Speech Level Singing
Founded by Seth Riggs, The Speech Level Singing (SLS) technique allows you to sing throughout your whole range with the same connected, even, strong, flexible sound, with no breaks, without strain and with a relaxed larynx that means you experience the same ease of singing as when you speak. SLS is effective and safe and can be applied to ALL styles.
ARTISTS WHO USE THE TECHNIQUE - Actors and Singers from Opera to Rock, Jazz, Musical theatre to pop and R&B, over 100 Grammy award winners use this technique.
Major Recording Artists such as Michael Jackson, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, Luther Vandross, Lionel Richie, James Ingram, Janet Jackson, Michael McDonald, George Benson, Prince, Olivia Newton-John, Dusty Springfield, Annie Lennox, Anita Baker, Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias, Marilyn McCoo, Geoffrey Osborne, Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Tamia, Daniela Romo, Emmanuel, José José, Manuel Mijares, Tina Turner, Nina Simone, Diana Ross, Sinead O’Conner, Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Musical Theatre Performers such as Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Douglas Sills (male lead in The Scarlet Pimpernel), Leila Florentino ("Kim", Miss Saigon), Lorna Luft, Chita Rivera, Barbara Harris, Philip Web, Ben Vereen, and Tim Curry.
Professionals of the Operatic Stage such as Donald Ray Albert, Bass Baritone; Angela Maria Blasi, Lyric Soprano (Winner of Metropolitan National Opera Final Auditions in New York); Eduardo Villa, Tenor (Winner of Metropolitan National Opera Final Auditions in New York); Rodney Gilfry, Lyric Baritone; James Wagner, Tenor (Winner of Metropolitan National Opera Final Auditions in New York).
Actors such as Tony Curtis, Jane Fonda, Kim Basinger, Richard Chamberlain, Jeremy Irons, Gene Hackman, Nicole Kidman, Goldie Hawn, Anthony Quinn, Val Kilmer, Melanie Griffith, Kirstin Dunst, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Steve Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Bette Midler, Helen Mirren, Whoopi Goldberg.
REHABILITATION - SLS is also extremely effective as a rehabilitation method for vocal damage caused by poor teaching, years of abuse or medical intervention that in other cases could compromise or even end a career.
HOW DOES IT WORK? - The key to Speech Level Singing is in understanding the bridges and the MIX.
BRIDGES - In the voice are passage areas from one part of our vocal range to another. In Italian, they're called passagi. These passage areas are a result of vocal cord adjustments that must take place in order for us to sing high and low in our range. These vocal cord adjustments produce resonance shifts in our body. Our first shift in resonance, or our first bridge, is our most crucial, because this is where our outer muscles are most likely to enter the picture. If they do, they tighten around the larynx in an effort to stretch the cords for the desired pitch. This is an extremely difficult condition to sing through. These outer muscles can be referred to as swallowing muscles, as they raise the larynx during the activity of swallowing. If they come into play during singing, we are actually in a swallowing condition, which can be very damaging to the voice.
With Speech Level Singing, the larynx remains stable and comfortably low (not raising as we ascend the scale). The vocal cords make their proper adjustments in balance with the air, and as a result of these vocal cord adjustments, we experience the proper resonance shifts through our bridges.
CHEST VOICE - When we're in our low range, a by-product of the resonance actually can be felt as a physical sensation in our mouth, throat, or even chest. This is where the term “chest voice” comes from.
HEAD VOICE - As we ascend the scale (if we are singing correctly), our voice feels as if it begins to rise and go behind the soft palate. Ultimately, it rises higher and gives the sensation of being high in our head. This is where the term “head voice” comes from. Speech Level Singing focuses on the middle voice, developing the MIX of chest and head.
MIX - The mix begins at our first bridge as the resonance starts to split between the hard palate or mouth area and the soft palate at the back of the roof of the mouth behind the uvula, so that there is a MIX of chest and head voice. Many singers, both men and women, have tremendous difficulty with this area. Many of us will push more air in this first bridge area to help get through it when, ironically, just the opposite is necessary. We actually need less air the higher we sing. This is because, as we ascend the scale, there is a significant reduction in the vibrating mass of the vocal cord as the vocal cords thin out. Thus as we ascend the scale and move higher in our range, the less air they need to support their vibration.
Speech Level Singing trains the proper vocal cord muscles and relaxes the outer, unnecessary swallowing muscles so the vocal cords can be allowed to make their proper adjustments in balance with the air. The larynx remains stable and the resonance shifts smoothly through all the bridges. The vocal cords remain closed and vibrating throughout all their adjustments. This produces what we call a "connected sound" from our lowest note to our highest note. A free, clear and flexible voice that can be enjoyed for any style we desire is then available to the singer.
ONLY Certified SLS Instructors are permitted to use Seth Rigg’s name or the Speech Level Singing trademark and they have to complete educational requirements and proficiency testing every year and for every level.