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MdM
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Hi all, I have noticed that my high notes (I guess G4 or more) seem to be getting too much air.  I don't recall having this problem before.  I am doing a lot of the mums and mooms and working a lot with the "uh" sound, trying to do CVT curbing.  Any advice on how to get it cleaner and tighter?

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Adding a plosive consonant on the front of your onset is a good idea... understanding the benefits and traps of training with ^/uh, I would highly recommend that you train what we call at TVS "Edging" vowels... or vowels that resonant forward toward the hard palette. "uh" can be easily over done by students and typically is... resulting in larynx dumping too low and lack of compression on the vocal folds/twanging.

 

If you were my student, I could give you a specialized training routine that would be comprised of select onsets and vowels, inside of a vocalize (workout), but given the limitations of a forum comment box.. I would say... train light, glottal attacks into "Eh"! and "A"! ("cat")... with a horizontal oriented embouchure... focusing on amplifying the hard palette. Go in the opposite direction the "uh" vowel is probably pulling you. You probably have trained enough "Uh"... move the brighter, palette vowels... so if we combined Daniel's suggestion of using the plosive consonant, /g/... with my vowels into a training formula, it would look something like this. 

 

Onset      Vowel                 Vocalize

 

/g/       +   É›/eh or ae/a    >  Siren or simple scale

/b/       +   É›/eh or ae/a    >  Siren or simple scale

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The vowel in 'book' is a good compromise for maintaining some of the appealing timbre of uh without getting locked into a dopier sound. It hits a more neutral area for me.

 

Uh sends me towards Elvis and Jackie Wilson when I center on it and I like the sound, but I agree with Robert it can have strengths and limitations.

 

Eh and Cat are worth looking into, but timbre is different and may not suit every voice. I think it's worth exploring all vowels for training purposes but also for listening for their strengths and weaknesses in your own voice and in your vocal identity. 

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For students that are having issues with strength of compression, tooling around with curbing vowels is not going to fix the problem. "ou" is still a backward resonant vowel. It makes a lazy larynx, compared to the palette vowels. One of the main reasons Im recommending the pallete vowels is specifically because, when the student amplifies it properly, they are forced to engage isolated contractions of the AES/twanger. Edging vowels force the twanger to get off the couch and start moving.

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For students that are having issues with strength of compression, tooling around with curbing vowels is not going to fix the problem. "ou" is still a backward resonant vowel. It makes a lazy larynx, compared to the palette vowels. One of the main reasons Im recommending the pallete vowels is specifically because, when the student amplifies it properly, they are forced to engage isolated contractions of the AES/twanger. Edging vowels force the twanger to get off the couch and start moving.

 

That does sound very logical to me. I wasn't thinking so much in the immediate. That's why you are the voice coach. ;)

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Thank you all for sharing your expertise.  

 

I don't recall the problem occurring in the oh or eh vowels where I am giving much more support.  Will exercising in this way cross over to the "uhs" and "oos" and solidify the sound?  (I am thinking of these things in CVT terms, so I am, perhaps artificially, dividing them into overdrive and curbing).

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Thank you all for sharing your expertise.  

 

I don't recall the problem occurring in the oh or eh vowels where I am giving much more support.  Will exercising in this way cross over to the "uhs" and "oos" and solidify the sound?  (I am thinking of these things in CVT terms, so I am, perhaps artificially, dividing them into overdrive and curbing).

 

Twaning the  ooh and uh helps solidify them in general, so if you get twangier habits, probably. Try to add some bright resonance to them. Maybe even hum them, try to get them to buzz your teeth. They are darker vowels but can still get that buzz in there.

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