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How do I sing louder?

GUEST,SirCoughsalot 20 Jan 12 - 04:09 PM
gnu 20 Jan 12 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,jude 20 Jan 12 - 04:22 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Jan 12 - 04:44 PM
Bert 20 Jan 12 - 05:29 PM
Gurney 20 Jan 12 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,999 20 Jan 12 - 09:23 PM
gnu 20 Jan 12 - 09:30 PM
Ann N 21 Jan 12 - 02:52 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Jan 12 - 04:46 AM
foggers 21 Jan 12 - 08:08 AM
The Sandman 21 Jan 12 - 08:59 AM
paula t 21 Jan 12 - 09:17 AM
Crowhugger 21 Jan 12 - 09:59 AM
Crowhugger 21 Jan 12 - 10:02 AM
tonyteach1 21 Jan 12 - 10:35 AM
foggers 21 Jan 12 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Ebor_ Fiddler 21 Jan 12 - 04:11 PM
autoharpbob 21 Jan 12 - 04:56 PM
Crowhugger 25 Jan 12 - 03:55 PM
xrisxroz 25 Jan 12 - 05:12 PM
The Sandman 25 Jan 12 - 05:41 PM
Richard Bridge 25 Jan 12 - 06:20 PM
Nick 25 Jan 12 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 26 Jan 12 - 01:11 AM
GUEST,Ian Mather 26 Jan 12 - 01:52 AM
GUEST,flush 26 Jan 12 - 03:11 AM
GUEST,matt milton 26 Jan 12 - 04:15 AM
SPB-Cooperator 26 Jan 12 - 05:41 AM
Richard Bridge 26 Jan 12 - 07:10 AM
Marje 26 Jan 12 - 12:00 PM
tonyteach1 26 Jan 12 - 12:05 PM
JohnB 26 Jan 12 - 12:57 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Jan 12 - 01:58 PM
paula t 26 Jan 12 - 04:54 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Jan 12 - 11:01 PM
paula t 28 Jan 12 - 12:23 PM
Crowhugger 28 Jan 12 - 12:48 PM
paula t 28 Jan 12 - 01:01 PM
Nick 28 Jan 12 - 01:04 PM
Stringsinger 28 Jan 12 - 05:44 PM
tonyteach1 29 Jan 12 - 04:33 PM
Don Firth 29 Jan 12 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,SirCoughsalot 29 Jan 12 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,SirCoughsalot 29 Jan 12 - 06:22 PM
Jeri 29 Jan 12 - 06:48 PM
breezy 30 Jan 12 - 06:31 AM
Marje 30 Jan 12 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Jan 12 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Jan 12 - 12:44 PM
Marje 30 Jan 12 - 01:50 PM
Crowhugger 30 Jan 12 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Jan 12 - 08:02 PM
The Sandman 30 Jan 12 - 08:16 PM
Crowhugger 31 Jan 12 - 11:25 AM
Marje 31 Jan 12 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Jan 12 - 12:15 PM
lefthanded guitar 31 Jan 12 - 02:10 PM
Don Firth 31 Jan 12 - 03:39 PM
Crowhugger 31 Jan 12 - 10:17 PM
Marje 01 Feb 12 - 04:51 AM
Crowhugger 01 Feb 12 - 07:27 AM
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Subject: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,SirCoughsalot
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 04:09 PM

Hey guys. You may have seen me around before. I am a young folksinger from WV. I am starting to record and play live shows now. However, I have a problem: I ain't loud enough. Especially playing a big place. I mean, I know microphones are there to help, but I'd like to be able to muster up some more volume on my own. So does anyone have any advice at singing loud and clear?


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: gnu
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 04:15 PM

Stand up when you sing. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.

And stop smoking?... SirCoughsalot?


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,jude
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 04:22 PM

Make sure when you breathe you connect with your belly (like when you sigh) - and try and keep the back of the tongue down and some space between your back teeth. The space in your pharynx, mouth and the front of your face (nasal cavities, sinus etc.) all amplify the vibration from the vocal chords so more space is more volume. Try to sing on open vowels - m, n and the ng sounds (eg something, singing etc) are not as loud as the open vowels.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 04:44 PM

Getting it in the right key is pretty vital. One is usually loudest (or at least capable of being loudest) not quite as high as one can go - if you can just make top G as a harmony when someone else has the tune you will probably be loudest about C or D.

It may be worth asking yourself how loud you can shout to encourage your team at your preferred sport. Obviously if you try to sing like that all night you will frazzle your voice and not get a very pretty tone - but it's a question to ask yourself.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Bert
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 05:29 PM

Enjoy your singing. It is enthusiasm and energy that count. So get up there and have fun, let the microphone do the rest.

Sing TO the audience and connect with them, make eye contact and smile when it is appropriate.

Sing in your own natural voice, don't try to emulate that horrible high pitched nasal twang that some folk singers think is the way to sing.

