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The upper limit of my chest voice

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haver26
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Hello guys,

I was just wondering how can I know where the upper limit of my chest voice is. I have a low voice (starting from A1), and for over a year I had some troube singing above C4. For the last vew months I've been training with a vocal couch that has classical background (before that I learned with SLS method), and now I can sing up to G#4, but it feels very high for me. For two months now I've been trying to go higher but I always flip into head voice and my tounge automatically reaises. Does it mean that it's my chest voice's limit? My teacher doesn't believe in mixing and doesn't want me to use my head voice at all, he tells me I should always stay connected.

What do you think?

Maybe I should just keep on trying and see in a few months?

And how is it for you? I know that many people can (probably with a higher voice than mine) pull chest even up to C5.

Thanks in advance.

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My personal experience is that it seems to be possible to extend the chest voice to app. three octaves.

Your A1 is very likely in M0, also known as pulse register. The lower limit of your M1 or chest register is probably somewhere around C2-F2.

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When you say you flip into head voice I think you are flipping into falsetto. If you want to go higher and retain the chest voice connection you'd be going into a head voice - not falsetto. That is what some call a mix voice. It is when you're folds start stretching but your chest musculature (TA) stays active. if you want to sing higher than G4 and not have it feel like you're putting in tons of effort, you've got to start thinning the folds and stretching the folds. It will sound like a continuation of chest voice. There will be no abrupt change just a slight lightening of the voice.

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Thanks for your answers.

Geno, I don't think I flip into falsetto because it doesn't sound airy, just disconnected and much lighter. But is it a 'must' to mix my voice with head voice above G4? I would like to have both options - to belt with chest voice, and to mix, and first I want to learn how to belt as high as possible for me. But maybe I don't understand the terminology well. When tenors, for example, sing higher than G4, do they mix their voice? It's not possible to use solely chest voice in these high notes above G4?

A month ago, I would flip into head voice above F4, and now I can strecth my chest voice higher, but I'm stuck on that G#4

Thanks again

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For the last vew months I've been training with a vocal couch that has classical background (before that I learned with SLS method), and now I can sing up to G#4, but it feels very high for me.

Is a vocal couch like the next step from a musical chair?

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Thanks for your answers.

Geno, I don't think I flip into falsetto because it doesn't sound airy, just disconnected and much lighter. But is it a 'must' to mix my voice with head voice above G4? I would like to have both options - to belt with chest voice, and to mix, and first I want to learn how to belt as high as possible for me. But maybe I don't understand the terminology well. When tenors, for example, sing higher than G4, do they mix their voice? It's not possible to use solely chest voice in these high notes above G4?

A month ago, I would flip into head voice above F4, and now I can strecth my chest voice higher, but I'm stuck on that G#4

Thanks again

haver26 - There are a lot of possibilities here. If you are flipping into a head voice that doesn't sound connected then it is possible that it is head voice but you are making an abrupt change - thinning the folds too much too fast. You can train to smooth this out so the listener can't even tell. It will sound just like chest.

Now, I am a tenor and I can start stretching and thinning pretty low like C4, or I can keep a TA dominant "chest" up to A4 or Bb4 before thinning the folds. But with the latter, I am singing really loud and belting.

If you've studied CVT at all you'll find a mode called "Overdrive" which is Chest voice (TA dominant) and can be carried up to an upper limit of C5. Overdrive only works up high on two vowels - "Oh" and "Eh". It is kind of like yelling or shouting and if done correctly is perfectly safe.

If you're a bass you can still to these things that Tenors do, it may take more time to get the coordination right. This is tricky stuff - you have to be able to work on thinning the folds - gradually - which is fine coordination. And at the same time you've got to make sure you are modifying the vowels correctly through the passagio area otherwise you'll induce unwanted tension, screwing up the fine coordination and putting too much stress on the folds.

A great set of exercises that can help stay connected are Seth Riggs exercises #14 through #27 but work on the 14, 15, and 16 first. These are free on the internet.

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in addition to all the great advice, may i say that it will help you to get away from thinking of the chest voice as something you pull up, or take up, or bring up.

to ascend in chest voice you have to be able to use a throat shape (vowel) that enables you to release..if you don't have a release through the vowel or modification to a vowel you hit a wall.....

you also have to reduce the vibrating mass as geno said, you have to thin out the vocal folds to some extent depending on what you are singing and your sound intention.

you can learn to sing in one register but it will take years to develop.

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I would add that in my personal experience, as you approach the upper limit of your chest voice, the support work becomes enormously laborious which in turn limits your agility. And as Video says the demand for precise shaping of the vocal tract increases. Certain vowels become absolutely impossible and some fall out sooner than others.

The size of your instrument will determine the need to back off the volume as you ascend. Lighter male voices will probably be able to take the chest voice well into the fifth octave, while the heavier may not get past C5. Similarly, lighter voices will be able to take their max volume higher whereas heavier voices must reduce their volume more and sooner.

In CVT terms, the most practical approach to powerful singing towards the upper limit of your chest voice is to combine the full-metalic modes edge and overdrive at volume 5-7 (10 being max) with curbing. Choice of mode depends on the vowel. This is probably close to what is generally meant by "mix" but still allows for occasional louder notes on the right vowels (i.e. dynamic variation between volume 5-10)

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backing off the volume is not a requisite.....you don't have to always back off the volume. a correct vowel will thin you also.

if you start out loud you can train to stay loud all the way up....

but, as they say "it ain't too easy."

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Thank you very much for you answers. It sounds complicated, the issue of extending the range. I think I'll try to strenghten my current range and later I'll learn how to mix. It's not that I sound excellent up to G4. Not at all...

Thanks!

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here we go....it's really not complicated. you can help extend range simply by doing things like lip bubbles. and when you practice, (consistently) extending your range you will be helping to develop your mix as well.

keep at it.

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Haver, let me make it simple. Your current vocal technique will take you no higher than about F4 at most in safe and controlled manner. If you want to sing higher notes powerfully and with total control, you need to learn a new skill set to do so. Whether it's mix, belt, head, or whatever isn't really relevant at this stage. All of these things require you to learn certain skills that you don't have right now if you're struggling around G4.

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