Tip no 9: The truth about singing: What makes Tina Turner a great singer?

Tina Turner’s voice is about transforming raw emotions into the singing voice.  Like every iconic singer Tina is well familiar with vocal techniques and no doubt she uses them in full.

However, the tone of her voice is projected in a way that captivates our hearts and souls. No wonder we call her The Queen of Soul. Why is that? Because she creates an effect in her voice that touches our emotions and empowers our inner feelings.

How does she create it?

Tina uses different elements:

  • The singing voice
  • The speaking voice
  • The improvising skills
  • The power of expression
  • The body language and chorography.

When Tina looks at a song, her first impression would be of the lyrics and the music.  That would tell her the story behind the song, the mood it was written in and the emotional expression she would need to perform it.  The type of expressions would be such as excitement, drama or extreme moods.

She also needs to look at what sort of message she would like to transfer to her audience, Testimonial, like in the song ‘We don’t need another Hero’, Agony, like in the song ‘I don’t want to fight no more’ or Excitement, like in the song ‘Proud Mary’- a song of exhilaration building up to a glorious climax.

The body language she uses on stage, although looks natural and instinctive, is well choreographed and staged in accordance with the spirit of the song; once again the song ‘Proud Mary’ is an example of great body language and choreography.

When all these aspects come together is when Tina is ready to put her heart and soul into the song. Using the different elements of her voice into the mix is where the magic starts to appear.

Obviously, you can’t forget the truth about her singing – there is only one Tina Turner and she is unique.

You can only imitate her voice but you can’t replicate her personality.

I shall keep you updated with more tips soon.

Good luck

Best

Idit

Idit Gold
Musical Director & Founder
Singing in London
p.s. I hope you found this useful, please pass on and I welcome your comments or email me at idit@singinginlondon.com

 

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Tip no. 8: The truth about singing: What inspired us to sing and how do we do it?

We are often evoked by feelings of pain, agony, and rage when we listen to certain styles of music.

On the other hand we are evoked by feelings of love, peace and harmony when we listen to different styles of music.

How does it happen?

The music around us expresses every type of feeling we want to hold on to. Take for instance the style of ‘Heavy Metal’ music: massive sounds, highly amplified distortion, and lyrics that often associated with masculine aggression. If you are inspired to sing Heavy Metal music you’ll notice how your voice is shaped by your emotions in order to create the rough and the bold voice to fit this style.

How can I shape up my voice to create this sound? You would ask

Although the voice is driven by emotions, it’s the vocal technique that helps to create the sound.

Here are some tips:

  1. The ‘rough’ voice is produced by forcing the vocal chords and pushing the voice out with very little air behind it.  Although it’s the ‘wrong way’ of singing according to classical vocal technique, it helps to create the effect you want to perform.
  2. Put the beat at the back of your voice.  Since Heavy Metal music is based on a strong beat, use your voice to imitate the sound of an instrument like the electric guitar by pushing your voice to extreme tones as you were plying the high notes on the guitar.

If you choose to imitate the drums, make a ‘coughing’ like sound at the back of your throat to create the drum beat effect.  For example: Doom…Doom…Chaaakaa…Chaaakaa..

  1. Use your speaking voice to emphasise the lyrics with stress on (what is known as) the dynamics.

That means you need to change the volume of your voice between soft and loud according to the mood of the lyrics. You can also build up (what is known as) crescendo: a gradual acceleration of the volume from a soft to an extreme loud tone.

  1. Screaming the music: project your singing voice as wild as you’d like to where the song lends itself. For example the song ‘Child in Time’ by Deep Purple has a prolong build-up climax from a soft singing to a screaming tone ending on the simple vowel of ahhhh.  This is a very powerful effect.
  2. When you master these techniques you can add emotions to your voice by using vibrato (see blog 7) to add a touch of trembling to your voice.  At this point you can express your voice with a powerful passion and zest.

Look up Heavy Metal idols Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath

Look up Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillan Smoke on the Water on YouTube.

I shall keep you updated with more tips soon.

Good luck

Best

Idit

Idit Gold
Musical Director & Founder
Singing in London
p.s. I hope you found this useful, please pass on and I welcome your comments or email me at idit@singinginlondon.com

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Tip no. 7: The truth about singing: What is an emotional voice? The ‘vibrato’.

