I just took a leap

I have been playing around with singing for many years now. I decided this year to get serious about the actual craft.I bought a few books and practiced for a few months. Something wasn't there. I ordered/downloaded the course and it just started happening when I switched off of the previous breathing techniques to this simple version on the video. Using the AH!!! I can get a total range that is awesome. I can't get as high with other vowels or the mums, googs, gugs,ect.. that I have used in previous methods, but I have never heard them in an actual song. If someone knows why those sounds are usefull in other courses, I would be interested. They seem to close the throat down.


I hope to improve my tone to one of those type that works with about anything, if that is possible, and improve my middle range.


Also, I opted for the download because I figured I had waited long enough. Is there any way I can get the videos to paly on my blu ray player? My player wants to connect to the internet but I am not going to do that. I am not running any wireless.


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    edited August 2013

    Hi, tennis.

    Welcome to the KTVA forums. The mums, gugs, and googs (and the nay, nay, nays) are not used in KTVA.  KTVA teaches you to sing on vowels.  Other methods depend upon building pressure with consonants to try to "pop" the notes up to make you think you're extending your range.  That's not going to work with real singing, because singing takes place on sustained vowels.

    Consonants are de-emphasized in KTVA.  You have to master the vowels, especially the AH, to master your voice.  There is a lot more to KTVA than just this, but it is in reference to your question about the gugs and googs.


  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    I never see much about Robin Zander. Is there any specific techniques he uses in general? Same with Jani Lane and Daryl Hall, I don't see much about them. My goal is to get a more solid middle, or even mix to get just those few notes so I can sing those type songs, Any suggestions for example: in general Robin Zander uses a lot of _______.

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357

    Listening to Robin Zander, I hear good cord closure, support, and timbral head voice.

    Also a strong upper midrange in chest voice. 

    In his younger days he had a lot of range. 



  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    edited August 2013

    Jani Lane had a fantastic extended upper midrange also.  Clear tone with a nice blend of mask. Incredible support.


    In this clip of Daryl Hall (at his home studio) you can see an open jaw, a concave tongue, hear great tone, a well-developed head voice (non-timbral).  He sings in a very relaxed way, even when he pushes it.  Using a little bit of gravel these days.





  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

     Timbral head voice means a little throaty? Non- is connected but a bit softer?




    In general Jeff Scott Soto? From the time rockstar came out, I have been crazy about his tone. I am more into the nastier tones and not so much is early stuff.


    Bob, I don't see how one guy can answer so many questions.

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357


    Timbral head voice has a tone that sounds like a high chest voice, with lots of the same timbre as chest voice. That's the kind of head voice taught in Ken's Building Head Voice program. 

    It's a head voice tone that uses cord closure, unlike "falsetto" head voice, which is a hooty, airy sound made with cords that are not quite adducted together.

    Listening to Jeff Scott Soto I hear a lot of the same tones Ken Tamplin uses in many of his recordings...

    A little similar to Ronnie James Dio at times, but not as much distortion.  He's well-supported, belting in his upper mids.  He's really strong in the mid-voice.



  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    Is the JSS sound, a lot to do with Twanging? If so which primitive type twanging sounds gets me close? I have found that imitating Jim Dandy, works for establishing the basic sounds of a lot of rock singers. I think that is the "chicken" sound.

  • sspatricksspatrick Enrolled Posts: 1,278
    Ken has actually done some recording with JSS. They both sing lead, it's pretty cool to check out. Jeff uses a nice bright tone lots if support and also uses glottal compression for the dirty sound. It can be dangerous if fine incorrectly. Follow the program, Ken won't lead you astray:)
  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    it has been a couple weeks now


    ok, pointers so far,.....





  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    it has been a couple weeks now


    ok, pointers so far,.....





  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357


    You need to sing this from your core.  You are singing from your throat.  If you power your voice with more abdominal support, your tone and consistency will noticeably improve.

    Also, try to get your tongue down more into your jaw. 

    This particular song is wordy.  Lots of syllables and consonants.  It would benefit you to lighten up on the consonants, in order to better maintain an open throat.

    Not bad, really.


  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    I have a column of UNANSWERED questions. do I need to click something to confirm that they are answered?


    What is the deal with You Tube and covers? I don't want to deal with copy write issues but I would like some familiar material to use as examples. Maybe Ken songs or something?

  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    All the mods that have answered me have been great.


    I was not saying that my questions have not been answered. I am saying that they have been. I was confused about the column in the far right. I think it just means that no one has responded to those. I was wondering if I had to click something? I was just confused about the format of the forum. Thanks.....


    if I make a vid of some of the workout, which ones would be the "good part"? I ant to cut to the point someone can see it in a minute or 2 and make a judgment. I was trying to make a video standing but I am going to have to figure out a way to get my webcam up higher. I know I was not supported, I completely ran out of air a couple of times.


