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I'm unaware if this video has been posted here before. I think it underscores what's wrong with some vocal coaches who seem to remain stuck in outdated teaching methods from circa 1985. 

I would have come away from my first voice lesson with the exact same opinion were it not for the fact that a major rock star told me his coach increased his vocal range,  stamina, and power significantly! I went to his same vocal coach. I went to the first lesson expecting that whatever the coach instructed was gold, and I was going to follow it blindly! After all, I had seen the results in a singer he taught!

It's true, just like Grohl implies in this video, after that first lesson I thought, "it just seems bogus that these singing scales are gonna help me achieve what I'm wanting vocally!"

There was very little in depth discussion about what the science of the vocal instruction was. It was just, take this cassette home of the scales I just recorded you singing, and practice them every day for at least an hour. Next week when you come back, we're gonna work on vibrato. Then the next lesson, another cassette, until a large volume of dollars drained out of my wallet.

It's very cool how Rob Lunte blazed the trail on vocal pedagogy in the last 15+ years.  It's a model that brings a more holistic and specialized comprehension, which translates into augmentation of vocal development/improvement. To say nothing of his engaging training system, and the re-engineering of "singing scales" or "vocal workouts" (chiefly - onsets) to maximize the students ability to feel more tangibly what is occurring in the vocal track, and why. 

I don't know who this coach was that Cobain went to, but you can see there wasn't enough understanding at the end of his lesson. AND, if Kurt blew his voice out, why did he come home with a cassette of scales? (see any of the youtube videos or threads on exercises for vocal damage). 

peace!

k

 

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Why do so many singing teachers give out exercises with major scale arpeggios? Surely it would make more sense to vocalise over minor scales or blues scales since this is what most contemporary music is written using. Muscle memory is a bitch to overcome once it's set in.

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6 hours ago, TheHopefulBaritone said:

Why do so many singing teachers give out exercises with major scale arpeggios? Surely it would make more sense to vocalise over minor scales or blues scales since this is what most contemporary music is written using. Muscle memory is a bitch to overcome once it's set in.

You make a good point Hopeful, I know Robert Lunte has minor scales as it also improves pitch recognition for good relative pitch development. 

I have seen some coaches innovate scales that have more relevance musically as you are suggesting. Rob also incorporates some of these type of vocalise.

I'd like to hear a coach comments on this.

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I only use scales with my students when they either want to develop vocal runs, or have slight issues with pitch. I do have them sing 5-tone scales (with a bit of glissando) in the vocal stretch part of their warm up, but I mostly focus on fifths in glissando - fifths are preferred, but I also use octave when fifths prove difficult. Otherwise, they sing songs, even if only in vocalist (vowels only) at first.

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9 hours ago, TheHopefulBaritone said:

Why do so many singing teachers give out exercises with major scale arpeggios? Surely it would make more sense to vocalise over minor scales or blues scales since this is what most contemporary music is written using. Muscle memory is a bitch to overcome once it's set in.

While doing only major scales do not cover *all* coordination possibilities, for example adding a blue note as you mentioned, or a harmonic minor, if you practice the scale across different tonal centers you will cover the mechanics involved on major, minor and modes, since its pretty much the same diatonic scale anyways.

This does not solve the aural side of the problem (knowing when/how to use a minor scale, or identifying it), but the technical side will be ready, so its kinda of a no brainer and the simplicity is desirable to study technique.

Adding more complexity to the melody on a technical exercise would mean have yet another thing to worry about.

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10 hours ago, TheHopefulBaritone said:

Why do so many singing teachers give out exercises with major scale arpeggios? Surely it would make more sense to vocalise over minor scales or blues scales since this is what most contemporary music is written using. Muscle memory is a bitch to overcome once it's set in.

My program, The Four Pillars of Singing offers 32 workouts. Out of the 32, half are minor scales. It also includes 6 scales in the Pentatonic blues. I totally agree with your concern. Vocal workouts don't have to be and really shouldn't always be in a major key. Why is it that way? Other voice coaches simply don't bother to ask this question and don't care about offering diversified content to their customers. They just don't care enough to think about it or do anything about it. That is the reason...

FYI,... my vocal workouts also include slow and fast versions of every workout and Male vs Female versions. As well as 32 "guide files" that has a midi voice singing the parts for people to sing over the top of. And video demonstrations of me performing every workout.

In total, 32 workouts, in slow & fact and male & female and guide files & video demos = 160 files 

Everything you could possibly ask for, or didn't even think to ask for, is there.

 

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48 minutes ago, Felipe Carvalho said:

This does not solve the aural side of the problem (knowing when/how to use a minor scale, or identifying it), but the technical side will be ready, so its kinda of a no brainer and the simplicity is desirable to study technique.

One of the purposes of having minor scales, blues pentatonic and groove scales such as those found in my program is simply to keep training fun and not boring.

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