I’ll give you a chance to ask questions later, but our question for this week starts our Vocal MythBusters series. And this questions is from Matt M. in Birmingham, UK. Matt writes, “Dear Justin, I’ve been told I should sing from my diaphragm, and not from my throat. How do I sing from my diaphragm and also strengthen my diaphragm?”
Because the diaphragm is an inhale only muscle. It only inhales. What is the diaphragm? It’s a sheath-like muscle that divides your torso in half. It runs from your sternum all the way to the back part of your ribcage.
When this muscle contracts, when it does its work, it creates a vacuum for the lungs. That vacuum pulls air into the body. When we exhale, the diaphragm is passive and other muscles perform the exhale.
Now that this vocal myth has been busted, and we know that we can’t sing from our diaphragms, what are we going to do? Well, we need to redefine our terms. Since we can’t sing from the diaphragm, how about we maximize our diaphragm’s efficiency when we inhale?
We’ve been talking about this since episode 1 of the show - episode 1, The Four Breathing Types. There’s two breathing types that help our diaphragm to be efficient. One is the belly breath, which takes place below the diaphragm and helps it to descend. The other is the ribcage breath, which takes place on the sides of the diaphragm and helps it expand and also descend. Putting those two breaths together set you up for really efficient singing.
Now it’s just a silly song, but you can see that that takes maximum diaphragmatic efficiency to hold those notes. It’s interesting - it doesn’t take a lot of breath. It’s just about where the inhalation takes place and how efficient it is.
Now sustains are not the only benefit of maximizing your diaphragm. There’s other benefits as well. This kind of efficiency is not just going to help you hold notes for a long time. It’s going to give you a greater stamina and greater vocal health. You’re going to last longer in practice and in performance.
And you’re not going to be putting strain on your voice of any kind. It’s also going to give you higher notes, right? If you don’t blast air, you’re going to be able to go higher. Vocal registration - You’re going to have more evenly blended registers when the air flow is steady.
Also, a lot of special skills will start to develop. Legato, smooth phrases and vibrato. Cords moving through a very steady stream of breath. All of these things can be yours if you increase this efficiency. That’s why we’re going to do an exercise next to work on it.
So I’m so glad, Matt and all, that we could bust up some vocal myths. This is a larynx by the way. And we’ve really figured this out that you cannot sing from the diaphragm. But we can learn to use the diaphragm to its maximum efficiency. It’s going to help you guys so much.
So I encourage you, don’t lose that joy, don’t lose that passion. Get with a great teacher in your area. Or if you’re in New York or you’d like to Skype with one of our staff, visit NewYorkVocalCoaching.com.
If you’d like a vocal course that you can work on at home, you can check out our Voice Lessons To The World Vocal Course - A 12-part course that takes you on a journey from beginner to master level vocal exercises. Check that out at VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.
Hi everybody! My name is Justin Stoney and I'm the founder of New York Vocal Coaching here in New York City. Welcome to episode 82 of Voice Lessons To The World, the show where we want to help you as singers by answering your questions from all over.
And I'll give you a chance to ask questions later, but our question for this week comes from Salman S. in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Now Salman wrote this question to us actually today, [Hits piano] and it was so good that we just had to answer it right away.
Now Salman, it's just so great that you ask this because so many singers struggle with vocal strain. Luckily, we can fix this. And that's what we're going to talk about today, what is vocal strain and how do we fix it?
And then finally, vocal health. You know honestly it's pretty rare to hurt your voice all in one shot. It's possible... You could yell and scream at a football game or a party, or you could have a really bad sickness and get hurt fast, but usually vocal damage occurs over the long term. And if you have repetitive stress from vocal strain that can really be one of the reasons.
So next, let's look at it. What factors cause vocal strain? We can break these factors down into the S-T-R-A-I-N of strain.
