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hi folks,

you know how you hear or read this and that and a bunch of instructors say "relax the neck, relax the jaw?" well, i was browsing around and in our neverending quest to figure this stuff out...lol!! i came upon this video which really helped the idea "kick in" for me. fact is, i've never seen it explained so thoroughly and quite this way.

sometimes it helps to get various explanations to solidify the lesson.

http://www.youtube.com/user/voicewisdom#p/u/2/xnO4ciIaUjk

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I watched this one. Glad it helped you!

It made me think of another video that I might put together to show how you can relax all of that but still move the face muscles more in order to feel more free while you are expressing the emotion from the words of a song.

Who knows....perhaps I should do that! :)

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Bob, check this out, you might find this interesting. Sorry about how wordy I am here. Here goes...

I wonder how this relates to high notes in the CVT mode "overdrive". F.ex. the Oh vowel (as in "so") on a B4 note. CVT says that you need some sort of "bite" position with your jaw so that sounds like it contradicts what this guy is saying. To some people this "bite" feels like there's glue between your upper and lower teeth and you're trying to break them apart. To others it feels like you're biting into a large apple, only with no apple between your teeth. So there is some tension there. In those cases, i.e. in order to produce overdrive on very high notes, I wonder if that guy is simply wrong? Anyone?

If I'm right, then this guy's idea falls apart f.ex. if you want to sing the pre-chorus in "Separate ways" - "If you must goooooo...". That's an Oh vowel on B4. If you wanna sing it as powerful as Steve Perry, Arnel Pineda and a few others, I think you need the overdrive vocal mode. Many others will be contempt with other ways to sing that note (such as MLN - just a relaxed tone but with tons of twang to make it louder, but it will always sound not as "meaty"). But Bob, I think you'll not be satisfied with any less than full power on that line in Separate ways, right? ;)

Also note that f.ex. in "Separate ways", when you sing the verses - "worlds apart, hearts broken in TWO" - that's pretty much using what SLS calls chord compression. BUT ... for that pre-chorus in the song, with the word "go", i.e. "If you must goooo...", then CVT says that you need to let go of that chord compression, sing an unmodified Oh vowel, increase the volume and go into a kind of a shouty mode. This is actually pretty tough but in my very limited knowledge, it might be the only way you're gonna sound like Steve Perry on that very line in that song. And I do believe I've heard you do the exact same thing - using overdrive - in your "Change's gonna come" cover. I think it was an Oh vowel on C5 if I remember correctly. That note of yours, plus the line afterwards, almost made me cry, it sounded so good. It just sounded like a miracle expressed in a voice.

I think it's time for you to get the CVT book, Bob, or you'll be forever confused with this. Although I seriously hate to sound like an advertisement, I think you won't stop being confused until you start to understand some of the info in the book. I agree with guitartrek on it being the most comprehensive vocal instructional out there, although it's a pretty dry read and not particularly inspirational - and I sometimes actually simply dislike it :) But I usually come back to CVT, at least for many issues. Someone delete this post if I'm sounding too much like an ad. By the way, CVT made me lose 10 pounds - THANKS, CVT! :) Just kidding. If you do get the book, you might still be confused for the first few months but later you'll start to see how it applies to your own singing and see what YOU'VE been doing all along in those strange and evil CVT terms :) And then you can choose if you want to continue sounding that way or maybe also explore other things. Personally, I'd say don't change a thing, except maybe learn how to lose some of that vocal weight as you start to sing higher than C5.

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jonpall the bite is a more like a trick to find overdrive specialy for women, skilled overdrivers wont need the "bite" at all :P atleast thats the impression i got from a discussion with martin... So i might be wrong hehe

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Actually, Bob, you may want to hold onto your cash for a few more weeks, because I'm not understanding all of this 100% myself and I'd rather not give advice on something I can't totally walk the walk with. Who knows, maybe curbing/mixed voice can be made to sound great on "Feeling that it's gooooooooone..." in Separate ways. It would be like "Feeling that it's gUhn..." with chord compression and a neutral larynx. I'm gonna experiment with these different sounds at home and probably record all of them.

