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Vocal Brain Dump

Beware of pouring all your singing prowess into one song –says Mark De-Lisser

I often come across singers who perform what I call a “vocal brain dump” throughout their performance.

It’s as though they have connected a cable to the right side of their brain via their vocal process and dumped all of the information that they have collected over the years of singing into one song.

So, for example, their song could move from a really simple mellow sound, which has lots of emotion in its quality, to a varied volume range and, finally, into a full-on rock-edged sound.

All of this is covered by a wholesome vibrato with more ornamentations, riffs and runs than seem humanly possible.

Remember These Evocative Ideas:

Vocal Quality Overkill – Try not to use more than 2 to 3 vocal qualities in any one song. This shows thought and an attention to the emotional detail of the song and takes your listener on a journey.

Heinz Tomato Vibrato – Use your vibrato sparingly. Often less is more, so try and keep your vibrato for the ends of your phrases, especially on ballads. See it as ketchup on the side of the plate you can dip in and out of – not all over the chips so you can’t even see the chips. We want to hear the story.

Riff and Runaway – Your ornamentations should emphasize a phrase or a word, not detract from them. So use them wisely and don’t allow your ability to run away with you at the expense of the meaning of the song.

Go on a Vocal Journey

Try out our NEW Dynamics Overuse Ride – Take your audience on a pleasant journey not a rollercoaster.

Don’t be so quiet that they have to struggle to hear you and then become so loud that their ears bleed; this is not a journey that anyone wants be on and rollercoasters are not for the fainted hearted.

-Mark De-Lisser

My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids

Gunnar Odenman – Fade Into Darkness (Cover)

Gunner, there is a nice innocence in this performance which I like. However, it is important that when you are going for the higher notes in your range, you use the required support – or else you will be flat as you were at times here. I often use abdominal support when sitting down; this can be achieved by tightening through the abdominal muscles only—but be careful not to constrict in the larynx.

Alice Ella – Emeli Sande’s “Heaven” (Cover)

Alice, you have such a nice bright open classically trained tone and a good arrangement of this song – this worked well. I would have loved to hear more edge in your sound as it built, moving into your chest voice maybe giving the piece a second quality.

Check out Mark’s Feature Interview with VoiceCouncil

See Mark’s advice when it comes out each week by receiving our Peer Review Newsletter

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, Jamie Woon and Beverly Knight. Mark has taught at many recognized music institutions and held several high profile TV roles including Vocal Coach on BBC’s The Voice UK. Mark actively leads the renowned ACM Gospel Choir and has published “Sing Out!”, two volumes of pop songs for contemporary choirs. Find out more on Mark’s website: www.markdelisser.com

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