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Cover song (West Side Story) and fuck up on the scales.

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rofleren
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Hello everybody! I recently joined, I wrote some short info about myself here: http://www.punbb-hosting.com/forums/themodernvocalist/viewtopic.php?id=1963

I have tried to sing the song Somewhere, from West Side Story, and I havent heard the mp3 file yet, because I'll just delete it then. This clip: www.rofleren.dk/TMVF/Somewhere.mp3 is how I would sing it on an average day.

Also I've recorded a few clips that shows some of my problems: www.rofleren.dk/TMVF/fuckups.mp3

When I try to do scale, my voice seems to flip into falsetto. I can't seem to follow simple rules as laid in Stage 1 of Ken Tamplins Vocal Academy, and therefor I don't know how I can improve. A useable high tenor C is my current goal.

Care to give me some advice to what I can do in my current situation? My range goes from E2 to G4.

Thanks guys!

- Emil

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Hello everybody! I recently joined, I wrote some short info about myself here: http://www.punbb-hosting.com/forums/themodernvocalist/viewtopic.php?id=1963

I have tried to sing the song Somewhere, from West Side Story, and I havent heard the mp3 file yet, because I'll just delete it then. This clip: www.rofleren.dk/TMVF/Somewhere.mp3 is how I would sing it on an average day.

Also I've recorded a few clips that shows some of my problems: www.rofleren.dk/TMVF/fuckups.mp3

When I try to do scale, my voice seems to flip into falsetto. I can't seem to follow simple rules as laid in Stage 1 of Ken Tamplins Vocal Academy, and therefor I don't know how I can improve. A useable high tenor C is my current goal.

Care to give me some advice to what I can do in my current situation? My range goes from E2 to G4.

Thanks guys!

- Emil

I've taught this song to a number of singers - it has a whole load of 'traps' that I think people often don't recognise. One of the key issues in this song is the challenge posed by a particular family of consonants: s, h; p, k, t. All of these are produced without vibration of the vocal cords, and they all use a lot of air.

Italians solve the problem of p, k and t, by turning them towards a sound that uses vocal cords: p tends towards b, k towards g, and t towards d. P, k, and t (and also ch), in English speakers often have a disguised glottal stop just before them ie the air is completely stopped for a moment by the cords being held together. For example, say 'open' slowly, as two clear syllables, and you'll probably find the air and vocal tone stops abruptly between 'o' and 'pen'. This jamming of the cords during or just before these letters creates a lock in the throat that then makes singing such words trickier, even when the pitch is not challenging.

'S' and 'h' have to be done as quickly as possible; drawing them out for any length of time (eg with the intention of making them more audible or intelligible in a sung word) simply loses you valuable air.

I won't go into more detail here as the post is getting long, but take a look at the lyrics below, where I have highlighted all the 'dangerous' consonants, and you'll see why this song can be tricky, even in the low and middle registers.

TONY

there's a PlaSe For uS

Somewhere a PlaSe For uS

PeaSe and QuieT and oPen air

waiT For uS

Somewhere

MARIA

there's a Time For uS

Some day a Time For uS

Time Together

with Time to S-P-are

Time to looK

Time to Care

Someday

TONY

Somewhere

we'll Find a new way of living

MARIA

we'll Find a way of Forgiving

Somewhere

TONY & MARIA

there's a PlaSe For uS

a Time and PlaSe for uS

Hold my Hand

and we're Halfway there

Hold my Hand

and I'll Take you there

SomeHow

Someday

Somewhere

A basic way out of these traps is to practise the song on a smooth vowel stream. The first line is: EH-UH-AY-AW-UH. Make sure there are no gaps between the vowels, just one constant stream of sound. Then take, for example, word 2 and 3 'a place' - alternate singing UH-AY-a-Blay-UH-AY-a-Blay to get the smooth feeling, then relax the 'B' slightly so it sounds more like a 'p': UH-AY-a-place - all very smooth, with no holding in the throat (ie no gripping the vocal cords together).

Hard to explain in text, without demonstrating, but I hope this helps.

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Youre using too much force in the lip trills. Youre stuck in chestvoice. interestingly, you did one lip trill really high up in headvoice...

Yeah, but that was falsetto, so that is kind of useless for development I think.

@voicewisdom

Thanks a lot for the long answer. Good knowledge!

I'll try to use your technique. Seems to work.

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besides what matt said...your onset on those lip trills is too abrupt and your air velosity is too strong causing constriction when you need the gear change to head. try making those lip trills gentler paying close attention to their flapping consistency. it may help to slow them down a bit too. do only enough air to have them flap nice and free.

excellent advise from voicewisdom that all of us can benefit from....thanks so much.

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addendum: your la's....slow them down at first, to acquire the "sense" of adjustment.....with ken's method you need to have your support, your mouth tall, (it's the la, ah) and your throat nice and open...then remember to slighly modify to an "oh" then to an "uh."

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I've just listened to your track of exercises, and have two responses.

First, for the lip trills, you need to launch them with AIR FLOW alone, not by an 'explosion' at the lips. You are gripping your lips before you start, and then using a 't', 'd', or 'b' to try and 'kickstart' the lip trill. If your lips are very very loose, and you send proper air flow through them, they will vibrate easily. The mouth cavity will be more open at the back (the jaw dropped loosely and slightly back); the throat will feel freer, and the larynx will sit lower - so resonance will be much better, and the onsets will be easier. All the lip trill videos I have ever seen on YouTube are, in my view, done with this tight lipped onset, and a 'kick' to start the vibration. Take a look at my video to see an alternative method ... and see the impact that the looser lipped trill has on the core sound and ease of the voice. (By the way, when you are aiming for higher pitches, switch from lip trills to tongue trills instead, as it's usually the tongue that needs freeing in the higher registers.) Here's the lip trill video:

Second, I think you are trying to do too much too soon with the 'la la' exercise.

a) You need to SLOW DOWN the whole thing considerably. Give your muscles time to find their way through the pitch changes. Also, you are moving too quickly from one arpeggio to the next, and it sounds like your mind is not quiet enough. The lack of 'quietness' in your mind (I think) is translating into physical tension above your shoulders, and lack of deep enough breath support.

B) You need to SMOOTH the transitions between pitches. You're jumping too much from note to note, and not binding the notes together. (In bel canto terms, what is need is portamento between the notes.)

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good video!

As a non-expert, I'd like to add that in roflerons first trill, the high one, that sound could easily be built on into a good head voice and also, when you both ascend and descend in that trill, one can hear a clear absence of bridge between head and chest. Good voice though

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry I haven't replied. I've moved out into my first apartment, wuhu :)

@Voicewisdom

I've thought about what you've said about the lip rolls every time I do them, and have applied it to my lip rolls. Seems nicer this way.

@Matt

The first high trill, I'm entering falsetto, I don't know how I should integrate that which I used in the first trill, to sound chesty or even light chesty anyhow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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