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Different ways to phonate/different placements?

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Ok, this is going to be pretty difficult to explain in words as this is mostly about physical sensations but I'll do my best and hopefully one of you here will be able to understand.

Normally when singing I tend to go for front placement where the sound feels like it's resonating in the front of the face and climbs up the face in small very focused pockets of sound as I'm ascending. Very smooth sounding and smooth feeling phonation. Nothing in the throat. This phonation requires quick, split second, barely audible breaths between phrases or words, otherwise it's impossible to ascend and there's strain. Support is felt mostly in the upper abdominal wall area and is almost activated all by itself, otherwise there's no way to get the right sound/placement. The larynx remains stable and doesn't move around too much. I would say this type of phonation feels nothing like normal speaking, it feels like a rather elaborate configuration and it takes a long time to master.

Then there's another type of phonation where it feels like the sound is placed in a straight line parallel to the back of the head/soft palate, requires much more open throat than the first one as you ascend.

The sound comes out a bit harsher/twangier by default but this can be dialed back as needed.

This setup feels much closer to normal speech, and support is felt more in the lower back and sides of the body. It's easier to run out of breath, and it's slightly more audible. The larynx seems to want to go up more-so than with the previous method as I ascend, and also it requires more "smile" as you ascend.

I've done my best to describe the unique sensations I associate with each method. I wonder if anyone can explain what is happening inside the whole mechanism with each type of phonation and what differentiates them as they feel nothing alike, different support, different larynx position, different resonance placement. It's all too different.

Thanks in advance!

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I also wanted to add that in the first method I feel as if I don't need to modify vowels as much on a conscience level in order to bridge. It's as if I think of the sound/placement and then support produces the best possible vowel. Whereas on the second method vowels must be slightly narrowed and modified in order to ascend.

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The Power. The things you describe "look" like forward placement and covering. Try defining an EE vowel that has both just bellow the passagio and see how it feels.

Think that it begins on two paralel lines on each of your ears and it xonverges to a point on your upper front teeth. Use the back to help.

Does these things sound good on their own? When I do it the forward one tends to brake and it actually ends in falsetto. Up and back one becomes narrow and annoying.

To me the sensation is as if there was a tunnel that begins on the front of my mouth... Chances that you will feel the same way I do are small, but anyways. Both aspects of support will happen kind if naturally after it works, dont overdo.

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Does thinking the vowel forward instead of somewhere else cause the difference in Phonation? (hard to find the correct words to use).

Does it set the whole mechanism differently(support,larynx height and tilt)

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It enforces the thing you guys call around here as twang, and makes it easier to achieve the F2->H3/4 thing Steven mentioned on the other thread.

As you focus on the sensation forward its easier to let go of the pattern that is bringing your voice down and promote a repositioning of postures. The necessary change is usually too small to be perceived as movements and to allow you to directly move stuff around.

Its NOT just forcing things to be forward on the mouth, the way to achieve it is actually releasing air into the posture.

One very particular thing that happens when you set the focus correctly, is a very pronounced reduction on the loudness you perceive internally, as if your voice is totally concentrated in a point, but yet relaxed and natural. And also a large increase on the projection.

The problem is that all this is very dependant on the individual, you need to build a reference system that is independant of sounds, but at the same time to set the reference you need to assert that it is correct. Usually, again not always, but usually, when done well it feels very, very good. Not the best of the references but oh well...

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power of 1,

from what you describe it sounds to me like you're starting to experiment (whether you realize it or not) with formant tuning per your own particular vocal tract, and that is a major leap forward. you are making subtle adjustments because you've gotten stronger to be able to, which will allow you to produce more precise resonant tones due to a bunch of factors being improved upon, such as support, and minimizing tensions...

this is something you need to practise and experiment with because you have developed more vocal versatility and more accuacy of placement.

congratulations!!! bob

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Thanks for the replies guys,


When doing the "EE" test, then yes, the forward method had a bit of cracking and flipping, and the back placement indeed sounded narrow and ugly as hell.

And correct, it took me a little while to get used to the fact that you don't sound very loud to yourself from the inside for me it's especially true after G4. recording yourself reveals that's not at all the case and you have to start relying more on feel than perceived sound.

It does indeed feel very correct and very good. Little to no tension when done right and I would suggest that it doesn't allow tension in order to work.


It's really weird, the way I look at it is I think of a vowel, where I want it to be placed and how I want it to feel/sound, and somehow by that thought the correct breathing mechanism kicks in and allows for that to happen all by itself without me having to think too much about posture/support/twang or whatever individual components we usually discuss here. It's like the whole package is activated all by itself, but if I lose the right breathing pattern the whole thing collapses and has to be reset.

Like Felipe said, I'm not sure if just thinking of a front vowel would work. I know for me I discovered the whole forward setup by accident when playing around with the voice , but I could immediately tell this was something different, and it took me a little bit of experimenting to bring it back on demand, but I remembered how it sounded/felt, so I knew what I was trying to find. You probably need some personal reference of your own to know what you're looking for.


The sensations your describing sound closer to the second method I was writing about.

When you do forward placement, you feel as if the focused pockets of sound are crawling across the very front of your face heading up as you ascend. Mouth- nose - between eyes - forehead etc. I don't feel the sift palate, back of head at all when doing forward placement.


Thanks, I'm sure that's also possible, it's all too confusing to be honest, but I'm enjoying myself.

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I cannot explain whats truely going on but when I think about the forward emission I can feel a pressure on my larynx from back to front. When I think on the other I feel a reversed pressure from front to back and maybe a little pull or push upward. :/

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