But first, Sargon, a confession... I'm actually not a huge fan of vocal warm ups. That's not something I'm into. I love to give you guys fierce vocal technique exercises. Right? Great concepts and exercises to work on your voice. If you really want to get great at singing, you've really got to do that kind of work.
And first things first, let's warm up the physical body.
So here we go soldiers, on your feet! First thing I want to see is 20 jumping jacks from you. So here we go with jumping jacks. 1, 2, 3, 4… And, rest. Fantastic stuff. Now you got that breath moving little bit.
Next thing is to reach your arms up over your head, and now you're gonna fold over and touch your toes. Good job. Reach up again, up to the sky. And then fold over and touch your toes. So nice. Now, inhale, one more time reach up to the sky and then fold over touch your toes. And then come on back up here.
Next thing, let's get the face, jaw, and tongue moving.
First thing I want to see here is just a little head roll. So roll your head to one side. And then to the other, good for you. Another one, roll. And then, roll. And then upwards roll. And then roll. One more time, roll. And, roll. Good for you, gettin' that head, neck, warmed up.
Now here's a great friend of ours... Piggy-Lion! It's gonna be super weird. Make this face, piggy... Lion! Piggy... Lion! Say it with me now, come on... Piggy... Lion! Ah-huh! Piggy... Lion! That's fantastic. Getting the jaw, tongue, mouth, warmed up.
Now that's your warm up for jaw, face, and tongue.
Next we're gonna warm up the different registers of the voice, starting with the nasal resonance.
So to get the sound into the nasal cavity, into our nasal resonators, we're just going to use the letter N. Say for me, Nnnnnn... So nice, yes that's right. Feel that buzz, one more time... Nnnnnn... You got it, that's the resonance right up in the nasal cavity.
Awesome job! You're feeling that resonance already.
Now we're gonna get up into the head voice for females and the falsetto territory for males with a flexibility exercise. So, we're warming up falsetto and head voice. To warm up the top here, let's use an owl sound. An H-U, hu. So here we go with this sound, hu hu. Try that. So nice. One more time, hu hu. Good for you.
Now you've got the top and your falsetto and head voice stretched out.
Now let's work the strength. We're down into chest voice. Here we go with a chest voice strengthening exercise. So to get the chest warmed up we're gonna use Y-O, yo. Say that for me, yo. Fantastic, real tough. Yo. That's right.
Next we're gonna warm up the mix for our last vocal exercise. Blending all of the strength, resonance, and flexibility into a mix exercise. So for our mix exercise we’re going to use Kay-Nayn, K-A-Y-N-A-Y-N. This is going to establish your resonance up here, plus some of our flexibility and strength down here.
Soul reminder number one - Singing is a miracle! Can you believe that we can even do this? These two little vocal cords are going to slap together tens or hundreds of thousands of times today to produce all kinds of vocal glory?
The fact that this is even possible is something that we can be thankful for. Wow, I get to sing today. How amazing is that? Not everybody has that possibility to sing every day. And you and I do? What a miracle.
Or you can choose to say “I’m getting better at my singing, I love to sing, I love what it does for me, I love to give it away to others, I feel good about my singing.” That's your choice. You can choose either of them.
And point number three - You look good. Did I tell you that recently? You are lookin' really good. You're lookin' fit, you're lookin' like you got that sparkle, you got a twinkle in your eye, a smile on your face, you just seem like you got that swagger, that confidence.
And I hope that this has been helpful for you Sargon, and for singers everywhere. So if you guys have questions that you'd like to see us answer on the show, you can send an email to Questions@VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.
And if you like these videos I encourage you to download our free app. It's for iPad, iPhone, and hopefully more in the future. Lots of free resources, videos, articles, tips, all kinds of great stuff there to help you guys as singers. Or you can check out www.VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.
The next thing is it could lack nasal resonance, that front R. So we make the R more like an M... [Demonstrates sound] And then change that M to an R. [Demonstrates sound] “Rascal.” And now it's in a great place to sing. So that's the deeds that you see that front R committing.
訳注：英語の「ン」はM, N, NGの3種類があります。Mは唇を閉じた状態で「ン」と発音します。日本語のマ行でゆっくり「ンマ、ンミ、ンム…」と発音した時の、「ン」の部分がMの音です。ちなみにここでは同時に唇をすぼめていますね。
Now the back R is even worse as in the word “harmful.”
一方で “harmful” という単語に見られる後ろのRは、もっと嫌なやつです。
That is a real tongue retraction that we tend to do when we have that back R sound. And again, that's a tongue retraction.
