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Lower volume consistency issues

So I've finally started taking singing seriously to the point I started with a vocal coach and started using Ken's videos I bought a few years ago. I feel there are some things I am very good at (especially projection) which leads me to believe there are some things that I'm just not placing right unless it really is diaphragmatic support. My issue is when I go to sing at low volume two things happen. One is my voice trys to deviate back to nasally sounding unless I dip my larynx so low I get that Muppet sound. Two is unless I really focus on cord closure I get super airy and inconsistent with pitch but again there vocal closure can lead to me dropping my larynx further to get the cords to meet each other. Am I going about this all wrong? I'm finding a lot of what's holding me back as I dig further in is more the technique being done incorrectly and it just becomes an ah ha moment which kills me because I'd rather know how to do it and practice good habits instead of guessing at them and instilling bad muscle memory. My coach is great but a half hour a week is barely enough to get through warm ups.


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    VocalityVocality 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,602

    Maybe if you can post a demo so we can hear, some of the experts here are really good at finding the issue and will point you in the right direction.

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    SpykSpyk Enrolled Posts: 54
    I'll give it a shot. Super self conscious about it heh😅I seem to be able to belt out with good support. No matter how hard I flex my upper muscles for support I just get breathy tone unless I drop my larynx.
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    SpykSpyk Enrolled Posts: 54
    Sorry breathy tone specific to lower volume
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    SpykSpyk Enrolled Posts: 54
    Ok so I am doing as much research as possible. Here is my problem. I am super mechanical in mindset. Doing so I do well with a set of instructions but I also need to understand the instruction in order to perform the instruction (very basic concept but what is the function of this car horn in order for me to make proper use of it).

    So after some digging around on the internet because I am so sure I am breathing correctly that support doesn't mean how hard you are flexing your abs or tightening your abs but is preventing the air from escaping its self. The word support confuses me because I would think I need to support my voice to be stronger and would immediately think I'm not supporting my voice with enough air. The word support really throws me for a loop and I need to think of it more as suppression.

    Now here is where my issues deepen. I can do the "air leak" test as I call it ( when you let air out slowly using your diaphragm) for a good 50 seconds to a minute. Timed and everything by my instructor. When I go to sing soft, especially lower notes, I can't seem to, no matter what I do, to get that air to stay in. It's like my body thinks since the song is relaxed, everything in me relaxes. The louder I get with it though, the better at "supporting" my breath I get. I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that my voice being so loud it goes into whisper mode when I try to sing with low volume. Is there a volume sweet spot that if you go below it air just leaks out of you in order to support a tone?
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    HuduVuduHuduVudu 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,818
    The word support really throws me for a loop and I need to think of it more as suppression.
    Support is like the engine that drives a compressor. The engine's job is to push against the air already stored in the tank adding more and more air until a high pressure can be achieved. That pressure is then slowly letting out to do work using the vocal chords.
    When I go to sing soft, especially lower notes, I can't seem to, no matter what I do, to get that air to stay in.
    This is because you have little to no control over the amount of air coming out using your current techniques.
    The louder I get with it though, the better at "supporting" my breath
    For you the louder you get means you are using more air. A larger amount of air flow out is easier to manage, and this is a hallmark of an untrained singer. That larger amount of air is also anathema to singers. You absolutely 100% do not want to use large amounts of air when singing loudly, or softly for that matter. Large air flow is your enemy and should be avoided at all costs.
    I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that my voice being so loud it goes into whisper mode when I try to sing with low volume.
    No it is because you have no breath control and you have yet to learn how to create resonance in your voice to give you the louder volume with smaller amounts of air.
    Is there a volume sweet spot that if you go below it air just leaks out of you in order to support a tone?
    No, once you understand proper breath control (not to be confused with support) then you will be amazed at how little air you need to create any sound either loud or soft.

