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#51 2012-01-07 19:30:31

geno
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Registered: 2009-10-30
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Re: Failing still at singing

Until you get the vowel modifications in place your going to be fighting yourself at E4 and above.  You've got to shift the reasonance at that point.  This is really hard to explain in text - this is where you need an instructional DVD or a lesson with someone that can show you.  Once you DO get the right vowel modifications going, it's going to sound weird at first.  "Ah" goes to "Uh" at E4 and above. 

Do this experiment and this is almost garanteed to give you the sensation: Make yourself yawn - and vocalize while yawning whatever comes out of the yawn (should sound like "uh" but don't force it to be anything other than what it is).  Now, while yawning, siren up and down.  You'll find you have no problem going way above E4 in a yawn without any strain whatsoever.  Try that and report back.

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2012-01-07 19:30:31

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#52 2012-01-07 20:27:12

Robert Lunte
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Re: Failing still at singing

Team, this is great instruction for Starr.

Starr, if I could paraphrase what I believe people are saying is, you need to experiment with vowel modification. Now, its important to understand, its not because of the aesthetic in the room... you modify vowels because it creates physiological changes in the larnyx and around the vocal tract... if done properly, you achieve the desired effect for bridging and connecting phonations... which we need for singing.

Get your Pillars 2.0 content, and fire up the melodic 5th and octave sirens and train them slowly. Your onset vowel will be "Eh" as in "egg" and the vowel you will modify to is "Uh" as in "run" or "sun".  As you modify from "eh" to "uh", you will feel a formant shift or harmonic shift to a resonant placement that most people will agree, feels low and in the back of your head. This is a real sensation, if you feel this, your on the right path.

Practicing "Eh" to "Ah" modifications is also productive and will create favorable results. Practice both... the difference  between "ah" and "uh", other than the aesthetic color of the overtones is, I believe "uh" makes the larynx dump or dampen more.  With "uh", you get more pharyngeal resonant space, or more resonant space in the vocal tract. Often good medicine, for a beginner that is trying to solve the "rubiks cube" that is singing technique.  Modifying into "uh" is also very powerful for women, who tend to need the benefits from larynx dumping, arguably more then men and very early on in their belts, where men will typically make this switch closer to the passaggio.

Slow and controlled, bottom to the top, then breath, top to the bottom... onsets and sirens... with vowel modifications. I don't know how to put it any more clear without getting in front of you.

Good post GuitarTrek

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#53 2012-01-07 20:59:44

Steven Fraser
Charter Member of TMV Voice Council
From: Plano, Texas
Registered: 2008-11-22
Posts: 1801
Reputation :   101 

Re: Failing still at singing

PopVlad wrote:

Steven Fraser wrote:

The next exercise is an extension of what you just did, by adding a simple phonation to the very gentle pops.  Here is the procedure:

In the same position, and taking the same 1/2 inhale, with the same suspension of the inhale with the throat in the posture of the inhalation,

-  do two of the soft pop coughs, about 1/2 second apart, and then adduct as if you were going to do a third one but pop to a 1 second phonation, take a short catch breath, and repeat the 2 pop coughs.  If written out, it looks like

pop, pop, phonated 1 second 'ah'.  (small breath) pop, pop, phonated 1 second 'ah'. (small breath) (repeat.....)

Steven, this is an amazing thread, thank you!

Is the exercise meant to sound like this? http://www.box.com/s/tveeltzb2ldcvnmq430d

Ok, now back home with PC with speakers.

PopVlad: The pops are fine.  I had in mind for the 'ah' to be a bit softer, but you have the idea.  The ah which follows the pops has a firmness that indicates good fold closure.


Best Regards,

Steven Fraser

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#54 2012-01-07 21:02:28

Sun
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Re: Failing still at singing

Ok here is me practising arpeggios. Notice it's not getting shouty and loud. It's funny that two days ago I "almost" got the G4# and now I got the B4. Yeah.

http://www.box.com/s/gox4sx7fbaonucub5y2q

I'm shaking a lot from G4 upwards but it's new coordination for me. I also crack on the first attempt of the B4 but I kept it in the recording, also I made all the earlier notes on the first try.

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#55 2012-01-07 21:38:42

Steven Fraser
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From: Plano, Texas
Registered: 2008-11-22
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Re: Failing still at singing

D.Starr wrote:

As for these exercises Steven I'm not sure if I'm getting a definite pop like in the recording someone posted earlier. It's not a loud pop, but rather quiet.
If I can describe what I'm doing, it's closer to a form of vocal fry.
I'll post a clip of two things I suspect it could be.

EDIT
What I've been doing. Feels so discomfort after a bit using this. Feels like a more outwards push.
http://www.box.com/s/66gshmgz3fc4tqrvzhbe

What feels more like I'm using my soft pallet, a little. Harder to pronounce the ah afterwards with this. Feels like I'm pulling the sound inwards. Finding it easier to do after I do it a little more.
http://www.box.com/s/q2jvrjnigaixy6sqbuua

D.Starr:  These pops sound exactly as I would expect when this exercise is going well, though you can slow them down a bit. How does it sound when you add the 'ah'?  Post one if you can.

Your comparision of the pop to the vocal fry is appropriate.  A vocal fry is an irregular series of these pops, too slow to make a note.  Can you make a vocal fry after two pops, and maintain that sense of breath suspension? A recording would be great.

Here is the next exercise, done sitting up.

After you have the 'pop', 'pop', 'ah' to the point where you can do it whenever you care to, string 5 of the exercises together, and begin with an 'ah' that is not your softest.  For the series, think a slightly softer 'ah' each time.  The pops can be all the same volume.

Approached this way, the exercise has become one of fine dynamic (volume) control at the moment of onset.  Each time you repeat the group of 5, think the progressively softer 'ah' until you find the place where you cannot make it softer and still clear.   It will take some experimentation, but I think you'll discover that you can make a really soft, clear ah.

Once you have found that point for your softest clear ah, repeat the exercise a few times (with the pops included) at that volume level, to the point that you can achieve this clear, soft ah repeatably, each time.   Then you are ready for the next step.

Replace the pops with 2 short, clear ahs, and lengthen the 3rd ah, so the pattern is now 'ah', 'ah', 'ahhhhhhhhhhhhh'. (small breath) and repeat several times, for a total of about 2 minutes, all at your minimum volume consistent with the clear tone quality.  Do the exercise for 2 minutes in the morning, and 2 minutes later in the day, for 3 days.

You are likely sensing the suspension of the breath, which you should. If it gets uncomfortable, you can lessen the amount of air that you initially inhale before starting the exercise, that is, take a smaller starting breath.

