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Flat and tight semi-high notes

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haver26
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Hello,

I recently posted here asking about a problem I have with the notes A3-D4. They sound flat and tight, and less deep than my lower notes. One member in the forum gave me an exercise to do a humming sound on these notes, maybe it helped a little bit, but still they don't sound good.

My teacher says that I shoud refer to these notes as to my mix and not to pull up too much weight when I sing them, especially C4 and D4.

What do you guys think I should do? These notes aren't very high and yet for me they are stressful and difficult. Do you think I shoud treat these notes as if they were part of mix, and not exactly my chest voice? What else would you suggest?

If it's important, I'm a bass-baritone and my range starts approximately from G1 (very low). I've been studying with my teacher for almost a year now, and when I started out, even F3 was difficult to sing.

I put a demo here so you can listen, the word "mind" is sung no D4.

https://soundcloud.com/haveri-1/trial-1

Thanks a lot in advance!

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haver, the note you're singing is d4 flat......you're under the note desired.

without going too technical, personally, all i would like to suggest is to simply sing the same passage louder. give it a little more umph, a little more power, and use support. try it again.

listen to elton john live....

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You lack twang, or that brightness to the tone, or amplification of a higher harmonic if you will.

Start low, very comfortable say sing and hold the end NG and *gently* siren through your range with this. Only as high as comfortable doesn't matter where you start, this will teach you to bring in the right resonance so singing a D4 will be as easy as talking

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Hello,

I recently posted here asking about a problem I have with the notes A3-D4. They sound flat and tight, and less deep than my lower notes. One member in the forum gave me an exercise to do a humming sound on these notes, maybe it helped a little bit, but still they don't sound good.

My teacher says that I shoud refer to these notes as to my mix and not to pull up too much weight when I sing them, especially C4 and D4.

What do you guys think I should do? These notes aren't very high and yet for me they are stressful and difficult. Do you think I shoud treat these notes as if they were part of mix, and not exactly my chest voice? What else would you suggest?

If it's important, I'm a bass-baritone and my range starts approximately from G1 (very low). I've been studying with my teacher for almost a year now, and when I started out, even F3 was difficult to sing.

I put a demo here so you can listen, the word "mind" is sung on D4.

https://soundcloud.com/haveri-1/trial-1

Thanks a lot in advance!

haver26: Its a great set of questions. I'll write from my experience as a lyric Bass, and also as a voice teacher.

For the moment, IMO its more practical to think of yourself as a Bass voice, or simply a low male voice for the time being, since the bulk of your comfortable range and power seem to fit those descriptions. Train that way...release the tensions, solidify your technique, and your voice will find its own true range as things get better.

There are many reasons that strain can be in a voice, but for a low male voice my experience is the tendency to oversing... to allow too much breath pressure, is the first thing to check. Somehow, on a psychological level, the kind of 'oomph' of the low voice... the pure power of the G2 - D3 notes, encourages us low voices to try to sing the same way, and with the same feeling, on the notes from G3 up.

It does not work. The muscular feeling of the low range cannot be maintained in the upward scale. For the strain to be avoided, and good, easy tone achieved, the gradual trade-off of laryngeal muscle action must be already begun by the D3.

How to work on this? My recommendation is to combine three things together:

1) Soft, slow sirens

2) Semi-occluded consonants Z (as at the beginning of Zoo) or voiced TH (as in 'Thee')

3) Body positioning to remove gravity and posture from the breath management equation for the time being

This latter one deserves a bit of explanation. Good breath management for singing involves bringing the exhalation force to a level that can be managed well by the laryngeal musculature, into 'balance' if you will. To find these sensations, its useful to lay down on the floor, bed or couch... head on a small pillow, and focus attention on retaining the feeling of abdominal expansion during singing of an exercise.

My favorite way to do this with a new student is to use a book as an aid. Lay down (wherever) on your back, and put a medium-size/weight book flat on your abs, in the space between the bottom of the sternum and the navel. Fold your hands over the book, so you can feel its motion.

Take a few slow breaths, raising the book as you inhale, and letting it lower as you exhale slowly. It will go up/down a couple or 3 inches each time.

After a couple minutes, you will likely be able to do this pretty much at will.

Then, go on to the next step. Press the book downward a bit with your hands, and resist that pressure by firming your abs and lifting the book. Take in the slow breath, raising the book, with the firm, but not rigid, abs. When you have inhaled a medium breath, stop inhaling, throat still open, but keep the book in its semi-raised position with the firm (not rigid) abs. Hold for 10 seconds, and then exhale slowly with the firm (not rigid) abs. The book will descend slowly, too.

With a little practice, you will likely be able to keep the firm abs while raising the book on inhale with no problem.

The final step in this is to add the siren. Take in the breath (with the firm, but not rigid, abs) and then onset the siren on Z or TH, and keep the abs in that firm condition. Yes, your abs (and the book) will descend slowly, but generally with the same sensation as the abs had in the prior step: firm, but not rigid.

What you have done in this exercise is to limit the inhalation and exhalation motions to the abdominals, and to engage the diaphragm to slow down the exhalation.

Try these out, and let us know what you think.

I hope this is helpful for you.

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