Vocal Tips For K-pop Fans #5: Eliminating Airiness, Developing Low Notes

Quick Post here guys. This is my new video webseries called “Vocal Tips For K-Pop Fans”, where I’ll be posting vocal tips for you guys weekly. Please leave a comment, subscribe and share it with others. Let me know if you have any questions and please give suggestions for future videos!

 

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About ahmin3

kitsunemale from YouTube, AhMin33 from Twitter and Ahmin from OneHallyu! https://www.youtube.com/user/KitsuneMale

58 thoughts on “Vocal Tips For K-pop Fans #5: Eliminating Airiness, Developing Low Notes

  1. Really nice and helpful tips, perfect reminders of the same things my teacher had told me as well – I had developed poor vocal habits that caught up to me and have resolved the airiness since I started lessons 2 years ago. Lately I’ve been working on better breath support for steady dynamics and control, as well as increasing clarity, since I still have a tendency for some nasality, it’s now a challenge that requires all my concentration, to keep that flap closed. I’d be interested in your comments on the accepted level of nasality in Kpop. I have noticed the same in other Asian languages to an extent, but as my ears are training I’m headed toward lowering my tolerance for it. Some examples.. Park Hyo Shin then vs now, I prefer his improved clearer tone in recent years to the more nasal one.
    I will look forward to whatever you do next, whenever you find the time to generously donate your energy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s acceptable when it’s completely necessary to pronounce words right but I don’t believe it should happen throughout the whole singing of a vocalist, so not in every vowel or every word. I don’t mind it too much usually. No problem!

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  2. I’ve been trying to improve my lower notes recently πŸ˜€ but still trying to eliminate airiness off my singing voice is really hard though

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  3. Hey ahmin! I was just wondering if I could send you a video of my singing (it’s pretty bad though) haha. I’m really curious about what my voice type is, and like what I need to improve and what’s already okay in my vocal technique. Would you be okay with that? Thanks for the video btw, will definitely be using it.

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      1. Hey there! So do you have a piano at home at all? Can you read music? It’s a bit hard to help you out with this, because you seem to lack control of your voice in general, so like you said you’re pitchy. Can you tell so yourself? Can you tell when you’re singing the wrong notes? Cause there are times where you’re singing the right notes, mostly in your falsetto. Your breathing isn’t even an issue, it’s your sense of pitch that definitely needs work first. This song allows you to switch into falsetto so it makes it easier. You have issues with your diction, you sing really lazily, it’s very like …it’s not mumbled, but the way you move your mouth and sing in general, your enunciation isn’t very clear, so you need to work on bigger vowels, better enunciation for sure. Pitch for sure too. You could be a mezzo or a soprano I’m not sure, you need more training for me to be able to tell.

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      2. Yeah I can read music and I have a keyboard, although I can’t play (I play violin). My pitch is one of the things that really annoys me about my voice, cause I can tell that I’m not singing the right notes, but I lack enough control to sing the right ones if that makes any sense haha. I’ve always been really bad at singing high so I worked on my falsetto for a long time, and just recently I’ve realized that my mix needs major work, but I’m not really sure how. Although I have sung scales to a piano before, and when it’s just trying to hit one note at a time I can match it, but the higher I go in my mix the more likely I am to go off key. Do you have any advice on enunciation? Again, thank you so much I really appreciate it.

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      3. I think you just need to emphasize the sounds and vowels with more care, drop your jaw more, make sure your tongue is relaxed and that your mouth is opening properly when enunciating, instead of waving around. Also your pitch wasn’t so bad in the higher notes, the lower notes were the less controlled ones. You really should do an exercise where you play random notes at the piano and try to match them quickly, such as playing a G4, then a B3, then a D5, and quickly try to sing one then the other.

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      4. I am not sure which one your voice is yet, I’m listening to All Of Me. I assume you have an accent so I think I know which one you are. I chose All Of Me because if you’re a baritone, I’ll be able to hear that quite easily with All of Me. Your pitch is good, your tone is nice and your production of tone is nice, very clear and not airy or weak. I like that, it’s already a good placement to start. I hear some issues with nasality, which can come from having an accent. Your tone lacks a good sense of breath support, make sure you to breathe deeply into your diaphragm so you can produce a more supported, less throat-based tone. Your tone can lack a sense of fulness, become shallow and lack depth of color. Your transitions aren’t bad, your falsetto transitions aren’t bad at all. You have issues with your F4’s for sure, they become tight, the throat closed and you need to pronounce the Me less like me and more like “meh” so as to drop your jaw more and keep the throat and sound more opened. Your C4’s aren’t bad at all, they could easily be fuller and produce resonance, even your Eb4’s aren’t that bad, they might be shallow and show signs of strain but it’s not that hard to fix. You should use a lighter approach, you pull too much chest voice up with your mixed voice. I believe you might be a baritone. I need more solo singing lol A little lower too.

