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Training Tenor Voices

Category: Music

  • Book Title: Training Tenor Voices
  • ISBN 13:
  • ISBN 10:
  • Author: Richard Miller
  • Category: Music
  • Category (general): Music
  • Publisher:
  • Format & Number of pages: 173 pages, book
  • Synopsis: This text presents a combination of historical and pedagogical information on how tenors sing. It emphasizes the special nature of the tenor voice and the proper physiological function leading to the establishment of vocal proficiency.

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ISBN: 0028713974 - Training Tenor Voices - OPENISBN Project: Download Book Data

Training Tenor Voices

Performance demands on the tenor exceed those of every other vocal category, often necessitating more vocal stamina and greater dramatic subtlety. Moreover, teaching the several categories of the tenor voice presents teachers of singing with a series of problems not encountered with any other voice type. The tenor voice remains, in short, a mystery to most audiences and teachers alike. Training Tenor Voices presents a unique combination of historical and pedagogical information on how tenors sing. Designed as a practical program for singers, teachers, and voice professionals, the book places emphasis on the special nature of the tenor voice and the proper physiological functioning that leads to the establishment of vocal proficiency. It supplies practical information on instruction for each category of the tenor voice; recommends the kinds of literature to sing and to avoid; and provides an effective system for voice building, including registration factors, techniques for breath coordination, vowel modification ("covering"), resonance balancing, range extension, the development of vocal agility, and maintaining the high tessitura and sostenuto. The book also includes dozens of technical exercises; numerous anatomical illustrations; musical examples; the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols; unique spectrographic analyses of such famous tenors as Jussi Bjoerling, Franco Corelli, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti; a glossary of terms; and a bibliography.

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Articles

Training Tenor Voices by Richard Miller

Training Tenor Voices

Performance demands on the tenor exceed those of every other vocal category, often necessitating more vocal stamina and greater dramatic subtlety. Moreover, teaching the several categories of the tenor voice presents teachers of singing with a seriesMore Performance demands on the tenor exceed those of every other vocal category, often necessitating more vocal stamina and greater dramatic subtlety. Moreover, teaching the several categories of the tenor voice presents teachers of singing with a series of problems not encountered with any other voice type. The tenor voice remains, in short, a mystery to most audiences and teachers alike. Training Tenor Voices presents a unique combination of historical and pedagogical information on how tenors sing. Designed as a practical program for singers, teachers, and voice professionals, the book places emphasis on the special nature of the tenor voice and the proper physiological functioning that leads to the establishment of vocal proficiency. It supplies practical information on instruction for each category of the tenor voice; recommends the kinds of literature to sing and to avoid; and provides an effective system for voice building, including registration factors, techniques for breath coordination, vowel modification ("covering"), resonance balancing, range extension, the development of vocal agility, and maintaining the high tessitura and sostenuto. The book also includes dozens of technical exercises; numerous anatomical illustrations; musical examples; the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols; unique spectrographic analyses of such famous tenors as Jussi Bjoerling, Franco Corelli, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti; a glossary of terms; and a bibliography. Less

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Bjorn Arvidsson rated it really liked it

over 1 year ago

All of Miller's books are, together with a handful of others (Coffin and Vennard) absolute classics of voice pedagogy, and this is no exception.

Calvin rated it it was amazing

over 2 years ago

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How to Train a High Tenor Voice

How to Train a High Tenor Voice

Instructors working with voice students often speak of "head voice" and "chest voice", or "registers". It is important to recognize early on what pitch a student will fall into, especially for young males whose voices are changing. If the instructor is working with a female singer who is capable of reaching tenor notes, he will train the student to use the chest voice when singing lower notes.

Things You'll Need

Knowledge of vocal ranges

Determine which students already sing in a tenor range, or who will be singing tenor in the future. Prior to any voice change, teach your male students to use their "head voice" and project their singing through their sinus cavities, which will help them to project higher and farther.

Change your students' training regimen to concentrate on singing from their "chest range" after their voices have changed. Include diaphragmatic and breathing exercises and instruct them to breathe into their diaphragms only. Make sure they don't expel air from their lungs when singing, as this will not enable them to sing in proper form. Include instruction on how to properly form their mouths and tongues as they are singing.

