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Roger Burnley's Technique - when you're going up, think down...

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steve95
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I've recently been looking at Roger Burnley's technique (Singing Made Simple) and his method is when your singing to think going down when going up and vice versa. I've been doing this, and when I get from low to middle range notes, my throat gets airy as I completely put strain off my throat.

I've been doing this in my comfortable range, and I've incorporated it into the sirens that Steven Fraser told me to do for a few weeks. I'm not sure if the voice is supposed to get weaker as you do these basic exercises, and although it doesn't hurt at all, I feel like I'm doing more of a negative to my voice by making it very weak. Heres a clip of me doing what I THINK is a siren and just regular scales.

http://www.box.net/shared/q0mh31sdhm02altlnvfa

Can someone tell me if what I'm doing is right or completely the wrong thing?

Thanks

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steve, there are several things i hear that aren't quite right.

i'm just going to mention them based solely on what i hear. i will offer you a few suggestions.

your inhales ideally should be silent, strive for a silent inhale. also, don't inhale too much air.

strive for more consistency of volume, you're lightening up too much at the top where you need to keep connected.

i would work the sirens a bit slower too.

steve said to do "ah" scales and sirens?

"ah" scales and sirens are more advanced and i think really need to be shown to you, consider a teacher. i may be wrong, but i don't think steve fraser recommended "ah" sirens for beginning.

"v" sirens perhaps?

"ng" sirens?

lip trills?

as you ascend the scale, try to focus on staying connected.

it's tough to do this over a forum steve.

the "as you go up, think down" is a great help because it can take your mind off the fear of making the high note, by disassociating it from height and reaching perceptions.

notes are notes, whether they're high or low. when a certain level of proficiency is obtained, (can take years) high notes will sing just as easily as low notes.

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steve said the vowel doesn't really matter, so I just picked the 'ah' vowel...

so i shouldn't be too light at the top right? what volume would be appropriate for these exercises?

and if i am unable to do that, should i start from a lower pitch?

what is a 'v' siren?

ah this really is confusing... is it possible for a audio example for these exercises?

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starting out, a comfortable light to medium volume but a consistent one. your volume should not trail off as you ascend but stay pretty much the same as you started. don't start heavy.

a "v" siren is simply a voiced consonant which inhibits you from choking up and constricting the throat . try doing a siren using the "v" sound striving for a consistency of tone.

i can't supply an example at this time. i'm working through a vocal issue.

does anyone else want to help out?

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steve95. I'm going to borrow flagrantly from Anthony Frisell, here. Your volume, whether baritone or tenor, should be in the higher end and lower volume in the lower end. Instead, I hear all the volume in the low end and almost nothing in the high end. In other words, invert what you are doing.

I think the point of thinking down when you go up, is to concentrate effort in your abdomen the higher you go.

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But what I don't understand is, if I do that, I start to strain up automatically... and that would kind of be going against everything that I was told..

is the whole point of this trying to keep the strain at bay with effort from your abs? :(

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I've recently been looking at Roger Burnley's technique (Singing Made Simple) and his method is when your singing to think going down when going up and vice versa. I've been doing this, and when I get from low to middle range notes, my throat gets airy as I completely put strain off my throat.

I've been doing this in my comfortable range, and I've incorporated it into the sirens that Steven Fraser told me to do for a few weeks. I'm not sure if the voice is supposed to get weaker as you do these basic exercises, and although it doesn't hurt at all, I feel like I'm doing more of a negative to my voice by making it very weak. Heres a clip of me doing what I THINK is a siren and just regular scales.

http://www.box.net/shared/q0mh31sdhm02altlnvfa

Can someone tell me if what I'm doing is right or completely the wrong thing?

Thanks

steve95: I listened to your recording, its very helpful to understand what you are doing. It has a combination of right and wrong things going on.

The actual pitch change quality of your siren is ok for now, but there is a basic phonation consistency issue. I am hearing medium-intensity onsets, which are fine, and then you immediately are letting the tone get airy. This leads me to think that you are conceptualizing the sustained tone with a different idea than the one that you are using to begin (onset) the tone. To keep from getting breathy in the sustained section, you have to maintain the concept you have at the start.

Here is a very short demonstration of a midrange siren that shows what I mean about the consistency:

http://api.ning.com:80/files/141iIcf4KY81hZhNAVXnLOl-Y4nNLVR1avaX2e8Na7b3nAaOA1*0wSEsSCpvaVzH-aW8FwbORDJMTiFeOPZp2X6G8TQJBW7H/Shortsiren.wma

(Its in wma format, so should play just fine on Windows machines)

To get to the point that you can do a siren in that fashion, there is an exercise to help develop firm note starts, and then to carry them over into longer notes. Its called an 'onset' exercise, and goes like this:

1) Pick a comfortable note, take a modest breath and begin a note on any vowel you want. Make the duration of the note 1/8 second (fairly short), and then release it by taking a small breath. Repeat this a few times.

2) Set up a pattern of notes and breaths, with a tempo of 1 note per second, with each note 1/8 second in length released by taking by a small breath. This will be just like singing the beginning portion of a series of notes. The tone quality goal for the exercise is for the phonation to be clear, firm, and consistent in volume, and for each note to be sustained with the same intensity as the onset moment is. Repeat this in groups of 8 or 16 notes, and then take a moment's rest. If you know note-value, you can think of this as 2/2 time, and the short notes as eighths.

3) The same scale note and intensity from #2, change the pattern from all short notes to 2 short and a long, at the same tempo. Note values can now be thought of as eighth-eighth, whole. The tone quality goal for this one is to sustain the intensity of the shorter notes through the length of the longer one.

Here is a simple example of #3, so you can get the idea.

http://api.ning.com:80/files/JnU6X7r2zhKjp59t7K9oLNDul57biXsBK3EdmsnXGtpYdFV8Aifx4L*SStoXlzV7bMfxLJqlHmpl7N8aUjl0gICiwlawZNeu/onsetone.wma

steve95: I think it would be well worth your time to step back and do this onset exercise some, until you can get to the point that your tone is clear, and you can sustain it. Use recordings of yourself to assess your progress. Then, resume the sirens. I thing you'll be pleased with the difference that clearing up the tone will have on your vocal quality.

I hope this helps.

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Thank you for the onset exercise! I think I kind of get what to do with the sirens now... I recorded it again, but in a lower area of my voice since I figured my previous recording was too high for me. When I went high, I thought I had to make it very light so it won't hurt my throat. I had the idea that the voice needed to shift to a different area, and that my lightness would go away with practice. So you're supposed to keep the same feeling for the whole time, right?

Here's the recording.

http://www.box.net/shared/ftscyrc4q78zo4nnnlld

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Thank you for the onset exercise! I think I kind of get what to do with the sirens now... I recorded it again, but in a lower area of my voice since I figured my previous recording was too high for me. When I went high, I thought I had to make it very light so it won't hurt my throat. I had the idea that the voice needed to shift to a different area, and that my lightness would go away with practice. So you're supposed to keep the same feeling for the whole time, right?

Here's the recording.

http://www.box.net/shared/ftscyrc4q78zo4nnnlld

steve95: This is already better. You are headed in the right direction. In fact, you can sing it even more firmly with confidence if you want to.

The funny thing about ascending is that the lightening happens automatically, without you asking for it, when the phonation is balanced. In fact, if you 'try' to lighten it, you will overdo it, or do something that is not necessary.

To keep the tone as consistent as it an be, you need to keep your mental approach consistent. However, that is not to say that the feeling of it won't change some. Its just that the feelings change as a result of the natural process.

I hope this is helpful.

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