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I've lost support

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D.Starr
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For some reason I just can't find my support any more.

Can't find a decent source of information to practice it either. Too many people have different views on it, which is fine, but when your trying to find something useful it isn't.

I've tried using my lower abs, keeping the chest elevated, the straw technique. Nothing is working. I know your not gunna find it instantly but I just feel I lost support all together.

Is it meant to feel natural with little effort? Or extremely strenuous?

I can see why apoggio would work for Opera singers, because the need to keep everything supported whilst standing still, so their posture is mainly upright and stand in one place, mainly moving their arms. But I can't apply this to my form of singing which is R&B.

Ballooning or extending the lower abs/belly to allow air in just doesn't work for me at all whilst standing, easy whilst sitting but not while standing up. My stomach slightly opens and so do my sides and back when I take in a breath anyway, but I see people REALLY ballooning out their stomachs, just doesn't work for me.

I can kind of feel a pulling sensation inside, between my lungs and naval but it doesn't feel right, the sound doesn't feel supported.

Any advice? Exercises?

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Interesting, I understand what you mean.

The things I do is:

-Breath in

-Chest inflates

-Sternum comes out slightly balloons

-Naval pulls in

-Abs tighten up

-Tense up abs and hold that pressure

That is how I support but it just doesn't seem to work.

I still feel tension in my neck and throat, under the chin area, tongue.

I've tried to simply just pull my lower abs down and tense to see if I could support that way and simply can't find it.

It's annoying me because I'm on the verge of being able to sing G4/A4s. I think finding the correct support to ease up this air pressure and tension in my throat could lead me to a better singing voice.

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d, i feel you man.

pay special attention to the bold print...

support is relative and can vary from light to all out. it has a lot to do with a balance as well.

what people need to understand is (in the vast majority of cases)you don't need a lot of air to sing, therefore you don't need to inhale a lot either to sing.

simply put, if you inhale too much air you're out of balance.

please try this...exhale like you normally would nice and natural leaving your mouth open and your jaw relaxed.......now do not actively inhale....instead all i want you do is using the muscles all around your lower core... abs, sides, and back (particularly the lower back) just try your best to just flex all these muscles gently and slowly outward all around you. if you are relaxed above the lower core you should feel a feeling of air entering your body all by itself without any help from you. if you learn to use these muscles for inhalation the degree you expand and the swiftness with which you expand determines how much air you will inhale.

just begin to develop a mindset that inhaling is the responsibility of the lower core muscles.

once the air is in, the diaphragm wants to return to its place of rest and your body wants to exhale. this is natural and normal for living, but for singing you must actively resist the return of the diaphragm and meter your air against the vocal folds in a very balanced way to make sound and maintain "duration" of sound.

rather than a release of air in normal exhalation support helps to suspend and pressurize the air so you have more of a, let's call it a "reservoir" of air. the use of the lower muscles to remain in an expanded position helps all of this happen.

so you see from this that support does not mean using a ton of air, nor does it always have to be this herculean effort...it varies.

the whole general idea is controlled exhalation. as you get stronger at this the whole thing becomes rather automated and this expanded feeling becomes sort of "ongoing" as you sing.

when i sing, i really don't feel like i have inhaled and exhaled......i feel like i'm suspended and the tone floats.

does this help?

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please try this...exhale like you normally would nice and natural leaving your mouth open and your jaw relaxed.......now do not actively inhale....instead all i want you do is using the muscles all around your lower core... abs, sides, and back (particularly the lower back) just try your best to just flex all these muscles gently and slowly outward all around you. if you are relaxed above the lower core you should feel a feeling of air entering your body all by itself without any help from you. if you learn to use these muscles for inhalation the degree you expand and the swiftness with which you expand determines how much air you will inhale.

just begin to develop a mindset that inhaling is the responsibility of the lower core muscles.

This description leaves out a very important piece of information about how breathing actually works. In order for the diaphragm to come down, the sternum must go outwards, and the lower ribs expand - the 'responsibility' for inhalation is carried as much by this part of the body as by the lower core muscles. Inhalation is not just an activity managed by the lower core muscles. In other words, opening up the rib cage is integral to inhalation. If a singer did just what was quoted above, some singers may well misunderstand, and even try to prevent the ribs from opening, which would create a lot of problems.

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I have to agree with Raphaels and videohere. Although support is important, it's made out to be a huge issue that beginning singers can struggle to understand and comprehend and end up try TOO hard to support.

Something that always helped me was to remember that the diaphragm can produce something like 200w of power but the vocal cords can only receive 2w. All the extra breath being taken in is useless if your vocal cords can't control it. It would be like a hurricane blowing through barn doors. Instead I think of 'allowing' air out and not pushing it out or actively supporting .... It always helped me to think of it this way anyway... :)

Think of breathing with your diaphragm instead of from it and think that the breath is purely responsible for taking the sound out of you

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This description leaves out a very important piece of information about how breathing actually works. In order for the diaphragm to come down, the sternum must go outwards, and the lower ribs expand - the 'responsibility' for inhalation is carried as much by this part of the body as by the lower core muscles. Inhalation is not just an activity managed by the lower core muscles. In other words, opening up the rib cage is integral to inhalation. If a singer did just what was quoted above, some singers may well misunderstand, and even try to prevent the ribs from opening, which would create a lot of problems.

thank you for the additional understanding alex. please feel free to correct me at any time.

i guess the main point i was trying to make is basically there's a need to get away from the habit of sucking in air to get air into your body for singing. when we are using the body correctly, the air just comes in rather than purposefully sucking or drawing it in.

i think a lot of beginning folks may not realize the naturalness of it all.

wouldn't you agree?