When you hear a song sung in a trembling voice it might sound strange to your ear but in most cases it is projected that way in order to create a special effect. This effect is called vibrato which comes from the Italian word for vibrate.

You can force your voice to vibrate by pushing the air through your vocal chords and cause your voice to tremble or you can use vocal technique to make your voice vibrate in a regular frequency which sounds smooth. Either way, vibrato is a way to express your voice in a characteristic style in which to the audience sounds emotional.

Why do we make so much fuss about vibrato? Vibrato can refine the singing voice and helps it to be an expressive one. The vibrato is known to touch the human being by emulating an emotional feeling, like a trembling tone as we make when we cry.

How can I sing vibrato? You may ask…

First, take a short breath and release your voice gently. Keep holding the voice while releasing the breath behind it. Keep your voice solid and even. As you come to the end of your breath you’ll notice how your voice is starting to tremble, at that point soften your voice and let it fade naturally. If you heard the tremble of your voice even for only a second, you have just grasped the first stage of creating a vibrato.

To refine your vibrato you need to let your voice flow very gently and to push the breath behind it as if you were blowing gently on a candle.

Here are some tips:

  1. Take only a short breath and release just very little air to support the back of your voice, in other word, hold your breath back slightly to gain control on the amount you release forward.
  2. Whilst projecting your voice keep your mouth slightly closed as if you had a ball in your mouth to create the shape of the vowel O.  That will help to create a soft voice which is most suitable for the vibrato effect.
  3. Never take a deep breath or force your voice. The only way to create a vibrato is to let the voice flow gently and to relax your larynx. Then it should vibrate like a little bell.

Repeat this practice until your vibrato become smooth and gentle.

I shall keep you updated with more tips soon.

Good luck

Best

Idit

Idit Gold
Musical Director & Founder
Singing in London
p.s. I hope you found this useful, please pass on and I welcome your comments or email me at idit@singinginlondon.com

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Tip no. 6: The truth about singing: How to gain the confidence to sing and how to lose it?

Singing can be terrifying for some, but at the same time it could be exhilarating.  People say it feels good to sing, “I am inspired by it and would like to do it again”. So what stops us expressing our singing voice?

Yes, it is the confidence to sing that we might lack.  Unless you have your voice trained professionally, you need to rely on your natural singing voice and the confidence to express it.

How do you gain confidence and how do you lose it?

We all start to sing somewhere back in our childhood, at home, at the nursery or at school. Every young child needs to have the encouragement to develop his or her talent in order to flourish.

Those who are given the opportunity to shine when they are young, when they sing in front of family members or participating at a school show are already tasting the magic of singing & performing and need only to be nurtured further in order develop their confidence.  On the other hand those who are given the same opportunity at an early age but are told to keep their mouth shut for reasons like: you sing off tune, your voice is too loud, and so on, are losing their confidence before they even start developing their talent.

Confidence is a state of mind, which helps us to project our singing voice smoothly. Without it our voice can be rigid and therefore unable to flow naturally.

Adults often find themselves either possessing the confidence to express their singing voice or have no confidence at all as a result of being told in the past they can’t sing.

So you may ask yourself…

How can I gain the confidence to sing?

Do remember that singing skills could be learned and mastered by everyone. Learning vocal techniques can definitely help to gain confidence.   It might be easily achieved by some or is harder for others.  However, the lack of confidence can be compensated by the knowledge and the practise of the vocal chords and can be developed to a point that the voice will flow easily and in an enjoyable way.

What do I need to do?

First, find yourself an inspiration: a singer or music that makes you feel good and you would like to have more of it.

Secondly, find yourself a space where you can totally be by yourself and step into this space, then start singing and listen to the voice that emerge from your vocal chords. Make sure you banish the phrase ‘I CAN’T SING’, and let your voice flow with the music or the singer who inspires you.

Repeat these exercise as long as you are inspired to gain your confidence. Believe in the voice that is within you and never give up.

I shall keep you updated with more tips soon. In the meantime, check our website for the latest free taster evenings.

Good luck!

Best

Idit

Idit Gold
Musical Director & Founder
Singing in London
p.s. I hope you found this useful, please pass on and I welcome your comments or email me at idit@singinginlondon.com

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Tip no. 5: The truth about singing: why can’t we sing properly?

Although singing is a natural way of using your voice, most people can’t sing properly for the simple reason that they don’t pronounce the words in the correct way. To sing means to project and to project means to use your voice clearly by pronouncing each vowel and consonant with the correct sound.

