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A few questions from someone using Vol 1

ssoftyssofty Pro Posts: 15

I've taken various singing lessons before, and am just starting with Vol 1. My previous instructor just ran me through scales but never really answered questions around what i was feeling in my neck.

Here's a few (probably) simple ones.

1) Are the vowel modifications the trigger to switch from chest voice when going in to the passagio? Or are the independent?

2) Vol 1 refers to using as much chest as possible, as high as you can go. But my voice feels like the passagio is much easier if I bridge earlier. If I bridge late, there is more chance of a crackle, and a more dramatic sound change. What should I be doing in Vol 1?

3) My passagio seems to start at D, or even C#. Normal? Could this mean I'm really a baritone?

4) Often, when moving through the passagio, instead of yodeling, my voice actually sounds like 2 voices in 1: a head voice, and then a bit of gravel, or vibration. Almost a vocal fry sound going on in the background. Is this a "normal" problem that can be worked out, or is this something strange about my voice?

5) On the way down, it feels like I can carry head voice fairly far down (A4 or more), before I switch back to the slacker / looser chest voice. (I'm assuming I'm using the terms properly.) When should I switch back to chest?

6) I can absolutely feel a difference between chest voice and the voice I use to go through the passagio. It's an obvious difference in my muscles. But I don't ever feel like it change again once I get up to G5. It just feels like I "came out the other side", but there isn't another muscular switch. Is there another one before I get to true head voice? Or am I already in head voice by G5/A5?

7) (Last question, I promise) After the 30 minute warmup, it feels like my lower range is gone. For example, early in the morn, I can have a deep rich voice. But after the warmup, singing an A3 is almost breathy. I'm assuming this is normal.



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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,358

    Hello, ssofty,

    Nice to meet you.  Welcome to the KTVA Forums.

    I'll try to give you some answers to some of your questions.  You ask several, so I may not fully answer them all, but here goes...

    1) Both. 

    2) Both.

    3) Yes and No.

    4) Yes and No.

    5) The same place you switched on the way up.

    6) Yes and Yes.

    7) Yes.

    Well, that just about wraps it up!

    To recap:

    1) vowel modifications are more of a preparation for the coming transition from chest voice into head voice.  Your voice begins to run out of room as you ascend in pitch, and the mods give you some wiggle room to keep going up and relieve some of the tension on your larynx.  So the mods and the passagio are more interdependent than independent.  One helps the other, but they are separate entities.

    2) Volume One refers to BOTH the importance of smoothly connecting with head voice from chest voice, without the yodel, AND also refers to the separate but equally important skill of stretching your chest voice to higher notes, which will grow your voice in ways that simply connecting well at lower notes will not accomplish.  The dramatic sound change is just part of the process.  As you mature your skills in this area, you also smooth and polish your blending and mixing skills from one vocal register to another.

    3) We have a couple of passagios in that area.  The first, or Primo Passagio, is usually in the D or C# area, and rarely causes a yodel. It's just more of a tonal change you will notice.  After that, around the F4, F#4, or G4 area, you will be approaching or going through your Secondo Passagio, and this is the one Ken is referring to as the Speed Bump.  This is the one that takes more skill and practice to avoid the yodel.   C#4 with F#4 are the two passagi of a Dramatic Tenor.

    4) I would have to hear a sample.  The gravel may be from lack of properly open throat.  You can get a lot of things rattling if you aren't maintaining a properly opened throat.  It's probably something that can be worked out.

    5) Switch from chest to head and then back to chest from head at the same relative pitch.  Likewise go through the same mods in reverse at the same notes.

    6) The area between your primo passagio and your secondo passagio is your zona de passagi.  This area feels different because it is flanked by passagios and tends to be our weakest, most unstable part of our voice.  This is where we can utilize our mixed voice if we have skillfully built up our low and high ranges, as well as our middle range.  As soon as you have gone through your secondo passagio, you ARE IN HEAD VOICE, wherever that may be.

    7) This is common vocal fatigue.  Take a short break.  Drink some water.  Your placement may be higher because you are working up to your higher range.  This is normal.  After sufficient rest, your lower timbre should return, however your upper placement may have cooled down.  Which do you want?  Higher placement or lower depth?  Both?  Then build your voice with relentless exercises until the entire range of your voice is so buff you will have a larynx of steel.


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    ssoftyssofty Pro Posts: 15

    Thanks.  I think I have been bridging too early, as it felt like that was the easiest way to get a smooth passage.  I understand now that, while easier, it's not how we're supposed to build the voice.  Probably also explains why it felt like I didn't need to do any vowel modifications around E/F...I had already changed to my head-ish voice.

    Hmmmm - wonder if this will also help me avoid getting hoarse when I'm having to speak loudly to people in a noisy environment, or on the speaker phone in my car.

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    SlySly Volume 1 Posts: 6
    Point 7 here had been bothering me. Although I can tell that my voice is stronger after going through the level 2 exercises, most of the songs I sing only go up to e4/f4 and I when I sing afterwards can tell that my voice is placed higher and the lower notes don't have the same bass frequencies. Hopefully as I continue to train my voice I can have my cake and eat it. Are there any exercises in volume 3 that address this?
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    sspatricksspatrick Enrolled Posts: 1,278
    @sly, there aren't any exercises in vol 3 that address that area on your voice specifically. You will be going through your entire range with each exercise which will strengthen the voice overall. You may want to record yourself and hear what your voice sounds like in that low mid range. It may not have as much bottom end as you may be used to , but the tone may be just as good. I've really had to focus on approaching that area of my voice with less weight and bottom end to the chest voice in order to move up in range. I have found that the tone is actually much better and more powerful than it used to be as well as being much easier to execute. There are a few demos of me singing on the forum if you want to check it out.
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