Jump to content

Singing Advice Spun on it's Head (Get Low)

Rate this topic


KillerKu
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ok, so almost every bit of singing advice I've read about voice is based on trying to sing higher. That's cool and all, part of it is because people can expand more on top than bottom and right now those high notes are more popular.

Cool, but I've noticed with my voice problem my chest voice is more painful than my head voice on average. I don't know if it's less overall vibration, or a different muscle tension, but this sucks on many levels. One, since I'm probably not gonna be talking like a woman, I've gotta do everything I can to get my voice comfortable!

But it's also about singing people! Singing for me is about that contrast. All high notes, is like a painting with only highlights and no shadows, there isn't always enough 'movement' in the piece to get me movin' so to speak. Me, I always wanted the whole shebang and I feel that singers often neglect their low notes.

So this thread, is all about the low notes. Getting the deepest, most resonant, loosest, most free, smooth, and relaxed lower notes possible without forcing it.

I suppose I'll start, in that I think overdrive (eh, bite) can help a lot, as can the beginning of the yawn or lowering larynx in general. Supposedly glottal fry helps too, but I always found that less smooth and comfortable to mess with.

So to turn a BS Speech Level Singing quote about singing in passaggio around, let's 'unzip' those vocal cords, folks. I want the tips on the chestiest, thickest vocal cord voice physically possible!

If anyone needs some inspiration: Get low!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i've always subscribed to the idea that chest down low is good support, but loose and relaxed, no pushing down there. let the resonance work for you.

i've also experimented with staying in a heady configuration ala anthony frisell head voice slides where you remain heady all the way down. no dropping into speech mode. then kind of arc the air back into the pharynx.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah Bob, great breath support and relaxing as much as possible is what used to work for me best too.

After the voice problem, I feel most of the time I can't completely 'relax' even on my best of days. It feels like there is a snag in the voice, like when my voice resonates it causes this pain and tension which is worse on the lower end.

So part of my idea here in the thread is if there are any further exercises or ideas on getting the voice to 'slacken' or the vocal folds to thicken up out of head voice squarely into chest voice it might be useful for singers, and for me! Kind of like the reverse of what SLS singing exercises claim to do!

Still that's very good advice, and breath support should actually be number one here and I missed it in my post. For the vast majority of times, people will get the most progress by supporting and letting it out in the most relaxed manner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I tried them and I'm still trying them. It's uncomfortable and painful, but I've been having a good day (relatively) so it's a good time for me to try things when my throat won't immediately lock up.

I did make it all the way down to my lowest notes (I don't know if I'm supposed to, it just came naturally). It might have felt different, I don't know yet, but thanks for the idea! I'll keep trying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I tried them and I'm still trying them. It's uncomfortable and painful, but I've been having a good day (relatively) so it's a good time for me to try things when my throat won't immediately lock up.

I did make it all the way down to my lowest notes (I don't know if I'm supposed to, it just came naturally). It might have felt different, I don't know yet, but thanks for the idea! I'll keep trying.

remember not to drop into speech mode. stay in the heady configuration as if you were singing a high heady note. you will feel the throat wanting to cave in as you descend, but that's where you want to lighten up and ride it down.

start light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To get lower in pitch you need to have enough twang. More twang than most people think they need. Just try it.

Dude, no way. I just woke up in the morning, and tried this, and you gave me an F2! I'd never gotten lower than a G2 before even when healthy. It wasn't really that useable for singing (quiet, weak etc), but I had it sustained and not cracking out into a fry.

I didn't know that twang worked on both sides of the range. That's fascinating. I bet for some songs with a tricky low note that is hit or miss, people can probably do this trick to guarantee it comes. Good advice!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Killer, I think I get the point of your original post. Yes, it's important to have high notes. But a song of just high notes is a sonic exercise. I am reminded of the work of Judas Priest up until the Sad Wings of Destiny era and more importantly, the work on British Steel. Before that, Halford sang high all the time. Technically astounding. And unsingable for any but him. By British Steel, he came down out of the clouds a few times, allowing the public to sing along. And introduced better melody structure. To where the high parts are better used for accent and an emotional "stepping on the gas" thing. A good example of someone who sings with the right arrangement of melody is our own Keith Goehner (no wonder, he is in a rock band that performs. Got to make it work, for real.) Most songs are sung right around the upper third octave and up through the middle of the 4th octave, making briding more important than strat notes.

And I'm with you on the low end of the range. I can barely get to G2 and that is in fry mode, very low volume, with amplification and other tech tricks to make it "sound" louder. At f#2, my folds have separated too much to phonate and it is a gutteral growl for me. Nice sound effect, but for effect, only, also, right up on the mic. In the morning, before clearing my throat of phlegm, whatever, I can grumble an A2. C3 is okay. No mic needed from E3 on up.

So, it' possible that you have a voice similar to mine. And part of your problem in the past is approaching a light voice with a dramatic baritone weight and high closed quotient on the folds.

Things to think about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few tips I can give you:

*It's similar to strengthening head voice. Start with a creaky, thin, fry register and gradually connect it, get slow thick air (It will be just about the hottest air you can make), and get your vocal cords apart.

*Conversely, see how low you can do lip bubbles.

*You will find that pushing or shoving your larynx down does not help.

*When you get the note to where you can hit it comfortably, focus on placing it more forward in your face. This will make it louder and brighter the same way it does in any part of your voice, but the natural tendency down low is to close things up to hold the air back. That's unnecessary and will make a smaller sound. The air should be held back with the diaphragm/whatever you call the muscle that holds air back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To get lower in pitch you need to have enough twang. More twang than most people think they need. Just try it.

Completely agree. Took the words out of my mouth. It seems that when youre losing tone at the bottom end, whats happening is youre going into falsetto. E.g., your chords are blowing apart again, just as they do in the top register, until you learn to keep them together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Completely agree. Took the words out of my mouth. It seems that when youre losing tone at the bottom end, whats happening is youre going into falsetto. E.g., your chords are blowing apart again, just as they do in the top register, until you learn to keep them together.

Conversely, too much of this puts you in creaky voice or fry. For me it seems like the lowest I can go with what you refer to as falsetto (in terms of lack of cord closure) is around B1 on a good day. I also consider this my lowest note because it is the lowest one that I have total control over, that is, that I can fade from nothing to the loudest possible volume without it being interrupted. If you absolutely need to apply twang to go lower, then the note is more of a creak.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...