So we can use it in this thread, the exercise you are doing is an onset exercise, beginning with a full glottal stop.  After 3 days of it, the next exercise will be to add the very shortest, gentlest 'H' to the onset, one that you can feel, but nobody can hear.   This will prevent the glottal stop from happening, but should result in the very same tone quality for the vowels.  As a name, you can call this the 'coordinated onset'.

Once you have gotten to the point that you can do the coordinated onset at this dynamic level on 'ah', whenever you want to, you can stand up, and begin to expand outward to other vowels, other notes/pitch patterns, and other dynamic levels.   As others have said, a yawny 'UH' is a very good one, so you may replace the Ah with it, and begin to do some sirens.  As long as you maintain your sense of breath suspension while doing the exercises, you will be fine.

Let me know if there are questions or challenges you encounter.

Last edited by Steven Fraser (2012-01-07 21:39:33)


Best Regards,

Steven Fraser

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#56 2012-01-07 23:38:18

Robert Lunte
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Re: Failing still at singing

Sun wrote:

Ok here is me practising arpeggios. Notice it's not getting shouty and loud. It's funny that two days ago I "almost" got the G4# and now I got the B4. Yeah.

http://www.box.com/s/gox4sx7fbaonucub5y2q

I'm shaking a lot from G4 upwards but it's new coordination for me. I also crack on the first attempt of the B4 but I kept it in the recording, also I made all the earlier notes on the first try.

Hi Sun, I took some time to listen to your phonations.   Why are you doing this on a "whoofy" "oo" vowel?!  Excuse me fellas, but I think this is an awful vowel to be training on? I admit , I have not read every post here, but felt I was getting the jist, did someone ask you train on a whoofy "oo"?

at :27, its starting to pull chest and then it continues to pull harder and harder. There is no lightening of the mass of the phonation and the constrictors are quite engaged.

Before I go further, I guess I need to understand what it is your trying to accomplish here?  Are you trying to bridge your passaggio without choking or pushing?  Is that a dumb question?  Please clarify for me , before I go further? 

I agree its not necessarily shouty, thats good, however the constrictors need relax a lot more.

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#57 2012-01-08 00:13:52

Sun
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Re: Failing still at singing

Robert,
Thank you for listening.

In regards to the vowel, it's not actually the "OO" vowel. I am doing a SUPER-DOPY O (woman)and my lips were pouting slightly which makes it sound more like an OO than the O. No nobody has told me to do this vowel, I am simply modifying according to what is currently working for me. I made it dopy and it made things easier. But you are right I could have modified the vowel better. - To D.starr, just listen to the vowels in the CVT sound library...

In regrads to constriction, I agree there is slight constriction but VERY slight in comparison to what I was able to do just a few days ago. Please keep in mind that the notes above A4 are the FIRST time I've ever successfully phonated higher than A4, and the notes preceding are amongst the lowest effort I've done. Just a few days ago it would have taken me an effort 10/10 to reach an A4 while this clip is more like 3.5/10 effort level so constriction has been GREATLY reduced. If you think I am constricting here, you should have heard me a few days ago LOL!!


What I am trying to accomplish is high curbing/mixed voice, or rather what I am accomplishing. Please keep in mind this is all BRAND NEW coordination for me and I've only been able to practise curbing properly for 5 days now. So this is not meant as a "perfect demonstration" of any kind! I am working towards making it better of course but I'll need a few more days or a week before I can do this reliably...

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#58 2012-01-08 01:38:10

ronws
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Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
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Re: Failing still at singing

Well, either you are going to listen to Steven or Robert, or not. Why not try it their way instead of your way?Point being, your way wasn't quite getting you what you want, hence your visit here? At least try it.

For example, when I was working through some 2.0 stuff, specifically, intrinsic anchoring, I was lowering the larynx too low, trying to create that "boomy" G4, and not succeeding. Then Robert said, many try to lower the larynx too much, which will squash the pharynx and vocal folds. So, point being, with greater understanding, I can still use intrinsic anchoring and sing with an oscuro sound when desired. Proviso being, that my oscuro may still sound brighter than others, as I covered a song and I still sounded different than the holy writ required by younger people when covering one of their favorite songs. Meaning, that my tonality was different, even with intrinsic anchoring, to where I simply did not sound like a baritone singing tenor. I am, in fact, a tenor. And that creates a tonal difference. Even our great Steven Fraser has stated that, in so many words.

So, instead of us trying to guess what you mean by your description of your voice, how about you provide a sample of it so that we can hear, along with our own psychological baggage?
:D


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#59 2012-01-08 01:41:56

D.Starr
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Re: Failing still at singing

Steven Fraser wrote:

D.Starr wrote:

As for these exercises Steven I'm not sure if I'm getting a definite pop like in the recording someone posted earlier. It's not a loud pop, but rather quiet.
If I can describe what I'm doing, it's closer to a form of vocal fry.
I'll post a clip of two things I suspect it could be.

EDIT
What I've been doing. Feels so discomfort after a bit using this. Feels like a more outwards push.
http://www.box.com/s/66gshmgz3fc4tqrvzhbe

What feels more like I'm using my soft pallet, a little. Harder to pronounce the ah afterwards with this. Feels like I'm pulling the sound inwards. Finding it easier to do after I do it a little more.
http://www.box.com/s/q2jvrjnigaixy6sqbuua

D.Starr:  These pops sound exactly as I would expect when this exercise is going well, though you can slow them down a bit. How does it sound when you add the 'ah'?  Post one if you can.

Your comparision of the pop to the vocal fry is appropriate.  A vocal fry is an irregular series of these pops, too slow to make a note.  Can you make a vocal fry after two pops, and maintain that sense of breath suspension? A recording would be great.

Here is the next exercise, done sitting up.

After you have the 'pop', 'pop', 'ah' to the point where you can do it whenever you care to, string 5 of the exercises together, and begin with an 'ah' that is not your softest.  For the series, think a slightly softer 'ah' each time.  The pops can be all the same volume.

Approached this way, the exercise has become one of fine dynamic (volume) control at the moment of onset.  Each time you repeat the group of 5, think the progressively softer 'ah' until you find the place where you cannot make it softer and still clear.   It will take some experimentation, but I think you'll discover that you can make a really soft, clear ah.

Once you have found that point for your softest clear ah, repeat the exercise a few times (with the pops included) at that volume level, to the point that you can achieve this clear, soft ah repeatably, each time.   Then you are ready for the next step.

Replace the pops with 2 short, clear ahs, and lengthen the 3rd ah, so the pattern is now 'ah', 'ah', 'ahhhhhhhhhhhhh'. (small breath) and repeat several times, for a total of about 2 minutes, all at your minimum volume consistent with the clear tone quality.  Do the exercise for 2 minutes in the morning, and 2 minutes later in the day, for 3 days.

You are likely sensing the suspension of the breath, which you should. If it gets uncomfortable, you can lessen the amount of air that you initially inhale before starting the exercise, that is, take a smaller starting breath.

