Home GENERAL SINGING - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Forum

Quick question about the voice.

dk_dk_ Member Posts: 32
This has been bugging me since day 1. I can't find the answer anywhere.
How come some singer's sound like a frog or kermit the frog (or something like that) during some parts of their singing? It is also a little nasally at the same time?
It sounds like they're pulling their lower tone up to higher notes but I don't know if that's what it is in a technical perspective.
Is it beneficial in any way?
I even hear Ken Tamplin do this in the warm ups (VOLUME 1 Track 16 is very prominent). I find that I make this sound if I focus using my mask with a LOWERED palate and it also ALOT easier to stretch my chest and transition then if I were to try to keep my soft palate raised as high as I can.
For example: Christina Aguilera, Chester See

Sounds light but at the same time you can hear that low sounding kermitty sound at some parts of the song

2:39 most prominent




  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346

    2:39 in which recording? You posted two videos, so I'm still trying to hear what sound specifically you are asking about.

    Often, a high-larynx sound is referred to as having a "froggy" or "kermit" voice. This would be how you would imitate the voice of cartoon character "Dudley Doright", by raising your larynx.

    I don't hear any high larynx sound in Ken on Volume 1 track 16, but I do hear mask, which is bringing the sound to the front of the face.



  • dk_dk_ Member Posts: 32
    edited August 2015
    What I meant by Ken's workout on track 16, Is it normal to sound masky/nasally in the front? to me it sounds nasally and I've been always trying to get a very open sound which made me doing the scales difficult because it resulted in a very airy tone or transitioning very early.

    When he sings the words " Lights gone, Days end, Struggling to pay rent" 00:17
    When he sings " PAY RENT" that type of sound is what I mean, it sounds like he drops his palate or something. It sounds different from his brighter tone right before that. It's like he goes back and forth. I see so many singers do this and its driving me nuts!!!


    instead of just singing at a higher tone such as: When he says "right next to you" at 00:09


    It's hard for me to describe. It sounds like he dropped his palate and the sound isn't a bright sound but more of a droopy sound.
    I am not sure if you can understand but here's another example that is prominent through the entire song because of how he sings.


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
    edited August 2015
    To me, the sound on "PAY RENT" is a dropped larynx, and compression, in the Call Voice, using lots of support...

    I think you may be wanting to identify more than one thing. "Dancing on My Own" sounds like different configurations from what I'm hearing on "Pay Rent". I am hearing some call voice, occasional compression, and a lot of support, but not the dropped larynx in that one. He's also mixing call voice with head voice.

    The more we spread out the samples, the harder it is to specify, without time markers.

    These guys are very versatile, and not just using one vocal configuration throughout.
    They are quite good.

    The EE and the AA vowels are more narrow and use more mask than the AH, the Oh, or the Ooh.

    E4 (pay rent) is a note that you can sing lightly or lean into it and compress it, and lightly or heavily belt it. It's right up there under F and F#4, which can be very dramatic notes for a male, even though they're nowhere near as high as A4, B4, or C5.

    Right Next to You at 00:09 is compressed. To get to that sound you need to control your support, lean into the note slightly to get beyond head voice and stay in chest/call voice at that area of your range.

    That's part of what stretching chest is all about. Staying in chest voice when you want to, instead of giving it up to head voice. It requires a little bit of compression to get that sound.

  • dk_dk_ Member Posts: 32
    edited August 2015
    I see thank you for the explanation.
    So do you think I shouldn't think too much about this and just do the scales and workout as I have been?
    Is it also okay if the palate isnt ALWAYS up? especially when trying to stretch chest and use mask?

    Lastly, What is call voice?
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
    Your palate will rise and fall, sometimes with the pitch, sometimes with the sound.

    When you do those compressed sounds, you will be focusing more on being in the call register, and the amount of pressure you use to stay in chest voice that high. It's not super-high pressure, but it is enough to keep the voice from defaulting into head voice.

    It's important to know to raise the palate when you need that resonance in the back of the throat, but don't mistake that for being completely closing off the nasal passage. We want a blend most of the time, and we want to have access to the nasopharynx when it helps the sound we are going for at the moment. At other times, we want a more throaty or a more "mouthy" sound, for lack of a better term. We want the voice to ring out in many areas at different times, and in different places.

    Within a phrase of a song we may use mask for the N's and M's and then in the next instant we will be resonating in the back of the throat on an AH, AA, or Oh, then resonating wide and somewhat masky on an EE. Singing isn't about always being one thing. It's about being able to move the sound around, and getting back to Open Vowels, depending on the vowel, the consonant, the phrase, the note, the texture, of the present moment as it moves on to the next.

    Get used to thinking of your voice as a more fluid, moving, changing thing. It will be all of these things, from moment-to-moment, as appropriate. We learn the various states, and how to do each sound, and how to utilize these states and sounds as we move along through time.

    Call voice is the upper part of chest. It's the mid, or upper mid voice. We use it when we call out to someone down the block who is trying to steal our car: "HEY YOU!!!" We do that in an upper-range, almost, but not quite, shouting. (We would shout at a thief, but when we sing, we access that same range, and sing, instead. It's a little louder than our normal lower chest voice.

    It's the part of the voice between the primo passaggio and the secondo passaggio.

    You have a small speed bump near middle C, then another one near F#4, or thereabouts, if you're a guy. It can vary, but that's an approximation. In that case, call voice is what you use if you stay in chest voice there, rather than going into head voice. When we stretch chest voice, we extend the Call Voice. You have to use a little more volume (air pressure) or your voice will want to flip into head. To avoid this, we stay in Call Voice. When we compress call voice a little bit, we start to sound more like that sound you are hearing in your samples, where it's something "in-between" chest and head. That's where the mixed voice also takes place. As we stretch our chest voice up and extend our timbral head voice down, that area will gradually fuse together into a mix without a break.

    Singing sliders up and down through the range of C4 to C5 or a little below C4 and a little above C5 is a good way to help that fusion develop. It takes a long time.

  • dk_dk_ Member Posts: 32
    edited August 2015
    pressure meaning the diaphragmatic support? or do you mean pressure in the palate area ?

    and I guess what I meant by the sound is: why does he sound so thick at 00:26 when he sings "go~~" then it gets very light again at "to plan". is there purpose to do that or is it just for aesthetics?


    Thank you so much for all the help!
    I will take everything you helped me with throughout the year and absorb it!

    Thanks again!!
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
    He's in a very light, airy head voice on "these nights" he goes down scale to a mid voice, ending up in a thin, compressed D4-to-C4 on "to plan", which is in a thin-toned chest voice.

    He's dancing around in the zona di passagi, the Strike Zone, where you can be either in head voice (weak) or chest voice (strong), or a combination of various percentages of both.

    You will feel the compression of these notes mostly in the gut. But when the compressed, regulated air comes out, it's in a thin, compressed stream. It's not a lot of air, but there is some strength behind it, mostly from the diaphragm.

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