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"Never force the voice."

It's a very simple phrase BUT does it still apply today when we have dozens of techniques and styles of singing?

Do you genuinely agree with the above statement? If so... why?

How do we GROW the voice without forcing it in any certain direction... this really revolves around teaching and growth principles so i look forward to your answers. I'm absolutely curious since I have recently begun more "strength" building.... I guess you can say I'm in the process of transforming girly head voice to boomy TVS notes lol!

- JayMC

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Jay forcing as in doing more than you can handle, strainning or even doing less than what is necessary. Never.

The way to know is simple, got hoarse or got an itchy/dryness feeling on the throat, means you got hurt and something is not working as it should.

But you can count on working for it, singing requires energy and your whole body engaged.

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I feel that if a person "slows down" and really pays attention to how they feel, they can tell when they're at the limit of working out the voice without forcing it. It's similar to working out, you might try to lift a weight too heavy or use a weight that is at the very limit, but you know the difference between "working hard" and hurting/injuring yourself.

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I feel that if a person "slows down" and really pays attention to how they feel, they can tell when they're at the limit of working out the voice without forcing it. It's similar to working out, you might try to lift a weight too heavy or use a weight that is at the very limit, but you know the difference between "working hard" and hurting/injuring yourself.

Wow, great stuff bud! repped.

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I think this is a doubleedged sword, it sure is true by all means but it's not something i think beginner singers should focus to much upon. It's their coaches job to keep track if the student oversings.

Why? aswell as youve got oversinging there is also undersinging and people being afraid of their voice, being afraid of using your voice and testing it's limits is equally as dangerous as pushing over the limit.

You sortof wanna be centered inbetween the "push til i die and im afraid and treat my voice like a baby"

for instance a whisper can be as hard on the voicebox as a scream

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Videohere... forcing the voice is a relative concept.

Here's a tough example.... a male singer needs to sing in mixed voice and tries to sing in head voice (adducted cords)... but the vocal cords won't come together to make a strong resonant sound and you get falsetto instead.

What to do? Sing louder? Harder? Oh the horror lol!

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Sing comfortably to your highest note whether its d4 or c5 if you can't go any higher without engaging some extrinsic muscles (which should not be engaged) dont go any higher. Singing the notes higher in falsetto is fine but if your chest doesn't want to hold on a little without help, don't do it. You can but you will end up right back where you are now. Forcing is forcing getting way to loud,squeezed, all of that. Make beautiful sounds in a comfortable area your voice will grow. I did it this way after forcing for many years.

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it all depends on the what the goal is...what's the song?

is it out of reach? (right now)

is it too big a song for you right now? (and that is not the same thing as out of reach)

you may have to face the fact that you presently lack the ability and aren't developed enough.

as I had mentioned before....i sought out voice training because i physically could not sing foreigner songs ....

i lacked the strength, the range, and the stamina needed to sing those songs.

i was physically incapable.......not even a key change helped. and three plus years later i can and they still remain physically and vocally challenging.

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i am outnumbered by everyone on the forum, but i believe you do have to push and lean and strain a bit during vocal training and singing but with good support and not to a ridiculous level.

after a while you will find it won't be as required of you. you have to (as dan said) for example go as high as you can before coming back down again. some days low volume, some days really stepping on the gas.

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Either he does what his voice can do without straining it (falsetto or, more likely head voice) of he shouldn't sing it. Strong resonance comes from allowing the living tissues to create a healthy sound without muscular hindrance. He's engaging in some sort of unhealthy tension which is causing supple muscles to become tense, which will be counterproductive to building a strong, resonant sound.

Then again, if he's looking for a certain kind of 'tense' sound then forcing the voice might work, but care must be taken to monitor for fatigue. Singing with tension will cause the voice to fatigue prematurely. Without adequate rest this can lead to serious problems..

You know, it would be easier for me to fit in with everyone else and disagree with you if you would just write something disagreeable.

I have been saying similar things, before. To me, singer training should be about removing obstructions, and unleashing the voice within. I never meant to say that it was not "work," though, to me, the word work is a profanity that I will put up with for a paycheck. :D

No one has defined "forcing" the voice. Are we talking about forcing out of range?

There, that should bring some great wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And, it would be neat to hear Jay's evolution. Maybe a before sound file and an after sound file.

