Problems that CVT can't explain

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 :)

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Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby highnotemaniac » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:26 pm

I have been training CVT for quite a while now and yet I haven't manage to solve the issues with my range. Even though I obey the three overall principles, stay in the center of a mode and choose the proper sound colour I still have troubles getting past E4-F4 without letting go and breaking into falsetto (or what ever you wanna call it). Keeping the volume low at those pitches, which is what I'm aiming for, is impossible, so I can hit them only in loud Overdrive. It seems to me my vocal cords are having some flexibility problems or something. They are tensing too much when ascending pitch which results too much compression, volume and lack of control.

The problems, that I have, may sound like they are related to support, but I'm not so sure about that. I can do the "sss" -exercise for over 40 seconds, hold a note in my comfort zone for over 20 seconds and have control over pitch and vibrato.

So I'm just wondering whether there are problems "outside CVT" that I might be facing?

I'm happy to give any sort of sound examples if needed :)
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby Doug » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:07 am

Hi highnotemaniac,

CVT is an amazing body of knowledge but I don't think anyone feels that CVT has all the answers, (just way more than most ways of approaching singing.)

CVT really didn't help me much with my range, don't laugh but Brett Manning's video about increasing range got me started, and Raise Your Voice, by Jaime Vendera, helped too (I think he has a second book out now as well.) Overall I don't think either Brett or Jaime has the paradigm shifting insights that Catherine has in CVT but I thought they had some good tricks and exercises. And I was pretty happy once I got to be able to sing to D6 (D above soprano high C) reliably. Some of the guys on this forum in the past can sing way above that (and of course tons of girls can.) And very likely so can you.

To be clear, I am not a voice teacher, just a student with lots to learn, but I can sing D6.

Here is a link to a video of Brett singing 6 octaves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAeYPg6AccI

I hope this helps.

Doug
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby eggplantbren » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:04 am

I had similar issues for years. The problem was that I wasn't supporting correctly even though I thought I was. There's a chance this isn't what's going on with you, but I'd be surprised.
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby highnotemaniac » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:11 pm

Doug: I actually can hit D6 (and even higher) with my whistle voice ;) which is quite frail and pretty much beyond my control, but it's a start I guess :D

Having worked with different CVT teachers over the past few years I'm afraid that CVT might not hold the answers for me. And if CVT doesn't then who does?

I'm quite familiar with SS and Vendera. Could you perhaps point out a few specific exercises that helped you?


Eggplantbren: If it really is a support question then there must some aspects, that are not related to breath and air flow management, I'm not aware of. In my opinion I'm using the very least amount of air to get a sound out of my vocal cords. The reason why I can do the "sss"-exercise longer is probably due the fact that my vocal cords need a little bit more air to vibrate.

For the "higher notes" (from about A3 and upwards) I tend to use more air in order to prevent my vocal cords slamming together and get a softer volume. That might be the wrong way approaching it but that has been the only way for me. When letting them close fully I can get a few steps higher as I mentioned but it's very shouty and hard to control pitch-wise. I have problems getting unbreathy notes in low to medium volumes above G3. Achieving them would probably be a part of the solution.

It seems to me that my problem is somehow related to the control of vocal cord closure. Some techniques talk about using the inner sides of the vocal folds. I'm referring here to the fact that the TA-muscle can be considered as two different muscles of which the inner one is controlling the adduction. Maybe I'm just prone to tense everything altogether/unable to contract the vocalis muscle well enough :D I'm probably getting really sidetracked here :D but if something like that was the case how could that be controlled support wise?
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby Doug » Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:53 am

Ok got it,

After I figured out how to sing in whistle it took me awhile to figure out how to sing to D6 in a connected way. There was an exercise that I learned from Brett Manning I think that helped me a lot. I couldn't find him demonstrating it but basically it is a slide through your entire vocal range in vocal fry. Some people say that vocal fry can only be used very low, but that is not the case (not sure what the latest CVI book says on the subject). Anyway it really helped me with connecting what I was doing in the really really high part of the voice with everything else.

A couldn't find Brett doing it on youtube, but here is another vocal coach doing it (not super well but I think you will get the idea.) I hope this helps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GEHcJKBhoQ

Doug
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby singing101 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:18 pm

Eggplant,

How were you incorrectly supporting? What was the turning point for you that made higher notes easier?

Did higher notes come in gradually or all at once? As in: E4 got a little easier over time until it was easy, than F, then so on, or:

You just added five notes easily to your range suddenly? Like, E4-A4 suddenly easy?

Just curious!
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby highnotemaniac » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:07 pm

Hey!

