Favorite Vocal Exercises from Jeff's Vocal Tool Box

Favorite Exercises from Jeff's Vocal Tool Box Good morning everyone. Wow, what a spectacular day it is here in Northern New Jersey. It's currently about 75 degrees, sunny and all the plants and trees are in full bloom! AHHH CHHOOOOO!! I love nature, but all the pollen that is being produced right now is making singing a bit challenging. That's why I am going to pull out one a favorite vocal exercises from my Vocal Tool Box to try and get my vocal cords back down to a mean, lean fightin machine. Recently one of my students, who is also fellow vocal coach told me that he heard from another teacher that "Staccato exercises aren't good for your voice". I have to say that I was a little taken aback by this statement, and my immediate reaction was "Obviously whoever told you this, doesn't know how to sing staccato very well!" Surely if that person who made that statement was doing staccato exercises correctly, they would know right off the bat how wonderfully beneficial and healthy singing staccatti are for the voice. On days like today when my sinuses are loaded up with pollen and my vocal cords feel like two balloons in my larynx, staccato exercises are my "go-to" for reducing the puffiness brought on by allergies. Try this simple exercise: Place both hands (one on top of the other) on your belly between your navel and your sternum. This is the area that you would grab after a big belly laugh. Now, sing a few short staccato notes on any note that feels comfortable on the vowel "ah". It doesn't need to be high or low, but rather somewhere in the middle. Whenever I start this note I generally wind up on G3. But you can literally start anywhere. When you sing those little staccato notes, about 5 in a row, you will feel a little bounce in your abdominals. If you hear too much breath coming through, you are pushing too hard on your abs. If you hear a glottal stroke, you are using your throat and this is not correct either. I always says staccato should neither sound like Britney Spears vocal frying a note, or Justin Bieiber singing the first few lines of the song "Sorry". By the way, I happen to be a fan of both singers, not so much for their vocal talents, but rather for their entertainment skills. Mr. Bieber has improved much as a vocalist of late...in my opinion. In the Swedish Italian school of singing we talk about breath and resonance happening simultaneously. In other words, the very second breath comes through the vocal folds, they should phonate on a pitch. So you should hear a clean attack on the pitch when you sing those 5 little staccato notes. Now add a simple staccato scale of 1,3,5,3,1,3,5,3,1after the 5 staccatos. So the entire exercise would be built on (If we start at G3 for the guys, G4 for the girls) Singing each pitch on "ah" G..G..G..G..G. breath..G..B..D..B..G..B..D..B..G. I recommend doing this exercise several times in the same key before taking it up or down. I am going to be filming my next tutorial for my YouTube channel on this concept, so stay tuned. Until then, I wanted to leave you guys with a video of a singer who you may have seen on social media. She is a perfect example of the benefits of staccato singing! Have a wonderful day! "Keep singing and let your voice soar!" https://youtu.be/yv6jiqVmmSI

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Jeffrey Stanfill