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twang: hard to perform or hard to accept?

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hi folks,

i read a lot of the posts where people have difficulty with twang.

if you do, perhaps i can offer in my own way, some non-academic help.

twang is partly an act.

yes, if you can release and simply sound/act like a duck, (quuuuuuack) and/or kackle like a witch you're basically there.

most country western singers use twang.

check them out and you'll hear an "ahhhh" (as in "chatter") tonal characteristic to their vocals. chaka kaan uses it a lot too.

twang can ease production and brighten the tone.

guaranteed.

but i was thinking maybe one reason singers have difficulty with twang lies not in performing or executing twang, but rather psychologically accepting the twanged sound.

well, if you're worried that twang will convert your beautful tone into a duck-like sound, worry not.

so my question is, why do so many singers have trouble with twang?

is it that you find it difficult to execute, or difficult to accept?

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Quacking like a duck or cakling like a mad witch is all fine and not hard but.. I mean.. the sound is so so horrible :D

There has to be some kind of degree or some recipe to alleviate the horror or something. So I'd settle on both difficult to execute well and extremely hard to accept.

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That's just it. You don't have to sound like a duck. :cool: But get the feel of it using that extreme level. Feel how easy it makes the cords vibrate and loudness with little effort. Then back off but continue to seek that ease of production. You can change the tone up with vocal tract adjustments. I think the key is to hone in on the feeling of ease... then modify the other things that change the tone...including how much twang. If that makes sense.

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Interesting topic. The few times Ive mucked around with it, Ive wondered how can this possibly sound masculine? I hear that one can immediately increase volume just by making it a little quacky, but it does seem like I have a mental obstinate block, a fear of sounding like anastasia, who though I dont mind her voice, I wouldnt like to sound like that. I dont like the twangy country waaaaaaaa style either.

Another thing, on the topic of chaka khan: Ive always respected my mums musical opinons, shes always only listened to the best in jazz, opera and pop, shes always been very up to date on singers, and shes always been able to pick out the best singer even if she's never heard of them before, so shes got a good ear, better than me. I was really surprised when I mentioned chaka khan once and she said, 'who?' So I played one of chaka khans hits and she was 'oh no I dont like that at all'. Soul and jazz have always been her forte so it surprised me. Anyone understand criticism of chaka khan? Is she not really accepted in soul/jazz circles?

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That's just it. You don't have to sound like a duck. :cool: But get the feel of it using that extreme level. Feel how easy it makes the cords vibrate and loudness with little effort. Then back off but continue to seek that ease of production. You can change the tone up with vocal tract adjustments. I think the key is to hone in on the feeling of ease... then modify the other things that change the tone...including how much twang. If that makes sense.

Quincy: I sure agree. In addition, twang users need to know is that adding twang via epilaryngeal narrowing shortens the 'vowel part' of vocal tract some, so to compensate, the singer should either let the larynx lower a bit, or shade the vowels toward darker versions. This re-balances the tone quality so that the vowels sound very much like they did before, but the overall projection has the benefit of the twang... a huge benefit in ease and power. The combination makes the twang less obvious, and the vowel quality more consistent with the singer's previous sound.

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Quacking like a duck or cakling like a mad witch is all fine and not hard but.. I mean.. the sound is so so horrible :D

There has to be some kind of degree or some recipe to alleviate the horror or something. So I'd settle on both difficult to execute well and extremely hard to accept.

i hear you ronron.

i fought with the un-masquline sound myself before i realized how you can make other adjustments, do other things during the twang and get these bright cutting tones and this "lift" that seems to ease the production.

does jon bon jovi sound horrible?

how about robert plant?

richard marx?

steve fraser probably knows the opera vocalists who use twang, a.k.a. singer's formant.

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does jon bon jovi sound horrible?

yes...imo- Well horrible is an exaggeration

how about robert plant?

Never liked him much either to be frank, though he could sometimes sound pretty when he was young. Lou G sounds 10 times better imo. I'd put him in a whole class above bon jovi and plant

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To me twang is had to peform. If you are american, twang is part of your language, many people talk with twang so it's easier to do.

I'm french and twang is really not a natural thing to do. When you are french singing classical music is really easier to do than singing rock songs...

