Backing Tracks For Session Eight
As a general rule, only go as far as is comfortable. Every day will be different and sometimes you may have more flexibility. Over time as you develop you’ll be able to go further, and you’ll also be able to retain the awareness as you extend more to relax your face and jaw after each ‘effort’.
Lip roll slide
Aaah oooh aaah slide
Slide backing only for any exercise (including chin hold)
Nay Nay Nay
Staccato Ti Ti Ti
Liprolls on a long scale
‘AH’ ascending in patterns
Eee -81 83 85 8
‘O’ sound 1 3 5 6
OO – ah
Ee ee hey hey hey agility
Liproll ‘engine’ sound for vibrato
Semitone pitch shift for vibrato
How to work on a song
This is a method for approaching songs you’d love to sing and actually get them to a point where you know them inside out, have put your own spin on them and can confidently sing them.
- Ordinary listening – listen through and get an overview of the song.
- Detailed listening to get the structure of the song. Count your way through it to identify when the vocals come in for the first section, whether there are gaps, how long the gaps last, when the other sections of the songs come in and out. Get really confident on this and on the lyrics.
- Detailed listening – listen through to see if you can notice some key features. You may need to listen several times to see if and when:m-the singer changes register-the singer varies the intensity or goes louder or softer-the singer changes the quality of their tone from connected to breathy or vice versa-the singer uses ornaments.
- Work out if there are any challenges. Does the song have a big leap between notes or go high or low? Sometimes it’s necessary to change the key of a song, but often we can overcome these challenges by working out how best to practice a small section of a song. If necessary, ask for support or get a second opinion on how to approach these challenges, although as time goes on you’ll get better at working out how to do this yourself.
- Work on these more challenging sections individually during your practice time. After a few days, ask yourself if they are becoming easier.
- Go through the lyrics and decide where you want to increase the intensity of your performance. Try each line out in a few different styles, using a looping software, so you craft each part of your performance.
What NOT to do:
- Beware of straining during your practice. If something is causing you to strain, pause, and work out why that is and decide how to reduce the strain. Maybe you’re straining from a chest voice coordination when you need to transition to head voice. Maybe you’re backing off a note each time you sing it because you’re not quite certain what the note is.
- Don’t just sing the song from beginning to end along to the original track, or don’t JUST/ONLY sing it this way. What happens when you do this is that you simply rehearse any mistakes or areas of weakness without ever fixing them., and you can do this fifty times over and still find once you remove the original singer you’re not entirely sure where to come in and what the structure of the song is. It’s not the best way to improve. It’s not that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself singing along to your favourite repertoire, it’s that you shouldn’t only (or mainly) do this.