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Solfeggio - Why not in KTVA?

thnakethnake Enrolled Posts: 7
edited September 2012 in Ken Tamplin's Corner
Hey Ken

i stumbled on that term a few times but i never gave it that much attention. It seems that this is a system to develope a better pitch and since i used to struggle on that field a bit I'd ask: would this be beneficial for a student? I'm working on stage 1 month a month or so wich means that in your terms you'd propably say "well man, work on the program first and you wont need it". So what's your actual opinion on that stuff?

Will singing scales be enough for my muscle memory of my vocal chords to create the adequacy to sing in pitch like a well tuned instrument? Of course there are other things as well (posture, vowel sounds etc.) but in the lower register those don't come in that crucially as in the high belting area.

Hope for some enlightenment on that :)

Your the man


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    sspatricksspatrick Enrolled Posts: 1,278
    My guess is that it is not included because of the consonant sounds starting off each vowel sound.  Ken really believes in keeping that throat open as much as possible, and not embedding those consonant sounds into your vocal technique.  You will establish pitch just fine by coping the scales with just a vowel.  Your ear will get used to it.  I've never worked with Solfeg, as it is more of a classical approach.  Ken may be able to shed a little more light on it though.
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    crscrs Enrolled Posts: 46
    Well, solfège is more a part of ear training than it is vocal training as far as I can tell, considering that not even my choir teacher would vocalize us using that; she would only use them for harmony and sight-singing exercises.
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    Ken TamplinKen Tamplin Administrator, Moderator Posts: 446

    Hi Daniel,

    Those are good questions.

    Scott is correct in as much as practicing (with good placement) will help develop strong pitch however, what if you are practicing incorrectly and all over the road while doing the scales? Then you are actually embedding a problem or a mistake.

    One of the very best things you can do is slow down the scale (and I mean really slow), record yourself a scale at a time to see where you pitch is. Monitor yourself (like you would if you were singing a song wanting to know if you are singing the song "in pitch" or not).

    Take strong notice that if (when) you fall off pitch, is it at the same spot or is it random?

    If it is at the same spot, that is an easier fix because it usually means some closure in the throat somewhere and muscle alignment will help with this.

    If it's random then it means you are having issues "hearing" the pitch and there are steps to help with this as well such as what I mentioned about slowing it down and feeling what it feels like in the throat (with good support and vowel placement) when the pitch is correct.

    In lower parts in the scale, often it is because the muscle isn't "built up enough" to handle much sound pressure, so there is a tendency to "over sing" and go sharp. If what you are singing too is overpowering your ability (in the lower register especially) then you can't hear yourself and it can be either sharp or (mostly) flat. Make sure your playback is not too loud and start softer until you can build up muscle strength as well as pitch to sustain this.

    Here is something I just posted yesterday for a vocal instructor / KTVA student on this subject as well.

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    Ken TamplinKen Tamplin Administrator, Moderator Posts: 446

    Hi Greg,

    There are a few things I would like to point out and have you work with your student on.

    1. When we go up in a scale, pressure builds in the head. (you will notice an extreme version of this if you have headphones on listening to music and when you take them off if the same music is playing on a stereo, it will "appear" flat in pitch. So it is when we sing. We grow to become comfortable with pitch as pressure rises and we compensate for it. Over time with correct placement, we won't even have to think about this anymore.

    2) Do the same scale with her over and over again, soft, heavy, soft heavy on the same vowel sound.

    Often people hear different timbre and pitch when they modify a vowel as a scale ascends or decends.

    3) Check her vowel sounds and make sure (initially) they are identical and not being modifed so she doesn;t have that to contend with.

    4) See if she has the same "pitch" problem on the same scale or if it is random. Often (especially in female voices) when they "flip" into their head register, they don't know how to control; it and it will go extremely sharp (into the stratosphere). Work with her and the mid voice / head register transition will help with this immensly.

    These are good places to start.

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    wade1663wade1663 Member Posts: 2
    Coming from a classical background (not in singing, though!), I would completely agree with crs's statement.

    Solfege is more to either understand which way certain steps of the scale like to move (movable Do system where the root of key is Do); or, to build a pitch memory like perfect or relative pitch (fixed Do, where 'C' is always Do, 'D' is always Re, etc.).

    I don't know if this has any real benefit to singing, besides offering another way to understand your music. 
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