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Croaky like sound when going higher

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So I've been trying to get rid of the tension on my throat, but other problems have started to rise from this...

I don't know if its because I'm still getting used to the feeling of singing without tension, but near my break area, when I attempt to vocalize without tension, the sound is distorted by a weird croaky, vocal-fry-like sound. Sounds like theres mucus stuck in my throat, but I don't think thats the case as this happens almost every time.

Is there anything that I'm doing wrong that is enabling me from having a crisp sound in the middle register?

I'll record myself if audio is needed....

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Sounds like the typical "cracking". That's normal as you build the bridge. It is an abrupt shift from one depth of fold vibration to another, and when you are "in-between" this the folds don't vibrate cleanly, they are kind of jumping between these two depths. It is due to the fact that the CT muscle is starting to take over and the TA is backing off - so this new "ratio" of TA to CT is creating these two different depths of fold vibration.

The trick is to morph the thickness of folds very gradually so they don't change so fast. That takes a very fine coordition between the TA and CT.

Sorry for all the technical stuff - the best way to get rid of this is with Sirens through the passagio - very gradual pitch changing. To avoid cracking make sure you've got a lot of support and reduce air flow (increase compression). Do these on the semi occluded phonations - lip rolls, "ng", etc.

The other thing is you've got to start modifying your vowels too, otherwise you'll be fighting with yourself and the tension will come back.

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Well, what I mean is that what you are experiencing is normal - we still have to get rid of that sound.

Modifying vowels is essential - this is a huge subject and it isn't easy to explain in text. You will have a very difficult time trying to build those coordinations without the help of vowel modifications. Moving through the passagio takes a lot of work - and normally would take the help of a teacher or at least an instructional DVD. Normally we modify a vowel to move the 1st formant to align with the harmonics of the vowel. That is because as we go up in pitch the "spoken" 1st formant, which is the same as in normal chest voice, just doesn't work in higher pitches. Those are the technical reasons, but you don't have to remember all that stuff.

Here is a simple easy exercise that will give you the sensation of Vowel Modification with no cracking:

Force yourself to do a real yawn and vocalize when you are yawning. It should be like an "uh" sound. It will sound funny. But once you are vocalizing - keep the yawn in position and move your note upwards. You should find you can traverse the passagio easily with no break. Yawning changes the resonance in the back of your throat and changes that 1st formant. Crying is also another natural way your body shifts that resonance. Try the yawn and report back - don't try to make the sound nice or pretty - just use whatever sound comes out of the yawn.

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@guitartrek, don't you have both tvs and ktva cds? if so how do they differ in vowel modification? i have both. but right now i'm doing kens stuff. when i get good with that i'm going to work on rob's stuff. ktva has helped me a lot with vowel mods.

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