Defining Classical, Pop and Jazz Singing Styles

If you have not heard of American Idol, The Voice or X Factor, you must be living under the rock. Vocal music is big business and these singing competitions have gained increasingly widespread popularity over the years. Different format and different prizes, but with one ultimate goal – to discover the next singing superstar.

These programs are manifestations of human beings’ innate love for singing and vocal music. In the United States and United Kingdom, Broadway musicals are always a hit. Music has launched careers of some of the brightest stars in Hollywood today such as Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Celine Dion, Adele, The Beatles, Andrea Bocelli and many more. These icons have gained following from all walks of life all over the world.

These singers have developed varied singing styles that made them stand out from the crowd. They created a distinct sound and flavor that can be easily and uniquely identified to them. There are technicalities that only dedicated artist can truly understand.

Classical

Classical style of singing is the most controlled type of all. Classical singers tend to develop better resonance. When singing, they are not accompanied by technology like the usual electronic amplification. They must practice regularly in order to captivate the audience within minimal support from a band or orchestra. They also use their own throat and oral cavities to resonate sound.

Classical or operatic attack of music can regularly be seen in musical stage plays. The popular ones include Cats, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Sound of Music, King and I and Rent.

The classical world embraces five types of vocal categories:
•    light – the sweetest and lightest of the five
•    lyric – medium-sized voice that can sing and sustain long phrases
•    full –one that fits bigger orchestra, but can hardly handle fast singing
•    dramatic – the strongest voice of all and usually featured in larger operatic repertoire
•    coloratura – the most flexible type and known for vocal embellishments

Pop

There is a certain kind of freedom that pop singing style enjoys. It has the privilege to not always adhere to what is written. However, this requires excellent communication and interpretation skills from the singer to still connect to the song and the audience.

Singing coaches have shared pieces of advice on how to improve your style for the pop genre:

•    efficient use of glottal onset when creating a sound
•    practice correct breathing patterns
•    practice hard silent laugh where you can feel your larynx being stretched
•    learn the thyroid tilt to produce sweet and soft sound

Jazz

A stellar vocal range is not a prerequisite for jazz style of singing. It is more about exploring the quality and color of your voice and personalizing songs. According to vocal coaches, your jazz singing voice should sound as natural as possible, perhaps an extension of your speaking voice.

Jazz has evolved over time. Today, there are several known types of jazz singing. New Orleans showcases the classic jazz where small brass bands accompany singers. Texturized melody that starts soft and builds up into an emotional climax is called hot jazz.

Famous iconic jazz singers include Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn. If you’re looking to discover how to improve your voice check out www.singinglessonguide.com

Easy-to-Follow Singing Exercises For Beginners

While many singers are blessed to have been born with exemplary gift for music, they must continuously train to nurture their talents. Even the finest vocalists in the world take singing lessons and do constant singing exercises. Most of them would hire vocal coaches to train with them day in and day out. Wonder why?

Here are some of the many benefits that you can gain out of regular vocal drills.

•    Establish good vocal technique
•    Improve strength of throat muscles
•    Improve diction
•    Develop good resonation
•    Develop good breathing pattern
•    Develop good posture while singing

Singers should have the mentality of athletes and inject discipline to develop impeccable work ethics. If you have just started learning your range, tone or quality of your voice, and your singing capabilities, do not risk acquiring those bad habits that can potentially damage to your vocal cords. There are several singing exercises that will not only help you master your own techniques, but will keep your vocal health in pristine condition and teach you how to sing better.

For aspiring singers and vocal coaches, here are some basic vocal exercises that might be of great help to your career and talents:

1.    Warm up exercises

It is very important that actors or singers perform warm-up vocal exercises before hitting the stage or singing. Even those who are joining marathons would warm-up their legs and feet before minutes before the start of the race. If you want to learn how to sing high notes, the same rules apply.

Humming is one of the most recommended ways to warming up vocal cords. Sing eight notes in prolonged and exaggerated style. After a few runs, sing them and produce short and crisp sounds.

All throughout the exercise, maintain a good posture. Do not strain your voice by singing too loud; use your natural pitch.

2.    Singing phrases
There is nothing worse than watching your favorite musical program and barely understand a word of the actor singing. To truly engage your audience, you must have excellent enunciation, decent volume and clear diction. Otherwise, people will either change the channel or would not go and see your next concert.

Use this pattern: Ma – Mey – Me – Mow – Moo

Stand stall with your chest out, stomach in and your feet firm and leveled with your shoulders. Try to sing the syllables using your deepest voice. Repeat runs until you reach your highest pitch.

Place your hand on your stomach to ensure that muscles constrictions are happening within your abdomen. Otherwise, you are clearly not using your diaphragm and you are just singing form your belly.

You can also do tongue twisters from time to time to improve sounds of your vowels and consonants. Always overemphasize words as much as possible.

3.    Siren exercise

This may sound a bit weird, but even veteran singers find this vocal workout useful. Sing a phrase over and over again and use only your nose to produce the sound. To make sure you are doing the exercise correctly, pinch your nose form time to time. Every time you pinch your nose, there should be no sound produced at all.

4.    Breath and Volume Control

Select the note you are most comfortable singing. In a singular breath, sing this note from your softest to loudest volume. Repeat the exercise, but reverse it is time – from loudest to softest.

To brighten up your day more, perform these singing exercises with a smile.

