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  1. This is a very interesting topic to me. How slowly do u suggest the breathing to be when one is able to hold the expansion steady (no movement) for half a minute? Also, I'm certain that the closure of the folds is of utmost importance once able to control the exhalation... What level of exhalation force (time to exhale, speed, etc.) should one use that would transfer over to a firm (not overly loud but not quiet) speaking voice? Loud singing voice (tenor high G or A? Of course dynamics, vowels and such make it tough to suggest exact answers to these questions, but using exhalation time as a baseline for exhalation force, can we more or less link the two, exhalation time and type of phonation? Hope this makes sense... If not please let me know. Thanks, Erik
  2. Thanks again Dante... I just may take you up on your offer in the near future. I feel like I currently have a very good idea of the sound that I'll need to shoot for along with the sensations that come along with good resonance and vocal cord closure. I believe that I know the sound because when I get it where I want it, it sounds solid and has a very strong core to it with lots of ring and overtones... and it just sounds similar to some of the artists that I love, not in style but in strength/power and freedom. Also, I am able to look at my vocal folds whenever I want with a dental mirror, flashlight and hand mirror. This is such an awesome thing to be able to do. Although I'm sure I cannot see the smallest of bumps, I can tell when they are irritated or red which does give me piece of mind with how I'm practicing. Anyone else use this form of self-check? I'm feelin' great right now man! Rock on! Erik
  3. Hi Dante, I guess I should have stated that I'm currently going through the fixes for this problem. I had previously thought that these sounds we're too harsh and would immediately lead to vocal damage... I was wrong though. Obviously too much "hold", like you call it, will lead to damage but the right amount is needed in order to create a proper pressure/flow which in turn leads to the right resonance. Without the proper hold or closure I was left with loosely vibrating or flapping folds which made it difficult to feel the right support or get a usable sound. I'm so glad you posted when you did Dante. I'm currently using the plaintive sound that you made in the clip on the vowels in order to habitualize my muscles and get a stronger voice. Best regards, Erik
  4. I've had to go through exactly what you described Dante. Thanks for the post!
  5. My pleasure Zedbo. I'll warn you right now not to strive for a ton of abdominal action. I'll try to describe to you the action that I go for during a slow exhale breathing exercise. It's been written a ton of different ways but here are a few that I relate to: After a comfortable inhale, one where the solar plexus (squishy area between the belly button and the bottom of the chest) and lower ribs expand, I attempt to engage my lower core slightly: WORD OF CAUTION: I do not close the vocal folds when I do this. I keep the folds open. 1) Similar to when you're on the toilet going number 2. Some have described it as a push down. do not do this with all your might. 2) Similar to when you're sitting at a table and you try to lift the table with your palms facing upwards 3) Similar to when you're lifting something heavy. Again not super strong but enough to feel the muscles working. 4) Siimilar to when you're hissing like a snake with emphasis on the 'S'. If you do this right, you'll feel the lower muscles engage, solar plexus, abs to a certain degree and other surrounding waist muscles. Eventually when I felt that I could vary the amount of power that I had in these muscles with relative ease, i moved onto the breathing exercise. Basically, I take a nice comfortable breath, NOT a full breath.... but a comfortable one, don't expand too much around the chest or waist. After I have air, I can gently flex those lower core muscles and start the slow hiss "sss". When I say slow, I don't mean nothing.... But I don't mean quickly either. Hard to explain but it's a lot less than if you were trying to scare a cat. In my opinion it is close to holding your breath. While doing this, I feel my abs ever so slowly moving in.... But I'm not concentrating on them moving in. I just make sure my chest is not collapsing. After doing this for a while I take a break. Especially in the beginning, you may get light headed. This is what has worked for me. After a few days, I began to be able to use the power of the lower muscles to hold back the air and bring power o the voice. I believe those lower muscles are used to expel air quickly, such as when we cough or sneeze. The odd thing is, I think that if we condition the lower muscles to move slowly with the diaphragm, this creates the ability to send the right amount of breath to the vocal folds. Obviously air usage varies and therefore tension in these muscles will also. The exhalation muscles in simultaneous activation with the inhalation muscles. Hopefully this makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions.
  6. Zedbo, there may be several factors at play here: 1) is your chest in a somewhat noble position? Not too high but not slouched or caved in with your back hunched over? It should stay in a somewhat lifted position and it shouldn't move too much when exhaling. 2) do you feel your abdominals, back and/or solar plexus engage when exhaling? This can be way too exaggerated sometimes but the right amount of it needs to be linked with a continuous and slow exhale. 3) while the folds do need to close in order to produce sounds, if forced close, progress can be very slow and sometimes not even be realized. These are just my ideas and experiences. For myself, I've found that linking a light valsalva maneuver (while keeping the glottis completely open) to a slow exhale allows me to transfer the right amount of air into my singing. Day after day I can tell that it becomes more natural to speak and sing with an amount of air that is efficient and comfortable in my range... Also am able to increase my range. Let me know if you have questions. Best regards, EGO
  7. Right on Video! I feel the same way, it's a great feeling, a milestone indeed! I used to get that exact feeling sometimes. But I had no idea how I got there, nor how to replicate it. It's taken me a good amount of time to understand that SUPPORT is such a huge part of singing. Now that I have that down, fairly well, it's as if other things are literally just falling into place. I always new twang was a huge part of the voice, but twang without support won't get you very far..... well I didn't get very far without it anyways. Time to enjoy these discoveries/achievements and make more!!! Have a great thanksgiving everyone! EGO
  8. When I get that feeling of having "the folds behind the nose" (not in the nose), I find that everything becomes almost completely effortless. Power, range and flexibility is all tremendously simple at that moment. I find that twanging like crazy helps me get to that place, good support is necessary for that as well imo. It is a wonderful feeling though, something I never thought it would feel like. I didn't really know how to put that feeling into words but you did a good job man! Like the folds have moved up! Best regards, EGO P.S. Also, I want to thank all who post on this forum, asking questions or answering. This place is an incredible resource and I am greatfull to all who support it.
