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okay to stimulate a little controversy?

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VideoHere
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hi folks,

before i begin, let me just say that this is something i just want to throw out to you folks. i'm not saying i'm right or i'm wrong, just that i want to make you aware of it.

you guys know i'm just trying to be a contributor and to learn, so i won't sugar coat what i'm about to say because you know i mean no disrespect.

notwithstanding my blatant lack of cvt knowledge, do you guys who are so deep into the "modes" and this and that...do you hear yourselves....?

curbing this and that, neutral, this and that.......do you think it's possible that you are overengineering your singing rather than take your skills and just let loose and experiment with different things?

i'm starting to realize a lot of this is just experimenting.....per your particular,individual, unique voice.

you think you might, but you don't need programs like cvt ( i pick on cvt because it sounds so complex, so "textbookish") like it's the be all, end all, to singing.

i better stop here...lol!!! i just like everyone on the forum, and i don't want to see you guys get so wrapped up in cvt that it detours or takes away the spontenaity of it all.

remember, a lot of this, (and i'll say it again) depends on your particular voice.....

i really don't think these singers we know and love worry about what mode they're in or not in, they just let it happen..they experimented a lot....a lot, a lot.

now you can go ahead and destroy me.....lol!!!!

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There's nothing wrong with a little conflict and controversy, as long as it's interesting and some actual learning is going down, and not just conflict for the sake of conflict.

Actually, I am in the same boat as you. Granted, I am not terribly familiar with CVT, but honestly, after seeing their vowel chart in another thread, it looked like something you would see in a chemistry classroom.

I have no doubt whatsoever there's tons of useful and effective information that will produce results. I'm not disputing that at all. However, I can see where might be disenchanted when they realize that something like singing has been transformed into such a complex, almost cult-like "science". How something is presented and approached can make all the difference in the world.

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I've said it before but I'll say it again: the simpler the terminology the better.

That being said, however, I think that every approach has something to offer.

What I find about CVT terminology is basically a more modernized way of giving the basics to singing.

Without the basics, none of the effects will give people the results they want.

But why change the terminologies that have worked for centuries?

GuitarTrek wrote something that I think is especially enlightening about this here:

...for sure you can get your head very close in sound to your chest. I'm using the standard bel canto technique in which you do vowel modifications in chest in the Passagio range. I break into head around A4 or B4. I can certainly feel the difference between head and chest, but when I listen back to a recording of myself it is pretty hard to tell the difference. To me it is the passagio inbetween chest and head that makes a nice gradual transition. In CVT terms the bel canto passagio is the same as curbing. There are specific vowels used to transition chest to passagio and passagio to head that make the transition nearly seamless. The CVT book explains these transition vowels, so does a good bel canto instructor. It isn't easy - it takes practice and training (the right kind of training), but it CAN be done - and everyone has the capability of doing it.

So my question becomes, why make something harder than it already is? Bel canto principles have worked and will continue to work for hundreds of years. There are tons and tons of resources available to people for the basics.

I think the problem is that most people think of opera when they hear the term Bel Canto.

But the truth is that Bel Canto principles are simply the first 3 of what CVT says on their website:

The four main subjects are:

The three overall principles - to ensure healthy sound production.

The four vocal modes - to choose the ‘gear' you want to sing in.

Sound colours - to make the sound lighter or darker.

Effects - to achieve specific sound effects.

The only thing that I can see that gives them a different take on things is the effects part.

To me it seems easier to use what has worked for so many centuries and then learn the effects part. I think people will get the results they want faster that way, which also means that they will keep their instrument healthier longer too and get more power out of it in the long run.

Let's face it, singing is learning how to take your emotional and intellectual impulses and translate them to the outer world through breathing, making sounds and creating volumes and nuances (or effects) with your voice box.

Why use terminology that makes it harder than that?

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I agree in the sense that it's not productive to overcomplicate things, however, if you want to truly master your understanding of vocalisation then eventually you will get to a level where you have to study it from a more academic view point.

