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Whistle Register and Mixed Voice

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ShySoprano
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Hey everyone! Long time no see :) I've been trying to figure out a lot of things with my voice.

So, I've learned that I have a whistle register. My F6 and all the notes above that are whistle notes. I can occasionally squeak out a B6, and if I'm very lucky, a C7 as well (!) but I consider those two notes to be exclamations rather than actual notes since they sound squeaky and I do raise my larynx to hit them, which is unhealthy. I feel like the last comfortable note I can sing is an A6. Sometimes, in choir when we do a "high sigh" (basically sighing on a high note then doing down), I usually hit a note that's in whistle register. I'm definitely no Mariah Carey but I do feel like it's there and developing, so I'm pretty glad about that. If you guys want to hear it, I'll try to make another recording on Soundcloud. My question about whistle register is, how do you develop it or work on it? Sometimes, it's kind of hard for me to get really high up there and if I do, it can sound screechy or strained. I usually try to do octave jumps from my head voice to my whistle voice, but that only does so much. What else can I do? So far, I can sustain notes (5-7 seconds at most) in my lower whistles but I can't sing or talk there.

Also with mixed voice...I notice that if I sing lightly in my chest voice, I actually sound like I'm singing in my head voice and I actually feel it in my head. If I sing "heavily" in my head voice, it sounds like I'm still in my head voice, but it sounds lower and more chesty than my full head voice. I feel vibrations in my head but it's very low in my head. I can't really project in my mix, but I read on a music blog that that's very typical for sopranos. I also read that in your mix, you're actually supposed to feel it in your chest, head, and nose. And my mix is very soft and sweet, not belty (I can belt in chest but that's not healthy). So I'm probably not adding enough chest. Is it okay to have an uneven mix like that? I'm not actually trained so of course I wouldn't do it right, but I'd like to know as much as I can before I get lessons, if that's possible.

So that's it for now. I hope you're all having a wonderful day! Thank you ❤️

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Hey everyone! Long time no see :) I've been trying to figure out a lot of things with my voice.

So, I've learned that I have a whistle register. My F6 and all the notes above that are whistle notes. I can occasionally squeak out a B6, and if I'm very lucky, a C7 as well (!) but I consider those two notes to be exclamations rather than actual notes since they sound squeaky and I do raise my larynx to hit them, which is unhealthy. I feel like the last comfortable note I can sing is an A6. Sometimes, in choir when we do a "high sigh" (basically sighing on a high note then doing down), I usually hit a note that's in whistle register. I'm definitely no Mariah Carey but I do feel like it's there and developing, so I'm pretty glad about that. If you guys want to hear it, I'll try to make another recording on Soundcloud. My question about whistle register is, how do you develop it or work on it? Sometimes, it's kind of hard for me to get really high up there and if I do, it can sound screechy or strained. I usually try to do octave jumps from my head voice to my whistle voice, but that only does so much. What else can I do? So far, I can sustain notes (5-7 seconds at most) in my lower whistles but I can't sing or talk there.

Also with mixed voice...I notice that if I sing lightly in my chest voice, I actually sound like I'm singing in my head voice and I actually feel it in my head. If I sing "heavily" in my head voice, it sounds like I'm still in my head voice, but it sounds lower and more chesty than my full head voice. I feel vibrations in my head but it's very low in my head. I can't really project in my mix, but I read on a music blog that that's very typical for sopranos. I also read that in your mix, you're actually supposed to feel it in your chest, head, and nose. And my mix is very soft and sweet, not belty (I can belt in chest but that's not healthy). So I'm probably not adding enough chest. Is it okay to have an uneven mix like that? I'm not actually trained so of course I wouldn't do it right, but I'd like to know as much as I can before I get lessons, if that's possible.

So that's it for now. I hope you're all having a wonderful day! Thank you ❤️

 

There are these exercises where I believe you start lower and sigh into a higher note, and there's another exercise where you imitating a water drop up high and go higher. I'd suggest sending Jens a PM. He got on Skype with me and taught me how to do these. These are to train whistle register.

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Why is raising larynx to phonate higher whistles unhealthy?

