So... I've Got To Learn To Be A High-tenor.

MantridMantrid Lockpick Join Date: 2003-12-07 Member: 24109Members Posts: 3,614
Singing advice?
Right, so, our drama teacher is insane, and chose a Sondheim musical for our high school spring performance. Specifically, he chose "A Little Night Music". Its pretty much nothing but innuendo.

So I ended up getting cast as Henrik, who is studying to be a church official, falls in love with his step-mother, who is closer to his age than to his father's, and eventually ends up running away with her in the end.

The problem is, I'm not a high-tenor. I'm closer to a baritone. Now, I'm sure I can falcetto some of it, but that won't cut it the whole song.

So, any advice on how I can get my voice up there, aside from the cliches involving the application of force to my testicals?
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QUOTE(Gwahir)
Mantrid, you truly scare me sometimes.

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  • Cold_NiTeCold_NiTe Join Date: 2003-09-15 Member: 20875Members Posts: 6,073
    QUOTE (Mantrid @ Feb 17 2005, 11:48 PM)
    aside from the cliches involving the application of force to my testicals?

    I'm out of ideas.
  • DOOManiacDOOManiac Worst. Critic. Ever. Join Date: 2002-04-17 Member: 462Members, NS1 Playtester Posts: 8,597
    Squeeze your... oh... nevermind.
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  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    I don't know terribly much about voice training, but I've read a bit about how to increase your range. Basically just sing the highest note you can sing comfortably, without straining, and slowly build up confidence with it. Then when you feel like you can, go up a half step, and repeat.

    Also, I'd recommend working on the transition between your chest voice and falsetto. Sing stuff that makes you go back and forth a lot on scales and in jumps, and see if you can get the transition as seemless as possible. Don't strain yourself! A lot of it seems to be in knowing how to really relax things to ease through the transition. Keep your jaw and whole throat area as limp as you can to practice, then slowly add in muscles without restricting anything in your throat unnecessarly.
  • NEO_PhyteNEO_Phyte We need shirtgons! Join Date: 2003-12-16 Member: 24453Members, Constellation Posts: 1,369
    my highschool choir teacher had a method she called "squeezing the dime."
    basicly, pretend there is a dime in your crack, and you cant let it slip out :/
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  • AmbassadorAmbassador Join Date: 2003-02-24 Member: 13942Members Posts: 177
    I used to be a high tenor, but now I'm a bass/baritone. Bass/baritones have the best falcetto and can usually hit it easier than regular tenors.

    Breathe from your diaghram not your stomach. The difference being that when you breath, your chest should not go up. Your stomach should go out before it goes up.

    Secondly, when hitting higher notes raise your soft-pallette. That's the part in the back of your mouth. My old choir teacher told us to do that imagine there's a string attached to the ceiling and the other end's attached to the top-back of your head, but don't drop your jaw. #1 rule is not dropping your jaw b/c that'll muffle the sound.

    Umm....what else. As mentioned before, I would practice talking in a high pitch to get a feel for the notes. Just walk around saying stuff in a falsetto voice.

    Don't push the notes otherwise it'll sound strained and it will end up hurting your vocal cords.

    I would ask your drama teacher to help you with practicing some warm up things to adjust your voice. Or if you have a piano at home, just sing a the scale with an 'oooo' because it's easier than most other things, maybe "aaah" would work.

    If all else fails, just sing baritone lol.
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  • ShoeboxShoebox Join Date: 2004-11-15 Member: 32817Members Posts: 517
    QUOTE (DOOManiac @ Feb 17 2005, 09:54 PM)
    Squeeze your... oh... nevermind.

    haha biggrin-fix.gif
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  • NecroticNecrotic Big Girl's Blouse Join Date: 2002-01-25 Member: 53Members, NS1 Playtester Posts: 1,442
    Drink pure jif lemon juice, that stuff you chuck on your pancakes. It contracts the vocal chords and numbs the throat, not the healthiest way to do it but it got me through a few musicals and gigs without my voice cracking.
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    Snidely - I have to wonder, though, why anyone would want to nick some cow testes.
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  • TalesinTalesin Our own little well of hate Join Date: 2002-11-08 Member: 7710NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators Posts: 6,952 mod
    Lemon juice on pancakes? Ick.
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  • SnidelySnidely Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13098Members Posts: 3,896
    edited February 2005
    Dude...you gotta have lemon juice on pancakes.

