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Strengthening Vocal Folds

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Elrathion
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I have no recommendations for books about singing technique. My maestro said, and I agree, that one cannot learn singing from a book. Just like I don't believe in teaching singing through CDs or DVDs. If one is experienced, then perhaps it is interesting... but nothing beats the in-the-moment listening-with-all-their-senses response from a qualifed teacher. And we tend to read books/hear CDs/DVDs through the filter of our current understanding. Live or nothing, that's my POV. I do like reading biographies of great singers, tho.

 

But I do have some books on creativity and on songwriting/the music industry that I often recommend. Let me know if you're interested.

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I'm talking more about the actual process of voice production, not really learn to sing from a book [allthough I have found books often interesting when I first started out, ideas to experiment with :>]

There are some excellent books available, and with a wide range of perspectives.

The ones I like the best are:

Singing - The mechanism and the Technic by William Vennard

The Free Voice by Cornelius Reid

The Structure of Singing by Richard Miller

If you like the pure science of it, including introductions to the source/filter theory of vowel formation, models of phonation motion, etc, then I recommend that you check out the Resources I've posted at

http://www.punbb-hosting.com/forums/themodernvocalist/viewtopic.php?id=19

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Hi I'm between you both I guess! I believe your voice is deep inside you and you use technique to facilitate the sound and focus it into whatever singing genre you choose. Your voice I think will naturally lean towards a genre...but it is possible to be versatile and sing across a wide range of genre's. You do not need technique to sing. What technique does...is that it allows you to learn to sing by taking care of your voice muscles and helping you make the best of the sound you are producing. Let's face it...many people become famous and just sing without training. It is when they realise they are beginning to strain their voices that they look to learn technique. I think classical training is different here because in order to sing classic works..training comes first. However in contemporary singing...unusual voices, strong voices all that come naturally get noticed. They have not necessarily been trained. Face to face teaching is always the best because the student resonates with the teachers voice unconsciously and listens and learns. However you can learn through CD's and DVD's...but the key is in the practise from the lessons not just the lesson itself. Anyone can have a lesson...it is taking on board what is being taught and practising it that counts. You can learn from other singers if you really train your ear to listen how they breathe, time their phrasing, bend and move their notes etc. and copy. However you have to eventually develop your own true voice. Reading it in a book just locks the mind into being very good at regurgitating technique but it needs to be demonstrated. It also depends what you want to sing. Steve has given good recommendations ....there are instructors on the site with books, CD & DVD courses including myself. I would suggest you check them out! love Hilary :D

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Hilary, I agree about the face to face teaching, which is why I haven't put out and CD/DVD. I my give online direction,but I only teach in person. I am not in any way knocking or discourage the use of CD/DVD. For many it is the only affordable or available access. Many are very good. Point being theres is no clearification. a teacher can hear ,see what the sudent is doing and guide. If you do an exercise incorrectly 1000 times with a CD you've re-enforced that incorrect habit 1000 times. CD can also encourage the behavior of skipping things and taking things out of order, hence they will work on the parts they favor or that seem to give a certain result and avoid other parts, which may not give instant result but are better for overall developement.

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Well I was actually talking about books like Titze's just cse I'm training to become a good teacher and I know the first thing that sets me off with a teacher is that they tell complete bs about the voice. I was looking to see your suggestions on interesting book.

As for programs, firstoff I didn't have the pleasure yet of finding a teacher I liked in Belgium [they would just make you do scales wo explaining the purpose, give me some history lessons and tell me things about vocal anatomy that I knew where wrong :>], so I kind of started with them. Right now it inspires me to have sampled so many, cse I'm interested in how each teacher approaches an exercise differently and try to get a maximum understanding from that for both myself as to pass it on to my few students so far :>

I wouldn't completly agree w your analogy Hilary. I would say more that when you didn't get training it's more appearent for the untrained ear with classical music, however I find myself sometimes anoyed hearing the lack of technique of some singers who some people consider good :P

What about phone lessons Darrison? :P Or webcam lessons? What's your take on that?

Anyway I'm saving up money to get a good teacher for some months, so far my favourite is Badiene Magaziner :P

Anyone heared of her?

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I have come to the conclusion from practical observation that it is important that a singer who wants to really max vocal potential to learn about how the voice works with the body. Not necessarily detailed anatomy of the larynx... but a level of understanding about your body's anatomy that lets you know why certain things you do affects your voice.

I get much better results when I suggest that a student not only to do something a certain way, but teach them WHY they should do it that way. Almost all my first vocal lessons include lessons in anatomy. People who come to me usually either buy my CD course before they come or get it at the first lesson. This maximizes their monetary investment, because they can live with the CDs and get a lesson every day if they want. And those who get the CDs but cannot afford personal lessons send me many testimonials that the CDs helped them.

I have gained much as vocal teacher from studying the books and CDs of others, as well. You don't have to master all knowledge about the voice but you must know what makes a difference. That's actually why I signed up at Modern Vocalist.. to share what I know and to garner more knowledge from other pro teachers.

Besides my Power, Path & Performance method CDs, (of course) I recommend the writings and CDs of several other teachers on a blogpost at [http://judyrodman.com/2008/10/things-ive-learned-from-other-vocal.html]

I do agree with others here that it is much preferred to train with a great teacher personally if at all possible. But if a great coach is not available in your area, I recommend great vocal books and CDs & DVDs instead of settling for an inferior teacher.