@VIDEOHERE, you mention that experimentation is very important. Having all of these different schools of singing (cvt, ss, sls, bel canto) gives you the opportunity to explore whilst still knowing your going to get results, not damage yourself and are going down a road that someone else has already yielded results from. I'm all for experimentation, but personally, almost everything I experimented with before taking voice lessons turned out to be wrong or unhealthy. I believe that vocal programs serve as parameters in which to experiment.

@singingmastermind, although these terminology's have and still do serve us well, we are forever evolving and finding out new things about the voice. It is a natural progession. for example, the need for huge projection is not as great due to mics and pa's and the need for new stylistic traits like distortion is essential for some genres of music. If we just completely stuck with tried and tested methods, we'd still be cooking over open fires and wearing animals skins, which we do still do, however, we also have ovens and polyester.. (that was a terrible example but I feel it proves a point!) :lol:

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People, before you judge, take a look at what you're judging. In this case, get the CVT book before you judge it. Maybe you could even borrow it from someone.

I think that the reason the authors of CVT decided to invent new terms for many things is because although those new terms mean something SIMILAR to existing ones, there are some minor (or major) differences that don't justify using existing terms. "Covering" is f.ex. similar but not exactly the same as "curbing" and covering means something slightly different in each Bel Canto school but curbing always means the same thing.

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I like cvt even if i m more a "make my own recipe" kind of guy...

Honestly i dont really care about terms (used by cvt or others...).

What i like cvt is the opposite of most of others methods. Each teacher ( even if they re really maestros) tend to make you sound in a particular way. Cvt just give you the tools and you can/have to find by yourself...

I already said it, i think some of cvt users think too much... And worse some think they re genius just because they Have the book...

But unless you don t Have the book you just can t fire at cvt.

You can't judge a book by the color of the cover

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@jonpall: I agree that someone shouldn't judge CVT, but I think that what VIDEOHERE was getting at is what can appear to be overly complicated language. My take on all this is that the various "schools" of voice training all have something to offer one another.

@MB20: Not sure about comparing Bel Canto techniques to that caveman example :lol: but I get your point. That being said, your thoughts about voice lessons and experimentation bring up a thought worthy of exploring further. The problem with an academic approach, from my own experience at least, is that it can take longer to get to the point because the student is struggling away with terminology. Same is true for CVT. However, perhaps it is like writing a story. First you get out what Anne La Mott calls the "vomit draft" and then you edit and hone to clean up the structural aspects of the story, making sure your tense, point of view, grammar, etc. all serve the story well.

Now, I am not saying that CVT or Bel Canto are like "vomiting" but someone may take it that way.

I think the point I am trying to make beyond which "vocal school" one comes from is that every system has something to offer and each person has to find their way through what can be extremely confusing "roadsigns" along the way. That, of course, mixes all the metaphors, but then, we are not talking about writing here.

Singing is an individual thing.

Each individual has to experiment to find their answers.

Each answer leads to another question.

All questions lead back to taking lessons! :)

@raphaels: I don't even use the word passagio, although I am thoroughly skilled in teaching Bel Canto principles. Again, I guess we have to build up our singer's vocabulary in order to later discard it. Maybe it is sort of liking brushing our teach. We have to learn the "how" first in order to make it effortless through repetition.

Now, the tooth brushing example may be even worse than the caveman example, but we are all trying to get our points across without being able to sit in a room together or even hear each others voices!

Ah well, at least we all have a sense of humor here. Never works well for me to take myself too seriously!:/

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So my question becomes, why make something harder than it already is? Bel canto principles have worked and will continue to work for hundreds of years.

Chest voice. Mixed voice. Falsetto. Head voice. Here, have a shot at defining exactly what this means and you will understand CVT's stance on why there needed to be something done to clarify things a bit. Not saying they were right, or that they've got everything right as well, but even within Bel Canto there is no precise definition to those terms.

The truth is that everyone clings to different approaches. Bel Canto wouldn't work with me. i'm a brainy guy.

Edit : Hey, glad we agree, in the end :)

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Frankly, what I dislike about CVT is that secret lingo thingy which you can't really understand completly until you buy the book. :) But seriously, the gain is totally worth it. I agree with some of you posters that you should be aware of not totally losing yourself in technique details, though. Experimentation and improvisation with your voice is one of the best training methods out there.