When singing a cover and you can't seem to get away from the original artist's version; try speaking the words a few times until you can sound like YOU singing.

If you consciously try to sing louder you could ruin your voice.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Gurney
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 09:19 PM

What Richard Bridge said.
Practise at concert volume, not quietly. Otherwise you may find that you can't get enough volume when you are onstage, in the key that you have chosen.
If you REALLY can't sing loudly, perhaps you should watch DVDs of Melody Gardot and Diana Krall. They sing noticeably quietly, and are very popular.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 09:23 PM

Learn to breathe. The act of singing has to be--at first--conscious. Singing is a method of getting air through your vocal cords. The air comes from your lungs. How that air is put from the lungs through the vocal cords is what differentiates mouth singers, throat singers, chest singers and abdominal singers. If your 'belly' muscles aren't in shape, you won't last.

If you post your e-mail, I will send you two cuts that demonstrate the differences.

If you do post your e-mail, do it with at instead of @ and dot instead of . (I thought that was pretty clever.)

PS Let me know how old you are if/when you write.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: gnu
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 09:30 PM

Common thread here? Breath and how you control it?


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Ann N
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 02:52 AM

would it be worth paying for a short course of lessons with a qualified singing teacher, just to brush up on the best breathing and voice projection techniques for you? Even established Opera singers go to singing coaches improve their voices and delivery :)

all the best with your singing career


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 04:46 AM

I'm a bit embarrassed to be coming anywhere close to telling people how to sing: I'm very aware of my own shortcomings - but...

Be VERY wary of singing teachers. Mostly they do not understand folk at all and just want to turn out opera or operetta singers.

I'm a bit iffy about this stomach muscles business - many folk and sounds-like-folk singers including some of the loudest, you'd need a JCB to find the stomach muscles.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: foggers
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 08:08 AM

Singing is a form of physical skill where you are using muscles that run from your diaphragm, your lungs, rib cage, throat, vocal apparatus, tongue, lips, and nasal cavity. Like any other physical activity there are many ways to do it and some ways could cause damage if you try to push your voice harder without understanding some of the mechanics. Muscles do matter, but its not the kind of "six-pack" musculature we associate with being "fit". This is why some peeps with great voices can be distinctly porky!

I agree that some good coaching could be what you need; it is not possible to give you helpful advice without having seen and heard you sing, because there can be any number of factors affecting vocal production. Whilst some teachers may have a narrow focus (e.g. Stage musical style) there are teachers who are knowledgeable about many styles and are interested in helping you to develop your unique voice.
999 has made a good offer; you could start with that. Good luck and enjoy the journey!!


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 08:59 AM

sing from the diaphragm, develop deep breathing, the following exercise is good, take a deep breath using the diaphragm, exhale out very slowly, take another deep breath exhale out very quickly[cleansing breath] this ia yoga technique that maharashis use to develop beautiful tone, it helps with volume. Richard Bridge is taking crap, singing teachers are useful[ not for style] but for stopping singers damaging their voices through bad technique. I know I am a singer.
think about your posture


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: paula t
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 09:17 AM

I would go to a singing teacher and explain what sort of music you sing , where you sing etc. Only someone who is in the room with you can spot and correct things like posture and the way you are breathing.They will give you aids to memory to help with this, but it needs to be part of a conversation rather than typed words which can be misinterpreted.For example, I tell the children at school to remember not to "get thinner" when they breathe in .In the warm up I also get them to watch each other for raised shoulders on breathing in and to correct this - and poor posture- in each other. We talk about, "Singing further" rather than louder. This would be meaningless and twee to you unless you had been in the school conversations.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your singing and discovering your own, unique voice!


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 09:59 AM

paula t is absolutely correct about getting a teacher. I also agree with Richard's caution again pushing loudness at the risk of your vocal health. And Richard is also correct in his alert that many singing teachers aim for a classical sound.

One good way to avoid that problem with a teacher is to use a barbershop coach--they help singers develop a supported, resonant sound that doesn't "wobble" i.e. no vibrato, as well develop as the ability to use tone colours. All those skills are fully applicable to folk, blues, jazz, country, rock and bluegrass as well as barbershop. Assuming from your Mud-handle that you are male (and not female with a low voice) find a local chapter (chorus) through bhs.org and start making calls, or some chapters are on FaceBook. Women check can make those contacts at harmonyinc.org or sweetadelineintl.org.

You can probably get valuable basic vocal instruction by attending a barbershop chorus rehearsal as a guest, since nearly all choruses get the guests up singing with them for warm-ups. Better choruses often have physical warm-ups as part of their program, not necessarily strenuous but enough to waken the body and focus the mind before starting to sing. New members are typically encouraged to record the vocal warm-ups to use daily at home, and there is nothing to stop a guest doing the same. Arrive at least 20 minutes early to talk to people about what your vocal goals are and how to find the right vocal coach for you. Sooner or later they will invite you to learn a song to prepare for their audition, but you don't have to follow that path.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 10:02 AM

I meant to say, "...probably get valuable FREE basic vocal instruction..."


