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i'm going on a journey to the other side

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hi folks,

like jonpall i think it's really great when we spill or guts or allow our friends to see our "not so great" vocals. we learn. we falter, we get up and try again.

well i'm here to tell you i have bought into anthony frisell's vocal method... hook, line and sinker. it's a major departure for me, and at 57 a risk of one a year or so and possibly a mistake, but i'm going to try it.

this is basically it.

i am going to do his exercises one of which is very old school and not used very much anymore. basically, i'm training my voice to develop strength and coordination by taking my head voice in a descending direction to overlap down into the chest area. the idea is to completely (initially) disengage the chest register and spend time developing just the detached head register. so no falling into chest, keeping it all in head throughout my usable range in a descending direction down to my lowest possible note.

you begin with "oo" and "ee" and as time goes on you do the other 3 italian vowels.

so all my exercises (not my singing) is devoted entirely to growing nothing but the head voice. then once the head voice is developed more, it will (as frisell states) invite the participation of the chest voice and merge the two with messa di voce.

i know i've done a half-assed job of explaining it, but i feel it's the right thing to do now. i'm basically unlearning and relearning to hopefully develop a better voice.

so for the time being no ascending scales, no chest register voice work, just descending exercises with head voice.

has anyone ever tried a similar program, or has been thinking of trying a simliar program?

can you share your thoughts please? this book is fantastic.

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Bob - it seems like an interesting approach and it must work as he is an expert. I know that the "top down phonation" is something that lunte teaches and steven has talked about the importance of it as well. It will be interesting to hear your progress.

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i'm not sure where this can take me, but my chest voice is much more developed than my head voice and because i'm large voiced, the tonal difference between chest and head with me is very severe. so i'm hoping to first build up the head, then ultimately merge and blend the two registers.

yes (jonpall) it's designed to get your head voice chesty and high over time.

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I try to understand singing from as many different perspectives as possible. I do tend to work from the top down because when I first figured out how to access head voice I got really excited about it. But it's an especially awkward way to learn as a beginner. It doesn't yield instant results or results that at first glance seem positive. But now my head voice is starting to match up with my chest. I was starting to think that it never would but perseverance goes a long way.

I haven't studied Frisell or his manuals but will look into them a bit. I never really picked any single school of thought to follow. I just kinda figure out what works for me and when I hear something interesting I try it and usually can get something from it I can use. Whether it's something I notice another singer doing or have another singer tell me or something I read somewhere. In my lessons I usually follow my teacher's advice. I've never had a teacher give me advice that I found to be wholly incorrect or bad. All these things kind of form one big picture that starts to just make sense as it goes on. There are many different styles of singing but there is only one vocal technique. I try to strip it down to basic things.

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hey guys and girls, i have read mr.frisell's book and practiced his exercises for a while on and off for a couple yrs with other things. I find it very hard to talk about myself and what i do or have done. I don't have a roster of students or celebrities.. What i do have is a ton of live experience. I have sung for my supper for 20yrs that is 4-5 nights a week and have studied with everyone. I actually spoke with Mr. Frisell on the phone and it was an extremely funny conversation won't get into it. But like you guys i have searched and searched for the answers. For Me and I reiterate "FOR ME" Learning to "let go" is primarily what falsetto/ headvoice exercises are for, if you can siren or lip bubble easily up and down your range you've got that. Now in singing Rock and pop R&B you use that stuff for style but when your singing i'm sure you want that strong high full voice. So my answer is you should practice how you sing if you sing your songs or gigs in falsetto/headvoice then practice that coordination(prince) but if you sing in a high full voiced tone you should practice that way. In other words warmup up all the muscles but sing ONE VOICE. Does that make sense? The very outcome in the end for frisell students is Full Voiced tone so you should practice like you sing don't spend to much time on that falsetto stuff or your voice will get use to those muscles firing(my experience) and not the basic muscle. I could go on about the muscles and psychology of singing but i don't like the terms and the headgames of it. I like to sing.

I really hope that makes sense I really am here to help please contact me I know i can help I have been there and im still learning.

Good luck

Remember, relax LISTEN sing Cant stress listen enough!:)

peace

Daniel

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As I sit in my lair, my den of iniquity, wearing a cloak, laughing a thin, metallic laugh and wringing my hands, welcome to the dark side of the force. "Luke, I am your father ...."

Good luck with it, Robert. You're going to take some heat with it. Because it doesn't start out being labeled as a rock singer's method and you definitely don't start out learning any grit or rasp. In fact, the idea is to purify the vowels and then tune them as you need to do so (and will in the passaggio work.) So, at first, it will seem your rasp is not there much but it is, you're just not going to be excercising it every day, all day, to the exclusion of all else.

I really liked the process he described and that description really worked for me. Head voice in control and sublimating chest voice. That the full sound is actually a head tone with the volume and ring we normally associate with chest.

The other viewpoints of Frisell that I get along with are the one voice approach. That you are going to make some odd tones and sounds at first. Go with that. Point being to get the weight off the voice, which will come back larger, but without strain.

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Hey Bob,

It's funny because I have too been so impressed with that books that I had to change my routine almost entirely ;)

I now do a lot of top-down scales and sustained falsetto tones.

Having said that I would still advise you to keep the ascending scales, but do those very "twangy" and "witch-like". This way, you don't pull up and still unite chest and head.

Using twang is also very consistent with what Frisell believes in ;)

Take care,

Vlad

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I have to give it a go guys....just call me "opera woman" for now...lol!!! you see the chest voice is there, it's the register that we speak in . i feel i will be able to come back and get it once my head voice "invites it" to join in.

believe me, i know it sounds atypical to most training methods, but the certainty frisell feels about it just got me.