それでは次に、このことについて見ていきましょう。声の緊張をもたらす要因は、何なのでしょうか？声の緊張の要因は、ストレイン（緊張）のS, T, R, A, I, Nに分解できます。
Setting, where are you singing? Is it a place with poor acoustics or maybe a lot of noise going on? Are you pushing over that noise? Are you with a band and those other instruments you're pushing your voice over those instruments? Or maybe the amplification is improper for what you're trying to do. Make sure that your environment isn't the source of your strain.
Now how about time duration? It's not wrong sometimes to sing for two, three, four, maybe even five hours. But not every day. You have to know, what vocal marathon am I running? Also, is your speaking voice a part of that? If you're talking a lot and singing a lot you might just be doing too long of vocal usage.
How about the range? Are you singing too high or too low? Obviously it's not wrong to stretch your voice and work on territories you haven't mastered. But you got to be in a comfortable tessitura. That's the spot of the voice where your songs "live". If you're singing in a tessitura all the time that's uncomfortable it's going to cause strain.
What about the amount of training? I know you guys are working hard with your voice teachers at home or you're doing our videos or our vocal course and you're working to get to those more advanced levels. But you got to be honest with yourself and not move too fast. Work at the level that you're at so that you don't cause strain trying to do things that are too hard for you at least right now.
How about the intensity? Don't be falling in love with a big old sound, alright. If you're pushing volume, pushing force, always going for the strong sounds, never building the flexibility, the resonance, the breath support that you need, the intensity could be causing the strain.
And then finally your own natural abilities. Everybody's got a different athleticism and a different history. If you've had injuries in the past you might be compensating more. And some people it just takes a little bit longer. So be honest with yourself as far as your own vocal athleticism. We're going to keep working to take you to the next level, no matter where you're starting off.
One complaint that you hear too often from singers is that their vocal training is not specific. The teacher will say oh you're straining. But not give specific ways to fix that strain. So Salman, let's get specific. Here's seven areas of strain that we want to address.
First, the neck. The area that we see and probably feel the most tension is the neck. The sternocleidomastoids are these long head-turning muscles here. They can get rather tight. The stylohyoids, right up here, can also put some strain on the larynx. What about the back of the neck? The capitis, the occipitalis, and the trapezius muscles. All of these can get tight.
How do we fix it? We become aware of it and then we aren't afraid of holding it down or massaging it while we sing. That's one of the best ways to free up a muscle, is to hold it or massage it. Get those muscles out of your vocal equation so that all the right ones, the intrinsic muscles, can do their work.
Next, what about breathing? We don't think of breathing as something that could be a strain. But it can be if we're taking too much air or using too much air or if muscles are misbehaving in our breathing system.
The biggest offender is the solar plexus, the upper abdominals. We don't want these guys to get tight when we sing. It's a muscle pair with the larynx and it can cause a lot of strain. You can watch our episode "The Shiny Solar Plexus" for a full treatment of that.
Now what about the larynx? The larynx is a major concern for us as far as vocal strain because the vocal folds are housed inside the larynx. What we're trying to avoid is the larynx becoming a pitch changer. We want the vocal folds to do that.
Now it's ok for the larynx to be a style changer. If I have a neutral larynx... ♫ Whoa I've seen fire and I've seen rain ♫ It's cool sound, but what if I'm looking for a little sweeter, pop sound? ♫ Whoa I've seen fire and I've seen rain ♫ It's ok to raise it up, depending on the style or lower it down depending on the style. But we don't want it changing those pitches for us too much.
Next, what about alignment? It's easy to forget that our entire bodies need to be involved when we sing. So our alignment plays a great part in this. A lot of people hold tension in their low back. Make sure you're not crunched back here, also make sure you're not slumping in the sternum.
But really you want to check in with your whole body when you sing. Neck that's free to move, shoulders, spine, hips, knees, and feet. You might consider doing some stretching or even yoga as a part of your vocal workout to make sure that you're in touch with your physical body and how that corresponds to your sound.
