This is a tongue twister warm-up that my mother taught me back when I was a kid. [Read more…]
A student of mine is working on “Tornami a vagheggiar” from Handel’s Alcina. It’s a tricky piece, and near the end of the A section, there is a melismatic passage that is particularly difficult. Thus I designed this vocalise to work on the some of the challenges outside of the aria itself. (This pattern begins around 1:35 in the video below. BTW….Joan Sutherland rocks)
The challenges of that section include the catch breaths. They must be quick or else the tempo drags. In this vocalise, there must be catch breaths before each [a] or “ah” on the eighth notes. Use a metronome to assure rhythmic consistency.
If you want to make it more similar to the aria, change beats two and three of those measures to a half note with a trill. Still sing beat one and have a catch breath after it.
The chords underneath have nothing to do with Handel’s composition. The melody sounds like a 50’s lovers lament tune mixed with “Vedrai carino” with the rhythms of “Tornami”. 3 for 1!
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If you don’t have Sibelius Scorch yet, why not try it out? You can transpose and change the tempo right from your browser. It’s totally free. (No, I do not work for Sibelius. I just like interesting and useful technology. Though, I do wish they’d make a Linux friendly version).
This vocalise is based off of a phrase in the aria “O wie ängstlich” from Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail. The challenge is that this must be sung in strict time, so break out your metronome and practice slowly.
Also, be sure to transpose this. If you have Scorch, the program can do it for you.
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[This is an updated post that was first posted several months ago.]
This is a vocalise that my earlier teacher Dr. Day taught me. He never presented it as being hard or anything. It was just the relaxing vocalise we did at the end of every warm-up. It also probably helped that he played pretty plagal cadences underneath me (as I have notated in the piano part).
Of course, the messa di voce is hard. By increasing air pressure to crescendo (get louder) you may accidentally cause a rise in pitch. The opposite is also true. Therefore, several adjustments must happen all at once while you crescendo and decrescendo (get softer).
This is an effective vocalise for vigorously attacking your high notes. Briefly touch the lower note, and then with an accent sing the top note. Now this accent should not be bombastic or abusive, but it should be firm. Keep the momentum up as you descend.
I have chosen IPA: [?]–symbol may not display in all browsers or OS’s– or “eh” for this because we singers and teachers (generalization coming) tend to ignore this troublesome open vowel. You may use whatever vowel you like, but do show some love to this awkward vowel.
You may also take this exercise as quickly or as slowly as you want depending on needs.
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