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Am I Headed Down the Wrong Path ??

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blackeyed28
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hello everyone,

i've been studying SS/SLS for a couple of months and i've already ordered Pillars, ...which should arrive any day.

my question is this: i don't think i'm achieving very good cord closure when bridging to head voice (daily scales of lip rolls, nay, mum, no - as on the SS CDs 3 thru 5). i feel like i'm making progress in bridging, ..but is this a waste of time if my cords aren't getting good closure ?? should i stop and focus on a correct head voice ?? or should i press on with these scales and closure will happen over time ?? i just don't want to be working hard every day, ..and yet doing it wrong.

note: when i say i'm making progress, ...for weeks i would "flip" into falsetto, ..even on lip rolls. i feel like i've smoothed it out a lot. if i'm flipping into falsetto, ...i've somehow made it much less obvious, ..but yet my headvoice tone is weak and falsetto-ish.

any help is appreciated. it's frustrating to not know if i'm doing it correctly.

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Hi: I too bought SS and studied it for about 4 months. I did those nays and mums OVER AND OVER AND OVER - got a little better but then got stuck. my upper range never got stronger no matter how many times i did the exercises and i also started getting some hoarseness. deciding i needed to try a different tact, i started taking lessons w/ Robert Lunte and got the pillars program. it's been about a month and a half now since i started this program and my upper register is SO MUCH stronger with no hoarseness. so WEIRD but i'm happy about that. don't get me wrong, i still have a LONG WAY TO GO but i'm much happier with the progress now than what i had w/ SS. the in-person lessons have also helped as i have a feeling i'm not very good at teaching myself this stuff.

Good luck. different things work for different people. i think if i had a better foundation of singing knowledge, SS might have been good, but i needed to take a step back and start from the beginning...

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hello everyone,

i've been studying SS/SLS for a couple of months and i've already ordered Pillars, ...which should arrive any day.

my question is this: i don't think i'm achieving very good cord closure when bridging to head voice (daily scales of lip rolls, nay, mum, no - as on the SS CDs 3 thru 5). i feel like i'm making progress in bridging, ..but is this a waste of time if my cords aren't getting good closure ?? should i stop and focus on a correct head voice ?? or should i press on with these scales and closure will happen over time ?? i just don't want to be working hard every day, ..and yet doing it wrong.

note: when i say i'm making progress, ...for weeks i would "flip" into falsetto, ..even on lip rolls. i feel like i've smoothed it out a lot. if i'm flipping into falsetto, ...i've somehow made it much less obvious, ..but yet my headvoice tone is weak and falsetto-ish.

any help is appreciated. it's frustrating to not know if i'm doing it correctly.

Blackeyed28: Without good closure, you will not get a correct head voice. IMO, its worth the work.

The challenge for the male singer in the bridge section of the voice is that the dimensions of the vocal process are changing in this pitch region: transitioning from the shorter & thicker configuration to a longer and thinner one. As this happens, the amount of adduction required for the cords to be approximated increases note by note as one ascends. I am not talking so much about force here as position of the vocal bands.

This adjustment is fairly subtle, and the balance is easily upset until practiced to the point of habit. Its been my experience that using too much airflow while this is being learned will cause the flip into falsetto that you describe. With this in mind, I suggest avoiding exercises for the time being which emphasize a lot of airflow. Rather than lip rolls, use lip buzzes or voiced fricative consonants.

Another thing to think of: Vowel choices. In the bridge pitch range some vowels help, and some hinder, depending on the section of the bridge. A dark, closed /o/ is very useful at the lower end of the bridge, for example.

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The problem is that many thing SS or any online course for that matter will be pay to fix your voice. It's nothing like that. If you don't understand the exercises, do them with proper form, experiment, wonder what you can do to do them beter, and so on, you're just reinforcing bad habbits and you're not improving.

It takes time to learn to sing, and it takes humility and patience. Analyse your exercises, see what you are doing wrong/right, get answers...

Try to start in chest and come back down in chest. If you break in the middle, GOOD! It means that you are exposing yourself and training that connection. If you're gonna fake it and only start in head to head or chest to falsetto, and avoid blending, you'll never learn to bridge. Expose yourself and keep working!

