Adults' Singing Lesson 2: Fricatives, Passaggio and Legato! | Sing With English Touring Opera
Hello. It's, me again, I, really. Enjoyed filming. That first. Singing. Lesson, for English touring opera and I. Enjoyed, it so much that, I, decided to make a second one and I, hope you will indulge me and watch. That one as well now. For those of you who don't know me my name is Stefan, Lucas I'm an opera singer and at, this point in time I was expecting. And hoping, to, be, on English, - operas, spring tour involved, in productions, of Mozart's, Cosi Fan Tutte and also, staging, of busts and John passion but, sadly due to the corona, virus outbreak, that hold, who had to be canceled and. In. Order to give something back to, English, touring opera -. In some. Way repay their most generous, decision, of actually. Paying us our fees for, those performances, even though we now can't. Do them. Some. Wonderful people came up with the idea of filming a series of singing lessons I will be lots of other artists, and singers involved, as well but. I, filmed. The first one and now this is lesson number two now, to recap, a little bit on the, homework, I gave you in Lesson number one. It. Wasn't it was a little exercise, all to do with flexibility. And buoyancy, of breath and breath, control that we had talked about in that first, lesson just as a reminder the exercise, went like this. And. The idea was that you carry that with m'q, energy. That's in those dotted rhythms of the first some of it exercise, into. The long note in, the second half and keep. That energy of, breath. Going. Even. Over, the long road and especially in that long note so that doesn't feel like one, fixed. Long note but rather as a succession, of many many small. Short. Notes so. That you keep, that flexibility. And vibrancy, of sound, and breath going, so. I hope. You. Had fun trying. Out that exercise, and found, some useful and, nice, things for you to, take into your own practice, and singing, now. Just to recap very. Briefly on breath. I think, breath even, though it's super. Essential, to singing and it's, quite a complicated, process. It. Should feel easy, so. Imagine. That breath kind of just falls into you into. Your body into your lungs through, an open, throat and. Yeah. You don't have to suck, it in forcefully, or feel you have to do much just. Keep. Yourself open, and, feel the breath you're inviting, the, breath into. Yourself and then. On the out-breath which is what we of course very concerned with in singing. You. Should feel that. You. Can control, how much of that breath you, release onto your. Vocal. Cords to make them vibrate and, to turn breath, into, sound and. We. Talked about feeling. That, the breath comes from very low down now that's of course just, a picture, we know that the breath comes from the lungs which are somewhere in the middle of your body but. To. Gain. That, flexibility. And freedom. Of sound I think it's helpful to imagine. That. Your breath comes basically from your. Feet comes from very low down we talked about that kind of ring. Of air all around your lower abdomen or how. It. Should be you feel that. The breath comes or, goes all, the way down, - you lower back and you, almost create a cushion, of breath. That you sit on so. That really you feel there's. Quite a big distance, between where, the center, of your, breath control so to speak lies and where. Your, sound then emanates, from because. I think if those are two. Squash, together you. Will feel that, your column of sound or breath is very very short, it should will feel the quiet squashed, quite, inflexible. A little bit rigid and that's. Not what you want what you want is to feel that length. Of your spine length, of breast length of sounds we always want something that's. Quite tall. Vertical. Quite. Long and free. And. That was. What, hopefully. That. Exercise, was. Going to help you with but also those those images, of breath. Low, in your body and keeping it, low. And flexible. Now. I used, two other words in my, first lesson, which. Might need a little bit of explaining the, first one was, the word fricatives. Now. Fricatives. Are. Consonants. That are, created, by. Forcing. Air through, quite, a narrow space, and narrow.
