Archive for December, 2011

Unable to sing

December 20, 2011


One’s ability to sing depends on many factors working together (that is, your body is working in harmony).  Probably the biggest cause of not being able to sing is a malfunction of one of these factors (thereby causing non-harmonious sounds).


To name a few:


  1. The connection between your hearing and your vocalizing.
  2. Your mind’s perception of your singing.
  3. The control of your vocal tract.
  4. The understanding of your vocal tract.
  5. The audience’s hearing.
  6. The type of music.
  7. Body tensions.
  8. Understanding of harmony.
  9. Singing emotional interpretation.
  10. Imagination.
  11. All the other things mentioned in the above postings.
  12. The voice itself—this may be worth only 40%, in light of the above.  (So, yes, if one is genetically gifted, he is 40% ahead.)


Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, and Louis Armstrong both have awful voice, as well as Nancy Sinatra—they did well though.


If you’ve tried all the other things mentioned in above postings, then this says you haven’t found the malfunctioning piece.   My guess is that what’s missing is somethings that is not well taught in standard singing methods.


Head uplifted

December 19, 2011

Head uplifted continually pulls on taut front of throat muscles and also stretches side of jaw muscles.

Also continually adjusts the tongue resting position.  Until this is done, tension will remain constantly.

December 18, 2011

“I feel like I use too much air too quickly, and it takes me a while to warm up to a point where I’m not running out of breath on phrases all the time.

Any good practice routines I could try?”


Running out of air is frequently due to exertion– that is, one is making more effort to sing louder, more sustained, better sounding, more range.   To preserve air, relax more throughout the entire vocal apparatus.   When the muscles of the vocal tract are relaxed, they can resonate far better, and this automatically increases the volume.   Also, greater relaxation enables for greater range.



December 5, 2011


To smile or not to smile….

Singing is usually a sublimated emotion weaved into a story FOR the audience– singing is not about self-created tones.

Smiling certainly has a number of advantages– it usually engages the audience, it probably does a number of things to relax the vocal apparatus, etc.–but smiling definitely doesn’t help a tragic or sorrowful tale. Most rock song have happy melody and sad lyrics and many if not most country songs are sad, so smiling is appropriate when both melody and lyrics are happy; maybe when one is thus, and inappropriate when neither is.

For rock, sometimes you should growl, for stage, sometimes you should frown…. you get the idea.

Expression that matches the desired emotional effect for the audience– not only will this help the audience, but because the body emotional expression matches the song emotional expression matches the audience perception of such emotion, and most importantly, match the intricate muscles nature designed to make such emotion. Singing should match the emotion as part of the story told– smiling is just one of these emotions.


December 5, 2011

Both are right in assessment, but neither described how correcting this.

A person tends to develop numerous posture bad habits, so by the time you’re learning how to sing, these postures AND their supporting muscles, myofascia, cartilage, glands, and perhaps even bones, tend to be set in patterns or taut in patterns. If one tries to quickly straighten one’s habitual bad posture, these pull on taut muscles and myofascia, etc., such that the tension is even greater, making singing worse. If one doesn’t straighten this, singing is always handicapped.

This is why one teacher is saying straighten your posture (she’s saying your posture is handicapping you), and the other teacher is saying if you straighten your posture, you will sing worse. Both are somewhat accurate.

The correct way, in my opinion, is to straighten out the long-term effect of bad posture. That is, your natural posture should be a singing posture. Seen this way, both teachers will say something like: 1. Your posture is good, we can proceed with how to sing. 2. Your natural posture is also your most relaxed posture.

How to do this will be described in my blog below.

Once your posture is good and natural, your breathing will be also good and natural.


December 5, 2011

Question on earplugs


Consider also Musicians earplugs. Regular earplugs affect frequencies heard, even though covering one ear shouldn’t affect as much, because the mind compensates.

Both Musicians and regular earplugs cause an occulsion (sp?) effect, which will make you think you’re bassier. You’ll need custom made earplugs for singers (about $200 and a skillful audiologist).

One unusual way of solving this, is to adjust for the DJ, by possibly pulling out custom made earplugs, if he doesn’t play so that you can hear your voice.

Lastly, hearing your voice is a trained skill. If you practice a bit, you’ll hear your voice despite the loud music.

The wide variety of singing methods

December 5, 2011


By Nathan…

“So I know we all have our preference when it comes to singing methodology. Some use SLS, CVT, TVS, RYV etc. The problem is that all of these 3 lettered abbreviations we swear by have very differents methods and opinions on, often, the same area. Rarely do you find that they all unanimously agree on any particular thing. I’ve been encountering this problem all over the place whilst at music school. Different teachers, following different methods, will teach different things to the same students, which leaves us all dazed and confused….”

Instead of trying to figure out what the right technique is, start with determining the message you’re trying to deliver to the audience. Ask the question, what’s your singing worth without the audience’s hearing?  It is well known that people hear emotional messaging surprisingly well.

So, instead of trying to create specific tones, start with actualizing your emotional message.   Then, set the emotional in rhythm with the music.  Then make the message melodic (and a little poetic)    These are easier steps, and are difficult as is.   But, actually, you will probably do well, because you’ve had a lifetime of practicing this, as you’ve already expressed emotionally simply growing up, and your vocal apparatus know how to do these.

So, the first step, in my opinion, is to get to know yourself (as above).  (Isn’t it interesting how ancient philosophical ideas are so true?)

The next step, is to get rid of tension, and I believe this is accomplished by straightening body posture.  Tension makes it very difficult to sing properly.  Again, this is a view of “Know Thyself”– that is know by ridding what shouldn’t be with you.

The above two steps may take some time, maybe even a few years– to know yourself isn’t so easy.

After learning these two, it then may be appropriate to learn some methods to enhance.  But ask the question again, if know thyself is true, shouldn’t you be able to know your own produced sounds?   And also, know how these sounds are produced?   That is, If you can hear properly, you’ll be able to adjust your singing accordingly.   (Simple things can be very difficult).

Focus on the simple things first– know thyself, hearing thyself, straighten posture  — singing will naturally follow (isn’t this what Buddhists also says, in a way?)

In summary, sing to the audience an emotional message they’ll understand first, then learn what’s stopping your emotional message from being tonal.