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Jarom
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Robert always says that the hardest notes to sing are in the first bridge (e4 g4). While I do think they are hard to sing I have always had more trouble with my second bridge (a4 c5) sometimes I feel like I have it down but it always reverts back to an uncontrolled yell. I can bridge effectively below my second bridge and can do the extreme high stuff pretty well. But when I sing note between a4 to c5 especially c5 I lose the heady feeling and start to choke. Once I reach c#5 the headiness comes back in and I can then sing the g5s and a5s. with ease. Have any of you had the same experience with the 2nd bridge or is it just me?  Also when I do sing a note in the second bridge that's not yelled it has to much twang and that wind and relese onset with downward pressure just makes me clench my throat. 

btw. It dosent sound terribly bad live or on recordings.... but I can sure feel it.

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my most common answer to this(without hearing you) is you probably are not singing through the first bridge correctly so around A and Bb shits gonna get messed up. my advice would be bring down the feeling of the c#5 to the g4 as much as you can and see if  it balances out.

I have been doing that for years.. I call them reverse sirens. They work really well some days but other days not so much....Here is an earlier post I made a couple weeks ago of me bridging from an f4 to an f5 that might trigger something http://www.themodernvocalistworld.com/topic/9103-singing-an-f5-like-a-boss/#comment-99960

Thanks Daniel for the advice. You are one of the best Teachers on the forum..

 

 

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Jarom, I can relate to what you say.  I have almost no issues in my first passagio(E4-G#4).  But when I have to sing in the second passagio(think it is A4-B4 for me), it is incredibly difficult.  Beyond B4, I have a full sounding voice upto F#5.  In fact A4-B4 are the notes I absolutely cannot sing or hold steady! Either side, I am comfortable

You are not alone :) Dan may be on to something when he says bring down from C#5 to G4.  

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my most common answer to this(without hearing you) is you probably are not singing through the first bridge correctly so around A and Bb shits gonna get messed up. my advice would be bring down the feeling of the c#5 to the g4 as much as you can and see if  it balances out.

Sounds like something which I am also not doing correctly.  Can you please elaborate what you mean by "bring down the feeling of the C#5"?  

Can this issue be resolved by training with belting?  

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well depending on how you are "belting" it is usually the issue . If you are belting and having to get alot louder to reach these notes that is the issue.  You want the adduction in your headvoice to come down into the passagio so you dont need volume to stay connected you use medial compression. Strengthen your headvoice on the c# so its not breathy use a consonant like n to help keep it lifted and bring it down through your range smoothly. over time you will not crack. It will get better.

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I have been doing that for years.. I call them reverse sirens. They work really well some days but other days not so much....Here is an earlier post I made a couple weeks ago of me bridging from an f4 to an f5 that might trigger something http://www.themodernvocalistworld.com/topic/9103-singing-an-f5-like-a-boss/#comment-99960

Thanks Daniel for the advice. You are one of the best Teachers on the forum..

 

 

the siren was cool but you want to sing not siren so i would start around c# and put a scale and consonant on it see how well it stays together. go down to about A3. smooth it out so there is no cracking but a seemless sound

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Jarom, I can relate to what you say.  I have almost no issues in my first passagio(E4-G#4).  But when I have to sing in the second passagio(think it is A4-B4 for me), it is incredibly difficult.  Beyond B4, I have a full sounding voice upto F#5.  In fact A4-B4 are the notes I absolutely cannot sing or hold steady! Either side, I am comfortable

You are not alone :) Dan may be on to something when he says bring down from C#5 to G4.  

Aravid, as you gain more strength in your head voice musculature, you will find it gets easier.  A lot also depends on whether you have dropped off some weight as you head up there.  If you bring up too much weight, you will simply get stuck. You need to modify the throat shape (vowel) and create space in the back of the throat to allow you up.  I am always having to remind myself to drop the weight as I ascend and keep the throat open. 

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Most importantly,  make sure the formant is balanced... that means the singing vowel is tuned right, with the correct amount of "mass" or energy... which I think the benefit of Dan's suggestion, which I liked. If you move from one position that DOES seem to be stable and balanced, you can then move from that position incrementally / chromatically, to the note that you are having issues with and try to bring elements of the vowel, resonance, energy, compression, etc... the "phonation package" components, into the pitch that is giving you problems. If you do this, understand that every frequency has its own unique calibrations and tuning, per the vowel, however... because singing formants blend in and out of each other, you can still retain some qualities from the good note to the one that needs work. In other words, try to make the note you are struggling with, "fit into the stable" configuration of the good note as a starting point... but understand that because that favorable configuration has moved in frequency, you will have to make adjustments to find your new calibration and tunings.

The voice calibrates and tunes dynamically, as it moves forward and back in frequency, which is kind of the point of this video below I did, from The Four Pillars of Singing.

 

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As Daniel and Rob already pointed out this is usually a problem of pushing too much mass through the passaggio. Actually A4 is a very typical "breaking point" when you do that because from what I know most guys can "push" their raw chest voice pretty much up to A4 if they have good support. However, if you do it like that the difference between your head voice and this heavy chest voice will be too big to get a smooth transition.

