FAQ - Vocal

Q. What should I look for in a voice teacher?

A. Someone with a thorough understanding of the core principles of vocal training and how to apply them to any vocal style.

Q. How do I determine my style?

A. Style is the overall result of your natural tone production, your innate vocal behavior, the kind of song material you gravitate towards, your musicianship, personality, physical talent, intellectual talent, and emotional talent.

Q. How do I prepare for a vocal audition?

A. Preparation means maximizing all talents prior to the audition. What you bring to an audition is the sum total of your vocal, intellectual, physical, and emotional talent. You should have a ready repertoire of songs in all styles that communicate you at your best.

Q. Why do I feel as though I never have enough breath?

A. The vocal cords act like a valve. If the valve leaks, if your vocal cords do not function properly, you will have poor breath control. If you inhale too much breath, you will be tormented by a persistent sensation of suffocation. Whatever you inhale, you must exhale. Breath volume cannot improve your ability to sing long phrases, for the point is not how much breath you take, but how skillfully you manage the breath. Excessive abdominal contraction always induces a sensation of suffocation. Take a breath. Let the breath escape from the body effortlessly. Take another breath, but squeeze your abdominal muscles while exhaling. The mere act of contraction induces a sensation of suffocation.

Q. Why is my voice breathy?

A. Your vocal cords do not function properly. To produce clear tone, the vocal cords must function efficiently. Breathy singing can be effective when stylizing, but it is disastrous if it is the basis of your technique.

Q. Why does my singing voice become tired?

A. You are probably trying to sing too high with too much vocal thickness - in which case, your larynx is overloaded. Or, you may be employing an unnatural breathing method. All modern breath support methods induce over-compression, which fatigues the voice.
Other causes of vocal fatigue include: (1) low larynx singing (the persistent act of yawning involves muscular antagonism), (2) high larynx singing (the involuntary rising of the larynx causes throat constriction), (3) vocal abuse caused by singing too long without rest, and (4) breathy singing, which causes the vocal cords to work harder to remain together.

Q. Why does my throat become dry when I sing?

A. You are dehydrating your throat because you breathe awkwardly. When you breathe noisily through the mouth, you are constricting your throat. The mucous membranes in your throat dry rapidly because moisture is forcefully evaporated - the same way an ink spot dries faster when you blow air upon it. The solution is to breathe quietly through the mouth with a still throat.