Wednesday, May 10, 2006

How To Develop Your Ear: Confidence In How You Sound

by Gordon Lee

Developing your ear when singing is essential to being someone who can sing well, but it also plays into how confident you are about your singing. Most people are able to tell you the difference between what sounds right and what sounds wrong, but developing that ear for your own singing takes some practice. Learning how to sing well means you will need to develop your ear for notes, tones, and pitch.

Developing your hear really has little to do with the ear itself. When a musician refers to developing your ear, he or she is talking about the ability to perceive, distinguish, and comprehend what your ear has heard. For most people who are not born with perfect pitch, this means that you will have to train your brain to recognize the notes and chords you are hearing. From the day you start your music lessons you will be developing your ear both consciously and subconsciously.

One task in developing your ear is to at least recognize relative pitch. Most musicians do not have perfect pitch, but relative pitch will be good enough for you to develop your ear. Relative pitch means that you may not know exactly what notes or chords are being played, but you will be able to determine chord progression. As you train your ear, you will be able to hear a musical note in your head and sing it out loud accurately.

Practice is a large part of developing your ear. However, one big mistake that novice singers make in developing their ear for music is that they try to do it in a group setting. Singing in a choir will not help you develop your ear in the beginning, because you cannot develop your ear and listen to others at the same time. Learning how to develop your ear is done best on your own. This also applies to people who try to learn while there are background vocals. Those vocals can cause problems in discerning the notes for a novice singer. As you develop your ear, though, you will find it easier to tune out other singers better.

The best way to develop your ear is to take lessons offered by a singing coach or other program. There are a number of methods you can use to develop your ear so that you are able to easily reproduce notes or even sing directly from sheet music. Developing your ear means that you will more easily come up with the right notes, tones, and pitch for singing better.
About the Author

Gordon Lee shares his FREE 6 MUST KNOW Tips Before You Start On Your Quest To Learn To Sing Better at

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Guide to Voice Registers

The human voice is a complex instrument. Humans have vocal cords which can loosen or tighten or change their thickness and over which breath can be transferred at varying pressures. The shape of chest and neck, the position of the tongue, and the tightness of otherwise unrelated muscles can be altered. Any one of these actions results in a change in pitch, volume, timbre, or tone of the sound produced.

One important categorization that can be applied to the sounds singers make relates to the register or the "voice" that is used. Singers refer to these registers according to the part of the body in which the sound most generally resonates, and which have correspondingly different tonal qualities. There are widely differing opinions and theories about what a register is, how they are produced and how many there are. The following definitions refer to the different ranges of the voice.

The human voice is usually considered to have at least three voice registers,ranging from lowest to highest, the chest register, head register, and falsetto. (The whistle register, comprising the highest notes that a human voice can reach, is also often considered a "full" register, though the ability to use it well is fairly rare.) Some singers remain in a single range (usually the chest register) throughout their songs, but many will switch between these different ranges in order to produce a wide range of pitches, or even simply for effect.

Vibrato is a technique used by singers (and many instrumentalists, for instance, string instruments that are played with a bow can produce vibrato tones) in which a sustained note actually wavers very quickly and consistently between a very slightly higher and a lower tone, giving the note a slight quaver.

Melisma occurs when a singer sustains a note, but switches pitch within the same register while singing that note, often several times. It is used heavily in operatic singing, as well as to a somewhat lesser extent in popular music.

The Art of Vibrato: Info and Tips for Better Singing

Vibrato is the pulse or wave in a sustained tone. You must master and control your sustained tone and vibrato. These techniques are extremely important for all vocal styles.

Singers use vibrato as a means of expression. Many successful artists have built a career on deep, rich vibrato ability. If you want to jumpstart your singing ability then learn to control that vibrato.

Three Types of Vibrato

* Vocal Chord - produced by rapidly fluttering or interrupting vocal chord. Limited versatility.

* Throat Vibrato - This style is controlled by the throat muscles. Can produce wide, narrow, slow, or rapid vibrato.

* Diaphragm Vibrato -An advanced technique used by professional singers worldwide. The method can be used to control speed and depth of pulses.

Exercise: Vocalize a single vowel syllable as if calling across a room. Something like, "Aye" or "Yo" Next add a second pulse. Build up to many pulses. Stress the vowel sound. Yo-o-o-o-o. Not Yo-yo-yo-yo. Relax and focus; these are the keys to good tone and better singing. Practice daily. Good Luck.

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