Opening. And. By. Creating. Friction. Of breath, those, fricatives, that's where they get their name from and. Those fricatives, are very useful, in learning about. Breath, flow and breath flexibility. In breath control. Now. Let's. Take. The four, main. Fricatives. Which. Are. And. And. You can tell already when, i say. Those consonants, how. Much energy, and and. Buoyancy. Is, in. Those, consonants. Now. Each of those. Consonants. Also, has an, opposite. Which. Is a voiced one so those the. Are all unvoiced, so, there's no sound no kind of some sound to them but. The all, of them have a voiced. Opposite. So forth it's. Force. In its Z. For. Sure it's, sure. And for. Its. And. The. Unvoiced. Ones are, quite useful in. Just, little exercises. Like. You can hold one of them over. Long, period, of time on just an even, steady, flow of out-breath, like. And. As. I just stood with this, you. Can then vary the. Pressure of breath just to kind of freely what happens in. Your abdominal. Muscles and the muscles that. Higher, up in your body within. The ribcage and, so on how. They have to react. To the breath or make the different. Strength. Of breath flow happening. And. That. Turbulence, and quick, flow of air that energy of air and those fricatives is really useful for that you. Can also do. It as. A. Succession. Of smaller, shorter. Impulses. Again, very much from your abdominal, muscles not, too strong just a little impulse, and let's say you, take all. Four, of them, and do, three of each, like. And. Then. You can. You. Can vary that you can use whichever. Fricative, you find most useful you, can use all of them and vary. The rhythm and, and. So, on and so forth just turn into little, exercises, for yourself but and the, shorter version where. You just use short, bursts of those fricatives, is really. Good to. Make. Those strengthen. Those abdominal, muscles but also make them flexible, which is probably even more important, than the strength and. The. Long, flow is just something to feel, what happens in. Your body. How. Your body reacts to that, breath flow and how it can influence it now. The. Voiced versions, are. Very. Good to, learn about what, happens when you then turn that breath. Flow into. Sound and how to control. That so. You can do I think I did a little bit of that in Lesson number one I just repeat. It so, over a scale of three. On a scale of five. And. What we want to create is a really, even. Flow of air and therefore, than an even flow of sound and the really. Forward. Buzzing, feeling. Of vibrancy, and resonance, and in. Order to achieve that you, can, or. Set. A different way you can only, achieve that, if your, breath is free and flexible, because if you push, your breath, too hard the. Sound will cut out and of course if you don't use enough breath, you won't make a sound in the first place so. That is really, really important. The. Other word I had used was, the word pasado. Now, pasado. Ass is. Translations. Of passaggio let me think you. Could say. Passageway. Pathway. Crossing. Changeover. Little. Bridge. Transition. All. Of these would, be a way of of translating, passage or what, it in, singing, means, is the, transition. From one part. Of your. Voice that, works, in a certain. Way to, a different. Part of your voice that works. In a slightly different way, now. What. We are trying to do is. Make. Those transitions, as, seamless, as possible so, that our voice. From. Top to bottom, sounds. Very even, sounds like one. Continuous. Homogeneous. Voice, so, we don't hear those transitions. But. Anatomically. At. Least in a simplistic way. Just. To say that quickly there. Are to. This day very different, opinions, on how. Many of those different parts of your voice exist if they exist at all where. Exactly, they. Lie and where. Those transitions, are so. There, lots, and lots of books which vary. Hugely. In. Opinion, and description, of those things but. For. Our sake to explain, passaggio let's keep it very simple let's say you've got three, of those parts in your voice you've got a lower part that.
Is Very quite. Heavy quite thick lots, of chest resonance, and you've, got a high, part of your voice it's much more heady. A lot more head resonance, much lighter much more streamlined, much. Thinner, in a way and. Then. In. Between those two lies, what let's call it your middle voice, where. You have a bit of both in, that and on, the, transition. From the. Lower, part like the chest voice into the middle voice is, the first. Transition, so, the prima passaggio and at, the top where you go from the, upper end of the middle voice into, your head. Voice. It's, called the second. Pasado, second the passaggio and. Now. Very. Briefly I try to keep that short, in. Female, voices that, middle region like in a soprano for instance quite a big. Part. Of a Sopranos, voice lies. In that middle region, or. You have a mixture of the, chest and the head voice and. In. A, male, voice like, in a baritone influence it's like myself that middle. Part is actually quite small. It's, only about a fourth, as. An interval over, the interval of a fourth and. Lies. Quite, high. Already. At the at the upper, in, the upper half, of my, of my vocal range and. As. I said, the. Reason we mentioned the, passaggio is that we. Want to make those transitions, those points, of transition. In. Our, voice as smooth. As possible so, now let me just show. You a little exercise where you can do that for yourself again, you have to find where. That lies in your voice works most. Useful, to practice that in. Some. Lower. Female. Voices it's. Probably, going to be the, transition, from chest voice into, me the voice that. Is more problematic, or needs a little bit more attention. In. A soprano fluence, in a higher voice, it might be more the upper end the second passage that needs looking. At and in most male, voices, it's. Actually, the, whole it's basically, the area between. The, first and the second passage of that middle voice where. Lots, and lots of. Muscular. Events take place and, things and they need attention now, this. Is far too, short. A lesson to go, into too much detail but let me show you a little exercise and as I said just threw it at a part of your voice where, you feel it's most useful where, you feel there might be a little, bit of a break that you want to iron out so. If. I just. Do. A slide, up from an F to C, over v and. Try. And keep it in a fairly full. Thick. Heavy. Voice it would sound like this. Now. I don't, know if you can hear what happens is that first, of all the sound goes, a little bit backwards when I go up and also. Because, I'm keeping, it quite heavy it, gets, a little bit pressed force, the, vibrato, it's. Almost stops this, becomes quite a squeezed. Heavy. Slightly, wide, sound, and, there. Isn't much flexibility. In it so what I want to achieve. Is, that. It's more even, and in order to do that I will. Try and take. Some. Of my head voice lower. Down so I will start the process of going. Into a different part of my voice a little bit earlier which. Will sound like this. Oh. So what I try to do now is start already, in a slightly lighter head of your sound at the bottom and then, really, carry the. We brought her the spin of my voice and the breath energy all, the way to the top so, I try and keep the. Core quite. A slim but. Prominent. Core of my voice alive, all the, way through, that five. Note. Slide I do it again. Oh. So. If you can hear a slightly, lighten, my. Voice and then when I'm at the top I, try. And just experiment, with how, much of, the. Kind of scent, of it the core of my voice I can bring. Back without. Sacrificing. The vibrancy, and flexibility, of the, sound.