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Well, I have a bad habit of looking at what professionals do. Sometimes, you can look at a successful person in a field and study what they do and use it as a model for similar success for yourself. And the pros, as far as I know, do not sing 6 hours a day. Nor do they wear themselves out in one session of practice. From interviews I have read of singers from opera to growly metal they almost all, to a person, say the same thing.

"Hydration" (water is recommended most often. It is the easiest for the body to metabolize but I just cannot give up my diet Coke, hence, I am on the highway to Hell.)

"Rest" (sleep, as well as not overusing the voice. Sometimes, a singer being quiet before a show is not being rude but following good singer "technique.")

"Do what it is your voice can do, do not do what it cannot do.' (self-explanatory.)

But, what do they know? Singing for 40 years can't possibly have any bearing on the subject, right?

By the way, the above quoted statements were also expressed, in just about those words, by a singer we both admire, ole' Bruce. What could he possibly know? 50+ years old, still singing the songs in the original keys. Nah, he's just a freak of nature. Couldn't possibly know anything.

Did that sound like saracasm? oops ....

:D

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@videohere when your voice cannot physically create accurate sound efficiently (particularly bridge notes)... which could be for so many reasons !!!

Ahaha Ron!!! Thanks :D I am surely slacking in 2 of those things lol *drinks glass of water & goes to bed*

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Actually, Bob, I kind of get your point, sometimes expressed, if I may, as that strain is sometimes necessary to achieve a certain sound. In which case, a definition of strain would also be in order. I could say that I strained to reach something on a top shelf and could be misusing the word "strain," especially if it involved no injury or resulted in no decreased range of motion afterward.

Or is the strain or force used something within your maximum physical limits? It may not be applicable but here is something to consider. In bud/S training, during hell week, the idea is to create simulated battle conditions. Lack of sleep, lack of warmth, lack of food. Levels of physical exertion that would fatigue pro football players. Some cadets continue training with an injury until they are spotted and placed on medical leave. The object of the exercise is not just to test your desire to be a SEAL and earn the right to say "hooyah" (and it is an earned right,) but to see if your body and mind can physically perform under duress. So, after being up and active for 20 hours, they drop you in the atlantic ocean, average water temp in the 50's F, treading water. And ask you "square root of 64? Minus 4? Add 1? Multiply by 2? Subtract 10? What is the answer?" It's to see if you can physicall function. Some guys bodies fail them and it has nothing to do with whether or not they were an athlete in school.

That's extreme, yes. How extreme are we going to go with the voice? Do we need to go to the point of damage?

Do we consider loss of coordination, which is what it sounds like to me Jay's definition is, a damage? Certainly a damage of technique but is it damage to the voice?

Was the bleeding in Steven Tyler's vocal folds (not polyps) a matter of pushing past endurance? Incorrect technique? Age? Or all three? Was that forcing the voice? Did it cause the damage?

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ron, all i'm saying is i think we need to be aware that whether it's singing somewhere or exercising you have to start to realize that there are going to be times where you are really going to have to work really hard to maintain or sustain something in your singing. this should not be a surprise to anyone...right?

whether it's a large or small section of a song, you have to support sometimes very strongly and you have to lean into your folds very strongly, and make subtle shifts in your throat and vocal mechanism very quickly, and breath very deeply whatever, you can't avoid it...not in heavy duty rock vocals like the bands we all know and love.

if you're not geared up mentally or you maintain a light is right mentality, then tell me how are you ever going to get there?

now, here's a good example of what i'm talking about:

look at the difference between two accomplished vocalists singing the same song...one guy sails through it, the other has a bigger voice to move (leaving out fachs). both singers sing this song well, but ken is clearly expending more energy.

so, if you aspire to sing songs like this, it may very well be you are going to have to work a lot harder than the other guy might.

.

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ron, all i'm saying is i think we need to be aware that whether it's singing somewhere or exercising you have to start to realize that there are going to be times where you are really going to have to work really hard to maintain or sustain something in your singing. this should not be a surprise to anyone...right?

whether it's a large or small section of a song, you have to support sometimes very strongly and you have to lean into your folds very strongly, and make subtle shifts in your throat and vocal mechanism very quickly, and breath very deeply whatever, you can't avoid it...not in heavy duty rock vocals like the bands we all know and love.

if you're not geared up mentally or you maintain a light is right mentality, then tell me how are you ever going to get there?

now, here's a good example of what i'm talking about:

look at the difference between two accomplished vocalists singing the same song...one guy sails through it, the other has a bigger voice to move (leaving out fachs). both singers sing this song well, but ken is clearly expending more energy..be sure to listen to what he says after the song..

so, if you aspire to sing songs like this, it may very well be you are going to have to work a lot harder than the other guy might.

here's another example:

listen to the sound difference!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mInQUj_-fTk

.

