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ArtistWorks Vocal School Lessons: Orientation to Your Instrument

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[MUSIC].
Okay.
So, so far, we've taken a look at how the
actual voice itself works,
and I have, in fact, begun what I consider
to be your orientation to your instrument.
I've found that a lack of understanding of
the parts of the, the vocal instrument and
how they work is, in fact, the basis of
much confusion in the field of singing,
and is the stumbling block for many
singers as they attempt to enhance
their vocals and gain confidence with
their voice and their vocal performance.
It's really a foundational aspect, just
as,
to use the metaphor, when you are building
a building, if you so do so,
[LAUGH], do that, if the foundation of the
building isn't sound.
You can't really structure the rest
because it'll topple.
And so it is in developing the voice.
So now what we're going to do is take a
look at the other aspects
that build and create your vocal sound.
If you remember way earlier in our lessons
I had you feel your waist and
the torso and all of that.
In in just a lesson or two earlier, we
took a look at the vocal folds.
Let's take a look at where your fuel comes
from and what the parts of the body are.
I'm going to bring on a singer named
Marcus.
And he's going to help me as a bit of a
model.
Howdy.
>> Hi.
>> All right, so.
First thing I would like you to do, and
follow along with how
I have Marcus do this, is I want you to
find your collar bone.
Okay.
So, that's that collar bone and it starts
from the middle.
So feel where it sort of joins and trace
it until the shoulder.
That's how far it goes.
Up to here.
Just before the shoulder actually.
Okay.
So, that's the, that's the collarbone.
Now, we're gonna find your ribs.
So the first rib is just below the
collarbone.
And if you take your fingers and just roll
up and down,
just a little bit at a certain point, you
should feel a little sort of bump.
And that's the top rib.
I'm gonna show you a picture of the rib
cage in just a moment, but
I want you to feel it first.
Now, come to the center and
trace that center part down until it ends.
Each person has a longer or shorter
section here so
what it, wherever it ends on you is
wherever it ends.
And this part is called the sternum.
These body parts, really it's not
necessary for you to remember the names,
if you do, great, but most importantly
where things are is what we want to get.
Okay now, at the bottom of the sternum.
The, oh, and there's ribs totally here.
The rib cage starts getting shorter
really.
And you can feel the ends of the ribs.
Go ahead, do that.
And it forms a kind of an upside down V.
Go all the way.
And trace it til you find your waist.
Or what we could say is, pretty much the
last rib.
Okay now, if you've just been watching and
not doing.
I want you to rewind to the beginning of
this section and
do, go through these steps.
Because this is not a spectator sport.
As you know, singing is an involvement and
it's a physical activity, and
I'm trying to take information that if you
just saw on a page or
just were watching like a movie.
It, it doesn't end up being real to you,
and
I want you to find your instrument, not
see somebody elses.
So, we're just using some else's to help
guide what you're doing as you watch this.
Okay.
Now, I'm gonna turn Marcus around, and
notice his fingers are still at the bottom
of the rib cage there and now we're gonna
trace that bottom rib all the way back.
And find where the ribs actually end in
the back.
Now, there can tend to be thicker muscle
here and if you have a little
extra weight in the back there it might be
a little more difficult to feel but.
The next thing of importance is to know
where the ribs actually end,
and do they end before the spine or do
they end at the spine?
So take a moment, see what you can find.
And what do you think, you know, where
the, where the ribs actually end.
Where do they end.
[LAUGH] Okay.
Now I want you to feel your spine.
Good and actually the spine goes down into
what's called the tailbone and
then it goes all the way up to here.
Which isn't that important for us right
now.
But okay.
So that's good.
Now I want you to take a look at the
picture that shows first,
the front of the ribs.
And you'll notice where the sternum is.
It's labeled.
And how the ribs come to the sternum, and
they kind of weld in place there.
You'll notice there's no actual
articulation that shows
any kind of difference as it where between
the rib in the front and
how it connects to the sternum.
And you notice where the bottom of the
sternum is and
how the ribs sort of open in that upside
down V.
All right.
And then we're gonna take a look at
two other pictures which show the side of
the ribs.
They come around from the front, all the
way around and the back of the ribs.
