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fixing a nasty tone

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crapvoice
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for taking the time to read my thread. Back in 2007, I enrolled in vocal lessons at my college. My tone was incredibly clear, and I would always hear about how beautiful my voice was. I even scored a vocal scholarship! :/ I’m pretty sure I’m a baritone, but my vocal teacher thought that I was a tenor when we first started my vocal lessons; towards the end of my lessons, she did say that she thought I was a low tenor or high baritone, though. Well, to make a very long story short, I graduated, and have been out of lessons for two years. My voice has gone to HELL.

From 2009 – now, I never warmed up and pulled/strained my chest up to Bb and B below male high C (I never knew anything about mixing). I sing every time I get in my car, so these abusive habits were nearly a daily thing. Over the last year, I’ve been to four different ENTs, and each one of them has scoped me and told me that I don’t have any nodules, polyps, or scar tissue (the last time being March of this year, but I could have them now??). This is great, but they haven’t been able to explain why my voice sounds breathy and heavy, irrespective of where I am within my range. I even went to a speech therapist (only once, though) and she told me that my speaking voice is ungrounded. She said that I’ll be talking in my chest voice, and my speaking voice will shift up a sixth or whatever. I’m aware that I do that, but I doubt that’s causing any damage to my voice. Anyway, I bought the Brett Manning SS program, and I’ve been using it daily for about a week. I’m on CD 3, and I just want to quit. My voice sounds so gravely/scratchy/unhealthy that I feel like this program isn’t going to do anything to help me. Also, it feels like my larynx rises every time I get to the top note of an arpeggio. It’s so sad that I used to do all of these exercises in my vocal lessons, but now my voice sounds so terrible that I just hate any kind of vocalizing. I just don't know what to do! Even when I hum I hear extra noise in my voice. This damage has slowly crept in over a 3 year period. When I first noticed it, I told my vocal teacher and she said she didn't hear anything; she tried to convince me that it was all in my head. In order to compensate, I would just sing over it by singing louder, but now that's not an option because the decay is so prevalent that I even notice it in my speaking voice (sounds fatigued and husky after 30 minutes of talking). What should I do? Here are some clips:

I was trying a siren that I saw Brett demonstrating on Youtube. My voice sounds so breathy, and it sounds like that regardless of how high or low I’m singing:

http://www.box.net/shared/frv8mxiuv4lherj1ujtk

^ Is that falsetto or head voice?

Even my humming lacks clarity; there’s a lot of noise – flat spot in this one, sorry:

http://www.box.net/shared/bk1gauie5vh2exxjygm2

I think I can do the lip rolls correctly, but I can’t tell if I’m flipping over into falsetto, and my larynx feels tight if I go above an F5:

http://www.box.net/shared/qkqxrcuvzb081hbs6lj6

My nays are particularly abysmal:

http://www.box.net/shared/uqai4mjss6a5a02aqisu

And finally, I can’t figure out how to do tongue trills. My vocal cords seem to dry out, and it’s incredibly taxing:

http://www.box.net/shared/t9kb2llfl8ng9v35i4sm

Will I be able to attain the clarity I once had? What should I do?

Thanks for any help/insight,

crapvoice

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well, to be honest, nothing you did is bad at all. but the post name isn't the greatest choice when you're trying to improve i would say....lol!!! "crapvoice?"...can't you do a little better than that?

positive thinking you help you as much as the exercises....

i've (and others) been on this forum long enough to know a certain class of posters.. i call them the "i really suck, but i really don't at all, but i'll come across this way" group.

are you daily exercising?

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well, to be honest, nothing you did is bad at all. but the post name isn't the greatest choice when you're trying to improve i would say....lol!!! "crapvoice?"...can't you do a little better than that?

positive thinking you help you as much as the exercises....

i've (and others) been on this forum long enough to know a certain class of posters.. i call them the "i really suck, but i really don't at all, but i'll come across this way" group.

are you daily exercising?

hi, thanks for responding to me.

yeah, the name is kind of self-deprecating and cynical; i use humor to get through sticky situations, so i thought it was apt! :)

i'm not sure what you mean by '"i really suck, but i really don't at all, but i'll come across this way"'. my main point of contention is my tone. it's breathy and awful, and i'm not too good at keeping things relaxed when i sing higher stuff (so i've been avoiding that part of my voice). i wasn't trying to fish for compliments or anything like that. :\ i do the singing success exercises everyday, but i've only been at it for over a week. i usually do humming (up to a G4), lip rolls (up to a Eb5) and nay nays (up to a Dd5), but i feel like i'm not breaking ground on those, so i haven't added anything else to my daily routine. what kind of exercises do you do?

thanks,

crapvoice

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hi, thanks for responding to me.

yeah, the name is kind of self-deprecating and cynical; i use humor to get through sticky situations, so i thought it was apt! :)

i'm not sure what you mean by '"i really suck, but i really don't at all, but i'll come across this way"'. my main point of contention is my tone. it's breathy and awful, and i'm not too good at keeping things relaxed when i sing higher stuff (so i've been avoiding that part of my voice). i wasn't trying to fish for compliments or anything like that. :\ i do the singing success exercises everyday, but i've only been at it for over a week. i usually do humming (up to a G4), lip rolls (up to a Eb5) and nay nays (up to a Dd5), but i feel like i'm not breaking ground on those, so i haven't added anything else to my daily routine. what kind of exercises do you do?

thanks,

crapvoice

hymm, regardless of how long you have been singing....are you just starting out with vocal exercises?

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hymm, regardless of how long you have been singing....are you just starting out with vocal exercises?

well, i used to do vocal exercises in my lessons (lip rolls, thirds, eee sounds, arpeggios, etc), but i haven't done a single one since 2009 (or last week, since i just started the ss program). does that answer your question? O_o how long should one do a series of exercises? is 30 - 45 minutes a sufficient amount of time?

thanks

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