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If you don't understand the exercises, do them with proper form, experiment, wonder what you can do to do them beter, and so on, you're just reinforcing bad habbits and you're not improving.

yes, i agree. that's what i'm afraid of and that's why i'm asking the question. i'm not sure if i'm doing them right or not. on one hand, i'm not getting full closure, ..BUT on the other hand, i've come a long way in terms of a smooth transition (not flipping). so, it feels like i'm making progress, ..but is cord closure going to happen if i keep practicing these scales ?? or do i need to back up and try something else ??

here is a mp3 of where i am. this is the mums on a 1.5 scale. maybe this will help you guys help me.

http://www.blackeyedsusan.cc/mums.mp3

if you could have heard me ~2 weeks ago, ...it was rough. huge breaks. a smooth transition seemed impossible. well, as you can hear, i've smoothed up the transitions (not perfect), ...it just feels like my head voice is too falsetto-ish.

so, do you think i'm headed down the wrong path ??

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Blackeyed28: Without good closure, you will not get a correct head voice. IMO, its worth the work.

The challenge for the male singer in the bridge section of the voice is that the dimensions of the vocal process are changing in this pitch region: transitioning from the shorter & thicker configuration to a longer and thinner one. As this happens, the amount of adduction required for the cords to be approximated increases note by note as one ascends. I am not talking so much about force here as position of the vocal bands.

This adjustment is fairly subtle, and the balance is easily upset until practiced to the point of habit. Its been my experience that using too much airflow while this is being learned will cause the flip into falsetto that you describe. With this in mind, I suggest avoiding exercises for the time being which emphasize a lot of airflow. Rather than lip rolls, use lip buzzes or voiced fricative consonants.

Another thing to think of: Vowel choices. In the bridge pitch range some vowels help, and some hinder, depending on the section of the bridge. A dark, closed /o/ is very useful at the lower end of the bridge, for example.

steven,

if you listen to my mp3, ...do you feel i'm still flipping into falsetto ?? before, it was obvious, ...it was a break/flip the size of an ocean. now, it feels like i have a smooth transition, ...just into falsetto. since, from my understanding, you can't connect chest and falsetto, ...either i've mastered handling the flip, ...or i have the weakest connected headvoice ever. either way, it's undesirable and unusable.

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if you listen to my mp3, ...do you feel i'm still flipping into falsetto ?? before, it was obvious, ...it was a break/flip the size of an ocean. now, it feels like i have a smooth transition, ...just into falsetto. since, from my understanding, you can't connect chest and falsetto, ...either i've mastered handling the flip, ...or i have the weakest connected headvoice ever. either way, it's undesirable and unusable.

Blackeyed28: Since you suggested I do it, I did listen to your mp3. I have several things to comment on, in no particular order:

- because of the length of each note, I did not really get much sense of what your voice sounds like on sustained tones, except for the longer notes at the end of each mum series. What I heard in those sustained notes is a very pleasant, young tenor voice. I wish I could hear more of that tone :-)

- Be patient with the exercise. While it is not my favorite for this kind of work, the reason it has helped some over the past few weeks is that you are actively coordinating the musculature of the vocal pitch mechanism: the muscles which shorten/thicken are learning new ways to trade off work with those which lengthen/thin the vocal bands, and at the same time working to coordinate the muscles of adduction. These physical skills (involving multiple muscles working together) take some time to get used to. I expect that you will continue to see improvement in the smoothness of the transition over the next 6-9 weeks or so, and the roughness you experience at the transition will become less pronounced.

- I got the sense listening to the higher parts of the exercise that your larynx is rising in your throat as a result of accumulating tension. Careful with that.

- In the upper production, I hear too much air. Be sure for this exercise that you do not let your sternum drop.

I hope this feed-back is helpful.

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steven,

thanks so much for listening and responding. it's all very helpful to me!

i'll keep working on those bridging exercises, ..as i do seem to be making progress. and, yes, as the pitch moves to the highest parts of those scales, ..i am pinching a bit to attempt to hit those notes. i'm guessing there is a better way to do that. i honestly am not worried about being able to sing that high, ...i'm more concerned about my lower headvoice being usable (full voice sounding). i really want to develop that, ..and i'm hoping pillars will be helpful in this area.

thanks again!

