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Head Voice Grit

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staticsound
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Hey guys, been working on a certain sound here lately that involves head/middle voice grit. I can distort my chest very easy and at low volumes. The area I have problems adding grit in is F4 and up. I know it's supposed to be a grunt without grunting, but I can't seem to do it in a head placement. The chest stuff rumbles up in my soft palate, is there a different sensation I should be feeling as I ascend? Here's the exact sound I'm trying to achieve :

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I'd say, do everything you can to let go of the squeeze and let the air fuel the grit. In my personal experience, excess cord closure is a nemesis to vocal distortion. You need to blow a lot of air and keep the glottis (vocal folds) fairly open, and that's when the grit will kick in.

When training distortion, definitely start with an "h" onset.

I do feel there is a need to "push" to access grit, but it's not a push of throat tension, you can't be gripping, it's a push of air. As he is demonstrating in that video.

That's only one approach to distortion though, it's the only one I'm familiar with. There are other ways to get it with less air flow and more squeeze but I don't know how, I've never done it that way.

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See, the twang/false fold distortion I can do very easy in head voice...I don't like the sound of it. I guess I'm looking for more of a grunt/false fold effect...

My experiences with grit in head or chest is to cut back the air flow and as to not blow my cords apart. So I guess more or less, what's this guy actually doing? He's saying add "compression", which to me would mean just to add more twang? And yeah, my chest grit I don't have to push anything. I'm using more of a glottal attack....just can't figure out how to get it in my head register....driving me nuts!!:mad:

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If you are going for the Chris Cornell high distortion thing, try doing a siren from a lower note with the "grunt" effect up to the high note you want to sing and try keeping the grunt configuration, its going to be very loud probably ( I was aiming for D5 when I did this). Im gonna post a sample, listen to the sirening up to the first note, it was more like pulling chest, but on the second phrase I could keep the configuration and somehow lightened a bit and it felt easy, didnt hurt or anything. And at the end of the sample I think I slipped out of the configuration and ended up in head voice.

https://www.box.com/s/6ti34agngmrdbnjfvu82

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you said that you DONT want false fold distortion, and then you said that you DO want it xD

let me show you which are the types of distortion through sound, not through words as they can be confusing sometimes :P

-vocal cords (creaking distortion)

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/237-1

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/238-1

-false folds (cvt's distortion)

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/220-1

-arytenoids (here you can do rattle, growl and grunt)

rattle:

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/241-1

growl:

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/252-1

grunt:

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/261-1

what are you meaning, you want to develop false folds distortion or grunt? (or maybe another)

Doh! I meant the twang/compression I can do easy(Axl Rose)...I don't really like the sound of that. Thanks for all the examples dude! I guess based on the those snippets, what I'm looking for is what you're doing on the "false fold" example, and the creaking. How the hell are you doing those....been struggling to find that sound for years.

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hahah the guy on the samples is not me, i mean i can do those effects too!, but those are samples from cvt :P

so you want to use false folds distortion!

okay here i will teach you how to do it, if something hurts -it shouldnt hurt at all-, stop and go back to the previous step, or continue later, this could take time to perfect but it is perfectly possible to learning instantly too :P

first try to do this sound in a relaxed manner:

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/210-2

it is like the spanish 'J' consonant, this is produced on the soft palate and it is unvoiced, the true vocal folds arent vibrating here.

DO IT and then continue reading.

you could notice that below that spanish 'J' consonant you WERE using false fold distortion, without even knowing it because you were focused on the soft palate doing the consonant, do the sound again and put your fingers above your larynx, you will feel that there is something vibrating there (the false folds).

now try this sound, that is removing the 'JJJJ' of the palate, but keeping the same coordination on the throat:

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/211-2

this is false folds distortion without voice -without the true vocal folds vibrating-.

support and twang a lot, say 'aiiiiee' as you were annoyed. make it natural, dont worry if it doesnt sound like a distortion at this point, listen to the tiny distortion and try to cultivate this sound.

now try to do this sound, a very light sigh as you were very happy, keep the same vocal tract position (twang, false folds touching)

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/212-1

the more twang and high larynx you use, the safer and easier. sing a note without distortion at medium-low volume, on a light and quiet 'GEE' in a pleasant pitch, gradually add distortion to the clean note, remember to do it as in the 'aiieee', if it hurts ot itches, it emans that you are not twanging enough or the larynx is too low, in this case try again or take a break. try to take note exactly of what you have to do to turn the tiny distortion into a distorted note, exaggerate a bit what you are doing and become aware of how it feels this distortion. allow the tongue to go backwards -but now downwards- if with that it feels more confortable to locate the distortion. keep the distortion VERY BRIGHT, then you can retrain it to become darker.

