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how much support, how much pressure is needed?

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doomhead
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Hi everyone.

Maybe this topic could be in the "review and critique my singing" section, but i chose "technique" as I am looking for advice on my technique in my following song sample.

And rather than post a sample of easier or better singing, i have choosen purposely to post a hard one for me.

This tune is difficult for me because it resides in the passagio.

The high notes are G#4. The song is down a full step from the real version. And is recorded via a condensor mic about 1.5 feet away. I just performed enough of the song to capture what Im doing, and to show all the warts.

http://www.box.net/shared/srx5xhfyo5

So to make a decent tone up in this range I am applying twang. However, this could be the root of the problem. In this sample I need to support fairly well and get the twanger going.

I have abunch of questions,

Do I need to support more? Do I need to twang more/less? Do I need to back off the pressure? What I mean is use far less gas than I am doing. Could it be too much exhalation pressure going on here so that the throat is having to compensate? But when I back off the support I will land in falsetto, so were is the fine line?

Or it could be that I just am not ready to be up in this range, I have been working with tvs drills and r lunte for awhile now (9mos).

thanks in advance for any advice you can pass on.

Pete

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To me, this is really a stylistic choice. Are you wanting to sound like Bono? Your basic timbre is quite similar to him. You are singing more "operatically" than he is. He is an irish folk singer, much like Luka Bloom, using a bit of a bluesy tinge. Often, his higher notes are not ringing like a true irish folk singer. He uses falsetto, which is already breathy, and also has some edge or rasp in it. Speaking of Edge, I like your guitar arrangement. If one could translate the bagpipes to guitar, it's the Edge. Your playing was reminiscent of that, with the instrument providing its own harmonies by way of playing melody in conjunction with open strings, and using the guitar, itself, as a rhythm instrument. Plus, amplified, Edge uses chorus and delay to give that ringy wall of sound feel. Anyway, yeah, you would probably pull back some of the support and let the note get a little "dirty" if you want the Bono feel.

None of this is any critique on your singing. You did fine. But, to me, what you ask is a matter of style preference, and that's all up to you. And, as much as we can hear it, you will know it, too, when you hear it.

Other times, Bono uses full support and full head voice, such as on "With or Without You," which I covered some time back. He also uses full support on "Sunday, bloody Sunday," with some rasp.

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Hi everyone.

Maybe this topic could be in the "review and critique my singing" section, but i chose "technique" as I am looking for advice on my technique in my following song sample.

And rather than post a sample of easier or better singing, i have choosen purposely to post a hard one for me.

This tune is difficult for me because it resides in the passagio.

The high notes are G#4. The song is down a full step from the real version. And is recorded via a condensor mic about 1.5 feet away. I just performed enough of the song to capture what Im doing, and to show all the warts.

http://www.box.net/shared/srx5xhfyo5

So to make a decent tone up in this range I am applying twang. However, this could be the root of the problem. In this sample I need to support fairly well and get the twanger going.

I have abunch of questions,

Do I need to support more? Do I need to twang more/less? Do I need to back off the pressure? What I mean is use far less gas than I am doing. Could it be too much exhalation pressure going on here so that the throat is having to compensate? But when I back off the support I will land in falsetto, so were is the fine line?

Or it could be that I just am not ready to be up in this range, I have been working with tvs drills and r lunte for awhile now (9mos).

thanks in advance for any advice you can pass on.

Pete

i agree with ronws. the choice is up to you.

this is a great question!

trust me, if you seek a chestier, bulkier, sound you will need support. it's likely to be a more physically challenging vocal in most cases.

g4 is one of those notes where there's overlap in terms of how you can sing it. depending on the singer, you can go at virtually all chest, or bring in some degree of head, even a reinforced falsetto.

as a singer develops more, you find that you have more of a palette of skills and strength so that your phonating choices become much more broad and you become more versatile.

oh, to digress a minute...

twang has helped me immensely with singing r&b. it has a "cut" and "brightness" that gives my vocals that black artist's sound.

this is what i mean:

listen from 20 to 40 seconds..hear the cut, the edge, the brightness?

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Doomhead - Sounds really good. I think you are doing it with the right amount of weight. I think if you worked on your passagio with vowel modifcations it would become easier for your to sing. You're definitely on the right track.

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I agree with guitartrek - I think you have the right amount of "weight". If singing like this is too difficult for you, try experimenting both with increasing and decreasing support and also experiment with forming your vowels a a bit further back in your mouth. You also sound slightly nasal which can be fixed by moving your sound a bit backwards in your mouth/throat. You sing very well, btw. :)

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I've had a listen - I think your voice sounds great.

You sound a little tight on some of the higher notes, and I think that's partly down to apprehension to be honest, but in addition to the excellent suggestions you've already had, I've picked up on a few things that you can do physiologically that may help a bit.