Check it out... ♫ May ♫ [clean] Now that's a clean sound, but what if this is happening... ♫ May ♫ [squeezed and tight] And I'm getting too much squeeze. I can always go... ♫ May ♫ [decompressed] Or... ♫ May ♫ [clean] to fix it. I have control over too much, just right, or even compensating the other way with some looseness. Control over that musculature.
Now, next super important the jaw and tongue. Let me tell you something about the jaw and the tongue. They're located above the larynx. Now why does that matter? Well think about it, any muscle pulls one thing towards another thing. So all of these muscles, geniohyoids, mylohyoids, digastrics, hyoglossus, styloglossus, the list goes on. Tons of muscles above the larynx to hike it up.
And finally, what about the soul? Now Salman, we're really saving the best for last here because we could talk all day about vocal strain and still forget what's really important. Which is the singer's soul. We don't want to put a strain on that.
Why can't I get this right? Why can't I get these high notes? Why is this person better than me? Why is this taking so long? Why is Justin using all these strange words like sternocleidomastoid? [hits piano] Whoa... Hey...
So Salman and all, I hope 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.
And I also encourage you to download our vocal course. This is a 12-part course that takes you on a singing journey from beginner to master. Hundreds of vocal exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home or even car. Check this out at www.VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.
Hi everybody! My name is Justin Stoney and I'm the founder of New York Vocal Coaching here in New York City. Welcome to episode 81 of Voice Lessons To The World, the show where we want to help you as singers by answering your questions from all over the world.
And I'll give you a chance to ask questions later, but our question for this week comes from Bruna M. in Natal, Brazil. And Bruna writes, "Dear Justin people tell me they like the sound of my voice. But when I hear it back on recordings, I don't like it. What should I do?"
Now Bruna, that is just an awesome question because I think virtually one hundred percent of us feel similarly about our voices. So today we're going to talk about five reasons that you don't like the sound of your voice. And, five things you can do to fix it.
You've got your laryngopharynx, your oropharynx, your nasopharynx, and your nasal cavity. Most of these resonators are behind your ears. So if you're using good resonance, actually you're going to be able to hear yourself worse.
Higher notes rely on this resonance. And high frequencies travel with short wavelengths. Those kind of wavelengths get by you fast. The low, slow frequencies get out into the room where you can hear them.
So the better your resonance is the worse you can hear yourself. And the more successful the high note the worse you can hear yourself. So it's actually positive to not be able to hear yourself as well as you'd like.
Now, recording yourself is a great idea for your practices or for your voice lessons. But if you've ever seen a cat see themselves in the mirror for the first time, they say I don't know if I recognize that creature...
And it's the same thing when you record yourself. You say, "Uh I don't know if I recognize that creature..." But it's a discipline that you need to learn as a singer. To be able to get used to hearing your voice on a recording. At first you will not like it. It sounds different than the resonance that you hear in your head.
But you must not judge your recordings. Keep in mind it's not studio quality. When you're in a professional recording studio there's pitch correct, there's reverb, there's several takes, there's many things that you can do to improve that sound.
Now a lot of superstars are born in the shower and in the car. But in the shower you've got a bigger resonance chamber helping out this smaller resonance chamber. And in the car we like to throw on somebody else's resonance and blend our voices with that resonance. In both cases you've got something that's giving you a false sense of your own sound.
And that's why when we muscle our sound, or force the breath, or open up the mouth, we think it's going to sound great but it actually doesn't. When we allow our voices to flow, small breath, resonance, free instrument, it sounds great.
Now, sending negative messages about the singing voice is one of the meanest attacks that you can do to another person. It's kind of the equivalent of saying, you...your soul... I don't think I like it. Could you just stop existing? And these words cut so deep and yet so many of us have had these negative messages about our singing voice.
So Bruna, I'm suggesting that maybe the biggest reason that you don't like the sound of your singing voice is something that somebody else said about you along the way. And, Bruna and all, I want you to continue to promise me that you do not let those negative messages stop you from honoring your voice and allowing it to grow to its fullest potential.
