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{Gothic Angel}
post Jun 25 2006, 12:12 PM
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Not sure where this should go really, but it's here now. Move it if necessary.

I need someone who still sings properly to help me! My singing voice is starting to break, and I'm losing the top part of my range. I did have singing lessons at one point (many many time ago tongue.gif), but I can't really remember much of, other than the habits I picked up whilst learning. I stopped doing vocal excercises a while back, much to my shame, but I just decided I was too lazy (this was around the time I stopped practicing piano for a year as well), and I'd really rather not lose my one natural gift tongue.gif Does anyone who sings know anything I can do about it?


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trunks_girl26
post Jun 25 2006, 01:28 PM
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hmm....well, if you remember any of the vocal excercises that you did while you took lessons, it should help you maintain your upper range. (I'd demonstrate, but it's rather hard to do in type >.>) If you can't remember, then simple scales can even help with that.

Oh, and did you know that if you train the lower register in your voice, it'll make it easier to hit the higher notes? That trick worked for me a bunch.

And finally, just always remember to maintain enough space (ie, sing with your mouth in an "ah" or "oh" position) when reaching your break (that place where it feels like your voice is changing gears), and always picture the air making its way up and over your pallete in order to get out.

There's proabbly more, but I've just woken up, so my brain is fuzzy.....I'll think some more and get back to you >.>


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elphaba2
post Jun 25 2006, 08:27 PM
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Do you have a piano around? If not, try this site to get pitches (though it's terrible for any sort of fast scales). If you remember any voice exercises, try em out, or scales like trunks_girl said. I can PM you some good exercises if you'd like (I'm in lessons currently). Sing around the house when you can, but don't try and strain through your upper range. Slowly take scales higher and higher (for example, start at middle C and go up, start at D and go up, start at E and go up, and then come back down) until it feels natural to go higher. Try not to use the throat as much as you can.

Stay relaxed! You won't lose your talent by neglecting to train; it will always be there. However, it'll improve the more you practice, like any other instrument.


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Faerieryn
post Jun 25 2006, 09:10 PM
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One of th things I did to help me with my higher range was to visualise the lower notes going up and the higher notes going down. I used to be a Colliatura and have now dropped to a mid to high soprano mainly due to repertoire. If you move your hand in the opposite direction to the scale you are singing it makes it easier as you are visualising a lower note than you are singing. Try to relax when you are singing high notes and f they come, they come. Don't push your voice and exercise it regularly. Don't just stick to scales, try sining songs you used to sing alot. Your vocal chords will "remember" the notes and you'll find yourself hitting them without realising it. Example: When I was 16 I was able to easily hit high A. Flash forward to four years later and that note is usually beyond my reach. I sang a song that ends on a high A for a concert (glutton for punishment I know) and managed it easily. Now I can hit High A with confidence again. It's partly confidence but also because my body instinctively knows how to sound the High A for music of the night. Once I'd reminded myself of that I was able to find the positioning again. Hope it helps. PM me if you need any further suggestions. P.S what sort of music are you singing?


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monkey_called_na...
post Jun 26 2006, 04:41 AM
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i personally use "motor boat" which is that buzzing thing you do to work on breath support.

other then that... scales... i do-> la ma da ma ne po to la bay tah may ne po to la... which works on sharps and flats.


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trunks_girl26
post Jun 26 2006, 12:41 PM
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QUOTE (monkey_called_narth @ Jun 26 2006, 12:41 AM) *
i personally use "motor boat" which is that buzzing thing you do to work on breath support.

other then that... scales... i do-> la ma da ma ne po to la bay tah may ne po to la... which works on sharps and flats.



While buzzing then singing is good, if it's done too many times in successtion, it can cause fainting, so just take it slowly.


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The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return -Moulin Rouge
"Religion is a finger pointing ot the moon, but some people confuse the finger with the moon."
Truth is subjectivity - Kierkegaard
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gothictheysay
post Jun 26 2006, 01:52 PM
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It seems teh Ange has been here before me, and said everything I was going to say... well, good luck, too. Also, I find just singing a lot in the upper register will help - using it more often. But don't strain it, and always warm up beforehand. smile.gif


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Star_of_Lei
post Jun 26 2006, 02:50 PM
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*cough* Christmas tree *cough*

Or at least that's what me teacher calls it, you know, as you get higher you change the vowels so 'where' sounds like 'war' and such, that always helps me because my high notes are always a bit off.
Also, when I'm singing the top notes I always seem to rise to my tiptoes, who knows why, maybe it helps though?