What is the correct sound? I hear you ask.

Let’s take the word ‘America’ and break it to four vowels & consonants: Ahhh, Mehh, Reee, Caaahhh. Now, try to pronounce each vowel & consonant by holding the sound of each one of them for at least four seconds like that:  Aaaaahhh, Mehehehe, Reeeeeeee, Caaaaahhhh.

How to do it? Let’s take it step by step.

  1. To pronounce the vowel Aaaahhh & Caaaaahhhh you need to open your mouth widely whilst creating a hollow space in your mouth and projecting your voice forward.
  2. To pronounce the vowel Mehehehe you need to lower your jaws and relax your tongue whilst creating a flat space in your mouth.
  3. To pronounce the consonant Reeeeeeee you need to roll your tongue whilst making a square shape in your mouth with a little space between your teeth.
  4. Repeat and practice until you master the correct sounds.

Now, let’s have fun singing the song ‘America’ from the musical West Side Story. You only need to sing the word A-ME-RREE-CAA when singing along. Visit YouTube and sing-a-long to the Glee America version.

Listen to the singers how they pronounce the word AMERICA when rolling their tongues to make the correct sound of the consonant RREE. If you managed to imitate that sound you’re now singing properly.

This is obviously just a sample of how to sing properly and there is a long road ahead to accomplish your mission. However, by practicing regularly you’ll move nearer to your goal very quickly.

I shall keep you updated with more tips soon. In the meantime, check our website for the latest free taster evenings.

Good luck!

Best

Idit

Idit Gold
Musical Director & Founder
Singing in London
You can contact me at idit@singinginlondon.com

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Tip no. 4: The truth about singing. What is all the fuss about, “I can’t sing!”

Singing is a natural way of expressing your emotions using the voice you have within you.

The act of singing means we can use our voice to make various notes and rhythms and in different volumes. These ingredients make up what is called ‘a melody’.  It is a simple use of our voice and therefore anybody can sing!

The question is what sort of singing do we project? Is it pleasant to the ear? Is it sung in tune? And are we able to control our voice to the level of singing we ourselves would like to hear?

There is no straight forward answer to that. We all know that some gifted people are born with this talent. Those who are not gifted, can develop their skills to a professional level and do not necessarily have the special voice that the gifted ones possess.

We, as the audience are constantly influenced by the media. When listening to songs on the radio, TV at gigs and so on, we create the image and the sound that we would like to emulate when we sing. But, when the untrained voice emerges from the vocal chords it sounds in most cases rough, off tune and unpleasant to listen to. That’s when you may say “I Can’t Sing!”

The X Factor show brings people onto the stage who ‘can’t sing’ in a sense that their voices are untrained, because the show is all about entertaining an audience who find it amusing.

But when ‘a gifted’ contestant unleashes a powerful voice which moves your soul, that’s when you realise why this gifted person ‘Can Sing’!

Just remember, everyone can sing but not everyone is a gifted singer.

Best,

Idit Gold
Musical Director & Founder
Singing in London

p.s. Join us for a free taster for coaching tips to improve your singing voice.

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Tip no. 3: Take the third step, teach yourself to follow the tune

Alica Keys sings Frank Sinatra's New York New York

Alicia Keys opens her song ‘New York Empire State of Mind’ with the tune ‘New York, New York’

Let’s move on to the song ‘New York, New York’, which was made famous by Frank Sinatra and sung by Alicia at the opening of her duet with Jay-Z. The tune is stretched on a wide range of notes that could be quite hard to reach without some singing skills. Notice that Alicia starts singing the song on one level and then drops her voice to a low pitch to be able to finish the tune.

Exercise: Follow Alicia singing New York New York with the following lyrics:

Starts spreading the news…(hold the note)  I’m leaving today… (hold the note) I’m gonna be a part of it New York, (she drops her voice here) New York. If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere. It’s up to you, New York, New York.

If you’ve practiced the exercises on Tips 1 & 2, you should be able to do it in three steps:

1. Hum the tune and try to match the notes Alicia sings, as close as possible.

2. Keep beating the rhythm without stopping than add the humming on top.

3. Sing the tune with the words beating quietly in the background to keep the rhythm going.  Now your voice will be flowing with the tune in the right notes and the correct rhythm.

Finally…

These three tips are the first series of basic steps to help you exercise singing in an easy way.  When you repeat the exercises regularly you’ll be able to develop your singing skills and to gain some control on your voice.