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Hi Blackeyed and Steve...great discussion here. I'd also like to add that it's important to keep breath down in the diaphragm and as you say Steve vowels can help. I find EH is a really good bridging and strengthening sound. Robert uses Ah. O is stronger on the loweer range. Use them by breathing in, push down and raise from the low tone to the highest full voice tone you can make.. a siren but slowly and if you break, repeat and push through again. The breathing and sound production have to be with minimal air flow out. Both Steve and Robert will support this I think? Pillars is excellent as Robert has videos to show you how it's done. I can understand where you are because my own voice is actually male range rather than female and like you I love the richness of my lower sounds, however many like my higher range too and I work at it! It's just time and practise to master your instrument. love H :lol:

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i'll keep working on those bridging exercises, ..as i do seem to be making progress. and, yes, as the pitch moves to the highest parts of those scales, ..i am pinching a bit to attempt to hit those notes. i'm guessing there is a better way to do that. i honestly am not worried about being able to sing that high, ...i'm more concerned about my lower headvoice being usable (full voice sounding). i really want to develop that, ..and i'm hoping pillars will be helpful in this area.

Blackeyed28: Ok. Yes, IMO there is a better way to achieve the highest notes of the exercises, and that is to un-learn the pinch, replacing it with a phonation balanced with the breath energy.

The best ones I know come from the world of voice therapy, where soft, clear slides or sirens on /u/ or /i/ are used diagnostically and theraputically. Basically, start at the very bottom of your range, on the softest tone you can make clearly. The exercise should feel as if it is _no_ effort whatsoever. Simply make a small, but clear vocal sound at the bottom of the range.

When you have that, then start sliding the pitch slowly upward, maintaining the same soft, clear expectation of the sound, and sliding upward smoothly upward on 1 breath, perhaps 2 octaves, and then back down.

I think you will hear the register transitions as they occur. Notice where they are, and the subsequent times through, while keeping your voice quality concept the same, slow down the pitch slide through that region, so that you feel like you are going through it in slow motion. With a few repeats, I think you will begin to discover the very subtle adjustments that happen during the slide that help you to keep the tone connected while the muscle-action trade-off is happening.

Transpose the exercise, up a minor 3rd, and repeat.

At some point you will discover that moment where the impetus to clench, grip or push seems to begin. Go back down in pitch a little, and repeat more slowly, maintaining your approach. If anything, in that region what will work initially is a sense of making 'less' sound.

This exercise is excellent to begin the day, as it helps to create a very calm starting point for the singing, and gives the vocal process a very good stretch without the energy levels that are used in full voice. With several sessions practice with it, I think you will significantly reduce the register transition issues, and the result will be a fully connected (if a bit soft for now) head voice.

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blackeyed28,

i think you are difinately heading down the right path. i think the singing methods that use some of the original bel canto techniques such as SLS ans SS are the best ones out there. considering there was a massive ´´night and day`` difference between your chest and head before before you are doing well considering the little time you have been doing the excersises. sure there is some disconnection there but its getting there, a work in progress. you have to bulid up the muscle co-ordinatuon first before you can ´´lean`` into the sound to get more strength/fullness in your mix and head voice. dont worry about the power/strength/fullness aspect straight away, you have to learn how to walk before you can run so to speak. you just have to stick at it, believe me i know its frustrating at times....especially when you have so many questions and doubts (thats where a teacher comes in handy!!)

a word of caution any excersise/technique no matter how good can be used incorrectly and its difficult to spot it yourself at times (also where a teacher comes in handy!!! ;u) ) and in doing so the excersise will probably not have its intended outcome.

a couple of things:

1.i dont know if your not doing it on purpose but the excersise is a low layrnx one. you are supposed to do it (at least at first when you finding correct co-ordination) with a dum/hollow like quality.

2. this is a very important point. you have to stick to the correct vowel through the scale especially when going higher (though sometimes it is needed/usefull to modify the vowel but i wont go there as its not relavent to your original question....yet) when you go higher in the scale you have a tendency to go from MUM to MAM. you really dont wont it to go to MAM as it will make the sound/vowel spread too wide and will set up the wrong co-ordination. make sure you keep it MUM all the way through (the vowel is a mixture of UH and AH)

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Ya, great discussion... one thing I can say for sure is, train your bridging first, then train your connection. Thats "Pillar" talk for, make sure you have solid coordination of your movement from chest to head first... even if your head tones are falsettoy... thats fine.. for a while. Once you have your bridging underway, you should focus on connecting, or your vocal fold closure.

