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Practicing Volume

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jaaki
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What are your thoughts on how loud you should practice.

I've been doing basic exercises at a volume that is lower than what I speak at. (for about six months)

When I go to a level slightly louder than my speaking voice, there is a definite change in sound to a more solid (and resonant) sounding tone as well as an increase in range of both chest and head.

So speech level is all good, but is it time to put the pedal to the metal?

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I've been thinking about this for a long time and right now my preference (both when I practise and when I sing) is to sing at a level somewhere between 4 and 7, assuming that 1 is the most quiet sound I can do and 10 is the loudest. More specifically, I try my best to not get any louder than what singing with cry, twang, relaxed throat and almost no air flow will give me. I'm wary of slipping into an overdriven, shouty vocal mode. You CAN sing louder but I want to really master this type of singing instead of trying to be good at EVERYTHING and not really master anything. And that compressed, crying sound (with twang) can be used in all styles of singing from pop to hard rock.

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What are your thoughts on how loud you should practice.

I've been doing basic exercises at a volume that is lower than what I speak at. (for about six months)

When I go to a level slightly louder than my speaking voice, there is a definite change in sound to a more solid (and resonant) sounding tone as well as an increase in range of both chest and head.

So speech level is all good, but is it time to put the pedal to the metal?

don't think of it in terms of volume, think of it as developing more resonance. there's nothing wrong with exercising with more body connection and more support, but that doesn't mean it has to be "louder."

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I don't post too much, but I wanted to say BE WARY. If you don't practice at stage volume, you WILL PAY for it. Practice is about developing habits. Practice too quietly and without enough energy, when you finally get in front of people in a live or studio situation, people are going to be questioning your power.

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So I think I'll take it from a 1 to maybe a 4, just to get everything working cause I don't think any amount of technique is gonna make me resonate at a whisper :D

sure you can. you can be resonant at low volume.

you can alter the volume when practicing. there's benefit to both types of exercising. singing softly doesn't mean a whisper. you need to connect and adduct the folds. you don't want a breathy voice.

some vocal exercises will call for more support (i don't like to use the word "volume") more connection.

as you ascend in pitch you are going to need to stay connected.

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The connection is happening. At the last two notes of chest, there's this ever so slight squeeze that lets me slide into head, where as six months ago there was only a gust of wind, I mean falsetto :o

So what I'm trying to figure out is how much of that squeeze I need for a good sounding head voice, which I think is easier to figure out when I'm doing it a little louder.

It seems that if I sing too softly, I instinctively back off when bridging leaving me with connection but nothing else.

support and resonance gives more volume, that's how I see it

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Practice is about developing habits. Practice too quietly and without enough energy, when you finally get in front of people in a live or studio situation, people are going to be questioning your power.

"Amen!" ( more angels singing )

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Ok, maybe squeeze is not the right word, I'm a beginner after all. If I knew what tilt felt like,maybe I do, it would probably help.

In the track I've uploaded, I tried keeping it clean and soft (choir boy style :P ), with the part in question happening after I clear my throat at about 1 minute in. Didn't warm up my head voice and totally backed of so that you can hopefully hear the co-ordination, or lack thereof.

When I record again I'll upload something with a harder edgier head voice.

Here we go.

http://www.box.net/shared/xjq3tk7qh4syce36y74f

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Yes, you're right, it was a bit closed at the start.

Configuring towards a yawn... I think so, feels the same as the start of a yawn and fairly open and relaxed, even done cold like in that clip and my larynx stay at the same level.

Should I do all the vowels, probably yes. I've found that at the moment only certain sounds allow me through the second bridge.

At this level of support(volume) it's easy to go through the bridge, so is there any point to do this exercise at a lower level?

Thanks for the help,

I do want to get a coach at some stage, but wanted to get some basics down so that I don't spend months and lots of $$$ learning the simpler things.

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Yes, you're right, it was a bit closed at the start.

Configuring towards a yawn... I think so, feels the same as the start of a yawn and fairly open and relaxed, even done cold like in that clip and my larynx stay at the same level.

Should I do all the vowels, probably yes. I've found that at the moment only certain sounds allow me through the second bridge.

At this level of support(volume) it's easy to go through the bridge, so is there any point to do this exercise at a lower level?

Thanks for the help,

I do want to get a coach at some stage, but wanted to get some basics down so that I don't spend months and lots of $$$ learning the simpler things.

don't rush anything with the voice...even lip bubbles are beneficial. some vowels allow easier access and lower points of entry.

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One of the problems I used to have, in general, that I have been able to improve on, as of late, is that I would not control my volume. I would sing the first verse at a good and managable volume. Then sing the chorus at a louder volume. And then stay at that volume or get louder, ruining the dynamics and wearing myself out. So, I have specifically worked on dialing it back when going to the second verse. Even if the second verse is higher in pitch (I tend to have higher volume above middle C than below it.)

But I practice songs as if I am on stage. Practice begets habits, habits begets performance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Are you singing with or without a mic?

Loudness, in my opinion, is relative. Some people have loud voices, others speak softly.

How to practice? In my opinion, it's more important to practice the technique than aim for the loudness while practicing. Volume is created mostly by the diaphragm, though one can kinda squeeze more sound out through the upper vocal apparatus. This squeezing more sound out is mucho muscle strain and should be avoided.

So, practice creating and controlling the volume using the diaphragm (not the ear, the upper vocal apparatus, your mind, or the chest-throat), and the actual volume will follow.

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I think volume also has a lot to do with the resonance.. not just the diaphragm (maybe I'm wrong, though!!) but there are 'spots' in my head, and if I place the note there it can REALLY become loud without it taxing my body in any way!

Practice the Messa Di Voce.. Its a mother of an exercise, but really helps control the dynamics of volume even while singing really high.. this in turn adds a crap load of variation to the song :)

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