Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pop Style Trick: Suspend Vocal Technique Momentarily

Some of the most amazing AND emotionally powerful contemporary vocalists out there have something in their bag of tricks you'd never guess could come from a trained singer. This pro trick is an illusion... the singer temporarily suspends and deliberately drops "vocal technique" out of their performance, giving the sense of quite casual and intimate conversation.

Like most illusions and abstract art, this trick can be poorly or expertly performed. And also like an magician or painter, the real genius is in the mastery of their control... in this case, vocal control. Again: It takes great vocal control to suspend support with complete control of how much and when... and when to bring support and power back in.

Check out this example of de-constructing technique from Cassandra Kubinski, an artist I consider an expert in the technique. Notice that you can still understand her even when she "unsupports".
Here's another video, this time a co-write with me.  singing "Still Breathing".

This is a great way to deliver lyrics with authentic emotion, and not just "sing". I consider it an important skill to master for many contemporary styles of singing.

What about you... do you do this? Do you do it deliberately?

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  • At February 3, 2010 at 11:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Judy, I'm not a trained singer but have sung for a few years in our church band. I have attempted this technique but quickly learned that it can place the whole thing "out of control" if you truly don't know what you're doing (like I discovered on the fly).

  • At February 3, 2010 at 1:33 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

    You are so right... you have to learn the rules well before you know how to break them well!


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