Draven Grey

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Everything posted by Draven Grey

  1. If you're in The Four Pillars of Singing course, or the lighter Udemy course, train the Pentatonic Blues workouts and the Groove workouts in Phase 4. And in particular, learn the four step routines for the "Groove Improvisations." If you're not, then go purchase one and get started. Until then, besides slowing down a "riff" to learn the notes, one of the most effective I've used to teach vocal runs is singing a pentatonic scale that slowly expands upward while always returning to the first note. For example: 1 121 12321 1234321 123454321 12345654321 1234567654321 But you can start anywhere on the scale, it doesn't have to start on 1.
  2. If it's a pitch issue, which I'm not sure it is, know that pitch is a listening skill that can take a very long time to learn. I use tools with my students like humming into and matching a pitch pipe, watching their pitch on a guitar tuner app, finding apps that train pitch through playing phrases or intervals you have to sing back in key, etc. However, it's most likely a resonance placement issue, rather than pitch. For singing in general, you need to train for command and control over a lot of little muscles in the vocal tract, not just good form. Your terminology makes it a little difficult to understand what you're trying to express, so I'm going to assume a few things here. You saying "jumps back and forth" sounds like you're switching between light head voice and chest voice. Chest voice resonates similar to our speaking voice. Head voice resonates between the ears and can sound like Mickey Mouse. I highly suggest looking up Robert Lunte's videos on bridging and connecting the voice, as well as his videos on cry (I'm in a few of those too!). Then, buy this course (it's cheap!), learn the onsets and acoustics, and jump into the training routines asap. http://bit.ly/BestSingingCourseLight
  3. Interesting. I've seen the opposite in thousands of students - from little to no breath support to pushing way too hard. Very few have had great breath support naturally. I completely agree that if you overthink it while singing, or "push" or "force" it, then it gets in the way, especially in performance. At the same time, the whole reason we train anything is so that we don't have to think about it when performing - that applies to pretty much anything, especially in athletic ventures. I use specific exercises for breath support, so they don't have to think about it when doing other things in training, and they know exactly what feeling to go for when I tell them they need to support better for add volume. The above video was about great breath support from sighing through phonations, rather than pushing or forcing anything to happen.
  4. I agree that a bit too much emphasis is put on breath support with a lot of teachers out there. I would add that good breath support does so much more than what you get from simply breathing from the belly. Balancing compression with respiration is fundamental to any type of singing. Using good appoggio for increasing resonance and therefore volume, rather than pushing harder, makes a HUGE difference,
  5. I agree that cry and lean work together extremely well. I'm not sure about appoggio doing anything to cause cry vocal mode or configure the larynx. I think it's a completely separate control. Appoggio in the description above is more of a way of sighing through singing. Consequently, if tension is focused, however subtle, into the sternum, the increased airflow increases resonance and perceived volume. However, you can still do the same thing without cry vocal mode, although you're more likely to push harder and cause more tension in the vocal folds than necessary.
  6. I don't recommend the hiss, as most students tend to either push too hard, or not enough. Getting very light and squeaky on higher pitches while doing big sirens into the straw, and tracking (humming while buzzing the lips) will both do much more for warming up your voice. There are some great breathing exercises in The Four Pillars of Singing too, if you want to develop better air support. The weight on the stomach is completely unnecessary. Also, a spirometer or volumetric exerciser will do much more for expanding your lung capacity than the hiss will.
  7. Are you training? I highly encourage you to check out The Four Pillars of Singing, or it's smaller counterpart on Udemy. Singing and speaking are very different configurations of the musculature being used. Singing tends to be lifted away from the throat and more soft and hard palate focused. Registers and bridges/passaggi are also a bit different, although most people refer to their bridge as a switch in registers. The Short Answer Your registers are, from low to high pitch: Pulse, Chest, Head, Whistle. With the ability to mix the chest and head voice together in varying degrees. The most talked about bridge is the one right at the threshold of chest and head voice. However, a bridge is simply a shift in resonance and vocal tract shape to help support singing the next set of pitches. You have multiple bridges within head voice. The Long Answer The main vocal registers most often talked about are chest and head voice. Chest feels similar to speaking resonance. Head feels more between the ears and often sounds like mickey mouse. Mixed is not it's own register, rather singing in the head voice range with chest voice musculature mixed in and therefore chest resonance as well (from more surface area in the vocal cords). Falsetto is often mistakingly used as a simile for head voice, when it's actually an open and airy muscle configuration usually within the head voice range. Pulse is below the chest voice, caused from the vocal folds being too loose to do much else.Whistle is above head voice, caused by the glottis/vocal-folds being too closed to do much else but whistle. The passaggi, or bridges, are shifts in pressure and resonance between various formants in order to support a range of pitches. You have several formants or "resonance chambers" that you're working with. In short, Formant #1 resonates more in the throat ("chesty"); Formant #2 more in the front of the mouth or "mask" ("tinny/brassy"); Formant #3 more in the soft palate ("heady/floaty/rounded"). There are more, but I'm trying to keep it simplified. The main bridges are around E4, A4, D#5, and A#5. For Females, leave off the E4. What you're feeling around G3 is a limit to your speaking voice. When shaped for singing instead, you won't feel that limitation until D4 or E4. And if training, you'll be able to smoothly bridge between registers, whether staying connected to your chest voice resonance or not (it will be your choice how much). What you're feeling at the F#4 and G#4 are definitely shifts in formants, but still from a speaking voice configuration rather than a singing one. Besides getting start through one of the links I placed above, try this: Place a finger on your bottom lip, and try to sing up and over it. This will help introduce you to the feeling of lifting the resonance out of the throat and to the palates. Cry/whimper like a puppy, top-down at the back of the soft palate while you sing. There are far too many benefits to list here, but basically this makes it much easier to sing. Touch your tongue to your upper molars and smile while you sing. This greatly help you to stay "up and out" with your voice. Start humming while buzzing your lips as much as you can stand it. This balances compression and air support, helps you get used to "up and out" resonance, and is a good beginning for training your singing musculature. Once you do the above, start working on bridging and connecting your voice. While you can look up Robert Lunte's YouTube videos on cry and bridging, the above courses will do FAR more for you.
