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help with belting and whistle voice

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kevthemusiclover
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Well I've been looking on this forum for info for a while now and thought I would ask for some advice finally. I was hoping I could get some advice and exercises I could use to help with belting. I know there are a few popular guy singers out there who do belt(Adam Lambert, Freddie Mercury). I know a lot of you on here feel the low head notes are the difficult ones, but I haven't really experienced too much problems with them since I am kind of used to them, I was classified as a tenor in chorus all through high school and sang songs frequently in that range for a long time. I can post a clip up of belted notes around c5-a5 maybe a b. I am using the term belting as singing a high note with power(even though thats a loose term too...) whether it sounds chesty or bright.

I also have access to my whistle register, but I just started so I can't guarantee I can post a clip up of that right now. I have been able to go up an e6 without going into whistle, but I know I need to start transitioning into whistle sooner and I have a hard time with that transition. Do you think it would be better to go through a day every now and then where my voice is in really good shape and build whistle to where I can do it more consistently then try to build down, or try to transition from head voice into whistle? And yes I know whistle voice isn't going to be too much use to me in songs, but I think it would help out my voice a bit and I don't like the idea of having that big part of my voice missing. I also have been able to go up to a Bb6 using reverse phonation.

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Hi kevthemusiclover,

Learning about belting was one of my big challenges too. As you already know there are lots of terms and lots of arguments about what belting is.

There are lots of people on this forum that have had very good experiences with various ways of learning about "belting." It is in Robert Lunte's book and some of his students may share more about what it can offer, and the Estill Method which you can read about in Singing and the Actor by Gillyanne Kayes (she doesn't call it Estill which is trade marked, but it is pretty much the Estill technique.) Singing Success and SLS will only say it is dangerous and should be avoided. One method, the Complete Vocal Technique, even decided to change the name of what they called belting to edge because there was so much confusion. And actually I do really like CVT it is worth checking out.

I think checking out any of these except SLS and SS might be pretty helpful.

I hope this helps some.

Doug

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I have already checked out SLS and SS, they got me started pretty good, but when I got to more advanced stuff it became more difficult. I don't think it is dangerous, but I wouldn't use it passed more basic things. Brett also says good ways to find whistle voice. I also think I might have been a little too vague when I was talking about belting. think I will probably post a clip up lol. I chose to believe a really broad definition of belting. So I would think of what people call screams belting, like steven tyler. He is singing a high note with a lot of twang I know that though. I have seen a lot of stuff from Steven Fraser and almost any time I figure something out with my voice is because of him lol, so I am hoping he will see this.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_2aLWJ4lKk

sorta bad sound quality cause i was just using the webcam on my labtop. Idk what note that I hit cause I don't have a piano or anything to tell me my pitch lol. But if anyone tells me a specific note they want me to do I can look it up on a song and do it from that.

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hey great twang youve got there :D

exactly what do you want help with in "belting" ?

the bride to whistle is a bitch and it's very hard to master completly as you need to thin so much it becomes very hard to do live.

I can connect my whistle pretty decent when i use very very small and heady sounds and thats one way to work and connect it, although bear inmind it's very timeconsuming and you wont probably use it live very often :P

I usually train my entire voice this way before i get going on more powerfull sounds

http://www.speedyshare.com/files/24824883/range2.wma

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Thank you, I have seen some recordings of you and you are great at it too. Whistle voice is just so much fun to develop! lol

I also can't open the file, do you know what software I could download so I can, it is trying to open it with quicktime and can't.

I want to try to make them a little darker and more powerful.

:D is a hilarious smiley face lol

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Well I'm far from doing what you did in that. But I think I figured out I need to work down instead of up from that. I would work on it a little bit now, but unfortunately my voice is not wanting to do a whistle today. Next time I can actually get into and sustain a whistle I will work on it for a little bit and try to bridge it down.

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Yup, for some reason when my voice is in sort of bad shape I can reach it better, which is weird. Like I could probably drink a soda and then do whistle after that or just sing for like 2 hours straight goin all out, then a couple hours later be able to do a whistle note easily. I guess because muscles that would interfere are tired or something? Also got any advice on making my high notes darker, I can make the notes more chesty but it just feels odd and isn't as clear and I think I can only do that up to a high g.

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well the whistle is probably the most fragile function in your voice, in my voice my whistle is not as dominant as my chestvoice or headvoice. So when if sung fullout for a while im my voice really wants to pull head instead of going into whistle.

So im experiencing exactly the same things as your do, but my tips are play around with whistle show off and such :P but dont get into it to deep as it usually ends up as a partytrick anyways... Specially for us guys, and you have an E6 in head so youve got all the highnotes youll ever need.

Ok im not the singer on the forum with the most "chesty" sound so you should besides my comments now get ahold of both jon pall, videohere, martin, steven, and analog as they are great with this. But my approach in the highrange to a chestyer sound is choosing a vowel that gives me more "ummph" adding more twang and also lowering the larynx slightly.

Im a baritone so in my past traning everything around E4 would either sound extremly pushed or breathy and falsettoquality and everything above F4 would be falsetto breathy.

