I am often describing the feeling we want when starting the voice. It is a thin, elastic feel to the vocal cords so they come close together to create a very efficient vibration.
This condition of the vibrator causes the sensation of the tone reaching the front of the mouth. What we mean by the words on the lips.
This is not a concept I came up with myself. It actually has existed for quite some time and was the foundation of many singer’s technique.
The Sweet Attack.
I learned about it from my research into the technique of Jussi Bjorling. He was taught originally by his father. But when he was preparing roles at the beginning of his professional career he worked with Joseph Hislop.
Hislop was a Scottish tenor, but was trained and based his career in Sweden. He learned this concept from Gillis Bratt, who is best known as Kirsten Flagstad’s teacher.
Hislop was also Birgit Nilsson’s first teacher. She was with him for five years and he didn’t treat her very nicely. And she had difficulty making sense of what he was teaching her. But after she figured it out on her own I feel what he taught her was the foundation for the singer she became.
Attack is a term we don’t hear very much anymore. It is generally thought of as having a violent connotation, so it is not used much.
I feel that might be a mistake. We definitely need a certain amount of aggressiveness when starting the voice. We certainly don’t want to be violent, but we do need to be definite.
If there is any tentativeness or lack of decisiveness we won’t trigger the reflex action that makes the voice start automatically. It should happen spontaneously and not gradually.
The idea of a sweet attack alters the condition of the mechanism when starting, so that there is much less risk of being harsh.
In this video I explain and demonstrate these ideas.
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