Friday, March 29, 2019
Do you raise your head (tilt it back) for high notes? Is this wrong? Many times I have seen in studios, a singer sing with the head tilted back, the microphone set high, at eye level or higher. Does this help you reach your high notes? REACH is the operative word. Notes are not "high". They may FEEL high to you but it is simply a more rapid vibration and this increases the "higher" you go. If you raise your head, you WILL cause strain. It may not be today or tomorrow or it might be. If you raise your head, you are trying to compensate for bad technique. It won't help to tilt your head back but there are things which will help. It is almost a 100% certainty that if you tilt your head back, your larynx has risen way too high and you are also hyper-adducting your vocal folds (cords). When they crash together too hard and the lubricative mucus on them dries up, the vocal folds will become irritated from the friction. What happens next? You can become hoarse from the swelling you have caused, you can lose your voice temporarily (laryngitis from vocal abuse) and you can even get calluses (vocal nodules) which come after the blisters and the blood blisters. What to do? What to do? Get training to achieve laryngeal stability so that your larynx doesn't fly up to the moon every time you fly up to your high notes. I COULD NOT CONQUER THIS ON MY OWN !!! I did it for years, straining to get the high notes. I paid over $175 per hour in the 90s to get this bad habit gone. It was worth twice the price. I gained the freedom of LOSING the break in my voice and GAINING a lot more usable and COMFORTABLE range. A caveat (a not so good thing): MANY vocal teachers have no idea how to fix this, much less know about the cause of it, and still, will gladly waste your time and your money.
Posted by Chuck Stewart, Vocal Coach at 8:11 AM
Friday, March 15, 2019
What should you practice?"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" - Thomas Bertram may have been the one to whom this phrase is attributed but there is truth in the idea of it. Why waste time on things you are already doing well? Focus on the issues. Don't just sing songs over and over again. You'll get nowhere in a hurry. A great professor I had said, "Practice with a purpose." If you're not working toward something, you're working toward nothing. What must be better? What can be done about it? Which exercises should you use to improve the issue the quickest? If you don't know, ask, but ask someone who does actually know.
Assess your singing.
- How is your intonation; are you in tune?
- How is your endurance; does your voice get tired?
- Do you have a problem with register transitioning, cracking or breaking?
- Do you enunciate clearly, too clearly, or not clearly enough? Style will dictate this, usually.
- Can you sing softly, medium, loudly while maintaining control?
- Do you have a vibrato?
- Can you sing every style you wish to?
- Is your musicianship strong or weak? Rhythm, pitch, duration of tones, timing, etc.
Fast help for singers is here: practasing
Click on practasing.
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Posted by Chuck Stewart, Vocal Coach at 3:27 AM