It's not :) but it's more about taiming the flageolet function, so best is to let the larynx do what it Wants while your practicing whistles

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It's not :) but it's more about taiming the flageolet function, so best is to let the larynx do what it Wants while your practicing whistles

Yea i was kinda being ironic. Kinda bored of the "fear your larynx" mentality

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Yea i was kinda being ironic. Kinda bored of the "fear your larynx" mentality

No need to be all sarcastic. It's just what I've heard multiple, multiple times. And I'd rather believe it considering how most singers with bad technique (such as intentionally singing above your natural passagios, poor breathing, forced vibrato, etc) lose their voices within a few years.

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It's not :) but it's more about taiming the flageolet function, so best is to let the larynx do what it Wants while your practicing whistles

Is there a way to prevent strain or to make hitting the higher ones easier? I never knew you could strain in head or whistle until I tried it...unless I'm being an ignoramus and singing in falsetto.

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No need to be all sarcastic. It's just what I've heard multiple, multiple times. And I'd rather believe it considering how most singers with bad technique (such as intentionally singing above your natural passagios, poor breathing, forced vibrato, etc) lose their voices within a few years.

Dont get me wrong. It wasnt projected towards you. Its just that larynx movements can be misunderstood. I spent more than a month trying to keep the larynx down on notes like G4 with no avail, just to realise that neutral larynx doesent mean "in center" but instead let it go where it wants to without you trying to force it anywhere

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Dont get me wrong. It wasnt projected towards you. Its just that larynx movements can be misunderstood. I spent more than a month trying to keep the larynx down on notes like G4 with no avail, just to realise that neutral larynx doesent mean "in center" but instead let it go where it wants to without you trying to force it anywhere

Also i heard vocal fry helps getting those whistles so experiment with that

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Dont get me wrong. It wasnt projected towards you. Its just that larynx movements can be misunderstood. I spent more than a month trying to keep the larynx down on notes like G4 with no avail, just to realise that neutral larynx doesent mean "in center" but instead let it go where it wants to without you trying to force it anywhere

I always misunderstand you. I think you're being mean, when you're not -_- I'm an idiot...actually this is pretty helpful :) my lowest notes, C3-Eb3, can only be hit if my larynx goes down. They sound cool and wam but I thought they were forced notes. So that's really nice to know they aren't!

Now I can educate my classically trained, and kind of snooty, music teachers who told me lies for so long...hehehe...

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I always misunderstand you. I think you're being mean, when you're not -_- I'm an idiot...actually this is pretty helpful :) my lowest notes, C3-Eb3, can only be hit if my larynx goes down. They sound cool and wam but I thought they were forced notes. So that's really nice to know they aren't!

Now I can educate my classically trained, and kind of snooty, music teachers who told me lies for so long...hehehe...

Nah im not mean by nature ;) just watch alot of your favourite artist sing high notes. I guarantee larynx goes up. Watch pavarotti sing high B or C. Larynx is up but he never forces it up. It just happens

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Nah im not mean by nature ;) just watch alot of your favourite artist sing high notes. I guarantee larynx goes up. Watch pavarotti sing high B or C. Larynx is up but he never forces it up. It just happens

 

There is relaxed up an there is forced up. Relaxed up for me is when I'm singing a short A vowel like in apple or a high note. Forced up is when I have to make a public speech in front of 1000 people and the supra hyoid muscles start tugging excessively with public speech anxiety.

 

Likewise, there is relaxed down, which for me is like 5-10 percent of a yawn or like the vowel in 'aww.' And then there is forced down, which is like try to take the uh vowel as far as I can which feels overly tense and dopey.

 

For me I try to keep my voice in the 'relaxed' sensation wherever it's going as a rule of thumb. I think knowing what either tension feels like is actually helpful so I can avoid them. Most places seem fine for me with a little wiggle room for sound color, so long as there isn't excessive activity on either side.

 

There are a huge amount of laryngeal depressors and elevators on either side of the larynx/hyoid bone that are ideally in balance, and never creating a tug of war effect:

 

Anterior-View-of-the-Neck-Showing-the-Su

 

One elevator is controlled by the glossopharyngeal nerve, and when having a gloss attack, it can feel like it is cramping and tearing at my larynx. It's the last experience any of you want singing. The best sensation I know when singing is when all of this is relaxed, and I have no awareness of them. It feels floating at various heights, as far as I can tell.

