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Singing, BiPolar Bear, and Live Music

 
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 09:30 am
@Ceili,
Quote:
it never pays to try and sing songs in the original key


good point. If it's a guy song, my rule of thumb is take it up a 4th or 5th(guy sings in G or A try C or D).
If it's a girl song you'll probably be ok in her key
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 09:31 am
@Chumly,
so explain speech level singing chumly
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 12:35 pm
@panzade,
Yipes I'll try but check out Seth Riggs I have had his CD's and book for a long time.

Seth Riggs is an American vocal coach and founder of a technique known as Speech Level Singing. He is considered by some to be the most successful voice teacher in the world. Among his pupils are over 120 Grammy award winners including Natalie Cole, Janet Jackson, Sinéad O'Connor, Barbra Streisand, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, John-Mark and Michael Jackson.

Basically, if the larynx stays down and the vocal cords stay together from the very bottom of the vocal range to the very top everything is fine. This also applies to all vowel and consonant combinations through out any phrase. If at any point the larynx jumps up or down or the tone becomes breathy then there is something wrong with the vocal process.

The larynx is the big bump in the middle of the neck just below the chin. This houses the vocal cords and controls the process of swallowing. When the larynx moves up, the muscles around the cords act as a sphincter and closes so as to prevent swallowing down the windpipe and into the lungs. This is a very important process when you need to swallow, but it is a very poor process when you are trying to sing. If you place your hand on your larynx and yawn, you will find that you can bring your larynx down as well. This is a good way to learn what it feels like to have the larynx stay down. The end goal here is to be able to keep the larynx from moving down as well as up. It should stay completely still as you ascend and descend.

The vocal cords, also known as vocal folds, are a pair of soft tissue cords that are joined at the front of the larynx and extend back. When they close, the back end of the cords come together (adduct), and the flow of air is temporarily stopped. When the pressure of air from the diaphragm overcomes the pressure of the muscles holding the cords together, they are blown apart and sound is made when they close again due to the resonation created. Then once again the air pressure overcomes the muscle pressure and the process begins again. If a singer is singing an A above middle C, this process happens 440 times every second. The pitch A above middle C vibrates 440 times per second. That is very fast and it is somewhat difficult to see this process happen even if you can see down the singer’s throat. Since the invention of the strobescopy it has become easier to view the vocal cord resonation process. If the vocal cords begin to come apart, the tone becomes breathy and the muscles around the outside of the larynx begin to tense. This becomes what is called a constricted phonation and is quite harmful for the voice.

This is a very brief and condensed version of what happens when you sing, there is obviously a lot more going on. But, to give you an idea of what is correct, take these two ideas and while you are singing, monitor them. See if you can keep your larynx still and your cords together. You will probably find that there is a certain area of your voice that is easy for you to accomplish this and certain points of your voice that are more difficult. These harder areas are called bridges, The key to Speech Level Singing is in understanding the bridges and the mix. Bridges in the voice are passage areas from one part of our vocal range to another. In Italian, they're called passagi - or maybe you've heard the term passagio. These passage areas are a result of vocal cord adjustments that must take place in order for us to sing high and low in our range. These vocal cord adjustments produce resonance shifts in our body.

Our first shift in resonance, or our first bridge, is our most crucial, because this is where our outer muscles are most likely to enter the picture. If they do, they tighten around the larynx in an effort to stretch the cords for the desired pitch.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 12:44 pm
@Chumly,
very nice...thanks
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 12:47 pm
@panzade,
Its a copy/paste but in essence sing as you speak do not push or strain or force or compress or etc........
0 Replies
 
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 06:10 pm
@Chumly,
Cripes, Chumly, this stuff on Speech Level Singing is fantastic! Thank you so very much for taking the time to post it for us.

But first, I hafta figure out what the heck I'm doing. Doh!

I am such a rank beginner, it's embarrassing. (OK, but it's still Great Fun!)
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 10:31 am
@BorisKitten,
Don't worry everybody had to start somewhere.........my very first guitar teacher (35 years ago - yipes time drifts) told me there will always be someone better than you around the corner, but don't let it stop you!

I has certain advantages though as I came from a musical family and had 5 years of classical piano before the guitar.

Also, particularly when is comes to vocals, your body's physiology plays a large part in your timbre and range.........just like a clarinet is not going to sound like an oboe.
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 05:54 pm
@Chumly,
Hi Chumly, cripes, that's darned good advice!

I too come from a musical family, and despite my relative disdain for "natural talent," my relatives have it.

Remember the original "Rocky" theme, with a bunch of horns? My cousin played Alto Sax on that track.

I have 3 (that I can think of) Uncles/Cousins who make a living playing music: Classical Guitar, Sax, and Vocals.

I took lessons in piano as a child, classical guitar as a teen, and flute as an adult. I wrote several songs using the Autoharp (easiest instrument EVER to play), with vocals.

Then I forgot all about it for, oh, 12 years?

When I realized I could help out hubby with his long solo stage-time, I also realized I missed having music in my life.

To me, singing is easy. Wait, revise that: Singing is easy, but ONLY in my natural range. I can't sing high. As a female, most female vocalists leave me in the "high-range" dust, if you know what I mean.

I think I sound WAY better in my ridiculously-low natural range. Hubby thinks I should sing higher, that I sound better there. I don't think I can, nor do I really want to.

Anywho, just nattering away here, as usual. I've never, to date, sung on stage.

I have, however, taught an awful lot of computer-education classes, all of which I created, and frankly, you just get over stage fright after 5 years or so (or, I did, anyway; it was just too exhausting).

I wonder if, when I set foot on a stage to sing, I'll decide I just hate it?
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 10:52 am
@BorisKitten,
Confidence in music comes from practice............practice for four hours a day and in five years the results may surprise you.
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 09:48 pm
@Chumly,
Quote:
practice for four hours a day and in five years the results may surprise you

Yikes, that's an awful lot of practice, even for me, a firm believer in Practice. Did you really do that, yourself?

Heck, yeah, that would make me a gazillion times better at singing than I am today; however, honestly, I doubt I could do it.

For one thing, there's that Pesky Day Job in the way.

Also, I don't think I'd sing any more than 2 hours, max, on stage, with my little plan to help hubby on his solo act. At that, maybe every other week, tops. More likely once a month.

I'm far too lazy to spend 4 hours daily for 5 years on this (minor) amount of stage time, honestly.

Oh, well, that's the story of my life: Loads of potential, untapped.

But no, really, did you feel you had to spend that amount of time practicing, and DID you, to sing well? If so, cripes, I salute you! Twice.
0 Replies
 
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 09:51 pm
@BorisKitten,
Replying to self on that post:

Sorry, forgot A) my Great Uncle, who also spent his life leading a band (doh, he's spinning in his grave at that omission!), and B) That year of voice lessons I took in my 20's (which I fear did me more harm than good, in retrospect).
0 Replies
 
 

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