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johndavis
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Yes, what Geno said, and there is no such word in singing as " probation ".. I think you misheard or miswrote what you heard. It was probably the word " phonation ", which is vocalizing / creating sounds on the v.cords / folds. This is what makes us "SING" opposed to just "TALKING"... that's all it means basically.. just a term used to describe it.

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If you're looking to achieve a light mass, don't push! You could start the tone with a bit of vocal fry but personally I don't find this all that helpful but might work for you. Just think light and it will possibly be quieter. Light mass phonations are used in singing to stop from pushing and grinding through the passagio.

Good phonation is neither pressed or breathy, a clear healthy tone. I wrote a blog post on this which might help ....

<a href="http://singersvoice.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/a-good-tone-for-singing/">a good tone for singing</a>

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