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Is it possible that the cord would be tired even used it correctly?

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MetalHensen
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Hello,

Im not sure that is it possible even if I sing songs correctly.

Because for the classical vocal technics(I think not only classical, but also many others), the approach exhibit

that if you support , using the air efficiently, and use the right resonance(head, chest)(and vocal cord closure for high notes), Then you can sing songs freely.

But question here, is it possible the cord would feel tired when singing many high notes?

After rehearsal with my band last week, I could hardly sustain my high notes now.

I feel my vocal cords tired even Im sure I have the air support , strainless and the resonance.

Some of our songs have sequent high hotes between A to E(above the passagio) for several sections. Sometimes I could not sustain the sequent high notes and turn to the falsetto. It happens when I sing in the morning or the next day after the rehearsal.

At that moment I felt my cords tired.

So is my muscle of the vocal cords tired?

But some vocal technics state that if you have enough air support and very little cord closure force, then according to the physical principle, the Bernoulli principle, it is effortless to close the cord and sing high. So they say that the cords could not feel tired if we support enough air.

So Im confused because Im sure I have enough support and strainless of my neck, and I still could not sustain in high now.

And the second question is that, if it is possible that the muscles of the cord feel tired when singing correctly, then can the muscles of the cords be enhanced so that they can hold high notes longer then before?

Hensen.

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OK, now I realize my question.

The question is:

If I could not sustain the high notes, this is because

a. short of the vocal muscle training

b. short of the air support

The question is which one is the correct or possible answer?

If this is "a", then is it means that if I train my vocal cord muscle, then I can hold high notes longer?

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i would say that even with perfect technique (whether that be cord closure, breathing etc) if you sing at the extreme high end of you range for a really great amount of time you will get tired. this is purely because at that point the vocal folds are vibrating thousands of times a second, which can be tiring.

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OK, now I realize my question.

The question is:

If I could not sustain the high notes, this is because

a. short of the vocal muscle training

b. short of the air support

The question is which one is the correct or possible answer?

If this is "a", then is it means that if I train my vocal cord muscle, then I can hold high notes longer?

In my opinion, it could be either, or both! Impossible to say without seeing / hearing you.

Other factors:

a) are you warming up properly? If not, this may well be compromising your stamina as you start hitting those high notes.

B) just as you might have too little support, you might equally be over-supporting . Too much breath pressure underneath the high notes is a common error and will cause your voice to tire very easily. Unfortunately, it's about getting the balance exactly right.

c) I agree with Centre. You can own a Rolls Royce, but if you always drive it at 100mph in 3rd gear, you're going to wear out the engine pretty soon! Think of it like being an athlete - those guys train daily and are very fit, but they reach a point in training when they become tired. No different for a singer, just different muscles.

d) Are you looking after the notes at the lower middle and bottom of the vocal range? If you work these in training, you'll get a pay-off at the top of the voice. Metal / rock singers often make the mistake of over-concentrating on the top notes, forgetting that the voice is an instrument and you need to keep the whole instrument in good condition in order to play it in the way you want to.

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Right... If your extreme singing and practicing a lot, you might get tired. Probably nothing to worry about. Its ok to be fatigued if it is for the right reasons, like practicing. Not all vocal fatigue is bad... your working out muscles, give your voice 2-3 days of rest and your voice will respond better then ever... it just works that way. Try it and then come back here a let us know.

Hope this helps.

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I think there are some really big misconceptions out there.

Firstly, what is a high note? And how do we approach that note? To me singing a chesty A4-C5 is alot harder then singing a E5 for instance in head voice. Yet the latter is higher...

I personally believe that the right education should be that you should break a sweat singing if you're singing with a heavy coordination. It's often more dangerous not applying enough energy.

When people say that singing should be easy, what they really mean (or should mean :>) is that it should be easy on the throat.

However your body needs to work, you need to sing engaged and with energy, and build up compression to resist airflow and create airpressure. Do not confuse tiredness with strain. It's Ok and Good to get tired, it shows that you are approaching things with energy. It's not good to strain. Why do you think Pavarotti compares singers with athletes? Because the high note is 'easy'? It's easily and freely produced surely, but it requires a great deal of stamina and concentration to produce easy and free.

