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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

My New Youtube Channel

I will be posting recordings of students before and afters and some clips of performances and lessons. Please subscribe.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_Gdf8oUvZLMtZF5BukGmpA

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Baritone to Tenor

A more recent recording of my young student showing more development. This vocal transitions comes via singing properly dark and developing chest voice. Today voices are taught to lessons chest and lighten; especially when changing to tenor.

These changes were made by lessons over Skype.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Purpose of Science

The purpose of science in singing is no to understand how muscles work so that a great voice can be constructed. We cannot possibly do that. There are too many variables in the way muscles can work together.

What science should do is show us exactly how all the great singers were able to make the sounds they did. How did Del Monaco, Caruso, Ruffo, Ponselle, Tebaldi, Mardones, Merrill, Nilsson etc. sing the way they did? What made that singing possible? How were there so many artists able to sing that way?

Understanding how their voices functioned by understanding the science of singing tells us how the vocal apparatus and body should be work to make those sounds. The science should also tell us what we need to develop to make those sounds. Many people are potentially capable of singing that way, but when the proper understanding and guidance isn't available to them it is not possible to reach that level of singing.

Many people know all the muscles, cartilages and so on. However, like I said, there are many, many ways that all of these can coordinate together, but some are much more efficient than others. That efficiency is what will allow the voice to be free.

It is very easy for a singer to believe a free voice is a lightened voice; and that is what is taught today. If the voice is lightened it can feel easier, but only if trying to sing bigger and heavier is done with constriction. The constriction will make singing big very difficult. So the constriction is the problem. That is what must be eliminated so that singing big is possible without having to struggle. Singing lighter lacks power, harmonics, and is not as rich of a sound. It is not the sound required for opera at all.

The greatest singers did not sing with this idea of a light sound. They sang with a full, rich voice of power, range and dynamics. That is what we all should be striving for. That is what the greatest singers did and that is why we need science. To show us the path to getting there.

Edit to add:

Always remember that when scientists today hook up equipment to singers to see what is happening with the voice they can only go by what that singer is doing. They are not hooking equipment up to Tebaldi.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Balancing the Vocal Vectors

They key to singing great is efficiency. If our voices are not efficient we end up having all kinds of problems from "pushing the voice" to lack of power and range. We have to understand vocal registration and the vocal vectors.

Vocal registration includes things like falsetto and chest voice. And we must develop both fully. The Vocal Vectors are the up pull, down pull, back pull and forward pull of the larynx. Registration affects the vectors directly.

Since the Vocal Vectors have 4 different directional pulls it is important to balance those pulls properly. Too much pull from one vector throws the larynx out of proper position of the larynx when we sing. Depending on which vector is out of balance determines which result we get. For example, too much up pull can give us throat closure.

The technique is was taught is based on balancing the vocal vectors which absolutely involves developing the chest and falsetto registers. This balance is what every great singer has. No great singer was unable to sing in chest or falsetto. People wonder how great singers do what they do. And this is how; the balancing of the vectors.

Many people look back at all the great singers in history and do not understand that what made them great was that their voices were not blocked by constrictive tension. The idea of "singing with an open throat" is often thrown around in the singing world to describe what a great singers do. And you can read a million different articles on how to achieve it. Or have hundreds of voice teachers who tell you different ways to get it. The best way to understand it and to have a clear way of how to do it is through the balancing of the Vocal Vectors which includes proper vocal registration.

Nasality

Nasality is a quality that singers should remove from their singing. Unfortunately, the idea of "placing the sound in the mask" has caused many modern day singers to become nasal and constricted. This sound has become widely accepted today as it has been forced upon singers as being the "right sound". It isn't. For those who really want to know how to remove this nasality there is only one way to do so.
When someone sings with nasality there is quite often an excessive leakage of air coming through the nose. The sound can be "honky", squeezed, buzzy, noisy and so on. However, if a singer correctly sings "dark" it will eliminate this nasality. It is not possible to sing dark and nasally.
I say "properly dark" because there are ways that people sing darkly that is incorrect. Singing with a dark quality means that there is an elongation of the vocal tract which makes a deeper sound, but there must also be intense core/squillo in the sound. Some people equate darkness in the sound to depth in the sound. 
I often use the example of non classical singers who go between singing nasally and then darker. You can hear a stark difference between the nasal sounds - when it is not dark - and then a riddance of nasality when they sing dark/deep. I will post and example below and also some classical examples. And always try to remember that if there is any such thing as a "mask" -which there isn't - then it is in the pharynx, not in the front  part of the face.
Below we can hear in the first minute of the song it is generally nasal except on the words "rush", "love", and "stay". On all of these words she sings much more darkly. The darkness (depth) rids of the voice of nasality:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbV7SDevw9k


This is nasal which causes a lack of proper darkness and constriction. The constriction causes the vibrato issues:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE4EgIG0pew

This is a great example of singing nasally and then improperly dark. Through much of the beginning his voice is nasal in an attempt to get clarity. As he goes higher and wants to get a fuller sound it does go dark, but he loses all the core/squillo and gets depressed and woofy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS1WRddhsSE

Non nasal; he is older here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RMMTKdlX1Y

This is a depressed larynx sound. It affects the natural beauty of the voice, distorts the vowels, is thick and causes vibrato issues:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5pQ5mTb2fE

This is not with a depressed or nasal sound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGBaEqB8-RI

My mentor's brother at 60 years old and in poor health. Still not nasal:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NApwbbEqRY


My Mentor

My incredible teacher. Not only was he an amazing teacher he was one of the greatest singers in history he was one of the greatest teachers in history.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuNPJhxkpvs&feature=youtu.be