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What are dynamics?
Vocal or singing dynamics is the practice of controlling vocal volume, impact and effect. One of my students biggest challenges has been volume control. It mainly comes down to awareness. Often we think we are quieter than we are. A lot of pupils can sing quiet and breathy or loud and shouty but struggle to find the dynamics in between. This blog is a brief introduction to dynamics and will generally discuss how we achieve control over our dynamics.
How is this achieved?
As will all singing, dynamics combine airflow vs muscle and the correct balance of each.
Without learning how to balance the voice control over dynamics is going to be difficult.
Once you have learnt the skills set out in previous blogs we can begin to explore an awareness of dynamics and try to control them. A very generalised beginners overview of dynamics can be viewed as follows:
Whisper vs Quiet vs Loud vs Very Loud (not shouting).
In a whisper we require low airflow and low cord closure.
When singing quietly we require low airflow and more cord closure.
When singing louder or very loud we require more airflow and a balanced amount of cord closure and depth depending on the sound we wish to portray. We can be loud and brassy and loud and finished/legit. We will talk more about these in our vocal style and effects blogs.
How do we do it?
Feel it first on a 1S crescendo to descrosndo. Using a sound that helps you find balance like a NAY, vocalise the 1S scale beginning as quietly as you can then when you reach the sustain note gradually get louder for a count of 4 then quieter for a count of 4 before resolving the scale. Imagine a racing car zooming past.
Or draw in your speaking voice as a reference using the below example on a 1R scale.
Imagine your voice is a volume dial with 4 settings.
Setting 1 = Imagine you are in a classroom and you want to communicate with the person next to you but you do not want the people around you to hear.
Setting 2 = Imagine you want the row in front of you to hear.
Setting 3 = Now the person at the front of the class needs to hear you.
Setting 4 = Then the person stood in the hall.
As with the 1S find a comfortable sound and begin the 1R on volume 1. When you reach the repeating note gradually get louder using the above examples then resolve on the highest volume.
This can be used to raise your current awareness and to create awareness in your singing voice. Look out for our YouTube video on our channel to see some examples for you to try out for yourself.
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