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Staying in the mix - strain and breaks (after one song more or less)

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Ignacio778
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Hello. I'm new to this forum, so hi everybody. Nice to meet you all.

Lately I've discovered the concept of the mixed voice and have been practicing for a while. I believe I can access the register as I'm singing much higher than I could, without breaking my voice as it happened before, also the tone in this register is quite similar to my chest and allows me to fuse with my head register.

Well, my problem is that I can't really stay for too long on this register. I use the mix (I believe it is actually it) a lot, for I don't have a very high pitched voice (I'm probably a baritone), so whenever I'm singing, I soon become sort of "tired" or "strained" in my throat and start breaking little by little (I'm talking about a whole song, more or less). I end up needing to take a rest before I can sing without breaking again.

How can I fix this? Is it a matter of practice, and endurance will come with time? or am I doing something technically wrong? Maybe its just normal at first to feel this when you're not so used to the register...

Thanks for reading, and good luck to everybody.

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hey Ignacio778 thats a tough question.. without hearing what you are doing its hard to tell.. The "mix" shouldnt be to tiring, its work to keep it in the pocket but you shouldnt be tired in one song. So maybe whats happening is you are pulling chest really well some days other days not so much.. Put something up let us hear you then we will have a better understanding of your voice.. Don't be shy we are all here to help and learn..

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Yes, Ignacio. According to one expert here, it will take 4 to 6 years of tremendously hard work, adding one note on top of the other. It doesn't matter what you can mix, now. you still have to go through the 4 - 6 years of gut-wrenching agony.

And I agree with Daniel, it would be neat to hear this mixing you're doing.

And from my magic crystal, more than likely, you are breaking and wearing out because you are blowing too much air.

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During each and every inhale you have to relax completely and let your stomach go out (not force it). At the same time you must raise your soft palate, which can be done by a slight yawn. During each sung phrase you must hold back your air (reduce the airflow, not cut it off completely) and let your abs gradually go back inwards (and not lock your abs even though they might tighten for higher notes). For the mix it helps a lot of people to imagine they're singing with a slight stomach ache. Also, periodacally, try to lower your volume just a little bit because it's very easy to gradually increase the volume. It's good to stay a bit below full volume, especially if you want to sing an entire song in the passagio.

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although i'm just a singer, it's quite possible another problem might be your support. you cannot displace tension away from your musculature not needed to sing with.

Yeah Bob (videohere), that was kind of what I was saying. I was describing support, in a way.

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I want to clarify, that the 4 to 6 years was someone else's idea, not mine. Even in classical, so I am to understand, the minimum to solidify enough basic technique is close to 4 years. And many an opera singer was not considered ready for premiere roles until after 10 years of slogging through the trenches, so to speak.

Many popular singers were "overnight" successes after 10 to 15 years of live performance at any place that would have them.

In my personal opinion, who cares about years? I have the rest of my life, however long that is. And I am willing to bet Ignacio, that my time left on Earth is shorter than yours.

How long does it take to develope good technique and ability? That's an easy answer. However long it takes. I told you it was easy.

Don't get me wrong, it's good to have goals and you have not reached a certain stage by a reasonable amount of time, it is cause for questioning and examining the approach.

So, live each day like it is your last. And have patience. You will never be finished, no one ever is. I don't care what a singing system advertises, you will always progress from where you are, right now. So, learn some patience and you will find that whatever study materials or teacher you work with will help you more easily.

Let's say a teacher says, "let's slow down and work on this one thing for the next two months." Go with that. For two months now, which may seem interminably slow but is less than a blink of an eye in the long run.

I don't care if it's 4 to 6 years or 20 years. I have been singing a really long time. And I learn new things, even now. Every day, my voice is new to me and that is not just some hokey maxim to have in a book of quotations. It's a reality, for me.

Unlike my guitar playing, which always seems to rest at a plateau. Ever since I realized I was more of a singer than a guitar player, that frustration went away.

Being a musician is mental.

:D

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I've had your exact problem for years. I realized I wasn't in mix at all, I was just basically just belting really badly, which is why it felt like there was no break cause I was just shouting through it. It gave me a really clamped down strained feeling, but it felt "full" and I could finally sing those 4th octave notes, so I thought I just needed to get better at it and it'll improve. But eventually, it got to the point where after 2 minutes or so of singing, my voice would be shot for the day, and I'd get a raspy rattling. It was a total disaster.

