Home VOCAL DEMONSTRATIONS for the Bold!

voice loose clarity in certain range

KfirazranKfirazran Volume 1 Posts: 11
Hi moderators/Ken,

I'm straggling with this issue for a while. I hope i will be able to explain it.
I really hope someone here will be able to help.

a bit background:
I professionally from 1991 to 2003. stopped for long time , then started getting back to it  ,practicing KTVA part 1 for about 4 months almost 5-6 times a week.
I already experiencing better passagio and singing with more ease.  but lately I got some problems.

basically , when singing the scales going from low to high , when reaching just above the comfortable tone level , my voice sometimes loosing the clarity and the thickness of the sound.
it sounds like the sound is getting splitted from one clear tone  to two "not so clear" tones  with less power.

I tried adding more support and I don't think it's the issue. ...(i might be wrong)

using less air and singing it more gently seems like helping a bit...but the problem is still there and in singing i will need to use the power in this range.

i tried looking back to see if i did something new...eating something bad...sleeping bad...whatever...non of those (I slept a lot )

Something is playing in my mind for long time that it might be a damage to my chords...but how can I really know?
do u think i might have a problem in my chords?
how can I find out?

I really appreciate any help guys...
I'm working on a comeback show in 1.5 month and that's not so reassuring :)
thanks you all
great communirty




Comments

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,189

    @Kfirazran,

    We need to hear a sample of the problem to have a chance at giving some more meaningful advice.

    Thanks.

     

    Bob

  • KfirazranKfirazran Volume 1 Posts: 11
    I just did the workout and recorded a part...i'll upload shortly.
    thanks Bob ;)
  • KfirazranKfirazran Volume 1 Posts: 11
    edited July 2013
    Here is my a small piece of my last night workout.
    honestly, I had much better workouts which i sang much more solid.

    I feel that my clarity and the control on the pitch is lost sometimes. cannt explain that.
    I really hope someone can.

    here it is:
    https://soundcloud.com/user944230635/vocal-workout-laah-bad-day

    thanks
  • ragnarragnar Pro Posts: 410
    Just had a quick listen but the thing that I primarily notice is that, although your passagio is actually quite smoothly blended, you sound as if you are squeezing the tone a bit when you get into the light mix/head voice area.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,189
    edited July 2013

    Kfirazran,

    Your demo sounds pretty good.  You are landing on each note, rather than slurring through the exercises.  Your pitch is good.  There are a few notes that are weaker than others, and to me they just sound a little less supported than the rest.  You have good tone.

    Could you please put some specifics on particular minutes and seconds where you feel you are having problems?  I would like for you to pinpoint the spots or sections that you have issues with and tell us what you think is wrong with it.

    For example you could say "at 2:07 I think I have the double tones" or something like that to make sure we are hearing what you are hearing.

     

    Thanks.

    Bob

  • JoshuaJoshua Member, Enrolled Posts: 84
    Dude. I think you're me!

    OK - I want you to try this. I couldn't tell if you were listening or if you were playing your guitar while doing the lesson. But here's what I noticed.

    General Observations:
    On the start of the notes you were wobbly on the notes and power. To me, that's confidence and/or support. My belief is support because it cleared up once the higher notes came in, but then the moment you started flipping to head your pitch coming down was off for a few scales in a row. Then you started flipping to head that top even in the chest resonant passages (in my mind to try to get your pitch back on) because it probably felt lighter.

    Here's what I want you to try, take a short breath but don't really push until just before the top note and hold it ALL THE WAY DOWN. Ken gives advice about how to do this but frankly I think something more specific might be helpful. After awhile and even immediately, you'll notice a smooth delivery of tone from top to bottom and you'll have better pitch control too.

    Specifics:
    Contrast the way up at :23 vs 1:41 which are about the same scale, or really close.

    I think most of your issue is confidence that you're doing it right. Here's a rule that sucks at first to hear, but then gets better once you understand it...Tone...is up to you. What sounds good is based on what YOU think sounds good. Sometimes it's best to accept that your tone is your tone.

    Second, pushing harder is NOT the key. Pushing consistently is. If you're getting to the point where you feel like your head hurts, or you're getting a headache, then you're pushing WAAAY too hard. Tone, Pitch and "breadth" of voice is not achieved fully by pushing harder. It's achieved by the throat being open and you being comfortable with what comes out while you push enough to take the pressure out of your throat as you shape that tone.

    Keep working and applying what you're doing.. Pay special attention to the changes in your tone and pitch and try to figure out what "physically" changed; then do it again. You'll get there. It takes time my man. 
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,189

    Nice Post, Joshua!

    Bob

  • lordsammylordsammy Pro Posts: 62
    @Joshua

    I am getting headaches during the exercises! I perform 2-4 times a week as a cover artist and seem to do alright without to many headache issues.
    But during these exercises when I'm pulling chest up (whether it be Stage 1 or Stage 2 exercises), I get a bit of a booming head!!
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,189
    edited January 2014

    @lordsammy.

    You may be pushing a little too hard.  The exercises are challenging and can take a lot of effort if you're not used to them or if you're overdoing them a bit.  Using too much pressure could cause sinus headaches.  If you have any congestion, the pressure could get trapped in there and create discomfort.

