Making changes and philosophy

July 15, 2013

Making changes involve lots of factors.   The body and mind works in a certain way and a number of steps in its control can affect how changes are done.

VocalPosture deals with a slight sliver in all this.   Vocal tensions that are caused by structural and reinforced by emotional tension.

In solving a challenge, one has to understand the cause of the problem.   We’re just dealing with a small portion of the many possible problems.

We are claiming though that this problem is very common, and such claim is supported by several ancient texts.

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Aging and lower vocal pitch

July 15, 2013

Some possible causes:

1. Muscles lose their tonicity.   But this should not be significant if practicing regularly.

2. Slight bit of acid reflux weakens tissue sensitivity and control.   One reason proton inhibitors help with singing tone.

3. Acid reflux causes mucus production which muffles the sound.

4. How does shortening of body affect this?

 

Anyone know?

Exercises and aging

July 6, 2013

Good example, frontman for Asleep at the Wheel.   Though in his sixties, still working as singer.

Important to upkeep your body’s fitness.

Backaches

May 4, 2013

Back telling don’t touch hurt area and rearrange posture on it.

Do nasal steroids affect the freedom of soft palate movement and other tissues in back of throat

April 7, 2013

Does anyone know whether nasal steroids (Flonase) affect the freedom of the soft palate movement or other issues that have to do with the freedom of muscular movements in the back of throat areas?

Head voice, frequency, bones, and power.

March 30, 2013

I’ve thought about the examples MDEW provided, and would like to propose these following experiments.  Most of these are “open” (not enclosed) acoustic explanations, and are incorrect for the vocal tract.  Enclosed system explanation must be explained, e.g. a guitar.

If one has two metal bars separated and suspended in air using strings, and one vibrates, the other only will vibrate only very, very slightly, and only after some time.  This is caused by air frequency pulsations.

If the two metal bars are connected at base using metal– a tuning fork– and one side vibrates, the other will vibrate strongly.  The sound heard is the two metals’ frequencies pulsating the air between the two metal stems.   The air pulsations generate sound and reinforces the metals’ frequencies, but the power remains with the metal frequencies.   Resonance is the metals’ and air-in-between common frequencies reinforcing each other.   This explains MDEW’s statement that a tuning fork is placed on a piano and not in the air contained with the piano–because the bulk of the frequency power is carried not by the air, but by hard surfaces.

In a bass drum, the large diaphragms provide not only a different natural frequency, but also more air power.   Is the bass drum’s vibrating resonating frequency’s power driven by the drum’s open space air or by the sides of the drums?    If we take a paper cup close to our ear, and hit the closed end, we would hear loudly the air power.   If we again take the paper cup and cup it to our ear and hit the closed end, we would not only hear a louder hit, but also feel the vibrations of the hit.    Thereby, I believe in the bass drum, most of the frequency power is still carried by the sides; the diaphragms’ do carry more air power and the air power do create the sound and reinforce the internal resonance, but the bulk of the power remains with the physical drums’ sides’ transmssions.

Another example shows this.   If we take two huge gongs, line these up separated, and hit first with force, will the second gong vibrate?  Yes, but very little.  Will the two resonate?  Yes, but very little, as air transmission transferring significant power is very slow.   Air power cause sound, can reinforce the frequencies when resonanting, but air power doesn’t carry sufficient power.

With the head, “sound” is created in the air filled empty cavities–the throat, mouth, nasal cavity, chest, and sinus.   But the bulk of the power of carrier of frequency is through the bones.    Soft tissues, such as the tongue, soft palate dampen the “air” sound and if obstructing, can muffle the sound.  Hard surfaces– the hard palate, all bony parts, carry the bulk of the frequencies’ power.  Hence, the analogy of the hard palate acting as a sound board is correct.

The power of the frequencies is carried by the bones, obstructed and dampened by soft tissues, propagated as sound by air space, and resonated by the bones and air as resonance.  The head voice is resonanted by both the sinuses and nasal cavity (because I don’t believe the nasal cavity is especially filled with soft tissues, like the tongue).

antihistamines, meds with side-effects of hoarseness, zyrtex–singing

March 29, 2013

I’ve avoided most antihistamines because they made me drowsy.   Zyrtex much less so, and it took less than 1/4 tablet per day to stop my runny nose and itchy eyes.  Recently, took an course (1/8 to 1/4 tablet daily) for only 20 days.

Zyrtex continued an ache in my nasal cavity, close to throat,  and felt a bit like sore throat.  The initial ache was result of a cold.

As zyrtex relates to singing, I did fine for about 12 days, except for the ache.   Then, one day as I yelled at someone, I felt my vocal cords became sore and a bit raspy, and my soft palate acted funny.   Rested a day, and everything remained fine.

Five days later, I lost power in my highs and control of subtle singing effects because my soft palate wasn’t moving right.   And, my singing simply sounded funny.    On 20th day, discontinued zyrtex.

