Acting in Plays, Singing/How can I sing this?
I'm playing Doody in Grease and one song "Those Magic Changes" is really giving me trouble. I am just not able to hit those high notes and I was wondering if you could help. Are there any vocal exercises I can do to reach the higher notes? Or is there even a way to alter the music? Thank you.
Hi, Patrick –
Thank you for the question.
The character of Doody in GREASE is a great Pop Tenor role. He spends a lot of time floating in and around High F and High A – and during the most passionate phrases in the song. In many ways, it's a young tenor's dream role. Whatever you sang for your audition, your musical director knows you can handle this range.
So, by "high notes", I'm assuming you mean the falsetto (or countertenor) portions of the song. Those vocal lines extend to E. The very best thing to do to strengthen and secure those notes is to practice a series of scales ranging from the F above it (that is, 1/2-step) to the F an octave below in your falsetto. Start with two sets of three 3-tone scales. Do the first set on the vowel sound of ee. Take a breath and repeat the scales on the vowel sound of oo. Then do variations on them, i.e, ascend on ee and descend on oo, then vice versa. Then go up a half-step to F# and repeat the pattern. Gradually (as in, day after day) work your way up to D-flat, the third above being F. Go higher if you can. Then do the same thing coming back down until you are at the F again. Then do a series of 5-tone scales—the same stretch of notes up and back—with the same vowel patterns.
Don't practice "Those Magic Changes" on a cold voice!
You must do a serious warm-up before learning and rehearsing this number or you run the risk of hurting yourself. My clients know how to get their voice performance-ready through a complex series of scales that cover at least the expected stretch of notes of their specific range. For example, the 2-octaves of a standard tenor—C3 to C5. All my tenors can sing above and below that.
Warm-up every day before you go to rehearsal. Inform the family or household you are going to be practicing your scales between now and the final curtain. In the meantime, check out the Original Cast recording of JERSEY BOYS. Anyone who succeeds as "Doody" in GREASE can sing the role of "Frankie Valli".
I am a vocal coach to working singers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm also an entertainment critic for HuffingtonPost.com – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield
and Classical music reviewer for Examiner.com – http://www.examiner.com/user/4557381/articles
. Let me know when you're ready to come to San Francisco for some vocal coaching.
Check out my web site: http://FabulousFilmSongs.com
See my interview with popular TV host, David Perry, on "Ten Percent":
Below are links to my articles and youtubes on the San Francisco Bay Area entertainment and cultural scene:
Nonsemble 6 presents Schoenberg's 'Pierrot Lunaire' – in corsets
'Onegin' – A Must-See at San Francisco Ballet, Final Performances 3/26—28
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Tenor Noah Stewart Debuts with Berkeley Symphony in World Premiere of New Work by Steven Stucky
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'Moby-Dick' opens at San Francisco Opera: A Conversation with Composer Jake Heggie
'Drama Queens' – A Conversation with Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato
Vasily Petrenko, BRIT Male Artist of the Year, Conducts SF Symphony, 10/5–6
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The "It" Girl, Clara Bow, A Featured Star at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, July 12–15
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A Look at Gennadi Nedvigin, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet
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RICHARD WINSOR – An Interview With the Star of 'Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake in 3D'
DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre
KRISTIN CLAYTON– A Conversation with "The Diva" of Teatro ZinZanni
DIANE BAKER – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée
A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
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ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation