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  • Recent Posts

    • Basically I no longer can sing in head voice or falsetto. A few years ago I was able to sing in head voice I believe (still don't really know the difference, I just know I can't make high pitched sounds) but it was very difficult even then and the last time I was able to do it like that was about 3 years ago. The last time I was even able to make any kind of sound in that area was about last year but I only sang one phrase then my voice cracked. I can't even do a "woo" or scream. I've tried looking this up but they all say to just go higher and it will come naturally but when I get to my highest mixed note (D5-Eb5) I just simply can't go any higher.. I turning 16 soon so could it just be my voice is still developing, bad technique or is it damaged? ----- Had two things to ask but thought I would just keep it in the same post  Also another thing is I am not new to music I just want to be able to sing decently to my favorite songs but my voice is very soft and weak and I hate it especially in mixed voice, I have a soft tenor sound which I can make a little bit more powerful by singing louder but my range is E2-D5 (comfortably F#2/G2 - D4) anything below F#2 I can only sing with a lowered larynx, anything above roughly G4 is raised larynx and mixing which sounds super whiny and starts to hurt after a while making singing with male singers extremely difficult. I know this isn't much to go off of and is kind of all over the place but any advice would be greatly appreciated!  
    • Hi guys I’m new to this website  does anyone know if this website can record your voice and then give you feedback as I’m desperate to know if my voice is good Thx a lot, Alya
    • Hello there I am looking for some good quality backing tracks (professional use). What I have see about are some poor quality karaoke tracks, that the recording is not of the same quality and parts are missing from the original track and some have a computer generated voice that we definitely do not want. So any recommendation please?
    • This is my friend singing. He claims that he has a buzz when he sings. He also finds it weird cause when he uses vocal pitch detectors its says that he can belt up to an F#5 which he thinks isn't possible. Can somone tell me if the buzz in his voice is a good thing or a bad thing? Voice 053.m4a
    • We've been telling him that since his first post. I think he simply wants validation for not being able to sing well. I know that sounds harsh, but you can only give the same answer to someone so many times before realizing they're not actually wanting to hear a real answer.
    • very cool post ILM!  The volley between Draven and Mdew took much concentration for this blockhead to track. It's good reading, really made me think about the relationship between muscle memory and relative pitch which is good vocal geek session for me.  I had the chance to sing in an Episcopal choir for nearly five years. I wanted to do it as a musical challenge to myself since I read no music, and the choir members were super talented singers (some of them paid staff who have day jobs in the L.A. opera, and other hollywood productions  . . . .  these were not only great vocalists but they were adept at sight reading music. The weekly compositions were almost always classical and complex. The only reason I made the cut (bass section) and was given the chance to sing with them was my good sense of relative pitch. I relied heavily on the pro singer standing next to me (a vocal teacher at a local university on the side).  After speaking with several of these pro singers, and the conductor, about the key elements in achieving their skill sets, the consensus was, mastering intervals.  I did not have the discipline to practice them. Not too motivated because I wasn't going to be getting any singing sight reading gigs anytime soon.  I'm certain however, that practicing intervals will strengthen both muscular coordination, and relative pitch! Intervals also helped me improve my recognition of notes on sheet music.  btw, these pro singers did not stop practicing intervals just because they mastered them, that actually enabled them to use them as a training exercise/warm up. That's why I also thought what aravindmadis posted seemed like a good example of the benefits of mastering intervals.  
    • Hello! 32-year old singer and perpetual voice student here. I've been studying extensively with a teacher who is an Estill voice trainer and speech language pathologist so a lot of my background comes from a more 'anatomical' approach, but I trained for many years with a traditional 'bel canto' teacher as well. I found that I personally was more interested in the whys and hows, which I found Estill answered more technically for me which is why I continued with this approach.   Looking forward to hearing others' perspectives and sharing my own. I love learning about the voice and technique.
    • Definitely go see an ENT (look for a laryngologist in your area, as not all ENTs have experience with the speaking and singing voice). If you are in NYC I can give you a recommendation for one - otherwise a Google search would definitely find one for you (there are actually far less ENTs with a specialization in laryngology than you think). The doctor will be able to tell you what type of damage (if any) you have on your vocal cords? Are you male or female? If it is any consolation, males are far less prone to vocal cord nodules than females, though of course it is possible. The fact that resting has allowed you to improve a little bit sounds to me as though there might be some underlying swelling on the vocal folds that you might want to take care of - I would stop singing for at least two to three weeks while hydrating yourself and get yourself to a doctor before beginning to sing again-- this is especially important because you could be speaking with bad technique as well. Regardless, the doctor will tell you and hopefully will be able to refer you to an SLP for some voice therapy.