So we can use it in this thread, the exercise you are doing is an onset exercise, beginning with a full glottal stop.  After 3 days of it, the next exercise will be to add the very shortest, gentlest 'H' to the onset, one that you can feel, but nobody can hear.   This will prevent the glottal stop from happening, but should result in the very same tone quality for the vowels.  As a name, you can call this the 'coordinated onset'.

Once you have gotten to the point that you can do the coordinated onset at this dynamic level on 'ah', whenever you want to, you can stand up, and begin to expand outward to other vowels, other notes/pitch patterns, and other dynamic levels.   As others have said, a yawny 'UH' is a very good one, so you may replace the Ah with it, and begin to do some sirens.  As long as you maintain your sense of breath suspension while doing the exercises, you will be fine.

Let me know if there are questions or challenges you encounter.

Yeah I fully understand. Shall post some audio in the morning.

Ron, I think I am lowering the larynx waay too much, just trying to keep it down too much.
This stuff Steven is teaching me is awesome. Really helping. I'm also taking on board what Rob and everyone else is talking about.
I tried some of the stuff Sun was talking about in the shower and it really did help.

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#60 2012-01-08 02:01:05

Robert Lunte
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Re: Failing still at singing

Sun, I will keep in mind its new for you, I understand better now, thats fine.  It just really caught my attention as if I was passing by and I just had to intercede and see what the heck was going on here...?  Uhm... I want to help you here... I did a very quick, unrehearsed demonstration of vowel modification on slow and controlled, sirens in my studio this evening, just off the cuff. I hope from this, you will remember that closed vowels are not singer friendly, but open vowels are, because they enable us to use our vocal technique.

Vocal technique exists inside of open vowels, is one way of putting it.

Sun, my advise to you is get off that "whoofy oo"!  Start working on an "Eh" as in "egg" and work on not puckering your lips, but dropping your jaw and lifting your top lip with a "bite" to reveal your canines. Push the tip of the tongue against the back of the bottom teeth to get stability and dampening of the larynx.

To swing experience the benefit of how vowel modification can help you to bridge, try modifying to an "Uh" on top.  If you were chopping on sirens, you would then have an "Eh" to "Uh" modification movement.

I hope this helps.

Click this link to hear my little demonstration for the evening:
https://thevocaliststudio.box.com/share … 52s7bd.wma

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#61 2012-01-08 03:20:20

D.Starr
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From: UK
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Re: Failing still at singing

Robert Lunte wrote:

Sun, I will keep in mind its new for you, I understand better now, thats fine.  It just really caught my attention as if I was passing by and I just had to intercede and see what the heck was going on here...?  Uhm... I want to help you here... I did a very quick, unrehearsed demonstration of vowel modification on slow and controlled, sirens in my studio this evening, just off the cuff. I hope from this, you will remember that closed vowels are not singer friendly, but open vowels are, because they enable us to use our vocal technique.

Vocal technique exists inside of open vowels, is one way of putting it.

Sun, my advise to you is get off that "whoofy oo"!  Start working on an "Eh" as in "egg" and work on not puckering your lips, but dropping your jaw and lifting your top lip with a "bite" to reveal your canines. Push the tip of the tongue against the back of the bottom teeth to get stability and dampening of the larynx.

To swing experience the benefit of how vowel modification can help you to bridge, try modifying to an "Uh" on top.  If you were chopping on sirens, you would then have an "Eh" to "Uh" modification movement.

I hope this helps.

Click this link to hear my little demonstration for the evening:
https://thevocaliststudio.box.com/share … 52s7bd.wma

Wow thanks very much Rob. Didn't have to but that's dedication and commitment to your students. Thank you very much. Gunna work on this :)

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#62 2012-01-08 08:26:09

Robert Lunte
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Re: Failing still at singing

Your welcome Starr... that is my purpose...

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#63 2012-01-08 11:52:27

Sun
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Re: Failing still at singing

Robert,
Great effort, very kind of you to do.

I have some points to raise though. The EH vowel in CVT is associated with vocal modes Overdrive and Edges and the bite is associated with Overdrive. These modes are the "chest" modes and UH is a curbing vowel. I would prefer NOT to start in overdrive as I feel more prone to pulling chest this way.

On the topic of narrow vowels, I as in "Sit" is actually a CVT curbing vowel. But it is important to keep it in the soft palate and produce it the right way also it's the easiest to twang of the three CVT curbing vowels.

I agree that sirens are great because they include all the infinite pitches between two notes, and make no mistake sirens are included in my workout for just this reasons but I like to do both sirens and arpeggios. As well as intervals, octave skips etc.

Also I would like to point out that I was NOT blowing extra air to get that woofy sound, I was using a very dopy sound with a raised soft palate and medium volume which is why it may have sounded that way.


Now are you opposing the vowel O as pronounced in "woman", is this what you label a closed vowel? Because if it is, then I find it odd that you are opposing one of the two CVT recommended curbing vowels for the high parts of the voice. But I also believe TVS has a slightly different approach closer to Overdrive -> MLN rather than Overdrive -> Curbing which would explain different vowel usage.

Thanks

Edit: Got C5 and some better sounding B4s today! :)

Last edited by Sun (2012-01-08 22:22:05)

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#64 2012-01-09 18:57:28

D.Starr
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Re: Failing still at singing

Why is it that I can sing high notes and comfortably with extremely less strain after I've been to the gym?
I feel a major release in the top area, like it's behind my soft palate. 1 hour later and it's all gone :'(

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#65 2012-01-09 19:27:50

Ryan11
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Re: Failing still at singing

D.Starr wrote:

Why is it that I can sing high notes and comfortably with extremely less strain after I've been to the gym?
I feel a major release in the top area, like it's behind my soft palate. 1 hour later and it's all gone :'(

I too have a similar question. I've noticed that my speaking voice feels really resonant and 'top-down' after physical exercise. Might this be because the body temperature increases as well as blood flow and it simply helps to warm up the voice, albeit incidentally...?

If this is the case then i'll be implementing a jog around the block a few times before my vocal work outs as i have always found warming my voice up a real pain in the ass. I seem to naturally warm up later at night when practicing is impossible. Even after vocal warm ups, i still dont feel 'warmed up' until later on in the day. What i've observed when i'm not warmed up is this.... My voice is and can go very low. I can also get some decent connection in the head voice. The main problem is those high 'belts' - the top chest notes. Roughly C4, C#4, D4 and D#4 virtually vanished, and can only be achieved by shouting, or lowing head voice (making them weak). It feel as though getting fold closer is really difficult and breathy. I also never seem to have a clear throat and sinuses. So, does running/physical exercise help with this, does anyone know? Also, any good remedies for clearing the throat would be helpful.

