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D.Starr
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Still can't get support down. Sick of reading threads about support that simply don't explain anything.

I like practical things not. Let the air fill your belly (not possible), support with your abs. :/

Tried a video I saw where he put his arms above his head to open up the ribs, didn't really feel it working.

I used to just inhale as normal, and keep my chest elevated. Not aggressively holding it there, with constriction, just there.

My neck tightens up as I go up. Not found any remedies for this.

Tried GUG, GOOG and MUM, I can't get past E4 without straining.

I have CVT, SLS and Pillars.

I can't get past E4 with anything. I lighten up as I go up, but I end up either too breathy and fall out, or too heavy and choke.

I think I naturally have a hold when I sing, like in curbing from CVT, so when I add a cry it's like a hold on a hold. I do find SOME release when I cry or moan like it states to. I tried a dopey approach and it just doesn't cut it.

I really like how these guys sing this song.

Any techniques that you can pick out?

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Have you tried lip bubbles on a 5 tone acsending scale? Or have you tried randomly singing a note above E4? If you can sing any note above E4 then maybe you can do descending sirens to smooth out that area. The semioccludeds should get you there. Or maybe try and use nay nay nay - that one has a naturally more twangy sound and twang may help you get past E4 also. You should post some sirens from E3 to E4, then F3 to F4 and so on so that the brains of this operation can hear what your voice is doing when it gets close to E4. Just my $.02.

~Keith

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Well, D Starr, I have this feeling, that you probably need to lighten up somehow at this point in your range as obviously it's wanting to grip some on you there.

I'll toss two ideas out:

1. Have you tried starting in a very very light voice (neutral in CVT terms possibly falsetto in other's terms) and working your way down?

The way you're describing it, it sounds like you are carrying your thick voice up higher than you are currently comfortable, so it might be worth looking into achieving the same thing in reverse.

2. This is a shot in the dark, but I got the most progress in my highest notes (above passaggio) not from mums, or gugs, or anything else. It was actually from 'wah.' An extreme version of this sound, is like Bruce Lee. Wah. But I started softer and learned to thicken up some. For some reason singing scales with this sound gave me what I would call 'power falsetto' and I could bridge down with a stronger cry into my lower range from there.

What I'm getting at is in the meantime, you don't have to make the notes physically inaccessible and can work on perhaps thickening up or resonating the notes rather than focus on 'pushing up' to them. Beyond that, I never took curbing comfortably with that kind of 'thickness' into the 3rd octave. I always thinned out into kind of a power falsetto for much of the 3rd octave. It may not be a 'final' goal, but it could work in the meantime.

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Have you tried lip bubbles on a 5 tone acsending scale? Or have you tried randomly singing a note above E4? If you can sing any note above E4 then maybe you can do descending sirens to smooth out that area. The semioccludeds should get you there. Or maybe try and use nay nay nay - that one has a naturally more twangy sound and twang may help you get past E4 also. You should post some sirens from E3 to E4, then F3 to F4 and so on so that the brains of this operation can hear what your voice is doing when it gets close to E4. Just my $.02.

~Keith

Yeah I'll post some when I get home from work tomorrow. I can lip bubble fine, no tension nothing. Easy access up and down. Nay nay nay hurts my throat, I think I twang too much on it.

Well, D Starr, I have this feeling, that you probably need to lighten up somehow at this point in your range as obviously it's wanting to grip some on you there.

I'll toss two ideas out:

1. Have you tried starting in a very very light voice (neutral in CVT terms possibly falsetto in other's terms) and working your way down?

The way you're describing it, it sounds like you are carrying your thick voice up higher than you are currently comfortable, so it might be worth looking into achieving the same thing in reverse.

2. This is a shot in the dark, but I got the most progress in my highest notes (above passaggio) not from mums, or gugs, or anything else. It was actually from 'wah.' An extreme version of this sound, is like Bruce Lee. Wah. But I started softer and learned to thicken up some. For some reason singing scales with this sound gave me what I would call 'power falsetto' and I could bridge down with a stronger cry into my lower range from there.

What I'm getting at is in the meantime, you don't have to make the notes physically inaccessible and can work on perhaps thickening up or resonating the notes rather than focus on 'pushing up' to them. Beyond that, I never took curbing comfortably with that kind of 'thickness' into the 3rd octave. I always thinned out into kind of a power falsetto for much of the 3rd octave. It may not be a 'final' goal, but it could work in the meantime.

