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allthumbs

A Mini lesson about improving your voice.

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Very good lesson AT, that was especially good about pushing through the hard spots. It is much harder to sing soft than loud, it takes more breath control, so to sing out and then soften the sound is generally easier and gets better tone.

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That's great allthumbs.

I have a couple of others I can add. I took voice lessons a while ago before I got sick. I should remember them when I sing, but I always forget.

One which surprised me was whether to "focus up or down". For example, when I wanted to reach a high note, I thought if I stepped on my tippy toes, it would help me get there. It is actually the opposite. You think high for low notes and high notes, she said to picture yourself driving the note through the floor. It really does work. Hope that makes sense.

Another one was to pay attention to the punctuation when it comes to breathing. You should only breathe where there is a period, comma or semi colon. Surprisingly, it really makes a difference in the flow of the music.

Posture of course is a biggy.

Again, I'm aware of these tips; I just forget to apply them :rolleyes:

I'm also reading "Singing for Dummies" so, they have some interesting tips as well that I can add on if anyone is interested.

Sing away!

Nutty

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Allthumbs - very interesting lesson. Thanks for it. I'm working on my opera singer's belly every day. ;)

Nutty - I'd like to see whatever other tips you find enlightening from the 'Dummies' book.

Johnny

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I took this opportunity to add to this thread with some of my thoughts from my experience as a singer.

I’m not a voice teacher, but I do have some hints about singing I’d like to share. I concentrate on these, especially while recording. I also try to practice them in the manner that’s best, but confess I don’t always concentrate that much when practicing.

The attached audio gives some examples of the concepts below.

#1. ‘Attack’ the first note of each phrase.

I don’t know if ‘attack’ is the best word, I don’t mean make it louder. I mean sing the correct tone for the entire length of the phrase’s first note, most importantly its first mini-second.

It is common for people to slur around until they arrive at the correct tone somewhere during that note.

One way to avoid the slur is to take a breath before the phrase and sort of ‘pre-form’ your mouth for that first note, and think ahead about what you want it to sound like.

Slurring within a note is OK for an occasional effect, but sounds tedious if it happens for each phrase in the song.

#2. Sing the ‘little’ notes.

Often the little notes (the ones between the beats, usually) get ‘uttered’ instead of sung. It sounds a lot better if all the notes are sung.

For example, the lower case letters are often just (almost) spoken: ‘aMAZin GRACE how SWEET the SOUND’.

Again, for occasional effect it’s OK to speak some words.

#3. Hold the last note of a phrase.

By ‘hold’ I mean keep it on tone and don’t chop it off too early. Sometimes it sounds good to slur a bit down and up in keeping the note, instead of holding it precisely on tone, but again that is better occasionally.

I hope these hints will be useful to your singing technique.

VOXHINT1.mp3

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Johnny,

Great post...

The lesson begun by AT and the contributions by so many are a prime example of why this forum is go great. Nice job all...

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Johnny,

That was a great lesson, a prime example of your attention to detail

in the vocal awareness. Thank you for those truly fine examples and

pointing to the differences of better vocal creation.

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Thanks very much, AT. This is really a goodly amount of info on voice. The example of the adam's apple made me think (although, check this out. This example will work for a guy, but women don't have adam's apples. What do they do?? Just something I hadn't thought about until now).

You make me want to chime in on my experiences. Maybe later. Thanks for sharing!

Steve

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Interesting re: the adam's apple trick. I was trying it and realized a couple of things.

My first reaction was that I could feel the adam's apple rise when I progressively reached for higher notes, and vice-versa. Then I realized that when I conciously sang with the full-throat voice that my adam's apple didn't move hardly at all.

So I realized that when I first tried it, I was singing in my 'head voice'. When I use my 'head voice', the adam's apple acts as the catalyst to restrict the throat opening to raise the pitch. When I'm singing in my full 'chest voice', the adam's apple doesn't move much and isn't the catalyst. I can feel the opening of the back of my throat being more regulated by conscious muscle control.

Just a couple of observations...

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Good stuff. One thing to add in there in regards to breathing- make sure that you are breathing with the diaphragm. Your chest should not expand very much when you breathe in- your belly should. To know how to properly breath, a good exercise is to push out all the breath that you can, then take a deep breath triggered by pushing out your belly. The diaphragm will act like a bellows and will pull in a surprising amount of air. By the way, this is a good breathing exercise for fitness purposes as well.

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I'm also reading "Singing for Dummies" so, they have some interesting tips as well that I can add on if anyone is interested.

Nutty

Me too! I sing along with the excercises on the CD.....well, correction - that is my plan but I keep forgetting to do it.

but women don't have adam's apples. What do they do??

Yes we do have Adam's apples. It's the cartilage around the vocal chords at the top of the windpipe. It's just less noticeable in women.

:)

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...Yes we do have Adam's apples. It's the cartilage around the vocal chords at the top of the windpipe. It's just less noticeable in women.

:)

Thanks for the clarification!

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Great information here guys, thanks for the lesson johnnydoxx could we have this put up in the lessons forum? I didn't know Women had Adams' Apples obviously not paying enough attention to my Wife mind you the Beard she's grown is worrying me a bit:isaynothing:

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I didn't know Women had Adams' Apples obviously not paying enough attention to my Wife mind you the Beard she's grown is worrying me a bit:isaynothing:

It's not your fault for not noticing Starsailor, it's because us women folk are such delicate flowers - our vocal chords (plus adam's apples) are so dainty that anyone might miss them :laughingg:

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Tried the stuff you've said (also had singing lessons before).

That "swollowing an egg" thing is a great tip to get your chest voice going well. Noice. :winkthumb:

Just a couple of questions about head voice:

1. If your voice wavers when you sing with your head voice (like vibrato, but not on purpose), how can you stop it?

2. What if you like your chest voice, but hate your head voice? Is there anything you can do to change it?

3. What if your head voice is "wimpy?" I'm 32 and male, but when I use my head voice (properly) I sound "angelic" like a choir-boy. Not cool. It sounds kind of thin, too. Any way to "fatten it up?"

Thanks.

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Hi Noodler your head voice really covers the higher range, so you probably need to practice going deeper using your chest and get more control over your head voice, not too sure about the quivering that could be a lack of power or hesitance if a person is doing it unintentionally, check this link out, there is loads of information here and check out Passagio which is used in regard to note transitions, you're vocal coach may have mentioned this already:winkthumb:

Voice Registers: Chest, head and other voices at Vocalist.org.uk

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Thanks for the link. I'll read through that site generally.

I stopped going to lessons for two reasons:

1. My teacher was a "Mrs Robinson" as in from "The Graduate." Lessons were at her house. She'd keep me late and then when my wife would call she'd delight in the jealousy. :unsure:

and

2. Once she'd showed me that it's the sinuses that resonate to produce a head voice, I tried it and didn't like my head voice. I figured it's like a guitar, you know. Some are Matons and some a little ukeleles bought from the supermarket. I just figured that my sinuses were usually always blocked (which I'd never noticed before because I could breathe through my nose still). So I never get a good tone unless I've just had hot tea or whatever. It's like trying to get a good sound out of guitar half-full of water. I just feel pressure behind the cheeks.

Apparently professionals get their sinuses scraped out of gunk and polyps, but I asked my Dr and he said it just comes back.

Yeah we did passagio. Apparently it gets smoother as you go over it again and again. Fun thing is that with a teacher you laugh at yourself when it sounds like your voice is breaking again.

I'll have to take singing up with a different teacher. She was a good teacher, just, um, flirty. I never realised how many songs had sexual overtones before! :sweating::scared:

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