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  1. Mikey Said No . Mikey Said No.mp4 (Click Bottom Right Corner menu to Download this Video to Share) My Music Staff Integrates Skype & Zoom Download the PDFs Below Print_MMS Online Teaching Checklist.pdf Click_MMS Online Teaching Checklist.pdf If you do not want to use Skype or Zoom, this is the best service available for offering virtual lessons. Go to PLAY WITH A PRO... CLICK HERE >>> . .
  2. Vocal Health Care with Eucalyptus Oil Using essential oils to care for the voice can be extremely helpful for any voice professional. Essential oils work with the body to help heal whatever issue the body is dealing with. There are oils for almost any ailment a voice professional deals with. One difficult and pressing issue that happens to almost everyone, including voice professionals, is the issue of clogged sinuses. We may go to sleep feeling fine and the next morning wake up with a completely clogged sinus passage. If you have a performance, rehearsal or presentation that day, you need to open your sinuses quickly and safely using a clearing agent that will not affect your voice adversely as prescription medications and over the counter drugs can do. Eucalyptus oil is an excellent way to do this. Vocal Health Care Tool If you wake up in the morning with a clogged sinus passage and need a very powerful agent to clear out your sinuses, here is a way to immediately clear out your sinuses and stay clear for your presentation or performance. This is what you will need before you begin: 1) 1 bottle of quality Eucalyptus oil. 2) 2 Q-tips 3) A warm shower Turn on your shower to a heat you can handle without it being to hot on your skin. Put a number of towels at the bottom of the door so the steam from the shower does not escape under the door. Just steaming alone is excellent and essential for proper vocal health care and when your vocal apparatus is under siege; however, this procedure will speed healing even more. Before you get into the shower, take each Q-tip and dip it in the Eucalyptus oil making sure it is covered completely and soaked. Put the Eucalyptus oil and Q-tips on a clean towel or tissue on the counter next to the shower or somewhere close so you can reach them from the shower. Before you get into the shower, spill a few drops of Eucalyptus oil on the floor of the shower. Be careful how much you use; if you use too much, the oil may burn your feet, so just a few drops. Get into the shower and breathe deeply and slowly allowing the mixture to fill your lungs. Take a few minutes to let the steam and mix of Eucalyptus oil begin opening up your sinus passages. After you have begun to allow the steam open you up, take one oil-soaked Q-tip and insert it into one nostril. Very gently and slowly, slide the Q-tip up into your sinus passage, making sure it goes all the way up into your sinus passage as far as it can go. Next, slowly and even more gently twist and turn the Q-tip so it coats your entire sinus passage. Now slowly pull the Q-tip out as you feel the openness in your sinus cavity and the energy of the oil working. Take the other oil soaked Q-tip and do the same thing to your other sinus passage. Within 30 seconds (or sooner) you will probably begin to sneeze longer and stronger than you ever have before! This is the clearing power of the oil and your sinus passages expelling all the mucus and bacteria that has been clogging you up. In addition, the oil will slide down into the back of your throat opening, cleaning, and clearing out any mucus or bacteria. If you are a voice professional, someone who uses their voice to make a living, this clearing is something I recommend you do every couple of weeks. It is another tool in the tool box of your own personal vocal health care regimen.
  3. Foods to sleep by for Vocal Health Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things a voice professional needs. When we get the proper amount of sleep, at least 7 hours, our body is refreshed, strong and full of energy. The strength, power, clarity and focus of our voice is very dependent on our body. If we feel weak and depleted then our voice will more than likely sound the same way. A good nights sleep is crucial for quality vocal health. While exercise and mental clarity are definitely important for a good nights sleep, diet is equally important. Vocal Health and Eating before sleeping The body needs to rest while sleeping. If we eat up to three hours before sleeping, then our digestive system is working very hard digesting our meal, taking energy that should be storing up as we sleep. This energy is also needed to restore and heal whatever our body and voice is going through even if it is just basic repair from the days normal activities. In addition to, and even more important is the effect of eating before sleeping on the voice. Eating before sleeping is one of the most common reasons voice professionals have GERD, also known as acid reflux. Many times because of eating before sleeping and lying down while digesting, food is not able to digest properly and excess acid from the stomach can move up into the throat and sit on the vocal cords causing a myriad of problems ranging from waking up with mucus on the cords to inflammation and even vocal cord deterioration. Eating the wrong foods before sleeping can also lead to a difficult nights sleep due to the effects on the brain. Sugars, white flour, processed foods, dyes, fried foods, glutens and carbohydrates all effect the brain negatively not allowing it to slow down and rest while sleeping. Tryptophan for Vocal Health It is important for voice professionals to know what to eat before they sleep to get a good nights sleep. One amino acid that is very useful in helping the body to slow down and rest peacefully is tryptophan. Tryptophan helps to combat depression, stabilize moods, and insomnia. It also helps to alleviate stress, is good for migraine headaches, and aids in weight control by reducing appetite. If you must eat within three hours of going to sleep, try eating smaller amounts of food and eating foods with high levels of tryptophan. Some excellent sources of foods containing tryptophan and have a low potential to create mucus include: Alaskan salmon Asparagus Baked potatoes with their skin Beans Brown rice Chicken breast Cod Eggs Halibut Hazelnuts Hummus Kelp Lentils Meats Nuts ( sprouted not roasted ) Quinoa Seaweed Sesame seeds Shrimp Snapper Soy protien Spinach Spirulina Tuna Turkey Winter Squash Certainly this list is not all inclusive and there may be some foods that do not digest well in one person and are okay for another. Each person needs to know what works for them and their vocal regimen. As a voice professional your vocal health must be one of the top priorities in your life. Get the right amount of sleep and eat properly to insure your voice delivers for you when you need it to. As always, I wish you the best on your quest for Superior Vocal Health David Aaron Katz
  4. The Carbonphone by Placid Audio is a very unique microphone for anyone who is interested in experimenting with sound. Its military grade carbon granule element captures sound and creates a "lofi" sound that is naturally distorted. Creating sounds similar to scratchy vinyl or an old military radio, this microphone is perfect for anyone looking to recreate a more vintage tone or anyone looking to create something new altogether. Included with the microphone is the Tone Box which provides the current which is needed to power the microphone. While the microphone can be powered by any standard 9 volt power supply, the Tone Box can also shape the sound through a variable five position filter circuit. Each selection on the control knob offers a different frequency response, allowing the Carbonphone to be used on a broad range instruments and for various applications. Because the sound of Carbonphone has a character unlike many other traditional mics, it makes a great addition to any recording enthusiast’s arsenal of microphones. It can be used as an all out obvious ‘effect’ on it’s own or it can be paired with other traditional microphones for infinite blending possibilities. The Carbonphone is a perfect microphone for any person looking to update their studio with new sounds but it is also usable for live performances and with its high durability and great resistance to high pressure sound levels. FEATURES Military grade carbon granule capsule Fully balanced output Quality Hammond output transformer Rugged copper housing and components Powered 5 position variable filter Tone Box Tone Box doubles as a phantom power source Tone Box can be used with other microphones 9 volt power supply for Tone Box High quality Nuetrik 3 pin XLR connectors Handcrafted in the U.S.A Lifetime operational warranty Adjustable aircraft aluminum mounting bracket to fit North American style stands (will fit European style stands with common threaded adapter) SPECS Type: Carbon Polar Pattern: Cardioid Frequency Response: 100Hz ­- 10kHz Impedance: 600 ohms Output: 120 +/­ 2dB SPL @ 1 kHz Mic Dimensions: 1.75 x 5.5 inches Tone Box Dimensions: 5.25 x 4.25 x 2.25 inches Mic Weight: 1 lbs. Tone Box Weight 0.70 lbs. *The Modern Vocalist World is brought to you by The Vocalist Studio, course and training for singers.