Yeah I've tried some descending scales and found some success, but then when it comes to application it just goes AWOL. Just had a play with wah and I like it :D

If you have problems following any purchased vocal program solely by yourself, then you need to contact a good vocal coach to help you with those exercises, f.ex. via Skype.

Was thinking of doing some with Rob, but I have this doubt in my mind that it is more aimed to rock rather than the R&B sound I want to go for. I duno, I have a singing teacher and we go through songs and he tells me to soften up but it's just hard. I can only see him like 2 times a week because of work so I try to focus working at home on my own unfortunately.

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sound prefrences and vocaltechnique is in my mind completly diffrent. I mean how many rocksingers are there with a classical technique despite them singing rock?

technique and singing doesnt come for free, it takes time... Ive been where you are at, feels like your banging your head against a wall and nothing happens, get a good vocalcoach youll never regret it.

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If you can lip bubble it, you can sing it. Try lip bubbling up to the note you want to sing, then slowly open up into the note. Might take a few times to get it, but it may work. Once you feel the sensations in your vocal tract a few times it may make it easier to just hit the note . Also doing some swells or transcending tones out of a lip bubble may help also

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i have a sugestion you may be surprised to hear. take a one week break from your workouts. stop all "physical singing" for a few days..

after the few days rest, try to focus (or during your rest) on "mental singing." sing your exercises "mentally" deeply visualizing the areas where you need to get better. feel them getting you where you need to go.

and when i say take a break, i mean stop all singing for one week. sometimes when you work too hard you inadvertently cause the folds to thicken and lose elasticity which will compound your frustration. the rest period will help.

i would also recommend voice lessons to get you to understand what might be holding you back.

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heres a very brief version of my understanding of the vocal apparatus. When you start getting too high or too low, it becomes hard to keep your vocal chords together, for several reasons. One reason is that people breath out too much air and blow the chords apart. This is what causes a falsetto sound and where you lose the "full chest/head voice" sound. People try, incorrectly, to keep the airflow back with neck muscles, instead of using the stomach muscles, compounding the problem

Using stomach muscles means holding back your breath while singing; not expelling air forcefully, but the opposite. If you hold back your breath and let it out slowly and evenly, you'll probably notice that your stomach muscles are being activated to control that, to hold back the breath. Make sure youre not using neck muscles to control the outward breath. You want to learn to get good at that so that your stomach muscle resistance keeps your outward breath controlled and soft enough to not blow the vocal chords apart with too much air, and so that the neck muscles dont start trying to resist the too strong air force. When you get to tricky, high notes, you can physically press your abdomen muscles downwards towards your crotch to resist the airflow, to hold and control your breath, that otherwise might blow your chords apart.

Im an amateur, just my 2 cents

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Still can't get support down. Sick of reading threads about support that simply don't explain anything.

Hi, D.Starr. I'll be happy to write extensively on this, but it will help if you let me know what about support would you like to have explained, and what kind of language do you prefer for the explanation.

Its quite possible that your personal blend of the three main learning styles (seeing, hearing, doing) favors the hearing and doing styles, which are quite challenging to satisfy in solely a written form. For all of us, when the learning incorporates materials that uses all three main styles, then the learning is more complete and memorable.

So, if you also know your personal learning style (self-assessment at http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm ) that would help, but don't wait to do all that before you write back on my first question. We can get started with that.

Looking forward to your reply.

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If the relationship with your vocal coach just isn't working, then you need to contact a new one.

I get on fine with him. He's the only teacher Ive had who focuses on breathing exercises, doing hissing etc. I can hiss for 45seconds. I've done more with him than all of my teachers put together.

heres a very brief version of my understanding of the vocal apparatus. When you start getting too high or too low, it becomes hard to keep your vocal chords together, for several reasons. One reason is that people breath out too much air and blow the chords apart. This is what causes a falsetto sound and where you lose the "full chest/head voice" sound. People try, incorrectly, to keep the airflow back with neck muscles, instead of using the stomach muscles, compounding the problem

Using stomach muscles means holding back your breath while singing; not expelling air forcefully, but the opposite. If you hold back your breath and let it out slowly and evenly, you'll probably notice that your stomach muscles are being activated to control that, to hold back the breath. Make sure youre not using neck muscles to control the outward breath. You want to learn to get good at that so that your stomach muscle resistance keeps your outward breath controlled and soft enough to not blow the vocal chords apart with too much air, and so that the neck muscles dont start trying to resist the too strong air force. When you get to tricky, high notes, you can physically press your abdomen muscles downwards towards your crotch to resist the airflow, to hold and control your breath, that otherwise might blow your chords apart.

