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Head Voice

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NCdan
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Lately I've been working on there not being a big difference in tone between my head voice and chest voice. I'm sure we can all think of vocalists who can sing deathly high and sound like they are still singing in chest, or at least it doesn't sound like a small, nasally head voice (when compared to chest voice.) So my question is, how do you get a deep, full, resonant head voice?

My experimenting so far has led me to: 1. pull back (as opposed to pushing harder and harder in a healthy way as you approach your break,) 2. taking a lot of twang out, and 3. lower the larynx. I'm mostly concerned about lowering the larynx. Is this a common practice for getting a deep, resonant head voice? Thanks.

:)

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What you are trying to do and asking for is what all singers are trying to do and asking for. As a voice coach, this is a common, every day request and point of confusion. In some sense, this is how I make my living, teaching people how to sound 'boomy' in the head resonance and not like a duck or a hot winded, falsetto.

Anyways, the process is actually fairly complex. It involves a balance and coordination of physiology and the resulting acoustics that these exotic physical configurations of the vocal tract you train, produce.

It is all demonstrated and explained and workouts provided in my vocal training system, "The Four Pillars of Singing 2.0"... www.TheVocalistStudioStore.com.

However, to answer your question in a simple way...

The "boomy" head voice sound that is convincing and sounds killer that most people are struggling to get... comes from manipulating your vocal tract (resonant space above the vocal folds) into an exotic position that shape shifts the acoustics and formants into the favorable sound we are talking about here.

In order to get exotic acoustic, "boomy" and "full" effects in the head voice, you have to have equally exotic physiological configurations. You have to engage what we call at TVS, your "Intrinsic Anchoring Set". This roughly translates to "a specific group of inside Muscles contracting in a coordinated and balanced movement".

The TVS Intrinsic Anchoring Set consists of three physiological components and one acoustic component. The three physical components are; engagement of vocal twang, or maintenance of vocal twang, tongue leveraging and larynx dampening. The one acoustic component is the preferred training vowel.

When you become a master at throttling the TVS Intrinsic Anchoring Set on slow and controlled sirens from your chest resonance, through your passaggio and on to your head resonance, your voice will begin to bridge seamlessly and sound huge and 'boomy' on top.

That is essentially it. It is the Intrinsic anchoring that changes the vocal tract, which then changes the acoustics that will give that big "boomy' head tones that make any audience from any genre' freak out.

I am a specialist in these techniques and can teach you how to do this in about 30-90 days provided that you do your part and practice. For some people, they can get it about 30 minutes... I just need to show them what to do. I have worked out all the details and ways to communicate the idea so that you can grasp it quickly and do it. Truly, not a weekend goes by that I am still amazed at the sounds my students are making so quickly.

The irony is... the supply of voice teachers that actually know how to teach this is critically slim. Finding someone that can not only teach, but can actually demonstrate how to sing in your head resonance in a 'full', 'boomy' and convincing way for their students benefit, is extremely rare in the business.

I feel awkward sounding too self-serving or conflicting of interest when I softly pitch my own services on my own forum, its a thin line to walk... but honestly, I don't care what people think about that, if it means I can reach through this forum and help you. Sure, we need to exchange commerce and you need to become a client for us to get there... but I truly do want to help you and I know I can. My ability to completely understand what your asking for and to teach you exactly what is going on and how to train it, is my purpose for being and is my humble contribution to the world. So let me take a crack at showing you what you need to know and I think you'll be amazed at what you can do. You can send me a private email if you like if you have anymore questions.

I hope this helps...

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Thanks for the help guys. This is clarifying some things for me. To respond to your coments:

I don't think you should take the twang out. In my experience, you add another thing... I just think of it as "space" but some people call it a "muffler" which I think is a cool and helpful image.

Twang and I have an odd relationship. Before I learned good technique I was singing with 0 twang. Once I figured it out though (through the help of the friendly people on this forum,) it has become a natural part of my singing voice. I actually have to put forth some effort to pull back on it. I'm not even sure if I could sound good and totally pull the twang out. Not sure about the "muffler" or "space" thing, though.

1. I definitely don't pull back, If anything I find I have to commit on the higher notes but all from below, no tension in the neck.

2. I find this makes me focus too much on playing around with my neck, a sure way for me to build tension and cause restriction. Twanging and larynx tilting is actually more of a natural thing when you commit fully to the head voice as opposed to clinging onto chest.

Definitely. I tackled the whole neck and jaw tension thing about 6 months ago. If I'm not careful it can start to creep back in. I will pay extra close attention to this when using head voice.

3. Larynx I find its best to let it be free yet neutral, If you force it up or down it will cause a degradation of sound, and you'll end up with other problems like tongue tension or throat singing.

before you have learned to zip up your cords its natural that the larynx will want to shoot up.

Singing with a high larynx is also a hurdle I cleared not too long ago. I think (at least from what I understand) that my singing is borderline classical as I keep a fairly low larynx (except for when I add distortion... sometimes.) This might be part of the problem with my head voice: if I keep a relatively low larynx in chest voice, does that sort of doom my attempts at getting full, boomy head tones from the start?

you also mentioned a nasal sounding head voice, this is often when people are not singing with an open throat

I'm not sure what singing with an open throat is, or feels like...

Anyways, the process is actually fairly complex. It involves a balance and coordination of physiology and the resulting acoustics that these exotic physical configurations of the vocal tract you train, produce.

Dang it, that's what I was thinking. :P

engagement of vocal twang, or maintenance of vocal twang,

I'm starting to get a better handle on my twang when in head voice, but at least I know I'm on the right track with that.

tongue leveraging

I have no idea where to put my tongue in head voice. I generally keep the back part of my tongue up agaist the roof/entrance to my throat. If I understand correctly, this is a good practice for chest voice, but I have no idea whether this is good for head voice as well...

larynx dampening

I haven't heard of this before. Is this a position of the larynx, or is it doing something to modify the sound without changing the position? As I said earlier it seems that lowering my larynx in head voice helps in getting a "fuller" sound, but idk if that is what you are referring to with larynx dampening.

The one acoustic component is the preferred training vowel.

I've played around a bit with vowel modification. If I don't think too hard I tend to naturally pick vowel sounds that work well for phrasing, but this is mostly in chest voice. I would guess that "darker" vowel shades are preferred in head voice for a "full tone," but I really have no idea.

I am a specialist in these techniques and can teach you how to do this in about 30-90 days provided that you do your part and practice. For some people, they can get it about 30 minutes... I just need to show them what to do. I have worked out all the details and ways to communicate the idea so that you can grasp it quickly and do it. Truly, not a weekend goes by that I am still amazed at the sounds my students are making so quickly.

If I could afford lessons I just might consider taking them. :P I know, I know, if you want to progress quickly and correctly you need a good teacher. If I was trying to be a professional singer I might go the lesson route even if it meant I would be eating bologna sandwiches three times a day for months. However, I'm just a hobbyist who is rather poor and just about to pay for a wedding, so lessons are just a blip on the horizon at this point.

Thanks for the input guys. While I don't know what some of the terminology referred to I have already gotten some insight out of your posts. Rock on.

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In my book I discuss how intermediate to advanced students share an interesting problem. They often twang too hard. Their phonations become too "quaky". This is the result of training so hard on twang in the beginning that, once they finally achieve the strength and coordination to do it, it becomes too much. Rarely the beginners, usually the experienced singers.

You have to watch for this closely in your singing! You have to open your ears and don't let yourself sound too quacky. If you sound quacky then you need to examine two things:

1). Relax the twang compression.

And/or

2). Get your larynx dampened so that you can increase the resonant space in your vocal tract which will take the "brittle" out of the ugly duckling we call "quack vocal mode" at TVS and bring in the beautiful swan called twang.

When we have this problem, the singer gets confused. On one hand they are told to twang and on the other hand, its sounding too quacky when they do... what do you do? Well, to solve this confusion I was seeing in my own students, I felt it necessary to identify a new vocal mode to the lexicon of vocal mode pedagogy. I think I'm the first coach to elevate quacking to a legitimate new vocal mode classification know as "quack vocal mode". Characterized by hyper-compressed vocal fold closure.

Quack vocal mode is closely related to twang vocal mode, they are cousins. Quack is the ugly duckling that is over compressed, twang is the beautiful swan that enjoys balanced compression AND a beautiful resonant space (the upper vocal tract, including the pharynx properly configured due to intrinsic anchoring techniques).

So... if your sounding too quacky, DO NOT blame it on twang. Twang didn't do it. This is where students of singing get into trouble and start chasing their tails. Twang is what you trained hard to be able to do and obviously, you know by now, its something must have in your singing, so leave twang alone... if your sounding too quacky, its because you are quacking, your in quack vocal mode If you don't want to sound like a choking duck, then make the adjustments to your TVS phonation package and get out of quack vocal mode. And experienced student of singing, knows how to modify between different vocal modes fairly easily. When we step back and actually identify this sound, give it a name and recognize it a complete different vocal mode, we can then begin to govern it and tell it what to do. When it exists, you can turn it on or off.

So, stop phoning "quack mode" , throttle back to the lighter compression levels of twang AND engage your TVS intrinsic anchoring set and you will be singing like Ted Neely & Geoff Tate in no time.

The ugly duckling of quack turns into the beautiful swan of twang, when you chill out the compression and get a good vocal tract happening.

This is explained in detail in my book and videos in my training system, "The Four Pillars of Singing 2.0".

Hope this helps...

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So... if your sounding too quacky, DO NOT blame it on twang. Twang didn't do it. This is where students of singing get into trouble and start chasing their tails. Twang is what you trained hard to be able to do and obviously, you know by now, its something must have in your singing, so leave twang alone... if your sounding too quacky, its because you are quacking, your in quack vocal mode If you don't want to sound like a choking duck, then make the adjustments to your TVS phonation package and get out of quack vocal mode.

Good advice, that clarifies a lot about twang and head voice for me. I also played around with tongue placement and WOW does that make a huge difference in head voice (or maybe it is just more noticable for some reason.) Tongue placement gave me the depth of tone, now I just need to take the nasal/pinginess out.

The only thing I'm still not clear on is larynx dampening

Get your larynx dampened so that you can increase the resonant space in your vocal tract which will take the "brittle" out

Google search is not getting me any informative answers about what larynx dampening is. Is this the same thing as lowering your larynx? If not then what is it? Thanks.

:D

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Yes, essentially... But I am beginning to change my talk-track from "dumping" to "dampening" because I am seeing some students lower the larynx too much. When I see that happen enough, I have to give it a name. I call it, "dumping"... "dampening" is more what we are looking for, its simply, less dump.

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Yes, essentially... But I am beginning to change my talk-track from "dumping" to "dampening" because I am seeing some students lower the larynx too much. When I see that happen enough, I have to give it a name. I call it, "dumping"... "dampening" is more what we are looking for, its simply, less dump.

Gotcha. I can do the "intristic anchoring set," but it's pretty new to me (especially the tongue placement,) so I definitely need practice. Thanks for the help and rock on!

:D

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