    It has only been a couple of weeks and I am getting better extention into higher notes. Would my voice be considered heady here or is this an ideal amount of mix? The mix sound is really what I am going for. I think it will be the better plan for me.

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357

    If you see a yellow flag with something like 3 new that means since the last time you looked at that posting, three new comments have been added.  If you open that posting, the flag will go away.

    You should make a clip of things that are giving you troubles, or that show where you currently are for evaluation, just to be sure you're doing things right.  That would be better than flooding us with entire workouts.  Brief and to the point, but enough to have something to evaluate.  Just under a minute us usually sufficient.  Thanks for asking.

    If your webcam is not a built-in type, you could get innovative with some Velcro adhesive and maybe put it on a big mirror behind your computer.  That's what I do when I'm doing a webcam with Ken, so I can see my tongue before he busts my chops for bad form.

    Your voice doesn't sound heady.  It's more of a mix.



  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    I actually got a webcam for the forum. I made it up till Friday without one. That is just something I need to play with. the issue is my desk, my problem.



    I assume my nasality will straighten out when I get my mouth open more and tongue down. 


    Do I seem like I am in the right blend of mix or do I need to be more toward one chest?


    The vowel modifications will occur naturally, when the voice is going to the right place as far as mix? I am thinking that the vowels will shift when the need to arrives, if in the right mix?


    Thanks, to everyone who has replied.

  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22



    ok, have I established support? Is my mouth open and tongue down, enough? Anything else?

    I think I am doing ok with the program, only having trouble applying it to song.

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    edited September 2013


    I think you still need to work at the basics.  Your tongue looks OK, but your Support needs strengthening.  

    In this recording you are having some significant pitch issues.  At times, for whole phrases you are singing in a different key than the chords you are playing on the guitar.  Later you are in key with the guitar, then out again.  In a few places, individual notes are not on pitch.   

    It's really important to listen critcally when you are singing to ensure that you are launching the song on the right pitch, and then monitoring as you go along to keep in key and on pitch.  You have a wide range, but you're needing to concentrate more on pitch monitoring and control skills.

    There is a program you can watch and learn from available for students here on the forums, called Basic Pitch Part One.  Here, go through this program.  Ken provided it free for his students:


    Don't take this as a put-down.  I learned a few things by really going through this, and I think probably all students should take advantage of a tune up (pun intended) that these valuable lessons can provide. 

    It is true that playing guitar on your demos only makes it harder to keep all of the necessary attention on the many moving targets.  As Cinema suggested, karaoke tracks abound on YouTube and other sources.  Just type the song title followed by "karaoke". 

    More so than sending in song demos right now, I recommend that you send in some demos of you doing the exercises.  Send in the more difficult ones that you either think you're doing well enough on OR send in any you are having difficulties with. 

    Let us hear your LAH!   Take it up and down the range.  That will show us in an empirical, laboratory setting how your basic building blocks are forming.  You need to get that proven out before venturing too far into song-singing. 

    I don't mean to sound critical...  I only want to help you get started right.  Let's build the forms, make sure they're level, plumb, and square, with plenty of rebar, before we pour the concrete.  Let's let it cure properly.  Then we'll start roughing out the framework. 

    It's not time to put the roof up quite yet. 

    As I said, you have a good range.  I hear a really good singer inside of you wanting to be released.  Let's go over the blueprints and take this step-by-step.

    Good Singing to You, tennis!


  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    I was hoping that by posting what I thought was my worst, you guys could see more where I am having trouble.

    It doesn't matter how many explanations I get, how many videos, how many books I read, I never have support. Is there a specific change in sound that I am aiming for? If my belly is ballooned out and I am holding back the air, I am still being told I am not supporting from someone. I would really like to sort this one.


    My tongue looks like it gets fat at times. Is it impossible to really keep it flat at all times, and is it ok for it to hit the roof of my mouth to form some sounds, and then drop back down?

    I think that when I am starting the song, especially, I know what the pitch should be, is there something I am doing mechanically to keep me from hitting it? Flat notes in the upper chesty tones is my life story.


    Will do on the suggestions later on the first of the week.



  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    Are the words supposed to be formed with the jaw not moving and the tongue articulating, or is it all back of the throat?


     how do I send a private message?

  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22
    When I said my tongue gets fat, I mean it looks like it is fairly low in my mouth but puffy.
  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22



    So, you are singing on the Journey, and Foreigner tracks? Bad ass!!!!!!


