Friday, August 10, 2012

Singing Lessons: Are You Singing In One Straight Line?

Singing in one straight line is very typical of the untrained voice. To sound interesting when you sing, you’ll want to be able to work your voice around as many highs and lows within a note or a group of notes. Did that sound a bit like Chinese? I’ll explain.

Pick a word like Malaika from the song Malaika, for example. And try speaking the word. All is OK? Are you sounding normal like you would when you talk to someone? OK, now switch on the record button on your phone (assuming you have a voice recorder on your mobile) and sing the word Malaika using your speech level, first. Stop and play that back and ask yourself: are you singing on speech level or did you shoot up to a higher octave all of a sudden? Chances are you jumped several octaves to sing Malaika and if that is so, endeavor to work your way down to speech level. Do this exercise again, recording and playing back until you’ve got it right.

Going back to the point in this article: are you singing in one straight line? Well, if you don’t use your entire range from speech level upward, you are limiting your range. Hence, singing in one straight line is inevitable because you basically have no room to maneuver. So the next time you’re vocal range is maxing out prematurely, take a look at where you’re singing from. If you’re too high at your lowest end of the scale, take it down a few octaves to where it’s comfortable for you (as you would in speech) and then work your way upward. I hope that helps!

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Radio Presenter, Recording Artist & Vocal Coach

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