Three days later, my singing has returned 90%.

My belief is that while zyrtex stopped the mucus in my nasal cavity, and it also dried out my soft palate and fluids for vocal cords.   Result was couldn’t control my singing voice.

So, in general, if a medication indicates a side effect may be hoarseness, this also says it probably hasn’t been tested solely on a group of singers, and to be very observant on its singing effects.

Raise soft palate or widen pillars of fauces?

March 28, 2013

Individuals are different, and in particular, vocal tension patterns can be very different.

I had read so often here to raise the soft palate. Yet, in Alan Greene’s book, the New Voice, he says– to billow out the pillars of fauces and RELAX the soft palate.

I’ve experimented with both and believe Alan Greene is right. Here’s why.

The pathways to the cavities that resonante high frequencies (nasal cavities and sinuses)–is through the nasal-pharynx pathway or through the bony part of the upper mouth (hard palate). The soft palate, together with the position of the throat-neck and larynx, control the “mix” of the sounds going out to the mouth, the hard palate, and nasal-pharynx.

Deliberately lifting my soft palate has consistently produced too bright of a sound.      When I tried to billow out the pillars of fauces (sides of soft palate) and relax the soft palate, this enabled the soft palate to freely move, providing a great deal subtly because the mix is now fast in emotional adjustments.   The widening of the pillars of fauces enables adequate air-sound to reach the nasal cavities.

I just don’t think this idea of raising the soft palate is right.  Even if someone has lots of downward tension in soft palate, the idea should be to get rid of  this tension to enable for a free soft palate, as its significant voice mix capabilities determine much of the vocal quality.

Unable to sing highs despite constricted abs

March 27, 2013

[quote=Erkki]

2. Breath support: My vocal coach tells me to constrict my abs when singing higher. However, no matter how hard I constrict them, I don’t feel any difference, high notes are still as hard as before. I don’t think that it’s about the strength of my abs, instead, I must be doing it incorrectly. Where should I feel tension when singing, upper/lower part of my belly? Do you have any other advice on finding the correct way to support my breath?

Thank you for any advice![/quote]

Constricting your abs does several things:

1. Provides stronger support to create a consistent posture that creates a consistent tone.
2. Pushes forward the lower back and then uplifts the chest, which then uplifts the throat and head, all of which facilitate the higher tones to resonante more in the head.
3. I don’t understand why this is so, but when the throat-neck is set more backwards (because stronger abdominal constriction sets posture more aligned), the vocal apparatus is more relaxed to emit higher pitched sounds. This vocal apparatus includes the soft palate and pillars of fasces, and these two enable the transmission through the nasal-area to enable high resonance.
4. Many other things as well.

So, you may be constricting your abs support, yet not activating all the other necessary items of the vocal tract. One likely area is lowering the larynx. If you’re raising the larynx, the tightening the abs won’t help much.

Voice changes after waking

March 25, 2013

http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=6597

 

My two cents worth.

Your vocal tract is relaxed when you wake up. It tenses throughout the day, due to a number of possible reasons, including, emotional tension, body cycles, bad posture, feelings and mood, type of food ingested, playing guitar, difficult tasks, etc., and gravity.

The vocal tract is attached to all other parts of one’s body, so tension arising from elsewhere can affect the vocal tract, reshaping your sound production methods.

Food, playing guitar, difficult tasks are easy to test, and emotional tension is easy to spot.   The others require more awareness–ergonomics, posture, feelings and moods.   These latter three can be fixed by ergonomics furniture and posture alignment (this is difficult to do though).  The feelings and moods are fixed via posture alignment, as described in meditation principles.

The question is less regarding why you’re tensioning when playing guitar, and instead, why your body doesn’t “detense” after playing the guitar and does so during your sleep.   In general, this is probably due to one’s posture alignment isn’t right, because if the posture is correct, then the counteracting muscles will pull and detense the tensed muscles when posture is straight.

 

>>>Hello, i have a problem with my voice. When i wake up my whole vocal system is very relaxed and i can hit from C2 to G6 and all the notes in between without any strain. My vocal fry is edgy and tone is clear, in short everything is perfect and i am really happy:D.

The bad news are that this quality and range (i dont care much about my whistle though its fun to have) is lost throughout the day and even within 1-2 hours without doing anything vocally… i mean not vocalizing at all. Vocal fry goes “bye bye” and i have to push to get the very high notes and i am limited from an F2 to a pushed G5 at best or ~G2 – ~D5 “solid” range. Also the quality degrades with little bit air, edge is greatly reduced. Only good thing is my highs E4-C5 become somewhat more powerful and easy to hit with fuller voice.

I think i am tensioning myself. Many times i find out i am tensioning especially when i play guitar or piano difficult exercises i am straining my jaw and probably my neck. This also happens without any activities, i mean doing nothing at all… :/

Any thoughts / advices?