vocal techniques

How to become a singer with good vocal techniques

While flicking through YouTube, I discovered amazing videos about vocal techniques. I created this guide to help you use your voice effectively to sing better while sparing your voice.

1. VOCAL RANGE

So, for those who aren’t familiar with vocal techniques and notes, I’d recommend you to start reading this article on Wikipedia. This will give you a better understanding of what will be talked about later on in this blog post.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_range

But what are the different vocal ranges for men and women?

Take a look!  Depending on your voice type, some notes will be easier or harder to hit.

However, if you don’t know what’s your voice range is, don’t worry. This video will help you figure it out. Note this is both suitable for men and women.

2. BAD VOCAL TEchnique EXAMPLES

As a matter of fact, some singers are able to sing higher notes or even have a whistle register. Yet they may use improper vocal techniques resulting in voice damages over time.

As a result, they can’t hit the same notes they used to. Although, with better practice, they may recover part of their register. Here are few examples of singers who damaged their voice :

3. VOCAL TECHNIQUES

Therefore, let’s me explain you to what is considered good or bad techniques.

First of all, let’s start with what a bad technique is. It is a lack of singing warming-up and over-pushing some of the notes, often distinguished by a lack of breath support and throaty sound.

Additionally, please find below other examples of bad techniques:

Instead, why vocal technique matters so much? This video explains you why.

Accordingly, what is a good vocal technique? 

It’s an unstrained, controlled and consistent voice accompanied by a healthy lifestyle. But, how do singers get good voices? Well, they have a dedicated vocal coach to train their voices for performances or studio recordings.

Contrarily, this video shows you what is bad or good technique (starting at 1.09 minute):

 

4. VOCAL WARMING-UP

Consequently, to develop your singing skills, start with a good vocal warming-up.

Obviously, you may want to start with warming-up basics for yourself at this stage!

5. UNDERSTANDING YOUR VOICE

Moreover, you need to be aware of your voice placement and tone/timber:

6. VOCAL TIPS

Finally, here are few tips on how to get a more powerful and consistent voice.

Do you have other tips to share with us?

 

History of Brazilian Baile Funk music and dance styles

Baile Funk MUSIC

Baile Funk is a big mix of different music styles. To have a better understanding of this music and dance style, I’d like you to have a read of this comprehensive Wikipedia article on the topic:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funk_carioca

Want to hear how it sounds or how people dance on it? Go no further, I’m going to share with you few music playlists and dance videos.

First of all, there’s a great mixtape playlist you need to subscribe to and this is the following one from Rio:

baile funk dance

I will share with you a couple of dance choreography I have found. However, please note that they aren’t actual tutorials. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any real dance tutorials.😞

Finally, you might want to read another blog on how this music and dance style became exported:

https://www.thefader.com/2015/01/17/how-diplo-took-baile-funk-out-of-brazil

Do you have any Baile Funk dance choreography you’d like to teach us? If so, share them with us in the comment section!

Ilanga Festival from South Africa (Hamburg, Germany)

Ilanga Festival

Here is another fact about Hamburg: the city has lots of parks spread out in different quarters! I attended Ilanga Festival at ‘Planten un Blomen’ Park!

The weather wasn’t great on that day, so the turn out wasn’t as good as it should have been. Yet, it was a truly enjoyable event! Enjoy these few pictures and videos!

If you want to know more about the ‘Dube‘ band, please check their website here: www.dube-music.com

Want to catch up with 2pac Shakur’s band ‘The Outlawz’ concert (2015)?

Outlawz BAND

Do you like old-school hip-hop? Do you miss listening to 2Pac sounds? Well, even though Shakur died a while ago, his ‘The Outlawz band‘ is still pretty much alive and touring!

ABOUT THE BAND

The “Outlawz” band set up by “Tupac” in 1995 is a perfect blend of :

  • seasoned lyricists,
  • musical innovators 
  • responsible storytellers.

The band members are:

“E.D.I. Mean”
His aggressive, no-frills style is perhaps the more Diplomatic, yet his delivery reveals a mastery of conveying complex messages, in an unmistakable straight to the point manner.

“Young Noble” 
The aptly named-rebellious perfectionist exudes integrity in life and throughout his lyrics. In both cases, he chooses his battles wisely, with an evident persona that silently confirms that he does not play!