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To me twang is had to peform. If you are american, twang is part of your language, many people talk with twang so it's easier to do.

I'm french and twang is really not a natural thing to do. When you are french singing classical music is really easier to do than singing rock songs...

that's really interesting...never even realized that!

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... In addition, twang users need to know is that adding twang via epilaryngeal narrowing shortens the 'vowel part' of vocal tract some, so to compensate, the singer should either let the larynx lower a bit, or shade the vowels toward darker versions. This re-balances the tone quality so that the vowels sound very much like they did before, but the overall projection has the benefit of the twang... a huge benefit in ease and power. The combination makes the twang less obvious, and the vowel quality more consistent with the singer's previous sound.

Good to know.

Twang is not binary (on or off). The vocalist controls the amount of twang he / she applies to his / her production.

Does this criticism of twang come from listening to a dry vocal / acapella production. One may wish to consider the importance of twang when a vocal sits in a mix with screaming guitars and the rest of a band. Part of the point is to produce a vocal that cuts and can be heard clearly in a live sound setting.

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I guess I never had the problem of acceptiing twang. My inspiration could have written the book on it and it didn't sound un-masculine at all. Once the muscles have re-trained to do the twang, you lose the "duck" sound unless you decided to twang so "tightly" that you get back to the duck sound. Twang is a main way to the upper range and to accomplish that range with volume.

Some of you have mentioned how high I can sing and with such power. Even though much of it feels like chest to me, I am sure it's twang. Twang with the right vowel shading and maybe even some distortion still sounds chesty or belty.

The hardest part for some people is to break from the idea that just because the note sounded chesty, it must have come from non-twang, "chest" resonance.

In the beginning, there was twang, and it was good. Become one with the twang. I think a vocal teacher could get away with a great pun by writing under the pseudonym of Mark Twang. Verily, I say unto thee, the path to power in the upper range is twang. (With a vulcan hand sign) may you live long and twang. Twang has been very, very good to me. Twang, it's not just the sound of a guitar string. To borrow and butcher a lyric from Prince, "twang it like you just don't care."

Did I mention that twang is a good thing and will get you where you want to be? I'm not sure if that came through in this post. A motto for singing Marines, "Semper Twang." Army singers, "Twang all that you can twang." Air Force - "Aim high, twang."

Maybe a new song by the Pet Shop Boys. "Everybody twang chung tonight." By the way, that singer twangs, too.

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I'm french and twang is really not a natural thing to do. When you are french singing classical music is really easier to do than singing rock songs...

I'm trying to think of a region with a more nasal accent and can't come up with one. Maybe the region around Bordeaux ? They do a lot of -ng sound, as far as I can tell. Can't say if it's really some kind of " twangy accent " though. I know I don't speak with twang. The simple idea of allowing the sound behind the nose is kinda unnatural.

Unmasculine ? I must do something wrong then. It sure doesn't feel unmasculine, more like, you know, an evil duck sorcerer decided to mock me. Should I twang my falsetto or something instead of twanging whatever voice I'm in at a given pitch ?

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There is a lot of mis-understandings about Twang in this post... if it sounds too "quacky" like a duck, you are twanging too hard.. .its just that simply. We use the "quack" idea to help beginners learn how to do it, but that is not the level of twang you settle with once you get the feel of it. The amount of twang you use in performance does not sound "quacky". Over and over again, I see people on this forum thinking that to twang, means that you quack and sound quacky.. your not getting it...

And Mark makes a good point, its not on or off... like most other things in singing, but especially when working with twang, its a gradient. You train to throttle it up and down.. another important point that many a post on this forum seems to not "get"...

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Quincy: I sure agree. In addition, twang users need to know is that adding twang via epilaryngeal narrowing shortens the 'vowel part' of vocal tract some, so to compensate, the singer should either let the larynx lower a bit, or shade the vowels toward darker versions. This re-balances the tone quality so that the vowels sound very much like they did before, but the overall projection has the benefit of the twang... a huge benefit in ease and power. The combination makes the twang less obvious, and the vowel quality more consistent with the singer's previous sound.

