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Elvis, thanks very much there's a lot of information in your post that I found very useful! Mainly, it spurred me on to develop a training regime of my own. (See below)

The amount of advice in here is enough to last a year, I'm re-reading it all the time though and letting it sink in. From now on I am adopting a more refined, structured practice session each day.

 

Today's practice session

 

15 Minutes - Establishing the Resonant Track with Robert's guide

15 Minutes - Track and Release with Robert's guide

30 Minutes - 5th Sirens with D&R and A&R onsets (video below)

?? Minutes - Singing along with Extreme (the rock band) while decorating in a low non-tense voice. Aiming to get head voice into muscle memory.

 

Video Five

 

I managed to capture part of today's session. Here I'm alternating the dampening and attacking onsets to the 5th sirens. I'm using the guide file and make it to the end without strain. However, I'm not happy with the way the last few sound. I'll let you be the judge of whether they're getting there or not.

(Not sure why it isn't embedded)

https://youtu.be/IB5lpxFImHQ

 

 

 

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I've been far too busy today to do a proper practice.:bigblueeyes:

 

I've been singersizing throughout the day with some Ms, Ns and Ngs to song melodies, onsets and sirens.

 

Tomorrow I WILL make time to get a serious session done!

 

 

Earlier I felt some higher notes seemingly resonate in my head in a slightly different way to falsetto. I find at this stage that phonating quietly makes everything much easier.But as soon as my confidence increases I try them at louder volumes and the tension and breaks return.

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I've been far too busy today to do a proper practice.:bigblueeyes:

 

I've been singersizing throughout the day with some Ms, Ns and Ngs to song melodies, onsets and sirens.

 

Tomorrow I WILL make time to get a serious session done!

 

 

Earlier I felt some higher notes seemingly resonate in my head in a slightly different way to falsetto. I find at this stage that phonating quietly makes everything much easier.But as soon as my confidence increases I try them at louder volumes and the tension and breaks return.

That is why management of the breath is so important. What happens as your confidence increases, you "let loose," which is disengaging your new learning habits of watching the breath flow.

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Just popping my head in to show I've not lost interest in this, it's just the decorating of our new home has taken up most of my free time recently!

 

I have been keeping up with the earlier stages of the program (establishing resonant track and sirens) but most of my practice has come from rehearsing songs. I have been performing acoustic covers lately at open mic nights so I have temporarily replace training with singing for a while.

 

Today I'm back on track with the program and am just having a break now before I dive into the bridging and connecting exercises! :)

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I think it's the long run that counts. As Steven Fraser once said, a smaller time spent practicing more correctly is more beneficial than more hours of incorrect stuff. Not that you should only think that short work-outs are in order. Just saying, don't worry about the time, worry about the correctness of the exercises.

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Here it is...

 

Sorry it took so long!

 

Video Six

 

Basically the point I'm trying to make at the start of this video is that, as my confidence in my voice has grown recently I have been going out and performing. This means that most of my current vocal practice takes the form of rehearsal.

 

 

 

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First off, excellent cover. And this is my idea of a cover. Where you take a known song by someone else and perform it in your style. As opposed to a tribute performance, where you want to mimick exactly as you may be able what the original performance was like.

Second, and just as importantly, I was auditing that online course that Bzean had shared with us and this was a big time producer and engineer. He said the first thing he will do is try a song in a few different keys with a singer. He doesn't really care if you can sing the song in the original key or not. He is listening for a certain sound in your voice, and that quality of sound can change with range.

A good case in point was Karen Carpenter. She started out singing high, like the other ladies of her time. And one time, she was singing a song in a lower key which was more comfortable to her. And the producer said, in so many words, do that again but let me press record, first. After that, she sang lower and sounded "right" on songs.

I have also changed keys, usually to a higher key to fit more comfortably in my voice. 

