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twang and the hoarse throat

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Matt
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why is it when I try to quack like a duck etc, I sound like Ive lost my voice? If I use a little tension, I can quack quite easily, but when I try to quack with as little discernable tension or effort as possible, I have hardly any voice and sound hoarse, as if I've lost my voice? is this simply a signal of how weak my twang is?

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No fry, its quack. I havent warmed up, my cat forbids me to sing at home, so Ive taken the opportunity to chat or rather 'meow' with her, but when I try to gt the meow as twangy as possible (without effort), its just a husky whisper, and I have to add a little bit of muscular effort for a sound to come out...

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Hey Guys,

I am too working on my “twang” and there’s something that I would really like to know.

Say, I practice the "witch cackle” or whatever separately to my “regular voice”. Will the two miraculously blend together one day? In other words, will more and more of a twangy quality appear in my “regular” singing voice over time?

Or would I need to train an “in between” coordination when I try to blend the two together from the start?

Really hope, someone clarifies this for me.

Thanks!!!

Vlad

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Hey Guys,

I am too working on my “twang” and there’s something that I would really like to know.

Say, I practice the "witch cackle” or whatever separately to my “regular voice”. Will the two miraculously blend together one day? In other words, will more and more of a twangy quality appear in my “regular” singing voice over time?

Or would I need to train an “in between” coordination when I try to blend the two together from the start?

Really hope, someone clarifies this for me.

Thanks!!!

Vlad

For me, and please note I'm only an amateur learner, after a few months of practice (witch cackle), I am now able to add as much of it as I want to my regular voice (any part of my range).

So it no longer has to be that piercing witch cackle, it can have many degrees.

Hope this helps,

Thanos

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Thanks, Thanos.

But did you notice that your voice has gotten a bit "twangier" on its own without you having to do anything extra with it?

I'm just looking for more "ping" in my voice and was wondering if working on twang separately was going to help...

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if we mean the same thing by 'ping', twang is surely the way to go. I didnt know how to increase the actual tone in my voice, the vibrating chime of a bell, the sharpness or clarity of the core tone at the heart of all the effects one might be using, until I finally realized its the twang. Now to try and actually GET the twang...I guess its just a case of continuing to practice at it without using muscle to get it...

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I agree with you Matt.

PopVlad, no. My regular voice has stayed the same, but I can add twang at will. If you wish to use part of it all the time so as to

have a certain tone, I can't see why that wouldn't be feasible.

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Well, there are different issues here with each post .... but one thing is common with each post as well and really feel drawn to help on this one. Its frustrating for me because all you guys need is someone to show you how to do it and a few techniques in about 30 minutes and you'll be good to roll, but Ill endeavor to pontificate below.

I echo Jens in saying... it takes time to work the muscles to get truly great isolated twang. I witness over and over again in my practice, some people can twang naturally with little effort in figuring it out, some over twang and actually "quake"... and yet others, have a hard time getting the compression (compression = the increase in pressure in vocal fold closure, induced by twang)... roughly defined... and thus, one of the big benefits we gain by our good old friend, twang vocal mode. BTW... the other benefits are, an increased of acoustic energy between 2.5 and 4 kilohertz; the human ear is very sensitive to this range and it increases the perceived sound from 6 to 20 decibels and because twang contractions are part of the TVS "intrinisic anchoring set", it also adds much needed stability to the laryngeal configuration... serving to help keep the voice from breaking as the singer phonates extremely through vocal registers.

First, lets start by clarifying what your doing with these "twang" techniques your working on, what the training process is and the difference between that and the eventual use of twang in singing.

At TVS, we now recognize a new vocal mode. We call it "Quack" vocal mod and I do believe I may be the first voice coach to classify a unique physiological configuration, feeling and sound as "Quack" vocal mode. Getting your head around "Quack" vocal mode will begin to lift some fog for you.

