In then last buzz ( https://www.oakcitysound.org/dbpage.php?pg=view&dbase=uploads&id=71685
), I mentioned that working on good breathing also sets you up to support your sound well. Think about that - practice a bit and see how following those tips also helps with your posture and begins to use “the whole instrument”, your body, to produce your music.
Brian Beck, a former Sound of the Rockies member, is the only person I’ve met (there may be more) that has a international gold medals singing each of the four barbershop parts. What an accomplishment! He taught us his process, a process he called 10-steps to a note. They are each simple, yet more than one step are often overlooked. Here’s the first step.
- Hear a Pitch
Often we use a pitchpipe, although it could be a piano, bell, or the final note of the previous song. This is something we do mentally, not out loud. It’s active listening. Many singers don’t actively listen. After all, how easy is it to get distracted in the moment?
Brian writes: “Textbooks say that if you think you have an ear, you need to be able to discern and discriminate pitch to within two cycles (Hertz). This is a mental step; don’t practice out loud. Listen more closely and discern the exact frequency. The textbooks say that you should be able to discern two cycles. Get it down to about a half a cycle.”
Have some fun … There is an app for that! Download TE Tuner to your smartphone or tablet. Read the background and instructions and listen to some pitches, or use a pitchpipe. Mentally focus on the pitch - actively listen. Then try to match the pitch and the TE Tuner will show you how close you are to the pitch - you can see sharps, flats, even the cycles, and this is shown in real-time for the entire duration of your sound. Try to keep TE Tuner in the green!
We’ll look at the other nine
steps in buzzes to come!