"I didn't think it possible: If I'd known I was going to be doing this, I would never have come; and thank God I didn't... and did!" -Wendy, after a Mal workshop at the Tasmanian Acappella Festival.
Click here for workshop notes and beatbox phrases. For more videos, go to my YouTube channel.
Lip to Lung, Larynx and Tongue:A Global Glottal Adventure: Bandmouth, Beatbox and Beyond
(you can choose which combination of these title options you prefer!)
Around the world and into your gob, vocal explorer and songwriter Mal Webb takes you on a lip to lung journey through the physics, physiology and phrivolity of all the sounds a face can make. Sideways yodelling, beatbox/mouthdrums/vocal percussion, harmonics/throat singing, mic technique, looping, advanced clapping and vocal distortion (without hurting) are all explored on the way to being a band with your voice and the lead singer too!
Depending on the workshop length, other areas such as singing styles and phrasing, songwriting, effective use of a metronome and music theory can be included. Then we do it in groups... improvising songs and learning to interact as a band. And I'm working on a more advance (but still fun) workshop called "Be Like The Back Beat: Gear Shift your Brain: Words & Beatbox for Rhythmic Displacement & Polyrhythm"... stay tuned!
I can do anywhere from an hour to 12 hours (that was full on), but 2-3 hours is ideal for thoroughness without exhaustion! And 12-30 participants is ideal, but really any number is workable (I had ~200 participants for an hour at the 2003/2004 Woodford Folk Festival). It suits people of any age, particularly the adventurous. I've done workshops for the Australian Girls Choir, the Victorian College of the Arts, the Melbourne Millennium Chorus, the AcaFellas (male choir), Voiceworks WA and at many festivals around Australia and Europe. Upcoming workshops are posted in the gig guide.
I have a B. Ed. music (secondary). In schools, I find it good to do a performance for the whole school (30-45 minutes), then one or two 50 minute workshops for different age groups (year 3 and up). Starting cost of around A$600 and up or down depending on the details. I can fit most budgets!
I need a decent PA (not a Mipro!) to perform through: I can provide a PA if needs be. Regardless, I always bring my own little mixer, so I only need one input and therefore it's often enough to have a single powered speaker (with at least a 12 inch driver/cone (and bearing the name RCF, Mackie, JBL, EV or even Behringer).
A gym/hall is not great for what I do, as there's a lot of detail involved and a reverberant acoustic blurs that. Carpet is my friend! I'd always much rather be squashed into a double classroom than to drown in a boomy hall.
Click here for a PDF of the below workshop info you might like to print out before attending, or even after!
Mal Webb’s Workshop Notes
-Lips, Tongue, Uvular, Ventricular folds and Vocal Folds
-Ng warm up (larynx position): gong (bassy); sting (trebly) Ernie and Bert
-Note swapping, voice matching, melody sharing.
-Harmonic singing: Nga ngo ngu then Kermit the frog and closing the lips
(subtle changes and a little lip flick helps you hear the harmonic)
-Singing breathing in: Like a gasp or sigh and don't let it catch
-Sideways yodelling: Find two notes, either side of your break,
and bring them slowly together maintaining the break
-Basic conducting: Give a warning/breath, loaf of bread, tying the knot)
-Learning to think like a rhythm section (the kelpie and balancing the stick)
-Using spoken word as an infinite source of melodic ideas
-"What's your dog's name?" : Moving the pulse (groove) under a rhythmic
phrase by accenting the different words
-Making riffs from odd fragments of well known melodies
-Loving your mistakes
-Beatbox/mouthdrums, the three ways:
1) Clicks (no lung), 2)Mouth and Lung (with no larynx), and 3) Voiced sounds.
Whisper with just your lips and tongue, over-articulating the consonants and make it so no-one can't understand the sentence! And if you add your voice, use the "ng" sound for all the vowels, so the note is all through your nose.
A "b" is always a kick drum and a "p" is always a snare.
The underlined syllables are on the one (the first beat).
"Be Fit to Be Covered to Beat a Cough to Be COVID Tucker" (written in 2020, of course!)
-"Bouncing cats"(Yes, I know it's like "Boots and Cats", but I've been doing this way before that turned up!)
-"Bouncing clouds" (can be with the "cl" inhaled)
-"A Bunting clout" (a different hi-hat sound)
-"Tongue bunting clan" (for the Billie Jean riff... replace "clan" with "pin" for a different snare sound, or)
- "Bent Imp Shenton" (Billie Jean riff with reverb snare!) https://youtu.be/101mzpgOz0k
-"Baboons and pigs"
-"Baboons and pigs are beyond petite patterns"
-"Baboons in pants are beyond petite pebble tea" ("pebble" makes a kick just after the 4th beat)
-"Syncopated soccer boot"... breathe just after the boot
-"Soccer boot, soccer ball" (samba style!)
-"Saint Paul's booze problems"
-"Bounceable passion table"
-"To be baffled to be too clever, too clever to be too clever"
-"Born to be too clever, to beat a baboon to clover tea"
-"Born to be too puffy, to beat a baboon to poverty"
-"To be buffeted by clover baffled to be born too clever"
-"To be buffeted by pav or bumpy to be born too puffy"
-"Bouncing kids abound, kissing kittens"
-"Dancing kids are done kissing kittens" (different kick sound)
-"Don't say guitar, don't suck a dung car" with "kakadu" every 4th time
-"Don't send a cow, don't suck a dung car" has a nice extra kick
-"A sickbag sick dog" (congas and shaker)
-"Dancing" or "Bouncing" (swing bass with hi hat)
-"Don King", "Bull's Jewels", "Don Johnson"
-"Zucker zimt käse" (it's German for "sugar cinnamon cheese")
-"Aunt Sue can't sing cats" (homophonically similar to the German one)
All the above sentences ©Mal Webb 2000-2020
I demonstrate a few of these at the end of this video: https://youtu.be/Y5ctn3VrdRk
-Oh, and don't forget, endings are everythi