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About 8 months ago when I started to want to take singing a bit more seriously, someone recommended Roger Love's book "Set Your Voice Free." As beginner it did give me some good information as well as a starting point and a bit more. I won't get into anymore because this isn't the point of this post...I know there are better books/methods out there; again, not the point. I've kind of outgrown that stuff anyway. There is now a lot of info (and "next step" stuff) missing from that, for me.

My point is that, at the time I was very excited about this middle voice thing. Ok, once again I don't wish to debate whether there is such a thing or comparing notes or whatever. Some speak of mixed voice and others dismiss such things, I understand. This is also "not the point." (OK Tommy....what is the point):D

Well, in his book he focuses a lot on speaking voice which at the time made sense to me. Not quite anymore. He seemed to suggest speaking in middle voice also. I thought it was a good idea but never fully owned this concept. I just don't speak that high. To me it is also loud. More recently, after more research and through that research, being led here, and thus more information, I don't think speaking this way is a good idea. I would rather speak softer, (without being breathy of course) and perhaps save my voice (?). Am I wrong?

Is there any general recommendations for speaking for the average person and especially for singers?

Thanks

Tommy

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tommy, when i went to the speech therapist she taught me this...

if you're a singer, lawyer, actor, teacher, it is not a good thing to speak loudly for any length of time....particularly if you have a bad habit which a lot of guys do of speaking lower in the throat.

people who do a lot of talking, are more vulverable to nodes and polyps.

i have to talk in my store over loud noise sometimes and it can be worse than singing improperly. i have learned to speak softer, and i place the voice higher, getting it out of the throat.

also, i lip bubble or hum through a straw whenever during the day to reseat, rebalance, and de-swell the folds.

there are plenty of helpful articles on vocal health in the forum from the teachers in the home page .

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I tend to speak low most of the time. I will now have to check and see if it is coming from low in my throat. I don't think it is but now that you mention it I will make note of how I speak and make any necessary adjustments. I really thought Roger's "middle voice" speaking was too high pitched for me. However, when speaking/teaching to a class I found it helpful as far as clarity and being understood. But for everyday speaking? Too bright for me.

I have always been worried about my everyday speech coming through in my singing because I have a heavy Bronx accent. I am conscious of it when I sing and try to pronounce words properly. The odd thing is, I have thought about attempting to correct my speech, but I guess I have "issues." :D I think my voice is part of who I am and my life experience. It is part of my natural defenses.

Ok, I'm getting off track now. This post is about speaking as it applies to singing and vocal technique as well as health. Not my mental problems :D :rolleyes:

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most of the time the accent in your voice (i've got the "Yonkers" accent) will disappear when you sing.

ever notice how the british accent goes away? also, if you shape your vowels well it will not be an issue.

i'm trying to think of that famous opera singer from queens?

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ever notice how the british accent goes away? also, if you shape your vowels well it will not be an issue.

I use to have this argument with my dad. He would say that British singers purposely sing with an American accent. I would say I thought it was how singing stretches out the vowels and creates that illusion... at least to us Americans. I still don't quite understand it.

Maybe some British speaking people could chime in?

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I have risks similar to Bob, in that I have to use my voice all day. To the point that I prefer client communications through email. Not only does it save the voice but I have a record of what information is passed. I keep every single email and it has saved my behind more than once. I am office and operations manager for an electrical contractor company. I am at the office by 6 am and rarely get out before 4 pm. And it's 55 miles (88.5 km, for Snejk) from door to door.

So, I try to go easy on my voice. For one thing, I can't get too loud because that makes a phone conversation sound obnoxious. So, I may be in danger of talking too softly. But my speaking voice is soft, anyway. In fact, I don't sound like I look.

So, sometimes, I will go out in the shop and sing something, just to calibrate in the other direction, so to speak. (There's a phone out there so that I can still get calls from clients and builders.)

I can do warm-ups and songs on the way home. Usually exercises. This is the best time for me to break habits that are wrong and get new ones going. Take a song and break it down and work one section. Or riff around in the 4th and 5th octave. What's scary? Ron, in the left hand lane, in 5th gear (I have a standard transmission,) singing "Taking My Time."

Yesterday, it was "Dream Warriors" by Dokken.

How else do I save my voice? Well, our offices are kind of around each other but rather than elevate volume and "project," I will get up and walk to whatever office and speak in normal tone and volume.

And I don't try to sound "manly" or low, or gravelly. Whatever my voice does, it does.

The human body, like any animal's body, is about efficiency. Singing and speaking should be easier, not tougher.

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And I don't try to sound "manly"

Yea good idea...don't want to confuse anyone right? :lol:

Sorry Ron, I just couldn't pass that up. Just kidding you know.