Teach your students, male and female, to use correct vocal techniques for their voices. Remind them to sing in their own register (if they try to sing too high (soprano) or too low (baritone or bass), they run the risk of developing polyps on their vocal cords. If you do find a song which contains notes which are just a little high for your tenor students, work carefully with them in reaching these notes. Help them to use "head voice" for these notes. S

Use your piano or keyboard during voice lessons, including technical and breathing exercises. Have your students sing the notes which you play on the piano. One way of introducing and using good technique is to have the students sing phonetic sounds and vowels as they breathe and exercise their vocal cords and diaphragms, example, "em-en-em-en-em" or "la-la-la-la", "lo-lo-lo-lo", le-le-le-le" and "lu-lu-lu-lu".

Remind your students to drink plenty of room temperature water during the day, particularly before and during voice lessons. If students develop respiratory illnesses, encourage them to drink hot tea daily while they're sick. If students try to sing without drinking water, they will find it very difficult since their throats and larynxes are dry. Breathing air down into the diaphragm makes this dryness worse.

Resources You May Also Like

How to Train a High Tenor Voice. Instructors working with voice students often speak of "head voice" and "chest voice", or "registers".

When training a voice to sing tenor, it's crucial to have proper body alignment and breathing. Train your voice to sing tenor.

Training Your Falsetto for How to Get a Sweet Voice. How to Train a High Tenor Voice. How to Teach Men.

Video Transcript. Hi! I am Erica Lane, I am with Expert Village and I am going to talk about how to train.

Train your voice with advice from an experienced vocalist in this free video on singing. How to Train a Voice to.

Learn about the head voice versus the chest voice in singing with expert music tips in this free vocal coaching video clip.

To sing low notes properly, you must employ the chest voice, the same type of voice you use in everyday communication.

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Nasality in the Tenor Voice


How often have you sat in a performance and said to yourself, “If only the tenor had a beautiful sound instead of that nasality!” What is the missing factor in some of today’s training of the tenor instrument? The many concepts that contribute to nasality and possible solutions will be discussed later in this article. Possibly the major complaint about the tenor singer is the presence of too much nasality in the tone, lack of warmth, and as a result, lack of tonal beauty in a performance setting. But what causes this nasality factor and what can be done to solve this unattractive tonal quality issue? Support VoiceTeacher.Com - Buy your copy of