If you listen to this clip, here am i doing what im talking about above, slightly lowering the larynx, vowel Ah almost towards Oh on a G4.

http://www.speedyshare.com/files/24825120/Audio.wma

Edit: and also use vowels that suits your own voice and the type of soundcolor you wanna have, as it can sound many diffrent ways depending on what type of sound you want. Also what type of sound you choose to darken

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quick note, if you're finding whistle easily after using your voice for long periods of time, or when you're vocally strained or unwell - then there's a high chance that your vocal folds are oedemic and that's what's helping you find the whistle. This isn't the same production as a healthy whistle, we believe (although much research remains to be done on the matter) - but what it does highlight is that your technique in general needs work as two hours of singing shouldn't be causing vocal fold oedema.

I listened to your belt note and thought it sounded great - well twanged, well placed - I'd have liked a bit more body work (if you have singing and the actor, check out the section on torso anchoring) - but sounding good to me - how does it feel to you ?

Allan

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I don't have that book. If you think you can explain it a little bit that would be helpful, I read a little bit about it online but couldn't find out what it was exactly. The belted note felt like it was in my head pretty much, not really much feeling at all.

I wouldn't say I can whistle when my voice is strained, because I can't. It is more of when my voice is cooling down I guess and sort of relaxed. I can also do it in the morning. And welcome to the forum. :)

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I don't have that book. If you think you can explain it a little bit that would be helpful, I read a little bit about it online but couldn't find out what it was exactly. The belted note felt like it was in my head pretty much, not really much feeling at all.

I wouldn't say I can whistle when my voice is strained, because I can't. It is more of when my voice is cooling down I guess and sort of relaxed. I can also do it in the morning. And welcome to the forum. :)

belting needs support.

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Thanks everyone! What a great welcome. Analog, that actually made me laugh out loud! I'm going to work on growing ear-hair and speaking with odd word order now! Steven, I've been reading your stuff on spectrography - fantastic stuff - I use spectrography a little in my own teaching and a bit more in my research, but my speciality is physiology really so I'm really looking forward to learning more.

Kevin, support for belting is often better placed higher in the body - there are physiological reasons for this (torso anchoring has a direct effect on subglottal pressure) and also psychological ones (we often drive air when we want to sing louder or higher - so doing both at the same time often feels like you 'need' to push somewhere - pushing on the torso anchoring won't hurt you - pushing on your abs probably will).

To get some basic torso anchoring - stand with your hands behind your back - as if you were at the army, then bring the shoulders gently back and down. It will probably feel like you're working hard in lat muscles (the shoulder blade area, or 'wings' as some people call them) - if you keep this new posture a bit and bring your hands back to the sides of your body, you may be aware of feeling a bit of work around the rib cage, in the back and just over the pecs - you will probably have also lifted your sternum a little.

If you're not in that position, try a few different routes to finding the right muscular work - imagine picking up two heavy suitcases and the resultant effort that it produces high in the torso and back will likely be torso anchoring, or again imagine that you're trying to gently push two ski poles through the ground.

Once you've found the position, check that you are only keeping the muscular work there by breathing freely, chewing, rolling the tongue around, walking around the room etc - all whilst maintaining a little effort in the upper body.

Try to work harder in the body than in the voice and try your belting again with more work in this area - really feel it lifting and holding the voice - you may be significantly able to reduce the effort in the throat area with this and you will most likely not tire your voice so much.

The key is really simple - don't let the sternum fall back down until you've finished voicing. You may have to work hard in the back to achieve this whilst singing.

Allan

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Thanks everyone! What a great welcome. Analog, that actually made me laugh out loud! I'm going to work on growing ear-hair and speaking with odd word order now! Steven, I've been reading your stuff on spectrography - fantastic stuff - I use spectrography a little in my own teaching and a bit more in my research, but my speciality is physiology really so I'm really looking forward to learning more.

Kevin, support for belting is often better placed higher in the body - there are physiological reasons for this (torso anchoring has a direct effect on subglottal pressure) and also psychological ones (we often drive air when we want to sing louder or higher - so doing both at the same time often feels like you 'need' to push somewhere - pushing on the torso anchoring won't hurt you - pushing on your abs probably will).

To get some basic torso anchoring - stand with your hands behind your back - as if you were at the army, then bring the shoulders gently back and down. It will probably feel like you're working hard in lat muscles (the shoulder blade area, or 'wings' as some people call them) - if you keep this new posture a bit and bring your hands back to the sides of your body, you may be aware of feeling a bit of work around the rib cage, in the back and just over the pecs - you will probably have also lifted your sternum a little.

If you're not in that position, try a few different routes to finding the right muscular work - imagine picking up two heavy suitcases and the resultant effort that it produces high in the torso and back will likely be torso anchoring, or again imagine that you're trying to gently push two ski poles through the ground.

Once you've found the position, check that you are only keeping the muscular work there by breathing freely, chewing, rolling the tongue around, walking around the room etc - all whilst maintaining a little effort in the upper body.

Try to work harder in the body than in the voice and try your belting again with more work in this area - really feel it lifting and holding the voice - you may be significantly able to reduce the effort in the throat area with this and you will most likely not tire your voice so much.

The key is really simple - don't let the sternum fall back down until you've finished voicing. You may have to work hard in the back to achieve this whilst singing.

Allan

I have never thought about doing that, it does help thanks. How would I be able to tell if I'm doing the oedemic(?) whistle voice instead of a regular one. And do you have any tips on how to help support it more, I feel like I use too much air any time I do it also.

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I have to say torso anchoring is what has helped me the most when it comes to stabilizing my high curbing notes. The focus on the stomach just doesn't do much for me. And I wouldn't have learned about it if it weren't for chanteurmoderne swinging in on the CVT forum. Good to see Allan here aswell.

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