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Discovering Natural Grit/Rasp

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Hey all, my voice is ridiculously clean, even as a child I had a very "pure voice" with no grit or rasp in it whatsover. Interestingly enough now that I'm older I have still maintained that cleaness of tone... even in low bass notes my voice has no trace of fry or roughness whatsoever. I can do staccato exercises in both the lower and higher register and I still do not feel any grit, I just hear a "click".

I'm not saying that I do not have grit in my voice, its just very hard to find, my cords respond to the slightest movement of air and the tone is produced, I cannot seem to intentionally find the grit.

How would someone with a pure tone naturally find grit in the voice? (Also I am not talking about false fold grit, I am talking about the true folds). If I force the grit, it feels like the cords are grinding together, which is no good!

How can I learn to achieve grit without hurting my voice?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUiklR-yiAU

I want to be able to switch from a pure tone to a gritty tone and back to emphasize what I am feeling. Any advice/help would be appreciated! I literally have no fry in the voice, maybe I am not relaxed enough or the airspeed is too fast idk :/ It sometimes occurs randomly and bridges my registers, but I feel like I have no control over this sensation. But I don't plan on giving up anytime soon.

Note: I have a chesty/pharnygeal speaking voice but my singing voice is very heady, so you can see why I want that chesty growl in some of my notes. Grrrr.

- JayMC

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jay, i'm assuming you're just starting out (correct me if i'm wrong) instead of worrying about all of this, why don't you simply get started with the basic exercises to develop your voice.

what good is learning all of this, if you haven't even learned how to breathe and sustain tone?

sounds like you want to run before you can walk?

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I agree videohere, but when I first went to a vocal coach he started of doing some light fry exercises, which I could not do lol! I hear the fry randomly when I am trying to connect and it really helps thin the sound but I have no control over this sensation. I was hoping someone could explain how to naturally find that "fry" sound.

Through a small cuperto perhaps on the ouu vowel?

- JayMC

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I also have a clean voice. I don't really have any grit or rasp and have learned that I am not interested in having any. I can achieve a rattle, however, way up in the tract, nowhere near the true folds. And usually on my higher notes. Usually by relaxing.

Others achieve astonishing things with what their voice can do.

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That guy in the clip actually sounds like he's using the false folds. But regardless of what he's using, sounds like these come from a slight overcompression in isolated areas of the throat, in addition to balanced air pressure and the release of throat muscles that don't need to be involved. "Thinking" of the sound you want instead of thinking too much what to DO to create such a sound can go a long way in getting all those elements right. You need to intensify your emotion until a slight rasp happens and then back off bit to relax your throat but still keep a bit of rasp. Take breaks and don't overdo it. Remember that your throat shouldn't hurt. Also, I suggest that you see a vocal coach that has a good reputation for teaching these types of vocals, or get a vocal program from one of them. Finally, posting an audio clip of yourself trying these sounds would be great help for us to help you, even though you can't do it 100% yet. Cheers.

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Hey all, I recently learned false fold growl just by watching mariah carey but I've decided not to pursue it any further until my main training is complete. The false fold growl is useless by itself to a singer, its actually an in-built survival mechanism to scare of predators its that "uuuugh" sound u make when you are extremely discontent. If you combine that with your actual singing (true folds) you get the vocal growl effect. The true fold growl is what Danielformica and videohere have been explaining, it's extremely relaxed and is supposed to be gentle on the throat, if you do it right. I'm going to take a few days off just stay hydrated and slowly attempt the "rattle" on top of my main training. Thanks for your help guys!

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Don't be too quick to assume these things about the false and true folds, JayMC. It's VERY common that vocal students THINK they're doing one thing but are in fact doing something else entirely. But the important thing is that you seem to know the direction you want to take with your training. Cool.

Also - learning false fold growls from watching Mariah Carey - that's a first I've heard that, lol :) . I've heard people learning it from rock bands ... so this was a bit of a surprise :) . Cheers.

