Entries tagged with “anna demme”.

Many pop and country singers these days are using their belt voices. Unfortunately, many of them are using their belt voices incorrectly without considering the damage that they could be causing to their vocal chords. They may sound great now, but they might not have much of a voice later on. In my opinion, one such person who is wearing her voice out prematurely is Christina Aguilera. Aside from wrong words, notice in this clip how on several of the high notes, she is attempting to belt them and her voice has a very scratchy and oft times flat sound. In several instances, she makes it sound intentional by quickly moving from the note she’s holding (belting) by doing vocal flourishes. It may sound impressive, but it’s her voice’s way of telling her that it can’t keep this up.  If I was working so hard to make my notes sound good, I might forget the words too.

A good example of a pop singer who seems to be very talented with her belt voice is Kelly Clarkson. She seems to be in good control of it, and honestly, I hope that it lasts her.

Here’s a helpful article from Wikipedia for more information on belt voice.

This is a pretty rough recording of an old hymn I arranged. I was going through a hard time and the words to this song helped me, but the old tune didn’t seem to fit. Hopefully, this hymn can encourage you too 🙂

Though the angry surges roll
On my tempest-driven soul,
I am peaceful, for I know,
Wildly though the winds may blow,
I’ve an anchor safe and sure,
That can evermore endure.

And it holds, my anchor holds:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

Mighty tides about me sweep,
Perils lurk within the deep,
Angry clouds o’ershade the sky,
And the tempest rises high;
Still I stand the tempest’s shock,
For my anchor grips the rock.

Troubles almost ‘whelm the soul;
Griefs like billows o’er me roll;
Tempters seek to lure astray;
Storms obscure the light of day:
But in Christ I can be bold,
I’ve an anchor that shall hold.

Here’s a fun little song that I sang for my student’s at the spring recital.

The Imposter.

This post is in two parts. In this first part, I’d like to show you a few examples of famous singers using a false kind of vibrato. I’ll also explain the “why” behind them.

To really understand vibrato, you have to know that vibrato is a good thing. Through the pitch undulation (vibrato), we are able to give our vocal chords moments to relax. If there was only a straight tone with no vibrato, this would wear the vocal chords quickly and they would tire out and the singer would then go flat much faster. This is why opera singers use it. Many times, they are having to sing loudly over an orchestra, so the way to do this most efficiently is to use vibrato. This is not to say that only opera singers use it.

That being said, the first examples comes from two “child prodigies.” Many child singers, because they do not always have much natural vibrato or don’t know how to use it, they are taught to use artificial vibrato.

Example #1–Jackie Evancho “Time to say Goodbye”

Does she have an amazing voice? Yes. There is no question about that. However, if you’ll notice, her jaw is moving up and down whenever she holds a note. When using this type of artificial vibrato, it comes from tension within the jaw. The lower jaw is connected with sympathetic muscles connected to the vocal chords and throat. This makes it a bit harder to control tone (as heard by her last high note at the end) and does not have as nice a sound overall.

Example #2–Charlotte Church “Ave Maria”

Another beautiful voice, but as you can see, there is much “false vibrato” being employed. During her early career, there was much debate amongst vocalists as to the constant wear on Church’s vocal chords due to the high and intense nature of her songs, and the amount of singing she did for her not yet fully matured voice. In this instance, although the vibrato was from a tense jaw, and in essence, her overall sound was not as pleasing, it was probably essential for her to continue to singing.

Example #3–Church’s Natural Vibrato (mostly) “Actors”

It seems like Church has made a mostly happy vibrato transition, but there are still some of those bad vibrato habits left over from before.

Example #4–Ruth Lorenzo “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”

There are many things to pick apart from this example, but let’s just look at the vibrato. It is rarely used, and when it is used, it is fast, false, and uncontrolled, coming from an already strained voice. This fast vibrato is her voice’s way of saying “STOP SINGING LIKE THAT!” The singer is trying to sound like Janice Joplin (I think) by singing loudly and in a very raspy tone. This is not a good idea. This type of singing is very damaging to vocal chords. (On a side note: Her problem mainly seems to lie in her lack of breath support and refusal to use her head voice. She is pushing her chest voice too high and thus straining her voice. If you don’t have the proper breath support, it’s hard to get the power you need and the ability to relax at the same time so that vibrato is even possible.)

Stay tuned for my some of my examples of “good vibrato” coming very soon!