  8. Touching the tongue to the upper molars cause even better intrinsic anchoring and helps stabilize vowel resonance. This particular tongue position helps with what I call vowel anchoring, because its easier to keep all your vowels resonating in the same spot to keep your sound color consistent throughout your range. And definitely not your front molars. I've been saying "upper back molars" a lot lately, and just want to clarify that it has nothing to do with your front molars. Those don't exist. haha!
  9. Look at my last comment in the post right before yours, "Teaching Breath Support." I've been posting hat video far too often lately. I think I need to post my own soon.
  10. I'm happy to help. Whimpering = Cry vocal mode, activating the cry reflex in the vocal tract, a top-down phonation that is similar to a puppy whimpering.
  11. We tend to speak in the pitches at the lower end of our chest voice range. She could start with that, then raise the resonance out of the throat by whimpering a bit and singing into either her third-eye spot or a few feet in front of her. If you're thinking contemporary vocal styles, then it can also help for her to touch her tongue to her upper back molars and keep the tip near the front teeth. This brings the vowels more into the mask by way of the soft palate. If more classical in style, then focus more on the whimper I mentioned, solid appoggio (leaning breaths into the sternum and sighing the the phrases), and hooking around the back of her head and then into the mask. If she's too airy in her chest range, then she likely needs two things: (1) Between compression from doing things like humming and buzzing the lips through songs (also called Resonant Tracking or Nasal Buzzing), and starting in Quack/hyper-twang compression and then backing/tuning into the singing vowel. (2) Defining Mass (overall effort and push) for each phonation: light, medium, heavy, or in-between. And make sure her "medium mass" is solid, resonant singing. Light is effortless. And Heavy is shouting. This is a page straight out of TVS Methodology and The Four Pillars of Singing. I try to keep my students between medium-light and medium at all times. But those struggling with too much air are usually far too light and falsetto like. Also, you'll want to separate mass (overall effort and push) from volume (bigger resonance from solid breath support). For men in head voice range, it's a very similar set of techniques. Cry Vocal Mode and good Appoggio can quickly fix a lot of issues.
  12. It's best to use a link to your video, rather than an upload. Great low voice! I can form solid lyrics on a C2 or D2, and sing pretty straight forward down to a G1. Although, below B1 feels more like Tuvan Throat Singing.That took years of work too. A tenor range is probably the most difficult to develop, because, for a male, E4 to A4 takes a lot of control over head voice resonance balanced with bringing the chest voice musculature back in without strain, choking, over-compressing, or too much push. Start training with a course like The Four Pillars of Singing, or take lessons from a good TVS-Certified Instructor. Contact Robert or me and get started. There's no quick tip to helping you, but there is plenty your can do to start training solid coordination and strength in your voice. IT's not uncommon for someone to expand their range by at least half an octave, effortlessly, in the first lesson or two. For now, place a finger on your bottom lip and sing up and over it with a nice big smile. Also, sigh through your phrases from full lungs. Yes, sigh. If you need more detail, look up Appoggio explanations with Michael Trimble. Also, try to whimper top-down a bit more into your phonations. Done correctly, it's called cry vocal mode. Not a baby-like "whah," but rather whimpering like a puppy, just like when you cry or experience extreme emotions. In all honesty, it's best if you have guidance through all of that.
