kickingtone

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kickingtone last won the day on September 23

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  1. After a couple of days of junk food bingeing, my throat was dry! Some people disagree with this, but I find it a good opportunity to do diagnostics on your voice. I think that as long as you have wise limits, and don't try to do anything extreme or excessive with a dry (or inflamed) throat, you should be fine. (Better still, if, like me, you know exactly why your throat is dry and you know that it is temporary.) So I sang Green Green Grass of Home (my version, lol) and listened to the playback. I am not surprised that the worst part was the beginning and it took time for my voice to settle. Pretty much cracked on the word "road" of "down the road I look" at the beginning. Again, for me,, it tends to be the ee and oh vowels that tend to go if my throat is dry and I am not paying attention. Also, the end was a lot less controlled than I would have liked, yet I didn't feel tired or anything. So, I have to investigate what was going on there. It's just a good way of finding out your weakest spots because they get exaggerated. (I didn't junk binge deliberately for this, I just take the opportunity after realizing how dry my t throat is after I have eaten too much junk). Often, recording sub-par singing is more informative and valuable than layering and mixing "covers" and then admiring yourself.
  2. I didn't hear the example for the reasons given, so I don't know if the OP is asking about harmonizing or only about harmony. If you already know what the harmony is, there is still skill needed in singing it -- matching pitch centres (which become more critical in a duet, for example), blending timbres, matching the rhythm exactly (slightly out of sync can sound like a mess), etc. And that's just for 2 people. Maybe join a barbershop quartet for the full monty! The majority of my favourites songs involve harmonized vocals, including S&G, Everly Brothers, Peter Paul and Mary, ABBA,... it's the blended voices that is the main feature for me. Recently I discovered The Seekers, lol! Judith Durham's voice is amazing on its own, but it goes so well in the mix, too. She is without a doubt one of the best female singers in pop, imo, and still going strong.at 76! My musical taste is pretty scattered. I mainly only have favourite bands when it comes to good vocal harmonizing.
  3. @MDEW since you sing live in a band, do you do anything special to practise harmonizing? I've been told that one of the problems is that everybody has subtle differences in phrasing, even when learning from one source, and that has to be ironed out. You will often see singers eyeballing each other's mouth when doing a duet, for example, just for the cues.
  4. (Because of possible malware, I only check streamed content like SoundCloud, Youtube, etc., so I haven't listened to your clip. But I'd like to hear it if you can stream it.) I was just messing around today, (dee-dah dee-dahing about) shifting pitch and singing over my own vocals. Something clicked into place, and I felt that I was using the same notes, even though I was a few pitches lower (don't ask me how many!). But I guess that the harmonics of the notes were coinciding. So, finding that clicking point is probably important. Couple of very short clips... (The melody itself may or may not be using a Western scale, I don't know, so the melody itself may sound odd -- not to my ears, though, as I was bought up with the genre.) Then there is this old clip of me practising singing over my own vocals on a popular song. This time it involves a little harmony, and not just unison. It's a really good exercise for placement and getting differentiation in your registers.
  5. So, looks like you're passionate about singing. You understand that it's about expression. You have a sense of expression and you can hear it in your singing. That is a solid foundation. Then comes the question of how best to communicate the intended expression to other people. How do you get other people "in the zone" of what you want to express? Well, one thing to recognize is that for your own singing you are the most zoned person, naturally. There can be quite a difference to make up to get other people equally zoned and hearing your singing the way you hear it. You have to aim to be really precise, It's a bit like reading your own handwriting. For other people to be able to read it, it has to be clearer than if it is only for you. That is because you have a hefty head start in interpreting what is being expressed. Listening to your singing, it seems to me that you find chest resonance very important. But remember, there are other resonances to explore fully. Do that. See if you can get sound to resonate back of the mouth, nose, head etc. All these resonances complement chest resonance, and help bring it out even more. Practise funny noises. Experiment. That is what singers do. See what new resonances you can discover and incorporate. Sometimes, if an option isn't there, you may tend to push the only option you have to its limit. But once you have developed a range of options, you can select which one does the best job.
  6. You cannot create a vacuum by forcing the air out of the lungs during the exhale phase. Air is forced out because the volume of the lungs is reduced, as the diaphragm relaxes back up, and the rib cage moves back in. It is when you inhale by moving the diaphragm back down and the rib cage out that you increase the volume of the lungs, lowering the pressure ("creating a vacuum") and causing air to rush into the lungs. The action sucks air in. The air does not expand the diaphragm or ribs during inhalation. What we are calling relaxation may also be different. But, in terms of what the muscles are doing, rather than how it feels, relaxation squeezes air out the lungs because of the involuntary doming upward of the diaphragm, and the weight of the rib cage bearing down. There is no "vacuum" at this point. There is a volume decrease, instead. I think that there are two levels of "involuntary" being discussed, as well. The muscles involved can act involuntarily (which doesn't necessarily mean that they are involuntary muscles). Many of them can be brought under conscious voluntary control. The muscles that cause the diaphragm to dome upwards cannot be brought under conscious control (according to current research -- and those muscles are involuntary), leaving control of the diaphragm to other muscles, including those in the diaphragm that lower it, or can be used during singing to counteract its doming.
