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How can you increase your vocal range?

You don't push, you don't force, and you don't concentrate on your vocal cords. Support, and control from your diaphragm Proper breath control. Practice doesn't help if you're practicing wrong. Find a vocal coach. We don't all charge $70/hr. Go to places that let people sing. Talk to the people, and listen to different voices. You'll start to hear whose hurting themselves when they sing, and what a good clean open voice sounds like. Sing into your own ears with headphones. Practice a clear open tone as soft as you can. Don't do just scales, practice 8 bar sections of the song you're working on over and over without the lyrics, exercises of different intervals (space between notes) Don't force! I feel head voices and chest voices are incomplete. Any note you can sing in those voices you should be able to sing in full voice. That should be the goal.

Increasing Your Vocal Range


Here are ideas and recommendations from FAQ Farmers:
  • Basically, just practice all the time. Practice with songs that are in a higher pitch and some that are lower. Listening is a key factor when playing any type of instrument, including your voice. The more you listen, the more it helps your voice to become in tune with songs and singing in general. I, too sing so I've found this to help! Also, practice with a piano, (especially because its the easiest).. or any instrument for that matter (and make sure its in tune)... after a period of time, the notes will be almost "programmed" in your head. Good luck .
  • I think practicing scales is very important to ensure accuracy over the extremities of the voice's range. For many years I had a much bigger range than I would dare use; because I did not have confidence in the lower / higher notes I would never sing them live. Practicing scales, particularly ones that span the gap between the "chest" and "head" voice, has given me much more confidence, and that in turn has improved my singing in the higher / lower extremeties.
  • Sewjazz says "I'm a male of 33 now and I can hit low E, when I was 20 my lowest note was about a G so I think the bass end of the voice becomes lower with age perhaps, although I don't know if this is the case with women? I've always been able to squeek up to nearly two octaves above a middle C, but whilst at 25 I'd struggle to hit a G above middle C in my chest register, practice and particularly working on scales has enabled me to reach Bb, although sadly still not that elusive top tenor C! My transition to head voice is much smoother now though, and I can happily sing some Roy Orbison pieces, going acceptably into falsetto for the highest notes." When singing scales, make sure you repeat with a full range of different vowel sounds, and always have a tuned instrument to use as reference. And, most importantly of all, BREATHE OUT SLOWLY! The control of air flow is the most essential technique of all. One final word of warning - if you can't sing a note quietly, you shouldn't be singing it at all!
  • Gidday ive just started singing, hmm bloody puberty and all :( i used to be able to sing around 3.5 octaves, now im down to just over 2 it sucks but Now ive started just doing scales... you sound absolutely BATTY doing them but hey, after a year you'll notice a HUGE difference, to me it was well worth it
  • Learning to sing lower is almost, if not downright, impossible. This generally happens as you get older, but there's not much you can do to influence it yourself. However, you CAN learn to sing higher notes. I'm 16, and I reckon I've gained at least half an octave over the last few months. The key is this: Try singing songs that are just outside your range WITHOUT going into falsetto. Just try and force your normal voice up that high. You will find that over a few days, firstly it will get less difficult to hit the note, then you'll find that you can reach it without being ridiculously loud. Once this happens, go a little higher. You'll be amazed, in a few weeks, at what you can do. An example is the song "city of blinding lights" by U2. A month ago I wouldnt have even dreamed of trying to get the "oh you look so beautiful tonight" bit at the pitch he sings it, I'd just drop an octave for that part. I can now sing it with complete ease, and thats normal voice. I think there's probably a limit to exactly how high you can go, but remember that every note you gain in your normal range is also a note gained in falsetto, so it really is amazing just how high you'll find yourself going. Hears a tip though. Don't measure it day by day, just to what I did and pick a song that just about hurts to try and sing, and sing it. Another tip: ALWAYS stand when singing really high songs, I don't know the mechanics of it, but for some reason it's a lot easier to go higher when you're standing upright. Most importantly, in order to make it happen fast, ENJOY it. Don't make it a job, or a chore, just do it for the sake of doing it. You'll find that time flys if you do it like this.
  • Whoa whoa WHOA!! Now if there is one thing you should not do when aiming to sing higher songs, it is to force your voice, in fact, you should not "force" your voice to do anything! I've thought this for two years and realised i could sing a few songs, but it was causing me tension and strain. The professional singers who are singing with 4 or 5 octave ranges have been trained in order to do so, but the exercises involved in that training are actually very simple! Singers from James LaBrie of Dream Theater to Madonna and Michael Jackson have practiced using these, as they can set your voice free! your voice when you start out as a baby is perfect, did you know? I've never heard a baby go into falsetto! Only with years of speaking, muscle development around your larynx and not knowing the technique, you create a falsetto voice, it is actually a defence mechanism to stop you going too much higher and damaging yourself. Range is restricted by lack of knowledge rather than lack of talent. Basically there are 3 registers to your voice, they are: Chest voice: Named this because of the resonance occurring in your chest cavity, it is usually lower notes. If you sing a low "ahhh" and place your hand on your chest, you can feel it vibrate; Head voice: Higher notes, like if you were to impersonate Mickey Mouse or something, the note resonates mainly in the chest cavity. It is not quite as strong as chest voice, but as a singer develops their use of "resonators" in the head cavity, it gets louder and more powerful; and Whistle voice: usually present in women, but loads of men can use it too, the highest recorded whistle voice is by a guy called Adam Lopez. Say if you scream like a girl, that's using a kind of whistle voice, i don't advise you do any screaming though, in time and with patience and practice, it can be accessed. A trained voice will go higher in pitch not by pulling up chest voice and tightening the muscles (as i guarantee a lot of guys can't go past F above middle C without having some real difficulty) but instead, the intrinsic muscles in the vocal cords will help the cords "zip up" as it gets higher. In the end, a singer with the right knowledge and practice can sing notes up to and above high (tenor) C (or Soprano C if you are female) with the same ease as your speech! That is a technique known as "speech level singing" and to be honest, sounds a lot more comfortable than just belting out your songs, which is tiring and can take days to recover from, and also, does NOT feel easier over time, in fact, if you belt all the time you can cause some real damage to your cords! One other thing, the way that pro vocalists sound like they are making one consistent voice all the way up to the high registers, even though their voices are actually "changing gears" as they do so, is because they develop a "mixed" voice. When I say mixed I mean at the notes above middle C their chest voice blends with their head voice, almost like there are two voice techniques mixing in with each other, they get to retain the power of chest voice, but their head voice takes the strain off the note! Isn't that great!? Developing a Mixed voice DOES TAKE TIME AND CONSISTENT PRACTICE. About 45 minutes to an hour a day is good enough, and a singer should get plenty of sleep too, to prevent edema (a condition that causes swelling in the throat and is attributed to lack of sleep). If you are interested in using these training exercises, there are E-books and Audio Programs on sale that can help you develop your voice and master your technique, however, you must keep consistent practice and look after your voice. Things involving shouting like cheerleading and stuff are not options for a serious vocalist. Useful sites include: www.singingsuccess.com - Singing Success, a program by reknowned vocal coach Brett Manning (who has trained Grammy-Winning artists such as Keith Urban). Brett started out awful, but ended up with a 5 octave range! He has a friendly, understandable and enjoying approach to teaching voice, and is definitely a recommended coach. I have his program myself. www.thevoiceconnection.com - Rock vocalist and voice coach Jaime Vendera is known for being the first recorded man to shatter a crystal glass with his voice without amplification. He has a 6 octave range and is a powerful vocalist, not to mention a good coach. His e-book "raise your voice" is well recommended www.jeanniedeva.com - Another reknowned vocalist, Jeannie Deva has her own audio books such as the "contemporary vocalist" series also, http://p102.ezboard.com/bjessenemitz - A forum with a vocal technique section. Some good vocalists online there with plenty of useful info on singing technique and practice, not to be missed! Oh and one last thing, I'm no god of vocal technique myself, I'm actually a 17 year old student, but I've been using Brett Manning's technique and it's well worth it! For all you serious singers out there, never lose hope, look after yourselves and keep practicing!
    • JBL Reference 410 Headphones

      Frazier Barretto

      Features : Loud, Foldable, Comfortable, Volume control, Price, the JBL Reference 410 headphones are very similar to the QuiteComfort from Bose.

