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Breathy to Adducted

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Hi everyone, I have heard some vocal teachers say it is very hard or impossible to go from "breathy" to adducted during a phonation. Therefore it is necessary to start with good closure and maintain it. Is this a true statement?

For everyone to understand my situation I will explain as clearly as I can. For my "style" of singing it is OFTEN necessary to include "looser" singing or incomplete adduction of the arytenoids. Therefore when people say something like "just practice singing" I am practicing something that does not facilitate breath, body, or fold connection.

For example up in falsetto on "aw" (sigh) vowel the sound is artistically valueable but I cannot connect to my speaking voice. However when I switch to a bright "EE" or the intention of "EE" it is slightly easier to connect my voice or even go from a breathy speaking voice to a "clear" speaking voice.

What is the best way for me to experiment and learn to CONTROL going from breathy to connected and back. Ofcourse this is "advanced" and to be honest I would say only a handful of singers can do it on every pitch in their singing range (without breaking). Don't believe me? Turn on any pop radio station... listen to the male or female pop singers. They sing pretty and breathy but cannot CONNECT... they sacrifice flexibility for beauty... which I am not willing to do. It requires a much higher mastery of voice to be able to do both. However.. if you pay attention to whatever genre you like.. the most gifted and expressive artists are often the ones who figured this out!!

Currently for my individual voice (maybe you can relate)... when singing "less adducted" and ascending the scale it sounds "nicer" and "lighter" but either cracks, flips, or I ascend and cannot descend. When descending on a scale or song through the range with a breathier voice is either cracks, flips, or goes as low as "falsetto" can go then feels like there is no where to go OR it descends to what "sounds" smooth but does not feel connected. Meaning when I play myself back on recording there is actually a "small" difference head & chest register but still feels disconnected to me. Imo this is the flaw in modern tenor singing... you can still "sound" connected but physyically not feel or be connected if you have a naturally light singing voice For example when "Justin Timberlake" breaks you don't hear it as clearly as if Michael Buble breaks or a bassier voice. Therefore the temptation to "cheat" is much higher... but when you need a "fuller" voice you can't do it.

Now for someone who says "stop singing breathy" well then I "lose" the artistic sound that is valuable (to me). What is the point of singing if I can't sing what I love. Therefore as a student of singing I need to LEARN to sing connected "enough" to still produce a breathy sound but still have enough unity in the range. Personally I believe this requires a serious amount of sensory awareness and body connection. Things that I do not have all the time... and are DIFFICULT to build when singing breathy. Since the "airier" I sing the less physical vibrations are felt within me.

What is the logical way of learning this? Step by step. Note by note. This is applicable to any voice type not just tenors. Frankly I think lower voices have MORE use for this then higher voices (its just harder). I would not be offended if some of the teachers on the forum say to abandon this idea and strictly focus on singing as adducted as possible to find unity in the voice. Ofcourse, that would mean singing unhappily for the rest of my life lol :)

- JayMC

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Depends how breathy. There is definitely a way to go from noticeably breathy to full closure, I've done it many times, but the key is there is a certain kind of musculature that needs to be there the whole time, and if you let go of THAT, then you are in trouble, stuck in full breathiness basically. I don't know what it is scientifically but that's how it feels.

It's 1000000x better to learn full closure first. Then learn how to use breathiness for effect afterwards.

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Thanks Owen. I totally get what you are saying. When I get close to doing it correctly and easily, it is exactly as you described. In TVS terms it feels like... twang never left my body. It was just hidden!!!

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I'm not saying dont sing breathy. Just spend a good amount of time training full closure every day for a few months until you feel you have a solid kinesthetic understanding of how to vocalize with full closure and get there every day.

And you can go ahead and continue to sing breathy outside of your technical training. Just spend some time every day finding full closure, otherwise you will likely sing breathy in an inefficient way that's just going to sabotage your flexibility.

Another thing you want to train after you learn full closure that will be very applicable to your singing is lightening they closure slightly so its just barely breathy.

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2:56 and ahead

Now, there you go, dynamic control, airy, light, the first with more body, second with even lower dynamics and the third super light. All with a near-perfect technique.

This kind of control is present on many pop material, Steve Perry was awesome at this for example. However, will this thing fit well in your repertoire?

Isnt the brake itself necessary in many places to create the interpretative feel that is associated with it?

This takes a while to develop (years of training), and developing a good sounding falsetto brake can be relatively quicker. One does not impede the other unless you neglect your development.

I do however believe that thinking about this stuff before more things are there is really hasty and will lead you to frustration... For example, do you have this kind of dynamic control when singing in your chest voice, with beauty and on all vowels? Because if you dont, how do you expect to have it on the area of your voice that is less developed?

Hope it helps.

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