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Hi all. 

I bought The four pillars program way back in 2014... 
Since then I really haven't practiced it, largely because I haven't had time. I still have yet to use the online lessons I purchased with Robert when I bought it. (been holding out until I had more time and some basic practice in).
I did do a stint of singing lessons with a one on one trainer at Long and Mcquade here in Alberta. I learnt some things. But largely, I learnt that I too can just play the lessons she was playing from her phone and sing downloaded songs from itunes. It is much cheaper to just do it on my own. I think part of the problem was that she seemed to largely be "phoning it in" (not really trying hard at her job). I already owned the singing course she was using, and she didn't really offer me much than be an extra ear. It was beneficial to have the steady schedule though. 

I am trying to get back into it (singing).
I have an older (I am assuming) edition of 4pillars.
Just curious where people recommend starting off?

Also, I am open to suggestions for songs/singers for me to practice with. 
I prefer songs that - hmm, how to put this - actually involve singing. Being a male, a male singer would be better. But I do tend to sing along to female vocals, largely because they tend to hold notes more and make it sound more like singing, and less like talking with tone.

My personal preference is Marianas Trench. For example Desperate Measures
I enjoy singing similar to Josh Ramsey, Justin Timberlake, Jacob Hoggard, etc. 

Any recommendations?

As a side note... I find that Josh tends to sing right at my bridge. I have to constantly flip into falsetto, while he clearly sings in his (head?) voice without kicking into falsetto much. Those rough but high notes. Any recommendations to raise my "rough but high note range" without kicking into falsetto?

Any views on adding timbre to vocals? I find that in the process of trying to match timbre I end up creating my own and it sounds quite different... 

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gotta learn how to bridge into head voice as opposed to falsetto. I found it helpful to actually FIND headvoice in itself first....then smoothly connecting from chest to head etc wasnt that hard. Need to learn how to make notes somewhere else BESIDES just down low in the back of the throat (chest voice)...instead try to feel the vibrations etc up on the roof of the mouth (hard and soft palate etc)

 

Basically it seems you need to start by getting a feel for the difference between headvoice and falsetto.

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Bridging into headvoice, and then learning how to connect it, is the foundation of TFPOS. It eventually rids you of the idea of separate registers, giving you one register with different sound colors. That description is oversimplified, but is essentially what happens. All else are added sound colors, including the heaviness of your chest voice musculature. The "lift up, pull back" sirens in the course can help a lot, especially if you try to lighten the pressure and volume around your bridge at first (or, in the course, "bleed the glottis"). For TFPOS in general, learn the onsets and acoustic modes first. That's 80% of singing. different timbres (essentially what I meant my "sound colors") come from independent control over TA strength/flexing, glottal compression and tilt (twang), vowel acoustic placement, dampening the larynx, and the like. Control over those is exactly what training the different onsets and learning to tune the formant (acoustic resonance) do for you.

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Thanks guys.

To clarify, my transition from chest to head voice isn't so much the issue. Most of the vocals that I am singing are in the head/falsetto range. Josh Ramsay is able to sing higher in his head voice than I am. I can hear the difference he tends to make while singing in his head vs falsetto. He is able to maintain the "sound colours" while in head, then tends to hold/belt notes in falsetto. What I am having trouble is maintaining head voice and maintaining "sound colour" without kicking into falscetto. I find need to switch into falsetto sooner, and at that point I tend to lose the "colour"/ timbre that he is able to maintain while singing higher in his head voice.

Thanks,

Rich. 

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The below linked advice might help a lot with teh sound color issue.

If it's more about resonant placement vs airiness, then finding solid head voice resonance is a matter of multiple things, with multiple approaches. As JonJon mentioned, you need to be in your soft palate. You can lift the soft palate as if you're going to yawn (or at least in that direction but not as extreme), lift your horizontal embouchure ("snile") to support a lifted voice, and place a finger on your bottom lip while trying to sing up and over it. Additionally, singing an /ou/ vowel will resonate a tremendous amount when lifted to the soft palate or "on the tongue". From /ou/, you can slowly open to an /ah/ or /eh/ vowel while trying to maintain the spot it's resonating in.

Another thing to consider is putting very harsh Quack & Release onsets and perhaps even head voice Attack & Release onsets into your routine. 

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