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Resonant strategies

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benny82
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So I re-read Steven Fraser's article explaining the passaggio 101 and it helped get more insight on a problem I have for quite a long time.

I have described it before that there is a point where I 'lose my timbre' and get insconsitent around G4. I think I have found the reason, and it seems to be that pretty much at G4 the 2nd harmonic (which is at around 800 Hz at G4) leaves the 1st formant, which causes a loss of 'deepness' and 'boominess'.

So I searched for measures to raise the 1st formant, which is usually described by opening the mouth and narrowing in the back. So I shaped my vowels a lot more towards 'uh'/'eh'/'oe' (depending on the lyrics vowel) and TADA now I can get quite consitent 'boominess' on G4 and G#4.

However, I already feel limited again, because at G#4 my mouth is pretty much opened to full extent (my chin is almost touching my adam's apple) and I narrow in the back as much as I can. My mouth is already opened to full extent and If I try to narrow more it feels like pushing the back of the tongue out of the back of my neck and causes constriction.

So are there other means besides narrowing and opening the mouth that can be used to raise the 1st formant?

According to Steven the location of the formants is an indication of voice type, so may that be the actual 'limitation' of voice types, and actually not the size of the folds and the ability to sing M1 up high.

Actually, I feel quite 'heavy' in terms of mass above A4, and it may even be M1 what I am producing, but the timbre is too bright, too piercing, not 'boomy' enough. And it may just be the lacking boost of the 2nd harmonic (~800 Hz), which causes too much dominance of 'twang resonance' (~3000 Hz).

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In my experience: continue what you are doing and in time you'll be able to do the narrowing in the back at that particular pitch with a smaller mouth opening.

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In my experience: continue what you are doing and in time you'll be able to do the narrowing in the back at that particular pitch with a smaller mouth opening.

So I should basically train to narrow more while not opening the mouth as much as I do? Sounds reasonable...

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In my experience, narrowness and drop of the jaw are two separate things. For example, ah is a tall narrow vowel sound. People don't realize that because they often mispronounce toward oh or eh.

The main reason I think it's handy not to open the jaw so much is to make articulation easier because not every song is ponation on semi-occluded vowels in scale form.

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So I re-read Steven Fraser's article explaining the passaggio 101 and it helped get more insight on a problem I have for quite a long time.

<snip>

According to Steven the location of the formants is an indication of voice type, so may that be the actual 'limitation' of voice types, and actually not the size of the folds and the ability to sing M1 up high.

Actually, I feel quite 'heavy' in terms of mass above A4, and it may even be M1 what I am producing, but the timbre is too bright, too piercing, not 'boomy' enough. And it may just be the lacking boost of the 2nd harmonic (~800 Hz), which causes too much dominance of 'twang resonance' (~3000 Hz).

benny82: I am glad that you found it useful.

If you can produce heavy mass above A4, then the key to power in that range is in singing the best vowels for your voice.

If you have a G4 as you describe, one strategy that you can use is to close the vowels at D4 (early bridge) and let the G4 be the first note in the head voice resonance balance. An excellent vowel to find this is /o/ (oh). On the upward mixolydian modal scale from G3 (like Gmajor, but with a lowered 7th), sing the closed /o/ with very little jaw drop, and keep the vowel consistent as you ascend the scale. When you get to the G4, or perhaps (if a slightly higher voice, an Ab4) you will feel the voice roll into a different resonance adjustment due to the alignment of harmonics with the 2nd formant. This will be boomy, but not with the same sensation as the F1 tuning. F2 tuning done this way puts F1 frequency in between the 1st 2 harmonics, and puts most of the vocal power on the 3rd or 4th harmonic.

When you find it, it will likely ring in your head to beat the band, and feel almost as boomy as F1 tuning. You can see this clearly on a spectrogram... the 3rd or 4th harmonic will be the loudest one in your voie.

I hope this is helpful. Keep up the good work.

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benny82: I am glad that you found it useful.

If you can produce heavy mass above A4, then the key to power in that range is in singing the best vowels for your voice.

If you have a G4 as you describe, one strategy that you can use is to close the vowels at D4 (early bridge) and let the G4 be the first note in the head voice resonance balance. An excellent vowel to find this is /o/ (oh). On the upward mixolydian modal scale from G3 (like Gmajor, but with a lowered 7th), sing the closed /o/ with very little jaw drop, and keep the vowel consistent as you ascend the scale. When you get to the G4, or perhaps (if a slightly higher voice, an Ab4) you will feel the voice roll into a different resonance adjustment due to the alignment of harmonics with the 2nd formant. This will be boomy, but not with the same sensation as the F1 tuning. F2 tuning done this way puts F1 frequency in between the 1st 2 harmonics, and puts most of the vocal power on the 3rd or 4th harmonic.

When you find it, it will likely ring in your head to beat the band, and feel almost as boomy as F1 tuning. You can see this clearly on a spectrogram... the 3rd or 4th harmonic will be the loudest one in your voie.

I hope this is helpful. Keep up the good work.

Thanks Steven, definitely will try it out.

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Narrowing vowels and shaping more intrinsically = "Throat Shaping". Something Im starting to spend more time and attention to. Makes the vowel work more efficient.

@Steven: Just tried that out, not sure if I did it right, but I could get some nice boomy A4's and B4's (although a different 'boom' than F1 tuning). However it really seems to be only working on 'oh' and 'eh' for me. On other vowels I constrict very badly. But maybe it's just training.

@Robert: Do you have some kind of "trigger" to shape the vowel more intrinsically, like letting the embechoure stay in a certain vowel position and don't change it on different vowels? What vowel do you use for the embechoure?

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