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Support. Is it supposed to be intuitive?

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gilad
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Seems I have a problem with support, and that is probably the reason I get hoarse. Is it supposed to be intuitively. Is it something I need to work on?

I have never really worked on support, as I have no idea how, except the 4 pillars breathing exercises, and diaphragm exercises. I think this is a major fault in my technique.

Any advise on how to get this piece of the puzzle? Good reading materials, videos etc?

Thanks

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I'm not convinced it has to be one or the other, but for me personally I started noticing support after building some base coordination and some more progression in my training. The support kind of started to weasel it's way into the coordination on it's own and the sensations matched what I've read/been told.

I will say though that it's possible that your issues are not caused only by bad support, fex if you have constrictions it could be bad muscle memory/coordination and you are in fact trying to support.

So personally support began to evolve in my training naturally, but I think it's best if you can take a lesson and have it evaluated by a teacher!

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For me it was very un-intuitive. I too would advice a teacher, but if you don't have the opportunity, I think Felipe had some good videos in an older thread regarding this, not completely sure though.

For me, support has been kind of harder and easier than expected both at the same time. This probably does not help you, but that is the way it was :)

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For me it was very un-intuitive. I too would advice a teacher, but if you don't have the opportunity, I think Felipe had some good videos in an older thread regarding this, not completely sure though.

For me, support has been kind of harder and easier than expected both at the same time. This probably does not help you, but that is the way it was :)

Definitely sound like what I am going through....

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For me, the belly breathing was easy, but I always ignored the rib expansion. So The belly breathing really didn't do anything for me until I learned to keep the ribs expanded. Then cutting back the air a lot helped me get that sound from not being trapped in the throat. I'm not perfect of course, like anything it's an ongoing skill that you get more efficient at. But I hope you find the following link helpful:

http://www.grow-the-voice.com/how-to-breathe-properly.html

When you do it right, you will literally feel like the sound is floating on a cushion. You'll have something to "rest on" and "lean into"

Hmm..

You know what, I don't think I expand my ribs (sides). Would that really be an issue? I mean, I can hold a note for quite some time. That is why I always thought that I have no problems with support.

When you expand you ribs (sides) while putting your hands on your sides, do they move a lot, or is it really a slight movement that you don't really feel unless you concentrate?

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Just tried Ann Peckham's breathing exercises for from her book "Elements of vocal technique for the contemporary singer". Let me tell you, it wasn't easy for me.

1) "using a metronome at 80bpm, taking to short hisses per beat counting to 10, then exhaling two short hisses per beat for 20 counts".

2) "same inhalation 10 counts, except exhale on one continuous hiss for 20 counts."

3) "same inhalation 10 counts, except exhale on a "Ah" for 20 counts"

And this is the easy level. Ok, sounds like I do have support issues. Gonna work on these breathing exercises for a few days before I jump back into singing exercises. I think this should be my focus.

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I like a quote by Jo Estill: "Singing is an unnatural act". Referring to the fact that the breathing patterns in singing is different than normal.

Starting to agree with this statement...

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It was a big issue for me. I didn't notice what my voice lacked until I got the hang of rib expansion.

I agree with Ron Anderson when he says "you have no support" if the ribs collapse. Many people can do the belly breathing but they don't really feel it changes much in their singing.

I think the culprit is not having the ribs expanded. Once I learned to get the ribs expanding suddenly the resonance in my voice improved, bridging was much much much easier in my singing. BUT YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE TO CUT BACK THAT AIR that you get from expanding the ribs. If you get all that air and then get real breathy you won't have breath compression and you will mess up bridging the passagio.

It can be subtle unless you get your thumbs on the lower ribs and feel them come out. You may not really feel them pop out but when you exhale you should DEFINITELY feel them collapse.

The hiss is great. Inhale into the belly expanding the ribs (it should happen together), cut back the air and use just enough air so that you can keep the hiss from breaking. Sustain it for as long as possible. DOn't let the ribs collapse back in. If they collapse that means you need another breath.

It will teach you to use less air which is breath compression and it will keep the ribs expanded so the breath is connected. I think when you can do 30+ secs you will have taken the exercise as far as you need to take it.

Phil, thank you very much man! Your video is great!

Do you think that the lack of good support would be the reason I would get hoarse after a 45 minute session?

When singing higher, i understand that I need to use more pressure. Is it something that can be controlled? It seems everything about breathing from the belly during singing was intuitive for me. This may point to the fact that I am doing it wrong. :)

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Hi Gilad,

You mentioned "i understand that I need to use less pressure, same volume".

I'm really just starting out, so I probably have this all wrong, but when you sing higher, don't you need to use more pressure not less? My understanding, perhaps flawed, is that as you rise in pitch, you require less air so that the vocal folds remain closed, but the air you do need is more pressurized. That pressurized air, resulting from not letting the diaphram ascend, is support.

Does that make sense or do I have it all wrong?