Im an amateur, just my 2 cents

Ya see I've seen that my stomach does tense slightly when exhaling and shouting etc. I've heard several things against using the stomach to meter air and I've left it alone. I watch singers singing live at concerts and I don't see their stomach tensing. I also heard of the apoggio technique of the elevated chest etc and just can't seem to get any down.

Hi, D.Starr. I'll be happy to write extensively on this, but it will help if you let me know what about support would you like to have explained, and what kind of language do you prefer for the explanation.

Its quite possible that your personal blend of the three main learning styles (seeing, hearing, doing) favors the hearing and doing styles, which are quite challenging to satisfy in solely a written form. For all of us, when the learning incorporates materials that uses all three main styles, then the learning is more complete and memorable.

So, if you also know your personal learning style (self-assessment at http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm ) that would help, but don't wait to do all that before you write back on my first question. We can get started with that.

Looking forward to your reply.

I don't mind reading information, I just find when I see a block of text I just skim it and don't fully take it all in. That's why I prefer to learn to sing with instructional videos and tracks to sing along to. Weird as I used to read regularly. Getting lazy. Oh I did the form and it asked me to pay so I print screened my inputs and uploaded it for you to view. http://www.box.com/s/9737tnftmfrhxul6xd9i

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Oh sorry didn't see that part.

How to activate support. I've read so many articles they all conflict each other. I've tried inhaling and exhaling through a straw which did and didn't help.

In what terms of language do you mean?

D.Starr: No worries. By terms of language, I mean...

do you prefer exercises rather than theory, the other way around, or a balance of them?

do you like detailed explanations of why a certain action has a particular effect?

do you like explanations of what makes support work, why its important, and how to do it?

Stuff like that, or any other preference about the approach you'd like taken that suits you.

I hope this helps.

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D.Starr: No worries. By terms of language, I mean...

do you prefer exercises rather than theory, the other way around, or a balance of them?

do you like detailed explanations of why a certain action has a particular effect?

do you like explanations of what makes support work, why its important, and how to do it?

Stuff like that, or any other preference about the approach you'd like taken that suits you.

I hope this helps.

I prefer a balance of the two, and yes to the last two.

Thank you very much

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I prefer a balance of the two, and yes to the last two.

D.Starr: Ok, here we go.

Simply described, 'Support' is the supply of the right amount of exhalation to match the level of flex of the laryngeal muscles that cause adduction and the pitch control. Just before you onset a vocal tone, the laryngeal muscles adduct, and adjust the vocal bands to produce the note you are desiring to make. This happens in the 1/5 of a second (or so) right before you start to sing.

The amount of exhalation force (how hard you are pushing air out of your lungs) must be matched with the laryngeal muscle adjustment. The adduction must be complete, and the exhalation must match, for the tone to be strain-free, and powerful.

So, for the voice to have 'good support', there are two components to the equation: 1) the laryngeal muscle adjustment, including complete adduction (and locking of the posterior glottal gap, and 2) an exhalation that supplies enough, but not too much exhalation energy.

Those are the basic ideas. Next comes how to accomplish them.

How are we doing so far?

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Awesome, yes I understand so far.

D.Starr: Extending the concept, the work to be done with support is to bring the two actions (laryngeal and exhalation) into a coordination where they are both doing their part well, and at a level that is suitable for the action of the other. If one of them is doing too little, for example, if the adduction is not complete, then exercises are used which encourage glottal closure. If that same thing, in this case, adduction, is doing too much, then exercises are used which will reduce it.

Similarly, a singer can supply too much or too little exhalation force.

The final aspect of the coordination of these elements is their timing. Ideally, the supply of breath and the adduction are timed so that they occur at the same time. If the breath begins before the adduction is complete, then the onset (the beginning of the phonation) will sound breathy. If the breath begins late, then the glottis will fully close and then be 'popped open', in what is called a 'glottal' onset.

Its at this point that an assessment needs to be made of the sufficiency of the adduction, to determine if the glottis can close completely. There are several exercises that can be used, and my favorite is this one, which I recommend to you to use for the assessment. It takes only a couple minutes to perform:

On a recliner, chaise lounge, couch, bed or floor, get as horizontal as you can laying on your side, with your head supported with a pillow. From that position, do the following:

1) exhale normally, but as completely as you can

2) without inhaling, cough very, very softy 2 times, about 1 time per second.

