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Forget Vowel Modification

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What if I need a full-voiced "oo" in a song... a pure oo that sounds resonant and powerful... how do you "bridge late" with that note?

As singers should we just avoid the challenge? What is the correct way to train this? I'm open to any opinions. Also is the developed belty oo really twang or hooty sounding?

I'm surprised nobody here has had to use a high "oo" in a song yet.... meaning the note will almost be in your "heady" range but STILL you maintain "chest/m1" or the illusion of.

- JayMC

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Jay you have way to much spare time;)

Singing an oo high, what has helped me is singing oo but thinking oh.

no secret technique to be found sing it higher and higher no different really than singing anything else it takes practice. I have had to use it plenty of times.

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I dont understand... Whats the problem with oo?

The problem with OO (as in 'tool') is that it calls for a low larynx. But for really high belted notes the larynx has to go up. Therefore you have to modify the vowel. The slightest possible modification is to go for UH as in 'book'. This will still be percieved as the same vowel I think. This will put you into Curbing mode however, which is not really belting.

If you want to belt higher, you have to go more towards O and then OH, just like geran wrote.

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It goes into head voice by itself? LOL. I think that's what just happened to me.

Felipe is the BOSS lol.

It's a very very light mix which is hard to do without popping a vein... I might have LMAO.

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A lot of students and singers don't like to train oo and ee. This is because they are not easy to shout. This is the reason you should train oo and ee(correctly) so you are not just yelling your vowels. They are most likely the most important vowels to work with and work from. It's like deadlifts at the gym nobody likes them but they are the best exercise for your body.

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dan, that's what i've been saying......that friggin' "oo" is the unsung hero. frisell taught me that.

and when it gets used to narrow the throat some awfully nice tones come out. it can also add a nice rich color to the tones.

once again, lou gramm and steve walsh had some great sounding oo's.....

jay, you begin with descending head voice slides on that vowel and watch in a few months how it gets more resonant.

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Thanks Dan my oo sounds more like "oh" here and still weak although I tried to do better than previous recording.

@Videohere why does Frisell not advocate ascending with the "oo" ? What if we need it in a song loll.

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A lot of students and singers don't like to train oo and ee. This is because they are not easy to shout. This is the reason you should train oo and ee(correctly) so you are not just yelling your vowels. They are most likely the most important vowels to work with and work from. It's like deadlifts at the gym nobody likes them but they are the best exercise for your body.

Yes, that's really the point. EE and OO are nice training vowels, BECAUSE they are so hard to belt, but that doesn't change the fact that you can belt (Overdrive) a little higher on other vowels. For a lighter mass approach they are cool, because you can easily enter Curbing with very slight modification (to "i" as in "sit" and to "oo" as in "book") or you can let them be unmodified and go into neutral, just like Jay does in that sample file.

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"oo" has many uses in training. those descending slides benefitted me in so many ways.

i thickened by head voice

my folds engage better up high

oo is a great warmdown vowel.

yes, you can to a great thing for yourself by doing slow sirens starting in "ah" and ending in "oo."

by doing these you train yourself to take your voice from an open throat shape (ah vowel) to a narrow throat shape.

remember, vowels are nothing but throat shapes (remove vowels from language) train the voice to narrow, and train the voice to widen.

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Most of the notes you posted are actually not OO's (as in "tool"), they are O's (as in "woman") imo. On an O-vowel it is easier to get more metal into the note (get 'beltier'). In CVT that vowel is associated with Curbing, which is "half-metallic". But on a real OO/tool vowel (not O/woman) it is really really hard to sing high with a metallic sound.

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No, these answers are just more confusing given what was asked.

Jay, this is what happens in practice:

You have many situations where you alter vowels in one or another way.

One is when working on a interpretation of a song, and you alter a vowel sound in one or another direction, to create a common point and translate a sense of homogeneity. Or to enforce high/low dynamics.

Another is when trainning, if you have a problem with oo for example, you can use another vowel that is already well defined to guide it to an efficient posture. At that time, on the first attempts of the exercise altering the vowel sound may be acceptable.

And yet another is when you are consolidating the line, legatto. Spoken vowels are useless to sing at a high level of performance, all the vowels are modified from the starting state, beginning with the overall height of the tongue.

So its all modified, and yet, its not. Because you have to train it to a state known as overlearning, meanning that your body will assimilate the postures and you will not have a choice anymore. So you stop modifying, you reprogram the vowels at the source, the intention of OO will result in a posture that is efficient and at the same time sound as close as OO as you can get away with.

The goal is defining the vowel sounds as well as it is possible, and at the same time allowing as much resonance and comfort as possible. It may seem as a compromise at first, but simply releasing the tensions from the articulation improve clarity way above what can be obtainned from a struggle with low spoken random variants.

Take someone from North America, depending on the region, vowels will be low and forward. Another may be low and centered. Around here, you get accents that are low/forward, very high/forward, and low/back.

Someone from Europe, can be very high/back, and so on. And even within these groups you have other alterations of larynx height thats all tied within the intentions of vowel production in the first place.

Tell all of them to produce OO, and you get all kinds of production that hardly will meet the OO of the IPA chart, some will not even be able to produce it on spoken voice.

Hope it clarifies, bottom line, you should not be worried if one or another vowel is on the song and you should be able to produce the vowel quality you want easily, high or low dynamics. Not easy to achieve but perfectly doable. And solves all the problems regarding dynamics and vowels.

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That is true but because of different dialects and accents we may believe we are producing an but in reality we may be producing something else.

It's is not that the vowel of IPA changes. It is our perception of what is meant by it that is different.

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Excellent point Felipe makes about where the vowel is centered, depending on accent/dialect, which depends on province, so to speak, of a native speaker.

For example, where I live, the uh sound in the word love (and actually, I think it's a dipthong) is a low tongue. Low enough to drop resonance and it's what I hear in the speach of others, here. Whether that is actually happening, or not. Because, I think, perception of sound is mental.

Anyway, at first, to keep myself from dropping tongue too much, I would have to shade the vowel sound in the word "love" to oo, so the word would change to "loove" to keep it where I needed it. Or, if that sound is too drastic, at least switch to "L-oh-ve", although, really, the vowels need to be ironed out first. Frisell points out that oh is a chesty vowel. So, I think it's okay to get closer to italian vowels, at least as a temporary fix to a vowel problem.

And I know some had disagreed with me in the past on the pulling down effect of uh. They are also usually from a different region and speak quite differently than I do. And that's okay, we all start from somewhere. But it also explains for me why I cannot get into exercises with "uh." At least not yet. I am better off sticking as close to the italian as I can.

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Ron this is quite random, but I would love it if you could change the last two parts of signature to "Can ya? Can ya?" to subliminally emphasize the importance of vowel modification. :lol:

And that's a stylistic example. "Can ya" sounds infinitely more rock.

And if you listen, he absolutely sang it that way in the song.

"forget vowel modification"...(*auto edit*) that. Vowel modification will forever be with us, and ever, amen.

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