat syllables and improvisations are influenced by current trends. Improv is the name of the game. Other features: Presentation is secondary to listening and responding to other participants while performing. Everything is new, so that cultivating awareness of what's going on around you is of primary importance. Being in the musical moment. The chart shows how singers make choices about how they use their voices depending on the style of music. So how does this affect their training? How do we bridge these diverse techniques and can they be compatible in voice building? Most music educators will agree that we want our students to sing well, no matter what the style. Breath management is an essential part of voice building and good singing. However, because classical singers sing without a mic and have to maintain a fuller resonance they are unable to play with the subtle vocal nuances that the jazz singers enjoy. The microphone assists the jazz singer in singing with a breathy tone, growling, and singing very lightly if they wish. Still, all of those choices need breath management. Articulation is an important ingredient for both types of singing. The jazz singer can be more speech-like and casual in their approach. Ex. My = ma-i. They can play with diphthongs according to their will. Classical singers are more formal in their use of language most often stay longer on the first half vowel of a diphthong. Ex. My=mah-i. It might seem that clarity of text and understandability should have priority but both classical and jazz singers may sacrifice this for a certain type of vocal sound. Classical singers spend years learning to blend the natural occurring register breaks in the voice. Although somewhat important in the jazz singer, it is minimal. The mic can assist the jazz singer with this so that they are able to play with subtle qualities and ranges that wouldn't be heard if a classical singer tried it. Today when students enter my private studio, I ask them about their musical goals. As they are exposed to voice building techniques their goals may change but the important thing for us is to help them find their way efficiently. I've experienced having younger students wanting to be country singers develop into prize winning classical singers. I've also encountered classical trained singers who were relieved to find that there are other techniques that would help them sing musical theatre or jazz. If they are interested in both aspects of singing, the lesson time needs to be subtly managed to address different musical goals. They will need to educate their ear about pitch, vibrato, and the volume of sound and resonance of the voice. A classical singer needs to hear their voice in a natural acoustical environment without artificial support. Jazz singers needs to become accustomed to hearing themselves through amplification. As pointed out in the chart, the use of vibrato, dynamics, pitch onset, voice coloring, rhythm, and many other aspects of these two diverse styles are for the most part at odds with one another. When these considerations are pointed out to the students, they have a better chance of making appropriate choices without confusion and with an appreciation of the differences. Our studio has developed publications that present voice building exercises encompassing various musical styles.* In the example presented below, the purpose of the exercise is rich and deep: ear training, pitch accuracy, flexibility, and singing in contrasting styles. In my opinion, you get the best of both worlds here - a classical warm-up, learning to sing in a major and then a minor key (great ear training), and then scat improv in both major and minor keys. With this exercise, you have an opportunity to show off your classical voice and quickly switch to jazz. These contrasting styles require different ways of using your voice. The classical style requires a more fully resonant sound including vibrato, whereas in jazz vocals, a more speech like quality is appreciated. In conclusion, clear and meaningful communication as to the differences in vocal usage and styles can make all the difference in your students’ abilities to enjoy and perform different styles of music. I have found that presenting them with practical models for bridging the gap can do wonders for their understanding and enjoyment of music making.
  3. Hi! I'm new to singing, but I really have received much feedback on my voice. I'm a little lost in direction with what kind of songs I should go for or if I am in the wrong genre altogether? ill provide some links to some songs that I have tried. I'm really really inexperienced and uneducated with music. I've never been through any vocal lessons, and I haven't been through a music class in my life. The only reason I'm giving it a try is when im at a karaoke night at a bar a lot of people tell me that I should really get into it? Let me know what you think and if I should continue? Also, genre and/or song recommendations are also greatly appreciated. Any and all feedback is welcome. Song Links: 1. Don't Know Why - Nora Jones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WERaHzmllfo"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WERaHzmllfo 2. Dream a Little Dream of Me - Ella Fitzgerald: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9J0EmQp7T8"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9J0EmQp7T8 3. Let it Be - The Beatles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRCpFphs6b4"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRCpFphs6b4 4. Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV3t2YT2fhM"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV3t2YT2fhM
  4. Link: https://youtu.be/WERaHzmllfo This is my cover that i did of “Dont Know Why” by Norah Jones. Any and all feed back is welcome. Please review this song and let me know how you feel I did on my cover.
