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#1 2013-07-10 05:53:14

jco5055
TMV Forum Member
From: Chicago
Registered: 2012-03-30
Posts: 216
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losing range after workout/singing

First off, I originally put this on the KTVA forum, as I've been using the program, but I didn't really get a satisfying response as my question didn't involve using KTVA exercises :rolleyes: So until I make a video of me performing an exercise of two (which I was planning on doing during my practice tomorrow), I'm in the dark with them, so I've come here.

So basically, I've noticed that after doing the Stage 2 workout, (you know, like an hour long cd of various scales etc) I seem to lose the very top end of my voice.  What I mean is, that as I do the last 2 scales (which extend the highest, and are for blending/bridging from chest to head), that I'm just hitting the wall so to speak.  Around E5-F5, I just can't produce anymore tones, kind of like for most people if they try to sing in the sixth octave (assuming they don't have a whistle range). 

I actually recorded myself just doing quick little head tones from C5 until I couldn't (tonal wise, think just whaling like a police siren) and I topped out around B5, with a C6 also but it's pretty much just tinny/thin.  So pretty much B5 is the highest I could produce a "legitimate/impressive" note from, which is consistent with whenever I first discovered head voice.  My full range has never really changed, but I have increased the range of "chest"-like head tones etc.  I've always assumed this is the same for most people, with range coming first, then tone.  I'm sure most of you guys would agree, that while it still takes training to produce pleasant tones in the 5th octave, you really don't have to strain when in the head voice.  I'm definitely not worried about hurting myself when I sing in "pure" head in the 5th octave.

Anyways, speaking of head voice, let me say that KTVA "style" head voice is a little different than what most probably think of with head voice.  Let's just say that this requires me to really support the whole time, so I assume that it would mean M1 musculature is being used the whole time, or in CVT terms I would not be using neutral.

Now when I finished, I recorded myself doing the same police siren thing as above, but the highest I could get was like G5.

Now, I think I may have solved my problem in KTVA terms (I was not having the exact correct vowel modification), but should I still keep practicing everyday while implementing these changes, or should I take a week off or so? 

I'm kind of thinking in weightlifting terms, and for example if you were doing squats wrong, and couldn't lift as much weight because your form was putting stress on your knees.  Let's say your knees aren't actually sprained/torn etc from this activity, just a bit sore, but now that you've fixed your form would you rest until your knees weren't sore, or start implementing correct technique the next day, which wouldn't be hurting your knees anymore, but they still have some work/stress on them just because you are working out?

Last edited by jco5055 (2013-07-10 05:55:15)

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2013-07-10 05:53:14

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#2 2013-07-20 14:47:37

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: losing range after workout/singing

Man, that's a lot of questions to answer.

I don't know enough about KTVA but you already mentioned that you were not finding understandable answers at Ken's forum, or at least, at the time you posted this.

I am not an expert. I have 4 Pillars 2.0. And a bunch of books on classical method. And Mark Baxter's book, too. And Roger Love's book. That is, I have been as much a resource junkie as anyone else. I don't have CVT, though.

So, I am probably going to address the questions out of order from my own non-expert opinion.

The comparisons to squats. Damage was not done but the knees are sore. So, proper technique was learned. However, it should be noted that in weightlifing, technique is learned before heavier weights are added. And that you slowly increase. Let's say that you learn squats with 25 lbs on. You don't immediately jump to 250 lbs. You work your way up and I am not sure how much this applies to singing. In weightlifting, you alternate days. Legs one day, chest the next. This gives whatever half of the body you are working 48 hours to recuperate (clinically proven to be the amount of time it takes muscles to tear down and re-build.)

Second, you are a range junkie, just now. The average tenor range is C3 to C5, though it is usually more defined by the passaggio point, generally E4-F4 (which is only 1/2 step difference.) G5 is half an octave above the top of tenor. Not that these classifications are given much validity in pop and rock music but we still need some descriptive landmarks.

I know that KTVA is known as the bridge late system or the carry M1 up system but it doesn't matter where, you are still going to bridge at some point. And I wonder if many people are concentrating more on the physical rather than the sound that is coming out. Too me, it would be more accurate to state the goal of KTVA and other M1 dominate systems, such as 4 Pillars is bringing in, is to have the full voice sound throughout the range.