It also braces the larynx, it doesn't give the larynx freedom with all that retraction. And we also tend to raise the soft palate too much and again, block that nasal resonance. So it's all an inter web of vocal crimes going on.
I can do “harmful.” [Demonstrates forward tongue] Right? Watch my tongue, harmful. [Demonstrates forward tongue] I don't have to do “harmful”, [Demonstrates back R] which is gonna cause a big problem for me as a singer.
So you see that there's a lot of er’s, some pullback of tongue that wants to happen. Now I was singing... [Demonstrates] which I would recommend with that higher more forward tongue, not the [Demonstrates] that tends to happen with R.
Now that's the back R. What about the front R? The [demonstrates] sound. There's some of that too.
“I liked my memories as they were, But now I'll leave remembering” So, not [demonstrates] but [demonstrates], right? Small lips and nasal resonance. “Remembering” [demonstrates] That pulls me out of there. But “Remembering” [demonstrates front R] and not [demonstrates back R.] Right? So that's the front R.
And it's gonna be M-R-A-R-M, “mrarm.” Now it's kind of a tongue twister, yes. “Mrarm.” But I promise you it's all for the benefits of the justice system. Right? [demonstrates front R] That's gonna give you that small and nasally resonant R at the front.
So, loose jaw, high relaxed forward tongue and buzzy resonance. So here we go with guys down here “mrarm.” “mrarm - mrarm - mrarm…” And ladies here “mrarm - mrarm - mrarm…” and here we go together! [Exercise]
Our question for this week comes from Charlotte H. in Honolulu, Hawaii. And Charlotte writes, "Dear Justin, the L and the R are particularly difficult to sing, especially in a song. Why are they so evil?"
So the front L, "unlawful." And the back L, "evil."
前のLは "unlawful" 後ろのLは "evil" ですね。
Now let's talk about the crimes that L has committed against singers.
That front L, first. Now this L here, first of all, can often cause a lot of jaw tension. We talked about the marriage of jaw and tongue. That "Luh, luh" sound tends to lock the jaw when really we can just do "unlawful." "Luh, luh." I don't need to do "Luh." But the L causes a jaw tension.
First we want to find it with an N sound. "Nnn, nnn." And then make that N into an L. "Nnn, nll, nnn, nll." And then we have that nice "unlawful." And I have that buzz in my sound, that nasal resonance.
And you get the idea. So that L gives me a lot of tongue retraction, especially those back L's. "In that small" "That small cafe" I don't have to do "small." I can do "Small cafe." And I keep my tongue up and the sound up in the nasal resonance if I don't do that L.
So now that's the back L. But there's a few front L's in the song too. "I'll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places" "Familiar." I could do "lll" or "nll" and get that buzzy L. "Familiar places." "Nll." And I get "nll" instead of "lll." "Familiar places." And then it's in the right spot.
It's going to be N-L-E-H-N, "nlehn." Now I know that's a little bit of a tongue twister. "Nlehn." But we're gonna need it if the vocal justice system is gonna have its way with L and bring it out of the darkness and into the light, exposed.
No really, it's true. And my hope today is that I can show you guys why you're a complete and total failure too, alright. So that's gonna be our topic for today, is reasons why you're a complete and total failure.
Not only that but we're always going to be trying to be perfectly on pitch instead of allowing the voice to learn where that pitch is. Being willing to be flat and sharp sometimes as we're working on vocal technique. Being willing to crack. We've talked about that in the past.
We need to be able to make a lot of different kinds of sounds that may not be perfect in order to improve our vocal technique.
So repeat after me, I'm a failure at vocal technique and it's okay to fail.
Next you're a failure... [hits piano] at practicing.
A lot of times when we're perfectionists, we have some problems with our vocal practice. Either it's that we procrastinate and avoid and put off our vocal practicing altogether or we're practicing so hard that other problems result.
If we have to be perfect, sometimes we're afraid to practice because practicing is going to be the place where we learn that we're not perfect. But there's things in our voice that we have to work out.
We need to have enjoyable practices where we have a goal in mind, we're working hard, but we're also giving ourself a break. That's what's gonna make a successful practice, it's also gonna inspire you to practice more.
Don't always just be looking for the future and not taking time to enjoy that moment. Because you need to value each step along your vocal journey. It's actually gonna make the journey move faster towards where you want to be if you're valuing your success.
And the performance - whether that's a high note that they could easily crack on but they take the risk and they hit the note and it's amazing, or an emotional scene where the actor is so invested and you just say how are they so risky, how are they so brave to do that?
So say it with me, I'm a failure at performing and it's okay to fail.
