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Frisell Exercises - sound samples

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As my singing teacher is away for the moment, and my next singing lesson is in 2 weeks, I decided to give those Frisell exercises a go again. ;)

Though I really like his concept and ideas, I never really committed to them because I had no idea if I was doing them right or wrong. What has been lacking for me is sound samples of the exercises, so I can hear what they sound like. If somebody's got the time to record himself doing them I'll be most grateful!

Today I recorded myself doing the descending major scale, which is the first exercise of "The Tenor Voice". Hopefully someone can tell me if I'm doing this exercise correctly?

Here's the link. I'm doing 4-5 descending scales on 'oo', starting on different pitches, first A, then Ab and finally G.

http://www.box.com/s/139441602ee6bbc0f614

- Is my "oo" vowel correct?

- Am I in head voice? am I bringing my head voice down into chest correctly?

- Anything else?

I'd like to try and do the exercise a little everyday for the next couple of weeks and see where that brings me.

Cheers,

Nick

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Hey Nick,

I think (and it is pretty much only my opinion ;-) that the oo sounds alright.. Keep it light and keep it connected, but when you lower in pitch, try not to bring in the 'meaty' chest voice.. try and keep it as light as possible even on the lower notes,... it's tough, but after a few days it gets much easier!

You can also do downward slides with the oo and ee vowels.. they help to keep the light sound through the range.. After a while when you practice singing, you'll notice that you're producing the notes of the upper chest register in a different configuration, one that produces more resonance, and sounds (for lack of a less cliched word) more 'beautiful'!!! :-)

Just keep in mind, whatever you do, do NOT push the note at any point.. Keep it comfy. That's the important part. Over many weeks / months, this sound will start joining with the chest musculature and the elusive 'mix' will come about.

Keep writing to let us know how it's going.

Cheers, and hope this helps.

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Hey Bigfoot,

I think (and it is pretty much only my opinion ;-) that the oo sounds alright.. Keep it light and keep it connected, but when you lower in pitch, try not to bring in the 'meaty' chest voice.. try and keep it as light as possible even on the lower notes,... it's tough, but after a few days it gets much easier!

Yes, this is exactly what I'm trying to do: keep it light, connected, and heady all the way down. Am I succeeding, do you think?

I'll give it another go tomorrow.

Thanks :)

Nick

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Quick question related to this as I'm also starting these exercises.. When it says to keep it light and connected, is he talking about a head voice tone? I think the fact he uses the word falsetto would lead me to think it should be breathy, but i'm not sure if i've interpreted that correctly. Also, when i get to the bottom of my head voice, should i try and bled into my chest and keep going down or stay in head? because if i stay in head right down, i loose compression and it gets really breathy.

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Quick question related to this as I'm also starting these exercises.. When it says to keep it light and connected, is he talking about a head voice tone? I think the fact he uses the word falsetto would lead me to think it should be breathy, but i'm not sure if i've interpreted that correctly.

I think by falsetto he means head voice. There's always confusion about the two terms...

Also, when i get to the bottom of my head voice, should i try and bled into my chest and keep going down or stay in head? because if i stay in head right down, i loose compression and it gets really breathy.

You should stay in head voice, all the way down. Don't let it blend into chest.

If you listen to my clip, I too loose compression at the bottom of the scales (A below middle C), and it gets really breathy (falsetto?). Don't know if it's ok though... :)

Nick

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there's a progression to this training when i studied with frisell, he explained it starts out light and connected.

not breathy. just like the other folks said...do not let chest kick in, and go as low as you can without pushing, no pushing whatsoever.

also remember the "ee" is formed by the mouth opening used for an "ah"...not a squat, horizontal, speech, "ee."

i really think anyone who wishes to train this way should invest in the book. it is money well spent. i refer to it all the time.

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@VIDEOHERE: is that as low as you can go with a connected tone or just low full stop?

The book has been such a refreshing read compared to other stuff i've studied/teachers i've had. He tells it straight with plenty of technical substance. Unlike some of the other methodologies which preach their ability to give instant results, he tells you how hard you're going to have to work to get it! (and then tells you a few more times!)

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@VIDEOHERE: is that as low as you can go with a connected tone or just low full stop?

The book has been such a refreshing read compared to other stuff i've studied/teachers i've had. He tells it straight with plenty of technical substance. Unlike some of the other methodologies which preach their ability to give instant results, he tells you how hard you're going to have to work to get it! (and then tells you a few more times!)

it's not me singing.

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Sorry, perhaps I didn't make myself too clear there. I know it's not you singing, I was referring to this comment:

do not let chest kick in, and go as low as you can without pushing, no pushing whatsoever.

When you say "as low as you can", do you mean while maintaining compression and connection, or as low as you can go even if the sound starts becoming breathy at the bottom end...?

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As my singing teacher is away for the moment, and my next singing lesson is in 2 weeks, I decided to give those Frisell exercises a go again. ;)

Though I really like his concept and ideas, I never really committed to them because I had no idea if I was doing them right or wrong. What has been lacking for me is sound samples of the exercises, so I can hear what they sound like. If somebody's got the time to record himself doing them I'll be most grateful!

Today I recorded myself doing the descending major scale, which is the first exercise of "The Tenor Voice". Hopefully someone can tell me if I'm doing this exercise correctly?

Here's the link. I'm doing 4-5 descending scales on 'oo', starting on different pitches, first A, then Ab and finally G.

http://www.box.com/s/139441602ee6bbc0f614

- Is my "oo" vowel correct?

- Am I in head voice? am I bringing my head voice down into chest correctly?

- Anything else?

I'd like to try and do the exercise a little everyday for the next couple of weeks and see where that brings me.

