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Glottal Compression...

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Depends on how you've heard it described. It could be the same or it could not.

My first image was that of the glottal onset, when there's an audible click in your throat whenever you start a note, but it may be another thing entirely. Where have you heard about it?

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That's the thing, I've been hunting around trying to figure out exactly what it is...(vocal geek)...lol

I've heard Ken Tamplin talk about it, but never actually describe what it is. I'm sure he does in his singing program, but I don't really want to drop the cash on his program and find out that it's something I've been doing all along.

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If it is the glottal onset - there are better ways to start a note. Not to mention that if you start the first note well, you sing the whole phrase better.

Try a staccato exercise on the syllable "Ha", on a single comfortable tone in your chest voice. Let the tempo be slow and after each "Ha" take a quick, but not a panicky, breath. The idea is for the "h" in "Ha" to be as inaudible as possible, to the point where it's just a mental intention, so the "a" can flow more smoothly. You could try this exercise on every other vowel of course, but preface it with a slight "h" and aim for it to be inaudible and basically non-existent in time. Onset exercises take a good deal of concentration, almost yoga-like, so don't do them in your car on the way to work, they won't be very effective ;)

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As I understand it glottal compression increases the closed quotient (percentage of time folds stay closed verses open). For example falsetto has little to no compression. Chest has the highest.

Robert says that twang increases compression. But twang itself is not compression. Compression comes as a result of twang. You can increase compression without twang but all twang increases compression.

Head naturally has less compression than chest but through twang and other methods you can increase it.

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yes, ken tamplin covers glottal compression. glottal compression is basically well supported singing, acheived by limiting the amount of expelled air used in the production of the tone.

if you can imagine singing as if you were holding your breath, breath pressure will invariably build. the important part is to pressurize down below only, while leaving the throat etc., open and relaxed.

it is initially physically demanding and if not done right can cancel out all the benefits related to it, which is power, intensity, note length, and dynamics.

a teacher is definitely the way to go to get this right.

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yes, ken tamplin covers glottal compression. glottal compression is basically well supported singing, acheived by limiting the amount of expelled air used in the production of the tone.

if you can imagine singing as if you were holding your breath, breath pressure will invariably build. the important part is to pressurize down below only, while leaving the throat etc., open and relaxed.

it is initially physically demanding and if not done right can cancel out all the benefits related to it, which is power, intensity, note length, and dynamics.

a teacher is definitely the way to go to get this right.

This is the answer I was looking for, thanks!

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Although many may disagree, there are several parallels between "glottal compression" and the topic of another post, "appogio". Both involve regulation of the air pressure in a manner which facilitates apparent volume without overblowing the cords.

Both require involvement of both the thorasic diaphragm and the pelvic diaphragm, in order to balance and finely control the kind of air pressure AND flow which varies as a function of pitch/timbre/and dynamics.

YMMV:)

Bob H.

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Sometimes, to me, it is a matter of semantics. Compression as related to closed quotient, like Geno was saying. As opposed to something sounding compressed, as in tighter and not as "open." As opposed to pressure for certain uses, for example when talking about car engines, where a high performance engine has heads that allow for a higher compression pressure to increase the power of the ignited fuel mixture.

Twang, from what I have understood is to create a formant or initial resonating cavity or set-up which may aid the closed quotient by means of feedback from the brain. The note resonates properly and is loud enough, which tells the body to balance the air pressure and speed and allow the folds to operate without strain and achieve the closed quotient or physical compression against each other to create the note.

Redneck physics at its finest ....

:D

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Then, let me get more technical, because I fear that I didn't quite state correctly what I was meaning before. Or, as one momentary member in the forum once accused me of, I just like to see myself type. If I had any feelings left, they would be hurting.

If twang helps to create a formant that resonates the note properly and the body balances the breath management, now that the brain can hear the note is loud enough, thanks to proper resonance, then the folds are free to achieve the proper compression they need for a full note.

ya'all .....

I really should take a pic of my cowboy hat and use that as an avatar, to make the image complete for my redneck physics thingy.

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From Tamplins videos, I was under the assumption that glottal compression was another way of adding distortion to your voice. From his "free" youtube vids, it's sounds like more of the distortion I want.....whereas the TVS overlay distortion seems like it's using more of the false folds. Tamplin's distortion just sounds so much beefier....

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Pretty much as Geno described it. Careful not to make it too complicated. "Glottal Compression" would be, the measurement of force between the left/right vocal folds. "Glottal Compression" is the same as "Compression"... an "airplane" is the same as a "plane".

Now then, how do we get more glottal compression? It comes from different sources, but mainly, throttling the respiration and even more so, throttling your twang. Twang is a vocal mode that is characterized by several things, one of them being, it creates compression on the vocal folds... it closes the glottis. It induces vocal fold adduction... all these terms mean essentially the same thing.

In regards to "rusty's" distortion comment, "beefier" is a subjective statement, but none-the-less, when it comes to distortion, you have to take a very close look at the pitch and the anatomy of each individual... If it sounds "beefy" with Ken, that doesn't mean its going to sound the same for someone else.