But I think Lilli Lehmann said it best. Really you should consider each note its own register. For there are minute adjustments for each new note. If for no other reason than the lengthening of the folds. But, of course, there will other adjustments. Vowels, intrinsic elevators in both the larynx and the rest of the pharynx. Point being, you will not be doing G5 the same way that you do G2, for example, at least physical, if for no other reason than the folds are at a different length and you are probably also adjusting resonance.

Nearly every voice, including tenors, has a tonal shift at about the D5 area. This is a matter of physics that cannot be wished away no matter how many singer training systems you study. This is where a lot of guys talk about feeling like it's "pure head voice" after this. What they are actually feeling is the loss of the overtones that give different vowel sounds in a lyric. And this is because the space required to resonate a note that high does not have any room left to also resonate the overtones of assorted vowels. It really is about the physics. Believe it or not, by the time you are at C5 and above, you are already in head voice. In fact, according to the standard passaggio points, you bridged into head voice approximately at F4, even if you don't feel like you did or cannot accept that you did. Physically, that is what happened. It's just less hooty than some systems that would bridge early sound like.

I think working on the first bridge is more important. For that informs the entire voice. Iron out the middle and the ends take care of themselves. Because ironing out the middle requires learning to manage breath and resonance. Something that you need throughout the entire range, whether it is low, seemingly easy note or piercing high note fraught with "effort." And most especially learn this control in what is the easy part of your range. Why? Because the easy part of your range is where many slack off and "speak" and then find themselves in trouble going for the heroic notes. It's like driving. Keep both hands on the wheel.

Anyway, you should be thinning out in sound by C6. I can go to C6 but I don't do it every day. And I don't have whistle notes. And I used to think that I simply could not do them. But Jens is right, you can do pretty much anything you want to train to do. I then realized that I did not want whistle notes, though I think it is great that others have them.

Same with distortion and rasp. Given enough time and practice, I could probably do some rasp equivalent to others. But I eventually realized that I did not want that, though it is great that others do. And they spend the time and practice to get it.

What I do spend time on is keeping the voice strong and full, such as it is, wherever in the range that I am, which is probably the actual ethos I would draw from something like KTVA. Rather than describe it as bridging late or keeping M1, even if those descriptions help others, I would describe it as full voice, whereever you are, whenever you want it.

And so, on any given day, I can do either "Silent Lucidity" or "Child in Time" and neither is a strain. Other than a brief warm-up of slides or tri-tones, and a few vocalises to engage coordination, I can sing either one. The work on those songs for me is more in the form of getting the lyrics right and setting up the vocal line the way that I want. That's song and performance prep.

Which is not to say that I don't divert. Some days, I may take a section of the song and do it in a funny voice. My best success in learning a new song is to sing the melody line in the middle of my range so that my mind memorizes the intervals. Once I have the intervals, I can make those happen, whereever.

As far as how long to rest, it depends on the damage, if any. And my reply may be moot, you may have already recovered. But generally, unless you gave yourself some laryngitis, like I did, you don't have to wait more than a few days to start implementing the right thing. Sometimes, motion leads to healing. When I have had back problems, sometimes the prescription was to simply take a leisurely walk. Keep moving, just take it easy, bring back in the heavier stuff later.


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

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#3 2013-08-01 00:50:50

jco5055
TMV Forum Member
From: Chicago
Registered: 2012-03-30
Posts: 216
Reputation :   

Re: losing range after workout/singing

ronws wrote:

Man, that's a lot of questions to answer.

I don't know enough about KTVA but you already mentioned that you were not finding understandable answers at Ken's forum, or at least, at the time you posted this.

I am not an expert. I have 4 Pillars 2.0. And a bunch of books on classical method. And Mark Baxter's book, too. And Roger Love's book. That is, I have been as much a resource junkie as anyone else. I don't have CVT, though.

So, I am probably going to address the questions out of order from my own non-expert opinion.

