Glad the issue of learning over “natural talent” is getting more attention, and not just from researchers like Steven Demorest and Peter Pfordresher (et al.), who just published a research paper on the subject. Here’s an excerpt from a recent Chicago Tribune article. <snip> Singing is more of a learned skill than a natural talent, said…
If You Can’t Sing It, You Can’t Play It: Voice Lesson
One of the best tools for your practice is your voice. Faced with a tough part, if you sing it, you’ll be able to play it better because you’ll be able to hear it better. Singing the passage allows you to “own” it in a deeper way than by pushing buttons or keys on your instrument. You don’t have to be a great singer to benefit from this kind of practice, but here’s a couple good videos on vocal tone production and breathing.
Place and Practice: Singing Into a Waterfall
Where you practice matters. For example, singing at the top of your lungs into a waterfall might be the perfect place to practice is you want to become a great Pansori singer.
Intangible Asset No. 82 is a wonderful documentary that tells the story of Australian drummer Simon Barker’s quest to meet a Korean shaman, master drummer, and grand-master improviser Kim Seok-Chul. During Barker’s journey he meets some interesting characters, including Bae Il-Dong, a Pansori singer who practiced for seven years by singing into a waterfall. Intrigued? In this preview, Bae Il-Dong will be the second person you see and hear. He’s hard to miss.
Mr. Bean’s Imaginary Drum Set, or, Mental Practice
Here’s Rowan Atkinson with a pretty funny skit. It’s like he’s mentally practicing drums, and we get to hear what he’s hearing inside his head to hilarious results. Enjoy, and use this to remind you to inject mental practice into your own practice routine.
Michel Godard Blows the Serpent: Phrygian Mode
This is an excellent musical performance, and interesting to boot! The frame drum solo at the beginning drew me right in, and when Michel Godard began to play the serpent I was entranced. The serpent is an ancient low-voiced instrument similar to the Medieval cornetto, and it produces a mesmerizing sound in the hands of a master like Godard (see the vid below or listen to the mp3).