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Singing Higher Without Falsetto

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xTbs

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Hey everyone, I am stuck with a tiny bit of a dilemma.

I play in a cover band in which every member does their share of singing, but while there are some songs I want to sing, I have major problems doing so because I cant hit the notes without going falsetto. I sing a lot of rock and country and while country isn't too much of a problem, I'm starting to hit the proverbial wall with rock.

The voice range that I am comfortable singing in is more of a baritone (think Trace Adkins, maybe a touch higher than that.) so when I try to hit notes in songs like This Love by Maroon 5 or even some punk rock songs (Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne or Ohio by Bowling for Soup.)  it sounds like my voice is thinning out and my projection just goes away all together unless I sing falsetto but then the tone doesn't  fit the song.

I know the best way to improve is practice and possibly professional help. But at this current point all I can afford is practice. What I am getting to here, is how can I get my range higher, and not have to sound like my voice is thin or struggling. Are there any exercises or techniques that could help me.

 

Thank you in advance :)

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   Congratulations! You are normal. There are things that you can do and it involves training. Seriously, I would come up with the money for "Four Pillars of Singing". There are loads of good info on the internet and youtube, but they are going to be of lttle help until you understand HOW and WHY to train. The "Four Pillars" program is the best I know for the money.

   In the mean time search through this forum and Maybe some words of wisdom will help you out( if you can figure out which words are wise and which are misunderstandings).

    Welcome aboard.

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let your voice crack a ton, you need to find the right balance of airflow and the proper way to do this is not to strain but rather let the voice crack.  Start with a terrible sound and then work backwards to a better sound, record yourself even if you hate the way it sounds and then consciously and subconsciously make adjustments.

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Learning technique alone is kinda like learning a martial art alone. You can mimic the moves you see on a Bruce Lee movie, but it would not do you any good on a real world scenario.

While you can't afford orientation, lower the keys and try to improve in your comfortable voice.

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Next time you vocalize, I'd focus on how it feels! If it feels heavy and pushed, chances are it sounds this way. 

I'd reconnect to the breath by using sibilants, such as holding out an "s", or lip trills work just as well. It'll get the breath moving and take some strain off of the voice. I've also found "zinging" to be immensely helpful, that is simply sliding through the extent of your range while trying not to increase volume. It will make your breaks more apparent and hopefully encourage a healthier blend to the tone. 

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me!

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Don't skip steps.  Start with the basics.. learn correct posture and alignment, breathing and breath management.

You want to remove impediments to breath flow.  Range is one thing, but you have to train to hold fold connection as you go higher.

 

 

 

 

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I actually envy you because I literally have the opposite, I can't go into falsetto and end up having do some weird head voice. Major kudos for doing Stacey's Mom...our band tried that out this morning and that last chorus after the key change is hiiiiigh.

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On 6/4/2016 at 7:16 PM, deku_scrub said:

I actually envy you because I literally have the opposite, I can't go into falsetto and end up having do some weird head voice. Major kudos for doing Stacey's Mom...our band tried that out this morning and that last chorus after the key change is hiiiiigh.

What do you mean? Sure you can.

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On 6/4/2016 at 5:16 PM, deku_scrub said:

I actually envy you because I literally have the opposite, I can't go into falsetto and end up having do some weird head voice. Major kudos for doing Stacey's Mom...our band tried that out this morning and that last chorus after the key change is hiiiiigh.

That song is about as high as I can get and its just a touch high for me on the last bit, But I found I have more issues with Maroon 5 and such because Adam Levine's voice is crazy high. That and sometimes its hard to shift my 5th chords down lower when I' already in first position lol.

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10 hours ago, xTbs said:

That song is about as high as I can get and its just a touch high for me on the last bit, But I found I have more issues with Maroon 5 and such because Adam Levine's voice is crazy high. That and sometimes its hard to shift my 5th chords down lower when I' already in first position lol.

I think Adam Levine's vocals are very light and heady, which gives the impression of "crazy high". Although he's got songs with high parts, but mostly sung in falsetto or light head voice. You can train to do it, and even with a rounder sound. Cheers

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I think Adam Levine's vocals are very light and heady, which gives the impression of "crazy high". Although he's got songs with high parts, but mostly sung in falsetto or light head voice. You can train to do it, and even with a rounder sound. Cheers

Marroon 5 songs do sit a little higher than most pop songs. Adam Levine doesn't have much power above A4 much like Justin Timberlake or Jay K from Jamiroquai they will usually disconnect for the high range.

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His voice timbre assists with the perception that he's crazy high.  Check against the piano. Like Sexy said, these guys go into a light heady mix. You're better off building a more chestier mix in the long run.  Then after you get that (after much training) you can peel it off and thin into any sound you want.

If you train to sing in this light way, you will likely sacrifice roundness and more richness up top like Gneetnap was saying.

Listen to guys like Brenbon Urie, or Nate Ruess..they aren't falsettoing out.