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#66 2012-01-09 19:33:23

D.Starr
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Re: Failing still at singing

I got to thinking and I think it's a mixture of both warming up the chords and the diaphragm holding back enough air. If that makes sense. Because you have to tense the muscles to lift the weight, you put your self in a natural supported stance.
It's kinda annoying though thinking that in order to get hit the notes at the moment I'm having to sweat my backside off in the gym :S.

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#67 2012-01-09 19:51:24

Ryan11
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Re: Failing still at singing

Actually, i've just skimmed through the TVS pillars eBook and Rob has a section on physical exercise. Titled, 'benefits of Cardio-Vascular exercise' are the following points:

1)    Exponential increase in volume and velocity in the vocal tract.
2)    Exponential increase in lung capacity to maximize vocal sustain and endurance.
3)    Increased coordination of rhythmic breathing.
4)    Strengthening of the abdominal muscles and diaphragm, resulting in more powerful contractions to move high velocities of air.
5)    Increase in blood flow in and around the larynx, improving the flexibility and response of the vocal folds and CT/TA.
6)    Increase in the ability to induce deep concentration and meditative states of mind.
7)    Exponential decrease in body fat, improving appearance and self-esteem.

I think number 1 and 5 help explain what we both seem to have experienced, D.starr. I mentioned not being able to really do the top chest notes. Well, the increased flexibility mentioned in point 5 would explain why i am able to do some after exercise. I'll be experimenting with running BEFORE i do my vocal work out and will report back on if i feel my voice is in better condition to utilise the pillars content - starting tomorrow! My question about clearing the throat still remains though, if any one has some sound advice/experience.

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#68 2012-01-09 20:35:25

Olem
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Re: Failing still at singing

Excellent posts, Sun, you made some things clear to me, thanx.

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#69 2012-01-11 23:20:01

D.Starr
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Re: Failing still at singing

OK so Steven, been doing these ah, ah, ahhhs for the last few days and began to add the silent H. Coming along really well.
I love this feeling of suspension, feel like my support is a little better.
I'm ready for the next exercise.

I've been trying to siren on an M and added a small cry which is helping to brighten my voice as it goes up. Really easy but when I break out into a vowel or a mum it hurts slightly and sounds strained.

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#70 2012-01-11 23:56:39

Robert Lunte
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Re: Failing still at singing

Sun wrote:

Robert,
Great effort, very kind of you to do.

I have some points to raise though. The EH vowel in CVT is associated with vocal modes Overdrive and Edges and the bite is associated with Overdrive. These modes are the "chest" modes and UH is a curbing vowel. I would prefer NOT to start in overdrive as I feel more prone to pulling chest this way.

On the topic of narrow vowels, I as in "Sit" is actually a CVT curbing vowel. But it is important to keep it in the soft palate and produce it the right way also it's the easiest to twang of the three CVT curbing vowels.

I agree that sirens are great because they include all the infinite pitches between two notes, and make no mistake sirens are included in my workout for just this reasons but I like to do both sirens and arpeggios. As well as intervals, octave skips etc.

Also I would like to point out that I was NOT blowing extra air to get that woofy sound, I was using a very dopy sound with a raised soft palate and medium volume which is why it may have sounded that way.


Now are you opposing the vowel O as pronounced in "woman", is this what you label a closed vowel? Because if it is, then I find it odd that you are opposing one of the two CVT recommended curbing vowels for the high parts of the voice. But I also believe TVS has a slightly different approach closer to Overdrive -> MLN rather than Overdrive -> Curbing which would explain different vowel usage.

Thanks

Edit: Got C5 and some better sounding B4s today! :)

I don't like "O" as in "woman"... you know what, you can train just about any of these vowels, it takes practice to master different vowels, as you can hear in my demonstration, the "Uh" was a bit more challenging for me and I eat, sleep and drink "Eh".  CVT has decided to make neat little packets of vocal modes + vowels and give them neat names ... these are good options I suspect as are just training TVS Eh, Uh, Ah vowels and modifying between them.  There are different ways to skin a cat..

But I hold firm on these closed vowels... I would not ask any of my students to train sirens on an "i' as in "sit'... we should all be using the IPAs here, but its inconvenient to go copy/paste them off a chart... they are in my book however.  In fact in "The Four Pillars of Singing" 2.0, one of the things I did that I'm proud of is I created a table that has specified the singer-friendly open vowels, a table for the none singer-friendly closed vowels and then a 3rd table that offers an open vowel+diphthong combination to replace the closed vowels.  Its a tool that can really help students learn what to modify to... it utilizes the IPA as well to be accurate.

PS:

Sirens are only 2 of about 42 workouts in "Pillars" 2.0

PSS:

Maestro Fraser is the man that got the entire TVS world training on "Ehs" about four years ago.

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#71 2012-01-11 23:59:53

Robert Lunte
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Re: Failing still at singing

Ryan11 wrote:

D.Starr wrote:

Why is it that I can sing high notes and comfortably with extremely less strain after I've been to the gym?
I feel a major release in the top area, like it's behind my soft palate. 1 hour later and it's all gone :'(

I too have a similar question. I've noticed that my speaking voice feels really resonant and 'top-down' after physical exercise. Might this be because the body temperature increases as well as blood flow and it simply helps to warm up the voice, albeit incidentally...?

If this is the case then i'll be implementing a jog around the block a few times before my vocal work outs as i have always found warming my voice up a real pain in the ass. I seem to naturally warm up later at night when practicing is impossible. Even after vocal warm ups, i still dont feel 'warmed up' until later on in the day. What i've observed when i'm not warmed up is this.... My voice is and can go very low. I can also get some decent connection in the head voice. The main problem is those high 'belts' - the top chest notes. Roughly C4, C#4, D4 and D#4 virtually vanished, and can only be achieved by shouting, or lowing head voice (making them weak). It feel as though getting fold closer is really difficult and breathy. I also never seem to have a clear throat and sinuses. So, does running/physical exercise help with this, does anyone know? Also, any good remedies for clearing the throat would be helpful.

Well lets see?  When you workout you release a lot of chemicals in your body and you increase your blood flow.  My guess would be, increased blood flow/circulation.. it could also be that physical extrinsic exercise helps to lift the larynx a bit... after all, extrinsic anchoring helps stabilize the larynx in singing... moving a lot of weight around adds anchored stability to your singing probably.

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#72 2012-01-12 01:25:16

Olem
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Re: Failing still at singing

Robert Lunte wrote:

Team, this is great instruction for Starr.

Starr, if I could paraphrase what I believe people are saying is, you need to experiment with vowel modification. Now, its important to understand, its not because of the aesthetic in the room... you modify vowels because it creates physiological changes in the larnyx and around the vocal tract... if done properly, you achieve the desired effect for bridging and connecting phonations... which we need for singing.

