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Curbing or overdrive?

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guitarheaven
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I've been trying out the advice of the helpful members of this forum to try to find the mysterious passagio, or curbing. I'm confused. At this point, I can bridge on a siren at low volumes, but what I really want is to find curbing, mixed voice, or whatever it's called. But when I sing in my full voice, i think it's overdrive, but I don't know how to change that. Whenever I attempt to curb but putting a hold on my voice and restraining the volume some, I always hit a barrier at Eb4-E4. For some reason my voice just doesn't get it. I recorded a 5 note scale from G3-D4. It would be awesome if you guys could tell me if it's curbing or overdrive, and if it's overdrive, how do I curb? Another question that has been plaguing me is how do you gain range from curbing? Does the range magically appear when curbing is mastered, or does the range needed to be extended by taking curbing slowly higher?

http://www.box.net/shared/3kgn1beiny

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For starters you may be confusing because curbing is a vocal mode or a "sound" that can be very helpful in your passagio, but it's not the same as the passagio as curbing can be used throughout your range, both below and above the passagio.

Btw. whether you use curbing or some other method, you should be able to produce at least semi-good in the C4-C5 range (as a guy) almost on the first day of lessons, if you got a good vocal instructor.

The notes in your clip are too low. You have barely touched the passagio. You need to post another clip in which you go considerably higher. It would be cool if you could attempt going to G4 or so. At least E4. Would be cool to try to go to A4. Now, your voice will probably break like a Swiss jodler attempting that, and therefore you might be shy at posting that here, but that's EXACTLY what you have to do! We need to hear what you're doing wrong in order to possibly help you. So if you want to learn, we need to hear where you sing BADLY, not your strong points :)

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guitarheaven - you recording is overdrive, and what jonpall says is correct - you need to go higher. In bel canto terms, you would need a vowel modification at E4 to enter into the passagio (or curbing). "Ah" has to be modified to "Uh" above Eb4. It feels like a shift of resonance. To me overdrive feels like you are focusing the tone outwards from your mouth. When I go into the bel canto passagio or cvt curbing it feels like I focus the tone upwards and back. The tone is "less bright" and "covered". To get this sensation - induce a yawn, and try saying "ah" while yawning. Do you feel a shift in focus and resonance? Go back and forth between a normal "ah" and a yawning "ah". This is the sensation. It is a different "pocket" of resonace that you will feel. This vowel modification will carry you up to about A4 or Bb4 at which point you can let go of the TA muscle (to thin the folds) and go into "head" which will carry you up another octave and a half.

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Right. And in addition the vowel modification (assuming that you want to do curbing/mixed voice), it's important to start to hold back the volume a bit (doing the "hold" from curbing) in the passagio, ending up with what you could call "medium volume". You should feel that you COULD sing both louder and softer. It also helps to sing like you're in pain. You could imagine a stomach ache f.ex. If you do this in other places than in the passagio, you're voice can sound a little whiney, which can be good if the lyrics dictate some sort of pain, maybe related to love or whatever, but right in the passagio, done correctly, it doesn't really sound whiney, but "powerfully emotional" instead.

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Btw. whether you use curbing or some other method, you should be able to produce at least semi-good in the C4-C5 range (as a guy) almost on the first day of lessons, if you got a good vocal instructor.

*sigh*

It's taken me years and I'm only just starting to see progress in that area.

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I've been trying out the advice of the helpful members of this forum to try to find the mysterious passagio, or curbing

tell you what, if you just want to simply sense the transition "passagio" easily (after warming up a little first) sing a scale or arpeggio using a yawn configuration and sing the word "hohn" in a nice low to medium volume.

this word is perfect for getting a sense of the split in resonance as you ascend without forcing because you can't induce strain singing it....

as you sing, keep the jaw and neck relaxed, the mouth open comfortably tall, and don't move the shape from the yawn setup.

look in the mirror to be sure you're not moving the mouth and jaw and the tongue where it needs to be. let be know how you like it.

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For starters you may be confusing because curbing is a vocal mode or a "sound" that can be very helpful in your passagio, but it's not the same as the passagio as curbing can be used throughout your range, both below and above the passagio.

Btw. whether you use curbing or some other method, you should be able to produce at least semi-good in the C4-C5 range (as a guy) almost on the first day of lessons, if you got a good vocal instructor.