Bob, check this video and in particular the slight rasp at 3:16:

. This could explain a few things for you. This is a CVT vocal coach who's also a soul singer. A good one, too. At 2:08, he shows how you can make curbing very full, powerful and even slightly classical sounding (although he's not a classical singer). You guys who think that curbing isn't powerful should check this bit out. Or the chorus in "Pride (in the name of love)", of the top of my head.

Here's another CVT vocal coach/singer who's also very good (they all pretty much are), who's talking about that he likes the simplicity of the system and that it's not too obsessed about anatomy:

. He also shows a great example of rasp at 3:16, so check it out. That was more of a rock rasp (perhaps a bit on the strong side), but at 5:58 he shows a very, very harsh heavy metal type of distortion.

Interestingly enough, some of you guys seem to think that CVT is all about anatomy. Basically, it's just one of many very good vocal programs out there.

These guys explain the modes quickly and some sound effects and sound colouring so I think some of you would understand many things a bit more if you'd check out these clips. You can also see that these are just normal people, very friendly, not egoistic, relaxed and also very intelligent. You get insight into what the CVT classes look. Cheers Bob, my friend, and all you guys.

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Perhaps I sometimes feel I need to "defend" Complete Vocal Technique because I sense that people tend to have mixed feelings towards it (like me), but I'll have you know that I like other programs as well, such as Jamie Vendera's stuff, Mark Baxters and some of SLS/SS.

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what i find very helpful, and i have no choice because i simply cannot afford voice lessons, is to get down the basic skills:

breathing, breath management, singing connected, whatever...i may have missed some others...vocal health, vocal stamina.......core requisites. ...i'm sure there's more.

now can't a singer simply work the body and mind to reach a place with his voice to get a particular sound? yes, a voice teacher would be the ideal scenario, but isn't it good to just take the voice there without having to worry about what mode i'm singing in? i agree, knowledge of these modes are great to have, but are they a means to an end?

i say, like i believe joy was alluding to, take pieces of all of these techniques and methodologies, instead of one particular one.

no?

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I absolutely agree with your last post Bob. If you'd get the CVT book, that's what the basic chapters teach - the basics - of breath management, vocal placement, twang, etc.

So if you keep those basics in mind, doesn't matter whether you got it from CVT or anywhere else - you could end up discovering amazing things with your voice. But if you are frustrated and in a rut - and want to learn more how you can do certain things with your voice, it's in the book. It's absolutely your choice how much of the info you prefer to use. And note that after you've learned all this stuff, within time you really start to think in terms of "curbing" and "distortion" and just SING.

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By the way, it may seem as I'm telling you the buy that damn book, Bob, but I'm really not. What you're doing seems to be really working because you're one of the most amazing singers on this forum. I'm just trying to clear up some misconceptions on something that I have a bit of knowledge about. Note that there are some things in the book that I think are confusing, borderline wrong, or could have been explained better (although I'm talking about very few, minor things to be fair).

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Hi guys!

I, as some may have come to realize, love CVT. It is the method that has worked the most for me, and I would like to share some thoughts about it.

I used other methods before CVT (SLS, SS, Roger Love, Rabine, and others I can't even remember the name) and with them, I saw no improvement at all. And I really mean it. Maybe I was too young, maybe I wasn't doing it the right way, there are a lot of maybe's.

I felt that I really needed a method that could teach me something. I found about CVT and went on their forums and read a little bit about it and saved a little and I got it. Within a few days (I'm really not exaggerating this) I overcame the so called passagio. I used to flip to neutral at about G4 and when I read the curbing section and started experimenting with all the exercises in the book, in a few days I got to C5! That was, to me, impressive. With that, I don't mean to say that my curbing sounds perfect now. Not at all, at first it sounded really strained but I've kept practicing and now it sounds better. Now I can get to a D#5, but I'm stuck there. So I'm not saying it's perfect either. But that was the first time in the many years of struggling with vocal technique that I saw any improvement. So forgive me if I totally love CVT for it :lol:

I want to clarify that curbing is NOT the same as the passagio. People who claim that (no disrespect intended whatsoever) clearly haven't read the CVT book. Curbing is a sound that goes from the bottom of the range up to where you can take it.

