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Vocal fry - Helps with higher notes?

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EveryVoice
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Hi everyone,

I'm just wondering how using vocal fry, witches cackle (i think they're the same thing), etc helps sing notes without as much effort. 

I'm a fan of Marilyn Manson and whilst the majority of people would say he was a very deep voice, I've noticed that he does hit a lot of higher notes.. they are distorted most of the time though. But the thing I notice with the higher notes (E4 and up) is that they seem easy for him hit. A lot easier than someone really going for it in that area.

I'm also a fan of Chad Kroeger from Nickelback (a fan and proud!) and noticed that he also seems to hit a lot of notes E4 and above quite easy. I think a lot of people would say Chad 'pulls chest voice' but I don't so. It seems like it comes from a beefy head voice with no straining and pulling and then the rasp he adds onto it makes it sound even more thicker. I notice with Chad that at the start of many words he uses a vocal fry into the note. This makes me think that vocal fry helps alot with hitting these higher notes without as much tension and in a more relaxed way. I've noticed a lot of NIckelback songs are quite high in their range. The verses even start off quite high and Chad manages to sing them lightly (without pulling / straining) and then belt in the chorus. Even though i'm not a huge fan of Nirvana.. I hear Kurt Cobain using that fry in the chorus of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'... I think.. and I can't imagine Kurt Cobain or even Marilyn Manson really dedicating their time day after day to sing higher with power. 

So does vocal fry really help with hitting higher notes without as much effort? How does it work exactly? I personally think it's a very powerful head voice with a hell of a lot of cord closure. It's definitely not pulling, pushing 'chest' voice with vowel modifications and all that stuff.

Take a listen to the Marilyn Manson song below. Listen to the Chorus. If a 'normal' singer tried to sing the chorus, they'd really have to put some effort in to get there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV1K11dJS8Y

 

 

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Witches cackle and fry is not the same thing...

 

Witches cackle promotes Twang by narrowing aryepiglottic sphincter or funnel (or however its spelled) and thats more pharyngeal..

Vocal fry is a register thats HYPERCOMPRESSED..which means very little air blows thru...

And yes, vocal fry helps high notes because in its nature it promotes vocal fold closure (compression) so it can reduce airyness in your high range...

The trick is how to use it and not go overboard with it, because when that happens you go into flageolet 

 

P.S. Chad uses fry everywhere, low and high, its kinda his signature, cuz it sounds kinda good, same with Coverdale, Cobain and maaaaaany others (including me) xD And yes it provides stability and closure of the folds when used..balances respiration when singing also...

 

Fry is kinda great for alot of stuff.

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Witches cackle and fry is not the same thing...

 

Witches cackle promotes Twang by narrowing aryepiglottic sphincter or funnel (or however its spelled) and thats more pharyngeal..

Vocal fry is a register thats HYPERCOMPRESSED..which means very little air blows thru...

And yes, vocal fry helps high notes because in its nature it promotes vocal fold closure (compression) so it can reduce airyness in your high range...

The trick is how to use it and not go overboard with it, because when that happens you go into flageolet 

 

P.S. Chad uses fry everywhere, low and high, its kinda his signature, cuz it sounds kinda good, same with Coverdale, Cobain and maaaaaany others (including me) xD And yes it provides stability and closure of the folds when used..balances respiration when singing also...

 

Fry is kinda great for alot of stuff.

​Thanks for replying Elvis!

Oh right I see. Are you sure Witches Cackle doesn't involve a little bit of vocal fry? Because when I do it, it sounds like it kind of does!

Yeah I thought that it was vocal fry that Chad used. So that's how he hits those high notes a lot easier then? I've noticed when I've watched a live show of Nickelback that his shouts to the crowd seem easy. For example when he shouts something like, "Yeah!", "Let me hear you!" it seems so easy for him even though he's shouting them really high up there.

So are these high screamers using a strong head voice with a hell of a lot of vocal fry compression?

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Welcome to the forum EveryVoice!

Well, Elvis is correct about fry and witche's cackle not being the same thing. I think that practicing vocal fry may help a little bit when you are singing the high notes, but it doesn't even come close to twang (witche's cackle). Vocal fry is way more useful to add distortion. David Coverdale is a great example of vocal fry, as he uses in the beginning of the sentences (e.g. Love ain't no stranger). I think vocal fry may also help training for bridging registers very lightly. Still regarding Coverdale, I think he uses a more nasal distortion when doing some of the high notes. Cheers

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Interesting about Vocal Fry.....I know vocal fry and twang are not the same thing but I thought Vocal fry was more of a relaxed coordination rather than a compressed coordination just using the edges of the vocal folds(enough to barely make contact)  and having enough air to move the thin edge of the folds.

