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Robert Lunte
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Vocal Mode Pedagogy  

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  1. 1. I understand basically, what vocal modes are.

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  2. 2. I have trained vocal mode ideas before and found them to be very helpful.

    • Yes.
      6
    • No.
      1
    • Not sure, I didn't really try.
      2
  3. 3. After watching this video, I understand the difference between "Physical" & "Acoustic" vocal modes.

    • Yes.
      9
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  • Administrator

Enjoy this new video that provides an overview of what vocal modes are and why they are important. If you train and study vocal modes, your understanding of the singing voice and vocal technique will be vastly superior then dealing with training methods that can't explain the physiology and acoustics of singing. The whole point about vocal mode pedagogy is to make the understanding and execution of singing better EASIER, not harder. So don't let anyone tell you that "vocal modes are necessarily too complicated". That is simply not true. If you take a little bit of time to just learn how it works, you will open up a huge door to understanding the voice and singing better.  And of course we cover this in The Four Pillars of Singing 4.0! http://bit.ly/TFPOSONLINE.  Enjoy this video and hope we can have some discussion about vocal modes.

 

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That's great. I feel like a combination of the more Estill physiological stuff with the more abstract vowel resonator modes is very good pedagogy. The color coded vowel modification chart is genius as well.

You tackle the voice from so many different angles, it's difficult for me to imagine someone who is remotely dedicated to not being able to learn a great deal from your program. If one approach is not clicking, then another approach might suffice in the meantime.

Where as with all of the other programs I've encountered, basically there is a single ideology and if that doesn't click for someone, then it just doesn't work. But with yours, if acoustic modes aren't clicking, then you've got physical, and vice versa. If neither, you've got specialized onsets and more specific vowel modification. At some point during people's vocal learning process, all of if it will likely be useful and 'click,' but everything will take time, and having different parts of those toolsets available for different people who learn differently and at different rates is key.

It seems way more likely the big picture would come together when students can view the voice from different angles. But then you also have beginner stuff too like embouchure on an open vowel that can really simplify things and keep people from constricting. It would take someone an extreme amount of work to compete with what you're doing, as you're aiming for all levels of voice users to gain the ability to train and understand their voices.

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That's great. I feel like a combination of the more Estill physiological stuff with the more abstract vowel resonator modes is very good pedagogy.

Yes, it's important to acknowledge both the physiological and the acoustical parameters. Especially because of their interaction. If you know about this, albeit complex, interaction and their implications you will have a good grasp of solving many vocal issues.

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Yes, it's important to acknowledge both the physiological and the acoustical parameters. Especially because of their interaction. If you know about this, albeit complex, interaction and their implications you will have a good grasp of solving many vocal issues.

Yes. Smart team... 

Auditory Imagery ( of the formant/vowel ) = Formant Tuning = Physiological Configuration

If you want good physiology on your singing, then start understanding the singing vowels and learn to tune/resonant formants.... and train and sing a lot. 

Beginners = Chase and fight with the physiology, to get an acoustic effect.

Experienced = Visualize the acoustics and tune a formant, to get the required physiology.

 

PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THIS TIP PEOPLE!!

:39:

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In regards to speaking and singing vowels. There really are no difference per se. You don't have a "singing vowel" and a "speaking vowel" - a vowel is a vowel. The only difference between speaking and singing is that you often use another vowel (modification) in singing than in speaking to facilitate the desired sound.

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I tend to think your over simplifying Marty... 

1. The articulators and embouchure are not shaping language & singing vowels the same, especially hence you get above the optimum pitch for speaking. The higher the frequency, the more removed you are from language frequencies and therefore, singing vowels become very different.

2. Singing vowels are modified on higher frequencies, generally speaking, compared to language vowels, which are not. That is why language vowels are stripes and singing vowels are gradient blends of color.

3. Singing formants have more then one sound color. When you get good at it, you can hear up to 3-4 sound colors simultaneously. Language vowels really don't produce that same phenomenon. 

"eggs" in speech has the sound color of "eh".

"eggs" in singing, on a high A4, has the simultaneous sound colors of "eh", "a" and "uh", simultaneously.

4. Language vowels are characters for a languages and there are many different languages so the same characters, can represent different sound colors. But everyone sings the same singing vowels and sound colors, unless your singing some really nasal, Chinese opera stuff.