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I wanted to address another question in this thread, for I have also been studying Frisell's method and it was certainly Bob who introduced the author in this forum. And found a way of description that matched what it is I feel my voice is doing, an image track that allows me to build upon what my voice can do.

The question was, will the method teach one how to sing high, powerful notes. Most assuredly, yes. But that also begs the question, what is the definition of high and powerful? Is it a raspy note? Most classical styles do not make a chapter or two out of rasp though one can certainly play with the edge, so to speak.

Is power in decibels? One can sing a pure, ringing tone that will overload cheaper mics.

Is power in range? The top-down method will actually, in my opinion, make the lower notes warmer and sound as if they had more depth then just the full-on vocalise splat. In fact, I could throw caution to the wind and say that the method introduces a finer control over the vocalise muscle, a real world effect of allowing the head voice to sublimate and direct the chest voice control system.

Some might be afraid of "losing" chest voice. You won't. However, one's bottom-most notes might disappear for a while. Such as notes below maybe C3. Now, before someone says, "well, I just can't have that happening," let me ask a question. How many times do we actually use those notes in a song? For example, to use a little-known band ;) Foreigner, probably the lowest notes I have heard are on the recitative-ish verses of "Juke Box Hero." He doesn't get as low as E3, let alone C3. 95 percent of the songs we here like to sing fall somewhere in the tenor range, most of it above E3. I would say most songs cover no more than two octaves, E3 to E5.

I know many want to brag about a large range covering more than say 2.5 octaves and that's okay, too. But I think, for the most part, that is possible if you started out as a bass. Granted, there are exercises to strengthen the low end but, at least for me, that low end will be at reduced volume, which is okay in the age of amplification. And, in my time here, except for the thread I started of "how low can you go?", most everyone's aim was to sing higher. So, for most, it is has been more desirable to hit A5 then A2.

Will this system make one an opera singer or sound like an opera singer? Not necessarily and it's not just because of choice of repertoire. In fact, Frisell will teach singers of most any genre that requires real singing. But it will teach one how to sing in a way that is endurable and results in minimal to no damage. What you want to do with your singing is up to you.

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The problem I had with this type of training wasn't so much that I "lost" low notes, but that they changed their character. I'm sure I wasn't doing anything exactly right, but I found that nat king cole sound - sort of a romantic velvety thing - kind of went out the window for me. There was less "noise" in my voice... that might be totally desirable for some, but it was very scary for me.

raph, can you explain more...what exactly changed?

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Well don't be discouraged by this, because it's really just one guy's experience and I probably wasn't even doing the Frisell thing exactly as he encourages it, but I just found that my notes between like C3 and A3 (even more, really) got easier to produce with a biting broadway kind of tone, but much harder to produce with a smoky jazzy tone. That smoky thing is usually very easy for me, because I've been doing it for years, and practicing that other way kind of made my feel like I had to "force" or "fake" my usual tone when it came to gig time.

I'm guessing what happened was what's supposed to happen - that my voice just got accustomed to a more traditional balance - but it was not good for the sound of my actual singing. Some people probably slug their way through that transitional time and come out on the other side with a totally corrected AND great sounding voice, but I just can't afford to suck at gigs for that long.

got cha....i'm sounding like an opera diva when i do some of his stuff (just started last week) but i like the openness and the feeling of the resonance arc he refers to....i'm letting the breath flow actually raise the pitch in a way i don't think i've ever done before.

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(just started last week) but i like the openness and the feeling of the resonance arc he refers to....i'm letting the breath flow actually raise the pitch in a way i don't think i've ever done before.

Welcome to the dark side. Let me get you fitted for horns and a spade-pointed tail.

Seriously, though, I'm glad you are learning some new directions. Whether you stick with them, or not, the learning of something different is worth it, just for some variety's sake.

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even after only a few days i'm feeling like when i sing falsetto, then stress the falsetto, it becomes "opera sounding" but then you get the feeling like you can "pierce over and into" your blended voice and you can tweak it to a pharyngeal sound....if so desired.

i've resigned myself to the fact that it's going to take time, but it such a nice sensation to sing top up and try to strengthen from the top down.....

all the things steve fraser used to talk about is happening...this is great stuff.

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And by the way Bob, I think you are the only one that gives a flying flip that you are 57. Yeah, I know that some people undergo a little more calcification on the voicebox than others. That doesn't mean that you will suffer the same fate. You are as young as you sound, you whippersnapper, you.

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And by the way Bob, I think you are the only one that gives a flying flip that you are 57. Yeah, I know that some people undergo a little more calcification on the voicebox than others. That doesn't mean that you will suffer the same fate. You are as young as you sound, you whippersnapper, you.

yeah, but i'd by fibbing if i told you it dosen't bother me a bit. wish i had known to do this many years ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This approach seems similar to the Transcending Tone exercise from Jaimie Vendera's Raise Your Voice. It is also what I am currently working on. I've noticed that doing that exercise really gets me to feel were resonance is ideal, and tap into that operatic Geoff Tate sound, if only for a moment. Give it a shot Bob? The exercise involves bringing going from quiet falsetto tone to full voice, if you're not familiar.

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This approach seems similar to the Transcending Tone exercise from Jaimie Vendera's Raise Your Voice. It is also what I am currently working on. I've noticed that doing that exercise really gets me to feel were resonance is ideal, and tap into that operatic Geoff Tate sound, if only for a moment. Give it a shot Bob? The exercise involves bringing going from quiet falsetto tone to full voice, if you're not familiar.

i'm right with you seth, except the frisell method has you swelling with an "ee" and/or an "oo" vowel. i'm working on his stuff based on his book, highly recommended.

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