PERFECT STEVE... PERFECT. DO YOU GUYS GET IT? THE TWANG IS JUST ONE COMPONENT OF THE UPPER VOCAL TRACT ACOUSTICS THAT TAKES PLACE WHEN YOU LEARN TO TWANG... WHEN THE FUNNEL IS NARROWED, YOU COMPENSATE AND CAPTURE YOUR DARKER OVERTONES BY A LOWERING OF THE LARYNX AND OUR OLD VOWEL MODIFICATION FRIENDS... ITS NOT ABOUT SINGING LIKE DONALD DUCK... I FEEL IRRITATED TONIGHT... ARGHH!!! :mad:

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i hear you ronron.

i fought with the un-masquline sound myself before i realized how you can make other adjustments, do other things during the twang and get these bright cutting tones and this "lift" that seems to ease the production.

does jon bon jovi sound horrible?

how about robert plant?

richard marx?

steve fraser probably knows the opera vocalists who use twang, a.k.a. singer's formant.

BOB, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT,,,, IF YOU WOULD JUST TAKE SOME LESSONS AND PRACTICE MAN... !!! YOU WOULD NOT BE CHASING YOUR TAIL ALL THE TIME AND MIS-UNDERSTANDING THIS STUFF.. AND FISHING ALL THE TIME. YOU WOULD SAVE YOURSELF SO MUCH TIME AND MYSTERY IF YOU WOULD JUST COMMIT TO TAKING SOME LESSONS AND PRACTICING... I LOVE YA DUDE, BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT, TO EVENTUALLY REALLY GET IT... YOU CANT JUST READ FORUMS AND BOOKS... YOU HAVE TO LIFT YOUR LEGS AND BUILD THE MUSCLE MEMORY BUDDY... IM TRYING TO HELP YOU.

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that's really interesting...never even realized that!

Joshua, I work with singers from all over the world, including many French students. In fact, I am working extensively with my new French associate teacher who will become a TVS CI soon in your country... and I have to tell you... language and culture has nothing to do with vocal modes... language and culture can influence vowel modification issues.. in other words in French, you may work out with an e' instead of an "Eh"... because its easier to form... but all people, races, creeds, languages, colors and culture and twang just as easy as they can Falsetto and Speak.

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I guess I never had the problem of acceptiing twang. My inspiration could have written the book on it and it didn't sound un-masculine at all. Once the muscles have re-trained to do the twang, you lose the "duck" sound unless you decided to twang so "tightly" that you get back to the duck sound. Twang is a main way to the upper range and to accomplish that range with volume.

Some of you have mentioned how high I can sing and with such power. Even though much of it feels like chest to me, I am sure it's twang. Twang with the right vowel shading and maybe even some distortion still sounds chesty or belty.

The hardest part for some people is to break from the idea that just because the note sounded chesty, it must have come from non-twang, "chest" resonance.

In the beginning, there was twang, and it was good. Become one with the twang. I think a vocal teacher could get away with a great pun by writing under the pseudonym of Mark Twang. Verily, I say unto thee, the path to power in the upper range is twang. (With a vulcan hand sign) may you live long and twang. Twang has been very, very good to me. Twang, it's not just the sound of a guitar string. To borrow and butcher a lyric from Prince, "twang it like you just don't care."

Did I mention that twang is a good thing and will get you where you want to be? I'm not sure if that came through in this post. A motto for singing Marines, "Semper Twang." Army singers, "Twang all that you can twang." Air Force - "Aim high, twang."

Maybe a new song by the Pet Shop Boys. "Everybody twang chung tonight." By the way, that singer twangs, too.

EXACTLY RON... YOU NAILED IT.

I guess I never had the problem of acceptiing twang. My inspiration could have written the book on it and it didn't sound un-masculine at all. Once the muscles have re-trained to do the twang, you lose the "duck" sound unless you decided to twang so "tightly" that you get back to the duck sound. Twang is a main way to the upper range and to accomplish that range with volume.

Look guys, I have news for you... Twang is not a choice. Ok? If you want to sing with amazing power, stability in your bridges, amplify frequencies, fortify your vowels and lord knows any number of things that twang does for singers, you will do it and you MUST do it. Its not a choice!! Its essential... so stop thinking that you have to quack like a duck and realize what Steve, Mark, Ron and I are telling you... you have to master it and that doesnt mean you sound shitty and weird... twanging ... at the performance level is a soft contraction... its not a pedal to the metal thing... maybe in the beginning until you learn how, then you ease it off... Arghh! Im still feeling cranky tonight...