      Disadvantages : Can't Contain Vibration, Bass cracks at full volume.

      Bundle
      Phone Adapter
      Airline Adapter
      Inline Volume Control
      Foldable Headband
      Travel Pouch

      Tech Specs
      Drivers 40mm Transducer
      Maximum Input Signal 50mW
      Sensitivity 125dB SPL/V
      110dB SPL/mW
      Frequency Response 10Hz - 20kHz (-10dB points)
      Input Level/Impedance 32 Ohms
      Wire length 1.5m

      JBL has tried to make this set of headphones very comfortable. For the ears - the headphones are designed to sit in the ear instead of covering them; and for the head - there's a soft cushion on the on the headband, so that there's least possible pressure on your head. JBL Reference also features Noise Cancellation, so that you get pure music and nothing else along.


      While traveling, you can conveniently fold the product and keep it in the pouch that is bundled in the package. The headphone's volume control is placed neatly, such that when you are wearing the headphones it comes at the chest and is easy to access even without looking. These headphones deliver what JBL calls, JBL realism and bass response, which is supposed to give a more realistic music.
      Performance
      The JBL 410 headphones are so comfy that you can wear them for long hours. The music produced from the 40mm drivers (with a frequency range of 10Hz - 20kHz) is loud and good. I enjoyed my music minus any shattering as the highs and mids were taken care of.

      The bass is also quite good, but there's a catch here. Although the overall sound is superior, the headphones cannot handle the vibrations that are produced because of the immense bass. One of the songs that faced this issue was Prodigy's Diesel Power. With the headphones at full volume, the bass cracked for most of the tracks which had continuous bass. Keep the volume at 70-80% and it was perfection for highs, mids, lows.

      Also, the uncontainable vibrations caused a tickle in my ears, which got me to take off the headphones and scratch my ears. These vibrations wouldn't be so much of a nuisance if the there was enough breathing space for the drivers.

      Similar on-ear headphones from Sony - MDR-NC6 are not as loud as the 410, but the vibrations are contained. So basically, with 410 you deprive yourself of an absolute bass experience at the cost of loud music. I wouldn't suggest rock fans to go for JBL's 410, while hip-hop fans would most definitely enjoy the thumps come and go.

      Another thing, the sound is contained when you are wearing the headphones and it doesn't disturb people sitting around you. Also, the volume control on the headphone cable when turned to the minimum level doesn't shut the music, you can still hear it.

      Conclusion
      The JBL Reference 410 headphones sell at an MRP of Rs. 3950, while the street price is around Rs. 3100. It is way cheaper than the Bose QC3. At this price, your only bother comes from the Sony on-ear headphones which are available for around the same price. Here the question of brand loyalty arises - your loyalty towards JBL or Sony will influence your decision.

      ALLPlayer 3.0

      Version : 3.0
      Size : 1.61MB / 1.42 MB
      OS : Windows (All)
      Freeware

      ALLPlayer program is a Media Player that is Available for free and which will allow you to play all video formats like AVI/MPG/MPEG/DIVX, etc. with IQ Text (Intelligent Subtitles).

      The IQ Text function, which analyzes the length of the displayed subtitles so that it would be displayed long enough for you to be able to read everything and won't miss any lines while watching the film.

      Download

      Homepage

      GermaniX Transcoder 4.0.0.32

      Version : 4.0.0.32
      Size : 3.75MB
      Platform : Windows 9x

      Freeware

      GermaniX Transcoder is a very simple, flexible, and extensible Audio Transcoder designed for Microsoft Windows.

      * Transcode a lot of audio formats like mp3, mp4, aac, mp2, flac, ofr, ape
      * Create and use your own front-end language
      * Build custom encoder add-ins
      * Develop custom audio file processing plug-ins

      Language support for the the Transcoder includes German, English, French, and Russian allowing you also to create your own language file. You can also create Format Add-Ins for more Encoding Formats or a Process Plug-in to process a audio file, or a group of audio files.


      Nexus Radio v2.1

      Version : 2.1
      Size : 8.0 MB
      Os : Windows (All)
      Freeware


      Nexus Radio is a free full-featured radio player for listeners who can record their favorite radio content for playback on their PC, or any portable device that supports MP3s, besides listening to the radio channels. With over 6000+ radio stations, Nexus Radio delivers the content radio listeners yearn for.

      Dealing with Weather- Singing Tips

      Moisture and time zones are two very important keys. On an average singers need at least twenty-four hours to adjust, their voice while they are in an entirely new enviornment. Eventually, your body will become more adept to rapid changes in climate, but in the beginning of your career I wouldn't recommend booking yourself in Maine on Monday, Tulsa on Tuesday, and then Orlando on Thursday. This would be vocal suicide. The more extreme the climate change the more taxing to the body. You are a human instrument with good days and bad days. The longer you travel, the quicker your body should adjust to travel and change of climate. In the mean time, get plenty of fluids (about twice as much as you probably think you need) and some Entertainer's Secret.

      How To Save Your Voice On Stage

      The first thing that I usually ask a singer is "how well do you hear yourself in the monitors?" Often, they are not hearing themselves sing on stage, so they figure that the audience can't hear them sing and push their voice harder than what is natural. The result is that the tone becomes dull or strident and often intonation problems occur. Talk to your sound man and make sure that you have enough of your voice in the monitors. If you've got the funds, invest in a headset microphone.

      Singing Tips Singing With A Sore Throat

      Many People ask whether it is safe to sing with a sore throat. Depending on what's causing it, singing with a sore throat can definately be catastrophic. Experts suggest, "if it hurts to swallow, don't sing!" Conversely, if it's a mildly soar throat (due to cough or other reasons), consult your doctor (it's a good idea to find a good ear, nose, throat specialist in your area and build a relationship with him) and then use your best judgment. Dry air, singing abusively, and viral/bacterial infection are some of the more common causes of a sore throat. Some people just wake up with a sore throat every day of their life. I've found that the majority of those people have acid-reflux, which means they are burping up stomach acids while they are sleeping or sometimes even while they are awake. For most, however, this happens in the night, so they may be completely unaware of the problem. They then wake up with a scratchy, raspy voice and a sore throat. There are numerous web sites directed to the problem of reflux. Let me recommend a couple:

      http://www.texasvoicecenter.com/

      Remedy : A dry throat is often a sore throat, consume two to three quarts of water every day. If you live in an arid climate, sleep with a humidifier next to your bed and try to warm up your voice in the shower. The moisture is an incredible help for your voice. Also, learn to breathe in through your nose as much as possible. This will help moisten the air before it reaches your vocal cords.