I made you guys some sound examples :)

The first one is my attempt to sing F-major (F3 - F4) scale in Neutral. As you can hear it either breaks into falsetto or strains and flirts with metal.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jumedhzi3yz03 ... r.mp3?dl=0

And here is an example of my Falsetto on A-major scale, which is relatively easy for me at that part of my range. I have a similiar problem with falsetto after C5. After that I can force it about to an A5 or let it break into whistle voice.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f5573yas64oik ... r.mp3?dl=0

Here is Curbing on F-major scale. It starts straining a bit but I manage to get it there.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7jnd4y1g8w1rd ... r.mp3?dl=0

Here is Overdrive on F-major scale and on As-major scale as well. The notes after D4 seem to be in Edge since I had to twang it really hard in order to keep it together. I think I lost a bit metal at the top of the As-scale (which is kinda pitchy anyway) but at least it doesn't break into this weird "metallic falsetto" that I have :D My teacher suggested that it's too an early flageolet in Edge since it usually has a split. I can provide examples of that one later if you're intrested :)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/t3z0w0cctppoy ... r.mp3?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/33eo8h3q182db ... r.mp3?dl=0

And last but not "least" my whistle voice :D A very tiny sound but hopefully it's a start :) I reach probably a G6 there.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0uvfpv13jblyo ... e.mp3?dl=0

Hopefully, these examples provide a comprehensive perspective to my voice and its problems. :)

P.S. I find the four register system (Vocal fry, Modal voice, Falsetto, Whistle) pretty logical so I'm mixing terms here on purpose. CVT's way of labeling soft modal voice, falsetto and whistle voice under the same term (Neutral) is very misleading and has caused me a great deal of confusion over the years. But according to what I've heard, CVI is working on some research on this matter at the moment :)
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby Thewall » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:33 pm

So the sss-exercise doesn't really prove that you have good support. You me be able economize the air, but singing is about finding what support value to use on a certain mode, pitch, vowel, soundcolor combined (and maybe effects)... So throw away the sss-exercise for now and put your energy into finding support while you sing. The sss-exercise is something that can make you understand how support works, but it doesn't take you much further.

I think your overdrive sounds fine. It should cost almost nothing and it sounds like it does. Does it?

Curbing and neutral seem to be giving you some problems. I would look into support and volume. Try to get some more intensity in the note.

Since overdrive is easy for you I would try to do a transition from overdrive to curbing. For instance go from "eh" (hey) to "I" (sit) and try not to change the volume, just let the change of vowel adjust the volume by itself (magic) :D Try it out in a part of the voice where you are comfortable and work your way up.
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby singing101 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:52 pm

Eggplant,

How were you incorrectly supporting? What was the turning point for you that made higher notes easier?

Did higher notes come in gradually or all at once? As in: E4 got a little easier over time until it was easy, than F, then so on, or:

You just added five notes easily to your range suddenly? Like, E4-A4 suddenly easy?

Just curious!
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby highnotemaniac » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:23 am

If the term "support" doesn't correlate with economizing the air or making the airflow steadier then I'm a bit lost here. I can only control the amount of air I'm using and it seems that the flow is quite even. If support means also something else could someone elaborate?

The limits for the modes, before I really need to push my voice, are about Bb4 for Neutral, B-C4 for Curbing and D-Eb4 for Overdrive. The straining problem seems to be unrelated to the modes. It rather seems that with full metal I can "postpone" it a few notes. So the descrendo exercise might not be a solution (believe me I've tried that many times) but I'll try to work with it.

I have noticed that my larynx has troubles rising when I hit my problem area. Somehow the vocal cord adduction is hindering it or something. Unless I don't put everything in the game (sing in Overdrive) the whole thing constricts or breaks apart since CT-muscle is the stronger one. Letting my voice lure into Edge probably makes things easier since then the adduction can rely more on twang? So the adduction activates TA-muscle too much (or the wrong part of it) which is hindering the work of the CT-muscle (= pulling the larynx down)? Do I even have a clue here? :D
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby Kaare » Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:34 am

Hi there, unless you have some kind of laryngeal diagnosis/voice disorder, we are talking about a technical issue.
And Im quite certain that CVT can help you with this...

Have you ever had a lesson with an authorized coach?

Best regards
Kaare
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby highnotemaniac » Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:21 am

Yes, I have been taking lessons for 2-3 years now. And I think it's a technical issue as well. I'm just playing here with the idea what's going wrong on physical level. It may help to address my problem clearer since I feel a lot of things when I sing. But based on the sound examples I posted, what do you think is going wrong and what should I work on with?
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby eggplantbren » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:11 pm

"Eggplant,

How were you incorrectly supporting? What was the turning point for you that made higher notes easier?

Did higher notes come in gradually or all at once? As in: E4 got a little easier over time until it was easy, than F, then so on, or:

You just added five notes easily to your range suddenly? Like, E4-A4 suddenly easy?

Just curious!"


I was using 'locked' support (no movement), and usually lacked the solar plexus bulge. I was also singing in a fairly restrained self-conscious manner, and being told to relax and accept the loudness helped somewhat (all modes need to be quite loud when you sing high, except sometimes neutral). I learned how to support in an in-person lesson. I'd had a Skype lesson before, but it didn't help because they couldn't put their hands on me and tell me what's up. I wouldn't say E4-A4 suddenly became easy. It takes a lot of practice to make it easy. But they existed, which was new. Nowadays I can get the notes about 99% of the time, but they only sound good about 75% of the time. The difference between getting things right and not getting them right is very slight at those pitches, which is why a lot of people have difficulties there.
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby singing101 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:28 pm

Thanks Eggplant!

How long did it take you personally to get higher notes most of the time after the in-person lessons?
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Re: Problems that CVT can't explain

Postby eggplantbren » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:15 pm

"How long did it take you personally to get higher notes most of the time after the in-person lessons?"

A couple of weeks. Then I stopped singing for a while, and lost it again, but was able to get it back pretty quickly.
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