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Category: Singing
  1. I enjoy singing but am unsure wether to pursue a career in music....where do I start?
  2. Is it safe to continue general singing exercises and performances whilst pregnant?
  3. You have suggested finding an 'Open Mic' to get yourself singing without it being a paid gig, where can I find somewhere that does this in the UK?
  4. HELLO THE QUESTION THAT I HAVE. I CAN'T FIND ON YOUR SITE. BY THE WAY IT IS A EXCELLENT HELP. THE QUESTION I HAVE IS : WHEN I SING, I START OFF FROM MY DIAPRAM, BUT AS THE SONG GET HIGHER I SING FROM MY THROAT. IS THIS RIGHT? SHOULD I SING THE ENTIRE SONG
  5. I find that when singing into a mic, my voice sounds different when played back to what i actually hear. Why is this? Could the mic be the wrong sort, or is it just paranoia!! My friends say i can sing but i feel self-concious when they ask me to becaus
  6. I used to sing (for fun, not professionally), mostly accompanying myself on an acoustic guitar. Because of various physical problems, I haven't done much singing for several years, but I still write songs, and I miss being able to sing my own pieces. My
  7. I really am impressed with this site. It is one site that dishes out a lot of information and I am very grateful for that. My question particularly is how does one develop singing with the head voice. If there are any exercises to do that could develop
  8. Why do some singers sing with a lovely quivver in their voice, even if they haven't had lessons. How can I get my voice to do that natually without doing it on purpose and sounding naff?
  9. hey ..before i start id like to say that this site is greaaaat :). Basically i enjoy the rock and roll kinda singing like for eg the calling guy but i also enjoy classical singing...and im talking about eastern. Basically i want to merge the two styles
  10. Listening back to a recording of myself singing I've noticed that I tend to sound like I'm singing through my nose, especially when going to lower notes. It makes my voice very flat and irritating to listen to, why am I doing this? Thanks.
  11. i want to know how to develop scream....i suppose u could just start screaming....but i just want to be carefull...suggesttions please
  12. Let's say if a person doesn't have the talent of singing... is it possible to practice to earn that talent?
  13. My question is.How can i sing with the higher note. Please help me. I want to improve my voice specially in higher note.Thank you.
  14. is it possibly to increase the speed of your vibrato....i tried, but it just sounded like a fake vibrato...like u guys said on your section....oh yeah how are u ?:D
  15. I've been singing most of my life and really enjoy it, although I haven't done any professional gigs I have done plenty for small parties etc.. how would I go about getting serious and who do I contact about an audition?
  16. Hello, what a fabulous sight!!! I have a question regarding breathiness in the voice, it's a real problem, are there any exercises you would recommend to get my voice sounding less breathy. Also, what causes one's voice to sound breathy?
  17. I am in a band that plays a lot of basic riffs and whatknot. I was wondering, say they are playing on an A-minor scale.....is it proper to just pick one of those notes on the scale and sing the verse to it? Or is there some kind of master root note that
  18. hey, im 16 and in yr 10. im currently being taught voice by a teacher whom i have had for around 3 years. i have a problem though. she is teaching me to sing classical when i am more interested in learning R&B and pop. are there teachers that can transfor
  19. On the song "working for the weekend" by Loverboy singer Mike Reno has an effect when he sings "Lets Go!!" Is this belting? How can one learn to belt without harming the vocal chords? Also Shakira and many singers do an effect of ending a note by rapidly
  20. I feel uncomfortable with my voice because it is quite deep, but I can get the pitch right. Is this a sign that I should stop singing, you have any tips in lightening up my voice?
  21. Great site, Just wondering if you could help me out? I've been playing guitar for some time now and I'm have trouble coming up with the melody notes to sing while I play the harmony on the guitar. I find my self following the guitar chords I'm playing. An
  22. Hi iv been doing singing for a year now and I am picking it up quickly although i am having a bit of trouble how u can control your breath by using your diaphragm. how do you use it like in what way? i feel i am tensing my muscle but i can help it and als
  23. hi im jess,first i just wanted to say that your site is fantastic i have learned so much although there is one thing i dont understand in singing and its how to control your diaphram. My teacher is always telling me to use it but i dont know how to. do i
  24. I'm not really sure if I have a natural singing ability. I would like to take singing lessons, but before I spend a lot of money on lessons with a vocal teacher I am considering buying a CD with vocal lessons. Do you know of any good vocal Cds that are wo
  25. Hi there, sorry to bother you with my weird question. I just want to ask, is it possible for me to get a higher tone when I'm singing. Is it any special practice for that? I used to sing in high tone...sometimes my voice reached that point but sometim
  26. I have noticed whenever I record myself that I don't like the sound of my voice. Should my singing voice sound like my speaking voice only with notes attached or should it sound totally different? Thanks! :)
  27. Hi, here's my question: Whenever i sing, my voice sounds breathy and flat. I can't hold any high notes or even medium notes without it sounding wobbly, and when i hold a low note it doesn't sound like singing, more like a fog horn. I really hate this, I
  28. I sing regularly with a band middle of the road music. I have a lot of problems with high notes cutting off and a tickle on one side of my throat a couple of years ago I had an examination by a doctor who found nothing have you any advise. I know the not
  29. what are the necessary requirements, skills, talents education, experience, salary and length of time and degree in becoming a singer?
  30. How do I become a jingle singer/voiceover artist
  31. how to overcome stagefright
  32. how can I scream good without trashing my voice to bad? I'm not screaming very often, and I don't mean punk rock screaming, more like Courtney Love. (whatever you define punk-rock)
  33. how can I scream good without trashing my voice to bad? I'm not screaming very often, and I don't mean punk rock screaming, more like Courtney Love. (whatever you define punk-rock)
  34. my question is, that recently i've been listening to what my voice sounds like when i sing, and whenever i do sing, it sounds like my nasal passages are clogged, but they really are not at all. I mainly sing in the rock genre and was wondering if you cou
  35. hello... great site:) anyway, i'm 17 and i live in los angeles, ca. anyhow, my question regards the maintaining of a note for a long period of time, let's say fifteen seconds, at a high tone... umm, where did i get this? well from a TOOL song. i can do it
  36. When I sing my voice tends to go off key as it is soft and have been told singing lessons but can't afford it. I live in london in kingsbury and am 17 and want to know if you could recommend any where that specialises in r'n'b /soul as i write/rap and wan
  37. Where can I find a vocal practice schedule on the net? I could make my own, but I find it easier to follow someone else.
  38. what is musical harmony, what is musical arrangement? How do harmonies work in music?
  39. hi,you've got a great site..keep up the great work! i just wanted to ask, i have a very wide range of tone, but when i hit certain notes the vibrato in my voice disappears. how can i prevent this? :)
  40. I read your good article on vocal range..Now, if we have a given limited vocal range of say 1.5 octave, aren't we like harmonicas, which have a given natural key or scale, and therefore all songs the harmonica best plays are in its key?..And why isn't it (or is it) that one therefore ought to be able to sing most songs, as long as it is transposed to that key? Thanks for a reply if you would.



  1. I enjoy singing but am unsure wether to pursue a career in music....where do I start?
    Consider what aspect you enjoy most...If you have a passion for music/singing then this business could be the one for you. Many people make a full time career from entertaining others, but it's hard work, long hours and often poorly paid. Fortunately you can choose to 'ease' into performing without giving up your day job - watch out for the Careers, Features and Articles pages (due soon!) with real life stories from amateur and professionals in the business.......We have added a submission form for those of you who would like to submit an article. Before jumping in at the deep end look around for open mic nights where you can perform one or two songs without the pressure of an actual paid gig. Meeting other performers at these events and talking to them about their experiences will give you an insight and understanding of the highs and lows of the business plus the opportunity of working with like minded people. If you are certain that you want a career as a singer and know the style and type of music you want to perform then start building a repertoire of songs and going to as many live performances as possible, watch the difference between the artists and how they present their shows. When you have a set that you feel happy with spend time at jam/open mic/showcase nights and as you become more confident enter a few Talent Shows. Take your time and make sure you are 100% comfortable with the repertoire before performing a full gig & any glitches just chalk up to experience. A good impression will get you plenty of bookings but don't be too devastated if it all goes horribly wrong!! There are performance/music unions who provide all kinds of information, advice, services etc., and you will find plenty of help from other performers/writers at Clubs, Messageboards & here at Vocalist!!
    Category: Singing
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  2. Is it safe to continue general singing exercises and performances whilst pregnant?