  5. Hi all, I've always loved to sing, but over a month or so I've began lessons and been using the app "Vanido" to try and improve my intonation, which has always been my problem. As such, could I please have some feedback on my cover of Julio Iglesias' "Begin the Beguine," with particular attention to my pitch? Of course, comments on tone and everything else is very welcome too! The playback is a karaoke version from YouTube, and I added some reverb in GarageBand. Thanks so much for your help on my singing journey
  6. Hi to everyone! I've been reading this forum for a couple of years now and always found it very interesting and helpful in dealing with some of my own issues, so I thought I'd post this project that I've got going on. For a long time, I have suffered from vocal tension and inability to sing past D4 without pushing the "chest voice"/ overly-engaging the TA's basically. However, in the last year or so, I have experienced great relief after starting to do falsetto exercises suggested by Anthony Frisell in his manual "Training Baritone Voices". After reading many other sources later on, I have started questioning the usefulness of voice classification, purely from psychological point in the beginning (belief that one is a lower voice and its effect on the voice and singing), but now also physiological (neglecting upper range), especially in contemporary music (pop, rock, jazz, music theatre...). So now, I am writing a dissertation on the validity of voice classification in contemporary music and have already got some interesting answers. However, since there is barely any research done in relation to contemporary music, I would really be grateful if any of the members here, who give voice lessons, would participate. This is the link if anyone is interested: https://goo.gl/forms/uLMWByDMKYv4IWMk1 Thank you and feel free to spread the link if you find it useful! In general, I would also love to hear your opinions on this. Do you think tutors should classify their students and why?
  7. Hi there, I am continuing from the "weird exercises", and the goal is to touch the more critical spots that gets in the way, instead of following the ideas of "its all mechanics" development that became the norm on the internet culture nowdays. I want to talk a bit about the subject of "power", and the problems that I often come accross. As whole I would define the problem like this: Power is a subjective perception that is on the listener side, you DON'T achieve it through a mechanical technique, you do it with music. And music in its turn is all about creating expectations and sounds that have some pattern to which the listenner can confer meaning. To clarify this, play a major scale on the piano: CDEFGAB And stop on the B. Pay attention on how you anticipate the resolution into the C on the higher octave, the B when played within that context wants to resolve into the C. This is a notion in music called tension and release. A tension means an idea that asks for a resolve, for a conclusion, the release is the conclusion itself. When playing such major scale, if you keep going up to the B (the 7th) and don't let it resolve, the idea will keep asking for a resolution, and when you finally do it, you have power . Same applies to rhythm, if you create a repetitive pattern that can be anticipated, everytime you follow it, you have a resolve. And everytime you change it, you have tension. For example, if you place an accent on the upbeat on a given spot. Anyway, the idea is that the way to think about it is first: - What is it that I can do today, what are the tools I can work with? - How can I use those things and bring the power that I want to a song? All that technique can do is expand your possibilities, but if you are lacking power, its very, very likely that there is a problem in one of these aspects, already in order of importance: Rhythm: Tempo - Nothing is more distracting and annoying than missing attacks, sustain times, resolving a note too early or too late. I am not talking about little interpretation details and creativity, I am talking about not paying attention to what is going on with the song and lack of skill to predict and follow a given tempo. It boils down to this: if you want so, you should be able to follow a beat on any given speed and NAIL the times precisely, if you try to do it and get lost on the middle of it, on a song the problem will be worse. AFTER you have good control over this, then even if you choose to do a phrase or detail more "loose", you will still be able to get back to it and thus confer this detail you did meaning (power). Time Signature: Simple example that happens all the time on rock singing, Iris - Goo Goo Dolls. Everytime someone has a problem with this song, I know exactly what I will hear: an attempt to force a 4/4 time signature on top of the song 3/3. It changes the song entirely and it becomes plain boring. You can blast your voice until you spit blood all over the