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Actually, Bob, you may want to hold onto your cash for a few more weeks, because I'm not understanding all of this 100% myself and I'd rather not give advice on something I can't totally walk the walk with. Who knows, maybe curbing/mixed voice can be made to sound great on "Feeling that it's gooooooooone..." in Separate ways. It would be like "Feeling that it's gUhn..." with chord compression and a neutral larynx. I'm gonna experiment with these different sounds at home and probably record all of them.

as always jonpall, i appreciate you're advice and posts my friend, i just balk on buying the cvt book because i'm afraid it may put me into too much of a "technician mode" and ruin my "experimental side"...one thing i'm still not convinced of is that is i or anyone who trains long and hard enough cannot sing steve perry and sound rich and powerful, like that guy eric the karaoke guy..kind of as if lou gramm sang it or anyone else with operatic-based powerful voices.... i hate to say powering through it, but you kinda know what i mean.

the "non-ricki" way..lol!!!

let's say we put sounding like perry aside, and could really belt out those notes, man that would be awesome sounding i'm sure. the only reason i can't i feel is because i don't have the range for those notes (yet). it would be the effortful way, but one day i'm gonna get there.

but like you, i'm in a neverending quest for knowledge so i'm probably gonna contradict myself and get the damn book on the spur of the moment...lol!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hey Videohere,

I know what you mean about going too much into technician mode. That's actually part of the reason I was scared to take lessons for a long time. When I did start taking lessons, I went very heavily into technique mode (mainly because I'm obsessed with details and analyzing things), however, ultimately, it did allow me to become much more experimental. If you do intend to get the CVT book, I would suggest using it mainly as a resource to get some ideas from for unlocking different things about your voice. That will help to keep you in experimental mode much more easily. Otherwise, you might get lost in the sea of information that CVT provides. Think of the CVT book as an encyclopedia rather than a step-by-step course and you will be just fine.

~~Dante~~

thanks dante, i hear ya buddy, apprecaite it

bob

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In hindsight Bob, maybe Ken Tamplin's stuff would be more up your alley than CVT because it seems to deal ONLY with the style of singing you like, whereas CVT tries to cover all sounds possible (and therefore sometimes gets hard to understand for many people).

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Thank you so much for sharing these videos Bob!!! I loved the tongue and jaw ones, specially cause I struggle with that the most... I took the liberty of sharing those links at the CVI forum, hope you don't mind!

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jonpall the bite is a more like a trick to find overdrive specialy for women, skilled overdrivers wont need the "bite" at all :P atleast thats the impression i got from a discussion with martin... So i might be wrong hehe

The bite actually helped me with my curbing, because I used to have a very marked tendency to go into neutral as early as a G4!!! Now I go to neutral at E5 (meaning I can't take my curbing higher than that), and I think that increase in my curbing range is partly because of using the bite at first. I don't use it now for my curbing, but I find it's essential for my overdrive...

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The bite actually helped me with my curbing, because I used to have a very marked tendency to go into neutral as early as a G4!!! Now I go to neutral at E5 (meaning I can't take my curbing higher than that), and I think that increase in my curbing range is partly because of using the bite at first. I don't use it now for my curbing, but I find it's essential for my overdrive...

I didn't know you could do that! I have a tendency to go into neutral when I want curbing, so I might give the bite a try.

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Yeah, I can't remember if I read that in the book or at the CVT forum, but somebody recommended that for people who tend to go into neutral. The other way around works as well, meaning that if you tend to go to Overdrive or Edge, you should use a loose jaw for Curbing... It's not a requirement, but trust me, it helps!!! Like the book always says, curbing is a balancing act between non-metal and metal sounds, so you should do what keeps you from falling into one of the extremes. :D

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Hi - I'm the guy that created the neck/jaw video that videohere mentioned. CunoDante, you said that the mouth would need to open more than I demonstrated in the video, and I'd like to respond to that.

If the neck is properly positioned (see below), then the note production and resonance automatically improve. With the right tongue and jaw release (also see below), it is surprising how little we need to open the mouth. The mouth must be opened enough for the sound waves to get past the teeth and lips, but the most important jaw movement is to drop down and back at the back, much more than at the front. The demos on my video were intended to show how little the jaw had to do in sound production. When singing and performing, there would need to be a little more animation in jaw and lips for shaping words and resonance, and for expression (not least for the viewer to see more vitality in the face!), but very little is needed to actually make good sounds themselves.

Aligning the neck -

Freeing the neck -

Freeing the jaw 1 -

Freeing the jaw 2 -

Alexander

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Hi Alexander, welcome to the forums, and Dante as well! It's always great to have knowledgeable people around :D

I was going to start a thread on the opening of the mouth, because of how CVT says that for very high and very low notes, independent of the mode, the mouth needs to be very wide open. Then, I remembered how it was extremely hard for me to open it so wide when my classical teachers were telling me "open wide, wider, wideeeeeeeeeeeest" :P Even my lips started trembling and trust me, my sound DID NOT IMPROVE ONE BIT.

