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"drying-out" after 5 minutes of quacks/head-sounds

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rfcorange
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So, I'm still trying to figure out this enigmatic head voice thing. I'm mainly practicing quacks and then MEHs/NYETs (like Rob says in Four Pillars). I generally start with a G4 with quack, and then try to move down (F#4, F4, E4, D#4).

I usually find that my voice starts getting dried out and windy/breathy after around 5-10 minutes.

Is this normal for beginners, because of my "poor technique"? Lol!

By the way, Ive been playing around with these exercises for maybe just under a month.

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Hey..

Honestly, till you post a clip, it's gonna be hard to determine if something is off..

However, one thing to keep in mind is that the voice needs a mad amount of hydration through the day, and even while working out.

Keep drinking room temperature water, and steam your voice every now and then, will prevent dryness. When you think you've drunk enough for the day, have some more!!!

Note - this doesn't apply to juices / coffee / tea etc.. just water!

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thanks bigfoot, i just bought a nice new webcam i might record with soon.

and yeah ive been trying to drink a lot more water these days, but its hard cos i have a weak bladder and it ends up making me go to the toilet every 30 minutes or so (or more!) any advice to counter this? lol

cheers!

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You can buy some lemon drops and use them very often. I would say also during day time a lots of herbs tea.. (you can put it a little sugar or non). You can make yourself some other hot drinks like hot milk/water with honey.

I found that drinking water (more than usual) is not what helps to keep the vocal chords moist. But yes, You should to think on a way to work on voice technique in order to see some improvement in your voice and singing.

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im kind of confused about this, cos a lot of people seem to say drink more tea with a bit of lemon, but others say just drink water... :(

anyway, did anyone experience not being able to sing in head voice after a few minutes of using it when they were a beginner? and then gradually build up "endurance" or somehow be able to maintain a head voice sound for longer as they progressed?

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if we could hear you, we'd be able to tell if you are losing adduction (vocal fold closure) after working the voice for a while.

it may be that the voice has simply gotten tired and what can happen is you allow too much air to pass through the vocal folds....they aren't closing as well and the air passing through is like when you whistle and you start feeling your lips get dry..unfortunately you can't lick your vocal folds and remoisten them or pour water over them...lol!!!

send over a sample.

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I find that I get dried out if I am trying too hard. I would guess it may have something to do with heightened nerves(?). But I'm no scientist. But when you try really hard at anything you tend to get a little tense. When this happens in singing (for me) I tend to dry out quicker. Add that to the possibility that you may be passing more air than you should and...

Just my 2 cents:)

Tommy

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ok guys! i finally got around to recording a sample of my shitty head voice:

this is just a "normal" quack:

quack1.wma - 0.21MB

this is me *trying* to lower my larynx while doing it to *try* get that "chestier" sound:

http://www.zshare.net/download/991270484fe5559c/

so am i on the right track? can anyone tell me whats wrong? thanks!

by the way, its the first time i used zshare, sorry if its not the best site for uploading these kinds of things, anyone know any better sites?

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Wow really? Thanks for the supportive feedback! Means a lot :)

Anyway, can u elaborate on what you mean by adding support? I mean i think i understand - that i dont really try to use a lot of diaphragm/deep breathing, but thats because i always thought head voice was so effortless(in terms of support) that i wouldnt need to use a lot of breath? Wouldnt using more support kind of be like producing tbe same effect, but with unnecessary effort? Or am i just completely wrong?

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head voice DEFINITELY needs lots of support! :) don't be fooled by anyone who says otherwise.. However, what is not required is unnecessary strain.. two different things..

run a search on this forum for 'support techniques' or breathing exercises.. there are tons of threads on the same..

cheers

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First thing that comes to my mind is, if your my client, why did you not send me an email and ask me to help you? Sure, these guys on TMV Forum can help you, but why would you not come directly to me? Second thing this, lose this "ZShare", it wants us to download a client to our computer and I'm not going to do that. Please use www.box.net, its what most people use and it is much better.

Please upload an audio file to box.net and paste the link here. Without hearing you, my gut tells me that your probably compressing fine, but not following through with your intrinsic anchoring. Also, if your quacking too hard and too long, your voice may dry out.

In any case, we need to hear you on box.net and if you really want to get serious gains, take some internet lessons with me and lets get this moving forward. Are you working on your onsets and sirens? If you are not, your just spinning your wheels and quacking like a duck. You need to get to building your foundation.

How long have you had "Pillars"?

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First thing that comes to my mind is, if your my client, why did you not send me an email and ask me to help you? Sure, these guys on TMV Forum can help you, but why would you not come directly to me? Second thing this, lose this "ZShare", it wants us to download a client to our computer and I'm not going to do that. Please use www.box.net, its what most people use and it is much better.