      The next concern is vocal abuse. Some of the causes are singing too high and too loud for too long, screaming, yelling at a football game or concert, talking at the top of your voice in a noisy crowd, breathing cigarette smoke (first- for second-hand), doing voice impersonations that are extreme or that cause strain and talking or singing with a raspy, manufactured sound. Whenever my throat is sore from vocal abuse I try to get some vocal rest (at least for about an hour or so), drink plenty of liquids (which is maintaind at room temperature or may be warm but not too hot), and then rehabilitate my voice with gentle exercises like humming, lip bubbles, and tongue trills (as a matter of fact you will always find me humming). If you get laryngitis and your tone starts to 'skip' or 'cut out' in the middle of a sustained note, you really want to get serious vocal rest. Most of all, ALWAYS consult your physician if things don't clear up rapidly. By this, I mean, if you get a sore throat in the morning and it clears up by noon and doesn't come back (this occasionally happens to me, since i took up serious voice training) then there's usually nothing to worry about. Otherwise, call the doctor, because if this condition is medical and you don't get help, no amount of vocal rest will help.

      Advanced Vista Codec Package

      Size : 20.34 MB

      Os : Windows (All)
      Freeware

      Advanced Vista Codec Package, as it is called takes from the best, all the big name creators, several small guys too, and compiles all this into a single pack. All possible conflicts are already dealt with, many user suggested default settings are implemented. This package does not contain a media player. This package does not associates filetypes. With this package installed, you will be able to use any media player to play DVD" s, movies and video clips such as quicktime, realmedia, avi, mpeg, Flv, swf, wmv, etc. Streaming video can be played within web browsers. By default, you shouldn" t need to make any adjustments to enjoy playback immediately.

      For Downloads Visit : Freewarefiles.com

      How to Remove DRM from WMA - Is It Legal and Worth the Effort?

      By W R Kirk


      Technically, it's illegal to remove DRM from WMA protected music. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is part of the music industry's effort to curb piracy. There are legitimate reasons for removing it, but first understand DRM can not be removed from file sharing network downloads. Most tracks can be legally copied 3 to 5 times, and this has been exceeded long before they appear on a peer-to-peer network. You must have either purchased the music or have unrestricted free music downloads.

      There is no easy way to remove DRM, but it can be removed with some effort and know-how. The best advice is to only download music in the format you need, and that you have the right to copy to an mp3 player, CD or other device. It's also important to determine that the player will recognize and play the DRM protected WMA track.

      What if I Really Like the songs and Want to convert them?
      Let's say you've already downloaded music and need to convert to another audio codec. The common conversion method is to burn the tracks on a CD, then rip them in the desired codec's format. Even this requires special ripping software and numerous steps because the DRM is still embedded in the tracks. And because codecs like WMA, mp3, OGG, AAC, etc. are lossy formats, the sound quality will be degraded.

      Lossy formats selectively discard sounds the human can't hear to make the file smaller. But each format removes slightly different sounds. For example, converting a track using a WMA to mp3 converter is now missing the sounds that both codecs have deleted.

      There are other ways to remove DRM and convert WMA to mp3, but they require numerous steps and more software - and they're not for the technically challenged. Free WMA to mp3 conversion software and detailed instructions are available on the Internet.

      MP3 players information from A to Z: player types & features, how they work, accessories,comparisons and more - plus free music download tips and info at A-Z MP3 Players.com, Your Complete A-Z Resource for MP3 Players, Accessories and Information.

      This article may be re-printed in its entirety, with no changes and this resource box included. © 2005 http://www.a-z-mp3-players.com/ All rights reserved

      Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=W_R_Kirk

      Singing Exercises and Hints for Singers

      KEEP YOUR VOICE HEALTHY
      Whether you’re a professional or an amateur singer, it’s important to stay fit and healthy. To maintain proper breathing ensuring that you have full use of your lungs, regular exercise should be part of your day. Walking and swimming are particularly good for performers because they don’t add unwanted stress to your muscles. There is less chance of injury when you swim or walk, which is important if your aim is to perform professionally. Time out from singing could mean a loss of income. Maintaining a good, balanced diet will help to keep your body fit on the inside. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Singers should try to avoid eating too much dairy food as it often builds up phlegm which can adversely affect your vocal chords and sinuses. A number of professional singers gargle with and swallow pineapple juice. It can be a natural way of cleaning the gunk off your vocal chords before a performance.

      TAKE SINGING LESSONS
      Choose a good singing teacher to help motivate you and keep you practicing on a regular basis. It’s very important that your singing teacher is qualified and experienced. Word-of-mouth is usually the best way to find the right teacher or you can contact the Music Teachers’ Association in your local area for some sound advice. A good singing teacher can help you to get rid of bad singing habits and give you individually tailored vocal and breathing exercises. I recommend that you book in for a half hour or one hour lesson once a week. Regular lessons and regular practice can do wonders. Many professional entertainers that I know continue to have singing lessons. Some even take their teacher with them on tour!

      DON'T STRAIN YOUR VOICE!
      Always warm up before you start singing your songs. I recommend some relaxing breathing exercises then gentle humming first. Don’t sing too loudly at first. Give your muscles time to prepare. If you feel that something is too high then sing it an octave lower. You will need to have a set of exercises that develop different aspects of your voice and musicality – they should include major, minor and chromatic scales and arpeggios in a variety of pitches using different vowel and consonant sounds. Remember that the vowel sounds you use in singing can be quite different from the way you speak. They can also vary considerably from one music style to another, including Country, Rock, Jazz, Musicals and Classical. Keep in mind that the key you are singing in may be too high or low. If so, ask your teacher to transpose the music into a key that suits your individual voice. With the advent of computers and midi backings, it’s easy to change keys these days.


      DAVID WILLIS - Singing Teacher to the STARS!
      Over the years, David Willis has made quite an impact on Australian EDUCATION and the ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY. An accomplished pianist, singer and actor, David owns the Gold Coast branch of the Australian Talent School, teaching professionals and amateurs of all ages the art of Singing and Presentation, whilst nurturing their passion for Music and Performance.
      As a specialist Singing, Speech & Presentation Teacher for over 20 years, David is proud of his SUCCESS STORIES including STARS from TV and Stage! To find out more about David's unique style of teaching, his success stories and his special Singing Exercises offer, log onto...
      http://www.cdorders.com
      David's unique WARMUP EXERCISES have been graded from Beginner to Intermediate and Advanced. They are guaranteed to greatly improve your singing in a very short time. All it takes is a few minutes each day. Amateur and professional singers world-wide are thrilled with the results they get from the exercises!

      Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Willis

      More About Pitch

      By Margaret Nesse

      Whether your chorus goes sharp or flat, here's how to get them closer to the bullseye.


      "Singers don't go flat out of spite," says Jerry Blackstone, Professor of Choral Conducting at the University of Michigan. Singers go flat because for us tuning is a complicated and delicate process. Unlike pianists or guitarists, we don't have keys or frets: We can't simply poke with a finger and be reasonably confident, having made sure our instrument is in tune, that we will strike a true pitch. For us, producing a true pitch is a complex interaction between such diverse elements as breath support, tension in the vocal mechanism, vowel color, ability to listen and blend, the weather, the quality of the air, and the singer's energy level.

