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Air support question

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gilad
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Hey Guys.

I have a little issue that has been bothering me for ages. When I get to the high notes, if I sing in a mellow volume, at some point, my voice just stops which cause me to try it again this time with pushing more air. It feels as if its not supposed to be like that. It can also be that my vocal folds are not closing like they should, and leave a little gap, meaning I need to push more air to get the sound. Its a frustrating issue that I would really really like to resolve.

I looked up on youtube to see if there is any example of singers without breath support, so I see how it sounds like. Maybe that is my issue... Couldn't find a single one..

Would love to hear your thoughts about this.

Thanks

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it would help to hear what you're singing, but singing high with little support and minimal fold adduction generally produces a heady, falsettoey sound.

you need a balance of support with the correct amount of vocal fold adduction. it might help to focus on exercises that strengthen the musculature that holds the folds together so that you will be able to lean on them more and have them stay adducted under varying degrees of air pressure.

keeping vocal folds lightly adducted (but aligned and closed) up high is tricky.

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hey gilad heres a video of a teacher that talks about support in the high voice. When I found this i had an " Aha moment). Because this is the way i have always explained it to my advanced students. You dont push the high voice you come from the place of falsetto but not falsetto and then expand your stomach and back , not push. In other words I drop my fullvoice in the position of falsetto. This is how I explained it for years. I will post the video and then his translation so you can see how he thinks of it the same way. Any way this guy is in his 90's and sings like a Mother f*****.

. The teacher says: " When you sing a high note, you have to think about falsetto. But not to sing in falsetto. Thinking about falsetto helps you sing without pushing your voice with your mouth, throat or breath. The more your note is high, the less you have to push to sing it. You don't have to push your voice, you have to use your mouth to support your acute. Dont' move your diaphragm, just try to expand it.

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A good rule of thumb is that higher notes require more air pressure and LESS airflow.

I disagree, you need more airflow, but that airflow needs to be recycled back down into the vocal tract. This feels like what you suggest, but it isn't. The air is creating a nearly closed loop of airflow where little of it escapes but much is needed to drive the vocal folds. It takes a lot of resistance. What I feel is the airflow attacking my vocal folds from the bottom and top and "squeezing them" so that the mass that needs to be moving can stay stabilized and vibrate faster. This way gives the vocal folds less room to vibrate and facilitates the fast movement of the cycle rate.

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it would help to hear what you're singing, but singing high with little support and minimal fold adduction generally produces a heady, falsettoey sound.

you need a balance of support with the correct amount of vocal fold adduction. it might help to focus on exercises that strengthen the musculature that holds the folds together so that you will be able to lean on them more and have them stay adducted under varying degrees of air pressure.

keeping vocal folds lightly adducted (but aligned and closed) up high is tricky.

Hey Bob.

Its the middle of the night here right now, so I can't get a recording done now, but.. When I say the note stops, i mean all that comes out is air, no voice. Its not that I have no air, and therefore no note, its just no note. That is what is odd...

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hey gilad heres a video of a teacher that talks about support in the high voice. When I found this i had an " Aha moment). Because this is the way i have always explained it to my advanced students. You dont push the high voice you come from the place of falsetto but not falsetto and then expand your stomach and back , not push. In other words I drop my fullvoice in the position of falsetto. This is how I explained it for years. I will post the video and then his translation so you can see how he thinks of it the same way. Any way this guy is in his 90's and sings like a Mother f*****.

. The teacher says: " When you sing a high note, you have to think about falsetto. But not to sing in falsetto. Thinking about falsetto helps you sing without pushing your voice with your mouth, throat or breath. The more your note is high, the less you have to push to sing it. You don't have to push your voice, you have to use your mouth to support your acute. Dont' move your diaphragm, just try to expand it.

Daniel,

Thanks. Great video. Still, I don't think that this will help me with the issue I am having. I will give it a go though.

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Daniel awesome video.

I would like to add one small detail to it: This requires precision, its not just supporting, or reducing the air flow, or going after one vowel sound or posture.

If you send it just one small bit too forward, it will splat open into falsetto, if you go just one bit more covered than you should, your voice will just fall back or become airy. If you support too much, the pressure is not enough to sustain phonation, too little, and it will also become airy or you will shout. Too much support pressure will make you strain to control it, too little, and you will not have the means to control it with the quality you need.

If any of the vectors you need to control are not well developed, it will not work. If emission is not well ajusted, it will not work. If you dont trust what you are doing, it will not work. If you keep changing the approaches without having certain of what you really need to do, it will not work. When you have all the previous things going, then it will be hard, but possible.

This problem is too complex to be adressed directly, it needs to be divided into very small fragments and solved one at a time without loosing sight of the whole. Before an audition to understand what is being done, how the voice is centered at the present, how do you know what needs to be done?

