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question about KTVA stage 1 exercises for KTVA users and experts

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darkclaw3000
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A big big hello to everyone here! im gonna enjoy my time here reading all new stuffs and learning from different like-minded people..

(im not too good with intros so i move on... =P)

I've been doing exercises from Stage 1 of KTVA and im asking anyone out there who tried it to explain me some stuffs..

I don't know if i'm doing it right or wrong, or I don't understand whats going on.

1) about the lip rolls - on the 2nd scale of the rolls, many times my lip rolls will 'pause'. as in i have to 'restart' the roll back. (brrrrr*die off, air still blowing*brrrrr)

is it because of no control of diaphragm? too much air is blown out? i tried 'squeezing' my stomach to control the air but that seems wrong so i relaxed and continue but still keep pausing.

2) the AH (it's the la) vowel exercise - ken says the back of the throat must be open n tongue must be flat. i achieved that but whenever i go higher up the scale, the walls around the soft palette (that dangling thingy right?) are closing in. not really close but the opening is becoming smaller. also the dangling thingy doesnt really disappear up the head, but only half of it goes back up.. (wonder if u get me.. =P) is this normal or totally wrong..?

3) EH (as in 'air') vowel, after the AH - doing the EH makes the back of my tongue to rise like a hill, flat in front, but back of throat open. this must be wrong right?

thank you to everyone hope i dont take too much of your time.........

\m/

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darkclaw3000 - I've been doing the ktva stuff since January. 1) on the lip rolls quite likely your lips are getting tight or dried out. Do what he suggests and lick your lips to get them moist. Try to keep your lips relaxed. Also, you may be on to something with your breath. You need to keep a steady breath - the lip roll only works at a certain rate of breath flow. 2) for me, when I get into the passagio around e4 on the la, my opening also gets smaller like yours. But I'm trying to keep the back of my throat (which you can't see) open. I think this is natural. Ken has done a good job keeping his pallet high and tongue low when going high. I cannot do that yet, and I'm not sure how critically important this is. After reading the CVT book I have a different opinion on this than Ken. 3) I'm not sure.

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some days i also have problems with lip rolls like you, to me it's more support problem. I also have another problem with liprolss: the tongue... I tend to strain it and place it between my teeth instead of letting the tongue at is normal place, that cause straining in the throat. Compared to Ken's tongue mine is ridiculously big lol

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  • Administrator

You will not achieve good bridging by learning to bridge high. You have to insure your onset is correct, your timing is correct on the bridge, your vowel is correct and other things. There is a lot to do and understand, something I can show you how to do in about 15 minutes and save you 15 days of frustration.

Good luck with all that....

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thanks everyone for the help! this really keeps me going.

to robert - i actually stumbled upon KTVA by chance when i was search for vocal lessons online, and purchased it first. after that, i found out about themodernvocalist, robert lunte, james lugo, CVT etc etc. after i mastered KTVA, Four Pillars is my absolute next product. and will be looking forward to work with you mr. lunte.

to guitartrek - i forgot to add 1 more question.. the 'NG' tongue exercise, (where u have to stick abit of your tongue out and do scales), Ken says 'feel like theres a 'ball' at the back of the throat, keeping it open. i dont really quite understand this description. but what i've been doing is, i do stick out the tongue like he shows, and did all the scales with no apparant 'force' or 'tension'. but i'm wondering if the sensation i'm suppose to be getting is achieved or not...

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Darkclaw, you might try tongue trills if lip bubbles don't work for you. They don't work for me and I think it's because of genetic heritage. My grandfather (mother's side) was from Germany and my father's ancestry is english, irish, and scottish. So, no matter which way I look at it, I have thin lips. So tongue trills work. That I can do for the rolled r's in german.

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darkclaw3000 - Ken wants us to keep the back of our throat open. It is a common thing a lot of voice programs try to acheive. I don't know exactly why these tongue excersizes - I assume it is to get the tongue out from the back of the throat. So sticking your tongue out helps acheive this. I don't really feel a "ball" back there, that's just one of his visualization techniques. If you are doing it without tension I would guess you are doing it right.

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Darkclaw, you might try tongue trills if lip bubbles don't work for you. They don't work for me and I think it's because of genetic heritage. My grandfather (mother's side) was from Germany and my father's ancestry is english, irish, and scottish. So, no matter which way I look at it, I have thin lips. So tongue trills work. That I can do for the rolled r's in german.

i shall try that too! thank you for the suggestion!!