    Yes! Unless you have complications or your doctor advises otherwise there is no reason why you cannot continue to sing and perform right up to the last minute (as I did!!). Don't overdo it though, rest often and as soon as you start feeling uncomfortable lessen your workload. I found many of the anti-natal exercises to be quite beneficial in helping to control breathing and muscle control and although I was huge by the end of my pregnancy the only thing that suffered was a minute loss of range and breath control (more baby than airspace, ha ha!). Always consult your midwife/doctor before accepting parts/shows that require extreme activity (full dance routines etc) or might cause stress. You should be able to continue a relatively normal life, gentle exercise helps (Swimming is great), although you may find everything more difficult in the last few months. As long as your sensible (and your body will tell you if you overdo it!) you and your new baby will be fine. Do check with your doctor though as some advise women to take it easy in the first and/or last couple of months especially if there is a history of previous complications within the family. Congratulations & Good Luck Tracey (vocalist webmaster)
    Category: Singing
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  3. You have suggested finding an 'Open Mic' to get yourself singing without it being a paid gig, where can I find somewhere that does this in the UK?
    There is a list of Open Mic, Jam Nights and Floorspots available in the Gig Guide, click the gig guide link and look on the left hand menu for the link. Other places to find Open Mic nights (or Singers Nights) are Teletext (Channel 4 Music section), Time Out and for Open Mic and Talent Shows look in The Stage Newspaper (www.thestage.co.uk) online version has some listings.
    Category: Singing
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  4. HELLO THE QUESTION THAT I HAVE. I CAN'T FIND ON YOUR SITE. BY THE WAY IT IS A EXCELLENT HELP. THE QUESTION I HAVE IS : WHEN I SING, I START OFF FROM MY DIAPRAM, BUT AS THE SONG GET HIGHER I SING FROM MY THROAT. IS THIS RIGHT? SHOULD I SING THE ENTIRE SONG
    Hi, Pleased you find the site helpful, perhaps a basic explaination on the process of producing a note will clarify what you should be doing. If you haven't already done so, read the section on breathing exercises & have a go at the vocal scales. If you are singing correctly then the intake of breath is gradually exhaled from your lungs which are supported underneath by the diaphram, a muscle which expands and contracts naturally with the lungs and ribs. This action moves the air from the lungs via your windpipe through your vocal cords (which are thin muscles located in the throat which vibrate when air passes through them) to produce notes & words, so technically you use a variety of muscles at the same time including the lungs, diaphram, throat, tongue, mouth and lips to move air through and around the vocal chords & folds to produce sounds. The notes produced vibrate at different frequencies which resonate inside the body making low notes appear to come from the chest and move up through the throat into the head for high notes. The transition from low to high and back should be smooth and unstrained. The knack is to learn how to combine & control the process whilst singing, so that you achieve a balance between them that becomes as natural as when you speak (as well as being fun & giving pleasure to other people!!). When singing a scale you will notice that when you go up the scale to the higher notes the back of the tongue rises, the throat and cheek muscles feel tighter, you start to hunch your shoulders, whilst going down the scale your shoulders throat, tongue neck & chin starts to relax and drop. These are natural reactions of your body and the start of where you learn to control them. Practice scales and songs keeping your head, neck, shoulders, body and face relaxed. Expand and contract your lungs and diaphram whilst increasing and decreasing a notes volume and pitch. Move your mouth, tongue and lips into different positions whilst singing a note to see how it feels and how it changes the sound of the note, if possible use a mirror, record yourself or video yourself for later review. (Don't worry about looking silly or what it sounds like, at this stage you need to concentrate on learning about the bodys functions, how they feel and what they do whilst you sing). Once you become aware of what your body is doing whilst you sing, you can teach yourself to avoid mistakes (like hunching your shoulders, dropping your chin or sucking in your stomach) and establish good habits. For instance breathing from your diaphram should be natural and automatic, which takes time & practice, as does learning how to use it to support your lungs for a long or high note, all of which you will gain with experience and tons of rehearsal!! Don't overstretch your voice by attempting to reach notes that are too high, learn to relax whilst you sing, use a comfortable mid range then gradually build up your scales to include the lower and upper notes. As you improve the transition between the upper and lower range of your voice will become easier and if your breathing and phrasing are correct then you should feel everything start to work together.
    Category: Singing
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  5. I find that when singing into a mic, my voice sounds different when played back to what i actually hear. Why is this? Could the mic be the wrong sort, or is it just paranoia!! My friends say i can sing but i feel self-concious when they ask me to becaus
    You don't mention what type of mic you are using but your voice will always sound different through amplification and when recorded. Although you can find some reasonably good microphones at electrical stores etc., most are aimed at home use and do not provide a quality sound, i.e., muffled, distorted, muddy or tinny. The type of room that you are in will also affect the sound, a small room with concrete walls tends to bounce the sound back making vocals and music sound harsh, over loud, sometimes distorted/muffled. A large hall has its own natural reverb which can enhance the vocals. How you hold and position the mic is also important - if it is too close to your mouth then the sound can be distorted/muffled - aim for a distance of approx 1/2" to 5" away depending on the volume/style of singing. There are different types of microphones - a condenser mic usually has the pickup at the front of the mic which means that singers need to sing into that part of the mic and avoid moving it around too much. An omni-directional mic can pick up sounds in any section of the rounded head so singers have more flexibility. The sounds produced by moving the microphone around also change - in fact everything you sing/speak into a microphone will be affected by the acoustics of the room you are in, type of equipment, effects settings used and how you sing!!!! Yeah, I know its a lot to take in, however its just a matter of lots of practice.......learning to listen to yourself and playing around with the equipment settings, mic distance etc., until you feel happy with the sound and comfortable using a mic. One of the best all round microphones for singers is the Sure SM58 which you can pick up quite cheaply. It has a good sound, suitable for most voice types and can be used for both recording and live work. Don't buy second-hand unless you have someone experienced with you as various parts can go wrong. How you sound also depends on the type of equipment you are using .......if your microphone is going through your home stereo system then its likely to sound pretty naff - unless its a REALLY GOOD system - but at least it gives you a general idea of how you sound......concentrate less on the quality of the recording and learn to listen for where your voice is going off pitch and for timing. There are several ways you can hook up & record your voice that will allow you to hear youself more clearly. If you have a good computer, music software and sound-card you can record yourself, save it as a wav file then add effects n stuff. Most home karaoke machines are bassy and muffled but they are quite cheap and occasionally you'll find one with a decent enough sound to use for rehearsing & recording your practice tapes for listening back to later. There are several outlets that sell cheap mixers, amps and speakers, a good one will allow you to try out various stuff in the shop so you can get idea of how it sounds before you buy. You should be able link the mixer to a tape recorder/minidisk player to record your efforts. 4 track recorders are more expensive but are good for recording professional quality demo tapes. You are bound to feel self-conscious when listening to your voice amplified or recorded!! You can hear and be more aware of your own voice, everything will be amplified and alarmingly apparant including the bum notes!! Your recordings will give you an idea of how you sound to your friends although the recording may not reflect your voice accurately depending on equipment etc. If you want a more accurate idea of how you sound then grab a backing track and spend an hour or two at a recording studio - they will give you the best possible sound & a tape of your voice but I don't think its worth spending the dosh on that until you've had time to play around with different stuff. Try taking a small tape recorder to a karaoke or jam night and getting a friend to record you - the quality will be abysmal but you'll get a general idea of how you sound in a live setting ......... and guess what? Yep ......every venue and every p.a. sounds different depending on the competance of the engineer and size/type of equipment. One of the main things a singer has to learn is to 'listen' and 'hear' their voice and concentrate on producing the right sounds regardless of distractions, distortions, naff timing from musicians and enthusiastic audiences!! Take heart - very few singers like to hear their amplified or recorded voice unless their singing well - the fact that you have noticed there are problems, either with the equipment or with your voice shows you are listening and willing to do something to make it better!! Hope this helps - Good Luck Tracey Vocalist Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  6. I used to sing (for fun, not professionally), mostly accompanying myself on an acoustic guitar. Because of various physical problems, I haven't done much singing for several years, but I still write songs, and I miss being able to sing my own pieces. My
