Learn How To Sing With The Mask Or Vocal Placement (Resonance)  – LESSON 16 – Craig Shimizu Voice

Learn How To Sing With The Mask Or Vocal Placement (Resonance) – LESSON 16 – Craig Shimizu Voice

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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.

89 thoughts on “Learn How To Sing With The Mask Or Vocal Placement (Resonance) – LESSON 16 – Craig Shimizu Voice”

  1. oh my god thanks craig! this video really clear up everything. your 'you' method works for me because i used to have problem with those 'ng' method because i start to sound nasal by trying singing in the mask. your detailed explanation really helps! you simply the best on youtube!

  2. I'm confused. so in order to "sing in the mask" all I'm really doing is adducting the vocal chords?
    and exactly what is adducting the vocal chords?

  3. Hello Craig. I'm a begginer in singing. Can you check my videos on my channel? In the first one you can hear how my voice was before 3 months ago and in the other video how my voice is now. I know I still can't sing good but there is a change. I'm working on the mix and I would like to know, in my new video, is there a moment when I sing in the mixed voice? And when is it? Thank you and sorry for my english.

  4. Great video! Got a question for you.. Is the "kind and gentle voice" an adducted/masque sound or is it more on the breathy side?

  5. Hi Craig,

    I have been able to find good resonance in the masque area by doing a few exercises daily. The "Quack" like a duck, the "Meow" like a cat and the "good-day" (like an Aussie). Even a baby-cry like "waaah" is fantastic for getting that sound. Also, by adding a juvenile twang to all of them and going up and down the scales, I get a very good buzz sensation and very bright sound in the masque area.

    However, I have and issue with this. I can sing all my songs easily up to the top note and way beyond using this method but this is NOT the way I would like to hear the finished sound. It just sounds ridiculous having that extremely bright tone, even though it gives me amazing range. What I would like to hear is some more "chesty" tones to the higher notes, giving them a fuller and more balanced sound. I have tried to open the back of the throat at the same time, hoping the more darker toned operatic sound will mix with the ultra-bright soudn to balance it out, but to me it still doesn't sound genuine.

    My question is, do you know of a method or exercise that will help introduce more "chestiness" whilse producing these bright-toned sounds as I go higher up in notes?

    Kind regards

  6. Hi craig,
    I am not a singer and i am trying to learn it. I have a question, "does adducting the vocal folds contradict the saying that you have to sing with a relaxed throat?" can you shed light on this please, maybe a video? I would really appreciate it. Thank you for your free lessons! God bless!

  7. Hi Craig!! your videos have helped me immensely while I've been trying to develop my voice, and this video in particular has helped me because I've had trouble trying to find my vocal placement. My question is do you feel resonance in different areas while going through the different registers of the voice? (from low to high) or is it all in the sphenoidal sinus? I've seen other videos were they say to not try and place resonance any lower than in the mouth (when going into lower notes) is that something you find to be true?

  8. Hi shimizu,
    THX for the video, I want to know how to let vocal chords adduct closer? cuz I can sing in mixed and I know where is the mask, but the mixed is still not as strong as my chest voice even it sounds Ok. So I am wondering maybe it's the ability of the vocal chords' addcution?

  9. Hi Craig, Could you explain what is the difference between registers and placements for me? For example, if you "place" your voice higher up, does this mean that you are using more of head voice? Thank you

  10. Oooo I've realized sphenoidal sinus works the best for me too while figuring out mask placement. The voice opens up instantly and gains a fuller, buttery tone. Yet another a-ha moment for moi, thanks to you Craig. Much love & respect.

  11. Thankyou for this video.. very helpful and funny. I'm wondering, when I hold my nose singing, my nose vibrates. Is this incorrect? Should my nose NOT be vibrating?

  12. With your sense of humor and wisdom about singing….I could listen to you for hours. I can remember trying to make sense out of all the books I read on "How to sing" over the years. After I watch one of YOUR videos… I always go practice my songs with the new knowledge and feel and hear the difference. Thank you so much for sharing with us ☺

  13. OK, so I'm literally a mystery. I don't feel vibrations in my nose or masque when I feel like I'm mix/belting with less strain, but I'm often told to be more pharyngeal to find that mix/belt placement, but when i do that…it hurts my throat. My other issue is i love the "ng" drill, but once i get above a B I just feel like I'm headvoice… like there's no effort and it's a weak sound? Help.

  14. OK, so I'm literally a mystery. I don't feel vibrations in my nose or masque when I feel like I'm mix/belting with less strain, but I'm often told to be more pharyngeal to find that mix/belt placement, but when i do that…it hurts my throat. My other issue is i love the "ng" drill, but once i get above a B I just feel like I'm headvoice… like there's no effort and it's a weak sound? Help.

  15. Whenever I try to sing with the mask, I just sound muffled! I guess I should get a mask that doesn't cover my mouth…

  16. Hello sir, please… could you do a video on how to perform healthy "rock screamings" as some rock singers do (E.g.: Steve Tyler, Ronnie James, etc).

    Thank you very much.