    • Hi! I'm new here, but I'm a student (not a certified trainer) studying with a teacher who is mainly trained in Estill (though who also has her master's in speech pathology and vocal rehabilitation).  I have been studying with her for quite some time so I'd like to think I have a decent understanding of the Estill method (I understand not everyone agrees with everything the Estill method preaches, but I figured I would give my perspective). From your initial post (and this is just my interpretation of what you are writing since I can't hear any clips), you wrote "Even when I belt, there's still a decent richness to the tone, but once I get into head voice, I lose it." You say that your voice is fairly deep sounding, so my guess is that you are lowering your larynx while singing and possibly tilting your cricoid (think of an Italian mobster saying 'EYY Anthony' to feel the sensation of a cricoid tilt). The tilting of the cricoid in Estill terms allows you to keep your vocal folds thicker, helping you to produce what Estill would call the 'belt.' When you get into what you say is the head voice (Estill would most likely refer to this as a thin vocal fold body cover and possibly even stiff vocal fold body cover if your sound is breathy), your body might be habitually raising the larynx, thus losing your deep tone, while also losing the 'resonance' that you had in your thick vocal folds.  The "break" that you hear is the body switching vocal fold body covers (thick fold to stiff fold or possibly thin fold depending on the sound you are producing). An Estill teacher would most likely work on teaching you to control the aryepiglottic sphincter (AES), mainly how to narrow the sphincter. When narrowing the AES, the arytenoids and aryepiglottic folds end up moving toward each other making a 'reed-within-a-reed' to work as a megaphone. The narrowing creates a formant between 2000 and 4000 Hz (sometimes known as the Singer's Fromant) which produces "cheap" resonance as it keeps the oomph of the voice with much less effort. It is what allows many Broadway and musical theatre sings to perform 8 shows a week as well as Opera singers to produce sounds with high volume, often unamplified (in classical terminology, of which I was also a student, AES twang is most often compared with squilo). It is a bright sound, so it won't necessarily be as dark as your 'belt,' but you can play around with larynx height once you get used to using the AES to darken the sound.  Exercises that have helped me learn to narrow and widen the AES have been: duck quacking, 'beep beep' like the road-runner, baby sound (wah-wah), witch's cackle. Once you gain control of the AES, you can practice sirens from the lower part of your range in thick fold body cover (chest voice), and work your way up, as you get to your break, you will narrow the AES (and you'll start doing this before the break so it is not obvious), to get you through the break. Once you feel you've gotten past the break and into thin fold body cover, you can start to lay back on the narrowing of the AES. What you'll want to make sure you maintain is a feeling of open throat (Estill would say retracted false vocal folds), as singers tend to constrict the throat when learning to narrow the AES. One of the Estill triggers for retracting the false vocal folds (open throat) is to pretend you are using the muscles in your ears to unclog them on an airplane - making your ears crackle a little bit - it is a similar sensation to the retraction of the false vocal folds. Just read #1 in your post --- when you feel tension under the chin, that is almost always tongue tension - as I said earlier, I suspect you are lowering your larynx to produce some of your deep sound/tone. Lowering the larynx is not bad - it is in the recipe for the Opera sound quality -  but many singers use their tongue muscle to compress the larynx down - this will cause tongue tension and give you many problems later on. Play around with your larynx (fake yawn, etc.) to learn to control it without the use of the tongue (put your finger under your chin to make sure it stays as flexible/soft as possible while lowering the larynx).
    • From what I understand, nodules or any other type of bump on the vocal folds won't *necessarily* cause any major problem unless they are big enough to prevent enough closure of the vocal folds for a good clear sound, and/or significantly interfere with the their symmetry as they vibrate. For many singers, it apparently doesn't. It seems that other factors (allergies, reflux, tension issues, etc.) can make any issue at the level of the vocal folds less or more noticeable.
    • Yes, vibrato can be developed if it doesn't happen for you naturally already. I should mention that real vibrato is actually involuntary. You can limit and stop it altogether, but the vibrato itself is not something you make happen, it's something you allow to happen. It will only happen with a certain balance of subglottal pressure and lack of laryngeal tension. It is possible to fake a vibrato by voluntarily shaking/pulsing and wobbling your voice quickly enough to sound like vibrato, but this is a bad idea because it introduces a lot of tension and lack of steady air flow, both of which prevent real natural vibrato (and free healthy singing in general). When you play around and try to imitate what you perceive as the sound of a lounge singer, can you tell if you are making this sort of voluntary fake vibrato? This would be easy to do particularly in the effort to imitate a specific vocal sound. However, if that is not the case and the vibrato really happened without you making it happen and felt nice and free, then I would guess that that "lounge singer" sound you were using as an approach made you relax and free it up enough that your natural vibrato finally saw the light of day!
    • This is a very late reply, but just in case it could still be of help, I have some suggestions. Using an app to work on fine tuning pitch accuracy is definitely a great idea, as coordination is obvious a major factor in accurate singing. If that basic coordination and control has progressed pretty well and is no longer a problem, the next thing you should address is audiation - the ability to hear in the "mind's ear". Despite what most musicians seem to say, it can be strengthened significantly and make a big difference for a singer. The easiest way to get started working on that is to have the student sing up and down a major scale (full scale or even just the first 3 or 5 notes, and then repeat it leaving one of those notes silent. This way, she will hear it in her head. Gradually increase the notes left silent until all of them except the tonic. You can also do this with any songs she is singing. Another audiation building method that is a bit more advanced but is really worth the patience is to have her sing a triad up and down, and then have her sing it down a half step without playing the change for her on the piano. You can play it for her the first couple times until she gets it. Start with major and then switch to minor once it becomes easy, and also try doing it down and up instead of up and down. This will develop hearing not only single notes in one's head, but an entire tonality, and being able to transpose it internally encourages strong vividness of audiation. If this becomes easy, try it with 5 note melodic patterns.
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