So I highly recommend you posting a clip to see what your mix voice actually sounds like. I could be wrong and it might not be the same problem, but if it is then you'll be able to fix it.

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no, i'm gonna chime in here again...you don't have to lighten the weight....you learn to thin the folds and narrow the vowel to go up. you actually need more air pressure up top, not less.

if you lighten too much, you'll disconnect. you've got taut, stretched folds to deal with up top.

now, if you start too heavy, then you get tripped up as you ascend. you lock up too soon.

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my concern is for a d.i.y. beginner who hears that term "lighten the weight." they may mistakenly interpret this to mean lighten the volume or back off of the voice when in actuality it's quite the opposite. this can cause a lot of frustration because if he lightens up by backing off of the note, the whole thing falls apart. the note stumbles because it's underpowered.

the key i believe is to realize that how you onset, what level you use to begin with, that's the level you should end with.

if you want to start with a light intensity level of 4 for example, you should end with a 4. if on the other hand you are starting with a level of 8, you end with a level of 8.

you don't start with 4 and end with 1.

i'm all for having light mass work days, but the tapering off as you ascend the scale mentality can land you in trouble.

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my concern is for a d.i.y. beginner who hears that term "lighten the weight." they may mistakenly interpret this to mean lighten the volume or back off of the voice when in actuality it's quite the opposite. this can cause a lot of frustration because if he lightens up by backing off of the note, the whole thing falls apart. the note stumbles because it's underpowered.

the key i believe is to realize that how you onset, what level you use to begin with, that's the level you should end with.

if you want to start with a light intensity level of 4 for example, you should end with a 4. if on the other hand you are starting with a level of 8, you end with a level of 8.

you don't start with 4 and end with 1.

i'm all for having light mass work days, but the tapering off as you ascend the scale mentality can land you in trouble.

This was/is part of my problem. I would slack off of everthing then switch gears and reapply volume/weight. It would help to cross over but depending on the note or word it could fall apart quickly. It wasn't until Videohere and Daniel was saying that you do not need to drop anything that I started to understand.

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Bob, even Ken Tamplin, who sings with a heavy voice, says that you should gradually release vocal weight and lighten the sound. Perhaps you guys are really talking about the same thing here? It would be good to hear sound examples.

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You must let the quality you perceive thin, but you dont try to make it lighter by actually changing it. Letting it thin means: you dont do anything different, you dont change, you keep going. If you try to lighten and relax the emission, it will open or break, if you try to make it heavy, you will increase medial compression and unballance it.

The natural thing that happens and make the tensions pop is trying to ballance the thinning adding weight rather than using resonance.

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okay, here goes.....

the goal is not to "sound good" here, the goal is to demonstrate that the c5 note corresponds to a specific pocket, and you don't need to lighten as you go up if you support and narrow the vowel.

now the c5s will likely be perceived as volume spikes, but i can assure you they're not. this is an exercise i do to help me get better vowel consistency and work my support. the goal for myself here is also to maintain a consistent ring quality.

what you hear is a release into the top note, helped by the narrowing of the vowel.

https://www.box.com/s/t0bxh88usg3m07du8v71

hope this helps...i'm going home now...lol!!!!

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I hear an obvious takeover of resonance on the C5 (nice formant tuning by the way, you can hear this squeaky ring every time you hit the note :) ) which I think implies something is lightening up at the vocal folds as well. Maybe you're so used to it you don't notice it as a lightening feeling. Maybe you are starting light and staying there. Or probably have the voice type that doesn't need to shed too much weight at C5. I don't know. But I don't think it's worth arguing over. What works for you may not work for everybody and that's the bottom line of everything any of us says here. We have to remember that not all voices are equal. Not even close.

well, you folks asked me basically to put up, or shut up..and that's what i did.

i'm thinning, not lightening!.....no backing off was done from onset to end....the vowel is intentionally narrowed so as not to get trapped up there and to achieve the ring (along with consistent air flow & support). if i wavered on the support, the ring would have been affected. if you are off on getting in the pocket, the tone suffers. if the throat was tensed i can't aim.

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i am nowhere near the throat. don't look at it as pulling up, rather i'm droping in from above...hard to explain on a forum in words. if you narrow the vowel, you can't pull up too much weight..

if you release too much, and you get too c/t musculature dominant, you'll fall short. some t/a has to be there to hold it together. that's again a function of the vowel and the support.

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