    I was an impressionable teen when grunge hit. That hurt my guitar playing and singing aspirations. I have a lot of insecurities still, like singing heavy and feeling like I should be getting rasp or distortion. I am making an earnest effort to just hit strong notes and being comfortable without all that cargo. That thing where Brett micheals sings so clean in a hard rock band is an enigma to me.


    I would like to sing foreigner and not sound like a jerk at some point. How loud should I try to sing when I do that sort of thing? Should I try to go sort of soft?

  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    Ok, here is the Lah  I know I may not be as LA-AAAAA on the last. Let me know how I did.


    This video is unlisted and I will take it down as soon as you guys are finished with it.

    Supporting? Throaty? I have a couple of days off so I can hit it hard on whatever you recommend.






  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    Every rose per request

    Let me have it. I know I had trouble with rose. I think it has to do with singing the wrong vowel? Support?

    I am singing in my dopey voice but trying to not be overly dopey.

    This is the 3rd attempt. I was watching and noticed I had neck strain on the others.




  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357


    Thank you for putting up a recording of you doing the LAH.  It's the gold standard for getting the basics down.

    I'm having a little trouble separating out your voice from Ken's voice and the backing piano.

    I really appreciate you putting this up, but I would like for you to put the backing tracks way down in the mix.  Not totally eliminated, but very low so we can know that we are hearing you and not Ken.

    I think I am kind of hearing you and it sounds good, but I want to be sure there aren't any problems down beneath the voice of Ken Tamplin.  Ken has these exercises down pretty well, so I want to be able to ensure you're doing OK on them .

    Sorry to be so picky, but I can't really give you an honest evaluation unless I can totally hear what you're doing.




    Update: I fooled around and was able to use the balance control in my computer to turn Ken's voice down enough to hear you.  It would be better if your recording would already have that part done for us.

    We need your voice to be dominant.  We want to hear you, and hear you well.

    You had a couple of places where the pitch is off on the top note, but for the most part it sounds OK.  Your tongue seems to be under control, but you could possibly get it down a little more. 

  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    I have recording software and can get it anyway you want it and far as audio only.

    I thought I would get the best evaluation with video but I am struggling to get the levels right. I felt like I needed ken's voice up enough so I could hear the modifications.


    my problem with pitch is pretty consistent. I am doing it on every rose. It is on most of the sustained notes. I am flat. .

  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22



    so how do I make it better?  SUpport? Is that maybe the tone I should go for?

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357

    Hmmm.....  musta' been the wrong hat ! ;^)

    This is the best example you've posted so far.  A few pitchy places, but not too many and not too bad.

    Yes, there is room for improvement, but you ARE improving, even now.  Better support this time. Better pitch overall.

    You're even modifying some of the words with more KTVA-friendly enunciation.

    Good job, Tennis.  You've got a foothold started.  Don't stop now.


    Are they friendly spirits?  Friendly?  Just listen!!!




  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22

    That voice reminds me of Bullwinkle or Mr. Burns. Does that suit me?


    I think that song has the mods built in. I always thought that they were trying to sound southern until I started this course.


    Ok, so I am pitchy at certain places but why? Could it be weak parts, or even breaks, and my voice is just not able to go where it needs to go? Maybe I am slamming the vowels (wrong vowel) it too hard?

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    edited September 2013


    I think part of what is happening with your voice comes from your previous training and habits.  It's hard, but necessary to kind of tear that all down and rebuild a new foundation with KTVA.  In one of your first demos you used a lot of vocal breaks to get into your head voice.  That's something that SLS encourages, "crying" into head voice.  Of course that does not help you to be connected. 

    Yes, you could be slamming vowels, too. 

    If the song has mods that derive from a Southern style, then just take that into consideration as a good way to help do vocal tract shaping and consonant control.  Once you get the hang of that, it's easy.

    I think most pitch issues are a need to focus and balance active listening while singing.  In part, you pull from memory to make a certain note.  That's stored in your brain somewhere.  You "hear" the note before you sing it.  As you sing it, you adjust up or down as needed to pull the note into the proper tuning.  It's necessary to develop this skill and to keep it happening. 

    You may need to focus on reference pitches to keep your moorings. 

    Some people have "Perfect Pitch" and can sing an A 440 or any other note on request without hearing  a reference pitch.  Others want a starting pitch.  Still others can start out in pitch, but lose track somewhere along the way, possibly after doing a vocal run or trill.  Once a wrong turn is taken, you have to reel your pitch back in quickly or you will continue down an incorrect path. 

    Have you worked through the Basic Pitch Part One program?  It could help you to identify what aspects of pitch are giving you problems and which ones you have some work ahead to tackle.

