Posts Tagged ‘online singing lesson’


Singing consistency

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Singing consistency is a skill that I promote in my studio. With consistency comes confidence, derived from knowing that when you step on stage, your voice will respond that way it did in rehearsal, and the riffs and range that you were able to execute the day before will still be there. I suppose confidence in singing comes from many different places and it may be different for each individual. For me, however, I can relax and feel confident when my voice is functioning consistently and my singing is reliable.

I did these exercises to help us work on that, and I hope you’ll enjoy them. They’re full range, so stop if they get too high, or work them with the lip trill after that point in the recording. I find it helpful to learn them with the lip trill first, then transition into the vowel sounds so that you’re confident with the pattern.

If any questions come up, or you’d like me to elaborate on the exercises, feel free to get in touch!

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New Lip Trill Help!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

The lip trill is one of those voice teacher exercises that nearly ever one of us uses. It’s helpful for so many reasons it’s hard not to implement it frequently when working with clients. The learning curve on it can be steep for those that have difficulties with it, which is what someone wrote in to my youtube page. So, I put together this video.

It may still take some time to get the lip trill going, but with some patience it’s just a matter of time.

The lip trill, though, is not the end all be all of vocal training. As much as I use it all the time, and find it extremely helpful in range development and diagnosing airflow management issues, I feel like it’s more of a blunt force object. Kind of like using a baseball bat to squeeze orange juice. Sure, you’ll get some juice, but you’ll also end up with orange all over the kitchen.

The lip trill is great when you’re first learning a new song or skill. It takes a lot of the weight of the air column off of the vocal fold, allowing it to change shape more easily while remaining adducted. Fundamentally though, it’s not the same as singing a solid vowel sound where that sub-glottic presure must be consciously controlled. I say this all to say, practice and work towards acquiring this useful skill in order to add it to your tool chest of vocal exercises, but keep working on the other vocalizations and practices that are out there as well. There’s no need to but the brakes on the rest of your vocal development simply because this one exercise is elusive at times.

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New Warm Up Video Online!

Monday, April 21st, 2014

I uploaded and released these last week, but I wanted to share a word or two about them. Working with intervals in our vocal practice offers advantages that are different from pure scalar singing. First off, we sing intervals, and consequently it pays to practice with them and warm up with skips in mind. Secondly, in many of the exercises in these videos, there are slight pauses between one note and the next. These pauses serve an important function, and provide us with an opportunity to develop several skills simultaneously.

In an exercise where the air stream is momentarily paused, the vocal fold has the opportunity to adjust in an un weighted capacity. This is significant in that with practice, there will be subtle changes to how we’re vocalizing. The released that the vocal fold has in those pauses gives it the opportunity to adopt the new position more easily, rather than defaulting to an old position that we’ve grown accustomed to singing with that is normally achieved while the vocal fold is in a legato phrase. This is particularly helpful in working through passages that ascend over the passaggio. It is there that the most amount of adjustment for new vocalists or those new to vocal study occurs.

I combine shorter length syllables with more legato passages in order to create a ready, set, go type situation. The shorter bursts allow us to adopt a more appropriate position; the legato phrases are more similar to actual singing.

As you work with this warm up, I would encourage you to pay as close attention as possible to your vocal posture, and attempt to maintain it through the legato passages.

This brings us to the other significant skill of these warm up

Much as we focus quite intently on the singing, or exhalation aspect of singing, it also pays to devote some attention to the inhalation and suspension aspect of vocal production. All the pauses in these exercises create an opportunity for you to take note of the overall engagement of your core, and how it is supporting vocal production. As a one who studies and teaches the appoggio breathing management system, I want to encourage you to pay attention to how much engagement is happening. Is it free to change as you sing in a different range? Does it feel supple and light or heavy? How much open-ness is maintained in the lower ribs? Being aware of your posture and engagement can help maintain greater open-ness and ultimately, provide better airflow to support vocal production, further enhancing your control and enjoyment of your voice!

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How to Sing Fast Notes!

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

A listener wrote in on youtube asking about exercises and tips for delineation. This is another way of saying fast passages including ornamentation, riffs, trills, and that sort of vocal line. These are the phrases that we hear when vocalists are singing a lot of notes, sometimes very quickly, on a single vowel sound. These riffs can occur anywhere in a vocalists range, it’s just about how you write the line.

Having good legato phrasing and good airflow doesn’t always translate directly to singing fast paced melodic lines. We have to be sure to really keep our air moving solidly through the phrase and beyond the last note of the riff. If we fail to do that, either in the muscular engagement of our cores, or conceptually by thinking that the line is over before we’ve stopped singing, we often get phrases that have compromised intonation, or sound different timbre wise in our voices after a certain point.

The exercises in these videos, of which there are four, are a progressive beginning to getting a grip on changing vowels, changing directions of phrase, and changing length of phrase. There are certainly more, but this will get you started. Enjoy!

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Working with Breathiness in the Voice

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Breathiness in our singing voices can be a nice affectation for certain songs, but ideally we can control it so that it’s only there when we wish. I’ve encountered breathiness in vocalists of nearly all experience levels, and the question of how to work on it comes up regularly.

In these videos are a few exercises that one can do to work on eliminating that breathy quality. Each one has a brief explanation of what breathiness is and how the exercise works. There are four of these, and I want to encourage you to find the one that is in the most comfortable range for you, despite whatever vocal range label you associate with. The goal here is to in an area of your voice that is easy to work with, and leaves you free to focus on the exercise, rather than having to sing a note that is too high or too low for comfort. If any questions, comments, or requests for further information come up, I want to encourage you to write in and let me know. These videos were done by request, and few things give me greater pleasure than to address the needs of those who are watching and making use of these videos.

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