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darkclaw3000 - Ken wants us to keep the back of our throat open. It is a common thing a lot of voice programs try to acheive. I don't know exactly why these tongue excersizes - I assume it is to get the tongue out from the back of the throat. So sticking your tongue out helps acheive this. I don't really feel a "ball" back there, that's just one of his visualization techniques. If you are doing it without tension I would guess you are doing it right.

ok thanks bro. it was just something that makes me scratch my head and ask, 'what ball??'.

by the way, since I can somehow keep my throat open in the exercises, tongue flat, minimal or no tension, you think i can get stage 2 now??

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darkclaw3000 - I'm not sure when the right time is to move to atage 2. I've got it and it has a few more excersizes and concepts. I practiced Stage 1 excersizes for about 6 months to where I have stretched my range up to a Bb5. Now I'm doing some of the Stage 2 excersizes. It's completely up to you.

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darkclaw3000 - I'm not sure when the right time is to move to atage 2. I've got it and it has a few more excersizes and concepts. I practiced Stage 1 excersizes for about 6 months to where I have stretched my range up to a Bb5. Now I'm doing some of the Stage 2 excersizes. It's completely up to you.

i've been singing for quite some time, mostly self-taught from books like Raise Your Voice by Jaime and rock n roll survival guide by Mark.. got my range up to Ab5.. took me more then a year tho.. no 'real' guidance =(. i think i get the stage 2 and see how it goes.. thanks sir!

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  • 4 weeks later...

For your liprolls, I agree - it's probably a case of the lips drying out, or getting tense. If you can sustain a note without the breaks, then you're probably not going to fix the solution by changing breath use - you probably need to relax the jaw - are you tensing your jaw or tightening your teeth together as you liproll ? If so, relax that and see how it's getting on.

For the flat tongue thing - I wonder if perhaps it's a misunderstanding of what Ken wants - in the videos on his site, he's clearly using a very high tongue position - the dorsum is lifted right up towards the upper back molars (as is consistent with most Bel Canto work) - but the front remains relaxed and low, behind the front teeth and the throat wide open (Ken's oustanding at it, in fact - a real joy to listen to !) - but the tongue isn't low - or at least the dorsum isn't low, it's high. Look at the opening video on his site and you'll see this. So if you want your tongue to rise along with the soft palate, there's no harm in that - I'd actively encourage it to avoid tensing the jaw and pushing down on the hyoid bone by overly flattening the tongue.

The best way to find out what Ken means though would be to have a Skype lesson with him - then he can guide you in person.

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For your liprolls, I agree - it's probably a case of the lips drying out, or getting tense. If you can sustain a note without the breaks, then you're probably not going to fix the solution by changing breath use - you probably need to relax the jaw - are you tensing your jaw or tightening your teeth together as you liproll ? If so, relax that and see how it's getting on.

For the flat tongue thing - I wonder if perhaps it's a misunderstanding of what Ken wants - in the videos on his site, he's clearly using a very high tongue position - the dorsum is lifted right up towards the upper back molars (as is consistent with most Bel Canto work) - but the front remains relaxed and low, behind the front teeth and the throat wide open (Ken's oustanding at it, in fact - a real joy to listen to !) - but the tongue isn't low - or at least the dorsum isn't low, it's high. Look at the opening video on his site and you'll see this. So if you want your tongue to rise along with the soft palate, there's no harm in that - I'd actively encourage it to avoid tensing the jaw and pushing down on the hyoid bone by overly flattening the tongue.

The best way to find out what Ken means though would be to have a Skype lesson with him - then he can guide you in person.

thx for the helpful advice! been doing this almost everyday to get it done right.

alot of terms you used that i never heard before.. looks like i have to google them haha.. like dorsum and hyoid. like names of monsters to me.. =P

trying to save up for a lesson with ken.. things been hard for me recently. ah well.

ive got a show this coming sunday, sessioning for a friend's band. they will be playing Helloween - a tale that wasn't right. i've got a problem with that song.. its not the high notes that i cant reach, but i cant make my voice 'clean' witout straining too much. its easier for me when i sing it 'raspy' or 'distorted', i donno how to describe it actually. i will post a recording soon......

