Helix singer Brian Vollmer told would never sing again before learning Bel Canto vocal technique
Over the years, Helix‘s long-time frontman Brian Vollmer has gone from student to teacher in terms of the Bel Canto vocal techniques. Vollmer first became familiar with that vocal technique in 1976 after he was told that he would never sing again after destroying his voice while doing the bar circuit with Helix in the province of Ontario in the country of Canada.
The following message was posted on Vollmer‘s Facebook page earlier today (with slight edits):
“Here’s what I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks and this is just a “demo”. It’s for my vocal website I’m going to be setting up (hopefully this year) on how to sing Bel Canto.
I started studying the technique back in 1976 after destroying my voice by singing on the Ontario bar circuit. I was told at the time I would NEVER sing again…Well, I didn’t pack it in-I was sent by my manager William Seip to Ed Johnson, who taught out of a church basement in Hamilton. Years later I would become a teacher myself, and over the years I’ve taught Sarah Smith, Tim Hicks, and the girls from Kittie.
Bel Canto was started in the 14th century by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci himself. Leonardo was one of the most amazing human beings who ever lived and had the foresight to envision planes, helicopters, and submarines. He was also one of the first human beings to explore how the breathing apparatus of the body worked and passed along that knowledge to the voice teachers at the time.
Very little was written down about Bel Canto. Most of the knowledge was passed down from voice teacher to voice teacher. Ed Johnson, who taught me, was the first person I know of that actually investigated the technique in regards to how the body worked and the science behind the technique. Of all the students Ed had over the years, he only allowed about 7 of them to become teachers. And of those 7, I was the only one to go back to Ed (who lived in Fergus) week after week, year after year until Ed passed away a couple of years ago-15 years in total.
Bel Canto is the ONLY way to sing without tension on the vocal chords. This is because Bel Canto employs “inhalation”, the act of drawing breath into the head WHILE you are singing. This is integral, as 99.9% of singers in the world push, belt, or throw their voice, which causes tension and in extreme examples nodes or polups on the vocal chords. Bel Canto circumvents this tension by drawing breath from the lungs by creating a vacuum or low pressure by utilizing “Bernoulli’s Principle”.
In the spring (April) I will be returning to Canada and once again starting up my teaching practice. If anyone 16 & over would like lessons, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some bad vocal techniques and vocal “true-isms” that have NO BASIS IN SCIENCE:”
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