  5. The Chantelle Microphone by Ear Trumpet Labs is created to be the best live vocal microphone, bringing the clarity and warmth of a large diaphragm capsule to a low-profile body. In addition to a smooth high end with no harsh tones and an upper-midrange emphasis, included is also a full foam pop filter for even greater sound control.With exceptional feedback rejection, the can be used on even the loudest of stages.The microphone comes specifically tuned to handle any stage and still provide excellent feedback rejection. Chosen by performers in diverse genres, from R&B (Andra Day) to indie folk (Rachel Sermanni) to roots (Dustbowl Revival), Chantelle has a beautiful copper body and distinctive aesthetic that will inspire singers to give their best performance. Chantelle is an end-address large-diaphragm condenser with a flexible pivoting body, excellent for vocals live, in studio, and in videos. This microphone is perfect for any vocalist wanting a diverse sound with a great amount of control over feedback and tone. With a great design and a very slick aesthetic, this microphone is sure to be a great addition for any singer's arsenal. FEATURES Hand-made microphone with unique appearance Side or end address, using pivoting bracket Capsule and electronics tuned for close vocal use on the loudest of stages with excellent feedback rejection Internal shock dampers for minimal handling noise Integral silk and mesh pop filter, for effective control of plosives without loss of clarity Transformerless FET fully balanced electronics Highest quality hand-wired electronic components - film caps, precision resistors, hand tested and matched transistors, with component values tuned for the individual circuit. TECHNICAL SPECS: Transducer Type: Condenser, large (26 mm) diaphragm Polar Pattern: Cardioid Frequency Response: 20 - 15K hz (-3dB) Sensitivity: -49dB (4 mV/Pa) Output Impedance: <50 Ohm Noise Level(A-weighted): <17 dBA Power Requirement: +48V phantom power Weight: 1 lb (4 lbs cased) Dimensions: 8” x 2” x 2”; head is 2” in diameter Sku: ETL-CHANTELLE Hear The Chantelle *The Modern Vocalist World is brought to you by The Vocalist Studio, course and training for singers.
  6. 0 downloads

    With a teaching career that spans nearly four decades, Jeannie Deva is an international celebrity voice and performance coach, published author, clinician, recording studio vocal producer, trainer of voice teachers and originator of The Deva Method® - Complete Voice Training for Stage and Studio.As a graduate from Berklee College of Music in 1975 with a degree in Composition and Arranging, Jeannie assisted in establishing the college's voice department and later became President of Berklee's Alumni Association for ten-years. Voice teachers around the world base their teaching on Ms Deva's method from her published books and CDs. She is featured on the acclaimed video The Vocalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship by Internationally respected music educator Julie Lyonn Lieberman and distributed by Hal Leonard. Jeannie Deva www.JeannieDeva.com
    Free
  7. 6 downloads

    Robert Lunte is the owner founder of the The Vocalist Studio International www.TheVocalistStudio.com, an Internationally recognized voice training school for extreme singing vocal techniques and advanced vocal instruction. Robert is also the author and producer of the critically acclaimed vocal instruction training system, “The Four Pillars of Singing”. TVS techniques are shared around the world by voice teachers as part of the TVS International Certified Instructor Program, which is one of the fastest growing vocal organizations of highly trained voice coaches in the world today. Robert is also the founder of The Modern Vocalist World www.TheModernVocalistWorld.com, the #1 online resource for vocal education and networking on the internet. This download include four separate interviews of Robert Lunte. www.TheFourPillarsofSinging.com
    Free
  8. 0 downloads

    Peter Freedman is the founder of RØDE Microphones, an Australian-based designer and manufacturer of microphones, related accessories and audio software. Its products are used in studio and location sound recording as well as live sound reinforcement. Peter Freedman www.RODEMicrophones.com
    Free
  9. REMEMBERING JEANNIE DEVA MY COLLEAGUE & FRIEND THANK YOU JEANNIE... I was very saddened by the news of Jeannie's passing. Jeannie was in fact, a friend of mine. We first met in her home 2006, when I was under contract with TC-Helicon as the Voice Council Director as the first manager of Voice Council.com. As such, I traveled to LA and met with Jeannie and brought her on board to Voice Council. It was I, that first introduced Jeannie Deva to VoiceCouncil.com. and that was when we forged our friendship.As years went by, Jeannie and I engaged in a lot of cooperative projects and some business deals that were always a pleasure. When I think of Jeannie Deva, one of the first things that comes to my mind is that she was very loyal as a colleague and as a friend. Jeannie was the kind of person that rose above petty politics. Jeannie had a sort of,... "above all that" vibe to her that made me feel very comfortable and at peace in her presence. It always instilled a lot of trust in our friendship. Apart from the personal reflections, Jeannie was a great voice coach. She knew what she was doing to be sure. The world was fortunate to be able to share in her gift for teaching, charisma and positive karma. Today, I still think of Jeannie from time to time and I do not believe that will change.Thank you Jeannie for your friendship and for maintaining a high level of integrity in our dealings. I will definitely miss you.Respectfully,Robert Lunte... below are two recordings I have kept in my private music collection of Jeannie singing... very beautiful. 01-- Jeannie Deva - Whiter Shade of Pale.mp3 01-- Jeannie Deva - Melodia Sentimental.mp3
