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voice range - how to extend it (please)

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KingBrilliant 25 May 99 - 08:48 AM
Barbara 25 May 99 - 09:57 AM
KingBrilliant 25 May 99 - 10:04 AM
catspaw49 25 May 99 - 12:16 PM
MMario 25 May 99 - 12:30 PM
KingBrilliant 25 May 99 - 12:36 PM
Barbara 25 May 99 - 12:43 PM
MMario 25 May 99 - 12:46 PM
Alice 25 May 99 - 01:14 PM
Dave Swan 25 May 99 - 08:56 PM
hank 26 May 99 - 08:47 AM
Alice 26 May 99 - 10:10 AM
KingBrilliant 26 May 99 - 10:43 AM
Alice 26 May 99 - 10:58 AM
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Subject: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 25 May 99 - 08:48 AM

Reading the yodelling thread, I saw that the seedy-bloke had learnt to relax to get the higher notes. I have a really LOUD deep voice (I got it off my dad, so its not very feminine - but it suits folk). Then there is a point at which it changes over to a much less powerful middle range then a sort of girly top range. The problem is that if I cross this range the change is very abrupt & sounds wrong. Is there a trick to getting a bit of oomph into the middle & higher range? At the moment its like having 3 totally incompatible voices. Any ideas? Or do I just have to keep singing real low???

Kris


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: Barbara
Date: 25 May 99 - 09:57 AM

Well, KB, you've got at least two choices. You can develop the way it breaks around those transition points, and go for the yodel/break effect. Or, to smooth those out, practice making like a fire siren. I'm serious, or at least the vocal coaches that said this were. Start as low as you can, do a big swooooooop up as loud as you can, and then come back down the same way.
Opening your throat really wide like a yawn, keeping your head level and pretending to scream helps get the high voice stronger. (It's harder to sing high quietly)
Do you know what it means to use your diaphragm when singing? If you do, do it!
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 25 May 99 - 10:04 AM

Diaphragm - is that practicing safe singing then? :)

Cheers for the advice - I'll give that a go. The firen (nice typo so I'm leaving it) version that is. I'll let you know how I get on!

Kris


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 May 99 - 12:16 PM

Sorry......I was hoping this was a male asking, in which case the answers are more numerous and funnier.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: MMario
Date: 25 May 99 - 12:30 PM

if more painful!

MMario


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 25 May 99 - 12:36 PM

That's just unpleasant. But funny.


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: Barbara
Date: 25 May 99 - 12:43 PM

KB, in regards your question about using your diaphragm, uhm, placing it so as to create safe singing might cause significant impairment of the vocal apparatus and interfere somewhat with breathing.

MMario, how do you know?


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: MMario
Date: 25 May 99 - 12:46 PM

My summer weekend job is Pillow fighting. Let us say "an Illegal strike" with a pillow occurred in the middle of Pub Sing last opening day. I hit that high note I have never been able to hit before, but was also on the ground for about 5 minutes.....

MMario NOT reccomending extending range in that manner


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: Alice
Date: 25 May 99 - 01:14 PM

Kris, you are probably quasi-speaking when you sing in your lower conversational range, which is why it is easy (and loud) to sing in that range. Every serious singer has to learn how to get over the passagio of the ranges of their voice so there isn't a noticeable break. This isn't something that you can change by reading tips. You need a good voice teacher to learn how to do this. To really learn this, you have to take lessons in person with someone, since this is a gradual building of ability in technique. The higher notes of the range of your vocal cords will be developed in tone and control with the correct technique and consistent ongoing practice (it's a muscle thing, just like a dancer or athlete). Backing off is the way to get the higher notes, not forcing them or trying to sing loudly. You have to develop the breath techniques that support the flow of air past the vocal cords, and when you have good control of that, it is like threading a needle and then smoothly letting the sound flow through the vocal cord space. One technique that is basic in vocal training is to sing one note on a vowel sound (oo, or ah) and begin quietly, building to forte, then returning to quiet, all on one breath. With good breath support, the lift of the soft palate at the roof of the mouth (pretend you're saying something with a french accent, you will feel the lift) and then GENTLY and softly letting the air pass through as you sing a high note, you will eventually extend your range and control. If you blast or jam the breath, you will get a terrible tone, even if you hit the note, and you will not be doing good things to your voice. You can get loud volume with flooding the sound with air that is controlled and supported, not by blasting it. Learning to pace yourself and breath correctly can result in being able to sing for hours without a microphone, and be heard above a full orchestra. (That's what opera singers do, after all.)

If you want to put your voice on a tape and send it to my teacher, she will listen to it and respond to you for free, on what you may be doing that is causing the problem. Here is her website and email address:click
http://www.mcn.net/~gorders/

Here is one of the previous threads discussing singing and vocal techniques. I listed several other good links in this thread. click here

Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: Dave Swan
Date: 25 May 99 - 08:56 PM

Three cheers for Alice, who has posted the best short technical advice for singers I've ever seen. Banjo and bagpipe jokes aside, I've been singing for 35 years, and lessons aside, I wish I'd had someone explain it to me that way long ago. 'kingBrill, you might also try to find Freeing the Natural voice by Kristin Linklaater, it's aimed at voice projection and production, it's been good for a lot of folks. Barbara's siren advice is pretty good too. When I get tired of that excercise, I just step on the cat. Same sound. Less effort.


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: hank
Date: 26 May 99 - 08:47 AM

Just be careful. You can ruin a good voice by stressing it. Extend your range, but pay attention, if something hurts don't do it unless you have a pro there helping. (even then tell the pro it hurts.) there might be a few things that will hurt when you do them that are good, but for the most part there are not. For that matter, there are things that won't hurt that will ruin your voice.

My recomendation is to sing in your range, and then meet a soprano someplace to take care of the upper ranges. This also gives you the ability to do some harmony, which is fun in itself.


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: Alice
Date: 26 May 99 - 10:10 AM

Kris, I hope you are checking in and reading this advice. Go to the links at the other discussion list that I posted. It has guidelines on vocal health, warm up, technique, do's and don't for singers.
People often don't realize that each of us is born with the physical limitation of the vocal cords' range, and what they are capable of doing. I repeat Hank's advice... If you are an alto, don't stress your voice by trying to sing in a soprano range. ~alice


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 26 May 99 - 10:43 AM

Eeeek no. I shan't be doing anything that hurts!!!! I shall spend some time following up all the links & I'll look into finding a voice teacher (do they charge loads??). Also - Alice, would it be ok to send your teacher an mp3 via email rather than a tape do you think? Thanks very much for putting in the effort to give me such a detailed & helpful reply.

Kris


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Subject: RE: voice range - how to extend it (please)
From: Alice
Date: 26 May 99 - 10:58 AM

Kris, my teacher has a dinosaur of a computer that takes forever to even load email... if you want to, send it to me, and I will play it for her. A cassette tape would be best. Or, go to internet voice mail at vocaltec.com and download the free demo of voice email. Sing into that and send me a voice email. As far as pricing, because I live in a rural community, my teacher does not charge what she could charge in a city. In fact, I have traded out services in graphics, gardening, etc., for lessons, because we have become good friends. Call your local musician's union or music teachers associations. A bad teacher is worse than no teacher. (acflynn@mcn.net) ~alice


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