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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Shred Your Voice!?!

Ive been working on my range for about a year now. The best practices to me are the most grueling. I dont just jump into it. I do a slow steady warm up and focus on technique. Im normally about an hour and a half in until I really get going. Sometimes when Im hitting a really high note my voice gets gritty on its own. Or sometimes it sounds a little staticky. It doest hurt at all. It actually sounds kinda cool. But since its unintentional I usually hold it for a couple of seconds then stop even though I feel like I can hold the note for a good while. Am I doing the right thing by stopping or should I hold it as long as I can? Also I normally practice for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Towards the end my voice will get a little husky I guess or a little fatigue sounding. But its only my speaking voice. Im usually still primed and if I sing with my full voice everything seems fine. Should I keep going if I feel I can or am I over doing it? I would appreciate any feedback.

Re: Shred Your Voice!?!

I like to play around with this myself. I actually figured out what causes it and can reproduce it whenever I want.

As you get to higher pitches you "shoot" the air up into your upper resonant chambers - this releases a lot of "weight" from your chords - when I don't feel much weight I tend to "relax into position" physically in my chords - I'm still buzzing in my palate - and most of the rest of my head, I've got my neck totally relaxed and my chords in whatever stage of the zipper they are in to aid in the tone production - but I release the tension on them - again, hold position, release tension - it's weird though because only the part that's "open" relaxes - the areas of my chords that are shut are still shut... but... my gap flaps It's a different way of approaching the "cry" or "fry" I believe. I have never felt the grit on my throat - just the "popcorn" that hits my palate. I can easily flip back and forth from that sensation to clean, and it never causes me to be sore or hoarse - BUT I only use it stylistically, not on in say - a heavy metal band that screams all night.

I honestly don't know if it's a good thing or not, but I figure as long as it doesn't cause pain or cause my palate to stop buzzing and I don't feel it in my throat it's all gravy

Re: Shred Your Voice!?!

Practice extending your range in short episodes. Ideally, you want to reach those high pitches effortlessly without becoming raspy afterwards. This is a sign of tension and irritation. So you're not quite there yet. It is normal when experimenting with new technique or pushing our limits to experience that. Compare it to trying to do the split. Yo might have to push on your legs to the point where they might feel sore the next day. But eventually your tights will touch the floor. If you push all the way down the firs time you try, you WILL enjure yourself.

I would recommend using extreme caution when working your higher range. Verify with a profesional vocal coach that your approach is correct to avoid unnecessary injury. Make sure not to use too much power; don't push your voice. If you have created the right space for your larynx to tilt forward and pull your vocal cords accordingly, you should be able to sing high with little effort.

Hope that helps.


Re: Shred Your Voice!?!

Thanks for the feedback. I like the way you think Diane. "If it don't hurt it's all gravy!" I took your advice. When the unintentional staticy sound came out I just held the note for a while each time. It didn't hurt and it didn't negatively effect my voice in any way. Proving to myself that the voice is in fact very resilient. But something that REALLY impacted my practice sessions in a big way was something I relearned from week 5. When Jaime starts going over material from RYV. He goes over the basics of breathing. I thought I had the breathing down. I was breathing into my stomach and bearing down ok. But he mentiones kepping your belly expanded while you sing which I wasn't doing. I tried it today and at first I was like Holy Crap! It seemed like my voice couldn't handle the extra power too well. I kept at it though and I started getting the hang of it and by about an hour and a half in I couldn't believe the difference. It even helped me with my grit. Sounded a lot Ballzier. I've always wanted to use that word. Ballzier! Thanks Jamie! Hope this helps someone else.