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Confessions of a chest-puller

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Nicogratouille
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Hi,

I have always pulled a lot of chest, and have mostly felt singing was hard and I had no talent for it at all, except for a couple of "moments", where I could sing freely and everything felt easy and natural.

Today I had one of those "moments".

Ok, this is probably gonna seem weird to most people... Please don't laugh at me. ;)

As an experiment, I put my fingers in my ears and just sang along to my favorite tunes.

It just felt great, no tension (or very little), very easy to hit the high notes. I also felt I sounded a lot better than usual and I could go on singing like this for ours. I could also feel my support working. But most importantly: I finally had some pleasure singing, which I haven't really had in a long time!

From time to time, I removed my fingers on the high notes and they not only felt good, but sounded good in the room as well. But if I removed my fingers from longer periods of time (a whole line or so), singing became hard again.

I'd like to learn something from this, and I guess what's to learn is that I focus too much on the way I sound, instead of just singing and letting it happen. I'm listening too much for mistakes, and trying too hard to correct them in real time.

Unfortunately, I didn't record myself, so I can't really know for sure if I was singing so much better today. But it certainly felt like it! I'll try the experiment again and record something.

But in the meantime, what do you guys think of all that?

Singing is so psychological! :)

Nick

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I'm sorry but I just can't get passed the fact that you pretty much said your singing sounds better when you put your fingers in your ears :lol: C'mon, you have to see the humor in that. And I refrained from making a joke (that was difficult) ;)

My apologies.....class clown you know.

On a more serious note.

I guess this says it all.

I'd like to learn something from this, and I guess what's to learn is that I focus too much on the way I sound, instead of just singing and letting it happen. I'm listening too much for mistakes, and trying too hard to correct them in real time.
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I'm sorry but I just can't get passed the fact that you pretty much said your singing sounds better when you put your fingers in your ears C'mon, you have to see the humor in that. And I refrained from making a joke (that was difficult)

Well, somebody had to say it. No offense taken ;)

Assuming that I do sing a lot better and freer, would practicing in this way (closing off my ears) teach myself to rely more on sensations, and eventually be able to sing better more consistently? Like "if it feels good it sounds good" kind of thing.

Nick

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haha, that was funny :lol:

Yeah, for me it's practicing everyday and focusing on the technique and This muscle and That chin etc. then it doesn't sound the best, but the on days when I'm not practicing and just sing to sing and let it rip, that's when all the practice makes sense. Then the breathing is there, volume/support is there, the neighbors aren't there and it's all fun.

PS. I cup my ear, that helps too.

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i wouldn't. it seems like it might become a crutch.

i'd rather actively practise learning to relax the jaw and throat. so much can be gained by learning to relax these areas. also, learn to make the throat as passive as possible when you vocalize.

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i'd rather actively practise learning to relax the jaw and throat. so much can be gained by learning to relax these areas. also, learn to make the throat as passive as possible when you vocalize.

How do I relax my jaw, throat, and tongue? I have absolutely no idea on doing this.

Nick

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it will come as you gain strength and learn to support the voice. you have to learn to redirect the effort for singing down to the lower core leaving the top free.

doing all different vocal exercises on a near daily basis helps. you've got to do some work and research.

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it will come as you gain strength and learn to support the voice. you have to learn to redirect the effort for singing down to the lower core leaving the top free.

doing all different vocal exercises on a near daily basis helps. you've got to do some work and research.

I second that. It gets easier. One thing you can do is inbetween exercises when you are taking a breath, shake your head and body a little like an athlete would shake their muscles. The mere act of doing this relaxes the muscles and kind of resets them to neutral. You can even wag your tongue up and down or back and forth.

The other thing is if you over do it one day don't be afraid of taking a day off from practicing. There is a slight bit of muscle building going on (not a lot) and there is nothing worse than overcompensating for muscle fatigue during practicing. If you are doing it right you almost never need to take a day off - but when developing new skills sometimes you activate muscles that weren't used that way before.

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Yeah, days off are useful, mostly for building not the muscles themselves but the neural links that strengthen your muscle memory. There's the famous case of Pavarotti who developed a nodule in his youth because of still-poor technique and took a break from singing, even kind of decided not to pursue it anymore. When he came back to it, all the components of his technique just clicked.

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Yeah, days off are useful, mostly for building not the muscles themselves but the neural links that strengthen your muscle memory. There's the famous case of Pavarotti who developed a nodule in his youth because of still-poor technique and took a break from singing, even kind of decided not to pursue it anymore. When he came back to it, all the components of his technique just clicked.

That's interesting and it makes sense.

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yes, all you need is a nodule or polyp experience to come to terms with how important it is not to push or strain.

I'd rather not wait for this to happen. Anyway, I'm resuming singing lessons as of today. It's really expensive for me but I realize I can't do without a teacher.

One thing you can do is inbetween exercises when you are taking a breath, shake your head and body a little like an athlete would shake their muscles. The mere act of doing this relaxes the muscles and kind of resets them to neutral. You can even wag your tongue up and down or back and forth.

Thanks, I'll think about it. ;)

Nick

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all kinds of things you can do to help...

ask the instructor to give you some tongue relaxing exercises, head rolls, lip rolls,

Yes, that's exactly what she gave me. Actually we spent most of the hour probing for tensions and trying to release them.

I was wondering: I can only do lip rolls with the aid of my fingers lifting the weight of my cheeks. If i try to do it without, the lip roll just stops. She says it's because of tensions, removing those tensions would also help me trill my tongue.

Any thoughts on this?

Is it best to do the lip roll without any assistance from your fingers, even if it's hard to keep it going? And just keep doing it until you are relaxed enough to make it work?

Nick

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i don't think holding the cheeks really hurt....it just assists.

i love lip rolls...

as you improve on breathing and support, (control of exhalation) it will show in your lip bubbles. remember to keep the bubbling tone placed above the throat, use just enough air to make them flutter smoothly and evenly.

if you do sirens with the lip bubble (great range builder) avoid raising the volume or pushing into them as you go higher. you want them nice and relaxed and fluttery...not sure if that's a word....lol!!!!

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There's nothing wrong with using fingers to dimple the cheeks in order to do lip bubbles. When I do them, I have dimple my cheeks. I have thin lips, thanks to my germanic and celtic heritage. And lips bubbles are for training. You won't be singing with lip bubbles, just warming up with them.

I agree with Bob. Lip bubbles are mainly for calibrating your breath management.

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Well, I like Frisell, too, but lip bubbles help some people.

I think that different people get different value from different techniques.

I've had a few people, now and then, say that I am in head voice too much.

They might be right. But I am too lazy to change. ;)

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To start out with, determine whether the singing change is caused by blocked hearing or from lifting both arms up and affecting chest and head positions. You may want to try some musicians earplugs to determine this.

If change caused by blocked hearing only, you'll have to figure out why your mind refuses to hear accurately. And possibly even why your mind decides to worsen your hearing to voice reproduction. This area has numerous steps involved, and to learn how to hear oneself accurately is challenging, but can be done.

After you hear yourself accurately, it's easier to make any vocal changes.

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no, my brother ron..it's not that you're in head voice too much, you're using chest voice musculature too little.

just my opinion...you know i love ya....lol!!!!

No you don't, you're just saying that to be nice. Us lyric tenors are so misunderstood.

:rolleyes:

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