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: tonyteach1
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 10:35 AM

Go to a singing teacher to learn to produce sound from the diaphragm not the belly
Learn to breathe and use more breath in your singing - open your throat and relax the tongue
There are teachers who cover musical and stage singing as well the classical sort who can help you Do not stick your finger in your ear or sing down your nose - does not help

Also sing your material full voice every day which will make a difference.
Get someone to listen to your set and work out the best keys to sing in that reflect your range

Also be aware that it will take time to develop your voice particularly if under 30 as male bodies take time to settle down vocally

Alcohol and nicotine do not help the voice either Tony


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: foggers
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 01:23 PM

Neither does fruit juice n fizzy sweet drinks as they tend to be acidic and affect the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. Keep yourself well hydrated with water (not too cold either!)


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,Ebor_ Fiddler
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 04:11 PM

I've been singing for some fifty years now, and never notied beer or baccy doing me any harm, but perhaps I(as I believe)'m superhuman. I no longer smoke since 2010 (The Year Of Mourning), but that was just to keep SWMBO'd happy, rather than poor vocals.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: autoharpbob
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 04:56 PM

Why do you want to sing louder? Learn how to use a mic, and you won't need to sing loudly. And singing quietly is a lot more expressive in most songs. If you really want to sing loudly, you need to be able to control your vocal apparatus, as has been said. But this is also important for singing quietly, and holding notes a long time. There really is no substitute for a good teacher, and the best teacher for the style of singing you want to produce would be someone who sings in that style. I am very fortunate in having had some lessons from Maddy Prior, who is more than capable of singing quietly or loudly and at all times with great purity. What recommended her to me was that I loved her singing and loved the songs she sings. Find a teacher who sings the kind of stuff you like to sing is the point I am trying to make.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 03:55 PM

I don't agree there is any reason to be selective in the early stages of voice lessons about what style your teacher sings, as long as you can agree on suitable repertoire, i.e. songs that won't annoy either of you. It can be very enlightening to try out songs you might never think of singing, so don't be too hasty to rule out a style just because you don't plan to sing it in the long run.

Beginner's basics of healthy, effective sound production include the same goals--good diaphragmatic support with minimal tension in all the right places. Once that's accomplished and it's become second nature to you, by all means seek a teacher/coach in the specialty you want. Until you reach that stage I would say it's more important just to find lessons in the basics that are accessible--both easy to get to and affordable--so you can get on with it.

A good teacher will be able to help you find and understand both the potential and limits of your voice, and help you find a suitable "next teacher" when it's time.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: xrisxroz
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 05:12 PM

I get a bit confused by discussions as to which is better louder or quieter singing or which style? I've sung & taught many different styles for years but always return to the first love that grounds me, folk. To me singing's like surfing only we use air to surf with sound rather than water to keep us afloat. Just like a surfer, if we catch the wave (or sound) right you can go for miles! by which I mean if you sing the sound wave at the point you want to, you get a sound that carries no matter if it's loud or quiet. It's a matter of learning how to manipulate your singing tackle to achieve that accuracy when you want to achieve it.

I've had many pupils claim they can't sing, but I believe everyone who can speak can sing. If you have problems accessing a good teacher try looking at yourself in a large mirror. Forget self consciousness, look at yourself as a professional product. What do you want to look like on stage? What do you want to sound like in selected songs? Work at it & gradually you'll know what works when you are out there without the mirror.

Stand straight - keep the airway straight so air delivery is efficient. Plant your feet slightly apart and give yourself a little jiggle to centre your hips comfortably. Look straight ahead, looking up to the ceiling closes a flap in your throat making life really hard. Don't bother singing to your feet, they ain't paying to hear you!

Experiment with tongue position, keeping it high produces a thinner sound which is suitable for some material whilst other songs will be better with more space in the mouth producing a richer, fatter sound. If you're unsure imagine a golf ball in your mouth or (my younger pupils' favourite) try humming with 1 or 2 marshmallows in your mouth!

Growling can be great but take care not to overdo it. If your throat hurts, find another way that doesn't or you'll damage your voice. I use any sound that seems effective but always work to find ways that don't hurt.

Record yourself & listen carefully - not to criticise but to hear how different mouth & throat shapes & breathing produce different effects. Then you can select appropriate effects for different songs.

Yoga is brilliant. To feel how you can control the sound with your core muscles lie on the floor. Place your arms straight out above your head and breath. Move them to be outstretched at shoulder height, breath. Now move them by your side & breath. Which is easier? Should be the latter as your diaphragm will be able to work.

I've seen people I love die 'orrible deaths through emphysema so hate smoking. Pineapple is brilliant for clearing clag off your vocal chords. Personally I practice daily when driving. Admittedly I can't stand up but the windscreen is a great reflective surface to hear what's being sung.

Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 05:41 PM

. Admittedly I can't stand up but the windscreen is a great reflective surface to hear what's being sung."
get a convertible!


