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Check out how Michael Jackson modifies his "ah" vowel!

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gno
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Interesting way he modifies "ah" through the passagio. Instead of modifying toward "aw" he seems to go toward the vowel in "cat". I can mimic this vowel shade by doing what Tony O'Hora was recommending where you keep the mouth slightly closed and slightly spread as you go up. I'm wondering what you guys think of this?

What is happening here with the formants? Is this healthy to do? Seems like it could be useful for pop singing.

Go directly to 2:18

There is another example at 5:10 where it sounds like a more tradition "ah" modification.

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If you check out some of Phil's video's and I'm sure he might have something to say about this. His bright AH vowel almost literally sounds like "A" as in cat to me.

There is only one school of teaching that can sing MJ in my entire country lol! It's like a hybrid version of SLS and supoer expensive to get into. But MJ is still the standard for pop singing! (Imo)

Interesting stuff man ;)

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Thanks guys - It is interesting to hear him fly though those warmups - near perfect pitch - and very consistent weight. He has a very agile voice. And he's got a pretty nice low end too - down to about F2.

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Geno,

Interestingly, some operatic tenors are taught the same thing. If you listen to Pavarotti on a high B and high C, he often takes this same vowel direction for his AH. I know Bill Schumann in NYC teaches this approach to his tenors.

~~Dante~~

As they should be.. they are through the passagio by the time they hit an A4, so the vowel needs to open again..

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Thanks Dante - I've noticed if I don't starting modify "ah" towards something else around F4 it start really straining my voice. I've done it the traditional way, which gives you that more closed operatic "aw" sound which doesn't always sound appropriate. This is a cool option - but I think it still needs to be done right. Do you know what the 1st and 2nd formants are doing here with the "aw" verses this "cat" vowel around G4?

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I'm not hearing aa, sounds to me like he is actually modifying to aw a bit. But his entire voice is produced brighter so everything is kind of more aa-ish to start. That's how I hear it personally.

I'm also from the northeastern US like Dante...up here our ah's are less aw-like. But I still hear Michael's ah modification as a modification. My guess is his fundamental setup is brighter than most people (high larynx+low soft palate+distinct twang maybe?), but he's still darkening the vowel toward aw or uh using the tongue.

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Thanks Dante - I've noticed if I don't starting modify "ah" towards something else around F4 it start really straining my voice. I've done it the traditional way, which gives you that more closed operatic "aw" sound which doesn't always sound appropriate. This is a cool option - but I think it still needs to be done right. Do you know what the 1st and 2nd formants are doing here with the "aw" verses this "cat" vowel around G4?

Just don't keep the modification to narrow as you ascend. Through the f is cool but open it back up to uh or ah when you get past your strained area. Work it like a figure 8. If it gets to narrow start to widen if it gets do wide start to narrow and so on and so on. This will take you all the way up and through whistle voice..

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