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i guess the main point i was trying to make is basically there's a need to get away from the habit of sucking in air to get air into your body for singing. when we are using the body correctly, the air just comes in rather than purposefully sucking or drawing it in.

i think a lot of beginning folks may not realize the naturalness of it all.

wouldn't you agree?

Yes, I think that's right. Personally, I avoid using the word 'natural' with students, as often what they describe as 'natural' is actually simply their habit. And because it's habit (and familiar) it feels 'right', so they call it natural. When they have to try the new, better way, it is unfamiliar, feels 'wrong', and then they label it as feeling 'unnatural'. When we do the breath process you and I describe, it is definitely efficient; it can move the air very well, though, intriguingly, the sense in our own bodies is that we're not doing very much.

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Bob, you had it right. From everything I have read, including Lilli Lehmann, Richard Miller, etc. It is also a key part of how Caruso did his thing. Methinks thou dost deserveth a rep point.

thanks my brother....i'm not a "rep point" kind of guy, just really fascinated with all of this wonderment....lol!!!!

when i post it, reinforces my own knowledge.

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Same here. It might be days before I notice my rep has increased. And then, I will notice and think about looking at it, and then forget, because I got interested in anything else, way more easily than any sense of personal achievement. I think it's a nice way to express how one is happy with something that is posted. It doesn't mean that you or I are experts. It does mean that we have said some things that others agreed with, found helpful, etc.

Just the same, giving credit where it is due.

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Might be onto something here...

Found a post on CVT Forum of someone saying simply breath as normal, keeping the lower ribs open and forget about the abs, concentrate more on the waist. Let the waist move inward and control it.

When I try this (monitored by my hands) I find a pulling sensation inside and outside on my bladder area, which I guess is my lower abs region.

Not tried it with singing yet gunna try it in the morning. Consult my singing teacher tomorrow about it as well.

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OK, so that didn't work.

Too overly complicated.

My singing teacher thinks I'm over complicating things.

He told me to simply take a deep breath and hold it, feel the muscles that are working and the diaphragm. It did help more.

Maybe I am over thinking all this support. Doesn't help I guess when thousands of people have different opinions and beliefs.

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give this a try........can't hurt to try......

just see how you sing if let's say you could not inhale. pretend that the only way you can inhale air is by expanding your stomach ribs and back with an open mouth and throat.

don't assist the inhale. let the expansion of the lower muscles drop the diaphragm down and let vacuum draw in the air.

do not clutch the throat, if you feel you need to, you've taken in too much air!

sing 4 lines of a song..remember only the expansion of the lower core being your only way to get air.

as you sing the lines try, to keep the expansion from collapsing too fast.

you will get a very good sense of how little air is needed to sing.

the don't list:

raise the shoulders

grip the throat

assist the inhale

try it and let me know.

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Yeah I totally understand the concept of not needing a lot of air to sing. I don't gulp in air.

I breath just like I do everyday.

Doing that exercise I feel I need to assist the breath in because I can't expand my ribs without feeling like I'm ballooning myself up, if that makes sense.

I do understand what muscles are needed for inhalation etc.

It's supporting and slowing the release of air that is a hindrance.

There's too many opinions that are baffling me.

I end up tensing the abs because someone told me to use the abs to control it, when really the abs shouldn't be tensed at all.

Edit

Should I just feel for a force pushing down in the centre of my chest horizontally, keeping the abs loose?

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I know we put a lot of thought into trying to find the right words for all this, but ....

Learning singing is a sensory and motor process. We need to see and hear others model for us, and give us feedback not just on what we report verbally, but on what they see, hear, and even feel us do. This can save hours, days, weeks, months of confusion. D.Starr, I suspect that if you are confused which posts to work with, find a someone who can watch and listen to you, give you feedback face to face, let you see and feel their own body when they breathe and sing.

Email discussion groups can never replace this physical process of teaching and learning.

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if you "lost" support, u never actually learned it in the first place. and the only thing I can guarantee is that on a forum you will not learn.

Follow what your teacher told you. And if you dont trust the trainning you are receiving, find another.

This is the most basic principle to develop your voice. without support, you have strain. Always.

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Was watching this video a few times over.

He hits some high notes that I have problems with, can't really pick out certain times in the timeline so click to around 4:40. (Please watch to the end)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kt2KT-JfZE&feature=related

Only real thing I see is near the end around you see his muscle under his armpits tighten, but there's no lower core movement at all.

So what type of support does Chris Brown use? He hits some pretty damn high notes in other songs.

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what are expecting to see d?

he's supporting relative to what he is singing. you won't always see the lower core expanding like a balloon, if you think you will, let's put that to rest now.

support can vary widely depending on so many factors.

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Never ever seen Chris Brown balloon his belly.

Seen him hit As and above and his stomach never makes shows signs of tensing or ballooning.

The act of ballooning to me isn't normal. It just seems hyper extended and unnatural.

Like in this video, it's not clear to see his stomach, but there isn't any ballooning. Just natural breaths.

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