 

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I came up with a training technique/onset for my students to teach them to sing in a solid mixed/full voice in that range without strain. It's similar to a classical messa di voce. Actually, for all I know, it's the same thing - I haven't looked into that very much beyond hearing it done. Since TFPOS uses that term for another onset that I am an avid supporter of teaching in order to gain incredible control and coordination over the voice, I instead chose the name "mixed voice isolation" for now. It's also very similar to the contract & release onset taught in TFPOS, only with a different focus. I found Robert's contract & release onset to help greatly in isolating the TA muscles, especially when contracting slowly. The problem was, it was contracting them too much for the higher notes I was trying to sing, and those muscles quickly got tired and sore (as the onset seems to rightly do when done too much for strength and resistance training).

I want to predicate this mixed voice isolation onset with the need to already be able to sing in head voice and mixed voice, as well as have good or instinctive control over the use of your embouchure on higher notes. I define "mixed voice" or "mixed resonance" to my students as head voice placement with the TA or chest voice musculature mixed in. If your head voice is too airy (too falsetto), TFPOS messa di voce is a great way to gain control over how much air you let happen, as is quack & release.

First I mentally isolate the head voice, the TA muscles, and a "push" for volume below the navel (pushing down on the lower abdominals for loudness). Next, I sing the high note in pure head voice, really paying attention to feeling where that note is placed deep in the soft palate. Next, I very slowly contract my TA muscles to bring the voice into a nice mixed tone without strain. Lastly, I ramp up the volume from the lower abdominals. 

What I found is that even though I could sing a mixed/belt C5 for an hour before this onset, and even well above that, it was definitely too strained until I started using this isolation onset. Now I can sing in mixed voice all the way to an A5 pretty effortlessly, easily choosing how much of the TA muscles I want to add in. This has been awesome for keeping up with my soprano students! And honestly, it was TFPOS that got me to even know how to isolate and manipulate the voice enough to pull it off.

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Draven,

That Messa Di Voce exercise has got to be one of the most challenging of them all for me.  The decrescendo part is even harder.

But a vocal coach once told me even if you do it just fairly well, you derive benefit from it. I always manage to get a little a little fry in it rather than do it real smoothly.

Daniel Formica can nail that exercise.  

 

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On June 14, 2016 at 4:13 PM, YouCanSingAnything said:

Meaning if you want to learn to sing higher in chest then practice bringing your chest higher =p. Head voice exercises are useful in some circumstances but for all practical purposes they're for countertenors and female opera singers.

The exercise I described above works great for developing a full-voice mixed resonance far above the bridge, and it's focused first in head voice. Several of the onsets in TFPOS done in head voice are incredible for developing control and coordination that directly affects both chest and belt range above the bridge. Sirens into the head voice also help teach proper pitch placement before adding in the TA muscles for a more belty voice in that range. There are quite a few exercises in the head voice that make "pulling chest" far easier to do without strain because of better coordination, control, and muscle group isolation.

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In order to bring a chesty sound higher you need to hold on to TA and bring more of your entire body into the production, but you still need to get that "voice" to narrow especially as you move through the passaggio and then move up to the top and that's where training and building CT up will help. But the way up is still heavily dependent on the vowel choice otherwise your won't achieve release and it will feel like you hit an impasse. Building that "channel" or "groove" of release (in time) is something that will enable you to sail up to the top in any degree of intensity you can muster up. The vowel will take you through and up.

I'm not saying it's easy, but it can be done. When you get stronger CT going, (most of us are weak in the CT department) it's almost as if the head voice comes down and pulls the chest voice through.  As if the chest voice starts to yield to the strenthened head voice musculature and you get this resonance consistency all throughout your voice.

Hope I made sense.

 

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It is a two way street............... CT stretches............TA thickens............. Stretching thicker folds(TA mass) means needing stronger CT muscles. (therefore CT headvoice exercises).   Stretched TA muscles have a harder time staying closed( Therefore Chest TA exercises , Twang and such ).    Exercise both......... you need it. 

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12 minutes ago, VideoHere said:

In order to bring a chesty sound higher you need to hold on to TA and bring more of your entire body into the production, but you still need to get that "voice" to narrow especially as you move through the passaggio and then move up to the top and that's where training and building CT up will help. But the way up is still heavily dependent on the vowel choice otherwise your won't achieve release and it will feel like you hit an impasse. Building that "channel" or "groove" of release (in time) is something that will enable you to sail up to the top in any degree of intensity you can muster up. The vowel will take you through and up.

I'm not saying it's easy, but it can be done. When you get stronger CT going, (most of us are weak in the CT department) it's almost as if the head voice comes down and pulls the chest voice through.  As if the chest voice starts to yield to the strenthened head voice musculature and you get this resonance consistency all throughout your voice.

Hope I made sense.

 

Good post Bob...

But I am not sure that working the CT is the bigger challenge. I believe it is the TA that we are all working to build up, more so then CT.

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