Posture and Singing, response to Sally

Thank you Sally,

The basics are as you state below. www.themodernvocalist.com/group/detense May I add a few more matters:

How a problem originates and how to solve these may be strangely different. And in dealing with people, we’re also dealing with areas such as compulsion and the subconscious–these affect posture in unexpected ways as well. VocalPosture.com will explain how many of the suppressed emotions are manifested in and can be corrected by posture alignment methods.

Having said this, and agreeing with you on the basics–here’s what I’m suggesting are to be added:

1. Eastern therapeutic arts are good at restoring posture–they’ve been doing this for thousands of years.
2. If the posture is tilted, the sound travels to the ear through the bones and oral cavity differently– one doesn’t hear oneself accurately when the posture is not optimal. You may be correct in that one doesn’t also hear oneself accurately in relation to other people in all cases. I haven’t got to the stage where my posture is good enough that I can hear a recording and say that’s exactly the way I heard myself without the recording. However, as I straighten my posture, my self-hearing accuracy constantly improves.

 

Notice it is not possible to hear accurately just by simply straightening up one’s posture.   The prior posture had excessive tension and looseness– and when one postures up, the tonicity of these change.   The tensions should be gotten rid of first.   At least, this is my current hypothesis.

 

Also, much of hearing oneself is mental.   What I’m suggesting is that by correcting the posture to change one’s emotions, one can even mentally hear better.  In Hindu and Buddhist thought, this is alike seeing reality by getting rid of emotional bagge.  Instead, I’m suggesting hearing reality by getting rid of emotional baggage.

3. I don’t see good singing as comparable to speaking. There are lots of speaking skills used in singing that can create all kinds of effects, particularly subtle effects skills learned from daily speaking.  However, in my personal case, a full voice is rarely used in my speaking. My opinion is to first create a good resonanting cavity, then add singing skills, and then add talking nuances.

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One Response to “Posture and Singing, response to Sally”

  1. ronws Says:

    Amen to that. I find myself at odds with the sing like speaking path. Fact is, most people speak softly, wasting quite a bit of air, speaking falsetto, as it were. Low pressure on the cords. We learn it from our parents, to “talk softly.” Or we do so to mimic their speach and it becomes ingrained in our speach pathology. I’ve seen one actor do the reverse, to speak like you sing. That was actor William Shatner. I could see his midsection compress as he spoke lines. This, of course, from theater days, where you must project the voice because there were no mics. That habit carried into his movies and tv shows.

    Also, when singing, especially in different ranges, it is necessary to “modify” vowels, i.e., change vowel pronunciation. This is due, in part, to exactly what sound can resonate in what space. It’s a simple fact that some sounds resonate in a smaller space better than others. Plus, the shape of the mouth and throat when speaking a vowel is structurally different than what is required for a resonant note in singing. For example, when singing the lyric “sing me a song, you’re the singer,” you cannot sing that line as you speak it if you are at the correct pitch. The vowels don’t resonate at the part of the range in the head space provided. You have to sing it as “Seng me a song, yaw thaw sengah.” But you don’t pronounce it that way when speaking at a conversational volume and pitch. While it sounds funny at speaking level and even reading, when you sing it like that on pitch, it sounds like “sing me a song, you’re the singer” because of how those vowels sound after resonating. An auditory illusion, so to speak. Therefore, technically, you can’t sing as you speak. The only value of the exercise, in my opinion is to teach breath control.

    Speaking of that, you don’t speak with tension in the stomach muscles to hold back from using too much air but you must in singing, to avoid overblowing the cords. In fact, much of the mechanics of singing, as I feel them when doing so, are different than what I do when speaking. Which makes me wonder about the validity of that method. But some people swear by it. Then again, others swear by endless scales, which don’t necessarily teach you how to switch resonance. My warm-ups are non-standard, usually involving more stretching the face and soft vocalizations, sometimes with tri-tones (three notes to co-ordinate resonance and cord shifts). Most people hurt themselves singing by shouting because they are, in fact, trying to sing like they speak. This leads to more air pressure to go louder to reinforce the note, while using the relatively looser cord closure of speaking plus the resonance chamber of speaking which is subtley different than that of singing.

    Problem is, now, everyone is an “expert” and many a person has had some success singing with their own particular method and wish to make a career out of teaching that method. Granted, there may be some strain as muscles re-train. But essentially, if it hurts, don’t do it.

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