Welcome to The Voice Connection Sound Off; a forum for users of books like Raise Your Voice, Melody to Madness, The Ultimate Breathing Workout, and Unleash Your Creative Mindset, as well as a place for Vendera Vocal Academy members to interact.

This message board was created so that singers could come together and "sound off" to help support each other during vocal development and the creative process of unleashing the creative spark that occurs when writing and producing music. Currently, myself and vocal coaches Ben Valen, Ray West, and Ryan Wall are here to respond periodicially to your questions, with new vocal coaches coming soon. But, feel free to help each other too:)

This board is here for you to ask questions about my and my fellow coach's books, videos, and MP3 programs, as well as offer others help with our vocal techniques. You may also post videos of yourself and your band to share your music and ask for critiques.

Please refrain from negative comments, profanities, spamming, and inappropriate criticisms of vocal methodologies, vocal coaches, and singers. All negative posts will be deleted and subject to banning without question. I will not respond to negative posts, because, as Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” With that said, positive criticism is welcome because that is how you'll grow as a singer during the training process.

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Re: questions about grit/ scream and prevention of nodules

First off, Lip Bubbles should never cause discomfort - they take weight off the chords, promote proper vocal form and stimulate consistent and controlled airflow. SO if you're getting pain during a lip bubble then one of those 3 things is not happening - WHICH MEANS - your technique is off somewhere. Either your technique while practicing is off so when you go to the lip bubbles you are "adjusting/changing modes" - which causes the discomfort OR your technique for the lip bubbles themselves is off.

Also - If you've only recently (within the past few weeks) started working on Grit/Screams then 2-3 hours per day is WAY too much, I THINK Jaime recommends 5-10 minutes at a time with much rest between, but only AFTER you have mastered the 7 points and worked on Power Push and Dynamic Booster exercises. To get the least harmful scream/grit you need a strong foundation and a fluidity and command of your voice and breathing - a mastery of RYV technique - before you start adding "vocal effects" or other advanced techniques.

That said and not knowing how long you've been at this - I am glad you are very careful and you do "break it up" with the lip bubbles in between and make sure you are warmed up sufficiently - as well as stay hydrated. I am also glad to read that you don't feel it on your chords - BUT do you feel it in your palate? There is a difference between the palate placement vs. any "in your throat" placement. You should ALWAYS feel it in your palate.

The heat and "groggy voice" you experience is most likely swelling and blood rushing to your chords after such a long intense workout - maybe tone it back a bit - the faster you try to move without proper technique the more risk you have of injury. Blood pools as the body's mechanism to fight injury - if too much blood pools and pressure rises you risk something worse than a nodule - a Hemorrhage. Would you ask a 120lb man to lift a 150lb weight? No way he'd bust a vessel! (aka hemorrhage) - same principal, you need vocal strength and fitness training before you attempt great feats. There is really no reason to scream 8 times per note - if you're doing this every day, as you say and your technique and command are solid, then the first or second time it comes out of your mouth after being so warmed up should be brilliant - done deal, next note. Go for quality, not quantity.

Don't forget to WARM DOWN! Reset and relax AFTER your workout too - this MIGHT help reduce the pressure and help your blood recirculate to stop the heat, swelling and "groggy voice". In theory it should help, but I'm not 100% - I would back it off a bit in any case, there's such thing as OVER practicing especially if you're jumping ahead in class you're only cheating yourself! Nothing worth doing can be learned overnight.

Good luck to you! Be healthy!