      As a veteran of many hundreds of voice lessons and 30-plus years of ensemble singing, I've faced plenty of intonation problems both as an individual singer and as a chorus member. Like many singers, I have a tendency to go flat at times, and I have learned certain tricks of the trade that can help to ameliorate or prevent this problem.

      Faulty intonation for singers is rarely a function of faulty hearing. Like most singers who persist in the activity, I have a pretty good ear. I can carry a tune and reproduce notes and phrases I hear played on a piano or other instrument. Most of the time the notes I hear in my mind's ear are pretty much the same as the notes I'm supposed to be singing. Most of the time the notes I actually sing sound pretty good inside my own head. But sometimes, the note that sounds OK to me will sound just a hair, or maybe two or three hairs, under pitch to the person who's standing across the room. Why this discrepancy? If I'm hearing the note or phrase correctly, why don't I reproduce it correctly? If poor hearing doesn't cause poor intonation, what does, and what can we do about it?

      My own pitch problems began to improve dramatically when I achieved an understanding of the three main elements of good vocal technique: good breath support, relaxation of tension in the vocal mechanism, and good vowel color and placement. Of these three elements, good breath support is the most important.

      To demonstrate what's meant by good breath support, Julia Broxholm, an instructor at Adrian College and soprano member of the Great Lakes Vocal Quartet, uses a simple exercise called "the hiss." To practice the hiss, one begins with a slow, deep intake of air: The abdomen and rib cage expand, the diaphragm drops, but the chest and shoulders remain stable and relaxed and do not lift as air is inhaled. The mouth is slightly open, the tongue rests behind the teeth. Slowly, the abdominal muscles contract and press the inhaled column of air through the slight resistance of tongue and teeth to produce a sustained hiss. The effect is like that of a steadily pressed bellows: All effort is centered in the abdominal muscles as they squeeze slowly and firmly against the column of air. There is no tension in the chest, neck, or throat.

      The hiss forces the singer to focus on, use, and strengthen the abdominal muscles that form the foundation of well-supported singing. When the hiss has been mastered, it can be alternated with a sigh on a descending "oo" vowel, also firmly supported with the abdominal muscles. Once the sigh is in place, the same support system can be applied to the regular warm-up regimen of scales and exercises.

      Simply reinforcing good breath control practices can often take care of intonation problems: Remind students to think about the bellows and to let the abdominal muscles do the work while releasing tension in the jaw, neck, and upper body. They won't always hear the difference between their own well-supported and poorly supported sounds, but they should be able to feel the difference. A well-supported sound will feel solid, as though it has dropped naturally into a groove, rather than being forced, pressed, or manipulated. Most choral directors don't emphasize breath support nearly as much as they should. At best they might say in passing "Let's have more support on that descending passage," but they shy away from explaining what is meant by "support" or from using exercises that will help choir members develop good breathing technique. A lengthy and at times tedious procedure like "the hiss" is not always practical in the classroom or the choral rehearsal situation, but there are variations and elaborations that can be used successfully with groups.

      For example, Richard Ingram, chair of the music department at Huron High School (Ann Arbor, Mich.), begins his choral warm-ups with a series of short hisses. The short hiss, like its sustained counterpart, forces the singer to use the abdominal muscles to press out air. The singer learns where those muscles are, and what it means to control the breath with those muscles rather than with the less reliable muscles in the neck, mouth, and upper chest. Jerry Blackstone has his choristers sing a long, sustained pitch on the syllable "no." He spins his hand rapidly to indicate that the singers should keep the breath alive and keep it spinning through the sound. Abdominal support must kick in in order to maintain the movement of the breath through this sustained, spinning sound.

      Blackstone also tells his singers to "look gorgeous" or "fill as much space as you can with your bodies." Thus prompted, singers will throw back their shoulders, expand their chests, and stand tall. Without having to mention such technicalities as breath support or body alignment, Blackstone elicits from his singers the posture that is conducive to well-supported singing.

      Julia Broxholm will slowly lift her arms as the singers move down the scale in order to encourage the extra support needed to keep descending passages from going flat. The gradual lifting of her arms suggests to singers not only a sense of lift, but also a sense of forward movement of the breath that keeps the passage from sagging, and instead makes descending notes feel like they are advancing, or traveling toward a goal.

      Although good breath support can go a long way toward promoting good vocal intonation, it can only go so far if there is tension in the vocal mechanism or if vowel color is spread and uneven. I mention vocal tension and vowel color in the same sentence because in my experience the one effects the other: A relaxed jaw, neck, and tongue and a lifted soft palate will produce a pure, open vowel sound, and vice versa. Once good breath support is in place, you can improve intonation simply by working on exercises that loosen the vocal mechanism and unify vowel color.

      Broxholm, for example, once worked with a women's chorus to prepare Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols. The "Hodie" movement is a cappella and very exposed, and the singers were becoming frantic because they couldn't sing it in tune. Instead of berating them, Broxholm told them to relax, to let their jaws drop naturally, to open up the vowel sounds, and to get rid of all those tense, spread, midwestern diphthongs. The vocal line sounded off-key because the singers were producing a large variety of different vowel sounds. As soon as they matched their vowels, intonation improved dramatically.

      Ken Westerman, head of choral music at Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School, uses a mirror to promote release of tension in the face, neck, and jaw. The mirror covers the entire width of the front of his rehearsal room, and singers can watch themselves, notice when tension is creeping in, and see what it looks like and feels like to release that tension. Westerman points out that young sopranos frequently go sharp because of tension and over-excitement, and that letting a soprano section stand in front of the mirror and practice tension release will often work wonders for toning down and evening out that screechy sound.

      Ingram also encourages his students to relax their jaws, tongues, and necks and to concentrate on producing pure, open, slightly vertical, and well-supported vowel sounds. Almost invariably, intonation will begin to improve as correct singing takes hold, and Ingram will be able to praise his students for producing a pure, focused sound, rather than criticizing them for singing off key.

      Blackstone has his students imitate the diction of Julia Child, whose snooty Boston accent exactly matches the ideal of pure, open, relaxed vowel color. He notes that people don't talk the way they sing, and they shouldn't sing the way they talk. Julia Child's heady, elongated diction may seem phony and affected, and may cause some embarrassed giggles amongst his students, but it's the sound that's needed for singing, and when students can mimic it successfully, there's no need for the director to fuss about diphthongs and "midwest spreading."

      Breath support, relaxation, and unification of vowel color are the fundamentals of good intonation, whether one is singing alone or in a group. But faulty vocal technique is not the only cause of poor intonation, nor is working toward improvement of technique the only cure.

      Choral groups sometimes sound out of tune because individual voices stand out, or because one voice part has lost its awareness of what the other parts are doing. In choral situations, a singer needs to know how to listen to and blend with other voices and voice parts. Students listening skills can be greatly enhanced by singing in quartets or in small groups that contain members of all voice parts. Singing in a circle can also enhance listening skills. Exercises that involve starting on a "home tone," then moving by steps and intervals away from there and back again are very helpful in developing listening skills. Several choral directors I know practice a cappella literature on short "doots," an approach that encourages careful listening and forces quick adjustments when chords go out of tune.