The comparisons to squats. Damage was not done but the knees are sore. So, proper technique was learned. However, it should be noted that in weightlifing, technique is learned before heavier weights are added. And that you slowly increase. Let's say that you learn squats with 25 lbs on. You don't immediately jump to 250 lbs. You work your way up and I am not sure how much this applies to singing. In weightlifting, you alternate days. Legs one day, chest the next. This gives whatever half of the body you are working 48 hours to recuperate (clinically proven to be the amount of time it takes muscles to tear down and re-build.)

Second, you are a range junkie, just now. The average tenor range is C3 to C5, though it is usually more defined by the passaggio point, generally E4-F4 (which is only 1/2 step difference.) G5 is half an octave above the top of tenor. Not that these classifications are given much validity in pop and rock music but we still need some descriptive landmarks.

I know that KTVA is known as the bridge late system or the carry M1 up system but it doesn't matter where, you are still going to bridge at some point. And I wonder if many people are concentrating more on the physical rather than the sound that is coming out. Too me, it would be more accurate to state the goal of KTVA and other M1 dominate systems, such as 4 Pillars is bringing in, is to have the full voice sound throughout the range.

But I think Lilli Lehmann said it best. Really you should consider each note its own register. For there are minute adjustments for each new note. If for no other reason than the lengthening of the folds. But, of course, there will other adjustments. Vowels, intrinsic elevators in both the larynx and the rest of the pharynx. Point being, you will not be doing G5 the same way that you do G2, for example, at least physical, if for no other reason than the folds are at a different length and you are probably also adjusting resonance.

Nearly every voice, including tenors, has a tonal shift at about the D5 area. This is a matter of physics that cannot be wished away no matter how many singer training systems you study. This is where a lot of guys talk about feeling like it's "pure head voice" after this. What they are actually feeling is the loss of the overtones that give different vowel sounds in a lyric. And this is because the space required to resonate a note that high does not have any room left to also resonate the overtones of assorted vowels. It really is about the physics. Believe it or not, by the time you are at C5 and above, you are already in head voice. In fact, according to the standard passaggio points, you bridged into head voice approximately at F4, even if you don't feel like you did or cannot accept that you did. Physically, that is what happened. It's just less hooty than some systems that would bridge early sound like.

I think working on the first bridge is more important. For that informs the entire voice. Iron out the middle and the ends take care of themselves. Because ironing out the middle requires learning to manage breath and resonance. Something that you need throughout the entire range, whether it is low, seemingly easy note or piercing high note fraught with "effort." And most especially learn this control in what is the easy part of your range. Why? Because the easy part of your range is where many slack off and "speak" and then find themselves in trouble going for the heroic notes. It's like driving. Keep both hands on the wheel.

Anyway, you should be thinning out in sound by C6. I can go to C6 but I don't do it every day. And I don't have whistle notes. And I used to think that I simply could not do them. But Jens is right, you can do pretty much anything you want to train to do. I then realized that I did not want whistle notes, though I think it is great that others have them.

Same with distortion and rasp. Given enough time and practice, I could probably do some rasp equivalent to others. But I eventually realized that I did not want that, though it is great that others do. And they spend the time and practice to get it.

What I do spend time on is keeping the voice strong and full, such as it is, wherever in the range that I am, which is probably the actual ethos I would draw from something like KTVA. Rather than describe it as bridging late or keeping M1, even if those descriptions help others, I would describe it as full voice, whereever you are, whenever you want it.

And so, on any given day, I can do either "Silent Lucidity" or "Child in Time" and neither is a strain. Other than a brief warm-up of slides or tri-tones, and a few vocalises to engage coordination, I can sing either one. The work on those songs for me is more in the form of getting the lyrics right and setting up the vocal line the way that I want. That's song and performance prep.

Which is not to say that I don't divert. Some days, I may take a section of the song and do it in a funny voice. My best success in learning a new song is to sing the melody line in the middle of my range so that my mind memorizes the intervals. Once I have the intervals, I can make those happen, whereever.

As far as how long to rest, it depends on the damage, if any. And my reply may be moot, you may have already recovered. But generally, unless you gave yourself some laryngitis, like I did, you don't have to wait more than a few days to start implementing the right thing. Sometimes, motion leads to healing. When I have had back problems, sometimes the prescription was to simply take a leisurely walk. Keep moving, just take it easy, bring back in the heavier stuff later.