“Hussein Fatal” 
The one who says what others won’t. A distinctive witty voice whose experimental mature, position him as the group’s mad scientist combining all elements, creating the perfect chemistry.

OPENING ACTS

They gave us a great concert on Saturday 11th April 2015 at the Tivoli Theatre, Dublin 8 (Ireland). They were preceded by equally good live opening acts with DJ Spaqz and ‘Trigger’ Irish hip-hop singer amongst others.

DJ SPAQZ

DJ Spaqz is a DJ, producer and artist based in Dublin, Ireland. He plays an eclectic mix of African pieces of music and Hip-Hop.

TRIGGER 

Trigger is a 23-year-old Cork city rapper. Although he is new to the scene, he is already stirring up some reaction on the underground circuit. He has appeared on such radio stations as RTE radio 1, 96FM, Red FM among various other pirate radio stations.

Raised in Cork city’s northside. He partly lived with his grandmother growing up in Gurranabraher. He talks about matters that have affected him and those around him. Poverty, neighbourhoods surrounded by drug abuse and rapid unemployment are key subjects in his songs, although some are humorous, upbeat and political.

Check out pictures (slideshow) from the event and listen to audio and video tracks below! Enjoy!

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The Outlaws BAND live concert videos and soundtrack:

Beautiful Gate charity from South Africa- DJ Dale and Ras Rob’s fundraising gig

BEAUTIFUL GATE CHARITY

This is an event I have organised a few years ago to raise funds for the very actively involved Beautiful Gate charity from South Africa. This Non-Profit Organisation is doing great things for vulnerable children and families as well as children orphans.

Beautiful Gate charity

 

The gig and Dj set

First of all, the fundraising music gig took place in Dublin at the Q Bar (now River Bar), Burgh Quay on Thursday 16th September 2010.

It showcased Ras Rob and Dale Turner deejaying skills.

The night was very successful with more than 80 attendants partying!

DJ MUSIC VIDEO AND SOUNDTRACKS

Secondly, to listen to Ras Rob and Dale Tuner’s tracks, check out the below soundcloud mixes and video:

FUNDRAISING RESULTS 

As far as the gig is concerned, it has also been a success in terms of money raised for the charity Beautiful Gate South Africa.

Indeed, we have been able to send 360 Euros via online banking to finance a week-long holiday club for 200 primary school children to do fun and educational activities run by teen groups who develop planning and leadership skills!

CHARITY CONDiTIONS

Furthermore, the staff from Beautiful Gate South Africa really appreciated your donations.

To prove this, they have sent us a little report with pictures and a video, which you can see below:

“The children in Crossroads have always been fanatical soccer players. With the recent World Cup, the enthusiasm  has got even higher than usual.

Many of the junior (under 13) teams are run by older teenagers, who meet and train by the side of the road in drainage areas – even the local schools don’t have a grass playing area.

Although the soil is naturally sandy, they dodge broken glass, old rusty metal faeces and stones, often playing in bare feet. The older boys who are the team coach/manager have had no coaching. ‘Training’ is often an impressive word for a kick-about.’

BEAUTIFUL GATE CHARITY ACTIONS

Consequently, Beautiful Gate has invested in a grass sports field that is safe and clean. It is used by local groups and schools for soccer, netball, and athletics. We work with the teenage soccer coaches to:

  • help them learn about coaching 
  • become good role models for the younger boys.

This week, there is a Soccer Holiday Club – 16 teams of up to 20 boys (under 13) on our field. They arrive by 10 am every day to join in a session about life skills before playing their matches. The life skills sessions cover topics such as respect, responsibility and hygiene. We also link the topics with practical examples of behaviour on the pitch as well as opportunities to act as linesmen during the matches.

The soccer is taken very seriously – not only pride is at stake! Many of the Bafana Bafana players have come from communities like Crossroads.

They have also been able to escape poverty through their footballing talent. Few have the talent and luck to make a career out of football. But our hope is that all the boys will be able to build a better future for themselves, through the life skills they learn and through improved strength from the physical exercise.

 Best Wishes,

Andrea Harper

Organisation Support and Community Development Manager’.

