Common Singing Questions Answered…

What can I expect after learning SLS technique?

Firstly, you can expect to be able to maintain a connected, speech-level production of tone throughout your entire range.

Secondly and more broadly, you can expect your vocal range to be, on average:

Baseslow E to G above middle C
Baritoneslow G to B natural just below the Tenor high C
TenorsC (below middle C) to E above high C
Altoslow C (below middle C) to high C
Mezzo-SopranosG (below middle C) to E♭ above high C
SopranosG (below middle C) to F above high C

Is SLS just learning to breathe correctly?

The importance of breathing in singing has been overemphasized by teachers for too long a time. Working directly at developing your breath is not necessary, unless you have a sloppy posture and a depressed rib cage (which collapses uncontrollably when you expel air). In which case I would most certainly address the breath/posture issue.

You indirectly develop the proper breath support for your tone as you condition your larynx not to move and your outer muscles to relax. When you use a speech-level approach to singing, everything, including how much air you use to move your cords, happens automatically.

How do I select a good vocal coach?

Think of it like a sport. Professional players don’t have teachers, they have coaches. Teachers show you the what, coaches show you the how. A voice technique coach may or may not be a gifted singer themselves. However, they should know and be able to sing through their bridges with enough proficiency that they can demonstrate the exercises and songs.

Decide whether they are primarily a voice technique coach or primarily a voice teacher. Of the two, the voice technique coach is the most important, because without the technical ability to sing flexibly and clearly in all parts of your range, you are very limited to the material you can do.

For the initiated, a good voice technique coach is hard to find.

If the teacher’s method consists mainly of using terms such as “give it more support,” “sing from your diaphragm” and “open your mouth,” you know you are in the wrong company. Or, if you don’t feel your voice improving in the areas of tone, or you cannot easily extend your range within a few weeks, move on – fast!

Sadly, some teachers give their students the same vocal problems which killed their own careers and forced them into teaching. They don’t mean to harm, they just don’t know better.

How much should I practice singing?

Practice at least as much as you perform.

Practice and performing are not the same thing. Similarly,  any elite athlete knows training is not the same as racing or competing.

Performance brings together your voice conditioning with artistic demands for the purpose of communicating and entertaining your audience.

Regular vocal practice keeps or improves your vocal conditioning, so that any temporary waver from good technique is easily recognised and corrected.

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