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SLS - good or bad?

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Rhapsody
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Came across some discussions from other forums... leaving me bewildered. Hope to have some input from Steven Fraser!!! =]

Lucero, we will not agree on this. I believe that imagery as a teaching tool is destructive. I also do NOT believe that it is good enough to say, "whatever floats your boat." Either there are principles by which we should approach singing or there are not. If there are, then it behooves all of us to find out what the principles are and to use them to sing and teach. Of course, and as I clearly noted, I am only one singer/teacher and it is not possible to extrapolate the principles from one person. I simply think we need to read, study, and try to understand the mechanism we are using to make music. Do not take my word - as if you would (smiley face). Find out for yourself

what is wrong with egg in the throat.

Singers who attempt to place their sound in the mask -- a feat which is actually impossible -- end up having serious vocal issues. The concept of singing into the mask causes the incorrect muscles to be come active, raising the larynx, creating nasal sounds, etc. It is good that you recognize the limitations of this kind of singing, but I encourage you to completely discard it.

Yeah, I know singing tenor high c (C5) operatically doesn't sound the same as when Geoff Tate hits the same note, but once you've done both yourself, the appeal of sounding wimpy, windy, and underpowered sharply declines. It's the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing one.

The *problem* is [seth Riggs] is full of crap about many things. Scientifically and factually dead wrong. About breathing, about the resonators, about exercises like the "baby cry" to try to get "core" to the sound. The man is a joke. He puts half truths up and takes the names of singers who were already great before he ever touched them (Streisand, Wonder etc.) and says they are SLS students. It is HOGWASH and every single person in those recordings has major vocal issues. They are not singing up to their ability because of the CRAP technique of Riggs. And I would take him on in a debate anytime, any place. Then he can attempt to flip me the bird! ROFL!

I have taught many former SLS singers and they all have the same issues: hoarseness, lack of clarity and NO HIGH NOTES!

SLS is a gimmick in my opinion, and a few people are making lots of money out of it. It is not healthy voice production, and is a road to vocal damage. I am with Olderschool in that I think that there is only one way to correctly use the voice to its full potential and without damage. The voice is an instrument and needs to be set up and used properly whatever the genre of music you are singing. Take Streisand for instance, she sings on the breath, and was originally taught classical vocal technique, but her forte was contemporary music because of her timbre.

QOS.

This should be enough to start the ball rolling. Let's go!

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Dont get me started... a great system for putting the larynx into a nice, neutral position and can help some people bridge... but way behind the times in its understanding of vocal modes, the benefits of tilted & raised configurations and embracing new ideas like distortion.

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Came across some discussions from other forums... leaving me bewildered. Hope to have some input from Steven Fraser!!! =]

This should be enough to start the ball rolling. Let's go!

Rhapsody: I am a bit at a disadvantage here, as I have very little firsthand experience with SLS or SLS teachers. I do know some that I respect (current and previous), and have a sense as well of the SLS approach from the writings that are available. Its been a number of years since I read 'Singing for the Stars', so I may have to refresh my memory of the specific claims.

If you are interested to discuss SLS' premises and approach, I would be ready to participate in that discussion in a couple days. I am travelling this week, and have (unfortunately) less time for well-reasoned discourse, which I think is what you are expecting of me.

So, be patient, if you would. :-)

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Well firstoff these guys who writes this clearly is rather narrowminded, flaming and just plain wrong on many points.

SLS is great for the thing it is aimed for, a balanced voice with a commercial sound(halfmetallic, nonmetallic).

And lunte i agree with you on many points, but the market for the agressive torqued headvoice is alot slimmer then the popbandapproach. Wich is the more mainstreamroute singers today take in evolving the voice.

To say that SLS is dying is in my understanding wrong, people will always go down the route to what a basic understanding of what a good singingvoice is. A light sound kind to the ear, what one would describe as a beautiful singingvoice.

Endangered species? isnt SLS one of the most common approaches nowdays?

I belive SLS has it's place, though it's far from my favourite method i can still se it's uses.

Dont get me started on the "there's only one way to use the voice without damage" with the share ammount of diffrent sounds and ranges the human voice is capable of doing it is impossible there is only one "truth"...

