Do you need to "flex your abs" to support?

Share your knowledge or questions about vocal technique: Belting, high notes, power, hoarseness, distortion, support, Curbing, sound color, singers nodules, microphones, vibrato..... DOES NOT HAVE TO BE "COMPLETE VOCAL TECHNIQUE" RELATED - All kinds of vocal technique posts are WELCOME :)

Moderator: Sebastian Kraft CVI

Do you need to "flex your abs" to support?

Postby singing101 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:20 pm

Do you need abdominal strength to support?

The book says that you DON'T want to the abdomen around the naval to be hard when supporting. It doesn't say anything about avoiding muscle hardening of the back muscles, however.

So my question is:Do abdominals harden at any point? Is there effort in the abdominals?

How much effort do you use around the navel? Is it more that you have a strong back? Or do you eventually flex the navel to continue pulling in, so that you could say it hardens at the end of supporting a note?

What seems confusing to me is how you would use strength in the naval if it cannot be hardened. Every muscle has to have a tiny bit of tension to move, and it would seem like it would the take that much more tension to move "against a resistance". Yet is supposed to be soft. How does that work?

What am I missing here?
singing101
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:19 am
Location: United States

Re: Do you need to "flex your abs" to support?

Postby singing101 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:30 pm

bump
singing101
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:19 am
Location: United States

Re: Do you need to "flex your abs" to support?

Postby Thewall » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:54 pm

For me it's only the lower abdomen that gets a little flexed when I make resistance. It feels like the area below the navel is attached to a rope and I'm pulling the rope towards me (a bit upwards...). Actually, when supporting, I'm only focusing on this area. The ribs stay out by them self when I focus on the lower abdomen. I can feel that the back kind of has to be there for my support to work, but for me it doesn't have a key role like the area below the navel.

It's important that you try to work as little as possible and that your movement and resistance is directly connected to the sound you are producing.

I really don't think strength has much to do with support unless you have anorexia or anything that make you weaker than average.
Thewall
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Do you need to "flex your abs" to support?

Postby singing101 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:55 pm

Yeah but did you read the book?

The book has case study after case study of people not using or having enough "strength" for support. Then it talks about strength ALL OVER THE PLACE. I could take the time to quote from the book but I'd rather skip that work if I can lol.

There are even ab exercises, back exercises, etc at the back of book talking about needing strength!
singing101
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:19 am
Location: United States

Re: Do you need to "flex your abs" to support?

Postby funkypou » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:25 pm

I think it's more a matter of energy rather than brute strength. Of course, as Thewall says, a weak person might lack strength. But if you're not particularly weak, I think the most important is to feel that you have energy (as opposed to feel tired) because singing has to be a very active process.
The muscle exercises could have 2 interests in my opinion :
- feeling the work of muscles can help you locate and control them
- the stronger your muscles are, the less energy you'll need to use them and the longer you can support

singing101 wrote:Do abdominals harden at any point?

In my experience, they harden because they don't stay in a relaxed state. But as they move inwards, they must feel less hard than when you tense them strongly like when doing abdominal exercises or going to the bathroom. Do both things and touch your abdominals with your finger to feel the difference. You can also find information in the "incorrect support" section of the book.
funkypou
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:40 pm
Location: France

Re: Do you need to "flex your abs" to support?

Postby Kaare » Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:09 pm

Exercise:
Inhale normally.
Feel the lower ribs expand.
Keep the lower ribs in this position while you exhale all air and notice how your abdomen by the navel behaves.

Thats how it should behave - contracting enough to move inwards but avoiding locking the muscles themselves.

Do the same thing when you sing.
Keep the lower ribs out at all times, let the place around solar pleaxus bulge out gradually and tighten the muscles of the back OR:
Just hold back the breath while singing.
Make the abdominal muscles behave in the same manner as during the exercise, off course over a much longer period as you are now singing and not simply exhaling without resistance.

Makes sense?
Kaare
Kaare
CVI Teacher
CVI Teacher
 
Posts: 5288
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 1:15 pm

Re: Do you need to "flex your abs" to support?

Postby singing101 » Fri May 01, 2015 7:44 pm

Hmm. Well I find support to be just about the most confusing thing in the world. But that's okay because I'm getting better.

So today I basically tried to push out a bunch of air with my abs flexing inward and my back contracting at the same time, and I breezed through my normally difficult range. I had tried this before, but I think my abs just got tight and then I went months with vocal fatigue because of hidden incorrect support. AAAAA! I'm happy it's working but it's really confusing.

So my personal answer to this question is "yes, you flex them, but only inwards, do not flex them in a way that completely inhibits movement or creates any outward pressure at the navel. Also, for higher notes, you may need to flex them A LOT as if you're going to push a ton of air out but don't actually push a ton of air out"

See, even my answer is really confusing. Happy it somehow seems to work.
singing101
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:19 am
Location: United States


Return to Vocal Technique

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

cron