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"Belting" consonants.......

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drew77
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So, I recently had an Estill group voice lesson (I would highly recommend this if you can find one near you.......(sometimes they can be more effective than one on one voice lessons....) and I learned something that may help some people here. Basically, it was the concept of "belting" consonants........ When I get up to the high a-c# range.....I have a tendency to get hung up on consonants........

By "belting" the consonants it means to have your body effort levels (support, in estill anchors) set up when you hit the consonants instead of trying to set up effort when you release to the vowels......... this allows your throat to stay open when you go to the vowel........especially up high........ it also has the added benefit of making text more intelligble........... not only is this for thick belty singing...... but also very quiet intense singing......... it sets your body up and ready to go from before the onset of a tone.......

This is something that is going to greatly help stabilize my upper range once I make it automatic........ hopefully it can help someone else.

-Drew

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Very interesting. Will definitely try.

Is the estill group lesson the multi-day certification program they do every year in Pittsburgh or is this a smaller regular thing they do. I'd be interested in doing that but didn't see anything their site except a Level 1/2 certification course.

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Hey Drew,

Could you elaborate on that? An audio example, maybe...

I would be very interested in hearing one. I'm sure others will agree

Thanks heaps,

Vlad

+1

any info you can share on this would be greatly appreciated

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Ill see if I can post an audio example later on....... basically the excercise she had me do was this.....

I sang dream on by aerosmith.......... and she had me sing only the consonants with out releasing into the vowels...... so the chorus would be........... SSSSNGGGGG WTH MMMM.....etc it sounds strange.....but so does any voice excercise.........Ill try to post a clip here soon........

I actually took the course last year........( coming up again in june, Im not sure where your from tuth1ness, but if you close to pittsburgh.....its really worth it)....... From taking that.....I was able to get in on the small group lessons...... they are every other week and from lesson to lesson there may be anywhere from 3 to 12 people...

http://www.estillvoice.com/courses/view/193

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Thanks, Drew!!

Did you actually "sustain" the consonants?

And what was the "science" behind singing consonants only? How did it help you when you switched back to your "normal" singing?

Thanks again!

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Anything that would be sustained would be only on an ng.......... Its kind of awkward but helps when you go back to normally sing the phrase.....

Basically the science behind it is that it trains you to set your effort into place before you sing a tone........ really belty powerful high notes require alot of physical effort (not throat strain, body work) its alot better to have all of this set up before you start a tone than trying to activate stuff shortly after hitting the note......... if you arent set up physically, this is where your throat tries to do the work and you start "pulling chest".... or constricting.......

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Interesting Drew,

How would one go about singing a consonant is my first question?

The only realistic sustained sound is a vowel; consonants are an articulatory interruption of the vowel phonation.

Regards

Tony

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Technically, it isnt really singing... unvoiced consonants (s, t, c....) theres no sound at all......... voiced consonants. ( m, b , g.) would just release to nasalized ng........... but its not really so much about singing without the vowels as much as it is about overdoing the consonants so that the effort is already there......

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I've been trying this tip and it seems really helpful. I've find it forces me to keep everything very open even on the consonants and takes the strain off that I usually get from the stop and start from the consonants. Also, since I have more energy ready to go at the onset it helps prevent hitting a note flat, I actually find I have to avoid going sharp when trying this. I'd still be curious to hear an audio of the exercise to see if it's done like I am imagining from your description.

Cool, I was actually looking at their certification program in Pittsburgh but I unfortunately can't make it this year, but hopefully next. I'm curious, how much hands on singing do you do during the course vs academic learning? I live in DC so driving up for a few days would definitely be possible. Do you know if they do the regular group lessons in DC?

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Interseting Drew,

I am a huge fan of Estill's pedagogy and can only say that i base a large proportion of my teaching methodology around the method. However, be very careful practicing any onset method based around a closed consonant sound. The danger here is that it is very easy to build too much sub glottic pressure before the onset. This can result in pressed phonation or excessive air pressure on the vocal folds prior to phonation itself. Hope this makes sense :)

Regards

Tony

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Sure....... the point of the exercise was not to blow through the folds...... but to make sure your not constricting from lack of effort before a note is sung........ I guess it should be prefaced by saying that if anything hurts......stop doing it.......... but that goes for any vocal excercise...... hahahahahahaha..... :)

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Are we simply going back to the classical technique, working "diction"? Training the mouth, tongue, etc to articulate clearly so that they don't affect the actual vocal mechanism? I've noticed for myself that certain parts of my range (particularly through the "passagio") definitely struggle with actual words, because I am trying to enunciate clearly and so I slip out of that pocket where each vowel is nailed properly to get the right resonance. If I take away the consonants and just sing the vowels it is much easier, but when it comes time to pronounce so that I can be understood, there is a definite effect on the actual note production.

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