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WKT Vocal Academy - Dec. 2017 - Dynamics


DYNAMICS - The softness or loudness of a piece, from pianissimo to fortissimo. The difference between a good performance and a great one can easily come down to dynamics.

It's a great way to get emotion into the piece. Draw your audience in with the softness and blow them away with the raw power of anguish when the song demands it. Karaoke singers are often guilty of delivering at a volume that overpowers your pitch and is honestly just uncomfortably loud.

I know we have all been guilty of it: singing at one volume that is loud or playing above the rest of the mix. We are trying to be heard, but because of our fears of being lost in the crowd, either consciously or sub- consciously, we compensate by singing harder, thus making the KJ turn the music up louder, which essentially makes what we are listening to noise.

Listen to some great singers and examine their use of dynamics, musical theatre is a great place to find the manipulation of dynamics to make you laugh and weep as the performer desires. Your favourite singer will have you leaning in on a quiet verse and then rocking out to a powerful chorus.

Think about what the song means to you, analyze it, break it apart and read it aloud. Think about your dynamics, where should it be quieter, is the beginning introspective as the singer almost talks to themselves and sets the scene. Is there heartbreak where you can pull back and let your voice sob or anger where you can push the volume to make it raw and powerful. Never let the audience be bored, keep them guessing and keep them interested.

Make them understand your interpretation of the song, it doesn't need to be a carbon copy of the original. Share what speaks to you, what made you pick that song in the first place. A well sung piece with good dynamics will often beat a perfectly sung piece with no heart or emotion in it. Performance isn't about being an amazing dancer or actor, it's about making me a part of your World for a few minutes. Taking me on a journey with you and making me feel the song and understand the message you are trying to give me. Work on it, you will reach the heights when you understand the dynamic range.


Dr Suzanne Wright has a masters in jazz musicianship and a doctorate in advanced vocal production. She has toured with various recording artists and performed in many musical theatre and opera productions in the U.K. She currently lives in Calgary, Canada and teaches from her own studio.

She is available for on location and skype voice lessons. The initial consultation is free with no strings attached. She teaches with enthusiasm and you will improve in your first lesson guaranteed.

Dr Suzanne Wright DMus (AVP) PhD


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