Jan 172009

I spent about 45 minutes this afternoon doing vocal exercises with one of our Jeannie Deva singing CDs. Deva’s stuff is so great, I must say. I use singing exercise CDs from several folks, but Dev’as stuff always has great results. I still struggle with intonation, and I push with my muscles for power a lot rather than finding the resonance naturally in my body. But I can say that my overall tone and control have improved so much the past few years using her materials. Her warmups CD is the most valuable thing for a singer to use regularly.

I’m also a big fan of Ariella Voccarino‘s CDs, especially her first two. She is a little more fun and engaging to work with on those CDs than Deva, and the exercises do have an effect. Especially her solfage exercises, which have been helping me lock in my intonation a little better. I really need to get that under control. For my birthday a few weeks ago, my wife bought me Ariella’s third and fourth CD. We were both eager to try them out since her first two were so great. The sound quality is poor on these new ones, though, to the point where it distracted me while trying to do some of the first exercises. It sounds like a mediocre cassette recording job. but, I did give some of her vowel exercises a second and third try, and I think it will be OK.

So, after some good exercises this afternoon, I practiced some vocals for a song that I want to enter into the Kerville contest. And then my mom showed up with her belated Christmas presents.

Yes, the presents were great. I got thick warm socks, a Pittsburgh Penguins T-shirt, and a two-four of Iron City beer. Beautiful. My niece and nephews got a neat Wii game. Even better. Snacks and more socks and gifts all around. Great. And then …

My mom brought out the last gift. It was one of those scary machines with two cheap microphones and a hookup for the TV. when you start it up, the music plays and the lyrics are on the screen. And for some bizarre reason, everyone was up singing “School’s Out” and “Edelweiss.” I know how to work a mike, and I know how to sing. but there was no way I was going to join all that kokkyness. I did want to grab a mike just to announce, “Penguins goal by number 17, Petr Sykora, from number 771, Geno Malkin.”

I don’t like those machines. People get drunk, don’t have any technique, no warm-up, no attempt at anything listenable. Ugh. And don’t ask me about guitar Zero and all those things. Double ugh.

As for me and my voice box, we’ll stick with Jeannie and Ariella. Amen.

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