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    • Awesome Keven. We sometimes forget that most of us are only one paycheck away from being on the streets ourselves. It is way harder to get back on your feet than it is to maintain a foothold.  I used to think that as long as I had my guitar I could get by. Times are not what they once were. Help who you can and accept help when it is offered.
    • This is very cool! Thought I should share it for all the TMVW members who may not have seen it yet.  The story in the description is worth reading also.  
    • I teach with a cocktail straw that has an internal divider, so it's pretty high resistance. Even better when they get a solid relaxed air balance!
    •    The size of the straw has an effect. The smaller the straw, the harder it is to get sound. Too large of a straw does not give enough resistance. If you are using a coffee straw with an extremely small opening....use two straws. If using a larger straw with a wide opening....crimp the straw to give resistance.
    • You're pushing far too hard into the straw. There should hardly be any air scoming out of it, and defintely not a lot of pressure in the mouth and/or throat. Start low volume on a note that's easy to do relaxed in your chest voice range, and slowly work your way up while still trying to maintain relaxed. It can be very difficult at first, but will build the coordination you need to properly balance air pressure.
    • Oh man this is such a work out xD I'm breathing heavily as if I just ran 100 meters after i try to hum 5 seconds through this straw. now I'm sure I have breathing problems Thanks for the help. I will try this for a while and see if anything changes 
    • With proper placement, you should be able to hold your nose and get the same sound as without holding it. Rhinitis and a deviated septum really doesn't change much besides having to manage allergy symptoms a bit more closely. You're not lifting the voice properly, likely singing a lot from the throat with more speech-like vowels. The harder you push, the more you're shouting more than singing. I address that in my first Singing Basics video. If you want to build lung capacity get a cocktail straw. Breath in a low as possible (lower back, not shoulders), expanding your lower ribcage. Then, blow the entire breath out through the straw as hard as you can do without any pain. After a week, you'll start to notice you can do it a lot longer than when you started. As with the straw exercise, you can do this multiple times a day. You'll also notice some big differences in general after using the straw exercise for a while, which I describe in my warmups video. That one is all about learning to relax, get good glottal closure, balance air-pressure, and hold proper resonant placement for the pitch.
    • Thanks David I will check them out.  And then I'll return with questions.  In terms of the coach, would I need a specific type of singing coach? & what would be the best questions to ask to see if they would be the best fit to help someone with rhinitis & a deviated septum? I ask because I was attending lessons for two months last year but was unable to complete the course (because of work obligations).  But when I was there it seemed difficult to move past the basics of breathing. They taught me the pin drop breathing exercise with the aim of lasting 30 seconds. But I could only last max 10 seconds. This frustrated my coach because she said her 5 year old students could last longer. But honestly I don't know what I was doing wrong. I was releasing as slowly as I could without getting light headed.  I will say that it might be my rhinitis because I have a blocked nose year round. I was only recently diagnosed with this so I'm still getting used to it's affects. And unfortunately it came the year I decided to be serious about singing.  We also did the hot potato exercise for placement.  But to be quite honest, I never knew how these exercises translated to actual singing.  It felt like a YouTube tutorial, where they ask you to do all these weird sounds but don't show you how to use it in a song.  I kind of figured how to place the breathing into belting. But not anything else.  My mind for some reason can't grasp the abstract I need a step by step how to dummies guide. My main issue is the pain. The sore throat & the big semi painful lump that forms in my throat sometimes when I'm singing in chest voice.  I frustrated my coach a lot. She seemed to think that I have a wider range than I'm currently utilising & was often upset with me not reaching it. She accused me of not practising when I did.  & my voice grew hoarse many times during that time & I lost it at one time. My aim is to return to a coach by New year 2018 the latest. But I would prefer going in with someone whose expectations were realistic considering the rhinitis etc. Because my main issue is I can't breathe, even now I'm finding it hard to breathe through my nose & I'm not singing. I'm trying to go to sleep (it's night time over here).  But my rhinitis is bothering me to the extent it's messing up my sleeping patterns. 
    • Are you training with anyone or any particular system? I too have  rhinitis and a deviated septum, but have been singing professionally for 27 years. The problems you describe sound more like lack of proper placement and support. The videos linked below can help, but won't be nearly as effective as having a good coach, solid course of study, or both, like in The Four Pillars of Singing. Check these out, and let me know if you have questions:
    • If the issue truly is consitent breath support/balance and placement, then the straw exercise should help you. Besides the warmup, you can use it for the specific song or part you're wanting to work on. Once you're able to better balance airflow, if you still hav epitch issues, it can help to get a pitch wheel and hum the note into the pitch wheel. When you're off pitch at all, it make a terrible sound. Add a visual, like a guitar tuner app, and you can get even more fine-tuned. However, with what you described, humming through cocktail straw (as described in the video) will help you develop the consistency you want.  
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