Also this singing with proper amount of energy doesn't come over night. It's like an athlete, you need to train it. At first you might only be able to sing like that for a small period of time, later your ability to sustain high powerful notes will grow.

There are also different coordinations that will require your voice to be taken care of differently. If you belt out a note it's gonna take more energy then if you use a more heady tone [simply because keeping your chest muscle engaged takes more energy ...]

Start experimenting with juxtaposing airflow and a squeezed coordination and try to find a balance. You could start by blowing tons of air, followed by hardly using any and just squeezing. Do it several time and then try to find a middleground, see if that helps you.

But some vocal technics state that if you have enough air support and very little cord closure force, then according to the physical principle, the Bernoulli principle, it is effortless to close the cord and sing high.

I personally feel that the importance of the Bernouilli principle is vastly overrated by people who are classically tought. I remember I went to a classical instructor one day and she tried to tell me that I didn't have to give any thought what so ever on compression, then she took 2 sheets of paper and blew air through them and said look, the cords come together naturally haha :P

And don't worry... I find the more you practise, the more energy you can give :P [Don't expect miracles, a little progress at a time will amount into sth big in the long run]

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I personally feel that the importance of the Bernouilli principle is vastly overrated by people who are classically tught. I remember I went to a classical instructor one day and she tried to tell me that I didn't have to give any thought what so ever on compression, then she took 2 sheets of paper and blew air through them and said look, the cords come together naturally.

The writer who really popularized the Bernouilli principle in singing was William Vennard. In the 1970s, the idea was quite pervasive. However, as continued research into the physiology of vocal fold motion proceeded, it was realized that there was much more going on in vocal fold motion than could be accounted for by that principle alone.

What I find many modern writers returning to is something quite close to Manuel Garcia, II's idea of the 'coup de glotte', which is the principle of beginning the tone with a fully-closed glottis produced by well-adducted vocal bands. Even the 'coordinated onset' preferred by Richard Miller is virtually indistinguishable in practice... the glottis closes and the tone begins simultanously. There is not enough air volume passing through the glottis for the aerodynamic forces of the Bernouilli principle to contribute to adduction.

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In my experience, if you 1. sing correctly 2. have been singing full voice (as Rob says) for about four days before your performance, and 3. you have adequately and correctly warmed your voice up, this is what happens:

You get physically tired, THEN vocally tired because you can't sustain breath CONTROL! I find that when you lack the energy to hold your ribcage flexibly open, you slump or go forward, closing in your posture a little then you lose the taut-ness in your diaphragm, as well as tightening the throat channel. Then tension becomes cumulative, and ... your ready for some vocal rest :)

Make sure you eat enough protein, get enough water and sleep to sustain your energy. Then assume the tallest, flexible posture you can, and you may find yourself with more vocal stamina than you've had.

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Thank you guys, you help me alot!

Actually, Im a physic graduate student. Although Im not working on the fluid mechanics, but I know the basic idea of the Bernoulli principle.

The one of the results of Bernoulli principle is, if there is a high speed air flow in some direction, then the air pressure of the transverse direction of the air flow is lower than the others.

So there are always warnings or lines on the train platform state that you should not stand nearby the rail. The real reason is the air presure. Because a high speed train means a high speed air flow. Then the air presure nearby the passing train is so low such that a man might be pulled to the train.

Same as the vocal cord, the air flow in the middle is so strong so that the cord is adducted(ya you could also adduct your vocal cord by the muscles)

So Elrathion, your classical teacher is right for one part. But I think she forget two things. One is that, two sheets can not adjust notes, if you want the sheets to "sing" ,than you should use the muscles(fingers) to adjust notes. And as you know, that needs the force of the muscles. The higher you go, the force you need more.

And the other thing is this, the adduction of the sheets means there is something sustaining to the them to avoid the sheets pulled together too much, so there is another cost of force.

