Application of Vocal Training, Part 2
In part 1 of this series of articles, we discussed how you can apply Bel Canto vocal training to contemporary songs via vowel shapes. If you have yet to read that article, I suggest that you do that first. You can Google search for “application of vocal training + Chris Glyde” and you should be able to easily find the vocal training article.
In the second half of this exercise, we will discuss how you can continue to apply this vocal method. This is actually my favorite way to apply vocal training because you can use songs that you’re interested in learning. How can you do this? There are two ways:
1) Simply sing the song through:
This aspect of using songs in training is pretty straightforward. First, you should write out all of the vowels for the sections that you’re going to sing. Then, find a backing track for this song or a karaoke file and work on singing the song using the proper vowel sounds.
This is literally just the aspect of singing, but it’s not the most ideal way to use songs. However, it’s obviously the first step, and an important step—that shouldn’t go without being stated explicitly here.
If you’re feeling confident, I would recommend taking a video of your performance. You could then post it online or simply use it as a documentation of your progress. Take a video every couple of months and see evidence of the growth in your abilities.
2) Turn the song into scales:
This is my favorite variation of applying vocal training to songs. You will need to take a section of a song that you really enjoy—it doesn’t necessarily need to be the chorus or the verse.
Next, you will pick out the melody and then write out the notation for the melody either in tab form or in music notation. If you can’t tab out the melody, you can also just memorize it, which you may have already done if you already love this section of the song!
Finally, you will sing that melody over and over again, raising the pitch a half step just like you would while singing a scale. When you’re singing this melody like a scale, it will help you apply vowel modes—and all of your vocal training—to a phrase that you already know you enjoy singing. It’s a lot of fun!
You may just sing vowels, but if you want to make it more challenging or even more fun, the next step is to start singing the lyrics as the scale goes up a pitch. This is a ton of fun, and will also help you learn to apply vowels in real time on many different pitches, as well as in all of your troublesome areas.
You can make a list of 10-to-20 of your favorite choruses and verses, and these songs will be a base to create great and diverse ways in which to practice singing. These will challenge your voice with different interval jumps and different levels of support, but most of all, they’re just a lot of fun.
About the Author
Chris Glyde is an enthusiastic vocal coach, always looking for ways to make things more fun and efficient. If you’re looking for in-person vocal lessons in Rochester, New York, check out the link in this description box.