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Achieve strong H3 (on spectrogram)

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When I looked at Pavarotti's voice on a spectrogram, it almost always have the strongest peak at H3 (third fundamental), sometimes even from as low as a C4, so it's not only on notes at or past his passaggio. I then did the same analysis for a few other well-known tenors and most of their voices also exhibit this behavior. 

When I looked at my voice I noticed that H3 is the strongest at lower notes, but once I hit B3 H2 starts to dominate H3, the higher I go the weaker H3 becomes. Granted I am a baritone but I can't seem to carry the stronger H3 through my passaggio, so I wonder if there is any physiological adjustment in my vocal tract I can do to make H3 stronger? I want to improve my resonance from this perspective. Thanks!


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There is an adjustment you have to make yeah, the vowels need to change a bit, space in the pharynx increases, back of the tongue lifts a bit and soft palate also lifts.

I did this video a while ago to address exactly this issue:

Forgive how red I look here :P

On this position, the spectra will appear more uniform and H3/H4 will start to peak as you get more control over it and start to use more intensity. It's covering.

But I would also say this. I believe that learning this is very useful but don't look at it as an "improvement of resonance", it's just a different approach. As I show in the end of the video you can use different strategies that are equally valid and may very well sound better depending on what you are singing.

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Great video Felipe. 

You are correct. Singing and the process of learning to sing requires that the body learn an entirely new set of articulations and phonetics. There are speech articulations and phonetics , per each language... and then there are articulations and phonetics for another language called “singing”.

this sis a powerful realization for singers to realize. 

Also, think of frequency as a constant. The higher you go, the more exotic the vowels need to be and become. The lower you go, the less exotic and the vowels need to be. Although even the low vowels are still not speaking vowels.

here is a video I did that answers the question, “why do we not hear accents when people sing”. This is a bit off topic, but the answer to this interesting question includes the similar observations expressed above.

i hope this doesn’t seem too far off topic, but it sort of hits on the same ideas. In particular, NOTE the point about “homogenization of the singing vowels”. Enjoy...


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From a classical perspective...

If you can figure out what is going on here...they train open throat and sing right into the classical mask to get the squillo, and it starts with balancing at the diaphragm.

For a quick appraisal see around 9:00+...


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I think that he is being told to keep his larynx where it is -- neutral -- to use diaphragmatic support to keep his larynx neutral or "small".

The neutral larynx allows the pharyngeal space to open up for the resonance to reach the classical mask.

Resonance can be counter-intuitive, because we may get accustomed to more power coming out meaning that we have to put more power in -- and we wrongly want feedback from the larynx that we are putting more power in. That causes the larynx to move. But resonance is about the SAME amount of power ACCUMULATING instead of cancelling or dissipating. Any extra effort needed is really about creating and keeping a resonant space, and equalizing pressure with diaphragmatic support.

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 I wish I understood other languages other than Broken US english :).  Formants are tuned by changing the shape of the vocal tract. As was mentioned earlier, changing the vowels will change where the energy is as regards to Formants and Harmonics.

 When formants and harmonics align you get more energy in those areas.  As you sing higher in pitch the harmonics get farther and farther apart. So there are not as many chances for formants and harmonics to align. You need to modify how you sing a vowel to have a  better chance of formants and harmonics to align.

 This all has to do with how wide or narrow certain areas of the vocal tract are in relation to the length between these areas. "i" or EE has a High tongue position with a small space between the top of tongue and hard palate, a small distance between the The area just mentioned and the Teeth. and a longer distance from the top of the tongue to the larynx. As the tongue moves along the top of the hard palate there are shifts in the resonance and you can hear the changes when you make a hissing sound while moving your tongue.  Even though you are just hissing you can perceive the "Pitch" of the hiss rising or falling. 

  The vowels you hear are do to the different tongue positions and how wide or narrow these spaces are and the length of these spaces.

  When we are singing in "Chest Voice" or have a speaking sound. The characteristics we hear or sing to are from the resonance of the mouth(from teeth to back wall of the throat. Things we do with the mouth adjust the harmonics. When we get to certain frequencies the resonance shifts to the wall of the throat or "Pharynx". we do things like raise and lower the larynx or make the throat wider or narrower to track the harmonics.

   When you drop the larynx or make the dopey sound as Felipe suggested and allow the resonance into the mask the formants shifts supposedly intuitively from F1 tuning to F2 tuning. At that point the width and length of the pharynx govern the sound.

 But I do not know anything so do not trust me. Look into it for yourself.

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I have always been amazed by those opera singers whose singer's formant (around 3kHz) can sometimes be as strong as their H2/H3/H4 spikes. I guess this is what makes the voice sound heavenly, and it's more dramatic in the theater than listening to a recording at home. 

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11 minutes ago, MDEW said:

What I wrote was not about the video in a language I do not understand.

It's all good. I was only admitting that my post was an interpretation of the "sign language" going on in the video.

It seemed to make sense to me. Good job Italians wave their arms around so much, lol. I think that he was also advising keeping the vowel compact and focused and not letting it get wide and scattered to the four winds. I see a lot of tenors make that circular hand motion to indicate the passage of the vowel tight to the back of the pharynx and into the classical mask -- well away from the throaty resonance.

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4 hours ago, sunlight99 said:

Yes, I saw this video before, one thing that caught my attention was at 37:04, he said "to go up I have to close larynx more". But how do I close my larynx? 

Yeah one of the issues is that these actions (increasing space in particular) are antagonic to the level of intensity necessary, you will tend to let go of closure.

Jack Lavigni talks about the issue here but in short you will have to find a way to keep strong when you change from the more speech like quality:

A good idea if you feel its not enough to just "try to go strong", is to practice going from breathy to non breathy voice both on speech and falsetto, and once you identify the coordination you use to do it, see how far you can take it on either direction (from breathy to pressed).

Then again its best you try doing it a couple of times and see what happens, send over a sample of what happens.

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