You, you, you, you, you. I’ve done it! I can sing in my mask all
the time! Today’s video comes from R. Han. It says,
“By the way, sir. Please call me Craig. I have a request. Can you make a video about
vocal placement or something that people said “singing mask”? because most lessons on
this topic over youtube quite complicated to understand. Actually the topic is complicated and I’ll
explain why. One of the reasons it’s complicated is because instructors have their own favorite
ways of describing vocal placement of the masque. Here’s some…this is one of my singing
instruction bibles…The Structure of Singing by Richard Miller…System and Art in Vocal
Technique. The terms that are used they said are: forward placement, into the masque, into
the mouth, into the upper jaw, out in front, behind the eyes, into the sinuses, at the
end of the nose, on the lips. Other teachers say even: believe the tone should be directed
posteriorly, down the spine, at the back of the throat wall, up the back of the throat
wall then over into the forehead, into the body, into the back of the head, etcetera,
etcetera. That’s why it’s uh, um, confusing, but
hopefully after this video it’s less so. Actually this is kind of is where the masque
is. Eee. Eee. Hmm. Might’ve found something. I have someplace to aim actually. Eee. Eee.
Just trying to be funny. But actually…is this a good look for me? Vocal placement. The masque. Masque. It’s
actually m-a-s-q-u-e. But then, uh, I guess a lot of people just say m-a-s-k because that’s
what it…that’s kind of where it is. This is a tough subject.
And I’ll tell you the truth the masque has not worked for me. I’m wondering because
I can’t feel the vibrations in the front of my face. For my own self, what did work for me was
the, initially my hard palate. I’d aim for the rear of the hard palate, where it joins
the soft palate. That’s one of my, my first opera teachers taught me to do. And, mmm,
that had mixed results. What I like even better to get this vocal placement, or masque singing,
is to vibrate the sphenoidal sinus. It’s the area right above the soft palate. And
it’s easy to feel. If you just do a nasal humm, you can feel it vibrate. Mmm. Mmm. That’s the sphenoidal sinus area.
Mmm. Mmm. So now I can feel what most people would describe as masque singing but it’s
just a little further back. I know my students respond to that kind of
vibrations more than the masque. What makes any kind of masque technique or vocal placement
difficult, there’s two things. Two scientific facts that make these things difficult. Number
one, you can’t move these vibrating bones or cartilage.
The other more important scientific fact is that sound cannot be directed. It kind of
has a mind of its own. It just goes and fills empty space. So I guess if you open up spaces,
then yes, the sound will go in there. But if you try to focus in this area, the sinus
area right behind the nose, that is, um, it’s not really a cavity. It is bone, but it’s
filled with your, uh, it’s filled with your sinuses, hair and other soft things so it
isn’t actually a good vibrating cavity. The bones, however around it, are what makes
the placement or masque singing possible. Why singers have difficulty with vocal placement
and the masque is because those are actually sympathetic resonances. Things that vibrate
in sympathy with another vibrating source. So the vibrating source is the vocal folds.
That is where all sound originates. I know we said it’s the diaphragm. But then the
diaphragm and the stomach area controls breath pressure but there is no sound that is generated
from the diaphragm. The diaphragm propels the air up to the vocal folds, stimulates
the vocal folds, gets the vibration going and then various parts of the body, usually
in the near vicinity to the vocal folds will start to vibrate in sympathy with the vocal
folds. Sympathetic resonance. So that’s the key
term. Please try to understand sympathetic resonance as an instructor or as a student
of singing as you’re trying to learn about where to focus your voice. And it, that’s
actually a very good thing. Great singers feel their voices as much as they hear them. Understanding sympathetic resonance is the
key. When the vocal folds vibrates a certain way, that will cause bones and cartilage in
the vicinity of the vocal folds to vibrate. And that produces those “boney” sounds
that we call placement…masque singing. So whenever you’re talking about the masque,
focusing the voice, what you’re talking about basically is the reduction of the air
flow. So here we go again, please check out my other
video on adduction. That is what you’re really doing. When you’re feeling vibrations
wherever you want to be, whether it’s in your nose, the masque, the pharyngeal cavity,
the sphenoidal sinus, whatever you want to choose, it vibrates when you reduce the air
flow here. So, what does it sound like? A sound that
doesn’t have focus or vocal placement or in the masque, would be like, uh, if I exaggerate
it…eee, eee, eee. A very breathy tone because that’s a, not
an adducted position. It will have no vibrations in the masque or in the sphenoidal sinus.