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Yes we find who we need to help us when we need it, be it through books, cd's, dvd's or otherwise. I am in agreement with Darrison and Judy and I personally think there is no substitute for face to face teaching as the subtleties needed to coach the voice can only be found there. The challenge though is getting people who just want to sing to understand that their money would be best spent on training before the best equipment to sing over! Most want an easy route and don't go for training until they find they have a problem. Many people read books and coherently regurgitate the contents so that they sound like masters....but the proof is in the art of doing it! There is no substitute for experience and demonstration! I can learn all the technical stuff from a book, it's actually opening my mouth, listening to my soul and using my vocal training that allows me to sing! love H :) BIG THANKS & HUG ADOLPH TOO!

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Elrathion,

I actually know Badiene very well. I trained with her for years here in New York City. She is a retired opera singer and is simply amazing. While she is a protege of Seth Riggs' and a proponent of his tehcniques i.e. SLS, she definitely mixes in what she gleaned from a pro career in the demanding wrold of opera. If you want to know anything about her or her techniques, teaching style, etc., feel free to email me. How did you come to know Badiene? BTW, I'm quoted on her website as a testimonial which I think is kinda cool. :)

In terms of books on singing:

1) The Rock 'N' Roll Singer's Survival Manual - Mark Baxter

2) Singing for the Stars - Seth Riggs

3) The Art of Singing - Richard Miller

4) Raise Your Voice - Jaime Vendera

5) The Pillars of Singing - Robert Lunte

6) Can You Sing A High C Without Straining - Thomas Appell

6) Pro Secrets of Heavy Rock Singing - Bill Martin

7) Great Singers on Great Singing - Jerome Hines

Yours In Music,

Denis J. Lanza

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  • 4 weeks later...

:) Jaimes stuff :)

http://www.thevoiceconnection.com/storefront.html

and

The Singers Companion, Brent Monohan helped me get to apoint where i thought I was ready to take on more advanced studies, like Jaimes :)

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?r=1&ISBN=9781574671506&ourl=The%2DSingers%2DCompanion%2FBrent%2DJeffrey%2DMonahan

also have the rock and roll singers Survival Manual by Baxter, but its in storage in a box somewhere...maybe in late Feburary i'll find it???? :)

missed posting here :)

Happy NEW YEAR!!!!!!

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  • 6 years later...

I recently turned 17 and planned on using the money I got for my birthday on voice lessons/ I did so, however, my teacher says that I may be at a slight impasse due more to physiological reasons than technique. Basically, I'm a late developer (I'm still pretty small for my age) and he thinks that my vocal instrument is going through changes that make it fairly inflexible and not very stable. My teacher theorises that my larynx has grown at a faster rate than the muscle controlling the vocal folds so they are not able to resist very much breath. 

He says I need to work on using less breath to hit high notes, but before I can start training properly I will have to just be patient and wait for my vocal cords to catch up with my larynx. I have a few scales and exercises to work on in the meantime, but I should contact him again once my vocal muscles have grown a bit (apparently it will take a few months). I want to help this along as much as possible and ensure that I can carry on with this, so does anybody know of any methods/exercises to improve the strength of the muscles controlling the vocal folds? Or do people know which muscles specifically I need to work on so that I can find exercises myself? Sorry, I never understand those diagram things so I don't know the names of any of the muscles in question, if anybody more well versed in vocal science does that will be a huge help.

Thanks!

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I have to ask you this. Are you really seeing a vocal coach?  I'm sorry, but if you were, would you need to be asking us these questions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes...though I have only had one lesson, in which the teacher said that I just need to wait for my vocal cords to strengthen. 

Sorry, but that link does not address what I asked at all. It basically says "your larynx gets bigger" which I know very well as my teacher told me all about it which I said in the original post (it also wrongly says that the vocal cords are muscles, they are soft tissue). I was asking about particular exercises that can strengthen the specific muscles in question, which that link does not mention (it doesn't even relate to singing). My teacher says that in a few months they will strengthen naturally, and of course there isn't a substitute for patience, but I wondered if there were any exercises to speed things along.

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There are tons of exercises. I'm 22 and I couldn't sing anything above A4 without falsetto (I still cant), but its getting better.

i used 4 Pillars and I'm proggresing nicely. Slowly but nicely. And I'm only slow because my life does not allow me to train as much as i would like to.

 

What your teacher said might be true but it sounds like bs.

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There are tons of exercises. I'm 22 and I couldn't sing anything above A4 without falsetto (I still cant), but its getting better.

i used 4 Pillars and I'm proggresing nicely. Slowly but nicely. And I'm only slow because my life does not allow me to train as much as i would like to.

 

What your teacher said might be true but it sounds like bs.

4 Pillars is expensive given my budget, but I have some money left over and a little bit more in my bank account now so I'll see what I can do. So you say there are exercises for this specific problem? I might buy it then, if it isn't too pricey, if not I might have to wait til Christmas, by which point my teacher said my vocal muscles would probably have grown naturally anyway.

I don't think that it is bullshit, he's an accomplished teacher with 100% five-star reviews I doubt he'd make shit up. And it does seem consistent with what I've seen in my speaking voice (I was late hitting puberty so my voice is still maturing somewhat from teenager to adult) and would explain why my voice breaks like it does. 

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oh i have no doubts about the breaks..its a common thing during mutation...i was extremely funny when i would try to argue with someone and sound like a braindamaged yoddler. and i know what you are up against. the thing is those muscles will not magically become strong. you will break even after you mutate completely on the higher stuff and thats where training comes in

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