And one time, MDEW made a great suggestion of lowering a key and then, it brought out the sound in my voice I was looking for because it made me go low. I was looking for the hung-over hippie sound and lowering about 1 step or 1.5 steps did that. And that song was "Sunday Morning" originally written by Kris Kristofferson but MDEW had me check out the Willie Nelson version, which was lowered to the key of C. Which brought out the low and wooly tones at the bottom of my voice. I have lived every line in that song but doing it up on the key of A, where my voice is bright and shiny was creating a dichotomy and not getting the "hair of the dog" feeling I was envisioning.

So, really, lowering and raising keys of a song is about getting the right sound for the performance or recording.

Singing in the original key can be a good exercise for stretching and how to approach certain parts of the range, so, don't give that up.

But, in so many words, I hear you, brother and I agree, do the song where you can express what it is that you want to express.

 

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Anthony, Ill swing in again soon... promise. 

Ive just been teaching like none stop and filming new pillers content... Im toast and pinched for time. I have to say... as far as "Review My Singing" goes around here... you have really gotten a lot of value I think... you were smart to come in here and use the service as such and it has been fun watching your progress...

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Ronws, firstly thanks for the compliments on the cover, I'm heading out to perform that very song (among others) tonight and needed the confidence boost! :blush:

It's comforting to learn that other singers choose to change key to suit their voices as for a very long time I believed that changing key to suit your voice meant you weren't "good enough" and your range wasn't fully developed. I'll definitely continuously attempt songs in their original key to keep myself focusing on my original goal of extending my range.

 

Robert, thanks for popping in, I'll keep updating this thread as much as possible. I see that others started similar threads but don't seem to have continued for whatever reasons, so I'm taking it upon myself to not let this thread die and keep documenting my progress so others can follow the journey of a fellow TFPOS student!

 

Today's practice session:

Resonant tracking

5th sirens

Bridging and connecting (Video below)

Song rehearsal for evening performance

 

Video Seven

Getting back on track with actual vocal training today. That's not to say I haven't practised full songs but I specifically made time to run through TFPOS exercises first. I set up the camera and captured some of my bridging and connecting practice. I didn't realise my pitch was quite so all over the place until I watched it back and I am playing with the idea of making things really small when I reach my upper range.

(I apologise for the audio sync problems. It's so annoying!)

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey Anthony... I'm always here, ... just have a schedule that is unbearable these days... It could be that other TFPOS students got the information they felt they needed... 

Your video above:

- Make your vocalize have legato... train lines/phrases... not notes. You are accenting each note and this is a bad habit to get into... think of each "chop" as one phrase, not five notes you poke at.

- At around approximately 2:04, you are engaging the "lift up / pull back" technique which is great and you are executing it well. But... understand this is only an interim solution. The LUPB is there to train the body to stop constricting, get a feel for the timing of bridging and feel the head voice... once you have started to get this movement going for you, you need to begin...

YES.. YOU CAN FEEL THE RESONANCE SHIFTING AND YOU ARE BRIDGING!!!! BUT DON'T JUST LET THAT BE THE END OF YOUR SESSION... YOU NEED TO ALSO 

- Work on building the intrinsic anchoring on the head voice parts... slowly, massaging in the musculature...  You can further enhance this stage with the Messa de Voce Onset, that is precisely what that onset is made for... and Quack & Release onsets in the head voice to supplement... frankly... Wind & Release and Attack & release as well... then...

- In all your training routines, you should be working in the resistance training onsets to build your M1, building strength... work light like this at first, that is great, then transition to D&R and A&R onsets and start "pulling" the adductors ... 

WORK BOTH YOUR TOP DOWN TECHNIQUES AND YOUR BOTTOM UP TECHNIQUES, THEY ARE ALL IN THE BOOK... SEE THE "20 MINUTE QUICK HIT ROUTINE"...

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Listen to Robert, he knows what he is talking about and you can't get better than the source.