And you'll notice that the ribs in fact do
fit into a side of the vertebrae of your
spine.
There's 12 pairs of ribs.
This part isn't that important, but I'll
tell you.
There's 12 pairs of ribs, one rib on
either side, 12 of them.
And so they fit on either side of the
vertebrae into 12 vertebrae.
Cool.
Now, we're not gonna take a look at
function and movement yet.
We're just finding the parts,
and then we're gonna talk about how they
interrelate.
And from there I'll be able to lead you
into a very exciting discovery.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Here's the next part.
So now you, you've got your ribs and you
see that they're connected to the spine.
And now we're gonna find your diaphragm.
So first [SOUND] don't go rushing off in
your house looking for it.
[LAUGH] it's, the diaphragm is a muscle
and if you have been around singers,
if you have been received any training or
people have given you directions on how to
sing or how to breath.
You probably have heard the word diaphragm
and
different directions relating to it, which
may or may not be correct.
But you'll get to figure that part out
once you understand it and
know where it is.
See, you really can't tell whether you
understand your instrument or
not just based on being told things to do
with it,
unless you understand the parts of it.
And then somebody can say, something to
you and you can go, you know what?
That does not make any sense, I'm not
going to follow that direction or oh, wow,
that makes total sense to me.
I will, that, you know, I can relate to
that.
So that's what we're working on right now.
Okay.
The diaphragm is a muscle and
it's only about a quarter of an inch
thick.
It is, if you were to imagine a kind of a,
it's not totally round, it's oblong.
Because the figure it fits inside of your
rib cage and
your ribs aren't round, they're, the
inside is more elongated.
It's kind of an oblong shape.
So, here's the miniature [LAUGH] part of
it.
And it has a rim, just like a bowl.
So a bowl has a rim and if you were to
take that bowl and
go upside-down, you'll see the top part of
it.
We're gonna find the rim first and
I want you to do this along with me
directing both you and Marcus.
So take your two index fingers.
First, find the bottom of your sternum.
Cool.
Now we're gonna go up about an inch from
there.
So, an inch is I measured my thumb.
An inch is that much.
Okay.
Now, I'm gonna take Marcus's hands and you
just keeping, using those fingers.
Good.
And here's the rim on the inside, of
course of the rib cage.
And this is an approximation, but it's
pretty darn close.
As it comes to the sides, it starts
sloping down.
Okay.
Let's turn you all the way around.
Actually, sideways first, sorry.
[LAUGH] All right.
So, it starts sloping lower and now turn
around the rest.
Good.
And I'm just gonna move your shirt a
little.
Okay.
Here's his waist and notice that his
fingers are two inches higher
that the waist and that's where your
fingers should be at this point.
It's about two inches higher.
This is still we're tracing the rim of
your diaphragm and where it's connected.
So, in the back, that's where it is and
sideways, I'm gonna come around with you
and
in the front it's here.
Thank you.
So notice that it's several inches
difference,
where the rim is connected in front versus
where it's connected in back.
[SOUND] All right.
So that's the rim and, and, this is a, a,
you know,
a rough approximation, but it's very, very
close.
And hopefully, you felt that on yourself,
so it's real to you.
All right.
Now, [SOUND] when the diaphragm, oh, the
diaphragm is a muscle.
Now muscles have two basic states.
One is relaxed, passive and the one is
active.
And you know, just like when you're laying
in bed,
you've got all these outer muscles.
But in that state of lying in bed, you
couldn't,
as well run a race or hop or skip.
You have to activate muscles, which start
occurring as you stand and
then you can do things with your legs and
the outer muscles of your body.
Dance around.
So because the diaphragm is a muscle, it
as well has these two different states.
When it's relaxed,
it's in a different position than when
it's in its active position.
So we're gonna find those two.
All right.
So we've got the rim here, but
like that upside-down bowl that I
mentioned,
the top, when it's relaxed is here.
Arms down.
Great.
Now, if you thought that your diaphragm
was here, you were misled,
because it ain't.
[LAUGH] These are your intestines.
There's a lot of organs underneath your
diaphragm.
So, if your diaphragm was down here, that
would put some of your organs in your
legs, which of course is a total
impossibility.
So here's where, when the diaphragm is
relaxed, it's here.
Don't go here, it's here.
I know this can be a shocker for some
people, perhaps you.
It was for me.
[LAUGH] All right.
So then that's relaxed and notice his
elbows,
basically are representing rib cage.
The ribs are down when the diaphragm is
relaxed.
When the, when the muscle of the diaphragm
goes active,
it's in a different position and
concurrent with that is the different
position for the ribs.
They lift and the diaphragm lowers and
stretches with the ribs, cuz remember the,
the diaphragm is connected to the ribs.
And it doesn't go all the way down here.
And in fact, that's a little low.
It's about an inch above the very bottom
of your sternum and
then ribs fall, diaphragm relaxes.
And it goes back to its relaxed position.
So, let's go through this together.
Okay.
We've got ribs down, that's your elbows
and
your diaphragm is relaxed and I'd like you
to exhale at this point.
[SOUND] Okay.
Now inhale.
Ribs raise, diaphragm flattens.
Make sure you don't go down below the
sternum and there's that position.
And now ribs fall, diaphragm relaxes and
goes back into its upside-down bowl
position.
You'll notice that there's a little
indentation here, so it's a double hump.
[LAUGH] And the reason why is there is a
tendon here,
because muscles connect to tendons and
there's a tendon right at the top.
So the muscle fiber comes here and it
connects here and
it makes a little dip and that's the only
reason why.
Took me years to figure that one out.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
We're gonna hook up
a couple of things further.
You can drop your arms for a moment.
Thanks.
[LAUGH] Okay, so you may have been told
that when you inhale,
you need to move your belly forward.
And when you exhale, the belly comes in.
There is some truth to that.
However, as part of that direction,
it might have been connected with your
breathing into your belly.
And you can't unless you have, excuse me
for saying so, gas.
But even so, you can't breath into your
belly.
There is no lung, there are no lungs
there.
And the lungs are the only receptacles of
the air that you inhale.
And, and we haven't gotten to them totally
yet, but, well a little earlier we did.
But we're gonna hook these all, all these
things together.
So when the diaphragm is in its relaxed
position, [NOISE], yep.
It's hard to do it with hands cuz they
have bones.
But, you know, this is sorta it.
[LAUGH] All the organs are in their
they're not really relaxed,
because they're not muscles, but they're
in their natural positions.
And then, when the diaphragm goes down, it
squishes them.
And again, they can't go into your legs.
So something has to happen with them as
they compress, and
they just nudge the belly forward a bit.
And that's why this is moving.
Then, when the ribs come down and the
diaphragm is made to relax.
Those organs start moving back to the
regular position and
they move the diaphragm up.
The diaphragm doesn't in this case doesn't
move itself up,
it's the raising organs that do it.
It'd be like having a cat that's asleep on
a table and or
a little tiny table and you want to raise
the cat's body.
The cat isn't raising its own body.
You could take the table and raise it or
lower it.
Or pick up the cat body and raise it and
lower it.
And in this case, it's the diaphragm
squishes the organs and
then it starts relaxing and isn't creating
pressure down on the organs.
So the organs raise it back up.
You got that?
Okay.
If not, just go through this demonstration
again.
It really helps.
I think you know, we all tend to be very
visually oriented to things.
And to demonstrate these principles that
are internal mysteries.
If you demonstrate them, they become
realer to you.
And it's not because you have to think
about this in order to have it happen.
This is how the body is designed to work.
But, if you've been told something that
works.
That has nothing to do with how this is
designed.
Then you start intruding thoughts and
maneuvers that are in
fact altering or attempting to alter the
natural process.
And gets it, it backfires on us when we do
that.
Okay.
So
that's that part, now let's find the
lungs.
So the top of the lungs are just below the
collarbone.
And there's two parts of the lobes,
they're called, right here.
And this being the bottom of the
diaphragm.
When it's relaxed that puts the lungs
right on top of the diaphragm.
[SOUND] They're as good as glued together.
So when the diaphragm
lowers and flattens out.
It pulls the bottom of the lungs down with
it.
So they're elongating a maximum amount,
about two inches.