3) inhale normally

What we want to know is what the cough sounded like. If it began with a soft 'pop', with no air escaping before the pop, then the adduction prior to it was complete. If it did not pop, but began with breath sound, then the adduction prior to it was incomplete.

If the adduction was complete, then the assessment is too, and you are ready to go on to the next exercise. If there was no pop, repeat the entire exercise a few times.

What was your result? Did you get to the point where you could hear the soft 'pop'?

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At first the cough didn't POP, it was more breath.

After a few times I got it to kinda of POP.

D.Starr: Ok, cool. Congrats!

Here is the next exercise, a refinement of what you just did, on the other end of the breath cycle, at the end of the inhale. The goals of this exercise is to extend your ability to control adduction to the point of glottal closure, to increase your awareness of the sensations involved, and to manage the extra energy levels available after an inhalation.

In the same position, take a medium (1/2 or so) breath, stop inhaling for a moment, leaving the throat in the posture of inhalation, and do a couple coughs like you did, with the same gentle pop sound as the goal. Exhale. Repeat this, and each time you repeat, make the cough progressively softer. Remember, it should begin with the gentle pop that indicates full adduction (glottal closure). Continue with the progressively softer coughs until they sound more like small clicks.

With just a few minutes practice, you will likely get to the point where you can do this pretty much whenever you want to.

With this very low level of intensity, you have improved your ability to adduct to the extent you choose, and are becoming more familiar with the sensations of glottal closure and the slight air pressure in the lungs right before the pop.

Let me know how this goes. When you are ready, I can provide the next exercise.

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Its cool the way everyone is jumping in to help Starr...

Honestly, I see this every day as you can imagine...

Anyone who has advised you to find a GOOD voice coach and get private lessons is spot on... but the trick is, finding a GOOD coach... and sadly, that is really hard. Where do you live? If you are in Germany, Italy or France, I can recommend you to one of my Certified Instructors... however, since you are a Pillars client, I feel it my sworn duty as a voice coach to try to help you.

Starr... I know if you get in front of me for 1 hour and then you PRACTICE, there is a good chance you can get past this and move forward. I want you to invest in 1 $80 internet lesson with me and give me a chance to reach out through the web cam screen and help you!? These guys are right, you need a coach at this point, so why not let me try to help you? Go to my store, purchase some internet lessons and lets just get under the hood and find out what the problem really is and get it straightened out! You are getting in your own way , by trying to get past this by yourself at this point. What is the definition of maddness? Well, some people say, its continuing to do the same thing over and over again that is not getting the desired result.

If you finally got past this hump and had a real genuine break through, and your anxiety went away about this... and you learned how to train on one of the programs you already spent money on... would that be worth $80? HELL YA, It would... :mad:

This is 10% about the $80 and 90% about wanting to help you because we all keep seeing you come onto this forum struggling... and we all want you to "get it" and win... now damnit... give me, your coach, the guy that wrote that book you purchased, a chance to help you properly... :mad:

Footnote:

Its amazing how some students don't understand the value of private lessons... you know what Starr, this stuff is HARD!! DAMN HARD... and for some people, its even more DAMN HARD then others... but I will tell you, 9 out of 10 people can learn to do this, they really can. You just need someone to guide you and tell you what to do and expect you to get it done before the next lesson... I suspect a little bit of tough love would do you well... now stop looking for the magic answer on this forum, and get in front of me and lets start marching down the path together...

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and BTW... "Failure" is not in the TVS talk track or vocabulary and thats why I'm getting pissy about this... because ain't no student that has purchased my product is going to be allowed to "fail" without me first jumping in and doing an intervention and kicking their butt first... !

;)

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and BTW... "Failure" is not in the TVS talk track or vocabulary and thats why I'm getting pissy about this... because ain't no student that has purchased my product is going to be allowed to "fail" without me first jumping in and doing an intervention and kicking their butt first... !

;)

Haha it's just really upsetting that I'm at this point in the road when I feel I should be doing 100mph down the motorway.

I live in the UK, I don't think there are any TVS coaches here.

Yeah I've got some money so I'll try and book a lesson, it's just worrying about the time difference and because I work in retail, it's been long hours at work :(.

Steven Fraser is helping me to get this adduction, breathing, support issue down. I'm very grateful.

Just checked your TVS store and it's $100 for the internet lessons?

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