 

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So does vocal fry really help with hitting higher notes without as much effort?

No, it does not. Vocal fry helps singers and is helping you precisely because it is NOT helping you to "hit a high note"... you have to stop viewing frequency in the context of "up / down & low / high" my friend. This is a mental imagery idea we ALL get suckered into from time to time and it is  contributing to any vocal challenges you may be having,... so for starters... stop saying "... hit the high note"... we don't "hit notes", we sing them. Watch this video and then proceed to my next answer.

 

 How does it work exactly?

With the TVS program, "The Four Pillars of Singing" , we have 8 specialized onsets that students learn about and then learn how to use them in training and singing (if they apply to singing, 2 of the 8 do not apply to singing)... One of these onsets is called Pulse & Release or "P&R" onset. It utilizes "Pulse Register" or vibratory mechanism M0... or otherwise known in popular circles as "vocal fry". 

Pulse Register tends to teater on the brink of a real phonation, and falsetto mode. It is an interim stage in the vocal fold adduction spectrum. As such, it serves well to help singers to find higher, head voice placements with "kinda" a staged compression. It also never engages the constrictors when executed properly, so it is a good onset to practice to stop the bad habit of constricting. At TVS we call the P&R onset the "... Light Mass Onset"... because it is the first onset of choice if you want to produce the phonation threshold pressure (the minimum amount of sub-glottal respiration energy x the vocal fold compression required to make a real vocal sound), without engaging ANY sympathetic musculature that could get in the way. It is an onset that does NOT contract much musculature and rather, "floats" on respiration. For these reasons, you can probably appreciate why it is called the "light mass onset" and understand its benefits. 

Anyways, that is some background information on vocal fry, more is explained and demonstrated in the above mentioned training program... 

I personally think it's a very powerful head voice with a hell of a lot of cord closure.

This most certainly is not vocal fry. What you are describing here would be better suited for belt onsets and compression onsets. My fellow TVS students would be able to identify those onsets as; D&R, A&R, C&R, Q&R, T&R, maybe W&R onsets if you have good Bernoulli closure engaged. So actually... almost all the other onsets will get you to a "powerful head voice ... with a hell of a lot of vocal fold closure"... but not Pulse & Release (vocal fry). So this suggests that you really don't know what vocal fry is... or what you are doing isn't actually vocal fry. My educated guess is,,, what you are doing isn't actually vocal fry.

Share a link of what you are doing, not the original artist... you. Let's hear you make the vocal sounds your talking about above, then we can help you more readily. If you feel it has "power" and "fold closure"... Im betting it is not vocal fry. It is probably some kind of compressed, belty thing... 

BTW... there is no such thing as "chord closure" in singing. There is perhaps if you play a guitar or a piano, or any stringed instrument or xylophone ... any instrument where you can play a chord... but solo voices do not play "chords"... so there is no such thing as "vocal chords"... this is a term people use all the time and it is complete wrong. What you are referring to is called the "vocal folds"... 

So... in addition to stop saying, "hitting high notes" , practice referring to your vocal folds as "vocal folds" not chords... its not a stringed instrument... and not "cords" either... its not something you plug into the wall to run your vacuum cleaner.

Understanding some basics in regards to the language of singing, vocal technique and how the voice really works goes  along way to actually singing better. You become better at singing, when you understand a little bit about the physiology and acoustics of singing... read a book, get some training, take it seriously if you really want to get better... "free secret tips" on youtube and this forum, isn't going to make you a better singer. It may shed some light on some things... but that is it. If you want to sing better, you need to make a commitment to training and learning how the singing voice actually works.

Pulse Register on Spectrum:

Pulse Register_Vocal Fry.jpg

Notice the circles... That is the moment that the voice was producing vocal fry.... it is characterized by a LOT of 'noise' in the sound... amplified harmonics combined with undefined noise... A clean vocal tone would have cleaner, spiked harmonic peaks.

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Interesting about Vocal Fry.....I know vocal fry and twang are not the same thing but I thought Vocal fry was more of a relaxed coordination rather than a compressed coordination just using the edges of the vocal folds(enough to barely make contact)  and having enough air to move the thin edge of the folds.

 

​try doing a pure vocal fry and try to push air thru it...you wont be able, you will sound like your about a have a painfull bowel movement :P

 

Vocal fry is characterised by a hypercompression of the vocal folds... slams them shut xD

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Interesting about Vocal Fry.....I know vocal fry and twang are not the same thing but I thought Vocal fry was more of a relaxed coordination rather than a compressed coordination just using the edges of the vocal folds(enough to barely make contact)  and having enough air to move the thin edge of the folds.