mic, it will still sound boring. This changes the accents of the rhythm and you end in conflict with the instruments. Often it also causes a tempo problem because you will then have to rush here or there in order to make it "fit" somehow. Solution, pick a metronome that can put accents, and practice different time signatures on it. Pauses: Energy and power does not come from being at 100% volume all the time and then going to 120 suddenly. Its the total opposite, similar to what happens on other forms of arts, power and impact comes from contrasts . And this begins on the TIME domain. What does it mean? It means that if you don't create spots where you don't sing, and just try to FILL the song with as much vocals as you probably can, you won't have the pauses and a big part of your possibility of sounding poweful will go away. Oversinging is a very common issue, let it breath, have patience and wait. DONT sustain on every single opportunity or else when you do it will be already old (another big chunk of power is eaten away). Example, Red Hot Chilli Pepers - Dani California: Black bandana PAUSE, Sweet Luisiana, PAUSE, Robing on a bank on the state of indiana, PAUSE. First because of their style that is a kinda of a mix of funk and rock, if you are not tight on tempo you can forget it. Second, these little pauses are what makes the song live, it follows the "pulse" of the song. If you just sing through it all as one big chunk of voice it will sound weak. On "bandaNA", "luisiaNA", "indiaNA", make these NAs firm, but short, a quick "punch" of voice, not more. And there you go, power. Sustain Times: A long sustained note with vibrato is very dramatic and has the potential to sound very powerful when used correctly. You played your cards right, waited for the right moment, opened your voice and went loud, nailed the attack... And then you go for it, but you make the ending "loose" from the beat. As in, you didn't resolve together with the rest of the song. Very nice, it may be loud, but powerful, no. This "tightness" of a sustained note, has a major impact on the perception of energy, a fast and precise resolution that is on tempo has the same effect of the precision of the attack of the note. If you don't do so, it will sound like you lost the energy midway. So not only when you begin singing is important, but also when you end. Of course this can be used with the intention of creating a mood or context, if you want to convey the idea that of weakness and this "loss" of resolve, its a great way. Since the subject is "problems to deliver power", it ins't the case. There is more to it but I believe I covered the most important aspects related to Rhythm. And this IS the most important part of singing, specially on contemporary genres. Melody: I know that most would think first of being "pitchy". Or not being sure of the melody line, which leads back to the "pitchy" problem yet again. But what I want to discuss is something else. Music is a rather complex form of art and there are MORE than one way to arrange notes within a given key that sounds correct, there are many scales that can be used, and its not uncommon that more than one can "fit" some place without sounding wrong. However! If you change the scale, you will change the feel of the song. And often this can cause problems related to "power" and deceive you into thinking that the problem is technique. And this happens SPECIALLY when there is a point of tension ON the melody, because we naturally want to resolve it, and if you don't pay attention, YOU WILL resolve it. You may be visceral on the singing, but the tension will go away, and you will have a "easy sounding" phrase instead that can very well drop the ball. Remember what I said about the 7th wanting to resolve? Its a semitone interval to the octave, and its not uncommon to have songs that hit on it a couple of times without allowing the resolution. Its very easy to get used to resolving it into the octave on the middle of the phrase, and it can be a challenge to spot this kind of problem. Solution: No easy solution unfotunately, I recommend picking sheet music on a few songs and studying them through it. I also recommend using a piano or another instrument with equal temperament and carefully transpose the melody note by note. Some pieces specially, if you move into more elaborate music, can be challenging in this regard. Dynamics: And we are back to contrasts, but now not thinking of TIME, which is still the most important, but levels. I have already talked about this on other threads, but the core idea is: 1 - know your dynamic range 2 - use it to create patterns Without getting into details on how to use it on the interpretation, the main problem here is not KNOWING your dynamic range, or not respecting it. In this sense. Lets say you have volumes from 1 to 5 to use. So you start the song on 4, then on the pre-chorus you go to 5. And now the chorus... would need to be in 6. You could be lead to