    Once again. I think you asking these questions is counter-productive to you. Not that you shouldn't ask these questions or that they are not pertinent questions. The problem is that you should be asking your vocal coach these questions and he/she should be the one that answers those questions for you, according to the plan that he/she has laid at as a part of his/her course. I have been purposefully vague in my answers, for two reasons, one the KTVA course answers these questions and two I don't want to contradict or interfere with what your vocal coach might be telling you. I think you are on a bad path, and frustration and confusion are all that you will find if you walk it. I must again advise you to make a decision on how you are going to approach your singing and commit to a path, while you still are motivated. If you don't then you will become frustrated and lose motivation eventually stopping your singing journey.
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    SpykSpyk Enrolled Posts: 54
    Call me crazy but I did an experiment this morning. After going through countless videos of support I am fully convinced this is not my issue and I continually keep getting misdiagnosed (however I am not an expert but it's hard to show someone what your doing, even in person, when you can't put them in your body). I am almost certain the reason I can belt so well and NOT have an airy tone in the upper registers or even middle registers is because of vocal closure. This would explain the too relaxed sensation I have when I try to sing lower and why I run out of air quicker (again from the information I am finding). I experimented with this quite a bit and it takes A TON of more concentration for me to have vocal cord closure at a lower volume but it does help me save a lot of air and take the airy tone out of my singing. I don't think my issue is "volume control" as I once thought but is purely mechanical (as in not knowing the fingering position on an instrument) which would explain all these AH HA moments I continually keep having.

    I bring this up for two reasons:
    One is does this sound logical. It seems to work for me. No matter how hard I push down, no matter how I try to close my glottal, and no matter how many other pieces of advice I try to find, nothing seems to work but this. It would also explain why I have such a long and controlled release of air when I do my timed exercises, as it is purely diaphragm control. I mean I can make air come out so slow you can't even feel it if you put your finger in front of my mouth.

    Two is if anyone else happens to have this same issue where they can control air but can't seem to figure out the throat mechanism because of always being told don't sing from your throat and things (hey that means make my throat totally relaxed) instead of don't push with your throat (unless I am totally off base here) I think it would be good for them to know. I mean it is unbelievably discouraging to both parties I think when someone is trying to help you fix an issue because they hear classic signs of one thing but because they can't be in your body, can't understand that you feel like you have exhausted all possibilities and I am sure exhausting for those trying to help because you feel that all the practical advice is being given to fix the issue but no way to know if that is the case.

    Sorry for such a long post. I am very OCD on figuring things out so if this is misuse of the forum please let me know. I do not wish to be a "butt head" for lack of a better term :smile: . Does this sound logical and are there things I can add to my practice regiment to make it not feel so awkward on lower or softer notes if this is the case?
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    SpykSpyk Enrolled Posts: 54
    Also HuDu I tried to post last night in reply but I think I did something wrong when trying to use my phone. I wanted to give you a HUGE thanks because of your understanding of my frustration levels. I am thinking back to my coach and I've tried multiple so far. She has been the only one to really see the things I am doing and how to get that immediate fix to a problem I have which is why I have landed on her so far. I have only had 2 lessons but by her getting me to open up my throat, it has increased my resonance in one session by an amazing amount. The last 10 years of singing incorrectly there are some things I know I have done right and breath support is definitely one of them. I am trying to look around at other reasons for air escape (leaks if you will). Again if this sounds totally daft let me know and I will keep searching but I have tried to restrict the airflow with my diaphragm so hard that after an hour and a half of practice I felt like I did a marathon of sit ups with no progress from day to day with lower notes but a HUGE amount of progress with higher notes. There have got to be more pieces to this puzzle.
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    doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management Posts: 3,978
    Hi @Spyk, a problem @HuduVudu has is that he can't give you more detailed information because you posted you discussion in a category which is open for the PUBLIC. It would be very helpful to retrieve the E-Mail with the receipt and get your forum status updated. In the students' areas we could give you much more detailed informations.

    Look at the other discussion I answered you on your question.

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    SpykSpyk Enrolled Posts: 54
    So after my last class (which we do have bumped up to an hour next week. She requested before I could) I am not supporting properly and I do have neck tension. I am trying things left and right to dispel this neck tension and to figure out how to push right with the diaphragm as I know I'm breathing into it and tightening my abs but obviously my neck is feeling the need to compensate. After she pointed out the veins that was all the proof I needed. Thanks guys. Hopefully I can figure this out 😅. Luck has not been on my side yet.
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