Controlled effort

One of the most important things you can do as a singer is to learn how to balance your voice. In other words, know how to negotiate the first passagio, so you have no issues with the transfer of resonance as you move back and forth through that bridge. Men, your first bridge is around D to F above middle C, and ladies your bridge is anywhere between A (above middle C) to high C. One key element to negotiating this passagio is the idea of “bridging early”. Don’t avoid this sensation, but don’t flip into falcetto either.

One of the easiest ways to know if you are bridging is simply to match the volume as you sing higher. Your body needs to figure out how to control the air (send less air) as you ascend in pitch.  You need to allow that heady feeling and turn on your body anchor. Without enough body effort you will likely notice the sound starts to become “weaker” or “not intense enough”.  You will likely want to sing louder, but that’s not how to improve your voice. Instead, turn on your body! Pretend you are lifting a heavy suitcase in each arm. Notice your rib cage engage as you exert some pressure there. Be careful not to tense up in the neck area. This may cause undo strain.

Good singing does take effort. The effort is a controlled feeling of energy all over the body.  Effort in the wrong places, such as at the vocal cords or inside the throat, will only constrict the sound. We want a free, open and controlled sound!

Some coaches don’t talk about effort simply because it can get in the way. But without the correct effort how do you expect to improve your voice? Never under estimate the value of “effort”.

What SLS has taught me…..

I’ve only been studying Speech-Level Singing officially for a short time. I have made more improvements in my students voices in this short time, than I ever did before SLS.  Here is why.

SLS treats every voice as an individual. Let’s face it, no voice is the same. There isn’t a single recipe that works for everyone. Every voice is an individual personality with tendencies, habits and qualities.  Before SLS I treated most voices the same with similar exercises and goals. Not any longer.

With Speech-Level Singing, the teacher learns to listen for the singer’s habits and tendencies. These indicate the exercises the singer needs to do in order to have a healthy, stable and balanced voice from the low notes to the high notes. No longer will a singer feel like they have two voices, or that they can’t hit the high notes. No longer will a singer feel like they have to “change” or “manipulate” their voice in order to achieve the desired response.

With Speech-Level Singing, the singer can sing any style they wish. It’s fabulous instruction for musical theatre and classical voices. As for singing rock, we all know there is no way to sing rock without creating some abuse to the vocal cords. However, knowledge is power. SLS can help the singer stay balanced and healthy when not performing, and SLS will teach the singer tips that help create the sound they want with minimal damage.

I wish I started my journey with Speech-Level Singing 30 years ago! Hopefully I’ve inspired you to improve your voice with the SLS method!

Please leave me your comments. I welcome your thoughts!