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Lifting cheeks reduces effort?

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jonpall
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Check this out:

http://www.voiceteacher.com/damaging.html

... in particular the sections called "The Smile Technique" and "The Pulled Down Facial Posture in Singing":

If the facial posture is pulled down, then singer must work twice as hard with breath pressure to blow the soft palate out of the way.

Do you guys agree with this? I'm not so sure myself.

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I agree, but not with how its explainned.

Thing is, if you open this inner smile and show your upper teeth, you can have a more open quality without having to let go of covering, the larynx also rises a little bit. If you keep everything down, you will have to force more forward placement and let go of covering in order to be heard.

If you just open a wide smile, you just open the voice and remove all the occlusion.

Its a ballance: You must have occlusion to protect your voice, but at the same time, you must sound as open and natural as possible, and also be heard.

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Allow me to interject a thing I learned from studying the anatomy. And anyone is welcome to tell me I'm wrong, which would mean that the centuries of scientists, including Dr. Fillebrown are wrong. Though, he has passed on, so you would be talking to a headstone if you wanted to tell him he is wrong. Some of the muscles in the zygomatic arch that help create a "smile" are also the same muscles that retract and lift the soft palate, most notably, the uvulua.

So, yes, a slight smile helps open up some head resonance. It's one of the first things I learned from Graham Hewitt's book "How to Sing," that I read back in 1988. Of course, he could be wrong. And he came from the same school of thought as Lilli Lehmann, who had a book by the same name. During her singing career, she was the premiere sporano coloratura of her time. I know she's passed on. Hewitt passed away 1987, the year before I read his book. So, it's too late to tell him he's wrong.

In any case, a slight smile works for me.

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Dr., I would not be so quick on calling him idiotic. Breath pressure was associated with the lift of the soft palatte because the mecanism that is used to create breath pressure causes an almost instinctive lift of it. And its a much better practice to teach covering by inducing the lift with this maneuver than simply making people "lift up, pull back", which often results in tampering with it rather than producing the result.

Use your intercostals to create pressure and just by thinking of lifting it, it will almost produce an yawn. And yes, it would be natural reaction to that situation he proposed.

Again I dont agree with how its explained, but its verified in practical application.

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You have a good point there, jonpall. When I want to go for the lowest note I can manage and give it some oomph, I I don't smile. To get a good C3, I lower the larynx and drop the jaw, with the lips most often forming an oh to take advantage of the mouth, as well.

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jonpall, I would not say benefit. Its not like something that makes a voice better automatically.

If you want to use it for trainning, the effect will be of moving your larynx higher and openning the vowels a bit. So unless your voice is too dark and closed, it will not help at all.

But its a very nice resource to add to the interpretation line. Nice for hard rock high notes and to create contrasts. Works on the whole voice in the same way.

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The difference would be from this:

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=11801680&q=hi

to this, when exagerated:

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=11801679&q=hi

If you keep the volume down, it does becomes easier and the voice is still well projected. But exagerated to this point, if you try to increase the dinamic level, it hurts.

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jonpall, I would not say benefit. Its not like something that makes a voice better automatically.

If you want to use it for trainning, the effect will be of moving your larynx higher and openning the vowels a bit. So unless your voice is too dark and closed, it will not help at all.

But its a very nice resource to add to the interpretation line. Nice for hard rock high notes and to create contrasts. Works on the whole voice in the same way.

Felipe - are you here only talking about low notes?

If I'm understanding you correctly, lifting the cheeks WILL help your high notes but for low notes, they are mostly just for adding to the interpretation line, like if you wanted to brighten a certain phrase. Am I correct?

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Yes, it is correct jonpall. But only when used during singing, it reduces effort because its easier to drop the dinamic level and reduce support pressure, and it also render the more open posture that suits better some styles. It can not solve discomfort applied like this though.

For trainning it can fix discomfort, but its simply a tool, it can fix problems and has a lot of potential to create some more...

I understand that, in your case, it would be the first option, just a resource.

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I tried this over and over and over...

oh wait

Wrong cheeks.

Well done, Billy. Normally, I would think of a response like that but you beat me to it.

Bravo, Billy. And let me know if that technique works for you. :D

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All,

You guys have already had a good discussion on this topic, so I don't have so much to add.

The sense of throat openness for some singers makes a big difference to their sense of ease. If this happens, its great for the singer, and can be a help in keeping undesired tension (physical or psychological) reined in.

On an acoustic level, this technique makes a vowel modification that may be beneficial for the student that uses the lower larynx position to assist with emphasis of the singer's formant. When the larynx is low, and the lower pharynx is dilated, formants 3,4 and 5 cluster quite closely together, and twang is further emphasized.

Even small positional changes in the embouchure (the position/shape of the lips) can change the overall length of the vocal tract and the proportion of the pharyngeal & buccal sections of it. The change in overall length will move all the resonances, and the change in proportion will tune the relative positions of F1 and F2.

The combined result, if approached sensibly by the singer and teacher, can help the singer fine-tune the combination of low and high resonances to the desired overall effect, especially in the context of overall vowel formation training that correctly releases tongue tension and uses best tongue positioning.

I hope this is helpful.

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All,

You guys have already had a good discussion on this topic, so I don't have so much to add.

The sense of throat openness for some singers makes a big difference to their sense of ease. If this happens, its great for the singer, and can be a help in keeping undesired tension (physical or psychological) reined in.

On an acoustic level, this technique makes a vowel modification that may be beneficial for the student that uses the lower larynx position to assist with emphasis of the singer's formant. When the larynx is low, and the lower pharynx is dilated, formants 3,4 and 5 cluster quite closely together, and twang is further emphasized.

Even small positional changes in the embouchure (the position/shape of the lips) can change the overall length of the vocal tract and the proportion of the pharyngeal & buccal sections of it. The change in overall length will move all the resonances, and the change in proportion will tune the relative positions of F1 and F2.

The combined result, if approached sensibly by the singer and teacher, can help the singer fine-tune the combination of low and high resonances to the desired overall effect, especially in the context of overall vowel formation training that correctly releases tongue tension and uses best tongue positioning.

I hope this is helpful.

Hey Steve do you have any recommended books, articles, videos, or sources of info for the science and acoustics of singing?

I am a voice student and would love to get some more outside information.

Thanks in advance.

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Hey Steve do you have any recommended books, articles, videos, or sources of info for the science and acoustics of singing?

I am a voice student and would love to get some more outside information.

Thanks in advance.

izzle1989: To get you started, check out the resources listed at the National Center for Voice and Speech http://www.ncvs.org/

Lots of good articles, and the Director of the Center, Dr. Ingo Titze, is great. There are other voice researchers, too, that I recommend: Dr. Joe Wolfe, at the University of New South Wales, Johann Sundberg and Donald Miller, in Scandanavia.

Let me know of any specific interest areas, and I can help steer you to particular articles.

I hope this is helpful.

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izzle1989: To get you started, check out the resources listed at the National Center for Voice and Speech http://www.ncvs.org/

Lots of good articles, and the Director of the Center, Dr. Ingo Titze, is great. There are other voice researchers, too, that I recommend: Dr. Joe Wolfe, at the University of New South Wales, Johann Sundberg and Donald Miller, in Scandanavia.

Let me know of any specific interest areas, and I can help steer you to particular articles.

I hope this is helpful.

Thanks Steven I really appreciate this! :)

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