Sing Better Faster and the 10-Speed Bike Analogy


There are so many confusing and poorly defined words and concepts in vocal studies! On top of that, many teachers and singers don’t seem to have a clear understanding of what these terms mean.

Also, even when used correctly, these words often have multiple definitions. We can end up stacking metaphors on top of metaphors.

It’s the beginning student who suffers most. You can become confused and disinterested. You could be getting conflicting advice from different coaches on Youtube without even knowing it.

So I’ve created this little metaphor to help you to better understand the new and more efficient language that has developed recently. I show how it maps out to the old language.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

What to do Next

Study the other recent articles that I’ve posted. Make sure you’re on the email list. Make sure to follow my new content at Youtube.

Be well and enjoy your day,

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  1. Thank you so much Joe for your experience and insights… I was very interested in the M1 and M2 voices. It made sense to me intuitively. I have a song that i’m working on that I believe goes from the M1 possibly then into the M2 domain. I had been trying to sing the whole song in M1 but then it gets into the higher range for me and starts sounding very stressed. My fix was to then change the stressed sounding section by going into head voice (M2) however I have found that this then appears to weaken that section. It appears to be too soft whereas I was trying to get some impact into that section.?!? Hmmm… I have probably confused the hell out of you and am laughing as I write this…. sorry! Appreciate any comment. Cheers, Cynthia😊.

    1. Hi Cynthia! You haven’t confused me. I go through that same feeling often. I think most singers do, so you’re not alone. It’s a choice we have to make within certain regions of our range.

      I find that there are things that I have to do now that I will do differently when my vocal development is further along. Much of that has to do with avoiding the attempt to carry the M1 too high and too thick.

      There are two options in training that I can think of:

      1. Train the M1 to get longer and thinner for higher notes.
      2. Train the M2 to produce a stronger sound.

      I work on each of these every day. For men, as beginners, our M2 is very weak and our M1 wants to be thick and short. Our flip from M1 to M2 is nasty. The M1 can be, over time, taught to lengthen and thin so that the sound becomes gradually lighter, but still has the richer set of harmonics that we get from M1.

      For example, five years ago my M1 peaked at F4 and for the life of me I couldn’t get it to thin out. Now, it peaks at Eb5, an octave higher. My transition to M2 is much smoother because the above two training options serve to better blend the voice.

      Instead of handing off a strong M1 to a weak M2, it’s a lighter M1 to a stronger M2. Repetitive and intelligent muscle training has been the key for me.

      I’m creating some demonstrations of the way I use the straw phonation in water device for these exact purposes. They won’t just be demonstrations, but will rather include the training objectives I set for each exercise, the main focus points as I do them, and the variations of how I do each phrase.

      They’ll be up by Sunday and included in the next email.

      – Joe

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