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Meadowlark by Stephen Schwartz (Male Version) - technique critique

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Hi All--

I am new to the forum! I can't wait to read about technique and coaching from the knowledgeable people here. I was wondering if you guys could take a listen to my version of Meadowlark, by Stephen Schwartz. I changed the key since it is originally a female song. I am a baritenor (at least I think I am, although I have been told by voice teachers that they think I am more of a tenor whose upper register isn't fully trained yet).

Anyway, I was hoping that you guys could critique my singing from a technical standpoint. I know I don't have great technique, and I've sort of just gotten away with it, but my vocal fatigue is out of control after I sing even one song, so I was wondering if maybe some of you could tell me what I could work on. I know I get very shouty in my upper register, but I don't know any other way to get the sound out (I am 27 - so it's 27 years of bad habits!!!)


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Hi defscott,

had a listenin to your clip. I really enjoyed it! You have a good voice. I found that in the opening phrase or two, you are singing in a very healthy way....natural and relaxed. I suspect that as you are rising in pitch, there is a hint of tension coming through, and maybe the sound could be a little more supported and rounded. These things can easily be dealt with, its just a case of learning how to deal with the upper register in a healthy way. I'am afraid I don't really like your last note...I hope you dont mind me saying

Also, I am quite impressed with your diction and also your emotional commitment to your singing :-)

I am quite concerned by your comment regarding vocal fatigue. 9 times out of 10 times, that happens when your not using your voice in an efficient way. If you would like any further help or have a question, please feel free to ask :-)

Laura O'Sullivan LTCL


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Thank you for the comments. I definitely think there is tension buildup as I get higher in pitch. From what I can tell, and from what I know about the voice, I think I am pushing my jaw forward as I get higher in pitch which is causing tension to build up, and is forcing me to use even more air against my cords to sustain the notes (which I think is causing the fatigue and probably cord swelling as I get through song, especially those that are at the upper end of my middle register).

I am working on the following (and you can correct me if you think anything is incorrect):

-Keeping the jaw more relaxed so that I can place it down and back as opposed to jolted forward

-Keeping the tongue relaxed touching the bottom teeth so that I don't pull it back on higher notes (I find that I do this, as well as when I breathe).

-Be more conscious of my breath support (I sing right now however my body naturally allows me to, which doesn't seem to be working, and I don't think I am supporting as much as I could).

-Keeping my placement more forward - I think my last note, which you disliked, was almost swallowed (almost as though I am mimicking what a classical sound should sound like rather than just letting it occur naturally).

What I am having trouble with:

-Keeping my upper notes (not head voice) powerful but with no tension. I know this is done more healthily with a mix, but even though I can sometimes get a mix when doing voice exercises, I can't seem to access it when I transition to song. I have done slow siren exercises from the very top of my head voice all the way down to my lowest chest note without breaks, yet when I am singing a song, I can't transition into a mix - I either chest voice a note or I head voice it.

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