TMV World Legacy Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

4 Neutral

About cantando

  • Birthday 02/03/1980
  1. From what I understand, nodules or any other type of bump on the vocal folds won't *necessarily* cause any major problem unless they are big enough to prevent enough closure of the vocal folds for a good clear sound, and/or significantly interfere with the their symmetry as they vibrate. For many singers, it apparently doesn't. It seems that other factors (allergies, reflux, tension issues, etc.) can make any issue at the level of the vocal folds less or more noticeable.
  2. Yes, vibrato can be developed if it doesn't happen for you naturally already. I should mention that real vibrato is actually involuntary. You can limit and stop it altogether, but the vibrato itself is not something you make happen, it's something you allow to happen. It will only happen with a certain balance of subglottal pressure and lack of laryngeal tension. It is possible to fake a vibrato by voluntarily shaking/pulsing and wobbling your voice quickly enough to sound like vibrato, but this is a bad idea because it introduces a lot of tension and lack of steady air flow, both of which prevent real natural vibrato (and free healthy singing in general). When you play around and try to imitate what you perceive as the sound of a lounge singer, can you tell if you are making this sort of voluntary fake vibrato? This would be easy to do particularly in the effort to imitate a specific vocal sound. However, if that is not the case and the vibrato really happened without you making it happen and felt nice and free, then I would guess that that "lounge singer" sound you were using as an approach made you relax and free it up enough that your natural vibrato finally saw the light of day!
  3. This is a very late reply, but just in case it could still be of help, I have some suggestions. Using an app to work on fine tuning pitch accuracy is definitely a great idea, as coordination is obvious a major factor in accurate singing. If that basic coordination and control has progressed pretty well and is no longer a problem, the next thing you should address is audiation - the ability to hear in the "mind's ear". Despite what most musicians seem to say, it can be strengthened significantly and make a big difference for a singer. The easiest way to get started working on that is to have the student sing up and down a major scale (full scale or even just the first 3 or 5 notes, and then repeat it leaving one of those notes silent. This way, she will hear it in her head. Gradually increase the notes left silent until all of them except the tonic. You can also do this with any songs she is singing. Another audiation building method that is a bit more advanced but is really worth the patience is to have her sing a triad up and down, and then have her sing it down a half step without playing the change for her on the piano. You can play it for her the first couple times until she gets it. Start with major and then switch to minor once it becomes easy, and also try doing it down and up instead of up and down. This will develop hearing not only single notes in one's head, but an entire tonality, and being able to transpose it internally encourages strong vividness of audiation. If this becomes easy, try it with 5 note melodic patterns.
  4. What kind of doctor did you go to? Was it specifically a voice doctor? If not, I would strongly recommend going to one if possible. What you describe sounds kind of like what is called spasmodic dysphonia. There are various treatments and therapies for that, including botox injections. How long have you had this problem? Is there anything to suggest that it's related to the nodule? I'm no voice doctor, but my first guess would be that the problem with the spasms is probably what led to the nodule, and perhaps it has now become a causality loop, with the extra difficult that the nodule causes triggering frustration and muscular overcompensation that worsens the spasms. I hope you get it sorted out!
  5.   What really makes it uncanny is not just that you look like him to a pretty significant degree, your mannerisms and speech are almost identical to his. You would do some really kickass impressions if you ever tried!
  6.   I will try to post a recording of myself doing that sort of exercise. Like I said, I have been doing exactly those things for a long time now, and they absolutely have done a lot for me. My thinnest, smallest thin is pretty clear and easy, especially with thyroid tilt, and I can do it with twang. It's extremely soft and completely unusable in any performing whatsoever, but I know that it's the foundation for what I'm after. I should mention that just in the last 2 months, I've finally started to find a slightly thicker version of that (a sort of "thicker thin") that could become the effortless sounding tenorish heady "mix" I've always wanted, but it's proven extremely difficult to maintain and find again after I lose it, and is very hard to control when I do find it. So far, I have had no luck getting it more readily or refining it.   Your rant resonates with me completely. We're far from alone on that.