      It's important to bear in mind, too, when director and singers feel as though they have drummed vocal technique and listening skills into the ground, that all singers and choruses have flat days—those times when the air is heavy and muggy, when the barometric pressure is too high or too low, when everyone is tired. Flat days can happen when energy and excitement are low, but they can also happen when energy and excitement are high, when performance day is bearing down and nobody feels quite ready, or when tempers are short and nerves are frayed.

      Opening a window can help on a flat day. So can walking around, giving the person next to you a back rub, or singing in a new formation—anything that gets the blood flowing and the energy moving. Joke telling can be a great remedy for a flat day. A good joke and a little bit of laughter can inject energy into a dull rehearsal or release tension in a wound-up one. And laughter helps to lift the soft palate and to place the mouth and jaw in the smiling position that furthers good singing and makes good intonation more likely.

      And then of course there's the old trick of moving an entire piece of music up half a step, a magical approach I ve never understood that almost always seems to work. Maybe human beings just weren't designed to sing in the key of C major, or maybe transposing just gets us out of a rut, stirs up our concentration level, and makes us sing higher. There are several good strategies available for improving intonation; there are also a few that are not as good. Some choral directors have a tendency, especially during performance, to point upward surreptitiously with a finger when the choir as a whole, or a particular section, is singing flat. Blackstone notes that a conductor who points his finger upward encourages singers to tilt their chins back, thereby constricting the vocal mechanism, causing a squeezed sound, and increasing, rather than decreasing, the likelihood of a poor intonation.

      The finger-pointing gambit is a prime example of what I call the "go for the jugular" approach to fixing intonation. Another, less subtle example happens when a choral director simply yells out "You re flat on that E" or "You ve got to think higher on that A" without working toward improvement of the underlying problem. The most Draconian version of the "go for the jugular" approach involves going down the row of the miscreant section and making each singer perform the passage solo in order to discover the culprit or culprits who are going flat, thereby making everybody in the section more nervous and more likely to sing off key than they were before.

      Of course, most choral directors who use "go for the jugular" strategies (and most directors resort to them sometimes) are well intentioned. Variations on these methods do work sometimes, but only for the short term, and at a cost. Telling singers that they re singing off key levels the finger of blame at them and implies that they are doing it on purpose, or that they either lack talent or are not trying hard enough. An adversarial relationship develops between the singers and the director, and tension and self-consciousness increase on all sides. In my experience, tension and self-consciousness are the worst enemies, not only of good intonation, but of good singing in general. The best friends of good intonation and good singing are directors and coaches who model good posture, good breath support, and good vowel color, who infect singers with their own good humor and sense of fun, and who give more praise than blame.

      BonkEnc

      Size : 3.59 MB

      OS : Windows (All)
      Freeware


      BonkEnc is a new CD ripper, audio encoder and converter that covers various formats. It can produce MP3, MP4/M4A, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Bonk and FLAC files. BonkEnc makes it easy to convert your audio CDs to MP3 or Ogg Vorbis files which you can use in your hardware player or with your favorite audio software. The program supports the CDDB/freedb online CD database and CDText and automatically writes song information to ID3v2 or Vorbis comment tags. BonkEnc is currently available in 29 languages.



      For Downloads Visit BonkEnc Homepage and Follow the instructions on the screen


      Homepage

      DVDFab HD Decrypter

      Size : 2.27 MB
      OS : Windows 2000/XP
      Freeware

      The new DVDFab HD Decrypter is a simpler version of DVDFab Platinum. It copies DVD movies to hard disk, and removes all the protections ( like from CSS, RC, RCE, APS, UOPs and Sony ARccOS) . It includes full HD-DVD and Blu-Ray support (removes AACS) as well.

      Just simply Download It and experience the difference.


      Altec Lansing FX5051

      Rating : 3.5


      Features
      Good Sound Quality, Control Pod, Remote Control, Long Cables, Good Highs

      Disadvantages
      Inadequate Bass at high volume, Confusing Rear Speaker Volume Adjustment, Bit expensive.

      Today we have with us a proper 5.1 system from Altec Lansing, one of the best in the multimedia systems. This system is similar to Bose, it supports plug-n-play. The inbuilt audio processing and the isobaric sub-woofer, it all seems to sound good; but is it good enough? Let's find out.

      Bundles
      4 Satellite Speakers
      Center Speaker
      Isobaric Sub-Woofer
      Control Pod
      Wireless Remote
      USB Cable
      Color-coded 3.5mm stereo cables
      User Guide & Quick Connect

      Specifications
      Technical specifications of the speakers:
      2 Front Speakers: Two 12 Watts/channel @ 4 ohms speakers
      2 Rear Speakers: Two 12 Watts/channel @ 4 ohms speakers
      Center Speaker: 13 Watts @ 4 ohms
      Subwoofer: 28 Watts @ 8 ohms
      Total Continuous Power: 89 Watts RMS
      Drivers (per satellite): One 40mm mid-range driver and one 18mm high-end tweeter
      Subwoofer: Two 6.5" long-throw woofers in isobaric configuration

      Speaker Setup

      The Speaker Setup is a standard 5.1 surround speaker setup. I guess you all know this by now, but still a run through: Two speakers in the front on either side, one in the center, two in the rear on the either side, and the sub-woofer in the corner near a wall.


      All connectors of the speakers are placed at the rear of the sub-woofer. There are two sets of connectors: input and output. Output consists of colored connectors for the corresponding colored speaker pin. The cables of the satellite speakers are quite long and can be easily setup with a computer system without any extensions. The other output connector is for the Control Pod of the system. Since the system can be used as plug-n-play as well as a Home Theater system, there are two input connectors. One is a USB for the plug-n-play aspect while three stereo jacks (Front, Surround, CLFE). Other than these, there is a switch for 2/4 and 6. With the switch at 2/4, the system automatically converts the sound from 2 channel to 4 channel. Keeping the switch at 6 can be used only when being used with a proper 5.1 sound card or a DVD Player.

      Performance
      The FX5051, being a proper 5.1 channel surround system, has decent sound quality. This system also had the same plug-n-play feature like the Bose Companion 5. It is also possible to use the FX5051 as a home theatre and so it also takes standard 5.1 channel inputs. We tested both inputs and here is what we experienced.

      The FX5051 has decent highs, mids and lows. While testing it at low volume levels, the bass didn't seem to be present at all, but with the volume increased, you could feel it, but still not upto the mark. On the other hand, the bass produced from the isobaric sub-woofer missed thump.

      The treble output was good but the bass just wasn't able to deliver the punch. The good part was that the bass never cracked, however high the volume was. The isobaric sub-woofer design could be the reason why the bass didn't crack and subsequently, could also be the reason for the poor output. The treble shattered at high volumes; i.e., at 75-80% volume, and that effected the system output. The treble was just too loud killing the bass again and again. The other problem I faced was while adjusting the rear speaker output from the control pod; it was confusing, it said that switching the system to 2/4 would give an ideal output.