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Joshua, I work with singers from all over the world, including many French students. In fact, I am working extensively with my new French associate teacher who will become a TVS CI soon in your country... and I have to tell you... language and culture has nothing to do with vocal modes... language and culture can influence vowel modification issues.. in other words in French, you may work out with an e' instead of an "Eh"... because its easier to form... but all people, races, creeds, languages, colors and culture and twang just as easy as they can Falsetto and Speak.

Thanxs for the answer and the feedback on your experience, I used to be one of your french students ;-).

When will Stephanie become TVS certified? I work at the same place as her, she teaches singing, i teach guitar. Does that mean you will come to my place this year???? that would be so great!

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About the american accent, I remember going to a teacher a few times called Bo Von Sydow a long time ago here in sweden and I remember him saying that americans get it and that I should talk like an american. In hindsight he no doubt was talking about twang.

I suspect Rob is correct that one needs to go to a teacher. Much like the comparisons to boxing without an instructor in that martial arts thread, I flail about with bits and pieces as well, and its all hit and miss if there isnt someone there to say, 'no thats too much, no thats too little, no thats not what we mean, yes thats it, now you've got it'.

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I guess I never had the problem of acceptiing twang. My inspiration could have written the book on it and it didn't sound un-masculine at all. Once the muscles have re-trained to do the twang, you lose the "duck" sound unless you decided to twang so "tightly" that you get back to the duck sound. Twang is a main way to the upper range and to accomplish that range with volume.

Some of you have mentioned how high I can sing and with such power. Even though much of it feels like chest to me, I am sure it's twang. Twang with the right vowel shading and maybe even some distortion still sounds chesty or belty.

The hardest part for some people is to break from the idea that just because the note sounded chesty, it must have come from non-twang, "chest" resonance.

In the beginning, there was twang, and it was good. Become one with the twang. I think a vocal teacher could get away with a great pun by writing under the pseudonym of Mark Twang. Verily, I say unto thee, the path to power in the upper range is twang. (With a vulcan hand sign) may you live long and twang. Twang has been very, very good to me. Twang, it's not just the sound of a guitar string. To borrow and butcher a lyric from Prince, "twang it like you just don't care."

Did I mention that twang is a good thing and will get you where you want to be? I'm not sure if that came through in this post. A motto for singing Marines, "Semper Twang." Army singers, "Twang all that you can twang." Air Force - "Aim high, twang."

Maybe a new song by the Pet Shop Boys. "Everybody twang chung tonight." By the way, that singer twangs, too.

the singer looks like a cross between james cagney and sting, lol!!!

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BOB, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT,,,, IF YOU WOULD JUST TAKE SOME LESSONS AND PRACTICE MAN... !!! YOU WOULD NOT BE CHASING YOUR TAIL ALL THE TIME AND MIS-UNDERSTANDING THIS STUFF.. AND FISHING ALL THE TIME. YOU WOULD SAVE YOURSELF SO MUCH TIME AND MYSTERY IF YOU WOULD JUST COMMIT TO TAKING SOME LESSONS AND PRACTICING... I LOVE YA DUDE, BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT, TO EVENTUALLY REALLY GET IT... YOU CANT JUST READ FORUMS AND BOOKS... YOU HAVE TO LIFT YOUR LEGS AND BUILD THE MUSCLE MEMORY BUDDY... IM TRYING TO HELP YOU.

rob, i appreciate what you're saying, i really do man, but i'm afraid i'm just not financially able to swing it.

i realize more about twang than i wrote, i do exercise religiously, and work my tail off. i know i'm at a disadvantage without a one-on-one situation, but i'm doing the best i can utilizing all of my sources.

rest assured i'm not feeling frustrated in fact i'm really just very passionate and facinated by the whole thing.....i've learned so much. not to worry my friend, i'm lovin it!!

did you ever consider one of those group webinars, where a bunch of singers call in and we get taught in bulk so to speak?

just throwing out an idea.

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