US Pop is one of the genres that I work the most with these days due to a few really great successes with US Pop, K-Pop, Canto-Pop, and Mando-Pop. One of my former in-person and online clients, Lio Nicol, LA singer-songwriter, has given me permission to use some of her videos for promotional purposes for the studios. We’ll get some technique samples up, but right now, we’ll link to her site where you can hear a really really great tune she’s recently recorded called Take Me Away. I just love this tune! I know it’s not really demonstration per se (in that it doesn’t show off her insane whistle register which was like G8 (aka: g”’) last time we worked together, but really we are here to make thoughtful music where we don’t necessarily use all our tricks so our voice teacher can brag on our asses online, but work each tune the way it is meant to be worked so that it is interpreted well, as well as singing it well and I feel like that is just what she does in this song. I’m in love with it. I’ll post the one she sent to my phone as a demo of technique later but for now, check out this killer tune of hers on her soundcloud:
Pop usic these days uses a lot of diverse techniques including high “belting” (hopefully not a training belt!), whistle register, regular chest and head voice and lots of different textures, depending upon what you’re trying to do in Pop. Even though Pop is sometimes spoken of in not very respectful terms by like jazz musicians and other not-as-marketable genres, to be honest, you kinda need to have some serious technique chops to really perform it at the top level. Of course, you can go the artist route where you kinda work around your limitations and people do do okay with that, but if you for sure know you wanna sing high and sound amazing and strong, I would be super excited to get to work on that! I just think it’s so uch fun. I don’t use these things in jazz when I sing cause it’s not appropriate to the music and maybe that’s why I think it’s so fun to get to do it with you pop people!
Melisma (aka: runs) is something that is super popular with singers, especially beginning singers. You have to really be careful with that. It’s not that you shouldn’t do runs, it’s just that they take some skill to do and sometimes people think that if they just throw them in there then they sound awesome. But they actually take a while to really kill at and I feel like you shoud really kill at them. I WANT YOU TO KILL AT THIS!!!! And also, you need to use them judisciously, IMO. Like you want people to be all “wow, that sounds AMAZING!!! I LOVE this song!!!!” And not “DAAAAAAAMN…that’s a lotta runs! And they’re all flat and stuff!” If you wanna kill at Melisma, a couple of things need to happen first. First A#1…you have to learn the breathing techniques for singing. But after that there is a thing called breath support that you can learn afterwards. It takes a while to get the to kill. But if you’re into it, I’m into it! Let’s DO this!