The SECRET to singing: The ONLY Thing You Need To Know!
Good voice training should (at least) teach you how to do one thing: How to sing from your low voice into your high voice without your vocal cords coming apart, cracking, or going breathy, and definitely without straining.
Sounds easy right? Wrong! This issue of being able to sing from low to high easily, and consistently, has plagued singers and teachers for centuries. In fact, we could say it’s the holy grail of singing!
Even today, few teachers seem to have been taught how to help others deal with the problem – that is, if they have even learned how to do it themselves. Many voice coaches usually will work with your voice as it ALREADY IS, helping you to sing something you can already sing, while glossing over their inability to adjust your voice by telling you what SHOULD feel but can’t: “Imagine an apple in your throat”, “add more support” or “put the ‘sound’ here” (as they point at their nose).
Unfortunately, all of this kind of advice, as you have probably already discovered if you have tried these things, although it describes how the voice SHOULD feel when it’s working right, does next to nothing to help you GET IT and KEEP IT working right. That’s because this advice doesn’t teach you what adjustments you have to make at the vocal cord level which is affected almost entirely by vowel shaping.
So let’s get to it! To shift in a reliable way between your low and high voice, you must learn how to adjust your vowels in order to create the acoustic environment that allows your voice to shift between your vocal registers.
You must learn how to adjust your vowels (and each one feels very different while some are very difficult, particular in the upper ranges) to keep your larynx free of tension – the crucial, delicate “valve” that is the heart of your instrument.
SHOW me what to do with my body!
An athlete will get little use out of being TOLD how a winning performance should FEEL. It’s far more useful to learn what the athletes biggest challenges are first, then teach the athlete what he/she should be doing differently to fully address those challenges, to gradually but efficiently improve and strengthen their “game”. And maybe then, they might actually get a chance at feeling “it”. Your human voice is no less a set of muscles that you need to train in sync with your vowel shaping to shift between high and low! Great singing is about being great at both the low and the high voice, and being able to seamlessly shift between them, while developing skill to master the most difficult upper range!
There are a rare few that we should all learn from that can/could sing easily into and between both feelings (the high and the low voice) – voices like: Aretha Franklin, Julie Andrews, Jeff Buckley, Pavarotti, Kate Bush, Anthony Warlow, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald… the list goes on. As an audience, because of their easy shifting between one and the other, the resulting sound sounds “effortless”. Easy.
How can I do that?
There’s absolutely no point in continuing to develop JUST one part of your voice – especially the one you are already familiar with. It’s not really gonna help you much is it? The purpose of voice training then SHOULD be, to access ALL the different areas of your voice (as your vocal range begins to expand and becomes more familiar, nuances such as vocal registers begin to reveal themselves) without straining and without going into falsetto.
To learn to sing effortlessly, you need to:
1) Use tools and sounds which help you get comfortable in the part of the voice you are unfamiliar with.
2) Generally AVOID sounds which will draw you back completely into the part of the voice you are already familiar with.
3) Allow the two feelings to seamlessly blend together!
For more info about how to dive deeper on these concepts, contact the studio, or visit singersinstinct.com to purchase our studio curriculum.