A Cappella singing can help rock and pop solo singers by tuning their ear, warming up their tone, and boosting their creativity -says Mark De-Lisser.
A Cappella Improves Ear Training
A Cappella can help you keep your key centre. It’s tough at first but when you’ve nailed it you can stay in the right key throughout a whole song.
Exercise: Take a song and start singing, then turn off the backing track and keep singing. When you’ve finished, check to see if you are in the same key. You may think that’s easy but many people drift and find themselves a whole tone out.
Ramp it up by singing a song over a completely different backing track! It really puts pressure on you to keep the right key centre in your head.
Sometimes, your musicians can be out of tune, or you can’t hear yourself properly. Perhaps you ask your guitarist for a C but he gives you an E and the band start in a different key and you spend the whole song struggling to find the melody!
A Cappella Exercises Your Tone
In a singing group, you cannot all be soloists! When singing in harmony, you have to produce a tone that is blend-able. Your voice has to be warm and rounded so other singers can blend with you.
This exercises your tone, so when you sing your solo set you tone will be more balanced.
Every member of the group can hear themselves and each other. Nobody is working too hard. There is no loud band to fight against.
A Cappella Improves Creativity
You can be so creative when singing A Cappella because you are not restricted by a backing track or score.
It is important for singers to understand what role a drummer or bass player has. A Cappella singers listen and develop an appreciation for the music and the musicians.
Many musicians say singers aren’t real musicians – don’t prove them right!
Here Are My 3 Favorite A Cappella Groups:
I grew up with Take 6, they are an uplifting inspiration.
Naturally 7 are the new flavoursome front runners. Exciting and innovative.
I’m trying to not like Pentatonix as much as I do! They are fresh!
Janine Le Clair gives feedback on the competition entries this month:
My Reaction to This Week's Singing Competition Entry
Richard - Landslide
Richard – great song choice! I think this song is within your range, but pushes you to stretch – and I encourage you to do more of that. As an exercise I suggest you sing along to a version in or around this key, whereby you can sing along with the artist – and focus on the pitch accuracy. Secondly, sing along to an accompaniment already created (perhaps record your guitar first) and use it as a track – this way you can focus more on your singing and not have to think about guitar at the same time. You know what you’re doing on the guitar, but you’d be surprised how much harder it is to concentrate on two instruments at once until you isolate them. And a golden tip that we should all remember is to always practice with a metronome or beat. We all need assistance keeping in time. Keep up the good work:)
Mark De-Lisser is a vocal coach, vocal arranger, choir leader and vocal producer who has worked with some of the top vocal talent in contemporary music today including Jessie J, Olly Murs and Beverly Knight. Mark has taught at many recognized music institutions and held several high profile TV roles. Mark leads the renowned ACM Gospel Choir and Singology community choirs across London. Find out more on Mark’s website.
Janine Le Clair is a soulful Country recording artist, an international award winning vocalist and renowned vocal coach. A published writer with SSM Nashville since 2009, she has had many cuts with American Country Artists and several Top 15 hits in Australia including Natalie Howard’s ‘The Girlfriend’, 3rd Wheel’s ‘Gettin’ Hitched’ and her own single, ‘Bulletproof’. Le Clair is a dual citizen of Canada and Australia.
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