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Billy Budapest
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Hey, in light of the whole Steve Perry singing quietly discussion that we had yesterday (see VH's "Urgent Thread"), I had a consult with Ken Tamplin yesterday. I had recently purchased his first dvd and was having issues.

One thing that he pointed out was about singing quietly and starting in your chest and crossing to your head.

I was trying to kind of muscle my way through the break- because I absolutely COULDN'T do it quietly.

Now, I've backed the truck up and am starting at a really low volume and having not nearly the issue I was in crossing over. I can sing in headvoice, but it's that kind of Prince thing. It's not full. I think that because of the way I normally sing, my chords are a bit rough, so it makes it even more difficult to sing at a lower volume. However, if you sing at a low volume, it makes going from chest to head so much easier.

The thing is, if you do this, does it get strong enough to actually work and sound convincing? Does it take years or is it something that can be nurtured in months?

By the way, the guy's a helluva teacher. He zeroed right in on my issues and really knows what he's talking about.

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Hey, in light of the whole Steve Perry singing quietly discussion that we had yesterday (see VH's "Urgent Thread"), I had a consult with Ken Tamplin yesterday. I had recently purchased his first dvd and was having issues.

One thing that he pointed out was about singing quietly and starting in your chest and crossing to your head.

I was trying to kind of muscle my way through the break- because I absolutely COULDN'T do it quietly.

Now, I've backed the truck up and am starting at a really low volume and having not nearly the issue I was in crossing over. I can sing in headvoice, but it's that kind of Prince thing. It's not full. I think that because of the way I normally sing, my chords are a bit rough, so it makes it even more difficult to sing at a lower volume. However, if you sing at a low volume, it makes going from chest to head so much easier.

The thing is, if you do this, does it get strong enough to actually work and sound convincing? Does it take years or is it something that can be nurtured in months?

By the way, the guy's a helluva teacher. He zeroed right in on my issues and really knows what he's talking about.

damn billy, i was wondering the exact same thing!

i usually sound best louder than softer...

when i sing soft volume exercises, it's very easy for me (thank god) so i feel like, i've got that down well enough, now what do i do?

what does this turn into? it's analogous to doing curls with 10 lbs., 10 lbs. has gotten really easy, do i start doing 15 lbs., or add more reps with the 10 lb. weight i'm using?

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As of range I have never sung higher notes than when I'm listening to my iPod and walking/biking into town my thoughts elsewhere. Very soft singing and my so-called tone is floating around like a helium balloon. I have the problem I can get super-loud or very soft but nothing in between! Have you seen the Pavarotti/Bel Canto video when they speak about covering? He makes a good point there (as always). You can probably learn to get the notes and technique down but it'll take ten years to make it full (and then he demonstrate the hell out of everyone). It's not exactly the same subject but there's is a point there.

I think it's trainable. Then again, I dont know :) But here's the video:

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Try raising your larynx slightly, twanging more, using a hold/cry/moan sound and play around with changing your vowels to find the most resonance ones. I think that's the key to being able to sing in a powerful and beautiful manner without shouting.

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I remember "getting this" to work a few years ago during a show actually. It just happened. I think I'd been working on the messi di voce (sp) exercise and then things just started to bridge naturally, and easy. HOWEVER, there were certain songs in my show where this would absolutely not work. It was like I was "stuck" in this weird spot where the new approach didn't work, I couldn't find my old approach, and so I was stuck in the middle. I can't remember what tunes caused this, but I know that this has happened before for me. High notes became more effortless, but something was lost and I think it was just that I couldn't figure out the coordination. A few weeks went by without a gig and I couldn't get back to it. But I know I did it once! :)

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So let me ask you this, Billy - when Ken recommended that you work on a quieter chest production, do you think that implies a little extra air flow in there, or just a smaller speech-like sound?

Not sure Raph. I think it 'implies' that I couldn't do it the way I was doing it. Near my break point, my break seems to be pretty significant and kind of roughed up. Using less air and less volume, seems to have made it easier to transition between the two. Sirens and stuff would definitely help as he and others have suggested. But the sirens I always heard were pretty loud things. Ken was like "no, take it down about 70% in volume" from what I was giving him and it seems to have made a difference. Not saying I can just do it simply now. I still have to mess with it. But it is easier for me to do. I don't think it was a 'speech-like sound' either. It was simply a lower volume. I was trying to 'belt' my way through the change.

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damn billy, i was wondering the exact same thing!

i usually sound best louder than softer...

when i sing soft volume exercises, it's very easy for me (thank god) so i feel like, i've got that down well enough, now what do i do?

what does this turn into? it's analogous to doing curls with 10 lbs., 10 lbs. has gotten really easy, do i start doing 15 lbs., or add more reps with the 10 lb. weight i'm using?

steve fraser, if you're around can you help me (us) with this (above)...it's okay to yell at me if i've asked already..lol!!!

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steve fraser, if you're around can you help me (us) with this (above)...it's okay to yell at me if i've asked already..lol!!!

All: Ken Tamplin's advice is very good. If you want to learn to bridge smoothly, you have to let the registration lighten in the range. Soft sirens are wonderful for beginning to learn this.

Ken's comment about soft chest voice is also very useful. How do you accomplish it? You just do it. Its a 'Nike' thing :-)

Take a mid-voice chest tone and do a smooth decrescendo, a volume softening. What you'll find is that the dynamic control implied by the musical concept requires cooperation between what is going on at the laryngeal level and with the breath management/support level.

Adjustments happen at both levels simultaneously. If the tone falters, breaks or blips during the softening, it happens because the balance got out of whack. IMO, these kinds of exercises are best first done with small inhalations, as it makes the coordination of breath management/support easier.

Bob, you will recognize this as the 2nd half of the messa di voce. :-)

I hope this helps.

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