And raikeen, your right, for your point B), I have too much support, too much support means the air flow speed is too high, and as my above point, the muscles need more power to sustain the vocal cord to avoid over-adduction. So I feel much much better to not to over-blow on high notes(below high C) I think that is also due to Roberts point, have a 2 days rest.

So the balance between the cord and the air flow is very important, this becomes a new topic for me now. Thank you guys to pull me to think.

And I found one guy and obseve his technics for this new topic.

His name is Michele Luppi. You can see him and his ex-band from youtube:

He use more air support above high C#(From the change of his face)

ex: you can see 2:48, 4:05, 4:18 of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJWIcXqR4tw

and from other songs of them you can observe C# is his special air point.

I like his technic, and I think his technic is based on SLS, some heady vocal cord sounds.

ex: 3:12, 4:59 (Ah~~~) of:

But I don't know why his voice on high notes are no heady or sharp sound. Not only connected, but also like no color change.(As I know from technics nowaday, they almost have the vocal color change from chest to head. Although the voice is connect as they claim, but you can still notice the color change from a heavy chest sound to a sharp heady sound ) It sounds like "belting without any strain". But the belting is not the SLS way. It's strange to me.

Those are my personal obsevation of him, Im not sure Im right. If not, please correct me.

And if there are other models could easily be obseved his/her technic of balance of support and cord, please suggest me by thier name.

Thank you very much!!

Hensen

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I feel the opposite is true. I use alot less air on high high notes, and on notes around and below high C alot more, simply cse the TA can resist much more air pressure.

You simply gotta find a good balance between how heavy a compression and how much air you'll use, related to the pitch. Play around with it...

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This is an interesting discussion, and I really wish each of you could be at the voice conference coming up in a couple of weeks. TMV member Ron Scherer is the "subject matter expert" who best can tell you what's going on, but as he's absent I'll try to suggest a few things (from my 'engineering' background).

First, the vocals cords/chords/whatever are properly called "folds" because they are, and act like, folds of flesh that flap together. So I'll use the word "folds" here, awaiting Steven's glossary project -- which is a huge but worthy task. Vocal folds are a bit like blubber, if you'll forgive the casual analogy: they behave like Jello, in that some parts of them can be moving forward while other parts of them are moving backwards and sideways at the same time. Inside them are muscles whose job is simply to make them more tense or more limber within themselves. This muscled flesh is surrounded -- especially on the striking surfaces -- by a softer, passive layer of unmuscled flesh whose outermost layer -- called the "mucosal" layer -- is kept wet and slippery and thus lubricated for its job of slapping against the opposite vocal fold 1,000 times a second.

This mucosal layer and the comparative dryness or wetness of its underlaying fleshy layer take a horrible beating, and their condition depends on how sweetly you treat them. Gag them with cigarette smoke and coal tar and burnings acids, and they will reward you by creating raspy, unpredictable and unreliable sounds. Tired? You bet! There's a good reason that a young voice sounds prettier than a worn out voice.

To keep the mucous layer wet and slimy, you need good blood supply and good blood flow within the tissue (flesh) of the vocal folds. That means good arterial blood supply, and relaxed muscle tension (think "squeezed sponge" vs. "relaxed sponge"). This calls -- up front -- for lots of water. Carry a water bottle with you, everywhere. Avoid singing in smoky bars. Take a rest when you can, because the air as you breathe in and out (no, don't stop that practice!) evaporates the water and dries the mucosal layer, leading to "clearing your throat" and coughing and 'rough' sounds and ultimately to surface damage to the cells behind the layer that takes time to heal (and may never heal to its former, youthful self).

Good blood flow -- as in all exercise -- is helped along, especially in preparing for singing, by proper vocal warm-up -- just as a jogger needs to stretch and exercise a bit before taking off on a long run. Good warm-ups cause no harm, and they get the cellular matrix limbered up. The good blood flow is also helpful to feed the muscles as they come into play, but that's another story.