Then I got Singing and the Actor (Gillyane Kayes) and she also states that the mouth should be open normally (for lack of a better word) because if you open it further than what it opens by naturally dropping the jaw, you activate unwanted constrictor muscles. When singing high notes, I've learnt to open the mouth quite wide, maybe not as wide as my classical teachers advised I do, but wider than in middle-pitched notes, but maybe that's why I still struggle with jaw tension? Like I've said before, jaw tension is one of my burdens :mad:

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To me, the bite has been less about opening the mouth real wide and more about how the position creates more space in the back of the throat. When I hold the bite, even at the same mouth opening level, I feel like the back of my mouth is more cavernous, almost like a yawn with without needing to yawn (we think of a yawn as a relaxed open position, but a yawn is a pretty muscularly intense operation). For me very high notes do benefit a little from this bite, but I'm only talking about around F above high C. It's almost like I need to make a little extra room for the larynx to tilt/stretch the cords and opening slightly past relaxed helps create that extra space. Notes start to get harder as I get this high without any bite but if I drop a little but more all of a sudden a few more higher notes can pop out easily.

I think volume/mode would also be a factor as the slight tension from the bite and opening the mouth further might in some way contribute to helping anchor the larynx and be more necessary lower in the range for louder overdrive/edge sounds. Just try a decent strength overdrive shout with completely no bite, it's pretty hard and probably sounds pretty weak. I wonder if this is the reason why CVT says it's necessary to go towards the more open mouth OH and EH vowels for overdrive...

Would love to hear Steven's thoughts on this!

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Seeing the last post by truth1ness makes me think about why people do such different things with their jaw.

1. Certainly we need to get the jaw wide enough for the sound to emerge.

2. A longer jaw drop (up to a point) will increase the size of the resonating cavity. (Both 1 and 2 will help the audience's perception of sound intensity.)

3. Those who 'set' their jaw, aiming for a feeling of 'anchoring' their larynx, are aiming for a different kind of 'power sound' from a classical singer I suspect. 'Anchoring' the larynx by setting the jaw will give a harder sound (with less warmth and vibrato), than the brilliant ringing sound of a Pavarotti high note.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe those who go for the 'hard', driven sound by locking down the larynx, are conveying a different emotional intention. The ringing sounds of a classical singer have a power balanced with vulnerability and intimacy (even in loud sounds) - we go deep into their psyche when we hear their sound - that is the paradox of the singing of an 'operatic hero'.

The 'tougher' sound of the anchored larynx and the set jaw is more like the 'action hero' we see in Hollywood movies - not as much psychological depth - more 'tough man' macho image than rounded character. If you think of the speech patterns and vocal tone of many action heroes in such movies, there is very little inflection in their voices - every line is delivered with much the same tone. The 'hard man' doesn't express himself except through 'push', silence, or deadly, foreboding monotone.

They both have their place, depending on what we want to achieve. (My comparisons are for men's voices. I'll have a think about the differences in women who go for free larynx/jaw, or set larynx/jaw)

The looser jaw and larynx will always achieve more nuanced variation in vocal colour.

Alexander

http://www.OxfordSingingLessons.co.uk

http://www.youtube.com/voicewisdom

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The 'down and back' instruction for the jaw should never feel stiff or uncomfortable - it will only be so if the singer is over extending in either of these directions.

Watching other singers, we often see them do a certain manoeuvre at the same time as singing certain pitches, words or phrases. This does not mean that the manoeuvre has necessarily helped achieve those pitches, words or phrases. We mustn't confuse concurrence of manoeuvre and sound with one causing the other.

The talk about tongue and jaw helps those who need tongue and jaw help, but may seem irrelevant to those who do not have problems in these areas.

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The talk about tongue and jaw helps those who need tongue and jaw help, but may seem irrelevant to those who do not have problems in these areas.

Well, I do believe that is true...but it's the minority in my opinion. I actually believe it's a symptom from a more basic un-coordination. :)

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We mustn't confuse concurrence of manoeuvre and sound with one causing the other.

This is a very good point. It is always a good approach to see if you can make the sound even without the extra movement before relying on the movement all the time. I mentioned how I see the bite earlier in this thread, but I will say when I started I was really biting hard and it was probably more detrimental until later I saw how small of a movement it really needed to be.

On the other side, I think that while the majority of tensions can be classified as negative or constrictions, there are some tensions that can have a positive effect on your sound, especially for certain types of sound and in extreme ranges.

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