Maybe. A picture that's. Quite useful as if you imagine a rubber band that. You that you stretch if. You hold the, rubber band tight, in the middle you. Are basically not, able to stretch the rubber band and of, course what our vocal cords to go to the top need to do is, they need to slightly. Elongate. And. They. Also need to become slightly. Slimmer. And five on that that's what happens so if you release, that rubber band in the middle you can then stretch it and you, will see that it gets also slightly thinner, and you, can also that what you do with your vocal, cords you, try and take mass, weight, out of the voice or and by. Doing that you, allow the voice to. And. Your. Vocal cords to vibrate more, freely, maybe, they are not completely. Closing, they're just through the just the edges vibrate and these are all sorts of things that happen. When. You bring that what, let's call it lighter mechanism, in, earlier, to iron out the transition okay. Hopefully. Have, a little bit fun with that. Lastly. As we already again, at the end of a lovely lesson and, let me give you a little bit of homework lagarto, very, important, in singing legato basic means to tie something together to bind something, and singing. Legato is, something. That all of us want. To do because it allows us. To. Well. To transport. Feelings, and emotions through. Text. But, without, interrupting. The sound and I've just said the important word text already. To signal Agharta phrase just on a vowel is not. That easy because for, each pitch your. Breath needs to slightly adjust and, then if you want to bring dynamics, in that's another thing that will need. Further, flexibility, and and. And. Malleability. Of sound and breath but. Of course the text all those consonants, and vowels all, that work that's done by the tongue and your jaw and everything. You. Don't that, needs to be done but you don't want to interrupt the sound so. What. We want to or, what, might be helpful to imagine is that text, and sound. You. Want to marry them together, but. You, have to imagine them as separate entities because, if we squash them too close together you just get a you, kind of chew on your words or you chew on your sound and you get something again that's not very flexible, that's, more rigid, and and and fixed, and inflexible. So. Imagine, text. And sound separately either you imagine that the texts, it's quite far forward, so forward. Tongue loose, jaw, all. Of these things so the the texts. It's quite far at, the front of your, mouth and your face and, behind. That you, have your, column of sound, and you're, basically, inviting. The. Words the, text onto that column of sound, and releasing, it upwards. That's one way you can imagine it. Another. Way would be to think of to. Translator's one, at the bottom being, your breath and the. One on the top being, where your words are and. The. Connection, between the two is your long. Column of sound which, gets fed at, the bottom by your breath and then, at the top you add. On the words but it's all within that continuous. Vibrant. Energetic. Column, of sound so. Let me give you a little exercise and that you can do that as your homework so, you start, take. A favorite. Phrase from a song Murari I said I will take the first phrase. From one of my favorite, songs of all Williams silent. Noon and, at first, again. I use one of our wonderful. Voice. Fricatives, ver but, a slightly. Put. It a little bit further into my mouth by using what I call puffy, cheeks. So. Here instead of having that that, that vibrancy. And and of sound very. Far at the front which, would be in. You. Put it slightly more, central. And slightly. More. Into. Yourself, and upwards. By using those puffy cheeks I do, it once more. And, by. Doing that I will learn a lot about what my body has to do to, create that continuous, stream, of breath and then ultimately sound, now, let's put the words on top but, let's keep that continuous. Flow. And stream, of breath. And sound and just add the words to it. So. Again. Once, more I do first, the puff each equation and then, the version with text and I try to get. The. Text as clear as possible even, maybe holding, one of the. Voice. Consonants, a bit longer or using. The F and fresh grass a bit more. Pronounced, but, always. On, the breath always without. Interrupting, that, continuous, stream of breath and ultimately. Sound okay, here we go. Lew, deep, breath. Your. Long. Fresh. Grass. Ooh. Almost go to the end on my breath there so just. Play around with that a little bit and yeah, see you how you get how we get on with that that's, your homework for this time thank. You very much for listening and watching. And, take. Good care of yourself bye bye.