Archive for July, 2010

Hearing, singing and posture

July 10, 2010

Returning to a topic we had a year ago–the question was, is it possible to hear oneself sing accurately.  If it is possible, singing is much simpler–just interpret-match one’s voice to the music.

The vibrations move to the eardrums through the air vibrations from the mouth, the soft tissues in the vocal apparatus, and the head’s bones.  Most of the prior answers responded said it is possible, but it takes years of practice.  

I had stated that the mind then take these vibrations and interpret in very unusual ways; a process that I call Maya, the Maya in Indian and Buddhist thought.  Maya is illusion (delusion), and as it applies toward singing, I’m suggesting that aural Maya is one’s own mind’s hearing delusion of own voice.   Maya literally creates a different heard sound from what one’s actual singing–filling in missing notes, creating artificial highs, making one believe one sounds like the original recording, and more self-delusions.

How does Maya work?   The mind is powerful, and I can only guess at parts of this.  We can partially derive this from the way great gurus and bodhivisttas of the past tackled Maya.  Through meditation they bypassed Maya’s trickeries to see religious truths.

In meditation, the first step is to straighten one’s spine and align one’s head (sounds a bit Alexander technique?–well, it is).  

I’m suggesting that we can apply the similar spinal alignment treatments to bypass vocal and aural Maya (delusion).  When one spinally aligns, the vocal apparatus detenses and tones itself to sing naturally better.  This is getting rid of vocal Maya.

I’m further suggesting that when the spine and head are properly aligned, the detensing coupled with differing and better sound travel paths (through air, tissues and bones, above) enables one to hear better.   The hearing better will enable one to sing better with the also heard music.

So, I’m suggesting to sing better, one of the easiest things to do is to “hear” and effortlessly create truthfully one’s own sounds–and this is a process called getting rid of aural and vocal Maya.   

Hence, if meditation posture alignment is appropriate to see the “religious truth”, I’m suggesting that posture alignment is appropriate to hearing and vocal emission truths–one’s natural, best tonal voice.   You can read more about methods describing these at www.vocalposture.com, a random blog.

The idea of aural Maya I’m uncertain about–I’m claiming that the head positioning actual makes a difference in the way one hears.  What are your thoughts?

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Difference between tension and strain

July 7, 2010

Tension is some form of continous taut muscles or glands.  Strain is deliberately exerting in singing.  The sound of strain usually has to do with conflicting muscles in use, more than overexertion due to volume increases.

 Tensed muscles are more likely to be strained because they are taut.

To reduce strain, the muscles need to work in harmony instead of conflict.  This can be accomplished whether tensed or not tense; but it is far easier when not tense, as being “detensed”, the muscles have greater freedom of movement.

Different singing sounds after jogging

July 5, 2010

From themodernvocalist.com:

[quote=classical guitar]Okay here’s the deal… 

Vocal Range without jogging 3 miles in the morning= A2-A5
Vocal Range with jogging 3 miles in the morning= B3-C#5 (at least)

What’s going on?  It’s so frustrating having to deal with a different instrument half the days of the week…  It’s like bi-polar voice syndrome or something…

Also, I tend to wake up with a realllllly low voice for a tenor in the morning.  Maybe the two are related.  I’m currently on meds for acid reflux, and drinking about a gallon of water a day (have been for a year).  Lot’s of sinus drainage also on days that I don’t get the cardio in…

Anybody else deal with this frustrating crap?[/quote]

Well, here’s my two cents worth.

The body stores muscle tension patterns.  When one runs, one “shakes” up these patterns, and your resonanting mechanism as well as your musclar controls are affected.  Musclar controls return quickly after some rest, but shaking up tension patterns are not restored quickly.  Afterwards, one’s vocal apparatus sounds entirely different.

To solve this, one needs to get rid of the tension patterns–detense–which is a difficult process being described in my blog, www.vocalposture.com.  (Most of the information isn’t on there yet).  By permanently ridding of stored muscular tensions, you’ll sing far better than your current conditions, in any pitch ranges.

Acid reflux meds, especially proton inhibitors, in general, help sufferers sing better.  The reason is that when acid touches the esophageal and mouth tissues, these weaken; furthermore, acidic fumes cause nasal congestion (as the nasal tissues protect themselves by shutting closing the nose to nasal fumes).  With acid reflux med, the vocal tissues are stronger.

Of course, it is better not to use acid reflux med at all; there are lots of techniques for this–some of which is explained or will be explained in www.vocalposture.com.

Timbre and cutting through music

July 5, 2010

from themodernvocalist.com discussion forum:

[quote=VIDEOHERE]
folks, this is such an interesting topic, i wanted to insert this again to make a point:

2 singers, singing the same song, tom “the powerhouse” jones, “richard “tenor-sounding” marx”

jones is singing 2 steps higher than marx, but marx’s more piercing timbre cut through to sound “high”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKBFj6pLz_8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBDe3O63cDU

so i think it’s not whether or not someone is a tenor or a baritone, but the vocal timbre of the vocalist.[/quote]

In follow-up to how tenors and basses affect live audiences discussion…

These videos demonstrate the effects of technology well.  Bass sounds are truncated in downloaded audio technologies.  Tom Jones has a full spectrum voice and his video’s bass sounds are reduced, it is even partially imagined, which is part of the bag of tricks in audio technologies’ truncating bass. Marx utilizes the music’s bass undertones to create his music; Marx lacks a full spectrum voice and relies on audio technologies so we imagine his sounding full.

The PCs sound card also makes a big difference in download audio technologies.  What you’re hearing may be different from what I’m hearing on a different sound card.

Also, these videos demonstrate the difficulties of capturing sounds in live recordings versus studio.  Tom Jones has to compete against an entire orchestra.

Isn’t Marx’s recording’s music also slightly lower pitch?  If music is lower pitch, it’s would be easier for Marx to cut through singing lower pitch.

I personally believe that live, Tom Jones is far more impressive because of his full spectrum voice that cuts through an entire orchestra.  In live sounds, the bassier male singers, and better yet full spectrum singers, are more impressive, have more power, stature, and can create more moods.