Now then, to build good bridging, I invite you to view my "lift up / pull back" technique on YouTube, it coordinates a lift of the soft Palate and expansion in the pharynx, thus helping you with your bridging... for "connection", it really helps for some singers to learn about twang in the head voice, I swear its the best thing Ive put into my teaching in years. But its more difficult to grasp without a private lesson.

Come to Seattle for a weekend intensive or consider an internet lesson and Ill show you how to do it.

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The best ones I know come from the world of voice therapy, where soft, clear slides or sirens on /u/ or /i/ are used diagnostically and theraputically. Basically, start at the very bottom of your range, on the softest tone you can make clearly. The exercise should feel as if it is _no_ effort whatsoever. Simply make a small, but clear vocal sound at the bottom of the range.

When you have that, then start sliding the pitch slowly upward, maintaining the same soft, clear expectation of the sound, and sliding upward smoothly upward on 1 breath, perhaps 2 octaves, and then back down.

I think you will hear the register transitions as they occur. Notice where they are, and the subsequent times through, while keeping your voice quality concept the same, slow down the pitch slide through that region, so that you feel like you are going through it in slow motion. With a few repeats, I think you will begin to discover the very subtle adjustments that happen during the slide that help you to keep the tone connected while the muscle-action trade-off is happening.

i tried this exercise last night. even though my break has been reduced from the grand canyon to a ditch, ..i'm finding it very hard to pitch slide across it. impossible actually. i can do it but there is a definite, noticable, shift of gears. i'll keep working.

i think you are difinately heading down the right path. i think the singing methods that use some of the original bel canto techniques such as SLS ans SS are the best ones out there. considering there was a massive ´´night and day`` difference between your chest and head before before you are doing well considering the little time you have been doing the excersises. sure there is some disconnection there but its getting there, a work in progress. you have to bulid up the muscle co-ordinatuon first before you can ´´lean`` into the sound to get more strength/fullness in your mix and head voice. dont worry about the power/strength/fullness aspect straight away, you have to learn how to walk before you can run so to speak. you just have to stick at it, believe me i know its frustrating at times....especially when you have so many questions and doubts (thats where a teacher comes in handy!!)

a word of caution any excersise/technique no matter how good can be used incorrectly and its difficult to spot it yourself at times (also where a teacher comes in handy!!! ;u) ) and in doing so the excersise will probably not have its intended outcome.

a couple of things:

1.i dont know if your not doing it on purpose but the excersise is a low layrnx one. you are supposed to do it (at least at first when you finding correct co-ordination) with a dum/hollow like quality.

2. this is a very important point. you have to stick to the correct vowel through the scale especially when going higher (though sometimes it is needed/usefull to modify the vowel but i wont go there as its not relavent to your original question....yet) when you go higher in the scale you have a tendency to go from MUM to MAM. you really dont wont it to go to MAM as it will make the sound/vowel spread too wide and will set up the wrong co-ordination. make sure you keep it MUM all the way through (the vowel is a mixture of UH and AH)

this is really good to hear. i don't mind having to work/practice to get there, ...i was just terrified i was on the wrong path and would never reach my destination. thanks for your feedback also, ...i did work on this yesterday too. i was trying to stick to the scale with the low larynx and it's rather difficult for me as i transition into headvoice. i'll continue to concentrate on this too. thank you!

Ya, great discussion... one thing I can say for sure is, train your bridging first, then train your connection. Thats "Pillar" talk for, make sure you have solid coordination of your movement from chest to head first... even if your head tones are falsettoy... thats fine.. for a while. Once you have your bridging underway, you should focus on connecting, or your vocal fold closure.

Now then, to build good bridging, I invite you to view my "lift up / pull back" technique on YouTube, it coordinates a lift of the soft Palate and expansion in the pharynx, thus helping you with your bridging... for "connection", it really helps for some singers to learn about twang in the head voice, I swear its the best thing Ive put into my teaching in years. But its more difficult to grasp without a private lesson.

