Changing How We Listen - Part 2

After much discussion of last week's post, I wanted to provide you all with some examples of well-balanced singing. These singers are using all their resonators and vowel formants properly. The voices are even from top to bottom and harmonics are perfect. There's no low or high harmonic dominance. It is this fluidity that I hope will one day regain its place as the gold standard for vocal production!

Here is the great Ella Fitzgerald. (I don't own any of the following clips, just sharing!) Note how she uses low airflow and deep chest voice on those lower passages. I love how she sings "lonely." Then, she rises back out of the basement to give us that classic, mellow color of hers that has both high and low harmonics in the sound. She never sings off the voice or overcloses her vocal cords. It's ALWAYS the right balance.

In a totally different style, here is Montserrat Caballè, the celebrated opera singer. Notice that just like Ella, she uses a wide range of resonances and it all comes out perfectly balanced. You can hear the high and low harmonics in her voice.

And here's a departure from the classical and jazz - R&B. Marvin Gaye had one of the smoothest voices with a great grasp of how to sing low and high. His falsetto was equally as magnificent as his full chest voice. It's easy to hear with his multi-track recording. You get a clear example of his use of different registers.

Last, I present the great Barbara Streisand. I might also add that this was recorded live with NO AMPLIFICATION. Back in the day, Broadway singers relied on natural ability to be heard. The strength and stamina shown here proves that a harmonically balanced voice can do amazing things. So, let's bring back those naturally powerful vocal instruments and make the audience really feel something electric again!

I will post more listening examples in the future. These are but a drop in the bucket. There are thousands of great performances that illustrate why we need to listen for ALL harmonics, resonances, etc. Keep listening for all the depth, dimension and beauty!

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