Well this is what i think :P

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Here's a little about my firsthand experience as a beginner. I've actually practiced under the SLS technique and had a certified SLS teacher for a total of 12 one-hour lessons over 4 months. I can no longer afford the lessons and to be honest, I found it confusing. I've been asking questions on this forum because of this confusion. I've also been listening to male singers on the website Endoora, which features a few singers who use the SLS approach and I don't find it convincing as a superb singing technique. It's just another way of singing, a healthy way.

From those lessons, I have learned how to bridge my voice and can sing through the passagio as demonstrated here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8zroG9QWNc (This video seems to be very popular here). I didn't really learn about anatomy and terms like passagio during my lessons. Moreover, I was told that I needed to find the right coordination and that my voice had to be balanced. And to sing without strain, I would need to sing in the mix. Many of the exercises done consisted of lip bubbles and what I think is narrowing vowels.

Now, I can't say that SLS is terrible and useless because I was only trained for 4 months, practicing one hour every day with lessons once a week. In addition, I was a total beginner and didn't know what questions to ask. At my last lesson, I was in the process of strengthening the mix... I'm not sure how I would sound after the mix is strengthened though. I have yet to sing those high notes with a good sound.

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imagery

Visualization is one of the Four Pillars of The Four Pillars of Singing. Maestro David P. Kyle speaks on the power of the mind, visualization, of hearing before singing. I believe in Maestro's pedagogy, thus The Four Pillars.

Here's a little about my firsthand experience as a beginner. I've actually practiced under the SLS technique and had a certified SLS teacher for a total of 12 one-hour lessons over 4 months. I can no longer afford the lessons and to be honest, I found it confusing.

It upsets me to hear this. I can relate, as I started in an SLS studio and spent significant time and money. I grew and learned; however, the biggest advances came from changing studios to a Bel Canto and now to TVS. Don't be too hard on yourself. You are training muscle strength and coordination. It is not a matter of knowing all the right questions to ask. Largely, it is a matter of finding a great pedagogy and practicing over and over. Practice makes permanent; so you should be critical of a pedagogy before you burn it into your muscle memory. I have often thought that as learning to play guitar is more about what strings NOT to mute, singing is about learning to not engage extrinsic muscles or learning to relax muscles.

There are a lot of great youtube voice lessons and tips (and even more misinformation). Several people have libraries of SLS / SS lessons and techniques online for free. I can direct you to some; however, I would recommend moving on. You time and money was not wasted. I am sure you learned, built muscle strength and coordination. If you have recordings of your lessons then you can continue using them. They don't expire. My money says you will learn drastically more and get farther with Robert Lunte, Ken Tamplin, James Lugo, Jaime Vendera, in four lessons than you did in your 12 lessons.

I reflect on how one studio prepared me for the next, training, understanding, questions. I remember reading a post by James Lugo about his experiences with different studios and teachers and how he learn something (sometimes what NOT to do) from every experience.

A voices progress is heavily influenced by its teacher, the quality and amount of practice; however, perhaps one of the most significant factors is the pedagogy. No joke, the very first lesson with Robert freed my voice with healthy top down phonation, and bridging into register 3 with heavy Twang and torquing a full voiced head tone then bridging into register 4 is kind of like Christmas.

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I ordered a copy of Four Pillars..trying to follow the video lessons. I think I'll need some help from Robert over Skype but in the meantime I do not have the means for internet lessons. Oh well, I'll just have to do whatever i can =]

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As a novice I have had great results from using the Singing Success program, that people on here say is based on SLS. I'm not sure why those comments are talking about "vocal damage" with SLS, because in my experience with SS the technique might actually be considered 'too' safe, in terms of the dominance of head voice in the mix which can result in an easily produced but less 'powerful' vocal production.

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i tried SLS, can't say it's a bad program, but really overpriced... Not so much exercices. It was helpful to me, because i tend to strain a lot and still have a lot of difficulties 'mixing'. I just can say it's a program to try. You can learn things everywhere. I still find others more interresting ( i have SLS, James Lugo, Jaime Vendera and Ken tamplin programs).