Come to Seattle for a weekend intensive or consider an internet lesson and Ill show you how to do it.

robert, good to hear from you. we've actually been emailing a bit. i do plan on some skype lessons. i'm still waiting on my pillars and want to get familiar with the material, ..then i'm ready for some internet lessons.

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Yes fab input here. I also come from the world of sound healing with the voice.......slightly different to voice therapy but works to remove blocks. I use the tone "eh" very gently. Starting at the bottom of your range...lowest note and then gliding up to a break point, go down with it and then try again going up pushing your notes slightly more each time. Don't force it...power comes over time and you can gradually build volume. It should glide you through the break and as you build confidence that will help you beging to put more power with resonance into it. :lol: H

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  • 2 weeks later...

UPDATE: ok, for those following along my new journey, ..i'm pretty confident i finally connected tonight. i knew i was still "flipping" into falsetto, ...although the break had been reduced so dramatically that i could "step over it" on many of the SS exercises. when "pillars" arrived, the constant breath exercises more exposed my little break. so, i followed hilary's advice with sirens in "eh", kept working lip rolls, started working pillar exercises, ....and what finally did it for me was the vocal fry. this is where you start with the vocal fry, ..which is where your cords are together, ...and you slide up and try and keep the cords together. this took 454035834058 tries, ..but finally i caught one, ..and it was a MUCH different experience/sensation than my falsetto (even tweaked falsetto) tone. after repeating this several time, ...i knew i was on to something. i then immediately tried what hillary suggested, ...worked perfectly. i did a quick scale of "nays" and it was completely connected. i did try some low larynx exercises ("mums"), ..and i realize i still have a LONG, LONG, LONG way to go. but, it's all making much more sense now.

what's strikes me as funny is this: i was so frustrated with the SS/SLS system b/c bret manning would talk about "discovering" your head voice. i didn't want to "discover" anything, ...i wanted instructions on how to get there from here. but, actually, that's exactly what happened. it took a lot of listening to my voice, trying things over and over even though it felt like i wasn't getting anywhere, ..and then in the end, it felt just like a "discovery".

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UPDATE: ok, for those following along my new journey, ..i'm pretty confident i finally connected tonight. i knew i was still "flipping" into falsetto, ...although the break had been reduced so dramatically that i could "step over it" on many of the SS exercises. when "pillars" arrived, the constant breath exercises more exposed my little break. so, i followed hilary's advice with sirens in "eh", kept working lip rolls, started working pillar exercises, ....and what finally did it for me was the vocal fry. this is where you start with the vocal fry, ..which is where your cords are together, ...and you slide up and try and keep the cords together. this took 454035834058 tries, ..but finally i caught one, ..and it was a MUCH different experience/sensation than my falsetto (even tweaked falsetto) tone. after repeating this several time, ...i knew i was on to something. i then immediately tried what hillary suggested, ...worked perfectly. i did a quick scale of "nays" and it was completely connected. i did try some low larynx exercises ("mums"), ..and i realize i still have a LONG, LONG, LONG way to go. but, it's all making much more sense now.

Blackeyed28: Congrats! Pretty exciting, eh? :-)

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nice one dude. thats what its all about, practicing and discovering. it isnt a process of one day its not working and then the next your perfect, its about making those little discoveries, seeing the flickers of light at the end of the tunnel and building on it. it can be VERY frustrating at times but then hopefully getting a feeling of achievement when you have got your voice to where you want it to be makes it worthwhile.

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thanks steven and CotU, ...it was definitely exciting. it was interesting how the muscle memory kept the coordination as i changed exercises last night, ...but, this morning, i was having trouble again. i don't really like to practice in the mornings, ..so i will try again tonight. i know what to do now, ..so i assume it will be repeatable. if it was just a fluke, ..and i can't repeat last nights performance, ...i think i'm going to rip out my throat with my bare hands like patrick swayze did to that guy in the movie "road house". haha.

