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Open and Covered High Notes

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RowboCaup
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I want to continue improving and learning my instrument, which means I have to explore areas outside of "normal" or "accepted" operatic techniques (which is, strangely enough, how I even got good at operatic techniques). My question is not about covering the voice, I have that down. I am at the point where I can take my voice to a (not really sustainable) covered high C. What I want to learn now is how to get passed the passaggio WITHOUT covering the voice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oZ2AcaPb7o

In the video linked above, Rockwell Blake famously gives an example of singing open through the passaggio (4:28). I have heard many singers try to do this, but most of them sound strained and tight. None of that from Rocky, he seamlessly and easily flies right up to the highest notes. I think I can benefit from learning to do this. My question is this:

What allows Rockwell Blake to get away with this, and how can I begin to develop this?

Furthermore, the last time I started a big discussion on here, I posted clips of myself singing Falsettone, or "Reinforced Falsetto". To my ears, this does not sound the same as what Rockwell Blake does in that clip. To me, the Falsettone sounds a lot more like what rock singers do, example:

To my ears, what Eli Prinsen does what I consider Falsettone, and what Rockwell Blake does sounds like something else. Any thoughts on this?

Finally, shoutout to Dan for calling out Tenelli!

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its all about adjusting the resonance to the pitch or vice versa. at first you will be a little more falsettoey than Blake but as time goes on and your adjustment is easier the resonance will get bigger sounding. like Blakes he is just great at his tech.

Tennelli he he:P

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one's contemporary and one's classical. i don't hear falsetto at all in eli's tone.

i found a whole newfound "availability" came to me once i learned to apply and hold onto "cry" and really support well.

this video to me, was explained poorly.

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Dan - I understand what you are saying with the adjusting the resonance to the pitch, but my voice is so comfortable going into the covered coordination it just does it on it's own. Covering has become my voice's way of adjusting resonance to the pitch (which I am fine with, sounds great and feels easy).

Chumels - Covering is what you need to do stylistically if you want to succeed in opera. It's not an option. Singing uncovered in opera is not acceptable. Furthermore, Pavarotti's early recordings are when he sang with the most rounded, covered sounds. As he continued into his career, he adopted a more open/uncovered technique which sounded much more shrill, and he had much less release and freedom in his voice. I'm not saying singing open will cause this, but I am saying that it didn't work out well for Pavarotti. Continually, I did not say my method of covering was not working out for me. What I did say was that I wanted to continue to explore and try new things with my voice, in hopes of furthering my technical abilities, and the way I want to do this is by exploring uncovered/open high notes. The first paragraph in your second post (The open approach) describes what I do to cover, 'aperto ma coperto'. What you describe in the next paragraph (the case of covering) is what I like to describe as swallowing the sound. I avoid this like the plague.

Felipe - So would you say he is doing the minimum in terms of covering, thus making the sound brighter but allowing him to proceed to the high range? Is this the idea behind going up into the high notes open? Same concept as covering, but to a lesser extreme?

Bzean - What Dan said is spot on.

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So I decided to play with Cry as VIDEOHERE suggested, and recorded an example on a siren. This is something new to me, so I am not sure what the correct CVT term for this is. Let me know any thoughts, concerns, suggestions, etc.

https://soundcloud.com/rowbocaup/open-high-c-siren-on-yay

Thank you.

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He was not very clear on the darken and then open up bit, but he was clear about this (my interpretation): As you approach the passaggio (for classical singing), you have to darken the middle, but if you continue to darken you will reach a point where you cannot continue to sing higher.

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rowbo, it was fine....

now if this were me, (not saying this is "right or anyone has to do this) i would close in just a little bit and think in just a little bit of "oo" at the top......but this is an individual adjustment that works for me. "oo" has a way of letting me get the sound to resonate in what feels like directly behind my nose.

did you feel how employing a cry helped you?

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The cool thing is you didnt over do the cry and sound like a compressed mess. Now if you can do the scale withoiut even thinking of the cry your sound will open up more and be even more resonant. The cry is a tool to help you stay connected once your connected drop it.

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VIDEOHERE- I just played with adding some "oo" into the top, but it resulted in my voice switching to Falsettone. I think I need to latch onto this open sound a little more before mixing in the "oo" feeling.

Dan - I'll definitely keep in mind what you said about dropping the cry. Going to smooth it out with slower sirens a little until I feel like I can use this in a scale, and post the result.

So is this the same type of open/uncovered phonation Rockwell Blake was doing in his demonstration? If not, is this the right direction to get to that? What do I need to do to this sound in order to get there?

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you need years of being perfect to get it like rockwell:)but you just need to keep practicing the coordination and listen to your resonance and it will get better and better. Its all in understanding the coordination on each vowel.The intensities will change for each one slightly and the resonance will shift so just keep an ear and feel. i think you sounded great on that siren better than most. But remember a siren is not singing so get to the songs.

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Rowbo, sorta, its the rounding that happens that is important, not so much the darkening. Or even better, the space he uses when doing so.

On your siren, try doing it while playing with the posture of your tongue. Think of elevating the back on the direction of ng (slightly), and sliding the tip towards the front teeth (also slightly, dont Labrie it out). Play with these ideas, with minor modifications and see if it makes a difference. Your voice seems to be forward and open, on eh if you adjust the space it will probably work. But its not the same Blake is doing....

Hope it helps.

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Good posts... Shipped the resonant energy by modifying to forward place vowels, namely "eh" & "a". When the energy is optimize and the placement is proper for these vowels, a brighter harmonic color will ensue. In addition to that, articulation of the text in the head voice will greatly improve. Lastly, a more focused engagements of the intrinsic musculature, or 20 vessels will also take place and that is favorable. In the TVS methodology, we would classify these as our "edging", or palette vowels.

Also, training a lot on "ah" will do a lot for your chest voice increase.

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Rowbo, sorta, its the rounding that happens that is important, not so much the darkening. Or even better, the space he uses when doing so.

On your siren, try doing it while playing with the posture of your tongue. Think of elevating the back on the direction of ng (slightly), and sliding the tip towards the front teeth (also slightly, dont Labrie it out). Play with these ideas, with minor modifications and see if it makes a difference. Your voice seems to be forward and open, on eh if you adjust the space it will probably work. But its not the same Blake is doing....

Hope it helps.

That's a good one, have to start using that in my vocabulary. :lol:

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VIDEOHERE- I just played with adding some "oo" into the top, but it resulted in my voice switching to Falsettone. I think I need to latch onto this open sound a little more before mixing in the "oo" feeling.

Dan - I'll definitely keep in mind what you said about dropping the cry. Going to smooth it out with slower sirens a little until I feel like I can use this in a scale, and post the result.

So is this the same type of open/uncovered phonation Rockwell Blake was doing in his demonstration? If not, is this the right direction to get to that? What do I need to do to this sound in order to get there?

rowbo,

it's hard, very hard to explain over a forum what i meant....the idea is to think in a little "oo" not sing an "oo." the singing of "oo" will shift you too narrow, too suddenly and you will lose connectivity.

i swear by the use of cry and twang of various degrees, but again others don't agree, and that's fine....

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