Hey Ron, thanks and sorry for taking so long to get back to this.  I appreciate your insights.

I wouldn't consider myself a "range junkie" anymore.  Sure, I'm asking about losing range when most people would say that a high baritone with my current range is already plenty enough and I shouldn't care, but I've outgrown that phase where I used to judge singers solely on the span of their range.

On other forums and such where I posted my problem, most people tend to think that it's more of an issue of neglecting head voice/my very upper range so I've just lost it. Same as when you don't work out for a while you can't immediately lift the same weights as before.  Thankfully, barring some injury etc, one can usually get back to their previous strength relatively quickly thanks to muscle memory and I'm hoping I can do the same range wise.

I got the 3.0 update for Pillars when it came out, and am thinking of re-training the foundation exercises again and seeing if that helps, and really work on perfecting that passagio area up to around A4 or so.  In fact, that's what Robert recommends also and I assume for the complete beginner with no "head voice"/upper range that this really helps him expand that range, and I'm hoping to do the same.

Thanks again!:D

Last edited by jco5055 (2013-08-01 00:51:54)

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#4 2013-08-01 18:12:42

Simon Magus
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Registered: 2013-07-30
Posts: 78
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Re: losing range after workout/singing

Sounds to me like you're just blowing yourself out with those scales. How does your voice feel by the end of that hour? Like you can keep on singing all day or like you've pretty much had enough? If you describe yourself as a natural baritone, you probably don't want to spend us much time in that high range. It's just a strain on the cords and surrounding muscles of the larynx, even if you don't feel scratchy or anything. It's not that you can't or shouldn't go for those money notes, but you don't want to "live" up there. Hope this helps. Rock on, man.

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#5 2013-08-01 23:39:22

jco5055
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2012-03-30
Posts: 216
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Re: losing range after workout/singing

Simon Magus wrote:

Sounds to me like you're just blowing yourself out with those scales. How does your voice feel by the end of that hour? Like you can keep on singing all day or like you've pretty much had enough? If you describe yourself as a natural baritone, you probably don't want to spend us much time in that high range. It's just a strain on the cords and surrounding muscles of the larynx, even if you don't feel scratchy or anything. It's not that you can't or shouldn't go for those money notes, but you don't want to "live" up there. Hope this helps. Rock on, man.

Hi thanks for the response!

First off I would describe myself as technically a high baritone or in classical terms, a dramatic tenor/baritone-tenor.  So high stuff isn't completely alien to me.

At the end of the KTVA workout, my voice is a little tired/hoarse, but if I theoretically then had to sing a show I could do it.  It's definitely not feeling 100% though. 

Your comment about "living up there" is conflicting for me.  It seems like "up there" is only a problem if you do it KTVA style, aka with a lot of m1/TA activation in the head voice.  When I used to use Pillars exclusively (around the 2.0 era) and would sing like Geoff Tate etc I had no problem singing high all of the time.  Sure, I would warm up before singing like an E5 and above to be safe, but it was never a real strain to sing high.  In fact Rob Lunte has a lecture you can watch on youtube called "The Most Difficult Notes to Sing" in which he states the hardest notes aren't the high notes but the low head tones, around E4-B4 or so.  I would agree with him if I am singing with less musculature.

I also would often go weeks without even practicing/singing an E5 or above, which makes me wonder if it's just like a neglected muscle kind of thing.  Ken Tamplin always talks about losing the high be;ting chest notes if you bridge too early, but it seems like there could also be the exact opposite if you don't sing high enough.

Last edited by jco5055 (2013-08-02 00:59:01)

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#6 2013-08-02 00:39:12

Simon Magus
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Registered: 2013-07-30
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Re: losing range after workout/singing

Sounds like your voice is a similar range to mine! I think B5 is pretty much my limit. Anyway, it's hard for me to comment too specifically, because I'm really not familiar with the KTVA techniques or the Pillars (used to have CVT years back but lost hold of it, unfortunately). All I will say is that if it leaves you hoarse, that is a huge red flag! Either the techniques are no good or you're implementing them incorrectly. This is why it's very important to have a voice teacher guide you through technique in person, at least initially. Listen to your voice. If it ain't working for you, ditch it.

