Radical Rules for Righteous Singing
from Jeffrey Carter
1. The righteous singer understands that singing, while using the same body parts as speaking, is a completely different activity, requiring a new way of thinking. And the singer understands that it’s going to be awkward for a while!
2. The righteous singer doesn’t even begin to approach making sound until the physique is set and prepared and active.
3. The righteous singer talks and thinks more about the breath than the throat, and realizes that everything rides on the breath. Without it, the singer shouldn’t try to make noise, because that exactly what unenergized, breath- devoid singing is.
4. The righteous singer strives for and achieves vigorous, virile vowels of vivid vivacity.
5. The righteous singer strives for and achieves crisp, clean consonants of concise clarity.
6. The righteous singer always views melody as forward-moving, rather than up and down. Thus the singer doesn’t get concerned about high pitches, since they’re part of the melodic line!
7. The righteous singer views the text as of equal importance to the melody, and always interprets the melody in light of the text, not the reverse. The music flows from the words.
8. The righteous singer always remembers that things happen around us, and things happen to us. It’s what happens in us that really matters.
9. The righteous singer takes chances and causes things to happen, rather than responding or reacting to the musical environment surrounding them.
10. The righteous singer watches and listens, knowing that the voice is learned from visual as well as aural instruction, and that watching fine singers is more a learning experience than all the listening in the world.
11. The righteous singer is aware of the difference between simply remembering and really memorizing/living/internalizing a song. Memory takes time. Anyone can cram overnight.
© Jeffrey Carter 2002