Get your Pillars 2.0 content, and fire up the melodic 5th and octave sirens and train them slowly. Your onset vowel will be "Eh" as in "egg" and the vowel you will modify to is "Uh" as in "run" or "sun".  As you modify from "eh" to "uh", you will feel a formant shift or harmonic shift to a resonant placement that most people will agree, feels low and in the back of your head. This is a real sensation, if you feel this, your on the right path.

Practicing "Eh" to "Ah" modifications is also productive and will create favorable results. Practice both... the difference  between "ah" and "uh", other than the aesthetic color of the overtones is, I believe "uh" makes the larynx dump or dampen more.  With "uh", you get more pharyngeal resonant space, or more resonant space in the vocal tract. Often good medicine, for a beginner that is trying to solve the "rubiks cube" that is singing technique.  Modifying into "uh" is also very powerful for women, who tend to need the benefits from larynx dumping, arguably more then men and very early on in their belts, where men will typically make this switch closer to the passaggio.

Slow and controlled, bottom to the top, then breath, top to the bottom... onsets and sirens... with vowel modifications. I don't know how to put it any more clear without getting in front of you.

Good post GuitarTrek

Great posts, Robert, i was wondering, could you give an example of an american/english word where you have the Ah vowel?

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#73 2012-01-12 04:00:47

bigfoot
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Re: Failing still at singing

Olem - example "fAther"

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#74 2012-01-12 15:20:39

D.Starr
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Re: Failing still at singing

Hey guys, seen as I have Pillars 2.0 and not used it a lot because I'm so unstable around F4/G4 and seem to be shouting, though I'd give it a crack.

http://www.box.com/s/jqvllgxfiho4zb36etgt
http://www.box.com/s/j6igo6jcquzqnliz6umq


You guys got any suggestions to stabilise it and even out the tone from shouty to a more heady placement?
I leverage my tongue, drop the jaw, lift my upper lip, support.

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#75 2012-01-12 19:17:50

Sun
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Re: Failing still at singing

Now, I wont comment on behalf of TVS training, but if you are going for CVT curbing you are NOT EVEN CLOSE to being quiet enough. Try one third of that volume. If you want curbing, stop even trying G4 or F4#, I doubt you can even get E4 in proper curbing, MAYBE a D4. You need to be so low volume that you are 1 step away from going into neutral due to low volume. You may crack at B3 even, but it's so crucial to keep the volume low and the connection light. If you don't you will NEVER get it.

I completley disagree though that O as in woman or I as in sit will create constrictions, at least not in CVT curbing. These narrow vowels are the easiest in curbing and while you can use any vowel in curbing, the vowel must be modified towards O or I in the high part of the voice. Problem with "I" is that most people make it the wrong way, it's not at the front by the teeth accompanied by a wide smile, but if you make an UH sound and just lift the middle of the tounge you will get it.

Also I'm not trying to "go behind Robs back" with the recommendation of the narrow vowels, but I'm just explaining CVT curbing the best I can. What you do is up to yourself, if you wanna do TVS then I recommend you listen to Rob.

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#76 2012-01-12 20:00:41

Robert Lunte
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Re: Failing still at singing

I would recommend that you listen to what I'm advising whether or not its CVT.  Training different vowels, achieve different goals and create different responses in the vocal tract.  If you want to train on an IPA "ai" as in "sit" all day, go right ahead. On second thought, I think "ai" is actually ok if you open the embouchure. Like Sun said, you can phonate these sounds in different ways often times.  I can see how "ai" would be "ok"... but still not better then "eh", "ah" or "uh" for hard core training.

I still do not see much value in IPA "ør", as in "woman".  But there may be some merits to it, as I said, there are probably some value out of just about anything vowel you practice, the question is, what do you want to practice?  Do you want you sound weak or big and boomy?  You can't throttle a closed vowel. We see this in SLS sometimes, they advocate narrowing vowels as well and it may create a configuration in the vocal tract, but the workouts I have heard that incorporate closed vowels are so light and delicate that the end result is not anything can actually use in singing?

If the vowel is not enabling me or my students to sing with a full throttle, "boomy" resonance and thus, get the opportunity to train hard... then Im not much interested in it. I dont want to "curb" when I train?  I don't want to phonate candy kisses when I train... when I train, I want to open up the after burners and get a work out. I want to work on the big open vowels that I will need and want when I'm actually singing.

If you were a voice teacher and had the benefit to watch students try to negotiate constriction around vowels like "ør" and "ai", you might not be so enthusiastic to sell closed vowels. I recommend vowels that will help singers get to where they want to go with their singing in the least amount of time. My job and mission is to get results quickly first and conduct interesting science second.

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#77 2012-01-12 20:08:54

Robert Lunte
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Re: Failing still at singing

D.Starr wrote:

Hey guys, seen as I have Pillars 2.0 and not used it a lot because I'm so unstable around F4/G4 and seem to be shouting, though I'd give it a crack.

http://www.box.com/s/jqvllgxfiho4zb36etgt
http://www.box.com/s/j6igo6jcquzqnliz6umq


You guys got any suggestions to stabilise it and even out the tone from shouty to a more heady placement?
I leverage my tongue, drop the jaw, lift my upper lip, support.

What does not being unstable around F4/G4 have to do with "The Four Pillars of Singing" 2.0 that you admit your not using?  I don't get the connection there?  If you were using it and practicing and following the instructions and took 1 lesson with me as I have repeatedly offered, your stability issues would go away. 

I listened to your clips:

The first one, your phonations have no reduction of mass. Your in what we call at TVS a "shallow" position, exactly what I predicted with you. The higher the pitch, the deeper the resonant placement Star, stop belting on top... and you need to improve your intrinsic anchoring so you can get your larynx to dampen more

The second clip, The first siren, I actually liked a little bit... the second siren you lost your deep placement and tried to shout at it (belting).

Your onsets are ok, I hear the little quack mode there and thats good... that is helping you.


Overall, you need to lighten the mass the higher you go... your just getting sucked into the "primitive"... shouting...  it is close enough, that I think you can get it and win... but without a private lesson to let me help you remove the bugs... I don't know?

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#78 2012-01-12 20:15:33

Sun
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Re: Failing still at singing

Robert,
Good response.

Curbing does not have to be weak and low volume, quite the contrary it can sound very powerful when done right but since it's very difficult to get right (the most difficult mode according to CVT) it's best to learn it with low volume at first and then when the coordination is there, add volume and power. Walk before run is the case with Curbing. Singer who uses curbing a ton is f.ex. Michael Bolton who by no means sounds wussy. Even though being able to sing softly is just as important as being able to sing with great power.

Also in CVT you are allowed to stray from the "center" of the modes but again, walking before running.


