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TMV FORUM PRACTICE LOG-WHAT WAS YOUR VOCAL PRACTICE ROUTINE THIS WEEK?

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Robert Lunte
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I feel inspired to create a new, ongoing discussion where TMV Forum members can share with the community, what they did for the week for their vocal training. Its time we get up from our computers and go practice.

Share your training routine, techniques, what worked, what didnt, what your working on with the community. Lets learn from eachother some practical application and training ideas that actually make us sing better. Let others learn "best practice" tips and routines for their training.

Ill start...

Well, I train about 15-20 hours a week, while Im teaching essentially. My voice gets a huge amount of excercise. However, i will say this... lately I have been paying very close attention, and therefore my studnets, to my Onsets, specifically an onset we refer to at TVS as "light mass". In addition to that, I am working hard on maintaining my "light mass" phonations through all vocal workouts as the "light mass" phonation is preferred for training and responds well to the advanced techniques we train at TVS.

I am also beginning to work more on my "overlay distortion" techniques more these days in preparation for a couple albums I intend to produce later in the year. As such, I am spending about 2-3 hours a week on working on melodic ideas and phrasing (without lyrics) for what will be new original tunes later in the Spring.

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i train 6-days a week, 30 min. to an hour a day.

also might repeat some exercises throughout the day.

down a gallon of water a day, even if it kills me..lol!!!

eat whole wheat bread with olive oil on it.

i also sit by myself and simply intensely visualize singing better, mentally micro-intending to sing a certain way or improve a certain weakness.

more practise by attending karaoke wherever and whenever i can.

i am presently in day 3 of trying out james lugo's cd. i like the fast pace, and the stretch. i also do neck muscle flexing exercise and diaphragm pumping exercises.

i have been working on vowel mods. i am convinced it's one of the best pathways to high note vocals.

also, working on full voice range extension trying to hold and sustain powerful b4's and up with ring and support.

working on songs from artists such as:

sam and dave

sam cooke

lou gramm (still the most challenging of all...no seriously controlled breath support and diaphram control, no lou gramm period)

chrstina aquilera

lara fabian

paul rodgers

brian adams

jon secada

marvin gaye

otis redding

freddie mercury

michael bolton

martina mcbride

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I have been sing for 10 min or so on and then 10-20 min off during the day. It seems like it is working and letting me get more overall training time in and I seem to be progressing. It isn't so simple to do it every day though, since I typically practice with a mic, I can only do it on days that I am working from home or evenings or weekends. But on those days that I am home long enough, I get way more practicing in.

I have been working on my upper range, trying to get more power on my highest notes, and practicing with loops of backing tracks that are from parts of songs I have been having trouble with. That is to say, I am just practing the parts of song that I am having trouble with. I also try to sing a bit each day in each mode (from CVT).

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I haven't done much during this week, so far, partially due to being busy trying to find another job. My temp assignment ended last Friday and the temp agency doesn't have anything for me. And I am near broke. One more payment to me from the agency and that's it, I'm out. At the same time, I am starting a business with a working partner I have known for 9 years. So, we're starting an electrical contractor business, which has required attention from me in the ways of legal requirements, admin costs, business structure, pricing, state contractor license, establishing a DBA, etc.

But I had lost part of my voice for a couple of weeks and was trying to get it back and did, mainly through re-learning some coordination through sirens, high to low. And very light air. And made a lot of progress that way, so that my voice was coming back last week. And ended up using "I Don't Believe in Love" as a rehab because it is a light tenor song using primarily head voice. It's what I call a "clean" song. Not much, if any, identifiable distortion. Just enough twang to accomplish the note. Just enough air to accomplish the note. Which doesn't make it an "easy" song, not in the slightest. The timing in that song can be a beotch. And it's one of those songs where you have to be able to sing, not just holler or shout. Attention to breath support. Some of my takes were crap from pushing too much air and tiring myself out. Or trying to ring too loud. So, the final product was what I was aiming for, not singing loud, proper controlled breath support, and enough resonance to carry the note, with wearing out my muscles, which I believed were the problem.

I think I am beginning to suffer a cold, so I am taking it easy and any singing I do will follow the same regimen as last week and stopping at the first sign of fatigue or discomfort. What's a week or so in comparison to the rest of your life?

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Normally, I don't practice scales, so much. I may vocalize triplets or three or four note riffs in various ranges and resonances. Including "Cielito Lindo," a popular mexican folk song that is often sung in twang, traditionally. Practicing the refrain around the range seems to loosen me up and get pitches centered where I want them.

Things I want to work on are vowel mods, especially changing vowel mods on the fly to accomplish a sonic effect with less effort.

