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Pharyngeal Voice

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akarawd
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I've been doing the witch's cackle a lot lately and I'm discovering a whole new a edge to my voice.

But I've got questions ;

a) What is the pharyngeal muscle ?

B) What are the benefits and drawbacks of its use ? I know it makes my voice cut through like never before but that's it.

c) Is it "connected" to distortion ?

d) Does it require a "thin vocal fold" formation ? (I've been reading that that's what twang requires)

e) Is it the same as twang ?

g) How "low" is it safe to go using this pharyngeal sound ?

I apologize if any of the questions above have been covered already and being an amateur myself even the questions themselves might be wrong.

Thanks in advance,

Thanos

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You forgot f)

I'll fill it in for you:

f) Do you have the CVT book?

:)

I'm sure that many vocal programs out there answer some of these questions but personally, I just know that CVT is one of them. "Raise your voice" by Jamie Vendera also talks a bit about this and my guess is that Robert Lunte's Pillars program does, too.

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Robert, I think you're misreading our intentions and are turning people off this great site. Maybe CVT has become a banned word like SLS was kind of a curse word here about a year ago (for some people here). But note that I also mentioned the Pillars. Not because I felt I had to, but because it's my understanding that the Pillars covers this subject. I'm sure akarawd doesn't have any alterior motives nor is he Martin H. reincarnated. I can't see where he's being improper. Let's all be friends, shall we?

Respectfully,

jonpall.

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Again, there is no "banned" school of teaching on this site and people are welcome to discuss anything and any school they want provided its in good faith and follows the forum guidelines. My concern is not without having experienced the past which will not be repeated.

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I've been doing the witch's cackle a lot lately and I'm discovering a whole new a edge to my voice.

But I've got questions ;

a) What is the pharyngeal muscle ?

B) What are the benefits and drawbacks of its use ? I know it makes my voice cut through like never before but that's it.

c) Is it "connected" to distortion ?

d) Does it require a "thin vocal fold" formation ? (I've been reading that that's what twang requires)

e) Is it the same as twang ?

g) How "low" is it safe to go using this pharyngeal sound ?

Thanos:

a) pharyngeal in this context means not head voice or chest voice, but between them. The term has been around for quite a while, and was popularized in the 20th Century by Herbert-Caesari. There are several muscles that have 'pharynx' or 'pharyngeus' in their name, but there is not just 1 'pharyngeal' muscle.

B) Its a tone quality choice.

c) it is not connected to distortion.

d) With firm fold closure, it can be done thin-medium-thick fold... all three.

e) Not the same thing as twang. It does not require that the larynx be raised, but that the pharynx be narrowed/vowels modified.

f) Go as low as you want to.

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I hereby state that I'm an amateur singer and in no way affiliated to any teaching method, school or teacher ... gee...

let's just get on with the subject...

Thanks for the reply Steven, I really appreciate your contribution.

Your answers are very clear as always.

Could this type of voice somehow help to access notes above middle c with power ?

I am now wondering about the thin-medium-thick fold and their result in combination with pharyngeal voice.

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Could this type of voice somehow help to access notes above middle c with power ?

I am now wondering about the thin-medium-thick fold and their result in combination with pharyngeal voice.

akarawd:

To your first question: That is what Herbert-Caesari thought. I tend to agree.

What I meant by thin-medium-thick that I think pharyngeal voice can be used with any of them. Or, expressed another way, I think pharyngeal voice is a resonance adjustment, and not correllated with a specific laryngeal registration adjustment.

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Thanks for the reply,

I've been thinking about it being about resonance and my findings so far are

a) I can start from a very light voice and turn it into pharyngeal with no effort. There is a huge increase in volume instantly, pitch stays the same -

although sometimes I have to be extra careful and the voice sounds piercing and probably silly too. However it never feels like I'm pushing or shouting at all ;

so my thought is "it's got to be an increase in resonance", which I personally find amazing.