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I use a lot of grit and rasp when I sing. But a good deal of the songs I prefer singing are made for that or contain it in the original. Mostly blues and R&B. But here's the thing, and I have mentioned this before about how I trained myself unknowingly over the years. My wife says I'm nosy because I am always looking at people and watching them. Sometimes while watching TV I'll say look how odd this guy's walk is. She says..."who the heck notices stuff like that?" I do! When we go out to eat she laughs because she sees me watching everyone. But I study people and I do it because I have always been a ball buster and a joker. So I watch and I learn. I learn how to imitate people (so I can make fun of them :D ). But in doing that I also try to copy and mimic sounds and voices. Animals, humans and other sounds.

Singing fell into a similar path. I tried to mimic what I heard and imitate singers and their sounds. It doesn't always work perfectly but it has helped alot. I still do it. It's how I learn some things.

Probably not helpful :D But I do believe strongly in mimicking.

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I think it takes time to develop the sensitivity to know which folds you are using. I've just found that to create the "growl" effect you hear sometimes (Chrstina Agulera, Mariah Carey, Aretha franklin) the pressure is not on the true folds (used for singing). Also, the falsefold screaming tends to use the digrastic muscles at first, so ironically you need to dampen the larynx and fully relax everything else, otherwise you're screwed :P

@1:17 you'll hear the GROWL and the other girl will do the same thing in her intro. It's very fun if you can do it right, and do not let the larynx shoot up :P Again, I must resist from doing this until my pillars training is complete.

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The cvt book covers the effect you hear in your link, Jay - the one that many female r&b singers use. Personally, I dislike the effect a bit because it has always sounded slightly "fake" to me - like a soft poppy girl trying to be "hard and mean" rocker but she really isn't. Just my opinion. The distortion that's more common in rock, metal and soul is something that I think it much more cool. If you're training with Robert, he can teach you that. And I don't care too much for death metal grunts/rasp.

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I use a lot of grit and rasp when I sing. But a good deal of the songs I prefer singing are made for that or contain it in the original. Mostly blues and R&B. But here's the thing, and I have mentioned this before about how I trained myself unknowingly over the years. My wife says I'm nosy because I am always looking at people and watching them. Sometimes while watching TV I'll say look how odd this guy's walk is. She says..."who the heck notices stuff like that?" I do! When we go out to eat she laughs because she sees me watching everyone. But I study people and I do it because I have always been a ball buster and a joker. So I watch and I learn. I learn how to imitate people (so I can make fun of them :D ). But in doing that I also try to copy and mimic sounds and voices. Animals, humans and other sounds.

Singing fell into a similar path. I tried to mimic what I heard and imitate singers and their sounds. It doesn't always work perfectly but it has helped alot. I still do it. It's how I learn some things.

Probably not helpful :D But I do believe strongly in mimicking.

I tried to start a thread once about charactor voices and how they may or may not relate to singing. It didn't fly though. I got the speech about not trying to imitate other singers.

I do agree that you should find your own voice and not just be a carbon copy of someone else but mimicking is a part of expierimenting. How we find different effects to add to our performance.

Most of the time when you are trying to mimic someones voice the key is in their facial expression and posture. If they hold their mouth in a certain way or lift their eyebrows you must do that also to capture their voice. The same with posture. You cannot sing like Elvis Presley without making your lip do that thing that it does. It is part of his anchoring mechanism.

With vocal fry imitate Elmer Fudd.

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I tried to start a thread once about charactor voices and how they may or may not relate to singing. It didn't fly though. I got the speech about not trying to imitate other singers.

I do agree that you should find your own voice and not just be a carbon copy of someone else but mimicking is a part of expierimenting. How we find different effects to add to our performance.

Most of the time when you are trying to mimic someones voice the key is in their facial expression and posture. If they hold their mouth in a certain way or lift their eyebrows you must do that also to capture their voice. The same with posture. You cannot sing like Elvis Presley without making your lip do that thing that it does. It is part of his anchoring mechanism.

With vocal fry imitate Elmer Fudd.

I absolutely agree about not imitating and sounding like yourself and I always try to do my own take on songs (as best I can using a backing track).

I'm not saying to try and sound like someone. However I am saying that mimicking helps (imo) to learn sounds and techniques.

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I also agree. The mimicking is only to help learn how to do the effects and apply what works and what doesn't to our voice and our style. It is a tool just like "Witches voice" or "Meow" to help us find Twang. As with anything if it hurts don't do it.

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