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Support... Closed Cords?

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Who would say that SUPPORT is necessary for closed cords? Even when I use extreme twang.... low larynx.. vowel shades... if I am BLASTING air through folds that are the size of fingernails... then I'm doing it wrong.

What are your favorite ways to find support/closed cords? HELP :D There is no point having a 2-4 octave range if you cannot support it. Breathing is what is holding me back... since I cannot hold back the breath :rolleyes:

- JayMC

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one thing that's helped me is imagining sucking in the breathe as you sing. of course your not literally, it's more a sensation. then as i'm singing i gradually add tension to my stomach to try to find the right balance. of course i may be wrong on that as i'm a beginner still working at support, but those are things that i have read and have helped.

another exercise i have come across numerous times on this forum is taking a deep breath then making a ssss sound for as long as you can without taking another breath. also try making the sound at varying levels of loudness.

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sustained SSSS to get the sensation of what it feels like to have glottal compression with ribs expanded and having least amount of air passing through the cord.

I recommend you find a good teacher because it will take you years to piece together things that can be solved in a week or two of lessons.

when your doing the s exercise, how much compression should you do? is it just enough to make the sss's, or do you want to feel a lot of compression in your core. cause when i do just enough to do the sss's, i don't feel much going on tension wise there, but i was under the impression singing involves a lot of support and you want to feel a lot of tension there (of course not too much).

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when your doing the s exercise, how much compression should you do? is it just enough to make the sss's, or do you want to feel a lot of compression in your core. cause when i do just enough to do the sss's, i don't feel much going on tension wise there, but i was under the impression singing involves a lot of support and you want to feel a lot of tension there (of course not too much).

bigmike092: The SSS, with the glottis open, helps to engage the diaphragm so that it slows down the exhale. THe same thing can be done with a slow-breath exhale, but the sustained SSS helps the doer hear the stability of the speed of the exhale.

Yes, singing does involve support, but the tension does not have to be 'a lot'. It just has to be enough to bring the force of exhalation into balance, so that only the air needed to make the tone is used.

If you have a steady SSS for 30 seconds, the next step you can take is to change the SSS into a soft ZZZ, for the same length.

Give it a try!

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I find a lot of semi-occluded exercises don't give the true sense of support that you get when you have to make the sound with your mouth open on a vowel only. In that case, you don't have an external crutch to help you resist the air pressure; instead, you have to know how to resist the air pressure using your torso and your vocal cords.

~~Dante~~

Dante: Much truth in that. I would re-cast the language, though, to say that '"you have to know how to resist the 'exhalation force' using your diaphragm..."

IMO, the vocal bands are the beneficiary of the reduced force.

A rep point on your way....

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I've said it before and it looks good to say it again and the cool thing it's the truth;)

When the laryngeal mechanism is freely functioning, then the breath becomes regulated and economical eliminating the need for "support" and all extraneous breathing techniques.

Danielformica: It deserves a re-phrase: 'When the laryngeal mechanism is freely functioning, then the breath has become regulated and economical.

My reason for the rewording is that the freedom of the laryngeal mechanism cannot occur until the breath is in balance.

I hope this is helpful

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I think Dan and Steve are both right. The way I see it personally:

When the coordination of the breathing system, laryngeal mechanism, resonance chamber, and mental mindset are configured in a way that allows each variable to assist the other variables in achieving the desired end result, efficient voice production is achieved.

I'm grateful that pretty early on in my training I developed this understanding that the voice is a balancing act and have since believed with 100% certainty that there are no ways to shortcut the process and leave out any one of those four variables and assume the rest will take care of itself. I've found I need to train all four of them, preferably simultaneously, if I want to improve at getting all four of them to work together to create efficient voice production.

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I have to disagree with you there steven. I believe the more efficient your vocal cords are at governing the breathe the better your vocal technique. Thats my story and i'm sticking to it ;)

Danielformica: I agree that we disagree. My point was that the laryngeal mechanism cannot be freely functioning unless the breath is managed.

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Danielformica: I agree that we disagree. My point was that the laryngeal mechanism cannot be freely functioning unless the breath is managed.

Aren't they Both sides of the same coin? Hand in hand? Cannot have one without the other?

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Dante wrote, responding to MDEW:

'I have to agree with MDEW here. Support/breathing cannot be talked about without also talking about what the vocal cords are doing. They are both part of an intimate system. Which came first? Don't know and don't care, but just focus on it all together, meaning support should always be addressed in the context of a sound.'

Both: We are discussing two different things here. I was not making a general statement about the relationship of breath and laryngeal muscle action, I was making a comment to Danielformica about what must be done with the breath for the laryngeal muscle action to be FREE. He had written:

When the laryngeal mechanism is freely functioning, then the breath becomes regulated and economical eliminating the need for "support" and all extraneous breathing techniques.

My suggested re-wording of this was:'When the laryngeal mechanism is freely functioning, then the breath has become regulated and economical.

