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Chest Voice vs Speech Level Singing?

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Puissance
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Hi,

I'm trying to differentiate between singing in chest voice and using the speech level singing technique. Please take a quick listen to me singing Desperado in chest voice:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/jmnj1y1hlzt/chest.mp3

And then listen to me attempting to sing the same thing with a speech level approach. Is that how speech level singing should sound? Does the mix need to be strengthened? It sounds weird to me...

http://www.mediafire.com/file/mh52iyyyinz/sls.mp3

Which is the correct way to sing this song?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Puissance,

the part of your voice where there is a major change between the two clips is more often called mixed voice or middle voice rather than chest voice in speech level singing though i think i can also hear a difference in your chest voice production too. in the first clip you start out with a slightly heavier, more forceful production, it sounds ever so slightly more constricted (more like your trying to make the sound happen instead of just allowing it to happen) and as you go up in range for the most part your still hanging on to the same coordination's that your using for the lower notes. this can be unhealthy for the voice and usually very fatiguing. as you go up in range you have to use different coordination's and setups. in the second clip you are changing coordination but you are at the beginning of the SLS process meaning that you are getting more release in the voice (less constriction and effort) but its not a finished sound yet so its very, very light. as you get more and more advanced at the technique it will feel similar to your first clip in the sense of release and ease on the throat but will sound thicker and more like chest voice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the valuable insight! Now I know that there's much more training to be done. I thought that I was singing incorrectly because it sounded so light as you described it. Would it sound thicker and thicker as long as I sing more and more with this coordination or would I have to find a better coordination to get the chest voice sound?

I also find that singing with this coordination sounds like this:

That's why I'm guessing that to sing with a thicker sound like chest voice, it will require different muscle coordination. Am I correct?

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its not so much your light clip is wrong per se, its more that its one of the first steps on the journey to where you want to go. its not the finished product yet so to speak.

often with the techniques like SLS you will start of with a lighter sound as you are working the correct coordinations into the muscle memory and building up strength in the tiny muscles of the larynx. once the coordination and some strength is there you can work more and more on power and thicker, fuller sounds. its a bit like a sport. if you started tennis tomorrow you might not be that coordinated with your hands and arms etc. and you probably wouldnt be able to hit the ball with maximum speed and efficiency. after a while though with good practise your coordination would get better and you would be able to whack the ball with power and precision.

one thing you could try that may help coordinate a thicker sound is practise scales or for instance the melody of the song you posted on a GUG, BUH, GUH or GOH sound (making it bit dumb, dopey sounding so the larynx is a little lower than at resting or talking level) really emphasising the consonant at the beginning of the sound. make each GUG etc. very staccato (separated instead of flowing into one another) keep the same feeling of ease and release (I.E. NO strain or tension) as you did in the light clip you made but really emphasis and chew out that first consonant. do it at a just above speaking volume to begin with and make sure that as you get higher in pitch you dont get louder.

your best bet is to seek out a teacher to get specific exercises for your voice.

im not sure exactly what is was you were asking about in the youtube clip?

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Thanks for the tips!

I think I'm going to play back some of my old recorded lessons and practice every day again. On my last lesson, my teacher was actually having me do those GUH exercises you mentioned. To be more specific, the YouTube video shows someone singing with his head voice and it sounds very light. My question is: does it sound so light because of the technique he is using? I feel like if I continue to practice, I will still sound like the singing in that video.

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To be more specific, the YouTube video shows someone singing with his head voice and it sounds very light. My question is: does it sound so light because of the technique he is using? I feel like if I continue to practice, I will still sound like the singing in that video.

Hopefully the voice in the YouTube video is making a stylistic choice to sing with the timbre you hear. The timbre you hear in this video matches the original work. As your coordination and strength improve you will have greater control over the tones you can create in your head voice (bottom of which is referred to as pharyngeal and in SLS / SS it is referred to as mix, TVS and Bel Canto it is referred to as passaggio).

