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Question about support and singing.

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MDEW
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I think that I am breathing in correctly but not using the breath correct while singing.

From other threads I am reading that the vocal folds are basicly used like an air valve holding the air back. The note is produced by the tension of the cords and basic configuration while the air is passing through the cords.

I have been told that I am still pushing from the throat instead of using my diaphragm to fuel my voice.

Does anyone know what the heck I am talking about or how to help. Or am I still way off base.

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mdew, I absolutely think that to address this, you need a coach/teacher to help you.

Its the exact kind of thing that, if you dont learn properly, will only make everything much more difficult.

Answerign your question. Support is basicly the control of the exhalation process in order to sing more efficiently.

The support technique I know, is a collection of concepts that are trainned very well and then used to produce the singing voice. There are other implementations.

All of them are trainning methods and resources, not a simple procedure that I can tell you to do, and then suddenly make you support your voice.

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Thank you both.

Reading books and watching all the videos makes things look easy (I do not mean no effort) and natural.

If I don't understand it by now I need physical contact with a teacher.

I tend the ask the harder questions to answer because I have been singing for so long the wrong way.

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I believe that I have trained myself out of using support from being told growing up to be quiet. I grew up around a large group of relatives. 4 sometimes 5 families of cousins as next door neighbors. There could be 20 kids or more in the same room at any given time. We got loud. I taught myself to be quiet enough so only the person I was talking to could here me. Even now if I do get into a heated debate people think that I am getting too worked up because I get loud enough for others to hear me.

I can get loud. I need a place to practice and train where it is OK to get loud. When I speak it is low under the breath kind of sound. No mids an no highs (using an EQ as a metafor).

....Just doing a little self counselling....

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I have been reminding myself to use necessary twang while speaking. I'll just have to tell the family I'm not mad at anyone but I am going to lock myself in the bedroom and scream my fool head off for a while.

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just remember keep the screaming up and out of the throat and support the sound.

try these. they will keep you safe by preventing glottal shocks and lifting you out and off the throat...

sing "hung" then without stopping, move to a nice mid vowel like "oh" or "ah." sense where the hung is produced.

if done correctly, pinching the nose will stop you from doing the "ng" but not the "oh" or "ah." focus the tone for "oh" and "ah" where you produced "ng."

when to transition to "oh" and "ah" you'll feel a nice release...just let it out free and easy.

hope i've helped. bob

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I am starting to understand that I have core(initial) problems that need to be delt with before moving on.

I can also understand how hard it can be to give general advice for something as individually specific as problems with voice. I may have trained myself to go quiet and unassuming to deal with my situation but someone else may have trained themselves to go brassy,loud and shrill to be heard above the din. And that would take a totally different approach to iron out the wrinkles.

Thank you all for your input.

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Hey mdew do this lie on the ground put a book on your stomach. Breathe in make the book rise. Now on the exhale make a shhh sound really hard and loud but at the same time dont let the book fall try and hold it up.

Sounds easy its very difficult and you will notice your lower back muscles aengage to do this. You can also stand up and put your back to a wall and make it flat no arch and breathe in belly goes out exhale keeping the stomach and sides expanding not deflating and you will feel the lower back push even more into the wall.

you need a teacher but try these things

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Hey MDEW,

I would get away from the notion of "incorrect" vs "correct". I think of it more in terms of figuring out what job I need to do and using the right tools for the job.

First of all, lets take a look at our toolbox. The diaphragm isn't really a part of it. The diaphragm is used for inhalation, not exhalation. There are however muscles in your core (near the diaphragm) that can help control exhalation. The best way I've found to engage these it to push the muscles below your ribcage (above and to the sides of your abdomen) outwards. You can also get some extra help by doing the same for the muscles below your ribcage in your lower back.

You can also support using muscles in your upper back as well. One way I've found to engage these is to take my arms and pretend like I'm hugging a very large tree. And you can support using your neck. Try and create a slight amount of tension right around your occipital groove.

Danielformica's suggestion with the book is great way to get familiar with several of these muscle groups.

Now, what do we need our tools If you're going to sing below your passaggio and at relatively moderate volumes, you probably don't need much if any help from these muscles. This is all low effort singing, really comparable to speech.

Singing above your break and/or at louder volumes will require you to start engaging these muscles if you really want to sound good. Generally above my passaggio I'm at least using the core muscles most of the time. When I get to really tough spots or really want to get a loud volume, I'll start to use the lower back as well and maybe the upper back muscles as well for some really tough spots. If I'm going to belt, I engage all of these muscle groups and use as much of my body as I possibly can to help resist the air.

As other have said, if you really want to master this, I would invest in a teacher or at least a book that explains it well. I can personally recommend Gillyanne Kayes' book Singing And The Actor, as it has some wonderful material on this and on many many other subjects. The book not only has some great diagrams but also some very practical exercises.

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