The main problem is that there's some kind of devotion from some sls singers that actually believe that's its the only way to sing healthy....

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SLS is absolute garbage dude. i went for a lesson back in the day, im happy i didnt continue otherwise i wouldnt have progressed as much as i have now. i mean, its great if your a backstreet boy or n sync band or something. but do you think great singers like sebastian bach, steve grimmet, bruce dickinson, rob halford geoff tate and ann wilson took sls lessons? no way

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can't say that dr rock, i heard Stevie Wonder was coached by Seth Riggs....

Stevie Wonder was a phenomenal singer from a very young age though and I doubt that Seth had to do much refining. Stevie probably learned to sing in a mix voice through trial and error or just fell into it naturally as did Tom Jones.

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you know us rock singers...it think we learned a lot through emulation and singing and reaching, and just plain balls. sometimes the incorrect ways can end up sounding so damn good. Freddie Mercury, Lou Gramm, Robert Plant.....correct, balanced, ? i doubt it

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yeah, stevie wonder took that, but then again so did michael jackson and so did ozzy.

i think ozzy only took like one lesson and decided it wasnt for him.

but for michael jackson, the sls teacher i was taking lessons from, told me seth riggs taught michael jackson all that speech level stuff, but then he "went out and did his own thing, which did total damage to his voice" which the teacher frowned upon

u can totally hear a slight raised laryngeal configuration in michael jacksons voice.

singing totally balanced with no grit or anything from time to time with a girly headvoice...just aint for rockers.

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Cheese Burgers - good or bad?

you may as well ask the same question :lol: there is no one answer. for some it will be their thing for others not.

is SLS a valid technique? completely! is it the be all and end all? no, no technique is!

we all learn differently and often have different vocal goals so often a technique and/or teacher may work/click for one and not for the other. the best thing to do is give something a good shot and see if it works for you. maybe you would find it helpful maybe not. same thing for Estill, CVT, TVS.........ect.

at the end of the day all i can say is that using it as my main technique has been very beneficial to me.

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Hi all again, I've been reading and keeping tabs on this thread, so thank you all for participating! =]

The main gripe they (from whom I took the quotes from) have is that SLS, SS or whatever else although achieve the kind of sound they propose to achieve, will never be able to reach the quality (resonant, full-voice) that classical technique gives. Put into plain words, every other kind of training produces inferior voice quality and tone compared to the genuinely trained classical voice.

In a way CoTU is right that my thread title is kind of off - I should be asking "Is Classical Technique the BEST"?

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This debate comes up time and time again in various different ways on various different forums. However, at the heart of the matter is the wrong question. It should not be; 'is SLS good or bad?' but 'can this teacher help me improve?' and 'can this teacher get me to where I want to be vocally?'. If the answer to the latter 2 questions is yes, then congratulations you have found a teacher that is going to work for you. If only the first question is a yes, learn what you can and move on.

These different 'schools' of teaching are essentially irrelevant. They all have the same aim. There are no good or bad techniques, only good or bad teachers (and of the course all the gray areas in between!!).

I've had lessons with various people from the SS associate Jesse Nemitz who initially helped me on my way to developing my full voice beyond my passagio. SLS Level 5 teacher John Henny helped me appreciate that I didn't need to use as much cord to get a full sound (I moved on from him pretty quickly though as the answer to both of the previous questions were almost exclusively no). I had a lesson with Jaime Vendera where I began to pick up the basics of grit (moved on quickly as again the answer to the questions was no although I went to him with a specific objective and no long term plans).

The best of all the teachers I have worked with has been Badiene Magaziner who has an exceptional ability to know exactly what I wanted from each lesson and knew exactly how to get me there. She was the first person who worked towards MY objectives. Sometimes a side track was needed if part of my voice needed work to reach that objective but she always delivered and that was what was important to me. She happens to be an ex SLS teacher who's only reason for leaving the organization was nothing to do with the technique itself.

Find someone who works well based on personal results, not on what they call technique. You won't connect with all teachers but when you do you'll be glad you undertook the search!

That is my 2 pence(!)