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Of course there are physiological and acoustical differences depending on the frequency. However, because the perception of vowels is a pshycoacoustical phenomenon (based on the relative distance between F1 and F2) it doesn't really matter if it's spoken or sung. The articulation (physiologic) of the vowel and the formant structure (acoustic) might differ, but the perception is still the same independent of frequency (with an exception in the very high range) .

Point being, you don't have "speaking vowels" and "singing vowels". However, you modify the vowels a lot more in singing than in speaking.

(It's also important to note that your speaking range is also your singing range.)

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I respectfully disagree, although I think we are having different conversations based on different perspectives. You know, my content is always tailored to teaching students of singing how to grasp this content in a way that is attainable and understandable. Remember, who my recipients are... If you don't forget that, you can possibly appreciate what I am communicating and its merits. Language vowels are not the same as singing vowels for students of singing. They may be from some phonetics perspective, but I think you get my point Marty.

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Sure, I get your point Rob. I'm basically just saying a vowel is a vowel whether you sing or speak it. But if beginners find it helpful to think in terms of "speaking vowels" and "singing vowels" then that's just great. Then it's nice we have threads on the forum where we can debate things in more detail, like this one.

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Every country/region/culture will have its own accent/dialect with its own 'speech vowel' patterns, with unique subsets within each population. I think generally separating the concept is maybe necessary if you want to do singing outside of whatever random cultural dialect you're born into, plus, whatever random habits you've picked up.

Don't get me wrong, I love singers coming from cultures and not watering everything down to 'generic singing technique,' but if someone is serious about range, timbre and pitch flexibility, then starting from square one with the idea that those goals might be directly opposite from speech patterns is very useful.

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The point is, you can't really separate it. For instance an EH-vowel is an EH-vowel no matter the frequency - no mater if it's spoken or sung. The perception is the same and so is the relative relation between F1 and F2 - otherwise it's another vowel.

Or maybe I should ask: What is a speaking vowel that's not also a singing vowel or vice versa?

(The hat of Lord Farquaad)

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No. It most certainly is not the same.

Singing formants have more then one sound color. When you get good at it, you can hear up to 3-4 sound colors simultaneously. Language vowels really don't produce that same phenomenon. 

"eggs" in speech has the sound color of "eh".

"eggs" in singing, on a high A4, has the simultaneous sound colors of "eh", "a" and "uh", simultaneously.

I could do a demonstration for you between a speech mode "eh" and a singing "eh" on an A4 and it will open your ears... you will hear, that it is not the same!

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Rob, the perception of a vowel is determined by the relative relation between the first and second formant (F1 and F2). And it doesn't matter whether you sing or speak it, use a darker or lighter sound color etc. It will still be perceived as the same vowel. Not until the threshold of this formant relation is crossed will you perceive it as another vowel.

But are vowels produced differently in singing than speaking? Most often, yes.

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You are arguing over a kind of philosophical question here. The question is: "Is a vowel a sound or is it a state of the vocal tract?". Singing an EH on A4 requires a vastly different state of the vocal tract compared to speaking an EH in your normal speaking range, the sound color will be different, but the perceived vowel by the listener stays an EH.

I think it really depends on the student which is easier to grasp, the acoustic or the physiological component. Some teachers say things like: "Sing the EE vowel through the throat shape of an EH in the high range". The sound that is coming out will still sound like EE if you do it right, but the physiological state will be vastly different. So it depends if the student has more sense for the sound that is coming out or for the state of his vocal tract (tongue position, tensions in the palate, pharynx wall etc.).

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You are arguing over a kind of philosophical question here.

Not arguing - debating. I don't think there's any philosophical about it really. As I've stated earlier, and what you also point out Benny, it's not how you produce the vowel but how it's perceived that I'm referring to.

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Not arguing - debating. I don't think there's any philosophical about it really. As I've stated earlier, and what you also point out Benny, it's not how you produce the vowel but how it's perceived that I'm referring to.

    The way you produce the vowel is the whole point by distinguishing between singing and speaking vowels.  Especially for beginners and that is the reference that Robert is going from. Edit:  I believe that is the reference Robert is going from.

