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THE SINGING PLAINSMEN

Notes/suggestions from Charla Clare

Following coaching session

Thur, July 16, 1998

Interpreting the Phrasing Plan: building an emotional high through the lyrics

  1. Sing each phrase as you would naturally say it – don’t set vocal traps with a bad plan or you are setting yourselves up to be frustrated.
  2. If the same phrase is repeated later in the song, don’t sing it the same. Choose the plan that will best emotionally enhance that phrase at that part in the song. Pay attention to what comes before it an dafter it in telling the story of the song, always creating forward motion.
  3. Where is the emotional high in the song? The climax of the piece… the place you are building to. All this is moving toward this moment. This is accomplished if you have built in forward motion in the music.

FORWARD MOTION:

    1. Strong Phrasing Plan
    2. Strong Breathing Plan
    3. Dynamics built in through the use of vocal textures (spikes and velvets)
    4. Build in the "goosebumps" – Find the "gems" and glorify them, but no chord worshipping (we are all guilty of this one).

BREATHING TECHNIQUES: (practice in warm ups!, between phrases, or anywhere)

SING…. Breath….. SING

Space…..space……..space (The key word here is "space" – don’t change it!)

Drop tummy

Ribs lifted

Most people fall into the following trap:

SING/STOP/DROP SPACE/BREATH/RESET SPACE/SING

This is what most people do – but why? … it’s so much work!!!!

Direct breaths on expanded phrases by pulling your hands apart, like a baloon is being blown up in your hands! Do not move toward the chorus… they can’t see it… that’s moving in the wrong dimension… moving up and down for louds and softs is wrong dimension again… creates weight in the sound… yuk… remember, the chorus is a mirror of you. So you practice in the mirror so you are aware of what you are presenting… you’ll be marvelous, and so will they.

Always challenge yourself to the next level!! Don’t be satisfied with what you can already do… you’ll get bored.

VOLUME / DYNAMICS / TEXTURE:

"VELVETS"

"SPIKES"

SOFT

MEDIUM

LOUD

MEDIUM

LOUD

"BIG MOUTH FROG"

Supported soft

Changing texures can give you an instant dynamic change with the same amount of vocal energy.

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