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thanks steven and CotU, ...it was definitely exciting. it was interesting how the muscle memory kept the coordination as i changed exercises last night, ...but, this morning, i was having trouble again. i don't really like to practice in the mornings, ..so i will try again tonight. i know what to do now, ..so i assume it will be repeatable. if it was just a fluke, ..and i can't repeat last nights performance, ...i think i'm going to rip out my throat with my bare hands like patrick swayze did to that guy in the movie "road house". haha.

Blackeyed28: Be patient with your voice in the morning, it has its own reality. That reality is that overnight some fluid has collected in the tissues of the vocal bands ...the term for it is edema, and that changes the characteristics of the vocal process just a little... making them a bit puffy, and changing by a small amount the amount of adduction that is needed to get in that perfect zone that you just discovered for yourself. At your stage of getting used to the head voice groove, that might be enough to throw things off a little.

However, do not feel alone in this.. Every singer has 'morning throat'. :-) IMO, you should practice in the evenings until you are more confident with your head voice adjustment, and then begin to work the same exercises progressively earlier in the day, say, earlier by 2 hours each time, until you find the earliest in the morning that you can function.

I have a classical tenor friend that says that he would never schedule a performance less than 4 hours after waking. While I am sure that this varies a bit by person, and the amount of singing that was done the prior day, IMO its wise to allow at least 2 hours after waking before doing any singing that would require fine coordination. Use the morning for your 'mental' time, learning music, memorizing words, planning phrasing, breathing points, etc.

As you proceed, you will likely get better at this transition, and become more secure up there early in the day. How early that is depends on your particular voice, how you are using it, your hydration, etc.

For myself, I like a good brisk walk after rising, with some very simple soft slides. No attempt to coordinate the big sound, but very light stuff with stretch, and drinking 16 oz of water to compensate for overnight dehydration.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's my personal opinion that a person with two clean registers, and a break inbetween, is farther ahead in the vocal journey than someone who only has one clean register and find a constricted connection to a constricted register.

In your clip of the SS mums on the long scale, you definitely went too high. It says not to go higher than you comfortably and freely. I bet you felt some tightness. I would also say, according the SS program, you were DEFINITELY in falsetto above the bridge for almost everything.

Since you're using the SS program, may I request a clip of the nays, and possibly lip rolls? Thank you.

As a side note, when I wake up in the morning, I start singing. I don't have issues with my voice unless I dried my throat out from how I slept. Most often, I wake up, and sing mix A4's without touching anything to warm up. But that's just me. And from what I've seen, only a handful of singers are like this. Your physical health most likely plays a vital role in warming up, or even not.

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In your clip of the SS mums on the long scale, you definitely went too high. It says not to go higher than you comfortably and freely. I bet you felt some tightness. I would also say, according the SS program, you were DEFINITELY in falsetto above the bridge for almost everything.

yes, i agree. i was feeling tightness on the high parts, ...and (right or wrong) i'm becoming more larynx aware, ...and my larynx was shooting waaay high on those high parts too.

i was fairly confident i was flipping into falsetto, ...and i was unsure if i should keep on practicing this way (b/c i was seeing progress as my break wasn't as noticeable as it used to be). OR, if i needed to just put these scales on hold until i was connecting (and not flipping).

LATEST UPDATE: i'm still having major problems connecting. even though i miraculously connected one night (i think), ..and probably 2 nights since then, ...it's always a struggle, ...and i spend a huge part of my practices making weird noises (vocal fry, sirens, lip rolls, etc), ..just trying to connect. sometimes i think i'm making progress b/c i get this scratchy kind of slightly-connected tone that feels layered on top of a falsetto tone in the head register. when this coordination happens, the nays tend to have this extra resonance as i'm going through the scales. i'm not sure what is going on with my cords, or if this is the direction i should be headed in, or not. BUT, on a couple of occasions, ..i have managed to latch on to something completely different, ...that is very clean, ..higher pitched, ...takes little breath, ..yet is much louder. however, it feels like i'm walking on a tightrope and i couldn't imagine ever being able to control that. i only get this coordination trying to latch on to a crinkle using a vocal fry (watch bret's top 3 vocal exercises on youtube and he explains this technique). it has a similar sensation to talking with a bubble in your throat (if you've ever had that happen before). very hard to describe. if it ever happens again, i'll try and record it.