  10. Hi, TMV-ers! I thought it would be useful today to write a bit about how I approach and talk about vocal technique, in the hope that by putting these ideas out there, you can pick and choose some of them that make sense to you, and that you will hopefully find useful. As a starting point for this, I am inspired to recall an idea I read in Cornelius Reid's book, 'Voice - Psyche and Soma'. I cannot remember the exact quote, but the gist of it is that the mind and the body are acting together to produce the singing voice. I think this means for vocal technique that singing is simultaneously psychological and physical. A survey of books written on singing over the last 200 years shows that every teacher has a different approach to working with singers, a different mix of the psychological and physical. Some favor emphasis of the physical aspects, and talk about doing things with body parts, muscle groups, tendons, nasal cavities, lower jaw, the tongue, etc. Others emphasize the sensations of the singer, i.e., 'sing so that you feel such and such a sensation in such and such location in your body'. Still others rely on metaphors and imagery, i.e., 'sing out the top of your head', or 'imagine that you are projecting the tone toward a target on the wall', or 'think of a happy memory'. I don't do any of these alone. Perhaps better stated, I do them all, cherry-picking ideas and approaches from these authors that have these characteristics: 1) are based on anatomical fact, acoustical principles, and physiologically healthy bodily action. 2) are easily expressed and understood using in common language 3) can be practiced beneficially by the student without the teacher's constant supervision 4) help the singer build their ability to sing what they desire to sing - whatever genre or style that is. When it comes to teaching, I am also an optimist. :-) I believe that most people, with very few exceptions, can learn to sing for their own & others' enjoyment if they approach it with patience. In my next posts, I will be writing about the basics of how the voice works - 'what happens where' in the mind and body to produce healthy vocal tone. Along the way, I will address some common misconceptions I've encountered, and clarify some terms that are often used by singers and teachers, but not well understood. I have no illusions that the way I approach this is the only way, or even the best way. I am very interested to hear other ways of doing it as well, as that is how I learn myself. If you have a particular area you'd like to discuss, send me an e-mail or comment to my blog, and I will pull that text forward in a response. Best Regards, Steve
  11. Vocal Aerobics: Essentials for Today's Singers with Julie Lyonn Lieberman Running Time and Format: 60-minute instructional DVD Distributed by: Hal Leonard Corporation (7777 W. Bluemound Rd. Milwaukee, WI 53213, 800-637-2852, http://www.halleonard.com /) to bookstores, music stores and schools through the world) Release Date: September 30, 2008 Description: World-renowned music educator, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, has created an instructional DVD for singers. Her practice system focuses on cognitive illumination and muscular facility. This system can help develop a vibrating palette that communicates spirit, emotion, and viewpoint all riding effortlessly on the breath. It is supported by science yet connected to individuality. By first guiding the exercises in silence, her intent is to prevent the tension and misuse that often occur when the main impetus for the creation of musical sound is fueled by a brew of yearning and fear mixed with a fixation on the end product. Topics covered include: Section I Introduction, Creating a Cathedral, Breath Anatomy Section II Aerobicizing the Tongue, Mobilizing the Lips Section III Balancing the non-dominant side of the mouth, Posture, The Power of Imagery, Warming Up and Warming Down, Vocal Health Ms. Lieberman trusts the innate intelligence of the client by making sure that they understand how and why each region of their vocal anatomy works the way it does. Through extensive experience teaching, she has developed ergonomically based exercises that are fulcrum triggers: they get the job done more efficiently and faster. Lieberman has discovered that when the lights are turned on and the equipment is illuminated, epiphanies abound and can continue to be generated by the singer, long after the teacher leaves the room. In-depth studies while writing her critically acclaimed book. You Are Your Instrument, followed by her three spin-off DVDs (The Vocalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship, The Instrumentalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship, and The Violin in Motion) place a unique spin on this body of work. Most voice teachers use exercises that are effective in the long run or they would be put out of business, but the older model for mentorship entailed I do and do as I say approach. It was a faith-based relationship; the student was expected to blindly follow the teacher's directions without specifics, context, or adequate rapport with the musculature required to do the job smoothly and consciously. The belief behind that style of work was that if you repeated each exercise enough times (often while inadvertently thinking about something else), that it would help you sing better. This is the long, slow train to success. Julie believes that it's time to replace unconscious repetition with less activity, more awareness, and targeted control. She will help you convert the butcher's knife into a laser beam! To Order: see JulieLyonn.com and click on Vocalist's Corner About the author Julie Lyonn Lieberman (JulieLyonn.com) has specialized in working with creative vocalists in her NYC music studio over the last 3 decades. Her students have included artists such as Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton, Grammy-nominated Putnam Murdock, Indie music award winner Kara Suzanne (best new folk-singer/songwriter album of the year), and critically acclaimed lyricist Julie Flanders, to name a few. Ms. Lieberman is an improvising violinist/singer, composer, recording artist, journalist, educator, and the author of nine books and six instructional DVDs. A dynamic, participatory workshop leader, her ability to stimulate participants to think and grow in new ways has earned respect for her work throughout the world. In addition to currently teaching improvisation at Juilliard, she has presented for organizations like Music Educators Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, the Juilliard MAP Program, Carnegie/Weill Hall/Juilliard's The Academy, National Young Audiences, and the Carnegie Hall LinkUp. Lieberman is a J. D'Addario Elite Clinician. Alfred Publishing publishes her scores.
