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Elvis
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I recdntly got pillars and im really digging it. The thing is this. I understand the voice MUCH MUCH better now. All the terms used in singing are finally making sense to me and i can comfortably say that i can explain even to other people alot of crucial and scientific as well as practical information.

Assuming that everyone can potentialy sing high notes, and i truly believe that because we have people right here on this forum who achieved just that, namely Jens who is a huge inspiration to me.

Now that said, how does one go about achieving vocal range expansion.

Im interested in a MENTAL way as well as the PHYSICAL. Everyone wants to be able to phonate high frequencies and are impatient in doing so. Im one of them, BUT I DO realise that it takes TIME and COMMITMENT And that we are talking in terms of years and not months or weeks.

So i was wondering how do you guys tackle expanding your range, in terms of training. I understand the scientific part of it and the theory on what i should be doing, like shifting resonant energy and maintain proper extrinsinc and intrinsic anchoring, namely respiration and voicebox muscles.

Do you work on strenghtening the range you can phonate currently or do you try to focus on notes you CANT hit and strenghten that.

For example i have a training workflow and a methodology that i trust completely. But how far should i take. When doing exercises do i stop at G4 which is a comfortable stable hogher note for me or do i try to go higher. Do i allow myself to break at A4 A#4 or do i leave that aside and strenghten what i have.

Excuse me if this is a stupid question but its something that makes me think alot and gets me somewhat confused.

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Carving a smooth bridge is priority #1. Don't go so loud that you break, find the volume where you can get all the way from your lowest chest to highest head voice smoothly no breaking crackling anything, one voice. That's the seed for all the really good stuff and what you develop patiently and consistently always

You basically build power gradually on top of that but there's of a lot of other supplemental training you need to get that power that's unique to everyone and that's why we have coaches and one on one lessons

To play it safe I would guess: Don't leave aside your strong A4 or whatever because practicing your beefy belting notes will train the support you need to move on to adding power through that smooth bridge. And also spend some time just practicing in pure head voice like a falsetto with no airiness and carry that as low and high and you can while focusing on "connecting"

When those two things are both strong and balanced (maybe they already are you never know everyone's different) you get better and better at adding connection and weight to your smooth bridged one-voice kind of sound and once that starts happening to where it sounds convincing, spans your full range (we're looking at at least three octaves) and feels great you can focus mostly on that and not worry so much about chest and head by itself

In summary one voice smooth bridge first and that will naturally open up all your range THEN you add power gradually on top of that. and on the side just make sure your chest and head, loud and soft etc everything there is still working nice too

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Thanks owen. But for example i can get up to G#4 without a problem and i almost never break up to that note. And if im not mistake that note is in head voice. I am maybe belting that note And i dont even know it.

Here is an example:

https://app.box.com/s/3dunz46u5ienbf2dvzd4geb3lx27et89 - G4

Take note That im not trying to sing hihh notes imidiatelly. I know that it takes time. But im interested in how to use that time as best as i can

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You're belting that note. It may have some head resonance in it none the less and that's where the definition of "head voice" gets really confusing. It's a place and you can get it inside both M1 and M2. For singing we want it inside M1 as high as we can but it takes a while to make that happen properly

I think I recall you actually already doing it in some files that went up around the c5 or C#5 though that's really what you want.

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You're belting that note. It may have some head resonance in it none the less and that's where the definition of "head voice" gets really confusing. It's a place and you can get it inside both M1 and M2. For singing we want it inside M1 as high as we can but it takes a while to make that happen properly

I think I recall you actually already doing it in some files that went up around the c5 or C#5 though that's really what you want.

That makes sense bro. Thanks alot. Im gonna try utilizing that sort of sound and strenghten it with Pillars.

Thank you very much.

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Hey Elvis,

 

From what I hear from your example you were kind of "shouting" up to that g4. However, towards the end of it you went for more of what I know as a headvoice. If you listen to how the quality changes at about 15 seconds, you go from a more shouted eh to a bit thinner and a tad more whiny eh which also gives you some of that vibrato. If you wish to go higher it's from that place you do it.

Try to sing from that place. It's very subtle but if you listen a few times I think you will hear the switch in sound colour.

 

Cheers!

