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Slightly confused on shedding weight/mixed voice/smaller sounds

I know everyone kinda feels things differently when singing in terms of placement etc... As I continue to try and break the bad habits I was taught earlier on and beat into muscle memory the good habits, sometimes I think I get a little tripped up on the terminology.....

I just watched Ken's video on David Coverdale where he does Here I Go Again and he talks about bringing the sound into the front of the face and making it smaller. I understand the concept of course but is this essentially using a more chest dominant mixed voice? Whenever I feel I'm "shrinking" the sound it feels like adding a bit of head voice and that same lightness head voice has.

Does making the sound "smaller" just mean reducing the weight or are we talking about volume as well? Sometimes it helps me to visualize it as making the volume of the notes lower but it still sounds pretty consistent in volume due to resonance I suppose. Hopefully this makes sense... happy to clarify.

Comments

  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,404
    i suggest you read on this forum some older posts about "mask" and "little boy voice". i have the feeling that this would be helpful for you at this point :)
  • MarkHMusicMarkHMusic 2.0 PRO Posts: 46
    @Klaus_T I've gone through so much on this forum so its hard to remember everything all the time.. Personally, it helps me to think of shedding the weight to reach higher notes as using a "mixed voice," then it makes more sense to me... if I think of shedding the weight but ONLY staying in my chest voice it makes it more difficult... If that makes sense. I guess the main question is, is shedding the weight and little boy voice a "form" of mixed voice?
  • TerenceTerence 3.0 Streaming Posts: 337


    Does making the sound "smaller" just mean reducing the weight or are we talking about volume as well? Sometimes it helps me to visualize it as making the volume of the notes lower but it still sounds pretty consistent in volume due to resonance I suppose. Hopefully this makes sense... happy to clarify.

    More on this in the video glossary. In the first video, below, Ken uses the synonyms pressure, loudness, volume, girth, & mass for "weight."

    Weight In The Sound
    https://join.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/products/how-to-sing-better-than-anyone-else-version-3-0-volume-1/categories/2148248784/posts/2150217913

    Don't Oversing The Bottom
    https://join.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/products/how-to-sing-better-than-anyone-else-version-3-0-volume-1/categories/2148248784/posts/2150218582

    Handing It Off To The Head
    https://join.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/products/how-to-sing-better-than-anyone-else-version-3-0-volume-1/categories/2148248784/posts/2150217934


  • MarkHMusicMarkHMusic 2.0 PRO Posts: 46
    @Terence @Klaus_T - I understand the concepts. I guess my questions help me to visualize and feel what is going on so it is replica-table especially in a live setting. Even the definition of weight in the glossary says it is mostly about tone but then ends with saying it can also be volume. The terminology is a bit open ended so I come here for clarification, somewhere in there it even says to not get too hung up on the terminology. So let me try and rephrase my question that I'm mostly looking for clarification on....

    It has been said on the forum here I believe by @highmtn that 'little boy voice" can be taken up quite high. The literal definition of head voice in the glossary is the notes about your 2nd passagio/bridge. For me that is at about a G4, sometimes a G#4, but to sing a G#4 I do notice I need to refine the sound by shedding some weight and going a bit lighter. An A4 FEELS more like head voice to me so by the definitions in the course this all makes sense.

    But back to little boy voice... If leaning into the sound helps create a "chestier" sound, as has been said here, then one can only assume that "lightening" the tone and volume will make a "headier" sound. Thus on the high notes, little voice and mixed voice go hand in hand. Is this a correct assumption? Let me try to explain the feeling for me and I will post a video or audio this week... Again, I can sing a G4 with a pretty heavy tone if I want to, but to get above that I start thinking of placement just below the nose and the top of the teeth, this feeling likely will move up the higher I go. As well as where I am "placing" that sound I would describe the sound as a little more "whiny" or "nasal" I suppose... definitely thin, and I imagine this is also the same as "little boy voice." What's funny is I feel I have almost answered my own question by typing all of this out but again, that's why I come here, because if you say yes you are right then I know I am making sense of it all, and if you say you have it all wrong... well back to square one HAHA.
  • TerenceTerence 3.0 Streaming Posts: 337
    edited January 28


    But back to little boy voice... If leaning into the sound helps create a "chestier" sound, as has been said here, then one can only assume that "lightening" the tone and volume will make a "headier" sound.

    Agree with your reasoning, above.


    I can sing a G4 with a pretty heavy tone if I want to, but to get above that I start thinking of placement just below the nose and the top of the teeth, this feeling likely will move up the higher I go. As well as where I am "placing" that sound I would describe the sound as a little more "whiny" or "nasal" I suppose... definitely thin, and I imagine this is also the same as "little boy voice.".

    Ken mentions this placing of resonance this way to imitate Coverdale's sound on one of his YT videos. It's not the same as little boy voice, though.

    After vol 3 exercises, Ken says your voice may be "set high" which he calls little boy voice. He makes the same comment about David's voice after he's sung most of his song. It's a setting of the voice, and Ken goes on to say that you may set the voice up in different ways to prepare for a given song.

    From this setting, it's true that just a little bit of air in the call area and above will put you in a mix (and you'll be singing with less weight.) However, the setting is not a direct synonym for mixed voice which has many more dimensions to it.

    Not sure if this is where you're at but something Bob wrote helped with a breakthrough described here:

    https://forum.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/discussion/17639/breakthrough-and-two-questions

    @highmtn wrote:
    "I think what I didn't realize was that my G4 was really big. I could belt that baby out. But there was nowhere to go after that. It was like I was carrying around a big 55-gallon drum of G4, trying to get through these doorways that you could barely get an F or an F# through. I would try to get A4's the size of G4's through doors the size of an E4. Does that make sense to you? "
  • MarkHMusicMarkHMusic 2.0 PRO Posts: 46
    @Terence it does help and make a lot of sense. Another thing I came across from @highmtn that really made some sense was something along the lines of "you can't muscle your way through high notes, you have to finesse through them" ... sometimes its just someone reinforcing the concept that really helps it come together. The trouble I have now is being able to back off the sound to get there consistently when its a tough line to sing thats kinda high for chest with a handful of words and not a lot of room to breathe (like that original tune I posted) but its coming together with practice.
  • TerenceTerence 3.0 Streaming Posts: 337
    "You can't muscle your way through high notes; you have to finesse through them." —Bob

    @MarkHMusic
    Fantastic! Some of those Bob-isms really come in handy.

    "The trouble I have now is being able to back off the sound to get there consistently..."

    With vowels only, I could only get "that 55-gallon drum" through as of last summer. Consistency is the current goal.

    "...when its a tough line to sing thats kinda high for chest with a handful of words and not a lot of room to breathe."

    Well described. I'm not consistently there yet, personally. Right now, I take these hardest parts of songs and treat them like an advanced exercise. If the previous exercises of the day show I can technically sing the notes on vowels, I'll then slowly bring in consonants to ONE HARD PHRASE and try to bring it through all the keys that have it straddling the passagio. A humbling and revealing journey, indeed.
  • MarkHMusicMarkHMusic 2.0 PRO Posts: 46
    @Terence i saw the thread on the assignments for different songs specifically sweetness by jimmy eat world. That song for whatever reason is much easier to hit those A4s for me then sitting right on the G4 and going up to the A4. Assuming this has to do with the vowels (mostly ah) but in my instance I can’t seem to find a good mod for the word “crack” and where it sits in the phrase…. Your advice of backing off the pressure and intensity is def the trick though.
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