Quack Vocal Mode:

Used for training. Used as a "tool" to help singers build strength and coordination of AES contractions.

Not used as an aesthetic, no applied to singing. (Doesnt sound pleasant).

POINT: When you twang super hard, when you contract your "twanger".... so hard that the resulting acoustic effect starts to sound "Quacky", you have crossed over the line and entered the realm of a new vocal mode, Quack... you are no longer twanging, you are now Quacking. This is an important understanding.

Twang Vocal Mode:

Used for singing. It has a beautiful Aesthetic.

From this point forward... any Twang-Quack-like contraction you make that sounds "good"... that is Twang. Any aggressive AES contractions you make that may be serving other purposes, such as building strength and coordination, BUT doesn't sound good enough for singing... that is Quack.

Now that we have that sorted out... where am I going with this?

All the so called, "twang" techniques we do or you have learned about in training systems, including mine... they are not really twang (and yes, Im updating "The Four Pillars of Singing" to reflect this new concept), they are quack. You are doing these workouts to build strength. When you do Quack workouts, its like hitting the gym and lifting with extra weight resistance to build muscle... when you then throttle back on the contraction a little bit and modify Quack vocal mode to twang vocal mode, its like posing in the mirror and enjoying the aesthetic. Simply put, we do all these silly quacking workouts so that we one day can twang in our singing with great isolation, control and authority.

Train with Quack, so you can learn to twang amazing in your singing... but dont sing with Quack and THAT is where too many students of singing get confused. They first learn to contract the AES with quacking workouts and thats great, but then fail to recognize when the time for quacking is over and the time twanging begins. This symptom tends to be seen more prominent in advanced students. It shows up when people have already learned to contract and control the AES with great dexterity and just need to now throttle back and enjoy the fruitful twangy results in their singing.

Dont be afraid of that ugly "quacky" sound... its not what anyone, certainly not me... is advocating in your singing. Quacking is the pedal to the metal... but twanging is throttling back and finding a balance... if when you are singing, the objective is a desirable aesthetic, then let the aesthetic be your guide in helping to determine where your calibration is for twang.

Matt: I cant tell for sure without working with you for 1 hour over the internet ($60), but I suspect, you have nothing to worry about. I know you are experienced and know a lot about technique, but I think you need an hour of guidance to properly align what you know and get it all to work better for you.

Vlad: I just explained your question above.

I hate to sound like a profiteer and I wont lie to you, I would love to have you as clients, but truly, I really want to help you guys. When I read this, I just want to reach through the computer and help you. So I am driven by the true desire to help fellow singers learn how to do it. With just 1 internet lesson for $60/hr, I can show you the quack techniques then show you how to calibrate to find balance... and then how to use the new strength you gained by quacking to make your twang in your singing do its magic.

I hope this helps...

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Thanks, Thanos.

But did you notice that your voice has gotten a bit "twangier" on its own without you having to do anything extra with it?

I'm just looking for more "ping" in my voice and was wondering if working on twang separately was going to help...

Hi Vlad, Im just curious... where did you learn the term "Ping"? Its a relatively new term I use with my students at TVS to describe the process of applying small, isolated twang contractions after establishing your head placements when drilling on sirens? Ive not heard any other teachers use that term before? Just curious...

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if we mean the same thing by 'ping', twang is surely the way to go. I didnt know how to increase the actual tone in my voice, the vibrating chime of a bell, the sharpness or clarity of the core tone at the heart of all the effects one might be using, until I finally realized its the twang. Now to try and actually GET the twang...I guess its just a case of continuing to practice at it without using muscle to get it...