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/213-3

try distortiong on easy vowels, easy pitches and volumes and little by little practice scales or sirens with this distortion, the idea is that this is just an effect that goes above what you are singing, WITHOUT CHANGING what the true vocal folds are doing, so it is something that you can freely add or remove:

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/214-1

here are some singing examples of false folds distortion:

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/222-1

if you have questions or you wanna post an audio sample of you trying this, feel free to do it, dont worry if you cant do it right know, take your time and never abuse your throat, take breaks or continue next day if necessary, distortion is not something that makes you feel bad pressure or itches or produces pain on the throat!! and finally, get away from the tips on distortion from singing success, they dont know a shit about this xD -they can extend your head range, whistle, but thats it!-. happy practicing :P

Nice! Right on man, I'll give these a listen when I get home, thanks a lot. I know what you mean by the SS guys, I started with that stuff early on, then migrated towards Jamie Vendera and Ken Tamplin. That's the first YT vid that popped up with the sound I was wanting...didn't want to be "that guy" who throws up a Cornell video instead. :P

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Owen, most distortion experts, f.ex. Ken Tamplin, would tell you that you should DECREASE the airflow when distorting.

So you're saying Rob, who recommends increasing air flow for distortion, isn't a distortion expert too? Even though he successfully uses it as much as Ken? They both have no problems with their own approaches.

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it is far better to practice them with little air, support and twang! then you can retrain it to add air if it is what you prefer :P and on creaking (true vocal cords distortion) i think you would destroy your voice if you add air too :)

I think that's what TVS teaches. Well actually both, the overlay would be the distortion with support and twang and the overlay w/ husk adds the air. This all done with FVF distortion.

I agree that creaking + air is no good, and nearly impossible actually, isn't it? Vocal fry requires limited airflow in order to work...

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My friend marcus had the same problem. "my voice is so kind, il never be able to get it right"

I traveled to him in finland and gave him a session. He found it dead on, a week later he sent me this

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lxzwd3o8xivybmm/Bad%20Romance%20cover.mp3

Feel free to add me on skype and maybe il help you out;)

Skype:jensviktorjohansson

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My vocal distortion at this point is like Yosemite Sam from Bugs Bunny. Most of my voice shapes come from mimicking cartoon characters. I don't think this is the correct way for singing. :P

I wasn't questioning your instructions just seeing if Jens approached it the same. :)

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I dunno :P I usually never read distortion tips, i know it insideout already. Not something i personaly need to work on. Try it out and see if it works.

If it works it works simple as that, there is no golden road or an ultimate way.

Creaking(distortion with the actual folds) it's not something dangerous i do it all the time on my highs. It should never hurt only feel like there's alittle bit more effort.

I also echo rach, im pretty positive Roberts distortion consists of many vocalfunctions wich is very cool. When he's down below high c he uses more falsefolds to my ear. When he's up high abit of creaking appears also other vibrations of the vocaltract including rattle.

None of these functions are dangerous however if performed right, the overlay distortion is however the key to all This. Our minds dont seperate these sounds nearly aswell as our laryngeal mechanisms do. If i think abit lighter i usually end up n creak i i think abit heavyer i end up in falsefold.

You can basicly have falsefold,creakng,rattle,noise in the voice at the same time :P add air if your in neutral.

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Creakdistortion and vocalfry is also not the same thing, two completly diffrent functions.

Creaking= folds vibrate unperiodicly

Vocalfry(creak)= folds are lose and only touches on the edges

Thats why those who distorts with vocalfry needs a twice the size on the pa system lol.

Like when melissa cross was on conan o brien hehe

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Ss use creak to close the folds in high areas on the voice, not for distortion :P for me it's a complete diffrent sensation(and sound), i cant add vocalfry to my highs and end upp in screamed distortion.

