Archive for the ‘bodywork’ Category

Support

July 25, 2010

from themodernvocalist.com

[quote=Steven Fraser]
Chen:

While all this makes sense as far as it goes, this definition does not include the interaction of the breath energy and the laryngeal muscles which combine to produce phonation.  The singer’s body can be well-aligned, muscles toned, etc… but until the body is in motion in particular ways,  there is no voice produced.

In its traditional usages, a ‘well supported’ voice is characterized by its power and consistency throughout the gamut of pitches, vowels and dynamic levels.   Today, we know this results from a balanced interaction between the breath energy, the laryngeal muscle action, and resonance.  While posture plays an important role in establishing this balance interaction, it is not sufficient, in and of itself, to cause a supported tone.[/quote]

There are two definitions occurring here:  one as supported aural phenomenon (traditional) and the physiology of how to support the vocal apparatus (my view).  Steve, I appreciate your explaining for me what traditional support means.   “Support” as physiology should be accepted too, as Pavarotti uses support thus:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo6dDQiBGyI .

In regard to laryngeal and breath energy, what I’m saying is that the laryngeal muscles may not be in tone due in a great part to bad posture and that the amount and control of breath energy are also caused and powered by muscle tone.  Good muscle tone and good posture are highly correlated.

Not saying one can’t hit a note in bad posture.  Am saying that whatever note one is hitting, with good posture, the note will be richer.  Additionally one’s range will be greater.

Why is it a richer sound?   The note produced by the vocal cord may be same, but all the vocal tract muscles, connective tissue, bones, myofascia, etc., are now in tone, enabling them to vibrate better.   If any of these are taut (tension), then we know from physics, that tensions cause less resonance.  

Why does it sound more emotive?   When muscles are in tone, the desired emotional expression of the note is not repressed by prior tensions.   So, yes, one can be in awkward positions and postures to create good notes.  If one wants his best notes, get the posture to tone up the resonance system’s muscles and tissues.   This is a long-term process because bad posture has already caused near-permanent tension and bad tone.

Why is the range greater?   Because sounds are best resonanted by in tone, relaxed vocal systems, not by taut, less vibrating, less reonanting vocal systems.   Again, posture and muscular tonicity are directly correlated. 

Your lows will be richer and louder, the highs richer and higher, more emotive, etc.–due to posture-and-muscle-tonicity.

The production of the note itself, its pitches, vowels, consonants, I’m suggesting are inherent in the vast majority of individuals and generally don’t need to be worked on.  I’m suggesting it is the resonance distortions to these caused by bad muscle tone in the lengthy vocal tract that causes bad tones. 

If we take this view, then learning singing becomes predominantly exercises in getting rid of bad postures (this is difficult by the way), instead of aural training. 

Breath energy is an effect; the affects are muscles power and its obstructions and pathways.  Muscle tonicity is affected primarily by posture and the pathways are genetically and posture created.    

Larygneal muscles are also one set of affect muscles.   And it also has support– the bones and muscles posture below.   Hence, both breath powers and larygneal muscles are supported.   It is this entire vocal apparatus support (starting at the diaphragm and extending up to the upper end of the throat) that I believe Cause great resonance effects and tone.   And even these are further “supported” by the body parts underneath the diaphragm.

By the way, you read very well Steve–I don’t think many would have read my prior mumbled posting and got the meaning correctly.

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.

The right vocal trainer?

June 23, 2010

A question is asked whether training the voice can be compared to having training in boxing or Tae Kwon Do….

Scientific boxing, traditional Eastern martial arts, and “scientific” martial arts can be vastly different in their training methods.   A great short book on this is “Zen in the Art of Archery”, written by a German professor visiting Japan after WW2.   He learned with Zen archery priests for nearly a year, couldn’t understand why they were teaching him things having little to do with shooting arrows accurately, implemented accuracy methods, and promptly got kicked out of the temple.   Begged his way back in, studied another two years not focusing on accuracy, had to leave Japan, and asked the Zen master what his goal was.   The Zen master took him to a pitch black room, took two shots, hit the bulleye and split the arrow.  Zen is concerned with the power of the subconscious, and is not a “scientific” boxing method training.

Sumo wrestling– there’s method of course, but its essence has to do with releasing the kundalini energy power in a short burst to knock one’s opponent out of the ring.  

Great singing, in my opinion, has a lot to do with releasing one’s own natural voice (kundalini energy, Zen spiritual force, etc.), and the problem with “training” is that there are entire civilizations’ ideologies that basically say that scientific Western bodywork training is not optimal for the talented.  Furthermore, in the restorative-health arts (how is one to sing great without first restoring?), e.g. yoga, Tai Chi, accupressure, it is obvious that there are entirely different therapeutic modalities than scientific ones.

So, the questions in training should be, in my opinion:

1. Is the focus restoration of the voice?
2. Is it disciplined scientific exercising of the voice?
3. Is it subconscious power of the voice?

Training methods here are completely different, and my opinion is that different individuals need entirely different training methods.