Here is an example of singing where curbing is used (along with other modes), listen 0:43 to 1:08. I counted around 14 I vowels in curbing.




I respect the point you are trying to make, you do not feel the vowels mentioned are best for training. As I said if D.starr is doing TVS I would listen to you (obviously), since I use CVT I will continue to follow their instructions until I stop progressing.

Thanks

Last edited by Sun (2012-01-12 20:17:26)

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#79 2012-01-12 20:22:32

VIDEOHERE
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Re: Failing still at singing

if curbing means mixed voice then you have one of the most difficult things to master because it demands a lot of balance and finesse.

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#80 2012-01-12 20:27:31

Robert Lunte
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Re: Failing still at singing

I listened to this Jorn Lande video and what?  I didn't hear anything at those time stamps that seemed unique. He is just covering and singing in a heady position with some distortion. Certainly, Lande is not thinking, "ok, now I have to curb now...".  But am I alone in the observation that 'nothing happened' at these time stamps? 

I was expecting to hear a modification of the vowel or a more prominent covering to a heady position or something?

Anyways, ... those of you reading this that are less experienced on what we are talking about, understand that we are talking about 80% the same thing. As so often happens when discussing vocal technique, its not the outcome or the results that are so different... its the language.

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#81 2012-01-12 20:41:57

Sun
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Re: Failing still at singing

That was just a demonstration of how curbing can sound with use of narrow vowels, nothing fancy. They don't have to lead to constriction and IMO without them diction will suffer. Maybe you had a different sound figured for the I vowel.

Starr, I agree with Robert you should get a lesson ASAP. Make time, if you care about progressing with singing because honestly I doubt you will progress with forum posts alone. I also feel you are not really dedicating yourself to anything but basically trying out different things, get down and dirty with TVS if you want to progress, just take the aid of a teacher, stick to it and you will make it.

Last edited by Sun (2012-01-12 20:43:34)

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#82 2012-01-12 20:49:16

Robert Lunte
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Re: Failing still at singing

Sun wrote:

That was just a demonstration of how curbing can sound with use of narrow vowels, nothing fancy. They don't have to lead to constriction and IMO without them diction will suffer. Maybe you had a different sound figured for the I vowel.

Starr, I agree with Robert you should get a lesson ASAP. Make time, if you care about progressing with singing because honestly I doubt you will progress with forum posts alone. I also feel you are not really dedicating yourself to anything but basically trying out different things, get down and dirty with TVS if you want to progress, just take the aid of a teacher, stick to it and you will make it.

Thank you Sun... its just that everyone has jumped in here to help you Starr and this has been going on for some time now... there comes a time when you have to practice and get a lesson or two to sort it all out.  I could be wrong, but it seems we are not getting the progress we want for you and you want for yourself because we may be lacking in some execution... am I wrong?  Get off the forum posts for a while and start practicing!

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#83 2012-01-12 20:55:55

D.Starr
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Re: Failing still at singing

It's hard because of the time difference and having the house free to sing. Plus with the recession, the hours at work are dreadful and no money is coming in. Im also in need of a new webcam, this one doesn't work at all.

I hear many R&B artists and try and have that style of voice. I love R&B/Pop but I know I end up shouting rather than singing.

The reason I stop and start with Pillars 2.0 is because I forever hit the F4 wall, begin to shout, crack and fail. Then I feel I'm abusing my voice and let it rest and don't really make progress.

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#84 2012-01-12 21:42:05

Ryan11
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Re: Failing still at singing

D.Starr wrote:

It's hard because of the time difference and having the house free to sing. Plus with the recession, the hours at work are dreadful and no money is coming in. Im also in need of a new webcam, this one doesn't work at all.

I hear many R&B artists and try and have that style of voice. I love R&B/Pop but I know I end up shouting rather than singing.

The reason I stop and start with Pillars 2.0 is because I forever hit the F4 wall, begin to shout, crack and fail. Then I feel I'm abusing my voice and let it rest and don't really make progress.

If you are hitting the F4 wall, even a beginner like me (sort of) can tell it probably means too much volume and weigh. Just go weak and limp and falsetto-esque so that you are at least bridging to the head voice. That lightening and "pulling back" that Rob refers to in the early lectures/sirens stuff is key.

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#85 2012-01-12 22:21:45

VIDEOHERE
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Re: Failing still at singing

Ryan11 wrote:

D.Starr wrote:

It's hard because of the time difference and having the house free to sing. Plus with the recession, the hours at work are dreadful and no money is coming in. Im also in need of a new webcam, this one doesn't work at all.

I hear many R&B artists and try and have that style of voice. I love R&B/Pop but I know I end up shouting rather than singing.

The reason I stop and start with Pillars 2.0 is because I forever hit the F4 wall, begin to shout, crack and fail. Then I feel I'm abusing my voice and let it rest and don't really make progress.

If you are hitting the F4 wall, even a beginner like me (sort of) can tell it probably means too much volume and weigh. Just go weak and limp and falsetto-esque so that you are at least bridging to the head voice. That lightening and "pulling back" that Rob refers to in the early lectures/sirens stuff is key.

may i just say i'm not so sure that's what you want to do. you're better off with nice connected "ng" sirens...you'll feel the transition to head and still feel connected. there's no reason to get "falsettoey." you need to practise staying connected. taking weight off doesn't mean going weak and limp.

watch that you're not to heavy at the bottom to begin with....otherwise you are doubling the difficulty.

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#86 2012-01-12 22:28:59

Ryan11
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Re: Failing still at singing

VIDEOHERE wrote:

Ryan11 wrote:

D.Starr wrote:

It's hard because of the time difference and having the house free to sing. Plus with the recession, the hours at work are dreadful and no money is coming in. Im also in need of a new webcam, this one doesn't work at all.

I hear many R&B artists and try and have that style of voice. I love R&B/Pop but I know I end up shouting rather than singing.

The reason I stop and start with Pillars 2.0 is because I forever hit the F4 wall, begin to shout, crack and fail. Then I feel I'm abusing my voice and let it rest and don't really make progress.

If you are hitting the F4 wall, even a beginner like me (sort of) can tell it probably means too much volume and weigh. Just go weak and limp and falsetto-esque so that you are at least bridging to the head voice. That lightening and "pulling back" that Rob refers to in the early lectures/sirens stuff is key.

may i just say i'm not so sure that's what you want to do. you're better off with nice connected "ng" sirens...you'll feel the transition to head and still feel connected. there's no reason to get "falsettoey." you need to practise staying connected. taking weight off doesn't mean going weak and limp.

watch that you're not to heavy at the bottom to begin with....otherwise you are doubling the difficulty.

yeah sorry, when i said 'falsetto-esque' etc... i was exaggerating. I just meant really take off the weight around the break area. Personally i dont seem to have any complaints at this stage
in my own training. I've email Rob about my free lesson and really, like everyone else has said, just get ONE lesson. I mean, a lesson is essentially the price of a night out in the town here in england, so it's worth missing the odd social event or something if it means getting a valuable session with Rob in, i'd say.