Now what do I mean by that? I mean when we do technique we often isolate extremes of the voice. The twangy sounds, the deep larynx sounds, the hooty sounds, the squeaky sounds, the tight sounds, the loose sounds, the belty sounds, the classical sounds, the nasal sounds.
We isolate different parts of the voice so that we can achieve cross training and balance. If you're always trying to sound pretty and right, you're not going to reach the full capabilities of the instrument. So don't be afraid to take those risks and explore your full voice.
We've already learned why our ears can't totally be trusted. So we might have to say to them "you're fired" and hire somebody else's. Now maybe that's a professional, a voice teacher or a vocal coach, somebody that you really trust to take your voice to the next level.
But not everybody can afford a voice teacher or coach. So you might have to get with a musician friend or just somebody that you really trust to give you positive feedback but also honest feedback. Somebody without an agenda and really wants to see your voice reach its potential.
But if we're recording ourselves so that we can say I'll never be good at this, I should just quit, this is the most disgusting thing I've ever heard in my life and I've always suspected I'm a worthless human being but now I have proof! That's a bad reason to record yourself singing.
But a good reason would be something like pitch. Am I flat? Am I sharp? How about my technique? Is my larynx raising or lowering too much? Am I too tight, too loose? Is my resonance maximized? Are my vowels pure? Are my stylizations accurate to the style I want to sing? These are all good reasons to record and one of the best ways that you can hear your voice with clarity.
You're not worried about neighbors, or friends and family, or what somebody might be thinking about you. But a time alone where you can experiment with your voice, you can feel that resonance, you can really know what you're capable of. If you can carve out that sacred space and time for yourself, you're really going to like your voice so much more.
And the final way to love your voice more is to know that there is no comparison.
So maybe the cat looks itself in the mirror for the first time and says whoa I don't know if I like that cat. But what we hope, is that eventually the cat looks itself in the mirror and says you know what, that's a pretty darn good looking cat.
Eventually we're going to have to see ourselves in the mirror and say, you know what, I look pretty good. And eventually we're going to have to face our voices and we're going to have to have the vocal discipline of saying I like my voice.
And from this place, then you can look at the flaws and you can look at the things that you want to improve. And from that place of "I like this" you can go and reach your vocal potential. That's the best way to do it.
So, Bruna and all, I hope that that's been helpful for you today as singers. If you got questions that you'd like to see us answer on the show you can send an email to Questions@VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.
If you're looking for a vocal course to do in the comfort of your own home, you might check out our Voice Lessons To The World Vocal Course, a 12 part course that takes you on a singing journey from beginner to master. Hundreds of challenging vocal exercises, that I hope will take your game to the next level. You can check it out at www.VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.
Hi everybody! My name is Justin Stoney and I'm the founder of New York Vocal Coaching here in New York City. Welcome to episode 80 of Voice Lessons To The World, the show where we want to help you as singers by answering your questions from all over.
And I'll give you a chance to ask questions later, but our question for this week comes from Jakob B. in Vienna, Austria. And Jakob writes, "Dear Justin, I liked your videos on the O vowel and the I vowel. I'm wondering if you can do a video on the OO vowel."
So let's look at some characteristics of the OO vowel. OO is a very extreme vowel because it's the headiest of all vowels. It promotes flexibility and helps us build our range better than almost any vowel can.
The reason for this is the resonance is so contained in the head. We've got the narrowest embouchure. The most in the way of the mouth and a pretty high tongue position as well. Two things blocking the exit so that the sound can resonate up in the head.
For you formant fans out there, it's the lowest F1 and the lowest F2. Making this vowel a closed vowel and a dark vowel. All of these factors together make it such a head dominant vowel and help us build our range.
Now in a more pop or R&B setting we don't want to do "yoo" right? We don't say "what's up YouTube", we say "what up YouTube". As a pop star I cannot be bothered to use my lips that much. So with, "With You" by Chris Brown we get something like...
