[LAU] Helping Singers transition into Vocalists

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To: LAU <linux-audio-user@...>
Date: Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 10:58 pm

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The Disclaimer:=A0 some personal opinions on the topic, not definitive by a=
ny means.=0A=0A1.=A0 Good Hearing.=A0 If one was born with a hearing loss, =
then it=A0may be impossible=A0to progress.=A0 Otherwise, protect your heari=
ng!=A0 Loud amplified sounds/music, gunfire, and other loud dB sources shou=
ld be avoided.=0A=0A2.=A0 Proper Air Support.=A0 If your chest is moving up=
and down while you sing, then you won't have proper air support.=A0 You ne=
ed to learn to sing from the diaphram.=A0 Your navel should be going in and=
out, like a bellows, forcing the air up.=A0 For instruction, visit your lo=
cal junior/high school band teacher and let him/her show you proper brass p=
laying breathing technique.=A0 Your voice works=A0more like a brass instrum=
ent than any other instrument.=0A=0A3.=A0 Resonance.=A0 Nylon strings on a =
solid body guitar will NOT sound as rich and full as nylon strings on a hol=
low body guitar.=A0=A0For a singer to create a richer, fuller sound; the mo=
uth cavity needs to be expanded as much as possible.=A0 A beginning techniq=
ue is to arch the eyebrows up, drop the jaw, and form the lips into an 'o'.=
=A0 This technique expands the mouth cavity=A0the most.=A0 The singer shoul=
d notice an immediate improvement in the fullness of their sound.=A0 Then t=
he singer will learn to maintain that openness in the mouth cavity as the e=
yebrows come back down.=A0 The jaw will tend to stay down all the time.=A0 =
Opera singers are a great visual clue to proper jaw technique and roundness=
in the lips.=0A=0A4. Positioning the Sound.=A0 The sound of your voice sho=
uld seem to be coming from a point 1/2 meter from your head, along a line f=
ormed by the back=A0or your mouth and a spot midway between your eyes and a=
bout a centimeter above your eyes.=A0 To help you visualize what I'm trying=
to describe here, search the=A0Internet for a picture of=A0John=A0Birks "D=
izzy" Gillespie's=A0B-Flat Trumpet.=A0 The back of your=A0mouth would be th=
e mouthpiece of the trumpet and the upturned bell should be the line coming=
out from your forehead.=0A=0A5. Critical Listening.=A0 Just like a recordi=
ng engineer, the singer must listen critically to the sound they are produc=
ing and fine tune the result in real time using the techniques raised in nu=
mbered paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 above.=A0 A vocalist is continually listening=
to and adjusting their sound.=0A=0AA helpful tip:=A0=A0Sing in front of a =
supportive audience.=A0 We all need positive encouragement while we are lea=
rning.=0A=0AMy public performances=A0are at my=A0Lutheran church as a choir=
member and as the cantor.=A0 This is a very supportive environment because=
it's inborn to Lutherans to be forgiving.=A0 As I always tell the=A0PhD Ch=
oral Performance candidates (from the University of Illinois music departme=
nt) who the congregation hires, "Don't worry about making mistakes, you're =
forgiven!=A0 It's in the contract!"=0A=0AI'm singing/canting in a very larg=
e space without amplification.=A0 I know I've 'gotten it right' when I can'=
t tell where the sound is coming from, it's all around me.=A0 I sometimes f=
ind myself wondering: =A0who is singing that?=A0=A0My other acid test is wh=
en you can literally 'hear a pin drop' in a audience of 200+ that also incl=
udes infants and small children.=0A=0AA personal annoyance:=A0 Vibrato is a=
n effect, not a musical style.=A0 A little reverb can be helpful.=A0 Too mu=
ch reverb and you start getting into an echo chamber that quickly becomes t=
iring to the ear.=A0 I'd really like to listen to more classical opera, but=
that operatic vibrato turns me off within 2 measures.=0A=0AFor What It's W=
orth,=0AStephen Stubbs=0AChampaign, IL
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=0A=0AThe Disclaimer:  some p=
ersonal opinions on the topic, not definitive by any means.=0A&n=
bsp;=0A1.  Good Hearing.  If one was born with a heari=
ng loss, then it may be impossible to progress.  Otherwise, =
protect your hearing!  Loud amplified sounds/music, gunfire, and other=
loud dB sources should be avoided.=0A =0A2.&nbs=
p; Proper Air Support.  If your chest is moving up and down while you =
sing, then you won't have proper air support.  You need to learn to si=
ng from the diaphram.  Your navel should be going in and out, like a b=
ellows, forcing the air up.  For instruction, visit your local junior/=
high school band teacher and let him/her show you proper brass playing brea=
thing technique.  Your voice works more like a brass instrument t=
han any other instrument.=0A =0A3.  Resonan=
ce.  Nylon strings on a solid body guitar will NOT sound as rich and f=
ull as nylon strings on a hollow body guitar.  For a singer to cr=
eate a richer, fuller sound; the mouth cavity needs to be expanded as much =
as possible.  A beginning technique is to arch the eyebrows up, drop t=
he jaw, and form the lips into an 'o'.  This technique expands the mou=
th cavity the most.  The singer should notice an immediate improv=
ement in the fullness of their sound.  Then the singer will learn to m=
aintain that openness in the mouth cavity as the eyebrows come back down.&n=
bsp; The jaw will tend to stay down all the time.  Opera singers are a=
great visual clue to proper jaw technique and roundness in the lips.=
=0A =0A4. Positioning the Sound.  The sound of yo=
ur voice should seem to be coming from a point 1/2 meter from your head, al=
ong a line formed by the back or your mouth and a spot midway between =
your eyes and about a centimeter above your eyes.  To help you visuali=
ze what I'm trying to describe here, search the Internet for a picture=
of John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie's B-Flat Trumpet.  The=
back of your mouth would be the mouthpiece of the trumpet and the upt=
urned bell should be the line coming out from your forehead.=0A&=
nbsp;=0A5. Critical Listening.  Just like a recording engin=
eer, the singer must listen critically to the sound they are producing and =
fine tune the result in real time using the techniques raised in numbered p=
aragraphs 2, 3, and 4 above.  A vocalist is continually listening to a=
nd adjusting their sound.=0A =0AA helpful tip:&n=
bsp; Sing in front of a supportive audience.  We all need positiv=
e encouragement while we are learning.=0A =0AMy =
public performances are at my Lutheran church as a choir member a=
nd as the cantor.  This is a very supportive environment because it's =
inborn to Lutherans to be forgiving.  As I always tell the PhD Ch=
oral Performance candidates (from the University of Illinois music departme=
nt) who the congregation hires, "Don't worry about making mistakes, you're =
forgiven!  It's in the contract!"=0A =0AI'm=
singing/canting in a very large space without amplification.  I know =
I've 'gotten it right' when I can't tell where the sound is coming from, it=
's all around me.  I sometimes find myself wondering:  who is sin=
ging that?  My other acid test is when you can literally 'hear a =
pin drop' in a audience of 200+ that also includes infants and small childr=
en.=0A =0AA personal annoyance:  Vibrato is=
an effect, not a musical style.  A little reverb can be helpful.&nbsp=
; Too much reverb and you start getting into an echo chamber that quickly b=
ecomes tiring to the ear.  I'd really like to listen to more classical=
opera, but that operatic vibrato turns me off within 2 measures.=0A<=
DIV> =0AFor What It's Worth,=0AStephen Stubbs=0AChampaign, IL=0A =0A 
--0-1171293902-1257721078=:8727--

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