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CT/TA mumbo jumbo...and...Why is my Head Voice weak?

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gno
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WARNING - For those who don't like all this CT/TA talk - read no further!;)

I'm not a perfect singer by any stretch of the imagination. I have a lot to learn. I'm going to try and help those singers who've been asking the same questions about Head voice as me. I'm hoping this will help some singers reach a greater understanding of what's going on.

I know a lot of singers are trying to strengthen their "head voices". When you reach "head" it all of a sudden seems "easier" to go higher like you just crossed a "speed bump". You've correctly acheived head voice but your head voice isn't as strong as you would like it. And there still seems to be that "point" or "switch" at which you go from Chest to Head. That was me 2 years ago.

Here's a helpful diagram the way I see it:

Falsetto is the absence of any TA.

Head is CT dominance with some TA.

The "end goal" of many singers is to develop what I call the "Fully Connected Voice", where there are no real boundries around Chest and Head. It's all one continuum. How to acheive this? (in addition to getting a teacher) Concentrate on the right Vowel and think "lighter Mass" as you ascend. You need to lighten up on TA at an earlier point, and at the same time, keep it engaged at a latter point. The right Vowels will help. For example - you can't do this in Overdrive. And make sure you've got plenty of consistent support. It takes a fairly long time of regular practicing.

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Nice pic geno.. So you see you are never completely giving into a break like the first pic. And the vowel will take you to the right place as well as the intensity. If you lose all intensity it breaks if you have to much your pulling chest. That's the hard part. Nice pic geno.

This doesn't happen over night to those of you that will be trying the next few weeks or so. It's gonna take a while.

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Actually, it made perfect sense to me. And I don't reject the CT/TA talk. I may not use it much, especially if I think too many definitions are going to trip me up (jump on a horse and gallop in four different directions.)

I think you said it best in saying that you need to lighten earlier from so much TA involvement but keep some it going later.

And I think a number of people misunderstand me when I say lighten up. I don't lighten to sound like me. I mean light from the low end chest blast you are used to doing, especially in speech. You will make up for it with breath support and keeping a relatively good amount of closure and resonate those vowels. They really are nothing to be afraid of.

One voice, indeed.

And, if I may be so bold, why yes, I will go ahead be the bold simple guy that I am :rolleyes: there are some standard passaggi. And tenors are closer to it than baritones and basses. So, if anyone really needs to bridge early, it's tenors.

For we all bridge or mix or blend. And your explanation did not require anything to be weak.

Well done, twin brother from another mother from the great american midwest.

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Daniel - When you said you've got to keep "hanging on" to TA in an previous post I thought, I've got to make a diagram of this so people understand what you mean. There is a difference between Head and Falsetto

Ron - Precisely!

The whole "Bridge Early" or "Bridge Late" from Robert and Ken - they both mean the same thing. I think what Robert is saying that we need to lighten up on TA earlier, but he doesn't mean let go of TA completely. Ken says we need to bring Chest Voice Further into Head. He is saying keep TA engaged in head. They both are accomplishing the same objective, maybe in different ways. Robert is refering to the lower point, and Ken is refering to the higher point. It produces the same result. And Frisel's approach also accomplishes the same thing - starting with Falsetto and engaging TA on the way down.

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The problem here is saying "lightening" usually creates an interruption in the flow of the breathe. That's what I see when inexperienced singers attempt a scale

That's a great point. I don't want to mislead anyone. I found that I had to increase breath support to develop that transition. If I let go of the support, everything falls apart. At the same time, the mass of the TA has to start shrinking. But you can't "will" the muscle to decrease. I think this is why it is so tricky - you increase intensity, and back off of the mass. That's why the vowels are so important.

It is impossible to do this in Overdrive - those two vowels make the TA stay intense - and you have a road block at C5. You either have to use the typical Bel Canto Vowel Modifications (curbing), or go to CVT Neutral without mods.

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Thanks Geno. Although I knew exactly what everyone was writing about with "CT/TA switch" anytime someone would try to put it in words, The words would be challanged or misunderstood.

This same thing happens in a lot of threads. Putting concepts into words causes confusion even though it should make things clear. Pictures or sounds are better.

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so true fellas.....

(dan, geno is saying what i've been trying to convey...support is the key.)

i've been saying that all along...you don't lighten onto anything...you thin or better yet, you narrow. two entirely different things.

one voice. shift resonance, support mandatory. may, may, may may, may !!!...lol!!!!!

i finally feel like someone's on the support side.

lol!!!!