 

​fry IS a relaxed coordination (in terms of fold tension) but also a very compressed one (in terms of fold closure). 

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Thanks Benny and Elvis.  I just never thought about the compressed aspect of it because what you want is the folds close together but just close enough for the air passage to pull the folds together. The folds would barely be touching even in a head voice configuration. You know that they are coming together if you get that fry sound but if you are compressing you will end up using too much of the fold mass.

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Robert can you explain pls why vocal fry cant help you with high notes? 

Seems to me that with good sub-glottal compression and vocal fry to shut the chords down can produce a meaty high notes. 

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    Vocal fry can help you develope/find head voice. It can also help you Find whistle voice. Because you are using a very light mass and just the edge of your vocal folds.

This is why the compression aspect threw me off a little. It can help you control compression because you are just bringing the folds close enough to make sound and no more. The folds are easier to stretch because of the light mass and small amount of air pressure.

    I do not think it would be very healthy to use as a singing headvoice. Very useful in exercising and finding coordinations.

 

  I am not argueing and I could be wrong...... this is what I understand vocal fry to be........My facts may be twisted....

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Robert can you explain pls why vocal fry cant help you with high notes? 

Seems to me that with good sub-glottal compression and vocal fry to shut the chords down can produce a meaty high notes. 

​Did I say that vocal fry or pulse register couldn't help you with high notes?  I don't recall making that statement.  In fact, one of the workouts in "The Four Pillars of Singing" "Extreme Scream Training" is a P&R onset... it is there precisely because it is good for opening up the 5th+ registers.

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Robert can you explain pls why vocal fry cant help you with high notes?

Seems to me that with good sub-glottal compression and vocal fry to shut the chords down can produce a meaty high notes.

​      Robert is stressing that we should NOT think of notes as HIGH........That is why Fry will not help with "High" notes.

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Robert can you explain pls why vocal fry cant help you with high notes?

Seems to me that with good sub-glottal compression and vocal fry to shut the chords down can produce a meaty high notes.

​      Robert is stressing that we should NOT think of notes as HIGH........That is why Fry will not help with "High" notes.

​oh lol..i seee it now..i missinterpreted your statement Rob...sry brah

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Vocal Fry CAN help with high notes but not in the way that you would think. Just to recap: The defining properties of fry are relaxed folds (= almost no tension) and high compression.

The excercise that can help you with high notes is to start on a fry sound in the low area and then try to do a siren on fry into your head voice. But how can you do a siren on fry? you may ask. So here is the trick: Just as for "faking" the lowest notes one can make the fry itself is basically pitchless BUT you can adjust the vocal tract in a way that the listener percieves the sound as having a pitch. This is because the vocal tract will emphasize certain frequencies within the fry heavily, so much that the note associated with those frequencies becomes the perceived fundamental.

The cool thing is: The vocal tract setup that produces a resonance which makes the fry being perceived as a G3 for example is also a very good vocal tract setup to actually sing the note G3 because it amplifies harmonics that are associated with that note.

However, in the passaggio region the vocal tract will stop working as a "big" resonator and will not give enough resonance to drive the fry on (this is actually what creates the "break" in the voice while singing). At that point your voice will be forced to leave vocal fry and if you just let it go you will usually find a very light head voice. This head voice is usually NOT falsetto, though, because it inherits some of the high compression you used during the fry production.

So that's basically the trick. It won't give you a powerful head voice though. It will give you a light head voice, but a connected one, which is the primary use of this excercise. I think it is even mentioned in TVS that a fry onset is a light mass onset.

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Thank you for the replies everyone. I appreciate them. Well vocal fry has helped me with singing more connected like some of the members have said...and has definitely helped me to sing with less tension. And the musicians I hear singing that use vocal fry seem to sing with less tension too. So I will continue doing what i'm doing. For that big, beefy rock sound Chad Kroeger is definitely one of my top inspirations not only because of the way he sounds but how relaxed he is when he's actually singing. No pulling, straining and that stuff. Just effortless looking and sounding notes both softly and with power. 

It makes sense that vocal fry simply helps one to simply sing more connected so in a way it does help with 'high' notes. I recommend it to any one that strains and is struggling to get a more connected voice. Using vocal fry on a simple 'ooo' from low to high like you'd say if something intrigues you. Or say an 'Ahhh!' from a low fry to a heady tone as in "Ahh! I get it now".