The short answer to your question is NO; however, as Center pointed out there are different laryngeal configurations (called 'sets'). Speech, Opera, Twang.... As you may have guessed a lowered larynx (Opera set) results in a heavier production and has a very different sound from other vocal sets. SLS / SS is using a Speech set; thus the name speech level singing (neutral laryngeal position). TVS makes use of multiple laryngeal sets (while in chest and all the way up in the Flageolet or Whistle register the larynx is in a neutral position; however, the 'holy grail' of the passaggio and head register is Twang - lifted and tilted laryngeal position). My point in writing this is Twang set and Speech set do produce different qualities. If you want to hear what Twang sounds like listen to pretty much any Metal like Queensryche (Geoff is a lyric tenor singing with Twang) and 'Sweet Child of Mine' by Guns N Roses is an extreme example of Twang (not twang like country twang; rather, it is a laryngeal set that results in amplification of a specific set of frequencies that 'cut').

The singer in the YouTube sounds great; just not what I listen to.

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Thanks for the tips!

I think I'm going to play back some of my old recorded lessons and practice every day again. On my last lesson, my teacher was actually having me do those GUH exercises you mentioned. To be more specific, the YouTube video shows someone singing with his head voice and it sounds very light. My question is: does it sound so light because of the technique he is using? I feel like if I continue to practice, I will still sound like the singing in that video.

as Mark said it sounds that way in the clip because he is purposely trying to create that sound (as he is playing the role of the singer Frankie Valli for a musical show) i would say the sound is a kind of reinforced falsetto using a higher larynx with some twang added on lighter production.

if you were to master mixed voice and head voice in SLS it would not have to sound that light (though of course you can also use lighter sounds if you want to)but the route to mastery, like just about most things in life requires dedication and lots of practise.

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Very cool! I'm beginning to understand the terminology. Thanks. I never really listen to any metal, but I looked those songs up and I'm realizing that these singers are quite talented. I actually stopped practicing because I wasn't sure if I was on the right track singing with such a light sound. I'll be going back to some of my exercises and I'm thinking about going for some extra lessons if I'm left with some cash after tuition.

I think I'm starting to understand what the twang sounds like. Does it have a little bit of a whiny sound? Is it possible to have a high laryngeal position with no tension?

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here are some vids on twang.

its the sound you apply to the NAY NAY, NAH, NARH, exercises in SLS. twang is one important part in the "recipe" of a easily produced , resonant voice. obviously it has a very distinctive sound so how much you want to emphasise that part of the vocal "recipe" is up to you. i have found that using a really emphasised twang sound for long periods of time more fatiguing than a more "normal" sound (see #) .when you do the twangy NAY etc. exercises in SLS they are high larynx exercises but there is not supposed to be any tension when you do them. # it is possible to sing with a high larynx and have no tension its just that i think its easier for tension to creep in with a higher position than a neutral or lowered larynx.

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I think I'm starting to understand what the twang sounds like. Does it have a little bit of a whiny sound? Is it possible to have a high laryngeal position with no tension?

I study with Robert Lunte at The Vocalist Studio (TVS) via Skype. The main laryngeal set we use is Twang - raised larynx and tilted. I vocalize over an hour every night over 5 octaves up and down, over and over. I have NO gripping and my voice is getting stronger. A big difference for me was the results. I got real results in less than 90 days of practicing the vocalizes that are part of the TVS pedagogy (handed down from Maestro David P. Kyle). I did not experience this drastic of a gain in the direction I am striving to go vocally prior to that (with the exception of the very first lesson I took; in this lesson I bridged into head voice which was huge for me because I was pulling chest prior to that). I can tell you it isn't about how much money you spend. Use the lessons you have. Keep practicing. Training the voice is not a fast endeavor. Celebrate each accomplishment. Keep reading The Modern Vocalist. Many of the top voice teachers and scientist are on here. You are smart and right to protect your voice and ask questions. Don't practice wrong, don't keep trying to do it the same way that doesn't work.

I have read a post from MBF stating that a raised and tilted larynx is not healthy. I train with heavy torqued Twang for hours and hours, and my voice is very very healthy. To give you an idea, go to YouTube and search for The Vocalist Studio and watch Robert Lunte, Hasson Chopper (Jason Lucas), Randy Loran, and many other pillars sing with extreme twang. They have been singing this way for a very long time.