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Cry your way through your passaggio up to C5 or D5. Cry and whine it like a little biatch!  ;-)

May I humbly suggest you to vocalize using the straw to get the feel of head resonance. It helped me tremendously. Oh! And also use the puppy sound. It should help you maintain the cords engaged using very little low energy.

Keep rocking man!

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Since you are just begining practice doing your sirens from low to high to low don't worry about cracking just allow it to flip and gradually try to smooth out that flip during your warmups. Use vowels like oo and ee to do it smoothly, once it stops and gets smoother then practice other vowels. You have to teach your voice to like falsetto/headvoice and to trust it. you want the weaker muscles to take over the brunt of the work to upper passagio and upwards, but you want it to be strong without just pushing wind

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Oh i was doing it all wrong. I just tried a pillar exercise But going to falsetto and it was crazy. I think i got it now.

A whole new ball game.

Thanks guys for help soooo much. Ill upload sample soon so u can hear how that went.

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Ok so i did 4 Pillars foundation routine to warm up a bit and then i tried to do some of the stuff you guys mentioned.

 

I applied a Lift Up Pull Back sort of thing a couple of times and i felt the sound is preety connected on the way back. Then i proceed to try it without LUPB.

 

https://app.box.com/s/xcpley82whxjxfowgj4ilgdkas9jqcbr

 

The sound is preety bad but it felt connected to me esspecially top down. Going up i had some issues.

 

But i just wanted to know if this is "kinda" what i should be doing.

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I understand the voice MUCH MUCH better now. All the terms used in singing are finally making sense to me and i can comfortably say that i can explain even to other people alot of crucial and scientific as well as practical information.

 

Wow, that is just great!  I love hearing that the work Im doing is making a difference. If you take the time to understand a little bit about how the voice works, you will learn it better and more quickly. You singing will get better. Training ins a vacuum of confusion, only impedes your progress. Nice work Elvis in this regard!

 

 

 

how do you guys tackle expanding your range, in terms of training.

 

That is kind of a loaded question, but I think one of the most important things is doing what you are already doing... getting a good training program, coach and actually committing to practicing. Understanding how the voice works. Beyond that and really over simplify ... I would focus on.

 

1). Making Bridging & Connecting a priority. Start light, perhaps with "lift up / pull back" (in the program) then work on slowly increasing the mass of your bridges. You can manipulate the mass, or "acoustic overload" (Martin) or "Intensity" (Daniel) with different vowels and different onsets. In the new "Pillars" update, notice the new "Resonant" training formulas vs "Resistant" formulas... take a look at a new routine I just added called "Routine: High Performance Onsets & Sirens in 20 Minutes!"  In this new routine I begin to identify which onsets are more about finesse' and coordination vs the ones that are about strength training (belts)... work them both.

 

2). When you experience constriction, open the glottis and transition to a W&R Onset, that releases some of the bound up tension and helps you to keep going.

 

3). Train the work out in the program titled, "Routine: Extreme Scream Pitch Training (ESP)"  , this work out specifically is designed to open up the top 4th and 5th octaves in your range. 

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You have to teach your voice to like falsetto/headvoice and to trust it.

 

A VERY GOOD POINT... EMBRACE THE HEAD VOICE. EMBRACE FALSETTO FOR A WHILE IF YOU HAVE TOO... do NOT judge your success on the aesthetic early on... just get the bridge as smooth and coordinated as you can... the "sounds cool" will come later. Bridge first, connect second... 

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Ok so i did 4 Pillars foundation routine to warm up a bit and then i tried to do some of the stuff you guys mentioned.

 

I applied a Lift Up Pull Back sort of thing a couple of times and i felt the sound is preety connected on the way back. Then i proceed to try it without LUPB.

 

https://app.box.com/s/xcpley82whxjxfowgj4ilgdkas9jqcbr

 

The sound is preety bad but it felt connected to me esspecially top down. Going up i had some issues.

 

But i just wanted to know if this is "kinda" what i should be doing.

 

Ok, the second  siren was better... it was a LOT more free and open... that is the direction you want to go... the first one was too heavy... the reason it was heavy and clunky... is because your not shifting your formant... how do I know this?  The best symptom too listen for around G#4/A4 with men that indicates that the formant is not shifting and constriction is setting in is... the sound color will be too heavy into "Uh"... it is always the same thing...

