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Hitting a roadblock or two

Hi everybody. I'll try to be as concise as possible. I have a vocal coach, and he has been telling me not to lift my chin when I go up to higher notes (which I am pretty sure Ken agrees with). He had me do this exercise where I put my fist at the top of my chest, and had to keep my chin touching my fist. As soon as I got out of my low range, my throat felt like it just closed up and I sounded like Kermit the Frog. Then while singing to the radio in my car, I tried keeping my head glued to my headrest to avoid lifting my chin again, and found if I really unlocked my jaw and let it relax more, the sound was not constricted - no Kermit sound. I thought this was quite the break through. Then I tried that with my KTVA exercises the next morning, and it seemed horrible. My voices was cracking, my range was crap, etc. Any advice on this would be very welcomed.
Roadblock number 2: my voice seems to be much less resilient than it used to be. I also have this feeling like there is saliva, or mucus just sitting in my throat right below my voice box. It's there a lot of the day, and makes me feel like I have to clear my throat a lot. I tried taking omeprazole for a couple of weeks, because my dad has a throat clearing issue that was diagnosed as acid reflux, but it did nothing. I've been trying to rinse out my sinuses and sleep with a humidifier (I live in Arizona) to clear up any sinus drainage problem, but it's not doing anything either. My next experiment will be to change my coffee creamer, which i think might be a contributing factor. Has anyone else dealt with something like this? It's so annoying, and I feel like it's really affecting my ability to sing the way I want to, and even the way I used to. Thanks in advance.


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    michaelmusicmichaelmusic 2.0 ENROLLED Posts: 254
    Hey Steve, I have been doing the course for 2yrs. I have only listened to Ken's advice. I used to do Speech level singing before KTVA. I only listen to Ken's advice and that's served me well. I recommend doing the same and considering a lesson with Ken occasionally if you truly want highly targeted feedback.

    As far as giving specific feedback, can you share a video of you? Explanations in text are good, but a video is best at showing exactly what you are doing and helping me know exactly how to guide you.
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    Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,406
    edited September 2023
    it is good advice to not look up while singing. i suggest you practice in front of a mirror (whenever possible), it is helpful to monitor posture, mouth movement etc. you will be surprised how much stuff is going on that you weren't even aware of. as @michaelmusic said, ideally check other advice at the door. the course is a system and if you try to modify it, it is not the system anymore that Ken put together for us, so you will be out on your own. Ken's system does work, and maybe yours does not. you will be your own Guinea pig so to speak :)

    are you making sure you stay hydrated during the day? water is good, herbal teas, etc. you can use turmeric and ginger, they help with mucus and inflammation. you might be oversinging, or you might have some allergy (seasonal, dust, etc).
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    JoshuaJoshua Member, Enrolled Posts: 108
    Concise feedback.
    1. looking up or down really has nothing to do with anything except that it indicates that you're not relaxed and you're thinking about how to make your throat make the sound. Ken used to say to me "don't look up, the notes aren't up there". Which was enough to just keep my head straight. Yawn-sighing is a great way to experience the open throat feeling. Just yawn a huge yawn...then do it with singing. You'll realize that your body already knows how to keep it's throat open, you're just complicating it. Those tricks are just meant to give you a way to experience it, which it sounds like you did. Why did it fall apart whe you when to Ken's stuff? easy - low experience in doing it right, high experience in doing it wrong. Keep working, she'll turn.

    2. Extra saliva, extra difficulty...
    All normal I think. Before I started taking my voice seriously, warm ups, if I did any, didn't seem hard. Now that I'm more polished, I know that it takes me 15-20m of serious focus to get warm and loosened up. Why? Because...I understand what it's doing and what it needs to be ready. Did something change in my voice? No...only my awareness and my diagnostic abilities commensurate to experience. I'd suggest the same is happening for you.
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