Variations on the 'Candle' Support Exercise

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Variations on the 'Candle' Support Exercise

Postby Leo_Smith » Tue May 27, 2014 1:37 am

In the CVT version of the 'candle' exercise for improving breath support, one sings a note and tries not to make the flame flicker. In another version I've found across the internet, one just blows on the candle with pursed lips, trying to bend the flame without making it flicker or go out.

My understanding is that the internet version just trains breath control generally, requiring the practitioner to precisely regulate the amount of air escaping their lips. The CVT version, then, is the same thing but a bit more advanced, requiring that the practitioner can actually apply their ability to regulate breath to singing, and that they regulate the breath properly when they apply it to singing.

Does that sound right to you guys? Perhaps the version I found on the internet would be a good version to practice first, and then move on to the CVT version once the practitioner has become comfortable?
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Re: Variations on the 'Candle' Support Exercise

Postby Kaare » Tue May 27, 2014 9:59 am

Pursing the lips can surely work for various things but not for singing generally.
Breath control = support, meaning that we control the airflow by means of the support muscles (holding back the airflow/preventing an uneven airflow) and not within the mouth itself.
When we sing and produce various vowels, its important that we produce these with the tongue and not the lips, as these will trigger uncontrolled constrictions especially in the extreme parts of the voice.
The vocal tract works like a speaker surpressing certain frequencies and enhancing others. If we limit the vocal tract by singing with pursed lips we are potentially in for a lot of trouble (uncontrolled constrictions.
The CVT exercise should be practiced with singing/voice production in mind - to enhance the balance between voice and support.

Makes sense?
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Re: Variations on the 'Candle' Support Exercise

Postby Leo_Smith » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:55 pm

Just a couple more questions about CVT's candle exercise.

1) How far away should I hold the candle? As close as I can without burning myself?

2) I'm really having trouble wrapping my head around support, and it sounds like it's a difficult process to give specific instructions for since everyone needs to do different things to make it work. Is the candle exercise a good gauge of support? That is, if I can sing a song without making the flame flicker, is that a guarantee that I'm supporting properly?

Thanks!
-Leo the Pacmaster
Emperor in Exile of Lost Gristlehedge
Warden of the Northern Territories of Komflopistan
Warrior Monk of the K'nuban Temple
Drunken Blight of Zhongshan Monastery
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The Eight Eggs King
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Re: Variations on the 'Candle' Support Exercise

Postby Kaare » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:20 am

Just a couple more questions about CVT's candle exercise.

1) How far away should I hold the candle? As close as I can without burning myself?
Answer: Yes, dont burn yourself and the closer you hold it the harder it gets.

2) I'm really having trouble wrapping my head around support, and it sounds like it's a difficult process to give specific instructions for since everyone needs to do different things to make it work. Is the candle exercise a good gauge of support? That is, if I can sing a song without making the flame flicker, is that a guarantee that I'm supporting properly?
Answer: Its a guarantee that at this particular pitch/on this particular vowel you can hold back the air enough to avoid the candle from flickering yes.
But support needs to be located and then finetuned in various circumstances (like when singing with louder vol. /metal, longer phrases, difficult modes etc)
We can say: First: locate the support muscles by anatomical explanations/tricks/images etc.
When located, only support actively when needed/when something is difficult.

Makes sense?
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Re: Variations on the 'Candle' Support Exercise

Postby Leo_Smith » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:19 pm

Excellent! Okay okay, I think this is my last question about the candle thing...

What about plosives? Should I be able to sing even consonants like 't' and 'p' without making the candle flicker?
-Leo the Pacmaster
Emperor in Exile of Lost Gristlehedge
Warden of the Northern Territories of Komflopistan
Warrior Monk of the K'nuban Temple
Drunken Blight of Zhongshan Monastery
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The Eight Eggs King
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Location: Real America

Re: Variations on the 'Candle' Support Exercise

Postby Kaare » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:12 am

Hi Leo.
No, focus on vowels then and hold back the breath to diminish any candle flickering.
As soon as we start doing the exercise on consonants like "t/p" you will automatically let air out and the candle will flicker.
So after practicing "sss" for a while to get in contact with the support muscles, change to comfortable vowels and do the same exercise.
Best regards
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Re: Variations on the 'Candle' Support Exercise

Postby bertramlevaughn » Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:00 pm

I've tried vocalising in front of a candle before and what I found out was that the higher up in my range less flicker the lower in my range , I've put the flame out!!! So my question is should the goal be to not flicker the candle throughout your full range, low notes included?
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Re: Variations on the 'Candle' Support Exercise

Postby Kaare » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:58 am

Yes it should - if thats what you are going for.
This means that whatever you do in the high part of the voice, you have to do in the low part when it comes to holding back the breath.
Change modes as well to Overdrive or Edge on "EH"/stay and turn up the volume a bit.

Makes sense?
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