If you are a vocal coach or a singer, let's look at what you may need to know, to do your best work. You need to know the next step for your development, and the ones to follow. Most singing lessons never get into the depth of the questions on the test below. What a singer needs to know isn't as comprehensive as what a true vocal coach must know, to do the best job for you.
Some of the questions below are "trick questions" , but they are based on outdated and/or incorrect "myths" regarding anatomy, muscle function, and physics. You may have been mis-trained, misinformed or worse, if you're not singing like how you want. There can be gaps in your education, preventing you from reaching your potential. I know. I had my own, once upon a time.
1. Where is the hyoid bone?
2. Which muscles, connected to the larynx, contract when you yawn? How can you exercise them?
3. Which muscles pull the larynx up, when you swallow?
4. What is the function of the oblique arytenoid muscles? How can you exercise them?
5. When the diaphragm contracts, does it ascend or descend?
6. Name the muscles of "forced expiration".
7. Why are the vocal folds no longer called vocal cords?
8. Is it possible to "place your sound" and what muscles would be involved in that?
9. Define "falsetto".
10. Is head voice a tone quality or vocal range ?
11. Why is chest voice called "chest voice"?
12. What causes a break, or crack, in the voice?
13. What do you do to sing from the diaphragm?
14. How do you feel where your diaphragm is?
15. What muscles are used to open the throat?
16. Draw the anterior view of the larynx, showing the thyroid cartilage, the hyoglossus muscle, the cricoid cartilage, the sterno-thyroid and sterno-hyoid muscles, and the hyoid bone.
17. Draw the top view of the larynx, showing the arytenoid cartilages, the thyroid and cricoid cartilages, and the oblique arytenoid muscles.
18. Why does the lower abdomen expand slightly when you inhale? Does air go in there?
19. When does liquid, that you swallow, make contact with your vocal cords?
20. How can you prevent excessive muscle tension in the neck or the jaw when you sing?
21. How do you improve pitch problems in a singer?
22. What are the notes in a D major 9th chord
23. Name the seven modes of a major scale. Sing them.
24. Sing a Phrygian tetrachord up and down.
25. Establish a starting note (Use A flat.) and, using a major scale, sing the scale steps 6-5-4-3-2-1. The 6 will be the A flat.
26. Sing a Dorian mode, starting on a C.
27. What is a bridge in a song?
28. What is a bridge in the voice?
29. How would you notate (as literally as possible) a swing rhythm for a musician or singer who is unfamiliar with a swing rhythm?
30. Sing a one octave chromatic scale.
31. Sing a pentatonic scale.
32. Sing a whole tone scale.
33. Sing an Aeolian mode.
34. Sing an ascending augmented 4th.
35. Sing an ascending minor 6th.
36. Sing an arpeggiated major seventh chord, ascending.
37. Sing a descending minor 6th.
38. Sing all the major scales in the circle of fifths.
39. Sing the notes of a sus4 chord.
40. Sing the notes of a sus2 chord.
41. What scales are used for embellishments in most R&B and pop music?
42. What is a fry tone?
43. What is the Bogart-Bacall Syndrome?
44. What are the ten most common problems of singers?
45. What is "middle voice"?
46. Should the jaw be opened the same on the "e" as in "bee" as on the "a", as in "bat"?
47. What is the difference between front vowels and back vowels?
48. Which back vowel has the highest tongue position?
49. Which front vowel has the lowest tongue position?
50. How do you determine the cause of intonation problems and solve them?
You DON'T have to know everything above to improve. You only need to know your next step is, which happens in the singing lessons we do.
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