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If you are reading this you are probably interested in vocal technique. I like to define technique as what we try to do to make the voice work. This can involve various things we do with our breathing, throat, jaw, tongue. Whatever ways we try to make the voice work.

For most people that is as far as it goes. They learn a technique and go with it. If they aren’t satisfied with the result they look for new techniques they can use to try and get better results.

The thing about this is that technique is treated as arbitrary. We hear people say so-and-so has good technique and such-and-such has bad technique. What is the basis of these assessments? That they like/don’t like how the singer sounds?

I have long held that technique must correlate to the natural functional principles of the instrument. If we conceptualize doing something that is not in line with the fundamental principles of how the instrument works we will have problems.

Sometimes people in this situation can sound impressive and we can even like their singing. But can we say just because they seem to sound good that they have good technique? What if over time singing that way their voice breaks down?

This is what I mean when I’m always saying that it isn’t just about how we sound. It is maybe even more important that we keep our voice healthy for life. But realistically it is about both being healthy, sounding good and being able to meet the demands of our chosen repertoire.

With that in mind, in this video I talk about the pitfalls of vocal technique. These pitfalls happen because we are dealing with systems that depend on balance. And balance is the result of two elements working together – duality.

The challenge we are faced with is we have a hard time thinking in that way. We tend to be stuck in a singular way of thinking. The way this shows up is we do one thing. But to find balance we need to coordinate two things together.

So pretty much any problem we face is in some way an issue of this lack of balance. Once we understand the principle we can figure out the specific situation and find our remedy.

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