The notes in your clip are too low. You have barely touched the passagio. You need to post another clip in which you go considerably higher. It would be cool if you could attempt going to G4 or so. At least E4. Would be cool to try to go to A4. Now, your voice will probably break like a Swiss jodler attempting that, and therefore you might be shy at posting that here, but that's EXACTLY what you have to do! We need to hear what you're doing wrong in order to possibly help you. So if you want to learn, we need to hear where you sing BADLY, not your strong points :)

Haha, alright. The highest I can sing in full voice is an E4, but here's my attempt to sing a G major scale the 'belty' way (first link). Warning: it's pretty bad. I try to transition at E4, but it all breaks apart. In addition, the second link is a siren from E3 to E4 that I recorded a while back that is overdrive. I also recorded another clip following Bob's advice (third link).

Also, Guitartrek, I tried the ah resonance that you talked about, and it doesn't seem to be helping me with the passagio at all, unless my passagio is lower than average.

http://www.box.net/shared/7unt5bn1tf

http://www.box.net/shared/x8t3poy0d2

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

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Haha, alright. The highest I can sing in full voice is an E4, but here's my attempt to sing a G major scale the 'belty' way (first link). Warning: it's pretty bad. I try to transition at E4, but it all breaks apart. In addition, the second link is a siren from E3 to E4 that I recorded a while back that is overdrive. I also recorded another clip following Bob's advice (third link).

Also, Guitartrek, I tried the ah resonance that you talked about, and it doesn't seem to be helping me with the passagio at all, unless my passagio is lower than average.

http://www.box.net/shared/7unt5bn1tf

http://www.box.net/shared/x8t3poy0d2

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

did you try the "hohn" with the yawn configuration?

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guitarhaven - the E4 on the "Ah" vowel is pretty much universial. It is a physics thing where a harmonics cross resonances set by the "ah"vowel.

Your first example shows you flipping into head at E4, where you let go of the TA muscle. It's like what happens in a yodel. In bel canto that's going too early into head. It would be a more consistent tone to go into the passagio at E4 and then delay going into head until Ab4 or A4. But there are A LOT of differing views on this.

The last example shows you staying in overdrive for the whole thing and it gets very bright and intense at E4. It's perfectly fine to sing like that. In the bel canto approach they want you to start to modify the vowel there.

It would be better for me to demonstrate but I haven't got the hang of Box.net yet. I want to put up audio files where people can only stream the audio - not download it (I'm just paranoid of people downloading my crappy vocal demonstrations! ha) If you know how to do that let me know.

The other thing to try is an E major scale starting on E3 going up on the "ah" vowel. At D4 switch to the "oh" vowel. The "oh" vowel has a lower crossover point, and it should get you up to E4 and beyond in more of a covered sound. This may help you get the sensation of the "ugh" yawning sensation.

The other thing is that you may need to build a little muscle - so as you are building this new range - take it easy and do it gradually over many days / weeks. Once you've got the right sensation it doesn't take much time. If you really want to do it right get the KTVA video stage1. That's what I used and it works. There are other videos that will help too, like Robert's.

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Wait, wouldn't it just be an ah then? Because I pronounce "on" as more of "ah-n".

If I were to 'build muscle' as you put it, would it feel like I'm belting or something similar? As in chest voice?

Also, I couldn't find a way to message you, but i google'd and found a way to disable downloads on box.net. Here's the link http://support.box.net/app/answers/detail/a_id/116/~/how-can-i-disable-downloads-from-shared-links%3F

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Wait, wouldn't it just be an ah then? Because I pronounce "on" as more of "ah-n".

If I were to 'build muscle' as you put it, would it feel like I'm belting or something similar? As in chest voice?

bob's reply: there's "on" in it, not "ah" as in hot. if you were to look in the mirror, your mouth would be perfectly still.

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That's why when I sing a song from like Chris Brown, Usher, Trey Songz, R.Kelly etc (American singers) I sound like I have an american accent.

If I sing with my accent I sound HORRIBLE, because of the area I come from. I suppose ever area has a different accent.

As for the list...

Fawn

Dawn

Vaughn

Song

Pond

Swan

Milan

Grouped rhyme. Singles don't.

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The highest I can sing in full voice is an E4, but here's my attempt to sing a G major scale the 'belty' way (first link). Warning: it's pretty bad. I try to transition at E4, but it all breaks apart. In addition, the second link is a siren from E3 to E4 that I recorded a while back that is overdrive. I also recorded another clip following Bob's advice (third link).

Also, Guitartrek, I tried the ah resonance that you talked about, and it doesn't seem to be helping me with the passagio at all, unless my passagio is lower than average.

http://www.box.net/shared/7unt5bn1tf

http://www.box.net/shared/x8t3poy0d2

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

In the first clip, you did a text book "break" or jodel or whatever you want to call it that happens to 99% of untrained male singers on this planet. By untrained I mean guys who haven't mastered how to "bridge from chest to head voice" or what some people would say "from chest to mixed voice". You went straight from overdrive to neutral with air and the switch didn't happen gradually, therefore causing a break.