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Help Keep this Site Free for Everyone! The answer to this question is not one dimensional, but involves discussing several aspects of vocal technique. Usually one problem causes a chain reaction, resulting in a domino effect that makes for unattractive and often tense singing. A nasal approach is actually a band-aid and does not address the real vocal issues at hand. Unfortunately this leaves the singer is performing under a high level ofnervousness due the resulting throat tension. Reoccurring nasality is a large indicator that a singer’s technique is either incomplete, or there are major technical problems at hand. Defining the Difference between Nasal Resonance and Nasality: Nasality: Unfortunately, as a young singer I was trained as a tenor even though my true voice is a lyric baritone. It was Dixie Neill who saved my throat by taking my down to the baritone fach. My tonal quality as a tenor was almost totally nasal and it took a long time for me to achieve true resonance in my voice without nasality. One technical understanding that must be learned by any performing tenor is that nasality is not a healthy approach to singing well. Most often, nasality is a result of a few factors: (1) a low soft palate, (2) the pushing of too much breath pressure through the larynx (resulting in high-larynx singing or a closed throat), and as a result, (3) tremendous tension at the root of the tongue accompanied by a forward jaw position. The forward jaw position does not allow for the full adduction of the cords. Nasal Resonance or Squeeze? One major issue at hand when studying may be whether or not the instructor hears the difference between squeezed nasal sound and authentic nasal resonance. Nasal resonance is the true ring in the voice RESULTING from an open throat or the three primary open pharyngeal chambers. This factor serves the singer in many ways. One of the major benefits of healthy nasal resonance is the release of the root of the tongue, making healthy vocal fold adduction possible. In order for the sound to filter through the nasal resonance, the tongue and palate must be out of the way. The singer needs to achieve the ng posture of the tongue, (using the middle of the tongue to approximate the ng position), a small stream of air through the nasal port, three open pharyngeal chambers (naso-pharynx, oro-pharynx and laryngeo-pharynx), and a sense of sustaining resulting ring in the voice by involving the lower body support system. When true resonance is achieved beyond nasality, the singer can produce a pure legato line. Remember that a voice should never be placed forward. Jussi Bjoerling once said to my teacher Alan Lindquest when they were studying in Stockholm together, “Ring reflects toward the nose and mask area from an open back throat or pharynx, but the sensation is subtle.” This statement infers that the true work is focused on the open throat and getting the tongue and palate out of the way. Lamperti once said, “A singer’s primary pronouncer is in the pharynx, NOT the mouth.” This open pharynx approach or pharyngeal vowel approach assists in releasing the root of the tongue, making it difficult to produce a nasal sound. The laryngeal tilt is achieved through this open-throated approach (pharyngeal vowels) as well, creating a healthier balance in registration. The need to drive breath pressure is eliminated in the voice, even thought it may take the singer time to stop the push of breath pressure. The resulting tonal quality is warm and ringing, but NEVER nasal. High Larynx: When any singer uses a high-larynx position in singing, the root of the tongue becomes extremely tense in order to try and hold the larynx down out of the way. This tension at the root of the tongue tends to drive the voice forward. Along with this tongue tension, there is usually a pushing of too much breath pressure toward the nasal port, a technique that results in a brittle or harsh sound. This high larynx position is due to a couple of factors: (1) lack of support in the lower body muscles, which diminishes breath pressure under the larynx, and (2) lack of pharyngeal vowel training, which opens the back of the throat. The Half-Moon Neck Shape: Recently I had the experience of viewing an operatic performance of a very famous crossover tenor. I must preface this with saying that when I first went to Dixie Neill in 1983, my larynx was extremely high and my neck was collapsed, making a nasal and strident sound. The sides of my neck shaped themselves similar to the shape of a half moon on each side, creating a function where the neck muscles curved inward. This is the largest red light; when I witness a performer on stage with the sidewalls of the throat collapsing. It means that the pharynx is collapsing during the performance. The tenor’s neck took this exact shape and it saddens me to witness a singer with a beautiful quality struggle so much to sing. The same scenario is present in the singing of a young British Soprano. Because this flaw has not been corrected in her singing, she cannot perform and keep a consistent schedule. Basically both of these singers could have been saved from vocal difficulties with the correct training. False Ring from Tongue Tension: Imitating a Sound through Internal Deceptive Hearing: As stated before, one major problem for the nasal tenor is tongue tension due to high larynx singing. When the larynx is high due to lack of throat space then the root of the tongue becomes bunched and tense. The result is what many call a ‘tonguey sound’ or a sound that is manufactured. To the singer, this sound is good inside the head, but what the audience hears is a knurdled sound. Why does a singer make this choice? Because he is attached to an internal sound that he or she thinks is good or the singer is just not getting what true resonance represents. Any tenor singer (all singers for that matter) must learn to guide the voice through physical sensations rather than listening. The resulting tongue tension through listening tends to increase pressure under the nasal port area making the voice placed in such a way that nasality is almost unavoidable. Because I was a lyric baritone trained as a tenor, I tried every way to sound like a tenor. By the time I got to a good teacher, my tongue dipped like a spoon and shook rapidly. In fact, it was impossible for me to release the tongue