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Country Vocals Lessons: Fundamentals

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Country Vocals

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Country Vocals with Lari White. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Country Vocals Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
Singing isn't just about making sound,
it's the combination of your voice and
your ears that make a complete system.
There's no way that we
can perform as singers,
that we can deliver an intentional
purposeful vocalization,
unless we hear what is actually happening.
So it's just as critical to
being a great singer that you
be able to produce a sound.
It's just as critical that
you are able to hear,
that you're able to tune
into all the nuances and
different elements that define that sound,
that make you able to perceive differences
in color and tuning and pitch.
So, we're gonna very much work on not only
our ability to produce sound, but
our ability to listen, to hear.
So with that in mind,
knowing that you don't hear
your instrument the way everybody else
does, it's not like your playing a guitar.
A guitar player can play a guitar and
he's pretty much hearing what the audience
is hearing, right, but you don't.
As a singer you sing and
it's actually resonating in your head and
in your body, and you don't hear
it the way your audience does.
So, it's very important for
singers to be able to record them singing.
Record their instruments, so
that they at least can do a check on,
like a reality check or perspective check,
so that you can hear the playback and
hear what your instrument is
sounding like to your listeners.
So if you can grab any
kind of tape recorder,
I use to have a little cassette portable
player I took with me everywhere.
Now I put everything on my phone.
My Voice Memo app on my phone
holds song ideas, vocal melodies.
I mean, anything auditory lives
on my Voice Memos in my phone.
So, lots of free apps that
you can get to record.
You can use GarageBand if you
have it in your Mac or your iPad.
There are lots of opportunities and
devices that you can use to record.
Make sure you have something in your life
that will let you record your voice,
record your singing, and play it back.
So, as we're approaching
the next video submission,
we're gonna be thinking about
two qualities that are really
essential to the perception of
what our instrument sounds like.
One is tone or the color,
we usually speak of tone,
the tone of a sound and
use words like dark, like
[MUSIC],
that's a dark round tone.
[MUSIC]
We might use the word bright or
reedy to describe that tone.
So we're gonna be thinking about tone and
we're also gonna be
thinking about register.
Starting out here, we're gonna work
very much in our chest voice register.
What we call our chest voice or
modal voice.
It's the register that is very
near to your speaking register.
So wherever you comfortably speak, I speak
pretty naturally right around in here.
And if I sing,
if I turn those into pitches, and
actually sing tones
around my singing voice.
My speaking voice and my singing
voice are right in the same register,
then I am singing in my chest voice.
And we'll use that term a lot as we
work in these first few lessons.
Now, that doesn't mean that a melody
might take you out of your chest voice or
to the edge of your chest voice,
when you start getting up a little higher.
I just changed from my chest
voice into my head voice.
It's a little pure, a little softer,
and you can hear the change in quality.
Don't be afraid to change
from one register to another,
if you're comfortable with it.
A lot of us have a pretty marked
break between our chest voice and
our head voice.
And we're gonna work with that so we can
try to make it as seamless as possible,
but don't think about it right now,
just go ahead and sing.
And we're gonna move to the next
lesson with another video submission.
I want you to keep these things in mind.
Always go back to your good stance,
your relaxed instrument and lots of fuel.
And now we're gonna add just
the thought of tone and
which register you're gonna be working in.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
The other thing that we're gonna play with
very lightly,
it's not something that I want
you really thinking about
a whole lot right now.
But we're gonna talk
a little bit about register.
And I wanna acknowledge
that it's something that
most singers think a lot about.
And we're kind of conditioned to respond
American Idol moments and The Voice.
We're kind of conditioned, as listeners,
to get excited about someone
who can belt really high and
sing those high, powerful notes.
That's the practice of bringing
what we call your chest voice or
your speaking modal register, like
the register around where I'm speaking
right now,
which is around my speaking voice.
And I can put pitches to it and
I can sing it like this, and
it's in my modal or my chest voice.
And I can sing even a little higher and
make it really powerful.
So I've really stretched my ability
to sing in my chest voice or
my speaking register, but
really high and with a lot of power.
And that's kind of like a trick that
singers use to impress and
inspire a lot of excitement.
We're gonna get to that.
We're gonna talk about how to do that
healthfully and have fun with it.
And it not be something that
hurt you because if you don't
approach that the right way,
you can definitely damage your instrument.
We're gonna learn how
not to do any damage and
how to expand your chest
voice into that upper range.
Right now, all that's important is for
you to acknowledge yes,
there are these different registers.
Your chest voice is the register
we refer to, men and women,
as the singing register that lies right
around our speaking or modal range.
The next register above, and
it overlaps quite a bit with
the upper part of our chest voice,
we call our head voice.
And you can sing around
in your chest voice.
You can sing right around
in your speaking range,
and you can hear when you
get to the top of that.
And it goes it into
a slightly different tone.
So I just kind of did
a dramatic demonstration
of moving from my chest
voice into my head voice.
Those are the two registers that most
singers work in most frequently.
So, early on here, in these first
couple of video submissions,
I want you to just kind of be conscious,
be thinking,
be aware of singing in your chest voice.
And if you pop out of it,
if you move into a different tone,
if you move up into your head voice,
just try to think about it.
Don't stress about it,
don't work too hard to try to control it.
Just be aware at this point.
[MUSIC]