  12. 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 >>>
  13. INTRODUCING THE TC HELICON VOICE LIVE TOUCH 2 They call it a "Vocal-Designer". Interesting, I thought to myself while unpacking the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 from its box. As the name implies TC-Helicon has released a new version of its innovative 'Touch' series which builds upon the original Voice Live Touch. I'll be upfront and say that I never had the opportunity to try out the original Voice Live Touch so this review will strictly be based on my experience with the new unit: the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2. Gone are the colorful touch pads and diminutive LED screen. Instead, the Touch 2 is more serious wrapped in subdued grey with a much more usable LCD screen. Being this is a very menu driven device I imagine this is a welcome change to the original Touch users. TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2: Build This product can be purchased at The Vocal Gear Store. As with all TC-Helicon gear, the build quality of the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 makes it feel like every bit of its $500 street value. There are no manual knobs and buttons on the Touch 2. Instead, every control aside from a mic gain knob is a touch pad. It's an interesting design concept that is going to work for some but may be troublesome for others. The layout is generally straightforward and once you get a hold of the basics of how to drive into settings, the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 is fairly intuitive. I wish TC Helicon had given thought to backlighting their pads as I can see having issues in a dark club environment finding the right pad to hit, especially if you prefer as I do to not stand mount it. As a workaround, I highly recommend using their 3 button foot control available for purchase separately. TC Helicon touts the VL2 as giving singers "unprecedented creative control of their live sound with state-of-the-art vocal effects and performance looping in an intuitive touch layout." This I agree with. The TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 packs an enormous catalog of preset effects to get you started sorted by genre such as Rock, Pop, Alternative etc. that mock the vocal effects used on a large v ariety of hit socks. If that isn't enough they are continually updating the catalog that is downloadable directly to the VLT2's using VoiceLive support. The TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 In Practice The TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 is pretty much ready to go out of the box. Built in is TC's fabulous adaptive tone which automagically applies adaptive EQ, compression and de-ess to your voice. It almost always sounds great and it certainly does on the Touch 2. Every effect is just about infinitely customizable on the Touch 2 including all the usual suspects of HardTune, tap delay, reverb, harmony, doubling, choir, and transducer. However, I generally found myself starting with one of the built-in presets and then customizing it to fit my sound. One of the more interesting features added on the Touch 2 is an effects "slider" that allows you to a choc tweak with your sound as you go. TC has come a long ways with their harmony algorithms by syncing them up with instrument input to ensure they are always on point and realistic sounding. The Touch 2 adds to the flexility of this by incorporating 8 total voices (more than you'd likely every need) and what they call "RoomSense". If one doesn't have an instrument to plug into the VoiceLive, the two onboard microphones take it the chord structures based off what its hearing in the room to decide how to apply the harmonies. I would argue there's no replacement for real harmonies, but this comes so damn close that admittedly even I have started using them. Another key feature to point out is the 6 track TC VLOOP performance looper. This is where things can really get creative with the ability to record your vocals on the fly for up to 30 seconds. The Touch 2 is so intelligent that it will even quantize those for you for perfect loops. One you have your loops you than then add Reverse, Filter, Slow Speed, Squeeze and Squeeze Auto to really make things interesting. Overall I felt that the looper was well done and simple enough that it could be used in a live situation. CONCLUSIONS about The TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 The TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 is without question an extremely powerful tool. At the end of the day, it does however, cater itself slightly more towards the studio and solo artist than it does to more of a rocker like myself. I felt the menu-driven design and touch interface left me spending more time in trial and error before finding a sound than I would have spent flipping a knob or hitting a switch on the Voice Tone series pedals. In my opinion, though, TC has found a niche within a niche market with the VLT2. If this looks like it might be your kinda thing I recommend you check it out.
  14. Introduction This blog post is an extended version of a response to a question in the Forum from Mr.Steven Bradley, who wrote requesting some analysis of the scream as done by Steven Tyler in 'I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing' at: Discussion - finding a cool video of Steven Tyler's Vocal cords during a scream I was not really able to do an analysis of the particular section he had in mind of that song, but I did find a wonderful little section of a National Geographic special on youtube, in which Steven Tyler's ENT (Dr. Steven Zeitels, of Harvard Medical School and Mass General Hospital )was interviewed, and which included some video of stroboscopic laryngoscopy with simultaneous audio , which makes the vocal cords look like they are moving in slow motion while the listener is able to hear the sound that is being made. Yes, that is right, a slow-mo of Steven Tyler's vocal bands during a scream that you are also able to hear at the same time. At about 1:10 in this video, which was made with a combination of performance and ENT's video and audio, you can see some very interesting things. Right at that time, (with the strobe on) you see the cords vibrating slowly and hear his tone quality in the ENT's office while he is singing that top Ab. There are a couple things to note: 1) Location of oscillation: Right before the narrator cuts back in, Steven sustains the Ab he is screaming for a moment while it is being scoped. Its at that point that the close observer can see fairly clearly see what is going on, including what part of the vocal folds are vibrating. The scoop here: The vibration is at the 'top' part of the picture, which during the exam, is the posterior part of the vocal bands. In a word, this is not 'zipped up' so that vibration is only at the front section of the vocal cords as one sometimes sees, but taking place at the back close to the arytenoids. 2) Phonation Motion The motion of the vocal bands is not uniform during the scream, but can be seen to have some complexity or variation. This kind of phonation results in complexity of the glottal pulse wave shape, which will be reinforced by the vocal tract if some of the frequencies are close to vocal formants. Here is what that looks like spectrographically: The Scream, Spectrographically To understand what this shows us, follow along from left-to-right: 1) The first upward peak is the sung fundamental (also called the first harmonic, or H1) . Its about the Ab above the treble staff, (at 820 Hz, for those interested - I measured it). It is a very narrow peak, indicating that he is singing it with no vibrato. Look to the right now, and find the highest peak on the chart. This is at 1640 Hz, exactly twice the frequency of the fundamental, which makes it a harmonic as well, in this case, the 2nd harmonic, H2. It is also narrow. Find the 3rd narrow peak, and you will see the third harmonic (H3) which is at 2460 Hz. Above that, there is not much intensity of sound. NB At this point: If these 3 harmonics were the only sound present in the vocal tone, it would be very powerful, and sound very pure to us... clean and clear. But, Steven's sung tone is not that simple. It has a complexity which is a part of his 'scream' vocalism. Lets look at that. Between the H1 and H2 peaks is another one, with a fairly wide base that ramps up to a peak almost as tall as H1. That peak is fairly wide (when compared with the harmonics we have been discussing up to this point,) and then it ramps down in a way that the harmonics do not. This display is characteristic of a multi-frequency cluster of sound energy, which is being amplified selectively by a vocal resonance, IMO probably due to the lowest vowel formant, F1. The line traces the shape of the resonance influence of the formant as it selectively amplifies the pink noise input. Just FYI: The frequency 'center' of this sound energy is about 1218 Hz, which is not a harmonic multiple of the sung fundamental. These partials are, therefore 'non-harmonic partials'... components of the sound which are not in the expected harmonic series, so our brain interprets them as noise. The overall effect of the combination of 3 strong sung harmonics, with the loud noise component, gives us this particular version of the 'Steven Tyler Scream'. Request for '2nd Opinion' I am by no means an expert in either the analysis of vocal screaming or of interpreting the nuances of phonation characteristics as revealed by stroboscopic laryngoscopy. However, there are TMV-ers who are very familiar with both of these territories. My request: Write comments to this blog, to affirm what I have offered, or to give other opinions about what you see or hear. I am very interested to know your reactions.
