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air flow troubles...

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Jason Dupree
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ok, so i need some advice...

generally speaking, ive got air support/ pressure down and can control it pretty well. but whenever i'm in a situation that i'm not as comfortable as i usually am when i practice, i suddenly lose the ability to sing high/ through my passaggio, and ive realized that it is because my throat starts trying to control the airflow instead of the supporting muscles in the abdomen. once i realized that, i tried to make my throat stop contracting. that didnt work because the proper support isnt there, and my throat just works harder. In practice, im able to switch between my throat controlling the contractions, and my supporting muscles when i want. the thing is for some reason i just cant get the right muscles to control the airflow whenever im singing out of my comfort zone. i should mention that my practice area is my car... Maybe if i practiced standing up once in a while it would help, but i think it might be a psychological thing to get past. any tips?

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ok, so i need some advice...

generally speaking, ive got air support/ pressure down and can control it pretty well. but whenever i'm in a situation that i'm not as comfortable as i usually am when i practice, i suddenly lose the ability to sing high/ through my passaggio, and ive realized that it is because my throat starts trying to control the airflow instead of the supporting muscles in the abdomen. once i realized that, i tried to make my throat stop contracting. that didnt work because the proper support isnt there, and my throat just works harder. In practice, im able to switch between my throat controlling the contractions, and my supporting muscles when i want. the thing is for some reason i just cant get the right muscles to control the airflow whenever im singing out of my comfort zone. i should mention that my practice area is my car... Maybe if i practiced standing up once in a while it would help, but i think it might be a psychological thing to get past. any tips?

Jason Dupree: this situation, where your support breaks down based on circumstance, is pretty common. Don't feel alone in that. What to do is this: two things: 1) Spend some time every day in exercises that reinforce your support habits, to further ingrain them. 2) get out and sing more.. put yourself out there, but do it with the songs that are less risk for this happening.

I agree entirely that singing while standing is a good intermediate practice. Find an empty parking lot somewhere, put on a backing or exercise track, and go for it. Sing in a Mall. Sing in the lobby of an office building. Sing in the underground.... wherever is needed.

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Thank you Steven, it makes me feel a bit better that im not alone... i just had an imaginary slap on the forehead when i read the do exercises to reinforce support everyday. at first i thought ok ill do that, i do excercises every day, but im actually not sure what excercises target support specifically. My best guess is semi-occluded phonations like lip rolls, i know that works on the balance of pressure, does that have anything to do with support?

Yea, i gotta get out there more... im thinking too much about other people. Who cares if I annoy them with the weird noises i make as long as i can sing at the end of the day right?

(P.S. im getting the Four Pillars tomorrow and cant wait to start it!)

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may i offer a suggestion?

try some breathing exercises that have you holding your lower core expanded, and have your lower core pulsing.

act like a leaky tire that's losing air. take a deep low breath, don't constrict the throat, and let the air expel very gradually through pursed lips while keeping the ribs and back expanded. resist the contraction of the ribs and back as you lose air...strive for 30 plus seconds.

short, sharp, stacatto ha's are great. strive to increase the speed over time.

feel the pulsing in the lower core.

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As for the stage fright, here's the deal. You have been worrying that your voice will annoy others. That means your attention is focused on you, not the others. You are thinking about, in so many words, how you might fail. The hardest thing to do is to change your focus to your audience. Don't assume what they are thinking. Concentrate on them enjoying the song.

Also, a live performance is not about technical perfection. If people only wanted technical perfection, they wouldn't bother with the sound quality issues of live venues, they would just listen to recorded music. Live performance is about memories. That being said, yes, you will work on support items, pitch accuracy, etc.

But your stage fright problem is from worrying about what others think of YOU. Instead, think of how they will enjoy the song. Get your attention away from yourself.

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