    I expect you are using more effort in your workouts than you are using in your cover gigs.

     

    See if the headaches are eased if you do the exercises a little less aggressively for a while.  If that helps, keep that level going for a while, and give your body time to catch up.  Then maybe you can slightly lean into it a little more. 

    Remember, stretching chest should not involve strain.  Give yourself time to go through this process.  These notes will not come faster from pushing harder.  They will come sooner by easing into them and then growing the small notes you are able to hatch. 

    We would be able to identify what you may be doing if you put up a demo.

     

    Bob

  • lordsammylordsammy Pro Posts: 62
    @highmtn

    Thanks for that. I'll try to take the exercises a little easier and see how I go.

    I've got a couple more questions if that's alright! - As for support, I'm pretty sure I have a good understanding BUT I want to clarify. When we are supporting, our Abs and back muscles essentially tense up as we squeeze in and somewhat down on the abdomen? I want to clarify that we aren't pushing out and distending our abdomen's / stomach's. Provided we are supporting correctly - there shouldn't be any pain as in we are working out the muscles?

    My other question is when using full voice and applying these techniques to actual singing - how do we apply the vowel mods to words. For example I mean singing the word "Day" or "Pray" at a High C in full voice? I find myself moving towards "D-EH-Y"?

    Thanks for your time! I will try to get a recording of one of the full voice exercises in workout 2 up!

    Sam 
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,189

    @lordsammy,

    We DO push our belly out when we take in our breath.  We slowly bring this inward, like a piston, as we sing out.  The inward stroke of our belly lasts for the entire phrase or section of the scale we are on.

    At the same time, as the belly is slowly coming in, we are maintaining chest expansion.

    AND ALSO, while all of that is happening, if we go higher, we bear downward on the diaphragm, pressing downward on our insides.  This is to slow down the deflation of the lungs and vary the pressure of the outflowing air. 

    Correct.  There should be NO PAIN in the muscles.  There may be a lot of effort, but no pain.

     

    Correct.  The A-E sound of Day or Pray at higher pitches will be more easily and naturally sung on "eh" rather than Ae.  You are understanding how this works.  It is taking your voice on the path of least resistance.

    Bob 

  • lordsammylordsammy Pro Posts: 62

    Ok great. 

    So... 
    *Breath in - Stomach goes out (I understand this quite well)
    *Bring belly in by using abdominal muscles when singing 
    *Push downwards on the diaphragm when we hit high notes - this is a different sensation to simply bringing the belly in, essentially another part we engage? I find there is an odd sensation around my sternum that is slightly uncomfortable when bearing down on the diaphragm. It's not painful but feels almost like being winded ONLY while bearing down. - Can I attribute this to pushing too hard?


    The "EH"  sound is hard to maintain full voice on. Is this because it's a hard vowel or my voice isn't quite ready? I'll upload an audio of this too!

    Thanks Bob,
    Much appreciated.

    Sam
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,189
    edited January 2014

    @lordsammy,

    When we do the pushing down part of the diaphragmatic breathing, we are adding opposition to the ability to exhale the breath.  That is because it is the rise of the diaphragm that causes us to exhale.  When we push down on our insides, causing a decrease in the rise of the diaphragm itself, we slow down the ability of the lungs to deflate. In that way, our extended belly, downward force on the diaphragm, and expanded ribcage ALL work together to mitigate the outflow of the breath.  These become additional controls on the breath, in total amount of air, as well as the pressure on any given amount. 

    Utilizing these natural phenomena allows us a much greater degree of control on the outflowing breath, which is the very media upon which we sing... literally!

    It may be feeling as if you are winded because you are exhaling in a way that you may never have experienced in the past. If you employ enough of this opposition, you can't even exhale.  Find the balance point and that is where the fine control you want resides.  Not too much, but enough to get the job done.

    It can take a lot of strength on your highest notes. 

    Let us hear your EH.  We'll see if it sounds about right. You're working with a lot of new variables right now.  As you continue to get this figured out, things will begin to come together for you.

     

    Bob

     

  • lordsammylordsammy Pro Posts: 62
    @highmtn

    Thanks for clarifying all of this. 

    When I take in a breath as well from the belly to the solarplexes underneath the ribcage I actually get that slight feeling of being winded. I think it is the area of the solarplexes that it causing this sensation and it is then further enhanced by the pushing down. Perhaps I'm not doing this correctly OR I'm doing this too hard.

    I will upload an audio this afternoon (Aussie time) of one of the scales in full voice and an audio clip singing a song with the EH. Will a phone recording on my iphone suffice?

    Thank you kindly!

    Sam
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,189

    @lordsammy,

     

    Sam,

    The phone recording may very well suffice.  My own thought as well, when I re-read your post about discomfort in the solar plexus area is that there is a good chance you're trying just a little too hard.

    In many cases, if we just slightly throttle back the amount of effort we are putting into our technique, we find that we were just overcompensating.  That's easy to do, and there will always be a little back and forth adjusting to do as we figure out how to combine all of these processes together in a smooth, consistent manner.

     

    Bob

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