Draven Grey

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Draven Grey last won the day on December 17

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  1. Stronger Head Voice

    Both of the linked videos have tips. If you need to, start with an /ou/ vowel, focused towards the front of the soft palate. There are ways to color the head voice with chest voice musculature (among other things) once you get used to singing in a more resonant head voice.
  2. Berton Coffin vowel mirror/echophone??

    Corrected. Sorry, in a hurry. It's a spectrograph.
  3. Berton Coffin vowel mirror/echophone??

    You can do similar with a spectrogram
  4. Tesseract vocal cover w/sob

    I filmed this in one-take in Seattle with @Robert Lunte at The Vocalist Studio. I brought this song to Robert because I tended to push WAY too hard and wear out my vocal cords by the end of it, in 2.5 minutes! As a performer and teacher, that was unacceptable! We worked on sobbing/crying through the song, which made it FAR easier to sing. This convinced me that Sob Vocal Mode works like magic. Crying through the song not only released extra tension, but also made it much more emotional to sing. I usually train a song through a cocktail straw for a week to get the same result. Purposefully adding sob meant I didn't have to do that. Speaking of magic... Do you see that mic and filter? Aston's Halo Reflection Filter works better than anything I've used in my decades as a recording engineer, beating out sE Electronic's flagship product by a very large margin. The room is not treated at all and sounds like a reverb chamber, and yet the raw vocal track was perfectly dry. Aston's mic, Origin, is also the first solid state mic I've ever truly loved, which says a lot if you know me. Apparently, it's built like a tank too, without exaggerating at all. And no, I didn't get paid to say any of that.
  5. What is my voice type?

    Normal. Voice type or "vocal fach" is only important for classical, choir, or musical theater, when they simply want to be able to hand you a part meant for a vocal range and sound color that seems natural to you. By that count, I could cover a multitude of voice types. Vocal range is more important, and having the coordination to somewhat change your sound colors at will. You can train to use your TA (chest voice) musculature as high as you can sing in head voice or falsetto. I'm not advocating "pulling chest", but rather learning how to use the TA muscles for a chesty sound color, allowing you to have everything from a very light mix to a full on belt sound up to that Bb5. For me, B5 is when I switch to whistle register, which hads nothing to do with the TA musculature anymore.
  6. Alexander Kariotis Podcast & Vowel Modification

    That complex vowel is exactly the way I teach it, when I have to use vowels as examples because they're not able to "move the vowel with the pitch as it goes deeper into the soft palate." That's a bit of an oversimplified way to say it, but I think I already explained it.
  7. Emotional Responses to Certain Musical Things?

    I think emotion is contagious. Personally, I have a hard time singing a song that's not my own because I have less of a connection to it, but that doesn't mean someone else won't have a stronger connection to it as the listener rather than performer. What Felipe is talking about is pretentious to me as well, or overacting. It's one thing to lose yourself in the music/song, giving permission for others to do the same, but something entirely different to try to amplify that emotion through actions and emphasis. I think that desire for emotional amplification is where the rest of the band, other performers, wardrobe, staging, lights, and other visuals come into play. But even then, not to pretentiously amplify, rather to support it and assist.
  8. Low notes

    At first, it's very likely you'll be able to do things at a lesson that are much more difficult when on your own. I think it's true for piano too. I've played piano for 36 years! It takes time to build the coordination, fine-motor skills, and muscle memory that you need. Like learning to write, broad strokes at first, then finer and finer movements that eventually become instinctive. Even when learning to write, you need the guidance of an instructor to be able to do it at all at first.
  9. Alexander Kariotis Podcast & Vowel Modification

    That comment definitely wasn't directed at you. I'm sorry if it came across that way. I understand what you mean about Ken's program. I pushed my way through it myself. I wasn't a big fan. However, I've had other students who went through it and came out explaining vowel modification the same was I did, and very similar to how you did. The explanation I gave that helped me was straight from Robert, and definitely much more in line with what you described, what I've heard described as different registers in Bel Canto, and what my Opera touring friend taught me as well. It appears I do stand corrected concerning your knowledge of Kung Fu, LOL! I apologize for assuming anything there. The type of example you gave was another reason Ken's program put me off a bit. But, since then, I've had students who explained Ken's method differently than I understood it originally. Perhaps they were just being intuitive. Or perhaps their lessons with Ken took it to the next level from there, which is more the impression I got from them. Each methodology and pedagogy seems to have its own terminology, like in any industry. Each teacher also has their own adapted workflow to get to those different things, not unlike Berton being based in Bel Canto, or this whole vowel modification term. I definitely agree that some teachers are a lot more effective than others, some much more knowledgable, and perhaps even more evident, some more suited to the individual student than others. Going back to the Kung Fu metaphor, I still think there's something to be said for a straight punch being a straight punch, whether you call it ku, do, "rock", "horse punch" or something else. And when I say vowel modification, Bel Canto may say a specific register or overtones, and you (and I too) say "pointing the voice". It's still a modification of the vowel, just not as straight forward as the "change /ah/ to /uh/" which loses many of the nuances of the voice that we all seem to be concerned about in this discussion. And going full loop back around, I still think terms are simply there to help describe the sensations we're trying to achieve. Classical pedagogies have their own terminology, as does CVI, TVS, etc. Some is even shared. A teacher not getting the result they need to, or a student not understanding it (which in some cases is the teacher's fault as well) doesn't negate the term being used. I teach appoggio to my students, but not nearly as in-depth as my opera friend learned, and really only in as much as helps my stuent take their singing to the next level. Most of the time, I simply focus on the tightening the upper abs, or increasing breath support to increases resonance and stability. In the cases where my student already understand what needs done, I get even more simple and just say "push" or "lean". They know exactly what I mean, but God forbid I say something so simple on YouTube or to a beginner. I'm enjoying this discussion. Please feel free to call me out anytime, especially if I make an assumption.
  10. Alexander Kariotis Podcast & Vowel Modification

