Thursday, 27 June 2013

Giving the actor a singing voice

  by Greg Bepper & Janet Lewis

Having lived through the past five and a half decades, I've seen a few changes. Technology and information gone mad some of you may say. I say embrace it!

Warhorse on stage
As far as my industry is concerned; magic has been created because of this progress. Look at what effects we now have in film and the possibilities we can now create on stage. This was comic book stuff in my youth.

At a grass roots level for the actor, whether they be just starting out or established, the tools we now have at our finger tips to promote and train ourselves is virtually limitless. 

Scripts and shooting schedules arrive via email, auditions conducted via Skype and I now use an eReader for my scripts when directing.

Online Training
One of the largest and fastest growing facilities in our industry is certainly the information and online training available; whether this be via blogs, YouTube,  paid or free courses.

Giving the actor a singing voice
An interesting article and online course I found recently deals with 'Digitial Singing Lessons'. Singing actors are not confined to musical theatre. EVERY actor needs to at least be able to 'carry a tune' and sing in key. 

Many plays have a song or two contained within their scenes. To be able to 'carry it off' could be the fine line between getting or not getting the part. Comedy revues also contain many satirical songs as well straight skits. So you really do need to have some kind of singing and voice training.
The course I found while surfing, as you do, was

It has been online since 2007 and has many glowing recommendations. The article I found; authored by vocal coach, Janet Lewis, in which this link was contained, I thought was an excellent place to start for any young actor. 

I'm only too please to pass on Janet's expertise in how to approach this new teaching medium. 

Digital Singing Lessons for Beginners

Beginning singers don’t always know how to get their voices where they want them to be or how they want them to sound.  This is because they don’t have the proper training to get the notes that they need to sound right.  There are many tools that can help any singer sound better but the best way to improve your voice is by taking digital singing lessons.  Digital singing lessons offer you a purer sound that analog does and because they are online, they can be taken anytime.  The following are some tips for beginning vocalist to do when the lesson is over.

Don’t Push Too Hard
Remember that you can hurt yourself if you push too hard.  Just like a body builder, you have to listen to what your body is telling you.  A body builder would never work out too long or too hard because this can damage the muscles or even cause injury.  You can also do the same thing to your vocal chords if you don’t listen to what they are telling you.  If you find yourself sounding raspy or if it’s getting harder to hit notes then you need to take a break and give our vocal chords a rest.  Only go back to practising when your throat and vocal chords feel better and are not sore. 

Practice All the Time
Unless your throat feels sore from the digital singing lessons, you should sing when and where you can to keep your vocal chords strong.  The vocal chords are a muscle just like any other in the body and they stay strong with regular practice.  Practising makes the vocal chords work better and then the notes you want to hit will be easier to obtain.  There are many places that you can practice if you want to get better.   Sing in the shower, in your car or while you’re cleaning house using all the techniques you learned during your lessons. 

Use the Techniques You Learned
You will be taught many different techniques to help you become a better vocalist so when you practice you want to make sure you use these techniques.  It can be easy to fall into old patterns that are not good for beginning vocalists.  When you practice you can do scales or sing to the radio or your music playlist.  Just make sure you use all the breathing techniques so not only are you working out your vocal chords but you are also working out your diaphragm.  You’ll learn all about your diaphragm during your digital singing lessons.

Not everyone can become a great singer.  Not only do they have to have a voice but they also have to have the ear to hear the notes that they want to sing.  But if you have a good tone and want to be a better singer then you should take digital singing lessons.  These are the best way for beginners to learn everything they need to know to control their breath and vocal chords.

Janet Lewis has been a vocal coach for more than 10 years and in her free time, she gives tips and advice through articles and blogs.

Author: Greg Bepper © 2013
Artistic Director
Greg Bepper's Thunderbolt Theatre & Film Productions