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      5. Thank you ahmin! I’ll definitely try your advice and hopefully improve a little haha. I really appreciate it πŸ™‚ and singing’s never been my strong suit so I’m hoping I’ll improve my technique.

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      6. Yes I do have an accent, haha sorry about that. Oh and thanks for the compliments! My tone is nice? Really??? Because personally, I think my tone is a bit boring (I wish I have a tone like Kyuhyun’s) πŸ˜€
        Thanks for the short analysis. I think I get it, and I’ll try to fix it, haha.
        So you need more solo singing to make sure about my voice type? Maybe I can record some, haha. I hope you don’t mind to listen to it later..
        By the way, I really enjoy reading your blog. It’s very helpful and I learned a lot. But I’m sorry I’ve been a silent reader for so long πŸ˜€
        Haha thank you sooo much, Ahmin!!

        Best regards,
        Ron
        (sorry for my bad english)

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      7. Yes I like your tone haha I mean I personally find it hard not to like someone’s tone. Your tone isn’t boring but perhaps your use of dynamics could use work and that would help you sound better haha Yeah just to be sure but you’re most likely a baritone. Don’t worry, silent readers are good too! lol

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  4. Ah thank you so much for this Ahmin, it was so helpful. I am no real vocalist, but have always known I was Contralto, so mainly I sing within the more comfortable lower ranges (my current range is A2 to G4, my voice was always deep even as a young girl). However, I have always noticed the annoying airiness that can come from pushing out those hard to reach deep notes. So your exercise #5 was fantastic help. In fact I swear I got down lower than normal with almost no airiness. Maybe one day I will get down to those really low notes and sound even more like a man πŸ˜›

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  5. Ahmin, I have a question (although it’s more about placement than airyness sorry) what’s your usual tell tale sign that you’re singing with mask placement? I’ve been trying to be more conscious about it and sometimes after a sing for quite I while, I feel kind of like leftover vibrations near what I think is the mask area and I read somewhere that that’s how you know you’re singing with mask placement but I wanted to consult you too haha. Also, is it normal for my throat to feel hoarse sometimes after singing for a while or is that because I’m not opening my throat as much?

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    1. It depends on the person but I feel pressure behind my eyes or close to my mouth, not too much on the cheekbones. I also hear kind of an echo-like quality in my tone. Depends, are you singing for half an hour constantly or more than 1 hour? Because it shouldn’t but at first it may due to you not being used to singing for that long.

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      1. Ohhhh I see, I feel vibrations above my mouth too and it’s usually coupled with the vibrations near my cheekbones/cheeks. Oh and sometimes the vibrations are also behind my eyes or around the eyebrow area and I’ve been wondering if that has something to do with chest/head ratio in the mix or if it’s just random.

        Ah, yeah. It doesn’t happen that often so I think it might also depend on the range of the song or how much I strain lol thank you again!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Ahmin!
    Thanks for making a new video with so many useful vocal exercises! I didn’t even realise that I had this issue with airiness, but this really opened my eyes (and ears) to it haha^^ I really love your videos, please continue to make them if you can!

    Can I know how to project my voice better? I tend to sing quite softly and don’t know exactly what the problem is. Or in future videos could you teach how to be more conscious of where the voice is when singing? I’m quite a newbie to all these vocal techniques so I really appreciate any advice you can offer(: thanks again for taking the time and effort to make your videos!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there! Have you seen the other videos I made? They may be able to help you with your questions, if not come back and show me the issue! ^ ^

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  7. Wow, this is an amazing video. I learned a lot. Could you also look at my singing to help me determine what aspects of my singing I need to improve on? I know I have a hard time doing a falsetto and a lot of other stuff too. Your help would mean a lot πŸ™‚

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      1. Okay so like… with you saying “I know I lack a lot, I think I’m singing really wrong” I was expecting something bad LOL So I clicked on the Younha cover and giiiiiiiirl. You kidding? First of all, you have a gorgeous voice, it’s very pretty, very enjoyable. Your pitch is great, your tone is nice, it’s not weak, it’s not even shallow in tone, it’s nice and full in that lower range. The notes around A3 and G3 could use some work, they’re a bit too whispered and a bit weak in tone but that’s not bad at all.