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So, let's define "light."

If we define "light" as apparent volume when singing, then I am NOT a light singer.

If we define light as devoid of rasp, then I am a light singer, as I don't have much rasp and don't care to and it's not a matter of sloppy work ethic, I just don't desire to have a lot of rasp. And I know some are going to say, well, you must have some rasp to sing rock. Okay, sure. Then, again, I don't have a recording or performing career and like anyone else here, I can call myself whatever I choose. :)

If we define light as a matter of timbre, whether a voice sounds thick or thin, wouldn't thick or thin be the better adjective to use?

If we define light as the amount of adduction, how are going to measure that? Is one man's heavy another man's light? (wait for it, wait for it, yes, I will ask) Are we to say that every voice can make exactly the same sound on the same pitch regardless of that person's structure? How is that possible and some actual clinical evidence might be helpful. For example, is Rik Emmett lighter than Phil Anselmo? I think they both sing with the same apparent volume. Is Geddy Lee lighter than Geoff Tate? Some of Tate's tonal qualities in "Silent Lucidity" are softer than much of what Geddy has done, separated by only an octave, if that mattered.

Or is it a mental objection to the word, light, just as I have a mental objection to the word, work?

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ron, you are a lighter voiced singer. whether that is by choice or not i really can't say.

that's you, and that's fine. rasp doesn't mean someone becomes bigger voiced nor does their range to me anyway.

steve walsh to me had a big voice...freddie mercury had a big voice. plant had a big voice.

ah, marina mcbride has a big voice.

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Actually, Bob, I kind of get your point, sometimes expressed, if I may, as that strain is sometimes necessary to achieve a certain sound. In which case, a definition of strain would also be in order. I could say that I strained to reach something on a top shelf and could be misusing the word "strain," especially if it involved no injury or resulted in no decreased range of motion afterward.

Or is the strain or force used something within your maximum physical limits? It may not be applicable but here is something to consider. In bud/S training, during hell week, the idea is to create simulated battle conditions. Lack of sleep, lack of warmth, lack of food. Levels of physical exertion that would fatigue pro football players. Some cadets continue training with an injury until they are spotted and placed on medical leave. The object of the exercise is not just to test your desire to be a SEAL and earn the right to say "hooyah" (and it is an earned right,) but to see if your body and mind can physically perform under duress. So, after being up and active for 20 hours, they drop you in the atlantic ocean, average water temp in the 50's F, treading water. And ask you "square root of 64? Minus 4? Add 1? Multiply by 2? Subtract 10? What is the answer?" It's to see if you can physicall function. Some guys bodies fail them and it has nothing to do with whether or not they were an athlete in school.

That's extreme, yes. How extreme are we going to go with the voice? Do we need to go to the point of damage?

Do we consider loss of coordination, which is what it sounds like to me Jay's definition is, a damage? Certainly a damage of technique but is it damage to the voice?

Was the bleeding in Steven Tyler's vocal folds (not polyps) a matter of pushing past endurance? Incorrect technique? Age? Or all three? Was that forcing the voice? Did it cause the damage?

Good post here, although I might disagree in some areas.

I do have to correct you on something regarding SEAL training as my brother is a former SEAL: All of BUD/S is done in Coronado California and in the Pacific Ocean. The water temp was not too bad for him as he was there in the Summer. It is generally in the mid to upper 60s. That being said, the guys that have to train in the winter are often in water in the low 50s.

What was the worst part of Hell Week for my brother? Not the lack of sleep or phyisical activites but the chafing. Nasty, bloody, inner-thigh chafing that gets rubbed raw for a week (After already being raw from the training leading up to Hell week) with no break. The wound only gets covered in sand, saltwater and urine (There are no bathroom breaks) for the entirety of the week. He is actually one of the rare people that says he wouldn't mind going through Hell Week again if it wasn't for the chafing. His friends would not go through Hell Week again if they were offered $20,000.

Not sure if that holds any relevance to the point you are making but I thought I would share it.

