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Technique and Artistry

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vocalpower
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Hi folks

Just thought I'd open a small Pandora's box.

There are so many supremely informed members of this forum with regard to technique. The forum is a testimony of expert support and advice.

Over the past few years I have spent an enormous amount of time studying the physiology of the human voice. However, much is still speculative and open to differing viewpoints. Whilst it is admirable that we try and understand the technical operations of our 'hidden' instrument, the lack of scientific discovery has not prevented some of the worlds' best singers coming to the fore reaching their peak. Sorry Freddy, you didn't breathe correctly, Mr Bon Jovi you have a nasality issue...

I love the science behind it all but, let's acknowledge that the voice is initiated in the mind firstly and delivered with emotion - that's what moves me :)

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it's so true tony, and it's so much more physical than a lot of people realize. but now that i have a year or so of training under my belt, i see that i have discovered some keys to unlock what i'm certain i wouldn't have found on my own.

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Great point

I'm not trying to dissuade singers from understanding the technicalities; far from it. For years, many classical teachers compelled students to have at least a basic understanding of the physiology. This approach has manifested itself in many forms; think of a blue ball, feel your voice as a laser any many other idioms of 'singing teacher speak'. I firmly believe that a basic understanding of the vocal mechanism can only help - a guitar teacher can quickly correct a bad fingering technique but you wouldn't want me trying to physically tilt your larynx !! :)

Although the singing voice involves many muscular groups, most of them are under natural, idiosyncratic control. A good singer (perhaps like a trained athlete) doesn't let his/her knowledge (or lack of) impede their performance. Simply, I feel it - I sing it

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I find myself most in agreement with the method and philosophy of Geoff Tate, many of you know as the singer of Queensryche. He sings by feel of the emotion in the song. He does not think about note value (C4, Db5, etc.) Or the coloring (full voice, falsetto, low head voice, etc.) Just what the note and the emotion means to him as he is singing it and how the audience is responding. He dreaded the interview in the book I have by Bill Martin because he knew people would be asking for technical definitions and he had none to offer. He did mention that his work with Maestro David Kyle taught him how to breathe and how to find resonance.

And, as I have said, with my 2 cents worth of opinion. technique must serve the emotion, the content of the song, not the other way around.

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Good points here. I am always trying to improve my technique and if I were to sing an aria I would try to pronounce every vowel perfectly. But in singing rock or pop (which is what I do) I intentionally let my own colloquial / slang / dialect influence the way a pronounce words and vowels. Sure, I have to shape the vowels optimally especially when singning high chest voice. But if I were sing everything just perfectly I think I would begin to lose my own style. Letting my natural dialect creep in helps me convey emotion in my own way, and I think this is important.

It is like playing jazz, which I've done too. When practicing patterns and scales for improvisation, you try for your best technique. But when you are at a gig "blowing" you need to let go completely and just go for it. Whatever comes out is you and your emotion.

Or playing Golf. You work on a perfect swing when practing, but when you're on the cousre you have to let go of thinking technically and just play "your best".

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