  7. "While the diaphragm is part of the breathing process, it is an involuntary muscle which acts as a horizontal “wall” between your lungs and your “guts” and basically just “goes along for the ride”. There are other muscles which you actually have control over that must be engaged for the diaphragm to do it’s job. This happens beautifully when you yawn. Yawning causes the muscles that control the diaphragm to relax and expand, causing the diaphragm to lower and allow for a proper inhale. This is why it seems that you are able to breathe deeper when yawning, than with normal breathing." This is totally wrong. The diaphragm is voluntary in one direction (inhale) and involuntary in the other direction (exhale). You have diaphragmatic control over both inhale and exhale. Your diaphragm can "force" the inhale, because it lowers voluntarily, and the same force can voluntarily suspend or reduce the exhale as the diaphragm raises involuntarily. What it cannot do is accelerate the exhale. "Inhaling is an act of relaxing and stretching, not contracting. How many of us have taken a deep breath, only to heave our bodies feel like we’re contracting every muscle in our core? When we finally let go of the breath, it feels like we’re relaxing everything. This is the exact opposite of how proper breathing should feel. Contracting your muscles is what you do to exhale. If done properly, it will be a completely different set of muscles than what you’re used to using." This is also wrong. If you relax everything, you will exhale. When you inhale, your muscles MUST contract. When you exhale, it can be forced (involving muscle contraction) or passive (not requiring any essential contraction). That is just a couple of things. Poor article, in my opinion.
  8. Again, for a cough, belly kicks out, for me, not in. It is more braced than for a sneeze, but it kicks out. The cough is more violent, and less of the pressure is absorbed by the diaphragm, but, other than that, it's basically the same.
  9. Nonetheless, the ribs can take in the slack. All they need to do is remain in a comfortable position relative to the volume of air in the lungs. There is no particular reason not to move the rib cage. It shouldn't be slumped, but movement is ok. Actually, for me the opposite happens. For a sneeze, I breath in from the bottom of the lungs, diaphragm descends, belly expands, abs tense, then rib cage expands. Then, for the exhale, the abs relax momentarily, but are immediate pushed out again as the rib cage bears down and the diaphragm absorbs the pressure. For me, at no point does the belly move in and up.
  10. The way I see it is that there are two basic things going on. As you sing a phrase, or set of phrases between inhales, the volume of air in the lungs is gradually decreasing. The air pressure required is also changing rapidly, as you sing different notes, vowels and consonants. The rib cage is far too clunky and unwieldy to manage the pressure variations, but it should relax gradually to accommodate the reduced volume of air in the lungs. So, I see the rib cage as bearing down gently and shifting in response to the change in volume. That is what I understand by "not collapsing". On the other hand, the diaphragm has to move to create the rapid pressure changes that actually allow you to sing, and not just exhale. So, yes, you would first have to find the right amount of rib expansion. but also control the relaxation of the ribs as you exhale, so that it is not a collapse.
  11. I came across a very interesting discussion about whether "athleticism" can give somebody a head start when training as a vocalist. The main idea was that the core abdominal strength needed for breath control could be ready developed. Although the question itself was too broadly phrased, imo, for the replies to be conducive to much of a consensus, it did provide a means by which people could describe and compare breath control systems. (The discussion was on reddit). I think that "athleticism" is too broad a qualification. A weightlifter, for example, has to brace his abs, and even wear a belt. It seems clear to me that breathing technique in such a sport would not carry over to singing. However, people involved in other athletic activities also claimed that the breathing techniques involved may actually have hindered, not helped them, with breath support in singing. Some people even seemed to be suggesting that you lose the six pack, if you have one, and start rocking that potbelly! I see a lot of crossover between breathing for running and breathing for singing. Both involve filling the lungs from bottom to top. Both require the abs to make room for the descent of the diaphragm. Both involve efficient exhalation phase, so as not to recycle used air.. Both work the abs. The main difference I see is in the movement of the rib cage. With running, the movement of the rib cage is very active and preemptive. With singing, the rib cage moves more in response to the air pressure in the lungs, so it always applying light pressure on the lungs. (With running, the rib cage is actively pulling the lungs out in the inhalation phase, and bearing down considerably during the exhalation phase. With singing the rib cage is more or less "tracking" the lung expansion). That's my own experience. But some of the descriptions I read about breathing for running, i found quite odd, and could account for why some people felt that the abdominal strength gained there was not applicable to singing..
  12. The survey is not for me, but I find the topic interesting. "All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players..." etc. from Shakespeare's "As You Like It". That's one idea: we never escape the stage persona, because life is itself a stage on which everybody acts. So, I was wondering what the difference is between the person, the persona and the personality. Apparently, they all share the same etymology, deriving from the Latin word "persona" meaning "mask" (actor's mask). So, this idea that we are all fake azz actors must go back quite a way! The original word even has the connotation, not only of "adopting characteristics", but also of masking or covering up other characteristics. I didn't see the questions in the survey, but I wonder if that idea was explored -- natural idiosyncrasies, characteristics and behaviours that you AVOID when performing.
  13. FFT of a sound wave for a note sung and held. Vertical axis would be sound pressure represented in dB. Horizontal axis is frequency on a non-linear scale. The numbers in circles are kHz. Something called the "singer's formant" is a boost in the sound at around 3kHz to 3.5kHz. Classic singers target this area so that their vocals are not competing with the instrumental sounds which typically occupy a lower part of the spectrum. The major peaks are the harmonics, referenced by the red arrows.