The same "passagio" can be overcome with overdrive and with Edge. Though I don't really practice them that high up because they are way too loud and I live in a very small apartment with a lot of people next door. I have to learn to overcome my fear of embarassment, but that's another topic. I can take my overdrive up to a C5 now. Though it makes me kind of hoarse so I must be doing something wrong. I'll have to send everyone away for a whole month to get to work on it ;)

What I mean with all this, is that the CVT terms cover sounds that don't have a name in other methodologies, that I know of. To some, mix voice can be curbing, but mix voice is only in the middle part of the voice, so it's NOT curbing.

Also, CVT is extremely clear and easy to understand once you read it. Though not as easy to put into practice, that's for sure. I don't think they overcomplicate things, on the contrary, to me, it simplified things a lot. So bottom line, if you want to shed some light on your CVT knowledge, get the book.

If you don't, that's perfectly fine. I'm sure there are other wonderful technical books out there that are as good as or better than CVT. But I'm perfectly happy with CVT. I hate to sound like an ad, but I just really really love this technique because it has shown me real results.

Now to what Bob said about being too technical. I feel that you need technique to be able to convey your emotions. With the very limited range I had before CVT, I couldn't express myself the way I wanted. I think that TO ME technique is the tool with which I can learn to express my emotions. I am a person that likes great singers. I don't like average singers, with very few exceptions. But that's just me. A lot of people like singers with limited ranges or limited versatility, but that's not my cup of tea. That's why we're all different, and it's great that we are! Otherwise it would be boring boring boring...

I like all of you guys as well, so please don't take me wrong on anything I said... I just wanted to share my thoughts and I respect EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU!!! I have learnt a lot from the forums and it's really fun to be a part of this!!! :D

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I absolutely agree with your last post Bob. If you'd get the CVT book, that's what the basic chapters teach - the basics - of breath management, vocal placement, twang, etc.

So if you keep those basics in mind, doesn't matter whether you got it from CVT or anywhere else - you could end up discovering amazing things with your voice. But if you are frustrated and in a rut - and want to learn more how you can do certain things with your voice, it's in the book. It's absolutely your choice how much of the info you prefer to use. And note that after you've learned all this stuff, within time you really start to think in terms of "curbing" and "distortion" and just SING.

i guess....i try to keep stuff as simple as possible. by posting in cvt terminology, it limits me or perhaps others from grasping certain issues.

it's a very non-generic singing technique.....a good analogy would be it's an apple computer...lol!!!!

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i guess....i try to keep stuff as simple as possible. by posting in cvt terminology, it limits me or perhaps others from grasping certain issues.

it's a very non-generic singing technique.....a good analogy would be it's an apple computer...lol!!!!

You are so right Bob, I think we should limit our use of CVT terminology since a lot of you may not have read the book. I'll try not to, but sometimes I just can't find other words ;)

I love apple, by the way... Though I use a PC and haven't used a Mac since I was 15 or so hahaha...

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i try to keep stuff as simple as possible. by posting in cvt terminology, it limits me or perhaps others from grasping certain issues.

it's a very non-generic singing technique.....a good analogy would be it's an apple computer...lol!!!!

I understand. That's why I tend to write both in CVT terms and more generic ones - more in generic terms.

But note that it's very often MORE simple to use the CVT terms because you could explain a certain sound using dozens of words ... OR you could just say "use curbing with creaking on top" :) . A CVT singer would answer "Ah! So THAT'S how you do it.". But of course I understand that it drives other people simply crazy. Note that I will continue to write mostly in generic terms on this forum and only really use the C and the V and the T lingo when someone is asking about help using that lingo. Bingo. Gringo. (I'm having writer's block with my song lyrics, sorry.)

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Oh and CVT doesn't explain things in an anatomical way too much, it's more focused on sounds; that's why I felt I needed more knowledge on that and got Singing and the Actor...

that book is awesome...anchoring...love that section..