  9. I'm in. Two weeks ago I discovered how to use my heavy voice. I was stuck in a light (neutral in cvt) coordination for my whole life and found out how to get the meat (thickness, whatever) in my voice that I have always wanted. And then today I FINALLY figured out how to use support. HOLY MOLY I am happy. It seems like I will finally make the progress I have been wanting to make. After years of wanting to sing up and into the A5 region, I can finally hit some of those notes (full voice). Now, in no way am I finished learning and experimenting and trying to better my singing, but I am HAPPY to say that I have made progress! Here's a link to a thread that helped me find support: I had always thought that support was like one feeling. But for me it's two. 1. The feeling of maintaining expansion around the solar plexus 2. Downward pressure, similar to using the baño, #2. Thanks to all on this site who ask questions and provide great responses. Without your questions/input I don't know where I would be. THANK YOU ALL! Hopefully I can post some clips up tomorrow and show off a bit! lol. Best regards, EGO
  10. Steven: I just started playing around with your suggested exercise. It is new to me. I'm sure there is some tension in the root of my tongue but I know it's much less than I used to have. I've done an exercise where I stick out my tongue and kind of hold it there with my teeth/lips. It really feels like my tongue is not even there when I go back to my normal singing after the exercise. I will definitely add your suggested exercise to my list. Thank you. Centre: Thanks for listening to my clips. I've been on the program for about a year but only recently have I been doing the nays the proper way. I've spent almost the entire year in tension. Now I'm really getting somewhere. Thanks for all your little tips on the mum exercise. I've started to do them with less squeeze and a lower larynx, not forced however just using the dopey sound as you've suggested. One question, when one starts the dopey mum exercises, after a few full exercises, is it normal for the muscles that bring the larynx down (not the root of the tongue) to feel like they have been exercised? Not forced but slightly tired? Best regards, Erik
  11. Thank you both for your responses. Steven: I do plan on going through all of the vowels once I figure out this balance between high and low larynx. Centre: Should the mums have the same amount of compression as the nays or a bit less? When I do the mums with compression in this clip, I keep compression throughout but my larynx is not as low as when I let my larynx drop in a relaxed manner when inhaling. Make sense? Brett Manning seems to describe such a relaxed state of the larynx on the mum exercise in his CD program, it makes me wonder if I should be more relaxed or if I'm doing it properly now. Basically my larynx is slightly lower on the mums than on the nays, but not as low as when I inhale calmly. Mums: Nays: Nay to mum switch at top: Best regards, Erik
  12. Hello everyone, First post here. My name is Erik and I've been lurking for a little while on this site. A big thank you to all who are involved. I certainly appreciate everyone's presence. Quick background: Been singing for a few years. Nothing professional or anything just for myself. Mostly pop, pop ballads, R&B, oldies, country, Brian Mcknight, Rascal Flatts, Drifters, Roy Orbison..... so a little bit of everything except for hard rock. I've had the singing success program for a while but I could never really get past the first portion where they try to get you to twang through the bridges and connect chest and head voice, for lack of a universally accepted vocab. Well, after plenty of trial and error I am on to something. I can twang easily from about G1 up to E5 now and have no 'strain' when doing so on exercises like the nasty 'Nay'. I highlight strain like I do because there is effort involved but it does not cause me pain or require what I term as unnecessary force. My plan is to continue with twang to make it second nature but I also want the fuller sound that the low'ish' or neutral larynx gives. If I go for the lower larynx on the mums, it's somewhat difficult to keep the cord closure similar to the Nays, thus my question: When attempting to add the fullness sound that a neutral larynx gives over a higher larynx, should I allow the sound to get less piercing (nay exercise is piercing to me) on the mum exercises even if they seem to get a tad bit breathy? I ask this because a breathy sound is not what I want and I know that my ultimate goal is to use as little air possible to make a high-range full sound. And my last question, how do you get a low larynx along with the twang? Re-worded, how do you get a full 'chest-like' sound along with the piercing quality that is twang? (my guess to this question below) I heard somewhere that talking about vocal technique is similar to dancing about architecture. Sounds about right to me, difficult to explain with words. Please excuse me if I have misused a word or concept somewhere. I can post clips later if that would help. Thanks in advance! Best regards, Erik P.S. I am doing low larynx exercises (mum) in my low range (E above mid C and below) lately in an attempt to maintain fold thickness in my lower range. I am hoping that my this will create a solid foundation for the thickness of my vocal folds so that when I train my mid and high ranges, they do not thin out too early..... do I make sense? in other words, if I don't have a strong full sound at the bottom of my range, how can I expect to have it at the top?