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Singing Lessons Uncategorized

3 Ways to Sing Vocal Runs Better

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Vocal runs add excitement to music and are the perfect icing to a well executed melody. They come in many different flavors. Country, rock, pop, R & B, Jazz, etc, make use of runs to add style and distinction to their music. But even singers who do not desire to use runs should learn how to do them well, because carrying the ability to do them adds subtlety to the voice. Here are three ways to improve your runs:

1. Work on your vibrato. The better your vibrato, the better your runs, and vice versa. A vibrato that is too slow and wobbly, which is a characteristic sound of bad opera singers, could be evidence of too much squeeze or not enough freedom of the vocal mechanism. Learning to speed up the vibrato will help bring agility and accuracy to your vocal runs.
2. Do not forget the building blocks. The Singing Success 360 Program does the best job of breaking down the essentials of good runs, the note bend up and the note bend down. Warm up with these and exercise them regularly, because if they become sloppy, none of your runs will be clean.
3. Slow it down. You may have already made leaps and bounds in your ability to do runs. Don’t sabotage your progress by becoming overly ambitious and trying long runs at speeds that your voice isn’t ready for. Instead, learn the notes and rhythm of the run and take a metronome and slow it way down to a speed that is so easy that you cannot mess up. I usually go down to 60bpm, which is ridiculously slow for most runs. Then gradually speed it up, but do not allow yourself to go faster if you lack clear delineation and pitch accuracy at the slower speeds. This requires some discipline, but will yield results faster than many other approaches. Brett Manning once said, “practice a run correctly 1,000 times and then you’ll never miss it.”
These are a few fundamental things to guide you as you develop or polish your runs, licks, or trills. Now each point written here can have several articles on its own.
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