Edit: have you gotten powerfullscreams through vocalfry in the highrange?

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Ok, that false fold distortion is what i've been using already in chest. It's usable up to about a E4 for me, then it feels like I should be switching gears at the passaggio. For examples sake, with this false fold distortion, how would say an A4 sound? No offense to TVS and Robert, but the overlay just doesn't have any balls to it. What I mean, is that it sounds to pharyngeal. Whereas the SS guy's high C has gusto to it.

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Jens I have a messed up problem. I can sing low enough and still not get into fry. Only when I have warmed up fully and am singing it will show up randomly in head voice or RIGHT in the mix.

Forcing the sound never works for me. The fake "forced vocal fry" is really bad for the voice I think the genuine sound comes for relaxed adduction with low breath force which is not easy imo.

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Ok, after listening to your examples again geran, the actual singing one, on the "we can work it out" you're hitting a high A if my ears aren't deceiving me. Is there a "gear" change in there somewhere? My problem is, and has always been distorting around F#4-B4...the spots that require a change in larynx position/modification. I'm not familiar with the CVT stuff, but I try to add more twang and it turns into this almost pharyngeal cackle sounding thing...not pretty. Clean voice on say a G4, no prob...try to distort, it all falls apart, lol.

PS - Sorry if I'm sounding persistent on this, it's just something I've always wanted to do, and have finally set my mind to accomplish this :)

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Ok, that false fold distortion is what i've been using already in chest. It's usable up to about a E4 for me, then it feels like I should be switching gears at the passaggio. For examples sake, with this false fold distortion, how would say an A4 sound? No offense to TVS and Robert, but the overlay just doesn't have any balls to it. What I mean, is that it sounds to pharyngeal. Whereas the SS guy's high C has gusto to it.

It's not about the distortion, but the underlying vocal mode, hit the high c the way he does add some distortion voila:p

Personaly i dont like his distortions, not the sound of it. It sounds very cool, but his body language and how he explain this, he cant do it lower ect ect. It's almost as if he's a little scared of the distortion, talks about how there's always damage.

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dont apologize, there is no problem with asking!! hahah

well im not the guy of those samples, those are from cvt!

and yeah, there is no change of gear there, as he is maintaining the same mode all the time! :P

i would prefer to hear you but i think that your problem, from what you describe, is that you can do distortion but you have problems with the modes around F#4-B4, not the distortion!! so the thing is, you first have to have centered the modes, everything working well CLEAN, and then!, you add the effect -distortion-!

probably with switching gears you refer to changing into the neutral mode to find more release!, and that is fine, but you cant expect that the power will still be there if you changed to a tinier phonation, if what you want is to maintain the same power that you have below F#4, you have to train that sound, and depending on which sound is (what mode are you using there before the change of modes) you will have rules to follow, for example if when you are on C4-F4 you are using curbing, at F#4 you will have to redirect the vowels towards I - O- UH, if you were using overdrive you will have to redirect them towards EH - OH, and on edge EH - I- A - OE, and the support, twang, and volume changing will be an issue too!. so thats why it would be very useful if you can post an audio clip, if you do it, please show an escale, slow siren, or singing -any of those- involving the 4 octave C4-C5, or were is more confortable but showing this change of gear CLEAN (doing it how you always would, with your current technique), then try the distortion, it doesnt matter if it sounds bad or ugly, we are trying to help and with that sample on that way it will be very clear what is the problem that needs to be fixed!

I think you may be right there;)

If my tones are "heady" then the distortion won't have the same intensity. I posted up a few sirens, F4, G4, and A4, plus a grit example from C4-E4. My higher notes are def heady....should prob work on beefing them up. I can usually get a solid G4 without the heady-ness....these sirens are a bit sloppy since I've been working on this distortion thing all night, lol. If you listen to the Audioslave tune, I'm getting the notes full voice, and not so pharyngeal. Anyways, any help is greatly appreciated. The last link is Cornell himself, this is kinda the sound I'm looking for...is this false fold? I promise all the clips are very short...except my Audioslave cover :)

