Riff-a-maniacs The weird and wonderful world of riffs, licks, runs, melisma, scats, trills, and then some. Here comes the “Riff-a-Maniac”. This was the name I was given back in the day when all I did was just riff out every song. It didn’t matter what genre the song was: classical, musical theatre, soul, or plain […]

The Art of Ad Libbing

Understanding Ad-libs The abbreviated term “ad lib” comes from the Latin word “ad libitum” meaning “according to one’s desire or “freely as one wishes” with its first known use dating back to 1610. I feel that ad-libbing is often misunderstood and maybe confused with; being unprepared, a thoughtless and careless way of performing a song […]

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. […]

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 it […]

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 […]

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 […]