Too perfect?

I have a female client who has been training with me for the past year. She has lovely sound. A very pretty voice.

However, she is not happy with her sound. She wants to sound more like a radio singer (she names examples likeTaylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Rhianna).

This young lady had previous classical singing lessons. Her breath control is wonderful. Her head resonance is crisp and present, and her glottal onset is precise and clean……so beautiful, so lovely………and she hates it.

This young lady is so well trained that she is having trouble undoing her perfect classical sound.

What can she do to sound more contemporary?

1. Change the vocal cord set-up. She currently has a seamless onset where her breath and cord closure meet with smooth connection. There is not much edginess. We have been working on her “speech level” closure in her chest voice with wide vowels.

2. We have been working on changes at the vocal cord level in her speech level chest voice. She is doing exercises that keep her in stronger mix of chest voice versus head voice with lots or oral twang and mouth resonance.

3. I have suggested listening and copying other singers. One of the best ways to explore and grow your voice is by trying new co-ordinations. When you do this, you need to pay special attention to how your throat feels. It should never hurt, but the co-ordinations may definitely feel “different” from what you are familiar with.

Questions? Comments? Please leave a message below.

 

Why not give it a “cry”

This amazing little coordination can do wonders for your voice. You will notice that if your habit is to sing too loud, it will automatically take you back to a volume where you can manage this sensation. What sensation you say? The sensation of a cry…..or a moan…..or a sob……or all three!

First, the “cry” is doing something very helpful to the vocal folds by “thinning” and “stretching” them. It is helpful to be able to control your air through this vocal cord set up because you helps you sing higher pitches without flipping into falcetto. You can also get this sensation by doing a high pitch puppy dog whimper.

Second, add the ¬†“moan” or “groan” sensation with the “cry” and you get the added benefit of keeping a neutral larynx. Sometimes the “cry” sound makes you raise your larynx too much, which can block the sound and create tension and tightness in the throat. This is not ideal. Instead, try an even balance of the “cry” with a “moan” or “sob” feeling. This is a great way to learn how to sing higher in your mix. Don’t push it. Feel the balance and practise at a volume that you can manage through your entire range.

Questions? Why not drop me a line!

Mystery of the mixed voice

Mixed voice simply means middle voice. The overlap of the chest resonance and the head resonance.

A great exercise for finding your mix is the cat’s meow sound…….or change it to neow to make it a little easier.

Pay attention to the feel. The “e” should feel near your nose…or your front teeth. The “ow” will follow through with more sound coming out the mouth.

If you feel strain in the throat you can either lower the pitch, or decrease the volume.

Find the spot in your voice where you feel comfortable making this “neow” sound and take the sound higher. Notice I say it is a sound……you are not singing.

Try gliding from a comfortable “neow” into a higher pitch. You should be in a mix if you can do this.

Ladies, aim for G above middle C to the B flat or high C. Men aim for a D above middle C and glide up into the G.

How did it go? Can you do it?