If you want to do it the way I think you want to do it :) ... i.e. go from overdrive to curbing in your passagio, try gradually altering the vowel towards Uh as in "hungry" and at the same time gradually adding the "hold" from curbing, like you're having a stomach ache. Because you started in overdrive, this hold may feel like you're holding back the volume, keeping it from getting too loud and shouty. Note that your support effort is likely to increase a bit as you get higher, but also note that you want to loosen all unecessary tension in your body, throat, jaw and face muscles. Start by having a sort of non-emotional poker face (don't frown is what I'm saying) and feel your "intensity" increase as you travel higher in pitch but not tension, if that makes any sense to you. You might need to hear a recording of someone doing this before you really get it, but I really, really suggest you try this exercise again and post it here, this time trying out these suggestions. I applaud you for having the guts of letting us hearing you mess up here :) . Apparantly you're in it to win it, i.e. you want to learn and become a better singer. With this attitude, you will, my friend.

In the second clip, you start in overdrive on Oh, siren up, switch to neutral with air in the middle (which I guess wasn't your intention) and then switch to curbing on an O vowel. That was very good. *Golf clap*. Well, it would have been better if you'd skipped the neutral part but this is exactly how you should sing Oh, O and related vowels in your passagio if you want a medium, non-shouty tone (curbing). Note that you weren't that centered in your curbing, though, but that should come with practise. It should NOT take that long to get the basic hang of this, with the right help. Mastering singing might take a few years, but getting the basic sounds down isn't THAT complex.

The third clip was pure overdrive on an Ah vowel, top note being D4, which is below the passagio. Sounded good and centered. Note that if you want to continue taking overdrive higher, you'd have to modify the vowel towards Eh or Oh and you can't really take it higher than C5 without switching into one of the other 3 vocal modes.

Well you asked a CVT question so you got a kind of a CVT answer, but I'm sure many people here don't follow this that well, so personally, I'm not gonna speak in CVT terms in every post, just so that you know :)

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folks, i hope i'm not driving you guys crazy...lol!!!

all i was trying to do is help guitarheaven with the passagio...and a nice way is you learn to do a nice gentle siren nothing good sounding, just an exercise to help you feel the voice transition from chest register to head register lightly without any effort of struggle.

a great way according to so many books i've read is to do it on the "ng" sound as in "sing" we all know that...but i happen to like "hohn."

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In the first clip, you did a text book "break" or jodel or whatever you want to call it that happens to 99% of untrained male singers on this planet. By untrained I mean guys who haven't mastered how to "bridge from chest to head voice" or what some people would say "from chest to mixed voice". You went straight from overdrive to neutral with air and the switch didn't happen gradually, therefore causing a break.

If you want to do it the way I think you want to do it :) ... i.e. go from overdrive to curbing in your passagio, try gradually altering the vowel towards Uh as in "hungry" and at the same time gradually adding the "hold" from curbing, like you're having a stomach ache. Because you started in overdrive, this hold may feel like you're holding back the volume, keeping it from getting too loud and shouty. Note that your support effort is likely to increase a bit as you get higher, but also note that you want to loosen all unecessary tension in your body, throat, jaw and face muscles. Start by having a sort of non-emotional poker face (don't frown is what I'm saying) and feel your "intensity" increase as you travel higher in pitch but not tension, if that makes any sense to you. You might need to hear a recording of someone doing this before you really get it, but I really, really suggest you try this exercise again and post it here, this time trying out these suggestions. I applaud you for having the guts of letting us hearing you mess up here :) . Apparantly you're in it to win it, i.e. you want to learn and become a better singer. With this attitude, you will, my friend.

In the second clip, you start in overdrive on Oh, siren up, switch to neutral with air in the middle (which I guess wasn't your intention) and then switch to curbing on an O vowel. That was very good. *Golf clap*. Well, it would have been better if you'd skipped the neutral part but this is exactly how you should sing Oh, O and related vowels in your passagio if you want a medium, non-shouty tone (curbing). Note that you weren't that centered in your curbing, though, but that should come with practise. It should NOT take that long to get the basic hang of this, with the right help. Mastering singing might take a few years, but getting the basic sounds down isn't THAT complex.