Matt, stop trying to "get the twang"... there is nothing to "go get" .... IF you insure that you have twang in your onset. At TVS we drill on a very specific set list of technical components as a warm up and as a means to insure that we get all the vocal techniques we need to sing all at the same time, at the beginning of every workout and when singing. We call this the "TVS Onset Package". If you have twang in your "onset package"... in addition to a bunch of other technical components that are needed to radically transform the physiology and acoustics from speech mode to extreme singing, you dont have to "go get" anything... its already in your phonation, from the start, at the beginning... To my point in my big post above... if, as an experienced student of singing that you are... you are now trying to make twang happen in your singing, you will only be contracting over the line and producing Quack. I see this all the time with my advanced students... they think they still have to "go start twanging now..." and they dont. And I dont think you do either... Matt, let go. Listen to the sound of your voice... just phonate a nice G3... if the sound is not windy and has a little bit of "compressed" quality to it... AND, it sounds good... not "quacky"... you are already twanging Matt. The twang calibration is already in you, you dont have to do anything anymore.

In the past when you were trying to learn how to twang... you were quacking like a duck ... ok, but now you dont need to activate it anymore. Let it be, you won the battle... now just phonate and concentrate on other things like laryngeal dumping and vowels and things like that... at your level, you dont need to "go get it to happen" anymore with twang, its already twanging naturally and the calibration is probably just right. Mess around with it, and you're going to get quacky again.

Robert

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Some great info Rob, thanks. The thing is, Im really only 'experienced' at a theoretical level. I sing so very seldomly these days due to a hectic life otherwise, but I still like to keep up with the theory a little bit and then mess around with the theory at a hobby level. Personally, I think my voice is a little toneless or dull and needs more clarity to make the sound prettier. Taking lessons isnt in my schedule at this point in my life, but Im pretty sure the whole twang thing is your field of expertise and should I come round to wanting to take it more seriously (may well happen, I love switching hobbies), you're probably the man to phone.

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I think I am the man to phone to learn how to sing amazing... but in particular, when I sit back and ask myself, "what am I a specialist in? What is it that Im doing that exceeds the norm in my teaching", there are a few things that come to mind such as bridging registers, head voice development... but on that list is always, "Im really good and teaching people how to twang".... which is part of the "bridging" and "head voice development" story anyways.

Keep up the passion Matt, its great to see you here.

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Another thing you are good at, Robert, that I am learning as I read to words of others, such as David Clippinger, is the head voice config. In his opinion, most people lose it when they approach head voice because they are so used to carrying chest voice from below. The latter fits in with how people phonate when they speak and then it feels, to them, like speech-level singing. But if one starts out breathing and resonating for head voice and bringing that down, what is learned can help the voice as a whole. That is, you don't have to have the actual feeling of rumbling chest to sound like a chesty note. What's more important is to learn the breathing and phonation and resonance of head voice, for even low notes can be resonated in the head (Geoff Tate is a really good example of that and look at the lows he can do.) So, it's not just the quack, it's the whole dang range.

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Well, you can phonate Quack mode and Twang mode in both registers. The Registers dont discriminate on these two modes. Simply put, you have to train the body to phonate a VERY exotic sound and set up a VERY exotic laryngeal and upper vocal tract configuration to do this stuff we call, "really great singing with range and power, etc...".

You might think it gets more complicated when you dive into the real answers that await you in the study of just some basic human physiology, shaping formants and the resulting acoustics... but the truth is, thats when it begins to make sense and then, alas... the body begins to "get it" and responds the way your mind is asking it to. If your mind is confused on how the hell this is working, then its far, far more difficult to figure it out.

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I don't know anything about CVT, and heck, I don't really know anything about singing period. But if I might offer my two cents on this whole twanging thing... Before joining this forum I was singing with no twang. I thought that one needed a "pure tone" in order to sing. After learning about twang and how to produce it (creaking door, witch, duck, etc...) all I did was make one of the aforementoined sounds and attempt to mix in my singing voice. I sort of equate it to balancing you chest and head voice. You can do chest, you can do head, and then you can mix the two together. Maybe that's not a good analogy? Whatever the case, I actually find that singing with twang is much, much easier than singing without twang. I can't help but wonder if people struggling with twang are doing something wrong, because if I can do it then anyone can.