      Conclusion
      The Altec Lansing FX5051 sells at an MRP of Rs. 15,500 with a one year warranty whereas, the street price for the same is Rs. 12,000. This makes it a pretty decent buy, as long as you want to enjoy the sound for yourself and not rock the entire neighborhood. Still, no punch in the bass is something that will not attract many hip-hop or trance listener

      Safe Voice Revolution

      by Diana Yampolsky, a Toronto-based Vocal Coach/Consultant.
      (Scroll down for Diana's bio) www.vocalscience.com

      If you spend any time reading music industry publications or follow music-related media, you might have picked up on a recent trend: a lot of high profile performers are “experiencing difficulties” with their voices. Examples include Brian Byrne of I Mother Earth, Chico Moreno of the Deftones, Christina Aguilera, Leann Rhimes and many others. Not to sound insensitive, but in a way, this is actually a blessing in disguise. How so you may ask? They have been given a wakeup call that, if heeded, will make them better singers and their music that much more pleasureable to listen to.

      Recently, a new client approached me because both his singing voice and his speaking voice were damaged. The person admitted that he had known about me for many years, had seen my advertising all over the place and had read my articles in Canadian Musician and other publications. Like the majority of singers, he did not see the need to consult a vocal specialist until he started having problems with his voice. (I believe this is akin to somebody realizing they should have taken some skydiving lessons after they have jumped out of the plane!) This fellow had damaged his voice by singing for years with incorrect vocal technique and did not decide to contact anybody until his voice was almost literally gone. The fact that he has all but lost his voice and finally decided to seek the help of a Vocal Consultant is actually a blessing because he will now learn how to sing without damaging his vocal anatomy and, as a side effect, will also sound exponentially better.
      As strange as it may sound, I have found that these types of vocal problems are the norm rather than the exception. Furthermore, I must admit that I am not that impressed with the majority of professional singers I hear on the radio. Many can sing as well as I can fly an airplane and I most definitely do not have a pilot’s license. Therefore, at the risking of sounding quite cold, I must admit that voice problems are actually a positive occurrence for many aspiring singers. The benefits are two fold. Firstly, they will learn to sing in a way that will not damage their voice. Secondly, they will no longer be insulting listeners with off key singing, strained deliveries, and all forms of “meowing”, “howling” and “whining”! If that is not a blessing, then what is?
      A safe voice revolution is my take off on the safe sex revolution. When people realized that unprotected sex could harm their health and even kill them, they started to engage in safe sex. Most people were also motivated to change their sexual habits because they did not want to catch a sexually transmitted disease and pass it on to someone they cared about. Not many performers apply the same type of thinking to singing. As I already mentioned before, they strain their voice until nodes appear and often hurt the ears of the people they should care about the most – the audience. Just as it is insane to have unprotected sex in this day and age, so too is it to not consult a vocal consultant. Vocal Consultant’s services should not be considered expensive at any cost as a safe voice for the performer and increased pleasure for the audience is most important! We all know that the best medicine is preventative medicine, therefore, taking care of your health before illness occurs is a must. In many ways, instruction in the basic technical aspects of singing should be a central part of a singer’s life, as well as a healthy diet and physical exercise.
      Unfortunately, the majority of people do not even recognize that there is a technical aspect pertaining to singing.
      In art forms such as ballet and figure skating the performers are judged first of all on technical ability and then on artistic merit. With singing most people only talk about the artistic aspects. I believe that vocal technique needs to be recognized and emphasized as it is in other art forms. In the recent movie, Billy Eliot, the main character is an aspiring ballet dancer who auditions for a prestigious ballet school. The judges saw that he was talented, but he did not have any technique to speak of. This did not make any difference as it would be their job to supplement his talent with the correct technical training. This is how I believe it should be with regard to singing as well. Just to give you an example, several weeks ago I was watching an Awards Show when I saw one of the best selling singers in the world struggle through a performance with a voice that was clearly “experiencing difficulties”. I proceeded to contact her management and let them know that as a Vocal Repair Specialist I could help her. Their response was that the reason for her poor performance was anxiety over a dress that she supposedly did not receive until a few minutes before she was scheduled to go on stage! This, in my opinion, was a very irresponsible reply. Unfortunately, when a performer has lost her voice, the managers can simply get a new client but the singer has lost everything. I could have helped her protect her voice for a fraction of the cost of the very dress that was supposedly causing her to sing out of key and crack on every low and high note. Again, this type of response is the norm rather than the exception. I suspect that one reason that vocal technique is not really recognized by people in the music business is because there is no one, true established technique that is accepted by everyone.
      However, I am encouraged that a safe voice revolution truly has begun. The increasing acceptance of the importance of my profession attests to it. One of the greatest truisms is that sometimes bad things that happen to you are actually just what you need. I would like to note that even though I can make a decent living repairing damaged voices and I believe that helping the sick is the most honourable thing a person can do, my preference is to work with healthy voices. In many ways, I would compare myself to a builder who prefers to build a castle with good marble instead of cracked and chipped bricks. Too often I have to work with the latter but I find solace in the fact that a Safe Voice Revolution is truly picking up steam. So until next time, practice safe (and correct) singing.

      R-09


      Pristine 24-Bit Recording to Go

      Introducing the latest addition to Edirol’s red-hot portable recorder lineup: the R-09. Building on the success of the R-1, the R-09 takes many of the most desired features — 24-bit uncompressed recording and a built-in stereo mic — and shrinks it all down into a more streamlined, stylish, and affordable package.

      -24-bit/48kHz (or 44.1kHz) uncompressed recording
      -Up to 320kbps MP3 playback and recording
      -Records to SD card (64MB card included)
      -High-grade stereo condenser microphone built in
      -Mic and Line audio inputs; USB I/O
      -Easy operation, user-friendly graphic display
      -Ultra portable, half the size of the R-1
      -Long battery life

      Crystal-Clear Capture
      It’s ultra small and looks like a gadget, but make no mistake — the R-09 is a serious, top-quality professional recorder with time-stamp capability. Capture source material at a crystal-clean 24-bit resolution with your choice of 44.1 or 48kHz sample rates. Record and play back in MP3 format as well (up to 320kbps). Once recorded, files can be monitored through the R-09’s headphone jack and/or exported to a computer via USB.

      Microphone Included
      To record audio into the R-09, there’s no extra gear to buy or no cables to connect. A quality stereo microphone is built right into the unit, complete with a dedicated input control, mono/stereo selector, low-cut filter, and gain boost. Just point and record! The R-09 also offers a mic input.

      Sweetening
      The R-09 is more affordable than its predecessor, the R-1. One reason the R-1 carries a heavier price tag is because of its well-stocked lineup of internal effects. The R-09 isn’t devoid of effects, however. It contains the world’s most-requested/desired effect: reverb. Whether you’re listening to WAV or MP3 files, you can route the R-09’s playback through its internal reverb processor, immersing it in lush, user-controllable ambience.

      More Than Music
      The R-09 is perfect for recording live music events, recitals, and rehearsals. It’s also handy as a songwriter’s sketchpad, ensuring that no moment of inspiration is lost. But the R-09 has many valuable uses outside of the music world as well. Students can use it to record lectures. Broadcasters and journalists can throw away their antiquated cassette recorders and use the R-09 for in-the-field interviews — the audio-capturing applications are endless.

      Dimenions: 2-1/2 x 4-1/16 x 1-3/16 in. (62.6 x 102 x 29.1 mm)
      Weight: 6 oz. (145 g) including batteries and memory card

      Training the ear

      Acquiring sensitivity to the subtleties of musical texture is essential to singing.