And I need to record more, not because I want to post more stuff. But to work on my timing when singing with playback. And to develope the proper mental state in recording. Often, I can sing a song free and easy while I am washing dishes in the kitchen. But, when the "red light" is on, the "free and easy" is not so free and easy because this is for real, so to speak. It's odd, because when I perform live for others, I don't clench up. It's free and easy to perform live.

So, part of my recording learning should follow what Mike sometimes does. Record different parts of a song at different times and mix the patches (audacity records them as different tracks) into a seamless whole, which is what pros do, anyway. Rarely do they actually record a whole song "live." And it is not uncommon for a group or artist to have to listen to their own finished product to determine how they will actually sing this in concert.

I learned from the writings of David Lee Roth. It doesn't matter what you did in recording. You still have to train your voice for the songs in the set list for how will do them on this particular tour.

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last night i tried something to break up the scale/arpeggio/siren boredom. if you use vlc media player to play your cd's, you can adjust the playback speed (faster or slower) in very minor increments...so i was practising faster scales, arpeggios and syrens..it was a nice change of pace.

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I just scream nonstop. All day. All night. I'm screaming as I type this.

Funny dude...

Well today... I just had a killer meeting with "Sir" Fraser on formants and vowels and such... all the phonetics work. I love this dude,,, Been talking to Steve, he will honor "The Four Pillars of Singing" 2.0 by adding a chapter to the book on Phonetics... its going to be cool.

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wow, that's a lot. would you be kind enough to tell us what you do?

in what proportion? i.e., exercises vs. singing songs?

Ya I agree, that is kind of a lot... could possibly too much... I echo Bob... what are you doing for 3 hours a day, six days a week?

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My current routine is to start out with warmup exercises from the SS Mastering Mix CD 12. Real light easy stuff to get things limbered up. Takes about 13 minutes. Then I’ll do about 23 minutes of a bunch of different runs off of the SS Styles CD which I continually rotate the vowels on both the ascending and descending scales. Then I eat breakfast. :)

Lastly I practice my resonance and dynamics using the Spectrograph that Steven so generously provided. This usually takes 10-15 minutes. I try to come up with different exercises and vary it up every so often. Right now, what I do is pick a vowel sound that isn’t as free and resonant as I might like. Then I’ll do the Messa di Voce exercise starting on E3 and working my way up to A4 and back down. Doing only the natural notes. I’ll mark the frequency on the spectrograph and this gives me great feedback working on keeping the pitch stable. And of course you can see the effectiveness of your various harmonics as they rise and fall during the exercise.

Take another break, brush my teeth or something and then sing my songs. I also try to have a lot of different types of songs with, in CVT terms, a lot of different modes to practice. I am mostly focused on ease and resonance right now and when I run across a word in a song that is giving me troubles, I’ll make a note of that vowel sound and maybe the onset consonant and use it the next day on my Messa di Voce exercise.

I usually get to practice this way about 6 days a week.

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wow, that's a lot. would you be kind enough to tell us what you do?

in what proportion? i.e., exercises vs. singing songs?

Inspirational you guys. I've been sick for the last week and a half so I can't even sing while at my desk let alone full out practicing. It's brutal.

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I practice about 2 hours in 3-4 different times throughout the day. I don't sing a lick until after lunch. First I do Jaime Vendera's Vocal Stress Release Warm-ups, Stretches, ect. Second, I do some falsetto sirens until I wiggle up to a C6 (some days with the help of lip rolls). Then I work on Messa di Voce in my chesty range (up to a Eb above middle C). Once that's smoothed out, I'll go ahead a jump over the full voiced break with some full voice sirens. Then I'll pick some pretty easy songs I sing in the band, stopping when I mess up and sirening around the trouble spots. Once, I make it through a couple easy songs, I'll start doing messa di voce WAY above the break and start pulling it lower towards that tricky spot right above the break. Then I'll start singing the really tough songs, stopping and using a combination of messa di voce and full voice sirens to work out the kinks. A 10 minute lip trill warm down is the last thing I do.

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But seriously, I've tried a lot of things. Recently I've been doing a lot of sirens, all kind of them. I used to do a lot of lip rolls but have reduced it a lot, but I'm gonna try them again and see how I like them. They are good for singing softly in the high range so I guess they're good warmups but full voice sirens seem to warm my voice well, too, and I usually sing high notes with full voice (the best I can). I sing bits and pieces of songs a lot and I work a lot on my rasp tone throughout my range. That's all I can think of typing right now.

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Hi everyone,

I think Rob posted this thread, so that he can check up on his students!

My vocal routine varies abit week to week depending on the amount of time I have to devote to it. But on a typical day it would be - and I'm usually able to get a min 4 or 5 days in a week.

warmups for about 30mins consisting of:

-liprolls on various scales (high larynx, low larynx).

-liprolls sustained into open vowels.

-very slow gentle creaky cry/frys on a simple scale.