Basically it is like this, you should not be doing anything to your larynx. Your mind will take care of it. If you are trying to force it to not move, go down, go up then you are trying to out think and maneauver yourself and this is a good way to hurt your voice.

Here is one of my favorite YouTube videos of Randy Loran singing a 'Take Hold a Flame' by Queensryche. The lead singer of Queensryche is Geoff Tate. Geoff was taught by Maestro David P Kyle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YzfVBXnWCk&feature=PlayList&p=EACC436716B0686B&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1

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I'll second Mark's comments all around. I also study with Robert and after getting some basics down and adding twang I am very happy with where my singing is going. The interesting thing about twang is that you can calibrate it at different levels to get different tones. I did a weekend intensive with Robert a month or so ago and that was a big take away for me. We drilled into twang and as I learned the tilted position I could go get a sweet sound to a heavier sound. Think Steve Perry to Axl Rose with varying levels in between.

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  • 3 weeks later...

There are two types of twang - necessary and distinct. "Necessary" is hardly noticeable in the voice and distinct is very noticeable.

Distinct twang is actually quite easy to get a hold of - imitate these sounds:

a cat "meowing"

say the Russian word "Nyet"

a witches cackle

a duck quacking

a dive bombing WWII airplane

a baby crying

if you can go all the way with these sounds - which are the extreme version of twang, it becomes quite easy to add just a touch to your tones to make them clear and distinct.

Kevin Richards

www.rockthestagenyc.com

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I use my own bastardized version of SLS, but it usually seems to conform to SLS techniques. From my standpoint, youre not speaking in the second clip, you're speaking more in the first clip. Your voice in the second clip isnt a speaking voice at all. To me, the technique is about simply being at speaking level, speaking configuration, no matter where in your range you are. Speaking naturally, as long as you dont have any speech issues, uses natural, automatic chord closure for high and low notes and natural level of breath support. If you want to sing loudly, you speak loudly. You shouldnt be doing anything more tense or effort-demanding demanding than speaking.

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Chest voice is a vocal register, Speech Level Singing is a company, founded by Seth Riggs who teaches a specific voice pedagogy known commonely as "SLS". IF/when you train with SLS...as you would with ANY vocal training, you will train, workout, excercise in your chest voice. Any kind of conclustion that SLS training some how means your not going to sing in your chest voice, would be way off base and your confused.

Hi,

I'm trying to differentiate between singing in chest voice and using the speech level singing technique. Please take a quick listen to me singing Desperado in chest voice:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/jmnj1y1hlzt/chest.mp3

And then listen to me attempting to sing the same thing with a speech level approach. Is that how speech level singing should sound? Does the mix need to be strengthened? It sounds weird to me...

http://www.mediafire.com/file/mh52iyyyinz/sls.mp3

Which is the correct way to sing this song?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  • Administrator

"nay,nay, nay" is SLS's way of training twang or getting a twang-like result... in my understanding and experience... however, simply making a "nay" formant is not going to give you enough contraction to really amplify and get a killer sound like most people are looking for... the study of twang requires a vastly deeper understanding of vocal modes/qualities and some heavier workouts... "nay, nay, nay" isnt going to get you there if you want "extreme singing" results... big, aggressive, impressive head tones.

here are some vids on twang.

its the sound you apply to the NAY NAY, NAH, NARH, exercises in SLS. twang is one important part in the "recipe" of a easily produced , resonant voice. obviously it has a very distinctive sound so how much you want to emphasise that part of the vocal "recipe" is up to you. i have found that using a really emphasised twang sound for long periods of time more fatiguing than a more "normal" sound (see #) .when you do the twangy NAY etc. exercises in SLS they are high larynx exercises but there is not supposed to be any tension when you do them. # it is possible to sing with a high larynx and have no tension its just that i think its easier for tension to creep in with a higher position than a neutral or lowered larynx.

