Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Personalizing A Song


This is something that I picked up watching the last episode of American Idol. I noticed a lot of participants being booted out because the judges could not see their personalities come through when they are singing.

Being booted out at that level because of this reason is not good. So I thought to test it out on myself. Luckily Singorama came to rescue again.

Most of the other courses I have been following teach only the technical aspects of how to learn a song. While the technical aspects are essential, they certainly aren’t as much fun as putting your stamp on a piece of music. With Singorama I found that I could learn how to personalize a song so that it does not looks like a recitation.

Your emotions and personality should be brought out clearly of the song you are singing and that is what drew me towards singing in first place. After all when we sing, we first sing for ourselves than for our audience. Never try to reverse this order. It has been one of the first things I have been taught!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Singing Different Genres of Music


Ok, this is straight from Singorama,

When we’re talking about “genres,” we mean musical categories like classical, rock, jazz, and gospel. Different genres of music can be characterised by the overall make up and overall sound of the song. For example, a typical classical song may be composed of a whole orchestra of instruments with many different layers and different times when specific instruments come in for effect.

A song from the genre of “rock,” by comparison, is incredibly simple. Not only does it have a lot less variation in terms of the notes, it has far fewer instruments, and the instruments are different from what you’d find in a classical piece.

The good thing is that Singorama teaches you how vocals are used in different genres and some of their defining characteristics. It also touches on the difference between different styles of singing and different genres of music.

The good thing is that with Singorama you learn how to do all this with quite an ease without any real troubles or issues. I must say that this is very very effective.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tips On Singing Falsetto


Falsetto is described by some music educators as superhead or whistle voice. It creates a thin, yet bright sound that extends beyond the normal range.

Realize that there are two types of voices: head voice and chest voice. Everyone has both kinds. The chest voice is what we use when we're speaking, and is what males most often use, but to sing falsetto, your head voice is necessary. To use it you need to breath deeply from the diaphragm (to where your stomach goes out) and lift your eyebrows.

One of the most important tip I have found is.... Make yourself yawn or suck in air quickly. This lifts your soft pallet which helps you reach the note more easily.

Word of Advice: Do not try this without previous musical experience and an instructor

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Singing Three Notes At A Time?

Found this really interesting:

In Mongolia, in the Republic of Touva, in certain monasteries of Tibet and among the Xhosa people of South Africa, one can hear an amazing vocal technique in which one singer can produce two stable notes at the same time while a third note varies on top. In other words, one person can sing in chords and can also provide a melody. The lowest note is so extremely low it sounds hoarse and raucous, stretching the limits of the human voice.

The vocal technique is based on a very precise control over the vocal resonators so as to amplify specific overtones. The vocal cords are used in a special way that allows them to vibrate at two different frequencies at the same time. Western voice specialists are still perplexed by this technique.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

One Style Of Singing Or Mastering Different Styles

If you flick through a whole lot of different radio stations like country or rock, opera, jazz musical theatre or pop you will find an amazing variety of different sounding songs and voices. The art of manipulating your voice and accompanying differently arranged backing instruments is something that that is highly appreciated. When you learn to how to use your voice more fully, you increase your versatility as a singer and make yourself more employable to boot! The ability to sing a variety of different styles can be especially useful when auditioning for musical theatre. Often as a performer you will need to sing a range of styles within a show.

On basis of my experience I can say that you should master one style of singing, but you should have an even hand in others. Especially if you are looking to become a professional, you will find this thing very handy.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


I recommend you try Singorama for learning Singing.

Their lesson on Major And Minor keys will tell you all about major and minor keys and scales, as well as a system called Solfege. You will be building on things like time signatures, key signatures and rhythm.

You will understand the difference between major and minor keys and scales and to be able to hear the differences as well. Plus you will master the Solfege system that will help you in your singing training now and in the future.

What Are Solfege

In music, solfege (pronounced /'soʊlfɛʒ/, also called solmization /sɒlmɨˈzeɪʃən/) is a pedagogical technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note of the score is sung to a special syllable, called a "solfege syllable" (or "sol-fa syllable"). The seven syllables normally used for this practice in English-speaking countries are: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, and Ti.

Traditionally, solfege is taught in a series of exercises of gradually increasing difficulty, each of which is also known as a "solfege". By extension, the word "solfege" may be used of an instrumental étude.

There are two main types of solfege:

Fixed Do, in which each syllable corresponds to a note-name. This is analogous to the Romance system naming pitches after the solfege syllables, and is used in Romance and Slavic countries, among others.

Movable Do, or Solfa in which each syllable corresponds to a scale degree. This is analogous to the Guidonian practice of giving each degree of the hexachord a solfege name, and is mostly used in Anglo-Saxon and Germanic countries.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Say No To Alcohol & Smoking

I already wrote about the effects of Alcohol and what the courses like Singorama and Singing Success have to say about them.

If you don't smoke you are lucky enough, if you Smoke then giving it up for Singing is a worthwhile cause.

Remember that whatever you breathe moves directly through the vocal folds and affects them accordingly.  Smoke of any kind is hot and toxic.  It causes burning, drying and irritation which in turn causes the vocal folds to swell making a good singing tone difficult at first and over time impossible for the habitual smoker.  Young peoples' bodies seem to be resilient and thus young singers who smoke may not notice any ill effects, so they may think that smoking isn't doing them or their voice any harm.  What they don't understand is that the damage that is being done to the vocal folds and the breathing mechanism is cumulative and often cannot be reversed once they notice problems singing.  My advice is to find a way to quit smoking immediately.

