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Need help on Mix!

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breeze
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Hi there,

I am new here. I've been singing for a couple of months (i think it's been about 6months now), and I discovered some techniques along the way, now I am getting familiar with Brett Manning's Mastering Mix and some exercises from Seth Riggs of American Idol (use it only for warming up). I can hit the high notes, even mix.. but I lose alot of power when I do, and end up either pulling chest voice or losing total control of my voice. After sometime trying hard, I get muscle pain in my back, and in my abdomen area, when I try even harder even in my throat (but I learned not to try that hard as I MUST be doing some thing wrong)

This is an attempt at Bon Jovi's Always (Sorry for the bad recording quality):

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

Please ignore the bad timings, and out of key parts (as I am fully aware of these)

This is another attempt at Guns N' Roses' My Michelle.. Sometimes I feel I'm doing great sometimes I feel loss of power, and try as hard as I can not to 'lose it' in order to stay in the head bridge somehow:

http://www.box.net/shared/cho2z4zvoe

I would appreciate if I had some advice on my matter, and how to improve, I know the singing is no good, thats why I need help on this matter. What do you think I'm doing wrong? I try to start my head voice from a lower range sometimes but it sounds to 'girly', and not natural, even with the twang, so sometimes I need to pull a bit my chest voice to get to my head voice. I really lose control in my mix, and sound weak! (And feel weak). :(

Thanks in advance :)

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I guess this is not the right forum for advise.. as it seems that no one really cares to help..

please also realize that while we are all here to learn and improve and help each other no one here has any obligatory duty to reply. replies are optional.

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I guess this is not the right forum for advise.. as it seems that no one really cares to help..

Sorry, but we all have lives, and 8 hours, 23 minutes and 24 seconds seem to be a bit too quick to draw such conclusions anyway.

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ok sorry, I know as I do work as well, but it gets frustrating that I can't manage to do what I love and can't seem to improve no matter what I try and can't get help from any one. And all other forums that I tried getting help from never replied not even after 13 days! But then I didn't bother.. and since every one talk and share ideas alot here i thought this would be the one.. just got a bad impression.. and sorry for giving you a bad impression about me ;)

VIDEOHERE, what do you mean by support? and how do you think I can achieve that?

I don't think I can explain myself better than how I described my problem.. but I seem to lose lots of power singing in my mix no matter what the song.. I know always is a tough challenge, but that's almost the only song that is ALL / the entire song in my mix voice (or belt - how I think you describe it here).. I think it sounds powerful, but I lose it fast!

I look forward to hearing your comments people.. and I apologise again for being rude and non-realistic :)

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it's not that don't want to help, but utilize places like youtube. search the forum as well, type in "vocal support" or "breath support."

buy a book of instruction, and read about it. it is a mandatory requisite skill and development for good singing.

i recommend a book by jaime vendera called "ultimate breathing workout."

gotta get in and start studying.....no easy way like others would have you believe.

youtube will innundate you with videos on the topic.

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I 'invaded' youtube lol but didn't find any thing! do you have a specific link for a youtube? maybe I searched with the wrong words or something?

i'll look the book up thanks :) i try the best i can, try singing songs, and do brett manning's mastering mix as well every day but it doesnt seem to be enough :(

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" Breath support " is basically using your body to help counter the natural expulsion of your breath. The neutral position for your body is with most air expelled, and it naturally tends to get back to this relaxed state. But the thing is that the vocal folds are tiny and don't have a lot of strength compared to the powerful relaxing diaphragm. They stand no chance resisting the natural flow of air, consequences being either/and a breathy tone, loss of power, constrictions and strain. Supporting is using your abdominal and coastal muscles, sometimes even the muscles of your back, to resist the relaxing diaphragm, so that just the exact amount of air gets to the fold.

In short, it's not about tensing up, and it's not about pushing air, it's about refraining from pushing air, and working the right muscles while relaxing the others.

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I see.. today I watch a couple of videos, and bought 3 books about this topic.. support. But what I saw on youtube I think confused me even more..

I saw a video where it says we don't breath correctly etc.. but to sing we need to fill our WHOLE lungs not just the upper part.. so I tried filling all my lungs with air, and feeling everywhere expand (my back, abdomen, chest, diaphragm) and I tried singing that way.. but I ended up losing my voice after 15mins! :o So I figured out that its not the way to sing lol :rolleyes:

Now tomorrow I'll try singing differently because I lost my voice today, I'm really trying everything to support my voice but cant seem to support it... So do I really need to concentrate where my air is going? Do i really need to fill my whole lungs? Or just the diaphragm and take few air? Because with my whole lungs filled with air its almost even hard to talk! Imagine singing! :/

The hardest part I see is that when I enter my mix (above my chest voice) i lose control most of the time.. especially after... e.g. 20/30mins.. and I start to pull chest voice without even wanting / unconciously.. because I won't have the power anymore to stay in my mix so my voice goes to chest voice by itself and I try to keep it high and results in pulling chest voice.This makes me lose my voice even more which then 10mins later I lose my whole voice!

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I see.. today I watch a couple of videos, and bought 3 books about this topic.. support. But what I saw on youtube I think confused me even more..

