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SVCA

SVCA
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  1. Breath support conundrums? That's a lot of singers out there. Breathing is one of the most important yet the most misunderstood aspect in singing and vocal technique. Different vocal trainers have a different ways of teaching it. What has been your experience?
  2. Hello singers! Need some help or advice with your vocal range? This topic might be the perfect place to find it. Share with us your progress, concerns, and any questions you may have while connecting with a community of vocalists!
  3. I'm glad it helped! Regarding head voice, You're right. In someways, head voice does sound like falsetto which as you mentioned is generally hard to control as a co-ordination. But the difference with head voice is that it is naturally connected to your chest voice at the bottom and you can make the sound without being breathy. How about this instead of the "hoo", why don't you try using the word "goo" with a yawny voice. The 'G' should help you avoid the extra air. Practice Goo Goo with scales. You will initially notice breaks at two parts in your range. Your vocal coach would have referred to it as the 'passagio' in western classical tradition. This will eventually smoothen out. I would urge you to practice the Goo Goos until then. Remember, while doing the exercise, stay relaxed, don't raise your shoulders or your neck, don't increase the amount of air you exhale as you increase the range. In other words, instead of trying to sound perfect, take what your voice gives you when you stay relaxed and practice just that. You will get better as these co-ordinations start settling into your muscle memory. About the whine, I would disagree with your vocal coach on not making a certain sound especially if it doesn't hurt your voice. It is important for us to explore ALL kinds of sounds that our beautiful instrument can comfortably make. Loud - quiet, whiny-mellow, ugly-beautiful - all of it! It allows for us to really expand our creative vocabulary as an artist. But if he's strict in honoring the Western Classical tradition of singing, I can see where his rules maybe coming from. (I don't mean it in a disparaging way at all. It is what it is. There is culture and there are certain norms to follow with that culture) The whine/cry is the most important ingredient in helping you balance out the tone by mixing your bright pharyngeal sound and the hooty head voice sound. The end result would be a beautiful sounding belt that doesn't sound strained. When you teacher says 'fully', he might not be referring to singing in a big open way. In fact, Pavarotti himself said that singing powerful is more like playing the trumpet - the sound itself is a thin whiny ringing sound but when it is projected in a big way, your voice sounds full. I am not your regular vocal coach so it is not in my place to really step on your vocal coach's job but I must tell you, pushing and tensing up and using your neck movement to support the notes is really bad technique. I only mention it out of concern for your voice. Improper use can really damage your voice and obviously we don't want that!
  4. Hello @Presiyan Kisyov Thank you for your question. I'm glad to be able to address this topic cos the lord knows it's the most asked. When we use the phrase "singing high notes", it could mean multiple things because any sound has additional qualities to it besides the pitch ie., volume & tonality. The 'easy' natural way of singing high notes is to access and sing in your pure head voice. Your vocal coach might have addressed this but you can achieve this by imitating a yawny voice and saying "hoo" like an owl. The volume maybe not as loud and the tone of the sound would be dull and hooty. Nonetheless, it is still considered 'singing high notes' and many singers use this co-ordination to sing some incredible music that's out there. On the other hand, what you maybe referring to is singing high notes with a considerably loud volume with a bright buzzy tone. We would also call this 'belting'. Many struggle with belting because they try to force this sound out by pushing and tensing up the throat just like you mentioned. This is dangerous for the voice because every time you repeat this mistake, you simply teach the body to do it over and over inadvertently every single time you sing high. First advice I would give you to achieve your desired goal is to stop doing it the way that you are doing it ie., pushing. Your muscle memory needs to 'unlearn' this harmful technique so that you don't damage your voice permanently. Secondly, if you want to sing high powerfully, you need to work on singing it lightly first. Because it'll help you vibrate the vocal cords to the pitch you need it in without all that tension. Look for head voice exercises. Remember to keep your voice relaxed, yawny and hooty when you do the exercises (that goes for your lip trills too). Another useful exercise to develop your head voice is the mums. Sing 'mum mum mum' on a scale with a dopey 'duuuh' voice. Make sure your voice remains in this dopey mode through out the exercise. Build this co-ordination by spending some time with it. Now, once you can sing in your head voice comfortably and with good control, we can start addressing the tonality. You want your high notes to sound like your chest voice - nice, buzzy and powerful. You can do this by accessing your pharyngeal cavities to make this buzzy sound (NOT your chest voice being pushed up. ouch). Make a nasty whiny nasal voice sound and say 'eh'. Like Donald Duck or Bugs Bunny. Notice how you don't need to push to make such a sound. Imitate those sounds. Get used to making that sound nice and buzzy without using any force. Think like a comedian instead of a singer. Speak in that voice and get used to it. Make fun of your roommates during this quarantine using that voice. :) Once you think you are comfortable with it, you will be combining the two skills your body would have learned over time to start developing your belt. A good exercise to build it are the Nay Nays on a scale while using that nasal buzzy sound. Make sure you are adding a hefty amount of whine/cry and NOT shoutiness as you do this exercise. This will help you to start leaning on the right kind of muscle co-ordinations to achieve your belt. Spending a considerable amount of time on these skills, your body would have gotten used to those sensations. Try to tap into that sensation when you sing high notes instead of shouting. Remember you've got to learn to sing light and hooty, first; whiny and nasal, second; in that order for you to be able to achieve a beautiful belt without tension or shouting. Obviously, there's only so much I can guide you through on text format and without actually diagnosing your voice in specific and its troubles like I do with my students. But I've tried to make the answer as universal as possible so that more singers can gain benefit from it. Please feel free to use the terms I've highlighted and explore on Youtube for more exercises. But here's a disclaimer, ANY pushing at this point is bad. Make sure that whatever you do, you learn to avoid tension in the throat. It's important to remember that there IS a better way! Hope that helps :)
  5. Hello fellow singers, I hope that all of you are staying safe during these times. Self isolation could be difficult to adapt to but it does give us an opportunity (& time!) to work on skills that we desire. I'm a professional vocal coach who spends much of his time working with various singers around the world in helping them discover the potential of their voice. If you have any singing related questions and are looking for some free tips/advise, this is the place to be :) Feel free to post them here and I will get back to it swiftly. Happy singing! SVCA
  6. "Hello there." I'm Songstuff Vocal Coaching Academy; and because we're friends now, you can call me SVCA. ( Before we get serious, I'd love to get to know about you and your journey so far. Feel free to introduce yourself below! ) What's SVCA all about? The sole purpose of my existence is to help you explore the art of singing with a logical and straight forward approach. To turn the attention towards the intelligence of your voice and away from the musical desires you seek from it; just momentarily. This healthy separation gives us room to examine the inner workings of our instrument and build the skill we desire, as a side effect! Beyond that, SVCA and this club is meant for creating a community of singers who will choose to use their curiosity and open mindedness to observe, learn and ultimately share their knowledge with fellow travelers on the singing journey. Whether you're a complete beginner or an advanced singer/performer, this is a place tailored to assist you in reaching your goals. Updates soon... Team SVCA is currently hard at work in bringing you educational content such as lessons, e-books, audio-video courses and more in the near future. Do keep an eye out for updates! Until then, make yourself comfortable, look around and create a topic if you have something interesting to share. Yours truly, SVCA
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