A doctor in Finland -- Marketta Sihvo -- invented a so-called "LAX-VOX (relaxed voice) Tube" for healing and warming up the vocal apparatus. The idea is to hum or "ooh" into the tube, which holds your teeth and jaw open in a natural speaking position, while the tube restricts air flow so the drying effect is greatly lessened. The back-pressure from the tube also helps avoid slapping of the folds that would otherwise take place -- if the pressure drop was not reduced between your trachea and your open mouth -- because the air flow velocity is less and thus the Bernoulli effect is less.

The LAX-VOX Tube was intended for helping to heal or recover from damage, but it also serves as a great warm-up tool. Those tiny straws that one can use as coffee stirrers also do this, but that's another story, too.

The current research, which has benefited much from high-speed video movies and nMRI three-dimensional imaging, has shown that the Bernoulli effect plays a big role in making the vocal folds oscillate (jiggle back-and-forth), and that it interacts with distortion of the Jello-like layer of the vocal folds' surface and sub-surface. If you've ever blown up a balloon and squeezed the air back out of it, you've seen exactly how the vocal folds and Bernoulli work. A "Whoopie Cushion" is an even better example. But the best, in many ways, is the way trumpeters hold their lips against the mouthpiece and cause them to flap back and forth against each other. I think this sound is called "a raspberry" -- but I don't know why.

The muscles that control your larynx (voice box?) are many, and it's almost impossible for you to consciously exercise control over them (unlike finger or arm muscles). They serve to set the vocal folds farther apart (AB-duction) or closer together (AD-duction), and they serve to lengthen or shorten the active width of the vocal folds (or, in old-speak "lengthen or shorten the cords"), and the muscles within the vocal folds (mentioned earlier) determine the stiffness or limberness of the folds, so that these three sets of muscles are what you use to change pitch and to adjust the sweetness or nastiness of your voice. (I don't think "sweetness" or "nastiness" will be in Steven's glossary, but they give you the general idea.)

Because these muscles do not act 1,000 times per second, it's much less likely that your muscles are getting tired, unless of course you don't feed them and give them enough to drink, of course). They do not directly cause your voice to fail, because they mostly serve to set up the operating conditions for the vocal folds that they support. Under normal conditions, they should easily last the whole day -- even for fast-speaking people.

Your vocal folds, on the other hand, can get torn, scarred, dry -- even pureed if you try hard enough! They call for tender-loving-care and nice treatment and respect. As well as occasional rest.

This is not a matter of "classical" vs. "new-age" singing instruction. This a matter of human physiology, health and harm. One could write more about the Bernoulli effect -- how it works and what it does -- and much more about shedding vortices in the non-linear air-flow exiting from the larynx, and how sounds are affected by passing through the vocal tract . . . but that is truly a story for another day.

Ron Scherer -- if you're reading this -- PLEASE chime in. :)

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Thank you guys, you help me alot!

Actually, Im a physic graduate student. Although Im not working on the fluid mechanics, but I know the basic idea of the Bernoulli principle.

The one of the results of Bernoulli principle is, if there is a high speed air flow in some direction, then the air pressure of the transverse direction of the air flow is lower than the others.

So there are always warnings or lines on the train platform state that you should not stand nearby the rail. The real reason is the air presure. Because a high speed train means a high speed air flow. Then the air presure nearby the passing train is so low such that a man might be pulled to the train.

Same as the vocal cord, the air flow in the middle is so strong so that the cord is adducted(ya you could also adduct your vocal cord by the muscles)

So Elrathion, your classical teacher is right for one part. But I think she forget two things. One is that, two sheets can not adjust notes, if you want the sheets to "sing" ,than you should use the muscles(fingers) to adjust notes. And as you know, that needs the force of the muscles. The higher you go, the force you need more.

And the other thing is this, the adduction of the sheets means there is something sustaining to the them to avoid the sheets pulled together too much, so there is another cost of force.

And raikeen, your right, for your point B), I have too much support, too much support means the air flow speed is too high, and as my above point, the muscles need more power to sustain the vocal cord to avoid over-adduction. So I feel much much better to not to over-blow on high notes(below high C) I think that is also due to Roberts point, have a 2 days rest.

So the balance between the cord and the air flow is very important, this becomes a new topic for me now. Thank you guys to pull me to think.

And I found one guy and obseve his technics for this new topic.

