Singing Guide: Ziegfeld Follies of 1910

Vocal technique, exercises, tips and relevant resources

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Learning from Fanny Brice

Fania Borach, better known as Fanny Brice, started her career in 1908 at the age of just 17, singing and clowning in a Brooklyn dime museum. Later, Fanny became a Vaudeville star and was featured in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1910. Her untrained but natural throwing away of notes, combined with impeccable timing, was unique and quickly became her trademark. Here's how you can learn singing like Fanny Brice.

Voice training

To sing like Fanny Brice, you don't necessarily need a strong and powerful voice, but you do need to have a unique sound and technique. Brice had a distinctive and idiosyncratic way of singing that included throwing away or "bending" the notes, as well as adding a nasal quality to her voice.

To master these techniques, you need to practice breath control, voice placement, and diction. Singing along with Brice’s recordings and performing vocal exercises can help you achieve the vibrato, phrasing, and intonation that are essential to her style.

Song selection

Fanny Brice is best known for her comic songs, but she also had a talent for ballads and torch songs. Her performances often included a mix of theatrical and comedic elements, which can be hard to replicate, but you can still capture the essence of her style.

Some of Brice's most famous songs are “My Man,” “Second-Hand Rose,” and “Rose of Washington Square.” Listening to her recordings and studying her live performances can help you pick up on the nuances of her vocal technique.

Tips and tricks

To sing like Fanny Brice, here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  • Bend your notes: Fanny Brice often bent or threw away notes for a comedic or expressive effect. Experiment with this technique to add character to your singing.
  • Add nasal quality: Fanny Brice's nasal quality was an essential part of her sound. Practice achieving this sound while maintaining proper breath control and diction.
  • Emphasize lyrics: Brice was known for her impeccable comic timing, and much of that came from her ability to emphasize certain words in a song. Pay close attention to the lyrics of the songs you choose and experiment with adding emphasis to certain words and phrases.
  • Don't take yourself too seriously: Fanny Brice was a comedic actress as well as a singer, and her performances often included a mix of theatrical and comedic elements. Don't be afraid to inject humor and personality into your own performances.

Singing Carrots Resources

Here are some useful Singing Carrots resources to help you on your journey to singing like Fanny Brice:

  • Vocal Range Test: Take the Vocal Range Test to determine your vocal range and compare it to other famous singers.
  • Pitch Training: Use the Pitch Training tool to develop your intonation and phrasing.
  • Song Search: Find songs that match your vocal range and personal taste.
  • Vocal Health Articles: Study the Vocal Health articles to learn how to keep your voice in top shape.

By following these tips and utilizing Singing Carrots resources, you can start your journey towards singing like Fanny Brice.

Learn more about this artist vocal range, voice type and repertoire.