I saw a video where it says we don't breath correctly etc.. but to sing we need to fill our WHOLE lungs not just the upper part.. so I tried filling all my lungs with air, and feeling everywhere expand (my back, abdomen, chest, diaphragm) and I tried singing that way.. but I ended up losing my voice after 15mins! :o So I figured out that its not the way to sing lol :rolleyes:

Now tomorrow I'll try singing differently because I lost my voice today, I'm really trying everything to support my voice but cant seem to support it... So do I really need to concentrate where my air is going? Do i really need to fill my whole lungs? Or just the diaphragm and take few air? Because with my whole lungs filled with air its almost even hard to talk! Imagine singing! :/

The hardest part I see is that when I enter my mix (above my chest voice) i lose control most of the time.. especially after... e.g. 20/30mins.. and I start to pull chest voice without even wanting / unconciously.. because I won't have the power anymore to stay in my mix so my voice goes to chest voice by itself and I try to keep it high and results in pulling chest voice.This makes me lose my voice even more which then 10mins later I lose my whole voice!

you're filling up too much and overpressuring, which means you're having to stress to contain the air. read your books and watch the videos. it's not difficult to learn.

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Hi, breeze. Welcome to the forum.

I apologize for the tone of this, but I think its important to be a bit circumspect with what you read about voice technique, and what you see on youtube. There are many myths, some centuries old, about how the voice works. Some of these myths are still told, person to person.

On top of that, while the teachers get results with their students, things that are written or posted make assumptions about the reader or watcher of the video. These assumptions include familiarity of terminology, personal sense of the body, different kinds of sensations that may be present, etc. So, by all means watch and read, but balance that with other watching and reading so you get a broader perspective.

In my experience, the teachers that advocate 'breathing into the bottom of the lungs' are reciting a formula or passing on advice that they got from their teacher... but without also mentioning the WHY of that thought, and especially what else must be also considered. To put this in context for you, here is a URL to a posting I did some time ago for another member.

http://www.punbb-hosting.com/forums/themodernvocalist/viewtopic.php?id=793

Look for the 2nd post. Its a longer article, written in nontechnical language, about the basics of breathing for life, and for singing, and how they are somewhat different. As has been mentioned already in this current thread, its not about how much air you take in, but what you do with it. The article will help you fill in your understanding of the WHY, hopefully.

All this is going to be 'head knowledge'. To get 'body knowledge'... that takes making sounds and learning the sensations that go with them. When you are ready, we can point you to specific exercises and programs that will help you achieve your vocal goals.

I hope this helps,

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lol at Steven saying that that 2nd post was "nontechnical" langue. I can envision Steven thinking "...well maybe this time I'll get down to their level and talk in their langue so they understand me better" ... and STILL sound more technical than everyone. Just messing with you slightly, Steven :) Thanks for the informative post, as always!

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Hi Steven Fraser, thank you very much! I read it, but I will read it deeply in thought later on today so I will register the information in my mind. So when I am ready for the exercises shall I contact you personally or just repost in this thread?

Thank you so much! :)

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Hi Steven Fraser, thank you very much! I read it, but I will read it deeply in thought later on today so I will register the information in my mind. So when I am ready for the exercises shall I contact you personally or just repost in this thread?

Thank you so much! :)

breeze: Reposting here is fine. Lots of folks besides me have exercises they find useful for this. Its a forum, after all :-)

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lol at Steven saying that that 2nd post was "nontechnical" langue. I can envision Steven thinking "...well maybe this time I'll get down to their level and talk in their language so they understand me better" ... and STILL sound more technical than everyone. Just messing with you slightly, Steven :) Thanks for the informative post, as always!

jonpall: I shall consider myself 'slightly messed with'. :-)

OK, here is a really nontechnical description of support: You breathe in some air, a lot, or a little... It does not matter. When you stop inhaling, your body naturally exhales. Support is taking the force of the exhale that would normally happen, and managing it by slowing it down, so that the right amount (not too much, not too little) is available to make vocal sound. Remember, the vocal bands are itty-bitty.

The rest is details, and some practice. All it takes is 1 simple exercise, and literally 15 minutes of practice to 'get' this, if in the presence of a good teacher. Maybe a bit longer just by reading and experimenting. For it to be really useful, it should be practiced until it is habitual. 15 mins or so a day, including some speaking and singing with it, to reinforce the habit in about a month or 6 weeks. The practice can be done while walking, driving, pretty much doing anything except for strenuous exercise.

I hope this helps.

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Hi steven, i tried something else.. which would be exactly on top of my chest voice, 75% of it is really hard for me, and that 75% I've done with the mix voice, and a bit of head voice.. I saw a good video today, and I followed your advise as well and connected them together, did some warm up.. and tried this song, tell me what you think:

http://www.box.net/shared/o4i8rfx7t7

Does it feel better? Sorry for the bad timings lol I'm not straining here, just 2 places if i remember correctly, but this recording is after 45mins of trying this song and lots of others (already an improvement and I haven't lost my voice yet! Just tired.. which i think is improvement :) ), so I think thats why I strained a bit because I got really tired now.

Thanks for every thing guys, this forum is my no.1 stop of every day! So much information in here! And very nice people! :D

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steve, can one also develop support to a greater degree to generate diaphragmic vibrato as well? how about to increase stamina?

Bob: Sorry to say it... this is one of the myths. Vibrato does not originate at the diaphragm. The only involvement of the diaphragm with vibrato is that a tone must be at least reasonably supported before an actual vibrato shows up.

What people call 'diaphragmatic vibrato' is really a cyclical variation in breath pressure, which is audible as a change in volume, which also affects the perception (in the listener) of the pitch. A person producing it can be seen to be shaking at the level of the epigastrum, just below the sternum.

This is a popular myth, and some very good voice teachers have believed it, including Ralph Appelman, one of Indiana University's chief voice teachers in the mid/late 20th Century at the University of Indiana.

On the topic of stamina... yes. Well-supported tone is less straining. Strain reduces endurance.

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