        This song doesn’t go very high in the chorus, so you’re not really struggling or being thrown way out of your comfort zone. The problem is that your voice gets softer as you get higher, a bit too early in range. I’d sing it’s most likely because you’re not using to pulling chest voice into your mix higher. Careful with the falsetto/head voice transition at the end of the chorus. 3:40 that run wasn’t too bad, it could be a little more confident, more controlled. The problem I’m really hearing isn’t basic breathing or basic rhythm, technique or pitch. You have a problem with your mix, I need you to try harder with singing higher. I need you to yell “Hey” high in your mixed voice as if you were calling someone out from the other side of the street, someone far away. Try to really bring that extra umpf and power up in range and don’t worry if you crack, you need to be brought out of your comfort zone so try to just bring more chest voice up in range. You sound really nice, you should be a lot more confident about your singing. You truly have a gorgeous voice. I’m listening to A Thousand Years, careful with the “One Step Closer” line, the pitch wasn’t accurate in the transition. Listening from other covers, the problem you have is just developing more range.

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    1. Welp, that cut off almost all of my post … I’m sorry if I did something wrong, I didn’t mean to? ^^;;
      I just wanted to ask a quick question about something you mentioned in another comment even though it isn’t quite related to airiness? What do you mean by accents causing nasality? Is that from singing in a language you don’t speak so you aren’t able to form the rights sounds/words and that leads to nasality? Or is it that certain accents or languages pronounce things a certain way or have sounds that make you prone to singing nasally? I ask because I sound really, really nasal when I sing and I’m trying to work on my placement but idk if it could also be due to have an accent?
      Thank you so much ><!

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      1. Sometimes when Korean singers specially sing in English, they really over pronounce R’s and stay very much on the N’s and M’s sounds in order to try to sound more twangy and American and it causes them to sound more nasal than they mean to or should sound. Some languages do have sounds prone to create nasality which makes such nasality excusable BUT those who aren’t native speakers tend to create some bad vocal habits when singing in foreign languages due to trying to emulate sounds creating some tension since they can’t pronounce things well enough.

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      2. Is English one of those languages that causes nasality? I feel like l, m and n sounds are kinda hard to enunciate w/o nasality =\. There’s probably no way to get around nasality that’s caused by singing in a language you aren’t a native speaker of other than learning to form sounds in that language properly, is there?

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      3. Well there’s no way to run away from nasality with M and N, but the vowels should not be nasal, only the consonants. L can be avoided. There is totally ways to get around it, people just emphasize consonants too much and forget to open up their sound on vowels.

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  8. Thanks for your advice. i really do feel like whisper a lot even when I’m singing high, and I’ll definitely try to yell Hey a lot. Thank you soooo much. I’m learning tons from your videos, and you can’t imagine how reading the vocal analyses for the idols relaxes me during long nights(sometimes weeks) of studying. and kudos on queen Sohyang being introduced to this page. Seriously, you guys derserve it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, I just wanted to say that I really love reading all of the analyses on this blog! You don’t even know how much they have helped me… I found my belting voice (I think) because of it!… but I have a problem. After belting for a while I seem to lose my lower notes (F3-G#3) and it becomes really hard to transition between my lower range and mix; It cracks a lot and it’s just overall uncomfortable, but it becomes really easy to belt. The weird thing is after about 10 minutes of not singing I seem to get my lower range back. Do you know what could be going on?

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    1. Mhmm there are a couple of things, it depends on the time of the day, how warmed up you are but also depending on the day you have more or less range. I sometimes can hit C#2 and sometimes below E2 I struggle to make sound, it’s relative. It has happened to me that my higher range is so warmed up I can sing higher than usual but not as low, so when warming up make sure to develop and warm up every single part of your range, not just one, because if you only develop one of them, you might lose a few notes due to lack of use. It’s like a muscle, you have to exercise all of them to keep it regularly strong and up to date basically. Let me know if that helps.

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  10. Can you consider Videos about Head/falsetto And some exercises Of True Head Voice (especially Lowering the larynx) ? , And I have a Q who can develop head voice With more Ease Baritones Or tenors Or it doesn’t Matter ?

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    1. Yknow I don’t know if tenors or baritones have more ease developing head voices since I know both tenors and baritones who can use head voice and who can’t so I think it’s relative. I shall consider this, I have already I just wasn’t sure what to address in the video.