Finally, you can make online donations as well as check the children playing soccer in this YouTube video and slideshow:

 

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Ajo Arkestra band’s live performance in Dublin, Ireland (2014)

AJO ARKESTRA BAND

Firstly, the Ajo Arkestra band is an underground group of musician friends from:

  • Sicily
  • Nigeria
  • Cameroon
  • Armenia
  • Brazil
  • and Cuba.

Furthermore, the band changed its name from ‘The Dublin Afrobeat Ensemble’ to ‘Ajo Arkestra’ a few years ago.

They perform regularly all over Ireland, where they play:

  • in the coolest late night venues 
  • with the best stage settings
  • and the best DJs and bands around.

Their material is influenced by legends such as:

  • Fela Kuti
  • Antibalas
  • and Tony Allen.

Their sound is saturated with hours of musical persistence. These guys master the long extended phrasing and heavy African ‘riddims’.

There  are live elements from:

  • hip-hop
  • funk
  • jazz
  • soul
  • and disco at work.

Instrumentally speaking, their music is awash with:

  • brass
  • lead guitar
  • and vocal harmonies.

There is never anything usual about this band.

The band records their first EP together in 2013.

To be updated about their upcoming shows, check their Facebook and Bandcamp.

AJO ARKESTRA LIVE RECORDING

Finally, I have recorded them play live at The Sugar Club, Dublin back in August 2014. Check the below slideshow and video of their performance!

How to dance Azonto – tutorials and textual explanations of moves

HOW TO DANCE AZONTO

I have noticed that a few of you enjoyed the previous videos I shared around how to dance Azonto. So I thought you might like to learn a bit more about how to dance on it!

There are a lot of Azonto dance videos out there but not that many tutorials. I have been collecting the ones I found the best ones and hope you will enjoy them. They show you different basic and more intermediate moves.

Finally, this article explains to you how each body part moves to create the azonto dance (second part of the article below the first video):

http://www.afar.com/magazine/how-to-dance-the-azonto

B-Xtreme breakdance crew live performance at Bray Summer Festival 2014

B-XTREME breakdance CREW

As you can see from the below picture, Bray Summer Festival lines up lots of cool acts for both adults and children like the B-Xtreme breakdance crew. If you haven’t made it this weekend, don’t worry as it will still continue until the start of August 2014!

B-Xtreme breakdance crew

B-XTREME CREW MEMBERS

I have had the pleasure to attend the B-Xtreme high-energy acrobatic interactive breakdancing show at the Bray Summerfest.

The crew is composed of 3 dancers from New York City, USA:

  • Anthony Ready Rosa
  • Christopher Cuba Munoz
  • Jose Mini Collon.

B-Xtreme breakdance crew

THEIR PERFORMANCES AND AWARDS

These award-winning performers have not only brought dance from the streets but have exhibited their talents to:

  • colleges
  • festivals
  • half-time
  • shows
  • films and special events around the world.

They performed at the well known America’s Got Talent TV show in 2013.

Their shows are packed with:

  • acrobatic stunts
  • hilarious antics
  • and the hottest dance moves.

By combining their cutting-edge dance choreography with performing talents, they deliver an unforgettable experience that leaves crowds cheering for more.

LIVE RECORDING

I filmed their live performance on Saturday 12th July in Bray. They both delivered a brilliant dance routine and got the audience involved.

So sit tight and watch the whole video! Follow them on Facebook if you like!

 

 

Guinea Bissau – Sadjo Sissokho, afro mandinga kora player

I discovered Sadjo Sissokho’s peaceful kora music on Grafton Street, Dublin 2. Some of you may ask: but what is a kora?

The kora is a 21-string bridge-harp used extensively in West Africa. It is built from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator with a long hardwood neck. Have a look at the pictures below of the musician with his instrument.

Sadjo Sissokho Kora Player

Sadjo Sissokho

You may also wonder who Sadjo Sissokho is. He is a kora, djembe player as well as teacher hailing from Guinea Bissau and living in Co. Meath, Ireland. Sadjo has already been performing at different festivals such as Africa Day, Electric Picnic and collaborating with Wassa Wassa.

Here is a little sample of what kind of music he plays:

Now if you wish to get in touch with him, check out this forum about african musicians and communities in Ireland:

http://www.theafricanvoice.ie/The-African-Music-Festival-ireland-51.html