believe that the issue is not being able to be loud as you want, but there will always be a limit. If you don't play your card right through the song, no matter how strong your voice gets, you will always trying to do something PAST your capabilities, and on some songs this will make it impossible to create power. Solution, insteand of begining on 4, begin on 2! And that's all. Look at the whole, what is the peak of energy that you will have? What is the valley? plan your dynamic range in relation to that! Vowels: This is not on the technical sense. It works like this, in a nutshell: Open vowels sound stronger than closed ones. So if you decide to sustain an open vowel, it will sound one way, if you decide to sustain a closed vowel, it will sound another. Example, song "Perfect Strangers", opening phrase is: Can you remember, remember my NAME". Now on "name" you have two choices, you can do n-eh-EE-m, or n-EH-ee-m, the vowel in caps is the one you choose to sustain. If you sustain on EH, sounds strong, if you sustain EE it sounds softer. Simple as that. You also can do modifications with the purpose of respecting a metric that is constructed on the song, or slightly modify a vowel to change its feel. But you must be aware of that, if you don't observe this, and choose the wrong vowels for the job, you can also affect power. So in order of importance, if you have a problem with power, look at this in order of importance: 1 - Rhythm 2 - Melody 3 - Dynamics 4 - Vowels The strictly mechanical part of technique here is, in my opinion, the least important factor. Having more options and choices is good, but it does NOT equal making good use of them! I did a video playing around with these ideas in practice, in special showing the difference between blasting it out without paying attention to these details, and... well singing it. Should be up on the weekend!
  8. Please leave a comment below if u are interested in getting ur track mastered for only $5!
  9. Hello guys I am curious to know what singers have demonstrated vocal longevity without losing voice quality. Who are your favorite artists that consistently have sung well for at least 20 years? For me I must have to go with Celine Dion and Stevie Wonder. Please include clips of the proposed artist if possible.
  10. Hi, Looking to get suggestion about great vocal melody writers. It's difficult to specify what I mean by great vocal melody. But singing lines with great rhythm, catchy yet not predictable, instantly likable because of gripping dynamic, are mainly the qualities I think. So, I like stuff done by Ella Fitzgerald from the Cole Porter songbook and other songs too. L Armstrong of course. Elvis. I also like Iron Maiden, if you listen to this kind music. Bruce Dickinson's vocal lines are very engaging and dynamic. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. I don't care about genre and language. Don't kindly assume I have listen to/am aware of all notable singers. So, if it's a basic/obvious suggestion that's great too. Thanks in advance.
  11. 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.
  12. Will be getting everything together to showcase the selection of this month's song shortly.
  13. Hey all, For those of you that are wondering what this about, check out the following link and please join us: It's about that time. It's been decided that, this month, we will run two challenges at once. Two separate challenge threads will be created. Everyone is greatly encouraged to participate in both of these. Even if you don't have time to mix two great tracks, try to get something done for each and post it in the corresponding challenge topics. Given the goal of these challenges is to get everybody really racking their musical brains and get everyone out of their comfort zone at one point or another, we did Rock this month, so Rock will not be an option for June, but it will show back up in the poll that will be created on June 26th for July's challenge. HOWEVER, just because a Rock song won't be chosen this month, it does NOT mean that you cannot take one of the songs that we end up choosing and sing it Rock style. As a matter of fact, if Rock is your absolute favorite style, it is encouraged that you do take one of these songs and sing it that way. It is also encouraged that you try to learn to sing in the style of the genres that are selected. We are NOT prohibiting styles, we are switching genres. There are 7 choices for this month's challenge, and the two genres with the highest number of votes will be chosen. Voting will go on until May 31st (120 hours from now). At that point, we will go about selecting the songs we will be singing during June. June's challenges will begin June 6th and end on July 5th. Voting for the genre selection of July's challenge will begin on June 26th and end on July 1st. July's challenge begins July 6th. These are the choices for this month's poll: R&B Country Blues Pop Folk Jazz Gospel Let the voting begin!
