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Torquing headtones, toll on the larynx/digrastic muscles

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dr rock
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hey dudes, when i get into my headvoice and start torquing and shaping my choir boy headtones into metal beams

i realized it takes a toll on some muscles under your chin, i would take a head note turn it into a beam and then

hold that note for about 30 seconds. after that i realize my larynx is pretty tired and the muscles under my chin are tired

i hear people say you shouldnt be doing anythign with those muscles while singing

but i think for metal those muscles gotta be developed, jim gillette says in vocal power its alright to feel some discomfort in the digrastic muscles, just wait a few hours before practising again.

but then there are other people saying you musnt use those at all.

but i think in metal theyre nessesary to come into play on the high notes since your singing with a tilted larynx.

what do you guys think?

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I'm quite interested in hearing the experts input on this subject also. Heavier styles do seemingly require more physicality to attain the right sound but I don't want to sing that way if it means vocal strain or permanent damage.

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dr rock - I used to study voice at a SLS studio. The muscles under the chin, located at the anterior under the bottom partial, would get very sore. I understand this is related to pressing the back of the tongue. My teacher at the time referred to this as the hyoid bone; however, looking at an anatomical diagram of the head and throat region the hyoid muscles are running up the front of the mechanism.

I know study with Robert Lunte at the Vocalist studio. I practice over a five octave range. I tilt harder in Twang set, torque, and have NO pain or gripping. Robert changed the way I sing in the very first lesson. I never had trouble bridging; however, I was using a more neutral laryngeal position (Speech set I think). In the first lesson he taught me to bridge the passaggio and connect the Chest register to the Head register. He taught me to use Top Down phonation (I used to push up pitches, now resonation occur more forward and higher (no longer in the throat, now it is behind the top partial, in the nasal cavity, and on up). More than an advertisement for Robert or The Vocalist Studio I want you to understand that I believe

1) You can torque in the head voice and not damage your voice, it is completely safe in my experience and understanding

2) I was not singing in head voice properly and experienced the muscle fatique you described; this was an unhealthy way of singing that would have resulted in damage had I not been blessed with a more competent teacher that corrected this

Perhaps an indication of healthy technique is I strained at an octave lower than I can easily sing at now. I can sing C6 without strain [read without ANY strain]. I used to pinch out C5 with lots of strain (one of the reasons I left that studio). If you strain then constriction is occurring and ... you are doing it wrong.

PS I have learned more in 10 Skype lessons from Robert than I did in 28 lesson over 28 weeks at two other studios.

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Fellas... I truly believe the best information in the world on what you are talking about, essentially twang configurations in the head voice, exists right here on this forum. This discussion has been hashed over and over again here on this forum and there is a lot of great advise and knowledge on the subject.

Now then...

Dr. Rock... you should feel nothing in your chin. If your feeling something in your chin and are fatigued after "what ever it is your doing"... your not contracting pure, proper twang configurations... Working on twang configurations is serious business. You can hurt yourself if your not doing it properly. I highly advise that you find a vocal coach that really understands these techniques and learn how to do it the right way.

Its all pretty new stuff here... working with vocal modes, vocal qualities and laryngeal physiology... and how that changes the acoustics, partials, overtones, formant and quality of the vocal sound. Throw it all into the head voice, and your REALLY on the cutting edge...

I am here to help anyone with this if your interested. And the rest of our community here on TMV Forum... there is a lot of insights here.

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Robert, i know what you mean. its actually not the larynx that gets tired, its just the muscles under the chin.

and in the 4 pillars of singing it says this in one part so i thought maabe this is a healthy feeling (under octave registrations and pharyngeal contractions)

"an overage of torque and texture will create more aggresive witchier tones that are appropriate for rock and metal. but be careful with torque an texture, it does take a slight toll on your larynx. torque and texture is for advanced singers and must be respected and used in a responsible manner."

so with that i kinda got the idea that mabe the feeling is kinda healthy, because the muscles under the chin dont hurt, just how it feels after you work a muscle. and it only applies when im in headvoice for a prolonged time.

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i used to be REALLY in to the Rob Halford heavy metal screams and such and would do them all the time when i was in that type of metal band some years ago. i too used to use the muscles under the chin a lot but i guess they got quite strong because i was doing two 3 hour band practices a week as well as all the hours of practice and singing i would do at home and although somewhat fatiguing it doesn't sound like the kind of fatigue your experiencing. first let me just say that you wont damage your voice or vocal folds by using those muscles at all, its just that as you have experienced it can be more tiring than need necessary be.

i started to lose interest in those types of vocal productions (though i still like listening to it) and got more into the smoother voices like james labrie (when he sings clean) and singers like roy kahn. although they would sing high it had a more "singing" quality to it rather than a scream. some of this was purely down to a change of tastes and some of it was to do with what i was learning and experiencing through having some vocal training. anyway i digress.....

my perspective on the use of those muscles under the chin is two fold.

the first point is to do with range. i have found that when singing any pitch that is higher than the top pitch you can hum or sing quietly (without pulling a big smile or bite type mouth/cheeks position), those muscles under the chin (as well as others) seem to kick in to assist in stretching the vocal folds even further. in other words assisting the pitch. those muscles have nothing to do with the pitch process of the voice and because of this seem to get more tired than the ones that are designed for the purpose. now if you have always used assisting muscles for high pitches then the chances are that your top humming/quiet note may not be all that high because you haven't built up the right coordination using the true pitch changing muscles. for me my top humming/quiet note is about high E above tenor high C. sometimes the F on a good day. there are those individuals whose voices go much higher into the whistle registers etc.