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This idea that raised larynx is going to hurt you is BUNK! It has been proven over and over and over again and verified by many people on this forum, including Steve Fraser and others... MBF is wrong... as a matter of fact, I recently worked with MBF as her voice coach for a performance she had... I introduced her to my techniques and encouraged her to stop being afraid to raise the larynx a little bit.... she did it and she was very happy with the result. If you speak to her now, (I suspect the previous post Mark is referring to is very dated), you will find that she has updated her beliefs on that... nothing is more convincing then actually showing someone how to do it and letting them experience the results first hand... MVF has become a believer in raised/tilted "twangy" configurations....

I study with Robert Lunte at The Vocalist Studio (TVS) via Skype. The main laryngeal set we use is Twang - raised larynx and tilted. I vocalize over an hour every night over 5 octaves up and down, over and over. I have NO gripping and my voice is getting stronger. A big difference for me was the results. I got real results in less than 90 days of practicing the vocalizes that are part of the TVS pedagogy (handed down from Maestro David P. Kyle). I did not experience this drastic of a gain in the direction I am striving to go vocally prior to that (with the exception of the very first lesson I took; in this lesson I bridged into head voice which was huge for me because I was pulling chest prior to that). I can tell you it isn't about how much money you spend. Use the lessons you have. Keep practicing. Training the voice is not a fast endeavor. Celebrate each accomplishment. Keep reading The Modern Vocalist. Many of the top voice teachers and scientist are on here. You are smart and right to protect your voice and ask questions. Don't practice wrong, don't keep trying to do it the same way that doesn't work.

I have read a post from MBF stating that a raised and tilted larynx is not healthy. I train with heavy torqued Twang for hours and hours, and my voice is very very healthy. To give you an idea, go to YouTube and search for The Vocalist Studio and watch Robert Lunte, Hasson Chopper (Jason Lucas), Randy Loran, and many other pillars sing with extreme twang. They have been singing this way for a very long time.

Basically it is like this, you should not be doing anything to your larynx. Your mind will take care of it. If you are trying to force it to not move, go down, go up then you are trying to out think and maneauver yourself and this is a good way to hurt your voice.

Here is one of my favorite YouTube videos of Randy Loran singing a 'Take Hold a Flame' by Queensryche. The lead singer of Queensryche is Geoff Tate. Geoff was taught by Maestro David P Kyle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YzfVBXnWCk&feature=PlayList&p=EACC436716B0686B&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1

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Wow. Its interesting how so many people are now teaching "twang" configurations and are grasping its significance... I first started touting this about two years ago.... its good to see... I like Kevin Richards... he's cool. He has some good videos and articles here on the main site as well.

here are some vids on twang.

its the sound you apply to the NAY NAY, NAH, NARH, exercises in SLS. twang is one important part in the "recipe" of a easily produced , resonant voice. obviously it has a very distinctive sound so how much you want to emphasise that part of the vocal "recipe" is up to you. i have found that using a really emphasised twang sound for long periods of time more fatiguing than a more "normal" sound (see #) .when you do the twangy NAY etc. exercises in SLS they are high larynx exercises but there is not supposed to be any tension when you do them. # it is possible to sing with a high larynx and have no tension its just that i think its easier for tension to creep in with a higher position than a neutral or lowered larynx.

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"nay,nay, nay" is SLS's way of training twang or getting a twang-like result... in my understanding and experience... however, simply making a "nay" formant is not going to give you enough contraction to really amplify and get a killer sound like most people are looking for... the study of twang requires a vastly deeper understanding of vocal modes/qualities and some heavier workouts... "nay, nay, nay" isnt going to get you there if you want "extreme singing" results... big, aggressive, impressive head tones.

SLS do also use more than the NAY, NAH, NARH stuff for twang/pharyngeal coordinations but ultimately they are more concerned with adding what might be considered necessary twang rather than distinct twang (as their generally trying to bring out the best in someones natural timbre before the singer would start adding sound colours) but you can add that N.twang through doing some distinct twang sounds and then moving on. it all depends on the individual and how much that coordination might need to be added to the recipe in order to assist the task at hand such as adduction or connecting through the bridges ect. for some voices they may not need to add that at all during their lesson. its only considered one ingredient of the vocal recipe and more often than not not the main one.

