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Feeling the strain

Hello everyone!

I have just started the course after years of misplaced money going to vocal coaches, who I'm now starting to realise were sub-par (as I'm sure most of you did!).

My question is this: After completing the basic warm-up, I have some tenderness / soreness in the top - back of my throat, I guess its around the uvula as opposed to the feeling of "scratching" the throat (which I have experienced before on one too many occasions).
I am able to continue singing, even with this feeling and, therefore, I am wondering whether it is just me getting used to singing "properly" and using a region that I haven't used before / I'm out of practice and need to just keep going, or if I am genuinely causing myself some harm.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and I'm sorry if this question has been asked before, but I haven't been able to find it.

Cheers,
Adam

Comments

  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • @adam.yeo I've been doing this course for 2 years and discovered recently that I was doing things wrong leading to straining. I thought I was getting the bright "lah it's the lah" correct but now know I didn't get it right.

    When I listened to Ken on the dudes exercises really closely, I noted something helpful when he sings the E vowel. When he's at the lowest notes, I was able to emulate that same brightness. I carried that sensation over to all the vowels. Being a geek, I validated my findings using a spectogram.

    I used a spectogram to see the frequency distribution of Kens overtones. I noticed he had very strong harmonic content in the 2.5KHz-4KHz region. This is what gives the brightness (the buzz) Ken demonstrates.

    The only way I could get close to matching this was to sing incredibly lightly so that I could take the buzz (comes from good cord closure) up through my passaggio. Singing this light is not possible without good support i.e. you'll likely strain and lose the buzz without it.

    Once you get it, you find the vowel mods are the only way to maintain the buzz as you go through your passaggio. I found that I could use the quality/intensity of the buzz sensation (chest and face vibrations) to determine the right points to navigate the mods.

    Once, you get use to this, you'll find there is no straining involved all the way up to your highest notes. I max out at G5 but sometimes get to A5.

    I realise this post has been a bit technical but it's how I perceive things and hope that it may be helpful to someone else.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 9,692Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Hi, @adam.yeo!

    You shouldn't feel any actual strain, but you if you're just starting, you're probably doing things that you aren't used to doing, and you might get a little bit sore, like you would if you went to the gym for the first time in a long time.

    Take it a little bit easier, and see if you start getting more used to the exercises and the techniques. We all have to grow into this.

    Try singing just a little bit easier for a while and give your voice a chance to realize that you're going to be expecting a little more of it in the future.

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • My experience is that rawness means I pushed the volume too much in the upper registers, and/or was too tense in the upper registers. It could mean any number of things for you but when I get this, I try to approach the transitions more carefully (open, relaxed, not getting louder to force the pitches out).
  • I had the same prob bowie. Your not alone
  • I havent started the course, but I feel that soreness when I push it. I have a vocal coach right now, but if this course is as good as everyone says it it, I might stop going to him. He seems to be a good coach especially because he sings really well!! Has anyone done this course and had a coach? And if yes, did it help?
  • > @dmhfitness said:
    > I havent started the course, but I feel that soreness when I push it. I have a vocal coach right now, but if this course is as good as everyone says it it, I might stop going to him. He seems to be a good coach especially because he sings really well!! Has anyone done this course and had a coach? And if yes, did it help?

    I've had about 4 years of coaching, 3 different coaches. This course basically brought back all the skills I had when I was seeing coaches, and is already teaching me how to dial in more brightness and is helping sharpen my pitch because I'm more relaxed using Ken's method. I can't wait to see where it takes me. Everyone should see a coach until they become a decent singer (a coach is required to monitor what you're doing wrong and show you how to correct it). Once you're good enough to recognise where you're going wrong, this course will help you go pretty far by yourself. Ken knows how to teach, and that's an even more thing than having a great voice.
  • > @Jonnyquick said:
    > I had the same prob bowie. Your not alone

    > @Jonnyquick said:
    > I had the same prob bowie. Your not alone
  • I was going to stop going to him and just use this course, but you're right I need him right now too. I'm thinking of doing both what's your thoughts on that?
  • watch the videos. over and over till u understand it . start light and understand diaphragmatic breathing 100% before those scales. Any questions post in these forums and they will help you .
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