      The transition from good singer to fantastic singer is often to do with learning to hear everything that is actually happening in the music and one's voice. Many good singers, riding on large amounts of natural ability, cannot offer their audience the something extra which comes with understanding. For that matter, not all audience members appreciate higher quality either. But studying music formally is expensive, and requires time and effort, so not everyone gets the opportunity. But for those who do, there are a wide range of aural exercises to do with clapping rhythms, identifying intervals, analysing melodies, hearing chord progressions, which will bring out more of their sensitivity and comprehension of music. This will lead to interesting phrasing, variety in colour, ability to harmonise and staying in tune, even when the performer is tired.

      Phrasing

      Million dollar phrasing the Britney way.

      Creating musical phrases that are appealing and fit the style is an artform that can only be acquired gradually. Listening to great singers is one way, learning to read music and understand the way music is structured by songwriters and composers is another. Often thinking how an actor would deliver the lyrics if they were a line in a play is another useful approach. Words come from speech, and even though singers have to make changes so that the sound quality is maximised, going back to the origins of the words is good for keeping the essence of communication. Good breath control opens up many additional possibilities in phrasing, as does developing a strong sense of rhythm and tuning.

      Articulation of Clear Vowels

      How to pronounce words with clear, open, pure vowels.

      This is a very technical area that is very hard to explain without being physically present with the student. Briefly, to be a good singer, you have to learn to pronounce words with clear, open, pure vowels. For most students this means learning to say words with much more energy and vibrancy than the normal way they speak. Not only will the audience understand better what you are singing, but the sound itself will be aesthetically more pleasing, (even to someone who doesn't understand English). Our language is remarkably complicated, in terms of meanings, spelling and pronounciation, and the odds that the way you learned to speak as a child happens to be the most efficient use of the voice are fairly small. Projection is another way to approach this problem, as vowels that are forward and bright to the singer will carry well, and sound attractive (clean and open) to the listener.

      Opening the Throat

      Opening the throat is perhaps the second most important technical issue in singing.

      Opening the throat while you sing achieves two results:

      It relaxes the voice and allows the vocal folds to vibrate freely and comfortably, even on high notes, where there is a natural tendency to force the voice to operate. (Forcing the voice is almost never a good idea, as you will sound fairly awful and eventually destroy your voice. A lot of singers have had early ends to their careers once they were performing regularly, because they didn't have enough training to protect the instrument, especially in Rock music. This also used to be a common problem in Opera, where attractive young singers would accept roles they weren't ready for vocally, but nowadays there is much more awareness of the need to gradually build up to certain levels of singing, even once one is already a professional singer).

      The extra space created by opening the throat while singing adds resonance to the voice, which makes it richer and more beautiful. Especially in the high voice, where notes tend to be thin naturally, many harmonics can be added to the sound, in the same way recording studios add reverb and echo effects to Pop voices. Of course the richer the singer sounds by themself, the more that can be added to the sound in the recording studio. How to open the throat and sing at the same time? There are several approaches, most of them requiring patience and persistence. It isn't a question of open versus closed, but a question of degree of amplification. The simplest way for most students is to yawn and sing at the same time. A similar approach is to gasp as though surprised, and keep the muscles of the neck flexed in an outward direction while you sing. The higher you sing, the more important throat opening techniques are.

      Breath Support

      Breath support is the single most important issue in singing.


      Soundwaves are created by causing air to flow through the vocal folds. The more air that is converted to sound by the vocal folds as they vibrate, the more sound will be created. This means both a more powerful voice, and a more beautiful voice. While such an important part of singing technique has many facets, initially it is best to work on maximising the amount of air getting into the lungs before each phrase, and then using as much of that stored energy when you sing as possible. To get the feel of this, I normally teach my students a breathing exercise called the "Hissing Cycle". This has 4 steps:


      1. Breathe in strongly through the mouth, and fill up the five primary areas of inhalation - the stomach area; the lower ribs on both sides; and both sides of the spine in the lower back region. ie expand these 5 areas outwards.

      2. After your lungs feel completely full, pretend you are compressing even more gasps of air into the lungs, as though you are blowing up a balloon inside your stomach until it is about to burst.

      3. Hiss the air out quickly, making a loud sound like a snake, or air escaping from a tyre. The jaw should feel loose, but the tongue behind the teeth creates some resistance, so you really have to push hard with the stomach to get the air out.

      4. After you have emptied your lungs, keep hissing or trying to for another 5 quick pushes. This will really work the abdominal muscles that are used in singing. The muscles that are hurting are the ones you need to strengthen and use every time you sing. Don't stop even though you feel you will expire - it is the muscles you access at the extremes of this exercise that become the major breath support muscles.

      Most beginners go blue in the face or feel light-headed when they start practicing the hissing. This is normal - take it easy and build up your abdominal stamina gradually. If you practice the Hissing Cycle everyday for 5 minutes, within two weeks you should start to notice an improvement in the quality of your singing.

      Source

      Psychology of Vocal Performance

      by Diana Yampolsky, a Toronto-based Vocal Coach/Consultant. The Article Is As Written by Diana Yampolsky by cleverjoe.com

      In this column, I would like to talk about something human psychology-related. When I speak at Music Conferences, I often make the statement that vocal coaching is not really about working on the voice, it is about working on the mind. I like to think that one reason that I have been successful over the years is that while I did receive a very comprehensive musical education, I have also tried to learn things from other scientific and artistic disciplines and use them to enhance my capabilities as a Vocal Coach/Consultant.

      One field that has bearing on pretty much every human endeavour, including singing, is Behavioral Psychology. In 1891, the Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov conducted a series of experiments using dogs to prove that behaviours are conditioned over time via repetition. In essence, he programmed the dog’s brains so that they would react in the exact manner in which he wanted them to.

      For example, if he wanted the dog to learn the command to sit, he had to say it with a very firm voice and put the dog into a sitting position – always rewarding the dog with a treat. Eventually, the dog learned the command and with the command “sit” would do it himself while salivating, obviously at first expecting the treat. Pavlov proved that their saliva was produced in anticipation of the reward. Furthermore, the dog does not know any language. The Russian master would command “Sit” in the Russian language, the Japanese in Japanese, etc. The dog recognizes the sound and responds accordingly.
      Now let’s suppose that the dog got into an obedience school in which the masters weren’t sure of what command to give and what response they wanted to receive. With the command ‘sit’, they were making the dog ‘lie’. With the command ‘lie’ they were making the dog run and so on. The dog would get completely confused and not know what to do anymore. Furthermore, let’s say the dog then enrolled in a different obedience school and the new master started giving him the correct commands. The new master would be perplexed – he couldn’t understand why the dog was lying when he was commanding the dog to sit and why the dog was running when it was commanded to lie. Obviously, the signals were mixed up.

      With vocal coaching, I meet the similar situation every hour of every day. Many singers have mixed signals and “run” when they should “lie”. To recondition the mind and the response of the body is not an easy task, but it can be done; however, in a lot of cases with a great degree of difficulty. Therefore, I am use a structured set of speech and singing exercises to condition the mind and body to work in synchronicity and synergy. In many ways, what I am doing is similar to another scientific methodology - neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which is basically a methodology that has been designed to help people change and reprogram people’s behaviours by “installing” a certain set of instructions into their brains. Similarly, I have found that while all people are given a voice, nobody per se has given instructions on how to use it, at least not in a scientific way. The “manual” and “programs” that I give singers consist of special speech and singing exercises that train people in a way that is really not all that different from the way that Pavlov trained his dogs. After I have supervised the repetition of these exercises over a consistent but relatively short period of time, the way that singers use their voices are the result of a programmed instinct that will give them optimum results with a minimum amount of effort.