Re: questions about grit/ scream and prevention of nodules

Diane thanks for awesome response, actually I get like 2-4 lippbubbles during sessions that causes a little discomfort. it is very far from actual pain I dont know what it is, whether it is due to mucus buildup and the cords after couple hours gets tighter together, I drink a lot of water, during session and like a gallon per day or even more. and my throat during screaming gets dried in course of session and the closer I get to finishing the faster it gets dried. I take some honey like you recommended too. mostly after dried throat I take a drink of room temperature water. I feel the sound always in the pallate, nothing in throat. I have a theory that more headvoice you have build in certain parts of the voice, the less chance you catch your throat during grit/scream work. Actually at the bottom I do only couple of grits, because it tends to feel throaty. and I am not able to do it without slight catching on my cords I have done 37 sessions of grit/scream work.I started slowly and build up the amount of time gradually. the heat I was talking about seems like microscopic, and it´s not tangible in my cords. anyway I won´t do such a massive work like yesterday, and have decided to cut down on amount of screams/ per note. Other things I do is I do not try to push the sound and get loud. I seem to apply powerpush, probably not doing it concouslly, In past I used to get husky voice even from smaller workout (isolation excercises). yesterday husky voice after 5 hours was gone. I get the lack of fullness of breath, however I have seemed to deal with it succesfully, as long as it is not affecting the quality of my screams and I do them still long to the point comfortable due to running out of air. like 10 sessions ago I needed to push harder to get the scream distortion, now I dont have to do it, I push slightly and get what I want. Actually there is a huge disproportion on amount of "grit/scream voice" I dont get the gains on bottom octave but then the higher I go the more of grit voice I feel developed. also another thing I do is that I feel my highest two notes (A5, B5) are not fully developed, I do smaller amount of scream work on G5 and even less on A5, I do a warmdown with lipp bubbless, the way I do them is that put two fingers on each sides of mouth and sometimes I do it without fingers. As long as discomfort is concerned, i only feel it in the bottom notes, therefore I watch out for manipulation of grit. I do less grit work in the bottom octave then while moving higher I feel mostly comfort no matter how hard and long I scream. on occasion the sound catches very lightly my true cords. I don´t feel it in throat but I know it´s touching my cords in mininal level. but that happens like 1 or 2 times out of 50 screams. When I started grit/scream sessions I had hardship to do gritty sound, my first session was not good, I ended up with scratchy voice no matter how tried to get the sound in palate I couldn´t. I wanted the sound to be not felt in cords, but it always was, I was extremely carefull, I eneded up with slight burning sensation in the next 6 hours and the rest of day. Then I jumped onto this forum, and read about good advice doing it with slighest fallseto, I did it for the next 10 sessions. I developed the minidistortion on sideways of my cords, then 11th session was a breakthrough I managed to get the grit/scream with full voice but I have to push hard to switch from clean to gritty. Now I don´t have to push hard, My highscream sounds very similar to Jaime´s on instructional MP3 record, but I still need couple hundreds of sessions to build a solid gritty/ scream voice. Also the quality of voice has improved during the last 37 sessions this year. I thought that I had a full voice to A5, now I knew that it was mixed voice. Like a month ago I noticed what is chest and headvoice, never knew about what was that, now I know, and during transcending tone I rather go for headvoice not chestvoice. same I do with grit/scream.

Re: questions about grit/ scream and prevention of nodules

I have just finished a session. I was watching very closely to all those things I worried about. actually I feel no heat surrounding the cords, maybe that idea came from too much watching the post session state not comparing it to my normal state. the only miscroscoping heat I feel is at the back of my mouth and underneath and sideways of chin. remember about what I thought was catching tonsils, but yesterday I read here at forum that Jim Gillete said that if you feel slight pressure underneath and behind your chin, it is a sign of proper workout. So I dont worry about that even sometimes I get tingling sensation neraby my chin and it dissappers shortly afterwards. today long before a session I got trouble with mucus buildup and removal. I have learnt a lot from today 2 and half hour session. I got more lipp bubbles that caused slight tiny discomfort, but I got a significant amount of them during warmup so it means, it´s only mucus that covers cords and makes reduced space of head voice. other words said cords get tighter and you may feel sensation during lipp bubble. Next I noticed not getting the space created for grit than usual. It came from mucus buildup, It actually means that you may sound more throaty. I got little more trouble to do my highest 7 notes as good as yesterday (when I usually start. got reduced space but no touching my cords. throughout doing bottom and midrange I got more lot of lippbubbles that feels not 100 % comfortably, but they are due to mucus buildup. I started my session with 17 minute long warmup, ended with warmdown, and most importantly I do my grit/scream work, the way that I do long lipp bubbles and Brrrr in between them and then I go for grit/scream then I do lippbubble and next Brr and other lippbubble at the same note, it takes around 15 seconds. So when I do like 5 screams I do it 5 times before each scream. I think this is good technique. At the end of session I thought that I ended up with husky voice. but today I got less of husky voice comparing to my past workouts. I think no matter how long you scream, if you feel everything in palate, and end up without any scratching or burning sesation or whatever else in your throat, you are out of chance of developing vocal possible vocal problems. but it is only my hypothesis. I may be wrong on this. But it doesn mean for me to go screaming for 5 hours. (actually if I have 2 hour session a day, it means that I don´t scream for 2 hours but the actual clear time of grit/scream work is around 20 minutes maybe even 15) I was very careful at the very beginning of my grit/scream work and fortunately my voice has been getting only better and stronger. sometimes I feel just too much anxious and worried about the things I interpret as signs. Then I look for causes, because I want to go the right way. when I wrote the first post in this thread I was overly anxious and worried but today worried turned out to be in vain. Anyway thanks for good confrontation Diane :) This is why I share my own findings, get confrontation and then come to deeper understanding and knowledge.

