Friday, August 09, 2013

A TEST FOR VOCAL COACHES


1. Where is the hyoid bone?
2. Which muscles, connected to the larynx, contract when you yawn? How can you exercise them?
3. Which muscles pull the larynx up, when you swallow?
4. What is the function of the oblique arytenoid muscles? How can you exercise them?
5. When the diaphragm contracts, does it ascend or descend?
6. Name the muscles of "forced expiration".
7. Why are the vocal folds no longer called vocal cords?
8. Is it possible to "place your sound" and what muscles would be involved in that?
9. Define "falsetto".
10. Is head voice a tone quality or vocal range?
11. Why is chest voice called "chest voice"?
12. What causes a break, or crack, in the voice?
13. What do you do to sing from the diaphragm?
14. How do you feel where your diaphragm is?
15. What muscles are used to open the throat?
16. Draw the anterior view of the larynx, showing the thyroid cartilage, the hyoglossus muscle, the cricoid cartilage, the sterno-thyroid and sterno-hyoid muscles, and the hyoid bone.
17. Draw the top view of the larynx, showing the arytenoid cartilages, the thyroid and cricoid cartilages, and the oblique arytenoid muscles.
18. Why does the lower abdomen expand slightly when you inhale? Does air go in there?
19. When does liquid, that you swallow, make contact with your vocal cords?
20. How can you prevent excessive muscle tension in the neck or the jaw when you sing?
21. How do you improve pitch problems in a singer?
22. What are the notes in a D major 9th chord?
23. Name the seven modes of a major scale. Sing them.
24. Sing a Phrygian tetrachord up and down.
25. Establish a starting note (Use A flat.) and, using a major scale, sing the scale steps 6-5-4-3-2-1. The 6 will be the A flat.
26. Sing a Dorian mode, starting on a C.
27. What is a bridge in a song?
28. What is a bridge in the voice?
29. How would you notate (as literally as possible) a swing rhythm for a musician or singer who is unfamiliar with a swing rhythm?
30. Sing a one octave chromatic scale.
31. Sing a pentatonic scale.
32. Sing a whole tone scale.
33. Sing an Aeolian mode.
34. Sing an ascending augmented 4th.
35. Sing an ascending minor 6th.
36. Sing an arpeggiated major seventh chord, ascending.
37. Sing a descending minor 6th.
38. Sing all the major scales in the circle of fifths.
39. Sing the notes of a sus4 chord.
40. Sing the notes of a sus2 chord.
41. What scales are used for embellishments in most R&B and pop music?
42. What is a fry tone?
43. What is the Bogart-Bacall Syndrome?
44. What are the ten most common problems of singers?
45. What is "middle voice"?
46. Should the jaw be opened the same on the "e" as in "bee" as on the "a", as in "bat"?
47. What is the difference between front vowels and back vowels?
48. Which back vowel has the highest tongue position?
49. Which front vowel has the lowest tongue position?
50. How do you determine the cause of intonation problems?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

EXPENSIVE VOCAL COACHES

I have found vocal coaches, online, who charge $450 an hour, $400 and hour, $200 an hour, and as low as $135 an hour. I have also noticed that they are using the same or nearly the same warm up and vocal exercises. Most, if not all of them, have studied with one particular vocal coach OR coaches who have studied with that very same vocal coach. 

Most of these vocal coaches also claim having taught various famous singers. It is interesting to note that the vast majority of the famous singers were famous prior to studying with the vocal coaches. That's not a bad thing because singers have issues. I had my own, which is why I studied so extensively. I paid $175 an hour in Las Vegas. I don't regret the time or the money spent. Could I sing before I studied? I was in a show and being paid for it. Athletes have coaches, singers have coaches, business people have coaches, Some people have personal trainers, and some people have life coaches. Remember that the vocal coaches did not necessarily "make" those singers famous.

The question is, will you get more from a $450 coach that you will from a $45 coach? It depends on the coach. Some people teach voice, not having a clue that everything they teach is completely false and scientifically inaccurate, as has been verified by many physicians. To think that a $450 dollar coach is better, wiser, smarter, or knows all the "secrets", may be quite naive. Most people cannot afford very many lessons at $400+ per hour. To think that in one hour with a $450 per hour coach, that you will learn SO much that you never need another lesson, may be delusional. You don't take one flying lesson and then think you're a pilot, unless you are delusional.

There is a saying that "you get what you pay for". It is not always true.