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Breathing/support/vibrato, am i doing it right?

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Hi, i recently found out i am not breathing properly when singing and blame this for going hoarse quite soon. What i was doing, taking a shallow breath, unconsiously or "normal" breath, and just compression on the cords. Results where not good so i tried to improve it.

What i do now, take always a quite deep breath, unless there are small phrases where i still take a half-deep breath, lock my body tightening the abs almost as much as i can, especially on hard belted notes and compress like there is no tomorrow. Also i try to modify all vowels to "open" in order to get a fuller-warmer tone and to project easier and louder. In short i go for a somewhat classical tone.

I have seen improvements both on quality of sound and stamina but still not the desired result, i can last about 30-45'. By the way most stuff i sing are near and over the F4, recordings can be added tomorrow, anything you would like me to record in order to understand?

About vibrato, when i am "locked" i find it very hard to apply vibrato, i have to listen the part again, understand what the singer is doing and then apply it and rarely it comes effortless. When i am "normal" i can easily add vibrato but i get tired sooner and lack the warm/full sound. Should i just work more on it? Few weeks ago it was almost non existent so it just might need time...?

If something doesnt makes sense, excuse my english.

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Hi, i recently found out i am not breathing properly when singing and blame this for going hoarse quite soon. What i was doing, taking a shallow breath, unconsiously or "normal" breath, and just compression on the cords. Results where not good so i tried to improve it.

What i do now, take always a quite deep breath, unless there are small phrases where i still take a half-deep breath, lock my body tightening the abs almost as much as i can, especially on hard belted notes and compress like there is no tomorrow. Also i try to modify all vowels to "open" in order to get a fuller-warmer tone and to project easier and louder. In short i go for a somewhat classical tone.

I have seen improvements both on quality of sound and stamina but still not the desired result, i can last about 30-45'. By the way most stuff i sing are near and over the F4, recordings can be added tomorrow, anything you would like me to record in order to understand?

About vibrato, when i am "locked" i find it very hard to apply vibrato, i have to listen the part again, understand what the singer is doing and then apply it and rarely it comes effortless. When i am "normal" i can easily add vibrato but i get tired sooner and lack the warm/full sound. Should i just work more on it? Few weeks ago it was almost non existent so it just might need time...?

If something doesnt makes sense, excuse my english.

Okay first of all, don't lock the body. Support is never locked. It does involve resistance and tension, but not forcing one position. Let the lower torso move in the same way it would naturally, you just want to resist/control/slow down that movement.

Tightening the abs almost as much as I can is also not a great mindset IMO. Tighten the abs only as much as you need to hit the note with stability. It should be more of an intuitive response than a conscious effort.

Compress like there is no tomorrow, again, too extreme! Rarely in singing technique is anything ever done like there is no tomorrow...moderation and balance are key. It does sound like you are doing the right things, just don't overdo it. Put in only as much effort as you need to get the desired sound, and exactly how much is a process of self-discovery.

Modifying all vowels to open...I'll let others comment on that. Not a bad idea but not the answer to every situation. Also depends what you mean by open.

A recording would be good to hear, for sure...

Vibrato I'm still figuring out personally, I'll let others comment on that.

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Owen is correct, I would add that all these things depend on the details, something as simple as avoid moving your tongue during inhaling can solve an issue. For sure, do not press like hell and do not overdo anything.

About open vowels, that makes it easier to sustain modal voice but if exagerate, it can become quite strange.

And vibrato... Vibrato, technically, is not something you produce directly, but rather is a result of applying technique properly. To sing pop this is not so much of an option... It would sound ridiculous. Still, you can train to emulate, or (a better choice in my opinion), use on spots for interpretative effects.

It depends mostly on covering and focus.

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Sounds like my method is even easier. Strike a deal with Satan for the sale of your soul in order to have the voice of destiny ...

:lol: \m/

It sounds like your endurance has improved, rather than decrease, by means, mostly, of your more actively involved breath management and you are currently missing vibrato.

two things to consider:

Vibrato will come back as your breath management becomes more reflexive, rather than this current concentrated effort.

Second, it is likely that you have some subtle vibrato that you are not sensitive enough to hear. Again, as the breath management becomes more automatic and reflexive, so will your hearing of what you are doing. Over time, as you find that sweet spot of balance of air pressure and speed for whereever you are in the range, you will then have a more easy vibrato.

Just give it time.

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one question may i ask...

who told you to "tighten the abs and compress like there's no tomorrow?"

do you realize that can actually prevent proper support?

Thank you guys for the answers. Bob, didnt know that... i thought this could cause the needed presure to the diaphragm in order to support the cords, obviously i need to do some more research :| I do hit higher notes easier and they ring better but i feel it takes away some agility from my voice. The high compression level is to balance the high pressure from the tightened abs, from what i understand if i lower the pressure from my abs i can lower my compression but then wouldnt i lack the power for the notes to belt?

About vibrato, is it ok to "force" it?, should just sing the notes as i can and wait it to appear? or try to find the way it comes naturally and build from there? Felipe i heard in an interview two famous opera singers saying they learned vibrato by doing trills like C/C#/C/... maybe it depends also on the voice and not the technique like ex. a tenor who can easily reach higher notes and a bass that has to train more to do it, just a thought.

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The one with Pavarotti and Sutherland?

They are showing trinado and ornaments... Its different.

Less tension will result in more vibrato. Usually its present already, if you produce a single steady line of pitch, it sounds robotic.

Forcing it is not a good idea. And unnatural vibrato in a production where it would not fit usually sounds strange.

Not something to worry about in my opinion. Train correctly and you will probably worry more about where to not use it...

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i have a great way i use to train support and the ability to manage air pressure....

even though you can't "feel" the diaphragm....

think that you can see it and feel it....compress it or send it down by expanding your ribs and back, and just try to keep it down......don't let it come up...then grab a book or magazine or whatever and read out loud..any paragraph, whatever and talk, don't sing, just talk and listen that you can speak clearly without any tension in your voice.

important: if you squeeze or feel like the need to clamp or squeeze anywhere in the vocal tract you're doing it wrong. (in the beginning that's likely what you'll feel..like one big strain of the lower core and the vocal tract as a unit....you want to get away from that....

the goal is to separate them, one has the tension, (again, if need be) while the other stays free..

naturally, it's going to be very tough at first, and the diaphragm will want to raise back up..try to keep it down, and at the same time keep the vocal tract relaxed.

to be sure i've explained myself correctly....

drop down the diaphragm, keep it from coming up, and read a sentence.

when the sentence is finished....let the diaphragm up (you tell it when it can come up.) expand the back and ribs again...(your breath), drop the diaphragm again, say another sentence.

as you get stronger, you can try doing 2 or sentences before you let the diaphragm up....

you want to develop full control over the rise of the diaphragm and teach yourself to put tension (if need be) in one place, and leave another place relaxed.

most singers that support improperly have not learned or aren't strong enough to separate the tension...

please, begin slowly.....this is a demanding exercise!! i cannot believe what this exercise has done for my tone and power.

if you're not sure of what i wrote, just let me know.

until you get the hang of it, it will be difficult..start slowly....

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