C'mon bro, you stepped right into that one. :D

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However when you sing in the head voice around G4 and up, the vowels have to open up and the sound becomes more "American." There is a kind of 'cred' thing in England where bands will intentionally stay using their regional closed vowels, but they rarely sing in the upper registers so they can get away with it.

Yea I never thought of it that way, makes perfect sense. I could definitely hear the Liverpool sound at times from the Beatles and other accents from different UK artists. It is still strange how it ends up sounding American in the higher range. There are so many accents over here and I didn't think we necessarily speak with more open vowels, but there it is.

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Yea good idea...don't want to confuse anyone right? :lol:

Sorry Ron, I just couldn't pass that up. Just kidding you know.

C'mon bro, you stepped right into that one. :D

I would be worried about you if you didn't grab the opportunity on that one. Well done. Methinks thou dost deserveth a point.

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i read so much since my polyp fun......also don't talk in a monotone voice. add some inflection into the voice.

i carry a straw with me wherever i go...talk a bunch, hit the straw....talk some more.......hit the straw....talk some more.............5 minutes of lip bubble sirens...

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Speaking pitch frequently has to do with power situations. I run several athletic games groups, and when speaking to this group, deliberately drop the pitch of my voice and make it louder.

Changing speaking style is more challenging than changing singing pitch range, because one has had a lifetime to develop speaking. Some languages are difficult to learn because of extreme difficultly to learn its sounds.

My opinion is not to change too much in style, but use different voices according to the situation.

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Is there any general recommendations for speaking for the average person and especially for singers?

Thanks

Tommy

Speak as you do normaly, if you use your voice, pay attention to how it behaves through the day. Drink water, lots of water. Do not try to tamper with it directly.

If you notice that there is degradation happening due to normal speaking and you can not control how much you use your voice, you WILL need a doctor and probably a speech therapist afterwards.

If your voice is normal and you just feel that it is not at the same quality at the end of the day because YOU are tired, its perfectly normal. This is not the same as becoming hoarse or having a sore throat.

In both situations, paying attention to the ammount of water you drink and adding a few exercises to relax your neck and shoulders on the morning before using your voice will help a lot. Will not fix problems, but will help.

Speaking higher is suicide. The reason why you speak on the pitch you are used to is exactly because its the most comfortable region for you.

ON STAGE and using technique, using higher placement, your voice will project much better at the middle of your tessitura, no doubt about that. But stage time is not the same as daily life, its considerably less when you compare. And even using technique, if you overdo it, you pay the price.

If you must use your voice A LOT, like being a school teatcher, working on the phone the whole day, talking to people constantly, etc... Its very advisable to learn basic warm-up and warm-down exercises to help protecting your larynx.

And the most important part: you must have quality of sleep. Meanning that you must sleep and then wake up well rested. How many hours you stay in bed does not matter. If you wake up already tired, your voice is tired too.

Acid reflux comes to my mind in this particular case, as it will cause severe problems to the vocal tract both directly and indirectly: the acid will not only swell the tissues, it will also disturb your sleep.

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Thanks Felipe ,

Lately I have been warming up when I wake. I also start on my water (room temp). I drink a pint in my first hour before leaving for work. If I drink too much before leaving I have to stop and pee too many times :D

I loosen my neck up and then I start gently humming. Then I might move into humming scales very lightly also. Then high low and sort of sirens but very gently and on and on for a few minutes still just humming. Then some easy and light/low vocal fry's. Then as the morning goes on as I'm getting ready for work I progress little by little with rests in between. Lip rolls etc.

Of course I work in the shower also only now I start to vocalize a little more. This all leads up to my vocal exercises when I get in the car for my 90 minute ride to work. 30-45 minutes of exercises then singing for the rest of the ride.

I don't have to talk much at work and sometimes go most of the day quiet. Sometimes I get involved in a conversation and end up talking more than I would care to but hey...I have to be friendly!:) I drink water throughout the day filling my bottle a few times. Each bottle = 3- 8 oz cups. I get enough sleep and I exercise a lot.

I was suffering from something last week and the week before that knocked the crap out of me. I think it was bad allergies. My throat was sore and i couldn't sing. It's gone and I can sing now but I have this kind of rasp or more of a phlegm sound on a certain note when I sing. Same spot everytime even doing exercises. It's annoying because when I want a clean sound it gets in the way. But singing blues or rack it is a great added touch! But hopefully it goes away soon.

