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Powerful Performance Building Blocks P-3

By Jeannie Deva

Part One and Two of this vocal tip can be found in our Archives.

4. Vocal Skills.

Your voice is an instrument of communication and good vocal technique is the route to full and free expression. Good technique also provides career longevity by preventing vocal blowout. Excellent vocal technique enables you to sing freely with passion and conviction.
 
Ample vocal technique provides peace of mind …
If you’re uncertain whether or not you’ll sing on pitch or have adequate range to perform the entire song without your voice cracking, you’ll tend to introvert and withdraw from your audience. This will be evident in your performance. Vocal difficulty of any kind, whether it’s cracking notes, throat tension, vocal fatigue, or hoarseness, can interfere with your stage presence and cause you to hold back.
 
Ideally, vocal development should result in your command of an expressive, spontaneous and passionate voice that’s free of limitations. Your pitch, intonation, tone, range and vocal embellishments (if you use them) should be advanced to the point of effortless execution. When you’re confident you can use your voice freely without restriction or vocal fatigue, you’ll be better able to direct your attention and energy to your audience.
 
A properly exercised voice will easily provide you with everything …
Your vocal training should enable you to express everything you hear and feel. Therefore, it should include:
 
~ A clarification of misconceptions about how your voice works so that you aren’t subconsciously interfering with its natural function: Singers become involved with all sorts of gimmicks to remedy vocal problems that wouldn’t exist in the first place if they’d learned the natural workings of the voice.
 
~ The development of the stamina to sing as many hours as you require as aggressively as you choose: With a true understanding of the voice and the right exercises to develop vocal muscles, singing becomes easier and your confidence grows. Confidence in your voice is a major milestone to a powerful and unforgettable performance.
 
Stamina is the result of proper muscle tone …
Some singers can sound great for a song or two, but lack vocal stamina. If they sing longer than their undeveloped vocal muscles can tolerate, they suffer from a blown-out voice. This is the singer who may be cautious about really “giving it their all” for fear of losing their voice. Some say that if you sing for too many hours it’s “over-singing,” and that vocal problems are inevitable. I don’t find this to be true. It is how you sing, not for how long you sing that will wear out your voice.
 
Through my research and experience I have found that if singers try to use muscles that aren’t adequately developed, they’ll compensate with force and effort. This can cause strain and pitch problems. A gymnast would never think to compete without adequate muscle training. Singers are vocal athletes; yet, too many singers try to sing without adequate preparation and muscular development.
 
If you train your vocal muscles so they can function easily and you warm up properly prior to rehearsals and shows, your voice will effortlessly respond to your musical ideas and convey your passion. This frees you to give peak performances that capture the attention and hearts of your listeners.
 
I have spent most of my life researching how the voice works and how to develop it for use without compromise. I’ve accumulated the simplest, most factual and straightforward techniques that quickly help both seasoned professionals and beginners overcome barriers to freedom of expression. As singing becomes effortless you can focus on your unique vocal identity. This raises you to a new level of professionalism, allowing your individuality to shine.

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