SINGERS’ EGDE WITH MAESTRO VIC
#5. THE NATURE OF THE HUMAN VOICE (PART 2)
Happy New Year to our entire esteemed Singers’ Edge fans all around the world. Indeed it’s been a long break for us, but we hope you have not stopped singing.
The nature of the human voice (part 2) is a continuation of our previous publication before the break. We shall start by examining in details types of voices, and certain factors that characterize the functionality of the human voice.
The two major types of voices are chest voice and head voice. The chest voice is your normal speaking and singing voice on a low frequency; while the head voice consist of pitch and falsetto. Most men sing with chest voice, while women, especially opera singers sing with the head voice.
FEATURES OF THE HUMAN VOICE
- The vocal cords are delicate; can be easily damaged by misuse or overuse. Some of the ways the voice can be misused or overused include:
- When you engage in excessive talking, shouting or quarrelling.
- When you sing on keys way above your vocal range and convenience.
- When you mimic or copy funny voices, animal voices or machinery sounds.
- When you speak with a high vocal intensity extensively. We shall explore more of this on wrong voice management habits.
- The voice is elastic in nature; it stretches as far as you want it to go. It has no definite limit; and its limit depends on what extent it is stretched in singing or vocal exercise. How you notice you have started gaining vocal elasticity is that keys that you could initially sing on comfortably gradually start becoming too low and uncomfortable. As a result, you find yourself trying some new keys including those keys that seemed too high for you. Furthermore, this also implies that every kind of voice textures whether husky, dim, loud, silky, etc, can also gain this vocal elasticity and expansion. And even ‘seemingly’ bad voice textures can transform into something uniquely appreciable. This is because the organs used for speech production and their features are basically the same in every human being. We shall explore some aerobic exercises that can enhance vocal flexibility in our subsequent publication.
- The deeper the voice, the higher the pitch.
Based on these unique vocal features, you must pay adequate attention to several voice management tips for your protection and healthy vocal lifestyle, because your voice is your most essential tool as a singer.
Also understand that in as much as we lay emphasis on vocal health, being a good singer is not always measured by how well your voice sounds or how well you can hit the high notes in your upper register; because the indices to ascertain a good singer also include other factors.
There are many iconic singers that are ironically not vocally endowed, but what has kept them outstanding is the fact that they have been able to create unique music brands that soothe their voice textures and style, and this has helped them traverse many continents of the world.
Creating your music brand cannot be done instantaneously, but through a systematic process known as modelling.
To model simply means to replicate or using something as a basis for related idea, a process or system. A singer sometimes learns what he knows by “feeling his way along,” listening to (and watching) other singers. In fact, most of us also learn how to sing just like that…listening to others sing. This method of learning is called…MODELLING.You simply watch, listen and learn. You try to replicate what you’re seeing and hearing. The person you watch serves as your role model.
Now you cannot pick a role model randomly. First, you must be certain of what you intend to achieve if you pick a particular artiste as your role model. When that is done, look out for materials (CDs or songs) of a singer within (or little bit above) your vocal category. When scoring their song, carefully observe the following:
- The vocal dynamics i.e. the different levels of vocal loudness, softness and flexibility the singer applies to the song.
- Vocal fills –this is used to cover up spaces to ensure the song is not stereotyped.
- Adlibs –is used to give direction in a song, especially during live performance with a team or back up vocalists. Adlibs can also be used to build the energy of the song.
- Attitude –this has to do with charisma including facial expression, tone of voice and bodily movements.
Afterwards, pick another simple song and try applying those styles you were able to get from the previous song. This exercise may not be easy to achieve initially, but at this stage you still need to work with a professional resource personnel to help you achieve this. If you carry out this exercise regularly, you will start noticing rapid improvement in your singing.
Choose a model and study their abilities, sing a couple of their songs and watch live footages. This is just to add to and boost your personal abilities. You must also create your brand and not lost into the personality of whoever you are modelling.
Forward questions bothering on this subject of discourse or on related topics to:
Look out for the first edition premiering on 10th November, 2014.
For bookings on seminars, talk-shows and grooming: