Professional Voice Training and Consultation

Speech Styled Vocal Approach/Bel Canto

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Single formants are the foundation of the double formants

Learning the [u] with a low larynx helps to effectively develop the musculature needed for anchoring the larynx into a low, fixed position. One that is effective for achieving efficiency and resonance. Rounding (without the lips) the [u] seats the larynx and induces air-flow through the vocal cords. The single formant vowels behave like a flue; working in perfect balance with the steady emission of air by means of Bernoulli's principle in action. Single formants build their ability to create dark sounds in a way that induces air-flow. Many who implore darkening of the tone, do so at the expense of efficiency, as weight is normally a result of darkening a "supported" tone. Learning the single formant vowels as being conceptualized primarily as a speaking tone will allow any student to warm the voice easily, as if opening and closing shutters. How do we say words like: you, new, Sue, do, flew, two, grew, stew? If you'll notice, there is also a ring or resonance to these sounds, in some words this ring is intensified by the use of the semi-consonant in words like new, and stew. This suggests to me that this [u] position could be a more natural position by which to approach developing the ring of the voice. One way to do this is by employing our ability to create double formant vowels as [i]s, [ɛ]s, and [æ]s. Further, a smooth connection between the fundamental qualities of both single and double formant vowels allows for seamless phonation through the multi-syllabic dynamic of singing. It does this by allowing the singer to change syllables without ever changing the airflow and disturbing the action of Bernoulli's principle.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Lets go through the single formant vowels. These vowels exploit our voices ability to create warm vocal qualities. They are formed in the pharynx, starting just above a low seated larynx, and rising above mouth and upper pharynx with the tongue remaining flat. The most closed single formant being [u] and the most open being [ɔ] or [ə]. This is of course assuming that [a] is considered neither single or double formant, as it is fully open and demonstrates qualities of both types of vowels. The larynx should be low, and you should be able to make the [u] with no rounding of the lips, if you can't make this sound without your lips rounding, your larynx is too high, and you are off of your cords. If allowed to develop from the wrong laryngeal position and engagement of the embouchure, as you develop, your attempts to warm or color the tone will either be too breathy, or too pressed. This must be learned before you begin the development of the [i], or the most closed "double-formant" vowel.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Eating an apple before singing will refresh your voice. It does this by restoring the ph balance of the tissue in the throat. Eat an apple, find the core (2800). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_resonation

Friday, March 5, 2010

Best time to warm-up

Warm up in the morning the day of a performance, and brush the dust off again half and hour before you perform.

Work on your [i] [ɛ] and [ae] in the middle, the e octave encompassing middle c for men, and an octave up for women. Very bright with zero abdominal action or support, mp initially to mf. Start on the lower notes and be sure and keep the core or buzz in the sound.

Singers who wait to warm up just before a performance put themselves at a dis-advantage for achieving the best and most efficient resonance which usually ends up with one's over- compensating physically, and bringing on unnecessary fatigue and premature vocal exhaustion. You don't want that happening on the big night.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Welcome. Please post questions you may have concerning the voice.