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There is relaxed up an there is forced up. Relaxed up for me is when I'm singing a short A vowel like in apple. Forced up is when I have to make a public speech in front of 1000 people and the supra hyoid muscles start tugging excessively with public speech anxiety.

Likewise, there is relaxed down, which for me is like 5-10 percent of a yawn or like the vowel in 'aww.' And then there is forced down, which is like try to take the uh vowel as far as I can which feels overly tense and dopey.

For me I try to keep my voice in the 'relaxed' sensation wherever it's going as a rule of thumb. I think knowing what either tension feels like is actually helpful so I can avoid them. Most places seem fine for me with a little wiggle room for sound color, so long as there isn't excessive activity on either side.

Ghere are a huge amount of laryngeal depressors and elevators on either side of the larynx/hyoid bone that are ideally in balance, and never creating a tug of war effect:

Anterior-View-of-the-Neck-Showing-the-Su

One elevator is controlled by the glossopharyngeal nerve, and when having an episode, it can feel like it is cramping and tearing at my larynx. It's the last experience any of you want singing. The best sensation I know when singing is when all of this is relaxed, and I have no awareness of them. It feels floating at various heights, as far as I can tell.

In other words if u push your larynx purposely high, its a no no. But if u are completely relaxed into note and it raises, its fine.

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In other words if u push your larynx purposely high, its a no no. But if u are completely relaxed into note and it raises, its fine.

 

Pretty much. But some people may not be aware of what each sensation feels like and may have a habit of pushing either direction. It's worth considering, but not obsessing over. :D

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Pretty much. But some people may not be aware of what each sensation feels like and may have a habit of doing pushing either direction. It's worth considering, but not obsessing over. :D

I was just kidding bro ;) i love the science behind singing. Im reading pillars book all the time but on forums i like to dumb it down xD

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I was just kidding bro ;) i love the science behind singing. Im reading pillars book all the time but on forums i like to dumb it down xD

 

Good examples of two chest pullers. Back in my chest pulling days, I depressed slightly too much. It gave me a fatter, very projected, wailing kind of sound, but was range limited and required more muscular effort than necessary.

 

Meanwhile, Jeremy here, a fellow guy who is coming out of chest pulling, is reversing a habit of overtwanging into an extremely high larynx position, as it started shooting up through the roof and was even blocking off his nasal passages/resonance.

 

So I went one direction, and he went the other, and both were untrained chest pullers, right? Still though, trying to force it back into more of a middle location would again be counterproductive. You've gotta train 'chill out' kind of a floating technique until you don't really feel either side.

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Good examples, of two chest pullers. Back my chest pulling days, I depressed slightly too much. It gave me a fatter, very projected, wailing kind of sound, but was range limited and required more muscular effort than necessary.

Meanwhile, Jeremy here, a fellow guy who is coming out of chest pulling, is reversing a habit of overtwanging into an extremely high position, as it started shooting up through the roof and was even blocking off his nasal passages/resonance.

So I went one direction, and he went the other, and both were untrained chest pullers, right? Still though, trying to force it back into more of a middle location would again be counterproductive. You've gotta train 'chill out' kind of a floating technique until you don't really feel either side.

Take quick look at Jaroms thread about thickening the sound. I posted a G5 just for fun. I could NEVER do it a month or so ago. Ita whole new ball game. Ofc it sux but before i would cap out at A4 and die there. Thank god i actually got around to learn about voice otherwise i would be belting and yodelling around G4 and just have my voice destroyed Without improving.
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Wow you guys really know your stuff :D that just makes my day to see so many devoted musicians!!