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I understand. That's why I tend to write both in CVT terms and more generic ones - more in generic terms.

But note that it's very often MORE simple to use the CVT terms because you could explain a certain sound using dozens of words ... OR you could just say "use curbing with creaking on top" :) . A CVT singer would answer "Ah! So THAT'S how you do it.". But of course I understand that it drives other people simply crazy. Note that I will continue to write mostly in generic terms on this forum and only really use the C and the V and the T lingo when someone is asking about help using that lingo. Bingo. Gringo. (I'm having writer's block with my song lyrics, sorry.)

you really know your cvt jonpall, and i really respect that...but if you folks can write a little more generic i for one, would like that.

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Bob, my brother in arms, for more than one reason. And yes, this will tick some people off, which I am good at, a genetic gift from my mother, this nasty habit of saying what I think. I personally think the CVT mode switching gets too complicated, at least for me. But I am a simple guy. Yes, I am a simple guy that can prove Einstein wrong and I have studied multi-variable calculus, linear algebra, n-space geometry, and topology. But, too be fair to others, another bad habit of mine, walking in someone else's shoes, some people need the "terminology" in CVT. Broken up into segments and bits like that, no matter how complicated, gives them singing widgets they can manipulate. And I can understand this because I have been a teacher, professionally for a while, and informally, for a large chunk of my career as an electrician. Everyone learns differently. Some really need all the precise definitions. Some just need a few basics and the rest of their learning is artistic, by feel. So while I may or may not get benefit from systems such as CVT, I totally understand how others get everything they need from it. As I am a technical guy, in some ways, too. Because I am, in fact, physics oriented. I see singing as basic physics, though I don't have the specialized language for it that Steven Fraser does.

So, while I may have slightly ticked off those who follow CVT, let me tick you, Bob, and others off by saying that jonpall and a few others are proof that CVT has some real value. Look at the flexibility of jonpall's voice. Now granted, and this will piss off everyone (I like being efficient), a lot of that is genetics. And I will reiterate that until ya'll run me off.

And there are others who have achieved some of their best work with KTVA.

And I personally find anyone who has trained with Robert Lunte to be simply astonishing and I don't say that just because he is the benefactor of this forum. If this post, so far, has not shown you that I don't give a flying you-know-what about board politics, I don't know how else to convince you (in general.)

Second reason for being a brother in arms. Saying what you mean and feel, regardless of "consequences." My mother said I had no shame. That I will do what I do "in front of God and everybody." I am Adam before the Fall. (Man, I think there's a song in there somewhere. Something programmatic and operatic, even. Hmm ....)

But I do best with basics, and my understanding of physics. And then, after that, my interpretation of the James Lugo credo. STFU and sing.

Working on bits here and there and learning some basic things all over again has been invaluable. And it must always serve the music and the emotion therein. That is, practicing low larynx, for example, shouldn't just be about practicing that technique. It should serve the heavier sound one might wish to attain for certain effects.

And once again, let me tick off all those who think that certain techniques will make them sound just a like a certain singer because it sounds like that singer is using that technique. It will not. Genetics. Nanner, nanner, boo, boo. Let me see you top that, Bob.

:D

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When I joined the forum over a year ago, everyone was using the CVT terms. I finally ordered the book to understand what everyone was saying and I'm glad I did. As many of you know I started with the KTVA videos a year ago and I'm on Stage 3. I've used the CVT book as a reference to help me understand things. In Stage 3 I'm getting into very light singing throughout the whole range which is something I never practiced before and was a little challenging. I usually sing pretty heavy. I used some Neutral excercises from CVT as a supplement to the KTVA program and it has proven to be extremely helpful. Also, I like the CVT effects section a whole lot.

That said, when I post a CVT term on this forum, I always try to translate into the bel canto language to help those who don't have the book. Like "when I'm in Chest below C4 (CVT: Overdrive)..." It may not always be accurate, but since there are so many terms I like to be understood by a variety of people.

I hope you don't mind Bob if I continue to translate CVT terms with bel canto. Bel Canto is like the "type O blood" of singing. It has been the basis of singing for so many years. Without any terminology, it is hard to communicate.

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