F4 - https://www.dropbox.com/s/iyved8sf961if0b/f4.wav

G4 - https://www.dropbox.com/s/yt216x6utmx5r9c/g4.wav

A4 - https://www.dropbox.com/s/g7ujl8g8uf4rz8v/a4.wav

Distortion - https://www.dropbox.com/s/e891bpax1us94i1/Grit.wav

Hears an actual song :

And one more example of the "heady" rasp, he sounds like he's in a head configuration:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/z1oqlbkb77arqw6/Sunshower.mp3

It's not about the distortion, but the underlying vocal mode, hit the high c the way he does add some distortion voila:p

Personaly i dont like his distortions, not the sound of it. It sounds very cool, but his body language and how he explain this, he cant do it lower ect ect. It's almost as if he's a little scared of the distortion, talks about how there's always damage.

Right on dude, I pm'd you earlier about Skype, don't know if you got it.

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Jens I have a messed up problem. I can sing low enough and still not get into fry. Only when I have warmed up fully and am singing it will show up randomly in head voice or RIGHT in the mix.

Forcing the sound never works for me. The fake "forced vocal fry" is really bad for the voice I think the genuine sound comes for relaxed adduction with low breath force which is not easy imo.

Why is that a problem? i cant burp even how hard i try i cant... Only a gurgle comes out... ;) thats on the same level. I dunno what you wanna do with vocalfry? I think it's useless, it can probably be of use for very high chestpullers... But other then that a useless sound. Everything you can use fry to train there are other sounds that do the same and better

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Why is that a problem? i cant burp even how hard i try i cant... Only a gurgle comes out... ;) thats on the same level. I dunno what you wanna do with vocalfry? I think it's useless, it can probably be of use for very high chestpullers... But other then that a useless sound. Everything you can use fry to train there are other sounds that do the same and better

It depens on how you do the vocal fry. I think vocal fry and creaking is actually the same coordination. It's just that the SS guys do the vocal fry in Neutral, which of course, will give you a Neutral-like coordination. This leads to a very weak and quiet sound that is almost completely unusable aside from entering a light heady mix.

The real deal however, is to do the fry in Edge with full adduction, not in Neutral. This is also why CVT recommends to sing the lowest part of your voice in Edge, because the lowest part is sung in fry and fry will only sound strong if you use Edge coordination.

If you do this, you will be able to produce a growl-like effect in the lowest part of your voice and it turns into a quite strong distortion in the higher part of your voice. I actually think this is creaking distortion, because to keep up the fry in the higher part you have to pull back on the air pressure, while staying in Edge coordination. This should lead to creaking between Edge and Neutral (just a theory).

Nevertheless, the important part is to do the fry with full cord adduction and not like the SS guys do it.

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The problem is, vocalfry is loose folds... They are loose and sloppy, that has nothing to do with neutral, edge,overdrive,curbing. if youve got tense folds you are not in fry.

Maybe it's just the definition, but to me the characteristics of fry is the 'pulse sound', fry is also called 'pulse register'.

I can definitely sing quite loud and with tense folds in pulse register but maybe the reason is that I am a bass. It is loud (louder than speaking level), but you can clearly hear the pulses which are typical characteristic of fry.

Fry imo doesn't have to mean that the folds are loose, it just means that the closing phases are very long, which results in that 'pulsing' sound.

Maybe you want to try it out. I remember you posted some video where you did your lowest notes in fry. That was really loose and unconnected fry. But what happens if you induce heavy twang, drop your jaw to the floor (the lowest position in the CVT description) and increase air pressure (volume) and support?

I was always wondering why they always do fry so quiet in demonstrations but maybe I've found something that is characteristic to the lower voices :P

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man your singing is excellent!! hahah i like it a lot!

well, okay the thing is, what you are needing here is learn to keep using curbing!! that is the mode you were using below the G4 zone! on A4 you make the change into neutral, and you even do it below A4, on notes that you used curbing on the other samples, you do early bridge and go neutral!

i think that what you need to do here is to smooth a bit your distortion, make it REALLY EASY to do!!, and along this, to extend your curbing range (what you do up to G4, and very consistently up to F4, for now).

to improve your distortion, keep in mind all the previous tips, the support, the twang, the 'aiiiee' sound, the twanged, clean and distorted 'GEE GEE GEE' (you can go back to them if you think you need to). all of that, and now try this:

1st. try sustaining a confortable clean note on curbing volume (not low volume, not loud either, just like your octave sirens), confortable vowel, and WHILE you sustain it, add the false folds distortion above of it, then while you still sustaining, remove it, add it... then 1 semitone higher, clean note > add distortion > clean > add distortion, and you keep going 1 semitone higher at a time.

