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D.Starr
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Now I've been leisurely singing for around a year now. I've seen advancements in my voice all way through, but I still feel limited.

Now I have CVT and have run through very briefly "Curbing". I can feel a hold but as I move up so does the volume and the choking feeling.

I can feel my chords blowing apart, so I guessed I should pull back on the air, But as much as I try I still feel a blowout.

When I listen to alot of artists I can kinda imagine what mode they are singing in, mainly Curbing and Overdrive, I'm a big fan of modern R&B.

So artists like Chris Brown and Usher are my goals to achieve a range and singing style like them. But there's time I can sing the pitch but as they move up I have to fall back to my comfortable range.

So back to the modes. I've tried Curbing but don't fully understand, I know I need a hold, doing such as MUMS and GUGS but still can't hit the notes they do. Overdrive to me just seems like shouting and doesn't work out too good. I also feel a loss of power at times as well.

I have support kinda held down.

Chris Brown sings around 1:40. Is he singing at the upper range of his chest or low head? Because he hits some awesome notes in this.

Would like some breaking downs of how he sings and how he achieves it.

I understand I can't just read and pick it up straight away but I can't seem to do it at all. The pitches in that are HARD.

Any advice, tips, personnel experience, exercises would be much appreciated.

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That's curbing Chris is using.

Curbing SHOULD get slightly louder and louder as you go up in pitch. Check if you're definitely using a curbing vowel, because other vowels will probably hurt your throat. And more importantly, make sure your larynx isn't rising too fast as you go up in pitch. It should go up, but not too fast and not too slow. I have the feeling yours is going up too fast, since you mentioned a choking feeling (you might literally be choking on your own larynx) but it's hard to tell without you posting a clip of yourself doing it. And not succeeding, btw. :) Then you'd get the best help here. So I really suggest you post a clip of yourself singing those high notes of yours that you've been having problems with. You won't be sorry.

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Sure I'll hook everything up and edit this post.

Looking and listening to the vowels though that Chris Brown is singing, are they Curbing vowels? I guess they just sound normal to me.

Quickly put together.

http://www.box.net/shared/vucrq9q6y0

I felt a slight rasp near the end of it.

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He's probably not always "centered" in curbing, meaning f.ex. that he may not always use exactly the right vowels, and note that in the middle and low part of the voice you can use any vowels you like in curbing (and in the other vocal modes, too, actually). But especially when beginning, and especially in the high part of the voice, try to lean towards the exact right curbing vowels.

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Uh like in "up", that's right. Or "hungry" or "sun".

I like in "sit" or "bit".

O like in "woman". I think it's also in the word "look".

Eh is like the word "stay", yes - but it's still an overdrive vowel.

Thanks. Gunna run over a few scales and see how I do, probebrly re-read the curbing area too.

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Uh like in "up", that's right. Or "hungry" or "sun".

I like in "sit" or "bit".

O like in "woman". I think it's also in the word "look".

Eh is like the word "stay", yes - but it's still an overdrive vowel.

jonpall, you have a lot of knowledge about vowels

is there a read or audio visual you can recommend? i really want to get more into this part of singing.

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Bob, yes, there is a read about vowels I can recommend. Guess which one? ;) But here's a free teaser that might help you: http://www.completevocalinstitute.com/node/49. By the way, I'm not the biggest lover of that system on this forum, although I do think it's one of the best out there. I've had a sort of a love/hate interest in it and it DOES have it's flaws and certain things could have been taught better but nevertheless it helped me a lot and it's kind of like an encyclopedia of what you can do with the human voice. Unfortunately it's a bit of a dry read and not that inspiring (unless you're inspired by the truth and results ;) ). But it still remains my number one recommendation - just note that I can't recommend products that I don't own. I also have other great vocal instructionals. Whether you choose to puchase that product, another product or just wait a bit, it's totally your decision. I don't want to take it any further than that because it's kind of against the forum principles.

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Well I'm kinda floating, I've tried Brett Manning's singing success and had little of it. I find it hard to get to grips with most of the stuff. I can go fine and then there be a break and no explanation how to recover etc. I try to implement various things from this forum, YouTube, other webpages.

As for a teacher, money is very tight so I've been holding it off. I would rather be in person though I live in the UK so many resources you may filter my way may be out of the question for teachers. I prefer one to one because as the word implies you are in front of the teacher not on webcam.

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Kinda bump...

Am I right in thinking that if I learn and develop the basics of Curbing I will be able to use curbing away from the vowels that it is used for?

I'm sure I read Jonpall say that Chris uses it as it isn't centered on each note.

Oh and how do I prevent the larynx from shooting up so high 'cause I kinda feel choked at times

Edit:

Would Mums and Gugs help with curbing and reaching higher notes?