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sorry for the delay guys!

here's the audio clip. sound was bad tho, so sorry about that. recorded from my cellphone.

i donno if you can hear the 'rasp' here.. i think i post a better and clearer recording of just my raw vocals..

anyway here it is. hope to get some comments from you guys..

http://www.box.net/shared/2hddanld2i

ps: appreciate it if you help me describe what i was doing in certain parts of the song.. i'm really unsure with all the terms.. twang, curb, edge etc etc.. thx so so much....... =D

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darkclaw3000 - the performance sounds really good. You are pretty free up there on the C5's. It's hard to hear exactly what is going on but it seems you are in head up there - from A4 on up. At C5 and D5 sounds like you are in Edge. Below A4 it sounds like you are in Overdrive. Ken would want us to be more in Curbing with the vowel modifications in the E4 to A4 range, but Overdrive sounds really cool too. If I were you I'd stay with what you are doing.

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I can hear the notes but I can't discern any rasp due to the sound quality.

It might be worth posting the clearer recording you mentioned.

PS. Do you feel any constriction when doing your vibrato ?

EDIT : I use KTVA but I'm no expert.

Will post it soon!

I don't feel any constriction at all. Do I sound constricted?

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darkclaw3000 - the performance sounds really good. You are pretty free up there on the C5's. It's hard to hear exactly what is going on but it seems you are in head up there - from A4 on up. At C5 and D5 sounds like you are in Edge. Below A4 it sounds like you are in Overdrive. Ken would want us to be more in Curbing with the vowel modifications in the E4 to A4 range, but Overdrive sounds really cool too. If I were you I'd stay with what you are doing.

Thanks lots guitartrek! I would like to stay with what i'm doing but there are some areas in my range where its very weak and if i sing on that certain area, i can only achieve a 'solid/strong' tone if done in curbing/overdrive/raspy mode. ( i still donno what are those. =P ) if i don't do it in those modes, i will get a weak sounding sound.

i will put up another recording of this song but wit only raw vox.. im still waiting for my friend to return me my zoom h2.. -_-

p.s. i hope this is not too much but where exactly are the C5, A4,D5...=P can you put in the line of the song if you know or the timing of the song when im doing those modes you said..? =D!!!

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A big big hello to everyone here! im gonna enjoy my time here reading all new stuffs and learning from different like-minded people..

(im not too good with intros so i move on... =P)

I've been doing exercises from Stage 1 of KTVA and im asking anyone out there who tried it to explain me some stuffs..

I don't know if i'm doing it right or wrong, or I don't understand whats going on.

1) about the lip rolls - on the 2nd scale of the rolls, many times my lip rolls will 'pause'. as in i have to 'restart' the roll back. (brrrrr*die off, air still blowing*brrrrr)

is it because of no control of diaphragm? too much air is blown out? i tried 'squeezing' my stomach to control the air but that seems wrong so i relaxed and continue but still keep pausing.

2) the AH (it's the la) vowel exercise - ken says the back of the throat must be open n tongue must be flat. i achieved that but whenever i go higher up the scale, the walls around the soft palette (that dangling thingy right?) are closing in. not really close but the opening is becoming smaller. also the dangling thingy doesnt really disappear up the head, but only half of it goes back up.. (wonder if u get me.. =P) is this normal or totally wrong..?

3) EH (as in 'air') vowel, after the AH - doing the EH makes the back of my tongue to rise like a hill, flat in front, but back of throat open. this must be wrong right?

thank you to everyone hope i dont take too much of your time.........

\m/

can i throw in a comment about those lousy lip rolls? i.m.h.o., that is one exercise that is truly a barometer of your ability i.e., throat, jaw and face muscle relaxation, support, and consistancy of airflow. i never leave home without them.....lol!!!!

if i were a vocal instructor, that would be my main staple exercise i'd instill on my students for mastering.....it's indispensible for warming up, warming down, and warming in between.....

his "it's the la" exercise requires a really open mouth, taller than you think or feel initially comfortable with, and you have to relax yet support below well.

and the tongue tip has to be glued to the back teeth...lol!!!

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darkclaw3000 - It's hard for me to distinguish the words so I'll go for the time code:

2:08 - C5 - it is the high note in the chorus. I beleive you are in CVT-Edge or Twanged Neutral. (Ken would say Head)

2:13 is B4 also in CVT-Neutral or Edge (Ken's Head)

2:15, 2:16 - F4 then A4, G4 - this is where Ken would want us to be in cubing and I think you are partially in Overdrive, and it sounds good to me. CVT would say that's perfectly healthy. You are supporting well.

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