    EDIT: unless you're talking about those American pancakes instead. They go much better with maple syrup. Mmmmm....syrup...
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  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    QUOTE (Snidely @ Feb 18 2005, 02:46 AM)
    Dude...you gotta have lemon juice on pancakes.

    EDIT: unless you're talking about those American pancakes instead. They go much better with maple syrup. Mmmmm....syrup...

    Please enlighten me as to these non american pancakes smile-fix.gif
  • MantridMantrid Lockpick Join Date: 2003-12-07 Member: 24109Members Posts: 3,614
    QUOTE (moultano @ Feb 17 2005, 11:49 PM)
    QUOTE (Snidely @ Feb 18 2005, 02:46 AM)
    Dude...you gotta have lemon juice on pancakes.

    EDIT: unless you're talking about those American pancakes instead. They go much better with maple syrup. Mmmmm....syrup...

    Please enlighten me as to these non american pancakes smile-fix.gif

    Yes, I too am curious about your foreign breakfast food items.
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    QUOTE(Gwahir)
    Mantrid, you truly scare me sometimes.

    0x09F911029D74E35BD84156C5635688C0
  • SgtFurySgtFury Join Date: 2003-02-07 Member: 13219Members Posts: 127
    Pancake day.... Just gone....

    Pancakes here in england aren`t as stodgy as american ones, that to me look like they can be used as a place mat. biggrin-fix.gif

    Mmmmm pancakes with sugar and lemon are great...... even better with raisins in. tounge.gif
  • TalesinTalesin Our own little well of hate Join Date: 2002-11-08 Member: 7710NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators Posts: 6,952 mod
    They sound more like ricecakes than pancakes, fury.
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    QUOTE (SgtFury @ Feb 18 2005, 04:08 AM)
    Pancake day.... Just gone....

    Pancakes here in england aren`t as stodgy as american ones, that to me look like they can be used as a place mat. biggrin-fix.gif

    Mmmmm pancakes with sugar and lemon are great...... even better with raisins in. tounge.gif

    What are they made out of?
  • marcemarce Join Date: 2004-08-24 Member: 30869Members Posts: 466
    edited February 2005
    Make sure you're getting plenty of air. Diaphragm breathing has already been explained (you shoulders should not rise, but you should grow a belly).

    Also, when you sing, the audience should always be able to see your teeth, it brightens the sound and brings it forward in your mouth. Also, keep it a little on the nasal side. Try leaning your forehead against a wall and leaning your weight on it (as in take a step back from the wall you should look like this /| while you sing. Bringing the sound forward is important. If you sing in the back of your throat, it darkens the sound, and can make you go flat, especially if you're not confident in your pitching.

    That's akin to the soft pallette that Ambassador is talking about. Give yourself heaps of space (open your mouth - almost like you're yawning).

    One of my singing teachers always said "Singing is 5% talent, 5% work and 90% mental".

    I know it sounds weird, but you have to think as if you are coming down to the note, instead of going up to reach it. If you have a piano or keyboard available, it's easy to check out what I mean. Play a note, and sing it. Then play a lower note and sing that. Your voice neatly drops into place, and doesn't stress your voice at all, it feels more like an adjustment than an actual change. Now try going up. Visualise moving up higher, and your voice will sound more strained, and you are more likely to be flat. Try thinking about the note as if you are moving down to it, and you're less likely to strain, and it will feel easier. Believe me, it takes a bit of practice, but it works.

    Also, while real castration works, the "squeezing the dime" method is almost entirely a mental thing. Squeezing your testicles won't immediately change the structure of your vocal chords, but it will make you feel like it has, because you've learnt to associate it to that.

    The idea about the scales is absolutely right. You can train your voice into being a counter-tenor if you work hard and long enough (counter-tenor sings approx a female soprano's range, with slight differences that don't really concern us). The more you practice, the easier it will be.

    Don't sing what you physically can't sing, you'll damage yourself.
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  • Seph_KimaraSeph_Kimara Join Date: 2003-08-10 Member: 19359Members Posts: 1,720 Fully active user
    edited February 2005
    QUOTE (moultano @ Feb 18 2005, 09:32 AM)
    QUOTE (SgtFury @ Feb 18 2005, 04:08 AM)
    Pancake day.... Just gone....