This isn't a lot, but it, it's important
for
the reason why it's doing it, which we'll
get to in a moment.
Okay, and then, the ribs fall, diaphragm
relaxes, organs start raising it, and
they compress the lungs a bit.
And then, move back up.
Let's do that again.
You know, you don't have anybody's hands
on top of yours but just pretend.
Okay.
So this is happening.
The lungs get pulled down a little bit.
And now the lungs get pushed back up.
Okay here, just sideways.
You can lower, actually keep your arms in
here.
So in the back as we went over the
diaphragm is connected here.
The top of the lungs are equal to where
they are in the front, in the back.
They come all the way through.
And so, from here to here, that's the
lungs in the back.
We covered this earlier,
of course, you have more lungs in the back
that you do in the front.
And so that's the deal with your lungs.
The diaphragm moving down.
Just the top of it.
Let's take a look at some pictures of the
diaphragm.
So, you see the front view.
And the front view shows, you know, some
of the ribs, there, right?
And you see the top of the diaphragm.
When it's in its relaxed position that's
like that upside down bowl type of
position.
And take a look at how far up from the
bottom of the sternum the top
of the diaphragm is when it's relaxed.
Okay then we have two pictures that show
the crest,
the top of the diaphragm when it's
relaxed.
And all those dotted things above it.
Those are the lungs.
[LAUGH] And then, when the diaphragm is
lowered and the ribs are out,
the diaphragm is stretched, you see the
longs are lower in front.
And you can see the top of the diaphragm.
And where it, it becomes kinda equidistant
to where it's connected to
along the sternum line there and across
the front part of the rib cage.
Okey doke.
So, that's that.
Now let's put it together in terms of
function.
So, we're gonna be breathing during this
part.
I want you to put your hands back where
the diaphragm would be when it's relaxed,
and your elbows are down.
And I would like you to breathe through
your mouth for this.
So now breathe in, hands flattened, which
are your diaphragm,
and the elbows come out, that's your ribs.
And then breathe out, and we got them
coming back up, and oops,
a little bit high, and let's tuck your
thumbs in.
Okay.
And, breathe in, and flatten.
And breathe out.
Okie doak.
Good, you want to do it one more time.
Breathe in, and flatten.
Whoops.
And breathe out.
[SOUND] Cool.
All righty.
Thank you.
So, hang out.
We're not quite done.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
When you breathe in,
where does most of the air go?
If you said the back, you were right.
Are the ribs moveable bones?
Yes.
Thank you.
So any bone that moves, moves in a joint,
like your wrist, fingers, elbow, knee, you
know.
Any bone that moves, moves in a joint.
The ribs are moveable bones.
Where do they move from?
Hm.
Well, the first thing you would need to
figure out is
where are the joints to the ribs?
So, let's take one more look at the
picture of the front,
showing the sternum and the rib, ribcage
in the front, and then the side.
There's no break in those bones going
around.
And now let's take a look a the back.
Mm-hm, what do you think?
So there so see the spine and there's a
rib in each, right.
Okay, so this is how it goes.
Can you put your two fingers like this?
I'd like you to do this as well.
This is going to represent the side of a
vertebra.
And then take your index finger, and put
it,
insert it right here and then take a hold
of the front of your index finger.
Good so, you have a semi circle.
Thanks.
And, we're gonna keep that flat and then
I'm gonna move your hands.
You move your own.
So, when you inhale, do inhale as you do
this.
That's how the rib moves.
And then you exhale, [SOUND] it comes down
at a slight angle.
Good.
And it lifts, and it goes to a slight
angle.
And it drops.
And it goes down at a slight angle.
It moves in the joint.
That means that 12 vertebrae of your spine
act as joints for your ribs on both sides.
Now I'm gonna try and [LAUGH] do a duo
demonstration here.
Okay so Marcus' finger is gonna represent
a, the spine.
And here's a rib, here's a rib.
So both sides, right?
Hopefully.
[LAUGH] And there's after an exhale.
And then an inhale.
And then an exhale.
So, again, you're looking at the back and
doing this,
and then an inhale [SOUND] exhale [SOUND]
that's how it goes.
Notice that they don't go this way.
They don't bend back, and they don't come
forward.