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{Gothic Angel}
post Jun 26 2006, 03:19 PM
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Wow, I had no idea there were so many singers on MZ ohmy.gif

I do sing around the house a lot - that's mainly how I noticed I was losing the higher register - I used to be able to hit a high F-G when I was younger, now I'm struggling with B-C *cry* I practise the higher register, when I can, obviously (I'm not a *complete* spastic laugh.gif)

QUOTE
Also, when I'm singing the top notes I always seem to rise to my tiptoes, who knows why, maybe it helps though?


I get told off for doing that. My old GCSE/A level music teacher calls it "straining for the note", he says it stops you controlling your voice, your voice is controlling you. He's so dramatic tongue.gif

QUOTE
i personally use "motor boat" which is that buzzing thing you do to work on breath support.


It's not so much sustaining/projecting the note as hitting it in the first place. I have a pretty good set of lungs, it's just my vocal cords which won't work atm tongue.gif

QUOTE
If you move your hand in the opposite direction to the scale you are singing it makes it easier as you are visualising a lower note than you are singing.


I hadn't tried that. Good plan. I'll try it later when my family are out of the house dry.gif

QUOTE
Do you have a piano around?


In my room. I play it tongue.gif And yeah, it's helpful, but I'm not too bad at maintaining a key anyway, so if I'm singing with a track, or just on my own in a comfortable key, I don't really need it. The scales are always good though - I'm pretty sure that was one of the things I used to do - thanks smile.gif

QUOTE
always picture the air making its way up and over your pallete in order to get out.


Not that I'm arguing, but howcomesit? Also: Yay My Ange! happy.gif

edit: Oh, Ryn - Musicals songs and light opera, mostly when I'm doing it properly. And I sing along to my music, like the rest of the world does, so that's some rock, some metal, som "alternative" tongue.gif I also sing folk and celtic with my mum, I do the harmonies for her.


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trunks_girl26
post Jun 26 2006, 10:09 PM
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QUOTE
always picture the air making its way up and over your pallete in order to get out.

Not that I'm arguing, but howcomesit? Also: Yay My Ange! happy.gif


It's the same sort of effect that moving your hand in the opposite direction has, only it deals more with the space that the mouth needs in order to keep the right amount of breath support in order to hit the note and keep it in tune.

As my choral director always says "Moooooooooooooooooooore spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!"

Also: Yay My Jen! happy.gif


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The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return -Moulin Rouge
"Religion is a finger pointing ot the moon, but some people confuse the finger with the moon."
Truth is subjectivity - Kierkegaard
"I don't know anything; I never knew anything, but now I know I don't know"
"The important thing isn't to know Jesus, Mohamed or Buddah, but to know what they know"
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gothictheysay
post Jun 26 2006, 10:13 PM
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QUOTE
I get told off for doing that. My old GCSE/A level music teacher calls it "straining for the note", he says it stops you controlling your voice, your voice is controlling you. He's so dramatic


Yeah, when I move my chin around sometimes, and that's bad, I'm told ._. I think you're not generally supposed to let your body do that type of thing, but I'm not sure.


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trunks_girl26
post Jun 26 2006, 10:34 PM
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QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Jun 26 2006, 06:13 PM) *
QUOTE
I get told off for doing that. My old GCSE/A level music teacher calls it "straining for the note", he says it stops you controlling your voice, your voice is controlling you. He's so dramatic


Yeah, when I move my chin around sometimes, and that's bad, I'm told ._. I think you're not generally supposed to let your body do that type of thing, but I'm not sure.


Generally you're not suppossed to move your body while singing (an exception being if you're performing an opera or something where you need to walk or gesture or dance), and it's especially bad to tilt your head and neck as you sing higher because 1. It doesn't help you hit the note any better, and 2. it actually puts strain on your neck and vocal chords, ans can actually hurt your vocal efforts overall.


--------------------
The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return -Moulin Rouge
"Religion is a finger pointing ot the moon, but some people confuse the finger with the moon."
Truth is subjectivity - Kierkegaard
"I don't know anything; I never knew anything, but now I know I don't know"
"The important thing isn't to know Jesus, Mohamed or Buddah, but to know what they know"
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monkey_called_na...
post Jun 27 2006, 10:32 PM
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i was taught the same thing. as well as knowing specific things not to do befor singing- i.e. chewing gum, drinking milk, having anythign with honey, ect.

i have a tendancy to change words as i sing... not make mew words but say im singing... hmm.... "and he will lift you up" i sing "andy will live too up" (easiest way to explain it) it makes it easier to sing higher notes if you move diffrent consanents (sp?) to te begining of the next word. it also removes the "t" "ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss" and the odd sound that "h" makes when your doing upper range. there are some other examples... ill jsut have to think of them. in general you should never end with an t or an s. it just generally sounds bad.

do some basic warm ups... like ba ba ba ba ba... (do re me re do) each time taking it a half step higher. make sure to hit the ba's hard.


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Silver Star Ange...
post Jun 30 2006, 02:39 PM
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I suggest practicing the scales, slowly and steadily.

My music teacher offered us some hints for taking care of our voices:
1. Drink lots of water.
2. No caffiene- it dries out your vocal chords
3. Get lots of sleep.
4. No yelling/whispering/making impersonations.

I'm not sure if those will help but they might...I hope your voice gets better!


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Neferka
post Jul 23 2006, 09:36 PM
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May have already been mentioned, but I'll say it anyway;

There's an easy way to help you (re)learn how to open your throat for high notes, and that basically take note of how your throat moves next time you yawn. When you yawn you open your throat into what I'm told is the optimum position for singing.

Also, remember not to look up when you go for high notes; that actually compacts the larynx and stops you hitting them.

Scales and arpeggios cannot be practised enough, not to mention keeping a good physical posture when you sing. If you're having a bad voice day, or just have a sore throat, you can just hum them. Humming will never damage your voice.

Hope that helps, apologies if I'm repeating stuff!


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Hobbes
post Jul 23 2006, 10:20 PM
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Go for placement of the note. Start with an easy, open vowel that you personally find enables you to reach higher notes (sadly, everyone's larynx is different so you have to go for what works or you). eg. ah, ayr, eh, etc. Or use a consonant-starting sound to allow you to springboard up to the note you need. So try ma, or ba, etc. Then work on just hitting that note staccato-style, concentrating on using the support muscles in your abdomen rather than air control in the throat. If you can't reach it straight away, try working up to via full or partial scales and broken chords. If it hurts... stop.
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trunks_girl26
post Jul 24 2006, 02:58 AM
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QUOTE (Neferka @ Jul 23 2006, 05:36 PM) *
May have already been mentioned, but I'll say it anyway;

There's an easy way to help you (re)learn how to open your throat for high notes, and that basically take note of how your throat moves next time you yawn. When you yawn you open your throat into what I'm told is the optimum position for singing.

Also, remember not to look up when you go for high notes; that actually compacts the larynx and stops you hitting them.

Scales and arpeggios cannot be practised enough, not to mention keeping a good physical posture when you sing. If you're having a bad voice day, or just have a sore throat, you can just hum them. Humming will never damage your voice.

Hope that helps, apologies if I'm repeating stuff!


All great tips except for one little point.

Humming doesn't hurt your voice, per se, however, it's important to note that the higher you hum the more oxygen and support is needed. If the hum doesn't receive enough of either of these, then it can actually hurt your technique.

But all in all, great points smile.gif


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The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return -Moulin Rouge
"Religion is a finger pointing ot the moon, but some people confuse the finger with the moon."
Truth is subjectivity - Kierkegaard
"I don't know anything; I never knew anything, but now I know I don't know"
"The important thing isn't to know Jesus, Mohamed or Buddah, but to know what they know"
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{Gothic Angel}
post Jul 28 2006, 10:00 PM
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I like this noob smile.gif We should keep her. I hadn't heard the yawning thing before.

Thanks for help and things. Sadly, I think what I really need is just some more practise, as I got out of the habit of practising over exam peroid. This seems unlikely to happen whilst still living in this house dry.gif


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I_am_the_best
post Jul 29 2006, 07:03 PM
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QUOTE (Neferka @ Jul 23 2006, 10:36 PM) *
There's an easy way to help you (re)learn how to open your throat for high notes, and that basically take note of how your throat moves next time you yawn. When you yawn you open your throat into what I'm told is the optimum position for singing.


When you yawn it opens up the pharyngeal resonator near the top of your larynx however be careful not to create too much resonance solely from the pharynx because it distorts the sound. By projecting the sound with a lot of air support, it should (having resonated within the pharynx) hit the hard palate (roof of your mouth), resonate in the mouth (oral resonator) then be directed outwards aswell as upwards into the nasal resonator.

When singing/speaking, if you're having trouble making noises project or find it hard to hit high notes, you should also consider how you're breathing. By placing your hands on the lower abdomen, it helps to focus your attention there when you breathe. Make sure that you avoid clavicular breathing which is when your rib cage moves upwards but not outwards on the in-breaths because this can strain the larynx and makes it harder for the sound to carry.

And to quote my horn teacher 'Air support is the key!'

Sorry, I just needed somewhere to practise my drama theory. rolleyes.gif


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