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Help Identifying This Technique, and How Do I Practice It?

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Hey! There's something that a lot of popular vocalists do and I'm trying to figure out how to do it too. Ed Sheeran does it a lot, for example in the first two words of the phrase 'Are all over written on the signs' at 0:36 seconds in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtZRC_0Vc_A . It sounds like he hits a ton of distinct notes in that trembly 'flourish' thing, I don't know how he makes them each sound so distinct or generally why it sounds so cool. One guess is that he's just doing vibrato as he goes up and down in the tone or maybe he's just skilled enough to do that without any 'trick'. Regardless, does this technique have a name? And how can I practice it?

Thanks very much!

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I think what you are asking about is called Melisma, some may call it a run. Basically singing a group of notes to one syllable. You can Ride the vibrato or you can stop the flow of air between notes while rising and falling in pitch. Just as anything it takes practice. Start by finding the pitch of each note or the Melody of the run you would use and start slow, then get faster when you are confident of the notes/pitches in this small melody.

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If you're in The Four Pillars of Singing course, or the lighter Udemy course, train the Pentatonic Blues workouts and the Groove workouts in Phase 4. And in particular, learn the four step routines for the "Groove Improvisations."

If you're not, then go purchase one and get started. Until then, besides slowing down a "riff" to learn the notes, one of the most effective I've used to teach vocal runs is singing a pentatonic scale that slowly expands upward while always returning to the first note. For example:
1
121

12321
1234321
123454321
12345654321
1234567654321

But you can start anywhere on the scale, it doesn't have to start on 1.

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Awesome! So it seems like expert singers actually do hard stuff instead of having some secret 'trick'. Practice slower then faster.

Thanks!

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On 1/12/2019 at 11:46 PM, question said:

Hey! There's something that a lot of popular vocalists do and I'm trying to figure out how to do it too. Ed Sheeran does it a lot, for example in the first two words of the phrase 'Are all over written on the signs' at 0:36 seconds in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtZRC_0Vc_A . It sounds like he hits a ton of distinct notes in that trembly 'flourish' thing, I don't know how he makes them each sound so distinct or generally why it sounds so cool. One guess is that he's just doing vibrato as he goes up and down in the tone or maybe he's just skilled enough to do that without any 'trick'. Regardless, does this technique have a name? And how can I practice it?

Thanks very much!

A lot of the time it is autotuned.

The techniques classical singers use are good for melismata. You can find genuine examples from there. You can pick up bad habits by trying to emulate autotuned vocals.

 

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