Talk O’ Tuesdays!
No Screlting Zone!
An Ongoing Discussion Regarding The Vocal Knowledge & Practice of Belting.
To Belt, or Not To Belt?…that INDEED is the question. (of the century…literally, when it comes to singing). This has become the most common form of singing in today’s pop culture and it can sometimes be outright painful to listen to when one doesn’t have the knowledge or physical intuition for such a style of vocal prowess. It is such a misunderstood concept throughout the singing world both by the singer and the teacher, yet this is what EVERYONE wants to accomplish now, especially on these vocal competition shows on TV. Just what is it and how does a singer safely understand how to obtain this type of connection to the power and anchor in the body without hurting themselves in the process?
Well, to understand that question, and to address the proper way of approaching this type of singing, we must explore the opposite of that…the incorrect way or ways that people perceive this technique…if we can even call it that. In my time on the voice faculty at a private university mostly known for their musical theater program, I came to know a term that was floating around the student body that I had never heard before, and had hoped that it was more of a joke than real practice called, “screlting”. A term when related to the act of singing evokes nothing more than offensive tones ending in severe throat pain, blood vessels popping from one’s neck, and, at times, a projectile-like fountain of blood attacking the innocent spectators akin to a Gallagher concert. Make sure to bring your plastic tarp! To my dismay, I found that this was something that many thought was “the actual way to do it”. I was beside myself, and could most definitely see the real lack of vocal guidance that was at large as these students came to this college from many walks of life as do high school graduates year after year when they leave home and go away to their freshman year at ‘higher’ institutions of education. So I made it my duty to dispel this dangerous misguided practice and that is where my logo of the innocent girl very ignorantly screaming at the top of her lungs with the red circle/slash was born…it became known outside my studio door at that school as “A No-Screlting Zone”, and Ms. Screlty became famous! (well, at least in my studio).
That is all for now! In our continuation of this series, we will discuss the various forms of singing this way correctly, and how to approach and interpret it for a few various voice types that predominantly are demanded by the music to sing with this type of power and connection! Stay tuned…