The goal of Speech Level Singing is to use your voice freely and clearly anywhere in your range, with all of your words clearly understood. This technique guarantees an effortless use of your voice, allowing full and artistic expression – one tone, one connected voice. In other words, you don’t experience and vocal breaks between your chest voice and your head voice.
The SLS method is versatile in that it supports every style of music, be it Country, Pop, R&B, Gospel, Musical Theater, Classical, or anything else you can think of. It is the foundation upon which all singers can build their own unique style and sound. We do not teach what to sing, but how to sing.
Whether your goal is to sing in church, audition for a play, learn to speak correctly, be the next American Idol or have professional aspirations, Speech Level Singing is perfect for you!
So how does one achieve the goals set forth by SLS? Simple! Use your Mix!
What is Mix?
Most of the vocal world begin their approach to training the voice at a huge disadvantage; they believe that everyone has “a break” in their voice and there is nothing that can be done about it. As a result, they focus their attention and training on the areas above the break or below the break. Traditionally, if you could not get through your vocal break you were said to be a bass/baritone or an alto and if you could you were considered a tenor or a soprano. In fact, until fairly recently, even the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a rather professional and respected vocal group, stated on their application form, “your vocal part is determined by finding which note you have to ‘switch voices’ to continue ascending the scale.” This commonly held view of the voice is extremely limiting and frustrating if you are a singer. Yes, all instruments have limits to their range (particularly the lower extremity, which is really the indicator of which vocal part you sing), but as the musician becomes more accomplished at his or her instrument, these boundaries can be expanded upon and mastered. The voice is simply another instrument we must learn to play and master, so why shouldn’t the same principals which govern other instruments apply to “playing” your voice as well?
Is there any instrument which “break” or “switch” sounds or qualities as you ascend and descend the scale? So why should we limit the voice’s abilities by starting with and erroneous assumption that every voice has an inherent “break” or place where the voice has to switch or change and that nothing can be done about it? As you become more accomplished on an instrument, the goal is to create an even and smooth sound throughout the entire range of the instrument, and to try and expand this range to the fullest extent.
The same should be true of our vocal instrument. We should be striving to create a smooth, even, rich, strong, beautiful, controlled and natural sound in the voice with as much dynamic, tonal and pitch range as possible. Thus, we become a virtuoso with the voice as would on any other instrument no matter what style of music we choose to sing.
As a instrumentalist, you strive to find the best sounding instrument you can and then become as proficient as possible in playing that instrument. Most often we don’t need to use a different instrument to play different styles of music, although we may prefer a brighter or a richer tone depending on the style of music we are playing. The same is true with the voice; we attempt to get the most beautiful, rich and even sound as possible throughout our vocal range and then change our style, not our voice or our technique.
So, how is the voice like any other instrument, and how can we apply the principles that we use in creating a smooth, even and rich tone on any instrument to the voice? The answer is found by using the mix!