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By Selena, 21/11/2017, Category:Singing with freedom and creativity
'Summer is i-cumen in, loody sing cucu' as they say in an old English folk song... in fact I heard a cuckoo whilst out walking on Dartmoor the other day, what a treat! Its a beautiful blooming early summer where I am, my favourite time of year. Today I want to talk to you about Expressiveness...nearly all singers I work with say they would like to be more expressive with their singing. I like that, and I want to help. It's definitely more fulfilling to be putting yourself and your energy into the song... since it also sounds better, and you look more animated, it's more engaging for your audience so you get a more enthusiastic response. So enhancing your expressiveness is well worth pursuing! Did you realise that there are 2 aspects to bringing out the expressiveness in your voice ? One is psychological. The other is physical. So what do I mean by these 2 aspects and how can we milk them? Number 1, which is probably pretty obvious, is that to sing expressively, you need to connect psychologically /emotionally with the song: for example if it's sad, you need to feel the sadness of the lyrics as you sing them, to communicate them, to bring the song alive, to make the audience experience the mood and meaning of the song. This isn't difficult. But its amazing how many people overlook it! Sometimes I hear a tender line sung brashly, or a powerful phrase sung meekly! What I recommend is reading through the lyrics before you sing a song so you can get in touch with its mood and variety of flavours. Then, intend to feel and express that story and meaning as you sing it through, keeping your attention on the text so that you do achieve this. Number 2. The physical aspect. Every vowel and consonant in language has its own particular characteristic sound which is defined by the way our articulators ( lips and tongue) shape them. When you pronounce those linguistic sounds clearly, the variety of characters come through and the lyrics come to life, i.e. the expression is strong. But if you have 'lazy lips' or the great British 'stiff upper lip', or a tense tongue, then you will tend to sing many vowels, e.g. ooh, aah, oh, eh, ee, with a very similar shape, and so they will sound barely distinguishable from each other. And thus, you won't be expressing the sound and personality of the text dynamically enough. Do you get what I mean? So the basic rule of thumb for good articulation is: 'A released jaw, and dynamic lips and tongue'. Overall, my formula for Enhancing the Expressiveness of Your Singing is this: 'Feel it Deeply, Pronounce it Clearly, Share the Meaning' ...So that the song is expressed through your heart, your instrument and your spirit as you share the song with your audience. I think you will get a lot of mileage out of this formula, let me know how it goes for you. However I also need to highlight the fact that, in singing, we do need to shape our vowels significantly differently than in speech, to get the best resonance out of our songs...these are called 'acoustical vowels' or 'singer's diction'. This is well worth learning, because it makes an exciting difference to the quality of your voice. If you want to access these techniques, to help your voice stand out a cut above the rest, then I'd love to meet up with you! You can check out whats on offer HERE.
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