B) I've tried singing above middle c this way and - forgive me but I don't know how to express this - I make my sound a bit meatier and less silly sounding and

it really sounds loud, piercing and powerful. I haven't had much experience with that yet but I'm working on it each time I get a moment of peace.

c) Although I don't feel any kind of strain, I understand that if I do it wrong it can turn into my hurting distortion (I wrote about it a few months back in another thread) -

just like in this clip : http://www.box.net/shared/4617usgv3i

Looking at it now, the actual singing voice disappears when I go there but it's hard to explain.

However, the more I practice it without going there (hurting distortion), the stronger my voice becomes.

What other info do we have on the pharyngeal voice ?

Kind Regards,

Thanos

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Thanos, you seem to have achieved some kind of overlay distortion that is kinda cool sounding and I think you can use it, but it does concern me in terms of vocal health. I would not advise practicing like this for extended periods of time, but no doubt, you are building some strength from it and as I said, kinda figuring out how to execute one of several kinds of distortion that we can work on.

I think you could focus on a better twang contraction here. I would call it "Ping" in TVS talk-track. A small, solated twang contraction to remove some of the wind and amplify more.... I think this sound on this sample is too windy. Twang more and you will get less wind, keep the distortion and have a tone that I think you will like better. Try it, let us know what happens.

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Robert, thanks a lot for the advice.

You're right about using it for extended periods of time, in fact a couple of seconds of that are enough to hurt my throat and voice -

I guess I must have confused you ; I used that clip just to show where one should not go when using the pharyngeal voice.

In fact, it has such a detrimental effect that I haven't used it for over a year or so.

My pharyngeal voice might "tend to" slip into that hurting area once in a while but I keep avoiding it and that's what's strengthening my voice.

To avoid any confusion the voice I've been referring to all along has nothing to do with that clip, that's just a hurting byproduct.

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That sounded more like fry or leaky air than other stuff you did which had a twangy rattle, or so it sounded to me.

So, which one hurts? The fry-ish one or the rattle?

Just for reference, in reading the interviews with rock singers, most of them don't rattle. They will either fry or push the note harder, essentially more volume, and overdrive it, so to speak, sometimes, overdriving the mic, which will also distort the sound.

And, just as likely, may have a vocal processing effect that gives it some distortion, too.

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Cutting to the chase... most definately dont do anything that "hurts your throat..." in a few seconds.. No way. glad to hear your not doing that anymore.

The kind of distortion that is the "overlay" we are developing at TVS that is "healthier" (notice, I never say "healthy"... but we can learn to make it healthier)... utilizes fry. I encourage you to dial into the "fry" kind of vocal distortion... also, always be hydrated. Good distortion is "wet", it salivates... you want it to be "spitty".

Ron, Im not aware of any processing that simulates vocal distortion, although there has been some talk about it, I dont think it exists.

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Thanks, Robert. I wasn't sure. Logistically, one would think, if they can put digital fuzz on a guitar, they could do it on a voice but then, it would sound different, now that I think about it. That may have been a smelly brain fart on my part. Open the doors and let it air out ...

When I have achieved distortion in the past, it was with what I thought was fry and called "leaky air" which may not be accurate but the imagery helped me. And was told by somone that it wasn't fry, that fry could only happen at the bottom of one's range. Anyway, when I joined Ronron in his thread that highlighted his passage in the song "Patience," I was using what I think of as fry. Or "leaky air." Or goosenfrabe, if we want to call it that (sorry, I got that word from the movie "Anger Management"). That kind of distortion, I can do at will and it doesn't hurt me and I can sing the next day. As opposed to trying to "rattle" with a tight twang, which eradicates most of my voice for, apparently, now, up to a week.

In my version of fry, it is similar to what the pros are talking about when they get distortion. It involves an open throat and neutral or at least stable larynx and actually involves relaxing just micron or two. And totally supported by the air column from the belly. There should be no strain in the throat muscles.

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Ron, it's the one in the previous post that hurts - rattling is quite safe for me.

Robert, that's great info, especially what you said about good distortion being wet, when my normal voice is were I want it to be we'll be in touch about distortion.