Please upload an audio file to box.net and paste the link here. Without hearing you, my gut tells me that your probably compressing fine, but not following through with your intrinsic anchoring. Also, if your quacking too hard and too long, your voice may dry out.

In any case, we need to hear you on box.net and if you really want to get serious gains, take some internet lessons with me and lets get this moving forward. Are you working on your onsets and sirens? If you are not, your just spinning your wheels and quacking like a duck. You need to get to building your foundation.

How long have you had "Pillars"?

Hey rob, I was just going to send u a link to this thread through skype and see if you could check it out for me, lol!

Sorry about not coming to you first though, I know you're a pretty busy guy so i didn't want to keep bothering you :P

Yeah I'm working on onsets and sirens, but at the same time i cant do them all of the time after exercising a while because then i get a bit dry or breathy or tired ... i dont really know what the problem is.

I got pillars about a month ago but I didnt practice for a week while i was away on holiday, so I'm trying to go back to quacking again to refresh my foundation

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OK! i got the box.net upload working!

normal quacking:

http://www.box.com/s/1xhrbfjs49x952q3pycs

lowerlarynx/anchoring:

http://www.box.com/s/4740hdqu161usr60maby

how did i go ? :)

Gary, I listened to this. Good work.

The first "normal" version:

1. I don't want you to just "quack" in the random void of nothingness. You need to be giving yourself a cue or a pitch with a keyboard or a pitch pipe and start quacking on "real" notes. Also, in your copy of The Four Pillars of Singing 2.0, (you should be getting today), there is a video tutorial, audio lecture, video lecture and explanation in the book on how to practice this. It is three quacks and then hold the IPA ae for a 5 second count. ("quack", "quack", "quack", "quaaaaaaaaaaaaack"). Then change to "quake" as in earthquake and compress three times and on the fourth compression, hold the "Eh" vowel.

2. There is not enough compression, I hear air blowing through the glottis. Not enough muscle, its too weak.

Compression with intrinsic anchoring:

1. Up to 0:05 seconds, it really was decent, had potential. You needed to dampen the larynx even more, but it was close. Then you modulated and went down and your glottis started to blow open and we began to hear wind, then you modulated down a third time and we heard even more wind. You have to maintain the compression and sing "through" it and you have to pay attention to the glottis not opening. You thought you were compressing the third time the same amount as the first didn't you? But you didn't. It progressively got more windy with each "chop". You are going to have to learn to listen for the wind and remove it.

However, a good effort and I can hear that, at least on the first one, you were starting to get some anchoring to work for you.

Hope this helps...

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Gary, I listened to this. Good work.

The first "normal" version:

1. I don't want you to just "quack" in the random void of nothingness. You need to be giving yourself a cue or a pitch with a keyboard or a pitch pipe and start quacking on "real" notes. Also, in your copy of The Four Pillars of Singing 2.0, (you should be getting today), there is a video tutorial, audio lecture, video lecture and explanation in the book on how to practice this. It is three quacks and then hold the IPA ae for a 5 second count. ("quack", "quack", "quack", "quaaaaaaaaaaaaack"). Then change to "quake" as in earthquake and compress three times and on the fourth compression, hold the "Eh" vowel.

2. There is not enough compression, I hear air blowing through the glottis. Not enough muscle, its too weak.

Compression with intrinsic anchoring:

1. Up to 0:05 seconds, it really was decent, had potential. You needed to dampen the larynx even more, but it was close. Then you modulated and went down and your glottis started to blow open and we began to hear wind, then you modulated down a third time and we heard even more wind. You have to maintain the compression and sing "through" it and you have to pay attention to the glottis not opening. You thought you were compressing the third time the same amount as the first didn't you? But you didn't. It progressively got more windy with each "chop". You are going to have to learn to listen for the wind and remove it.

However, a good effort and I can hear that, at least on the first one, you were starting to get some anchoring to work for you.

Hope this helps...

Thanks Rob, the feedback definitely helps a lot :)

So should I keep trying to do what I'm doing now to "strengthen" my muscles to get that compression?

I know what you mean when you say there is more wind as I go down, it's definitely a problem for me. Is it normal that the lower head notes are harder at first? I'm trying to work my way down gradually to be able to get the same amount of compression in the rest of the notes as I have in the higher ones.

And dont worry, I'm using a keyboard app on my iphone when I do my vocalises. I usually start from a G4 and try to work my way down, trying to maintain that compression as I go lower and lower.

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looks like your getting some great advice on this already but thought i'd through in some more for you.

