Author Topic: Bono's Voice  (Read 9528 times)

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Offline Yukona [The League of Extraordinary Bonopeople]

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Re: Bono's Voice
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2009, 09:34:00 PM »
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When teachers say 'Sing from the diaphragm' that's just a catchy visual they are using. You can't actually sing from the diaphragm. When you breathe, you can feel the muscles of the diaphragm pushing downward and I believe it's the intercostal muscles that are pushing outward and upward on the ribcage...if i remember correctly. Their are several sets of muscles that are involved in breathing and vocal production. So, as you inhale, you need to feel the sensations of the diaphragm moving downward and the other muscles, intercostal etc. pushing outward. practice this while lying down or sitting in a chair with your back against the back of the chair. When you inhale, because you are a 3 dimensional being, all sides of you should be expanding. You can feel your sides and your back expand as you inhale. It's like a balloon. When you blow up a balloon it isn't just one side that expands - but all sides. A good visual to use with kids, and because it's so simple I actually like to remember it, is to bend over from the torso and imagine you are a camel. place your hands on your back and as you inhale feel your back expand. Just as a camel stores water, Singers need to store air.

The tendency for singers of popular music, a lot of Rock singers included, is to take a quick gasp for air to get to the next phrase. But what happens is many singers when they do this take a shallow breath, and concentrate all the tension in their chest area. Singers that do this are not actually getting the breath they need and are in fact bypassing the more effective natural way of breathing. Natural deep breath should feel like the way you breath when you sleep. You can develop the muscles in the stomach area and good breathing technique that will allow the quick catch breaths needed for some music, and the deeper breathing needed for longer sustained notes. *But, careful not to interpret this as working out and doing crunches to develop a 'six-pack', abs of steel. Actually many teachers believe that rigorous workouts of the abdominal muscles tighten and compress the muscles in that region making it more difficult for them to expand. If you are into fitness and work out this area, do it gradually and keep up your singing breathing exercises as you progress, or you will find that you've lost some of the control and ability to expand. It will feel as though you've lost some feeling and control over your ability to monitor your breathing. And if you bench press, try to have a spotter that can watch the tension in your neck. Do not hold tension in your neck. Actually, some voice teachers will not take on students who lift weights!

Darn, that scuppers my plans to get ripped!  ;D The problem I have though is that it takes me some amount of concentration to relax and get into that inhale-expand exhale-contract mode of breathing. Normally when i sing its the other way around?  ???

Offline Mr. BonorFLYd

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Re: Bono's Voice
« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2009, 01:50:23 PM »
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When teachers say 'Sing from the diaphragm' that's just a catchy visual they are using. You can't actually sing from the diaphragm. When you breathe, you can feel the muscles of the diaphragm pushing downward and I believe it's the intercostal muscles that are pushing outward and upward on the ribcage...if i remember correctly. Their are several sets of muscles that are involved in breathing and vocal production. So, as you inhale, you need to feel the sensations of the diaphragm moving downward and the other muscles, intercostal etc. pushing outward. practice this while lying down or sitting in a chair with your back against the back of the chair. When you inhale, because you are a 3 dimensional being, all sides of you should be expanding. You can feel your sides and your back expand as you inhale. It's like a balloon. When you blow up a balloon it isn't just one side that expands - but all sides. A good visual to use with kids, and because it's so simple I actually like to remember it, is to bend over from the torso and imagine you are a camel. place your hands on your back and as you inhale feel your back expand. Just as a camel stores water, Singers need to store air.

The tendency for singers of popular music, a lot of Rock singers included, is to take a quick gasp for air to get to the next phrase. But what happens is many singers when they do this take a shallow breath, and concentrate all the tension in their chest area. Singers that do this are not actually getting the breath they need and are in fact bypassing the more effective natural way of breathing. Natural deep breath should feel like the way you breath when you sleep. You can develop the muscles in the stomach area and good breathing technique that will allow the quick catch breaths needed for some music, and the deeper breathing needed for longer sustained notes. *But, careful not to interpret this as working out and doing crunches to develop a 'six-pack', abs of steel. Actually many teachers believe that rigorous workouts of the abdominal muscles tighten and compress the muscles in that region making it more difficult for them to expand. If you are into fitness and work out this area, do it gradually and keep up your singing breathing exercises as you progress, or you will find that you've lost some of the control and ability to expand. It will feel as though you've lost some feeling and control over your ability to monitor your breathing. And if you bench press, try to have a spotter that can watch the tension in your neck. Do not hold tension in your neck. Actually, some voice teachers will not take on students who lift weights!

Darn, that scuppers my plans to get ripped!  ;D The problem I have though is that it takes me some amount of concentration to relax and get into that inhale-expand exhale-contract mode of breathing. Normally when i sing its the other way around?  ???

Lol. The goal is to turn off the intellectual side of yourself once you understand and have worked out how to breathe correctly. Of course each song has it's own demands, and it's good sometimes to sit down with a song and think about where you can take a breathe and when you absolutely need it. So, breathe management is worked out before you perform a piece of music. There are a lot of breathing exercises out there for singers, as well as exercises that develop flexibility in the voice and vocal range so you can hit those high notes! The old arias in Italian are good if you haven't looked into them because the melodies are so well written for the voice, and it's great material that is safe for your voice when learning technique. Called Aria Antique, songs like Caro Mio Ben, La danza fanciulla Gentile, O Del Mio Dolce Ardor - these songs are great 1st songs to learn for the serious singer. They also concentrate on pure vowel sounds, which help singers to sound louder, let the tone spin, and connect the line of the melody as well as slightly adding to breath management perhaps, and certainly the correct vowel can help you hit a high note you normally couldn't have hit before. Lastly, the Marchesi excercise book is very helpful....LOL tedious perhaps but helpful nonetheless!

Bono has been an exciting singer over the years. Like all of us singers he does some things really well, and others not so well. But, it's often hard to find a more exciting singer and showman. Sometimes whether deliberate or not, I've wondered whether he'd actually hit the high note in a particular song....and that can be part of the excitement. Not to be preachy, but we have to value mistakes more in music too, because they make the triumphs so much more exciting...and that's what any music of value has - Excitement.


Offline Sparroww

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Re: Bono's Voice
« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2009, 12:47:39 PM »
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Actually many teachers believe that rigorous workouts of the abdominal muscles tighten and compress the muscles in that region making it more difficult for them to expand. If you are into fitness and work out this area, do it gradually and keep up your singing breathing exercises as you progress, or you will find that you've lost some of the control and ability to expand.

So now Bono has a comeback for those who comment on his middle-aged spread in those paparazzi photos - "It's the price of my art!"  :D
I'm enjoying the technical discussions, by the way.  I loved singing and took voice lessons through college, so your posts are stirring up some wonderful old memories.  Many thanks!

Offline Mr. BonorFLYd

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Re: Bono's Voice
« Reply #33 on: November 17, 2009, 02:24:38 PM »
Lol...thanks. I was hoping I wasn't terribly boring!  :)