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This debate comes up time and time again in various different ways on various different forums. However, at the heart of the matter is the wrong question. It should not be; 'is SLS good or bad?' but 'can this teacher help me improve?' and 'can this teacher get me to where I want to be vocally?'. If the answer to the latter 2 questions is yes, then congratulations you have found a teacher that is going to work for you. If only the first question is a yes, learn what you can and move on.

These different 'schools' of teaching are essentially irrelevant. They all have the same aim. There are no good or bad techniques, only good or bad teachers (and of the course all the gray areas in between!!).

I've had lessons with various people from the SS associate Jesse Nemitz who initially helped me on my way to developing my full voice beyond my passagio. SLS Level 5 teacher John Henny helped me appreciate that I didn't need to use as much cord to get a full sound (I moved on from him pretty quickly though as the answer to both of the previous questions were almost exclusively no). I had a lesson with Jaime Vendera where I began to pick up the basics of grit (moved on quickly as again the answer to the questions was no although I went to him with a specific objective and no long term plans).

The best of all the teachers I have worked with has been Badiene Magaziner who has an exceptional ability to know exactly what I wanted from each lesson and knew exactly how to get me there. She was the first person who worked towards MY objectives. Sometimes a side track was needed if part of my voice needed work to reach that objective but she always delivered and that was what was important to me. She happens to be an ex SLS teacher who's only reason for leaving the organization was nothing to do with the technique itself.

Find someone who works well based on personal results, not on what they call technique. You won't connect with all teachers but when you do you'll be glad you undertook the search!

That is my 2 pence(!)

very well said Open Mic! you have pretty much hit the nail on the head. we all, as different individuals will find differing teachers and approaches more helpful than others regardless of what "badge" is slapped on it. for example i found the lesson i had with John Henny extremely helpful where as he really didnt do for you. there is no 100% guarantee with any teacher or method and as you pointed out the student-teacher dynamic is very important. if you just dont click it probably doesnt matter how "good" the technique is, your bound not to get as much from it.

so who here likes Dr.Pepper and Marmite? :P

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Hi all again, I've been reading and keeping tabs on this thread, so thank you all for participating! =]

The main gripe they (from whom I took the quotes from) have is that SLS, SS or whatever else although achieve the kind of sound they propose to achieve, will never be able to reach the quality (resonant, full-voice) that classical technique gives. Put into plain words, every other kind of training produces inferior voice quality and tone compared to the genuinely trained classical voice.

In a way CoTU is right that my thread title is kind of off - I should be asking "Is Classical Technique the BEST"?

Rhapsody,

if you think there is heated debate in the contemporary vocal method world it is nothing compared to the classical world. there is probably no other genre of technique where you will find a "i know best" "my technique is superior to yours" "your technique is dangerous to the voice, mine isnt" attitude.

as you are interested in classical and from the threads you have posted seem to want to know whether SLS could be helpful for you all i can say is that as far as i know Seth Riggs clientele is something like 60% contemporary vocalists, 40% classical. there are a number of Operatic singers such as Phillip Webb that have found it very helpful. does it mean you will? who knows but obviously many do. all you can do is give it a fair try and see if it helps! the fact that many of the concepts of SLS are directly borrowed from the classical bel canto tradition probably means you would take something away from it even if it didnt end being exactly what you are looking for.

as we have been stating there is no "magic technique" that works 100% for every singer on earth. all you can do is try to get as informed as you can on the subject matter and more importantly actually go out and try these things to experience for yourself.

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I agree, the style you wish to sing has some influence on the pedagogy choose to train. I also agree your voice will benefit from different pedagogies. My points are really influenced by my love of hard rock and metal (I am a baritone that can sing full voiced torqued headtones up to C6).

I studied at an SLS studio for about 7 months. I paid money to be told about vocal cords 'zipping' up. I was often told to push harder, but we couldn't solve tension issues. I was told to use my fingers to hold my cheeks during 'bubbling' and to bend over when trying to sing at what was then the top of my range.

I then studied at a Bel Canto studio where lip trills are leveraged heavily (no fingers holding cheeks), attention is given to posture, one step breathing (support to the end, relax / don't inhale as relaxation of abdominal muscles results in lungs filling with air). However, the very heavy and dark vowels do not lend themselves to singing extremely high pitches and a lot of exercises were limited to 3 octaves (this is personal, not a characteristic of Bel Canto). I was also on a 'four year plan'.

