It has been 1.5 years since the first edition of the ‘ Universal Voice Guide ‘. Now the second edition is almost ready. You can imagine that if you continue to work intensively on a book for 1.5 years, it must have improved enormously. And that is absolutely true.
Alberto and I initially had the idea to just clean up some text errors for the second edition. But soon more ideas came up. Thanks to Daan Smits, for example, we came up with the idea to train the voice characters on the basis of the sound characteristics instead of the 4 pillars. This fits much better with our ‘sound first’ approach. Alberto also came up with the idea to make the basic and variation chapters of the voice characters into one large voice character chapter (Speech, Belting, Whisper and Classical). When singing it is mainly about the variations, you only sing a lot in the base in Classical. Soon we were like: if we are going to make an improved version, let’s do it as well and thoroughly as possible.
To be clear, the system has of course remained the same. There are no suddenly more sound characteristics or voice characters, for example. The way in which the system is explained and taught has improved considerably.
For the people who are used to the first edition, it will take some getting used to that ‘clarity’ is now called ‘aspiration’, and ‘freedom’ is now called ‘oppression’ (so that all sound characteristics have the same direction). In addition to the many structural changes, we also thoroughly reviewed all texts and refined them linguistically as well as substantively where possible. This makes the explanation much more precise and easier to read.
Students of the Universal Voice Institute also ‘double-checked’ the texts and then double-checked and then double-checked again… thanks for this!
But the most eye-catching is of course the design. Much attention has been given to this and it is really a difference between night and day. The book is now A4 format, very colorful and with many photos. Models have been used (including Alberto and myself, but that aside) making it even clearer what you have to do yourself. The result: a fresh, modern, airy-looking book that you just want to get started with. Really super cool.
Because of all these improvements I also call this pressure The Universal Voice Guide 2.0 ‘. I think the guide has found its ‘real form’ in this edition. The form it was always intended to be: to let everyone who loves singing speak and sing better in an accessible, fun and super effective way.
On a personal note, I would like to say that I am extremely grateful and proud that I was able to contribute to the realization of this second edition. It has turned out really great.
The biggest credits go to Alberto himself, of course. He did it again, in the Rotterdam way. As you undoubtedly know Alberto is like a fish in water while teaching, but he had to learn how to write a book. He learned to work with a ‘DTP’er’, had photos made with models, even learned to use Adobe Photoshop to get the ‘doodles’ (fun drawing-like shapes) to his liking! The way he handled this second edition, partly by attracting and managing the right professional people, has ensured that you get a great new product with a fantastic appearance.
I wish you a lot of fun with The Universal Voice Guide 2.0! 🙂
Guus Bok, co-author of The Universal Voice Guide