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ArtistWorks Vocal School Lessons: The 12 Stages of Developing as a Singer

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[MUSIC]
In the now rather extensive amount of
research that I have done on the voice and
the development of my method, I've found,
or boiled down to 12 different steps
which,
all together, are the complete development
of a singer from start to finish.
There is a reason for technique.
Once achieved, the developmental period of
time is actually over.
And it kind of balances out with
developing,
using, the using helps you develop more.
You understand more, you use more, you
develop more.
And it kinda goes around like that in sort
of a trio of one thing
helping the other, helping the other.
So, it's really difficult to say, and
impossible to,
that this would be true, that you just
develop and then all of a sudden you sing.
You develop, it gives you more, that leads
towards more development.
But I'm gonna break it down for you so you
have an overview of what
the full range of the 12 steps that I've
put together in fact are.
The first has to do with pitch accuracy.
Now I've had a lot of singers telling me
that they've been told they have bad
pitch or, you know, what they need to do.
And the reason why they wanna study my
method is because they need to get better
accuracy of, of pitch and they get pitchy
sometimes.
And if you watch American Idol or anything
like that, a lot of times,
the judge will say, oh, you know, that was
great, but you were pitchy.
What does that mean?
That means that the exact note, let's say
it's this one, [SOUND] right.
That you're just a little under or a
little over [SOUND] that note.
So it would be under, you probably know
would, under is flat and
over the note is sharp.
So you wouldn't actually have gone to this
one.
You would just be kinda in the crack
there, or again just above it.
And that clashes with the rest of the
music so,
comparatively that would make you sound
not so good.
The reason for singing off pitch, we'll
call it, or
pitchy, is not usually becau,
it isn't usually because the person, or
because you, can't hear it.
Sometimes that's true, and you have to
develop a person's musical awareness,
what's called ear training.
And even so, aspects of your training are
a wonderful thing to do.
Cuz you get more music savvy.
But more often, the reason for going
pitchy has to do with a mismatch of the,
of your effort in working with your body
as you're singing.
And there are certain things that you
would be doing at that point that would
cause muscle restriction, and make it
difficult for
your vocal folds to vibrate the way they
need to.
They're in here.
Cuz they have to vibrate at different
speeds for each pitch.
And we'll get into that more as we move
forward.
But not that you really need to know how
fast or slow they vibrate but
it's handy to know that they do.
So, pitch accuracy gets handled
by going through my curriculum.
The next one is understanding vocal
basics.
You know, you're not a robot, and if I
were just to say, do this, do that, and
I didn't give you enough of an explanation
as to why, what was it coming from,
you would not be able to really, fully
participate with the directions.
And it would be difficult for you to
problem solve for yourself.
So something weird happens with your voice
and you're left wondering why.
Well, that doesn't put you in control.
A singer who's confident knows they can
trust in the fact that,
when they open their mouth, what they've
imagined is in fact going to come out.
That gives you confidence.
Makes sense, right?
So, if you don't understand what's
happening,
you're left scratching your head and
feeling really like a victim.
I want to put you in the driver's seat.
So I'm gonna be educating you on certain
simple basics about how your voice works
so that you have an understanding and a
peace of mind about what you're doing.
And it will help you to know that the
exercises and
the different things that I have to offer
you in my method and in,
within this curriculum, make sense.
And they're worth your effort, they're
worth your time to, to practice, right?
Okay, now the next step has to do with
caring for your voice.
This is actually a pretty wide area.
Probably and possibly wider than you might
immediately know.
And there is a specific section of my
curriculum in the school
which is going to address caring for your
voice.
The basic thing to know is since your
instrument is your body,
there are certain things that the body
responds to positively, and negatively,
which will either enhance how you sing or
make it more difficult.
So we'll take care of that in its own
section, as I mentioned.
Okay, so then there's developing natural
breath control.
And what I've done is I've,
through my research on the physiology of
the voice,
I've figured out the one thing which will
mess up
how the air, when you are singing,
how the air works in relation to your
voice.
In other words, you need air to sing,
right?
And there is this one thing which,
if you know, and you will, see I'm, I'm
kinda giving you a teaser here.
Okay so [LAUGH] there's this one thing
that I found,
it comes down to this just this one thing.
If you know what it is, and
you handle it, your breathing will be
taken care of for you.
You don't have to think about it,
you don't have to worry about it, you'll
know you can count on it.
And that will leave you free to express
yourself and
enjoy singing, rather than worrying about
your breathing and
having to think about it while you sing
and all of that.
We'll be getting to that, and I'm very
excited for getting into that with you.
Now, the next thing is thinking sound
correctly.
By which I mean not reaching up or pushing
down for pitch.
So here's an example.
When you reach up for pitch, like do you
think, actually,
that you have to reach in order to get a
higher note?
Because if you do, you'll start pulling
and pushing up,
and that does some weird things to the
muscles, and it makes it harder to sing.
So this you know, this is one of these,
one of these difficult to discover and
admit to yourself, that your creating a
problem for
which you're then having to deal with, but
you didn't realize
that you were the one who created the
problem from the begin with.
This note [SOUND] is neither high nor low.
It's just a note.
[SOUND] The only way you would end up
thinking that it's higher or
lower is by comparing it to a different
one and
having that as a definition, high or low.