    The first step of correcting any problem is to correctly identify it.

    You have many good qualities to your voice.  Your challenge is to convert your weaknesses into your strengths.



  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22
    edited September 2013

    Thanks, very solid advice.

    I watched the pitch videos. I understand pitch. I have a musical background. . I have a really relative sense of pitch. The flat notes that I hit, are always hitting at the bottom of the note. Like many others, I can't tell sometimes unless I record it and play it back. More pros than anyone would like to admit have pitch problems. I would like to tackle this though. I do know that in the past, I used to tighten my neck muscles to pinch it up there, but now I  know better.


    I didn't  know that the cry was for anything but effect. I learn every day.  I tried an sls book and it did help me with singing lighter.

    If you find time. tell me what is going on here. https://soundcloud.com/shelldina/cruel-karaoke  I am just goofing in the intro, so after the song kicks in.....  I stop goofing as much.




  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    edited September 2013

    Pretty good.  There are some notes that are not so much off-pitch, but more off-melody. 

    In other words, you are choosing a shortcut note that is in key, but not the actual target note. 

    My ear is listening for the higher true note, but hearing the lower "dodge" note.  The lower note has the effect of "sounding" flat, because it is lower. 

    You have pretty good support through most of this tune.  The beginning is goofy, and then your pitch is unstable before you get going.  After that, it's a good track with a few notes I'd like you to polish. 

    While I'm writing this, your "Every Rose" is playing along.  It sounds OK, but too many flat spots. 

    I think your most important improvement now is to get a very critical and accurate Real-Time listening skill developed, and pitch-correction software for your brain.  Don't rely on software fixes.  You need to condition your brain to work the way pitch-correction software does, and constantly monitor yourself.

    It takes a lot of diligence.  You may need to do it by overdubbing vocals and listening back critically to learn where you need to sharpen your listening and pitch-aiming skills... Then correct the vocals by re-overdubbing them and use each fix as a lesson in where you need to sharpen your pitch skills.  As you perfect your performance, try recording more and more of the song live, without the overdubs, until you can perform a song that passes the critical listening test without multiple tries. 

    If you've ever used something like Sing and See, it's obvious that all of us wobble all over the place.  It's just a matter of how much, and is it detectable?  We learn to center our pitch and hold steadfastly to concert pitch, so we will stay in tune with the music. 

    I like the sound of your voice in this demo.  Your consistency from your support is good.  You are going to have to apply yourself diligently in order to tackle, and I do mean TACKLE this pitch issue.  It's an obstacle between where you are now and where you need to be.  Do it.  Tackle it.  You can do it.  It will take focus and steadfastness.


  • ragnarragnar Pro Posts: 410
    tennis said:

    More pros than anyone would like to admit have pitch problems.

    No not really? I don't think I've ever heard a professional singer having pitch issues at all, and I've been to plenty of live concerts with big and small crowds. 
  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22
    edited September 2013


    Goofing on Elvis.....

    I actually recorded this before I ever started any training. This is how I have been singing for 20 years. My voice sort of knows where it can go (up to around e4) and if I force it to go where, I want it to go, it is flat.Now, I think you might agree that I have a fairly solid low range that is nice and thick. This song is right on the edge of the ceiling. If I go just a few notes higher, it is going to go flat. The only lesson I had was 20 years ago, I learned how to scream, pull chest, and get that strained sound (grunge). So long as I am blasting loud and powerful, and in low range, I am fairly comfortable. It is that tenor range and singing with finesse that I can't get. My falsetto is pretty good. It is that middle range that has always been nagging at me.


    I have played rock band. I am in the range but hardly ever straight in the center. Maybe honing in each note for about  a minute will help. I am good at what I am good at, which is not really singing.


    thanks so much

  • tennistennis Pro Posts: 22
    edited September 2013


     welcome to the party. I am being roasted here, unfortunately. I am staying in my thread because I don't know what I am talking about and don't want to confuse anyone else. That, and I don't know if everyone has somewhat of a unique set of circumstances or if we are all the same. I used to imitate Mike Patton all the time in the '90s, because I have similar qualities in my voice.




    Must have heard every rose and ran for the hills. I had a manicure before I scratched the chalkboard.

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357

    Yes, it's the upper midrange that is the key to being able to belt and wail.  It takes time and chest-stretching to get that part of the voice developed.

    I still think it's going to take a lot of attention to detail as well as upper-mid workouts to get you hitting on all twelve cylinders in that area with consistent pitch. 

    Practice, practice, practice, and tons of attention on tone and pitch. 

    All the best!


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