2nd, do scales and sirens with the distortion, for example, a five tone scale with the added distortion, or an octave siren with the added distortion, or an CLEAN octave scale and you sustain the top note and add distortion to it, and then slide back down while keeping the distortion, go up 1 semitone at the time!

here is a sample from cvt doing the distorted 5 tone scale, and then the same but switching between clean note and adding the distortion above :P

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/216-1

notice that when you first listen to it you can think he is constricting, but if you really listen to it, he is not! it's just something that he adds and removes, adds and removes, in an easy way!

okay, now about extending the curbing range!

i feel that here you will have to understand a bit about the modes and learn to differenciate them as with that you can know what sound are you exactly aiming on this F4#-B4 zone!

for example, cornell is not THAT heady on his high notes on that song! he is not on a thin heady neutral, instead he is singing a lot at a medium-high volume! (and he clearly continues all the way up to the end on the 4th octave on the same mode, this is what you need to learn!, to be able to CHOOSE if you keep on the same mode or you lower the insensity, if you want to!

now about the modes, the thing is, the cvt modes are divided by 'amounts/levels of metal', and an easy way to understand it is that each one of the 3 levels of metal has a different volume, and has different vowel modifications!

fullmetallic, full volume: overdrive and edge. this is like using a heavy belting. (this 2 are kind of the same but edge has a lot of twang on it, which makes possible to take a lot of volume higher, while overdrive is the mode that has a pitch limit as it is like pulling chest). the character of those 2 modes on the high notes is like shouting or screaming. on the high notes the vowels on overdrive redirect towards EH - OH, and on edge towards EH - I- A -OE.

medium metal, medium volume: curbing. this is what you are using below the G4 area! it has a restrained/holded character. on high notes the vowels redirect towards UH - I - O.

non metallic, low volume: neutral. this is what you are using above the F#4-G4 area, it is very light, on the high notes it is the headiest one. on high notes you dont have to modify vowels here but the easiest are often OO - EE. the only mode that is possible to use adding air is neutral.

here you have samples showing the 4 modes so you will be able to compare and recognize them, and the most important thing, to see how you would have to and how to not sound above F4# to keep the same weight!

you will notice that the volume HAS to raise along every semitone higher!, on the fullmetal modes the volume raises faster, on curbing the volume starts to really go higher around the middle of the 4th octave for most males/tenors (this is an useful reference for you as you are a tenor!), and on neutral the volume starts to really go higher around C5!. if you instead of keep raising the volume each note to keep the same mode, you MAINTAIN IT and keep going higher, you will CHANGE into the next lighter mode, so if you are on curbing on F4 and you keep the volume the same when you get to A4, you will be on neutral! you have to raise the volume more to maintain curbing.

here are the samples!

fullmetal:

overdrive:

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/118-1

edge:

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/140-1

medium metal, curbing:

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/095-1

non metal, neutral:

without air,

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/068-1

with air,

https://soundcloud.com/gerardon89/067-1

so the thing is, now you have to work on keeping curbing while going up, for this, you have to support and twang more on each note higher, and always avoid constrictions!, if you feel wrong tensions, go back 1 semitone lower, until you feel it fine again, you have to stretch this sensation, keep the vowel (the UH you were using on the siren samples is fine, you can also try I and O, choose the easier first), the restrained/holded sound character (not shouty/screamy, not loosy/tiny/light), and add more volume as you go higher. use different scales, slides, sirens, etc... and in time it will grow!

if you have questions feel free to ask!, now im going to sleep hahah im tired and it's damn hard to write a lot on a language that i really dont speak, i think xD not fluently at least! :P

happy practicing!!

Damn dude, thanks for all the info!...really helps. So the volume should be pretty loud then, especially on the higher notes? More or less, I guess in Tamplin's terms, I just need to "stretch" my chest voice and support more to get those notes hard and heavy, consistently.

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