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Basics/Fundamentals

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MDEW
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I have seen a lot of threads where someone is suggesting an exercise and then we have warnings to have basics and fundamentals in place first. This is great advice except for the fact that some of us get ideas on the basics from less than reputable sources. ( I admit that I am one )

Yes this should be a no brainer and common sence should win out. But, Common sence is not so common any more.

Concepts like support,placement, open throat and resonance are all well and good but we each have our own idea of what these things mean and how to achieve them.

I also know that we have been over all of these things before. We still end up with some misunderstandings.

In your words what do you feel is the basics and what advice do you have for keeping the basics inplace? And if you have a better question to be asked inform us of the proper question to be answered.

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This is what I mean by "steps you take to achieve the basics". Not just "breath management", "Placement".....

The actual steps. The posture or "Figure" some type of explaination. It's no so easy a question to answer and that is the point. Your idea of what Breath managment is and your idea of how to achieve it.

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mdew, it depends on the course of action.

For classical technique, and the use of resonance and references of chest and head: relaxation, breathing, support and emission are crucial.

The very basic step is definning a low and controlled breathing pattern, and getting at least one vowel, on a comfortable pitch, correctly produced on a release coordination, well timed with the inhaling, well ajusted, open and defined. And then it depends, but probably strenght building while consolidating this.

If the person already sings, a work in parallel on the repertoire, trying to make things more comfortable, but never going into resonance before this. I will try to follow with a video.

At least one easy, simple song, working nice, to me is what mark the end of a "basic" work on any voice. And even after that, if things start to look advanced its a sign that its going too fast. Maybe "emission" work is a better way to say it, a sign that the work can be more directed to resonance without laying havoc to the underlying coordination.

Until then, I think its wise to keep away from registration and other concepts that requires that emission is solid in the first place. Emission ajustment is a resumed way to say it.

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i'm trying to figure out why after all this time you don't have a basic understanding yourself...i'm not trying to be a wise ass, but what are the basics...you know what the basics are, right?

or am i missing something?

It is not that I don't think that I have a basic understanding. It is because when an excercise is given or a new post about resonance or support or almost any thing. We get a statement "be sure to have basics in place or all will fall apart". It must be felt that there is someone who does not have a notion of the basics.

I am not trying to be a wise ass either. It is not just for me it is for anyone.

This statement was not from anyone in particular. A lot of different people have said it.

Plus the fact that even in this post people have said that it depends on what your goals are or what type of singing. Basics are basics regardless of what genre. Or are they not?

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Breath (low) support the sound, project the sound.

Technically when support is perfect closure no longer becomes an issue but getting to that point may not be easy. I think I mentioned that support is complete control over the column of air directly beneath the larynx.

Think about how big your support muscles are in comparison to the vocal cords. This is why people struggle with support.

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It is not that I don't think that I have a basic understanding. It is because when an excercise is given or a new post about resonance or support or almost any thing. We get a statement "be sure to have basics in place or all will fall apart". It must be felt that there is someone who does not have a notion of the basics.

I am not trying to be a wise ass either. It is not just for me it is for anyone.

This statement was not from anyone in particular. A lot of different people have said it.

Plus the fact that even in this post people have said that it depends on what your goals are or what type of singing. Basics are basics regardless of what genre. Or are they not?

ah, i see. okay, then i would have to go with these:

to me the absolute basic would be the right mental mindset!

assuming that's in place, the absolute "have to get it" core competency to sing well would be the management of the breath....meaning

the proper inhale, the proper exhale for singing.

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In my opinion that's kind of a myth. A lot of different genres need different coordinations.

If basics are different between genres then there is a further need for a thread such as this, with perhaps the reason for the difference.

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Because of the different coordinations.

That's too easy an answer. That doesn't have any explaination in it.

Ex. Because Opera is so demanding and you have to be heard above the orchestra support would be a basic necessity we work on it this way because.......... and we use a more open throat position........ That is why we train our basic support this way.

Folk music tends to more laid back and less demanding so a "Basic coordination" may not have to have support at it's base so it's basic training concept may lean towards diction and vowel placement..

Rock tenor training may have Twang at it's core because of its high chesty ideal... We work it this way because......

And if all of this is nonsence, then the basics are basics to all.

The reason behind this is not for people who have trained with Maestro Whoever or are in their second year of a Masters in voice teaching. It's for the guy or girl who writes in and says " I kinda sound OK up until I reach D4. What's wrong" Answer "Get your Basics in place first"........ " ah, OK,....... ah....What do you mean by basics?"

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Granted, I am just an amateur. I am a caveman electrician. Years ago, your scientists thawed me out of a glacier (ripping off the "caveman lawyer" skit from SNL, back when Phil Hartman was still alive).

let the breath in. Control the exhale, which can be dynamic, as in agile, and mobile, not just one set position.

Resonation happens in the pharynx first, aided by some of smaller spaces in the sinus cavity.

Have a relatively stable but not rigid larynx and do not "force" the folds to do anything.

But simplified enough for a redneck to understand:

Motion, when necessary, in the abs.

Note in the head.

Nothing in the throat. Ever. Amen.

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Im not sure what to think...

I use the same principle to everything, but genres need to be worked individually too because, well, they are different... And it results in differences on how support is used too... But there isnt really a trainning towards this besides practical application to sing. Not even on vocalizes.

Those strategies vary too much between each other or is it more based on the dynamics? More or less pressure, more or less oposition?

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I disagree MDEW... how do you explain people that can sing for a minute straight without taking a breath while maintaining the quality and dynamics of their voice. This is why you can spend years training breath support and still find newer better ways to do it :/

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I think I'm falling into the same trap that we all end up in. How does taking in enough breath to cover the phrase and intencity not cover singing for a minute strait and keeping quality. The controlling the exhale was not mentioned but I thought it was an understood ingredient.

I can definately be way off base. I learn more and more about my flawed logic in every post.

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In an excerpt written by Gigili (he's an old school tenor who could transition well) he said this about breath support.

As soon as I commence to sing I forget all about the diaphragm and ribs, all about the breathing machinery and its action, and sing on the air accumulated right underneath the larynx.

Whenever I feel confused about breath support I go back to this quote. Why? If you have ever seen breath in the cold season you will notice something funny we use SO MUCH of it just to breath. This MUCH air cannot lean upon the vocal cords which are about a finger-nails length. This concept is helping me grasp breath support a lot better and helping me to stop throwing air at the note. Instead I try to let air seep into the note while maintaining the quality of a loud resonant phonation.

Keep in mind I am no pro but this air below the larynx concept really helped me, my entire body is being used to control that noble stream of breath pressure.

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yes, air pressure is applied to the vocal folds. it's your support that turns plowing into them or slamming them with pressure into a controlled application of breath pressure.

that's why singers say it can feel as if the air is being held back.

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I disagree MDEW... how do you explain people that can sing for a minute straight without taking a breath while maintaining the quality and dynamics of their voice. This is why you can spend years training breath support and still find newer better ways to do it :/

Maybe you misunderstood M. And I think it would be neat to hear you upload a sample.

Figuring that is not going to happen, I will upload one. I have a really long note at the end of this song. I was showing off, which I think, distracts from the song but I keep it to remind myself to not show off, just for the purpose of showing off. I don't know how long the note is but this was NOT on a full draw of air. This is what it means to control the expiration and resonate the note so that you don't overblow. It sounds really loud but the volume is from resonating like a madman.

Please excuse the recording quality, I stink at recording.

"Live Like You were Dying" by Tim McGraw

http://www.box.com/s/bbcfd8fba3d50f25d35f

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