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Rib expansion; Raise your arms out to the sides and over your head like you are trying to touch the ceiling. Bring your hands together. This will naturally expand you ribcage and also lift your chest into a raised position.

In this postion do a few scales and take notice of what differences you feel in your breathing and singing.

With your arms streached over your head like this the ribs will stay expanded and lifted. The diaphram and stomache have to do the work.

After doing this for a while ; With your arms still over your head and ribs expanded; keep the ribs in this position; slowly lower your arms to your side ( Do not let the ribs move). relax your shoulders (Do not let the ribs move)

Your Ribs should still be expanded and your chest lifted. This is what you want when you sing.

Easy to write about hard to do when singing. When you hear teachers tell you that you do not want your chest to collapse. They mean that they want you to keep this position.

I hope you could follow all of that. And again I am not a teacher. If someone else Like Robert or Felipe, Daniel...... says different defer to them.

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Hi Gilad,

You mentioned "i understand that I need to use less pressure, same volume".

I'm really just starting out, so I probably have this all wrong, but when you sing higher, don't you need to use more pressure not less? My understanding, perhaps flawed, is that as you rise in pitch, you require less air so that the vocal folds remain closed, but the air you do need is more pressurized. That pressurized air, resulting from not letting the diaphram ascend, is support.

Does that make sense or do I have it all wrong?

Hey Willise,

You are right. It is more pressure, as the cords are more adduced and require more pressure to make the tone.

Sorry or the confusion ;)

*Corrected

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MDEW,

I like your explanation of the support position with respect to the ribs and chest not collapsing. What about the belly? When you breathe deep and low, your belly expands first, then the ribs, then the chest. I find keeping the ribs and chest expanded to be easier than keeping the belly expanded without some major force. My assumption is that I am using too much air.

This support thing is horrendously difficult!:)

GILAD

Thanks for setting me on the right path - didn't want to make sure I was completely misunderstanding all my readings.;) BTW - your music sounds great!

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MDEW,

I like your explanation of the support position with respect to the ribs and chest not collapsing. What about the belly? When you breathe deep and low, your belly expands first, then the ribs, then the chest. I find keeping the ribs and chest expanded to be easier than keeping the belly expanded without some major force. My assumption is that I am using too much air.

This support thing is horrendously difficult!:)

GILAD

Thanks for setting me on the right path - didn't want to make sure I was completely misunderstanding all my readings.;) BTW - your music sounds great!

Thanks buddy.

Yes extremely difficult... i feel as if when inhaling, the last obe to expand is my ribs. Also have a hard time feeling whether it has collapsed or not..

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Yes breath low into the stomache. But you can breathe and have your stomache expand without the lower ribs moving. This doesn't help much for support. The expanded lower ribs is what keeps tension on the diaphram.

If your ribs are already expanded the only way to bring air in is by a movement of the stomache. Or the stomache has no other choice but move when you breath. You can look at it both ways.

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gilad,

it's likely difficult because the musculature you need for support is probably weak and unconditioned.

you are going to have a much more difficult time supporting and singing, if you don't do some exercises that train and condition the musculature involved.

the various muscles that control exhalation) are not engaged much in normal speech or simple breathing therefore they need conditioning to do what they need to do for singing.

you are trying to develop a skill of controlling pressurized air your body rarely gets called upon to do..... so what controls it?

sometimes you will need little support (and regardless of what others may say) sometimes you are really going to

need a lot of support.

if you don't do exercises to condition this lower core area musculature you will not develop the voice to it's maximum potential....period.....end of story.....

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Bob,

I will have to disagree with that last statement. Breath management has a lot more to do with coordination. Your muscles of the core are already more than strong enough to create the pressures needed. In fact, often it's reducing pressure that people are struggling with.

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Bob,

I meant that the muscles are already strong enough, otherwise it could be life threatening in regards to natural biological functions like for instance coughing. Did you know that when you sneeze you are producing pressures that can be more than eight times bigger than needed for loud singing like opera or belting?

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Bob is correct, the conditioning is necessary, and more because of stamina than any other aspect. Intercostal expansion will require a lot of effort and it will tire your body as a whole. Either that or you will have to push air out, may work as a bandaid but its far from optimal.

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Bob,

I meant that the muscles are already strong enough, otherwise it could be life threatening in regards to natural biological functions like for instance coughing. Did you know that when you sneeze you are producing pressures that can be more than eight times bigger than needed for loud singing like opera or belting?

They are strong but a good belly laugh or sneezing fit for about 3 minutes strait will make me sore for a couple of hours. They still need to be conditioned.

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no rach. respectfully, there's additional benefit when these muscles are conditioned. like felipe said, it has to do with stamina, consistency and longevity.....even tonal enhancement.

it's also like a turbo charger vs. an engine without one.

also support as a means to disengage constriction and free the voice is better than anything i know.

i also believe there's incremental benefit in how long one can hold their breath...at least for me personally....

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