Light and right / Strong and wrong

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This is Brett Manning’s most recent video about extending chest voice.

This is such an important video for those of you trying to “belt”. The first and foremost thing you must be able to do before belting, is know that you are mixing!

If you feel a ceiling as you try to sing higher, or if you have to sing louder and push harder to reach higher notes, then you are not mixing well.

Brett talks about a wide open mouth at 1:30. This is essential for safe belting.  You must be able to allow the sound to reach the front of the mouth and teeth, as well as ring freely in your head register.

Brett talks a lot about results. There are many factors to extending chest voice in your mix. Here are a few details:

1. Optimum breath control. (Engage your upper abdomen and rib cage area).

2.  Keep a stable larynx. (Put a sob or moan in your coordination. This will help keep your larynx from rising).

3. Optimum cord closure. (Initiate your onset with a “cry”. This will help you with cord closure. This sensation is small and light as Brett talks about at 2:00. It is challenging to keep it “light and right”. But, that is your job! That is the exercise!)

3. Optimum thyroid tilt. (The more you “cry” at the onset of cord closure in your upper  register, the more your larynx will tilt. This is essential for safe belting).

4. Oral twang. (The ability to say your words in your upper register. This is like sounding like a cartoon character).

Questions? Comments? Please leave them here!






Carrie Manolakas sings Creep (Radiohead cover)

I’m sure many of you have seen this heart-wretching rendition of Carrie Manolakas’ cover of Creep. She possesses such a compelling hold and control of this song. Have a listen.

Jen DeRosa from Tom Burke’s Voice Studio talks about how Carrie is managing these sounds.  (A Quick Fix for Chicks that Mix)  Check that out here     (And, if you are not subscribing to Tom Burke`s Studio yet for singing tips, then you better get there fast!)

I want to add a couple of things to Jen`s comments, that may seem obvious, but definitely crucial for anyone who is trying to make contemporary sounds in this range (belting).

1. Note Carrie`s body and breath control. Watch her stomach. Notice how effortless it appears she is working. This is NOT the case at all. Carrie is able to hold back huge amounts of air to create the pressure needed to make these sounds safely.

2. Note the `cry`in her voice that is very apparent starting around 2:26. This is good vocal cord closure. See how the top of her mouth is up (ensuring a raised soft palate), and her front top teeth are showing. Again, this is helping with the entire coordination of good cord closure and placement of tone and resonance.

3.  Note her chin starts to rise at the chorus. This is very effective for her belt sound, once she has good cord closure and optimum breath control. This only works when the throat is relaxed, open and you are `MIXING`. Note how the belt increases by the activation of the cricoid cartilage, and supreme oral resonance. (In other words, happy shouting!) (Note again, the soft palate is high, and the tongue is also slightly high in proportion to this coordination….and the throat is open and free). This is giving the illusion of pure chest voice.

4.  What is going on in the larynx? Lots of things.

The thyroid cartilage is tilted and the aryepiglottic sphincter is narrowed. This is creating oral twang which is a essential component for safe belting.

We know the the thyroid is tilted because her “cry” is very apparent (in her mix). Try meowing or doing a puppy dog whimper in your high mix. (Ladies, high C area and men G above middle C). We also know her aryepiglottic sphincter (AES) is narrowed because of her supreme oral twang. This makes her voice louder. This allows her to lift her chin. (Try quacking like a duck, or saying “nay, nay, nay” like a schoolyard bully with a nasty little bite to your voice).

If Carrie’s thyroid cartilage was not well tilted and the AES was not narrowed, Carrie would not be able to left her chin to better activate her oral twang and resonance. This laryngeal coordination is key to belting in any style of music.

Questions? Comments? Please leave them here.