And, again, certainly change a key to make a song fit your voice. I remember a few others where I raised the key. "Ice Cream Man" by Van Halen. David is just too low for me to carry that line with power. And "Peace, Love, and Understanding." Originally written by Nick Lowe has a slow hippie ballad but I preferred the Elvis Costello rockabilly version, still in the original key of G but with some spunk to it. However, G was too low for me, so I raised it to A. (Capos can be awesome, still play the same chord pattern, so I don't have to learn the alternate circle of 5ths thingy, though I can do that, too.)

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OK, I've been feeling really positive about my singing recently and am going out regularly to perform at open mic nights. My eventual aim is to gig as a solo musician supporting local unsigned acts. After a few more open mics to increase my repertoire, confidence and performance and I think I'm in with a chance of getting out there as a singer!

I even now have a Facebook page (in very early stages) with a few live videos already added!

https://www.facebook.com/anthonyjamesacoustic

 

This doesn't mean I've forgotten all about my vocal training. :4:

In terms of vocal progress I'm feeling very good. When I first got the program I was trying songs previously way out of my range. Even though I was still straining and not sounding very good, I felt I had the ability to at least try some higher notes and noticed they were achievable if I adapted some TFPOS technique to my previous "wrong way" of doing things. I was really excited to push myself and tried a lot of songs I previously couldn't begin to sing.

It's safe to say I've calmed that down now and am more focused on singing the right way with as little tension as possible. This has taken the form of changing key of songs to accommodate my current range and randomly singercising during the day. I also sing a LOT in the car to music that is way out of my range and have applied the top-down mentality to those high belt notes. Things are waking up in my head resonances, twangs, vibrations. I'm just hoping that it gets stronger with use. I feel like doing sirens with this new feeling will be increasing my range in the proper manner without flipping to falsetto.

As always thanks for all the input and tips you give me it helps a LOT!

Video Eight

 

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Here's a little un-planned video. I was so excited I had to get it on film.

 

Video Nine

 

It's not perfect, but bear in mind when I started I was struggling to get past D4. There is no straining at all in the video, the higher notes feel like they come from my head.

 

 

 

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I see you have many issues that i once had Ant. If you want we can get on skype and talk abit about vocal training i may shed some light on it so you proggress better.

Also when i said issues i didnt mean vocaly i meant in understanding and interpreting theory :)

hope you accept a skype invite. We can discuss our super secret project ;)

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Here's a little un-planned video. I was so excited I had to get it on film.

 

Video Nine

 

It's not perfect, but bear in mind when I started I was struggling to get past D4. There is no straining at all in the video, the higher notes feel like they come from my head.

 

 

 

Anthony

Way to work hard and keep with it... I love your video journal.

Your voice sounds fairly open and free on this video... nice work! I agree with you, you have a good start here... However,...

You need to edge more... work on getting more resonance forward to the hard palette... these positions are bit too backward and throaty... EDGE those singing vowels, which will also force you to twang harder, which I think you also need. 

And those vowels could also be tuned more to ae/a "cat" ishness.

Don't neglect your belting onsets!!!!

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I see you have many issues that i once had Ant. If you want we can get on skype and talk abit about vocal training i may shed some light on it so you proggress better.

Also when i said issues i didnt mean vocaly i meant in understanding and interpreting theory :)

hope you accept a skype invite. We can discuss our super secret project ;)

Hi Elvis, that sounds like a great idea! Although I've never used Skype before, I'd have to set up an account and presumably search for your username on it?

Anthony

Way to work hard and keep with it... I love your video journal.

Your voice sounds fairly open and free on this video... nice work! I agree with you, you have a good start here... However,...

You need to edge more... work on getting more resonance forward to the hard palette... these positions are bit too backward and throaty... EDGE those singing vowels, which will also force you to twang harder, which I think you also need. 

And those vowels could also be tuned more to ae/a "cat" ishness.

Don't neglect your belting onsets!!!!

Thanks again Robert! I feel like I can confidently navigate through my passagio with full vocal cord connection now (video coming very shortly) and can sing some head tones without slipping into falsetto. It's a bit of a breakthrough for me as I used to only be able to siren through my bridge in falsetto mode. I'm going to apply it to my sirens during workouts.