Now next, you're a failure... [hits piano] at your career.
One of the biggest mistakes that I see people making with perfectionism is that they never get out there.
They're always working so hard to get it perfect before they show anybody - they don't want to show this song, They don't want to go to this audition, They don't want to release this album, because it's not perfect.
There's no perfect artist and we love people's flaws. So, unfortunately so many people with beautiful voices and so much talent - we don't even get to see them because they keep it locked up until it's perfect. And really the truth is, it will never be perfect.
The other thing that's a little unfortunate about people's careers is sometimes I see people with great careers - we got some folks that are top recording artists and Broadway stars - and a lot of times, it's not enough.
But, that being said, let's say it together. I’m a failure at my career and it's okay to fail.
Now next, you're a failure... [hits piano] at life.
Okay, now that's a good one. So, artists have this tendency sometimes to want to create an image of themselves through their art. A perfect image of somebody else. Some perfect singer, some perfect artist, some celebrity.
And the truth is you don't ever get to be that. You always get to be you.
And you might be very, very successful but you never get to be that perfect singer. You never get to be that perfect star, that perfect celebrity - even the celebrities that we have, they're still just people, alright. So you never really get to be that thing that you may possibly, as a perfectionist, be working towards.
And so it's good to know that that's not really going to happen. And then you can enjoy who you are - who you are in this life independent of your artistry. And then they're both gonna take off more - your life and your art - when you're free from having to be a perfect image of somebody else.
And so if your perfectionism is causing you to get so frustrated and so down, turn it around. Sing it for a different reason. Sing, as we always say, for the joy and for the passion. Don't lose that joy, don't lose that passion.
Singing ought not be frustrating and defeating for you. Even if there's difficult times - there's a lot of hard technique to work through - Don't let yourself get discouraged and hold yourself to a high standard. Enjoy where you are so that you have that happiness and joy when you sing.
So, I'm a failure at happiness and it's okay to fail.
Now last, you're a success... [victory music] at singing.
That's right, singing is actually perfect for helping us eliminate our perfectionist tendencies.
Singing, if you do it with joy, will allow you to be goofy and allow you to be ridiculous, allow you to be okay with making mistakes, allow you to be braver, allow you to be more confident, allow you to know yourself on a deeper level and to work through things - emotional, mental, spiritual, vocal technique.
And I hope that that's been helpful for you, Ona and for all of us perfectionists. If you guys have questions that you'd like to see us answer on the show, you can send an email to Questions@VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.
And today, more than ever, I'll say to you guys again. Don't lose that joy. Don't lose that passion. Don't let people tell you that you can't sing even if that's your perfectionist self, you know it's not true.
And if you like these videos, I encourage you to download our free app. It's for iPad, iPhone, and hopefully more in the future. A lot of free resources, articles, tips, great stuff to help you guys grow as singers. Or you can visit www.VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.
As the cords stretch out, the notes go higher, and as they thicken up, the notes go lower. So when the vocal cords are free, they can move in a small motion that causes that vibrato. So that's how it's done.
Another thing might be too much squeeze, too much compression on the vocal cords. That also will prevent them from having that give, that lets them move freely for vibrato. So, not too much squeezing of the actual cords.
The other thing could be tension, alright. It could be neck tension from thrusting the neck. Maybe you have jaw tension or tongue tension or tension in these long muscles here. These are your sternocleidomastoids, whoa... [hits piano] These guys often block singers from freedom and also the freedom that vibrato requires.
Sometimes if you're a new singer out there and you don't have vibrato yet, I tell you just stay the course because as you develop freedom and agility with your voice, your vibrato often just comes in on its own.
But today we're also going to have a great exercise. It's gonna help you guys get more freedom to the vocal cords so that your vibrato gets either faster if it's too slow, or comes in maybe for the first time if you've been having problems getting your vibrato to work.
So I'm gonna use another John Legend song. This is "All Of Me" by John Legend. And just listen for some of the vibrato nuances that I'm using. And later I'm going to describe kind of some of the things that's going on. So this is "All Of Me" by John Legend.
Now what does too slow vibrato sound like? Well... “Cuz all of me loves all of you” Now you probably know some singers like this, right? Too slow of a vibrato, right? “Cuz all” We want to be able to control that vibrato speed.
So like I say, some of the things that prevent vibrato or slow it down is that push of the voice. “Cuz all” If I'm pushing too much chest voice on those notes, it will slow the vibrato down or prevent it.
Today we're going to recruit staccato in order to help you guys get vocal cord agility and freedom. When we have staccato, pitches, it helps the cords re-articulate. And that re-articulation helps them to learn to move faster just like vibrato.
