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How to correctly practice Vol 1 scales?

When listening to the Volume 1 audio workout and watching the DVD videos, Ken seems to be using a soft, delicate voice for the scales. Throughout the tracks, he gives a reminder to sing lightly. However, after watching the How To Sing Better for Girls video and surfing through the forum, I read that you're supposed to try to stretch your chest voice as far as you can using "call voice." Being new to the program, should I sing light and even first, and then stretch chest voice and head voice separately? Or try to stretch both registers first, and then lighten the sound?

Comments

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,523Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @ladyninja93,

    The lighter you sing, the more the tendency will be for your voice to default to head voice as you get into your midrange. If you add a little more volume it is easier to remain in call voice, which is the upper register of chest voice, so that is better for stretching head voice.

    The audio exercises were made some time ago. Since that time, Ken has decided that the best course of action is to save working on head voice until after you are finished stretching chest voice.

    It's just the easiest, most efficient path. It won't hurt anything for you to connect with head voice, other than it's less efficient in the long run than just doing "first things first" and getting down to the business of stretching your chest voice. A lot of students want to develop a strong mixed voice, and that is going to require stretching chest voice first. So Ken revised his recommendations to going directly to stretching chest, without bridging into head.

    You can stay in chest voice with a light singing voice, but it's not all that easy. In fact, Ken recommends stretching in a lighter mode, rather than full-on belting for stretching chest. You simply don't go into head voice. Head voice and light chest voice sound similar, but the difference can be felt at the vocal cords.

    You will find that your voice will sometimes go into head voice when doing the exercises. When that happens, just try again, and hold a little more firmly onto your chest voice, or in other words, don't allow your voice to slip into head voice.

    When we spend time trying to smooth out our bridge into head voice before we have stretched our chest voice all the way, we get into the habit of allowing the voice to shift at a lower note. If we hold off and instead stretch our chest voice, that gives us a lot more options on where we can decide to shift into head voice. That's a lot harder to do if we train ourselves to shift into head down in a lower range.

    It's like our habit will try to solidify at the lower bridge-point. If we resist that and instead bridge several notes higher, we will have more flexibility, when we do begin to train our extended head voice, and also when we later begin to mix and blend our chest and head sounds. That is much harder to do if you haven't learned to delay your bridging. Also, the use of head voice can interfere with extending our chest range. Head voice can wear at the part of our cords that we use for upper chest voice, so it can be counterproductive to go there now. When you do go there, you will have to do some extra workouts to get to a point where you can maintain your extended chest range and add your extended head voice. That is best done by starting out with stretching chest in the beginning, and maintaining that course of action for a considerable time.

    The head voice you bridge into now is not the same head voice you will be training on later. So it is more efficient to just let that be, until it's time to get serious with stretching chest AND stretching head voice.

    The How to Sing Better for Girls advice is very recent and is in line with the information I'm giving here, and is Ken's updated recommendation.

    There are some tracks where Ken actually tells you to bridge (in the audio of the exercise) and in those, I would follow his instructions and bridge. Otherwise, I would stretch chest voice. When notes are at the extremes of your present range, you will probably have to sing the new notes lightly, just to avoid straining. That would be the correct way to start new notes, but as you are able to sing them with more strength, you should begin to "lean into" those notes with a little more strength and a little more volume, and that added emphasis will help those notes to develop more into a "chest" type of tone and volume.

    Don't oversing as you are stretching chest voice. Take your time, and do it gradually. Stretch, don't strain. Sometimes the new notes will sound a lot like head voice, while they are new and a little bit weak. Those notes will fill-out and grow to sound more and more like chest as you keep practicing. It's OK for them to start out a bit on the light side.

    If your voice is just too tired, it's also OK to lighten up your workouts. Gradually, your voice should begin to gain strength and endurance.

    I hope this helps.

    Bob
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,523Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @ladyninja93,

    You are listed as Member. If you have purchased the KTVA Pro bundle, you can request access to the student areas of the forum. There are whole sections on chest stretching in the main part of the forums, and a lot more student videos.

    Bob
  • ladyninja93ladyninja93 Posts: 9Enrolled
    @highmtn, Whoa!! Thanks for a quick and very detailed response!

    According to your explanation, I think I'm on the right track with the scales, but I'm not sure. I am singing lightly throughout the scales, and when I feel the urge to flip into head voice, I try to keep at the same volume and level as my lower chest notes. The fact that I was singing the higher part of the scale lightly made me wonder if I had flipped into head voice earlier on and just didn't know it.

    But I will post a video on my LAW and LAH scales sometime this week just to make sure! Also, I didn't purchase the KTVA Pro Bundle. I purchased Vol 1 and 2 separately. I'd imagine they are already in the Pro Bundle, so could I purchase whatever I don't currently have, or do I have to repurchase Vol 1 and 2 with the Bundle?

    Thanks!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,523Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    I believe you may be able to write to [email protected] and ask about purchasing volume 3. There may be a way to get the Pro bundle or maybe not. It won't hurt to inquire. They are working with students that have previously purchased one or two volumes. Otherwise, only the bundles are available currently.

    Regarding your forums status, if you can send copies of your KTVA purchase receipts to [email protected] and request a forums upgrade, you may be granted student access. You would not have access to the PRO areas and videos, but there is still a lot of additional information in the non-pro student areas, so you might want to do that.

    Mention your username here and attach copies of your receipts to upgrade to Enrolled.

    Bob

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