    Hi Laura, My father has multiple sclerosis so I understand some of the problems you are encountering. Breathing correctly will not help you with reflux although it will help increase your vocal control and may help you learn to relax the shoulders and neck thereby improving your posture. You don't need to have great posture to do the exercises - in fact the breathing exercises are initially better practiced lying flat (in bed is fine). It takes a lot of conscious practice but in time you'll find yourself breathing correctly automatically. There are also options you may like to try that can help with your posture including the 'Alexander Technique' http://www.alexandertechnique.com/ and Feldenkrais Method http://members.nbci.com/johnlinkmusic/fmforsingersI http://members.nbci.com/johnlinkmusic/lowerbackcomfort Further information on reflux http://www.voice-center.com/reflux.html http://www.bgsm.edu/voice/reflux.html and links to a host of vocal health resources and information at the vocalist site health section http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/vocal_health.html You should really see your doctor about the reflux, there are medications that can help - there have been several posts from a medical practitioner at the USA Vocalist Newsgroup on GERD/Reflux one of which I've included below. From: "John Messmer, M.D." Date: Tue Apr 9, 2002 3:50 pm Subject: RE: [vocalist] The doctor said, reflux and some general comments. The most interesting thing from a clinical point of view from your episode with the doctor is how important it is to communicate effectively and to deal with the patient's concerns. Too often doctors forget that something they see a thousand times the patient has only seen once and it's in them. But just as in every other profession, there are nice ones and unpleasant ones. This doctor probably wanted to save you the expense of scoping if you were paying out of pocket (I think I read somewhere in these posts that you were paying for the exam). If your symptoms and exam are supportive of the diagnosis of GERD (more later), a therapeutic trial of acid suppression is warranted before scoping. It sounds as though it was the correct choice. Scoping can be done later if you do not do well. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (which is not really a disease) is quite common. It has always existed, but in the "old days" people ate lots of antacids to deal with it. I believe it is more prevalent now due to lifestyle changes including high fat diets and excess body weight. Even 10 lbs of extra weight can cause reflux. There are people who have it at in childhood due to congenital weakness of the diaphragmatic constriction of the esophagus. Most people over 35 have a natural relaxation of the esophageal hiatus in the diaphragm (a hiatal hernia) but when overweight (more than 50% of Americans), the abdominal pressure forces acid up the esophagus often. The acid can cause heartburn, but often causes ear pain, sore throat, hoarseness and in those who use their voices for more than daily speech, impairment of function. High fat or large meals, carbonation, mint, alcohol, coffee/tea and tobacco can increase reflux as can tight clothing. Reflux increases when recumbent typically. You can have no daytime symptoms, then awaken with a sore throat and hoarseness. Acid blockers such as Zantac/Pepcid/Tagamet/Axid called H2 blockers (I'll leave the pharmacology out to save space) and Prilosec/Aciphex/Protonix/Nexium/Prevacid called proton pump inhibitors or PPI's which are more potent can reduce the amount of acid made. While symptoms can clear quickly, the reflux can continue. Digestive enzymes are even more damaging of the vocal apparatus than the acid, so weight loss and lifestyle changes to reduce reflux are very important for singers. There has not been any good data to show any long term damage from properly used acid suppression, but the PPI's are VERY EXPENSIVE - about $100-150 per month. Although, in my experience, in a person who has few lifestyle problems but has had a bout with reflux, a month therapy often suppresses the problem for a long time. Now here's the thing about dealing with doctors as I see it. Most of us enter training with the determination to be as good as we can be. The traditional training process puts high value on having all the knowledge necessary to avoid doing the wrong thing. An old saying goes, "The lawyer trains to learn there is a library; the doctor trains to become the library." Too many traditional medical professors use fear and intimidation when students do not have the necessary information at their fingertips so many doctors develop a discomfort with questioning and a compensatory air of infallibility. Yes, it's counterproductive and many of us in medical education are trying to stop it, but these things change slowly. So, don't be afraid to say, "I don't understand, could you explain it further" or "I can help myself more with more knowledge." Then if you don't get the time or attention you need, find someone else. There are a lot of doctors who will take the time to educate you. John Messmer, M.D. Assistant Professor, Family and Community Medicine Penn State Hershey Medical Center > -----Original Message----- > From: Lea Ann Martin Well I am amazed! I took one of this aciphex...last night before I went to bed....and this morning my throat doesn't hurt. I can SING! So far so good....did a few scales a minute ago and I am sort of encouraged. Maybe this guy wasn't an idiot after all. This is the link to the search I did for reflux: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vocalist-temporary/messagesearch?query=reflux If you encounter problems reaching the link above use the following link and enter 'reflux' into the search box at the lower section of the page. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vocalist-temporary/ The sites listed above are all USA sites, the UK has yet to catch up with their extensive network of information and although the medications may have different names over here your doctor should be able to prescribe something similar. I suggest you speak to your doctor before doing any exercises, methods or taking medications as he will be aware of any likely conflicts with current medications and may even be able to recommend an Alexander Technique or Feldikras practitioner. Take time to read as much as you can or ask the guys at the USA Vocalist Newsgroup, they are qualified whereas I am not!! Plus I'm not sure how much help either of these methods would be considering your condition. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  7. I really am impressed with this site. It is one site that dishes out a lot of information and I am very grateful for that. My question particularly is how does one develop singing with the head voice. If there are any exercises to do that could develop
    Hi, Thanks for your lovely comments, much appreciated ;-) To help develop the head voice vocalise scales and arpeggi on VVV and NG sounds going from top to bottom - slides are good for this and help to get a lighter sound. Ensure you include these as part of your practice rather than concentrating solely on the head voice, find out where your bridge(s) are and work on blending the head and chest voice so that they mix to create a smooth transition between the two. I'm a great advocator of 'humming' with mouth open and closed, this helps you to identify how things resonate and how the mouth and tongue work when using different notes. Imagery is another technique which some people find helpful. Try picturing yourself standing on a hill - the top of your head is the pinnacle, take a normal breath and vocalise a note taking it up the scale - whilst imagining the note starting from your stomach and going up through your body through the top of your head. Also take a look at the National Center for Voice & Speech who have regular articles on singing available in .pdf format - to view articles Adobe Acrobat will be required. http://www.ncvs.org/singers/use_low.pdf The use of low first formant vowels and nasals to train the lighter mechanism may give you some further advice. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  8. Why do some singers sing with a lovely quivver in their voice, even if they haven't had lessons. How can I get my voice to do that natually without doing it on purpose and sounding naff?
    Hi Shelly, The quivver is called 'vibrato' - everyone is born able to do it (you can hear it when a baby cries). It is usually most noticable when the singer is holding a note and occurs when the head, neck and throat are relaxed and voice is being used naturally. Some people are fortunate to have a particularly lovely vibrato which can be heard throughout their vocal range, others can sound too wobbly or harsh. Although you can learn how regain your natural vibrato and reproduce it for effect, its sound depends largely on your voice. Like the voice itself, the control and tone of the natural vibrato can be improved with time and practice but theres no guarantee that it won't sound naff! There are some tips and exercises for learning/improving vibrato at the vocalist.org.uk site:- http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/exercises.html Don't expect it to happen overnight! The exercises should help but it can take many repeated attempts before you relax enough for the effect to be heard. As you start to hear vibrato make a note of how you were standing/sitting, the position of your tongue, mouth, jaw etc., practice adjusting these and noting how that affects the sound. Once you are aware of how producing the vibrato feels, you can begin to apply this to a simple song. Feeling confident, relaxed and singing naturally is the key! Hope this helps Tracey
    Category: Singing
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  9. hey ..before i start id like to say that this site is greaaaat :). Basically i enjoy the rock and roll kinda singing like for eg the calling guy but i also enjoy classical singing...and im talking about eastern. Basically i want to merge the two styles
    Hi Shehzad, So pleased you like the site ;-) Many singers, songwriters, composers and musicians battle with merging totally different styles/sounds to create a new style. It is not the easiest thing to achieve but it can and has been done successfully - for instance Bangra is the merging of asian singing and instruments with western dance music! The nack is to find elements from both styles that work well together, so if you have a vision and the creativity to merge your favourite styles, go for it - if you don't try it how do you know if it will work or not? You have nothing to lose by trying! It may be difficult changing from one style to another but that is part of the learning process. Many singers choose an area of music in which to specialise but most will try singing a variety of styles before settling into one/s that suit their voice/personality. Using your voice to sing a variety of styles will help to increase its versatility and control so try everything!! Hope this helps & Good Luck Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  10. Listening back to a recording of myself singing I've noticed that I tend to sound like I'm singing through my nose, especially when going to lower notes. It makes my voice very flat and irritating to listen to, why am I doing this? Thanks.