  14. A promise can not be disregarded...so here I am with this cover of a jazz mile stone! be kind please ​
  15. This is a completely different genre but wanted to share it with you since my friend Andrea (Rinquart) has just entered this community....so you can listen both to his and my voice at the same time! Hope you will enjoy it!!
  16. https://instagram.com/lowkeygroove/   instagram-@lowkeygroove   I've been singing for about a year now, but the past month i've been trying to get better.  What areas are good/bad and how can I improve?         Thank you
  17. Hello, I am a big fan of Amy Winehouse and her singing is so appealing to me and one day I wish I could sing like her. Can anyone tell me how she sings, things like her vocal placement, vibrato, volume, habits (good or bad), and any other techniques or characteristics that you may want to point out? She seems so effortless and smooth and I just don't get how to achieve that quality. I would appreciate just anything/everything anyone can tell me about her singing..! I've included some acoustic live singing of her below, please enjoy!        
  18. Good singers are often described as having a unique personal style, a special way of expressing a song. But in the larger picture of singing, let's talk about vocal styles in general. First off, you want to be clear on which style you sing the most. Pop, rock, jazz, country, blues, R&B, classical, folk, gospel, Broadway belting or perhaps a combination of one or more of these styles? I frequently encounter singers who think they're singing in a pop style but are actually singing in a classical style because of prior training. It can sound quite strange and disorienting to the listener to hear someone sing in a wrong style. The conventions and techniques of classical singing are so different from popular, commercial styles that classical voice training can become a disability to the budding pop singer. Every vocal style is a recipe using only certain ingredients. Like a cook who knows the difference between braising and grilling, you should have an acquaintance with the recipe for your desired style. Let's start by comparing classical and non-classical styles: simply put, non-classical sounds like speaking or yelling and classical singing doesn't. If you've ever heard an opera singer speak then sing, you might be shocked to notice how different these two modes of vocal production are. Whether you sing classically or in a commercial vein, your choice of ingredients will determine if you're nailing your style or not. What are some of the ingredients of vocal style? Laryngeal Height - Your larynx (voice-box) can easily move up and down. Which vertical position you choose, regular, raised or lowered, will affect your sound. You might lower it for classical or soulful R&B and jazz, keep it regular for pop or legit Broadway singing, or raise it for rock and country. Airflow - How much air should you have in your sound? In country, there's typically not a lot of air coming through the vocal folds, but when singing sultry R&B or jazz, you may allow the folds to open more. Resonator Shape - What is the shape of your throat and mouth? For country, I recommend constricting the pharynx slightly under the jawline (never constrict the vocal folds themselves), while in classical or R&B I recommend widening that area to give me a more open sound. Shape decisions also include how open your mouth should be and if you're mostly smiling or pursing your lips. Nasality - Air which is routed through your nose creates the buzzy sound of nasality. Listen carefully to your favorite singers to see if you can discern how much nasality you hear. This important resonance is a must in rock and country, less so in pop and jazz, and not desirable in classical production. Dialect - Can you imagine hearing a country singer with a Russian accent? Or a blues singer with a French accent? Might sound strange. Consider a Southern accent for R&B and country, a standard American accent for pop and Broadway singing, perhaps even an English accent for classical. Stance - Ever notice how classical singers seem like they're leaning forward but some R&B singers may be leaning back on their heels? Subtle stance differences can make a difference in vocal production and are interesting to watch for. Volume - In sultry jazz singing, you may hear singers shift their volumes suddenly from loud to soft and back again, while in opera the vocal dynamics mostly range from loud to louder. Pop is often soft to medium loud, never getting very loud. When country, which is fairly soft to medium loud, gets louder, it then enters the world of country-rock. So volume can be a determining factor when combining styles. Stylisms - Each vocal style has particular stylisms which act as style hallmarks. For example, vocal fry can be heard in pop, jazz, and rock, which cry is common in country. Yodel can be heard in country and alternative pop, while stops are only heard in Broadway belting. There are different slides and swoops used and using the wrong swoop can get you into big stylistic trouble. Ornamental riffs such as R&B runs are important to master as well as classical ornamental runs called melisma or coloratura. Emotions - No one style has a monopoly on the human experience. For dignified and regal, no style comes closer than classical. If you want to express sensuality or ecstasy, look no further than R&B. Pop is sincere. alternative pop is quirky, rock is anti-social and powerful. You get the idea. A fun way to hone your style discernment skills is to sit at the ole radio tuner and go from station to station. See how quickly you come to a conclusion on the vocal style(s) you hear. It's not easy sometimes. Are you hearing country, pop-country, rock-country or R&B-country? Can you identify WHY you came to your conclusion? Remember that like in cooking (Thai, French, etc), each vocal style has conventions; rules that have developed over time. These conventions arise out of the particular culture and history which are the roots of a style. Listen and watch your favorite singers. Everything you see or hear helps to determine style choices. Styles are not accidents- make sure your style choices are well thought-out. Your next step? Pick a style, listen to the greats, observe everything, imitate, THEN play around to creative your own unique expressive masterpiece. Stay true to your style before you venture forth into uncharted territory. Lisa Popeil - Voiceworks Method - www.popeil.com 818-906-7229
  19. So, You Want To Be A Singer? by Diva Joan Cartwright CHAPTER 6 - REPERTOIRE Having a list handy of all the songs you sing in alphabetical order with a column for the key in which you sing each song can be invaluable when you meet musicians. If you are that organized, then you can probably fill the bill as a singer. Keep adding to the list as time goes by, until you've filled up two sides of the page. Try to include the composer of each song. Example: 1. A CHILD IS BORN C Thad Jones 2. A FOGGY DAY G Gershwin 3. A NEW WAY OF SINGING THE BLUES F J. Cartwright 4. AFRO BLUE Cm Coltrane 5. AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' Eb Fats Waller Versatility is a plus. It always helps to know songs in more than one genre. It may be necessary to have more than one list or categories, if you sing in two or more genres, for instance you may separate songs by: Jazz Blues Gospel Rock R&B Latin/Samba/Bossa Broadway Country Pop or Top 40 Hip Hop Reggae Contemporary Another way of categorizing songs is by composer or artist: Anita Baker Antonio Carlos Jobim Aretha Franklin Beatles Billy Joel Billie Holiday Cole Porter Duke Ellington Ella Fitzgerald Randy Crawford Stevie Wonder Whitney Houston Always have a list of your original songs, as well. That way people understand that you are a songwriter. Have a few copies of your songs in case other musicians want to play, sing or record them. In time, you will be respected as a songwriter and people will begin to request your songs, before they request songs of other artists. Buy this book at http://stores.lulu.com/divajc See all of Joan Cartwright's Books
  20. (Blues, Jazz singer Cheryl Hodge - author, is currently nominated for BEST BLUES SONG, 2011, at the Hollywood Music In Media Awards) People are always asking me about what my secrets have been for getting ahead in the music biz. It's almost like they think there is some magic answer that will help them move up the ladder. Well, in a funny way, maybe there is one. But you might not like the answer. There are basically three rules that I live by and have for 30 years. In order to succeed in the music biz (the simple answer), you need three basic ingredients. In time you will find that all three ingredients are inner-related, and that one hand scratches the other. You must have: 1.) A great musical product (it doesn't have to be original - but if you are going to do a cover, do it nothing like the original... avoid comparisons.) The first 20 seconds of the production have to be both innovative, infectious, and flawless. This has to be music so catchy that if you, yourself, had only enough money to buy one CD a year, this would be the one you would buy. Put yourself in the consumer's seat. Remember, we are presently in a devastating recession. Talk is cheap (there are lots of sales pitches out there), and money is dear. For someone to buy your music, they need to be really moved by you, in a way that no one else has. 2.) Relentless drive (unending belief in yourself). 