Cheers,

Nick

I advice against doing exercises other than those recommended by your coach. Still, this is too breathy...

Try a more adjusted OO, try to mimic how a soprano would do it:

http://www.4shared.com/mp3/645KZgdz/falsetto_oo.html

Also this oo is Italian oo, listen to a soprano doing o mio babbino caro for example. The oo is round and is placed up, it MUST be totally relaxed or it will only get in your way.

This falsetto will never connect to chest directly, a break will happen while you cannot switch into modal voice, and the switch itself will be a break. The main point of this exercise is trainning the formant posture of the oo and bringing it down to the passaggio area. Which is great, but only when free of tensions. The transition into full voice is done then by simply supporting the note (support properly and you will have not choice but to sing it full).

The falsetto alone without the italian vowel is plain useless (unless of course you had a problem doing it, which from the samples is not the case). An airy falsetto or with other tensions that you have (since your coach is instructing you to get rid of them), will not only not work as it will build muscular memories that you will have to unlearn later.

I really think its much wiser to stick to what your coach gave you to train uppon and leave this kind of exercise alone.

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Thank you very much Felipe :)

I really think its much wiser to stick to what your coach gave you to train uppon and leave this kind of exercise alone.

The thing is, I've only had one lesson with her (next one in 2 weeks) and we did a bunch of talking (my problems, goals and so on), then we loosened up some tension by massage, and finally she wanted to hear my voice on a lip roll (5tone scale), and a "ee" vowel (5tone scale). In both cases, we only went to E above middle C.

She chose the "ee" vowel because my tongue has a tendency to creep down into my throat, and instructed me that the back of the tongue should be lifted and touch my teeth.

The scales are "do re mi fa sol fa mi re / do re mi fa sol fa mi re / do re mi fa sol fa mi re / do", so their purpose is mostly breath support i guess. She said I should take just the amount of air in that I need for the exercise.

I asked her if I could take these scales higher up in my range, she said yes. But I'm afraid of taking the exercise higher because I'm very unsure if I'm approaching my passagio correctly and don't want to train bad habits. But I need my upper range for all the songs I wanna sing.

I decided to give those exercises a go, and have done them for 4-5 days now as a warm up, before singing songs.

But when I'm singing songs it feels plain wrong. Unnatural, like my voice is trapped inside a cage and can't come out. I'm afraid I'm straining, even on lower notes. Not to mention the way it sounds...

Anyway singing is not a pleasant experience and I'm thinking I should stop singing altogether.

But I just can't! I have these moments once in a (great) while where my voice feels free and I really enjoy it!

Anyway, I decided to stop singing songs and just do exercises, until I see my coach again.

Nick

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Try a more adjusted OO, try to mimic how a soprano would do it:

http://www.4shared.com/mp3/645KZgdz/falsetto_oo.html

Thanks for your sample! However, I can hear vibrato in it. I understood from reading the book, that the "oo" should be free of vibrato.

The falsetto alone without the italian vowel is plain useless (unless of course you had a problem doing it, which from the samples is not the case).

Ok. So what i'm doing is falsetto and not head voice?

An airy falsetto or with other tensions that you have (since your coach is instructing you to get rid of them), will not only not work as it will build muscular memories that you will have to unlearn later.

Actually, when i recorded the exercises it felt easy and tension free, at least in the range I was doing it in.

Nick

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Sorry, perhaps I didn't make myself too clear there. I know it's not you singing, I was referring to this comment:

When you say "as low as you can", do you mean while maintaining compression and connection, or as low as you can go even if the sound starts becoming breathy at the bottom end...?

as you descend really low using head voice musculature the voice will want to close up, and/or disconnect and the volume will lighten...

just run with it.

and bring it all the way down without pushing. do you have the book?

i found myself re-reading the book.

felipe, i have benefitted greatly from frisell's exercises. please explain why you feel differently towards them?

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@nico sending you an email

@video I dont really. The exercises are great. The problem is that the chances of executing them without a coach to help at least with the basics are virtually zero. And it will interfere with the program that another coach is doing.

Depending on the coach, you actually may be oriented to find another one. :P

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as you descend really low using head voice musculature the voice will want to close up, and/or disconnect and the volume will lighten...

just run with it.

and bring it all the way down without pushing. do you have the book?

i found myself re-reading the book.

I do have the book yes =) I haven't properly started on the exercises yet because as you said, i keep going back and re-reading things to make sure i've got it right. Also, are these descending scales supposed to be done as one long scale? I noticed that Nicogratouille has split each note up individually. Does this make a difference?

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you will see them all in the book. there are different versions.

you have the one-note version

the legato descending slide version

the one note swelling version

the modified messa di voce version

the thing i've noticed lately is i've gotten to the point where the chest musculature engagement he talks about is getting closer and closer...this is so hard to explain in words.

i'm using a method he calls "piccolo martello," an exercise where you try to support into the chest voice (again hard to explain).

i alternate...one day frisell, the next day roger kain's exercises.....i like to switch it up, because i remember all these exercise pros telling you to keep the muscles developing you have to modify your workouts. i believe it's the same for voice.

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you guys for this thread, good information! And it was good to hear that sample of the italian round "oo" vowel, very useful.

I'm doing the Frisell exercises too, and I can't describe how happy I am that I decided to take my chances with this "falsetto program", without any teacher or anything. The improvement so far is mind blowing and now I know this is the method for me (had a gut feeling from the first pages of reading too), although this isn't a "fast result program".

I'm on the early phase of the training, pulling headvoice down, strengthening headvoice and swelling with the "oo" and "ee" vowels above passagio. Still pretty much ignoring all chest and mixed voice, except when singing songs sometimes after a workout (long pause though between the two), but then too I pick up songs that don't mess up my current progress.

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