Magic Choral Trick #50!!!!! Quit Breathing Altogether During Up Tunes
Drastic issues call for drastic measures.
For years I’ve been frantically trying to find a way to get amateur choirs to sing legato when they’re doing an up tempo tune. Appealing to the intellect, and descriptions of what a smooth sound is, haven’t done any good at all.
However, I’ve now finally had some success with asking them to just not let me catch them breathing – ever – during the course of the song. Yes, they will actually breathe – but using only the strict rules for Perfect Staggered Breathing.
The result is no Energy Leaks, no gaping holes in the sound, accurate steady rhythm, more forward motion, singing that’s less syllabic and a much greater excitement in the delivery. Sure, there will still be some synchronization things to fix, where once there were the gaping holes – but the overall smoothness is much better.
Once the smoother style of singing the song has become habit, then a few judicious breaths need to be put back in so that the audience isn’t left gasping for air.
Also up tempo tunes tend to be the ones with all the choreography, and the chorus will need the occasional synchronized breath.