People that suddenly scream naturally use vocal fry and they reach 'higher' notes straight off the bat. It's the same with babies too right? They use vocal fry to scream their little heads off... and it's a totally natural thing that they didn't even have to learn.

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Thank you for the replies everyone. I appreciate them. Well vocal fry has helped me with singing more connected like some of the members have said...and has definitely helped me to sing with less tension. And the musicians I hear singing that use vocal fry seem to sing with less tension too. So I will continue doing what i'm doing. For that big, beefy rock sound Chad Kroeger is definitely one of my top inspirations not only because of the way he sounds but how relaxed he is when he's actually singing. No pulling, straining and that stuff. Just effortless looking and sounding notes both softly and with power.

It makes sense that vocal fry simply helps one to simply sing more connected so in a way it does help with 'high' notes. I recommend it to any one that strains and is struggling to get a more connected voice. Using vocal fry on a simple 'ooo' from low to high like you'd say if something intrigues you. Or say an 'Ahhh!' from a low fry to a heady tone as in "Ahh! I get it now".

People that suddenly scream naturally use vocal fry and they reach 'higher' notes straight off the bat. It's the same with babies too right? They use vocal fry to scream their little heads off... and it's a totally natural thing that they didn't even have to learn.

​ I think you are still confusing Vocal fry with TWANG.   When babies cry they are twanging....Witches cackle......quack.......

Vocal fry is that Elmer Fudd sound......Sleepy.....croaky......Squeeky door....

Chad Kroeger uses an effects pedal.......Do not try to match his sound with your voice.....He does not sound like that either.

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I think you are still confusing Vocal fry with TWANG.   When babies cry they are twanging....Witches cackle......quack.......

Vocal fry is that Elmer Fudd sound......Sleepy.....croaky......Squeeky door....

Chad Kroeger uses an effects pedal.......Do not try to match his sound with your voice.....He does not sound like that either.

I'm not confusing it with twang. Yeah vocal fry sounds like Elmer Fudd when low but it can be applied on any note. It takes some practice to apply it higher though. 

Yeah! Squeaky door.. that's vocal fry higher. 

Even if Chad does use an effects pedal for a little extra distortion or whatever I know that he does sound like that. I've watched too many clips of him singing.. live, acoustic, in a hallway before a show, him talking to the crowd through the microphone sounding like any other guy talking and then shouting something in the same voice he uses for singing. He does sound like that.

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Just trying to help....The pedal may only be to make his sound bigger than it really is. In any case the kroeger sound is unhealthy for most singers...At least trying to make it sound as fat and deep as Kroeger. ;)

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Just trying to help....The pedal may only be to make his sound bigger than it really is. In any case the kroeger sound is unhealthy for most singers...At least trying to make it sound as fat and deep as Kroeger. ;)

​Thank you :) Yeah the pedal might add some harmonics making it bigger like you said. Even though Kroeger has a thick sounding voice I think it's quite soft too.. that probably doesn't make sense hehe. But I've heard him sing songs without using as much as that distortion he uses and it is quite a smooth headier sound. Probably because he has a nice connected voice, not a pushy one. Thanks man!

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Just trying to help....The pedal may only be to make his sound bigger than it really is. In any case the kroeger sound is unhealthy for most singers...At least trying to make it sound as fat and deep as Kroeger. ;)

​Thank you :) Yeah the pedal might add some harmonics making it bigger like you said. Even though Kroeger has a thick sounding voice I think it's quite soft too.. that probably doesn't make sense hehe. But I've heard him sing songs without using as much as that distortion he uses and it is quite a smooth headier sound. Probably because he has a nice connected voice, not a pushy one. Thanks man!

​     The danger in trying to match voices like Kroeger or Steven Tyler is that "They" sound that way already. They sound big and heavy up top and it seems that you have to work hard or even shout to get that sound. Chad or Steven may be singing soft with little air for all we know.

    I have spent years looking for a decent head voice.....thinking I must be doing something wrong because I sound closer to Miss Piggy than Steven or Chad.....But I have come to find out that I am singing in true head voice.....I just naturally sound like Miss Piggy up there.....It is time to get used to it and use it...... Maybe later I will find a way to add a little weightier sound to it.

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Just trying to help....The pedal may only be to make his sound bigger than it really is. In any case the kroeger sound is unhealthy for most singers...At least trying to make it sound as fat and deep as Kroeger. ;)

​Thank you :) Yeah the pedal might add some harmonics making it bigger like you said. Even though Kroeger has a thick sounding voice I think it's quite soft too.. that probably doesn't make sense hehe. But I've heard him sing songs without using as much as that distortion he uses and it is quite a smooth headier sound. Probably because he has a nice connected voice, not a pushy one. Thanks man!

