25 april 2011

Rock Your English! (4) - I Lof You Fairy Much

'If I hear this again, I’m going to scream', says Buffi Duberman, schrijfster van Rock Your English!, deel I, II en III in deze serie. 'Well, maybe not scream, as I do yoga and always (ahem) feel perfectly balanced, centered and focused, but there’s a good chance that my chakras might get pissed off.

I cannot begin to explain how important pre-studio coaching is for your pronunciation, singers. Oh, and producers. And, well, the whole damn band, while we’re at it. Some people tell me that they’re not interested in improving their English, as they’re
‘just a drummer’ or ‘just a bass player’. Well, peeps, I’ve got news for you. You live in a small country. It’s about the size of Indiana, I’ve been told. I come from a country with 50 Indianas. If you are good at what you do, and you want to be recognized for your talent, there’s actually a chance that someone outside of Holland might want to hear you play. And get to know you via your site or forum or whatever. If you are not able to communicate naturally and confidently with them, then you’re kind of screwed when it comes to really getting your ideas across when you put down that guitar or the sticks. I’m always interested in the person behind the musician: can you express yourself in words as well as in music?If you don’t warm up your pronunciation and go into a studio ‘cold’, there’s a good chance we’ll be able to hear it. Just like when you speak English on vacation, when people tell me ‘na een paar dagen ging het vanzelf, en ik kon al dromen in het engels…’, you should be warmed up before you go into the studio. You don’t have the luxury of warming up while you are in the studio, as it’s too time-consuming (read $$$). You should be ready to sing, to nail your pronunciation, before you walk in. There’s lots of ways to warm up before you get to the studio. Get feedback from a native speaker: are you mixing up UK and US pronunciation (do you even know the difference?)? Set your alarm radio to the BBC, you’ll hear English from the second you awake. Keep English magazines and books in your rehearsal room and studio, to read (out loud!) during down time. Get to know your lyrics, read them through as text, sing them acapella and don’t worry so much about your voice, but concentrate on the sounds you are making. If you concentrate too much on your pronunciation while you are recording, you will sound quite robot-like, as if you’re trying to sing while balancing a book on your head. No emotion whatsoever. And make sure you know the difference between ‘f’ and ‘v’ in English! The ‘V’ is a lot stronger than in Dutch. How do you make it? Put your finger over your bottom lip. (See picture) Say these words: FAST/VAST, FAIRY/VERY, FAT/VAT, FAN/VAN. If you do this correctly, your bottom lip should vibrate with all the V words. Try it. You’ll like it. And I’ll like listening to you a lot more!'

Dankjewel, Buffi!

1 opmerking:

Robert de Jong zei

grappig dan dat Aux Raux dan op 3voor12 zegt: lekker met dat accent in de weer, dat maakt het authentiek en geeft het sjeu.