The third clip was pure overdrive on an Ah vowel, top note being D4, which is below the passagio. Sounded good and centered. Note that if you want to continue taking overdrive higher, you'd have to modify the vowel towards Eh or Oh and you can't really take it higher than C5 without switching into one of the other 3 vocal modes.

Well you asked a CVT question so you got a kind of a CVT answer, but I'm sure many people here don't follow this that well, so personally, I'm not gonna speak in CVT terms in every post, just so that you know :)

I have a question about your analysis of my second clip. You say that I'm curbing on the top notes, but to me it feels like falsetto, or neutral w/ air if we're talking CVT. What really confuses me is what curbing is actually supposed to feel like. Will it feel like I'm singing in my chest voice? Or is it still possible to curb in falsetto/headvoice? And I switched to neutral w/ air in the middle to erase the flip that would have been audible otherwise. I'm not sure how to siren up with more power at this point.

On a side note, I didn't' even know that I modified 'Oh' to 'O' on the siren, haha. I guess it's a good thing?

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I'm guessing that that high O note was curbing because it suddenly got slightly louder than just a second before when you were in neutral. But like I said, it sounded like it wasn't completely centered in any mode so you may have been somewhere between neutral and curbing. You should try to increase your hold/moan/cord compression. Try to sing while moaning with a medium volume (feeling that you COULD both get slightly louder and softer), on either I, O or Uh. That's curbing. As you go up in pitch, increase your support and it usually helps people to sing with a yawn feeling so that the larynx doesn't shoot up too far and chokes your high notes. No, you can't really curb in falsetto/headvoice. Curbing will not feel quite as powerful and loud as overdrive and edge, but it may sound just as loud through a microphone. Also, you don't have to use neutral with air to erase the flip - in fact it will probably create a flip. I think either purchasing and reading the CVT book over and over might help you, or, what I'd really recommend, is that you searched for both "speech level singing" and "singing success on youtube", because they really get into that type of singing, although they call it mixed voice and not curbing. Curbing around the passagio = mixed voice, btw.

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I'm guessing that that high O note was curbing because it suddenly got slightly louder than just a second before when you were in neutral. But like I said, it sounded like it wasn't completely centered in any mode so you may have been somewhere between neutral and curbing. You should try to increase your hold/moan/cord compression. Try to sing while moaning with a medium volume (feeling that you COULD both get slightly louder and softer), on either I, O or Uh. That's curbing. As you go up in pitch, increase your support and it usually helps people to sing with a yawn feeling so that the larynx doesn't shoot up too far and chokes your high notes. No, you can't really curb in falsetto/headvoice. Curbing will not feel quite as powerful and loud as overdrive and edge, but it may sound just as loud through a microphone. Also, you don't have to use neutral with air to erase the flip - in fact it will probably create a flip. I think either purchasing and reading the CVT book over and over might help you, or, what I'd really recommend, is that you searched for both "speech level singing" and "singing success on youtube", because they really get into that type of singing, although they call it mixed voice and not curbing. Curbing around the passagio = mixed voice, btw.

Hmmm... I think I can curb below Eb4, but I still don't know how to get past the passagio. I still have the sensation of hitting wall and if I try to go past it, my voice cracks. Here is my attempt at curbing from G3-D4 on I, O, and Uh.

http://www.box.net/shared/c0zg3z8deo

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Hi guitarheaven,

That sounds closer to curbing, but the vowels are a bit off. For instance, the first scale sounds like OH (so) to me, and the 2nd scale starts on an 'EH', both overdrivish vowels. I should be like in 'sit', but extended in time. Similar to EE but less "horizontal", if that makes any sense. And 'O' is like in bOOk. It's written with one O to distinguish it from OO, which is like in nOOdle.

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Hi guitarheaven,

That sounds closer to curbing, but the vowels are a bit off. For instance, the first scale sounds like OH (so) to me, and the 2nd scale starts on an 'EH', both overdrivish vowels. I should be like in 'sit', but extended in time. Similar to EE but less "horizontal", if that makes any sense. And 'O' is like in bOOk. It's written with one O to distinguish it from OO, which is like in nOOdle.

Alright, here's another try. I just realized (for me at least) how close Ih and Eh are. I seem to modify my vowels without knowing

http://www.box.net/shared/c0zg3z8deo

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The answer to why you're failing with your curbing and having a nice mixed voice in your passagio is very simple: Not a single note in that last clip of yours was a curbing vowel and there was no "hold" there. Right now I can't remember a link that shows how this should sound, but you could use the search button on this forum to try to dig something up. And feel free to ask more and more question on this thread until you finally get how to do this. Believe me, if you continue to try - you will. I'm absolutely sure of it.

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