Friday, March 30, 2007

Strange Vocal Exercises That Work

Some of my vocal exercises are, well, strange. Bryan White once wryly observed to me "the more humiliating an exercise, the better it seems to work".

I think the reason a correctly executed weird exercise works so well is...
that it bypasses the tenacious but counter-productive vocal habits of the conscious mind by trickery. The Feldenkrais method used by some chiropractors does the same thing... a slight touch can suggest possibilities of movement that the conscious mind hasn't considered possible, and then amazing healing can take place.

Here's a prime example:

Memphis Cole, a young man who is has been studying with me for a few months, came in to his lesson this week with a grin. Memphis has been growing vocally by leaps and bounds, and has really developed his style, his sound and his confidence. Anyway, he entered his first Nashville contest- "The Grand Ole Opry Country Vocal Challenge"- just to get some experience with competing. In the male category he joined about 46 fellow competitors.

Before he went on, he was doing his "Forrest Gump" imitation of "Life is like a box of chocolates", a vocal exercise he learned from the Power, Path & Performance cd vocal training course he bought to go with his private lessons. One of his competitors started laughing and taunting "what are you doing, man?" Memphis shot back "I'm loosening up my jaw". The guy kept laughing and so Memphis started doing it silently instead of out loud.

Memphis got the last laugh: He won the contest! The other guy... he was eliminated rather quickly.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A SILLY VOCAL EXERCISE! Be willing to ditch a little pride, and you may find a strange and weird sense of ... VOCAL FREEDOM!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it is amazing that young man can be so confident and he was successful on top of it all! memphis seems like a talent just beginning to bloom. He will someday make his name known and show them all, forest did.