As choir singers, it isn’t often we have to deal with equipment. We’re a big, loud group so amplification isn’t always needed, and if it is, it’s usually the whole ensemble who are miced up rather than the individual singers. However, if there’s one bit of musical gear everyone should be familiar with, it’s the Shure SM58 microphone. Continue reading “What’s in a mic?”
We all know Bigmouth is different to a normal choir. Instead of covering choral classics, we’re constantly looking for new pop and rock songs to add to our repertoire, but where does “pop” come from? Pop is a nebulous thing to define, and it went through several stages before becoming pop music we would recognise today. Continue reading “The Origin of Pop”
We’ve spent some time before talking about the history of singing. We know it’s been a part of human history since before humans were even recognisable as such, but what about recording? When was the first recording of a human singing?
Recording technology hasn’t been around all that long. Though some people have hypothesised a kind of archaeoacoustics, reading waves of sound etched into clay pots as they spun, though this idea has fallen out of favour. Continue reading “The earliest recordings”
The voice of every individual is as unique as one’s fingerprint. While your Alexa might not be able to tell the difference between two people, the human ear is certainly capable of pointing out differences in voices. So what creates these differences and what do the differences mean for our singing?
Firstly, the biggest factor in shaping your voice is your training. A good singing teacher can near enough get anything from a singer with time, dedication and persistence. There’s very little that will stop most people being able to hit a certain note, though there are outliers and some biological limitations that should be seen as gifts rather than limits. Obviously, if someone has a naturally low voice, there’s not much point learning to sing solely high notes, especially when good bass voices are hard to find. Continue reading “Why do people have different vocal ranges?”
A lot of people thinking singing happens entirely in the throat and mouth, but those in the know recognise singing is a full body activity. Good posture is a vital component in setting up a great singing voice. Without it, it’s like trying to play a guitar with a crooked neck or a piano with the keys stuck down – it just doesn’t work. Continue reading “The Joy of Posture”
Perfect pitch is one of the most enviable talents a musician can possess. It is the ability to identify and recreate a note, though it comes in two forms.
The first is absolute pitch, the ability to recreate notes without using a reference point. Someone with absolute pitch would be able to identify the note produced by everyday sounds such as a car alarm or could recreate a piece of music perfectly. It’s is believed to be a very rare occurrence with estimates suggesting that 1 in every 10,000 people possess the trait.
The second is relative pitch, which is the ability to work out the relation between two notes by using a reference note. For example, someone could play a reference note, like middle C, and then play a second sound which the listener could identify based on the reference note, i.e. “two octaves above middle C”. Unlike absolute pitch, relative pitch is a fairly common skill amongst music students, as it is the same skill we use to sing melodies by ear. Continue reading “What is perfect pitch?”
Probably the biggest hurdle to overcome in singing is the creeping feeling that you’re secretly the worst singer in history; that you might be …TONE DEAF!
When people say “tone deaf” they refer to the supposed phenomena that one cannot tell the difference between two notes. It’s the kind of thing thrown around in casual conversation to dismiss oneself as a singer. In fact, it’s so common a phrase that many people falsely believe they are tone deaf and thus, beyond all hope as a singer. Continue reading “Are you actually “tone deaf”?”
There’s a lot of things to love about learning to sing in a choir. Of course, there’s the sense of community. Obviously, you learn to sing, and sure, you get time with a teacher who can offer constant feedback and support but one thing we don’t talk about enough is the setting of goals.
Goals are super important when learning any new talent. It’s a clear way of measuring progress but what do you consider a goal? For some, it’s nailing a certain song but for a lot of people, it’s performing live. Most of us who want to sing want to share that gift with others, but it’s probably a bit too much to travel around singing at individual people.
Fortunately, there is another way. As part of the yearly cycle of Bigmouth Chorus and en Choir, we get the opportunity to show off what we’ve learned at an annual concert. It’s a massive deal, a full-house of friends, family and public eager to hear the well-honed instrument the choir has become.
This year, Bigmouth Chorus and en Choir take the stage at a pair of gigs, offering mutual support to each other, with a catalogue of songs including Guns ‘N’ Roses, The Bangles, U2, Queen and Simon & Garfunkel.
Catch Bigmouth, with en Choir, on Friday 19th June at Queens Road Baptist Church in Broadstairs.
Then make your way to Whitstable on Saturday 20th June, St Alphege Church (opposite Whitstable Playhouse) for en Choir, with Bigmouth.
Tickets are £8/£6 with children under 12 admitted free! Tickets are available in advance from We Got Tickets, from Three Graces gift shop (The Broadway, Broadstairs) and on the door, subject to availability.
It has been inauspicious start to the summer season. We were thinking it would be all beach weather and barbecue but English Summer weather, true to form, has thrown us for a loop again. So while we’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about how the heat can effect your voice, perhaps its time for us to talk about how storms can change your tone? Continue reading “Stormy Summer Singing”
If you’re anything like me, the start of barbecue season also means food with a little kick. Summer just doesn’t seem right without a jalapeño or two, but is spicy food affecting your voice?
I’ve always heard about professional singers avoiding spice but it seems the issue is a little deeper than it might first appear.
It turns out there are pros and cons to spicy food, but hopefully we can break down the complexities for you. Continue reading “Is spicy food affecting your voice?”