  7. Great video, Robert! Brilliant idea for training constriction out of transitions.   Off topic, there's a certain movie actor/comedian to whom you bear an uncanny resemblance. Surely not news to you, but I couldn't help noticing!
  8.   I was wondering what you were talking about when you mentioned the Lotti Crucifixus, and then I went to the soundcloud link, and I saw that that track plays automatically after mine. I have no idea why. That's not my singing. It's Matt Curtis, a friend of mine who sang in Chanticleer for a while and then started his own online business of making choral learning tracks. He has an effortless, crystal clear tone as well as range that I can't even approach. It's exactly what I wish I could do.   I really appreciate your suggestions. I've been practicing EXACTLY what you described for quite a long time now. It has gotten me quite far, but isn't working anymore. I like the suggestion of sirening on voice fricatives, and I've heard of that being recommended for work on passaggio stuff, so I'll give that a try.   The thing that makes me particularly furious is that my voice just doesn't respond to attempts to any attempt to lessen mass or "release" anything in any way that is presentable and clean.
  9.   Very true about excessive airflow. It has taken me several years to retrain that from constantly overblowing most of my life, and I'm sure it's still not consistently optimal. Managing and retraining excessive airflow is one of the first things I do with nearly every student I take on and it usually solves a lot of problems early on.   I'm assuming you were talking about false vocal fold constriction when you mentioned excessive fold closure? That's what causes all of those problems, to my knowledge. I'm also worked tirelessly on finding independent control of the true vocal folds and false vocal folds to become able to avoid constriction, and I seem to be doing pretty well at this point overall. But I do wonder if perhaps the true vocal folds themselves could be doing something wonky.     What do you mean by "releasing", and what do you define as "head voice"? How would I do that?   Yes, nearly any male singer of any voice type can at least phonate a G5. The fact that I can't get that high at all also would seem to me to point to lack of thyroid tilt.   About "covering"…..what exactly is it, anatomically? People toss around that term all the time referring to a darkening of the tone, but it's so unspecific. In Estill figures, it seems to be lowered larynx mixed with thyroid tilt. I do have a somewhat lowered larynx position naturally. I spent a lot of time a while back trying to let the larynx raise much higher, particularly on higher notes, and it did nothing expect make an even less warm clean sound, and didn't help with anything. But I am well aware that higher notes need a higher relative larynx position.   My lower range isn't very strong, it's true. I've had people tell me they think I might be a tenor, but that seems absurd since I can't even sing as high and easily as many baritones. I really would love an easier, fuller low range, but nothing seems to help with that.   Yes, I would love to know what those exercises are.   So basically, the use of "weight" around here is the amount of thickness of adduction?
  10.   Yes, that was a typo, sorry. LOL   The sound I'm trying to get is a somewhat lighter, mixy "opera" recipe in general, but I'm not really there because I can't seem to get the thyroid tilt in full voice.   My speaking voice is generally somewhat similar to singing tone in that recording.     Interesting analogy. I've actually been wondering recently if something like this is happening, in my constant effort to try to figure out what's might be happening. Can you tell from the recording what that might be, and offer any way to fix it?
  11.   I'm sorry I didn't respond to your post.   Being more relaxed and "natural" and "organic" is precisely what my voice does NOT respond to and won't do, and what I've tried tirelessly to do since I started getting serious about singing in high school. And weight in terms of vocal mass "thick" is precisely what I'm trying to learn how to not do, because I want "mix".   And no, I can't sing a G5, in any voice quality. Not even close.