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Am I right in thinking that if I learn and develop the basics of Curbing I will be able to use curbing away from the vowels that it is used for?

You are right in thinking that, but keep in mind that the more you ascend, the less freedom you will have in vowel choice. You can wander around a given vowel, but apart from colouring it a bit, you probably won't be able to use all the vowels you would like to use.

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Hmm ok...

It's just I love the range, power and... I duno something that Chris Brown has with his voice. Listening to alot of his songs he has a great range and control, and with Jonpall saying that he using Curbing I thought that would be straight up, learn it, play with it and develop a style, but still be able to hit high notes with power and colour.

Any tips on helping the larynx not shoot up so when I sing higher I don't "choke"

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Drop your jaw and think about having a lower larynx. Imagine landing on a note from the back of your neck rather the front or even from your mouth. Sing a note at a comfortable range. Feel where you Adam's Apple (front of the larynx) is. Now, go up to a high note and you will feel the knot rise. Now, hit that same high note but with a dropped jaw. You will notice that the bump stays where it was when you sang the lower note. See what that does for you.

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I've always wondered when I know I'm curbing and when I'm not and even if I'm doing it at all.

Is there any difference in sound production? Feeling? and are there any good exercises to develop my curbing?

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Any tips on helping the larynx not shoot up so when I sing higher I don't "choke"

open your mouth "tall" notice i didn't say "wide" (taller than you think) as if to yawn. make sure you throat, jaw, and shoulders are relaxed and your head is situated straight over your torso...back of neck tall as well.

make sure you've included some stacatto arpeggios in your exercise routine for mum, goog, gug. all of these are great for training your larynx to stay down and for building fold compression strength.

also do legato arpeggios on "ah' as in father...remember a tall mouth....relaxed tongue, tip touching back of lower front teeth.

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Ya see I see a lot of artists stretching their neck when singing, so I imitate and don't get the same effect, but I guess they've been singing for some time.

As for arpeggios I'm a little unknown to what they are, every time I Google arpeggio it comes back with stuff I don't need, could you enlighten me on the subject please?

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Hi D.Starr,

I just listened to your clip and the biggest thing I'm hearing that you need is cord closure. As it stands right now, you have incomplete vocal cord closure. That's what leads to the raspy sound you get in the higher notes and a large part of what leads to the overall difficulty in the higher range. When you have more efficient cord closure, you will end up singing with a little more energy in addition to having a much clearer sound. You need this more efficient cord closure throughout your WHOLE range, not just the high notes. I believe it's related to what CVT calls necessary twang. You might need to be a little bit more aggressive with the cord closure at first than most people because I'm hearing a great tendency in you to want to underdo things. Things that can help with cord closure are the SLS creaky door exercise (as demonstrated in Singing for the Stars -- the Brett Manning way of doing it is a bit different) or stacatto exercises as Videohere mentioned. If you do stacatto exercises, I would advise doing them on a vowel on at first, such as AAH (as in cat). Eric Arceneaux has a video where he's going over Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" in which he does a stacatto octave arpeggio on AAH. Look around 1:30 in the video. Doing an exercise like that should help you to achieve much more efficient cord closure. I'm also getting ready to write an article on my web site about vocal fold closure that will have much more information, so as soon as it's up, I'll let you know.

BTW, an arpeggio is when you take a chord and play the notes individually instead of simultaneously. So, for instance, the notes that make up a C major chord are C-E-G. Normally, as a chord, you would play all three notes at the same time. If you wanted to play it as an arpeggio, you would play C, then E, then G. An octave arpeggio, as often used in SS and SLS, just adds the octave note on top of the arpeggio, so in the case of C major, you would play C, then E, then G, followed by the C an octave up from the original note. If you're singing Chris Brown's music and can do the improvising, you have probably sung an arpeggio and did not even know it. You'll find those arpeggios in some of the runs he does. (He normally does runs on scales, but that's a discussion for another thread. Note, scales are not the same as arpeggios.)

~~Dante~~

WOW......

You have opended my mind to a lot of things.

Thank you very much, I'ma get to working on this in every chance I get.

Yeah as towards Chris Brown he has some incredible range and control.

And I'm looking forward to checking your site pretty soon.

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Wow you really helping me out with singing.

I can never really find a good resource or someone to relay as much information but this is really helping.

I've made notes and things to look for and hope to begin loads of exercises tomorrow.

Thank you yet again.

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No problem. BTW, here is a link to the clips I promised for the SLS creaks. I've included the instructions so you know what to do, however, don't listen so much to the quality of Seth's voice as he does the exercise. He has really bad acid reflux which irritates the cords, so it doesn't sound quite exactly as it will when you do it. I included the demo singer in 15B because he gives you the right sound you should be going for.

Hope this helps.

~~Dante~~

AWESOME!! Thank you very very much

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