    You may be tensing the muscles or raising the tongue in the back of the mouth/throat, raising or tucking in your chin whilst singing. If this is the case relax the shoulders, head, neck, face, drop the jaw and try humming or singing a note with your mouth open. Sing each vowel/constanant/word using the same note, repeat the exercise with a new note and again with few scales and arpeggios. Take notes on where you are placing your tongue, the shape of the mouth and which muscles you are tensing/relaxing when you change the note or letter and compare this with the recording of the exercise - this should help you to discover what you are doing to create a nasal sound. The problem can usually be solved by relaxing the muscles instead of tensing them and raising the chin - yawning and yawn/sighing are good exercises to help you achieve this before starting your rehearsal. It is also possible that your voice is naturally nasal, in which case although exercises will still help you produce a better sound, it may always have a nasal quality. Without watching you sing it would be impossible to tell wether it is a problem with posture, tension or natural nasal sound but from your description it sounds like you are dropping and/or tucking in your chin. Try the exercise above and concentrate on keeping the shoulders relaxed and head up with the chin natural. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  11. i want to know how to develop scream....i suppose u could just start screaming....but i just want to be carefull...suggesttions please
    Screaming can be very damaging to the vocal chords and those who practice it are invariably limited in their career as the toll is taken on the voice. There is a difference between 'Increasing Power', 'Belting' and 'Screaming'. 'Increasing Power' - is the natural way to improve your vocal strength, its a slower process which if done properly will not harm the voice. It requires correct breathing, learning to control the muscles that support the diaphram to produce airflow and using the lungs capacity. Swimming is an excellent exercise as the breathing required for crawl and breaststroke aids timing and control which over time allows you to use our lungs to their best efficiency and there are exercises for correct breathing in the Vocalist.org.uk Breathing Exercises section. 'Belting' is the production of volume by forcing air through the vocal chords at high pressure. Similar to 'Screaming' it can be very harmful to the voice. It is possible to learn how to 'Belt' without harming the vocal chords too much but totally inadvisable for anyone but experienced singers or students who are receiving tuition from a singing teacher who can moniter and advise their progress. 'Screaming' is not advisable!! It causes damage to the voice and can cause 'Nodes' on the vocal chords which require an operation to be removed and loss of voice. Please don't get me wrong - I've done the odd 'scream' myself and there are several singers who use this to effect, however, it does damage the voice - those who 'Scream' regularly have a limited vocal life and often suffer problems throughout their career. You can achieve a similar (and far safer) effect by learning to sing correctly and gradually building up your vocal power. Find a singing teacher, vocal coach or workshop in your area who caters for rock/pop singers and who can guide you through a healthy learning process - yep it takes more time and effort but your voice is worth it! If you 'Have To' scream during a particular song make sure that it is placed at the end of the set list or as the last song before the break. Rest your voice completely after the song - avoid talking and drink plenty of water during the day and performance to lubricate the voice and prevent dehydration. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  12. Let's say if a person doesn't have the talent of singing... is it possible to practice to earn that talent?
    You don't need a great voice or natural ability, even the worst singers can improve with tuition and plenty of practice ;-) Every individual is limited by their natural range (the amount of notes that their vocal chords can produce) and their willingness to learn. There are just as many obstacles and opportunities, regardless of wether someone was born with a natural vocal ability or not, so wether someone wants to improve just for the love of singing or to pursue a career in the music business it will take time, patience and tons of practice! Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  13. My question is.How can i sing with the higher note. Please help me. I want to improve my voice specially in higher note.Thank you.
    Increasing the vocal range takes time and lots of practice, unfortunately there is no quick fix solution just tons of hard work! Exercise the voice using scales, staccato and arpeggios starting the exercise from the middle of your range and moving up a note each time. Don't try to overstretch the voice and make sure you work the lower voice equally or you will end up with a horrible gap between registers! Some people have a habit of tucking in or jutting out their chin when attempting to reach high or low notes - make sure that you avoid that mistake as both methods can prevent rather than aid reaching the notes required. Breathe naturally during these exercises, keep your body and head relaxed (watch yourself in a mirror) and be aware that hitting the high (or low) notes in your range can take months (or years) to achieve - depending on your age, technique and training your vocal range will change considerably! If you are attempting to use 'falsetto' (the high register in male voices) then use less effort! Most male singers will attempt to use power to create a high note by forcing the voice, but before you can add volume/strength it is important to understand what your body does to produce it. Try singing or humming a few notes from your upper range softly, make it part of your daily routine and before long you will start to see a gradual improvement in your upper range. Always record your practice sessions for later review and if possible make quick memo's of achievements and failures during these rehearsals (i.e., mouth shape and posture when a high note was reached successfully). It is possible that you may not sing as high as you would wish, unfortunately we are all limited by our individual vocal range, which although can be extended and improved has its own its natural limit which is decided by our genes! I suggest you find a local singing teacher who can point out your mistakes and provide you with exercises specific to your vocal range. Hope this helps & Good Luck Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  14. is it possibly to increase the speed of your vibrato....i tried, but it just sounded like a fake vibrato...like u guys said on your section....oh yeah how are u ?:D
    Hi, I'm fine, thanks for asking ;-) It is possible to increase the speed of vibrato but it requires excellent control of the vocal mechanism and good technique - ho hum, tons of practice! Instead of aiming to increase the speed concentrate on getting to know the sound and feel of your own vibrato, work with its natural capabilities and practice singing vowels and constenants on one note at a time, recording your practice sessions. Each vowel and constenant produces a slightly different mouth shape which changes the resonance and speed of vibrato produced. Learning where the mouth, tongue and larynx are placed when achieving a sound that you like helps in reproducing that effect. Another aspect is breathing control, if you learn to control the muscles around the diaphram it is possible to increase and decrease the amount and speed of breath that passes through the vocal chords. When used in conjunction with what you learn from using your 'resonator' (your mouth and throat) you can control the vibrato to a reasonable degree without sounding naff. Hope this helps ;-D Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  15. I've been singing most of my life and really enjoy it, although I haven't done any professional gigs I have done plenty for small parties etc.. how would I go about getting serious and who do I contact about an audition?
    Hi Ryan, First thing is to check you have enough material for a full gig and the vocal/physical stamina to perform a full show - depending on the area of music you wish to work in you need between 1 - 3 hours worth of songs complete with the backing tracks or sheet music. Out of these pick 5 songs that you feel comfortable with and sing well. These should be a mixture of uptempo, mid-tempo and slow and should be songs that are also suitable for use in an audition (know them inside out and backwards!) Record these as your demo and put together a publicity pack (photo, biog, demo tape, business card). If you are looking to work in pubs, clubs or cabaret you will need sheet music for the house band or a full set of backing tracks and a p.a. system which you can either operate yourself or hire an engineer to work for you. Whilst you are building your act, purchasing your equipment and putting together a publicity pack, grab a copy of 'the stage' newspaper, enter some talent competitions or apply to participate in showcases run by agents - the aim here is to be seen, gain experience working with strange musicians, in front of audiences who don't know you and watch what other performers do whilst guaging audience reaction. This is an ideal way to hone your act to perfection and bring you to the attention of a variety of agents and bookers (always carry your business card). When you have a publicity pack you can then approach agents and/or venues for work - or if you are seeking employment in theatre/opera, start applying for auditions. The Stage also advertise auditions for stage shows, operatic and theatrical performances, agents and other types of bookings. Other books that supply essential contacts for artists are The White Book http://www.whitebook.co.uk and Showcase http://www.showcase-music.com/ and you can find more information plus contacts on the entertainment agents section at vocalist. http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/entertainment_agents.html For information on self-management (including deductable expenses etc., read the artist management section http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/artist_management.html The procedure is pretty much the same regardless of which area of music you want to work in - from opera to pop the artist needs material to showcase/perform with, publicity to hand out to potential employers and a grasp of business management to cope with both the finances and organisational aspects of their career. Good luck ;-) Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  16. Hello, what a fabulous sight!!! I have a question regarding breathiness in the voice, it's a real problem, are there any exercises you would recommend to get my voice sounding less breathy. Also, what causes one's voice to sound breathy?
