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Twang/appogio vowel progression

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wtewalt
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Im wondering what the typical progression is for improving with these techniques. So far I've been concentrating on only "ee" trying to make everything connected and as smooth in my entire range as possible. Today i started moving into "ah" and had some success though i found i tired a lot faster. Is there any normal progression of training vowels say from easiest to most difficult/advanced when starting to learn this technique? Thanks!

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Thanks for the reply. I dont get tired at all from singing "ee" but im wondering if "ah" is a good next step in the learning process. Btw im working on using this technique in the passagio and above at low volumes. The coordination for the ah sound is a lot harder for me to maintain for long periods of time compared to ee but it might be because it's new to me and i have some excess tension

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ee allows you to find the head voice co-ordination sooner in the scale. Ah may spread or splat as you get higher, feeling like your choking on it!

Have a look into vowel modification, As you get to your passagio gradually 'shade' the vowel to something more like 'OoH' as in took or 'uh' as in hung. This might help

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wtewalt man, you should not get tired from the work... Work low and try to remove all the stress first. Take care with the EE specially if you are getting tired...

This is true. I finally hit the coordination exactly right yesterday and was singing full-on for about 2 and a half hours straight. No horseness, no need to take breaks. I could have had kept going as long as I wanted and when I woke up today, there was no fatigue at all.

Felipe, I had been working on intercostal support for awhile but would mistake the tension for expansion in those muscles. They have to both be expanded and engaged and it does not require full tensing of the abs to do this. In fact it is very little abdominal tension except when getting into the highest notes. You gave advice on exactly how to do this but for some reason I failed to process some of the things you said until last night. I was actually supporting pretty well for awhile but I was also holding air back with my throat in conjunction. I thought I had too much air coming out but I actually did not have enough to maintain phonation a lot of the time. I remembered reading you saying that the intention has to be on release and that solved everything and I know this will last forever. I was so worried about blowing too much air, I was over supporting PLUS grabbing a ton with my throat to prevent even more. Now I am actually letting air when I sing and it like a whole new world.

Thanks for all your advice and tips throughout this process. The criteria that helped me get everything ironed out was your posts on support, the masterclass that you posted and some videos I saw with classical teacher Dan Teadt. I know my formula will not work for everybody but I strongly encourage people struggling with this at all to look up these sources.

Here is a class with Dan Teadt. Granted, I am also a tenor so this fits my voice very well but even people with other voice types could modify some things and learn a lot from this.

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great video!!!!

he's demonstrating how you need to support to the point where you disengage and transfer the tension where it belongs...down below.

if you don't do it right, the throat joins in and you constrict. i routinely practise talking while i keep the lower core engaged and expanded. if you do it wrong you cannot speak clearly and slowly.

it's that disconnection that you need to experience, then work on maintaining and sustaining. when this has really been developed enough, you have so much freedom up top.

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Thanks everyone for the comments. Im especially thankful for the information on vowel modification. Does this mean that vowels like "ah" are typically not used when past the passagio? That would explain some of the difficulty ive been having maintaining them compared to something like "ee" or "uh".

Thanks also for the videos on support. Ill have to try singing on my back from the floor (when nobody is looking ha)

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Wow owen thank you, that was a really great answer. Explaining which vowels work and which dont is super helpful and exactly what i was looking for. This definitely helps explain why i was having more difficulty with "ah" than "ee" or "oo". Also, describing the different ways of pronouncing a single vowel sound was great. As far as progressing my singing ability im assuming that becoming comfortable with each vowel sound is the first step and then work on singing with each, switching between them, and finally adding consonants/actual words? Anything other than that? I know this makes it sound easier than it is haha.

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practicing on vowels is great, after all they are the things singers hold, we don't hold consonants. Those vowels owen suggested are great above the passagio for get a boomy tone. Just a couple of pointers.. Don't suddenly change from ah to uh for example. it should be done as a gentle shading, slowly incorporating the uh vowel.

A word about consonants... They can choke you off, some of them literally stop your air flow in order for them to be produced. I suggest taking a couple phrases from a song, singing it all on one vowel, then singing it on just the vowels in the phrase i.e happy birthday to you would be ah ee uh ay ooh ooh. Get a nice, smooth legato line (consistant flow of air) changing from vowel to vowel then pop the consonants back in without over emphasising them. Just touch on the consonants, just give them enough time so that you pronounce the word clearly and no more. I find people generally over emphasise consonants rather than under emphasise. You want to have clear diction but not to the extreme that it disrupts the legato line. You can also practice consonant sounds on their own to make them more efficient:D

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Thanks Gina, that's great advice. This really helps give me some direction since i dont have any kind of book or anything and most of my knowledge has cone from this site as well as experimenting and learning on my own. I imagine the ideas you presented will keep me busy and on the right path for a while. Thanks!

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i'll say it again, don't neglect the pure vowel "oo" as in soon. that vowel has more uses than just singing (owen).

it's a great warmup/warmdown vowel. it's a great vowel for working on the head voice especially in top down exercises. it is a great tuning vowel for a beginner.

taken from frisell's book:

With proper usage, the u (oo) permits the singer to subjugate the inherent muscular antagonism between the two registers, especially in the registers’ break area, and also to reorder these two combative forces into a cooperative “team” effort. When vocal “graduation” draws near, the u (oo) vowel (along with the o (oh) vowel), serves to “round” and polish the voice to a professional level, because it alone can guide the accumulated buildup of “tonal power”, produced by the advanced muscular development of the other four vowels, to a state of beauty, and advanced control. It is a tragic fact that, with most present-day teaching methods, the u (oo) vowel is the most misunderstood and least applied of all the five vowels.

Anthony Frisell; Adolph Caso (2010-04-22). THE TENOR VOICE (Kindle Locations 852-857). Branden Books. Kindle Edition.

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