or even leave it stationary. This was due to the tremendous constriction of the tongue muscle. Usually when a singer has a history of a high larynxed singing, then the root of the tongue is extremely tense. This is a problem no matter what the vocal fach. Locking of the Airflow: One issue that is rarely discussed is the ability to lock the airflow with the back of the tongue. I have never taught a nasal singer that did not lock the breath flow with the root of the tongue. This usually is a factor because the singer is subconsciously creating an internal sound that sounds good to him and has a characteristic timbre of the ‘tenor sound’. However this sound does not translate to the audience. The listener simply hears how held the vocal sound is and experiences the uncomfortable feeling of hearing a singer struggle to get into the upper voice. Registration problems: We established earlier that nasal singing is reflective of a closed throat. The result of singing on a closed throat is imbalance of registration. Usually the singer whitens the sound to imitate true head voice when in actuality the chest register is taken too high and the upper register becomes more and more harsh and strident. This is exactly what happened in my vocal instruction because I am NOT a true tenor. Intonation became harder and harder to achieve because the larynx was too high and the palate too low resulting in feeling squeezed from both the upper and lower direction. In other words, registration flips cannot occur healthily if the throat is closed and the vocal sound driven toward the point of nasality. Jaw Posture Problem: As I said in the opening of this article, nasality is a combination of several vocal issues working together to distort true vocal resonance. One issue in a nasal singer is the thrusting forward of the jaw, a habit of which many singers are not aware. This thrusting forward of the jaw encourages a backward pull of the tongue, a major factor in driving the voice toward the nasal port without enough opening of the back of the throat. The forward thrust of the jaw creates a brighter sound inside the singer's internal hearing, a major factor in why singers assume this kind of jaw function. The jaw should actually gently wrap back after every consonant. One need only view videos of excellent singers and views them from the profile to witness this behavior. Vowel Distortion: In 1977 I had a long lesson with my friend Martha Rosacker. It was she who convinced me to go to Alan Lindquest in 1979. I give her credit for beginning my journey of searching for vocal answers. The lesson was over 1 and 1/2 hours in length, mainly focusing on the Italian u vowel. During the entire session, my u vowel was distorted because my tongue shaped like a spoon and shook with tremendous tension. I applaud her patience and determination. Even though I did not get my vowel correctly produced in that session, through listening to it I was able to later diagnose and correct the problem. Vowel distortion can be a huge problem in nasal singing because the tongue is not allowed the proper position for the pure vowel sound to be produced. I will never forget one quote of Mr. Lindquest, “You alter the vowel with the pharyngeal stretch and you speak the integrity of the vowel with the proper tongue position.” I use this quote all the time in my teaching because it is important to know how to speak pure vowel sounds with an open throat. High Breathing: If the tongue is bunched or back, creating a nasal sound, then the quick breath will be high in the body. In all of my teaching, I have never seen a tight-tongued singer breathe low in the body. The first of the following series of exercises will help to release the tongue, making low breathing more possible. One good way to achieve a low breath is to place the tongue between the lips and take a slow nasal breath. The singing breath will drop much lower in the body and you will teach the tongue NOT to bunch or pull back at inhalation. Exercises: Releasing the Blockages that Create Nasality: (As you phonate at the cords, roll the tongue slightly forward in an arched position. This is the exact opposite to the gag reflex and the tongue will not want to behave in this way. But with practice, the singer will realize the brilliance of the a vowel with phonation on the thin edges of the folds.) Breathing over the hand: Shape your hand flat. Then place it laterally in the mouth and breathe above the hand. There will be a tremendous stretch of the soft palate, a wonderful tool in ridding the voice of nasality. I received this exercise during my study with Dr. Evelyn Reynolds in New York. Learn to achieve a healthy facial posture when breath is taken. Lift the cheeks gently under the eyes (opens the uvula away from the back of the tongue and lifts the soft palate), sink the cheeks at the back molars (opens the back wall of the pharynx at inhalation), and breathe the jaw gently back in order for the larynx to release downward. Use a mirror to self-supervise this facial posture exercise. This exercise was presented to me by Alan Lindquest during my study with him in 1979. Use the neutral vowel ‘uh’ in the larynx before bringing focus into the tone. For example, start with the ‘uh’ in the larynx and then bring the tongue forward as in the ‘i’ vowel. This way your open pharynx is established first, then the brilliance can follow while keeping the open feeling in the throat. I worked with concept during my study with Dr. Reynolds. Achieving both High and Low Overtones: One constant search for any singer is finding balance in his/her singing by balancing high and low overtones. The following exercise is designed to achieve balance in the middle register and to inspire the production of upper and lower overtones (Sing the hum portion of the exercise with the tongue gently between the lips. As you do this, feel as though you are stretching a vowel space behind the tongue. Then sing the 5 vowels. You will find that there will be a balance in upper and lower overtones or a combination of ring and open acoustical space working together. I designed this exercise and it is represented on my instructional CD, “An Introductory Lesson with David Jones: A Resource for Teachers and Singers”. Please feel free to direct any questions to David Jones at www.voiceteacher.com. © 2006 by David L. Jones This article was first published in Classical Singer Magazine

