Just starting KTVA

tjdwyertjdwyer Enrolled Posts: 40
edited October 2012 in INTRODUCE YOURSELF
Hi my name's TJ. I've been playing guitar since I was 5, and have been singing for about 6 years. I'll be 23 in December. I'm also a songwriter. I'm just starting KTVA. Have had some vocal training in the past, but I'm not gonna get into that since Ken has said to forget about all that. I'm ready to fully commit to this program :) I have watched the volume 1 dvd two times in a row, and just listened to the audio volume one cd, and I have a few questions before I really get started.

1. In the dvd ken talks about how you should first work on stretching the chest voice, but on the cd he says to do the exercises very lightly. Am I right in assuming the more chest stuff is in the later volumes? Or should I go through the volume 1 cd first very lightly, then work on bringing up the chest voice directly after, going through the exercises a second time? Or should I just keep it light, focusing on the vowel modifications first? The whole vowel mod thing is pretty new to me. I have know of it, but have never really practiced it, so it may take me a little while to make it feel natural.

2. Should I vowel modify on lip rolls and tongue exercise? Start on the Ah vowel but with a lip roll and go up the scale with the vowel modifications?

3. I do know about the pushing down/tightening of the stomach muscles for additional support, but in volume 1 ken says to take the breath, and then relax the stomach area. Should I leave out this additional "power push" for now?


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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    edited October 2012

    Hi, tjdwyer,

    It's great to have you here at the KTVA forums!  You sound like you are geared-up to really do this right the first time!  These are good questions, and you are wise to come right out of the starting gate asking how to get the most out of this program!  I predict great results to come your way!

    Now for your questions:

    1. Stretching chest voice  vs. doing the exercises lightly:  Stretching Chest is something you will be doing for a long, long, time. The longer you do it, the more success you will have with the belting high midrange voice.  When first starting out, however, it is important to learn to connect chest and head through the passagio area, and if you are experiencing a vocal break (or yodel) between chest and head, then you need to practice this particular area lightly and then gradually beef it up as you learn to smoothly connect without a break in your voice.  As you get past this learning curve, go ahead and bring up the volume and strength in your voice.  You can alternate between singing strong and light, in order to give your voice a break and avoid vocal fatigue while you are just getting started.  Going lighter on things helps give your voice time to adapt and become accustomed to the changes it is going to go through. 

    The vowel mods are your friends.  Get to know them.  Do them even if you don't yet understand them.  They will become more and more natural and they will help your voice to get to places that it otherwise will not be able to attain.

    2. The lip rolls have no distinct vowel to modify, but if your throat feels the Oh, OO, and OOH, then you can do that in the back of your throat.  On the tongue exercise, you can go AH and bring your tongue forward, out of your throat.  You want to feel the Open Throat of an AH vowel when doing the tongue exercise, and the back of your throat should feel as though it has the open space of a ball-shaped hollow there.  That ball-shaped Open Space is a feeling of the Open Throat, and you need to learn that feeling and get used to that being what feels normal to you when you are singing. It's the LAH!!!  AHH! AAAHHH!!!  If the vowel mods feel natural when doing the tongue exercises, that is great! That would mean you are really getting the hang of modifying at the correct times.  The main purpose of these two exercises is: Lip Rolls help you to use very little air when going over the passagio, and help you to learn to get past the passagio without breaking.  The Tongue exercise is to give you the Open Throat feeling in the back of the throat, and the humming helps to develop the ability to bridge your passagio without breaking and helps to develop good tone in the mask

    3. Pushing down for support:  Just for now, at the beginning, we don't need to do a Power Push.  We're not planning on breaking any wine glasses in this vocal method... We will be bringing down the house, but not just yet!  Listen to what Ken says about when to push down.  On the high notes, and keep pushing till you're 3/4 of the way down the scale.  Then RELAX before the next tension.  Always relax before re-tensioning.  You can't learn enough about support.  Pay a lot of attention to support and do lots of exercises to strengthen your support!



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    GuevaraGuevara Enrolled Posts: 140
    Hi tjdwyer,

    Welcome to the KTVA forum: Great questions.... and as always great answers from Bob!!
    All the best with the program!
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    tjdwyertjdwyer Enrolled Posts: 40
    Thanks for the long response highmtn. I appreciate it. I went through the volume 1 audio 2 times back to back, then sang a little concentrating on keeping my throat open. I used a mirror for alot of it to make sure i was staying open. I'm used to practicing 3-5 hours a day, so I felt I could do it twice haha.

    I recorded some of the ah vowel, and me singing a part of a survivor song. Please give me your thoughts/critique's. My voice seems to start off very clear first thing, but it gets a little breathy sounding as I go on...I don't feel tired or like I'm using alot of air, but it feels like more air is escaping the more I practice/sing for some reason. I am paying attention making sure I breath from the diaphragm before I make any sound. These 2 clips were both recorded at the end of my practice session. I'll record one at the beginning tomorrow so you can hear the difference.

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    sspatricksspatrick Enrolled Posts: 1,278
    Hey Tj,

    I took a listen to your Lah exercise.  You start off with a nice bright strong timbre, and then in the middle around the Eb4, you are using too much air which is why you have that breathy light tone to the voice.  Try to keep that chest like tone that you are using in the beginning, all the way through the exercise.  When Ken talks about doing the exercises lightly, he doesn't mean using more air(almost a falsetto tone), he means that we should use less volume.  Using that quiet breathy tone will not grow your voice in the way that you want it to.  Try to keep that nice bright open tone as you ascend the scale, but keep the volume the same all the way up.  This will take a lot more support, and you will have to keep that throat open.  I hope this helps
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    sspatricksspatrick Enrolled Posts: 1,278
    One thing that Ken does mention in Volume 1, is that we should only sing as loud as we need to keep the tone connected.  Try maintaining  your support and volume around the D4-E4, and see if that break disappears.  After you are comfortable with that, you can  work on decreasing the volume.  In the end, your voice will have the same tone all the way through the exercises.
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    tjdwyertjdwyer Enrolled Posts: 40
    Thanks for the tips. I'll try doing it as you suggest. However, when I first start, my voice isn't breathy at all...even when doing it very quietly. But the more I vocalize the more my connection starts to fade away and get more breathy sounding, even if I'm not trying to be breathy. My voice is far less breathy before I start warming up versus after. Even when I feel like I'm holding back the air it still tends to get breathy sounding the more I go at it. I'll record a clip tomorrow right at the beginning of the workout instead of at the end. Both of these clips I posted were recorded after I went through the volume one 2 times.
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    sspatricksspatrick Enrolled Posts: 1,278
    That would be great tj.  The first half of your exercise sound pretty good, nice and clean, bright timbre.  
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    jbaybayyjbaybayy Enrolled Posts: 8
    TJ...I'm just starting the program, too, and you brought up some great questions that I didn't realize I had haha, so thank you for that! Bob, thanks for your answers...very helpful!
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