 

Students get stuck and heavy around G#4 because the formant isn't shifting... your missing a bridge at A4 essentially... and it sounds too "Uh"ish... The fix is... look at your Pillars Acoustic Modes and shade in more edging vowel resonance (palette) to your formant chemistry by tuning in more ae/a (cat).

 

You need 50% Edging vowels (Eh) and 50% Curbing colors (Uh)... you will tune to two singing vowels simultaneously, feel two resonant positions simultaneously as well... Look at the table 14 on page 218 and 219... that will explain better...

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good siren Elvis

Get those sirens happening like that nicely all through your range

then work on your throat shaping maybe - see if you can do the same configuration on closed vowels too, and shifting between closed and open vowels...it's not easy! but that's basically what we deal with when singing songs around the passaggio

 

try singing songs and just see what happens and see what it can tell you about what you need to work on. your weaknesses and strengths will show up quite clearly by trying to sing a wide variety of songs, this was the case for me at least.

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Ok so i did 4 Pillars foundation routine to warm up a bit and then i tried to do some of the stuff you guys mentioned.

 

I applied a Lift Up Pull Back sort of thing a couple of times and i felt the sound is preety connected on the way back. Then i proceed to try it without LUPB.

 

https://app.box.com/s/xcpley82whxjxfowgj4ilgdkas9jqcbr

 

The sound is preety bad but it felt connected to me esspecially top down. Going up i had some issues.

 

But i just wanted to know if this is "kinda" what i should be doing.

That was way better and nearly seemless. Of course, I know you are working well at it with laser-like focus. Just give yourself a little time. And, too, sometimes, you get an epiphany and suddenly, something seems easier, mainly because you got out of your own way. The most amazing voice is already in you and the training is going to reveal it, kind of like how a sculpture feels he is revealing by eliminating what is not needed. That may sound backward, in which case, you can ignore the sculpting analogy.

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I have several comments and some questions for Robert et al.

 

First, Elvis your energy and enthusiasm and willingness to share your efforts here is really inspiring, and helpful.

 

Robert you've mentioned the high performance routine here and in another thread - I printed it out and have been referring to it.   When you say a 'set' I assume you generally refer to Octave sirens, starting at C and moving up a half step at a time.  I've done that, but also have experimented at making a loop of a melodic 5th siren from D4 to A4 (and back down) and just cycling through this numerous times,  going through the the different vowel modification formulas.  It seems like a very focused way to to work on many repetitions, right in the 'problem area'.

 

What do you think about this approach?

 

I'm also interested to hear some information on the role of 5th vs octave sirens in training.  Octaves are more fun, and superficially at least would seem to be more advanced. On the other hand 'cramming in' a vowel mod within the space of a 5th seems to be a better simulation of actual singing, and least for the non-metal rock stuff that I'm most interested in.

 

Thanks,

Greg

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good siren Elvis

Get those sirens happening like that nicely all through your range

then work on your throat shaping maybe - see if you can do the same configuration on closed vowels too, and shifting between closed and open vowels...it's not easy! but that's basically what we deal with when singing songs around the passaggio

 

try singing songs and just see what happens and see what it can tell you about what you need to work on. your weaknesses and strengths will show up quite clearly by trying to sing a wide variety of songs, this was the case for me at least.

 

Good suggestion Owen. Elvis, in a sense, Owen is suggesting that you dig into the resistance training formulas.. there, you will find the narrow vowel training formulas, including formulas that have up to four vowels in them, these are the best for throat shaping the vowels... and remember, if your going to work on throat shaping the vowels, put your embouchure in a more horizontal and static position... it forces the articulators and vocal tract to shape the vowels intrinsically.  GREAT WORK.

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I have several comments and some questions for Robert et al.

 

First, Elvis your energy and enthusiasm and willingness to share your efforts here is really inspiring, and helpful.

 

Robert you've mentioned the high performance routine here and in another thread - I printed it out and have been referring to it.   When you say a 'set' I assume you generally refer to Octave sirens, starting at C and moving up a half step at a time.  I've done that, but also have experimented at making a loop of a melodic 5th siren from D4 to A4 (and back down) and just cycling through this numerous times,  going through the the different vowel modification formulas.  It seems like a very focused way to to work on many repetitions, right in the 'problem area'.

 

What do you think about this approach?