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      1. I Sure Many Would appreciate That , Hope You explain Also With videos Like You always Do The difference Between Head And Falsetto For For Male

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  11. Hello, thanks for these vocal tips, they’re quite helpful! Just watched all six videos. I have a couple questions though.
    1) How would I determine my supported range? I tried guessing based on how easy the notes were for me to sing and how the placement sounded and I ended up with a supported range that matched yours on the about page… I’ve had NO vocal training so I was probably wrong lol. (I’ve had a decade of musical training on Trombone and sung casually all my life if that matters??)
    2) Is it normal for my singing to cause me to need to burp?
    3) Are the exercises you’re suggesting in the videos meant to be used for warm ups? Or do I warm up with something else before doing these exercises? I don’t really warm up currently, I just sing and I worry about damaging my voice…
    4) Do you have any requirements for when people send you clips of themselves singing? I’d really like to do that so I could know what I need to focus my efforts. Like does it need to be a Kpop song?

    Thanks again for your efforts, it’s incredibly appreciated!

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    1. 1) You shouldn’t try to determine your own supported range. If you’re untrained and you don’t have a reliable instructor to help you, don’t try to guess it yourself. We tend to be more lenient towards ourselves when it comes to critique..or overly critical, so it’s hard to get to an unbiased result when we are the ones we are judging.
      2) No, not something I’ve heard of before. lol
      3) An exercise is a warm up, you use them to exercise your voice and to prepare it before you have to actually sing songs. You should always warm up your voice before singing, make it a habit.
      4) I have no requirements whatsoever, it just depends on your questions. Send me a clip that will help me find the answer to the questions you’re asking.

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      1. I really can’t believe I’m posting this…

        I’m pretty confident in my placement. I think my pitch is mostly ok, but I know I go off a couple times. I’m also not sure if I have a natural or artificial vibrato, but I know it’s inconsistent. How’s my support? Do I sound relaxed, or is there possibly some bad throat shaping? Do I have any resonance? Do my low notes sound clear? Is my larynx mostly neutral? I sincerely can’t tell…

        Sorry for the barrage of questions. Like I said, I’ve had no vocal training, so I don’t know what I need to improve and what I may already be doing right, so I’m just trying to get an idea of where I’m at…

        Thank You!

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      2. I am so sorry I ended up forgetting about this for some reason. 0:36 runs, I can hear that you lack the correct rhythmic bounce on runs but not too bad. You sound mostly relaxed even when you sing higher, there’s shallowness that I hear. It’s not tension. Your sense of support could be strongest. 1:17 in that part you manipulated your larynx a bit and so it sounded a bit off, tone wise. You didn’t need to sound like you were speaking as much as you did. 1:48 do not take a breath there “of aaaaaalll” *breathes* “Is easy to achieve”, that’s where the breath should come in. You sound pretty, you have a very nice voice. The other trills you did like 2:23 were better even though the pitch could be better. The sound is forward, but it lacks fulness, you need to engage a stronger vocal cord connection and you need to use more support engagement, but otherwise you sound mostly relaxed before you get to D4 and above. It just sounds shallow for now. Your low notes sound clear, but you don’t need to try so hard on them, you did fine during the verse. For an amateur, untrained singer, you sound really nice. Teaching you wouldn’t be hard for me, cause you have issues that aren’t that hard to fix in lessons. Also be mindful of the timing, the timing of the song was good until you got to 1:07 you suddenly slowed down the tempo A LOT.

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      3. Thank you! I’m sorry I literally took over a month to reply, my life kinda blew up lol. Your response is immensely appreciated.

        What do you mean I don’t need to sound so much like I’m speaking? And that I don’t need to try so hard on my low notes? Like I’m pushing a bit? How would you recommend I work on the shallowness, just keep practicing with the warmups you’ve provided so far?

        I would love vocal lessons but I don’t really have the funds for it. Also, with your knowledge on full display I’d certainly be confident with you as a vocal instructor, but I’m about 20 hrs from LA soo that commute would be a bit extreme for lessons lol

        Again thank you so much! Also I slowed down on purpose at 1:07, but without the instrumental I had created in my head I could see how it sounds so off.

