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D.Starr
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Think I have a cord closure issue. Whenever producing a sound above C4 I feel as if I can hear either a buzz or a hiss coming from my cords.

Not really sure what it is. Wondered if anyone knew anything. Tried recording it but it isn't audible.

To be honest my voice just feels like it's falling apart. No matter how much I train it, how many vowels or exercises I go over, I seem to make no progress. I know progress isn't instant but I see none at all.

These past few days I've began to think that I should just give up on singing. I really enjoy singing and music in general but I want to progress and reach those higher notes. I stuck at D4/E4, I know this is the common area for all males but going over exercise after exercise seems to be doing nothing.

I crack, break, squeal, everything. It could be down to cord closure because I can't escape falsetto. I detest it. I have multiple training programs from SLS, singing for the stars, Pillars, a few random videos from Youtube.

It's really getting me down.

I know there is no magical exercise that will suddenly help me sing better but there has to be something.

I could mum mum mum all day long and not get past C4. Yeah that's fine and stick with that until I CAN get past it, but it is really tearing my cords and my mentality apart.

Mum, Maw, Buh, Aw, La, Nay, Nuh. Nothing is helping.

I know I can consistently pull chest, flip into falsetto, break, squeeze, everything except stay connected.

I have singing lessons every week but a lately I've had to cut down on them because of money problems.

I sit there sometimes and just wonder if I am cut not for singing, vocally. Not to sound too big headed but I have a great voice. I need to conquer this area.

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Say What???

Is this you? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNuiUlvWHxA if so, then hell no, dont quit!! Youve got a nice commercial voice bro!! Keep it up. I am getting frustrated at times too, but I can't consider myself ever quitting singing... Its in my bloood, and from what I hear, its in yours too!!! :cool:

Regarding the air.. I too up in my high range, get some hiss. I tried vocal closure exercises but it doesnt work. Worst, I cant do light mass phonations. (Vocal fry). Maybe early early in the morning, but then it disappears within a minute or two. I am 100% certain that if I was able to do vocal fry, I would get somewhere. In order for me to sing high notes, I need to use a lot more air as if I throttle back on the air, It goes from tone, and all of a sudden dead stop to a hiss until i put the pressure back up and again the tone comes. Like my folds just don't want to close....

Is that the same as you are having dstar?

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Say What???

Is this you? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNuiUlvWHxA if so, then hell no, dont quit!! Youve got a nice commercial voice bro!! Keep it up. I am getting frustrated at times too, but I can't consider myself ever quitting singing... Its in my bloood, and from what I hear, its in yours too!!! :cool:

Regarding the air.. I too up in my high range, get some hiss. I tried vocal closure exercises but it doesnt work. Worst, I cant do light mass phonations. (Vocal fry). Maybe early early in the morning, but then it disappears within a minute or two. I am 100% certain that if I was able to do vocal fry, I would get somewhere. In order for me to sing high notes, I need to use a lot more air as if I throttle back on the air, It goes from tone, and all of a sudden dead stop to a hiss until i put the pressure back up and again the tone comes. Like my folds just don't want to close....

Is that the same as you are having dstar?

Yeah that's me :)

I can vocal fry all the live long day, disappears sometimes on the lower notes. Yeah I use a lot of air on the higher notes too, trying to pull back on the air just messes me up completely. There's a song I've recorded and hopefully trying to get on radio where I sing up to F#4, it sounds good on the recording but it feels like it's at the height of my singing voice but I know I can easily reach A4,B4,C5 and higher. I can feel it in my "soul". I can sit hear and record a may scale and easily wail it out, but pulling back on it just isn't working out. I flop. Hard. Feels as if the cords are grating together.

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Hey D. Starr,

I remember once you wrote that you were sticking your jaw out a little when you sang. For me, the difference between the right jaw position and something slightly off-kilter is literally imperceptible in the mirror (meaning none of my teachers spotted it either). When I started retracting my jaw just the TINIEST bit - barely engaging the muscles with which I pull it back - I had a big "ah-ha" moment.

To get that gentle retracted feeling, try acting like you were about to mock one of your friends by repeating what they just said in kind of a "der der der" village idiot voice. Not sure if that even makes sense... hopefully you guys across the pond are as mean to your friends as we are over here in the states. :)

Disclaimer: you've had better teachers than I have, so this may be useless info to you. Just figured I'd throw it out there.

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D - you've got a great voice indeed. The most important aspect of singing is phrasing - rhythm - style. You've got that part down. You've got your own style and identity and you've mastered rhythm. At that point range doesn't matter at all. To me, you are already an artist - at a "pro" level.

