Things to make you go ‘oooo’ – Some clips of excellent, beautiful and exciting vocal play, and some things to help with learning. Be inspired!
Breaking down the riffs – check out MT legend Natalie Weiss slow down some amazing vocal runs
Evolution of Music – by US group Pentatonics
Al Jarreau – Take 5 – supreme vocal play!
Colour Purple – Jennifer Hudson & Cynthia Erivo – I love the diction and how Cynthia has her own sound – we should aim to sound like ourselves!
The Voce People – I love this mash up!
Naturally 7 – Wall of Sound (watch the whole thing, the first few seconds is misleading!)
Take 6 – Amen – how cool is this?
Bobby McFerrin – Ave Maria – check out all his Vocabularies album too – its ground breaking
Les Sirenes – BBC Choir of the Year 2013 – I love how good their unison singing is.
Jacob Collier – Oh What a Beautiful Morning – check out this kid, he’s 18 in this clip and a total whizz!
More Bobby McFerrin – Spain – with Chick Corea
Breath Again MTV Unplugged – watch to 1.56 – its Super A, an octave above the A most composers write for choir sopranos! Some people refer to it as whistle register. I love her control on the descent.
Theory and brain gym stuff!
What is harmony? (f you struggle to pick out different harmonies listen to lots of boy bands, from the Beatles to Take That, the BeeGees to JLS – they tend to sing a lot in what we call ‘thirds’ – listen to Sweet Dreams to hear the harmony moving in parallel a third above)
Understanding Intervals -distance (how we measure how far) between two notes. This is really useful for reading music and pitching harmonies.
28 day intervals – ear training with a jazz leaning.
Chestnuts roasting parody for intervals! Geeky stuff!
The Interval Song – Django Bates (if anyone has a better quality clip please do send to me – thanks!)
Irregular Time Signatures
Understand Triplets (pineapple pineapple /coca-cola)
Amazing Fibonacci inspired rhythm play
Vocal Technique stuff
How to find your vocal range (this is a really basic guide and doesn’t account for warming up, context etc! Having a singing lesson will be much better for you. Defining yourself to a given range is useful when singing part songs in a choir, but most people have medium range voices, so don’t be too quick to label yourself as a high or low singer – but continue to sing a variety of material and don’t be afraid to play around with the keys of songs and be mindful of changes in your voice that naturally occur with age/weather!).
Tips for learning music – from the Kings Singers
1) Don’t learn your part in isolation (not just horizontally, but vertically too!)
2) Break down your learning into smaller more manageable chunks
3) Muscle Memory! Sing through your part so your body knows it even if your brain elopes
Some suggestions for learning tricky/fast bits of music
1) step away from the sheet music, just listen passively – let your subconscious absorb a lot.
2) Try using an app to slow down and isolate the passages. Suggested apps include Robik for iPhone / Apple products, Amazing Slow Downer and Transcribe.
Weird and wonderful
Ted talk on trust between conductor and ensemble
Overtone singing – two different notes at the same time!
20 feet from stardom – a lovely film about backing/session singers. And only 99p for 48hour hire from Amazon.
Interesting links about music you might be singing with me
Sheffield Carolers – the history of folk carols