  15. 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.
  16. So what does a student need? They need to be able to do all of the physical tasks that constitute the singing activity required by their goals. This requires training, even if no trainer is available. In addition, their goals will require them to develop the musicianship and experience to handle styles, inflection, and ornamentation appropriate for the music they want to do. This requires learning, even if no teacher is available. In school and at home, we were told many times to "Think about what you are doing!" That approach is almost completely counter-productive for musicians and high wire walkers. Imagine the effect of yelling "Think about what you're doing!" to a person walking a wire across the Grand Canyon. The free-flow execution of skills is managed by a part of the brain that is totally different from the part of the brain where knowledge and understanding are applied to currently executing skills. Once a performer starts thinking about what they are doing, the analytical part of the brain begins to interfere with the free-flow part of the brain. If you as a teacher explain everything, you are implying that singing skills can be managed by the intellect, which is actually impossible beyond a beginner level. I'm not saying that teaching about the subject of singing technique has no value. A voice teacher needs to really know and understand the subject. However, I am suggesting that you carefully consider how much and when to teach a student "about" singing technique. My friend, Robert Lunte, says that singers need to train as "vocal athletes," and I totally agree. The great athletes don't become great by approaching their skills analytically. Their trainers focus on the physical and mental demands of specific skills, and they train the muscles to do the job. The great trainers also train the athlete's mind to concentrate in ways that don't interfere with the fluency of their physical skills. Princeton says that "training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies." I like that definition, but I would boil it down a bit and say that personal voice training is leading someone through exercises and experiences that develop the skills to achieve specific goals and acquire the knowledge required to execute those skills in the required styles. For more information about The Performing Mind, go to http://www.pfco.com. Michael Kysar The Performing Mind http://www.pfco.com
  17. It's been my own experience as well as the experience of my clients that "thinking" while singing cannot be a part of this process. If you are thinking about technique while you sing, you will lose the emotional content of which you wish to express as well as the artistry. I had to learn for myself ,and then teach my students, that vocal exercising was just that: exercising the instrument. I use vocal exercising to warm up the voice, see where a voice is at, fix any difficulties a singer might be having, rehabilitate (a specialty of mine) from damage or injury, and train for proper support and breathing. If you think about the things I've just mentioned about the use of vocal exercising, could you ever really do all of that while performing your songs? Would it truly be possible to carry your message with all that mind tripping going on? The only message ever conveyed from all that is "Pretty voice, but oh so academic in sound." What a horrible feeling. You shouldn't have to worry about your voice when you sing and perform. Everything should be such second nature to you that you are free to express yourself. The ONLY time to think about your voice is when practicing your exercises to get rid of bad habits that have either damaged your voice or are keeping you from having the voice you want. It's also my experience that although it's important to gain a good intellectual understanding of what needs to happen, intellect alone will not change anything. It is with the repetitive PHYSICAL experience that you gain true knowledge ( the dictionary definition of knowledge is 'understanding gained AFTER you have experienced it'). The repeated action of vocal exercising that takes place when getting rid of bad habits is what the experience of exercising is about. Also, using any exercise of choice to warm-up the voice will help you discover any weak points you might have on any given day. Once uncovered, you can choose an exercise that might help to open up that.particular section. That's when you really know you've gained true control. Thinking should actually take place BEFORE practicing a vocal exercise run. Learning what you are doing wrong before you can learn how to do it right is the first part of the process. It is with the correct intellectual information that you contemplate, not concentrate, what you've been told must happen to undo any bad habit. When you begin a run, you SHOULD NOT be thinking about it. Rather, you remind yourself just BEFORE you do it and then just GO! NO thinking! Tape, listen for steady streams of sound, and feeling when it's uncontrollable. If you can't figure out what you did that made you feel uncomfortable, listen back to the tape and make fun of the sound by imitating it. This is a proven way to figure it out .
