Write Away Magazine Dec 2019

sandbagtimes

George Mich

In the coaching world, one of the primary things

to get working in a voice quickly is efficiency and

adduction - the proper closing of the vocal folds.

So many other great things become available

when we can do this. So what about all the

breathy songs out there? Are they sung poorly?

Are they bad? Not at all. But if you’re in

training with a pro coach and the ONLY thing

you can ever do after training is sing breathy,

then you’d probably want to be asking some

questions. A car that can go 200Km/hr can

obviously travel at 60 if the driver desires, yet

a car that can only go to 60 can’t go to 200. A

voice that can sing powerfully can obviously pull

back and sing breathy and intimately, but a voice

that can only ever do that, can’t sing with power.

When a singer interprets a song, there are

multiple options available to them. Loud or soft?

Pushing the groove or sitting back on it? Bright

and twangy or dark and mellow? Perfect diction

(that might make a contemporary song suck) or

approximate diction (that would make

traditional singing suck) and breathy or clear.

The ability to instantly go from a huge belt to a

seductive and breathy voice is one of the greatest

hallmarks of George Michael’s sound. He was

truly masterful at it. And he could do it more

than once within the same vocal line.

George Michael had a GREAT tone to his voice.

It always sounded very open, controlled and

accurate. What made his performances shine

was his deliberate (or naturally intuitive)

movement from breathy to belt without

changing his tone. This takes skill and a deep

emotional connection to his voice. Listen to his

performances and you’ll notice him moving in

and out seamlessly.

So when you’re working on your performances

this month, why not take a leaf out of his book

and try singing some phrases differently to

how you usually would. If you have a naturally

breathy voice, try singing a few with a clear tone,

and if you naturally sing very clear and

efficiently, try singing a word or two with some

breath for emphasis. I can’t stress enough what a

10 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

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