Thus, the most probable answer is, that you are not actually bridging into head in the E4/G#4 area, you have just learned to push your chest to that point without breaking.

I would also recommend a top-down approach just as Daniel suggested.

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Thus, the most probable answer is, that you are not actually bridging into head in the E4/G#4 area, you have just learned to push your chest to that point without breaking.

Thanks Benny.. It makes a lot of sense when you put it that way and I can relate to the big change in tone from chesty A4 to non-existent, weak B4.. The issue for me, like a lot of others you have mentioned, is that reaching A4 comes relatively easily.  I guess I don't realize that I am carrying way too much "vocal weight" to make the transition beyond A4 to my head voice. I think this gives me a lot of clarity on how to approach songs in the A4-B4 region... Looks like I need to make the transition from singing a "chesty" A4 to a lighter, mixed voice A4... 

 

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All great advice, from very knowledeable people. I look up Dan, and Benny, Felipe, all of these great teachers (can't name them all).

But.....

There is still something to be said for exercising the full voice (after you have warmed up) full out and trying to take it as high as you possibly can without concerning yourself with bridging into anything. Just run it up and as you ascend "think in" releasing weight with the shape of your throat (vowel). the vowel will take you up if it's the right one or shade of one.

Run it up hard......can't get past E4 or F4?....there's always tomorrow.....

Power it, support it, don't yell it up, configure your way up...Work with some tension, embrace singing where it's difficult.  Just don't tap a high note, stay up there and try to extend it.  Hold on to the notes up there!

Sometimes you really have to work very hard.  Now you could say to me "no shit Bob" but I sometimes feel some of us aren't really going there, we are looking for ways around it.

Learn hard songs. Do breathing exercises daily. Get the power (and true control) from down below and use it.  I could keep going but I feel I've made my point.

Some of us are always saying how they wish they had more power and a bigger sound.  But no one seems to get that it's takes more to get that sound.  The entire body is involved.

I have learned you have to realize you are in a training regimen....you are going to suck at times...learn to be okay with sucking at your exercises, or cracking, or being too shrill, or having insuffcient fold closure, whatever......

Like in this post, the guys want big, steady, consistent, powerful A4s.....who doesn't!

Break it down....big, steady, consistent, powerful..that's a lot to work on!!!!  AND you have to be able to sing them in a song to a lyric...climb up to them, jump off of them regardless of the lyric you're dealt OR the physical condition you're in this day, this hour, this minute!.

All I'm trying to say is you have to put things into perspective....that's all.  A4 is a bitch note, we all know that.

Understand why it's a bitch is key to working on it.  Work it hard and pick songs that have a lot of them...

I could keep going but I feel I've made my point.  I know i may not have the credibility as some of the teachers, but I'm speaking from my frame of experience as a singer. 

 

 

 

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remember the A4 is not about muscling up or more push its about release. once you get that you will be able to do more. so make it a little smaller first then start to bring in the power

Good advise... also, make sure that you retune your formant/acoustics, especially for beginners or those that don't have all the strength and coordination yet to maintain an A4 on certain other singing vowels that are heavier in this position. The big "secret tip" for the day on this is, blend in more "a" as in "Cat" as you move into A4 and you will feel how the formant opens and sits "back" or into a deeper resonant position. Its pretty obvious and cool when you feel it. Add to that, Dan's point... no formant tuning will work for you, even if it is correct, if you are "slapping the water", or the acoustic mass is too heavy, ESPECIALLY at A4 for beginners. 

"Slapping The Water" = A metaphor I like to use that means that in order to get the smooth responsive result we are recommending, you can't use brute strength or brute pushing, you have to answer to the physics involved and that means; 

balance of acoustic mass x vowel x frequency x energy (respiration & compression) x attitude... your healthy mental imagery.

This is my fake physics formula for what the technical components in the phonation package are and how they need to be balanced in relation to each other. Dan has one that is similar. But the BIG RECURRING POINT, in all these discussions that is important to remember is, ... you are balancing all these components in your phonation package, per frequency... when you get good at it, your voice starts working... 

 Some of you have seen this, but for those of you that have not, again, the balance of these components, per frequency, is kind of the point of this x/y graph innovation.... I digress, but getting back to the unique issues around the note A4, if you understand how to balance these "phonation package" components, then A4 will cooperate for you, as well as many, many other issues.

 

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The E, F, F#, G were the hardest notes for me to work out.  Below that and above that came easy.  The passage is always the toughest area to workout; at least it has been that way for me.  

Me too... and most people. That is pretty standard and to be expected... that is my point with this video. Hope it doesn't feel like Im just fire hosing with videos here but, I have produced over 400 of these lectures and demonstrations, some on YouTube at my channel (please subscribe) and the others can be seen in the TVS training program, "The Four Pillars of Singing"... but to the point, if the video is addressing that very idea, then, I'm going to embed it in here because that is the purpose of the video. And of course, videos communicate well.