If I sang a song like that. When I am down and oh, my soul so weary. It’s okay. But
then, if you, if then the teacher told you, well, get it into your masque. When I am down
and oh, my soul so weary. So what I did was I adducted my vocal folds. And the vocal folds
got closer together and they caused the vibrations that makes my…wherever you want to choose,
if it works for you, hard palate, sphenoidal sinus, uh, masque, then go right ahead, use
that. It means that you are reducing the air flow. You are adducting your vocal folds.
You raise me up so I can stand on mountains. So that didn’t have much masque singing,
not much vibrations. So if I, after I adduct the vocal folds…You raise me up so I can
stand on mountains. That sound is adducted and of course, as you know from the other
video, adducted vocal folds gets louder. And it is also, yes, “Inhalare La Voce”.
“Inhalare La Voce” is another way of finding vocal placement. “Inhalare La Voce” means
to inhale the voice. Use inhalation muscles while you’re letting your body use the forced
expiration muscles. You raise me up so I can stand on mountains. That was using “Inhalare
La Voce”. You know that I like it because just one thought, “inhale while I’m singing”
achieves a lot of good things, which in this case is vocal placement or singing in the
masque. If I inhaled the air…Raise me up, I get
that placement. I get that buzz right up there. My place is the sphenoidal sinus. That works
best for me. So, how to achieve this? Well, an easy scale…there’s
many different ways as you know of achieving placement. But here’s a simple one.
It’s the word, “you”. And it has to have that “eeyou” kind of sound. Eeyou.
Eeyou. Yes, I know, a lot of people prefer n-g’s,
ng, ng, ng. And that works too. And so does the humming. Mmm. Mmm. In fact,
humming is a good one for first locating your sphenoidal sinus. Mmm. Mmm.
But I like “you” better, I like you better. I like you better because you can do it with
one of the tests of correct singing, which is to hold your nose.
Because the majority of sound does not come out through the nose, which is another thing
that makes masque singing difficult and confusing. At times, you’re going to try to actually
push your voice into your nose…for this kind of nosey sound.
But that’s not correct singing. The majority of your voice is supposed to be coming out
through your mouth. And the big test for that is holding the nose. You, you, you. Can’t
do that with… Can’t humm long with your nose blocked.
And the n-g too. It’s no good. That’s why I prefer the
word you, you, you. But it has to be that eeyou, eeyou.
It has to be an adducted you. Eeyou, eeyou, eeyou. Now using that, and we’ll just use
a scale. You, you, you, you, you. You, you, you, you,
you. You, you, you, you, you. You, you, you, you, you.
What you should be is doing is feeling where your placement points will be. I think if,
everybody’s different. I, I think it could be, too, that orientals because we have flat
faces. As opposed to caucasian faces. You folks have more stuff up here.
It could be one reason why the masque doesn’t work for me as well as other orientals.
You, you, you, you, you. You, you, you, you, you. You, you, you, you, you. You, you, you,
you, you. For women, so what would not be placement
would be: You, you, you, you, you. What is place, what is placement: You, you,
you, you, you. You, you, you, you, you. You, you, you, you, you. You, you, you, you, you.
That was also another way of how to reach the mixed voice again. And how to sing higher
for guys and gals, that you again adduct the vocal folds and we’re using the “you”
and placement to get to the adducted vocal folds.
Eeyou. Eeyou. Eeyou. As opposed to you, you, which is just breathy. That’s the difference
again. It’s very simple. It’s adduction. That’s
why vocal placement and the masque is difficult. But if you can uh, just understand some basics
about what’s really going on. It is really about the vocal fold closure and that’s
easiest to do with understanding adduction. This is Craig from Shimizu Voice. If you learned
anything today, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel. And please let
me know what you folks want to hear. Let me have comments, uh, positive or negative about
his lesson or if you just need clarification on anything we covered.
In the meantime, have a great day.