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Me REALLY pushing my vocal envelope!!!

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Snax
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Hey gang,

I've always wished I was able to sing the song "Love hurts" by Nazareth and finally decided to give it a try after learning how to better control my head voice. I would never have been able to sing in this range before learning from you all here so thanks everyone! I'm still a little rough but I'm getting a little more control with each passing week. Here's the song: http://www.box.net/shared/ye5noqanez

Love to hear any comments good and bad. only way to improve right? ;)

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Mostly lip bubbles and humming stuff all the time. I read somewhere about using the "ng" sound like the end of the word "sing" so I do that on different scales. No real dedicated exercises per se, just learning to stay connected and not over singing. The holding back of air flow has been the biggest help. More pressure, less flow is key to singing high like in this song. At least it helps me anyway. I'd hate to give bad advice so feel free to correct me folks.

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ya.. well done dude.. were do u get the backing tracks? if you found your way up there, and theres no obvious tighness, then youve found the secret.. now its just more practise to work out the roughness. like you mentioned.

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Thanks so much for the nice comments guys. :)

I downloaded the backing tracks off the internet. Not sure where I got that particular one. I don't feel any tightness while singing it but that part of my voice is new to me and I'm still getting a feel for using it.

On another note I went to see an ENT today about my tonsils and adenoids. He examined me and noticed that my nasal passages aren't as open as they should be so I'm going to be having my huge tonsils removed and possibly some nasal surgery at the same time so I can finally breath properly! Should add some more resonation to my head voice too I'd think if my passages are open and there's more space?

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On another note I went to see an ENT today about my tonsils and adenoids. He examined me and noticed that my nasal passages aren't as open as they should be so I'm going to be having my huge tonsils removed and possibly some nasal surgery at the same time so I can finally breath properly! Should add some more resonation to my head voice too I'd think if my passages are open and there's more space?

Snax: Here is what I think you can expect in your voice with both of these procedures:

1) the tonsilectomy will make a bit more space on the sides of your throat, which will change the acoustics of your vocal tract a bit. I expect this will make your overall voice seem a little darker, warmer, and 'bigger feeling' once you have recovered from the procedure. Until the doc has given you the go-ahead, take it easy on using your voice strongly.

2) The nasal passage work will likely change the _feeling_ of your head resonance, but not so much the _sound_ IMO, on its own. However, I think it quite likely that you will experience increased sensitivity to vibrations in that part of your face, and those sensations (which are very useful biofeedback) will help you become better at telling when you are in the 'zone'. In other words, I think you will experience increased sensitivity, and that will help you refine your technique on a go-forward basis.

Oh, and an important FYI: If you are going under general anesthetic for either procedure, tell your Anesthesiologist that you are a singer, and ask that he use the smallest tube that he can for your entubation, to minimize trauma to the vocal bands. Also ask your ENT to be careful with the Pillars of the Fauces (faw-sees). Other than those things, you should be fine.

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Thanks Steven! Wonderful information.

I did let the ENT know that I'm a singer and mentioned my concerns about not damaging my voice in any way. I'll mention it again before going under.

Videohere, I would say I sang it at a low to moderate volume. Definitely not loud like I used to try to do. The biggest thing that has helped me was learning to control my air flow.

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I wouldn't say I used a very high pressure but it was moderate. The grittyness actually came naturally which surprised me! This is so exciting for me to have accessed a whole new area of my voice. I'm a HUGE Rob Halford fan and he uses his entire range so musically which is something that inspired me. Hitting high notes is one thing but applying them musically to the context of a song is another.

Another point to add is that I built up to this voice by starting very small and quiet using the lip bubbles,"NG" sounds etc and then increased the volume gradually by finding proper placement to maximize the resonation. If you can sing this high softly then you just work on getting it louder over time with placement and by staying connected ie: not in falsetto.

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hey sanx,

nice one dude! sounds really good! im not 100% on this as im not a teacher but i think if you were working with say a SS or SLS teacher the next step they would try with you is to use just a slightly less squeezed, pressed sound for the high stuff but thats pretty advanced stuff but i think you are at that level listening to the song (man i hate guys like you who get this stuff down so easily! - just kidding bro i love ya :P)

when you say "The holding back of air flow has been the biggest help. More pressure, less flow is key to singing high like in this song" what is it that you have been doing (differently) that has helped this?

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hey sanx,

nice one dude! sounds really good! im not 100% on this as im not a teacher but i think if you were working with say a SS or SLS teacher the next step they would try with you is to use just a slightly less squeezed, pressed sound for the high stuff but thats pretty advanced stuff but i think you are at that level listening to the song (man i hate guys like you who get this stuff down so easily! - just kidding bro i love ya :P)

when you say "The holding back of air flow has been the biggest help. More pressure, less flow is key to singing high like in this song" what is it that you have been doing (differently) that has helped this?

I think that doing the lip bubbles and a lot of humming etc has been a big help since the volume is low but the notes can be quite high. It teaches you not to over sing which forces too much air flow and makes connection of the vocal folds very strenuous. Not sure how to really describe what has helped specifically but it has been a combination of reading posts here and seeing various videos. Once you learn how to get into the right placement you slowly build up the resonance and get the muscles used to supporting that coordination. It takes time for sure and i'm still only just getting a feel for that part of my voice. It's really exciting me though and I love trying out songs that I would never have attempted before especially some of the harder Judas Priest songs!

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