NewYorkerDave Posted April 1, 2010 Share Posted April 1, 2010 Hi all! A Google search on vocal technique brought me to this forum. I have to say, after reading for a couple of days, I'm blown away by the level of knowledge and commitment here. Much of the discussion is way over my head, of course, since I'm unfamiliar with most of the technical terms. I'm an untrained singer/guitarist/songwriter and for all of my adult life, I've sung in a baritone that could either be described as "warm and pleasing" or "comically deep" depending on whom you asked. A friend of mine who's a respected studio musician actually told me that I have the perfect voice for "modern country" - but believe me, that's not my bag. My material is more in the vein of melodic punk or power pop, veering occasionally into harder rock territory, so my chesty voice was a liability more often than not. Recently, I was driving home and on the radio, I heard the old Raspberries song "Go All The Way." I decided right then and there that I was sick of being stuck in my very limited, low-pitched range and I was going to make a conscious effort to develop my voice. So I got on the Internet and started watching various instructional videos. Quickly, I realized that my problem was a restricted throat, fear of using my "head voice" and labored breathing. Using some of the warmups in the videos (lip trills, etc.) I could occasionally get my voice "forward" with a relaxed throat and I was amazed at how effortless singing had become, even at pitches I'd only been able to reach previously in a weak, strained falsetto. Problem is, I just couldn't seem to find the mental key to help me get my voice into that place on a consistent basis; I would kind of stumble into it after singing for a while and then lose it just as quickly. I tried the "ng", the "yawn", "smelling the rose", etc. and sometimes they'd work, but sometimes they wouldn't - possibly because all this thinking was making me excessively self-conscious and tense. At last, that brings me to the point of this post. This morning, as I was waiting for a bus and having a smoke (I realize most serious vocalists will not approve of this habit, but anyway...) it suddenly came to me: I should sing just as if I were lazily exhaling cigarette smoke! So I did and EUREKA... it worked! My voice was right in the "mask", the tone was full and agile at all pitches (compared to the way I'd been singing before, anyway) and the feeling was one of near-effortlessness. So... I dunno, perhaps this bit of imagery would be useful to someone out there. Thanks for reading. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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