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NCdan, I only noticed how weak my twang was when I was quacking very quietly. I sometimes go lie down next to my cat when she's snoozing and have a little meow chat with her (I get to cuddle her and practice my twang at the same time). When I do that, I meow with very little volume. Doing quacks and stuff at normal volume tricks you (well, me, anyway). Making sounds very quietly reveals so many faults that get hidden behind volume, in my opinion. Do you find it as easy if you do it with very little volume?

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NCdan, I only noticed how weak my twang was when I was quacking very quietly. I sometimes go lie down next to my cat when she's snoozing and have a little meow chat with her (I get to cuddle her and practice my twang at the same time). When I do that, I meow with very little volume. Doing quacks and stuff at normal volume tricks you (well, me, anyway). Making sounds very quietly reveals so many faults that get hidden behind volume, in my opinion. Do you find it as easy if you do it with very little volume?

i think you need some volume for twang to "kick in." again, reading sadolin's book, you have to basically put a kink or bend into the epiglottic funnel...right?

you know when i think about it, one can definitely just be a natural twanger.

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Yes, you have to narrow the epiglottic funnel... Sadolin didnt pioneer the research that led to the understanding of this, Estill did. And its not a Kink or bend, its a contraction that causes the thyroid cart. tilt .... but fundamentally, ya... what this does is amplifies frequencies in the 2.5 - 4 Kilohertz frequency range... among other things.

Volume from twang comes from amplifying the frequencies with more compression.... but its all for not, if you dont increase the resonant space in the Pharynx with laryngeal dumping... unless you want to sound like Donald Duck. Twang alone, is not the complete solution, there is other formant work that needs to be done to get the "boom".

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Yes, you have to narrow the epiglottic funnel... Sadolin didnt pioneer the research that led to the understanding of this, Estill did. And its not a Kink or bend, its a contraction that causes the thyroid cart. tilt .... but fundamentally, ya... what this does is amplifies frequencies in the 2.5 - 4 Kilohertz frequency range... among other things.

Volume from twang comes from amplifying the frequencies with more compression.... but its all for not, if you dont increase the resonant space in the Pharynx with laryngeal dumping... unless you want to sound like Donald Duck. Twang alone, is not the complete solution, there is other formant work that needs to be done to get the "boom".

rob, you seem to have altered your methodology a bit since me met. i hear a little steve fraser in your writings...i think that's great man. that's the key never rest on your laurels...always be willing to shift and adapt. but you must agree adding the laryngeal dumping requires more strength to hold the two together.

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Do you find it as easy if you do it with very little volume?

I just tried, and it's definitely harder to do the quieter I get. Although, I don't think harder is really the right word, maybe more like I have to consciously put it in as opposed to it just being there when I'm loud. If I sing loudly or even at a medium volume I have to try a bit hard to get the twang out. And that's for someone who was singing with absolutely no twang not very long ago. Weird, huh? One thing that helps me to get the twang out is to try and sound like a caricature of an opera/classical singer. This may be absolutely useless for others, but it works for me. I also have to put in more twang the lower I go; it's easier and more natural to twang when I'm singing high notes. If you still can't twang, maybe try impersonating Betty from Kung Pow?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8_606bE670&feature=related

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I think I am the man to phone to learn how to sing amazing... but in particular, when I sit back and ask myself, "what am I a specialist in? What is it that Im doing that exceeds the norm in my teaching", there are a few things that come to mind such as bridging registers, head voice development... but on that list is always, "Im really good and teaching people how to twang".... which is part of the "bridging" and "head voice development" story anyways.

Keep up the passion Matt, its great to see you here.

I'll back Robert up on this. He clearly up the concept of twang for me in about 10 minutes, if that. I had been beating my head against a wall for a few months. Those ten minutes were worth the price of the whole lesson, never mind the other things I learned. If you are struggling with twang, take a lesson with Robert.

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