Stop Smoking Now!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Serious About Singing? Avoid Alcohol


Here is what I got to know:

"Alcohol, like caffeine, dehydrates the body and thus the vocal folds.  The condition of dehydrated vocal folds makes for an inferior singing instrument. In addition to the physiological problems inherent in alcohol, anything that distorts the mind or nervous system is going to impair the vocalist's ability to sing properly.  An occasional glass of wine or cocktail will not destroy your voice, however drinking alcohol even a day or two prior to singing is absolutely a bad idea."

I have tried both Singorama and Singing success packages and alcohol is something that is the first thing you will have to give up if you are serious about Singing.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tips On Singing Riffs

In pop, rock and R&B styles of singing the quick passages you are referring to are commonly known as "riffs." Riffing is something that is very popular. In the operatic and other classical vocal genre, riffing is known as Coloratura. Fast singing is something that some singers seem to be able to do quite naturally, but others seem to struggle with. In order to sing coloratura well, the voice must be very flexible, the larynx at a comfortable speech-level (floating, not jammed up or locked down), and there must be a perfect balance of cord connection and air flow.

The quick riffs should sound natural and spontaneous. The only way to develop this sound is to practice the passages at more moderate speeds, note by note, and gradually increase the tempo. The goal is to maintain your speech-level posture, feel no strain or excess breath pressure beneath the cords, and feel as though the passage is connected from bottom to top (rather than flipping into a disconnected, falsetto type of production in the higher ranges).

After your technique has been developed to a certain degree where you are able to sing comfortably at your speech-level, it is advisable that you practice singing quick passages.

This is tough ask at the first glance but I found that once you start getting into the flow it becomes quite easy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

How Sound Originate & How To Use It For Singing

Found this small extract

"Vowel sounds originate from the vibration of your vocal folds. Consonants are created with an exhaled air stream and are formed by your mouth. If stressed, consonants will push out too much air and tense the muscles in your throat and mouth. This condition makes it difficult for your voice to work well. In response, your may find yourself additionally tightening throat and tongue muscles in a fight to make the note. This will produce strain, choke your sound, sing off pitch, miss the note entirely, run into register break, and result in vocal fatigue. The problem usually increases as you sing higher and louder. Vowels, worked with correctly, will relax the acoustic chamber of your throat and mouth and increase your volume through resonance. Consonants should not be stressed as you sing. Let the vowels take the spotlight."


Little easy science that should help!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Singing With Power

I found powerful singing is a style that often seems accompanied by its own punishment - strain, hoarseness, laryngitis, throat discomfort, loss of upper range, or a frequent need to "clear your throat." In severe cases, the result can be nodes or polyps, (nodes: calluses on the inner rims of; polyps: blisters on the tops or undersides of the vocal folds), which are painful and restrictive of singing. I know cause as an amateur one of my goal was to sing with more power.

I was trying to sing in "full voice" up in the higher ranges of my singing voice. It was not until my personal trainer told me that the mistake I was making was to try to drag my chest voices up past my first bridge and into where the mix should occur. This was the cause of discomfort and hoarseness.

It is important to remember that when we are first building sound in the mix and head ranges, that the fullness and power that is desired is limited at best.

It is necessary that a light, yet connected coordination be found first.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Practicing Singing Legato

A Legato line is a smooth vocal line with no bumps, breaks or "h's". One of the most effective tips I found to get a smooth vocal line into a song is to practice the line on a gentle "edge" type of sound, usually on an "M" or an "NG." Recording oneself and listening to the playback while practicing in this fashion is usually quite revealing. You need to work on the line until the melody is as smooth as "oil on glass."

One of the most crucial aspects of singing Legato is to understand your breathing and breath management. While singing a legato line, you must learn a low breath into the lower back. I learnt a lot about mastering the breathing pattern and its effectiveness from Singorama. They have an entire chapter devoted to just breathing. Chapter 3 if I remember. I must say a perfect course to learn Singing.

I also learned a lot about legato line from watching Alan Lindquest and his student Virginia Botkin. Lindquest explained the proper position of the jaw as "hanging slightly down and back"; much as the jaw would hang down and back if one went to sleep with the head back. The jaw NEVER goes forward.

Kirsten Flagstad called the "ng" "the silver thread that is the soul of my voice". The "ng" must be produced with the root of the tongue wide. If the root of the tongue is "bunched", the singer will experience a "closed throat" and very tight singing. The correct production of the "ng" helps to lengthen the "vibrational time" of the vowels as well; thus a musical line can be accomplished much more easily.

More to come on Legato as I learn it!


Sunday, July 1, 2007

What Is Speech Level Singing Or SLS

The concept of speech level singing is to produce your tones at speech level ie: with the ease of speaking.

SLS is a technique where the singer is taught to use less vocal energy in approaching the act of singing (especially belting). With practice, the singer learns to mix more head voice into the singing. This lessens the wear and tear on the voice. Think Sinatra; Think Ella Fitzgerald - their singing is easygoing, unstressed, and puts little pressure on the larynx.

Speech level singing uses special exercises that dis-engage the muscles located outside the larynx. This will allow the more efficient, inner larynx muscles to do what they do best! They will control all the vocal chord adjustments AND breathing and correct resonance will happen naturally.

Speech level singing is a technique used by many professional singers. Names include Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and many many more. A recent survey that consulted few of the professional singers in reviewing the programs are SLS graduates, and swear by it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My First Porst On Learning Singing

Hi Guys and Gals ;)

I am Nick. This is my blog on learning Singing the easy way. Writing my first post as I am about to start with my sessions on Singorama. That is the package I am using besides some coaching from my personal trainer. Well, you know how costly they are so I try to spend more time on this online learning Singorama package then elsewhere.

What's this blog about?
hmm.. this blog is about tips that I will gather as I learn singing, my experiences with the online packages that I got and if I become an expert some day I might start offering some course out here. So keep visiting :)