Forums > Categories > vocal-technique > confusion about different "schools" of vocal technique

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elrathion Semi Pro
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confusion about different "schools" of vocal technique
November 30, 2008 at 12:54PM
Can you get me some clips of your singing?

David Jones is in my idea a brilliant coach, and so is Brett. The thing is they don't exactly teach the same genre of
music. While Brett might take on some classical trained people, he'll generally teach them things to improve their
voice based on his years of experience, not start to train them into opera from scratch. I believe David Jones focuses mostly on a classical, operatic sound and to get the "perfect sound", aka a rich sound with maximum overtones. It's true that if you want maximum overtones you need to take a certain amount of steps to get that to happen. However those are not always necc. in other types of singing.

The soft palat being one of them. I don't raise my soft palat in my chest voice, but I lift it for mix/headvoice most of
the time in most styles of singing. You gotta realise aswell that singing opera is kind of vocal abuse if you don't execute it properly. It's a very intense type of singing and needs more attention points then certain other types of
music. Therefor he got to warn students about what could potentially ruin voices. That being said there are alot of things to be learned from him so try to keep an open mind!

Id like to tell you though that most coaches agree on 80-90% of the things, they just phrase it differently. You can expect any classical teacher to usually have a bit more requirements cse it's needed for that type of music.

If you want an elaborate discussion about this and maybe some free lessons you can always stop by at msn Razz

Hope this helped

emmiek Pro
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November 30, 2008 at 2:15AM
i have found help from both SS and David Jones techniques. They differ in some ways, but i think some of the fundamentals are the same. i feel like SS doesn't cover much detail about the formant, tongue, throat, etc and this is where i have found David Jones most helpful. my david jones program is lacking in exercises that address mix and this is where SS excels. i'm not sure what to make of David Jones critique of SLS, but i wll say that i agree with the idea that if your speaking voice is not a healthy one, then you're SLS will not be healthy either. it's important that a teacher be able to catch and correct this. my teacher has been able to do this (i was speaking in a really low, throaty voice and my teacher has corrected this and now has me speaking in a more 'headier" voice now, which has made a world of difference). to address your 2nd point (ie. get a panel of different schools of thought to come to consensus), you might want to post your question on this site, where they seem to have teachers from all schools of thought participating in the same forum, not just SS or SLS.

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btherl Pro
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November 30, 2008 at 11:47AM
I find it hard to take David Jones' critique of SLS seriously. He makes several mistakes which could have been cleared up had he spoken to an SLS teacher first.

1. He talks about "individuals [who] do not learn healthy speaking habits", but doesn't follow through on that. SLS training actually involves correcting unhealthy speaking habits.
2. He talks about vowel narrowing as producing the "true" vowel sound as heard by the audience, in contrast to SLS. SLS actually teaches the exact same thing as him here, that you must narrow to produce a pure vowel.
3. This: "Attempting to take the speaking mechanism higher and higher without accommodating the upper register (mixing) with more acoustical space is an abusive practice." Mixing chest and head is practically the pointl of SLS. I don't know how he got the idea that SLS teaches chest voice all the way up.

To provide context, I'm an SLS student and have taken around 10 lessons so far over 5 months. While I can see from Jones' critique that there are some students who studied SLS and still had bad technique, I don't think the specific points he makes are valid critcisms of SLS. After he declares that SLS doesn't use head voice and is in fact belting, from that point on he is critcizing belting, not SLS.
nipon621 Semi Pro
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December 01, 2008 at 2:41AM
I would also like to see reconciliation amongst pedadologists and although vocal singers
use more scientific approaches now, nobody cites sources when they tell you to do
something. Like "Hey, use these lip rolls, they really work by reducing tension" and so on
and so forth. If Brett or any of these other singers took the time to explain the
physiological response elicited by certain exercises they could teach people not only how
to sing but also teach people how to teach themselves to sing. But enough criticism - I
immensely respect anyone who takes time trying to teach others anything, especially those
who get consistently good results (ie; Brett Manning, David Jones, and others).
If you post a clip of how you sing up the scales, it might help by allowing us to identify
your problems.

It is possible you have conditioned your voice to sing in falsetto by singing
loudly enough that the voice automatically started going into falsetto to protect itself. I
recommend trying the vocal fry exercise and then without stopping the airflow, going
straight into song on whatever note you're trying to sing.