-eww (with tightly pursed lips) on a scale.

-'ng' on a scale.

move on to TVS 4 pillars excersises (30 - 40 mins):

-resonant tracking

-octave registrations

-melodic 5ths

-bridging and connecting workout

-all scales done with 'onset package', which is proper jaw drop, twang, support.

-lately concentrating on vowels

-trying to remove abit of twang from the sound.. currently overtwanging - slightly.

move onto actual songs (30 mins):

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I'll normally spend about 45 minutes on technical excersises. And then I will practice songs and sing them for the rest of the time. I spend about an hour working on my own songs trying to make the lines work and figuring out how to sing them correctly. How much is too much?

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This week I'm practicing maintaining twang throughout my range by using major fifth slides on the practice vowel "Eh" and "TH" sound, exercises given to me by Robert Lunte and Steven F. I'm also doing the floor breathing exercise as described in RYV because I feel it's important to not lose this fundamental.

I'm looking for work right now, so I've a lot more free time in the day than I previously had. So my practice is split throughout the day. 15-30 minutes practice, do something else for an hour, another 15-30 minutes practice, something else ETC. Throughout a day I usually clock up between 2-3 hours with this method.

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How do you guys maintain the same vocal schedule every day? My voice is different every day, some days it clicks, others it just won't work unless I give it water and wait until the afternoon. Is this a result of inexperience, or have you guys worked out methods to work through "bad" days?

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How do you guys maintain the same vocal schedule every day? My voice is different every day, some days it clicks, others it just won't work unless I give it water and wait until the afternoon. Is this a result of inexperience, or have you guys worked out methods to work through "bad" days?

off days, even off performances are a given. you just have to realize the voice can't be 100% on all the time.

things like diet, dehydration, reflux, lack of sleep (a big one) and even things like mood can affect how you sound on a given day. you need to cherish the good days, and accept the not so good. if you go on you tube and grab a listen to true live performances, you'll hear nuances of trouble in the best of singers.

also, notice how many singers live sing in lower keys or they'll extend their mike towards the audience to sidestep an all-to-familiar high note they may instinctively know isn't going to happen well for them that day.

that why you can't get too crazy with perfection....i know, because i tend to be that way and i have to control it.

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For sure there are some days better than others. On some days I just use more energy and volume. Then other days a may feel more comfortable backing off somewhat and it makes things work better that day.

In general, I think my voice is pretty resilient to abuse because I've done some dumb things in the past and didn't suffer much negative affect, at least for very long. And I've gotten better over time learning how not to abuse my voice.

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Ascending and descending sirens. I've just realized I've been a chestpuller since the beginning, after a straining session (but eh, what do I know ? I'm just a kid :]). One and a half week of mostly silence, and it still was tense. Then I found an exercice, did it, and bam. Strain was gone, there was no more pain, and everything was just free. I had just been able to finally relax :)

Edit : Sirens on " NG ", then sirens on " NG " opening to an " Ah " at the top. And then sirens on " Ah ". And then I try to transition from A to other vowels, to get a feel for it.

So I'm trying to figure out how to connect the different bits of my voice, as they sound so very different, and when to engage the process of bridging, whether I should add something or remove something. It's been very pleasant and interesting so far, However, I dislike sounding like a coutertenor.

. :)

And I actually like screaming full power in the very high parts of my voice (even though it's very far from what some of you can do still), leaves a great feeling of wellness, like something had to get out x)

And I'll soon do some session on support, because I feel there's too much air, some escape sometimes.

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Ascending and descending sirens. I've just realized I've been a chestpuller since the beginning, after a straining session (but eh, what do I know ? I'm just a kid :]). One and a half week of mostly silence, and it still was tense. Then I found an exercice, did it, and bam. Strain was gone, there was no more pain, and everything was just free. I had just been able to finally relax :)

Edit : Sirens on " NG ", then sirens on " NG " opening to an " Ah " at the top. And then sirens on " Ah ". And then I try to transition from A to other vowels, to get a feel for it.

So I'm trying to figure out how to connect the different bits of my voice, as they sound so very different, and when to engage the process of bridging, whether I should add something or remove something. It's been very pleasant and interesting so far, However, I dislike sounding like a coutertenor.

. :)

And I actually like screaming full power in the very high parts of my voice (even though it's very far from what some of you can do still), leaves a great feeling of wellness, like something had to get out x)

And I'll soon do some session on support, because I feel there's too much air, some escape sometimes.

You have done well, Grasshopper. ('Master Po' from the original "Kung Fu" series.)

Today, I worked on light headvoice and particular, note onset and transition through the range. I was using "I Don't Believe in Love", a capella, and singing it slowly, to feel my way through these things. I think it helped because it forced me to slow down and not push as much air (a failing of mine) and concentrate on compression and resonance.

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