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Inhale/Release & "Sing like you speak"

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So I've encountered another apparent contradiction and I was hoping one of you whiz-kids might be able to clear it up for me.

I've heard before that the inhale should energize the respiratory muscles such that the release of air is automatic, and that's been working really well for me for a while. I take a really low breath and stretch the lower core to something of an extreme, and then relaxing lets it flow out at a very comfortable, controllable rate. When I do it like this, I've kind of finished my "work" at the end of the inhale and then I just comfortably sigh my way through the phrase.

The problem/contradiction I'm encountering is that this feels NOTHING like speaking haha. All the air is converted into sound and I'm not winding up with a whispery tone, but it all feels more like heady crooning than speech to me, even in my low range. That automatic flow feeling - the air coming out quickly but evenly, which can sometimes feel like an inhale - is just never there in my day-to-day conversations. It's like I can either get the breath train moving and then let the words hobo-hop on at just the right time (singing), or I can let the words themselves push-start the whole vehicle (speaking).

Do you think this is indicative that I'm generating too much potential energy with my inhale when I'm singing, and I should try to make it all more speech-like? Or, alternatively, maybe I'm my speaking habits are poor and I need to bring a little more of that auto-flow feeling into my routine ramblings? I just tried that out and it sounded like patrick stewart, so maybe that's my answer right there.

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Raphaels cant really assert what you are doing from descriptions, but usually singing is completely different from speaking.

The coordination you describe is support as it should work, always. We dont do that to speak normaly, unless you train that.

Speech LEVEL is not Speech LIKE.

That said, its possible to create too much compression and overdo support. A lot of compression should match a lot of intensity, a work of ballance. Not the constant state when singing pop, for sure.

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Damn, Felipe, that's actually a huge reassurance. Even when I'm really happy with my sounds/feels I hear a little voice repeating those old mantras "singing is sustained speech", "should be easy as speaking", yadda yadda yadda. I need to teach that little voice to say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Thanks as always dude, your posts are a great resource.

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I think the "sing as you speak" is something teachers say to inspire to sing in a way that sometimes is nothing like speaking. It just a mental image that they hope should inspire you to overcome a problem that you are working on. If the mental image doesn't work for you, ask your teacher/coach to give you another "image" that might work better for you.

Sometimes it can mean less legato (don't hold out tones) and sometimes it might mean something else. Perhaps what they mean is that you shouldn't think about breathing (just like when you speak). Ask your teacher/coach to give an example of what they mean. Communicating verbally about singing sure is a pain!

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Hey Felipe, while I've got your attention... do you think that rich, melodic speaking voices like patrick stewart, james earl jones, etc, are powered by a "singer's breath" to a certain extent? I'm just goofing around with "song-like-speaking" and I suddenly sound much more handsome than I am haha.

Edited to add yet another question for my boy Felipe:

When you refer to compression in your above post, is that the compression of the air that comes as the result of the energized inhale? I'm struggling to find the right words for it, but basically more compression = more potential energy = more effort to resist the exhalation reflex while the breath is suspended?

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Thanks for weighing in, breakin! I think you're right, it seems to be more of a guiding image than a hard-and-fast physical goal. I bet most people who give this advice do so in hopes that their student will take the best parts of speech, like chord closure, and leave aside the lousy parts, like the lazy respiration.

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Raphaels cant really assert what you are doing from descriptions, but usually singing is completely different from speaking.

The coordination you describe is support as it should work, always. We dont do that to speak normaly, unless you train that.

Speech LEVEL is not Speech LIKE.

Excellent reply.

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Hey Felipe, while I've got your attention... do you think that rich, melodic speaking voices like patrick stewart, james earl jones, etc, are powered by a "singer's breath" to a certain extent? I'm just goofing around with "song-like-speaking" and I suddenly sound much more handsome than I am haha.

Edited to add yet another question for my boy Felipe:

When you refer to compression in your above post, is that the compression of the air that comes as the result of the energized inhale? I'm struggling to find the right words for it, but basically more compression = more potential energy = more effort to resist the exhalation reflex while the breath is suspended?

The voices of James Earl Jones and Patrick Stewart are definately powered by the singers breath or support whichever you want to call it.

James was a studderer and had voice therapy and lessons. A lot of studderers are helped by taking voice lessons.

Mel Tillis a Country singer could not finish a sentence without studdering but he could sing without having a problem with it. Patrick Stewart was and is still a stage actor. They need to project and support as much as any singer.

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Someone else who speaks like a singer is actor William Shatner. It's a result, I think, of his vastly greater experience in theater. Watch a movie or show with him. Turn the volume down and watch when he is visibly speaking. You will see his support engage, as part of the action to project.

It helps to remember that he was in theater, mainly canadian, since he is from Canada, before he was in "Star Trek." And those old theaters were mostly NOT amplified. So, you had to project. Breathe and resonate like a singer. And since you were performing a whole play, you couldn't just rely on the throat.

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

"These are the voyages of the starship, Enterprise. it's five-year mission. To seek out new life, new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has one before."

Sorry, flashback. I was watching the series when it first came out, then later, in syndication.

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raphaels hi man, well, hard to know what those persons do, or trainned with. But yes you can reposition your spoken voice to tak advantage of it.

What I mean is that there must be a consistency between what you are producing and the pressure. The more intense the production, the more intensity on support you need. But also, the inverse, you never should build a lot of pressure to deliver a low intensity production.

Usually if you support, your voice will tend to reposition and follow. But the spoken voice is something that you been using in the same way for quite a while, bad habits will not go away only by support.

So if you support allow a change to happen, or you will cause strain rather then relax.

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Gotcha, thanks again for your replies!! Got one more question for you and then I swear I'll leave you alone: is the pressure you're referring to generated during the inhale itself, or during the stalling of the breath at the end of the inhale?

I feel like I can generate it two ways, either by energizing the inhale (kind of "sucking" air down) right from the get-go and not even pay mind to the suspension of breath, or by taking a relaxed, lazy inhale and deliberately expanding a little extra at the last second to stall the breath. I hope that makes sense, I know this stuff is tricky to communicate in text... if it seems like gibberish, kindly disregard haha.

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It makes sense raphaels.

Have you been working with a teacher? This sounds very good. If you want me to take a look at what you are doing hit me on skype or email.

They are both things that have uses, the first is very important because well, sometimes, we are tired, sad, sick, and we simply cant affort not having enough pressure. The later is important because not every part of every song is a super high intense phrase, and well, we need to relax and rest a bit too.

On the trainning of support, the first is absolutely crucial.

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I have what I'll call a "teacher", but for the moment I'm going to go ahead and give you the final word when I have real questions haha. I'll definitely hit you up for a skype lesson sometime and, again, thanks so much for your help. Your last post is crystal clear, I'll be headed to the practice room now, and I hope you'll excuse the hilarious pun if I say this has been an energizing inspiration.

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I would also venture to say that singing like you speak only works if you are already speaking correctly.

But I prefer the perspective that the speaking voice fits inside the singing voice. Speaking takes up less range, breath control, although for some in my neighborhood, since I can hear them from a few houses away, get all of their tone in their nose.

The recent discussion in other threads about nasality in sound have nothing on my hick neighbors.

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