99% of the artists who are successful did not "make it" over night. They knew, at the start, that they would most likely be in for a "long haul" before the public would become aware of them. The chances of being a huge success in the selling market are actually less than that of being kidnapped, believe it or not. When people see those odds, they tend to become daunted. The sooner you get started, the better. Look at former mouseketeers, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christine Aguilera. Starting early certainly gave them a "leg up" in the business. However, having said all this, it is truly never too late. At 56 years old, I am starting to be discovered in the biz. Why? Because I didn't give up. I believed in my music; I believed in myself. I knew my niche, as it were. I realized my market. The great Lou Rawls once said at a seminar that his golden rule for success was, "Never change your music to suit the public, and current trends. Do what YOU believe in. If you believe in your music, then sooner or later the public will, too." 3.) Business savvy. This is the one that some artists absolutely hate to acknowledge. Many believe that the words "business" and "artist" are polar opposites. Every year, a few songwriters approach me by saying that they feel that being a business-minded musician is the equivalent of "selling out". Interesting premise, but I beg to differ. Songs are a communication. If you believe in your art, then you will admit that you believe in communicating the message of the song with the most listeners you can possibly relay the song to. And now we get to the ultimate goal: exposure. You'll need to learn all about agents and managers. You will need to schedule out at least an hour per day of web work. You will need to know about tax shelters. You will need an office that includes: a computer, possibly (probably) a home studio, a phone/fax machine, a scanner, a filing cabinet, and a few absolutely great books about the music business. One of my personal favorites is Hal Galper's book, "The Touring Musician". The best way to find out what you like is to talk to some of the most successful people whom you have already made acquaintances with in the music business. Questions? Feel free to contact me at one of the following places: cherylhodge.com ,jazzboulevard.com, reverbnation.com, Jazz & Blues Artist, Cheryl Hodge (facebook) .
  21. Click the link and have a listen! Please 😄 I'm also trying to figure out a better mic for my voice. I felt like this mic sounded a bit too "dead". Any suggestions? Thanks for listening
  22. I attended a wonderful workshop yesterday, featuring jazz legend Sheila Jordan, and organized by TMV member and dedicated jazz singer/teacher Ellen Johnson. Now in her 80s, Sheila still tours and teaches with sharp mind and musicianship, and a very kind encouraging manner. Although sprinkled with anecdotes about Parker, Miles Davis and Coltrane, it really was a work session emphasizing respect for the music and the importance of doing one's homework: know your song's key, rhythm and beginning and ending before attending a jam. According to Sheila, the difference between a respected jazz singer and a disrespected "chick singer" is whether you know what you're doing and can communicate it easily to the band (Yes, all the participants happened to be women.) The group warm-up was a 12-bar blues "my name is__and today I feel __" round-robin (improv = brilliant!) The following demonstration and critique time brought useful suggestions for everyone. My weakness (as always) was in setting tempo, but I got through the embarrassment of many false starts on the song Round Midnight and then got to try it in a couple different keys. Sheila then taught everyone a couple of semi-bop numbers and demonstrated how to keep a simple through-line, of scale or melody, in mind while improvising so you don't get lost. Takeaways: Musical literacy and theory are primarily for communication with others. Do you want to visit a culture and have a really meaningful interaction? Learn the language. Even after counting down a tune, stay on beat or straight time for the first measure, to be sure backup players catch your groove. Sheila: "Long before the music started to support me, I supported the music, because I just loved it. Everyone can do that. You keep supporting the music, keep it alive, until it supports you." This essay was first published February 28, 2010 on The Modern Vocalist.com the Internet's #1 community for vocal professionals, voice health practitioners and pro-audio companies worldwide since November 2008.
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