    Pancakes here in england aren`t as stodgy as american ones, that to me look like they can be used as a place mat.  biggrin-fix.gif

    Mmmmm pancakes with sugar and lemon are great...... even better with raisins in.  tounge.gif

    What are they made out of?

    flour, eggs, water, milk. Really simple.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database...uga_66226.shtml

    Pancakes in the UK are pretty thin. But yes, they go great with lemon and sugar.
  • Nil_IQNil_IQ Join Date: 2003-04-15 Member: 15520Members Posts: 3,316
    QUOTE (Seph Kimara @ Feb 18 2005, 08:20 AM)
    QUOTE (moultano @ Feb 18 2005, 09:32 AM)
    QUOTE (SgtFury @ Feb 18 2005, 04:08 AM)
    Pancake day.... Just gone....

    Pancakes here in england aren`t as stodgy as american ones, that to me look like they can be used as a place mat.  biggrin-fix.gif

    Mmmmm pancakes with sugar and lemon are great...... even better with raisins in.  tounge.gif

    What are they made out of?

    flour, eggs, water, milk. Really simple.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database...uga_66226.shtml

    Pancakes in the UK are pretty thin. But yes, they go great with lemon and sugar.

    Yep. They're generally plate-sized but really thin.

    You put your lemon and sugar on (and maybe honey... mmm...), then roll it up into a thin strip and eat it. Make sure you eat it from the ends inwards, that way you get all the sugary lemony goodness in the last bite biggrin-fix.gif

    Also they're generally eaten as a desert rather than brekfast food.
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    QUOTE (Abra @ Jun 2 2008, 06:19 PM) »
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  • SnidelySnidely Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13098Members Posts: 3,896
    Nothing nicer in the morning than some pancakes with lemon juice, golden syrup and a sprinkling of sugar, apart from a bacon sarnie. But bacon on a regular basis is a bit expensive for a student saving up for a DS. ):
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  • Pepe_MuffassaPepe_Muffassa Join Date: 2003-01-17 Member: 12401Members Posts: 537
    My choir teacher used to tell teh women in the class to "put em on the shelf" - in other words, expand the chest cavity, but breath with the diaphram (if your a guy, your belly should move out on deep breaths).

    Definatly visualize placing the notes - not reaching for them. Many people have huge cracks in their range when switching from head voice to falsetto - try starting falsetto earlier (lower) in the range.

    If all else fails, I got a pair of tin snips you could borrow (just kidding)
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  • TheDestroyerTheDestroyer Tooobah Join Date: 2003-07-12 Member: 18123Members, Constellation Posts: 737 Fully active user
    QUOTE
    expand the chest cavity, but breath with the diaphram


    Utter pagen lies.

    You never want to breath like that (I call it the action movie breaths in my teachings). I don't care if you are a chic...you still breath from the "tummy". Your diaphram expands downward, so your tummy should expand, due to your organs being pushed down.

    Now, I am not a voice teacher, but a concert musician (tuba private lesson teacher, to be exact).

    Now, some of this stuff would cost you 15$/per 30 minutes if you took lessons from me, but I will share anyway. Musicians, take note...this is good stuff.

    Now, in order to be able to play and sing well, you need a good air support. I always tell my students that music is like a building, you have your building (the actual music), your curtains, bricks, cotches, blinds (musical ornimentations such as accents, cresendos, decresendos, staccatos, etc), and so on. However, you cannot have a good building without good foundation. The same can be said about music. Air is the foundation of music. You cannot become a great performer without great air. Trust me, I know. I have to blow through more tubing then anyone (I <3 the tuba).

    Here are two exercises you can to to increase your air supply.




    1. Column of air.

    The "column of air" exercise is to help you increase the amount of air to bring in and out. When doing this exersize, you want to breath with your stomach, and not do any "action movie" chest breathing. You also do not want any embouchure. You want to be as relaxed as possible.

    Now, extend your arm out, and your hand flat infront of you. Make your arm prominant, because you want to play in that way. You never want to play as if you are conveying the question "am I playing?" You always want to play with this stuck up attitude, saying "Yea, I'm playing....deal with it." The same thing goes with your air. Always play with sort of an attitudal air, as I like to say.

    Now, you will breath in for four counts, and breath out. When breathing, you will move your hand towards you, and while you breath out, move your hand away. The hand is to help you visualize a column of air that you are pushing and pulling into your lungs. However, I want you to imagine this column with a diameter of a Folders coffee can. Yea, a lot of air is what you want going in and out of your body.

    Do 8 sets of this with 4 beats in and 4 beats out. Later on, change it up, doing 2 in 4 out, and so on.

    When doing this, you want to be sorta dizzy, because that proves you are doing this correctly. However, you dont want to try and kill yourself.