And we just encourage you don't lose the joy, don't lose the passion. Don't you dare let people tell you that you can't sing because you and I, we both know that is false. Not true! You can do it, stay committed, keep practicing.
If you like these videos, we just encourage you to download our free app. It's for iPad, iPhone, hopefully more in the future, but all kinds of free articles, videos, tips, resources, all kinds of stuff to help you guys get to the next level on your vocal journey.
And Allison writes, "Dear Justin, my belt and my chest voice and mix are very strong but my head voice is very weak. I can't sing legit or classical songs because my head voice is always so thin. Can I make my head voice powerful like my chest voice?
It's a fantastic question Allison, and that's really true. So many of us are working on the connected registers to get them power and tone, but what about the disconnected registers? These ones up here, can those be strong as well? And absolutely they can.
So today we're gonna learn how to get some more power into your head voice.
But first we need to talk about some terms. What is head voice?
Now I know we've talked about this a little bit in the past. The thing to keep in mind is that terminology is very different depending on which teacher you talk to, which school, which method, there's no standard in the voice.
So people use a lot of different words to describe the same thing. And that can be very confusing for singers. So just know that the terms really vary. It doesn't really matter as long as we're using the same language for what we're talking about.
When the female voice disconnects it goes into head voice. Same thing when the male voice disconnects it goes into falsetto. Actually, a male head voice is kind of a mix, but a female head voice is very much like a male falsetto.
So those are the words that we're gonna be using today. We're going to have an episode basically that helps females get a stronger head voice and males get a stronger falsetto. It's gonna be about the equivalent.
First of all, we need to be able to lower the larynx, right? We know that lots of different larynx positions are effective for great vocal technique. But a low larynx invites more possibility for power into the voice. So we need to be able to lower the larynx.
Remember, a high larynx is a kind of brighter, squeezier sound, perhaps. Right? And we can use that larynx. A neutral larynx, is very much like my speaking voice. It's natural. And a low larynx is a little bit looser and a little bit deeper, right?
Next thing is the jaw. We need to make sure that we don't have thrust, or a hole to the jaw or too small of a jaw position, or just overall jaw tension when we're singing. So we have to be able to loosen. Later we're gonna do an exercise to help you with all of these things.
And then finally we need to make sure that you guys are bold. Right?
A lot of times, and it doesn't matter whether it's chest voice or the head voice power that we're talking about today, there's a lack of energy. Not breath, but energy. Commitment, boldness, willingness to make a big or perhaps ugly sound. Right?
If you're always trying for perfection, you're always trying to place it and make a perfect sound, you're never going to be able to develop power in your voice. There's a certain sense of going for it that you're going to need in order to be powerful up here.
Again, later we're gonna do an exercise so that you guys can practice. But know that you can't hold back, you can't judge your sound too much, if you want to develop strength to the voice. You have to be willing to make a mistake and also to let it out.
So we're going to work on that later, but let me first show you in a song what a powerful head voice or a powerful falsetto would be in comparison to the thinner one. And then we're gonna try practicing getting some strength for you guys.
So this is, 'You'll Never Walk Alone" by Rodgers & Hammerstein. And this is really a female classical or traditional musical theater song. But I'm going to show you how it sounds to have some strength and power up into those registers of the voice.
Okay, now if I let my voice do some of the things that we talked about, if I have poor breath support, a high larynx, and a lack of boldness, I could get... [Song] Right? And it instantly loses its.... [Song] that I'm getting from all of those qualities.
The exercise that we're gonna do today, we're not gonna have guys down here, ladies up here. We're gonna have guys and ladies in the same register. And we're gonna do H-W-A-W. HWAW! Okay, so say that for me, H-W-A-W, HWAW. That's fantastic.
Okay, fantastic stuff! So that exercise hopefully helps you guys to drag some more power up into falsetto if you're a male and head voice if you're a female. So you can start developing that extra power on top that you'll love to have for your voice.
So Alison and all, I hope that that's been helpful for you guys today as singers. If you have questions that you'd like to see us answer on the show, you can send an email to Questions@VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.
So we just encourage you don't lose the joy, don't lose the passion. Don't let people tell you that you can't sing. You and I both know that is not true. Keep working hard on your voice every day. Whether it's the chest voice or the head voice coordinations, work everything.
And if you like these videos, I encourage you to download our free app. It's for iPhone, iPad, and hopefully more in the future. A lot of great resources, tips, articles, videos, so many things there. Free stuff to help you guys grow as singers. So you can download that app or visit www.VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.