Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Frugal Voice Lessons At Home

A few years back I began taking voice lessons since I saw an ad for a teacher in our neighborhood that was only a mile away. She was very nice and very good at what she does, but I was much too impatient with the little that I was learning at each week's half-hour session. I began wondering how many thousands of dollars I would have to invest to really "get somewhere."

Singing Success CourseWith the internet providing so much to our lives these days I thought there should surely be some kind of answer out there to make this process simpler. After some hours of research I discovered Brett Manning's Singing Success Vocal Course for At-Home Study.

I wasn't interested in a professional career, but wanted to improve my voice to simply enjoy singing more. When I saw the potential with this course I knew it would meet all the desires I had and more.

This would be a good investment. One that I could learn from and allow others to borrow and learn also. I began imaging using it with my grandchildren (and I don't have any yet :-)

The only problem I had was that I didn't want to waste any money, so when I read I had six months to use the course and return it with no questions asked, I was ready to give it a try.

If you've got somebody in your family that wants to learn more about singing, this course offers methods that have been proven to be effective and much easier than the long process taken by most vocal instructors.

Increasing the vocal range is one of the huge benefits with this course because the technique used makes it possible. I have been quite surprised how much I have learn from the course and how much more I enjoy singing.

The nice thing is that I can use it when I want to. I don't have to make a commitment to weekly lessons. Since I love to garden I spend more time outdoors during that time of the year, but in the winter I love having things like this to focus on.

If you've also purchased this singing course, leave a comment below with your thoughts. I'd love to hear from others using it. I do have one friend who ordered it and enjoys it also. She too uses it as she wants to practice, feeling good about not "having to" do it when life holds other business to attend to.

Here's a few Q&A that Brett Manning answers:

Aren't voice lessons like pulling teeth? Every lesson I've had was a miserable experience where I was criticized for every little "wrong" thing I did.

Answer: You are so right. Unfortunately, most voice teachers are still training their students to look and sound like classical singers, using techniques that have nothing to do with developing a contemporary sound. That's why students who don't enjoy older styles of music often find voice lessons frustrating and fruitless. Brett Manning will never stifle your unique sound and style. In fact, the Singing Success Program provides tools and techniques that will allow you to sing with more style. Besides, who wants to listen to someone who sounds like every other "proper" singer?

Can I improve my tone quality?

Answer: Tone quality improves when the correct musculature is engaged in the singing process. Feel underneath your chin with your forefinger and slide it inwards to the point where your neck meets the muscles under your chin. Now swallow. Notice how your larynx (Adam's apple) raises up and the muscles under your chin tighten up as you swallow? These muscles that are engaged in the swallowing process are opposed to those engaged in the singing process. The use of these muscles while singing creates a myriad of problems that can take years to correct if left unchecked. For good tone quality, you must learn to sing without the outer muscles of the larynx. Doing so will set free your natural voice, drastically improving tone quality and ease of use. Naturally, the Singing Success Program contains techniques that will help you do this.

Is it really possible to teach style?

Answer: Until now, there really has not been a comprehensive system of teaching vocal style. There have been scales played to reflect certain genres, such as the Blues Scale, but that's really not enough. Brett Manning worked with hundreds of brilliant vocal stylists to co-develop training techniques based on their various skills. Using these techniques you can develop style skills so prolific that you'll be able to reinterpret any song you wish into a unique masterpiece. Think of it this way: As a singer, you are the artist and the final "painting" is up to you. Brett Manning's style training just gives you more colors to work with.

What's the proper way to clear my throat?

Answer: Some say that you should never clear your throat, but excess mucous inhibits free vocal cord coordination. The trick is to find a way to clear your throat without irritating it. Do a gentle "whispered cough" (without tone) and then swallow. Repeat. If this doesn't work, you need to deal with the excess mucous production. Squeeze a 1/4 of a lemon in a tall glass of water and sip over about 20 minutes. This should cut through a lot of the excess mucous. Furthermore, watch your dairy intake... especially cheese. You should never eat it on the day of a performance!

Are falsetto and head voice the same thing?

Answer: No. Falsetto is the lightest vocal production made by the human voice. It is limited in strength, dynamics and tonal variation. Usually, there is a considerable 'jump,' 'break' or 'disconnect' between your chest (speaking) voice and your falsetto.

Noted vocal coach and voice therapist Randy Buescher of Chicago defines falsetto as: "a coordination where the outer layer of the vocal cord (mucosa, i.e. internal skin or muscular covering) is vibrating, creating sound, but without engaging the actual musculature of the cord. Also, there exists no medial compression. In other words, during the vibratory cycle, the cords never fully approximate.

In head voice, the cords approximate, but the vibration of the cord moves away from the full depth of the vocal cord (chest voice) to a pattern that involves less and less depth of vocal cord as you ascend toward the top of your range. The highest notes of your range involve only the vocal ligament. However, there is no consensus among experts on the official definition of vocal registers."

Read more about Brett Manning's Singing Success Vocal Course for At-Home Study

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