View Full Version : singing

03-18-2003, 10:48 PM
I was wondering if anybody knew about a website where I could ask a professional vocal teacher a question?

Here's my question: I have recently been told by my vocal coach that I sing incorrectly. The area of my neck right above my adam's apple pushes out every time I sing, speak, or even move my jaw. He told me that it should be completely relaxed and demonstrated it for me. However, I can't even begin to fix this... every time i move my jaw it happens. Plus I can't even form words when it's completely relaxed. I've been singing for so long and was fairly happy with my voice (at least I could tell it was getting better) but this puts me so far behind and it's really frustrating.


03-19-2003, 12:24 AM
Try to find the book called "The New Voice" by Jerrry Greene.
This is the best vocal book I have seen.

It is all too common that modern singers learn incorrect ways of singing that cause them to lose their voice after a couple of nights.

There are several rules you should follow:
1. Don't sing too loud or hard.
2. Don't sing too high.
3. Don't sing too long.
4. Use your diaphragm for power, not your vocal cords.
5. Rest your voice.
6. Warm up before singing challenging parts.

If you follow thes rules your voice will last longer, and you are less likely to have polyps on your vocal cords.

Your description sounds like you are using your vocal cords rather than your diaphragm for power.
Your larynx will fatigue rapidly doing this.

03-19-2003, 01:11 AM
Actually i have that book. And I was very displeased. You know how he went into strengthening the muscles that I was talking about (above the adams apple)? Well because of those exercises I am unable to do anything without flexing these. Also he went into great depth about being able to move your larynx around... I can do this, but only with using these muscles.

What do you mean by "using diaphragm for power"? I think you're talking about diaphragmatic breathing and using it as airsupport but i'm not sure?

Also I tend to like the vocal styles that seem more "fragile". That's the best word... for example Bono (U2), Chris Martin (Coldplay), and Thom York (Radiohead). However, I want to be able to sing like them, but correctly... I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

If you have achieved proficiency at singing I would really like to ask you alot more questions... But there is one question I really one question I really want answered: When I get to the point where I'm able to relax and sing correctly, will I be able to change the tone of my voice while still maintaining proper technique?

I'm so excited that you know about this stuff,

03-19-2003, 02:17 AM
Did you go through all of the exercises in this book?
The breathing Books up and down and the 1 oz singing?

This is all about proper breathing and control of the escaping air.
When I get to the point where I'm able to relax and sing correctly, will I be able to change the tone of my voice while still maintaining proper technique This dependes on what you consider changing your tone. If you sing with good technique your voice is going to sound a certain way, you can vary that a little with out collapsing your throat. But when you strain your throat, to get a certain type of sound you are collapsing it and likely to cause damage to your voice or at the least causing your self to learn bad habits. When you sing correctly your voice can sing for several hours with out strain. When you strain your voice a few minutes is all you can take. What happens is your vocal cords fill up with fluid ans swell (like a blister from shoveling with out gloves). Once this happens you need to rest for a while as continuing will cause scar tissue on your vocal cords and permanently affect your vocal quality.

03-19-2003, 03:01 AM
So how about those singers that I mentioned?

What do you think about the throat needing to be relaxed (especially the area I mentioned)?

Can you recommend singers that have good technique? I would prefer them to not be classical... I'm just curious. I want to know how flexible the sounds I'll be able to produce will be. I've noticed that all my favorite singers are good at doing imitations with their voice.

ANyway I appreciate all the info.

03-19-2003, 03:12 AM
The only one I have ever heard of is Bono (U2).
Early Bono was not very good technique. About the time the Joshua tree came out it was improving.

Geoff Tate from Queensryche, is about the best example I can thnk of.

Listening to a good singer is not going to give you good singing technique. You need to practice good vocal technique and gracefully accept the sound of your vocal instrument. Don't try to sound like anyone, just sound like you singing with good vocal technique. The geometry and physical characteristics of your nose, throat and diaphragm dictate the sound of your voice. You can strengthen and train the muscles, but you can't change the shape of your sinus cavity or throat.
So just practice the exercises and learn to like what you hear when you are doing it correctly. After a while it will feel right. You might need to record what you sound like singing with good technique, and listen to the recording to appreciate it. Because it always sounds weird to you because your voice is so connected with your body and ears.

03-19-2003, 03:33 AM
However, doesn't Bono's voice crack a lot (by this I mean break up)? How could that possibly be good technique?

Alright... Szulc I know your a big man on doing what is "you" and stuff (I've read all of your stuff about this on a lot of your posts), but I feel like you must copy what you like from the people you like. I've read this many places too. For example: A book by Roger Love (a professional vocal coach... worked with a lot of great people) said that the key is to copy other people and then eventually their sound will be ingrained in your sound. It's a sort of mixing of all that you like. The problem is what if what I like requires straining?

But I guess I'm going to work on that relaxation... (YOU STILL HAVEN'T TOLD ME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT IT;) )

I'm just really frustrated because I was getting to the point where I was liking my voice... I did it mainly by trial and error, but now I have to start back at the beginning because I'm so use to tensing up... oh well

thanks for all your help

03-19-2003, 12:19 PM
I didn't say Bono used good technique, I said it has improved.

If what you like requires straining and you are willing to do this, be willing to accept the consequence. Damage to you vocal cords.

If you are learning to play someone elses guitar style you are not physically damaging you hands.

Straining is bad for your voice. If you are experiencing tension, you should seek ways to improve this.

My guess is the tension is coming from trying to sound like someone else. Sing exercises where you don't feel compelled to sound like anyone else, and try to relax. Remember what this feels like. The chances are that it is correct or ( more correct ) than when you try to imitate someone else.

03-19-2003, 02:03 PM
point taken,

thanks for the advice

03-19-2003, 11:02 PM
Alright I was looking at the book and on page 39 Exercise 10... this is the area that I'm tensing up. I don't feel like it's tense... my teacher just told me it was and then I realized that I was pushing out, however the book seems to say that this expansion is a good thing.

Also does your finger smell as bad as mine when you're done with the exercises? hehe

03-19-2003, 11:48 PM
Probably worse!
I no longer have my copy of this (it was over 20 years ago).

The diagrams that show the inside of your mouth and the back of your throat are what are important.

You want to have the correct shape of your throat soft tissue.

The main exercises with yawning down the bowtie etc.... are for building up your vibratto muscles and separating them from the other muscles so they will work independantly of your throat or face muscles. In other words after you practice these enough you shoud be able to move your adams apple up and down at will, with out using unnecessary muscles.

03-20-2003, 01:32 AM
Well i have a lot more work to do than I thought. I was moving it down with other muscles I guess.

By the way you should really check out coldplay and radiohead.

03-20-2003, 10:04 PM
I had a similar problem. Soemthign that helped for me is someone told be to try to sing out of the top of my head... Sounds kinda wierd but for some reason it worked. That whole thing above your adam's apple moving is basically tensing up some of the muscles in your mouth and throat and that restricts air movement. I think when I tried to "Sing out of the top of my head" it made me not try so hard and back off of forcing the air out. It won't fix everything, but it does do wonders for both your tone and range.... hope that helps.