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can you please explain in simple, graphic terms, how you achieve support? What are you doing, step by step, using relevant parts of your body, to achieve proper support needed ?

Also, what are you doing to achieve a good tone?

I am starting in person lessons in a couple of weeks, with Franco Tenelli, who teaches appoggio on youtube, but I am a little impatient and want a head start on a few things beforehand, lol. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!

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it may help to detach support from singing for a moment and think of it as what you need to achieve certain bodily functions....

one is removal of solid waste (defecation), another is child birth, and what we engage to push a heavy object.

becoming aware of what these sensations feel like will give you a good idea of what appoggio can (but not always) can feel like.

you are basically developing the ability to control exhalation. that "bearing down" sensation is something to get acquainted with.

try to feel the bearing down without squeezing the vocal folds or tensing the neck, jaw and extrinsic muscles. concentrate and focus on the lower area where you feel the bearing down.

try bearing down in various degrees.

that's how it feels (i.m.h.o.) hope I've helped......this is just for giving you the "sensation."

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I am not an expert but sometimes, I phrase something that others like.

So, I don't think I can teach or help any better than Tenelli and if I were you, I would pay attention to every word he says.

Your going to find assorted descriptions of breath support here that may or may not synchronize with what you learn from him and you have the choice to listen to the man whom you are paying or the rest of us.

Anyway, breath support is something that should mobile and agile, always engaged. A little, a lot, always in motion.

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All I would like to add is debunk a misconception I used to have about support:

Support is not stationary and it is not all about holding back the air. In my case, my voice made big gains when I allowed myself to blow a little harder sometimes. It all depends. It is about finding a balance and dynamically controlling that balance according to what you are singing. Like Ron said, support is mobile. As you change vowel, pitch, and intensity, your support is going to have to change along with it.

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Stationary support, I just made up that term on the spot to differentiate it from support being mobile. CVT has a term for it called locked support. I don't have their book yet so I don't know exactly what they are referring to by that but what I used to do definitely felt like how I'd imagine "locked support" would feel, so it's probably the same thing.

It's kinda hard to explain...it's like locking all or most of the breathing musculature in one position, and then attempting to sing through that. Which is kinda impossible. That conflict of essentially trying to do the impossible really screws things up. Something's gotta get the air out of the lungs, and I think that part of the equation sometimes gets overlooked in teaching breath support.

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Support is a very important topic and lots of confusing stuff has been written about it. The basic idea is that for different kinds of notes (powerful, soft, high pitch, low pitch), you need a different amount of air pressure just under your vocal folds.

If you take in a breath and then exhale it as quickly as you can, you can feel your chest collapse and your abdominal muscles go in, both really quickly. For the purposes of singing, you never want to do this: that would cause way too much air pressure for your vocal folds to handle. Support is never about blowing air at the folds as hard as you possibly can.

If you take in a breath and keep the ribs expanded, not much air will come out. It's possible to hold your breath while keeping your vocal folds apart -- this is what happens if you inhale and then keep yourself in the inhaling position but don't apply a "holding" feeling in your throat. If you do this (completely hold your breath), you also won't be able to sing. When singing, you're going to be in between these two extremes of exhaling forcefully and not exhaling at all.

In this excellent thread (http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=7168), Rachsing (a poster here) gave a good analogy: keeping your ribs expanded is like "putting on the brakes" or "holding back the air", and pulling in your abdomen near your navel is like "pressing the accelerator", pushing more air. In singing, sometimes you need to use one of these and sometimes both, and it depends on what you're trying to do.

When you do sing, your vocal folds come together and vibrate a lot while in a close-together state. If you sing a soft note like with a lullaby, they will only come together gently and a fair amount of air will escape. In this situation, you need the "brakes", or you'll run out of breath very quickly. If you sing a loud powerful high note, the vocal folds come together quite a lot and they do not let air escape very much at all. But for this to work, the air pressure just below the folds needs to be fairly high, so you will need a bit of the "accelerator" -- the motion of pulling in the abdomen. This is like you're trying to push out air with moderate force (not SUPER hard as I discussed above), but because of what the vocal folds are doing (singing a powerful note), air doesn't actually get out at a super fast rate.

The other complication with all this is that it depends on how full your lungs are. This matters the most on long notes. If you've just taken a breath, the fact that there's a lot of air in your lungs will increase the pressure under your vocal folds naturally, so you might need more of the "brakes" at the beginning of the phrase. But as your lungs get more empty as you hold out the note, you might need to apply "accelerator" in order to maintain the pressure that you need to keep the powerful sound. So whether you need the brakes or the accelerator depends on two main things, including i) what kind of sound you're trying to make and ii) how long it was since you took your last breath.

Play around with it. If you try something and it helps, you're on the right track.

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Thanks Phil. I only recently started understanding all this, after hearing contradictory things from many different people over the years. Blow more air! Blow less air! Don't even think about the air! etc. It's made a big difference for me.

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