I had that problem, and the solution was trying the vocal fry exercise very lightly
and staying conscious of what was falsetto and what was head/chest voice. I also try and
sing heavy metal or hard rock (Hansi Kürsch from Blind Guardian and Brent Smith from
Shinedown are my inspiration), but since I keep thinking of how awesome and metal the
vocals are I tense up every time without fail and it kills my range when I try and sing.
You may have the same problem - the tension doesn't feel like much when its there for me but
I know without a doubt when I sing without it.

I also check my exercises to make sure I am singing them in head/chest voice by stopping whatever action it is (the lips rolling, the tongue trilling, etc) and continue vocalizing without a break in the airflow to show what sound I am practicing with. If it happens to be falsetto... well I just spent that time practicing falsetto. When I break into falsetto I know it because an increase in airflow/pressure (pushing) doesn't seem to cause an increase in resistance. When I am in head or chest voice and I push, it definitely causes an increase in resistance (but I only use this as a diagnostic tool and only sparingly). It was hard to learn how to sing correctly - when I began singing properly I could only

sing 2 pitches because I had spent my ENTIRE LIFE using my throat to speak and sing and it
was intellectually hard to begin using my vocal cords instead.
It may also help to hold your hand on your throat while you sing (however you want, just
don't press down) and identify what muscles are being used when. If you want to get to a
good starting point you will want to eliminate the muscles you can feel (most or all of
them) and only use those inside the larynx for a beginning. There are many on this site who
can tell you much much more, but having an airy voice probably means falsetto (unless its
your speaking voice) and it may help to try and relearn singing using the vocal cords.

P.S. If your problem is mostly chord closure, try the nay's, the mum's and the no's, memorize how it feels and then use that feeling in your songs.

I hope this helps - take it with a grain of salt because i am learning too.

Mathew M
davide144 Semi Pro
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December 01, 2008 at 5:13AM
David Jones criticism is obviously based on only a superficial knowledge of speech level singing. If he had spoken to Brett or Seth they would probably find some common ground. He is making generalizations based on the phrase "speech level singing" not the actual technique. Speech level singing means singing as easily as speaking, not sing exactly as you speak. Anyone using SS knows that singing in head voice feels nothing like the chest voice you speak in. Also just like any technique there are good and bad teachers. It is understandable that he might find students that have had bad experiences with an SLS coach. Only someone who is unhappy with their vocal coach would seek a new one. I have read many of his articles. If you can adjust to his differences in terminology and ignore his misunderstanding of speech level singing, he seems to be a very competent vocal coach.
juliivey-0fc6132baf833482a058445 Semi Pro
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December 02, 2008 at 6:37AM
I don't know about the different SLS theories (I first did the Seth Riggs disc, then Brett's full program, now the videos and the supplemental downloads. For me, all the practice is to get my voice strong enough so that I can communicate the song to an audience who's never heard it before. They don't want to hear how you "sing," but how you communicate the song. I do the mental trick of really, really, really wanting my could-care-less-about singing technique audience to "get" the SONG. In that way, the singing part will naturally improve. If you subscribe to the video program, which I highly recommend, watch the one with Brett and Heather Hawkins navigating the "Bridges." Her voice is trained strong enough to be able to slump over, make it "easy," and communicate the song as naturally as you would if you were "talking" it to a stranger.
beyondtenor Pro
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December 06, 2008 at 5:11AM
Would you say is being narrowed or not? Just out of curiousity, and everyone's opinion counts. It's aimed at Btherl, though.

Also, there is a group of teachers who get together, it's called the voice council. The "official" voice council turned into some weird magazine and forum only place. This was not part of the vision but the financial people involved thought it best and overruled the council. It has been relocated to I'm a part of the council now. Brett was before the transition, and I don't know his stand point. He did some video blogs for the round table before. All of the teachers on the council are highly active. And they typically only allow one on the forum if they remain that way. Wink So, it's already underway. I think more teachers need to be involved. There needs to be a forum set where all teachers are required to go. That's my opinion. And post actively.
btherl Pro
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December 12, 2008 at 12:22PM
That clip doesn't sound narrowed to me. It sounds splatty on the top two notes, more so on the top one, but it still sounds pretty good. It sure doesn't sound like what SLS teaches Smile
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