Since you're using the SS program, may I request a clip of the nays, and possibly lip rolls? Thank you.

thank YOU all for helping! i'll record my nays and lip rolls, ..and then i'll try and record that "extra resonance" type of tone i mentioned above. all help is VERY MUCH appreciated.

this is all so much more complicated, technical, and frustrating than i ever imagined. haha. i'm usually a very fast learner, ..and very intuative (even musically, i played piano as a kid, ..and have since picked up guitar, bass, and drums on my own by just watching and imitating). bridging and connecting is still a mystery. i can pull chest with the best of them, ..and then easily hit a very high pitch pinched-falsetto high note (or maybe it's a twang falsetto high note). BUT, my goal is to sing across the bridge into a full voiced headvoice. if i could correctly sing "lights" by journey before i die, ..i will die very happy.

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Just a not until you get those clips: you weren't flipping into falsetto. You were connected. With how the vocal folds operate on a physiological level, it is COMPLETELY possible to connect a PURE breathy sound to a FULL BRASSY sound without a single break or flip. You can go from any sound to any other sound flawlessly. It just so happens that some sounds have a harder time moving to certain other sounds.

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here are a couple of mp3s i made the other night.

instead of pushing, i stopped my lip rolls when i started feeling a little squeeze (around E over high C):

http://www.blackeyedsusan.cc/SS/12-27-08_LipRolls.MP3

same with my nays:

http://www.blackeyedsusan.cc/SS/12-27-08_Nays.MP3

notes:

1. i feel my lip rolls have really smoothed out. initially, i had big problems with an obvious tone shift during my first break (sounded like a flip to falsetto to me). i concentrated on larynx position, relaxing, not pushing, ..and daily practice.

2. these nays are the "extra nasty" flavor. for those without the SS program, ...bret manning wants you to practice nays (at first) with a very nasty tone to keep connected across the break. please dont think i really sound that way.

3. with all the xmas festivities, i was exhuasted and fell asleep early. i woke up in middle of the night and recorded these mp3s, ...so my voice is rather rough (morning voice).

enjoy!

edit: i thought i would add a short video of how i currently sing. this is just me, a guitar, and a video camera, ...no efx, no nothing, ...just a raw guitar and vocal. this is one of the more upper range songs, ..and so this is a pretty good example of "pulling chest". i've been pulling chest for 15 years, ...so i've learned to relax (as much as possible) as i apporach the higher parts, ..but i still hit a hard wall around high C.

http://www.blackeyedsusan.cc/SS/SkidRow-PullingChest.wmv

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Just a note until you get those clips: you weren't flipping into falsetto. You were connected.

this is interesting, and brings up more questions, ...when i sing, i feel a definite "switch" between headvoice and chest voice. i have no idea what the "the mix" or "middle register" would feel like, or sound like. i assumed this is because i'm not "connecting" to my head voice, ..but instead "flipping" into falsetto.

so, the questions

1. when you are connected, i assume "the mix" (or middle register) is just a smooth blending of the two registers. and you no longer get the sensation of a "switch" that occurs at the passagio. is this true ?? OR, do you definitely feel a switch at some point.

2. if you watch the video clip in the previous post, ...i hit some higher pitched notes, ..am i pulling chest ?? i think so, but wanted to ask to be sure. years ago, i was not able to sing those notes at all. i eventually learned (on my own) to relax and lay off the higher notes, ...instead of straining/pushing/etc which would close off my throat. now that i'm able relax, i'm able to hit those notes and i'm using less air that before. if i sing that song over and over, it actually starts wearing out my abdominal muscles, ..not my throat/chin/etc. my question is, ..is this still considered "pulling chest" ?? or is this some kind of mix ??

again, THANKS to ALL of you for your help!! i realize i'm asking beginner questions while the rest of you are tackling advanced topics. i appreciate you ALL taking the time to help me. i've been slowly buying your books, DVDs, etc b/c i want to show you support too (so far i have SS, pillars, and raise your voice).

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Hey Guy In opera or heavier style the lower registers are lifted so you would feel any switch. in the type of material your doing there , there should be a release you feel from the lower register, you are changing register and larynx position. In opera it stays lowered. the release is the switch of register, not a flip into falsetto. There is a difference. some people feel it more, some less.

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