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Can´t transcend into proper head voice (not falsetto)

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Olem
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I have a big problem with entering my proper head voice. Everytime i do a siren i crack or transcends into falsetto, it´s not very breathy i think but it´s still falsetto. I saw here that you should go from Ah to oh and then uh in your passagio and i have tried that without much success. If someone could hear in my examples what i do wrong i would appreciate it very much.

I send you three links:

http://www.box.net/shared/g7cn5n0koa

http://www.box.net/shared/92ajc0bxy1

http://www.box.net/shared/y530p520z3

Thanx in advance/ Ola

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It's not falsetto. The middle one was the lightest head voice. The first one was the meatiest with a good twang. The third one was a cleaner version of the first one. But, to me, from the sound of it, that was an adducted head voice, not falsetto.

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Thanx for your answers, guys. Well, the tone is tiny, not very meaty, i think it´s a falsetto with adduction. Ok, for some it´s falsetto and for some it´s head voice so i say like this: i want to get rid of the fluty sound and want it more meaty. What can i do. To just say "add more twang" will not help me here, i am afraid.

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Add more twang. (Sorry, I couldn't resist ;) ).

It may sound flutey to you but not to me. Falsetto is characterized by being breathy, with lots of air escaping. What you did was not breathy. By definition, it was not falsetto. Therefore, you cannot say falsetto with adduction. Full adduction and falsetto do not happen at the same time for the definition of falsetto is incomplete adduction.

Who else has said it's falsetto? Right now, I think, you are the only one saying that. Maybe I am wrong. It's happened before and may happen again, without warning.

From what I have been reading, a healthy distortion or edge that you are wanting, even though I think, as listener, the notes were meaty enough, takes place near the soft palate. And twang is the way to do that.

Also, I will repeat my layman's definition. A high note is a small note, with consistent air pressure and solid adduction resonated in a space that is the right size for it.

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Olem - You are doing head voice in each of those examples - they sound good! I had a post a while back discussing transitioning to head voice. When you go into head voice the chords become thinner and it takes less energy, like changing gears on a bike. Head voice is similar to falsetto because in CVT terms head voice is Neutral, and falsetto is Neutral with Air. So yeah, it has a bit of the falsetto feeling, but without adding air or breathiness. The way to add "meat" up there is to add twang.

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Ola, I listened to your clips very carefully and I liked 1 & 2 - the 3d reminded me of my hurting distortion clip, please don't go there.

Actually 1 & 2 sound great - the only flaw I hear that passagio "bump" in the 1st. What I do to avoid it is not try to power through it but ease on

the volume and repeat that for a few months until the muscles learn to function that way. Additionally, since you have the range, I'd do the opposite too,

starting from a high "child's voice" and go all the way down without any breaks. Also I've found that it helps not being afraid to let your larynx rise,

in fact encourage it - that might do the trick for you, always being careful not to go overboard - which I think is where the 3d clip was headed.

Repetition and discipline will soon yield the results you want.

Best,

Thanos

EDIT : Please remember I'm an amateur.

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Olem - You are doing head voice in each of those examples - they sound good! I had a post a while back discussing transitioning to head voice. When you go into head voice the chords become thinner and it takes less energy, like changing gears on a bike. Head voice is similar to falsetto because in CVT terms head voice is Neutral, and falsetto is Neutral with Air. So yeah, it has a bit of the falsetto feeling, but without adding air or breathiness. The way to add "meat" up there is to add twang.

I told you not to say just add twang, ron and guitartrek :). Just kidding. Well, i didn´t express myself very clear, of course you could say it´s head voice, but what i mean is to have a different timbre, not fluty but meaty in my head voice. Curbing is a way to add more meat i guess, but curbing also needs a little more weight and it needs to be louder in the upper range if i understood it right. If i have this approach in my sirens now i would crack i think. Would more twang together with the right vowel and the crying sound automatically result in curbing in my clips?

akarawd, thanx for your tips, i will follow your advice.

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How I was taught to do is it lift and pull back. When I say lift and pull back you should feel the sound in the top/back side of your head. Also try to go wide (reduce airflow and power) and once you hit the end apply lite more compression on the twang and let her rip. This is the Robert Lunte way.

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Thanx for your answers, guys. Well, the tone is tiny, not very meaty, i think it´s a falsetto with adduction. Ok, for some it´s falsetto and for some it´s head voice so i say like this: i want to get rid of the fluty sound and want it more meaty. What can i do. To just say "add more twang" will not help me here, i am afraid.