    Hi, Thanks for your kind comments ;-) Breathiness can be caused by the vocal folds allowing too much air to escape. Too much air can "crowd" the lungs creating too much pressure against the vocal cords which can cause either tension or extreme breathiness. There are two opposite ways of dealing with this, one is to focus less on breathing and more on phonation and the song itself (essentially forget the problem and relax). If tension is the cause then this may work for you. The other way which I think is probably more relevant to you is to concentrate more on learning to control your breathing and its passage through the vocal chords. Try taking less air and using it more effectively. Hold your finger to your mouth and breath on it - the breath should be gentle and moist - this is the ideal breath for singing. There is a scene in the film 'Yentl' with Barbra Streisand singing in front of a candle which hardly flickers as she sings - this is an ideal demonstration of how little air needs to be exhaled to produce a note! Exercises that help you improve breath control: Breath in on 5 beats exhale on 20 beats Blow up a balloon using gentle steady breaths Swimming! - not the kind where you keep your head out of the water but real head under the water at each alternate stroke (front crawl and breast stroke are best). If you swim regularly this will increase lung capacity, breath control and stamina. Yoga is another exercise which helps you to control breathing. Lloyd W. Hanson wrote quite an complicated but interesting response at the vocalist.org newsgroup that you might like to read http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vocalist-temporary/message/17373 there is quite a long thread on breathing there and I am in the process of re-designing the site which will include further links and information which will hopefully be available by the end of the month. Hope this helps Tracey ;-) Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  17. I am in a band that plays a lot of basic riffs and whatknot. I was wondering, say they are playing on an A-minor scale.....is it proper to just pick one of those notes on the scale and sing the verse to it? Or is there some kind of master root note that
    If you are creating your own songs then any note from the chord/scale being played will do. If you wanted to add harmonies and backing vocals you would pick the most effective notes from the scale for the lead vocal (usually the root note i.e. if playing the chord C the root note would be C) then the backing vocalists would sing the 3rd note of the chord (E) and/or 5th note of the chord (G) although there is no reason why you can't sing the harmonic notes for the lead vocal instead of the root - you don't need to stay on a master root note - just remain within the scale of the key/chords that are played. It also depends on the type of music you are singing and wether you want it to sound melodic or discordant. If you want a melodic sound then you would use the root or harmonic notes, if you wanted to sound discordant then you would sing the sharps and flats whilst the major or minor chord was played (unless of course the song is written in a sharp or flat!) Either way the aim is to sound in tune within the key/s that the song is written - although there are rules which can be applied, most of the creative process includes experimentation with what works best for you and the style of music you are playing i.e., jazz singers will scat (loosely improvise) throughout the scale - sometimes singing opposite or around another instrument that is playing something completely different within the same key. Even cover songs can be experimented with and made into your own interpretation although some elements of the original song should be included to provide recognition for the audience. i.e. the Foo Fighters First Time Ever I Saw Your Face retained some of the original vocal melody but changed the rhythmic style and some of the lead melody line plus added a rap to the mix. Hope this helps & good luck ;-) Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  18. hey, im 16 and in yr 10. im currently being taught voice by a teacher whom i have had for around 3 years. i have a problem though. she is teaching me to sing classical when i am more interested in learning R&B and pop. are there teachers that can transfor
    First you need to understand that the basics of classical training i.e. correct breathing, pitching, timing, scales are the same as those required to sing any type of song so although it's not a style that you wish to pursue your teacher has been guiding you on the right path. Having said that, any teacher should also cater to the style of music that their pupil wishes to pursue. You need to have a chat with your teacher first and see if she is prepared (and capable) of teaching you that style of music. If not then there are plenty of teachers who teach pop & r n b which you can find listed in the Singing Teachers database. Hope this helps Good Luck Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  19. On the song "working for the weekend" by Loverboy singer Mike Reno has an effect when he sings "Lets Go!!" Is this belting? How can one learn to belt without harming the vocal chords? Also Shakira and many singers do an effect of ending a note by rapidly
    I haven't heard 'working for the weekend' so cannot comment on wether Mike Reno is belting or not. Belting is harmful to the vocal chords as it is produced by forcing air through them instead of using a controlled release. This places a lot of pressure on the mechanism that can cause 'nodules' on the chords which can only be removed by an operation. Most singers who 'belt' have a limited vocal life span and although it is possible to learn this method, it should only be done under the watchful eye of an experienced teacher who can guide you in the correct manner that is least harmful to your voice. Its far better to build up your voice and vocal strength slowly - although it takes longer it is far more healthy for the voice and you can achieve exactly the same effect. The effect where the singer rapidly ascends or descends through the scale is called a 'slide'. Best way to learn it is by practising scales using arpeggios (going up and down a note each time i.e., each ah is sing on a different note of the scale - up- ah, ah, ah, ah, - down- ah, ah, ah for example if starting on the note C would be c, d, e, f, e, d, c You can use any note to start the arpeggio but when practicing you should always do the ascend and descend (or visa versa) as helps to improve the voices flexibility in both directions. Once you get competant at doing arpeggios you can speed them up and leave off the downward (or upward) turn to produce a rapid slide through the notes. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  20. I feel uncomfortable with my voice because it is quite deep, but I can get the pitch right. Is this a sign that I should stop singing, you have any tips in lightening up my voice?
    Each persons voice is unique and you shouldn't feel uncomfortable because yours is deep. There are ways to lighten your voice, the main one is to relax when you are singing - if you are concentrating too much on your voice it will sound constrained - practice humming and scales throughout your range. Some people find imagary helps - before you start relax completely and try picturing yourself floating - then sing a quiet light note in the upper range of your voice, repeat this going up and down the scale keeping your notes quiet and effortless. Few singers actually feel comfortable with their voice, especially when listening back to their recorded work. Mainly because you can (or should) hear the faults and problems that need working on. It isn't a sign that you should stop singing - rather that you need to go to a singing teacher and get some lessons. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  21. Great site, Just wondering if you could help me out? I've been playing guitar for some time now and I'm have trouble coming up with the melody notes to sing while I play the harmony on the guitar. I find my self following the guitar chords I'm playing. An
    The problem your having is to do with playing the guitar and singing at the same time - it's difficult to do both and hear the results correctly. There is nothing wrong with following the chords, the beatles did it, the stones do it, oasis do it!! In most songs there is a musical guide for the vocalist to follow, i.e. the rhythm guitar or keyboard plays the chords and or/melody line and the lead guitar, keyboard or backing singers use the harmony so if your trying to sing the melody and play the harmony at the same time then I'm not suprised your having problems! Not that it can't be done - just needs a different approach and tons of practice! If you have a song using G, C and D then you have the option of singing the root or harmonic notes or any other note on the scale depending on the type of song you want to create. Singing the sharps and flats on that scale will make you sound discordant whereas following the root and harmonic notes will sound melodic. To start with sing the root note of the chord you are playing - then (if you have the range) sing them an octave up - now sing the harmonic 3rds and then the 5ths. The guitar chord sounds all three of these notes - you can only sing one at a time and it's important to choose a melody line that is both comfortable for your vocal range and easy to sing. Other things to consider: 1. Guitars are notorious for going out of tune - make sure the strings are correctly tuned before starting and stop regularly to check them - one string slightly out will make both of you sound off key. 2. Many people have great difficulty pitching to a harmony line - quite often a brilliant lead singer is totally incapable of singing a harmony or backing vocal - they just can't 'hear' these notes and others are totally put off when someone else sings a harmony line and end up following the backing vocalist or going off key - practice pitching to harmonics, notes and chords until you can sing any note regardless of what you are playing (there are some utilities and ear training applications in the exercises and downloads sections at Vocalist.org.uk) 3. Elaborate guitar picking often uses 5th's, 6th's, minor 7th's etc., which although they sound great as instrumentals can often be too complicated when a vocal is added causing a conflict between the two - try simplifiying the guitar harmony your using to accompany the melody line, you can always re-adapt it later on. Record the guitar part (chords not harmony) and practice your singing to the recording until the melody line is semi-fixed in your mind then use the guitar - start with singing the melody along to the chords, then try playing the harmony and singing the melody. Play around with the vocal line - perhaps some of the notes you are playing as harmony on the guitar feel natural to sing as part of the melody - thats fine - adapt the melody line or simplify the guitar part. Record yourself when singing and playing - reviewing the results will tell you if and when you are off key, what works and what doesn't. If you have problems playing the harmony line to the melody line then work on each part of the song seperately. Break it down into sections and work on each section until you get it right then put them back together. Perhaps you need a 'bridge chord' (a chord that makes the song flow between the verse and the chorus or a short chord added between chord changes) this is usually (but not always) a diminished chord, minor chord or major 7th that the song (or your voice) is telling you should be there and can't find. Sometimes the music and your instincts tell you that something is wrong which is why it doesn't seem to 'fit' together and the options vary from changing the notes in the melody line to adding a note to the chord which changes the tone or feel of the song enough for it to fall into place. Always record everything you do when creating and rehearsing if possible. It's amazing how much you remember (and forget) during the process and recording your efforts helps to clarify and remind you what is effective (or not!). If you are trying to learn a cover song and having problems singing the melody and playing the chords do remember that the sheet music does not always show all the chords in the song - bridge chords for instance are not always shown and the song may have been published in a different key that is easier to play than the original. The same applies to playing along to a cassette tape - these record and play at different speeds which although are only slightly different make a huge difference to the tuning. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  22. Hi iv been doing singing for a year now and I am picking it up quickly although i am having a bit of trouble how u can control your breath by using your diaphragm. how do you use it like in what way? i feel i am tensing my muscle but i can help it and als