 

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This is good video.  I have watched it before, one of your best.

Oh, I'm going to have to give you a "likey" on that... LOL...

Glad you liked it... people seem to like that one a lot. I guess it hits on a topic that is fairly common.

Well come to my studio when you are in Seattle and let's do some hard core training!

 

 

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You need to release/thin a bit at around the A4, and after you get that down start pushing it a bit. Being able to push there makes it quite a bit easier. You should be able to remain in somewhat chesty configuration till the C5.

Hard to say if it's more or less difficult than the first bridge. That being said, if you spend a lot of time in the first bridge, naturally you will be better at it.

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Robert - I also like that Training Head Voice Video a lot.  Really great content with you at an upright piano and a kind of old fashioned black and white video effect.  Nice vocal demonstrations too.

Jarom - It is handy to understand what the "2nd bridge" actually is - it is when the Vocalis (the larger muscles underneath the outer layers of the vocal folds) stops vibrating and only the outer layers vibrate.  (M1 to M2)  The Vocalis, being much larger, can vibrate very deeply.  The outer layers simply can't vibrate as deeply.  To achieve a seamless transition, you need to match the depth of vibration (with full adduction).  If you are too heavy with the Vocalis (as in your recording) you won't be able to transition seamlessly.  That is why you need to "thin out" the voice as you approach the transition.  Thinning out means reducing the depth of vibration.  The right vowel shading can help.

A good thing to think about is like what Daniel said - go for a smaller sound as you approach this point.  You can grow it later with more practice.  

Also - watch Robert in his video "Training Head Voice" at 7:24.  His weight (depth of vibration) is well matched from E4 to B4 as he sirens through the transition.  Also listen to his subtle vowel shading.

Easier said then done.  A lot of work is needed for this to become 2nd nature.

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Robert - I also like that Training Head Voice Video a lot.  Really great content with you at an upright piano and a kind of old fashioned black and white video effect.  Nice vocal demonstrations too.

Jarom - It is handy to understand what the "2nd bridge" actually is - it is when the Vocalis (the larger muscles underneath the outer layers of the vocal folds) stops vibrating and only the outer layers vibrate.  (M1 to M2)  The Vocalis, being much larger, can vibrate very deeply.  The outer layers simply can't vibrate as deeply.  To achieve a seamless transition, you need to match the depth of vibration (with full adduction).  If you are too heavy with the Vocalis (as in your recording) you won't be able to transition seamlessly.  That is why you need to "thin out" the voice as you approach the transition.  Thinning out means reducing the depth of vibration.  The right vowel shading can help.

A good thing to think about is like what Daniel said - go for a smaller sound as you approach this point.  You can grow it later with more practice.  

Also - watch Robert in his video "Training Head Voice" at 7:24.  His weight (depth of vibration) is well matched from E4 to B4 as he sirens through the transition.  Also listen to his subtle vowel shading.

Easier said then done.  A lot of work is needed for this to become 2nd nature.

Awesome reply, Geno. The reason most people don't understand the need for "head voice" is because they are stuck in opinions and self image. "I am going to carry chest all the way up cause I am a man." Or, "Because it sounds like that is what singer X is doing." And obstinately refuse to consider anything other than their own opinion.

Well, no, you're not. It's physics and I had only mentioned this about a dozen times a year the first 3 years I was here, not so much in following 2.5 year of that. The ability of and the frequency of a material to oscillate and/or vibrate is dependent in the size and density of that material. Like the strings on a guitar. So, a high note is a smaller material vibrating faster because a high note is a high frequency is which is the number of oscillations back and forth. Which requires a smaller and less dense material to vibrate.

Which means any singer, tenors included, need to develope this coordination of shedding weight in the voice, which is really about reducing how much of the biggest parts of the folds are engaged in vibration. That being said, what is essentially a small note can sound loud and "chesty" depending on resonance. To me, and thanks to the definition of a few other teachers, chest is a matter of ring and volume, not exactly a place in the body. Which means you could have a high note that sounds chesty, a student simply has to let go of the idea that it is going to happen with the same fold involvement he has on the lowest notes.

But there are plenty of people who will disregard my statements on that because I am not a self-described singing teacher. Certainly not college training in singing. My college and informal studies were for electrical engineering which required the study of physics and math, though my math studies went beyond the degree requirements for BS in EE.

Young's modulus is something of a calculus tensor to describe the function of an object at a certain point in time. Such as flow rate through a pipe based in size of pipe, input flow, structural strength of the pipe for the load expected. Young's modulus can be used to describe the amount of material in vibration to create a certain note. And I have already gotten more technical than most people can manage. So, yeah, I did not go to school for singing, I went to school for science and engineering. My bad.

A longer story short, larger mass vibrates slower, smaller mass vibrates higher. So, now, I can rest for the next two years or so and watch the carnage and try not get any gore on me.

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I have a BS in singing..... I BS my way through it. :24:............  seriously though....... People don't do what they need to do because it does not sound or feel like they expect it too. Thin out get the note, after you are stronger then worry about how it sounds.

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