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 06:20 PM

Oh dear. Dick's last but one post is the precise example of the bullshit that is best to avoid. All the stuff some frigid soprano calling herself a music teacher tries to instil in children at school.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Nick
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 07:36 PM

Richard - hear what Dick is saying and stop taking crap. I'm sure you don't need it.

At least you don't talk it.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 01:11 AM

I am referring you to HERE!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,Ian Mather
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 01:52 AM

Beer

The more you drink, the louder you get.

According to my responsible adult anyway.

The man Bridge has a point in general, but not really in terms if volume. Professional coaching may be about a style or two that doesn't accord with folk, (at school, I recall my violin teacher getting us to play jigs and reels by stripping the soul out of them to show Vivaldi is superior,) but in terms of volume technique, a good tutor knows how to make yourself heard over an orchestra.

So in volume training alone, don't knock classical training techniques. I may not be the best singer in the world, far from it, but luckily, if I need lessons in anything, it's how to sing more quietly....


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,flush
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 03:11 AM

It's projection you need to work on not volume


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 04:15 AM

singing teachers are great. In terms of posture, volume, pitch and stamina, I've never looked back.

My only ripe with my singing teacher is she always gets me to pitch my songs up quite high, towards the top of my range. I'm not sure it always suits my voice: I vastly prefer the tone of my voice towards the bottom of my range. But maybe that's a thread...


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 05:41 AM

DON'T:

Try to sing louder by forcing your voice - it loses tone control and can damage your throat.

DO:

Learn deep (diaphragm) breathing
Learn how to ground yourself when singing
Learn how to control breathing out at a steady rate - a healthy adult can hold a note for at least 20 seconds.
Go to a voice workshop - voice projectin techniques apply to both speaking and singing. Breathing and projection are both harder to learn from a book.
Relax your body before singing (eg Alexander Technique) - tension and poor posture inhibit projection.

When you are singing without amplification you should aim to be heard when singing 'quietly' and 'loudly'. It is firstly about projection (singing from the diaphragm)- the volume comes from voice control.

Also - enjoy what you are doing - the more relaxed you are the less tense you feel.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 07:10 AM

"Ground yourself" - you mean I need to attach a copper wire from my ankle to the nearest rising water main and ensure proper electrical bonding at both ends?

There it goes again...


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Marje
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 12:00 PM

Paying for a few lessons can be a great investment (after all, you'd do it if you were learning an instrument).Any decent singing teacher will concentrate first on helping you to control your voice and make the most of it. The singing style (classical, stage musical, jazz, folk) is a separate thing and you don't have to copy or learn a style or ornamentation that you don't want.

Even if you can get along to the occasional folk singing workshop at a festival or folk event, or better still a weekend for singers, you'd learn a lot.

It's not just about volume. A lot of singers, particularly in pop music, have ruined their voices by shouting. A singer has to learn how to project and produce a powerful sound without shouting, and it's well worth learning. Sure, you don't always need to sing loudly, but if you have the power and control in your voice, you can rein it in and sing quietly without losing the projection. I like what someone says up there about singing "further" rather than "louder".

And practice whenever you can - without an instrument. That's the only way you'll really get to hear how you're doing.

Marje


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: tonyteach1
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 12:05 PM

FAO Mr Richard Bridge you are talking dangerous rubbish. Calling some harassed school teacher a frigid soprano is sexist. She at least will have passed some exams and had a lot of gruelling teaching experience before being left with a class. All you have is downright ignorance and prejudice These are not opinions but dangerous and stupid voice wrecking ideas. If used properly the voice can be worked hard for life, if not nodes on the chords can develop very quickly and wreck your singing and speaking voice.

SBP Cooperator makes some good points The point about diaphragm support is that it is not exclusively a classical technique - actors use it in live theatre to project their voice. Musical theatre singers use it. Diaphragm support means you can project your voice safely without clenching the throat - it also means the voice lasts longer - stays in tune and also you can more easily control the dynamics ie song softly with more intensity. All a mike will do is amplify your vocal weaknesses

Vocal technique is not a replacement for interpreting the text for the audience but enhances the performer by giving more options to use lyrics and melody to create a better message for the audience


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: JohnB
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 12:57 PM

I agree with those who say try a Vocal Teacher.
I did it last year for the first time (at 61), I have sung forever in choirs groups solo and have good projection and volume. The teacher fine tuned a lot of the technique involved and made things louder (if they needed to be) and easier.
If you do not like the direction the Coach/Teacher is taking you, try a different one. Keep going until you find one you like.
The choir I sing with had a workshop a few years ago, it was led by the guy who coached Colm Wikinson for his roll in The Phantom of the Opera. He had being singing the lead in Les Mis and had problems with the high notes in Phantom. So it goes to show how Proffesional Singers still need help.
ALSO do warm ups before you sing. I always that that was bull until last year when I started doing the warm ups on the way to my vocal lesson, it makes an incredible difference.
Good Luck, JohnB.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 01:58 PM

I have not advocated any voice wrecking ideas. Indeed I have advocated caution about shouting. If you want anyone to assist you with voice, get someone who can explain it in sensible mechanical terms, not a pile of artsy waffle. Voice, like unamplified instruments, is about the science of vibrations. There are far too many wannabee opera singers or operetta singers wandering about "teaching music", particularly in schools, busily taking out the frustrations of their failures on people who but for that "teaching" might be musicians.