    To understand how correct breathing and breath control works, first you need to understand the process that it uses to operate. Surrounding your lungs the muscle system called the diaphragm is attached to the lower ribs on the sides, bottom and to the back acting as an inhalation device. When you breath in the muscle lowers displacing the stomach and intestines. When you breath out the diaphragm helps to manage the muscles around the lungs (abdominal muscles) control how quickly the breath is exhaled. If you breath out quickly, the diaphram does nothing but when you breath out very slowly the diaphragm resists the action of the abdominal muscles. A singer learns to use this muscle system to control the breath as it is being exhaled. Hold a finger close to your lips and breath out slowly, the breath should be warm and moist and you should notice the action of the diaphram as you exhale. This is the correct amount of breath used when singing normally. A singer does not need to 'force' or 'push' air through the vocal chords to produce a good strong sound, doing so creates too much pressure against the chords, preventing them from operating correctly which can cause damage to the voice. The stomach area should move naturally inward toward the end of the breath, the stomach should not be 'sucked in' as it prevents the diaphram from working effectively. Instead the abdominal area should remain expanded to the level it was when you inhaled and allowed to gradually decrease naturally at the end of the breath. This is where the 'control' comes into play - the singer expands the lungs by inhaling and 'controls' the amount of air expelled when singing a note by allowing the muscle support system to remain expanded - this doesn't mean the stomach is pushed out, rather that it is blown up like a balloon when the air goes in and the singer slows down the natural rate at which it goes down. In most people the breathing is shallow and only the top half of the lungs are used - breathing correctly uses the whole of the lungs so that more air is available, the singer then uses the natural action of the muscles (diaphragm and abdominals) surrounding the lungs to control the amount of air that is exhaled when singing a note. Good breath support during singing and speech requires, good posture, abdominal breathing and breathing during natural pauses. Remember....the diaphragm doesn't exhale for you - just helps to control the amount of air exhaled. A good demonstration of the muscle system and diagram can be found at http://www.merckmedicus.com/pp/us/hcp/frame_emedtool.jsp click on 'Respiratory' and wait for the page to load, use the mouse on the picture and it will slice the body down into sections so that you can see the relationship between the muscles and lungs. When you take a breath in it is not the diaphragm that feels 'hard' but the abdominal muscles - how hard they are depends on the fitness of the person. The site is currently being redesigned and updated so in a few weeks this and further information with diagrams and links to related sources will be available online. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  23. hi im jess,first i just wanted to say that your site is fantastic i have learned so much although there is one thing i dont understand in singing and its how to control your diaphram. My teacher is always telling me to use it but i dont know how to. do i
    Hi, Pleased you found the site of interest ;-) First of all read the answer posted to the faq which provides an overview of the diaphragm. http://pub4.bravenet.com/faq/show.php?usernum=291750915&password=&catid=1208&action=showcat#question22 Next, Breath in so that your lungs are filled from bottom to top. Notice how expanded the abdominal area is? Slowly breath out hissing like a snake - keep the abdominal area at the expanded level for as long as you can and then let it gradually decrease naturally at the end of the breath. Now - you don't need to fill your lungs to that extent when singing, this is just an exercise! By doing this you should notice that you don't need to push or pull the diaphragm or abdominal muscles, just holding the extended feeling that you get when your lungs are full up provides the support and learning to maintain that when singing (and moving) is part of how you control the amount of air that is expelled when singing a note. The diaphragm doesn't exhale for you - just helps to control the amount of air exhaled. Your teacher is telling you to use your diaphragm because you are probably allowing the abdominal area to collapse too soon or sucking it in as you run out of breath which actually causes the diaphragm to collapse. The reason your teacher tells you to 'think forward' with your notes is that the sound you produce needs to be projected outwards. Most singers when they are learning tend to drop or raise their head too much, especially when trying to reach high or low notes in their range, this actually prevents the singer from reaching the notes correctly - by keeping the head forward and chin level the throat where the vocal chords are located is free and the notes can be reached and heard more clearly. Try looking at a point ahead of you like a wall at the opposite end of the room. Sing normally but concentrate on aiming the note as if you were trying to bounce it off the wall in front of you. This should keep your head, neck and chin in the correct posture and allow the note to be projected outwards towards the wall. Thinking Forward is an 'imagery' technique that is used to encourage the singer think about to projecting outwards. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  24. I'm not really sure if I have a natural singing ability. I would like to take singing lessons, but before I spend a lot of money on lessons with a vocal teacher I am considering buying a CD with vocal lessons. Do you know of any good vocal Cds that are wo
    Hi, There are a lot of vocal CD's available, some of the best and most popular ones are available in various sections of the site but each have their own way of teaching, some of which are aimed at specific types of singer. It would be impossible to comment on how good they are as a teaching medium. Personally, I don't think it's a good idea for a beginner to use them unless in conjunction with a regular singing teacher. You cannot get feedback from a CD, neither will it correct your mistakes, comment on your strengths or notice wether your breathing and posture are correct. The only way you can get a true assessment of your voice is from a teacher who can provide you with an independant appraisal. Most teachers will evaluate your voice and tell you what they feel it will or could be capable of before taking you on a more regular basis. Also think about why you want to take singing lessons. If you want to pursue singing as a career (in whatever form) then lessons with a teacher are essential to ensure that you avoid picking up bad habits and develop a healthy vocal technique. If you just want to develop your voice for the enjoyment of singing then perhaps a workshop would be a more appropriate option and provide you with the opportunity to see wether you want to pursue singing further. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  25. Hi there, sorry to bother you with my weird question. I just want to ask, is it possible for me to get a higher tone when I'm singing. Is it any special practice for that? I used to sing in high tone...sometimes my voice reached that point but sometim
    Hi, Not a weird question at all ;-) It is possible that your tone has changed due to maturity, the voice develops and often deepens as people grow older. The vocal chords are like any other muscle and need to be gently exercised to increase their flexibility. You can lighten the tone and regain the higher notes of your range by vocal scales - arpeggios and lip trills are good for this. Before you dash off to try them, check that your posture and breathing is correct. If you can reach the higher notes 'sometimes' then it's possible that those are the times you are relaxed and doing everything right! The amount of air you inhale shouldn't affect how high or how low your notes are - what actually happens is that when you take a deep breath you are consciously using your diaphragm which when used correctly supports the abdominal muscles that control the amount of breath exhaled. (Read the question on breathing earlier in the FAQ). To reach high notes your head, throat and jaw must be relaxed, the chest 'lifted' (shoulders back but relaxed, stand up straight) - do some relaxation exercises before you start any vocal exercises. Start by humming a few notes gently up and down the scale with your mouth closed, then open. Don't try to push or put effort into forcing the notes, just allow them to slide naturally. Practice scales vocalising 'ng' and other softer sounds. Some people find imagery effective. As you are humming the notes up the scale, picture aiming the notes outwards and up towards the top of the opposite wall's ceiling or imagine the notes are light and fluffy floating upwards. We are in the process of re-designing the site, there will be more exercises and information added when it's completed by the end of September (with luck!). Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  26. I have noticed whenever I record myself that I don't like the sound of my voice. Should my singing voice sound like my speaking voice only with notes attached or should it sound totally different? Thanks! :)
    Hi, The speaking voice and the singing voice can be completely different. Although some singers voices share similarities in tone for both speech and singing, this is not always the case, for instance, my spoken voice is soft and well educated - my singing voice is completely opposite as it's extremely powerful which takes people completely by suprise - but this wasn't always the case! Every individuals voice is unique. There are similarities between singing and speaking - unless you speak in a monotone (all the words on one note) then your speaking voice will have a certain melody and tone of it's own, some of which may be used when you sing. The difference is that the singing voice (when used correctly) uses the same muscles in a different manner - speaking is actually quite draining and too much can be damaging (yelling is one example!). A lot also depends on how you've used your voice during your formative years and wether you've picked up bad habits that need to be addressed during the learning process. Your voice will also change in tone through maturity, experience and training, so the 'voice' you start off with may not be the same when you are in your 30's and 40's as it was when you were in your childhood or teens! You don't mention what it is about your voice that you don't like, however, most singers don't like the sound of their recorded voice - especially when they start. This is because you can hear the mistakes that you are making! Perhaps your voice sounds flat, sharp, off key or the tone is harsh. Maybe it's because you are comparing your voice to artists whose vocal tone and experience is different than your own. Whatever the case, it takes time and practice before you will start to feel comfortable with hearing your voice in a recording - if you are taking lessons you should hear an improvement as you progress. There are various types of training including 'Speech Level Singing' which use the spoken voice as part of the development of the singing voice. Regardless of the method of training, the main thing to concentrate on is to learn how the process of producing a note works and using the voice in a healthy manner to prevent damaging or overstraining the vocal chords. A singing teacher will help you to do this. I would also suggest that you try using some of the ear and pitch training applications on the site - they will help you to identify which notes you are hitting correctly and which are off pitch. If it's the 'tone' of your voice that causes concern, this can also be improved with training. Its also worth noting that the type of equipment you are using to record yourself can affect the way you sound. A small tape recorder, home stereo system, compuer or karaoke machine will tend to 'muffle' or 'distort' the voice which may also sound 'tinny' or 'bassy' depending on the EQ settings, quality of equipment and experience of the user. If this is the case, ignore these aspects for now and concentrate on wether the notes you are producing are in tune and in time with the music! More info about using mic's and equipment have been covered in a similar question on the FAQ: http://pub4.bravenet.com/faq/show.php?usernum=291750915&password=&catid=1208&action=showcat#question5 Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk
    Category: Singing
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  27. Hi, here's my question: Whenever i sing, my voice sounds breathy and flat. I can't hold any high notes or even medium notes without it sounding wobbly, and when i hold a low note it doesn't sound like singing, more like a fog horn. I really hate this, I
    Hi, There are some exercises and advice on breathiness on the FAQ which should help http://pub4.bravenet.com/faq/show.php?usernum=291750915&password=&catid=1208&action=showcat#question16 Read the exercises section which contains breathing and ear training/pitching exercises which should help with your pitching: http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/exercises.html There are no 'quick fixes' although the exercises and tips will help, it takes time and training to build correct breath control and pitching. If you can afford it I would suggest you find a teacher who will be able to point out any other problems and help you to fix them. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  28. I sing regularly with a band middle of the road music. I have a lot of problems with high notes cutting off and a tickle on one side of my throat a couple of years ago I had an examination by a doctor who found nothing have you any advise. I know the not
    Hi, I am not a doctor or medically trained but in in my personal opinion, there are two issues here, the first is to determine wether the 'tickle' you feel is the start of a problem or if it's just a warning of incorrect technique. Your doctor may not specialise in vocal problems experienced by singers (few do!) so would be worth visiting a voice specialist or ENT doctor to take another look. I suspect that the problem lies in technique and the 'tickle' you are experiencing is a warning that there is too much tension which is causing strain and preventing you from reaching and holding the notes correctly. I suggest that you stop aiming for these notes in live performance until you have retrained your technique for reaching them or you may cause damage to your vocal chords. Yep, I know it's not as effective to the song but if you are cutting off and not hitting the notes right then it probably isn't doing your cred much good anyway. Instead you can either drop the note down, use a complementary harmonic note or get the band to change the key down by a semi-tone or tone. Use your personal vocal rehearsal time (no band - just you) to review your technique. All the support should come from the lower abdomen, there should be no rigidity between your navel and your jaw, which should be loose and floppy. Take a normal breath and as you inhale feel the expansion in the lower abdomen and back, allow the feeling of 'lift' to extend upwards until it feels like you are lifting the top half of you head off the jaw - don't stretch just keep it natural and relaxed. There should be no stiffness or tension, you should be able to flex and move your hips and torso fluidly. The 'Chewing Method' helps to release tension in the vocal tract and laryngeal area and if done correctly encourages mouth opening and reduction of tensions in the jaw Practice the motions of chewing in an exaggerated manner and then gradually, over time, add random sounds, words, phrases, sentences, and conversation while slowly reducing the degree of exaggeration of the mouth movements. Next step is to check breath control. Hold a finger close to your lips and breath out slowly, the breath should be warm and moist and you should notice the action of the diaphram as you exhale. This is the correct amount of breath used when singing normally. A singer does not need to 'force' or 'push' air through the vocal chords to produce a good strong sound, doing so creates too much pressure against the chords, preventing them from operating correctly. Now put these principles together, using the information above, sing a note and slowly slide it up and down the scale. Any conscious effort will cause tension, so don't think about it just let it happen. Repeat this using arpeggio's and lip trills. Mental imagery can drastically affect your performance, knowing the notes are there but worrying about wether you'll hit them correctly will automatically cause tension in the very parts that need to be relaxed! This same mental imagery can also be used to positive effect. Clear your mind completely and without vocalising, picture the note you want to reach rising through your body to the top of your head and forward through your mouth, then repeat the process but this time as the imaginary note passes your vocal chords allow it to become a real one..... don't think about it - just do it. When it comes to high notes 'less is more', using a softer approach will enable you to reach and maintain your higher register. The notes will be lighter sounding but you can develop them over time to get a better mix. If you start to feel a tickle or hoarseness you are still causing tension in the muscles STOP, give your voice a complete break. Even if you manage to get it right the first time, take the process slowly and gradually build up the exercises. Don't overdo it or sing when you are tired, always do a vocal rehearsal when your body is awake and relaxed - afternoons or evenings are best, depending on your work schedule. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  29. what are the necessary requirements, skills, talents education, experience, salary and length of time and degree in becoming a singer?
    Hi, This is one of those questions that is impossible to answer as it various considerably with each individual. The majority of people are born with the ability to sing, some are lucky enough to be naturally talented or may belong to a musical family where they soak up the skills required by watching and imitating their parents or siblings, whilst others have to spend years re-thinking their vocal habits and learning new skills. The main requirements are the ability to sing in tune and in time, determination and the desire to become a singer, it is not unknown for an average or poor singer who improves themselves through training and practice to become a professional singer or for a great singer to never get past the training stage due to lack of desire or determination. It also depends on what type of singing the vocalist wishes to perform and the career path he or she wishes to pursue, a pop singer may receive less vocal training than an opera singer but then the pop singer is expected to learn how to dance. It can safely be said that there are so many aspects to singing and performance that you NEVER stop learning! From an education point of view, there are courses, private lessons, conservatories, universities and colleges who provide a variety of examinations and degrees depending on the type of music and intended career path. A good grasp of languages is essential if you wish to perform classical/opera music and as most singers are self-employed it is advisable to understand music, drama, dance, maths, book-keeping, accounts, marketing, health and safety, sound engineering and as many other related studies that that will save money in the long term. All of which you should be able to do free at school whilst supplimenting your education with external lessons like voice and joining amateur groups to gain performance, stage, make up and costume experience. Salaries range from Zero to thousands of pounds depending on the talent, experience and popularity of the singer, who usually spends the first part of their singing career performing at showcases, charity shows, auditions, competitions etc., without payment in an effort to gain experience and get noticed by bookers, managers, agents or A&R personell - these trips have to be funded out of your own pocket as will costumes, make-up, sheet music, backing tracks plus original artists are often charged for the privilage of playing at recognised venues. It can take months, years or a lifetime to become a singer and there are no guarantees regardless of how talented or beautiful the natural voice as it also requires a lot of hard work and effort on the part of the singer and a degree of luck that you are in the right place at the right time. I would suggest to anyone who is considering a career as a singer that they have to really love singing and be prepared for the possibility of never becoming famous or making it in the business. Unlike 9-5 jobs there are no set hours, you could be working all day and all night for nothing recording a song - the track may be picked up, you could make a fortune - or it may never be released but you'll gain a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from doing it! Although guidelines for how long an apprenticeship lasts are available for many other jobs, it is impossible to provide this to a potential singer as so many factors are involved. Sorry I cannot give you a more definate answer to this one. Good Luck Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  30. How do I become a jingle singer/voiceover artist
    Hi, Its harder than you think! Most agencies and studios only employ people they know but there are ways into the business. There are courses available which provide you with the grounding and a demo, most advertise in 'The Stage Newspaper'. Approach local or hospital radio stations as although they cannot afford to pay, they will provide you with experience and you can build on your showreel. (A good showreel is essential). Speaking of which http://www.theshowreel.co.uk/ has tons of information on voiceover work for beginners plus a forum to chat and ask questions which seems pretty lively and we will be adding a list of voiceover resources and agencies to the new site when the re-design is completed in a couple of weeks ;-) Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  31. how to overcome stagefright
    Hi, The worst part is actually going up on stage for the first time, it gets easier each time you do it. Also think about what it is thats scary.... getting up on stage to sing in front of people, a fear of messing up? forgetting the words, singing out of tune? all of the above? Don't worry so much, we all go through it, it's nerves, some of which can be countered by learning the song/s off by heart until you could sing it in your sleep backwards. Start off singing in places where no-one cares what you sound like, get a few friends to have a go with you at a few karaoke nights, until you feel confident enough to have a go on your own. Go to a sing a long night where there is no stage, people sit in a pub or room, anyone can play, sing or join in (or not) as they choose, many folk and acoustic clubs run these types of nights - get used to singing when other people are around you. If your nervous when onstage, think of the audience wearing something silly so they don't appear so intimidating (after all they are only people like you and I) and try not to think about what they will or won't think of you - it doesn't matter...... even the best singer in the world isn't liked by everyone as people each have their own individual preferance in musical style and vocal type. What matters is that you enjoy singing and try your best, even if you completely muck it up the first few times, it's no bit deal - everyone has to start somewhere and you'll get better - most people will be understanding and give you support, encouragement and constructive feedback, those who do otherwise aren't worth listening to! Pick songs that your really enjoy singing, somthing that people can join in with goes down well, or a song that you can have a laugh with so even if you muck it up the audience thinks it's part of the act ;-) When you get onstage concentrate on the song, if it makes you nervous you don't have to look directly at the audience, instead look at a point slightly above their heads, to the back of the room or if at a karaoke night - at the monitor. Try and channel the nerves into something positive, use the adrenalin and focus it into the performance instead of allowing it to overwhelm you. Keep yourself occupied before you go onstage so that you don't have time to think about how nervous you are and once your there just go for it. As one who has suffered and helped pupils who experienced stagefright I understand how you feel, but you can overcome this - it just takes time and practice. Hope this helps & good luck! Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  32. how can I scream good without trashing my voice to bad? I'm not screaming very often, and I don't mean punk rock screaming, more like Courtney Love. (whatever you define punk-rock)
