TSM Vocal Course 1.3

Vocal Course

by Sylvi Lane

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Singing breathy, singing warm, breath and support

Exercises and Practices:
Sing an line breathy

Sing a line warm

1. Say YEAH with a lot of center

2. YEAH glissando

3. Say something extremely American

4. SING C- E- G- E- C


Half a step higher every time / With lines from the song- repeat


1.3.2 LYRICS: Phrasing
In Jazz, phrasing can be free

You have the freedom to place the words and lines where you like.

This way you give meaning to the words; you create tension in the lyrical and melodic story, a way of studying that freedom in rhythm:

Exercises and Practices:
1.Place s'wonderful in different spots and REPEAT

2.place from the bridge; You can't blame me for feeling amorous

Body and Soul- J.Green/E.Heyman/R.Sour/F.Eyton

try this with a ballad:

Starting lines on different spots


1.3.3 ARRANGEMENT: Intro and outro

Most used idea intro, Verse, Turnaround, often use the turnaround of the song, most used idea outro, ritenuto and fermato, repetition of the last line

Exercises and Practices:
Try the different possibilities on a tune


1.3.4 EXPRESSION: Through Dynamics
Micro and macro dynamics, the dynamical bow in a line, with accents, repeats

Exercises and Practices:
Sings a song as soft as possible, then again as loud as possible, the group replies when it is too soft or too loud to be believable



1.3.5 PRESENCE: Use of Space

The interpretation of a song gets stronger if we put it into space.

From intimate to outgoing, grounding, workout, eyes open

Exercises and Practices:
1. Grounding

2. Workout

3. Eyes open


1.3.6 LYRICS - Verses

Today we tune into a specific part of jazz standard:

The Verse is an introductory passage before the chorus that is what we know as the song. Mostly they come from Broadway shows usually performed rubato

Exercises and Practices:
Stop the film and talk together about:

1. What is the introductory meaning, message of the verse?

2. And, what is the first storyline of the Chorus?

SING the verse

I'm Glad there is you- Jimmy Dorsey/Paul Madeira

Stop the film and talk together about:

1. What is the introductory meaning, message of the Verse?

2. And, what is the first storyline of the Chorus?


Swing and straight

Exercises and Practices:
Sing rhythm -straight repeat, same rhythm- swing repeat, straight -repeat swing, swing repeat straight

Sing the a part line by line swing and straight

Exercise together

Sing and let repeat: Line by line first straight then swing!




Vowels, open/close, consonants,

Exercises and Practices:
Sing the vowels

Note all differences, mouth, lips, and tongue

Add surprise to open up the back of the mouth better

Good for resonance, upper tones

Try it the wrong way:

Over exaggerate the movement of the lips and jaw sing do we like school days like these on C- E- G- C- E- C note what it does to the sound and quality of the words

On one note

OO -Ô- Â - AA- Â- EÈ- Î-EE-Ô-OO

Move with your tongue, lips, and jaw, just the slightest you can to go from one vowel to another


Start the vowel with an M in front and then stop the tone for a split second and continue on the vowel

Sing on a MAJOR and on a MINOR scale up to the fifth

A. do it slow

B. do it fast

C. do it low

E. do it middle

F. do it high
Experience the differences in mouth shape


1.3.9 LYRICS: Diction
Diction is a very important tool to give depth, meaning and color to the lyrics.

Diction is on one hand good articulation but it is, more than that, linked to language and meaning: being expressive with words.

Exercises and Practices:
1. But first sing in a major scale these words

2. Lets give some examples: AND REPEAT

From That Old black magic- Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen

1. Very articulated

2. Wooly

3. Percussive

Another example: articulated and mellow

From “Autumn in New York” - Vernon Duke

3. Exercise: stop the film and explore a song:

One singer sings a jazz tune with the diction of Carmen McRae/ Amy Winehouse/Ella Fitzgerald/Betty Carter/ or any other singer that is a clear example for him or her


1.3.10 IMPROVISATION: Chords

Exercises to get the harmonies in your memory

What a difference a day made- Stanley Adams, Maria Grever

Exercises and Practices:
Sing root notes

Connect thirds to the sevens of the chords and vice versa

Start on a note and sing with two notes per measure up and down

Start with a note and keep it as long as possible

Write and study arpeggio’s

Start from the root-notes

Connect see example

Improvise freely on a chorus