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Nice post and graph geno. :) I have a (hopefully quick) question about anatomy.

It is impossible to do this in Overdrive - those two vowels make the TA stay intense - and you have a road block at C5. You either have to use the typical Bel Canto Vowel Modifications (curbing), or go to CVT Neutral without mods.

This makes perfect sense as far as singing theory goes, but I don't understand how vowels influence the TA activity. I don't know much about phonetics, but I thought vowels were created by different positionings of things well above the vocal fold level. So how does singing, say, an EH, mean that the TA stays intense?

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so true fellas.....

(dan, geno is saying what i've been trying to convey...support is the key.)

i've been saying that all along...you don't lighten onto anything...you thin or better yet, you narrow. two entirely different things.

one voice. shift resonance, support mandatory. may, may, may may, may !!!...lol!!!!!

i finally feel like someone's on the support side.

lol!!!!

oh well I guess i have been doing it wrong all these years thanks for pointing it out bob.

Back to the drawing board

See ya in a few years I have got to work this support thing out. Before I can continue singing.

Im gonna quit my job.....oH wait i cant, I sing for a living.

Now what the hell am I gonna do?:)

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eggplantbren - I don't really know the exact answer to that. I wish I did. I think Jens does. Overdrive in CVT has an upper limit of C5 and it definitely has strong TA. If you're singing in Overdrive on C5, you'd have to modify the vowel or switch to CVT neutral to go higher (and reduce the TA). Or you can risk damage.

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Nice post and graph geno. :) I have a (hopefully quick) question about anatomy.

This makes perfect sense as far as singing theory goes, but I don't understand how vowels influence the TA activity. I don't know much about phonetics, but I thought vowels were created by different positionings of things well above the vocal fold level. So how does singing, say, an EH, mean that the TA stays intense?

I know some will disagree with me, but the tongue does have a muscular effect on the larynx and the muscles/cartiledge inside. Vowels use different tongue positions. It may not be that it causes the foldes to not stay together but make it harder for the larynx to "Tilt".

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I know some will disagree with me, but the tongue does have a muscular effect on the larynx and the muscles/cartiledge inside. Vowels use different tongue positions. It may not be that it causes the foldes to not stay together but make it harder for the larynx to "Tilt".

I think that is quite often the case. Especially in an untrained singer.

As to the other items, yes, semantics is a slippery slope. A number of people think that lightening means going to falsetto. Not necessarily the case.

And as to the Lunte / Tamplin thing, like Geno said, it is the same coin. It is still a matter of bridging, whether you like to feel it late or avoid the Christmas rush and do it early. At some point you are bridging.

And, too, I don't think that Lunte meant decreasing volume by bridging early. Because he is strong on resonance and volume comes from resonance.

But, in the end, it's probably just a matter of imagery and words and what suits you best. The semantics that best help you get where you want to go.

My head voice is so loud, it can hurt my head. Like when I was doing "Child in Time." My own ears were ringing, let alone stomping the mic into submission.

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It's super simple, it gets hard thanks to all the flashy terms used to describe this.

When shouting(overdrive) dont go above high C cause the force then becomes to much for the folds as the flageolettension starts to enter the voice. You must change the voice to a less "spread" mode such as moan/cry(curbing) scream/whine(edge,mln) or softer quality(neutral).

The vowel per se doesnt have anything to do with ta activity other Than that some vowels are alot easyer to sing with full ta activity. All vowels can be sung without ta activity .

You can also sing all vowels with full ta activity up high but then for some vowels it Will cause you to become unbalanced(greyzone) wich is very unpractical since it demands tons more work(support) just to be able to keep it going, and Will be dangerous to your vocal health

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WARNING - For those who don't like all this CT/TA talk - read no further!;)

I'm not a perfect singer by any stretch of the imagination. I have a lot to learn. I'm going to try and help those singers who've been asking the same questions about Head voice as me. I'm hoping this will help some singers reach a greater understanding of what's going on.

I know a lot of singers are trying to strengthen their "head voices". When you reach "head" it all of a sudden seems "easier" to go higher like you just crossed a "speed bump". You've correctly acheived head voice but your head voice isn't as strong as you would like it. And there still seems to be that "point" or "switch" at which you go from Chest to Head. That was me 2 years ago.

Here's a helpful diagram the way I see it:

Falsetto is the absence of any TA.

Head is CT dominance with some TA.