Or of course you could just be yourself in stead of someone else.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: paula t
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 04:54 PM

Richard, I've just returned to this thread. Could you clarify your point about the, "frigid soprano calling herself a music teacher" please. I've re-read the whole thread a few times now and don't get it.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 11:01 PM

It's an archetype. Don't you remember it? The classic purveyor of wifty-wafty crap. The monster who destroyed female singers who didn't squeak high enough, or who had a blues tone to their voices. The choirmaster or mistress who put stuff for school compulsory religious services in keys that the congregation couldn't sing. The instrumental teachers who only wanted you to play scales or memorise the difference between a xylophone and a glockenspiel when all you wanted to do was rock. The ones who tell you to sing out of a diaphragm when it's a birth control device, to sing from the stomach when a stomach is there to digest food and noises from it are an unfortunate byproduct.

These saddoes do not enable or empower music or musicians. They put barriers between people and music. They're the people telling YOU you aren't good enough. All in all, they're just another brick in the wall.

Making sound is about the science of vibrations. They don't tell you that.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: paula t
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 12:23 PM

Ah thanks.I remember a few of those! Thankfully I think things have moved on in most schools a bit since then! The children at my school are encouraged to find their own voice and enjoy the fact that we are all different.I'm a prime example of this for them (I was once described by two men at a folk club as a tenor!). I don't have a choir because as far as we are concerned we can all sing and we don't believe in valuing one type of voice over another.
Instead we have a singing club which is open to everyone and we sing songs suggested by the children. We also have a "Singing stop" in a quiet corner of the playground where children can go just to sing together.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 12:48 PM

»get someone who can explain it in sensible mechanical terms, not a pile of artsy waffle.«

When it comes to teaching and explaining, if one explains a concept using only "a pile of artsy waffle," those who learn easily by understanding the structures and mechanics can be left behind. If one explains only the structures and mechanics, those who learn by other types of visualization can be lost.

Effective teachers won't espouse an either-or approach, but will find a way to speak to the many different ways people hear and absorb facts and concepts.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: paula t
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 01:01 PM

Yes,It is quite fascinating how people learn in different ways.some young children love to know about the "mechanics" but so many need to visualise things - hence our talking of singing from the tummy or not getting thinner when we breathe in. For most though it needs to be fun and sometimes quite "anarchic"because so many people are nervous about singing at first (Their parents have usually got a few scary stories about their own schooldays - which doesn't help!) Pulling faces at each other and physical warm ups and silly warm up songs are par for the course I'm afraid!love it


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Nick
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 01:04 PM

I sing louder as I have got more confident and project better

My wife sings quieter than me but when she is singing well people quieten down

She is a much better singer than me


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 05:44 PM

Singing is a form of athletics. You need to be in good aerobic shape.
Fast walking, swimming or any activity that stimulates the intercostal muscles
and permits relaxed breathing is desirable. Stay away from alcohol as it dries up the vocal cords. Smoking will cut down on your wind.

Singing louder is about a balanced focussed singing, not necessarily volume.
Sometimes the louder you push, the less it carries.

A good voice teacher is worth everything and can show you how to project without belting or straining.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: tonyteach1
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 04:33 PM

FAO Mr Bridge - in my part of North East London the prevailing folk music ie the music that people actually sing is praise music and gospel. This is full throated powerful music sung from the heart. It has nothing to do with your outdated cliched and inaccurate views of school music teaching that took place 40 years ago. It uses open throated singing from the chest and diaphragm to project the sound.

Its saddoes like you with your outdated and inaccurate views of modern teaching. I know because I teach teachers, who by the way are married have kids and are not the frigid stereotype that you in your ivory tower of stupid prejudice .

Modern singing technique has little to do with opera or classical music its out about producing a sound good for your genre and singing safely and accurately.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 05:28 PM

Voice lessons to learn basic singing technique, which is the same whether you're singing folk, lieder, opera, or rock 'n' roll. Those who express caution about voice teachers trying to make you sing like opera singers are confusing technique with style.

"Get someone who can explain it in sensible mechanical terms, not a pile of artsy waffle."

Gotta watch that "sensible mechanical terms" thing. The vocal mechanism cannot be manipulated "mechanically." It operates with involuntary muscles, and any attempts to control it directly and mechanically will only result in tension, which will lead to all kinds of evils.