That being said - I know how you feel about range. I felt the same way. You want your cake and you want to eat it too. And you CAN! If you're stuck at E4 - no matter how much you try to "lighten" up and "relax" you're not going to get it until you learn to modify your vowels.

I did not learn how to break through the passagio by "lightening up". I learned by modifying - and it didn't matter how loud or soft - just that I got the vowel mods right.

And when you are gaining range you are also gaining strength. Too much practice can tear down the muscles your trying to build. So you have to METER your range extension exercises. Too much on one day can set you back two days, and so on.

You are definitely cut out for this. You can do it. I did it - you can too. It's like weight lifting. If your trying to bench 200lbs you can't practice 200lbs for an hour straight - you'll kill yourself.

And I also detest falsetto (I NEVER practice it)

Is your teacher teaching vowel modification?

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I'm still working on this but it takes time for the true head voice to occur I think Felipe mentioned that true head voice has no breaks into chest. Meaning try and solve your problem at the source! Try to get proper glottal closure at the larynx IN falsetto range.

It seems as simple as a koo-oo-oo or kee-ee-ee. But it takes time for that "skill" to develop and then it must have enough muscular dominance to subdue the power of your chest voice.

I too tried rushing this process but it really takes time. Imo if you try different glottal settups the hooty oos then hard Kooos you may find a better set-up.

I'm sure you could better exercises from other members of the forum but the whole development takes more focus and skill then one would think.

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I did not learn how to break through the passagio by "lightening up". I learned by modifying - and it didn't matter how loud or soft - just that I got the vowel mods right.

'cause vowels is formants, or at least lead to formants. I used to talk about lightening up but I was wrong, at least in how I expressed it. You can keep a solid sound, but you modify vowels and involvement of mass.

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Hey thanks for the response and support guys.

I truly can't give up on singing. I love music waaay too much.

Maybe I need to work on vowel modifications more. I had a session with Daniel Formica not long back and we we're going through AH to AW and I found it extremely hard to shift to the AW vowel. I don't really think too much into vowel modification and don't do it in my singing lessons. We focus on other techniques.

I think in terms of lightening the weight, I do it way too much to the point it breaks apart all the way through. I've tried to lean into the voice but I end up pushing. Think I have to focus on the CT/TA activity.

I just want to get away from pushing and clenching. Like I said, I can pretty much wail out a F4,G4,A4 with Pillars using the MEH/MAY configuration, but I'm an R&B singer and it requires a much more subtle approach.

I've tried to find curbing from CVT and obviously, it being the most difficult of the modes, is hard to grasp.

But no matter how much I practice MUM, NAY, NEH, BUH, NG, it either cracks, rattles my cords or grows into a squeezed, cackly sound.

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http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?pid=61192#p61192

d, read post #6

d, you are not supposed to sound good when you are doing voice building exercises!! "may" when done for this exercise is a well supported loud, strong, bratty, bright, sound....designed to help you build support and fold closing strength.

it can sound sound a little squeezed at first, but after a while it will get more open and more resonant.

it's the brightness and brattyness that helps grow the voice. if you are cracking, my guess is you probably have either too much jaw tension, or your tongue is not relaxed enough.

the tongue muscle is a big basterd and it directly affects the larynx...when it's stiff or uncontrolled it can shift the larynx out of proper alignment and stress it.

and again don't progressively lighten!!! if you want to start light and finish light that's one thing..but if you start strong end as strong.

thin, get into a narrow vowel and let it send you up.....don't lighten up!!!...don't let off the support or you're dead in the water for sure.

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"It could be down to cord closure because I can't escape falsetto"

You're probably going into falsetto because of all of the teachers who think "head voice" is a thing that will help you to sing high notes. It isn't. Singing high notes is way more like "pulling chest" than it is like the "flipping" that people start off doing.

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Seriously, though, I understand the frustration and all the emotional stuff. Some of us figure out singing a lot slower than others. I've taken years to improve and I'm still not that great. I had my days where I "gave up". It's ok to feel that way. Maybe try "giving up" for a couple of days, then you'll probably be in a better place emotionally when you return to it.

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D - Here's an example of going into Curbing - Check at 00:10 -> E4 - G4 in a kind of overdrive then I go into Curbing on A4 so that I can slide up to D2. Hear how the vowel shifts right at A4? I had to shift into that vowel shade to slide above C5.

https://www.box.com/s/drgnpablzzl63nccrqg0

Or check out my demo of the Chest to Head octaves - these are great exercises to do for extending range:

https://www.box.com/s/7144gks2c324iilndkul

Just concentrate on the vowel shading - you've got to listen very carefully and try to mimic the exact shading. Once you get the vowel right you'll be able to do this - but you need a lot of support. Just do a little every day - do not overdo it or it will set you back. Just do it up to E4 every day for a week. Then, if you feel pretty strong, go up to F4. And so on. Remember - lots of support. Don't worry if it's loud at first. You'll bring that under control later.