    On the surface, I can see how someone can understand what he says in that way, especially people looking for free handouts on YouTube to magically make them into great singers. However, I got a different impression from his course and students I've had who had taken private lessons with him.
  11. Alexander Kariotis Podcast & Vowel Modification

    Trying to explain vowel modification after just saying that you don't use such a term and demonstrating that you don't know what it means, is probably not giving people the impression of you that you want to give. That's like knowing a lot about Karate but not Kung Fu, then trying to explain to someone who does Kung Fu what Kung Fu is. Just because you don't understand it under their terminology doesn't make it wrong, and it also doesn't mean everyone who uses the term means something different (all the well known teachers I've come across who use the term explain it pretty much the same as I do), nor does it mean that you can school them in how to do Kung Fu because you know Karate. In the end, a straight punch is a straight punch, and a side kick is a side kick. I learned the way to get there VERY differently in Kung Fu than I did in Karate (or several other martial arts for that matter). The result was a better understanding of what I was doing, and more tools for me to use in order to get a more effective result.
  12. Alexander Kariotis Podcast & Vowel Modification

    Jon, I would never tell someone to sing Luh instead of Lah, just to get through their bridge. I have yet to see any coach teach that as what vowel modification means. When getting the voice moving, perhaps, /ah/ to /uh/ sirens, but not as the end goal. The simplest explanation I've seen was more to sing an /eh/ and as it raises in pitch, add shades of /ou/ and /uh/ into it - which is essentially the same overtone modification everyone here has been talking about, including in the podcast as registers. That particular explanation, from Robert, is what ultimately helped me find the right modification for being able to sing a strong /eh/ on a C5. I didn't change the vowel to an /ou/. It was/is an /eh/. Different than the feeling I had on an /eh/ at C4 or even G4, but still an /eh/. When I tell a student to relax and shade their /ee/ more into an /ih/ as they sing higher, it's to help them find resonance again for the pitch they're trying to sing the /ee/ on. Otherwise they risk a heavy splat and quacky craziness. The /ee/ is still there, it just resonates with different overtones and sounds much more pleasing, not to mention is easier for them to sing without having to completely change the vowel. To think that vowel modification means to change the vowel to a completely different one shows a complete misunderstanding of what vowel modification is, does, or results in. Your description of what you do for your own voice when raising in pitch is exactly one way how I explain vowel modification to my students, and not at all something you have to overthinking while singing. The idea of using overtones and adding vowel shades great for training with, great for keeping in mind when having issues, and often much easier for many to learn than just the explanation of the pitch moving deeper into the soft palate. It is never about modding Lah to Luh to make it easier and such things.
  13. Vocal Technique

    First and foremost, put it in context of a song she enjoys. It's more than singing a note, it's a goal she can really picture herself doing. Also, remind her that if she can sing in a light mass head voice in that range, she can learn how to add her TA muscles to it. Are you working with her on bridging the vocal registers? For some of my more timid students, I make sure I'm doing everything with them that I tell them to do. It really helps. We make a lot of weird sounds when singing, and good placement and support are not intuitive at first, so seem not only foreign, but VERY vulnerable. If she's shutting down because of strain or yelling, then good for her. She should never feel the need to strain, yell, choke, or anything like that. Reassure her of that. If she's shutting down because she doesn't like the feeling, then work with her more on resonant placement and breath support. If it's because she's simply shy, then get her belting ASAP. But don't neglect doing it with her, allowing yourself to make weird noises, give silly demonstrations on what not to do, and make the lesson as fun as possible. She'll open up and gain confidence. It may take time, but she will. Most of what you can do has to do with just getting her comfortable with her voice and having fun. Keep reassuring her about how great her voice is, when she gets something right and keep working on getting her to lift her voice out of her throat to the soft palate and giving that resonant position solid breath support. The more she does it, the better she will sound, and the more confident she'll get. There are other things, like putting a finger on her bottom lip and singing up and over it, or crying/sobbing a bit into her words. But first, she needs to feel comfortable with what she has now, and that part is on you, not her.
  14. Alexander Kariotis Podcast & Vowel Modification

    Jon, vowel mods can be taken to the extreme, for sure. That's one of the things I didn't like about Ken's method - it was easy to over do it. TVS methodology explains it different than that. Then again, these simplistic explanations can help new students dramatically, and are often taken to more detail in private lessons as they progress. I imagine Ken does the same thing. I personally explain it as the vowel moving with the pitch, deeper into the soft palate. Although, I do still often explain the shading of the vowel with others, to help someone find the resonance more easily. I also often start a student with /ah/ to /uh/ and /eh/ to /ou/ sirens just to get them moving. It doesn't stay there, but it's a great way to start. You call it directing the resonance back and up with the pitch. Funny thing, so do I! But I also call the exact same thing "vowel modification" when helpful for a student (which is most of the time). I've heard more classical explanations of the same exact thing as different registers, overtones, etc. I actually go a step further and talk about resonant anchoring (also known as narrowing vowels) towards the front of the soft palate or slightly further back, and then pointing the voice from there deeper into the soft palate as the pitch goes higher. I would imagine in any given lesson, I describe the same thing in about five different ways. And each way ends up being helpful to the student for different reasons.
  15. Low notes

    Many of my students experience a difference on their own than the one they have when with me. A lot of it has to do with the fact you're still learning the proper coordinations and habits on your own that we can more quickly coach you into when in a lesson. You may the capability of singing certain notes, sound colors, effects, etc, which can be given example in a lesson while you're being coached into it. However, having the skill to create those on your own is quite different than ability.