    Hi, Screaming causes strain on the voice and can cause nodules to form on the vocal folds. If you want to learn to create the same effect in a more healthy manner there is information on the site http://www.vocalist.org.uk/powerful_vocals.html or http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/powerful_vocals.html although I suggest you find a teacher who can provide you with valuable feedback and teach you healthy techniques. Hope this helps
    Category: Singing
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  33. how can I scream good without trashing my voice to bad? I'm not screaming very often, and I don't mean punk rock screaming, more like Courtney Love. (whatever you define punk-rock)
    Hi, Screaming causes strain on the voice and can cause nodules to form on the vocal folds. If you want to learn to create the same effect in a more healthy manner there is information on the site http://www.vocalist.org.uk/powerful_vocals.html or http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/powerful_vocals.html although I suggest you find a teacher who can provide you with valuable feedback and teach you healthy techniques. Hope this helps
    Category: Singing
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  34. my question is, that recently i've been listening to what my voice sounds like when i sing, and whenever i do sing, it sounds like my nasal passages are clogged, but they really are not at all. I mainly sing in the rock genre and was wondering if you cou
    Hi Simon, It would be difficult to tell where the problem is without observing and listening to your voice, some possible causes could be: dropped/lowered soft palate elevated larynx tightening & flexing muscles around the larynx Watch yourself in a mirror (or video your practice sessions) to see if there is excess muscle flexing and experiment with mouth shapes, vowel sounds and tongue placement throughout your range (does it sound the same throughout? are certain shapes/sounds less nasal than others?). There are external things which may be contributing to the problem including how you are 'hearing' your voice - if you are listening back to a recording the quality of the system, microphone, eq settings, room size/shape/acoustics may be a factor in how you sound. Does the problem still occur in regardless of venue, system, situation? Do you sound clogged when performing live, or only when consciously 'listening' during a home practice session or band rehearsal (theres something about some rehearsal rooms that invariably make the singer sound muddy). I suggest you take a couple of lessons with a teacher who can identify the problem/s and provide you with exercises and advice specific to your situation. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  35. hello... great site:) anyway, i'm 17 and i live in los angeles, ca. anyhow, my question regards the maintaining of a note for a long period of time, let's say fifteen seconds, at a high tone... umm, where did i get this? well from a TOOL song. i can do it
    Hi Mario, Glad you like the site ;-) I think you may mean key rather than tone but I'll try to cover all the bases! 1. Sustaining the note & volume. If you can hold the note for 15 seconds then your breathing is probably ok but check the breathing exercises section to ensure that you are breathing from the abdominals and not your chest. http://www.vocalist.org.uk/breathing_exercises.html The next step is to control the amount of air that is exhaled when singing a note - too much will cause pressure on the vocal chords and the rapid loss of air will prevent you from holding the note effectively. (use the finger test also on the breathing exercises page). Practice sustaining different notes without pushing or forcing the voice - gradually increase and decrease the volume without tensing the throat or straining the voice. 2. Tone, pitch & key Experiment with mouth shapes and practice arpeggios (i.e., C-D-E-F-G-F-E-D-C ), using different sounds (e.g., OO, EE, NG, AAH), start from the most comfortable note in your range and then move up and down the scale. There are more suggestions at http://www.vocalist.org.uk/singing_exercises.html and http://www.vocalist.org.uk/diction.html These should help you to identify the adjustments needed to produce the tone you want, although this depends on your unique physical make up as well as how you use it! Without observing/hearing you it is impossible to tell which areas you need to concentrate on, but I have a hunch that when you aim for the higher note you are tensing your neck/throat muscles and using too much air in an effort to get the note/tone you want. If (as I suspect) this is true then try to relax completely and just sing the note using less effort - the tone may be lighter but you can adjust that using the above and with practice. I suggest you find a teacher who can observe and help you to work on your voice more effectively and take a look at Mark Baxters site which has some good tutorials aimed at rock/indie singers http://www.voicelesson.com/ In the meantime you could also tell your sound engineer to adjust the eq on your mic (mid and treble up a bit or lower the bass) to lighten the tone during that song - play around with the mic (distance/positioning) as that also affects the tone ;-) Hope this helps Tracey Webmaster http://www.vocalist.org.uk
    Category: Singing
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  36. When I sing my voice tends to go off key as it is soft and have been told singing lessons but can't afford it. I live in london in kingsbury and am 17 and want to know if you could recommend any where that specialises in r'n'b /soul as i write/rap and wan
    Hi Sian, Hopefully you received my reply to your email which covers most of your queries. The 'out of breath' problem could be caused to one or a combination of things: Exhalation of too much air when singing/rapping Not inhaling enough air Lack of breath support Breathing in the wrong places Try to inhale during natural pauses in the song - don't forget that where the original artist breathes may not suit your current standard of ability - for now breath in during gaps where it feels comfortable, you may find that you need to add a couple of extra inhalations here and there until you have more control - read the sections on breathing and practice the exercises http://www.vocalist.org.uk/breathing_exercises.html and your control will improve with time. Although it's tempting to bop about whilst rehearsing, set aside part of your practice time for concentrating on the voice alone. It's worth dropping any dance moves which create problems - you can add them back into your routine when you are more proficient vocally. Swimming is excellent exercise for building stamina and improving breathing. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  37. Where can I find a vocal practice schedule on the net? I could make my own, but I find it easier to follow someone else.
    Hi Nadia, The singing practice page provides guidelines which you may find useful: http://www.vocalist.org.uk/singing_practice.html or http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/singing_practice.html and the Texas Sings site has a schedule guideline at their site http://www.utexas.edu/cofa/music/voice/texassings/texassings.htm although you will need to make your own schedule to suit your level of experience and training. Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  38. what is musical harmony, what is musical arrangement? How do harmonies work in music?
    Hi Joshua, There are various types of things that are considered musical harmony which is basically the use of mixtures of simultaneous sounds of different pitch which may be combined in complex ways - Notes played that complement each other (like those that make up a chord) are harmonic and the only time that you would not hear the effect of harmony in music is when listening to a solo singer performing unaccompanied! (with the exception of throat or overtone singers who can sing two or more notes simultaneously). There is some information on harmony in the Backing & Harmony Vocalists page http://www.vocalist.org.uk/backing_vocalists.html The term 'musical arrangement' can be used to describe any piece of music or song. It is the act of placing chords, notes, melodies in an order that the composer, songwriter or arranger wishes the musicians to play. All singers and musicians will create an arrangement at some point - for instance - changing the melody line by adding notes, repeating a chorus, adding an extra bar or instrumental break to a song are all ways of 're-arranging'. The following sections may be of interest: http://www.vocalist.org.uk/arrangers.html http://www.vocalist.org.uk/composers.html http://www.vocalist.org.uk/songwriting.html Hope this helps Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster An excellent site for learning music theory is Gary Ewers site http://www.musictheory.halifax.ns.ca
    Category: Singing
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  39. hi,you've got a great site..keep up the great work! i just wanted to ask, i have a very wide range of tone, but when i hit certain notes the vibrato in my voice disappears. how can i prevent this? :)
    Hi Thanks for the lovely comments ;-) It is difficult to say without observing you but Vibrato occurs when the vocal mechanism is relaxed so it's likely that tension is occuring when you are aiming for specific notes. This can be due to several factors including expiring too much air causing pressure against the vocal folds (chords) which prevents them from vibrating effectively. Unconciously dropping your chin, hunching your shoulders or other posture and tension issues could be part of the problem. The following articles have exercises and further advice but ideally a lesson with a coach or teacher who can observe and provide you with specific exercises and feedback is advised. Throat Tension http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/throat_tension.html Releasing Tension http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/releasing_tension.html Vibrato http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/vibrato.html Powerful Vocals http://members.lycos.co.uk/vocalist/powerful_vocals.html Hope this helps & Good Luck Tracey Vocalist.org.uk Webmaster
    Category: Singing
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  40. I read your good article on vocal range..Now, if we have a given limited vocal range of say 1.5 octave, aren't we like harmonicas, which have a given natural key or scale, and therefore all songs the harmonica best plays are in its key?..And why isn't it (or is it) that one therefore ought to be able to sing most songs, as long as it is transposed to that key? Thanks for a reply if you would.
    Whilst your analogy between the voice and a harmonica is correct in theory, the human voice varies in range between each individual ... from as little as 1 octave up to 6 octaves. If as suggested, an individual has a limited vocal range of 1 - 1.5 octaves, it follows that this person would also be limited to the particular keys and scale of their range. One should be able to sing 'some' songs as long as it is transposed to that key - however, even limited range songs may cover more than the given range of that particular individual, therefore be outside their capability - also, just because the individual has 1 - 1.5 octave range does not mean that ALL the notes in their range are useable! One has to take into consideration that the lowest and highest notes, whilst accessible, are not audibly pleasing or easy to produce. Voices with the most limited of range may also include bridges/breaks between registers which are in some classifications referred to as whistle, falsetto, head, mix/middle and or chest. These 'bridges' between registers in a professional singer should be negotiated so smoothly that the listener cannot distinguish their presence, however, many singers find this takes years of practice and may never achieve the desired result. This would also prevent them from singing songs that are 'technically' considered to be within their vocal range but which contain notes in or around the bridge area which they are unable to produce competently. Hope this helps! Vocalist Webmistress
    Category: Singing
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