  18. Here's an article from an article I wrote for the Music Producers Forum back in March. Open mics are starting growing in popularity around the Sydney pub and club scene. One theory is that with the anti-smoking law, club owners are having to find ways to attract their drinkers. For live music, this is a good turn of events. It always is a massive quantum leap from being able to to perform a couple of songs to a performance-ready level, to having a full 3 sets ready (Around 30 songs). An Open Mic offers the chance for musicians and songwriters to test drive their musicianship to an audience (A real live one at that!) and build up that full gig song list. The Surf Rock hotel at Collaroy (Northern beaches of Sydney) hosts an open mic every Wednesday which I have attended several times now. The format for this open mic is 3 songs, and you can fit up to 3 people on the small stage that is situated on top of the central bar. As a member of the audience, you generally don't know what you are going to hear, but that is a part of the charm of the open mic. You really feel like you have the opportunity to be the first to discover the next big thing. As an open mic performer, the experience is a little different. Now that I've played my second open mic, I feel like an expert (Well a bit more of an expert that what I was before). So here are a few tips that I've come up with to make the most of the open mic. Check out the venue before the night If possible, go to the venue to a prior open mic to check out what the environment is like. Is there usually a big crowd? (This could be intimidating for your first performance). Find out what kind of songs are played, as you want your selection to suit the crowd, as well as make sure that the song you plan to play is not already performed. At well organised open mics, a regular base of performers usually develop. Find out what the open mic organiser supplies, in regards to equipment, and if they have a house guitar, check if its a good one. If it isn’t up to scratch, you may want to bring your own. The guys who organise the Collaroy open mic supply a beautiful Cole Clark steel string acoustic (nice). Preparation Practice, practice & practice before you get there. Make sure that you have a few extra songs up your sleeve, not for the encore (These don't usually happen at open mics due to time constraints), but incase your cover song gets covered before you get your chance. If you have accompaniment, make sure that they have rehearsed with you as well. What to bring If you choose to bring your own guitar, make sure you have a spare set of strings, and your tuner. (Unfortunately, the untuned guitar rears its head every now and then). If you have your own music to promote, get some cards made with your Myspace account or website details, these open mics are invaluable in developing a fanbase. What to do on the night Drink room temperature water if you can. Cold water can tighten up your vocal chords. Tea with a drop of honey has been a recommendation I have heard but generally, stay away from carbonated drinks before hand as well. Get behind other performers. If they have done well after their performance, let them know! You'll know how invaluable this feeling is once you have been the recipient of praise from your new found peers. A good open mic generates a positive community feel amongst the performers, and make sure that you are a part of that, so don't let your ego prevent this from happening. If all went well, make sure that you book yourself into another night, before you leave. What to do after the night Think of what songs you can play next. Try and get 3 new songs up at performance level. Now that your feeling that bit more confident about it all, invite some friends along for the next one. This article was originally posted on www.musicproducersforum.com in March 2008.
  19. Hi Everyone! Now that winter weather is upon us, many of you will be turning up the thermostat to keep your home warm and comfortable. If your heat is turned up too high, you will be drying the air in your environment. Dry air will dry your throat and vocal folds. To remedy this problem, I am suggesting that you use a hot steam bacteria killing vaporizer unit. You will definitely feel the comfortable and soothing heat that is moist. You will especially feel this wonderful moist heat at night when you sleep. I suggest that you close the door of your bedroom to keep the nice moist heat confined in the room. You will be pleasantly surprised how warm the room gets with the awesome moist heat! In this day and age of high fuel costs, you can easily save money on heat if you turn down your thermostat to 66 to 68 degrees with the vaporizer. For those of you cranking up those thermostats at night, it will be a pleasant change and save you money on your gas or oil bills. More importantly you will save your voice. Since vocal fold hydration is our prime concern during the winter because we go from dry cold air outside to dry warm air inside, the vaporizer use combined with a good amount of water. This really applies to singers and speakers who speak and sing many hours every day. Drink your water! But don't over hydrate. The current water craze with everyone carrying around bottled water is just that a craze a fad. A few years ago an article came out that said everyone should be drinking 64oz of water a day. Where did this writer live The Sahara Desert? Unless you're running the marathon in 90-degree heat, nobody needs to be THAT hydrated. Somehow the human race got along just fine without drinking 64oz a day before the article. BUT drinking FLUIDS is important. While water is the absolute best hydrate for the body, don't skimp on your fruit juices either. But watch the apple juice its gaseous and Orange juice can be very acidic. Distilled fruit juices or power water like those made by say, Snapple are very good. When you venture outside be sure to keep your neck warm by wrapping it in a scarf or turtleneck. Also remember to breathe in through your nose at ALL times. Breathing through the nose warms and moistens the air before it passes into your lungs- a really good thing. Mouth breathing can - and will - lead to respiratory infections, dryness and inflammation of the vocal folds. If you're taking any decongestants or antihistamines that can dry your voice or throat, you should take Robitussin DM or Mucinex to increase the secretions on your folds as a medicine supplement. This applies to everyone who takes antihistamines or decongestants for colds or allergies. I strongly recommend that you use these drying agents only when necessary. Consult with you doctor on their usage. I suggest you consult your allergist or ENT doctor to go over your own personal issues regarding voice disorders and voice issues. We recommend a dust free and pollen-free environment. You should keep your bedroom clean by sweeping or vacuuming as often as possible! We hope that you find these tips to be useful as always. Finally, if you do get a little phlegmy or get a build up of mucous in your throat, there is a great product called Alkalol which is like paint thinner for the vocal folds. Even though the bottle says to distill it, I've found it best to gargle with it at full strength. It can be found online at most online drugstores like Walgreens.com or drugstore.com. It's a singing trade secret. Stay warm and keep practicing. Until next time, Kevin Richards www.rockthestagenyc.com
  20. By public opinion your voice will always be too big, too small, too much vibrato, not enough vibrato, singing too much, not singing enough, too light, too dark, too harsh, too smooth , too operatic, not operatic enough etc lol This is something anyone singing for any length of time will notice. The truth is they don't know what they are looking for and change their minds with the wind. I cite Simon Cowell for American Idol stating on Idol that Operatic was out, but on the UK version of the show he not only loved the tenor who sang an Aria, That Tenor won the season. So it is all a matter of where,when, how and to whom your singing to. Most of the current pop, rock, metal singers, if they were placed in the 1930's, wouldn't be called singers, they would be called vulgar. Had grunge singers come out in the 60's they would have been considered too harsh. Metallica was considered too heavy for top 40 ,but by thrash standards, they're light. Ultimately YOU WILL HAVE TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO TO WANT TO CONTINUE DOING IT! it takes time and maintenance and if you are singing what you do not like it will get old quick. We all want to be liked and appreciated,but ultimately you can not please everyone. Know thyself is not only a general rule in Spiritualism it is a requirement for the Singer. When you know who you are as a Vocalist/Artist regardless of genre. You will learn to brush aside ignorant comments and be the best at what you do. I find this most amusing. The greatest complaint against me I've received is too much vibrato and the same time the greatest compliment I get is nice vibrato. at first, this caused me confusion and I was always trying to suppress for one crowd while enhancing it for another. Ultimately I now just use it as it is naturally produced without helping it and without diminishing it intentionally. I smirk inwardly at the mention of Vibrato. I feel I have to add this for clarification. You should be able to change things for a particular character, part or effect. That's part of the craft. But if your Pavorotti you should not be expected to sound like Tina Turner. Ignorant fans of one particular style or sound will always try to compare you to what they like and discount all else. Get used to it and shrug it off.