So if anybody ever told you not to lift
your chest as you're inhaling,
the reason why is that's not how the ribs
move.
They move this way.
You can think of it as side to side.
Even though they're moving you know, up
and down really from here.
Okay, great.
So first question a moment ago that I ask
is when you breath in,
where does most do the air go?
And the answer was the back.
And then the next question is where do the
ribs move from, the front or the back?
Right.
The back.
And I think I already asked you, where do
you have the biggest part of the lungs?
The back.
When you breathe in where does most of the
air go, or where can it go?
The back.
Where do the ribs move from, the front or
the back?
The back.
Notice in this case, all roads lead to
Rome, your back.
And the back is extremely important for
breathing.
And if you're trying to breathe only from
here, your, it would be like
moving your arm by pulling your fingers
instead of just moving the arm directly.
So, you wanna breathe well.
It has to very much, and everything to do
with, are you letting
those ribs move the way that they're
designed to move, or are you altering it?
In which case it will hinder and alte, I
already said it, alter, and
it will actually limit the amount of air
that you're breathing, which just for
living life is a very important thing.
That in, that inhale, if it's happening
smoothly and,
and it's all aligned is helping to
keep your organs in good shape and all
kinds of, of good things.
So okay, I can't stress this part enough.
All right, so that's that.
And the one other thing.
And there is a picture I'd like you to now
take a look at which
shows the back of the ribs with the
muscles.
And you'll see on one side,
there's muscles, those are called the
lateral muscles.
A lot of people just know them as their
lats.
If you go to the gym, you might do
exercises for your lats, right?
Lat pull downs or something like that.
And that's supposed to be toning the
muscles that are here.
And you can feel them on yourself.
So, take your hands, you're gonna keep
your back there, but take your hands and
put them forward and then bend your
fingers backwards and
put them on the back part of your sides.
Now, these muscles move bones so these
muscles have a lot to
do with pulling those ribs up as part of
your inhale.
Go ahead and do that.
Inhale and feel it move here.
If you're pumping your chest, then you're
emphasizing as a default, a wrong place.
Let it open from here.
Uh-huh.
And re release the air, exhale.
And let those ribs drop.
Let's do that again.
Open your back, inhale.
Good.
And let them fall, exhale.
And one more time.
Do this through your mouth, it's more
direct.
Inhale, back opens.
Side to side.
Exhale those muscles.
Bring the ribs down.
Thank you.
Okay, so, when a muscle, when a muscle
works, it's active.
When a muscle stops working, it goes
passive.
The lats pull those mu, those ribs up and
then in order for
them to fall, the lats have to relax.
And there's a very thin membrane of
muscles on the internal part of your rib
cage called the internal intercostals.
You don't have to remember the name but
they assist the ribs in falling but
the muscles that help raise the ribs, or
cause the ribs to raise, have to relax.
If they don't relax, like if you're lats
did not relax after raising your ribs,
would your ribs fall?
No.
[LAUGH] Okay, sorry for
feeding you answers.
But this is, this is a, log that answer
and that, that idea.
We're gonna put that on the shelf because
we're gonna return to it.
It's a clue.
It's a clue to answer a problem that
everyone runs into when singing.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
If you happen to have an elastic
band around, you can use it as part of
this demonstration for yourself.
This is going to represent the diaphragm.
And you can see it's an upside down bowl.
Or, you know, upside down bowl position.
And that means it's relaxed.
My hands will represent the rib cage.
In order for the diaphragm to flatten, and
go into its active state, it also has to
stretch out.
If my hands did, didn't move, we'll call
this the diaphragm,
the diaphragm would actually not be able
to go down.
So, I'll run that past you again.
In order for the diaphragm to flatten, the
ribs need to do that.
My hands right, again represent the ribs.
Now, we've got the diaphragm in an active
state position.
The ribs are out.
What would have to happen to make the
diaphragm relax?
It's not gonna just relax on it's own.
If it's kept down and stretched that's
active.
So what would have to happen that would
make it not active?
Did I hear your answer?
Oh, did you say the ribs have to fall?
Right.
[SOUND] If the ribs don't fall,
the diaphragm will not relax.
That's another clue.