the second point is style. if your really into the Rob Halford/heavy metal type metal screams such as

at 6:39, 7:31...

then its going to require a bit more effort and musculature than say a headier, cleaner, more singing like high note (though after having had some training where there is no activation of the muscles under the chin for the more singing high notes even when i do a more "metal" type production theres still less musculature going on than how i used to do it years ago.) one thing i have noticed is that when the mouth is opened very wide like as if you were about to take a big bite out off a massive apple and the cheeks are very high and tensed on those high notes (such as you see for 99% of singers who do a heavy metal scream) there is much more likelihood that the muscles under the chin will activate.

for example (taking into account that my head voice is still not fully trained)

http://www.box.net/shared/h9j07s4bvm

the first high note has no activation of the muscles under the chin at all and my jaw is dropped (as supposed to a big/wide mouth)and the cheeks are relaxed. this type of production is EXTREMELY non fatiguing but of course is probably considered to light and floaty for a metal scream but could be used for a lyrical passage if your poking up that high on a note or two in your melody. the second more metal scream has a little bit more activation of those under chin muscles at the back and my cheeks have come up a little/the mouth is wider (and of course there is more energy and support for a bigger sound) but it is not an awful lot and you could get away with this easily for a few screams in your set for instance. (if i was to take this higher, outside my top humming/quiet pitch say to a high G or A there would certainly be more muscle activation going on)

now say if you were to start adding a little bit of distortion to that metal scream

http://www.box.net/shared/xgdhexf1hk

once again it seems your upping the musculature a little more (not necessarily the ones under the chin) but its still not a ridiculous amount or anything. and im sure its not really fatiguing unless your singing like this for the entire song on every song.

i would see if you can get a medium ground where the pitches sound "metal" enough for you but your not doing a too big a "bite" mouth position, where the larynx can still come up a little bit to shape the sound to a more piercing quality and there is minimal to no under chin muscle activation.personally i think part of the process to that is learning to do these notes quietly at first (without pulling a big smile/bite mouth/cheeks position)

this guy does a good medium ground i think between metal sound and minimal effort/musculature

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVUKcjbyl1U

i asked him if the muscles under the chin were activated when he did this and he said not at all!

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hey center, thanks a lot for the information it helps a lot bro.

how do you get that kinda distortion on that metal scream?

i heard jamie vendera say the secret is feeling it in the palate and leting resonance build a lot while using the power push.

ahahha but that totally doesnt do it for me.

how do u get that distortion without feeling it in your throat?

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dr rock,

the guys that are CVT´ers on the forum can probably give you a better description than myself as i just play about a little with that stuff, its not really my thing any more. however i can describe to you whats going on for me when i do it. as Jens said its about using a lot of twang, kinda over twanging in fact. the larynx comes up and there is a feeling of more contraction in the throat (not a strained feeling though) to get the false vocal folds to become part of the vibrating process. for me there is a bit more of the activation of the under chin muscles but its not absolutely rock hard solid or anything.my cheeks come up slightly more and there is a bit more of a bite shape mouth (though it doest look like im about to take a gigantic bite out of a enormous apple or something). there is also a feeling of more support and overall energy as you go for it a bit more in the volume (compressed air) department. the overall energy level and musculature is more than just the clean singing and it would tire me out quicker than regular singing if i had to do it ALL the time say during an hours set. also like i said if i was having to do it all the time on high G´s and A´s it would tire me out even more because i would be using even more musculature to assist the pitch.

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Robert, i know what you mean. its actually not the larynx that gets tired, its just the muscles under the chin.

and in the 4 pillars of singing it says this in one part so i thought maabe this is a healthy feeling (under octave registrations and pharyngeal contractions)

"an overage of torque and texture will create more aggresive witchier tones that are appropriate for rock and metal. but be careful with torque an texture, it does take a slight toll on your larynx. torque and texture is for advanced singers and must be respected and used in a responsible manner."

so with that i kinda got the idea that mabe the feeling is kinda healthy, because the muscles under the chin dont hurt, just how it feels after you work a muscle. and it only applies when im in headvoice for a prolonged time.

Dr.... it Doesn't say anything about your chin?! I have never wrote anything about twang or the effort to work on these configurations creating fatigue in the chin... I do not believe the word "chin" appears anywhere in "The Four Pillars of Singing". www.thevocaliststudio.com/purchasetraining

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Dr.... it Doesn't say anything about your chin?! I have never wrote anything about twang or the effort to work on these configurations creating fatigue in the chin... I do not believe the word "chin" appears anywhere in "The Four Pillars of Singing". www.thevocaliststudio.com/purchasetraining

ohhhh i figured the larynx and the muscles under there would go hand in hand.

what do you mean by it must be used in a responsible manner and it takes a slight toll?

im dont think my actual larynx has gotten tired, just the chin muscles at times

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ohhhh i figured the larynx and the muscles under there would go hand in hand.

what do you mean by it must be used in a responsible manner and it takes a slight toll?

im dont think my actual larynx has gotten tired, just the chin muscles at times

Anytime your are flirting with twang configuraitons you are engaging intrinsic contractions of the AES and other muscles in the laryngeal region. its serious business. You have to train smart... In the beginning of this training, as you build strength, you can get a little tired after a while , but you will find that your "twanger" gets stronger quickly. Just like working any muscle.

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