Re: questions about grit/ scream and prevention of nodules

Sounds to me you've been at this long enough and cautiously enough that unless a freak accident happens you should be JUST fine :-)

I get a little anxious sometimes too and just want to hear a second opinion so I can find the ONE dot I wasn't connecting to the others (or several dots). Sometimes I just overthink and freak myself out LOL - just depends where my heads at that day.

Re: questions about grit/ scream and prevention of nodules

Sometimes I just overthink and freak myself out LOL - just depends where my heads at that day.
hehe same do I. :) well what really touches my cords is mucus, and sometimes It is so stuck and dried that I feel it scrapes and hurts my cords if I try to remove it a bit just like now, expecially if you suspect you have food sensitivity. I´ve not been here so long only around a quater of a year or less , and I have done only approximately 100 session maybe less. But since I practice grit/scream and see the substantional gains I feel like addicted. the funny thing was a realization that I spend like hour and half during grit/scream excercise, but the clear time of workout is less than 20 minutes and the rest is breathing time, warmup, warmdown and lippbubbles in between screams as additional warmup. I was courageous enough to increase the rate, since I read about the guy here (Christopher) who did a 5 hour long session of grit/scream :D:D I think many people are kinda afraid of grit/scream excercises. I was afraid too and I told myself I have to wait until I get full strong voice in heights, resolve past breakpoints. and I knew that the first grit sessions are going to be felt with frustrations, I went through it, then after like 25 sesions you come to the point whether you are not sure whether you go the right way, your vibrato in heights will feel wird, then I had an important session when I spent couple hours to work on the uppest 6 notes and found I cut through it and sine then I have known that I´m on right way. the point is if you have clean voice you can´t imagine how you are going to be sound completely raspy/gritty and how your rock scream is going to be sound.

Re: questions about grit/ scream and prevention of nodules

LOL, I'm with a on spending a lot of time working. I can easily spend 2-3 hours in our jam-garage before my family is knocking on the door saying "you coming in soon?"
I spend about 10-15 minutes on VSR, then another 15 minutes on UVW, Then I'll sing a song or two to make sure things are warm and fluent, then I'll work on various Falsetto, TT and Siren exercises ( I just feel where things may feel "weak" that day and work on them with the exercise that best fits the situation)until I feel like I'm smooth and have had some progression. Then I'll sit out there and sing songs till whenever. I like to really warm up then sing a few songs that have grit or screams. The lyrical content generally helps me find the emotional freedom to scream and use grit in a really gentile and natural way and are in my "comfort keys". Also I feel like there are different "colors" of grit, so I like using imitation with different vocalists to find the "colors" and how they feel. I haven't tried any grit exercises yet, I've only been at this particular technique about 8 weeks now.

Re: questions about grit/ scream and prevention of nodules

LOL, I´m still in colledge. I think for people with naturally clean voice there is only one way to learn how to scream rock and that is low grit/midrange grit and high scream. I do highscream not exactly like Jaime teaches I use the same principle as in low/midrange grit so it´s slight variation. What I dont have clear is (first thing) whether when making IEEE (or hEEEIIIAAA)I should go louder or not loud. Second thing is when doing IAAA I go either one time louder and straight for grit and another time I go from reinforced falseto slowly entering the grit, you know what I mean. But I dont know which way is better for not developed grit. when I shoot straight louder IAA I use to cut deeper into false cords, and when going slower from reinforced fallsetto I try to work on break point between clean and gritty, which one is more benefical I don´t know.
the third thing is whether it´s better to manipulate the sound EEEIIIIEEEIII or AAAIIIAAAAIIIAAA (and so on) with vocal cords or do vibratos into grit like Jaime showed in instructional video of Highscream. this would be interesting to know which one brings me results faster.

Re: questions about grit/ scream and prevention of nodules

I always wanted to sound like Dio and Eric Adams from Manowar, and I have done a good job of getting the Eric Adams thing down - I can SING and sound a lot like him, but I can not SCREAM like him, and that is what I am looking for.
Not "screamo"/death metal kinds of stuff - I have zero interest in that, but scream, as in "old school" metal.

Specifically like this:

Eric Adams' Scream in "King of Kings"

Re: questions about grit/ scream and prevention of nodules

well, it´s partially a matter of genetics how your scream is going to be sound after the proccess of long term training. I don´t aim to get death metal/hardcore or any type of scream like that. From what I have understood jaime teaches hardrock/ heavy metal type of scream which I have been going for. eric adams scream is awesome. But as well there are certainly more types of scream in hardrock community. the point is I dont know how I will be sound at the end, so the point is top develop your own style your own scream. Anybody here on forum who can give me answers to my questions in my previous comment?