Archive for February, 2012

Open throat singing

February 20, 2012

http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=3665

Just an amateur, what do I know? And haven’t read CVT. But, may be able answer some of these.

Opening of the throat should be a “natural”, “subconscious” set of events, instead of process. Alan Green’s book, “The New Voice” describes physical manipulations to reduce subconscious tensions. My blog, http://www.VocalPosture.com” will later introduce more on this.  In another word, don’t spend your time trying figuring out the process of individually opening up the upper pallet, tongue away, through music means.   These will occur naturally and in synchronicity when tension is reduced.

To better explain.  Imagine a machine with a many bolts loose or too tight and a bit rusty at places.  It holds a diaphragm, ribs, air lining, throat muscles, tongue, soft pallet, etc.  Due to its inappropriate tension (tight or loose), it works, but not well. One can exercise its components, e.g. soft pallet, and perhaps shake of some of the rust, but this won’t solve the loose or taut bolts, and won’t get stop the rust from reforming.

However, if one finds a loose bolt in the understructure and tightens it, all its above structures move in sync better.   That is, it is not necessarily the process work on any single component that we’re looking for, but instead, an event, where all the related components are suddenly working in sync.

In another word, imagine many tension points as impediments to an open voice.   When a tension point is released, there’s a small realignment and better syncing of all open voice’s components (upper pallet, tongue, etc.).

Using the above philosophical approach, here are some of my responses:

1. Alan Green’s book describes an open throat as a foundation that can be used most of the time.  I agree.

2. See above.

3.  Effective, communicative singing is usually emotive, meaning one’s emotional muscular tensions express these.    The open throat is more of an amplifier.   One way singing differs from actual emotions’ vocal expressions is that in singing, we’re trying to amplify such emotion, while carrying a melodic tone.   Whatever emotion (and its “throat” name) works best to express is best, and open throat is an excellent foundation to start to express such.   For example, singer of “Sultans of Swing” is not an open throat but does emotionally expresses song.

4. See above.

5. Disagree.   Though not essential, lifting of the upper pallet even on low notes brings forth a fuller voice.  Also, it creates either a more ringing sound or a softer smoother sound (depending on one’s placement).   Lastly, take a look at the physics of this–if one lifts the upper pallet, even the long bass waves have more travel space, thereby creating more bass resonance.  Clearly, even lifting the upper pallet can create a fuller bass sound.

It is certainly far more noticeable on higher notes, because nasal resonance amplifies higher notes well.

6. What is “hold”

7. Don’t know.

Advertisements

Singer’s Support

February 14, 2012

 

The question is asked, what is support, and the above was given as a link.  http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=3630 .   And Felipe gave an answer as http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?pid=33758#p33758

 

I’ve had the same question for years.   “Support” usually suggests structural or relationship support, and in singing, it changed into “air flow mechanism.”    This is confusing.   The proper terminology, as best as I can determine, should be “air flow mechanism” or “air flow mechanism as predominantly supported by the expulsion of air through the diaphragm.”   In either case, I suggest the terminology is confusing, as support, in these cases, should comply more with standard dictionary meaning.

I suggest the following:

There’s “structural support”– this is truly “support”, as by the dictionary.   This is how feet support the leg supports the pelvis supports the spine supports the ribs supports the throat supports the head.

There’s that confusing “singer’s support ” which is quite nebulous, because instead of describing a thing (e.g diaphragm), it describes a complex process.

There’s that second “singer’s support”, which describes an implied proper process.

“Singer’s support”, I believe, is more detailed than the simple “singing air flow mechanism caused by the diaphragm” usually discussed.  One has to ask “WHAT is causing the mechanism to flow?”, and if the answer is “the Correct cause is the diaphragm”, the following question is, “WHAT Supports the diaphragm?”.

In another word, there’s a structural support for the diaphragm and the vocal tract, and it supports the “Singer’s support”.  And this “structural support” complies moreso with the dictionary meaning, than a esoteric meaning of “support”.

Is this all simply semantics?   I believe not.   Those in singing typically indicate that the singer should control the diaphragm to power the voice.  VocalPosture believes the control mechanisms for the diaphragm and the remaining vocal tract is NOT entirely volitional control, and from a teaching perspective, the singer is likely unaware of the entire degree of freedom that the entire vocal tract has, such that even the diaphragm’s freedom and entire power are not volitional.

Before the diaphragm (and other singer’s support means) can power volitionally, it (these) has to be SUPPORTED properly– by the skeletal system, the guts and its muscles, the pelvis and lower back in particular, and myofascia.   When looked at this way, the term “support” makes sense and can vastly improve singing.

 

 

 

Soft palate

February 10, 2012

From:

http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?&pid=35196#p35196

“i.e. to improve tone, do you need to split the resonance between the mouth and nasal cavities? (I know there are other resonators, but just for the ease of the question). If so, how do you achieve this? Is it though manipulation of the soft palette?”

The Relaxed soft palate is affected by posture, head positioning, outer throat tension, inner throat tension, jaw positioning, volitional effort, and more.   The sound travel path is also affected by head positioning, relative to the throat and its angling.

Without getting these many factors right, it is challenging to hit the right vocal spot that enables for head resonance (which is primarily the mask area– the sinus cavities and some of the nasal cavity).  And without the Relaxed soft palate, it is very difficult to keep this vocal spot ringing.

To get the soft palate right, begin with fixing what affect it– the throat underneath and the head angling above.   This is done by posture changes, and is a difficult process, as I will later describe in http://www.vocalposture.com.

Regarding nasality, killerku’s videos explained well that nasality works for many kinds of songs.   In general though, until one has developed a commercial style, aim as a goal for a full sound.   This means, using both mask and bass resonance together.

The difference between nasality and mask singing is that one actually sends a bit too much air through the nose and uses less of the sinus cavities for resonance.    This is less than optimal, because:   1. it is not the goal of the full sound   2. if send too much air through the nose, too much warmed, moist, slightly acidic air go through the nose and this isn’t healthy   3. the sinus resonance developed is too sharp of a sound   4. mask singing is a crisper higher that accompanies a mouth sound far better.

So, to begin with, aim for full sound with sinuses resonance, by first straightening out your posture, in a relaxed way.