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A bunch of basic questions

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pj
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Hi all, I'm really new to singing and would like to ask you people here a few questions. :P

1. Within a song there are several key changes. How do you guys grasp the "feel" of the key and and make sure that how you're singing is in tune and fits the mood of the key?

2. I realised that I tend to tense my neck and (perhaps) vocal cords when singing. How do you "untense" them? This problem becomes especially evident when I try to sing high notes in my chest voice. Is it really about learning how to tighten your diaphragm and relax your neck muscles? (which brings me to my next question)

3. What do you guys visualize when singing high notes? I learned that you are supposed to tighten your diaphragm and feel the air hitting your soft palette. But do you guys visualize anything? (the "spot" of the note, etc.)

4. Do you guys consciously "activate" the soft palette when singing? Do you guys practise it till it becomes a habit?

5. Is there any good read (be it in the form of internet articles or books) regarding vocal techniques?

Thanks!!!

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1. Within a song there are several key changes. How do you guys grasp the "feel" of the key and and make sure that how you're singing is in tune and fits the mood of the key?

I think this just comes down to knowing the key and what notes you should and shouldn't sing. Maybe as someone who plays multiple instruments this is easier for me? It sort of sounds like you're trying to say certain keys should be sung in certain ways, which I don't buy into.

2. I realised that I tend to tense my neck and (perhaps) vocal cords when singing. How do you "untense" them? This problem becomes especially evident when I try to sing high notes in my chest voice. Is it really about learning how to tighten your diaphragm and relax your neck muscles? (which brings me to my next question)

You may just be flexing muscles you don't need to flex when singing. I used to do this with my jaw until I made an effort to practice with it unclenched and learn how they both feel. The worst case scenario could be that you aren't singing with your diaphragm as much as you should be. You may just be thinking too much about it and clenching your neck muscles. I'd say use your hands to feel where the tension is when singing, and then run over those parts with the muscles tensed, and then relaxed, keeping your hands there to get a more concrete image of how clenched and unclenched feel.

3. What do you guys visualize when singing high notes? I learned that you are supposed to tighten your diaphragm and feel the air hitting your soft palette. But do you guys visualize anything? (the "spot" of the note, etc.)

Naked supermodels... But seriously, I believe you may be overthinking things. Go to your happy place and put in 100% and you'll get it without having to resort to silly visualizations. I try to aim my notes "up high," as in high in pitch, and I try to lift my soft palette on high notes, because that seems to give the notes more resonance and life (the latter doesn't help me to hit the nore more on key, it just helps to make it sound better.)

4. Do you guys consciously "activate" the soft palette when singing? Do you guys practise it till it becomes a habit?

Yup. I think... Maybe I can't actually activate the soft palette, but I consciously do techniques that utilize the soft palette.

5. Is there any good read (be it in the form of internet articles or books) regarding vocal techniques?

No idea. This forum has helped me more than anything, though. I sounded pitiful when I first joined, and I have corrected all sorts of problems since joinging, and I haven't even been here a year yet. There are forums where most of what is said is BS, but here you really get great advice from pros who actually know what they are talking about (me not being one of them, lol.)

:D

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1. I do not really ever attempt to sing a song until I know the song by heart. I do have a photographic music memory so it only takes a two or so times listening. You should be able to sing the song without the music once it is learned.

2. Do you do any warm ups? Before I got into this forum, I jaw jutted something fierce and never warmed up. Since I have learned about proper warm ups, I find that singing is much easier and I seldom jaw jutt.

3. Depends. If it is a powerful high note, I gut punch it - for support. This may or may not be the proper way, but when I remember to do it, I alwats hit the note on key. When I do not hit the not on key, I find that I have to slide up to it... and I do not like that.

4. My soft palatte just moves without me thinking about it and I believe that this is because of all the italian vowel exersizes I do.

5. There are all sorts of books out there. What it comes down to, though, is what works for you. This is where getting a vocal coach comes in. A coach will concentrate on what works for you, while a teacher has a pre set group of education that may or may not work for you.

Thats my $.02 lol. Good luck!

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