Seth Riggs is considered by many to be the best and most successful voice teacher in the world. He is certainly the busiest. No other teacher, past or present, has ever matched his phenomenal track record. His students are a veritable “Who’s Who” of singers, actors, dancers, and entertainers throughout the world. He teaches opera singers, rock singers, jazz singers……..any kind of singer.
He recommends that singers who want to work in the music business take singing lessons outside of university. Here’s why……..university teachers will teach you opera. This does not strengthen the “mix” which is what singers need to do in order to sing in the 21st century of rock, pop, country and jazz music. Singers need to learn how to negogiate through their bridges so they have a proper mix of chest and head voice through all their registers. This will allow them to sing any style they want………….even opera!
There are many reasons to choose a MYC program over a typical piano teacher. Here are just a few:
Students as young as 6 know how to make and use the Circle of 5th’s (from logic)…….not just by memorizing what to write down! Does your music teacher?
Students as young as 5 are learning “harmony”. MYC teaches I, IV and V7 chord progressions to be used in any key signature. This means students can play songs without looking at a music book. Can your music teacher?
MYC is fun! 30 years of world-wide success can’t be wrong!!
Good singing originates from the sensations you feel. When you sing a note that is close to your speaking voice, you should feel it resonate in your chest. Put your hand on your chest and try it, but don’t push or sing too loud. Singing (and talking) should be done at a comfortable “medium” volume. As you sing higher you should notice the resonance starts to leave your chest and you should feel a sensation in your mouth and the top of your palate and teeth. As you start to go even higher the resonance shifts to the back of your mouth in the soft palate. This is where a lot of singers try to adjust their sound by reaching for those notes. Instead of “reaching” for the notes you should approach them with ease. Yes, the sound will be lighter but it will be true. Learn to “feel” what your voice sounds like in this relaxed state. This step is necessary in the process of creating a balanced sound that connects your entire voice from low to high.
Have you ever had an “ah ha” moment? Well, that’s what happened with my adult student today and it was her first lesson.
She had developed the habit of only using her chest voice to sing. She ignored her head voice. I guess she didn’t like the sound. It’s actually quite a common habit among singers.
The problem is if we ignore our head voice, then we can’t reach the high notes “appropriately”. That is, with a “mixed voice”. Oh, you may be able to reach that high note, but what does it sound like? Is it wide and splatty, and overall just plain not nice to listen too? Probably.
You see, you can’t get a nice sound on a “high” note without using some of your head voice. That’s why you need to learn how to mix the chest with the head so you get a balance of each.
Are you not sure what is your head voice? Well, try to sing the vowel “oo” (like the hooting of an owl), and make high sounds……like the siren of a fire truck or ambulance. Is it breathy? Then you are likely using falcetto…..that is not your head voice. Try again, but don’t let the high note be breathy. Lean into it a bit. There you go, that’s your head voice!
There are many reasons why the voice may not do what you want it to. Today lets talk about vocal strain! This is probably the most common reason singers have trouble. Quite often the strain is caused by the muscles in the throat tightening up when the singer goes for higher notes. How do you know if these muscles around the larynx are tightening inappropriately when you sing? Does your larynx rise up when you try to sing a high note?
Sometimes the only way to know is by having a professional watch and listen to you sing. With the help of a good vocal coach you can learn the best way to sing through your entire range and get the sound you want. When your voice is exercised properly and regularly (yes, just like going to the gym), then singing becomes as free as talking………and that’s the way it should feel.