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Ok...

You have GOT to work your musculature , the adductors... get going with the resistance training onsets and the belt workouts... the belt workouts are not just for belt singing.. they are also or the strength building that you need.

And begin training with the "pingy" "Ah" Vowel... the neutral vowel and work on narrowing the "Ah" vowel as you go higher in frequency... you need to do some heavy lifting... 

- Neutral "ping", open throat vowel.

- D&R and A&R and C&R onsets

And take some skype lessons with me!

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Wow quick respnse Robert, I'll read it properly later, don't have time to take it all in right now!!... :mellow:

 

Here's the video!!

Video Ten

 

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Man, that is very good :)

You're getting the hang of how the vowel and embouchure changes while going up, and you are getting how to smooth that passaggio.  Very good.

Some suggestions :3 :

            Your head tilt to your right is a very ingrained thing, try doing the same notes,  hold them for 5 or 6 seconds, and while you are in the note nod left and right, like saying no, slowly and then increasing the speed, just to check if your larynx is maneuvering freely inside and no skelletal muscles are being involved unnecessarily.

       It is noticeable that you put a lot of attention on how you are doing the sirens, although I'd recommend putting even more attention, and doing it even slower, at least for a week or two .  Really, working slow will give you crazy control. You'll feel eveything, like a vocal Daredevil, lol   Muscle memory really is key in this :P   I'm a ballet dancer, so I know really well how muscle memory works, and how any difficulty will decrease incredibly just by knowing in your body what to do when.

 

     I tell you that because I noticed that you start to rush a bit on higher stuff, don't avoid it, or try to get through it so it ends quickly, haha. Our weaknesses can often become strengths if we put in enough attention and effort on them.  I'm referring also to when you demonstrated those high shaky notes, you almost didn't have any pause in between each other, it would be better to take your time, get your muscles neutral again and try to nail it ( even if it sounds shaky again, you tried your absolute best :D  That's what counts! ) . I promise if you do every single thing with complete awareness and detail, then in time, all you will have is what is correct...
      This is nitpicking, but I'm a professional nitpicker, haha. I started doing ballet when I was 16 ( OLD :'( ) and I was the weakest in my class. I have followed this philosophy of life and now I'm one of the only two students of my original class that actually graduated and got in on the ballet company. So I guess my experience counts as something, haha
 

 

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Really, working slow will give you crazy control. You'll feel eveything, like a vocal Daredevil, lol   Muscle memory really is key in this :P   I'm a ballet dancer, so I know really well how muscle memory works, and how any difficulty will decrease incredibly just by knowing in your body what to do when.

Yes.

Is it me, or does it feel like a lot of the experienced guys in here are on the same page? I seems like we have hit a new level of consistency and understanding about how the voice works and how to train it in here. There are less arguments and its more and more like reading from the same books and giving advise to people that are asking for it... I think this is evidence that we have all accumulated a lot of information and have a common understanding of how these things work... There isa "Best Practice" that is developing amongst the more experienced people in here...  

Thanks for your help "X".

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I woke up this morning feeling very positive. I'm singing the chorus to "My Hero" by Foo Fighters with no breaks in my voice. The vocal range of the chorus is D#4 - G#4. I can manage it if I sing it really small. I find I really have to relax and let my voice change gears to the head register. It's a very vulnerable thing to do and very counter intuitive as my mind is trying to tell me "Hey! you have to really push for those high notes!" but if I switch that off and let my voice relax I can manage it. Again, it's all very quiet at the moment but there is definitely vocal fold contact throughout the whole thing.

I'm still intending on mastering Smoke on the Water though as I stated in my last video update!

 

Yesterday I did a little bit of contract and release (not too much as Robert advises) and some dampen and release and attack and release.

My primary aim right now is to work on resistance training in my head voice. I'm going to apply the above onsets to ascending and descending sirens.

 

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