Hey Daniel, here… In this blog we are going to be talking about how a lot of music that has been written over the ages, has been written incorrectly for the singer.
In my last blog, I spoke about whether we were to breathe in through our mouth, nose or both. If you haven’t read the blog and watched the video, go back because this blog and video is directly related to what we are going to discuss today.
When I entered the New England Conservatory, boy did I have a wakeup call.
What do I mean by that? Prior to my acceptance into the conservatory, I was singing original rock music that was Beatles, Darryl Hall and John Oates, and the Police in nature. When I entered the conservatory, it was a shock to the body because I found myself in the world of opera. I began listening to opera singers such as Enrico Caruso, Gigli, Jussi Björling, Alfredo Krauss, Pavarotti, Franco Corelli, Joan Sutherland, Tetrazzini, Maria Callas, Marelli Freni, and more…
I was amazed how Enrico Caruso could sustain a note which seemed like forever and because of that, I needed to know the secret to the Italian School of breathing. Needless to say, that put me on a long journey of reading. You might have heard that the Italians were a little secretive about them of teaching. Rightfully so, you don’t want to give away all of your secrets. Over the many years of reading, I was able to piece together the Italian method of breathing for singing.
What I was applying based upon what I was reading and what I was being taught, ran me into a host of problems.
Here is what I mean, I would be singing a piece of music and I would have to take a breath somewhere in the middle or end of a line with absolutely no time value left to breath. I found myself always to trying to catch up and when I took a breath there, I never had enough breath to take in to be able to finish the rest of the next line that was coming. If the next line was as equally as long as the line I just sang, and I didn’t have any time to breathe, that was a major problem. Needless to say, the struggle was on for a number of years until I developed my breathing technique rooted in the Italian School of Singing.
I mentioned at the beginning of this blog that over the centuries a lot of the music that has been written, has been written incorrectly for the singer.
Here is what I mean. Sometimes we have to take a breath in the middle of a measure. Working with a lot of pianists, I always felt in bondage to their playing, but what I was really held in bondage to the way the song was written. We could not connect with where I would take a breath. What I realized over the years, most of the music that has been written for the singer, has been written in correctly. Is this a bold statement? Yes, it is, but stay with me and I will prove my point.
I am going to share something with you that is very powerful and once you grab this, it will change the way you look at music forever.
In the last blog and video, we took a look at “Amazing Grace.” I recommend turning 3:00 minutes into the video for a demonstration. Check it out HERE. The choice every singer must make is where he or she will take a breath. Does the singer take a breath between “Grace” and “How” or “Sound and “That?” That would depend on how well your breathing technique is at this time. For sake of argument, let’s say you are going to take the breath at both points. There is a problem. First, my eyes do not see that I would have to take a breath after “Grace.” This was a struggle I always had, my eyes did not see that, and my brain is not giving my any direction to take a breath.
What are some of your thoughts? What are some challenges you face in your singing? I’d like to know.
Remember, Keep Singing and Playing Guitar.