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Application of Methods During Performance

Hi Guys,

Happy New Year! Hope you are all well!
I could really use some help. I'm caught between some weird crossroad again. (sounds like a cool Bon Jovi lyric!) I have been keeping to the methods Ken is teaching and my vocals are definitely improving but when I get to a gig I can't stop myself from tightening up my chest voice as this come naturally to me. I have been gigging for so long shaking off these bad habits almost seems impossible especially when I've got to concentrate on my guitar playing as well. I have recorded a song I wrote. (I've attached the YouTube link at the bottom) I wouldn't have been able to sing like this at all before hand as it is way out of my old chest voice range. Unfortunately though there is no way I could gig this song because as I said as soon as I get to a show I just revert back to old ways. I'm starting to wonder whether I'll ever be able to nail it live.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!

Peace

Dave



Comments

  • 1 Comment sorted by Votes Date Added
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 10,424Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @Fenderjedi,

    Hi, Dave. Sorry so long to get back to you. When I first saw your post, I actually made a note to come back and respond (because the forum marks things as "read" if you see them and don't answer immediately). I had too many things going on to respond sufficiently when you first posted. Your question is an important one.

    First of all, congratulations on the advances you have made. You must know by now, that Ken's methods have gained you a lot of range and notes that you didn't have previously, and if I'm not mistaken, you are a veteran musician of many years' stage experience.

    I've been playing all my life, as well, and my problem was that I had ingrained my own habits so deeply, that I didn't want to start over. I felt that I knew a little bit about music and singing, and I knew how to hit some high notes. I had taken several other singing courses, as well, and had been trained a lot of different ways.

    Ken's methods gave me more notes, and a better sound... but, like you, I found myself clamping down on high notes, and using my old ways. I didn't know how to get the notes I could sing in my exercises into songs on stage, many of which I had been singing incorrectly for years.

    Here are a few of the things that helped me to get from "Mr. Know-it-all" (who didn't know that much about proper singing) to actually implementing KTVA onstage.

    There is a process Ken describes, beginning in Volume 2 where you take out all of the consonants in a song and change the vowels all to AH. You practice the song like that. You work-in vowel modifications. Then, you keep the consonants out, and instead use the actual vowels of the song. It really sounds lame... But try it. Then finally, add the minimum amount of consonants to the song to where it no longer sounds totally wrong.

    Practice the song like this over and over. What you are doing is learning to implement Open Throat into real songs. You keep the AH vowel going to the max. Sometimes you transition between AH and AA, or AH and OH, or EE and Eh, etc. You learn to have maximum dwell time on the vowels and minimum interruption from consonants. You learn which notes need vowel modifications and implement them into the song. I know this sounds weird. I thought, "Yeah, right.... This is stupid!" I was wrong. It will change the way you think (and feel) about singing. You will have several AHA moments. You will turn your way of singing into an automatic shock absorber for your voice.

    Another thing that is super-important... again, I thought, "That's nice... what's next...? " and disregarded it. That is what I did on Volume 3 when Ken tells us about how to cut back the air. It's like I didn't get it. It's actually profound, and it blew right past me. I was like, "Hey, I know how to sing and belt. I'm not going to do that!" Well, guess what? Stupid is as stupid does, and that was me. Ken is giving absolute solid gold. He tells you what to do. It's so simple, it seems like it couldn't possibly work.

    It works. That will SAVE your VOICE. Night after night. Maybe you know better. I didn't.

    Support. I can't emphasize support enough. Without it, you beat your vocal cords up, again and again. Cutting back the air is sort of a hybrid version of super-support. Use of glottal compression, correctly, gives you a way to sound like you are singing at the top of your lungs when you really aren't.

    You have to practice what Ken teaches and master the techniques. Then you kind of have to "Cut the Cord" and walk away from the things that you have been relying upon to get you to where you are now, that have actually been the things that prevent you from going to that next level, where your voice does NOT wear out on a tough gig schedule, and you have MORE resilience and life left in your voice at the END of a gig than when you started out fresh.

    Yes, it's scary, because you can't afford to croak on stage if you haven't made the transition yet from practicing to performing. You have to work at it, and it just isn't worth it to avoid making that transition. You really can't afford to keep beating up your voice, or that will cost you. And the potential is there for you to be able to sing like you can on an overdubbed recording, only to do it live, night after night. But you have to do your homework and learn to ride that bike without crashing. That may take a while if you are trying to "ease into it". You are having to reprogram your mind and your body to make this transition. Many others before you have made it, so I have no doubt that you can too. In fact, making the transition from practice to performance with Ken's methods has been the defining point where many just began to realize their full potential on stage.

    You have to replace all of the old bad habits with new ones that are better for your voice and that will enable you to sing like you've always wanted to be able to do.

    Some of the things Ken tells us to do seem so simple that it's easy to tell yourself "yeah, right" or to think that maybe you know better. I don't know if you've already done these things that I'm mentioning from my experience, or if perhaps there are other things that you in particular have not implemented or accomplished. I do know that Ken's methods really work. You have to buy in and do your part, and that means everything, not just choose and pick the things that you think are right.

    Perhaps through discussion we can find what the missing element(s) is or are in your particular case and how to help you get to where you want to be.

    All the Best, Dave!


    Bob
  • Hi Bob,

    Thanks so much for the message! This helps so much! I will definitely try approaching each song with no consonants this sounds like a great idea. It's also just nice to have the reassurance that I'm on the right track and that it will come with time and effort.

    I really appreciate the feedback and will keep you posted on how I get on.

    Thanks again

    Dave
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