    (Oh, air is also the natural high, just to point out. tounge.gif And its free.)

    2. Dot on Hand (Instrumentalists only)

    Next, I want you to to put your hand an inch and a half infront of your mouth. Form and embouchure, and what you will do is breath in for 2 counts, and blow out for four. You want to channel your air to hit one spot on your hand, and blow so that it could almost move your hand. This is to help you channel your air in one spot, as if blowin down the lead pipe. It takes some work, but it will pay off in the end.




    Also, when you do anything musical, you always want to be as relaxed as possible. Stress can take away from the quality of sound.

    Well, got some questions or want some 1 on 1 help, hit me up. Hope this helps....gots to rush to class.

    This is why we need a music forum tounge.gif
  • TalesinTalesin Our own little well of hate Join Date: 2002-11-08 Member: 7710NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators Posts: 6,952 mod
    English pancakes sound like crepes.
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  • SgtFurySgtFury Join Date: 2003-02-07 Member: 13219Members Posts: 127
    QUOTE (Talesin @ Feb 18 2005, 11:33 AM)
    English pancakes sound like crepes.

    lol and there was me trying to keep this thread on topic by creating another about pancakes, you would think an admin would know better tounge.gif

    Or is singing and pancakes inexplicably linked at some deeper and spiritual level? wow.gif
  • Cold_NiTeCold_NiTe Join Date: 2003-09-15 Member: 20875Members Posts: 6,073
    edited February 2005
    **EDIT**

    This thread is becoming extremely informative.

    Oh and, lol @ Action Movie breaths. (It feels really fitting somehow.)
  • TheWizardTheWizard Join Date: 2002-12-11 Member: 10553Members, Constellation Posts: 1,646 Advanced user
    I used to be a Bass II but now I am a comfortable Baritone to what you would call an Irish Tenor.


    Go figure.
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  • TheWizardTheWizard Join Date: 2002-12-11 Member: 10553Members, Constellation Posts: 1,646 Advanced user
    edited February 2005
    QUOTE (TheDestroyer @ Feb 18 2005, 11:00 AM)


    You never want to breath like that (I call it the action movie breaths in my teachings).  I don't care if you are a chic...you still breath from the "tummy".  Your diaphram expands downward, so your tummy should expand, due to your organs being pushed down.

    Correct. By maintaining your posture and controlling your chest/shoulders/head you will achieve a much more uniform sound than if you tried to breath by expanding your chest.

    //Horn player.
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  • TheDestroyerTheDestroyer Tooobah Join Date: 2003-07-12 Member: 18123Members, Constellation Posts: 737 Fully active user
    QUOTE
    Oh and, lol @ Action Movie breaths. (It feels really fitting somehow.)

    I also refer to them as "Baywatch Breaths," too.

    I'm surprized there are no comments on the "natural high"
  • That_Annoying_KidThat_Annoying_Kid Sire of Titles Join Date: 2003-03-01 Member: 14175Members, Constellation Posts: 5,581 Fully active user
    WOO

    I was a high tenor in choir biggrin-fix.gif

    practice your scales, practice practice practice everything

    also breath from your diaphram and project
  • ThaldarinThaldarin Alonzi&#33; Join Date: 2003-07-15 Member: 18173Members, Constellation Posts: 6,132
    QUOTE (Nil IQ @ Feb 18 2005, 02:28 PM)
    QUOTE (Seph Kimara @ Feb 18 2005, 08:20 AM)
    QUOTE (moultano @ Feb 18 2005, 09:32 AM)
    QUOTE (SgtFury @ Feb 18 2005, 04:08 AM)
    Pancake day.... Just gone....

    Pancakes here in england aren`t as stodgy as american ones, that to me look like they can be used as a place mat.  biggrin-fix.gif

    Mmmmm pancakes with sugar and lemon are great...... even better with raisins in.  tounge.gif

    What are they made out of?

    flour, eggs, water, milk. Really simple.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database...uga_66226.shtml

    Pancakes in the UK are pretty thin. But yes, they go great with lemon and sugar.

    Yep. They're generally plate-sized but really thin.

    You put your lemon and sugar on (and maybe honey... mmm...), then roll it up into a thin strip and eat it. Make sure you eat it from the ends inwards, that way you get all the sugary lemony goodness in the last bite biggrin-fix.gif

    Also they're generally eaten as a desert rather than brekfast food.

    mmmmm honey.....
    blah blah blah
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