Masterteachers and vocal consultants Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy
Fisher have been teaching singers and actors in London's West End
for more than 50 years between them, and have been running Belting
Explained! courses every year since 1998.
the first time EVER on DVD you can learn the step-by-step techniques
to safe and happy belting from Gillyanne and Jeremy's sellout
Belting Explained! courses, whenever and wherever you choose. Scroll down for the full contents on both DVDs
discover How we belt, Why we belt and When we belt
There's a superb 13 minute guided vocal warmup from Gillyanne, aimed
specifically at preparing your voice for belting
Built into the warmup are the techniques for getting you to belt.
Then each technique is broken down for you to experience.
Your voicebox (larynx)
Your voice-body connection
you'll discover the musical shape of belting
How to deal with particular vowels (and why some are more difficult
Working the consonants - where they happen, how they happen, and how
you can practise the consonants in each belt note
And why you need commitment to make your belting work better
There are video moments
showing Gillyanne and Jeremy working live with a group of singers,
actors, teachers and speech therapists
specific exercises taking you step by step through the
sequences you'll need to work
in different ways, so there are
ideas, facts, shapes, sounds and concepts throughout the two
DVDs to help you discover happy, safe belting using your favourite
The belting warmup
- We start with live footage of Gillyanne's targeted belting
warmup, taken from the sellout Belting Explained! course. First,
Gillyanne works with an individual singer - this is their first
meeting so you can see how Gillyanne analyses and works with an
unknown voice. Then she takes the entire group of singers and
teachers through the process of
warming up for belting. The group teaching sequence is 13 minutes,
so once you've learned it, the warmup itself is a lot
faster. No more endless scales and vocalises or 30-minute vocal warmups to struggle through before singing.
Then on DVD
break down the warmup into the Individual techniques:
Individual technique 1: your vocal
folds - how they work, what they
need, and how to feel the strong vibrations you need for belting
you'll discover how the breath and vocal folds
work together. By monitoring your exercises in Individual
technique 1, you'll discover how much breath you need for
belting (and it might not be what you think)
Individual technique 2: height and
space - find how to take a
thicker, stronger sound higher in your vocal range. You need a
particular type of height and space inside your throat, and the
exercises in this section show you exactly how to find it.
Individual technique 3: Head posture
- This head posture is specific
to belting, and gives your voice the room it needs to carry the
strong vocal fold vibration higher in your range. This is one of
the biggest errors that beginner belters make, and it can be the
difference between finding belting difficult or (surprisingly)
Individual technique 4: Twanging
- make your sound brighter, louder and easier without strain -
live video of the group with Gillyanne teaching the easiest ways
to find your twang
that's just DVD 1!
Individual technique 5: the
voice-body connection - putting
your back into it helps you connect your body with your voice to
support the strong vibrations your vocal folds are creating. This exercise shows you
exactly how to find the largest muscles in your back, and how to
switch them on and off at will. And you don't need to be shaking
Individual technique 6: Your jaw
- the jaw is a willing slave, it will get involved at any point
whether it's needed or not. Discover in this technique how to
monitor your jaw and how wide your jaw actually needs to be to
belt efficiently (you might be surprised at this one).
Individual technique 7: A mouthful
of tongue - everyone has a
mouthful of tongue - it's a large, flexible bundle of muscle
fibres that enable us to communicate - or not! You can position
your tongue to help those power notes at the top feel easier and
freer. This technique, featured in Gillyanne's bestselling
book "Singing and the Actor", shows you how to discover where your
tongue is sitting and how to monitor where you would like it to
be. Remember that each person's tongue is unique, so this
technique gives you enough leeway to find your own comfortable
Making belting noises is great, but to belt effectively in a song,
you have to use words. And they carry their own problems.
continue on DVD 2
with working vowels and consonants separately.
Individual technique 8: Sorting the
vowels - find out why some vowels
are easier than others to belt, and what to do about it. Use the technique here
to find what your favourite belt vowels are, and how to match
the ones the composers prefer to the ones you prefer
Individual technique 9: Sorting the
consonants - some consonants are
far easier to belt than others, so if you're having a problem
with a belt word, it might be the consonants that are getting in
your way. The technique we use here comes from speech therapy,
and helps you identify what the consonant is, where
it's made, and what you have to do the improve it. And this
technique can be used on ANY consonant or consonant cluster.
Individual technique 10: The musical
shape of belting - once you're
comfortable with using words, we go on to one of the main
musical shapes used in belting, preparing you for holding sung
notes. We return to the live video footage for Jeremy and
Gillyanne to take the group through the musical shape of
speaking, calling and sustaining
Targeting problem words
- You'll discover five easy steps for targeting problem words.
And we demonstrate them using real industry examples (male and
female). You have the opportunity to pause DVD 2
and practise one of your own target belt words.
still not finished yet.
give you the BIG SIX - six
questions to ask yourself when you're working the belt notes in
a song. These are the questions Gillyanne and Jeremy use to
analyse problems in belt notes when they are troubleshooting for
their West End clients, and we're sharing them with you for the
first time (we've never done this before!)
there's the role of motivation and commitment
in belting - why you need them to
make your belting work well. We talk about why you might belt a
note or build a phrase towards a belted climax. And what happens
to your belting if you're not physically committed to it!
we've included a four-minute video of a coaching session
by Jeremy in our Masterteachers
Tour of New Zealand and Australia. You'll see Jeremy working
with a singer on the belted phrase in "I Don't Know How To Love
Him" - and why adjusting the physical and emotional commitment in
just four minutes makes such a difference to the performance
(watch the audience reaction at the end!).
we give you Three Next Steps
to take to embed all the
techniques and information you've learned on both DVDs.
that really isn't enough for you, we've included not one but TWO
BONUS 1: What's My Launch Note?
Classic belting is reserved for the biggest climaxes of the
song, so you need to know what you "Launch Note" is - which note
your belting might start on. We share the approximate pitch
range for your belt notes, and where your belt Launch Note might
be. And we include a list of over 40 songs with belt notes for
you to practise. So you don't have to search around for ideas
for belt material
Bonus 2: Creak Cool.
This is one of our most
invaluable techniques for warming down. Because belting is a
high-energy, high-intensity sound, you'll need to reset your
voice to a more normal speaking mode after you've been belting.
Creaky voice is one of the most useful of the speech therapy
techniques we use to release any tension or vocal fold bulking
you might have used to belt. In this bonus film we give you
three different ways to find healthy creak (and yes, there is an
unhealthy version to avoid). We also give you two entirely
different uses for creaky voice, and tell you when to use it to
reset your voice.