Voice Lesson: Seth Riggs on Breath Support

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In this video, Guy Babusek talks to his voice teacher, Seth Riggs about breath support.

If you would like to study with Guy and don’t live locally to his studio, you might consider taking lessons via Skype. www.voice-lessons.com

34 thoughts on “Voice Lesson: Seth Riggs on Breath Support

  1. guy thank you so much for uploading these videos. you may have saved my career or better yet gave me a new one. wow. this man makes so much sense it unbelievable.

  2. Seth was right about SLS students having large ranges — i extended mine so much in such a short time it was scary. i love this technique! anyone looking for a way to not only sing well comfortably, but safely as well, should give SLS a try.:)

    as a beginner, i owe what voice i have to SLS, not to sound too commercial-ish…lol

  3. Yolanda Adams sounded great at the gammys not just Jennifer Hudson. I actually thing Yolanda can sing better than Aretha Franklin. listen to “that name” by her

  4. With SLS I have developed a 5+ octave vocal range, but IMO Breathe Support is the foundation for proper projection and resonance of the voice and shouldn’t be neglected.

  5. Please respond to my question. Why does Mr. Riggs refer to his technique as speech level singing? Everything that he does is the antithesis of what we do during speech. Great technique but I am so confused why he sells it as easy as speech. It’s not like speech, but it is easy and I believe he should champion the differences.

  6. @KaleidoscopeAct I don’t think you understand what Speech Level means. It refers to the level of the larynx. In SLS we want the larynx to be in the same neutral position as in speech, rather than depressed as in yawning, or elevated as in swallowing. It has nothing to do with singing like one speaks.

  7. @gbabusek Okay. He keeps saying, and on his website that it’s as easy as speech. But in speech, the larynx moves, especially if one projects or talks with more presence. May I ask, does the technique believe in the tilting of the larynx? Or how do you account for the resonators of the genioglossus and the muscles underneath? Thank you for your time and your response.

  8. @KaleidoscopeAct I believe Seth is describing singing with a speech-level larynx as being as free as speaking. It isn’t necessarily “easy” to accomplish though. It requires training. There is no excess air pressure built up under the cords. The balance between air flow and resistance, and compression is maintained throughout. A fully supported sound is obviously desired. It sounds like you already have a technique that you are happy with though.

  9. If you are into diaphragmatic teaching, how about getting pupils to adopt the horse stance, feet feet about 15″ apart and legs bent with most pressure on the thighs like the Maori Haka, and from whereever one is with a breath of air in the lungs go HA! HA!HA!….until there is no air left in the lungs, all pushed out as much as possible and hold as long as one can then let go, and one has learnt diaphragmatic exhalation by going HA!HA!..etc..and letting go teaches the first desperate inhalation!

  10. the old old old vocal coaches never got famous for showing this type of singing in the 30s 40s and 50s, but im glad that seth riggs decided to take this out into the world and make many a great vocal coaches.

  11. Speech level refers to the level of the larynx. It is not imposed down as during a yawn, nor is is raised up as during swallowing. We sing with our larynx in the same floating, or resting posture as when we speak. It does not mean that we sing the same way we speak.

  12. Dear Guy! Thank you for this video! It gave a new perspective on breath support! You said that larynx stays resting during singing. How do you keep it resting? Is it with the help of abdominal muscles or with the help of the air? How do you keep it in neutral position when singing high?

  13. That’s basically the crux of SLS training, to learn to sing through your entire range with even registration while keeping your larynx in a resting speech-level posture. It’s a training. I recommend that you find a well trained, and certified teacher to train with.

  14. Thank you for the answer, Guy! It is hard to find such a good teacher to train with (I had some experience). How often (how many times per week) do you think a voice student needs to meet with his teacher to achieve results?

  15. That’s very hard to say. It really depends on the condition of your voice, your previous training, habits, etc. Everyone is very different. Many of us continue to train for ever. I have been training my voice for 30 years and I still train regularly with Mr. Riggs. It also depends on your goals. In order to find a certified teacher you can go to the Speech Level Singing website. Many good teachers also train via Skype if there isn’t someone in your area. Good luck to you!!!

  16. guy babusek why is it difficult to speak with mr riggs and how possible can we get other warm ups and techniques for singing as we check online

  17. The Internet is filled with all kinds of singing warm-ups, but in my opinion, the only way to train your voice is to find a good teacher. SLS has many certified teachers around the world you can consult with. In regards to speaking with Mr. Riggs, I recommend you call his studio. You can find contact information on his website.

  18. Mr. Riggs never said that. Seth does teach support. He often says he “teaches things backwards” meaning he gets the larynx to release first. But I have watched him teach hundreds of lessons, and very often the first thing he addresses is the breathing and the support.

  19. I have had many lessons with Seth, thankfully. I was part of the SLS group in the very beginning. No one has ever made the kind of impact on my voice or my kids’ voices that Seth did!! Love that man!!!!!

  20. I get the impression that Seth Riggs is someone who was born with a potential for a naturally wide vocal range (ability to sing higher notes than average), as are many other vocal instructors. It may be true that he (and other instructors) were not originally properly taught how to bridge and had trouble with high notes originally. It may be true that once he did he could teach others how, but if he had MY voice he would not be able to go anywhere near as high as he goes. I can only totally disengage the neck and chin muscles above first few notes of the bridge if I generate a pipsqueak type of low volume squeak, kind of like a puppy dog whimper at a very low volume. If I try to increase the volume of that it breaks up. Otherwise, my only other choice is either a normal breathy falsetto, or a normal supported head voice, but in either case the neck and chin muscles are engaged especially if above an E4. I can only currently get up to an A4 or Ab4 on a good day in normal supported head voice, and my falsetto only goes up to a C#5 or D5 on a good day if warmed up. Pipsqueak tone can go up to say an E5 on a good day, but pipsqueak tone is unreliable at the upper end. I can assure anyone reading this that Seth Riggs has a much naturally wider range than I have, and there are probably many people in the same situation as me, where they can’t be helped to reach as high in pitch as Seth and other “rangy” teachers/singers can. Just saying!

  21. I know from first hand experience that you don’t need to work on support to get through the bridges, Seth knows what he’s talking about ! ( Another great video )
    When i did learn about support though, it took my singing to another level.
    “Build the voice then build the power i say”. 🙂

  22. Upon mastering a selected song, make a recording of your self singing it and then play it again and hearken to the place you’re going mistaken.

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