We really drop things down. Another kind of time we would drop it down is when we want to open that embouchure. Maybe even in a legit song, a classical song, one of my favorites "If I Loved You", at the end...
And that smiley, snarly, more nasally resonant OO vowel sometimes happens as well. So that's not all the OOs but just some ideas of how not every OO is created equal. There's a lot of different variety.
And later we're going to do an exercise that helps you to do just that. To extend your vocal range and to build greater flexibility. Because this vowel promotes great flexibility and also maximizes that head resonance. It also builds the headier gears and the lighter qualities to the voice.
So there's so many benefits, but there's also some limitations. Sometimes people's voices are too light and the OO vowel is not the way to go. It's got the least compression of any vowel. And so you might struggle because of that.
It's also the hardest vowel to belt because it's so closed. This is one of the reasons that we have to sometimes modify it a little bit more open on certain occasions. It's just the least powerful vowel overall.
And the idea here is we're going to keep the embouchure the same in that puckered OO all the way up and down. Now I know there's times where we we'll want to modify it but not with this exercise. You're going to stay consistent in the front and then the resonance is going to also stay consistent from top to bottom. That's going to help you even out your registration and also build range up top.
Fabulous work! Way to stay consistent across your range.
So Jacob and all, I'm glad you're enjoying these vowel videos. I know we're going to have some more vowels to come in the future, but today it was awesome to explore head voice's best friend the OO vowel. [Dog howls] [Justin howls at dog]
Or if you'd like to sing in the comfort of your home you can look at our Voice Lessons To The World Vocal Course. This is a 12-part video course that takes you on a singing journey from beginner to master. Hundreds of vocal exercises that you can do at home, or in your car, anywhere you may be. check it out at www.VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com.
Now Heidi, this is just a spectacular question. Because you're right, there's a lot of crossover between singing and speech. But we don't want to just have a great speaking voice for our singing. A speaking voice can be great for our social life, for our professional life, and just our confidence as a person. It's really important to have that crisp, clear, healthy speaking voice.
So today we're going to look at some tips that will help you to get the speaking voice that you've always dreamed to have. Which, is not that one... [Hits piano] That's right, 7 tips, that are going to help you to master your speaking voice.
So the first one is identifying vocal tensions. So many of the issues with our speaking voice result from a tension in the physical body. So it's important to identify what those tensions are and work through them.
First, is just our alignment and our posture. A lot of times we sit at a desk or computer or piano all day and we get into this sort of slumping. Or we overcompensate by arching the back. You need to make sure that your spine can find that neutral, tall, relaxed alignment.
Next is the neck. The neck can hold a lot of tension, particularly in the sternocleidomastoid muscles. These long guys hold a lot of tension and they can really put pressure on the larynx and the vocal cords. So you want to be able to stretch side to side and up and around, to be aware and eliminate some of that neck squeezing that we feel sometimes.
Also, the jaw and the tongue. The jaw needs to be able to release just like this. And also to be able to be moved. But yet we find that very difficult to do. Sometimes there's so much jaw tension you really need to massage it or move it around to really get in there.
Now next let's talk about speaking within your range. A bigger problem than people realize is that they're not actually speaking in their own range. "I mean what's the problem? I mean this is my speaking voice. This is how I always talk. So I don't understand why is my voice getting so tired all the time?" "I mean I just don't get it, my voice is always getting so tired and I just don't know why!"
A lot of times we're identifying with a voice that's not actually quite our own. Too deep, when really we want some higher pitches in the sound. Or too high when we really want some more depth in the sound.
Make sure that you haven't gotten yourself pigeon holed into a voice that's too deep for you or too high for you. Doesn't matter the reason, but experiment with some sounds that you wouldn't think are you and you might find a different kind of freedom to your voice than you've never had before.
