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Country Vocals Lessons: The Power Belt

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The power belt.
Yes very powerful tool for any singer.
Something that's really great
to be able to pull out when
you're gonna deliver a rock and
roll song or
a country song with a lot of energy and
a lot of feist and a lot of emotion.
We're gonna work the part of our
voices that live at the very top of
our chest voice.
Our modal chest voice range, and
getting up into our head voice.
And making sure that we do
this without straining or
damaging our instrument.
Always keeping a strong
mountain pose in our base,
especially for the power belt.
You really get your power
from your base stance.
Because you engage muscles all
throughout your respiratory system,
all the way down to your pelvic floor.
Even your quads, your leg muscles.
You want to be nice and strong,
keeping your knees from locking.
You don't want to have locked knees,
so that you hyperventilate.
You want to keep your knees slightly bent.
And we're just going to
do a little bit of play,
little bit of exercise with
this part of our voices.
We’re gonna listen, very carefully and
study singers like
Barbara Streisand who has one
of the most seamless
power belts ever created.
Wonderful singer to listen to and
study Celine Dion.
For guys delivering a power belt, check
out Gary LeVox and the band Rascal Flatts,
Adam Levine of course from Maroon 5,
Freddie Mercury and Queen,
and of course one of my all-time
favorites, Stevie Wonder.
These are all artists who
really have mastered that
power belt without shredding
their instruments.
You can hear excellent control,
excellent manipulation of their resonance.
Where they're really extending their
chest voice into their head voice and
mixing the resonances from their head
voice approach into their chest voice.
And getting this really powerful
energy in these upper register notes,
still staying within their chest voice.
That's what we're studying,
that's what we're going for.
Keeping your powerful base stance,
being prepared to engage all
of your respiratory musculature,
all the way down your pelvic floor,
your legs, and
always keeping a lot of air freedom,
where you're inhaling,
really feel your rib cage expand
And keeping your shoulders,
and throat, and neck relaxed.
You wanna feel your air forward
in your mask, your tongue,
not dropping back into your throat.
Let's try a few exercises here.
Let's listen to this train beat in A.
We're gonna use that just to vocalize
a little bit with our power belt,
just for practice and fun.
[MUSIC]
Hey,
hey, hey.
We are gonna just use is the hey because
that vowel hey keeps us nice and
open, and keeps our air spinning forward,
and simulates a little bit of
that shout that we naturally
have that we can helpfully do.
Hey and get a lot of power and volume
as long as we keep our support here.
And I'm just gonna lead you
in some kind of call and
response, shout back and
forth on that hey, okay?
Here, play it again, Ian.
[MUSIC]
Hey,
hey, hey,
hey.
Have a third.
Hey, hey,
hey, hey,
hey.
How'd that feel?
You have no strain, you should feel
no strain, no tightness in your neck,
in your shoulders.
You should feel no fatigue in
your throat or your voice,
in your voice box or
your vocal chords whatsoever.
That is all well within your modal
chest voice, your speaking range.
And as long as you're
keeping your air forward,
you can think about sending that
air out through your eyeballs.
You should be able to
find that fairly easily.
For you male vocalists,
we have another backing track that is
attached to this lesson and a guide for
you to follow so that you can in a male
key practice in this same register.
Great work on your power belt, and
we've got some exercises attached to
this lesson so that you can play and
practice in this register or
working on these upper notes of
our chest voice mixing in
the resonance of our head voice.
So that we can comfortably and
healthfully work in our power belt tool.
You can work on these exercises
in several different keys and
start to really develop
this muscle memory.
Just make sure you keep in mind,
always warm up and
never work if something is hurting.
If you're uncomfortable or
anything is painful,
make sure you take a break and
revisit later.
Make sure that you're healthy but
as long as you're approaching it right and
you're staying relaxed and
you've got enough airflow and
you're not grabbing with your throat,
you shouldn't feel a lot of fatigue and
no pain as you explore and
exercise And develop the muscle
memory to work your power belt tool.
[MUSIC]