Tommy

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I appreciate the advice but I don't suspect it's anything more than an extension of my allergy or cold or whatever I had. Maybe raspy was a bad term. My voice is fine normally (now that the cold is gone) but I still occasionally have to clear my throat and I'm spitting out the build up of fluids throughout the day. Phlegm, mucus whichever it is when your sick. So when I sang while I was sick, well, I was having trouble doing that. Now I am almost 100% it's just that last bit of liquid that I'm still spitting throughout the day. Now when I sing all is just about fine. All but that certain point where it seems that bit of fluid builds and I get a crack. Like a little phlegm sound like I have to clear my throat. Once I pass that note it's gone.

Tommy

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Felipe is so right about plenty of rest. I get my sleep while I am driving, like everyone else.

:rolleyes:

lol :D

@Tommy

Having a conversation is normal, feeling sore after allergies or a cold is normal too (the larynx affected after all).

I would not worry. From what I heard of your singing, you have a very good posture that comes naturaly... Unless you really mess with your voice when you speak, I dont think it should be a concern.

If you start policing yourself to hold back your voice when speaking with others, you can do more harm than good (actually you can only do harm). Unless people complain when you are talking to them, nothing should be corrected. Now, if they complain you are mumbling or you are too loud, then it surely could be better, even if you are not hurting yourself for now.

There is a difference between talking and sometimes laughing loud, or stating something that sounds stronger AND that kind of total open and forward spoken voice that sometimes you hear on school teachers, that kind that sounds like a witch casting the ultimate doom spell, an ear bleeding piercing voice.

You will not damage your voice from scolding your dog, but you will damage your voice if you normaly talk to others as if you are scolding them :P.

Hard to say what you are talking about with that description of "rasp". If you feel like it, send a sample and I will try to understand what you are doing.

BTW: 90 minutes of intense vocal production daily while sitting and driving a car could very well be the cause of the problem you had before and still are feeling the consequences now.

Anyways, take care, and please remember that this is not a workout for strenght, the larynx structure is not able to gain much muscular mass. This is about developing coordination, precision and perception. To a certain point, using time to workout support muscles and even some exercises on open chest vowels will help develop the strenght you need (and yes, all the muscles involved will need to gain tonus and strenght).

But the core of the trainning is to use time to place your attention on what and how you are doing against what and how you SHOULD be doing.

The flow of a voiced exercise MUST be:

Execution -> Perception -> Comparision -> Positive/Negative Feedback

Only when perception matches the comparision repeating it will do any good, and only as long as you keep attention to not let go of the postures.

On some exercises I find it hard even to pay attention to everything and still notice how my posture is in a mirror, I cant imagine how someone could do exercises while doing anything else, specially something like driving. A simple passagio exercise would result in a major disaster :P.

Anyways, I think this covers most of it. To say anything more, the sample could help. GL!

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Anyways, I think this covers most of it. To say anything more, the sample could help. GL!

Here is a sample. I sang this with no music so you can hear my voice a little better. Before making this I was practicing a little and it was happening a lot. Sure enough, as is always the case, when I recorded this id didn't happen. It happened very slight. :/ Just like being sick for days or having a problem but when you get to the doctor it's gone!

Here is the clip anyway. Maybe you can hear it a little at around 40 the word clear. Usually it's happening on Clear, see, mind, find and words like that. In other songs it may be the open a sounds, like aa.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE9zcv2wA58&feature=youtu.be

EDIT:

Ok, I tried again but this time just edited the video to show the spot. Listen to the word "Clear"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThqV92wfxtY

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it never hurts to get an annual scope...just like a race driver gets an annual eye test.

i know raspiness in speech in particular is not normal. having had the polyp i guess i'm being super vigilant.

reflux can be so "symptomless."

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Well here's my assessment. A couple of days ago I had that "sound" in my voice and as much as I tried I couldn't get rid of it. It didn't wear off as the day went on either.

Felipe Mentioned giving a sample so a day later I did. When I woke in the morning it was the same as the day before. I tried to sing a few things after warming up and I was still having the problem. By the time I made the video sample it was a whole lot less; almost gone. Then it came back as in example 2.

Later on it was less and then it was pretty much gone. Tomorrow I suspect it will be bad in the morning and then lessen throughout the day. I think in a few days it will probably be gone. A couple of days ago I was trying to make it go away. Today it seems I am trying to get it back to give a sample. That, to me, is the problem reversing itself.

Allergies, a cold, whatever. It left me with a reminder :)

I think all is well. Super stardom can't be far behind! :D

You know, I have to look back and see what this thread was about. I'm sure it wasn't about this :/

Tommy

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Thanks for taking the time to post that Felipe. It's late as I'm reading this and i have to get to bed soon...work tomorrow :mad: I will look at those files/links you provided tomorrow at work. Oops, don't let my boss read that :D Yea luckily I have a lot of down time at work Most of my online time and TV time is done at work.

Anyway thanks again. I'll view and study all this tomorrow.

Tommy

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