[SOUND] See so, you sing this one and then
you go, okay compare this one to this one.
This one's lower.
Well, no, it's just another sound.
I've never found that thinking up or down
helps anybody when singing.
And if you just sing the sound, sing the
sound that
you wanna sing, it flows so much more
beautifully.
And okay, it's easier to say this than to
actually do it so of course,
I'm gonna be giving you more of an
understanding of that and
specific exercises to assist in that area
of breakthrough.
And you'll get to experience the
difference that it gives you.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
The next,
this is the 6th of 12th,
is developing the full
capacity of vocal function.
Being that your instrument is your body.
This has a lot to do with different
muscles,
most of which are actually internal.
In moving forward, we're going to find out
what are these parts.
It's simple, it's not gonna be really
complicated or anything like that.
Just simple basics and how best to develop
these muscle functions so that the muscles
that create the sounds of your voice are
working in harmony with each other.
Through the exercises that I've developed
this brings about
the communication of these muscles we sho,
I could say, and
the results show themselves, you will
find.
The 7th of the 12th steps is developing
vocal ease,
resonance, range, strength, power, and a
whole lot more.
This, again, comes about by the
development of your body instrument,
with specific exercises.
And, you're gonna have
a lot of fun with all the different kinds
of vocal exercises.
They're not particularly traditional, and,
you're get to make a lot of different
kinds of sounds.
Step 8 is working correctly, with the
mechanics of words.
You may not have looked at it this way, so
words are vowels and consonants.
Even if the language is Cantonese or
Italian, or
which is one of the Caribbean islands.
It doesn't matter what the language is,
there are certain realities to vowels, and
certain realities to consonants.
And they, you'll find them in any
language, as long as you know.
What those basic mechanics are.
The sounds of your voice have to do with
the vibrations of the vocal folds,
which are located right in here.
You can say, aah, or you can go [NOISE]
oops, [NOISE] just.
Air, right?
And tongue movement whereas aah, you feel
the vibration here.
Vowels are your voice.
Consonants, if incorrectly worked with,
will create muscle constriction and reduce
your voice.
There's a whole section to my curriculum
for you, where we'll dissect that, and
build on the truth of your voice as it has
to do with working with words,
which of course you're probably, going to
be doing a lot of when you sing a song.
So, definitely, need to address that.
The 9th step has to do with working with
style.
That's where the real fun begins, I think.
Cuz you may want to explore different
styles, discover your own style.
We're going to be doing all of that in
this curriculum.
The 10th set has to do with Song
Development and Expression.
What we could call performance technique
as an overall title,
performance technique.
So, how to choose a song?
What songs are right for you?
What styles of songs are right for you
musically.
Discovering what you like to do with your
voice, how you want to express yourself.
For those of you who have been doing it
for awhile
you may have already found something
you're happy with or
you might want to discover some new things
and make some, some further choices.
For those if you're just starting off,
we're going to explore this whole area,
and give you a lot of tools to use,
to find out what you like best, and what
you want to do with your voice.
And the thing is, you know, being an
artist and being a singer.
It's not a static sort of, thing where I
have found myself, and
life stops at that moment.
Artists are always developing, looking for
new things, new creations.
So I'm gonna provide you with tools that
will help you to have a longevity of,
of career, if you've are choosing this to
be a career, or a longevity of enjoyment.
The 11th step, almost done, is working
with microphones, and
your sound equipment.
Most singers end up stepping up to a mic.
And of course if, you know, if you're
gonna do this as a career or
you already are, you're already working
with, mics.
But, you know, there is some things to
know about microphones that I found
singers who are seasoned have,
have recorded platinum albums etc.
They don't know these things and I'm gonna
teach them to you, and
get you feeling really comfortable, and
confident using a microphone.
Cuz mic technique is its own thing, and
microphones are boy,
the industry has really expanded, as the
years have gone on.
So there are things to know about what's
the right mic for you?
And we'll get into that there's a whole
separate section in the, in my school for
you where we'll address all of that, and
it includes, as I mentioned sound
equipment.
What are the realities about it.
How to work with it smoothly, and
that has a lot to do with not only how
well you sing.
Because if you can't hear yourself, it's
really tough no matter how
great your technique is, and how
wonderful, and individual your voice is.
If you can't hear your, yourself back,
it's tough.
And you may have already had these
experiences.
I hate it.
Anyway there are tricks of the trade for
that, and I'll go over them all with you.
The final thing has to do with studio
recording technique, and
that is an art unto itself.
I have spent a lot of time developing
various tools,
approaches I work with singers on album
recordings.
And I've discovered certain things in the
studio which most engineers, and
producers actually don't know because, you
need to be a vocal specialist,
who also understands the mechanics of
recording and, the realities and
possibilities that go into recording.
To, to know all the, we,
well, at least what I consider to be the
tricks of the trade for that.
And how then, to really capture your best
performance,
get to a point where you can have a best
performance, and
capture it in a beautiful way on tape.
Because that's the way that you get your
word out, right?
Is by recording yourself.
And being able to put it up on video, on
YouTube, or
on any social media, and get recognition
as well, as have EPs, and
albums and download on iTunes, and all of
these wonderful things.
Those are the 12 steps.
[MUSIC]