Archive for June, 2009

The mic I want to buy

June 20, 2009

Previously, the highest recommended was the Beyerdynamic Opus 89 (which I haven’t tried). Are there any more developments on best dynamic mic?

Here’s what I dislike about current best rated mics:

EV 767– Good aggressive bassy mic. Difficult to get screaming highs or really bassy booming lows or aggressive lows.
Audix OM5 –good on aggressive highs.
AE6100–excellent range mic, but lacks aggressiveness.
Sennheiser e935– requires lots of vocal power to get full effects. Excellent boomy bass. Smooth mic–not for aggressive singing. Think Billy Idol or Frank Sinantra for best effects.
EV 967– a bit thin.  Good single mic, because it has rolloff button.
SM58– tenor mic.

I wanna a do-it-all aggressive mic. High screams with aggressive lows, along with overall aggressive sound. An OM5 high with EV737 mid to low with e935 boom.

I’m planning to sell my 937 (doesn’t fit my mix of mics), so if anyone wants a slightly used 937.

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anger, sorrow and side of throat muscles

June 18, 2009

These side of throat muscles frequently express anger and sorrow; subjects that pop songs frequently deal with. When overly taut, these muscles can be sublimated to sing anger and sorrow well, however, these are the opposite muscles (constrictor muscles in Alan Greene’s terms) when singing happy and many smooth sounds.

When detensing, losing the excessive tension of these side of throat muscles can throw off prior acquired singing skills built up around these. In this way, Alan Greene’s assessment of silence while learning how to sing–otherwise, reinforcing the constrictor muscles, is correct. However, the length of time it takes to detense these constrictor muscles can be months to years; so VocalPosture.com believes it is better to utilize their sublimation while tensed.

In detensing these side of throat muscles, one imagery technique is to think of the chin pulling down, instead of the side throat muscles near the chin pulling down. 

The side of throat muscles tension are particularly difficult to rid.   A trigger point therapy bood mentions that throat trigger points are particularly difficult to rid, if impossible.   VocalPosture.com suggests using yoga cobra with also another (don’t know name), which looks like a cobra in reverse, with the front toward the ceiling and upper arm with elbow base supporting the upper chest.

Chen Sun

www.WebAndNet.com

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Freedom in singing–through Zen

June 17, 2009

Please refer to 6-16-09 posting on freedom in singing and 5-19-09 posting on Zen and bondage.  

Recall Zen Buddhism is Indian in origin.  Yoga asanas (stretches) are the initial steps to meditation– yoga to still the body before sitting meditations that still the mind.   Stilling the mind diminishes craving (similar to compulsion).  

Hindu and Buddhist spiritual leaders thus answered on vocal freedom–stretches and meditation.  VocalPosture.com explains that simply stretches (without vocalizing or singing exercises), can be used for learning singing.   Alan Greene’s book, the New Voice, is a series of silent exercises to stretch, detense, and establish or the proper vocal structure.   Alan Greene, , was a singing instructor endorsed by Harry Belafonte and Walter Matheau who developed such a silent stretches for his students.    Yes, for 10+ years, he taught students how to sing without their singing.  (A Zen riddle for you).

VocalPosture.com supplements Alan Greene’s work in that VocalPosture.com focus is that proper posture will great faciliate proper vocal structure.

VocalPosture believes that stretches, alike asanas, are the first steps to gaining singing freedom, alike how yoga asanas are the first step to meditation.   Unlike the ultimate goal of meditation, VocalPosture is less concerned with freedom or vocal freedom, but is interested in the journey.

This journey means that while one is trying to attain vocal freedom (a long journey), one should utilize rather than free one’s bondage.   In psychology, this means, sublimation of one’s suppressed emotions.

Blues, sorrowful songs–these are examples of sublimation of sorrow (and Zen and Buddha know a lot about sorrow).  

One should, in VocalPosture’s view, use stretches to attain a perfect vocal structure; but before achieving this, utilize the improvements in stretches coupled with sublimation of the suppressed emotions.

Chen Sun

www.WebAndNet.com

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What is freedom in singing?

June 16, 2009

Freedom and singing.

What is freedom in singing? To me, this means, being able to express any desired sound that one is capable of, at will.

How can one attain this? Zen explains much of this.

Please now refer to the section on Zen and bondag–May 19, 2009.

sitting and airplane seats

June 15, 2009

Airline seats are difficult for proper posture.   Use flight pillows for lumbar support. Exercise straightening throat in spare time.

Challenge of tan tien

June 14, 2009

Having posture utilizing tan tien is challenging. The body’s prior habitual tension deter this. Downcast head and sunken shoulders encourage hips to move backside. The taut myofascia and chronic muscular tension means that deliberate efforts to place tan tien are usually challenging.

Achieving good tan tien should be seen as a continual postural alignment process and removing the bad postural built-up tensions.

When sitting, make sure not to put pressure on the lower back.   Pull it in.

Tan Tien

June 14, 2009

This is a part of the body above the sexual organs, that Chinese thought says is the focus of energy. It is located very close to the source of kundalini energy (Indian thought).

If you’re able to tuck your tan tien proper, your posture will straighten immensely. My initial perception is that this can increase highs because proper posture alignment helps to send the sound up through the sinus cavities.

Tucking in the lower abdomen will also solve the lower backache problems (because less continual tension on lower back muscles and ligaments–continual tension is usually the source of lower backaches), prostatitis pain (as explained, much of the pain of prostatitis is from the muscles surrounding the prostate),  sunken chest, acid reflux, excessive saliva while singing).

Excess saliva and singing

June 13, 2009

A question was asked that a singing student has excessive saliva that interrupts her singing. How can this be solved?

Are you using a lot of flourides?    Anticavity mouthwash, flouride gelcams?   These can cause excessive saliva.

Excess saliva is frequently a symptom of acid reflux– saliva is basic and it’s the body’s mechanism to neutralize the upward acidic reflux– to coat the esophagus from acid damage.

To test whether it is acid reflux, try taking a off-the-counter proton inhibitor, such as Prilosec, for two weeks, and see what happens. During this time, also test for other acid reflux symptoms (search web–many of these). If such symptoms and excessive saliva stop, chances are excellent the problem is acid reflux.

If it is acid reflux, proton inhibitors are a relatively safe drug– patients have taken it daily for over 10 years. Also, it is documented that for patients with acid reflux, proton inhibitors can help them sing significantly better (because of reduced effects of acid reflux).   I am not a physician, obviously, so you should see a physician to confirm any self-tests.

Another question was raised are there other remedies than proton inhibitors. Yes there are; I will describe these one day much later.

There is still another solution to excessive saliva. The excessive saliva problem, as it relates to singing, is generally not one of production, but one of drainage. As long as the saliva drains out quickly, the mouth can move freely, without having to swallow to rid of saliva. Recognizing the singing issue as a fast drainage challenge, the answer is simple (yet difficult to continously implement)– straighten the head so that the saliva naturally flows down the esophagus faster. One doesn’t have to swallow if one’s head is properly allowing drainage such that the saliva doesn’t accumulte.

This drainage solution has its challenges. How does one align one’s head straight such that it doesn’t cause strains on throat and mouth muscles, the strain of which will impact singing?

This is what VocalPosture.com attempts to answer–how to create a relaxed posture that enhances singing–and at the same time solve the excess saliva issue.

10-15-12  I’ve straightened my head posture significantly, and saliva drainage definitely is much better (faster).

Chen Sun

www.WebAndNet.com

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