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#87 2012-01-13 05:10:19

Steven Fraser
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Re: Failing still at singing

D.Starr:  How are things going?


Best Regards,

Steven Fraser

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#88 2012-01-13 10:58:16

D.Starr
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Re: Failing still at singing

Hi Steven, they're going great. Onto the silent H. phonations. Might have to put up a recording to make sure I'm doing the right thing.

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#89 2012-01-13 14:35:39

D.Starr
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Re: Failing still at singing

OK so had a singing lesson today with my teacher and he says I just need to relax. I tense up too much as I go higher and recommends that I do hissing an phonations laid down and try and feel the same release and muscle relaxation and the correct tension where needed.
I was also going across the idea of what type of voice I am. I said I hoped I was a Baritone but he said because I can sing a low e2, 2 and half octaves is usually the norm for people so E4 is close to my limit. He didn't say that is my limit, I should be able to sing a few above it, but that's pretty bad for the area of singing I wish to go into.

I was really struggling to get past D4/E4 today, really croaking on the top. I tried to lower my larynx and fell out completely, my throat was tight, which is something I cannot get rid of. I tried the silent H onsets and that helped up to D4. I feel the need to push as I go higher or else I fall out and go into falsetto which then begins to dry me out and hurt my cords. The cry didn't helped, dropping the larynx didn't. It's frustrating.

Also might request a lesson from Rob, not sure when.

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#90 2012-01-13 14:54:04

Ronron
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Re: Failing still at singing

Why is it that I can sing high notes and comfortably with extremely less strain after I've been to the gym?
I feel a major release in the top area, like it's behind my soft palate. 1 hour later and it's all gone :'(

My guess on this is threefold :
Sport :
makes you breathe more efficiently -> better support
distracts your mind -> Less attention to your folds -> Less constrictions
releases endorphines -> More relaxation -> Less constrictions


Why aren't days 32 hours long ? <_<

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#91 2012-01-13 16:50:46

FelipeCarvalho
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Re: Failing still at singing

D.Starr wrote:

OK so had a singing lesson today with my teacher and he says I just need to relax. I tense up too much as I go higher and recommends that I do hissing an phonations laid down and try and feel the same release and muscle relaxation and the correct tension where needed.
I was also going across the idea of what type of voice I am. I said I hoped I was a Baritone but he said because I can sing a low e2, 2 and half octaves is usually the norm for people so E4 is close to my limit. He didn't say that is my limit, I should be able to sing a few above it, but that's pretty bad for the area of singing I wish to go into.

I was really struggling to get past D4/E4 today, really croaking on the top. I tried to lower my larynx and fell out completely, my throat was tight, which is something I cannot get rid of. I tried the silent H onsets and that helped up to D4. I feel the need to push as I go higher or else I fall out and go into falsetto which then begins to dry me out and hurt my cords. The cry didn't helped, dropping the larynx didn't. It's frustrating.

Also might request a lesson from Rob, not sure when.

D.Starr

Although classifying voices like this isnt precise, I am 100% sure that you are not a Bass, and if you are really a Baritone, its a very rare case because your voice is light. Stil I dont hear the timbre of a Baritone in there. Range is useless to determine this.

Ive heard your samples, and from what I hear, support isnt connecting, probably some little ajustment on what you are doing. There is more compression than would be necessary on the voice.

It should feel that the air is first containned and during phonation is being Released rather than Pressed out, the control of the air flow must be on the support muscles, nothing on your neck. Do you have this feeling now? This is really important, without support you have no other choice but strangling after E4/F4. Or just plain screamming.

Or better yet, IF you are supporting and using the wrong coordination, rather than feel strainned, you will feel the larynx open but the chords will litteraly get tired due to the effort of sustainning heavy phonation as the notes go higher.

Last edited by FelipeCarvalho (2012-01-13 16:56:55)

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#92 2012-01-13 17:24:31

VIDEOHERE
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Re: Failing still at singing

i agree with felipe....support.....you have to understand how to divert tension away from the throat so that the throat becomes passive and the muscles relax, to allow the vocal folds to stretch and contract unemcumbered by tension. remember the vocal folds primary purpose is to regulate pitch.

in these sirens you're doing...i would forget about the vibrato for now. ...exercising is not singing.

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#93 2012-01-13 17:54:10

D.Starr
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Re: Failing still at singing

The vibrato seems to occur naturally as much as I try to keep it at bay.
I was working on some onsets from Steven Fraser and they helped with the sense of suspension, I still think my support is incorrect. I keep my chest elevated and open and in a sense feel the diaprhagm pull downwards. I also try to let my lower abs do some work.

Its cool to know thar Im not a bass. I just find it hard to successfully lighten my voice and develop it. Support is an issue as I always feel my neck tense. Ive emailed Rob to try and sort a day to work with him. Hopefully I can sort these.

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#94 2012-01-13 18:10:36

Quincy
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Re: Failing still at singing

I was curious if you can sing through the break area in CVT neutral without air and not have throat constrictions?

If you can get this going, your likely doing it with pretty good balance (breath and folds).

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#95 2012-01-13 18:37:36

VIDEOHERE
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Re: Failing still at singing

you keep the chest up, not elevated. d, if you get help you'll be doing the right thing.

just remember...be patient and don't try to rush things....they will come if you work at it consistently and dilligently.

i am so pleased with my gains as close in on just two years, i used to feel like i was going nowhere at times, even got setback with the polyp, scared the hell out of me, but i refuse to give up. you will start to feel an automation to your singing after a while (muscle memory will kick in...a coordination will kick in).

work hard at it.

Last edited by VIDEOHERE (2012-01-13 18:38:32)

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#96 2012-01-13 18:59:13

FelipeCarvalho
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Re: Failing still at singing

D.Starr wrote:

The vibrato seems to occur naturally as much as I try to keep it at bay.
I was working on some onsets from Steven Fraser and they helped with the sense of suspension, I still think my support is incorrect. I keep my chest elevated and open and in a sense feel the diaprhagm pull downwards. I also try to let my lower abs do some work.

Its cool to know thar Im not a bass. I just find it hard to successfully lighten my voice and develop it. Support is an issue as I always feel my neck tense. Ive emailed Rob to try and sort a day to work with him. Hopefully I can sort these.

This sense of suspension should work together with your emission, as if they were linked. Air is slowly released as you sing.

So that you understand better what is happening:

When in rest, the lungs have a small quantity of air (they are not empty, if they get empty, you die). The internal pressure of your ribcage and the outside world is matched, the system is equal.

