How To Practice A Song – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy

Hey guys, welcome back again to Ken Tamplin
Vocal Academy, where the proof continues to be in the actual singing. We got quite a few requests for this one. It’s how to practice a song. Or how do I practice singing a song? Well, there’s a lot of diverse information
on YouTube and the Internet. I’m just going to share my own personal
testimony with you, and then you can use that information if it will help you. And the first thing is, I would practice something
that’s well-within your vocal range, or well-within what’s called your tessitura,
or the sweet spot of what vocal registration you have. So if you’re a baritone, it’s one thing,
if you’re a tenor, alto, contralto, soprano, whatever that is. It’s well-within your range, so you’re
not stretching yourself so far that you get so frustrated, that you lose confidence that
you can’t sing something. Okay? So, in fact, often to this day, if there’s
a piece that I’m going to work up, I might practice it a half-step lower, or a full-step
lower just to kind of get a lay of the land and figure out, you know, how it feels in my
voice and throat, and then I’ll build stamina up, and I’ll work myself up to the original
key. I do this to this day, right now, still. So, I want to encourage you that we’re all
human, and no one’s immune from that. So we all have to build up stamina, to build
up this stuff to this registration. That’s the first thing. The other thing is that we’re not trying
to be note gods. You’re not trying to go on American Idol
and go EEEEEEEE. You know, and just like, kill some note out
of somewhere, right? What we’re trying to do is we’re trying
to get: Pitch is King. Tone is King. Pitch and tone. If we can get those two things together, we’ve
won 80% of the battle. Even above range and all that stuff. And then selling the story. So once we have confidence in pitch, once
we have confidence in tone, and then what are the lyrics saying, like how are you selling
the song? It’s not just because you can sing someone
else’s song, or a song that you’ve written, what ever… It’s that what’s the conviction, and how
were you able to re-present that song in a way that’s believable with passion? So that’s far more important than range
and all this other stuff. Tone is King. Pitch is King first. Tone is King, and then selling the story,
it’s all part of the package. So, I have a singing course called
How To Sing Better Than Anyone Else, and I cover all of this in the course. In fact I have a singers forums that has over
12,000 members now, with great moderation, where you can join it for free, you can post
videos, ask questions on how you’re doing, and so forth. And we can encourage you, and 12,000 guys
are going to come alongside of you… Not 12,000, but quite a few of them, will
come alongside of you and share their story with you, and you can interact with them at
Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy dot com. So let’s get back to how to sing any song,
how to practice a song. So the other thing that I do is one of the
things that we need to understand, and I’ve covered this in a lot of different videos and
in my course especially, is to build up muscle memory for vowel sounds. Let me say this again, to build up muscle
memory for vowel sounds. Let me give you an example of this. Let’s say I want to pick off a pop song,
and let’s say it’s Bruno Mars When I Was Your Man, okay? So I go same bed that it feels just a little
bit bigger now. Old song on the radio but it don’t sound
the same. Right? So I’ve got this certain pitch and this
certain what ever. What I would do is when I was first starting
out I would sing with vowels only, first, because I’ll explain why consonants get
in the way of the throat, spasming, and closing down, and you getting caught in the vowels. In fact, some people say hey, you know, I
can do, I can sing really high in singing scales, but I can’t apply that to singing. This is why. Okay? So: (Singing Vowels Only. No Consonants…) Right? So if I can avoid the consonants constantly
closing down the back of the throat, and having to reopen the vowel, what happens is, is I can
have what is called contiguous phrase singing. When I do that I get the freedom and the relaxation
in the throat. And then, little by little, all I do is
add just a little bit of that consonant… Same bed that it feels just a little bit bigger
now. Just a little bit of it, I don’t have to add a
lot. Just enough for you to be able to understand
the words. Very, very important. Okay? The other thing, too, is… The higher up we go, the more we have to close
down those vowels. And again, I cover all of this in my singing
course, where the vowels themselves can’t be so big, and we use even less of the consonants
themselves, so that we continue with this contiguous phrase singing. And here’s why… When we sing, there’s the epiglottis rolls
across the back of the throat, and if you want I have a whole video on how does the
voice work. Check it out. I discussed all of this in this video. The epiglottis comes back, and it toggles,
or it literally acts as the umpire or the referee of the throat. You have your trachea, which is how you breathe,
and you have your epiglottis, which is how you swallow. So, swallowing for food, trachea for breathing
and sound. And this thing mitigates or referees where
this air is supposed to go or whether if we’re going to swallow something, you know food
or something, or if air is going to come in and out. So as it toggles back and forth in the throat,
it negotiates your ability to understand how this is going to go up into what is called
the Velo nasal port, or up into your sinus cavity, and it switches. So in other words, here it sounds crazy, bear
with me, I know it’s kind of a little bit complicated, and again I cover all of this
in my course. If you’re interested, grab it because I
have a huge section on this. But what happens is if I’m talking to you,
I go um, buh, guh, ng… Okay those are called hard glottal stops. And those glottal stops, what happens is if
I go same Bed But it Feels Just a Little Bit Bigger Now… Right? Every time I do that I can’t have contiguous
airflow coming out of the mouth. So what typically happens with most people is (demonstrates voice breaking and cracking at the passaggio) and there’s a chirp, or a
yodel that happens because the back of the throat is trying to negotiate: Huh. Do you want air to come out of the throat? Do you want to come out of the nose? Or a percentage in between? Can you please make up your mind? Well, until you understand how to negotiate
this stuff, you won’t know. Now, again in my course, I cover how to take
soft consonants and work them up first. So instead of same bed, you could use a “V”…
same ved vut it feels just a little vit vigger now… And I use V, V, V, V, V… So I can have contiguous airflow coming out
of the mouth. If I don’t do same bed but it feels just
a little bit bigger now, right, it switches and it wants to know wow, do you want air
to come out of the throat or the nose or a combination? So you have to build up muscle memory for
this first. So let’s go back and do this over again. Pick a song well-within your range. Work your vowels up, first, in the song, that
you’re all the way through with no consonants at all, right? And then as you add consonants, add them only as you need them. Right? And use soft consonants of things, soft vowels
so you can get through to have contiguous airflow coming out of the mouth. By the way, an example of this, there’s
an old Steve Perry song I want to use, Lights. By Steve Perry. For those of you that don’t know, just look
it up. Fine. When the lights go down in the city And the
sun shines on the Bay, Ooh I want to be there in my city, right? It’s the Sam Cooke sort of approach, where
all of the vowels are just fluid, and they’re coming out like one beautiful long, gorgeous
whole tone. I could go: when the lights. Go down. In the Cit-tay. You know, and I could make it choppy, right? And really compress that sound, and really
choke it off… But if I have this contiguous phrase singing
going on, all of a sudden it opens up the ability for all of the vowels that we’ve
trained in my course to get your sound nice and big and robust. That’s why you probably say Ken how is it
possible? You’re able to sing those notes so high,
and it just sounds so open and Roary! Because I worked up the vowels first, got
the open throat contiguous phrase singing first, and then I just drop in those consonants
as I need them in order to be able to get you to hear. By the way, it’s a much more beautiful sound,
too. It’s not like we’re compromising anything,
in fact, it’s even better, because the sound is more open and then all we have to do is
just drop in just a couple consonants for people to get to understand what the words themselves
are. So I hope this was helpful for you guys. Please like and subscribe to my channel. Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy, where the proof
is in the singing. Until next time… Peace. Out.

Danny Hutson

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