What Singers Can Learn From Master Musicians
Well, actually singers can learn lots of things from master musicians, but I want to highlight this one today: The secret of the light-just-right touch. Great musicians know that pressure matters, for instance...
- When drummers hit drums too hard, they lose tone from their drums. They end up sounding oddly smaller with more attack than tone.
- When guitarists/bassists/etc strum or pluck too hard, they lose the best resonance of their instruments, and makes fluid playing movements harder.
- When piano players strike keys too hard, they also lose the best tone... whether playing acoustic or electronic keys. In the recent TV documentary about Elton John and Leon Russell's "The Union" project, I heard Elton speak about Leon's great touch.
- When string players bow too hard they cannot control pitch or tone and usually get sent to distant rooms to practice:)
- When horn or other wind instrument players blow too hard, they get a pitchy splat... and not in a good way!
What master musicians know and practice is the secret of the light-just-right touch which coaxes the brilliance out of their instruments, gives them control of pitch and dynamics, allows for easier movement upon their instruments. Even when bearing down for more power, these musicians still 'pull their punches' and never play as hard as they can upon their axes.
This secret is directly applicable to singers. We're talking about the light-just-right touch of air applied to the vocal cords. Our voices need adequate and consistent breath support, sure, but breath support that is CONTROLLED. With this balanced pressure we get much better vocal tone, more technical ability, we record better and we have the added bonus of protecting our instruments from strain!
In other words... for great singing try backing off breath pressure. Just a bit, especially on the power notes. There... doesn't that sound/feel better? Comments welcome.
Labels: breath pressure, Judy Rodman, light touch, master musicians, resonance, singers, vocal tone
4 Comments :
At March 3, 2012 at 5:38 PM , Embro Thistle Singers said...
I couldn't agree more Judy. Less is more so very often. Blasting forth gives less control and therefore less chance of having the note you really want.
Thanks for the reminders.
At March 3, 2012 at 10:38 PM , Unknown said...
You are most welcome, ETS, thx for the feedback!
At April 2, 2012 at 7:13 AM , Laurie McClain said...
lovely, so true, such an obvious and yet underused concept!!!!
At April 2, 2012 at 6:28 PM , Judy Rodman said...
Laurie... thank you... great to hear from you and hope things are going great with your music!!
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