  12. Here is a recording of myself singing, without accompaniment, "The Vagabond" by Vaughan Williams. I made it for an audition for some professional choral groups that I hope to have a chance to be in one day.     This is the absolute best I can sound. I didn't mess with the sound except for a little noise reduction, but I did do a lot of takes, which obviously shouldn't be necessary. Even though there are some good moments and I've finally developed some good clarity and even some squillo (which I never had before and finally started getting with a lot of AES twang practicing), you can see that I don't have the truly clean, effortless clarity and "sweet" quality of an outstanding classical singer.
  13. m.i.r., you're saying that thyroid tilt occurs as a result of everything being in balance. What are those things, specifically? Robert, you said that the CT muscles need to be trained and strengthened. I've long been trying to get an understanding of the ratio between muscular strength and coordinated control in reconditioning the voice, and now I'm more confused.   Also, some of you are using the word "weight". Can you define/specify in the way you're using it? Is weight vocal fold mass? Is it constriction? Is it air flow? Something else? A combination?   In regards to "falsetto", that's a sort of unspecific term. In Estill, it's "stiff folds", with varying degrees of "thin" mixed in. My falsetto has always sucked and had very limited range, which surely indicates a problem, and I have tried to work on it for years with sirening. Nothing ever changes. It's incredible how stubborn my voice is.   Even after all these years and the vast improvement I've managed to achieve, F#4 is generally the highest note I can consistently sing well in "full voice", although I can always hit a G4 but not always good. For a so-called professional singer with a masters degree in voice and a highly effective voice teacher, this is just not OK.
  14.   I wasn't talking about muscular effort as in "heavy" or pushed, or trying to get as loud/thick as possible. I'm talking about the thyroid tilt itself, which does take a lot of muscular strength to maintain consistently.     I have no idea why you would think that the arytenoids aren't what control pitch. Surely you've seen endoscope footage of singing?!    If you've taken Estill courses, you were surely shown the footage that clearly shows the cricoid and thyroid cartilage tilts and their resulting sounds.   Also, I'm not after a more "thick full voice", I'm trying to get thyroid tilt into my full voice for the sweet, clean, clear tone that it produces and the smoother transitions. Maybe I haven't explained myself clearly enough??
  15.   Are you asking if I'm signed up for your program? No, I'm not. I'm very curious about what you're talking about. I would love for you to help me in whatever way you think you could, but I'm really pretty poor right now unfortunately.    What is TFPOS?     That's what I thought. In my last lesson, my teacher gave me an exercise to work on the tilt that involves sliding between 5ths and octaves on /ng/ in thin, trying to get as much tilt as possible. But as I said before, I seem to only be able to make it happen on my softest thin, and no louder. I've been practicing like this and experimenting with variations every day for several weeks, and it doesn't seem to be helping much at all.     Not sure exactly what you're asking. Can I siren in falsetto or "light full voice" (you mean like a thinner thick/mix?) without a break throughout my range? Well, no not really.     Reducing effort? Where, exactly? I assume you're talking about reducing effort in something other than the tilt? The teacher I've studied with always stresses that the problem is in maintaining the effort levels, and that the thyroid tilt takes a great deal of muscular effort.   I still don't have a very reliable clean softer/thinner thick middle range, unfortunately, which is apparently because I don't have any significant thyroid tilt in my modal voice. I can do the twang pretty well, which took a long time and very hard work to get worked into my entire range and without the high larynx "duck"-like sound.     The thyroid tilt affects pitch because it pulls the folds tighter, but it doesn't control it. The arytenoids do that.   Estill is based entirely on scientific research. I took two courses in it, and they even showed us endoscope and MRI footage of thyroid and cricoid tilts occurring, and the resulting tone color is both audible and visible on a spectrogram. The thyroid tilt creates a distinctive "sweet" and clear quality with lessened interharmonic noise, in any range and register.     I wasn't looking for a magic bullet or some way to avoid having to practice. I'm a musician with 2 and a half music degrees, I know better. I just wanted to see if anyone could suggest any ways to train thyroid tilt into my thick "full voice", that's all.