I hope it was a helpful start for your singing journey and that you’re ready to move on to the next level which will follow soon.

Best,

Idit Gold
Musical Director & Founder
Singing in London

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Tip No. 2: Take the second step, teach yourself how to beat the rhythm

Alica Keys singing with Jay-ZBack to the song New York Empire State of Mind, (which was mentioned in my first tip) Jay-Z joins Alicia Keys rapping along with the tune.  Notice that the rap fits in exactly within the frame of the song.  Both, Jay-Z and Alicia are singing separately during most of the song. When they join together at the last chorus they sing each other’s line without losing the continuous rhythm of the song. By doing that they complement each other musically which sounds as if they were singing in harmony.

To achieve that you need to practice beating the rhythm repeatedly at the same speed, (commonly known as tempo) while singing the tune ‘ New York’ on top of the beat.

It shouldn’t be too difficult if you repeat the exercise until it runs smoothly.

Let’s take an easy exercise: Start tapping a four beats pattern (what is called a bar) making the 1st. beat of the four much louder than the other three like this: 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. Repeat this rhythm without stopping until you can hear it inside your body as if it was your heart beating.

Now, as you’re continually tapping the rhythm try to sing the tune New York in this way: sing ‘New’ on the 1st. beat and then ‘York’ on the last 3 beats like yoooorkk as you’re stretching your voice until the end of the 3rd. beat, in the same way Alicia stretches hers.

Repeat this exercise until you can hear both, the tapping and the singing inside your body while keeping the same speed (the tempo) all along. If you can do it well, you’ll have a wonderful sensation inside your body of sound and rhythm coming together in harmony.

If you’re familiar with Jay-Z’s rap you can join with him in the same way you joined Alicia earlier while beating the beat in the same speed. When you practice these exercises on a regular basis (in both sing and tap at the same time) you’ll be able to gain control of your rhythm skills perfectly.

Good luck

Idit Gold
Musical Director & Founder
Singing in London
You can contact me at idit@singinginlondon.com

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First Series – Tip No. 1: Take the first step, teach yourself how to Hum

I’d like to share with you a few tips on how to start singing from scratch. You can also practice it at home and make substantial progress.

When you’re listening to music on your radio or iPod/phone try humming along with the tune. The humming should be projected in full volume, imagining yourself singing along with the singer or the group.  When humming, keep your mouth completely closed, put your hands on both sides of your face and cover both ears. You’ll be able to hear the voice inside of your head amplified very clearly as if you had speakers inside your head. It will help you to control the volume and the notes you’re humming.

And now to the exercise: Alicia Keys stretches her voice beautifully when singing ‘New York Empire State of Mind’. Right from the start ooo…oooo… New…York… she lets her voice flow while holding her breath.

Alicia Keys hummingAlicia Keys opens the song New York Empire State of Mind’ humming ooooooh… New York

Start the exercise, take a short breath, not too deep, and try to imitate the opening notes of the song by humming along with Alicia.  Do not use the words yet, just keep humming and try to match your notes with the same notes she is singing.

If the notes are too high for you, you can drop your voice to a lower pitch (commonly known as the tone of your voice – whichever, high or low).  Keep humming the same jumps of the notes she sings on New…(low note)  York (to high note). These jumps are commonly known as intervals- the distance between one note and another.

Repeat this exercise for a few days until you feel confident in humming the same notes in the same intervals as in New… York… when singing along with Alicia.

Your next step will be to sing those notes (intervals) with the words New York.

Good luck.

Idit Gold
Musical Director & Founder
Singing in London
You can contact me at idit@singinginlondon.com

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What makes a great Taster evening?

SIL members

Join us for a free taster

When you hold a taster or an opening evening you want to make sure you bring the best out of your singers and create an inspiring ambience to encourage new members to join. So how do you do that?

As we are approaching Christmas the chosen song was Santa Baby, a song that swings and sways and has a Jazzy feel that makes it easy to join in even if you’re not so familiar with the tune or you sing a few wrong notes.

We added some oohing harmony to the melody followed by a counter Bass line with a rhythmical structure known as the doom doo doom line and together we created a rich jazzy, velvety sound of a Christmas favourite.

Our guests just loved it. There was laughter, giggles and a great sense of sharing vocal fun with our singers.

Join us for our next taster session.

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