Messing with vibrato

Vocal Style: Messing with vibrato In the first of a three part iSing series on Vocal Style where we demonstrate the different uses of various vocal style nuances and techniques, Josh Alamu looks at vibrato. So what is vibrato? Vibrato (as defined by Wikipedia) is a musical effect consisting of a regular, pulsating change of pitch. […]

DIY Mixing

How to Mix Vocals as a DIY Singer

 Mixing — it sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? That’s always something I’ve left to the professionals. But the truth is, you can’t always afford the professionals. That’s why learning how to mix vocals is an important skill to have as a DIY singer or musician. Before you mix, you have to get a really good recording […]

The Passaggio

Passaggio (pl. passaggi) is one of the most talked about elements of singing. Some refer to it as the bridge, break, mix, middle, or simply the place where things go wrong. So why does this vocal phenomenon receive such widespread consideration? Passaggio is Italian for passage or crossing, which may give us slightly more indication of what it is and where […]

The ins and outs of breathing for singing

Pupils studying the voice often have glazed eyes when the subject of breathing is raised. Meaningless phrases such as ‘support the voice’ and ‘sing from the diaphragm’ only result in bewildered expressions and feelings of inadequacy. Voice teacher and author of Singing and the Actor, Gillyanne Kayes , describes this experience as the ‘holy grail […]

Head voice vs falsetto

iSing 5 Head Voice vs Falsetto It sounds like a battle—the Incredible Hulk vs Iron Man, though definitely not as exciting. Probably less damage to public property however. Joking aside, this topic is the source of much confusion in the singing world. We’re sure many of you are saying, “Aren’t they basically the same thing?” […]

Writing a killer chorus

In a song, the chorus is king. It is the main section. It contains the hook of the song and usually the title. When well written, a chorus is what people remember the most. When taken together, the choruses of a song (usually) encapsulate the main idea of the entire song. Individually, each chorus sums […]

Semi-occluded vocal tract exercises

To occlude. From the latin word ‘occludere’ which means to shut, or close. That’s all very nice, but how on earth does it relate to singing and, more importantly, why are all these celebrity pop singers walking around singing through straws? We are talking about the new wave of sexy vocal exercises that are referred […]

Developing a performance persona

For many of the artists I coach, developing an alternative version of themselve can enhance both their performance and the experience in many ways. When performing in front  of an audience, whether  it’s your production team,the studio, a crowd  in the local pub,  or a sea of  fans at the O2  Arena, it’soften helpful to consider […]

Contemporary musical theatre

In the contemporary music theatre world, anything is possible. Casting panels are constantly redefining their concept of “right for the part”, so when it comes to selecting an Elphaba or a Marius, the old rules do not necessarily apply. A classically trained singer can be cast in a rock musical. A pop star can be […]

Writing a killer chorus

In a song, the chorus  is king. It is the main section. It contains the  hook of the song and usually  the title.  When well  written, a  chorus is  what people remember the most. When taken together, the choruses of a song (usually) encapsulate the main idea of the entire song. Individually, each chorus sums  up the […]

Digging into Falsetto

When George Michael hits that top note in ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’, it makes me feel uplifted and I (in true karaoke style) belt out that high note with him. The feeling that follows is one of total satisfaction. That is just one example of an artist using falsetto to connect with the […]

An introduction to sight singing

Have you ever wondered how some singers pick up a sheet of music for the first time, read it cold and sound like they’ve rehearsed it for months? It’s quite an incredible thing to experience, especially if you are the person sight-reading and hearing the music for the first time yourself. I learned the process of […]

Back to the future

Every mainstream singer we hear today has either been influenced by or has mimicked a singer who came before them. So who are you listening to? Which singers influence you? How far back does your singing legacy go? In my experience, singers don’t ‘listen’ closely enough. This means they often miss out on the unique […]