Pitch . . . Then and Now

The music business today isn’t what it used to be in the 50s and 60s. In those days there were two kinds of performers. The singers with smooth velvety voices like Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald or Frank Sinatra to name a few.  On the other side of the vinyl record lables were the Motown singers like the Shirelles and the Marveletts, or the early folk singers such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie, who’s talent was often raw.   Many of these performers sang off pitch and had unpolished voices.  These were, after all, the voice of the people.  They were right out of the crowd folks who stood out in an industry that was just getting started.  Many of these singers didn’t have the training available to singers today and the general audiences were ok with that.

Today, technology in studio and in live production is very advanced and can make a huge difference in what the audience hears.  For example, if a singer goes off pitch the production team can send their voice through a pitch correcting device, autotune, and the audience is oblivious to the poor pitch issues of the performer.  Just do a search on youtube and you’ll find plenty of videos of pros getting caught with bad technique.  If the audience knew the truth it might not change the popularity of the performer but it would change how the audience listened.

On the other hand there are some performers that should use autotune to save their audience the agony of listening to their seriously pitchy performances.  Some people have no idea they are off pitch and would benefit greatly from singing lessons.

I believe technology like autotune can be fun when used as the special effect it was designed for.   It’s also quite acceptable when used in the recording studio to sweeten the production if pitch is an issue but too many singers rely on the technology to correct their bad technique.

It’s important for the singer to have taken the time to study pitch control through ear and vocal training. For that reason I work diligently with my clients to help them with pitch accuracy.  Then when they hit the studio or get in front of an audience they will have confidence their voice will be right on target and their audience will hear the naturally tuned voice they expected to hear instead of an electronic representation.

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Amazing!

Some of you may not appreciate the graphic content of this video but I’m mesmerized!

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Putting it all together ~

It’s not unusual for my voice students to become interested in learning to play an instrument, especially the guitar or ukulele.  Why not? If you can sing and play then you can take your “backup band” wherever you go!

Learning to sing is a great challenge for many but learning to add to that an instrument is a whole new experience.  It takes some time to learn the coordinations of right hand and left hand and to add singing to that.

I’m so very proud of my students that pursue playing and singing.  They work hard and are consistent with their lessons and for that reason they progress and become not only great singers but great musicians too and as a result they gain a greater appreciation for music as a whole and a passion for music that lasts a lifetime.

I encourage and teach sight singing/reading, guitar and ukulele chords, tablature and music theory basics especially for those students who are considering music as a profession.

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Instrument rentals available!

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How do they do that?

Here’s a little fun vide with Christina Aguilera on the Jimmy Fallon Show. Listen and then comment below answering the following question. … How do they do that? How do singers know how to change their voices?

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NEW YEAR SPECIAL!!

Happy New Year, singers! I’m celebrating the new year with a Buy One-Get One Special!

Did your voice go on vacation during the holidays? Maybe it’s time for a 10 week tune-up in the studio! Or do you have a loved one who wants singing lessons? Buy one 10 week package and another get 10 weeks 1/2 off.

Special starts January 6th and goes all month. Contact me for details.

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Music Production: Synthesis Presentation

Hello friends,

Another week and another assignment for my Intro to Music Production class with Coursera.com.  I’ve really enjoyed this class but I must admit it’s been a real challenge trying to get all the information to stick in my head.

This presentation discussed the “Usage of the most important synthesis modules.”  Just click on the Presentation Art  below to make the jump to view my prezi. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Cheers and God bless!!

Cosima

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Singer…. know thyself!

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Good morning vocalists!

How do you feel about your level of competency as a musician/vocalist?  It’s a curious thing to see the number of people who have no idea what they sound like when they sing. Some folk’s unconscious incompetence is clear to those listening but they have no clue they are singing off pitch.

Here’s a little something that can help you determine what stage you are in regarding your competency.  It can be helpful in giving you perspective in setting and pursuing your goals.

THE FOUR STAGES OF COMPETENCE

– Unconscious incompetence
The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognize their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage. The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.

– Conscious incompetence
Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.

– Conscious competence
The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.

– Unconscious competence
The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become “second nature” and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.

source: wikipedia

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