Put that on the shelf.
We're gonna return to it.
Okay.
So let's see.
When you inhale, the ribs lift.
What if the ribs didn't move?
Okay, I'll give you a little, a little,
sort of a story.
In the Amazon jungle, there's a snake
called the boa constrictor.
And the way [LAUGH] Sorry for the story,
but it'll get my point across.
The way that it, kills its food, which
happens to be small animals usually is
it wraps itself around the rib cage of the
animal and the animal dies of suffocation.
Humans tend to think of suffocation as
being, put a pillow on the nose or
a bag around your nose or something.
Which, of course blocks the, the,
the passage way, the opening of the
passage way for air.
But it's, it's I'm not trying to create
serial killers here, but,
but if you kept those ribs from moving,
you would not be able to inhale.
And you can try it on yourself, but you
have to be really savvy to this because
it's easy to sneak movement and you can
just put your hands here and
press down on your ribs and exhale,
exhale, exhale, exhale,
get rid of all your air, and then try to
inhale without letting your ribs move.
Oops, they moved.
Okay.
So, if you've tried that, and
I would like you to, it will drive the,
the message home.
So, how important is breathing to singing?
If you had no air, would you be able to
sing?
I mean, there's air around your body, but
if you had no air in your lungs,
would you be able to?
You can also test this out on yourself.
By doing what I just asked you to do.
[SOUND] Exhale, exhale, exhale.
Get rid of all that air, get rid of all
that air, get rid of all that air.
And then say hello.
Hello.
Maybe you can croak a last bit of sound
out, but that would be it.
Forget about singing.
So having some breath, at least, is the
first step.
If you have no fuel to trigger the
vibration of your vocal folds,
you won't make sound.
How much air is, do you need, that's a
separate story, and
we'll get to that a little later.
Not important for right now.
In one of the first videos of this series
of lessons when we were
looking at the vocal folds in their
different positions,
you know, open for breathing need to be
side by side and
the different lengths that have to vibrate
for sound.
I talked to you about the difference
between just an exhale
versus air regulation.
Okay.
Now, the drums are rolling because we're
getting to the hot part of this lesson.
Get ready, it's gonna be a good one.
Okay.
So, you don't have to be there going okay,
did I memorize everything that we just
covered?
It's cool.
I think you got it, but I'm gonna take
that information and
I'm gonna lead it forward, and I'm gonna
put it in a, in a certain,
make something very real to you,
which is when you sing do you need,
what we're gonna define as exhaled air, or
we could call it pushed out air?
Or do you need regulated air?
Right.
It's the regulated air that you need for
singing, not the pushed out air.
So let's take a look at what pushes your
air out?
Because, since you don't need pushed out
air,
whatever happens to push that air out, we
would not need to have occur.
That's the key.
It's a double key, really.
You'll see what I mean.
Okay, so we've got, when the ribs, oh, you
need to know one other thing.
The lungs, in a certain way, I'll stick
this into my belt for
a moment, the lungs, in a certain way, are
connected to the inside of the ribs.
They don't float free of them.
Which means that when the ribs do this,
what are they doing to your lungs?
Yeah, they're pulling them open.
That's what pulls air in.
And that's why, if you don't let your ribs
move,
air will not get pulled in, you will not
inhale.
If you move your belly, you will be kind
of manipulating the diaphragm a tincy bit,
and you'll breathe a li, in a little.
But it won't utilize the lungs properly.
And again, it would be like pulling your
fingers in order to move your arm
rather than just moving the arm directly.
So ribs do this.
They're pulling open the lungs.
Air is being brought in, on an inhale.
Note, it's not the inhale that moves the
ribs, it's the other way around.
That creates the inhale.
So what would have to happen for the
exhale?
Right.
The ribs have to fall.
So when the ribs fall what do they do to
your lungs?
And the air in it?
Yeah.
They squoosh your lungs and
push the air out.
[SOUND] Okay let's do this together.
I want you to inhale.
Put your hands like this, they're the
ribs.
[SOUND] Good and exhale.
[SOUND] Good.
Inhale.
[SOUND] and exhale.
[SOUND] That's called pushed out air.
Why?