 

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@MDEW  

I've mentioned earlier, you often articulate vowels differently when you sing than when you speak. But once again, the vowel is still the same vowel, whether you sing or speak it. Also, if you are a beginner or super advanced - it doesn't matter.

I get your point. The way we sing is different from the way we talk (to a certain extent).

BUT. From a phonetic point of view.....the vowel is still a vowel.

(And as a logopedian I like phonetics etc.)

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Rob, the perception of a vowel is determined by the relative relation between the first and second formant (F1 and F2). And it doesn't matter whether you sing or speak it, use a darker or lighter sound color etc. It will still be perceived as the same vowel. Not until the threshold of this formant relation is crossed will you perceive it as another vowel.

But are vowels produced differently in singing than speaking? Most often, yes.

Marty, this response rather confirms that we are debating two different perspectives, so we are boxing shadows here old friend. You are wanting to engage me in a discussion about formants, but that is not what my lesson on this post is about.  You guys can all pat yourself on the back on a real smart formant oriented response, but Im not even sitting in that debate room with you. That was never my point, or my presentation. You are actually getting more literal and scientific then I am at the moment. 

Although there are a few exceptions, my lesson videos are not about teaching formants. This is not a formant lesson and that is clear to everyone. In fact, it isn't even a lesson about the acoustics of singing and my "sound colors of singing innovation"! It is a lesson about vocal modes. An entirely different topic of discussion. I just pasted one "sound color" video into this thing because it was a nice follow to Ron's point. Even if this post was a lesson about the acoustics of singing, it still would be "noise" debating you about formants, because the "sound colors of singing" idea also does not require a Pick-Nik'n debate about formants. 

Honestly, given my adequate knowledge of formants, I have to say, I still am grasping as to what your point is in regards to the relevance of my post?

Crazy Dane... LOL... 

:moomin:

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Honestly, given my adequate knowledge of formants, I have to say, I still am grasping as to what your point is in regards to the relevance of my post?

Rob, all I'm saying is, that there are no separate "speaking vowels" and "singing vowels".

If you can show me a "singing vowel" that is not a "speaking vowel" or vice versa......then I'm all ears.??

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Singing an EH on A4 requires a vastly different state of the vocal tract compared to speaking an EH in your normal speaking range, the sound color will be different,

That is my point. 

it's not how you produce the vowel but how it's perceived that I'm referring to.

Yes, that seems like your point. I'm getting that. But the way you produce the vowel will change the way you perceive it or the sound colors. 

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Rob, all I'm saying is, that there are no separate "speaking vowels" and "singing vowels".

It would seem you are speaking more about literal phonetics here, right? In other words, there are ONLY phonetic, language vowels. Well, yes, if you are making an argument based on language phonetics (vowels) and pointing to them as the standard by which we should compare all vowels. It boils down a bit to how you define "vowels". 

What I am saying is, there are language vowels. The kinds of vowels you study in a phonetics class and they have an IPA to represent their sound colors, etc... but phonetics and even the IPA were really designed for the acoustics of speech. Marty, get out of the definition of language vowels for a moment. Broaden your imagination and simply consider the changes in the articulators, embouchure, respiration, compression, etc.. that are required to SING an "Eh" on an A4 vs. speaking and "eh" on an C3. The physiology and acoustics between those two vocal sound are not the same, not even close.

I would love to do my demonstration for you, but I am really buried right now and short for time, I can't "goof off" right now, but I will do it. I can sing an A4 with "eh" being the primary sound color, but point out to you that, the formant is actually more then just 1 sound color. I can demonstrate for you that the singing formant, at that frequency, is actually 3 sound colors blended. You don't get that phenomenon in speech.

Contributing to the confusion in this debate is the fact that regular IPA is inadequate for singing formants because it is designed for speaking vowels. I am not aware of any IPA for singing formants. Does anything like that exist? It would be a brainy endeavor for someone to attempt to do so. But as it is, we all are using the current IPA to describe singing formants/vowels and it is not completely adequate. This problem perhaps is making you a bit too biased or centric on thinking about language vowels. 

Here is another video that is not yet published that covers a visual tool that is available in The Four Pillars of Singing book and training course that is used to help students tune and hear the simultaneous sound colors of singing vowels.

Any of my students that have trained with me will vouch for it. The can do it too... and they understand what I'm talking about...

 

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