I have another concern...some of my whistles are weak. But the most random ones...my F6 is a bit weird because I can hit in both head and whistle (but it's harder in head). My F#6 is really bad but my G6 is beautiful. I think my G6 is the strongest whistle. Then my G#6 is like my F#6, and my A6 is wobbly but still pretty strong. Then the higher notes, the Bb6, B6, and maybe the C7 if it's really there, are the ones I still have to really work on. I try to use Mariah Carey's songs to help me, as dumb as that sounds. In "Emotions", when she's like "but I like the way I feel inside" she hits a F#6 whistle on "inside". Maybe it's the quick transition from chest to whistle, but that's how I know I'm not good on that note because I never get it right and it's wobbly. Then in "Vision of Love" towards the end she sings a G6 which leads into a C7. I can hit the G6 just fine. There's other examples but those are the best ones at the moment. So I'm kind of annoyed how some notes are bad but I can hit others fine. And the ones I can hit aren't even that much lower, they're actually higher.

Any opinions?

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It all comes down to practice, just play around with it small ammounts each day. Keep a playfull approach and youll have it alot easyer, whistleregister is abit unruly even for the best of em out there. Some notes Will ofc always come easyer and some intervals harder to sing, so dont get locked in that route.

Best practice is small ammounts of time with perfection, then a long session where it is halfbad/halfdecent. You Will have alot easyer time with the higher whistles this way aswell cause the ammount you can relax whistle doing them Will allow you to go higher. :)

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Good examples of two chest pullers. Back in my chest pulling days, I depressed slightly too much. It gave me a fatter, very projected, wailing kind of sound, but was range limited and required more muscular effort than necessary.

 

Meanwhile, Jeremy here, a fellow guy who is coming out of chest pulling, is reversing a habit of overtwanging into an extremely high larynx position, as it started shooting up through the roof and was even blocking off his nasal passages/resonance.

 

So I went one direction, and he went the other, and both were untrained chest pullers, right? Still though, trying to force it back into more of a middle location would again be counterproductive. You've gotta train 'chill out' kind of a floating technique until you don't really feel either side.

 

Hahahah, amen brother.  He speaks the truth. :D

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I think one more thing should be said about this; now that there's a good demonstration video. You should be well used to using the highest parts of your range before trying this. I know there are a lot of topics where people come and ask about how to do this. Many just want to be able to do this and are incapable, at the moment, of many of the fundamentals of singing (pitch, resonance, etc.)

 

This is not something you want to focus on if this is the case for you. Jens and I spoke about this. This can take months to develop, and when you finally are able to do it somewhat, there's a good chance it still won't be reliable. I've heard Jens do it several times, and as good as he is, even he says he can't just do it whenever he wants to.

 

The other thing I wanted to speak about is why you need to be used to using the highest part of your range. I remember reading a forum post a while ago when I was trying to find out how to do this, and it basically spoke about how you may have problems with your falsetto when trying this. I know this to be true, because I found out myself. Falsetto can be difficult to use after practicing this if you don't have a strong feeling of what falsetto is supposed to feel like.

 

I'm going to describe my experience. At the top of head voice, there's like a fork in the road. One way leads to falsetto, if you take the other way, you're headed towards whistle voice. With falsetto, you just let things thin out and keep going up until you've hit the top of your range. With the road that leads to whistle register, there's a small gap after head voice and you hit around the highest note in your falsetto range, only it's easier to hit, and it's very thin. (I suggest using a vocal analyzer when you do this so that you know what notes you are hitting). From there, you mess around a bit with breath control and the whole feeling of it, and you can go higher. I've consistently hit stuff like C6 when I was practicing it. The issue though is It's very easy to get the feeling you need to have to get into whistle register confused with the feeling you have when you use falsetto. I used falsetto a good amount normally, and I had been taking lessons for almost 2 years, practicing nearly every day, but I still had this problem where I could not get back into falsetto for almost a day because I got the feelings mixed up. I know my experience isn't going to be everyone's experience, but I'm saying someone else had this problem, and I didn't know whether they practiced or not, but I did practice and still ran into the same issue. So, if you haven't really been using falsetto at all, this isn't something that you want to try right now.

 

I know somebody's going to ignore me and go for it anyway, but oh well. Can't help everybody.

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Totally off the topic. When my wife sees your avatar, she thinks you look like the actor, Charlie Hunman, who played Jax on "Sons of Anarchy."

At least in such a small photo from a few feet away.

Think you Ronws wife for the confidence boost ;)

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