The "end goal" of many singers is to develop what I call the "Fully Connected Voice", where there are no real boundries around Chest and Head. It's all one continuum. How to acheive this? (in addition to getting a teacher) Concentrate on the right Vowel and think "lighter Mass" as you ascend. You need to lighten up on TA at an earlier point, and at the same time, keep it engaged at a latter point. The right Vowels will help. For example - you can't do this with Overdrive vowels. And make sure you've got plenty of consistent support. t takes a fairly long time of regular practicing.

Awesome post bro! This is exactly what Me, Dan, and Bob have been trying to explain for months now. Ideally there is no switch/flip/bridge only a gradual shift while still staying connected. Thanks for clarifying this for the beginners. Again Great Post!

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geno,

If you sing a C5 (523 Hz) that means the second harmonic is around C6 (1047 Hz) so the first formant has to be above C6. However, that is possible by lowering the jaw, spreading the lips and raising the larynx. Which is actually why a high larynx is great for "belting" or Overdrive and a lower larynx is counterproductive. The female vocal tract is around 20% smaller and that is why their limit is around Eb5 in Overdrive.

In regards to the vowels, it is hard to put them into a scheme because the formants changes all the time. And varies between age, sex etc.

Thank you - that makes sense and it dovetails with the map I submitted. Yes the formants change depending on frequency and gender. The map I created was part of a thread on understanding vowel modification. It is very helpful to map formants in terms of "notes" as opposed to Herz. Most people here are thinking notes and not always calculating herz so there is often a lack of understanding.

Another chart I put together is on Harmonics. I would love to detail out the information on Overdrive you have provided in a format similar to the example below. And any insight you provide regarding the variations in F1 would be helpful.

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That means that everything i thought here is in reality 1 octave lower? xD

But how it would be possible to sing an overdrive chesty EH (e) on G4 considering that for that vowel F1 is around C5, and H2 would be on C5 when you sang the fundamental H1 on C4? this means that if you surpass C4 on (e) you should stop sounding chesty? it has no sense! xD

geran89: Part of it is that the location of F1, and its correspondence with harmonics, is not the complete picture about 'sounding chesty'. The 2nd formant, F2, varies in frequency based on the vowel, as Geno's chart shows. Twang contributes too. A third aspect is that both F1 and F2 vary by person, and the locations on the charts are for the higher male voices.

Singing a resonant tone makes the finer laryngeal adjustments easier. The reasons vocal breaks (or sudden, excessive lightening) occur in untrained male voices somewhere between middle C4 and A4) is that this region is where resonance adjustments must be made or phonation does not have the cushioning it needs to make the fine adjustments indicated by Geno's smoother diagram, and the associated small adjustments in support. Twang goes a long way to creating this consistent resonance, and vowel modifications go the rest of the way.

I hope this is helpful to the discussion.

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Thanks for joining in Steven. I didn't know how to answer geran89's question. The one thing that isn't straight in my mind are these Overdrive vowels, which seem to have F1 at C5 not C6. It would seem that that H1, not H2, is crossing over F1 at C5, which in turn creates the upper limit, but I'm not sure. Is my assumption correct? I guess I'd like to know where the F1 values for these Overdrive vowels are?

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Rachsing - that's interesting - so the F1 is moving a full octave on those overdrive vowels? Didn't know that. I wonder what F2 is doing for example on "Oh" when singing a C5. F2 for "oh" is generally 1000 - does this move up in parallel with F1 or does it sit there? I suspect it moves in parallel. I'd like to understand this stuff with all the vowel mods. Are there any on-line resources that you know of that go into depth on the changes of formants due to pitch or gender?

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Rachsing - that's interesting - so the F1 is moving a full octave on those overdrive vowels? Didn't know that. I wonder what F2 is doing for example on "Oh" when singing a C5. F2 for "oh" is generally 1000 - does this move up in parallel with F1 or does it sit there? I suspect it moves in parallel. I'd like to understand this stuff with all the vowel mods. Are there any on-line resources that you know of that go into depth on the changes of formants due to pitch or gender?

Geno: Unless the singer makes changes to the dimensions of the vocal tract as the fundamental changes, there are no changes to formants that correlate with the notes. For some types of singing, however, laryngeal height is raised as the fundamental rises, so that the formant structure (especially F1) tracks the harmonics as they rise. The reason there is a small number of Overdrive vowels up high for male voices is that the formant spacing for other vowels does not align well, and overdrive requires good harmonic/Formant alignment.

For the singers that raise the larynx to accomplish this tracking, F1 and F2 both rise as the larynx does, assuming the vowel is maintained.

I hope this is helpful.

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