  21. So, where do we start? Every good voice coach will tell you that before any drills or techniques should be considered you must make sure you know how to behave with your voice mechanism. First, let's not do it any worse then, let's try to make it better. Who needs Vocal Hygiene? EVERYONE does! Listen to a full radio show : http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-156371
  22. Colds or Flus - To Sing or Not to Sing, by Jeannie Deva I've heard that singers should not sing if they have a cold or a hoarse voice. Is this always true? Flu Season A: This is a timely question during the winter flu season. Many singers are sensibly concerned about harming their voice. A singer may find herself hoarse for just a day, a week, or chronically. Hoarseness or laryngitis is an inflammation and swelling of the vocal folds, which inhibits them from properly stretching and closing. If they can't stretch and close, they are unable to properly vibrate and produce the desired sound. Two Reasons Laryngitis can be the result of a respiratory infection such as bronchitis or the result of vocal strain from singing incorrectly. If you are hoarse due to an infection, seek appropriate medical attention and remedies like antibiotics, vitamins, etc. If you have vocal strain, then the remedy is proper warm-ups to rehabilitate your vocal muscles returning them to optimum health and vibrational capacity. A hoarse voice after singing means you need to find a good voice teacher or work with one of my self-study courses to develop your vocal muscles. To Sing or Not to Sing In less serious circumstances, there are two types of colds or throat infections. With one you can sing and with the other you should not. If you have a respiratory infection which is in your larynx (voice box) or lungs, do not sing. However, sometimes the vocal recovery of a lower respiratory infection can take some time. To facilitate this recovery, once the infection is gone, use of specific vocal warm-up exercises will help restore your voice. If you have an infection of your upper throat or sinuses, you can sing if you prefer that to canceling a performance. Though a sinus infection can make the back wall of your throat painful when swallowing or singing, it will not affect your voice as long as the infection is not also in your larynx. Serious There are certain symptoms which may suggest a more serious problem. If you have a raspy voice when speaking for a prolonged period of time, a shut down of the upper range where your voice now just squeaks out, notes that were previously fine just won't come out now, pain when singing or speaking or chronic laryngitis, you should waste no time getting professional help. These are indications of possible nodes or polyps and you should consult an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist). No one should be hoarse for more than two weeks without being examined by a competent medical specialist. A Stitch in Time Saves Nine On the lighter side, the old adage, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," is really the best approach. Do vocal warm-ups before rehearsal or performance and work with a good coach or self-study course so that you develop vocal stamina and avoid the need for a cure. Have a Happy, Healthy, New Year! Jeannie Deva Find more singer's know-how in "The Deva Method Group" here on TMV or within my Free Lessons on www.JeannieDeva.com Jeannie Deva's private studio is located in Los Angeles, California and she works with singers from around the world in person and as well via Internet video conferencing. She is the Founder of The Deva Method ®, A Non-Classical Approach for Singers and of The Jeannie Deva® Voice Studios. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed vocal home-study course: "The Contemporary Vocalist" and "The Deva Method Vocal Warm-Ups" CD. Her studios service an international clientele and are staffed with certified Deva Method voice trainers, now celebrating their 31st anniversary. Clients include: Members of the J. Geils Band, Foghat, the musicals Fame, Wicked and Lion King, Aimee Mann, Patty Griffin and many more.
  23. In 1983, doctors at National Jewish Center described a condition that has the potential to mimic asthma, thus leading to inaccurate diagnosis and inappropriate, potentially harmful treatment. This condition is called vocal cords dysfunction, or VCD. The condition is characterized by vocal cord closure, usually on inspiration, leading to air-flow obstruction, wheezing, and occasionally stridor. VCD has been reported from ages 3 to 82, but most often it occurs between the ages 20-40 especially in women and for as-yet-unidentified reason particularly among health care workers. Among teenagers, VCD has a strong link to participation in competitive sports activities and to personal and family orientation towards high achievement. This is a mysterious disorder which underlying mechanisms are still unknown. No biochemical, physiologic, or structural abnormalities have been associated with this syndrome. Want to hear all about it??? Listen to my radio show : http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-156341 Enjoy the show!
  24. For the starting out vocalist, or even for the professional at anything, I don't think there is one bestanyone. Vocalists, Performers, Teachers/Coaches, and most anyone I know has had their dreams. In our youth the dreams are, for the most part, grandiose. For a very small few, they aren't. For whatever reasons, those people hit it big. I like to think it's destiny, but who knows? Ego deflation has taken its time on me. I don't know about anyone else, but I am one of those people who had to be brought down to what I call "right size." Yes, okay, it wasn't pretty, but I came to accept something that made me very happy. I am THE BEST teacher for those who find their way to me. It's that simple. For those singers who come to learn from me in my 'lab,' I invest everything I have to give. For myself, I've learned I really can't afford to take students on just for money. I want to be teaching those who are sincerely hungry to learn. In my practice, I've noticed many 'a confused' student. They come not having been able to understand so many things after so many lessons with other instructors.Often its' because of misperception with semantics when, in reality, we are all trying to teach right way. With my own clientele, I've found it important to not only learn how to explain things using the right words, but to also learn how to communicate on different levels. My dictionaries have been quite useful with this. The "just do it" method never worked for me, so why would I think it would work for my students? In my mind, it's like when I was a kid and asked my parents, "Why?" and they came back at me with "because I said so." Some students don't even understand why they even have to bother practicing vocalises just because they've never understood the reasoning behind it. "Learn by do" is one of my mottos, but we also have to have some intellectual understanding of how things work or the puzzle pieces won't come together when physically experienced. It all has to make sense. The AH HA moments come when someone has repeatedly physically experienced right way. I teach a lot of foreigners. There are a lot of words they don't understand. This is where my acting (used to be an actress -- long story) and my willingness to look ridiculous comes in handy. Often I have to imitate the unnatural ways in which a singer is trying to go after something, exxagerate it so much that they get the point. It never fails that we both end up laughing hysterically in these moments. And to me, laughter is so healing, so important. It's also surprising ( at least to me) that those who are famous, have the money to spend, and don't sing well 'live' aren't doing the research to find the teachers who are equipped to fix such problems. I'd be embarrassed to have someone running around telling people, "I took lessons with Dena Murray" if I hadn't corrected such things. Additionally, it's such a let-down for fans to hear that their favorites need so much technology just to be able sound as good as they do on their CDs. It leaves those who are really trying to learn something feeling badly about themselves (their investment), and wondering about their own journeys. I don't like to judge whey anyone has chosen to take voice lessons. There may be reasons that none of us may know until it's time to part ways --and personally, I don't want to be the type who tries to hang on to someone just because I might need money. At that point, there would not only be an undercurrent of resistance, but trying to learn anything would prove unproductive. Besides, it doesn't make room for someone else who might need my service. As instructors, most all are trying to teach the same things and not hurt anyone's voice. In that way, we are all one. I also believe it to be very true that each and every one of has something very unique to bring to the table and that this is what separates us. I have not only learned multitudes from other teachers, methods, and books, I have also learned from my students. I'm not just a professional instructor of voice, I am also still a professional student. I love the challenge of learning new things; challenging my own self. All of that said, it is a privilege to be on this site, an honor to be able to work with such a supportive, professional, gifted, and accomplished group of people. And, if any of you singers find yourself with a teacher who doesn't necessarily 'click 'for you, remember that sometimes it takes having a 'wrong fit' to realize when you've found the right one. I thank all of you for your gifts and the willingness to share them.