Good voice teaches have a whole bag of "images" to explain how you can bypass attempts at mechanical control, and some of them sound pretty weird and physically impossible—such as (once they get your diaphragmatic breathing squared away) "Sing, not from your throat, but from a point between your eyes."

Sounds positively stupid, right? But if you can grasp what the teacher is talking about, suddenly you are singing with what they call "placement," and that will solve a multitude of problems. Good voice teachers have all kinds of images like this, and if one doesn't get through to you, they have a whole repertoire of others that might just. Sometimes takes a try or two to find the right image.

I've had lessons from three different voice teachers over the years (one, a retired operatic soprano) and none of them have tried to impose any particular "style" on my voice. Nor have they ever tried to get me to sing out of a range that is comfortable for me—except to help me (gently, gently) try to expand my range.

I've been singing since I was in my early twenties. I'm now eighty, and thanks to good vocal instruction in the beginning, my voice is healthy, and I'm told that I sound as good as I ever did, if not better.

I've sung in venues from living rooms (house concerts) to coffeehouses and clubs, to a 3,000 seat concert hall, and have never had any trouble being heard. It's not so much a matter of sheer, brute volume as it is "placement."

I've heard opera singers such as Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky sing softly, over a whole symphony orchestra in a large concert hall, and still be heard, crisp and clear.

And several singers of folk songs, who didn't sound at all operatic or "artsy."

Placement. Another word for making use of the resonance characteristics of your own body. Your instrument.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,SirCoughsalot
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 06:18 PM

If I had known this was gonna start so many arguments, I wouldn't have bothered asking.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,SirCoughsalot
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 06:22 PM

But thanks to everyone who did respond.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 06:48 PM

Some people these days seem to come here only to argue.

Threads on the Singing Voice has a few that may be helpful, from back in the days before jerks took over.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: breezy
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 06:31 AM

Tonight is a singers night at Herga Folk Club, Pinner Green social club.
North Harrow London ingerland

we are a singers club est in 1963

Attendance averages 20-25 everyone is invited to sing and everyone enjoys joining in and theres a lot of that.

And then there's a better class of heckling

Beer £2.40 a pint

open up around 7.45

Kitty Vernon , George Papavgeris, Mike Sparks O B E, Moses and the ref, Me and others, Irish , songwriters, Traddie stuff and something more,

Oh and Tim Frost who draws on the humour of our times and promotes Eric Bogle - succesfully


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Marje
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 11:16 AM

An archetype, Richard? Or a lazy stereotype alluded to by someone who isn't interested in making the most of his voice and resents those who are?

Of course any decent singing teacher will tell you that sound is made by vibrations; they'll also tell you where those vibrations are produced and how they can be enhanced and controlled. The only way the vibrations will produce sound at all is by the movement of air, and using the diaphragm (which may entail use of the belly muscles too) is a good way of controlling the airflow to the vocal chords. It's not easy to explain, but a good singing teacher will help a singer to use the technique, as many people here can testify, as well as various other methods that will help you produce the sound you want (not the sound that they or anyone else wants).

Of course there are (or were) some poor teachers around, in music as in everything else, but that doesn't mean there's nothing worth teaching or learning. If you were learning an instrument you'd probably accept that a teacher could help you learn a better technique, and it's just the same with the voice(or, for that matter, learning to swim, or drive, or dance the tango). Don't knock it till you've tried it.

Marje


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 12:37 PM

When on the Internet, a smart person pays attention to when things were posted. For one thing, it keeps you from 'helping' someone who made the request years ago and will probably never appreciate your efforts.

If you see an asinine post and know where the poster lives, it is a good idea to figure out what time of day it was posted. The wisecrack about a frigid soprano was probably posted in England about midnight. I'd bet you dollars to donuts the poster had had a few beers and had come home, postpub, cranky, tired, and ready to inflict his bad mood on a defenceless world.

Particularly if the victim (a female teacher) is likely to be smaller than him.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 12:44 PM

three things that will prob help

1. pretend you are sucking air in through a straw. notice the way it feels going in.   it does down way deep, to your diaphragm. now sing, letting it go out the same way

2. pretend you put very hot food in your mouth and are too polite to spit it out. you instinctively open the back of your mouth to cool if off. now try singing with the back of your mouth still open that way. you will have to close it up to make consonants, but it will still help

3. if you are sitting on a folding chair, scoot forward to the front edge of it so your body is not jack-knifed shut


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Marje
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 01:50 PM

Good points, Leeneia. The one about the age of posts doesn't apply here, but the one about late-night posting may well do. Perhaps we need the option of filtering out posts sent between say, 11 pm and 7 am local time.

The hot-food tip is a good way of explaining one aspect of singing that isn't evident to the observer.

