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Nasal Resonance

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MB20
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May seem a bit of a stupid question, but I've read a few different things and confused myself a bit!

Is nasal resonance a good thing? i.e. to improve tone, do you need to split the resonance between the mouth and nasal cavities? (I know there are other resonators, but just for the ease of the question). If so, how do you achieve this? Is it though manipulation of the soft palette?

:/

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Nasality is a divisive thing and for me it depends on the singer.

This for me is unbearable nasality:

This here is one of my favorite sounds of all time which is also very nasal:

There is also country nasality which involves twang (not a fan this myself)

And stuffy nasality (like someone has a cold, I like this sound):

The process of controlling it is very hard to explain. It involves balancing resonators, adjusting the soft palate/tongue position to either close up or open up the nasal port. Imagining projecting your sound up and out into the 'mask' would help create more nasal resonance too. I would like an anatomical explanation too. As a singer I could control it some subconsciously, but couldn't explain it properly and still have a haphazard understanding.

Keep in mind, all of the above sounds have sold millions of albums, so it is mostly just artistic preference, and you'd have to make a decision as an artist what you would want to do.

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MB20 you asked a very good question. I too have been wondering what "split of the resonance above and below soft pallet" means. That's the main thing about mixed voice, at least how they teach it in SLS. I have a feeling that it's not the same thing as just being nasal. I mean if you can sing in the mix without being nasal, then it's not about nasality. Or maybe nasality can be part of it or help getting into the mix, but it's not essential?

What is the truth about this?

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@VIDEOHERE: That was quite an interesting read. I can relate to some of the points as well. I hear a lot of nasality in my voice, which i can attribute to pushing and tension. I have actually just bought the book you recommended in another thread "Resonance in Singing and Speaking", which has opened up a fresh can of worms for me(!), as I've never really explored resonance in detail before.

@KillerKu: I see what you mean. What I was getting at was more "Do you need nasal resonance to achieve a good tone", as I have have lots of it, but it sounds horrible!

@Opaa Yea, that kind of nasal, forward place sound in order to achieve mix. I think I have that problem where I just end up being nasal instead of resonating correctly in that area.

To me it feel like when I keep my soft palette low, it blocks off the nasal passages, which makes the sound nasal. If I raise the palette, it seems to open up the sound, but it doesn't feel nasal. Maybe this is the difference between good nasal resonance and forcing a nasal sound?

Also, when I say my sound is nasal, I don't mean like Killer's aforementioned examples (puddle of mud, greenday), but it's like I'm singing with a constant cold. I'm actually getting my adenoids removed soon, which I think may help alleviate this problem.

...After writing that, the word nasal has lost all meaning to me! haha

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Nasal resonance is not the same thing as singing through the nose. You have to have resonance in the sinus and maxillary cavities to have spaces small enough to resonate higher notes. A truly "nasal" sound is the voice that Sylverster Stallone used in "Rocky," where he essentially talked with his soft palate closing off the nasal resonance.

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MB20 - If when you sing you feel pressure around your nose that means you are singing a bit under pitch. Some would call it that the position of your singing is (too?) low. When we think "high" and try to open our throat by thinking of yawning, using also a surprised expression on our face that will help you open those spaces to use more than the space in your nose. Of course that you need to learn how to support your singing with the lower part of your body. Anyway on the long run I think that singing "nasals" can also harm your voice. Anther thing: some people when they sing don't pronounce well vocals. this is why sometimes they get into the nose. You need to check what is that you do exactly ....

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Dante, it's funny you should mention Caruso. I have both his book and that of his friend and medical advisor, Marafiotta. Neither one mentioned that he sung with closed off passages or x-rays taken that showed that effect.

Why can't we get singers to be honest?

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What i feel when i sing is that along with most likely not manipulating my palette correctly; I am holding my breath in my nose if that makes sense! when I sing and actually think about this I can stop doing it, but it seems to be a habit that translates into my singing. As I Mentioned before, I have trouble with my sinuses and what not. I'm quite excited to have my adenoids taken out though!. Because they're enlarged, removing them will mean more space inside my head to play around with :P

Another quick question.. should you let air escape through the nose when singing?

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Very quick roughly recorded clip. It's not as obvious as it can be, as it usually happens on higher notes but I can't really sing too loud in my flat atmo!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25229848/nasal.mp3

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Okay, Dante, I get your meaning, now. When I had read that, I thought he was merely trying to avoid sounding like he was singing through his nose, rather than trying to stop using sinuses for resonance.

MB, I get your meaning, too, and kind of identify with that. Yes, it is a feeling of suspension, as it were, which is a good thing. Nothing in the throat, ever, amen.

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