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The feel of exercises: A question.

Hi!

Is there a difference between exercises that feels like they are doing work vs when it doesn't feel like anything is happening. Are they still usefull?

I did some SLS stuff and it doesn't feel like it is working out my voice at all, but when I do KTVA it is a different story.

Is there a place for all exercises or are some just not doing anything for the voice? Maybe some exercises are more subtle and I haven't found out what they can accomplish?

Comments

  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 9,480Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Don't forget Meow, Meow, Meow. Now THERE's a useful exercise (not).
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 9,480Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Ken is demonstrating the tone that will grow the voice, and he is also demonstrating the Open Throat and Open Jaw that are part of the basic setup for a great singing voice.

    The "AH" is the most OPEN vowel of all. It's the Tallest in the back of the throat as opposed to other vowels. You want it to sound very bright and pingy, and that is the tone Ken is demonstrating.

    Singers of ALL levels should ensure that they are getting this tone. If not, they would be well-advised to re-examine the basic foundation of their voice.

    The initial "L" to turn Ah into LAH for the first note is just a single onset for the rest of the scale. You don't need to keep launching with more "L" consonants. In other words you don't need to go Lah, la, la.... but Going Lah, ah, ah, ah... gets you off to a better start that you can maintain through the rest of the scale.

    The "It's the LAH!!! AHH!!!" demonstration does help new and seasoned singers alike to realize that they may benefit greatly from increasing the openness of their throats and jaws, as well as getting the tongue down to the base of the jaw.

    Most of us don't think about that, or think that we already ARE sufficient in those regards, when in fact we are not. Once we realize that we can improve by making adjustments, we get past our skepticism and move into a realization process.

    I hope I helped to answer some of your questions.

    Bob
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 9,480Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Just because something is called a "vocal exercise" does not mean it is helping you. SLS, in particular, with the "Nay, nay, nays, and Mum, mum, mums" is terrible and causes you to form habits around launching notes with consonants.

    You CAN NOT sing Open Throat Method by launching every exercise or singing note with hard to medium consonants. So if you're doing those along with KTVA, you are working against the benefits of your KTVA training. If you are doing only those exercises and NO KTVA, you are going down an even slippery slope.
  • streeterstreeter Posts: 611Moderator, Pro
    edited October 2016 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That's the whole thing. The teacher or program needs to demonstrate what the exercise is meant to accomplish with regards to real life application. If it's just permutations of scales with no real explanation you're not going to get anywhere because you don't know where it's going.
    That's why good vocal teachers are so tough to find. Ken's advice for how to pick a teacher is the best you can get.
    Do they sing and do they sing well (even better, have they made some kind of living from it)?
    Do they explain everything they are doing and what it's meant to accomplish?
    Do they make things easy to understand?
    Do they have students who can sing?
    I've also added some criteria to that (accomplished on another instrument, did they struggle in the beginning, lessons from a multitude of teachers (sometimes leading to them being screwed, let's face it) in order to find different approaches and using only concepts and exercises that really, really work)
    They are tough to find man.

    KTVA is imo the only program that imbodies all those principles. The teachers are very rare as well... they are out there but they take some finding.
  • Ye i'm doing KTVA because they feel like they are doing work and is useful. I just wondered if exercises are always supposed to feel like they are benefiting you.
  • KokonuhtKokonuht Posts: 658Member, Moderator, Enrolled
    Actually it's really a matter of how we learn to do it as well. Ken's is more easy to follow as it's very straight forward and works on vowels directly.

    SLS tells you to do Meow meow and Nay nay nay which is basically telling you to do It's the LAW. It's the same thing, they both incorporate the narrowing of the aryepiglottis space which then gives us that bright timbre.

    However, like @highmtn said, SLS incorporates a lot of consonants which really are a hindrance to really nailing vocal technique while Ken focuses more on open vowels. SLS is like taking a detour and Ken's is more straight forward AND practical at the same time as it only focuses on vowels and when we are singing, we are singing vowels.

    When you do Meow meow meow, you are training yourself to have that bright timbre in that exercise, then you have to learn to use that in singing which is much harder as you have to incorporate different vowel sounds + consonants (which means different tongue placements and possibly soft palate (which influences the "velopharyngeal port" (as Ken calls it) as well). Then you have nay nay nay which basically is the same thing as meow.

    So basically, when doing SLS, you might be doing meow meow meow and nay nay nay but it is much more difficult to do it correctly as consonants are also incorporated.

    If this theory is true, any KTVA vocalist who has learned to bridge well and has trained their mix voice, should be able to perform SLS exercises as well. :)

    Also there's a lot more misinformation and some of their information is rather vague as well. Which leads to a lot of trial and error which results in people not getting results.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 9,480Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    SLS teaches techniques that close the throat down, over and over on every note. The more you do their exercises, the more you program into your voice closing down what Ken teaches you to open up.

    SLS is the antithesis of Open Throat Singing.
  • Two questions: is the 'Lah! Ah!' technique supposed to make opening the mouth easier for beginners, or is it something that singers of all levels have to do? What would happen if they just went 'ah, ah, ah, AH, ah, ah, ah', instead of 'lah, ah, ah, AH, ah, ah, ah'?
  • Some good information here. For me, everything in the KTVA feels very logical and natural. Maybe not so much in the beginning, where you are still finding your way and perhaps doing some things wrong (like i did...), but you will get there soon enough if you put in the time.

    @MysteriousGirl_92 , The Ah itself doesn't open the throat, i think doing the proper 'Ah' MEANS you are opening your throat correctly, it shows that you are opening your throat. For me the feeling of this bright 'Ah' comes from pretty deep in my throat, feels quite relaxed, not restrained and protrudes out of the mouth. Keep you mouth open all the time really wide, but don't hyper-extend. If someone thinks i am wrong about these, please correct me!

    Cheers,

    Ben
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