Monday, September 9, 2013

Tales from a Disgruntled Singer

"Having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart,
endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire" (1 Thessalonians 2:17)
 
Photo courtesy of David A Powell
 
 
The most awful thing happened to me. I lost my voice. Who would have thought years of people telling me not to scream or to overdo it would come and put a blockade in my journey forward? I guess they were right huh! Sometimes you have to take advice from people coming and saying a word or two that might actually be helpful with a grain of salt. So here are some of the things I have learned in the past few days:
 
1. Like any other muscle, the vocal cords need to be stretched and warmed-up before putting heavy strain on it; as in performance mode.
 
2. After a good workout in the gym, we need a decent amount of sleep. Eight hours is preferred but definitely more than three.  In order for the body to repair itself, it needs to be rested, relaxed and must not be neglected.
 
3. The microphone is a singers best friend. Because it amplifies the voice, it is not necessary for the singer to scream into it. I'm not saying don't sing with force but not necessarily holler. Just sing.
 
 
4. Humming and hissing are great vocal exercises to do to increase breath control and range. Humming is great to help to repair some of the damage that might have been done and hissing could help bring the flow of oxygen back into that upper register, if it has been compromised.
 
Collage courtesy of Jason Murphee
5. Practicing by a keyboard is really great. Helpful to the ear. But that's only the half. Rehearse, even on your own, with the lyrics because you might find out you have been singing the wrong lyrics all along if your ear did not grasp exactly what was being vocalized. Practice, practice, practice is so important.
 
6. Listening is good too. You do not have to sing along to every song. Listen to what the greats like Melonie Daniels, Sarah Vaughn and Diana Krall do, let it sink in and then sing.
 
7. There is so much more to music than what we hear on the radio today. My friend just advised me to listen to Dianne Reeves and another said to listen to Anastasia. Pretty good I must say. I have been coming across so much beautiful music in the past few days it is crazy. But I am loving it and also enjoying it.
 
8. Lastly, music is universal. I recently saw a video a friend posted on my facebook wall entitled, "What Are You Listening To" from the Berklee School of Music and what a range of songs from all different genres. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsdATDPAUsI. It was wonderful. I've learned from that (even though I was already, very minimally though) that sometimes stepping out the box to do something different than our signature is not such a bad thing. Like for me now, with my voice being compromised and all, I am suffering some woes. Definitely a great time to start crooning some of them old Ida Cox or Bessie Smith blues tunes. Never thought I'd enjoy listening to the blues and for the first time, I've downloaded and am listening and enjoying what I hear. Who knew? Definitely making me snicker for some of them there lyrics being sung while also making me feel a whole lot better. Looking forward to trying something new.

I am definitely eager to see the full range of my voice return back so that I can again use it in the way that God intended.

 
 


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