Marje


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 03:53 PM

»»...singing with the back of your mouth still open...you will have to close it up to make consonants...««

You don't have to. I've had a much smoother sound since I learned not to. It felt VERY peculiar at first--keeping the back wide open while lips, teeth and tongue make consonants--but like every new use of muscles it got more comfortable the more I did it. It took me about 3 years of not-very-dedicated effort to make it second nature. Six months of that was learning to hold that space open without breaking into a yawn. It might have taken me less time if I'd focused on it daily. This open back-of-mouth (top-of-throat) also eases quick, deep breaths, which is very helpful in songs that don't contain long breathing spaces.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 08:02 PM

I read the 'hot food tip' right here on the Mudcat.

Crowhugger, we have to close the throat to say k, hard g and certain forms of r, surely?

I wouldn't want to see a rule against late-night posts. People can be night people, might have insomnia, etc. I remember one night when the tornado sirens were going off locally and I was posting at 3 am because sleep was impossible.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 08:16 PM

I have just come back from the pub, it is also my birthday, so I am not replying to Richard Bridge, birthday privilege, hi leenia, how you doing I like your posts,what time of day is it where you are and hows your weather


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Subject: Raised palate, closed vowels
From: Crowhugger
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 11:25 AM

leeneia, I don't know enough about the variations in anatomy to speak for everyone, but generally no, don't close that space for any sound when singing. Not even to breathe.

One way to think of it: In that big space you made to air out the hot food, mentally place a raw egg (not a free-range sturdy egg but a mass-produced thin shelled egg). Now relax all muscles not needed to keep the egg whole and say those consonants g, k, r without breaking it.

Mechanics: When speaking, g and k sounds can be made by touching the back of the tongue to either the soft or hard palate. When singing with a raised soft palate--when singing with a mouthful of hot food--that palate is too far away to be reached by the back tongue, unless you lower it and break the egg. (Yechhh!) Instead, sound the consonants by touching back tongue to the hard palate (roof of mouth).
      When speaking English, non-rolled r sounds are made by touching both sides of the back tongue lightly along any of the molars or even further back, on the soft palate. However, when singing with a mouthful of hot food, that palate is out of reach, and if you don't want to break the imaginary egg, you'll form the r against the foremost teeth your back tongue can reach without tension. The rear-placed r is called a swallowed r. People use it a lot to hold a note instead of holding the vowel ahead of it and adding the r just at the last moment. It doesn't carry or blend well.

It takes time and extra muscle to constantly raise and lower the soft palate. To demonstrate for yourself, try to sing "Good, good, good, good vibrations..." while having your soft palate raised for the oo and lowered (so your back tongue can touch it) for the g sound. Do it slowly at first to make sure your palate is down for the k, up for the oo. Try it spoken and sung. Do you find it takes a lot of effort? I sure do! Worse yet, the imaginary egg is now slithering throughout my mouth and throat with bits of broken shell in the mix. (Ewww!)
      Try the same phrase with the imaginary raw egg (whole again) in place, and with the g sound made by touching the hard roof of the mouth. The choice to place consonants further forward allows much less tension and fatigue. The work to move the palate up, down, up, down is tiring. Most people will stop raising the palate if they place their consonants further back; it's too much wasted effort to do otherwise.

To test r, "Row, row, row your boat" works well.

I hope that helps.

While I'm on a roll: Another sound people often make with a horizontal-flat mouth (no raised palate) is ee. To sing a great ee, first get the mouthful of hot food and place the raw egg. Next, send most of your lip muscles and all your cheek and jaw muscles on a little vacation. Back tongue is the only muscle needed to shape and say (or sing) ee, and yes a little lip, just enough to open and let the sound out. Whatever distance your jaw drops when the muscles are off duty often allows enough space between the front teeth for the sound to emerge, but experiment by opening the jaw more and more, until it no longer sounds like ee, then go back to where it sounds right--that's a great basis for a wonderful ee. See Don Firth's post and a voice teacher about placement to make it excellent.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Marje
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:07 PM

I'm trying this out but my throat hurts, and it sounds as if I'm singing with an egg in my mouth ...

I will keep the idea in the back of my mind for future reference, but sometimes you can think too hard about a skill. I think maybe I was getting it more or less right aleady, and the presence of the phantom egg has just spooked me. I suppose we all have our mental tricks, and some work better than others for each of us. I shall return to the one about singing from a point between your eyes, which sounds equally strange but less uncomfortable.

Marje


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:15 PM

Thanks for the information, Crowhugger.

Happy birthday, Schweik. Weather is cloudy, not too cold. Time is 11:12 am.

Marje, I think all the ideas seem strange at first. Give them a try for a while (a few weeks, maybe), then discard those that don't seem to help.

A good voice teacher is good too, if you can afford the money and time.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 02:10 PM

I think some people just have a loud voice and some have a quiet voice. I reiterate an earlier posting, learn how to use a mike. That's what it's there for.

I personally never observed voice lessons to help with a bad singer. Either you have a good voice or you don't. It's a gift. Maybe I'm wrong, but I have never heard a tone deaf singer improve with lessons.However that's not what your problem is. But I'm not too sure lessons will make a reedy voice 'bellow.'

One thing that lessons may help with tho, is your confidence. Lessons and/or performing more will give you the confidence to free up and sing your heart out.