  13. Fix what? The strain? You need to be training. There are plenty of things you can train with, especially in a program like The FourPillars of Singing. Even better if you're working with a vocal coach who has proven they can help you reach your goals. I'll try to give you a tip, but I'm not sure you'll understand it. I'm a natural baritone (although vocal fact doesn't matter in contemporary vocals), and I can sing Dream On without very little effort. First, you need to learn to bring the voice up and out, getting your out of your throat, helping the vowels to resonate in the soft palate, and using your tongue to hold the vowels. You can get started by humming while buzzing the lips, but it's more complicated than that. Another help could be touching the back of your tongue to your upper back molars, keeping the front of the tongue just behind your teeth, and trying to hold all of your vowels in the same resonant area. Another help for that is smiling while you sing. Again, this is oversimplified, but the best I can do in a quick written tip. Second, you need to learn to use Cry Vocal Mode, activating the cry reflex on demand, and learning to use the feeling of that top-down, whimpering phonation that it gives you. This will release a LOT of the strain, get your out of your throat, thin out the glottis so there's much less effort required to phonate, and the list goes on. Third, use your newfound lifted resonance and light, top-down phonation to get the lightest possible, almost squeaky phonation on your top note. Then slowly add volume (bigger resonance) to it by utilizing good appoggio (oversimplified: leaning your breath into the sternum and sighing through the phrase). You may have to start lower in your range and work your way up. You may also need specific exercises to build good control over compression and more strength in the musculature you're using. There are so many things this doesn't address that you could also be dealing with. In short? Start training. Don't force it. You need to build into the coordination and strength it takes to reach your goals, with someone guiding you in how to do it right. I blew out my voice pushing on that same note, and had to completely retrain my voice. I can now sing up to D6 without very little effort.
  14. Falsetto or Head Voice Register? Falsetto is a vocal mode within the head voice register that's characterized by being open and airy. I'll assume you mean light-mass head voice, although you can also mix in the Thyroid Arytenoids (TA, chest-voice musculature) in the head voice register with a little more mass and compression. If I'm correct in what I think you're asking, then try the following video. At first, you may not have much phonation in the passaggio. You can also bridge like this to any mass or "fullness" level, from light to strong. I suggest starting by bridging into a lighter mass head voice at first, to get used to bridging through the vocal break.
  15. Yep.I suppose I approached that from the negative side of things with 1(b). But you're right, there is extrinsic and intrinsic anchoring that can greatly help technique. In performance, you have to balance between having flawless technique and expressing emotion in such a way that the audience is drawn in. They're both important.
  16. @Aubrey Maneth: What genre are you talking about? The first question is answered by good appoggio (see video below). The second question is more vocal modes or Formant tuning. Dampening gives you more Formant 1 tunings, or chesty weight. If you're talking about contemporary genres, I suspect he's not singing top-down enough, adding whimper through the cry reflex, using cry vocal mode, getting good resonance around Formants 3 and 4. This is only one way the voice should be lifting though. Good horizontal embouchure will also help, regardless of genre. But in contemporary voice, you need more soft palate resonance involved. The tongue can control the vowel resonance. The first thing I have students do is place a finger on their bottom lip and try to sing up and over it. The next thing is to touch their upper back molars with the side of their tongue while keeping the tip of the tongue close to the bottom front teeth. This activates resonance more in Formant 2. If he's over compressing or constricting, focus more on a Wind & Release onset (start with an "h"). However, activating the cry reflex should eliminate a lot of the tension. Also, start in lighter mass, top-down phonations and build resonance on top of it. If more classical in genre, then you want things more open in the throat, utilizing opera vocal mode more, opening up the throat and pharynx a bit, while singing towards the crown of the head and then outward. This could be visualized as a hook going from the back of the neck and then around the top of the head before reaching the mask.
  17. 1. How much body movement is bad? However much is perceived as "bad" by the audience you're singing to. e.g. an opera singer dancing like a pop-star or flailing about like Janis Joplin may be too much for the audience. But then again, if your more ideal fan would enjoy that, even in opera, go for it. 1(b). Movement that makes throws off your singing technique can also be "bad." e.g. hunching over in a way that makes you have to push harder to sing part of a melody because you don't have good breath control anymore. 2. Physical movement is trained through awareness and practice. But again, "excessive" is very subjective. While you can stand perfectly still behind a microphone stand and sing with flawless technique, why would you want to? Romance the music, do what you need to do in order to feel and express your song. Doing so invites the audience to do the same. Singing is as much a full-body, emotional performance as it is a technical one. Once you know what the limit is that your audience can handle, then you have a line to push into and elicit a reaction from them. However, I also suggest purposefully practicing in three ways that have helped many of the bands I've coached over the years: Stay relaxed and have fun with the song, not caring about mistakes, and being able to laugh at yourself -- this will loosen you up. Stand perfectly still and emotionless, focused on flawless technique -- this will build fine-tuned technique. Act like you're giving the performance of a lifetime to a very large audience of your more ideal fans -- this will build endurance for when you do perform.
  18. Focus on good appoggio, or sighing through the phrases. Here's a great explanation:
  19. Resonant Tracking, Nasal Buzzing, or humming while buzzing the lip ("M", although could be n or ng too), can bring the resonance into the mask and out of the throat. This will cause better control over the compression and air pressure balance, and cause more resonance in the soft palate by engaging twang vocal mode. Another semi-occluded phonation he could try is humming into a cocktail straw and trying to get light and whimpery on higher pitches. This activates cry vocal mode, releases pharyngeal tension, and also thins out the glottis which then requires much less pressure to phonate.
  20. I think so...To be clear on semantics, I'm saying that if you train, you can keep building coordination (fine motor skills) and strength in the muscles controlling the vocal folds.