Jumpstart Your Singing Career With These Singing Audition Tips

Aspiring new talents in the music industry would often gamble in reality shows and singing competitions to jumpstart their career. After all, there is no better way of getting the public’s attention but by joining these top-rate programs where singing superstars and talent scouts are included in the judging panel. But, one must have to face rigorous processes that usually start with an audition. Before you audition for your big moment you should consider some vocal training to get you on the right path.

A singing audition is your ticket to the next level of the competition. Passing it would mean going through the next step to further highlight your skills in talent. Needless to say, this is where you get the chance to enter the contest or get booted off early in the game.

One of the most popular singing competitions in the land is the American Idol. Their auditions are widely anticipated by the audience. The show has produced several superstars including:

•    Kelly Clarkson, who is the first American Idol winner, has 11 platinum albums and 3 Grammy awards under her belt.
•    Carrie Underwood, who is the reigning Country Music Queen, multi-platinum artist and has 6 Grammy awards.
•    Jennifer Hudson, who did not win the title, but snatched a Best Supporting Actress Award at Oscars for her priced role in the movie Dream Girls
•    Another non-winner, Chris Daughtry has more than 4 million worldwide album sales since he graduated from the competition years ago.

Tips Before Going to Singing Auditions

1.    Define the artist that you are

Knowing who you are as an artist is very important. It starts with deciphering the quality of your voice, town, pitch and the genre you fit in.

2.    Don’t oversing

Impressing the jurors would most likely be your main goal during singing auditions. But, do not fall into the trap of over-embellising the song. You must first highlight your raw talent.

3.    Just the right amount of confidence

While it is good to have the nerves of steel, judges may be put off with an attitude that may come across as cocky. Do not be overconfident. A little humility goes a long way

4.    Practice your piece

Never forget the lyrics. Make sure that you practice your audition piece hundreds of times before that big moment. It will also say a lot about your work ethics.

Charge it to Experience: Rejections

One must always remember that auditioning is trying out. There are no guarantees. If you get a resounding “no” the first time, keep trying. Use this elimination as a challenge to keep getting better. Remember, Walt Disney was denied by a newspaper editor and have been told “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went on to build his first animation company and the rest was a redeeming history.

Steven Spielberg was rejected from film schools three times. But, he was very persistent. Many years after the heartbreaks, he rose to become one of Hollywood’s A-list directors and producers. Record labels said The Beatles has no future in the music industry. But, they did not give up on their music. After a while, these four British boys created a sound that has transcended from generation to generation, and made them own an entire era.

While singing auditions can be a good starting point of a career, it could also be the most devastating for some. But hey, there is this phrase that says “charge it to experience”. Your ability to reverse your fortune from negative to positive says something more of your character than luck. A great start would be the Superior Singing Method by Aaron Anastasi.

 

The Road To Becoming A Bona Fide Singer

Becoming a singer nowadays can be as easy as ABC. Put simply, these days, this is how to become a famous singer. Record a song, post it on Youtube.com or social networking sites, and you can become an instant online sensation. You can get a shot at appearing in Ellen DeGeneres show if your video becomes viral. While these things can showcase your talent as a singer, staying relevant will make you a cut above the rest.

Here are some thoughts that you may want to consider as you jumpstart your singing career.

1.    Define the artist that you are.

Vague as it may sound, you must first find who you are before becoming a well-rounded singer. Find the artist that you are by evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, your musical influences, your genre, quality of your tone and your musicality as a whole. By doing this, you will have an idea what kind of career you want to tread and see what your vocal range really is.

It will also help if you have an honest mentor who can just be blunt and candid about your talent and skills.

2.    Define a role model.

Everyone has to have someone to get inspiration from. Modern singers’ styles are oftentimes influenced by their predecessors in the industry. Especially for the newcomers, it is going to be helpful to find that artist and use her methods to guide you as you learn the ropes of the business.

Etta James and Whitney Houston were Christina Aguilera’s idols growing up. While she was starting with her singing career, she patterned her style with these two legends and mixed it up with some of her own. Adele mentioned Pink’s performance in London as the defining moment of her music. She also looked up to Beyonce Knowles as an artist. Steven Tyler, Aerosmith’s frontman and a legend in his own rights, says a lot how Stevie Wonder gives him the inspiration and that “soul” to his music.

3.    Find a genre you fit in.

While it is good to remain versatile, you have to have a specific genre that the audience can easily identify you to. Aspiring singers would have better chances of snatching public’s attention if they would have a distinct genre of flavor in them. Irish band The Script rose to prominence a few years back because of their unique sound and flavor. Pitbull might not be as stellar as others, but his rapping skills make him one of the most sought-after collaborators in today’s music scene.

There are some fortunate singers who have successfully crossed over from one genre to another. Both Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift were country music stars that transcended the pop stage.

4.    Take singing lessons or voice lessons online

You are lucky enough if your singing voice was a gift from up above. But even with such enormous natural talent, you still have to train to keep getting better. Talent cannot bring you to places, but hardwork and perseverance can.

If you can afford, hire a vocal coach that you can train with regularly. Having a professional by your side will help you develop techniques and maximize your musical potential.

5.    Stay healthy.

To keep your vocal cords in pristine condition, you have to watch out for what you eat and drink. Chocolates and alcohol are the top 2 menace of a good singing voice, bar none. You must also develop good sleeping habits. Find time to perform warm-up and vocal exercises.