Olem: Oh, you want meaty? Why didn't you say so? :)

To help in understanding what should be done, let me expand a bit on what makes the tone be 'meaty'.

It starts with a correct relationship of the exhale power with the adjustment of the laryngeal musculature, intrinsic and extrinsic. These factors combine into a phonation in which the glottis opens and closes in a repeating cycle. The time from the beginning of one cycle to the beginning to the next determines the note you are singing. How long the glottis is open and closed in the cycle strongly influences the tone quality.

A 'meaty' (sometimes called 'chesty') tone quality results when the amount of time the glottis is closed is a higher percentage of the total cycle time. For purposes of discussion, this ratio is called the Closed Quotient, or CQ. Depending on the singer, CQ of 40 (%) to 60 will be heard as plenty meaty: 40 is less meaty, 60 is more. Higher and lower values have been found in individual singers, with correspondingly lighter or more intense tone qualities.

The CQ is partially about the way the muscles are used, and partly about how much exhalation force is put against the vocal bands. Adduction and registration combine as influences for the CQ. For the pitch to be controlled well when going into the upper voice, the muscle actions and the exhale force have to maintain their relationship so that the CQ stays 'in the range'. It can be allowed to lessen in the transition to head voice, provided that the voice is used in a resonant manner.

That should be enough to get us started with the next level of explanation.

As you ascend pitch, the vocal bands stretch and thin somewhat to make the higher notes. This action reduces the adduction progressively. If there is no compensation for this, the CQ lowers until the sound quality is 'heady'. If that adduction change occurs as a result of the Thyro-arytenoids disengaging, then the vocal bands get suddenly thinner... a break into a light registration. To maintain 'meaty' tone, the singer has to maintain the muscle balance in the upward scale so that the CQ stays more consistent. This is easy to write, but challenging to do the first time. Now on to specific exercises you can perform.

The approach you use depends on the vocal tone quality you want in your upper voice. You mentioned 'head voice'. That is one way to approach the notes. The other approach is simply to continue the tone quality of the mid voice into the upper pitches. Its up to you to decide which way you would like to sound.

Since you used 'head voice' terminology, here is the technique for making the transition from the mid voice to that:

1) In addition to using twang, use particular vowels to help in the relatively weak area around F4, the F above middle C. /o/ and /u/ /i/ (oh, oo, ee) are very helpful there.

2) Assure that there is not any undesired exhalation force. Particularly, used balanced onsets, breath management and sustained postural position of the sternum.

3) onset a vocal fry on the C below mid C, and then increase the volume just enough to have the note be a clear, middle-soft note.

3) Do slow, clear, middle-volume 1-octave sirens on the vowels, and resist the temptation to get much louder as you ascend. Start where you did the fry (c below middle C.) Transpose upward after sirening 1 time on each vowel. Use /o/ (oh) first.

I hope this helps with what you are looking for.

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olem, may i make a suggestion? if you want that meaty sound, why not reduce your siren for now?

also try to maintain a yawning sensation and open throat.

Bob, why would i want to reduce my sirens? An open throat comes with the yawning? Are there other ways to keep an open throat?

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Olem,

It sounds like you're pushing too much (my teacher used to call it "kicking tires") :-)

Also make sure you're keeping your larynx stationary and thinking "back and down", which is where the whole yawning analogy comes into play.

Hope that helps!

Good Vibes~

Vic

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Bob, why would i want to reduce my sirens? An open throat comes with the yawning? Are there other ways to keep an open throat?

maybe i said it wrong. start on c3 to c4 sirens going up in half steps like steve said but if you're looking for that real meaty sound the kind i'm thinking of, why not try to produce meatiness in those earlier mix notes f,g, and a?

open throat can be helped by relaxing, relaxing your shoulders, singing on "ng", "lah" really opening the mouth (more than you think) lowering the jaw, and resting tip of the tongue behind the bottom front teeth.

also your posture and breathing have to be right. just trying to be helpful.

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Steven, What would be your approach to continue to ascend in the midvoice coordination ...?

IndrasNet: I think the key to this is to not 'try' to do anything different in the upward siren, not even much of a crescendo. Just set up the circumstances, and let the muscle actions make their small, smooth adjustments. The thinning of the vocal bands will happen automatically if the singer does not muscle up, and the adduction will adjust in response to the desire to keep things clear.

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Another concept which may help is the idea of core voice quality.

Find a comfortable, yet meaty sound on the lower range. Quantify how much effort this costs you in the laryngeal area - on a scale of 1 to 10, or as light, medium, high - whatever, as long as you identify it.

