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ABDOMINAL TIGHTENING

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hi folks, i recently read that renowned vocal teacher elizabeth sabine is a proponent of tensing and tightening the adominal muscles and pushing down much like one would do for a bowel movement to develop more power and vocal dexterity for rock vocals. since this seems to contradict other vocal teacher methodologies i was wonderng what you feel about his technique? i have tried it and it does work.

please, your replies are apprecaited.

bob (videohere, a.k.a., vocalist)

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This is a controversial subject, like much about vocal training, and the truth lies in the middle. The important thing is not to get the squeeze up to high near the bottom of the ribcage. If the squeeze creeps up high, the breath support is too strong and breath control too weak. So the singing breath is pretty much screwed up in this case.

However, the low abdominal region does indeed need to get smaller so that intestinal content is shifted upwards, supporting the diaphragm moving upwards for breath support. If the bottom of the ribcage stays unobstructed and open (NOT SQUEEZED) as the low torso closes in, the singer will have both breath support and breath control... a "compression" engine for the voice which the vocal cords love.

I have a couple of things I do which gives this results. You know the phrase "sing your butt off"? Well... Instead of focusing on abs, I suggest squeezing your butt for power. You'll notice that if you are in proper posture (chest open, head balanced on your tall and flexible spine) squeezing your butt will be accompanied by a pulling in of the low abs. Perfect!

I also use as a vocal prop an old toy called "the Martian Popping Thing". When you squeeze the bottom of it, the eyes and ears and head bug out. It gives a sensation that can help the student's body understand that we should apply correct low tension to actually expand the chest, throat and mask instead of tighten.

Hope this makes sense.

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