I’ve been a huge fan of Speech Level Singing for over ten years, and continue to be. I’ve studied with some of the best SLS teachers in the world, and I use SLS exercises continuously in my studio. I think the method is superb and was even certified for two years. I vocalize with the SLS technique daily.
What SLS is: A fabulous vocal training method to keep the vocal folds in tip top shape. This can allow you to sing any genre you wish.
What SLS is not: A vocal training system that teaches you how to sing any genre you want in a safe, effective way.
The problem with SLS is that it doesn’t help singers build their signature sound. It is a fabulous way to keep the voice in shape, but it doesn’t allow the singer to learn how to make sounds that are specific to their genre. For example I like to sing country, pop and rock. There is no way I am going to sing a high C in a song the same way I sing high C when I vocalize. My preference is to use more chest voice “in my mix” and keep the resonance near the front of my face to achieve the sound that I want. I even prefer to allow my larynx to rise a little and tilt. This gets me the sound I like in a safe and effective way. Lots of twang and great breath control.
I think SLS could take the next step in helping the artist develop their signature sound in a healthy way. I believe Brett Manning’s organization is much better suited to a variety of vocal sounds than is the Seth Riggs Organization. Brett is getting loads of country singers in Nashville so you can bet he is helping them achieve the sound they want in a safe, effective way. Seth Riggs, on the other hand, is a pure and very specific vocal training system to teach singers how to sing from the bottom to the top of their range in a balanced way. This is a fabulous thing, but I think some students may be confused about what the voice can and cannot do in terms of making healthy sounds that suit their specific genre.
If you are a rock singer and have been vocalizing with the SLS method for some time, consider this? Are you happy with your high notes? Are you able to get the sound you really want without straining? If not, then the next step is looking at safe ways to make those specific sounds. I believe some SLS studios can do this, if they understand what you want. Communication with your coach is definitely key here. If your current teacher isn’t equipped to help you with these sounds, then you may need to consider other coaches. There are ways to build your chest voice higher in your mix in a perfectly safe way. And, I’m not talking about belting. That is a very different way of singing.
SLS will always be a fabulous singing method. But singers need to be clear about what it is, and what it is not.