First I will apologize for the long long delay in posting to this blog. No excuses for 2016 !
Ok then, I did more singing and worked with more singers in 2015 than I have in many many years. Voices fascinate me, singers fascinate me, so its been anything but boring to witness. In particular I have heard a lot of mezzo belters all doing the contemporary Broadway repertoire (Wicked, Les Miz, etc). Long story short on who’s A team and who’s not ? — How much pressure is used to execute the sound.
In my technical work (and on line lessons) I talk about the exchange of pressure and release. The more release, the more ring. Once you start using too much pressure the sound gets tight and thin and you start losing cushion. Its like banging on the piano and the hammers hit the strings too hard. Its shrill and amateurish even though it doesn’t feel that way to the singer. Pushing the envelope and experimenting with pressure and color is definitely part of the game, but we learn quickly what the price is for yelling! 😉 One dead give away that you’re in need of more release is when everything starts to sound the same. If the minute you open your mouth you are engaged muscularly in the jaw, shoulders, chest and neck….well…..its gonna be a stiff rough ride. My piano teacher used to tell me I had to listen to myself with someone else’s ears. Not so easy to do! But thats the key, a chef needs to taste his food and musicians need to listen to themselves. Luckily almost every device we have can record and even video record, so , get cracking! Give a listen and give yourself a report card from someone else’s ears.
lesson 1 and G-Gotta get Warmed Up address release and cushion.