His name is Michele Luppi. You can see him and his ex-band from youtube:

He use more air support above high C#(From the change of his face)

ex: you can see 2:48, 4:05, 4:18 of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJWIcXqR4tw

and from other songs of them you can observe C# is his special air point.

I like his technic, and I think his technic is based on SLS, some heady vocal cord sounds.

ex: 3:12, 4:59 (Ah~~~) of:

But I don't know why his voice on high notes are no heady or sharp sound. Not only connected, but also like no color change.(As I know from technics nowaday, they almost have the vocal color change from chest to head. Although the voice is connect as they claim, but you can still notice the color change from a heavy chest sound to a sharp heady sound ) It sounds like "belting without any strain". But the belting is not the SLS way. It's strange to me.

Those are my personal obsevation of him, Im not sure Im right. If not, please correct me.

And if there are other models could easily be obseved his/her technic of balance of support and cord, please suggest me by thier name.

Thank you very much!!

Hensen

"So the balance between the cord and the air flow is very important, this becomes a new topic for me now. Thank you guys to pull me to think."

the balance is paramount. it is THE essence of vocal technique.

as for high notes they actually require less air (and for a lot of people they are easier to produce and sustain than some of the mid to medium high notes). i think Michele Luppi looks to be putting in more effort for some of the very high notes simply because he is. for the very high metal scream stuff, like the scream at the beginning, he is doing the typical metal "screech" tenor thing of using more muscle to lift up the larynx and then blowing more air through to get a louder sound. does it have to be done that way, no but then its a stylistic choice that many metal singers (of that sub-genre) make. because the larynx comes up it does give a different "colour" to the voice- a more shrill,piercing quality. with the general singing with lyrics he doesnt use the same kind of effort/coordination because he is using less muscle and less air and the effort he is putting in is probably more from a little extra "edgy sounding" squeeze on the vocal folds not to mention the athletic endurance of good support/breath control and the fact its high energy music. although he isnt massively lifting up the larynx he is using too much effort, muscle ( and probably air) for the last long held note. although this is visible you can also hear this from the fact that his vibrato isnt free what so ever and is more a "wobble".

in regards to the colour change of chest to head. i know what you mean about hearing a change in colour between some singers chest and head voice even if it is connected. part of this could be technique I.E. if you were using a mixed voice technique like SLS, you can get better at creating heavier head voice qualities. some people can get so good at creating these heavier head voices it can sound somewhat like a belt. in fact i think with a genuine belt voice you can hear a colour or quality change because the belt takes on a much more brassy, shout like quality.

i think that another aspect of the colour change is also to do with the type of voice. ive noticed that the colour change ( as well as an more apparent ease to mix or connect through the main passaggio )is often less evident with singers who naturally have a lighter speaking/chest voice to begin with. im sure it isnt always the case but it seems very often this way.

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In regards to the colour change of chest to head. i know what you mean about hearing a change in colour between some singers chest and head voice even if it is connected. part of this could be technique I.E. if you were using a mixed voice technique like SLS, you can get better at creating heavier head voice qualities. some people can get so good at creating these heavier head voices it can sound somewhat like a belt. in fact i think with a genuine belt voice you can hear a colour or quality change because the belt takes on a much more brassy, shout like quality.

i think that another aspect of the colour change is also to do with the type of voice. ive noticed that the colour change ( as well as an more apparent ease to mix or connect through the main passaggio )is often less evident with singers who naturally have a lighter speaking/chest voice to begin with. im sure it isnt always the case but it seems very often this way.

Centre: Depending on the technique, a male singer can choose to align the 2nd vowel resonance with the 3rd or 4th harmonic in the range immediately above the passaggio... this give a particular color of resonance to the voice. This characteristic still is seen in many operatic tenors, and was also formerly in the pop singers of the previous generation.

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"i think that another aspect of the colour change is also to do with the type of voice. ive noticed that the colour change ( as well as an more apparent ease to mix or connect through the main passaggio )is often less evident with singers who naturally have a lighter speaking/chest voice to begin with. im sure it isnt always the case but it seems very often this way."

