Stella Moore any suggestions for improving tuning (a cappella) when changing key to a semitone higher during a song? There is a link bar and individually each part can do the transition, but when layering up it still seems to drift sometimes. Like · By Stella Moore on Apr 21, 2022 12:49pm
A couple of things spring to mind Stella. The first is a mental thing. Ask them to imagine coming 'down onto' the new key, rather than 'reaching up' for it. My sister uses the imagery of a bird sitting on a branch rather than a bat hanging off it, if that makes sense.
Second, do a few warm-ups over the coming weeks where you practise holding a chord to any vowel sound, then sliding up a semitone, then back, then sliding down a semitone, then back. It will help the choir to feel that process of finding the centre of the new note.
Thanks for your quick response 😉 very useful. Not sure I have the bird image yet though!
great ideas Victoria - can't wait to try them when we can - finally- get together in person (we're still waiting for a warm Tuesday!) - Anne Dodson
What a great question Lorraine. Singing a cappella is all about listening and intonation, so exercises that encourage those things.
In the Exercises for Teambuilding section, I'd try BINGO, which helps singers keep a pulse in their heads during rests, and Teamwork Tennis, which is a great listening exercise.
In the Pitch section, you could try Counting Fifths, which is a good intonation exercise, and Super Sixth, which is really popular because it has a lovely floaty sound.
And then I'd just go for lots of rounds, but keep mixing the parts up so that you gently insist on your singers having to hold a line with other stuff going on around them.
I always think that one of the biggest challenges to a cappella singing for amateur choirs is that many less confident singers want to try to 'shut out' other parts and only be surrounded by their own part. Rounds and warm-up songs can really help singers to relax and become open to hearing (and eventually enjoying) other parts around them without feeling that they'll 'lose' their part.
Does that help?
Helps big time. Thank you for breaking it down the way you did!
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