I think you are right, though, in that the voice is like any other muscle. The more often you stretch the folds, the easier it's gonna be to hit those notes. Use it or lose it! haha. I'd say do some basic 1,2,3,2,1 scales on an "ee" vowel and slowly work your way up to where you used to be. If it starts to tickle, back off (I know it's tough, heck I push through at times! :P) Of course, max hydration and rest will be your friends, but the reality is you're probably not going to be hitting those notes every day. In weightlifting terms, would you be trying to hit your 1rm every day? In my opinion, it's more important to focus on a pleasing tone and expression than worrying about those vanity notes, especially when it sounds like you've already got a pretty impressive range. I don't think Tate ever hit anything close to a C6! haha. But that tone...that tone...

Edit: I generally agree with Lunte that (providing you are in good vocal health) those top notes should be easier to sing than a good chest/head mix. I believe Steven Tyler actually said the same thing that those high "Dream on" screams were actually quite easy for him. It used to be that way for me, but my neck muscles are currently rebelling against me so that pretty much anything with a raised larynx has become more difficult, and now I find a more open head voice to somehow be easier. It could also possibly be that as I've been working on developing my chest voice more (I was previously head voice dominated), that I'm thickening the chords just a bit in the process. Ah, the eternal struggle. haha

Last edited by Simon Magus (2013-08-02 01:10:58)

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#7 2013-08-02 01:11:09

jco5055
TMV Forum Member
From: Chicago
Registered: 2012-03-30
Posts: 216
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Re: losing range after workout/singing

Simon Magus wrote:

Sounds like your voice is a similar range to mine! I think B5 is pretty much my limit. Anyway, it's hard for me to comment too specifically, because I'm really not familiar with the KTVA techniques or the Pillars. All I will say is that if it leaves you hoarse, that is a huge red flag! Either the techniques are no good or you're implementing them incorrectly. This is why it's very important to have a voice teacher guide you through technique in person, at least initially. Listen to your voice. If it ain't working for you, ditch it.

I think you are right, though, in that the voice is like any other muscle. The more often you stretch the folds, the easier it's gonna be to hit those notes. Use it or lose it! haha. I'd say do some basic 1,2,3,2,1 scales on an "ee" vowel and slowly work your way up to where you used to be. If it starts to tickle, back off (I know it's tough, heck I push through at times! :P) Of course, max hydration and rest will be your friends, but the reality is you're probably not going to be hitting those notes every day. In weightlifting terms, would you be trying to hit your 1rm every day? In my opinion, it's more important to focus on a pleasing tone and expression than worrying about those vanity notes, especially when it sounds like you've already got a pretty impressive range. I don't think Tate ever hit anything close to a C6! haha. But that tone...that tone...

Edit: I generally agree with Lunte that (providing you are in good vocal health) those top notes should be easier to sing than a good chest/head mix. I believe Steven Tyler actually said the same thing that those high "Dream on" screams were actually quite easy for him. It used to be that way for me, but my neck muscles are currently rebelling against me so that pretty much anything with a raised larynx has become more difficult, and now I find a more open head voice to somehow be easier. I think...

I think I'm going to take it easy for a few more days, and then go back and start training again.  And once I land a job I'll probably get monthly or bimonthly lessons with Rob. 

Thanks again! :cool:

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#8 2013-08-02 01:59:47

Simon Magus
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Registered: 2013-07-30
Posts: 78
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Re: losing range after workout/singing

Sounds like a safe bet to me. Just make sure you ease yourself back into things and I'm sure those notes will re-appear eventually. A little patience goes a long way. Cheers!

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#9 2013-08-03 01:54:20

ronws
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Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
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Re: losing range after workout/singing

Simon, I liked your responses.

And I know two baritones who have better spent their energies being baritones that can do some tenor range notes than baritones who suddenly became tenor.

Just like, I am a tenor, but I have done a baritone "range" song but do not sound like a legit baritone. I sound like a tenor singing really low and quiet. :lol:

I think a work-out should not result in a loss of range.


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

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