1) on the higher notes, your nasal port appears to be open - this will certainly help with impedence if you're over blowing the air, but it's also going to eat a lot of the harmonic energy of your voice and make you feel you have to work harder to get a big sound (and as you mentioned tone, I think this is probably important to you) - now, if the nasality is a stylistic choice, fine - but you won't get as much power with it as you would without it. So I'd recommend thinking about whether you want the nasality or not. If you don't, try this : Say ng. All the sound comes down the nose (if you pinch your nose it will usually stop). Now say ga. As you say the g of ga, the tongue and palate will move up towards the back wall together. On the A, the palate will remain high and the tongue will drop. The sound should now be purely oral. Do this until you can really feel the palate staying up (if it won't stay up, spend longer in the G of ga than in the A). Then replace your words with NG+V (V being the vowel) - so 'I still haven't found' becomes 'Ng-ai, Ng-ill, Ng-a Ng-eun't Ng-aound' using the G to keep the palate high. This should remove the nasality.

2) You sound like you're constricting the pharynx a little. Try this - imagine you're a kid and you're hiding behind the sofa watching TV when you should be in bed. Breathe normally, but try to make it as silent as possible so your parents don't hear you. When you move between normal breathing and this 'silent' type of breathing, you'll probably feel something move or open up in the throat. Try to keep this feeling on all of your notes - it won't be as easy on some higher notes, just focus on it exclusively for a while and it should help.

3) your body doesn't seem to be working much - it's hard to be sure without seeing you, but I feel that your sternum is very low from the sound - like you've collapsed the front of the body. I may be wrong, but that's the sound impression I'm getting. If you place one hand on your upper chest, just above the sternum, and the other on the belly button and do an energetic 'pppsssssshhhhhh' sound, you should find that as the belly button goes in towards the backbone, the sternum raises slightly. Hold that feeling. See if you can sing your phrases keeping the sternum raised during singing, and letting it relax when you breathe in. If it's hard, put your hands behind your back like your wrists are tied together, then bring the shoulders back and down a little - you should feel your large back muscles (lats) start working a little, if you bring your arms back to the sides of your body, but keep the muscular work going, you will most likely feel your pecs work a bit and the muscles in and around the rib cage too. Keep this muscular energy (check that it doesn't tighten the throat area - if it does, try jogging on the spot whilst holding the muscular energy in the upper body, laughing, chewing, wiggling your toes etc without letting go of the upper body energy - this should free it up) - now use that energy to help you maintain a high sternum during singing.

4) As well as working the palate to stop nasality, you can also tighten certain palatal muscles to increase resonance - resonance will make you work less for the same sound - less work is good (lazy singers are healthy singers !) - try this : flare your nostrils and hold. Try to look a bit snooty whilst you do this, think 'sneer hard'. You will probably feel a muscular pull behind the nose in the palate area when you do this. It may take several tries. Once you've identified it, keep the muscular pull and drop the lower jaw (it may go wrong here, if it does, just start again) - now try to relax the nostrils (to avoid looking like a horse when you sing !) whilst keeping the muscular pull. Now try singing a note without putting the palate effort in place. Once you've done that, slowly add the palate effort to the note - it should feel more resonant, perhaps more 'forward', certainly freer. You may feel like you're working less hard in the throat. Speak your text with and without this resonance trick, then sing it.

Sorry for throwing so many ideas at you, that's a lot of information. Take what you like from it and I hope some of it helps !

Allan

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folks, for me personally, soooooooooo much of singing involves support.

i'm starting to get this sensation at times like there's a little pump below my sternum that i can use to pop a note out. last night i was doing full voiced arpeggios and as i knew the next note was c5, i simply applied a little "pump push" just as i was hitting the note and it came out as this clean "ooh" (as in book) nice and full and rounded...just short of operatic sounding. i was very pleased when the spectograph confirmed i must have been doing something right..lol!!!

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folks, for me personally, soooooooooo much of singing involves support.

i'm starting to get this sensation at times like there's a little pump below my sternum that i can use to pop a note out. last night i was doing full voiced arpeggios and as i knew the next note was c5, i simply applied a little "pump push" just as i was hitting the note and it came out as this clean "ooh" (as in book) nice and full and rounded...just short of operatic sounding. i was very pleased when the spectograph confirmed i must have been doing something right..lol!!!

Vendera calls that the power push, with a slight abdominal compression, not unlike what one does on the commode. It's what I mean when talked about my modified kiai.

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Vendera calls that the power push, with a slight abdominal compression, not unlike what one does on the commode. It's what I mean when talked about my modified kiai.

yeah ron, and when you can time it just right with the onset of the note it's like you just quickly punched the gas pedal.

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I've learned how to kinda " kiai " and I never thought it could have the slightest use in singing. I'll have to try it !

I started studying Kenpo Karate in 1977 with my scoutmaster, Steve. That;s right, I was a boy scout. And later, a sea explorer. He was a former army pilot and flew 747 jumbo jets for Delta. He was also a 5th degree black belt in Kenpo Karate. The kiai, was, as he put it, a loud "ha!" It had the effect of compressing the abdominals and expelling air. The reason for it in combat is two fold. First off, the sound can disarm an opponent with the element of surprise. Secondly, by emptying air out of the lungs, it's hard to get the wind knocked out of you if there's no wind in there to get knocked out. Plus, it provided a more rigid barrier to a strike from a punch or a kick. The final step in a belt test was to take a punch or kick while using the kiai properly. It showed that you understood the concept.

In singing, I modified it to be less aggressive and more long term. Lately, I have found that Jaime Vendera calls it the power push.

And, amen, Bob.

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