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Tonal Problems for high range

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So originally, my problem was that I was controlling my larynx at a too low position, causing my voice to narrow out to a thin 'i/ee' sound. afterwards I figured out how to control my larynx at a higher position in my throat, allowing me to get a full sound in my high range notes and getting that good full "Eh" vowel happening.

So I've been working with this more optimal larynx control for a while, and I can get a fully pronounced tone through all of my high notes, but even with this my tone is overly thin sounding (although not pinched).

Basically, I feel like i have full compression at this high position, my vowels and words are fully pronounced at any pitch, and my vowels sound correct and not pinched, however, the tone is still very thin and lacking in some of the deeper tonalities i'm trying to get.

Any ideas from anyone?

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Have you recorded yourself and listened back to confirm the thin sound? It's common to feel thinner up there but it may be fine. If not, Daniel Formica has a nice video - how to sing like Jon Bonjovi - where he demonstrates singing the chorus - "Livin on a prayer" - alternating between a cleaner tone and a fuller tone. This may help you get the tone you are looking for.

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I thought about starting a thread like this myself, asking the question of how to develope tone.

A few thoughts to concider are this. Are you using a tone on the bottom range that will lead to a decent top tone?

Should you manipulate things; larynx height, soft palate position, oral chamber, false fold position, twang engagement?

At first in training we tend to just find any coordination that gets us to the note. Then we train on that coordination whatever the sound is that we have found. We end up training what seems the easiest and most comfortable thinking that singing should easy with little "vocal position" effort. But think about this....when we start training we are told to lift our soft palate, lower our larynx, create space in our oral chamber, modify vowels.......All of this takes effort. Why not put a little effort into creating that tone? Maybe at first the tone that you like my seem like too much work for the vocal position but will it not also get easier and take less effort the more you train it?

Having said that....Play with the lower easier notes trying different coordinations to see what different tones you can come up with and sing sirens into the upper pitches to see how they sound.

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why not post an example.

i'm sure not everyone will agree with this but i have found one of the (possible) reasons why some singers don't get the bigger sound up top is because they aren't supporting well enough and they haven't learned to manage higher pressures or they don't ever go to a point physically where the resonance gets near maximized or maximized.

as mdew said, you really have to put effort to it, perhaps more effort than you realize. the more you go for a heavier mix, the more you have to deal with the tug of war (t/a, c/t) between the musculature and the more the air pressure increases with a corresponding increase in fold adduction strength, the more it will take to hold it together.

you have to build up to it, because the reality is in the beginning it feels almost identical to straining, but in time it starts to get more manageable and you build up strength and stamina.

at times singing can be much harder than you want it to be, than you're your comfortable with it being...we are vocal athletes.

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yea last night i was practicing singing while focusing on my support, and i really felt my lower ribs and back working in ways i havent gotten much in the past where afterwords it actually felt a little sore. it wasn't much though and i wasn't physically tired, but it felt far from feeling relaxed and effortless like many people, even vocal coaches say singing should feel like.

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I was looking for a song that I could use to work on tone. At first I thought of Elvis Presley because he uses a more classical covered sound. I looked for "You don't know me" What I found was this. And I had to ask the question. Is it really possible to gain a tone like this.

If your tone is now closer to this..

Buble is actually 4 notes lower than Grimm but Grimms' tone makes him sound as if he is singing lower than Buble.

To get anything close to Grimms sound I had to Keep the Soft palate engaged with a kind of Kermit the frog position and the neck area and larynx Wide and Low, a little twang to bring the tone forward. I could not get the rasp but the overall tone was close..... For now I have to Physically hold all these things in place with effort. But it is possible.

I think that sometimes we don't even try to change the tone of our voice because we think we are not supposed to or that it would sound contrived. We think our tone is what it is as long as we can sing the pitch.

Any singing is contrived and manipulated. So go ahead and play with things and see what kind of tones you can generate.

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no problems with support at all.. It's just that I don't feel like my larynx is going deep enough at this new position to get a full enough sound. Maybe I just have to give it a little more time to let my larynx get some deeper tones in there, since it's a new position anyway.

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I just got back from singing and had improvement. It seems as though with these super high notes, the larynx has to stay lowered enough that the thin nasally quality of a voice doesn't occur, but there's still good amplitude. The space is so small that's it's hard to find the balance between 'overly thin and loud' and 'strong but muffled'. but to put simply, it just means I have to get more practice with lowering my larynx at this high position.

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There are two things that might be going on -

1) you may be constricting too much at Eb5 which does restrict space. As you work more in this area you will open up. This is very common when singers are extending range.

2) You are probably hanging on to a thickness of folds that simply can't be maintained a higher pitches, therefore, you have to let go and the folds get very thin, and thus the tone gets thin. The thicker tone you seek requires richer harmonics produced with thicker folds. A more gradual thinning of the folds - as you approach Eb5 - will enable you to maintain thicker folds up higher. The gradual thinning will also relieve excess tension, which is the cause of #1. This is also very common with range extension - you tend to hang on to a certain thickness and carry up to a certain point, and then thin out abruptly. But the fact that you've made it from G4 to EB4 means that you've mastered the "gradual thinning" to some extent already. Just take that concept higher.

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eb5 with fullness.......okay.

I have to agree with your question, Bob. Thinness, fullness, these can often be subjective terms. Thinness compared to what, fullness compared to what? And often, whether stated or not, it will be relative to some favored singer who is thought to be one or other, whichever it is that is desired. I am not against emulating a singer but, yeah, it can be hard to decipher just what we are talking about. Especially without a file sample of the sound.

I remember one time I was talking about a sound and Jonpall asked me to post a sample. And I did. Whether I was right or wrong, win, lose, or draw, at least there was a sound file to hear what it was I was thinking about in relation to my statement or idea. Whatever it was is not important. Just saying, what is the relative sound of thinness or fullness we are trying to talk about, here?

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wouldnt it thinness just mean falsetto or close to it and more breathy, and fullness not falsetto sounding but more firm? at least thats what i gather from reading this forum. but i suppose its still relative, like his eb5 is full sounding, but not as much as it could be i guess?

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great point ron.

mike,

you said....

"wouldnt it thinness just mean falsetto or close to it and more breathy, and fullness not falsetto sounding but more firm?"

no, thinness refers to the reduction in vocal fold mass (that needs to occur) up in that area especially but there's still full connection, full adduction..no breathiness and no falsetto..full voice.

that's one of the reasons these notes are so challenging...here you've got these taut, stretched, thinned out vocal folds that need to resist higher levels of breath tension....if the folds don't get adequate breath tension, you simply don't get the note and if you use too much breath tension the folds blow apart and you crack.

the thing is the singer has to get comfortable (sometimes) with this thinner sound that he hears compared to the sound of lower notes and learn to trust that although it seems thin to him, it actually can be very resonant and carry well.

the audience will hear it much more powerfully sounding than the singer will.

it will help you not to associate thinness with letting go or letting off......more than anything, let the vowel or shade or vowel thin the sound.

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