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Male Vocal Range and Voice Type

Male Vocal Range
and Voice Types!

There are many vocal ranges and voice types for males, and this section will discuss the 4 main types of male voices. their respective pitch ranges, unique tonal characteristics, as well as how their tessituras or most comfortable voice ranges differ from each other.

One important point to note. These 2 terms – Vocal Range and Voice Type – are not to be confused with each other.

The Range of our Voice refers to the range of notes that our voice can reach or produce a sound at, whereas the Type of Voice refers to the various kinds of voices classified using certain criteria like range of vocals, tessituras, register transition points, vocal timbre or tone and so on.

Click on the links provided above to understand more about how to find your own vocal range, as well as how to determine your own voice type using the various criteria!

Now, the 4 main types of male voices are as follows:

1. Countertenor
2. Tenor
3. Baritone
4. Bass

Let us look at each of these male voices in more detail:

The Countertenor Voice may actually be unfamiliar to those of us not from the classical realm, as many of us would probably only have heard of the 3 main male voices – Tenor, Baritone and Bass.

The Countertenor voice is the highest of the adult male voice types. and has a vocal range that is similar to that of the Female Contralto Voice, the lowest of the female voice types! In the Mandarin pop scene, certain singers like Jeff Chang and the lead singer of popular pop rock band Soda Green would probably qualify as countertenor voices!

An approximate Countertenor Vocal Range would be from a G note below the middle C (G3) to a high F one octave above the middle C (F5). Be sure to support your voice well with your breath so as to get a more accurate representation of the range in your voice. Check out the section on ‘How to Find Your Singing Range and Voice Type’ to get some tips on finding your range on your own!

Also, the Tessitura or most comfortable singing range for Countertenors lies above that of the Tenor and other adult male voices. The Countertenor voice would usually be able to sing the high head voice notes with great ease and brightness in tone. and would often be confused by many listeners with regular female voices.

The Tenor Voice is the highest of the main male vocal types that most people would be familiar with, with the typical tenor vocal range lying between the C note one octave below middle C (C3) to the C note one octave above middle C (C5)! This means that it would lie just slightly below the Countertenor voice, but has similar characteristics in the sense that the Tenor would also be able to sing most high notes with ease and vocalize the head voice notes with strength and brightness !

The Tenor voice would probably transition into his middle voice around the D or E note above middle C (D4 or E4) and shift into head voice around the F sharp or G above middle C (F4 or G4). The tenor tessitura would lie between that of the Countertenor’s and the Baritone’s. Do make sure that we avoid certain common singing problems like jaw tightness when we attempt to find out where our vocal register transitions lie, as this will affect the notes at which we transition, affecting the voice type we may classify ourselves to be!

Famous Tenor voices include the 3 Tenors – Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo. as well as other classical singers like Enrico Caruso and pop singers like Elton John, Stevie Wonder. In the Mandarin pop scene, JJ Lin Junjie and Jay Chou would probably be considered Tenor voices too!

Most men would have a vocal range similar to that of a Baritone voice, as this is the most common of the male voice types! A typical Baritone Voice Range would be between the A flat note one octave below the middle C (A Flat 2) to the A flat note above the middle C (A Flat 4).

The Baritone Voice would transition into middle voice somewhere around the A or B note just below middle C (A3 or B3), and move into head voice somewhere at the D or E note just above middle C (D4 or E4). Also, the baritone tessitura would lie somewhere between the Tenor and the Bass tessituras, and the baritone voice would be strongest in the middle range pitches.

Famous Baritones include John Charles Thomas, Lawrence Tibbett, Leonard Warren and Robert Merrill. In the Mandarin pop scene, the iconic Andy Lau would qualify as a baritone singer.

The Bass Voice is the lowest of the male voice types. It is also quite rare to find a good bass voice, which means that bass singers will be very much in demand in choirs and also in A Cappella groups! Famous Bass singers include Barry White, James Morris and Samuel Ramey.

Bass singers would be strongest in their low voice, with a deep and dark booming quality to his voice, somewhat like how a sub woofer speaker may sound! The Bass voice would have a vocal range of between the F note 1 octave below the middle C (F2) to the E note just above middle C (E4). He would also have a tessitura or most comfortable voice range that is lower than the Baritone’s.

The Bass voice would probably transition from chest voice to middle voice somewhere around the A or A flat note just below the middle C (A3 or A Flat 3), and then shift into head voice somewhere around the D Flat note just above middle C (D Flat 4).

Understanding more about the 4 main male voice types and their vocal ranges helps us to be able to understand more about our own voice as well as which voice type we may belong to. Knowing our voice type will help us to determine the various keys or pitches with which to do our vocal warmups before we sing, so as to achieve maximum desired effect!

Achieve A Singing Voice You Can Be Proud Of !

Hit Higher Notes, Avoid Embarrassing Voice Breaks, And Achieve Vocal Mastery and Understanding !

The Ultimate Vocal Training System is a comprehensive online training system that will provide targeted solutions to vocal problems that you are facing, allowing you to sing higher in your vocal range. avoid sore throats or vocal swelling after a long night of singing, and avoid embarrassing vocal breaks or cracks in the range!

This comprehensive vocal training system is divided into a total of 10 Modules consisting of 80+ training videos and other pdf resources, covering topics like breath and voice production, vocal folds and how they work, voice projection and a simple trick that will give you more singing power, as well as pitching and aural awareness training too!

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