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!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Dance of The Melody: Secret To Memorizing Vocal Technique

 When we singers change our modus operande of singing to give us more ability, there's a bit of a paradox involved.
  • It takes a great deal of thought and conscious focusing to learn new breath, open throat and communication. We are after all, resetting our defaults as to how our voice operates. 
  • BUT... we can't commit to inspired vocal performance when we are thinking too much about how our voices are working.
The secret to getting this right is to learn what I call "the dance of the melody":

This is just like learning to dance... you memorize the moves. These moves I'm talking about are not overt choreography, they are mostly subtle inner adjustments. They way you learn them is, like dance, to practice them until you memorize these moves, which are different for each song and often for each verse and chorus. You must learn for instance...
  • when you need to elongate the vowel
  • when to get ready to use extra support,
  • how to coordinate breath for a high or low note coming up
  • when to move your head slightly, use your eyes, lift your brow, flare your nose, etc
  • how much to drop your jaw, 
  • when you need to back off the air pressure you're using
  •  when you  need to "deconstruct" and relax technique for casual effect
When you practice this dance enough to retain that muscle memory, you can relax and simply trust your vocal technique. It helps you make your vocal training highly practical for the performance event. It helps to avoid perfectionism and direct your singing TO your audience, it really does. Then it's not about you anymore... and magically your voice works so much better.

Thoughts on the dance anyone? In fact... now that you think of it, how have you used this method of practice?

Listen to this as mp3 file at  "All Things Vocal Podcast" or iTunes.

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  • At May 6, 2010 at 6:56 PM , Anonymous Kim Rushing said...

    Hi Judy that is great advice!

    that is, concentrate on technique and how to use for my songs
    and thru my range when i'm at home practicing

    and then on stage, to just SING.

    if i think too much about breathing,
    and physical set up (jaw, palate etc.)
    then i feel stiff and unnatural and disconnected
    from the listeners. . .and just unhappy in general!

    find it best to imagine myself "falling back" so to speak into the music
    the image is like the trust game of falling back into the "catchers"
    the music my band is making-- my "catcher"
    this also keeps me a little behind the beat most of the time (important for singing jazz)
    then it feels like i have all the time in the world to sing
    like slow motion
    and it gives me time to swing...


    Kim rushing

  • At May 6, 2010 at 6:57 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

    Thanks much for the comment… love the imagery of “falling back” into the music to defeat the "tension creep"!


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