Do the same thing with the amount of breath you're using - how much is it?

As you ascend, make sure you don't change theses parameters - keep making the 'same sound' as it were. The first few times this happens, there will likely be a sudden flip into a lighter registration as the TA lets go (as Steven mentioned) - here you will feel the laryngeal effort level drop to zero or almost zero, whilst the breath effort may stay the same.

Repeat the exercises trying to keep both efforts in place and see what happens.

If you find that this causes your voice to tighten up as you ascend, you can try this approach instead:

Give a relatively loud moaning, crying sound - such as a very sad adult might make. Do this in your lower range, starting from your speaking voice and gradually getting sadder. You'll probably lose a little volume as you reach your saddest, that's ok - but make sure it remains free, not tight. Think of a funereal wail or moan. Now try moving the pitch around a little - a big, melodramatic groan that moves up and down in pitch. Keep the effort level a little lower than the speech voice.

Now try speaking in this mode of vibration. It will feel silly and won't sound natural at all - that's ok. Now sing a line of song with it, changing nothing from how it was when you were speaking with it. Now try using the sound in the part of your voice where it usually goes a bit wimpy - speak it first, then speak it near the pitch you need, then sing it. The singing should feel almost like the sad speaking part did. You may find tightening certain palatal muscles helpful here (if you know about palate anchoring, do that - if you don't, just try flaring your nostrils and holding it during the note to see what happens).

It's hard to help more without hearing you, but I hope these two suggestions are of some use !

Allan

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Another concept which may help is the idea of core voice quality.

Find a comfortable, yet meaty sound on the lower range. Quantify how much effort this costs you in the laryngeal area - on a scale of 1 to 10, or as light, medium, high - whatever, as long as you identify it.

Do the same thing with the amount of breath you're using - how much is it?

As you ascend, make sure you don't change theses parameters - keep making the 'same sound' as it were. The first few times this happens, there will likely be a sudden flip into a lighter registration as the TA lets go (as Steven mentioned) - here you will feel the laryngeal effort level drop to zero or almost zero, whilst the breath effort may stay the same.

Repeat the exercises trying to keep both efforts in place and see what happens.

If you find that this causes your voice to tighten up as you ascend, you can try this approach instead:

Give a relatively loud moaning, crying sound - such as a very sad adult might make. Do this in your lower range, starting from your speaking voice and gradually getting sadder. You'll probably lose a little volume as you reach your saddest, that's ok - but make sure it remains free, not tight. Think of a funereal wail or moan. Now try moving the pitch around a little - a big, melodramatic groan that moves up and down in pitch. Keep the effort level a little lower than the speech voice.

Now try speaking in this mode of vibration. It will feel silly and won't sound natural at all - that's ok. Now sing a line of song with it, changing nothing from how it was when you were speaking with it. Now try using the sound in the part of your voice where it usually goes a bit wimpy - speak it first, then speak it near the pitch you need, then sing it. The singing should feel almost like the sad speaking part did. You may find tightening certain palatal muscles helpful here (if you know about palate anchoring, do that - if you don't, just try flaring your nostrils and holding it during the note to see what happens).

It's hard to help more without hearing you, but I hope these two suggestions are of some use !

Allan

The crying sound i have tried to establish in my voice often with the result of straining. I will try your advice and see if the straining will disappear, thanx alot Alan. Maybe i´ll post some clips if i don´t get it right.

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Excellent post, Allan. I'm going to suggest you get a rep point. I wear myself out when I "try" to do distortion. But, if I am using the emotional context of a song, I can do some naturally, though it's not always coming through on my mic. And that may also be a mixing problem. But, essentially, my "not thinking about it approach" is what you described.

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Welcome to Allan, the man whose clip helped me realize I was pushing my normal speaking voice way too high, and helped me correct it, even if he doesn't know it... Unless I'm mistaken, of course, but how many chanteurmoderne are called Allan, I wonder ? :P

And I will definitely try what was suggested here, when I have some spare time.

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Well, Allan is a specific name.

And if my limited understand of french is correct, chanteurmoderne means "modern singer" (male gender). N'est pas?

Tres bon, mon Ami.

(I must confess that while knowing a few words of french, I am sometimes likely to throw in cajun, which is a variation of french spoken in some parts of Louisiana. My brother-in-law and his family live near Baton Rouge. And I do likes me some crawfish. And Crawfish Etoufee'. And Jambalaya. And boudin. And andouille sausage.)

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