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Keeping down the volume

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D.Starr
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Everyone says turn it up to 11...but I want to turn it down.

I really need to find a way to lower the volume as I get higher, it demands it in R&B, the sort of crooner sense to it.

Any advice or exercises I can do?

I need to learn how to use less weight but still keep connected and not flip and disconnect.

Slowly getting my head around vowel modification and singing more into my palate.

It's just being able to sing lighter and at a lower volume in the passagio, it's not really needed to sing loud.

But I've found as I try it I ever flip and break or push a little too much. I'm pushing less and less now though.

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Don't confuse staying connected with staying in chest voice. You have to shed off the weight to get to the R&B dynamic, the key is doing it gradually. You also have to shed off the adduction very slightly, again, the key is doing it gradually.

Here's something that helped me recently. Set aside a good hour or so to practice this.

Start somewhere around A3 and work on single notes on the vowel "ih" as in "sit" or "ouh" as in "book" (and if you do "ouh", be careful not to tighten your lips). As part of the exercise you will gradually move up a half step but only after you've achieved the following "setup" on the current note, the goal is:

-as light as possible without flipping into head/falsetto/M2/CT dominant

-as effortless as possible in that configuration

-achieve a more top-down/floaty sensation, or a higher placement, than what you usually feel in chest voice, but not as top down as head.

It may be a bit of a scary thing for your voice to get used to, you will feel like you are barely holding on to chest voice. You will likely crack/flip/yodel a few times when practicing this, if it happens persistently, go down a pitch and get that one even more light and effortless and stable.

Essentially what you are going for here is a very balanced light mix, but ever so slightly chest/M1/TA dominant

Once you've got that down, move up a half step and try to achieve the same thing. Keep moving up to a higher pitch (after each one is decently executed with this tricky configuration) until you get to a pitch where your voice seems to be naturally pulling you into head voice, not by means of flip, you'll kind of just end up there.

Now try an ascending siren starting on the same configuration, the interval doesn't matter, just go through the passaggio. And this time, allow the voice to shift into head voice, when it feels right. You may find that it is now happening super smoothly because you have trained your voice to let go of more weight as you approach the head voice.

To transfer this over to singing, start by taking a phrase, transpose it down to comfortable pitches and just do it legato on the same vowel and configuration. So you're gonna phonate ih through the melody or ouh through the melody with this light mix configuration. Then move that up a half step until you are at the original key and then add in the lyrics, possibly modifying the vowels a bit toward ih and ouh.

This should help you remove the flip when bridging early and going for a light but connected head voice. It really helped me. I found it just out of experimentation though, it wasn't assigned to me by a teacher, so let me know if it helps you too.

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Hi D.Starr

It's hard to discuss volumes without being in the same room as you, because what someone thinks is very loud may not actually be that loud, or vice versa. For example, my fiance thinks any singing I do that isn't in neutral is loud. But there's wiggle room within "loud", for example if I record myself doing a big EH vowel and change to I, the volume goes down significantly but is still perceived as "loud" by my fiance.

Singing in the high part of the voice without going to neutral/pure head voice requires a certain amount of effort and volume. It will never be quiet. In fact it will probably be medium-loud on anything above an E4. But yeah, if you want an R&B sound it also won't be near your upper limit of volume, either.

I too find it easier to get those high notes in a loud way (in CVT terms I often use edge even if I try to use curbing) and it's hard to dial that back without accidentally overshooting and flipping. The times I have successfully used curbing on high pitches, I have noticed that it only works (for me) only in a very narrow range of volumes. It just has to be super precise or I'll fail. Try experimenting with volumes and see if there's a (possibly small) sweet spot where it works well.

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