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Studying Alessia Cara's Vocals WK3

"I want to improve my vocal skills."

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

Lovely- Billie Eilish, Khalid


If you would like to get some constructive critique on your voice and want to know what you can work on then send your sound bites to me at pam@emberays.com

You might be next to get featured.

 

Thank you @sk for submitting your sound bite.


Here is the voice clip for the critique request by @SK😀


1. Pitch Accuracy in the Lower Range

This is something that frustrates a lot of my younger students and for good reason. For some lower notes are harder to reach and it has everything to do with our biology and age. There are certain exercises (vocal fry, placement aiming where your nose is, keeping larynx mid) and preparation you can do to practice healthy lower notes but you will find as you grow older you will find it easier to reach those low notes. The first note Billie sings is an A3. If you do not have a piano or any knowledge of music theory but is interested in doing music then this is a must-do on your checklist. For now, you can click here and click on the letter "U" to hear what an A3 sounds like. Currently, @SK is singing a B3 Which is a whole note up. Here are some questions to increase your awareness.

  1. Are you able to hear that you are of note?

  2. Play the note on the piano and record your voice singing "orh" on an A3. Listen back to it and see if you are on the pitch. Make sure you feel comfortable enough droning on that pitch to feel where "centre" is.

  3. If you couldn't hit that note, don't worry. Billie Eilish has a unique lower tone. Your range would probably be more comfortable with Katy Perry or Taylor Swift or Doja Cat, depending on the genre you like.

Notice at 0:55 when @SK sang the chorus, @SK was able to reach the pitch comfortably. We can use that part to have a look and see what else @SK might need to work on.

What I would do with my students?

Make sure this 3 step checklist is working

  • Vocal Support

  • Cord Closure

  • Placement

All these factors do affect the vocal production of pitch accuracy. To get clarification on this, I do one-off vocal sessions with no strings attached. Just to get an idea of how it works and what it feels like.


2. Listening to the music

This is an important skill that a vocalist would need to perform well. All vocalists should understand that the music is as important as the voice. The two elements need to sync up to create the message you as a vocalist are trying to convey.

Once @SK understand that the importance of learning basic theory only then will @SK understand what to look out for musically.


Base on the original track, the chorus is when the music dies down and solos the vocals and piano. The trick here is to listen and predict when the piano is playing as a queue for your vocals to come in.

3. Rhythm/ Timing Currently, @SK is slightly faster and not really paying much attention to the music.

  1. Play the karaoke version. Listen to just the piano just for the chorus. Repeat that process till you can hum the bass note of when the piano comes in.

  2. Can you hear her voice singing the piano in this karaoke track?

  3. Now, all you have to do is follow her voice in your head.

These are some of the most basic things you can do to help yourself without a coach.

What I would do with my students?

  • It will be easier with a coach telling you when to come in with visual cues and what to look out for.

To get clarification on this, I do one-off vocal sessions with no strings attached. Just to get an idea of how it works and what it feels like.


4. Enunciation

0:55 - 1:03

Isn't it lovely, all alone Heart made of glass, my mind of stone

Here (0:55 - 1:03), I can do a fair evaluation of what to work on. Knowing that English is not the only language in the world, we should not have the expectation for every singer to sound American or British. Instead just audible.

From 0:55 - 1:03, @SK was right on the pitch with a nice falsetto tone quality (airy). Just to make that chorus sound better, @SK could have made the vowels more prominent.

What I would do with my students?

  • Single out the vowels first. Just sing the vowels without consonants.

  • Notice how much effort you need to close those vowels

  • Now after exaggerating the vowels, you can dial back and make those vowels seem as how you want them to sound like

  • Now add in the consonance but don't lose what you have already work on with your vowels. Don't change a thing.

To get clarification on this, I do one-off vocal sessions with no strings attached. Just to get an idea of how it works and what it feels like.


These would be the first few things I would take care of before going into any other details. I hope this gives an insight to whoever is out there working hard on their vocals. This is for you guys, you are not alone in this! Don't be afraid to ask.

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