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Strain in headvoice (Jesse Powell and Teena Marie)

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Nicogratouille
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Obviously both singers are very talented and I don't want to bring them down or anything but it sounds to me like they both have problems with their 'oo' vowel in head voice/falsetto. Sounds like they are a little flat and straining.

What do you think? What are they doing wrong here? I often here the same issue in other singers but can't quite put a label on it.

Here's what I'm talking about:

- "You" by Jesse Powell (1m12s to 1m36s):

- "Turnin' Me On" by Teena Marie (1m03s to 1m22s):

Nicholas

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The first one was totally on pitch and didn't sound strained at all.

The second one is just off pitch. Sharp actually. I don't think there's any way of knowing if it's a technique issue. It's probably just hard for her to hear the pitch because there are fewer harmonics on an a high "oo" you're mostly hearing just the fundamental.

Other than that the only possible source of strain I can think of is maybe pulling the TA up too high in the head voice, not thinning out quite enough, I hear a touch of that, maybe that's what you're hearing? Or maybe you don't like the sound of the hooty F1/H1 tuning that's necessary up in that register? Or maybe the lack of twang bugs you? I don't know, what you hearing is very subjective I think.

Mostly it's just the second clip is off pitch. Strain is a whole different sound, not to mention, you can't truly HEAR strain, only the singer feels it. But if anything I tend to equate a strained sound with too much vocal fold compression, and that is not something I heard in either of these clips.

Maybe we could hear a file of your head voice "oo" for comparison? Or an "oo" that you like in another singer's head voice?

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Thanks Owen :)

I'm pretty sure I hear something wrong in both those clips. Maybe they are opening there mouth too much or depressing their tongue or whatever... I just don't know what it is.

Or maybe you don't like the sound of the hooty F1/H1 tuning that's necessary up in that register?

I'm sorry but I don't understand what you are talking about. Every time you guys write about formants or TA/CT it gets too technical for me ;)

Nick

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Thanks Owen :)

I'm pretty sure I hear something wrong in both those clips. Maybe they are opening there mouth too much or depressing their tongue or whatever... I just don't know what it is.

I'm sorry but I don't understand what you are talking about. Every time you guys write about formants or TA/CT it gets too technical for me ;)

Nick

In layman's terms it sounds like an owl hooting. Or a high soprano. Although in a way these singers aren't even getting that resonance perfectly.

Retracting the tongue slightly is a typical bad habit on "oo". I sorta do it sometimes. Maybe that's what you're hearing.

The one thing I notice about both oo's here is that they lack high frequencies. There's no shimmer to the sound it's just like a hollow one dimensional tone. Then again most high oo's are like that

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