Home GENERAL SINGING - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Forum

"Push" vs. Pressure...

As we go through the course many times it is mentioned that we are not supposed to be pushing or reaching for notes and that we should think more of coming down on them and landing on them from behind so to speak. However, while it is fairly easy to sing in a lower chest voice (for me I'd say below an E4) meaning it doesn't require much "effort" or exertion... as I ascend to say maybe an A5 in a mixed chestier sound I feel it is inevitable that this is going to require more effort and what I would consider "push." Is this the proper way to look at it? Or is it that my terminology is just off? Would the push that I'm describing actually just be considered increasing the sound pressure and applying more support?

To clarify, just singing an A5 in a head voice or lighter mix isn't that difficult but to get that rock n roll belted sound, which is what I'm referring to, I feel the push is inevitable for me and assuming most people. Any tips or advice is appreciated thank you!


  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,169
    i think you are mixing the images a bit. which isn't surprising, as they are just that, images. you need to figure out these sensations by yourself, and name these sensations yourself. some images work for some people, others don't. having said that, i try to clarify this for you:

    the "pushing for notes" image vs "come down on the note" is more something that happens in the throat

    while the "belting" image has to do with the support mechanism and diaphragm. yes, you need power to belt a high chest note. you can still have the feeling of coming down on that note in the throat at the same time. hope this helps
  • MarkHMusicMarkHMusic 2.0 PRO Posts: 19
    @Klaus_T thank you it does help it make more sense. Since there is so much great information in the course I feel like I may have not absorbed it all and am going to start again from the beginning but do you know where specifically by any chance where in the course this is covered? I'm a little confused by when you say it happens in the throat... does that just mean keeping an open throat to hit the note? Or is there more to it? Just confused on when you say it happens in the throat. Thanks so much for responding!
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,169
    some of this stuff is not directly covered in the course, or Ken just mentions it in passing, and you will get more clarification from this forum. i think this "landing on the note" image might be mentioned in the better pitch exercises.

    when i said it happens in the throat, this was about the "pushing for the note" feeling. like straining in the throat that comes from pushing. the sensation of landing on the note is really more a mental image and as such, happens in your mind more than anywhere else. it is more how you mentally approach the high note vs. how do you actually do it. a big part of the course is re-watching and re-thinking the concepts, applying them, keeping what helps and reviewing what is not clear. in other words, it is totally normal to not get all the concepts right off the bat. it does take time. also, this forum is a really big part of this process, so be sure to read and ask, and also answer where you feel confident. a lot of the information Ken gives us seems confusing or not especially helpful at the time of first hearing it, but it will make sense later down the line. make sure to re-visit the course videos a lot, too
  • MarkHMusicMarkHMusic 2.0 PRO Posts: 19
    @Klaus_T Ok great thank you that also makes a lot of sense! Generally speaking, just so I know I'm on the right track... would it be a safe bet to say that belting some of those higher notes definitely involves a bit of "push" but with the right technique (support, open throat etc...) there is no actual strain?
  • TerenceTerence 3.0 Streaming Posts: 147
    There's a course video where Ken talks about "Equal Pressure" where he addresses this. I can't quite remember which volume it is.

    This forum post is excellent, as well:

  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,169
    edited November 22
    @MarkHMusic yes this is correct, and you will have to figure out exactly where to push (and where not) by yourself. many attempts have been made to describe the support mechanism and related concepts, and if anyone would be able to tell someone else exactly how to do it and "transplant" their knowlegde into the pupil's mind, they would be rich and famous in no time. in other words, it can't be explained that easily, and it has to be experienced and experimented by the person learning to sing (in this case, you :smile: ) make sure to absorb as much as you can from the threads on the topic you find here. it took me months if not years to get to a point where i was confident that i really grasped it. you will have loads of moments when you think you got it, only to then notice it wasn't the full picture at some later point. don't let this discourage you. it is a long journey but well worth it if you apply yourself. there are indicators that help you figure out whether you are right or wrong, the most important one being the tone. even if it seems it takes a long time to figure it out, remember: once you got it, no one can take it from you...
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