As it wasn't my intention to bring distortion in this thread but rather a sidenote,

I did a small clip so I can explain what I mean by pharyngeal voice ;

it starts in a very light voice and then turns.

http://www.box.net/shared/6p9poctfcs

PS. Excuse my pitch errors...

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I see now, Thanos. And yeah, you can do that so easily. For me, it strains the coordination muscles in my throat and then I spend a week to two weeks not being able sing my full range.

Maybe we just have different physiology and neurology, which I have stated in numerous other topics. I can do that one that hurts you and you can do the one that disables me. Funny how that is.

To me, in your example, it sounds like pharyngeal is a slightly more compressed throat config. Where as I have, over the decades, gotten used to the open throat, though not lax, model. I am more likely to get distortion that doesn't hurt with a fry or creak.

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I see now, Thanos. And yeah, you can do that so easily. For me, it strains the coordination muscles in my throat and then I spend a week to two weeks not being able sing my full range.

Maybe we just have different physiology and neurology, which I have stated in numerous other topics. I can do that one that hurts you and you can do the one that disables me. Funny how that is.

To me, in your example, it sounds like pharyngeal is a slightly more compressed throat config. Where as I have, over the decades, gotten used to the open throat, though not lax, model. I am more likely to get distortion that doesn't hurt with a fry or creak.

While we all have our own shapes and sizes of mouths and throats, your straining case is alot more likely to be a result of technical error. Distortion is quite advanced stuff, and they way I'm learning growl right now(This is what louis armstrong does, and involves false chord and Epiglottis movement) is by using a low palate, twang and making sure the underlying mode is done correctly, supporting abit more, and being patient with the sensations I'm feeling as I feel my way forward. I have certainly done the effect wrong in some of my experiments but only slightly since i know the general guidelines, worst thing that happend is I've had to cough but my voice is always working as it should afterwards.

Seeing as talking the talk without walking the walk is boring, here is clip from me trying some growl right now! No pain whatsoever on this note. :)

http://www.box.net/shared/25chofl35v

I actually wanted to do a quite low comfortable note on growl so I start out in the clip by just setting the coordination right in the low to middle note range in overdrive. But then I do an octave jump on the growl note anyway which wasn't on purpose haha.

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Thanks S North. It may also be a factor of what's important to a singer. I'm not all that concerned, finally, with getting the Armstrong rattle, which I can do at times, at lower pitches. Nor do I always want fry. Mainly as accents, rather than singing a song all the way through with that sound.

I just happen to have a fairly clean voice (I think) and I haven't felt the need to keep pursuing the rattle, even if it means I haven't trained enough to get it. Losing my voice should not be a part of the training and perhaps I am doing it wrong (which is usually the case) and it is not worth pursuing. Nor do wish to sound like singers for Anthrax, Slayer, Motorhead, or even Axl Rose, though his voice inspired me. And that may be a hard concept for others to get. How can I be inspired by Axl Rose and not drive myself to get his tone and distortion? Well, that's just the way I am. As much as I admire and respect Axl Rose, I imagine myself sounding closer to maybe Geoff Tate. Not that Tate is my vocal goal or god, either. Nor do I expect that I sound like him. I know it must seem confusing. Even to me. I am basic kind of guy. With complications, evidently.

And I will say it again, probably keep saying it until my very last breath on this planet, everyone is different. Different physiology, neurology, bone structure, viewpoint. And if I never get the rattle, I absolutely refuse to believe that it means I haven't become as good as I can be. Or that I can't be good just because I can't do the rattle or don't care enough about it to pursue it. I don't need my voice to be "mean." Even in order to sing hard rock and heavy metal. To say that is as much the same as someone telling you that you can't do something. And my response, in cleaned up language, is to say "take a flying leap off a bridge." Isn't some of the greatest art about contrast? So, what about a "mean", hard-driven song sung with a light, lyric tenor? Now, that's rock and roll. Doing the unexpected.

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Diverting this thread back to pharyngeal voice and away from distortion ;

What's your experience with it (ph. voice/the witch's cackle like in the end of this clip) ? (http://www.box.net/shared/6p9poctfcs)

Also, are there any examples of its use in other styles of music (mainly opera & pop) ?

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