ANYONE CAN SING! or (Everything you've always wanted to know about singing that your voice teacher couldn't tell you!)
That's the title ... The Publisher's Representative told me he would put it on the shelf for $27. I had thought about it and told him I felt it needed a DVD of me demonstrating the "flexible breath-pressure on demand technique got support" (TM) would be hard for a student take the words on the page and put them into coordinated action, without some visual help. He said he wouldn't put a DVD in the book. I was kinda determined it should be there ... I suspect he thought I was nuts ... and I soon realized that he had good foundation for his opinion! I would have had it published 11 years ago, all 334 pages!
I read it's PRELUDE (little musical flavor, there!) a week ago and thought-for those of you who had utilized some/much of the technique on my site-you might find these words of some value, ergo ...
Over the past five decades, I have developed these concepts and technical approaches to vocal problems, herein contained, in order to impress upon the reader the importance and value of a Common Denominator technique of vocal training for all voices, male/female, high and low. I have done this with malice aforethought; done this diligently, purposefully, with my goal being to communicate to you the singular importance I ascribe to a given concept or thought and how critical is the specific and unique function each plays in the balance of the equation, the resultant of which constitutes the singing process.
The process of engaging each phrase, with a relentlessly crisp (not spastic or violent) commitment of impulse breath pressure, to start the first tone of the phrase (not unlike a horn player establishes his first tone with his embouchure in his mouth piece), and continuing that easy, flexible pressure throughout the rest of the phrase, while lifting and growing as the music dictates, certainly must be taken with dedication and seriousness. Ask yourself the question, "Where do you want the sound of your voice to go?" and answer "To the lifted last note at the end of the phrase!" In addition, I cannot stress too strongly my belief in the importance of absorbing this catechism into your memory banks, by memorizing the Axioms, the rules, and the words, of the process. By doing so and then, using the `rules’ to analyze, speaking them out loud, what you hear on the tape during playback with `objective’ ears, not with ears already `knowing’ what you did, i.e. “I know what it was I was trying to accomplish, so naturally I am predisposed to listen with the certainty of knowing what I will hear on the tape.”
One of the main axioms of Kevin Trudeau's MCGA Memory Course stresses “the conscious talking out loud to oneself to activate all areas of the brain which intensify the memory receptors and commit a particular thought to memory.” With this technique, in gear, when any given problem or difficulty arises and is identified on the tape-recorder, you can readily verbally scan your litany and lexicon to appropriately determine the problem and decide upon a course of action to achieve a proper solution. With perseverance, you will soon be amazed at how good you get at it! Approach the memorization of why things happen and how to fix them, as you would learn a role you were going to perform for MONEY! The hardest thing for me to do is to convince the impatient singer who just wants to sing during a lesson, the value of this foundation of the process, the nuts and bolts that make it all come together. Listed below are signposts to guide your working sessions on the technique:
1. Listen several times to really hear what you did. Your innate monitoring of the sound usually startles you into realizing that perhaps it wasn’t quite as you thought that ‘sound,’ that ‘word,’ that ‘phrase’ to be, so listen to it again… and yet again!
2. Run through the various given axioms that pertain to the particular difficulty you are having, take the problem apart and determine which Axioms apply.
3. Identify what it was you weren't able to achieve (i.e. you cracked on a high-note, were under pitch, you were unable to sustain through a phrase for lack of oxygen, etc.). Also, listen to what was well done. It is just as important!
4. Talk out loud, verbalizing what you should be thinking and run through the "How to" to determine what you forgot to think about for that particular problem (i.e. "Whenever you go higher, whether one note or an octave, you must do three things" crisply increase lift, the vowel goes tighter, brighter etc.)
5. Remember to lift crisply and grow through the first tone of every phrase, re-keying flexible support as demanded (particularly for high and low notes), and ending with a lifted last note of the phrase. Don't ever get bogged down and fixated on one particular function spot. There are always a number of things happening at the same time. Think them all through. Quite often that's the solution to the problem. You weren't crisply, flexibly lifting, etc.
Taking the time to commit these Axioms to memory will save you countless hours of frustration, flipping through these pages to find that particular solution for that particular problem, for that seemingly elusive concept on that even more elusive page.
The good news is to be found in the notes you will have taken and the outline you will have made. It shouldn't initially be longer than three or four pages, in outline form. Structure these concepts and Axioms with their own handles for easy memorization. They must be studied, for a few minutes each time, before you begin a working session. More often than not, it will remind you of a thing or two you forgot or with which you had trouble during your last session. It will probably trigger your memory banks eliciting an, "Oh, that's what I was forgetting to do the last time!" response from you. It will serve to remind you, to reinforce things you must think about while singing, prior to beginning your session, to stimulate a more immediate awareness of the delicate and intricate mechanics of the process known as Bel Canto singing.
Note: This book is redundantly redundant, by design! The more you read it, the more you say it out loud to yourself, the better you remember the solutions to each problem and can anticipate them as they show up!
The first seventy-one pages of the book are essentially autobiographical, albeit liberally spiced with vocal and conceptual tidbits. For those eager to jump right in and get your vocal chords hummin', I suggest you begin with Chapter Three, Getting Started, Page 79. Enjoy!
P. S. Since my first draft of this Prelude, I have had a revelation that might be of incalculable value to you in the reading and understanding of this book. I had agonized for a number of years about how best to illustrate my book, having found similar attempts at using pictures of people frozen in various attitudes and mouth positions to be non-informative and, in some cases, downright misleading. "Hey," say I to myself, "why not shoot a video to go with the book, with the author (me) illustrating and describing each of the concepts herein contained. How much better to see the How To sing by one who has not only written the book, but one who has been there, done that! It's a whole lot better than trying to pry it off a printed page." And myself answered, "Well, why not?" ... and it’s done!
CLICK LINKS BELOW TO VIEW PREVIOUS TIPS...
MY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION; SINGING AIDA WITH MY STUDENTS
MY FIRST JOB WAS IN EQUITY CHORUS, MUSIC CIRCUS
FRANCO CORELLI SHOULD HAVE SUNG MUCH LONGER
SO... YER SINGIN’ WELL ... HOW DO YOU GET ON STAGE?