Distorting on lower notes requires a very different physiology, techniques and work flows, then distorting on higher pitches. The TVS 'overlay" distortion responds well on higher notes. It is a FVF activation AND requires more "glottal compression" as Ken would say... but I refer to it as PTP (Phonation Threshold Pressure). As far as what me and Ken are talking about in regards to "glottal compression" vs "phonation threshold pressure"... if Ken is speaking in the context of vocal distortion, we mean the same thing, just different terms.

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In regards to "rusty's" distortion comment, "beefier" is a subjective statement, but none-the-less, when it comes to distortion, you have to take a very close look at the pitch and the anatomy of each individual... If it sounds "beefy" with Ken, that doesn't mean its going to sound the same for someone else.

This is true. Thanks for clearing things up Robert. So more or less, compression is compression, whether it's being called twang or glottal?

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  • 2 years later...

Great topic.. And yes it is about pressure and conserving your breath. I have been watching Ken's videos and practicing the technique for quite some time. In my opinion what it really comes down to is achieving a confident great sounding upper register without blowing your voice out. If you can focus your tone and sound with good breath support, you can produce the desired sounds and then let the PA system carry your voice into the club. And the audience hears this great powerful sound. I am a baritone like Ken. I use to think I was limited to singing stuff like the doors and stone temple pilots.. etc.. medium range stuff. I was always lucky and had a very high range, however it would kill me to sing more than a couple high songs at gigs.. my voice would tire. But with this technique I can sing all the high material I want and I feel fine the next morning.

And you can get that powerful raspy sound without killing yourself. As Ken says you need to compress so that you dont expel to much air drying yourself and totally wearing your voice out. The rasp is lightly added but the sound you achieve with the proper technique is awesome.

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but if it's done wrong you can lock up and choke off. this is where your support and the vowel or vowel shade (for your particular voice) becomes so important.

you still need release, or you'll just compress like hell and go nowhere.

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Speaking of vowel shade.. a great example is Layne Staley. Not many people can imitate him well.. He sings in the mask and very nasally..and has a distinct way with this consonants and vowels.

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i think twang and medial compression are two really different things, i remember the first lesson i had with a cvt teacher, she showed me twanged neutral WITH air, so... it's not the same thing :)

Twang changes the shape(narrows) of the pathway also. Vocal fold compression does not. Some of the vocal fold bands extend to connect the epiglottis and cross in an x shape. So when you twang some of the vocal cords are contracting also.

Others with better understang of the physiology can explain better if they choose to.

Anyway, you can compress the vocal folds without twang and you can twang without full vocal fold compression.

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Glottal Compression is the physical reaction to "twanging" or "quacking" or other things that make the vocal folds abduct. You engage "glottal compression" when you twang... (and engage in other various vocal modes or respiration with good bernoulli physics).

Learn More About the TVS Vocal Training Program:

"The Four Pillars of Singing"

Click Link Below:

http://tinyurl.com/4PillarsTableofContents

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Pretty much as Geno described it. Careful not to make it too complicated. "Glottal Compression" would be, the measurement of force between the left/right vocal folds. "Glottal Compression" is the same as "Compression"... an "airplane" is the same as a "plane".

Now then, how do we get more glottal compression? It comes from different sources, but mainly, throttling the respiration and even more so, throttling your twang. Twang is a vocal mode that is characterized by several things, one of them being, it creates compression on the vocal folds... it closes the glottis. It induces vocal fold adduction... all these terms mean essentially the same thing.

In regards to "rusty's" distortion comment, "beefier" is a subjective statement, but none-the-less, when it comes to distortion, you have to take a very close look at the pitch and the anatomy of each individual... If it sounds "beefy" with Ken, that doesn't mean its going to sound the same for someone else.

Distorting on lower notes requires a very different physiology, techniques and work flows, then distorting on higher pitches. The TVS 'overlay" distortion responds well on higher notes. It is a FVF activation AND requires more "glottal compression" as Ken would say... but I refer to it as PTP (Phonation Threshold Pressure). As far as what me and Ken are talking about in regards to "glottal compression" vs "phonation threshold pressure"... if Ken is speaking in the context of vocal distortion, we mean the same thing, just different terms.

I gotta Echo Robert here, what you guys mostly are talking about here is not the compression itself but rather diffrent soundcolors in the voice.

Here's how i define it:

Also here's usually the sounds people mean when they talk about glottal compression demonstrated by TVS Coach Sergio Califura.

Cheers

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Agreed Geran, ... however this is not the only way to build strong fold compression... in TVS we have several useful onsets we can use, one that is specifically designed to train this coronation called, "The Messa di Voce" onset... we can also train the new edging (forward placement vowels) acoustic modes with very deliberate, isolated contractions of the AES and last but not least... training the new TVS Neutral "Ah" vowel will also bring it home. I am actually doing a lot of work in this area personally and with my students these days...

Regardless of how you get there, no doubt, the "twanger" has to be trained to great levels of command and control... I have grown to appreciate how much so... even more then I previously thought in the past... the ability to command and control the glottis at precision levels of compression AND respiratory bleed (windy)... is as important as knowing your vowels, or respiration... its THAT important... its not enough to just be able to lay down some good twang... you have to make the coordination to "throttle" your twang musculature on command... this is some of the new work we are doing at TVS lately...

I even developed a new graphic for this... called, "The Vocal Fold Compression Spectrum". I tried to create a PDF of it to show you guys, but can't figure out how to convert a PNG file to a PDF... oh well... its in the book.

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