"however, simply making a "nay" formant is not going to give you enough contraction to really amplify and get a killer sound like most people are looking for... the study of twang requires a vastly deeper understanding of vocal modes/qualities and some heavier workouts... "nay, nay, nay" isnt going to get you there if you want "extreme singing" results... big, aggressive, impressive head tones."

Robert, its comes across that you have a sound ideal like SLS is often accused of. a distinctly twanged sound has, as is suggested a distinct sound. not every one, even those who want big, powerful etc. head tones will want that sound and certainly not every singer i have heard that has a great head voice uses a distinctly twangy sound. they may have "ring", "squillo" , singers formant or whatever is else you want to call it but that is a slightly different thing/application than a very distinctive twang.

as far as i know many vocal pedagogies have know of the significance of twang for many, many years but, depending on the tone etc. you want to achieve/are working on its generally considered only part of the vocal recipe. for some vocal recipes the twang ratio may be high for other not. for a very piercing, stereotypical "heavy metal" type scream the ratio is generally high. twang can be a GREAT training tool and i have certainly experienced how as a training tool it can help with adduction and crossing bridges and when used for short periods on such exercises can give a sense of vocal ease and freedom. i have also experienced and observed with other singers that using distinct twang for extended periods of time usually requires more effort than a more "normal" timbre and can lead to tension creeping in. twang can be great but its not the be all, end all for me im afraid.

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Correct me if I'm wrong and sorry for asking such a stupid question, but isn't "making the singer cut through the mix" the job of the sound man, using the eq on the mixer?

There are lots of rock and metal singers out there, famous ones, that don't have a nasty wich-sounding pharengeal voice, even though there is "necessary twang" present. I'm no expert, but guys like David Coverdale, Ronnie James Dio and Bruce Dickinson come to mind.

Don't get me wrong. I also love singers that have a more twangy sound than the guys above, like f.ex. Steven Tyler and Jon Bon Jovi. But from what I've heard, I know that many vocal coaches will disagree that practising very hard twang a lot is necessary to train a rock 'n' roll voice.

Like I said, I'm only the fool who asks the stupid questions around here. I'm just thinking out loud and there's something that just doesn't add up, in my mind.

;)

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Chest voice is a vocal register, Speech Level Singing is a company, founded by Seth Riggs who teaches a specific voice pedagogy known commonely as "SLS". IF/when you train with SLS...as you would with ANY vocal training, you will train, workout, excercise in your chest voice. Any kind of conclustion that SLS training some how means your not going to sing in your chest voice, would be way off base and your confused.

Yea, I was actually confused at first. To rephrase, my question is: Am I singing in the mix in the second audio clip? And the topic should be Chest Voice vs. Mix in SLS.

Speaking about twang and raised laryngeal configurations, the Singing for the Stars book by Seth Riggs actually discourages the use of the "nay nay nay" exercises. He mentions that the exercises must be abandoned and are used only to demonstrate the concept of singing with a high larynx. I noticed that this is debated quite a bit.

The "nay nay nay" exercises have actually caused a lot of tension for me when I first did them. To get more release, I was told to practice "guh guh guh" and "gee gee gee" exercises. I'm considering a lesson with TVS just to see what producing twang is like. Wouldn't it cause vocal fatigue?

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There are lots of rock and metal singers out there, famous ones, that don't have a nasty wich-sounding pharengeal voice, even though there is "necessary twang" present. I'm no expert, but guys like David Coverdale, Ronnie James Dio and Bruce Dickinson come to mind.

They all have a "bite". Coverdale in particular certainly uses his pharyngeal voice when hes in head.

The way I see it is naynaynay teaches you the feel of that "set", makes you aware of it - then when you get good at that, or your body gets good at it through conditioning, you temper it to a reasonable level for "bite". You dont necessarily sing in overt naynaynay position. Guhguhguh is for when you notice that your larynx is in a high place and you want to bring it down. Again, you're not supposed to sing in "Ugh" all the time, you use it to bring the larynx down and be aware of the feel of where your larynx is. Then use just a reasonable amount of that configuration to return to a low larynx position if you feel you want to keep the larynx low but it has relocated itself higher up. My 2c.

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