I continued to say 'My reason for the rewording is that the freedom of the laryngeal mechanism cannot occur until the breath is in balance.'

I agree, Dante, that the breath and the vocal bands interact, and that they are a system. The only point I am making is that the freedom of the laryngeal mechanism will not happen if the breath is out of balance. Too much, or too little, is not going to result in a free vocal production.

I hope this is helpful.

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IMO, the vocal bands are the beneficiary of the reduced force.

...

lthough I must stick by how I originally phrased my statement -- that it is not just the diaphragm that is resisting the air pressure, but rather your whole torso. The diaphragm cannot effectively resist the air pressure if the abs and pelvic floor are not engaged (and to a lesser extent, the serratus anterior, the intercostals, lats, and glutes). It's a thing involving the entire torso. We could even extend that further to say the sternothyroid and sternohyoid incorporating the upper portion of torso into the equation. But I just kept it simple and said the torso and the vocal cords.

Funny thing is, I can understand this point, too. And it seems to make sense. I spent time and energy simplifying things for myself and was very successful, since I am a simple guy. And so I reduced all this to the statement of motion, when necessary, in the abs, which is not meant to mean only the abdominus rectus, but the whole thoracic region, mostly below the rib cage.

In one sense, one is still using the vocal folds to decide what breath support is doing. For are we not defining how much to hold back based on what the folds can do at a certain pitch?

And for me, rather than worry about a certain bridge point at which all of this should become important, It's important from the start and I even simplify that. As someone had asked about when does one enter head voice or engage breath support, my reply was "when I open my mouth to sing." To me, singer mode involves control of exhale, resonance. So, start out in "singer mode" and then stay there. How long does it take to get this down? I really don't know. I've been singing for decades and am still learning stuff. Other people here claim only a few years of study and are just as good or better a singer than I am. Doesn't matter how long, what matters is learning the concepts important to you and defining what you do with that.

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well, i'll say this...and i know dan will be on my case in a ny minute..lol!!!, but i think dante will agree.

a lot depends on how you want to sound and to some extent the weight of the voice. when you are actively resisting the return of the diaphragm it can be very physically demanding (especially in the beginning)...yet the top (meaning all components from the base of the neck up) is free and flexible...if it's being done correctly.

if you are actively engaging support by dynamic opposition of the diaphragm and getting tense above as a result, it is a sure sign it is being done wrong!

it takes time to develop this type of support. as time goes on, it becomes easier.

you can punch the voice when you want to.

achieve greater intensity.

you last longer.

you can add dynamics and contrast.

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Dante wrote, responding to MDEW:

'I have to agree with MDEW here. Support/breathing cannot be talked about without also talking about what the vocal cords are doing. They are both part of an intimate system. Which came first? Don't know and don't care, but just focus on it all together, meaning support should always be addressed in the context of a sound.'

Both: We are discussing two different things here. I was not making a general statement about the relationship of breath and laryngeal muscle action, I was making a comment to Danielformica about what must be done with the breath for the laryngeal muscle action to be FREE. He had written:

My suggested re-wording of this was:'When the laryngeal mechanism is freely functioning, then the breath has become regulated and economical.

I continued to say 'My reason for the rewording is that the freedom of the laryngeal mechanism cannot occur until the breath is in balance.'

I agree, Dante, that the breath and the vocal bands interact, and that they are a system. The only point I am making is that the freedom of the laryngeal mechanism will not happen if the breath is out of balance. Too much, or too little, is not going to result in a free vocal production.

I hope this is helpful.

Steven I like the last sentence here..and I will finish it buy saying how do we balance the air? How do we teach it?

I teach it by pure vocal function exercises. By a good clean attack of the cords which creates a well balanced,even ,non breathy tone by approximating the cords better. Which in turn creates a feeling of support, of holding back the air, or leaning upon something hence the word (appoggio) bob loves italian words;)

Don't get me wrong if the student is still beathy I might have them voice a zzz or an unvoiced ss or laugh so they can feel certain muscle engage around the core the same as if the cords were being used efficiently.

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Let me put it this way... for myself.

If I can TRICK myself into making a sound that is "technically" a high note or in passaggio or "astounding" for a male voice... easy.

A SOUND.. that can only be created through proper tuning. For example a "non-breathy" falsetto. Then I can LEARN support from there.

This is the way I learn... Add me on skype JayMC_3 :D

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Regarding support, i find it easier to find support thru imagination and let it happen naturally. What i actually thnk is that many times we need to make sure that we actually BREATHE!

Sing a song and each time u need to take in air, do u actually inhale? I use to sometimes forget to inhale, what i use to do was just opening my mouth and didnt inhale any air and let my abdominal muscles relax. I would inhale but that is what the chest raises up and its incorrect inhalation.

Fine singing is when correct breathing and support together with twang is balanced together. Your support might be fully correct, but if you don't use the twanger properly, you will end up using so much support and it just wont get any better. Twang is like cord closure. So support and twang together will make singing easier.

Happy new year

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