And that, dear friend, is all the audience should need from you.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Don Firth
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 03:39 PM

"I personally never observed voice lessons to help with a bad singer. Either you have a good voice or you don't. It's a gift."

Can't totally agree. Of course, you have to work with what you're born with (in that sense, it's a gift, for good or ill), but I've never heard a voice so bad that it couldn't be improved by spending some time working with a good voice teacher—learning how to use what you have effectively. In fact, I've followed a few people with voices like rusty hinges who wound up sounding pretty darned good after working with a teacher. Never make the Metropolitan Opera, but could sing a whole variety of stuff and sound good at it.

I knew one fellow who really wanted to sing—folk songs—but just couldn't cut it because of the vocal problems he was dealt from the very beginning. His vocal tone wasn't bad—he was a low tenor or light baritone, but he always sounded husky—hoarse—and a little flat. There was nothing wrong with his ear. He was practically born with asthma, and the problem was actually with his breathing. He couldn't get a secure enough lungful to sustain a tone, and along with being flattish and sounding husky, he often had to gasp for air. Too damned bad! He really loved to sing.

When a bunch of us would get together for an informal song fest, some people—even his wife—would wince when he reached for his guitar. But his old friends would darn well listen. And enjoy. Anyone who wanted to sing as much as he did ought to be given a chance. Town Hall? Hardly! But in Bob's or Elmar's living room? Let 'er rip!!

Or the girl with the mousy little voice and the precarious pitch? A few lessons can help a lot. The voice? Certainly listenable. Quite nice, actually. All she needs is a bit of confidence, and lessons can give that too her.

I've seen it happen many times.

Someone who's just tone-deaf? Well, maybe there's help there also. Often it's just a matter of practice. If one has a hearing impairment of some kind, that's one thing. But I've also seen people with a very "iffy" sense of pitch get very accurate after a little concentrated practice. My own sense of pitch was pretty good (could sing in tune right off), but when I was attending the Cornish College of the Arts in the early 1960s, I took Jean Boardman's class, "Sight Singing and Ear Training" and got a lot out of it. I got so I could identify a series of intervals when I heard them. This meant, among other things, that when I heard a song (folk song, yes. Beethoven Symphony, no.) I could pick up a sheet of manuscript paper and write it down. And pulling out a copy of Lomax's Folk Songs of North America or John and Sylvia Kolb's A Treasury of Folk Songs and learning the melody of a song right off the page is duck soup. A great help!

There is much to be gained from music lessons of various kinds.

As to the image of the hot food or the raw egg in the mouth to keep the palate raised:   Mrs. Bianchi gave me all those images to play with, along with several more. The one that worked best for me was to feel myself on the verge of a yawn. "But," said Mrs. B., "you don't want to inadvertently yawn while your singing—which could happen. Best is to yawn a time or two before you sing. It opens the throat and relaxes it."   

Don Firth

P. S. Pressed for time right now, but I'll be back later with a couple of things that I got from Mrs. Bianchi on singing loudly. But "loudly" is not the whole story. Giving your voice carrying power is what really matters. Being able to sing softly if the song calls for it, and still be heard, crisp and clear, in the back row of the auditorium—without amplification.

It can be done.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 10:17 PM

I, too, learned with the verge of a yawn.

Marje, there are a thousand visualizations (well maybe not quite THAT many) and just as leeneia says, you try them and drop what doesn't work for you. E.g. I never got satisfactory results for resonance out of the visualization of making the sound come out the top of my head, works better for me if I sing through an imaginary hold in the bridge of my nose. [shrug] Whatever floats your singing-boat.

It's fun to experiment with your own changes to other people's visualizations. Maybe trying a jelly bean will work better for you than an egg, or maybe that approach isn't for you at all. It's interesting to retry failed visualizations every month or two, or when you are definitely in a very different frame of mind than the previous attempt. Maybe it still won't help, or maybe »click« a light goes on. If no help, on to the next visual to give it a whirl. Main thing: Singing is fun! Learning about singing is fun, too!

Please don't take any of it so seriously that it's no longer a joy to fool around with your voice. They're just words that may or may not help.

I just remembered a direct physical tool for raising the soft palate: Get a milkshake type or other fat straw and place it between your back teeth (either side, it doesn't matter), keep it in position with your hand, you don't want your teeth to clamp it at all, just barely brush it. Now, with straw in place, sing without flattening it.


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Marje
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 04:51 AM

I do agree about the yawning - it's an easy way of relaxing the throat and the mouth cavity - as long as you can stop yawning, and yawn disceetly so that everyone around isn't yawning too!

Marje


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Subject: RE: How do I sing louder?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 07:27 AM

LOL, I mentioned in one of the voice threads that it took me 6 months to learn to stay on the verge, to keep my soft palate up, but not break all the way into a yawn during the song!! My mouth, jaw and throat got a whole lot of yawn based relaxation during that time.


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