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That's fine, consuming. One ocean or the other. My friend, Lee, was a SEAL, 64-69, Da Nang, Viet Nam. I could swear part of his training was in Florida. But maybe I mis-remembered that. But hell week was a trip. However, the most arduous thing was his assignments. A specialist in remote detonations. He spent 3 christmases, deep in country, crawling into VC tunnels, planting charges, sneaking back out a click, wait for personnel to return, then, like the modern song, "click, click, boom!" Followed by more booms (more than one charge.)

The other hard part, blending in. He was in a country of small, dark-haired people. And he was 6' 1", red-headed, with his pasty irish complexion.

But the whole point of that was, how extreme is extreme? And, of the people I have known that were in special forces, most of them move out of active operations and either moved up the command chain, so to speak, or retired. I knew an Army Ranger. By the age of 30, he had been in 2 helicopter crashes and the intense level of the job was taking its toll. So, he was retiring from the Rangers and exit active duty in the regular Army, though I think he planned to transfer to the reserves. He was moving toward a career in construction. So, yes, the human body can put with those extremes, for a while.

Lee exited the SEAL program and the Navy after 3 active combat tours and came back home with pins in his right hip, pins in his ankles, and a teflon coated stainless steel kneecap.

How extreme do we need to go?

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That's fine, consuming. One ocean or the other. My friend, Lee, was a SEAL, 64-69, Da Nang, Viet Nam. I could swear part of his training was in Florida. But maybe I mis-remembered that. But hell week was a trip. However, the most arduous thing was his assignments. A specialist in remote detonations. He spent 3 christmases, deep in country, crawling into VC tunnels, planting charges, sneaking back out a click, wait for personnel to return, then, like the modern song, "click, click, boom!" Followed by more booms (more than one charge.)

The other hard part, blending in. He was in a country of small, dark-haired people. And he was 6' 1", red-headed, with his pasty irish complexion.

But the whole point of that was, how extreme is extreme? And, of the people I have known that were in special forces, most of them move out of active operations and either moved up the command chain, so to speak, or retired. I knew an Army Ranger. By the age of 30, he had been in 2 helicopter crashes and the intense level of the job was taking its toll. So, he was retiring from the Rangers and exit active duty in the regular Army, though I think he planned to transfer to the reserves. He was moving toward a career in construction. So, yes, the human body can put with those extremes, for a while.

Lee exited the SEAL program and the Navy after 3 active combat tours and came back home with pins in his right hip, pins in his ankles, and a teflon coated stainless steel kneecap.

How extreme do we need to go?

They do a lot of training in Key West, Florida but that is after BUD/S and when they are already SEALs. Then again, a lot might of changed from then to now as my brother just released got out of the military.

As far as how hard to train, I am kind of torn on this. If I don't force at all, I can train for 3 hours and then go the next day without any fatigue issues at all. If I do some well-supported "forcing" and really getting into the chords, I cannot do it for 3 hours and I will feel it a little bit the next day, which makes next day's training a little tougher. On the other hand, over time some "forcing" seems to be growing the voice. Since I do a little bit of both, it is hard for me to gauge which one is more efficient fo rme.

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Hey Jay! Seems we're at the same stage in vocal training - I had to get my voice to thin out considerably to lift out of chest into the previously unknown realm of 'girly head voice' as you aptly put it and now I'm wondering how to add weight / boomy qualities without encouraging the old throat-clamp belt to come back.

So far I'm just experimenting with resonance guided by a mix of Pillars and the Formants & Harmonics lecture released a little while back via TVS. All I can say at this stage is that when I find the right vowel / support level for a given pitch I get this strange head/mask bound resonant feeling where the note seems to sing itself. A kind of feedback sensation I suppose. If I add more pressure to support when I'm in this feedback mode then I can get a louder/brighter/raspier tone without the dreaded throat-clamp belt.

I'm hoping that with more experience with vowel modification I'll be able to 'force' my voice without losing connection to the vitals that give a decent tone. I get stupidly excited by music at times and have always had a tendency to push too hard physically.

What I could really do with is some details about how the voice responds to volume. I can access a fairly decent range at the moment but the only way I can achieve this is to sing fairly quiet (just above speech level I'd guess, but its hard to tell when you're resonating well as the internal sensations mix with the perception of volume). I'd love to know how loud / quiet some of my favourite rock singers - Cornell, Staley, Dickinson etc..

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