  17. First of all, thanks for such a great lesson. I did the "you" exercise however a liile bit of air seems to escape throigh the closed soft pallarre into the nasal cavity. This means that there always was some residual.air in the nasal.cavity causing minor vibrations or overtones in this area..Is this normal?

  18. Hi Mr. Shimizu,

    Thank you so much for you explanation about sphenoidal sinus.
    I can feel the buzz (inner hearing) better in the sphenoidal sinus. It seems my ears are internal connected with a line or tunnel. It is a good feeling.
    About the soft and hard palate connection's point… It does not work for me either … I felt less sympathetic vibrations and less harmonics.

    All the best.

  19. dude, You are a life saver. I've always been so frustrated with "mask" singing because all of the ways to "find" it make you use your nose to sing.

    I feel like, "Okay, fine, I found my sinus'. but how am I supposed to do this with my mouth now??… you know, the thing I sing with?"

    humming or "NGing" ( or however you'd say that) works great but once i switch to the mouth to sing, I lose the focus. your "you" method really helped. thanks for taking the time to explain it.

  20. I really love you. That "you" has surprised me a lot, because normaly to sing with "ng" is the way lots of profressional people teach to find the masquera sound. That "n" implies that you need to lower your soft palate so that part of the sound goes through your nose…
    Well… you can block your mouth cavity with the tongue when you pronounce "n", but you cannot sing this way.
    So that I was confused because you are not supposed to low the soft palate.
    Like you say: "you" puts your voice at the masquera, and that´ s exactly what Alfredo Kraus explained in a video (a spanish video where to pronounce "i" in spanish puts your voice at the masquera). Check how the "i" in pronounced in spanish and you will see.
    Thanks a lot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Amazing explanation….it helps me understand better the 'mask' singing….like the 'You' method. Thanks

  22. I love this videos because you are so cute… And you really explain how to reach the maquera. Most teachers use the "ng" sound to explain how it feels like, but this way the air is going through your nose… Which you need to avoid when you´re singing.
    You explained it very well, supporting first your voice and then lifting the solf palate with the sound of "yyyyyyyyooooouuuuuu" (with facial muscles)
    Thanks again Sensei Craig !!!!!.

  23. Awesome, finally someone with some real knowledge of the science behind this explains it, and I think I finally got it!

  24. great explanation! I def like the "eeeeyuuuu" sound for finding vibration.  I have a caucasian face but still could not get a good vibration feeling right with "ng".  Thanks for helping!

  25. Very wise vocal instructor, what he says about different faces have different ways of placing, has to be true, like take me' i'm Caucasian i have a gigantic nose, some people tease me calling it a 'beak" This gotta influence a lot of things.
    Shimizu voice has a very flat face, so what works for him, might not work for me at all.

  26. Thanks Craig for the explanation of what speakingvsing in the mask really is. I have spasmodic dysphoia and have been learning diaphragm breath support and speaking in the mask getting out of the throat. I do good occasionally but have trouble with raising larynx and closing throat and spasms

  27. Yes! This is the video I have been looking for! I also have a flat face and could not feel the "mask vibes," I really didn't even understand what people were talking about. Now I have the spenoidal sinus to focus on, this has completely saved my placement and evolved my voice. Much gratitude for this!

  28. Hello Mr.Craig
    I watched your lessons and really learned a lot from them. I'm singin for 7 months now and really made progress. I sing and play guitar rock and metal I need to ask you is that what kind of technique is better to open throat ? From all the techniques I learned this one (opem throat) is something I really can't do. So I hope that you have a lesson or can teach something in how to opem throat because I find it very difficult
    Again thanks a lot for your video here

  29. Dear Shimizu, first of all thank you for all your very helpful videos. And greetings from germany! I wonder – do i should block/close my nose in general? I feel the sound more edgy and compact when there's no air streaming through my nose. so, is that kinda correct? thank you 🙂

  30. Thanks for your videos! I have a question, what is the larynx position in mask placement? Do these two things correspond to each other or are they separate issues altogether?

  31. Great videos—really love how you put the science in there plus show examples of what we are trying to feel and hear. QUESTION: These techniques you show develop a voice and singing style that give stamina and full tone and range to a singer. I like that. But the end result is an old style opera sound. HOW CAN THESE TECHNIQUES BE USED IN A MODERN POP OR ROCK SETTING without sounding old fashioned? I’m assuming that some of the great pop stars of today must be doing at least some yhings right or they would lose their voice?

  32. This video definitely helps me!!! You explain with simplicity and surgical precision where to find that mask singing, just like you did in that other video about how to connect the diaphragm. A smart approach to teach things. Thanks so much Craig!

  33. very good video, well explained. I have a question, i believe i have naturally, without knowing, pushed my singing, and speaking voice as well, to rely on this way too much. what i'm hearing is really very strong harmonics, typically at 3.7khz, like a metallic ringing, which i long thought was a recording problem. is it possible to do that without even realizing?

  34. A good explanation, but the result oft the teacher himself is not corrrect. He doesnt connect his sound with the body, ribcage or diaphram. The result is that shaking hard tone. Not the calm streaming you want to.

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