Robert Lunte told me four years is absurd and I should experience significant improvement in 90 days. He delivered; ONE LESSON with Robert and I was singing completely different. FOUR Lessons and the freedom and control of my voice was drastically improved. Because I am still learning and benefiting from lessons with Robert I am currently studying at TVS via Skype (oh, and Robert teaches me not a Robert Lunte associate). TVS's pedagogy is taken the life work of Maestro David P. Kyle and now Robert Lunte. This pedagogy and Robert's unusual talent have changed my voice forever. Maestro Kyle taught 100s of principal voices at the Met and several A-List contemporary voices (Geoff Tate went from high school choir to 6 lessons a week for 6 weeks with Maestro Kyle. He said that is all he could afford. I think anyone would agree it worked out for him.)

It is always frustrating when I hear teachers list off their client list of well known clients, when many or ALL of these voices were famous BEFORE they came to their studio.

It is also interesting how many times you can purchase SLS / SS be it from Seth Riggs, Brett Manning, someone who took lessons from a Seth Riggs, Brett Manning studio, or someone who took lessons from that person. You may purchase vocalizes materials from someone whom you believe has a unique contemporary pedagogy only to learn you already purchased the same 'gug gug gug, nai nai nai' exercises from Seth or Brett. The SLS studio I studied at had this lineage - Seth Riggs -> Student -> my teacher.

I own a lot of material from Seth Riggs, Brett Manning, and other SLS / SS teachers. Brett Manning is a great person (he was involved with Voice Council and would share on there sometimes) and SS is quality. I don't know Seth personally. You can listen to Michael Jackson's voice lessons with Seth on youtube; yeah the real deal. Michael was singing from a very very young age, and he started with a lot of gifts. I believe you can learn from SLS / SS, it is quality, and it has a lot to offer. HOWEVER, IT ISN'T BEL CANTO NOR TVS; IT ISN'T CLOSE. You want to hear a really cool and interesting story? Search for James Lugo's post about his experience with SLS. James is a real rockstar and a great voice.

NOTE: Ken Tamplin's Bel Canto is the fruition of Ken's years of lessons, experience, knowledge (from spending significant time and money) used to develop a pedagogy rooted in Bel Canto (it is not 'vanilla flavored' Bel Canto).

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I ordered a copy of Four Pillars..trying to follow the video lessons. I think I'll need some help from Robert over Skype but in the meantime I do not have the means for internet lessons. Oh well, I'll just have to do whatever i can =]

I am not a voice teacher and Robert is extremely talented. However, I am happy to answer questions and help you with TVS vocalizes if you have any questions or concerns.

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You know what, I'm being misunderstood at so many points I'm almost giving up on this thread. I don't think anybody has quite understood the point of my post and hence jumping into conclusions. I admit that I'm not very clear in my intents, so I'll try to steer it in the direction I want it for the last time. My focus is on the 3rd quote which I posted in the first post.

This thread is not about me considering SLS for myself (I'm all for cherry picking, and hence choosing to study under Robert for a bit even though I'm into Classical), neither is it for shooting down any technique. I understand that it is important to have a technique to suit your style, and a teacher which can "click" with you.

I'm proposing that, assuming all else equal and every student of every technique trained to the best of their ability, which would have the most powerful voice without any form of amplification? I'll define "powerful" here - the voice able to project the loudest and furthest. Once again, refer to the 3rd quote i posted up there. I'm not quite sure if this question is relevant in contemporary singing, since it's very commonplace to be mic'ed everywhere. What those guys are saying in those forums is that even though SLS proposes to use Bel Canto techniques, produces students with pinched/constricted voices which are not suitable for Operatic/Classical singing. This statement largely hinges on whether SLS claims to be able to produce Operatic/Classical singers (this, I'm not sure, someone please clarify this)

If nothing else, I guess that's all I have to give for this thread.

mark, I've sent you an e-mail, hope you can help me out a little with the vocalises ^^

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