When you inhale, the diaphragm expands and depress into the abdominal cavity, and at the same time the ribcage expands, creating a negative pressure on the ribcage compared with the outside, thus inflating your lungs.

When you exhale, NORMALY, these muscles relax, the diaphragm moves back and the pressure on the ribcage is reduced. Thus the pressure inside the lungs is now greater then the pressure on the outside and air is released.

Now pitcure this, when you sing, the folds are closed in such a way that, when this air is released, they are openned BY the subglotic pressure just for enough time so that a pulse of air is released and then they close again, the number of times this process repeats on a second gives the fundamental frequency. Ok? Great.

But the larynx is, before anything else, an air valve. If you let your body dictate how it will deal with air pressure, the larynx will happily assume control of it. Thus doing 2 jobs at the same time, resisting pressure and emitting sound. In the lower part of your voice, this works more or less, since the frequency is low and the pulses of air are longer, more air is released and the subglotic pressure is somewhat low. As the pitch climbs, the pulses are shortened, less air is released in each pulse and the subglotic pressure rises. In response the larynx must compress more the folds. The result is tension. The bad kind of tension, its like trying to force your hand open while attempting to close it at the same time. The more you climb the more the tension rises, until at one point it simply cant hold it anymore and the voice breaks, releasing the pressure.

Shouting helps for a while, since you can just press the folds harder and force air out. But you will get tired quickly. If you try to lower the pressure as required for a lighter emission, the pressure is too great and either the voice breaks into falsetto (with that very nice effect :P) or becomes airy (which is actually worse than simply shouting).


So you must train in order that, when you exhale, the control of air flow is done by the lower muscles, not allowing the diaphragm to simply relax and keeping the ribcage expanded. In other words,  the exhale process must become active, controlling the air flow, and this is NOT THE SAME AS JUST PRESSING IT OUT.

An unstable airflow will also create tension since the larynx will either produce irregular sound or help controlling it. So the better the support works, the easier it becomes.

When support gets connected, even the lower notes becomes much easier and stable, its very noticeable, not just a subtle difference. Its also less demanding and you will see a great improvement on your resistance. It will not immediately solve your problem with passaggio, but will allow vowel modification to work.

Last edited by FelipeCarvalho (2012-01-13 19:06:01)

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#97 2012-01-13 19:45:09

VIDEOHERE
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Registered: 2008-12-22
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Re: Failing still at singing

nice post felipe.

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#98 2012-01-13 21:24:31

D.Starr
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From: UK
Registered: 2011-01-10
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Re: Failing still at singing

Quincy wrote:

I was curious if you can sing through the break area in CVT neutral without air and not have throat constrictions?

If you can get this going, your likely doing it with pretty good balance (breath and folds).

I can lip roll, NG scale, M siren without breaks. Never tried neutral without air.
I'll check the CVT book.

I understand you Felipe, it's just fully understanding how to use my lower abs and keeping the chest expanded. I always feels like I'm just locking the abs. I feel the shift of my abs pulling down sometimes but I always see this as false support.

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#99 2012-01-13 23:54:22

Steven Fraser
Charter Member of TMV Voice Council
From: Plano, Texas
Registered: 2008-11-22
Posts: 1801
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Re: Failing still at singing

VIDEOHERE wrote:

nice post felipe.

Bob, Felipe: Yeah!  Great post. Very well said. Felipe: a point coming your way.


Best Regards,

Steven Fraser

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#100 2012-01-14 00:22:08

Steven Fraser
Charter Member of TMV Voice Council
From: Plano, Texas
Registered: 2008-11-22
Posts: 1801
Reputation :   101 

Re: Failing still at singing

D.Starr wrote:

Quincy wrote:

I was curious if you can sing through the break area in CVT neutral without air and not have throat constrictions?

If you can get this going, your likely doing it with pretty good balance (breath and folds).

I can lip roll, NG scale, M siren without breaks. Never tried neutral without air.
I'll check the CVT book.

I understand you Felipe, it's just fully understanding how to use my lower abs and keeping the chest expanded. I always feels like I'm just locking the abs. I feel the shift of my abs pulling down sometimes but I always see this as false support.

D.Starr:  Put what Felipe said with what you have been practicing in the exercises.  When you do the onsets, especially when soft, there will be very little contraction of the abs in any direction, they won't be sensed to lock, they will be felt to pull in a little, but not much. If you maintain the sense of breath suspension, that should be sufficient for the exercise for now.

I agree with Quincy's recommendation to use a 'neutral without air' mode. That is probably the kind of sound that you are getting with the onsets, I think.

Its interesting that you say that you can M siren without breaks.  M is one of the semi-occluded consonants that are used for registration training over multile pitch ranges.  If you can do the siren past the E4 on an M, then you are very close to having the technique to sing a siren on a vowel that will work through there as well.

So, your next exercise:  Add the suspended breath onset exercise to the front end of an M siren.    Use the vowel 'UH' in this fashion:

On the G in your bottom octave (G2) Onset the UH twice, just like you did it on the ah, ah, ahhhhhhhhhhh previously.

Bring your lips together to make an M, but leave the UH throat posture behind it, and do 2 more onsets with the M. Another way to think about it is an UH with your mouth closed.

Add a long M after that, and siren it smoothly up an octave, and back down, maintaining the suspension the entire time.

Diagrammed, it looks like this, with the siren represented :-):
                               M
                             M  M
                           M      M
                         M          M
                       M              M
UH, UH, M, M, M                  MMMMM

The sirened M is a consistent flow of tone, taking about 5 seconds to go up, and 5 to go down.

do 2 times on the starting note, then transpose up by 1/2 step and repeat.

During one of the transpositions, as you make the siren you may feel a point where your muscle memory wants to press more air out to keep the tone going, or to introduce abdominal rigidity.  Do not do either of those.  Repeat the exercise and slow down the siren way down at that point, and add just a little additional emphasis on the suspension feeling... just a very little.  This is a moment of discovery of the body sensations of the small adjustments in support and registration that are needed in the transition to the upper middle voice... changes that are needed to set you up to approach the passaggio without overpressuring.  Same thing if you break... just go back and slow that part of the siren down.

I do this exercise every day, quite softly, in the morning to get my voice loose, and then at the beginning of a vocalization period. I do the sirens over the intervals of the octave+5th, and the double-octave, where the complete change in sensation is quite pronounced during the siren.

Let us know how things go.

You can also use other semi-occluded consonants for this same exercise.  M, NG, V, Z, and the french J (like in the word 'Je') all work as well.

Do this exercise for10 mins in the morning, and 10 in the afternoon, and I think you will be pleased with the results,

Last edited by Steven Fraser (2012-01-14 00:23:09)


Best Regards,

Steven Fraser

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