​     The danger in trying to match voices like Kroeger or Steven Tyler is that "They" sound that way already. They sound big and heavy up top and it seems that you have to work hard or even shout to get that sound. Chad or Steven may be singing soft with little air for all we know.

    I have spent years looking for a decent head voice.....thinking I must be doing something wrong because I sound closer to Miss Piggy than Steven or Chad.....But I have come to find out that I am singing in true head voice.....I just naturally sound like Miss Piggy up there.....It is time to get used to it and use it...... Maybe later I will find a way to add a little weightier sound to it.

​Yes, that is the impression I'm getting... its not fry. 

We still don't have a link to listen to, so... who can say? 

EveryVoice, upload a link so we can get to the "real" about what your talking about, otherwise its just a bunch of speculation going no where. 

Damn cool profile pic BTW...!

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The excercise that can help you with high notes is to start on a fry sound in the low area and then try to do a siren on fry into your head voice.

This comment caught my eye... it is precisely what we do on the workout titled, "Extreme Scream Pitch Training ESP" in "The Four Pillars of Singing". I point this out not to just pitch my product, .... but to validate the idea. This workout is is entirely about opening up the 4th, 5th and 6th registers, which we call "ESP" at TVS and in the program. Basically, this is the workout you do to work on your super high heavy metal screams.... and circling back to the point... the ONSET for this workout is a very light Falsetto Wind & Release onset, or... you can also onset with vocal fry... either way, it gets you to a similar result,... deep head voice placements with no bugged up constriction that you then practice "blowing" into with full support.... in a sense you "wedge" into the head voice and then work to blow it open for a scream.

:headbang2:

I think it is even mentioned in TVS that a fry onset is a light mass onset.

Yes, the Pulse & Release onset (vocal fry onset) is also called, "The Light Mass Onset"... the primary purpose of the Light Mass Onset is exactly that... to help singers get into a light mass phonation with no constriction. Sometimes it is great to get into for warming up as well and if you want to have a headier sound color like Steve Perry or Bruno Mars... The above mentioned workout is tailored to expand your range and work on your screams... the P&R Onset is the one we use for that workout.

Just to be clear... in "The Four Pillars of Singing"... there are basically four elements to a vocal workout, which students learn. They learn how to build their own workouts by understanding the following elements:

Vocal Modes

Vowels Inside Those Vocal Modes

Onsets

Formula

Students choose the workout, then choose what vocal modes they want to train, then further break that down by choosing what vowels they want to train in those vocal modes (open VS narrow), choose the ever important onsets... then put them all together into a training formula and go! It looks something like this...

1st Onset + Vowel/s in Sequence (formula) + 2nd Onset

P&R + "eh" < "ou" < "uh" < "a" + W&R

​You can build your own training formulas or the program provides 27 of them for you... with 10 training vowels, 3 acoustic modes and 8 onsets, the combinations are almost infinite. 

:39:

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​Yes, that is the impression I'm getting... its not fry. 

We still don't have a link to listen to, so... who can say? 

EveryVoice, upload a link so we can get to the "real" about what your talking about, otherwise its just a bunch of speculation going no where. 

Damn cool profile pic BTW...!

This is the feeling I get when I do a siren from F3 - F4. I might move into the F3 with the low vocal fry or I might start it with a glottal attack or start it on a resonant 'mmm'. I then slide my way all the way up to F4. No tension or straining. I imagine it going up and back. Now when I'm up at the F4 I can apply some slight distortion to it. I guess if I could describe it, it would be a buzzy, tickle feeling up in the soft palate.. not uncomfortable. Also.. if I apply it on the lower notes.. it's sounds like the deep chanting the monks do when meditating. This is what I think the vocal fry is. Maybe i'm wrong. Maybe it's not vocal fry!

I know the last few posts have become more about me now. I didn't start the thread to be about me. I just wanted people's opinions on using vocal fry to sing higher notes more easily. And people have said that it can help with a connected voice, which i've experienced.. so in the end I think it does help.

Glad you like the profile pic Rob :) 

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  This is a good topic and valuable to other singers.... I still do not think that what you are describing is vocal fry.  Vocal fry is a laryngeal coordination. When I think of compression I envision the folds being held tightly together......This cannot happen in vocal fry because Vocal fry is the product of the folds Lightly touching not from being compressed.

   I can also produce a sound similar to vocal fry with the false folds. It also gives the sounds of a deep chant from monks Perhaps this is what you are doing that gives the sensation of tickling behind the soft palate.      

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