Vocal Coaching: Week 1

Last night was my first Vocal Coaching session. The coach was phenomenal, positive, nice, professional… and had pets! (Her big yellow dog was super sweet and friendly and her orange tabby curled up on my scarf for most of the session… How perfectly great is that?!)

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… I will start at the beginning.

Vocal_Week1

Notes from Week 1

Jason arrived home earlier than usual and, since I am the on-time police, I left when he got home to ensure I had enough time to find her house/studio. I made it there in 15 minutes… So, I got to sit there like some creeper in front of her house (on-street parking just off the Plaza) while people came in and out. Yay for me! :D (One soccer mom who was picking up her kid really did look at me like she was calling the cops. Right now. Seriously.)  Just as I was thinking I might head to the door, I got a text asking for me to come no earlier than 7:30 as she was taking her supper break just before. So I upheld my creeper status another 20 minutes or so and finally climbed the stairs up to her quaint cape cod. Upon entrance, I was greeted by the sweetest big yellow dog and, shortly after, a friendly orange tabby that matched. We all made fast friends. :)

The vocal coach herself was very nice, yet professional. She had a lovely East Coast accent with East Coast mannerisms. She looked exactly as I expected, down to the sweater. She was very knowledgeable and took seriously her job and what we were doing…  I really can’t find a single bad thing to say about her. She was just a lovely person.

After some short conversation it was down to business. She talked to me about the mechanisms behind types of singing, design and use of the vocal chords, what my (our) goals were, some helpful tips, and kind of what we’d be doing.

Finally, it was time to actually sing something, lol! She was going to check my range… I warned her I was very low today because my allergies were kicking in. (Thanks, Mold, you infamous bastard!) We started in and found that my vocal range was 3 octaves, my usable range (that which didn’t sound strained) was almost 2, and that my goal would be to get me usable for the entire 3 plus some, along with cleaning up my transitions and technique, and really harnessing my vocal power and endurance. She seemed impressed that I had such a large lower range and I told her anecdotes about poking fun at James Hetfield/Metallica and being told it wasn’t half bad, which we both thought was funny.

We set on doing various exercises and discussing/trying out breathing techniques and ways to increase range and power. She recorded the session, so I have a copy and I admit I sound better with her recording equipment than with mine… so that’s a bonus, lol. But I also sound very low… I hope that as the allergens clear, so will my vocal range, because I know I can do better than that on a good day! :D Anyway, all the exercises are on a convenient disc with my fumbling voice for comparison, so I can practice them. She said every other day was fine, every day was great… I figure I’ll probably end up doing them 1-2 times per day, just until I see results in what I’m producing.

At a certain point, she mentioned that people don’t always have the patience to try new technique… I told her, if I have the patience to teach myself to walk again, raise twin daughters, and work in a cave for 15 years when I miss outside so much, I have the patience to do this — And this is fun! :D

For next time, I’m to pick and start working up a song… It can be any song I desire, so long as I can bring copies of the lyric and the piece on a CD. I have no idea what I will choose or what even sounds good on me — But I will tell you this straight away: It will NOT be Black is the Color of My True Loves Hair! (Sorry Beverly, but I still, to this day, hate that song!)

Some I’m considering currently:

(Suggestions are welcome on this last part as I am just truly unsure what to pick!)

~H

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