Support for example is just control of your breath. You can breath, and Im sure that you have control over it, so what is wrong with it? How can you know that the problem is on support and not something that you are doing with your voice on the passagio? You see, you cant command it to change and at the same time expect it to not change, it will create a tension between the too intentions, and either air or a break will take place.

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Hey, while a few of you smart folks are in the same place...

Do you put a little effort into expanding your stomach and back at the beginning of the phrase, when everything is easy breezy and it's kind of expanded naturally, or do you stay really relaxed until the temptation to let them deflate begins to set in and then resist that temptation?

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I support literally everything, I cant even sing without it anymore.

For phrases that have more difficulty, its wise to prepare for it before beginning to inhale, to assure that you will have enough pressure to execute it. I think of the point where there is more demand, which may be a note in low dynamics, not necessarily high, and inhale thinking of on it.

If its a particulary difficult phrasing, with short breath pauses, it is also wise to not let the postures dismantle between inhales. Both on support and the vocal tract.

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Hey, while a few of you smart folks are in the same place...

Do you put a little effort into expanding your stomach and back at the beginning of the phrase, when everything is easy breezy and it's kind of expanded naturally, or do you stay really relaxed until the temptation to let them deflate begins to set in and then resist that temptation?

raphaels: The former. The sense of retaining expansion is needed all the time. If beginning a long phrase, I have inhaled a substantial amount of air, and the stretch in me wants to blow it all out. Staying expanded at onset is vital.

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I disagree, you need more airflow, but that airflow needs to be recycled back down into the vocal tract. This feels like what you suggest, but it isn't. The air is creating a nearly closed loop of airflow where little of it escapes but much is needed to drive the vocal folds. It takes a lot of resistance. What I feel is the airflow attacking my vocal folds from the bottom and top and "squeezing them" so that the mass that needs to be moving can stay stabilized and vibrate faster. This way gives the vocal folds less room to vibrate and facilitates the fast movement of the cycle rate.

Adveser: Your response prompts a couple questions:

By what mechanism would the air be 'recycled back down into the vocal tract' ?

and

What specifically causes the vocal folds to have 'less room to vibrate"?

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Adveser: Your response prompts a couple questions:

By what mechanism would the air be 'recycled back down into the vocal tract' ?

and

What specifically causes the vocal folds to have 'less room to vibrate"?

I use the air support system to fill my head with air and apply more to push down on the vocal folds. Air pressure from the diaphragm is where all this comes from. If I were to close mouth my cheeks would quickly fill up with air. Sound waves are going to Reflect and Refract throughout the whole vocal trct and it's probably a combination of air and acoustic pressure much like how a subwoofer will throw air at you just from sufficient acoustic pressure. The combination of air and acoustical pressure is how to keep the airflow moving at the right rate in both directions. This has an effect on the bias of the signal. My lows generally have higher peaks on the negative cycle and the highs are biased positively.

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I think adveser is actually talking about inertive reactance. In simpler terms, resonance. And how it increases supraglottal pressure (I think?)

Yeah, but it sounds cooler when you say it.

:lol:

I never thought of it as back pressure, so to speak. I think of it as the resonance being right, providing adequate volume, and biofeedback to the body to regulate breath support actions.

So, let me repeat my ignorant redneck mantra.

Motion, when necessary, in the abs. Note in the head. Nothing in the throat, ever, and amen.

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I use the air support system to fill my head with air and apply more to push down on the vocal folds. Air pressure from the diaphragm is where all this comes from. If I were to close mouth my cheeks would quickly fill up with air. Sound waves are going to Reflect and Refract throughout the whole vocal trct and it's probably a combination of air and acoustic pressure much like how a subwoofer will throw air at you just from sufficient acoustic pressure. The combination of air and acoustical pressure is how to keep the airflow moving at the right rate in both directions. This has an effect on the bias of the signal. My lows generally have higher peaks on the negative cycle and the highs are biased positively.

Adveser: From a physics and physiology standpoint, the 'acoustic pressure' part of this is perfectly reasonable, but the downward 'airflow' part is not. During singing, the airflow is only upward and outward from the vocal tract. There is reflection of the pressure waves back into the vocal tract, but not airflow.

That said, as a mental image, the idea that the airflow can be imagined to be inward is a common way to keep from pushing.

I hope this is helpful.

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Thanks for the help Steven.

I think the problem with trying to describe it this way is that the amount is very tiny and is just working as a bias or offset for the acoustic pressure. It would be not be inaccurate to say that a speaker grille regulates the reverse flow of the air movement back into the speaker, but considering how small the excursion of air pressure would be on a mid range driver combined with the acoustical pressure, it would rarely be thought of as a component that has this effect. Maybe that explains things better. We're not exactly dealing with things that have anywhere close to equal magnitudes.

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