I agree with this, I think that is easy to explain.

A female could bridge easily and seamless and even color changeless relate to a man. I think one of the reson is the speaking range. The higher of the speaking range, the more chance to trainning the passagio(you may raise up your speaking voice, you'll notice there is a sharp tone above the passagio at first. And if you do more try you may find out a way to suppress the sharp heady tone)

A singer named Michael Sweet(vocal of the band Stryper) is the example. I think he has a perfect passagio, and his speaking voice is high.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSQVpE6GiLk

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In classical technique, we say that your body should get tired, not your voice, if you are singing correctly. The objective of vocal technique is to preserve your instrument.

However, the better your technique, the more you will feel it when you sing a note or two badly.

So, it happens that in the process of learning sometimes you will make a wrong move, and your mechanism will become progressively more sensitive to slights as your technique gets better.

If you feel that you have made a wrong move, take a minute, a sip of water, and then begin again. If after that you feel uncomfortable, fold your tent for a while. Be sure to break for a couple of minutes every 15 or so, to enable you to start fresh each time. We never practice continuously.

If your voice is tired, give it a rest.

You never strengthen the muscles of the vocal cords. You strengthen your support to take weight off the cords and sing with as little air as possible. If you are singing with good technique your body will get tired eventually, not your voice. By only singing correctly, your body will work hard and become progressively stronger.

All the best,

Roberta Prada info@voxmentor.com

Edited Friday, May 29th

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Ohh man no wonder Tates voice has been getting worse! Man listen to his speakingvoice in that clip, that is not a healthy speakingvoice... He has a constant fry on his voice you can actualy hear the chords slam all the time as he speaks. Ive had the same speechdisorder i had fry on all the ends of my phrases and it completly tired out my voice luckily i spotted that something was wrong and went to a speechterapist... Now im alot better luckily

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well he fry's all the time you cant hear that? It's very tiering to the voice and it's an indication that there is not enough support in the talkingvoice, thats whats ive been told by my speechtheraphist. Im no expert on this subject, but this was an error found in my own speech and has caused me alot of trouble.

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Well, Im no expert either, but it seems to me his fry is coming from having his chords dangle relaxedly, lazily even, with admittedly, little air support. But it would seem a relaxed place to sing from, if he added a balanced flow of air to it.

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Well inaway you are right but it's not healthy to have as a speechhabit. And i think it's contributing to his voice being alot worse than in his youngerdays. I know it realy messed up my voice

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Speech mode is "bottom up" phonation, when we sing properly, it should be "top down" phonation. The speaking voice, generally speaking... fatigues the singing voice. All singers should work on "top down" speaking... or more resonant speaking. Lighter & brighter speaking. I have met a lot of people that have phonation problems, not because of their singing technique, but because of their throaty, froggy speaking.

BTW... its vocal "folds" , not "chords".

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would have to agree with Jens on this one. although Tate has always had a naturally low speaking voice his speaking voice these days seems too low even for him. this seems to be evidenced by the vocal fry that is present. i dont know if prolonged vocal fry is damaging but certainly constantly speaking out of ones natural speaking range (either too low or high) is very fatiguing for the voice (this can happen for a number of reasons both physical and mental). i too have had a tendency now and then to speak too low and as Jens mentioned is probably a support issue for me but as Matt mentioned this lack of support is usually from speaking too lazily. so rather than think of adding more support on a physical level (usually when we try thinking of adding/increasing aspects physically we have a tendency to over do it) i try to think of speaking more enthusiastically, like im talking about something im interested in or passionate about. this provides the extra support.

you can do a quick test to find your natural speaking voice pitch. without thinking or preempting the pitch spontaneously make the sound UH MMM like when your agreeing with someone in a conversation.

just like bad speaking habits can be detrimental for the singing voice so can bad singing habits be detrimental for the speaking voice. tate could possibly fit into either, who knows?

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I guess we would have to ask Tate himself - otherwise we can only guess.

By the way vocal fry (subharmonics) is perfectly healthy when done correctly. So just bc there is a vocal fry sound that doesn't mean it's unhealthy at all.

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