Be careful with the whole support thing that your not pushing up from your diaphragm. Think of breathing WITH your diaphragm as opposed to FROM your diaphragm. Something that helped me when bridging and using my head voice is to start lightly and feel the resonance (vibrations). It's best to start with a lighter sound then a heavier sound to get the right tone. It's about placement and resonance and exercising the muscle groups that control the vocal folds. Imagine singing from the neck up. So imagine the sound originates at the back of the top of your neck, the back wall of your throat directly inside your mouth (and imagine the throat open) and is travelling straight to the front of your face (mask). It's a lot harder to feel things in your mask when your blasting the air up from your stomach. Thinking of it in this way will help because if you visualise the sound coming up from your stomach you will feel the diaphragm pushing in and tensing to reach higher notes. So you will no longer be trying to go after high notes with the sheer brute strength of your stomach muscles.

For an exercise, try moving from the vowel oooh to ah on one pitch. Make the oooh 'light' and open out to the ah with more power, feeling for the resonance in your face and remembering to think of the note travelling from the back of your head to the front of your face

You possibly know all this already, in which case keep up the good work!!!

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Thanks Rob, the feedback definitely helps a lot :)

So should I keep trying to do what I'm doing now to "strengthen" my muscles to get that compression?

I know what you mean when you say there is more wind as I go down, it's definitely a problem for me. Is it normal that the lower head notes are harder at first? I'm trying to work my way down gradually to be able to get the same amount of compression in the rest of the notes as I have in the higher ones.

And dont worry, I'm using a keyboard app on my iphone when I do my vocalises. I usually start from a G4 and try to work my way down, trying to maintain that compression as I go lower and lower.

- yes you should keep practicing.

- YES, for everyone... as we go down in pitch, the intrinsic anchoring set unravels. Since vocal twang is part of the IA set, the compression relaxes... it is common for all beginners and this is one of the hurdles you have to overcome as beginner.

- If your using a keyboard and a proper cue, you need listen to the pitches better. You need to be going up or down chromatically and matching those notes. Your samples were not chromatic nor did it sound like you knew where you were going. It sounded like just random notes. This is fine if your in the shower, on a camping trip or what ever... but anytime you can put a pocket tone in your pocket or be near a keyboard, make sure you are practicing "real" notes. You say you have a keyboard, but I'm not convinced you were actually using it properly.

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Thanks for your help Gina. Gary, my impression is, she is essentially coaching you to get into what we call at TVS a "top-down" phonation posture. Masking, feeling resonance, taming the instinct to shout & push and replacing it with heady onsets... these are all "top-down" phonation principles you will read about in your new copy of The Four Pillars of Singing 2.0.

I wouldn't worry too much about what is happening with the stomach. The stomach has nothing to do with respiration, it is part of the digestive system.

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looks like your getting some great advice on this already but thought i'd through in some more for you.

Be careful with the whole support thing that your not pushing up from your diaphragm. Think of breathing WITH your diaphragm as opposed to FROM your diaphragm. Something that helped me when bridging and using my head voice is to start lightly and feel the resonance (vibrations). It's best to start with a lighter sound then a heavier sound to get the right tone. It's about placement and resonance and exercising the muscle groups that control the vocal folds. Imagine singing from the neck up. So imagine the sound originates at the back of the top of your neck, the back wall of your throat directly inside your mouth (and imagine the throat open) and is travelling straight to the front of your face (mask). It's a lot harder to feel things in your mask when your blasting the air up from your stomach. Thinking of it in this way will help because if you visualise the sound coming up from your stomach you will feel the diaphragm pushing in and tensing to reach higher notes. So you will no longer be trying to go after high notes with the sheer brute strength of your stomach muscles.

For an exercise, try moving from the vowel oooh to ah on one pitch. Make the oooh 'light' and open out to the ah with more power, feeling for the resonance in your face and remembering to think of the note travelling from the back of your head to the front of your face

You possibly know all this already, in which case keep up the good work!!!

thanks Gina, more helpful input from anyone is always appreciated :) ill keep that in mind. I am trying to focus on getting the resonance right first before I add more support

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If your new to twang and headvoice it can he abit tough for the voice in start. Limit the practice so you dont do 5 mins in à row. Instead keep it at two minutes and spread it out during the day so you do some 2 min short twang sessions with rest inbetween.

This helped me alot.

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If your new to twang and headvoice it can he abit tough for the voice in start. Limit the practice so you dont do 5 mins in à row. Instead keep it at two minutes and spread it out during the day so you do some 2 min short twang sessions with rest inbetween.

This helped me alot.

Thanks Jens, this sounds exactly Like something I should do in order to improve most productively without hurting my voice. :)

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