Because, first of all, coordinated with
that, your vocal folds are open.
The air is exiting.
There's no purpose for the air stream and,
you're not getting regulated air by the
ribs squishing it out of your lungs.
It's just pushing it out.
If they fall slower, it's still pushed out
air.
If they fall faster, it's just faster
pushed out air.
That's the only difference.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Tell me again.
When you sing, do you need pushed out air
or do you need regulated air?
Okay.
You need regulated air.
When your ribs fall, do they give you
regulated air or pushed out air?
Correct.
They squeeze the lungs.
They push the air out.
Period.
Period, period.
That's cause and effect.
So, when you sing, since you don't need
regulated air,
do you need your ribs to fall?
All right, if you got confused right
there, let's track it again.
So when the ribs fall, are they pushing
out air or regulating air?
It doesn't matter whether it's slow or
fast.
The cause and effect is that it pushes out
air.
And when you sing, do you need pushed out
air?
Right, no.
You need regulated air.
So since the falling ribs push air out and
you need regulated air, we haven't gotten
to how yet, just you don't need this.
So do you need your ribs to fall?
Go with me.
Leap of faith.
But it should be real enough to you right
now.
And the answer is, no, you don't need your
ribs to fall,
because that gives you something that you
don't need or want when you sing.
And this actually creates the major
problem for
any person who isn't experiencing a full
release,
easy access to their voice, able to do
anything you wanna do.
The start of it is too much air pressure
against
which muscles need to react, because what
happens is this.
I'll, I'll dramatize it for you.
The ribs fall, squeeze the lungs, push air
out,
the vocal folds get themselves ready to
vibrate for you, and
all the sudden they look down and they see
this tidal wave of air, and they go, aah!
And so, but oh, but they, I was still told
that I have to vibrate for this note.
But there's too much air.
Okay, what do we do?
Tense [LAUGH].
So instinctively, muscles start reacting
to that extra pressure of air.
And either that air is gonna blast
through,
you ever have a crack in your voice?
Or you attempt a certain note and you feel
like you can't quite get it?
And you're pushing, and all this.
That's just too much air.
It's true that you do need to also
exercise the vocal muscles so
they can do everything that they're born
to be able to do for you.
But if you've got too much air pressure,
it starts a whole chain reaction of muscle
tension.
And anybody can come along and say, oh
you're singing from your throat.
You need to relax your throat.
But meanwhile, if you haven't handled this
factor of too much air pressing against
those vocal folds it sounds lovely to go,
oh yeah I wish I could relax, you know,
but you can't.
This has to be solved first.
So here comes the drum roll again.
How in the world do we handle this?
Okay.
We've eliminated one thing on leap of
faith.
You do not need your ribs to fall when you
sing
because that gives you the wrong kind of
air.
So then, how do ya get a regulated air
stream?
And it needs to be of course in a way that
answers the question,
is the body actually designed to regulate
the air for us?
Or do we need to be manipulating it,
and reg, trying to move our belly around
you know, or whatever?
And so.
We want to be able to sing without
thinking about breathing and
here's the answer to that.
Which means, yes, we don't have to.
There's a muscle.
What do your lungs sit on?
Uh-huh, it's your diaphragm.
[LAUGH]
So.
When a, when a muscle is in an active
state it is capable of function.
When a muscle is in an active state, it is
capable of function.
The lung sit on top of the diaphragm.
What position does the diaphragm need to
be in for it to be in an active state?
This one.
Well, when it's like that, what position
are your ribs in?
Aha, stretched.
Open.
What would make your diaphragm relax?
Hm.
Falling ribs.
So the falling ribs push air out and take
away the active state of your diaphragm.
It's made to relax.
If you kept your ribs expanded,
the diaphragm would stay stretched in an
active state.
You start singing, and lo and behold,
you find out it has a natural, automatic
role in the process for singing.
And it regulates your air by changing tiny
little pressures
against your lungs, not pushing air out,
regulating it.
So that every degree of air that's needed
to just trigger the vocal folds
into vibration will happen without you
having to think about it.
All you have to do is decide what you
wanna sing.
Cool.
The next question is how in the world do
you achieve that?
And that will be our next lesson.
[MUSIC]