Next let's talk about overcoming a nasal sounding voice. Maybe the biggest complaint that people have about their speaking voice, Heidi, is that it sounds too nasal. Now we've talked a lot on the show about how that nasal sound is actually twang. It's a bright formant that's caused by the larynx and the squeeze of the cords and not by the nose itself.
So a great fix for that is the classic yawn. Trying a yawn, feeling the laryngeal depth, and then speaking through that yawn, alright, saying sentences through the deeper, more open space. Now obviously this is not my final product. But getting some of those colors and some of that depth and experience will help to balance out the brighter sounds that one might be struggling with.
Next, let's talk about the vocal fry. I mean what's up with that?
The vocal fry is one of the most talked about trends in all of modern speech. It's very common among young people, among women, among young women. And I mean it's like whatever. I mean it's like short vocal folds and a little bit of vocalis but whatever. I mean it's like limited breath flow but whatever. I mean I could explain it to you more but it's like whatever.
Voiceover artists know all about vocal variety. You don't read a copy and say, finally 100% juice for older kids introducing new J-Max from Juicy Juice. The intense tasting, 100% juice with no added sugar and lots of vitamin C.
You know to keep your voice moving. And a lot of people complain about having a boring voice, a monotone voice. Not only is it going to make your voice more interesting to listen to, but it's healthier to move it up and down. It keeps you in different vocal coordinations.
We know this with our body. We don't want to be stiff and rigid, we want to stay moving, be agile, be flexible, that's good for our body and same thing is true with the voice. Keeping it moving throughout the day, it's one of the best things for your vocal health.
First of all, rest. Getting a good night's sleep can really help the vocal folds and the muscles to repair themselves.
Next is hydration. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Your body needs to stay hydrated but your vocal folds' vibration relies on moisture. So if you drink water it's going to help your vocal production.
Also your diet. Watch out for foods that cause acid and acid reflux. You'll find out what those foods are if you watch our episode on the singer's diet. Try to stay away from those foods that cause you problems.
And last but not least, avoid talking over loud crowds. If you're at bars or places where there's loud music or big crowds, this is really one of the biggest vocal killers. Try to avoid those situations, stand closer to people if you are in those situations, or use your nasal resonance so that your sound cuts through the crowd better. But that's a really big killer so watch out for those situations.
Our last speaking voice tip for the day is, to be who you are. I've had students come to me who have had vocal nodes because their mom told them that they were too effeminate. And they tried to speak down here.
I've had people that were told that they shouldn't speak. Or that they sounded ugly when they speak. Or that they sounded dumb when they speak. Or that they really never had anything good to say at all.
So whoever it was that told you that you shouldn't speak, that you couldn't speak, or that you won't speak, I'm here to tell you that they are wrong. And everything that's special about your voice needs to and must come flying out.
And get with a great voice teacher or speech coach in your area. Or you can check out www.NewYorkSpeechCoaching.com. Our staff has speech coaches that work with public speech, with accent reduction, with helping artists and people to discover the potential of their speaking voice. So check that out and maybe work with one of our staff members.
You can also download the Voice Lessons To The World Vocal Course. if you're looking for a vocal course to do at home. This is a 12-part course that takes you on a journey from beginner to master. You can find that at www.VoiceLessonsToTheWorld.com. Also, for free daily vocal tips you can sign up at DailyVocalTips.com.
And I'll give you a chance to ask questions later, but our question for this week comes from Felicity M. in Santa Cruz, Aruba and Felicity writes, "Dear Justin, I've been told if I could sing Messa Di Voce I'd become a vocal god. What do you think?"
Well Felicity that's just an awesome question. And yes messa di voce is one of the most coveted skills in all of singing. It's so difficult that when we can do it we do become a kind of vocal hero or vocal heroine and our voice takes on a quality that's almost divine.
And the Italian word "messa" means "to place" or "put" and "di voce" means "the voice". It's different from "vocal placement". But this is kind of saying, if I can do that skill well I can "put" my voice wherever the heck I want. [hits piano]
But let's talk about why we need to learn messa di voce. Messa di voce emerges from the classical tradition. But really it's not just for classical singers. All singers can benefit by working on messa di voce.
Now, later we're going to do an exercise for it. But think of it this way, if we can go from soft to loud to soft and back, we have control over our vocal cords. This is the very same thing we're trying to do when we work on the mix.
We also talk on the show a lot about laryngeal control. Singers who have mastery over multiple larynx positions tend to be good at messa di voce and vice-versa. So it's great for your laryngeal control.
Finally, it's great for your soulfulness. It's easy for me to say, "to indeed be a god [softly] or, "to indeed be a god" [loudly] or, "to indeed be a god". [shouts] That's easy to do in the speaking voice. But can we have that kind of dynamic and soulful control over our singing voice? That's what messa di voce can bring.
And so next we're going to look at it in a song. Now the song I chose is, "Bring Him Home" from Les Mis. And Felicity, this has a kind of heavenly and prayerful quality to it. And it's really a perfect song for demonstrating how messa di voice can bring a song to life. So let's have some fun with "Bring Him Home".
And you hear how that push-pull of messa di voce gives this song life. Now it's very pretty just doing it softly... "God on high, hear my prayer" But compared to the messa di voce it doesn't have the same life.
The first pillar is breath control. To master messa di voce we're going to need control over our breathing. Yes, when you get louder you need more air and when you get softer you need less. That's how singing works.
But we don't want to be blasting the air to get louder. ♪ Ah ♪ Right? We want... ♪ Ah ♪ I press gently on the gas pedal for that crescendo and then gently take the gas pedal away for the exhale. So it's going to be very subtle. A little bit of pressure goes a long way.
Something like... ♪ Ah ♪ Where the pitch goes up and I didn't mean to. Or... ♪ Ah ♪ And when I take away the volume the pitch goes flat. And I didn't mean to. It's pretty difficult to keep.... ♪ Ah ♪ ...the exact same pitch as the volume changes. So really be mindful of your pitch when you're working on messa di voce.
Next pillar, compression control. In singing, we have a tendency for our soft sounds to be too light, too breathy. And our loud sounds to be too squeezy, too tough. And this is what makes messa di voce so hard.
And then the hardest part of messa di voce is coming back. ♪ Ah ♪ We don't want to go too far loosening. We want... ♪ Ah ♪ compression to stay on duty as the air and volume is taken away. That's the hardest part.
But as we move from soft to loud, you might feel a little larynx movement and vice versa. ♪ Ah ♪ There might be a little bit of drop on the louder sounds and a little bit of raise on the softer sounds. A little is okay, but try to minimize it as much as possible.
The softer sounds have a sort of chestier airflow ♪ Ah ♪ And then as the crescendo happens ♪ Ah ♪ it becomes more absorbent in the head. So it really reverses the instinct of the voice. Which is why it's so hard to do.
So there's your five pillars of messa di voce. And now we're going to try it on an exercise.
The exercise will be HAH-EH-EE-EH-HAH. On, of course, a single note. For our messa di voce exercise we're really going to let vowels be our friend. And use stronger vowels for our softer sounds and headier more stable vowels for our louder sounds. Really reversing the tendencies.
Fantastic work. We just got one more to do and I want you to keep in mind all those principles, alright. You're going to control the breath. You're going to feel the change in compression. You're going to notice your larynx's stability. You're going to feel that resonance move up and in on the strong one. And of course, watch your pitch.
Here we go with the last... ♪ HAH - EH - EE - EH - HAH ♪ ♪ HAH ♪
Awesome, awesome work. So I hope Felicity and all that you are feeling heavenly. I hope you are feeling divine. I hope you are feeling like vocal heroes. Because if you've done this messa di voce, you really are.
If you're looking for a vocal course to do at home, you can download the Voice Lessons To The World Vocal Course. This is a 12-part course that takes you on a singing journey from beginning to master. Hundreds of vocal exercises that you can do at home, or in your car, wherever you may be.