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Training agility

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So, I've noticed over the past couple of months that my agility needs some work. Phrasing and riffs are somewhat difficult to do fast. I started singing 3 years ago. 2 years of lessons and 1 year of self-practice.

What would be the best way to go about this other than obviously trying to do them fast, over time, and getting it down? I asked a different question on here, and instead of just trying to do what I wanted to do over and over again, somebody gave me a different suggestion. I took that advice, and after about a week, I could do what I wanted to do. Hoping for a suggestion that will give me similar results this time ;)

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speed has mostly to do with technique. I've practiced songs that have like rap in the 2-3rd octave area with poor technique and I guarantee that it has a very small effect on actual speed. that's not saying Intricate songs won't improve speed, cuz they will, but generally it's technique that does it the most.

maybe try working on your head voice for a month?

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You can approach it in 2 different ways.

One is doing stacatto exercises with H+vowel. Making the H silent and the note as short as you can. Varying intensity and pitch. Do it on the low range and aim to make each pulse very short and precise. As you increase intensity make sure it does not become sluggish.

The other is the execution itself. Practice like you would with a instrument. Metronome, start at half speed, practice to make it easy, increase speed gradually. This will force you to register everything you need and will allow you to pay attention and find possible problems.

With specific problems its easier to solve it.

Hope it helps!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My idea if you wanted to isolate this would be to try bending each vowel up and down for each musical interval, first slowly then in an increasingly fast fashion. Mariah Carey said she did this exercise using fifths, but I'd suggest you do it with all intervals and maybe you'll get more flexibility harmonically.

The key to the exercise would be maintaining the purity of the vowel, while flipping the note quickly back and forth. I'm pretty sure anyone could get really good at melissma this way and it would extend to their agility.

So Up

minor 2nd (one note up, Jaws Theme)

major 2nd (2 notes up, )

minor 3rd (3 notes up, Minor chord, Black Sabbath, iron man's famous riff, )

major 3rd (4 notes up, Major chord, Twist and Shout harmony, second note)

4th (5 notes up, here comes the bride, Walk on the wild side by Lou Reed chord progression)

Flatted 5th (5 notes up, Black Sabbath (the song title by the band)

5th (6 notes up, Primary harmony for most chords, first two notes in the Top Gun Riff, Star Wars, Baba Oreily)

Minor 6th (7 notes up, Cranberry's, Zombie Chord Progression)

Major 6th (8 notes up, Dashing Through the Snow)

Minor 7th (mind is drawing blank right now, but it is sub tonic, easier to dip 2 notes down and an octave up)

Major 7th (take on me, Aha, 1 note down from tonic then an octave up)

And down (too lazy to write it down, look around)

Anyway, getting them to smoothly go around, that should solve most of the mechanical problem, although you'll want to train switching to and from every vowel. The ear training/musicality of being able to improvise can be solved by paying a lot more attention to intervals/harmonies.

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