Training the voice is a complex work of opposite forces, and it does not work with the simple opposition of opposite muscles. We can think in a more complete and refined way putting the opposition on the functions so to work in some parts or in all the muscular chains and obtain not by luck all the different possibilities of voices and not strain or remain with a too limited voice.
If you are a boxeur or a sprinter will you train just in a relaxed and smooth way, as for example doing only Tai Chi? Relaxation can be useful and even fantastic as Tai Chi, but it is one of the tools possible and useful in voice training and it does not serve all the required purposes for professionals and performances or certain styles. Music and repertoire are made of different rhythms and accents and strenghts and if we do not train the system voice in a rational and precise way to be the perfect image of the music we are going to perform we will have a problem. Of course how to do that and from where and by what passages develop strengths and speeds requires great care and wisdom as in every training, but the answer always smooth and legato and relaxed is not the answer correct.
– What is your job?
– Create problems to create new habits. Said in other terms when there are bad habits that it is required to be changed and not contained (less freedom and less effectiveness if just contained) the thing is to create conditions in which the new habits desired contain the solution and the previous bads cannot find it.
Below this excellent article to explain what habits are and how to find them, so it can be more clear the strategies I adopt in my work.
Why your brain builds habits
Talk on sustain, the third part where I do explain what was one of the central point of Italian belcanto technique: to have overcome technically the muscular response of fight/flight and by that having a voice related on sustain. https://youtu.be/MaqK6vD1uJo
The complete vocal technique playlist on Youtube. A playlist with explanations on vocal fundamentals and concepts and my exercises. Yeah yeah yeah I am doing that happy and joyful thing to put online all my exercises because happiness is knowledge shared.
What nice to talk with a former student who has an interesting view on our work and my method from his medical job; and so nice that not only he is smart as he was but his band will get back rehearsing. Thank you Alex, still pleased of having had you between my students.
Singer since very young, it is twelve months she studies with me. You will hear that she is quite in order but there is a huge difference in bewteen the Dianne Reeves and Alicia Keys’s songs and Withney Houston’s one: this is the diaphragm connection that I long looked for her, not perfect yet in all the passages but connected and so it will be possible to train it and have those passages perfects just by using it and remaining connected. Enjoy!
A little talk with the great italian singer Eleonora Bianchini and why a professional like her, ranked 4th italian jazz singer, a stable duo with Enzo Pietropaoli, great career, winner of a merit scholarship at Berklee College, came having lessons with me. What did she found in our work, why it was important to her. Enjoy!
Into expire lies inspire. The only question is how to work and treat expire, and adjourn this work on changings yet happened and preparing chagings happening.
Said in other terms you have the yin disclosure from a correct yang, at the end and as a part of a correct yang. To define and work on yang is the question now
* Ilse Middendorf worked very well to define what the yin was, looking for the definition of correct inspire. She took away totally the yang since she saw the prevalence of this into inspire and wanted to avoid the loss of the totally yin principle that is at the basis of inspire nature. Linklater has found back a yang but does start not from where has to, they are expire and inspire one into the other defined and separeted but not far. External muscles can make mixed actions, not the root.
** Manuel Garcia worked truly well on the expire pure and correct that has as a disclosure the opening of the throat that appears when diaphragm make an inspire without interrupting the sound. And the principle of Belcanto italian technique is to find the inspire from the expire. Correct expire is crucial, not being just a pushing of air.
What is it the voice sound? Does a voice sounds always the same and having always the same perception of physical work to start a sound?
Sound is a wave, starting from a vibrating source. A trained singer with his memory will have a complex reaction and he’ll have his body ready to make the note required and vocal folds vibrating, slightly before we put the energy and the mucosa wave that starts the sound heard outside (an experienced singer can prolonge this moment of singing without sound for quite a long time and it is something special to experience). Inside we have lots of other structures vibrating, we are not at the zero absolute point so everything in us ocillates, sometimes vibrating in accordance with something else outside transmitting the oscillation or determined by our specific inside or even a sum of both. A good point to start singing is to just give an internal movement to breath related structures so to have a clear sound coming from our instrument that is generally what is perceived as our voice. The interpreter will make you dream, and have all this incredible effects a voice can have, does not just listen to its vocal folds and big muscles vibrating the note but hears and chooses something more precise perceived inside or outside, and puts the wave starting from this other point of oscillation or its waves to reach it in a summable way so to sum it in his proper voice and so making heard what sometimes we call the invisible that become visible. Truest interpreter will sound on something they feel as something precious or significant or simply with an inexplicable charm vibrating somewhere and just making it being where the wave starts or arrives to give it a voice.
My artists know well how I can be tough and not movable in asking them to solve together something that I call an ego excess and it is not the natural exaltation of ego on scene. What I talk about is the not solved ego that wants to state its existence all the time, especially under stress (we always sing under stress that you can also call energy). I will say something engineers can understand well: if you want to make some waves and not only turbulences and crushes you have to manage every source of oscillation and manage the waves produced. We have inside many sources of oscillations and we also react to those outside so we biologically and physically have many sources of waves. Voice production is according all the sources to manage and sum or to manage the waves produced internally to become a sound. An ego not solved states its existence making a fight and crushing everything not born from him, so fighting every wave or source it has not given precedent permission so it and it is just useless and not adapt to have a control. An ego solved will collaborate to manage and create and accord this sum of waves produced by all can react in a human. (Not to talk the obvious successive reacting and according with others musicians also producing waves, and further exalting or dialoging with every thing has an effect on stage 😉 )
* I do not mind egos, just care about voice production. <3