 

I'm also interested to hear some information on the role of 5th vs octave sirens in training.  Octaves are more fun, and superficially at least would seem to be more advanced. On the other hand 'cramming in' a vowel mod within the space of a 5th seems to be a better simulation of actual singing, and least for the non-metal rock stuff that I'm most interested in.

 

Thanks,

Greg

 

Greg... what I love the most about this is... you guys are learning the methodology! You understand enough about the onsets, the sirens and the vowels that you are beginning to construct your own routines that are customized to your persona needs. You are using the content to coach yourself and that is precisely what I wanted to get to in the routine updates this year. I am thrilled to read this... One of the things that I want to achieve with Pillars is not only provide training content, no only provide some suggested routines... but, when you really get smart about the onsets and the acoustic modes (vowels)... you begin to do your own thing... you begin to build your routines consisting of acoustic mode + onset/s + vowels ... That is what the tables are for... So anyways... great.

 

Your routine Greg is fine, I like it. Definitely park yourself right in the vocal break and begin to experiment with the different onsets and movements up and down with the different vowels. Im not sure Im keen on you practicing all the vowel modification formulas in one sitting... there are 27 of the now... and that just seems a bit over the top to me. Focus on the resonant formulas first, then spend some time on the resistance formulas that have the narrowed vowels.

 

Yes "set" = working through the siren up and down one time.

 

1st set = coordination onsets. (bridging & tuning the formant & compression & respiration, top-down work).

2nd set = resistance onsets. (belting, musculature work, bottom-up work).

 

The 5th vs the Octave sirens... 

 

5th = you have to make the modifications in a shorter amount of time, it compresses the movement and is a bit better for precision work.

 

Octaves = you have more space and time to get through the modifications, which allows you to move through more vowels. Great for throat shaping and feeling resonant shifts.

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Cool, thanks for the quick and detailed reply.   It really is appreciated.

 

For sure I couldn't attempt all of the formulas, so far I was actually focusing just on the ones laid out in the new high performance routine.

 

What  you describe about the 5th vs octave sirens makes sense.   One can see that there really is a place for both.

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I was actually focusing just on the ones laid out in the new high performance routine.

 

Thats just great... yes, this new high performance routine evolved out of working with these onsets and vowels 30 hours a week... it has helped me to really break them out into... "top-down" onsets & "bottom-up" onsets.

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Elvis,

 

In addition to all the great advice, I strongly recommend you work your falsetto voice, especially in a top down mode and with sirens on "oo" and "ee" then the other vowels later.

You want to really open it up top, learning to achieve and maintain a lot of height and space as you run that falsetto as high as you can take it.

After a while you will begin to find (just my way of explaining it) it will start to "compete" or "intrude" on your chest voice. (This is favorable!) Work it loudly and support it all the way through.

 

It will strengthen and become more fuller sounding in and of itself! Then you will find when you go to sing songs, it has a way of coaxing your chest voice........hard to explain.

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Elvis,

 

In addition to all the great advice, I strongly recommend you work your falsetto voice, especially in a top down mode and with sirens on "oo" and "ee" then the other vowels later.

You want to really open it up top, learning to achieve and maintain a lot of height and space as you run that falsetto as high as you can take it.

After a while you will begin to find (just my way of explaining it) it will start to "compete" or "intrude" on your chest voice. (This is favorable!) Work it loudly and support it all the way through.

 

It will strengthen and become more fuller sounding in and of itself! Then you will find when you go to sing songs, it has a way of coaxing your chest voice........hard to explain.

 

 

Bob do you mind if i post a sample here for you to take a listen. I recently found out how to produce a bit more "vocal and thick" falsetto. I was wondering if this is what you mean :)

 

Edit: Here it is. Not the best example but you will get the jist

 

https://app.box.com/s/ktr2gqdh9od7c4su7ljad2zaqzhj4ane

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you need more freedom, less strain, do sirens on oo like an owl no stress and just allow it . think down as you rise up in height don't reach 

 

Or think "deep" or "behind" you... frequency does not exist in an "up / down - low / high" orientation... that is only an illusion and its one of the first things that needs to be addressed as a beginner. Its not about t"up/down - low/high".. its about mastery of the acoustics of the voice, shifting formants, amplifying resonance... and other details, but when getting away from Daniel's point of "thinking up/down"... you need to focus on the acoustics to get your mind straight... here is a video I did that addresses this very issue.

 

Stop Hitting High Notes, And Start Shifting Formants

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