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Geno, Geno, Geno. You have some voice dude! :) Always love hear it.

How did you record the vocals in Dust in the wind, was it in a recording studio, home studio, and what were the effects doing? Compressor, Noise gate, Reverb? or Raw?

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gilad - Thanks a lot! - I just re-recorded Dust in the wind a couple weeks ago - full version on my soundclick page. Like all of my projects (except the "vannelli mix"), it was recorded in my home. I've got a KSM22 Sure mic. I go straight into Sonar X2 (on a laptop) through a line6 UX2 - so no fancy pre-amp - just the raw signal. From there, I use Sonar's VX64 vocal processor with a little compression and EQ. I'm sending to a Convolution Reverb using an impulse which I like for ballads. I also use a Reflexion filter as opposed to a vocal booth.

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geno,

i loved your exercise example.....i'll bet there are some folks on here saying to themselves "wow! that's really loud. how the hell am i ever going to do that"...lol!!!

but it's so much needed so people can hear some examples of what it takes to build a voice.

i think i'm gonna join you with some myself as soon as i get another microphone for my pc.

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gilad - Reflexiion Filter -

This thing is really great for recording if you don't have a vocal booth. It's just as good. Not that rooms are bad, but rooms add color. I prefer to have the truest recording of my voice without color. I can then choose to add whatever room I want using convolution reverbs.

Bob - thanks - I agree it's good to hear examples. Now that I figured out box.net I'll do more, and look forward to hearing yours too!

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Hey guys, I want to start trying out some vowel modifications.

Any useful exercises? Vowels to modify? The basics?

May scale. I didn't intentionally lighten up, I just kept going. That's how my voice tends to sound the higher up I get. Tight and cackly. No EXTREME cracks or breaks, I did flip in a few places but I never intended to sing each note perfect. It's 22:30 GMT so I just sang it quickly.

https://www.box.com/s/x004bjn42n3qs0131vdw

This is what I sound like a long with music, it's rough, needs levels messing around with. Hopefully going on radio soon.

https://soundcloud.com/deffstarr/jordan-pass-supernova-rough

I think the fundamentals of me cracking and breaking is because I'm not leaning into my voice. I'm too light, when I should be light but still connected. That sentence made sense in my head. Light but adducted. Right?

I'll post some random clips of scales and me doing some random stuff. I can sing those high notes (self confidence has come back) I just need to work that memory in where I should be using x,y and z. I tend to sound creaky up top.

I CAN DO THIS!

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d, that's pretty close. but a simple 5 tone scale if you want to stay with it. again, it's not to sound good.

it's to teach you to lean in a little more without punching. no, don't think of modifying just sing it strong and loud and bratty.

(not everyone will condone this exercise.)

all i can say is it worked wonders for me. don't worry about going as high as possible for now. just get used to the compression and support it requires.

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Slides..Slides.....And more slides lol...D we have had a couple of skype convos and you have heard me sing a connected E5+ but I only learned to do that through slides. Before I would always break into head voice around Bb4, but now C5's+ is cake walk. Just keep practicing bro and if you need me hit me up on skype.

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D the last 2 you did in box were happening that's where your voice is right now don't go further work on those. When you were higher in the scales before it was a good path but you lost connection DONT DO SHIT. Leave it let it gain strength naturally. if you start pushing and gripping and twanging this and uhing that your gonna screw up yo shit.

I ain't lying take your time let it come gradually. That's how you build a voice properly don't be in such a rush. Some of the singers I know and work with barely get the g4 and in the same day are trying for the c5.that makes no sense.

Do what you did on all vowels/ consonants work them out then move on. As far as modifying goes just keep your mouth slightly narrow and not wide and they will fall into place. You have a great voice. Take your time you young whipper snapper:)

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AGREE with Daniel... beauty shouldn't be rushed. Being on the radio is great but if you feel you are not ready why rush? My first singing teacher said to be great you need a lot of discipline... she couldn't be more right.

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D - I agree with Daniel. You've got a great voice already. The song you recorded sounds really good. That's going on the radio? Keep us posted on that.

It seems like you already have a big range and that you are doing Head / Mix voice correctly. But you are experiencing slight glitches here and there. You sure can't tell on the song. Daniel is right - keep on working it and it will strengthen over time.

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