      In many instances, the hardest part of improving an individual’s performance is not “programming” the new behaviours, it is actually getting the singer to truly admit and, more importantly, understand that they have a problem. I call this the “Vocaholics Anonymous” syndrome because in many ways it is similar to the behaviour of an alcoholic with respect to alcohol. Alcoholics abuse their bodies through the excessive consumption of alcohol in a manner similar to the way that many singers abuse their vocal chords (and ultimately the ears of their audiences). In both cases, they usually feel pretty sore the next day. Similarly, both are often told by friends and family that they have a problem but they usually do not listen and cannot admit to themselves that they have a problem. The first step for any recovering alcoholic is for them to admit to themself that they have a problem. For a “vocaholic’ the steps are pretty much the same. The singer first has to admit to himself that his current vocal technique (or lack thereof) is a problem. The 2nd step is to commit to doing something about it. The 3rd step is to get expert help and the 4th is to be able to establish the proper habit so that they won’t fall back into their bad habits. As with alcoholism, the goal of any vocal coach should be to cure their students of their bad habits to the point that there is no chance they will ever fall back into their old habits.

      In conclusion, singing, like almost any other discipline, is based on conditioning. If your voice is conditioned the right way, you will sound better than you ever imagined possible. Like a dog, you need a competent master and a great obedience school. For more insights into how you can correctly condition your voice and mind, look for my future columns, visit my website at www.vocalscience.com , and look out for my upcoming 2nd book, Vocal Science II – Flight from the Virtual Music to Reality.

      Voice Repair - Get Excited! We Have the Tools!

      by Diana Yampolsky, a Toronto-based Vocal Coach/Consultant.
      The Article Is As Written by Diana Yampolsky by cleverjoe.com

      In this article, I would like to talk a little bit about how to deal with voice problems. As much as I wish it wasn’t the case, most untrained singers put unnecessary strain on their vocal chords and will as a result damage their voices.

      Most untrained singers put unnecessary strain on their vocal chords and will as a result damage their voices.

      This is especially true for rock ‘n roll singers who often strain to hit high notes to cut through the sound of distorted guitars and heavy drums. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard amateur singers say that their throat is sore for quite a few days after a practice. And the problem is actually worse for professional but untrained singers; they go on long tours and have to sing every night in a smoky environment. These are the singers that you hear about having to cancel tour dates because their voices are giving out and hurting to the degree that they simply cannot perform.
      The fact of the matter is that your voice should never feel sore the day after a performance or any time due to the act of singing. You should be able to sing for at least 4-5 hours every night seven days a week and never feel even a slight discomfort in your throat. God forbid you have damaged your voice, but if that’s the case, the first thing you need to be aware of is that in most instances your voice can be cured with special vocal exercises and specific herbal remedies. Only in the very most serious instances should surgery even be considered!

      Firstly, I recommend the use of natural herbs to counter the damage that has already been done to a singer’s vocal anatomy. All of the herbs that I recommend for my clientele are produced by a company called Nature’s Sunshine. I have tested quite a few others, but Nature’s Sunshine’s products are, in my opinion, by far the best. IGS 2 is a herb that will strengthen and repair your entire vocal anatomy: larynx, vocal chords, vocal box etc. Echinicea and Golden Seal coats the voice and softens the vocal box tissues. Licorice Root is a herb that is widely used by many cultures around the world; it works to restore the voice AND helps an individual’s emotional state, as it works on the adrenal glands which are responsible for the emotional state of a human being. This is a very important point. Most people assume that vocal problems are the result of straining the voice to the point of physical damage and they often are, but, vocal problems can also be related to emotions as well.
      As I mentioned in my first book, Vocal Science – Flight to the Universe, when I work with my students, quite a lot of my time is spent dealing with repressed emotions and hurts which inhibit the voice and prevent the singer from reaching their full potential. For this reason, I often offer my clients special herbal remedies which will help them put their emotions in balance and, thus, free their voices.

      Both KCX and Kelp are herbs that nurture the thyroid, which plays a major role in voice delivery. Furthermore, as I have said time and time again, your voice is your instrument. Therefore, I also often recommend herbs such as Stress Formula and IMM-C, which boost and strengthen the immune system. Also, as I mentioned before, diet is very important to the recovery and general performance of your voice. For this reason, I suggest to my clientele that they try not eat any of the following types of food: spicy, sour, salty, acidic and consume as little dairy as possible.

      The other main part of the vocal repair equation are special voice repair exercises. I usually start out with speech exercises. After the client has mastered them, we move on to low pitch singing exercises, which I have found to be very therapeutic and healing.

      Once the voice has been repaired the next step is to teach the singer correct vocal technique to prevent damage from reoccurring again in the future. After all, you would not get a tire patched up and then go park on the same broken glass that caused the hole in the first place would you? This always has the pleasant side effect of improving the quality of singing as well.

      Total Voice Repair
      Most people always assume that voice repair is only about removing nodes and fixing the vocal chords, but what I call ‘Total Voice Repair’ means repairing your entire anatomy. Essentially, many of the things that the modern world presents us with – fast food, pollution, lack of physical exercise – have a detrimental effect on our bodies and thus on our voices. For example, recently a client contacted me about my voice repair services. When I first met her three things were obvious to me – she had done serious damage to her vocal box, her body was extremely “polluted” and, at least in part, the latter was responsible for the former. When I talk about someone being “polluted” what I am saying is that their body is essentially full of garbage. The colon is full of waste. The sinus cavity is clogged with mucous. In the case of this person she was also extremely overweight. The result of all this “pollution” is that the person’s immune system is weak and their energy level is low; which results in the vocal anatomy being even more susceptable to damage due to incorrect vocal technique. Therefore, in the case of this client, voice repair did not begin with her voice but with her body. A complete holistic body repair was required before we could even start on her voice. Again, the first thing I did was give her a lot of herbs, but not only the herbs related to the voice but also quite a few herbs that would cleanse her body of the toxins in her system. As I have mentioned in other chapters, great and safe singing is the result of an integration and synergy between a healthy overall body, a healthy vocal box and correct vocal technique.

      In conclusion, I would like to express my hope that you would never require any voice repair and will learn to speak and sing correctly before even attempting to make it through that long, nasty tour.



      Diana Yampolsky is a Toronto-based Vocal Coach/Consultant/Voice Repair Specialist. She is the creator of the Vocal ScienceTM Program, which has been designed to achieve Accelerated Vocal Development and guarantees to turn a beginner into a professional singer in a matter of hours. This technique focuses on the idea that the voice is an expression of the emotional, physical and spiritual state of the person singing and Diana therefore works not just on the voice but on the performer as a whole. The Royans School for the Musical Performing Arts (http://www.vocalscience.com) specializes in Accelerated Artist Development, including Vocal Coaching/Consulting, In Studio Vocal Production Expertise, Style Identification & Differentiation, Voice Repair and Psychology of Performance.

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