Thursday, May 30, 2013

Plan for Long Notes: An Effective Technique to Gain Vocal Control

How long is your note? Well you’ll be amazed to learn that the shorter your note the more likely you are to take insufficient breath; and the more likely you are to get really lazy; and if you bundle all of the above to describe your performance? Well, mediocre is as good as it gets! When you’re walking down the road to a corner shop just a few yards away, you’ll take your time about it. But if you had to walk a mile, you’re likely to put in a bit more effort. The same goes with singing, well, that’s if you’re a lazy singer and can’t be bothered to hold a note properly. In this short article, I’m going to show you how THINKING long-distance (even if you’re only singing a couple of words) is the best way ever to correct your projection and control.

To begin with, sing a four-word-note…let’s say you sang the words “we are the world” from the Michael Jackson-penned classic. Listen very carefully to how you sound. Did you run out of breath at the word “world”? Well, if you did, then that illustrates my point. You only had four words to sing and so you simply couldn’t be bothered to take enough breath and what suffered was your vocal quality in that rendition. Simple! It couldn’t have sounded great and I wouldn’t imagine anyone would want to listen to that. SO: how do you fix this? Take in lots of breath and make sure that by the word “world” you haven’t run out of breath so that even if you were to extend the word “world” for a while longer, you could.

This happens a lot with students attending private lessons in my studio. It’s so typical. So if you’re in that boat, trust me, you are not alone. The solution is as stipulated above. If you tricked your brain into thinking this-is-not-the-end-of-the-note, you’ll likely use a lot more control to hold that note. Your brain is very powerful. It can prevent you from adapting to new ways of doing things. Singing is the one place where the brain is to blame for your lack of success. This is another topic altogether, but the facts are clear as day, that if you allow your brain to pull you back, it will. What you need to learn to do is to trick your brain into conforming.  

In summary: How would you describe your voice? Would anybody actually enjoy listening to you sing? A pertinent question, I’d say. You really need to take a closer look at yourself, first. If you don’t like what you sound like, don’t expect anyone else to. It’s not rocket science. It’s plain and simple fact. Now let’s take a closer look at WHY you don’t sound great. One of the most recurrent performances by my students in my studio EVEN after voice training…is the hollow, bland, boring, displaced, uninteresting, sing-like-you-used-to-before-training type of vocal. The question is? Who is to blame for this lack of adapting-to-change? Well, I’ll tell you this for nothing. It’s your brain. Yes, your brain doesn’t want to move on. If you’ve had the training, the voice will have moved on, but your brain may still want to hang on to the past. For some slow learners that come to my studio for voice lessons, this happens all the time. So don’t be surprised at this shocking statement. In my observation, in such cases, my students will be doing the scales perfectly at this point, but the minute you take them out of that environment and ask them to sing a song: typically, it’s like they never went through voice training. Ever! That’s when tricking the brain by planning for long notes is one of the most effective ways to gain vocal control and to rectify your situation. It works every time and only takes a minute if you concentrate. So the next time you figure you’re sounding crap, trick your brain into thinking long-distance.

To find more handy singing tips and articles on this blog, run a search for Letters from a Vocal Coach and or Singing Lessons. BUY Learn to Sing with Joett CD Online from TripleClicks. And if you're based in Dar es salaam, you may buy and pickup your vocal training package from the Joett voice studio in Oysterbay for ONLY TShs 35,000/=.

You are the instrument, learn to sing like a pro!

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