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They'll all fall

Friday, February 18, 2005

Voice books / fixing voice issues

Surprise surprise - I'm interested in voice use, too, so I thought I'd give out some recommendations, and share how I would solve a particular problem.

For beginners, the best voice book I have found is Roger Love's "Set Your Voice Free". It is fun, gives enthusiasm for voice, covers both speaking and singing voice (including how to move the skills from singing to speaking), gives simple background on the physical issues involved, and includes easy exercises for fixing a bunch of vocal problems. If you want to change to exercises that can give more precision easily, I like "The Secrets Of Singing" by Jeffrey Allen. I think those exercises would be quite boring until you've discovered enthusiasm for voice in general, though.

My vocal coach highly recommends "The Structure Of Singing" by Richard Miller. I have not gotten around to getting this yet, so this is a pure second-hand recommendation.

Over on mASF, somebody just asked for help with his voice skills. He had problems with speaking too fast and mumbling, and asked for book recommendations. The generic skill increase from going through the books may solve these problems, but I think the following is the easiest way to fix them:
  • Split the problems into "talking too fast" and "mumbling", and tackle them one at a time
  • For three weeks, concentrate on speaking slowly. All the time. With everybody.
After this, you should have speaking slowly in as a habit. Speaking slowly and confidently should be automatic ("Unconscious competence" in NLP terms). Now, your problem with mumbling may be there, or it may have disappeared by itself, leaving you speaking clearly.

If the mumbling isn't gone, take three weeks where you focus on speaking clearly. The vocal exercises might also help with the mumbling, depending on the cause of mumbling. Most likely the mumbling will disappear along with the speed, though.

If you do not easily remember to keep focus on an issue to fix, run affirmations on it every morning, and post a large sign on every door in your house reminding you of it. (Just putting it on the door out can work too.)


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