  25. Co-Authored Dena Murray and Hilary Canto: Part 3 Mastering Listening & Pitch This is the final part of our 3-part blog on Listening & Pitching. We discussed the essential skills of listening in part 1, the use of tones and airflow in part 2, and now we will discuss matching pitch. Pitch means to match a frequency or note usually on the piano scale.You sing/tone/pitch the exact frequency of the note without going flat or sharp. Lead singing needs perfect pitch for the melody line. Harmony or backing vocals need to be extra good and strong on pitch or everyone will sound out of tune. The scale and key is really the same thing a singer's key is the octave range or scale of notes that the song is being sung in and most suitable for that singer's voice. You need to know the difference between the major and minor scales. Major scales have a bright, clear happy sound. Minor scales are a softer, sadder sound. Major and minor chords can be brought together in songs to add mood and colour etc. Once you have mastered pitch, it will be easier to move through variations in songs. Good vocal training should extend your range, making it easier to cross over into the different segmented vocal ranges and sing more in the style you like most. Make sure you are happy with the instrument you use to help in learning how to match vocal pitch. Not everyone can match pitch easily with the piano. Some need strings, e.g., guitar, bass, or harp. The difficulty with matching the pitch of any instrument comes when the instrument is not in tune with your natural frequencies. Each person has a unique resonance and instrument tuning has been standardised into the frequency of A 440hz. This is actually higher than our natural frequencies (F being common) so we have to really listen hard to then match our voice to this pitch. If a singer has a problem with blocked sound memory, he/she won't be able to hear the correct frequencies needed to vocally reproduce that sound. Remember, We can only reproduce what we can hear. Try mastering continuous octaves first, not just scales in keys from C to C. This will help you find your true voice and resonance. Most people get hung up on C to C. An octave is any 8-note scale/key. You need to have at least a good two octave range before you can start extending that range through vocal exercises and the art of breathing. Once you have at least two octaves of matching pitch, play around with intervals. Solfege is good for this exercise. E.g. do mi mi, mi so so, re fa fa, la ti ti. But also, don't be afraid to get creative. Your own reativity and willingness to play around with exercises will help you gain dexterity, especially with regard to note distances -- where matching pitch becomes an art of its own. Songs are not sung in scale-like exercises. Songs are comprised of different note intervals, which create melodies. If you are really struggling with hitting a pitch straight off you can bend/slide to a note by using the higher or lower note to hit either. For example, c# to c, or, c to c. Singing is supposed to be fun. If you over-think and intellectualize too much, you may only find yourself repeating habits that are keeping you from hitting the correct pitches. It will seem hard and leave you feeling hopeless There are many approaches when it comes to singing and learning how to master pitch. We've shared only a little in our series. Good singing requires lessons. To find the right teacher, you may have try two or three before connecting with one you understand. If seeking a teacher, don't be afraid to tell the teacher you don't understand something. None of us are mind readers. There is no such thing as a stupid question. If you can't even get a grasp of things intellectually, ask yourself this, How will I have that AH HA moment when it physically begins to happen? We hope we have helped you understand a little more about how to listen and match pitch. Every person is different, so it's important to discuss whatever troubles you have with pitch and tone with your instructor, if you have one. If you don't, and want one, take a look at what TMV has to offer! APPENDIX: 1) Listening - You can listen to other singers and their songs of course however if you have a pitch problem these are not likely to help very much. A serious problem may need professional expertise such as hearing tests and/or The Tomatis Method, vocal technique and the art of how to breathe properly for singing songs. 2) Dena Murray teaches in- home and online beginners as well as professionals with her own style technique for correct placement of the voice as well the art of breathing. Books available are: Vocal Technique: Finding your Real Voice (Hal Leonard Corp. 2002), a beginner's book separating the voice before teaching how to bridge the passaggio. Advanced Vocal Technique: Middle Voice, Placement & Styles co-authored with Tita Hutchison (Hal Leonard Publishing 2007) focuses strictly on placement and a unique technical approach to bridging the passaggio. Vocal Strength and Power: Boost Your Singing with Proper Technique and Breathing to be published By Hal Leonard Publishing, end 2009. 3) Hilary Canto's TRUE VOICE COURSE available to download at www.riverofloveconcerts.com , is a teaching guide for your voice where you can join with her and learn how to produce tones, breathe, listen and pitch with step by step exercises to practise. There are back up written sheets too. For more information on how Hilary teaches go to her TMV profile page and there are two blogs on Freeing the Hearts Voice - Intuitive coaching + Mastering Tones & Resonance in addition to this series Co-Authored with Dena Murray.
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