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      4. The beginning was kind of half spoken or half monologue-like, it could’ve been a bit more sung. The shallowness has to do with placement and openness in the back of your throat. The low notes just have a bit of a gap tone wise compared to the higher notes, they’re a bit too dark by contrast. Oh you’re only a 20 hour drive away? That’s nothing no worries. LOL jk yes your mental instrumental that makes sort of sense, I guess. lol

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      5. So things have slowed down a bit for me and I was re-reading this again. And I realized I should have asked something else before. (Idk if you even remember at this point lol it’s been awhile…. sorry)

        But when you said you heard shallowness did you mean around D4 and above or were you hearing it throughout?

        Also two unrelated to the recording.

        1) is mixing a B4 high for a baritone? (I tried Googling first, but my lack of vocal knowledge made it hard to read… it sounds like it’s high-ish but definitely not unheard of?)

        2) If you have to “think” about a note before attempting it, does that count as part of one’s range? Like I can hit a G5 if I pause for a second, same for C#2. Or mixing that B4.

        Thanks in advance!

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      6. The shallowness is very subtle, it becomes more obvious in the lower notes and the higher notes. Those are thinner/less colorful. As for the other parts of your range, you sound very inconsistent with support so the shallowness comes and goes.

        1) Yes mixing a B4 is high for a baritone, it’s not unheard of it but it’s still high. Many baritones go up to A4/Bb4 and then some go up to B4 ~ D5, the highest I’ve heard is D5.

        2) Of course it counts as part of your range. Having to prepare yourself mentally is common and does not make a note outside of your supported range.

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  12. How would you suggest practicising or even warming up the various techniques for breath support, the placement/ resonance/soft palate thingy (not very sure on the terminology sorry!)?

    I always have this problem where I can use those techniques after a choir session but now that Im not in choir, its really hard to get back again. Im not very consistent in my techniques, i can get it one minute then i lose it.

    Oh and do u hv ideas on how and where to practise singing? Trying to project in the hse is wayyy to loud haha

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    1. Well did you watch the vocal tops #1 ~ #4? There are exercises and warm ups for mixed voice, placement and breathing as well. ^ ^ Well you can practice in the car, in the shower, in a practice room, in the basement. I really don’t know your conditions so I can’t guess where you could practice.

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  13. Helloooo Ahmin I was wondering if you could take a look at my voiceee hehehhee. https://soundcloud.com/user-404775982/tracks
    So I posted two of the same song, one that I sang in April and the other last month. I was hoping you could tell me what I’ve improved on? (Don’t bother listening to the full recording of the April track btw, I only sang half of the song in the latter one lol) What do you think about the placement for my “high note” (I had to do that little ornament or else my voice would’ve died).
    Could you also check out my lowish notes in the last track, titled whatever? It’s like the first 20-30ish seconds. Are those unsupported? I watched your vid about support vs no but I still don’t rly understand it. And another highish note at 2;35 (plz don’t listen to the whole song bc I be trying to fake an IU voice and end up screaming another higher note)

    Ohh and could you tell me what kind of voice I have? Those “find your vocal range in one minute!” videos on youtube aren’t particularly helpful…
    Is it normal to feel physically tired after singing??? Like, I looked this up but everywhere it talks about what to do when your voice is hoarse. I noticed that when I do get tired my abdomen/stomach is kinda tight when I sing, and I become breathy (i think that was me in the Oct one).

    Ahh I’m sorry for asking so much. I’ve been holding this in for the past year lol. I Lovee this blog. It’s so fun reading the vocal analyses, especially the weak vocalists whom (?) I didn’t expect to be weak vocalists. Thanks in advance!

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    1. Hi there dear! No don’t worry, if this is the first time you’ve commented on here, then that’s why your comment didn’t show up right away but I do hope you get a notification that we have seen the comment and replied to it. ^ ^

      My question to you is …when you recorded in April and then again in October, were you actively trying to improve? Did you have improvement goals, things you knew you had to work on, where in your voice you could do better and how you could do better? Because singing for a long period of time without really changing how you’re approaching your singing won’t really improve your technique, yknow what I mean? I think you have a very nice voice by the way. The things I’m hearing is that you are using way too much air in your tone quality. The vocal cords aren’t coming together completely almost at all. You are singing with them half touching the whole time you were singing, which indicates improper vocal stretch and improper development of the voice. It’s not that you can’t, you just haven’t. You do sound slightly more present, more confident in the October recording, with better pitch but overall I hear that you’re not using the vocal cords to their full potential and that is hindering your singing a lot. It’s limiting you a lot. You have a really nice tone, but it needs to polished.

      Around 0:11 in the other recording, you hit like D3 and at 0:29 you hit C#3 I think, that’s the lowest I heard you sing and you sang C#5 in I Love You so yay 2 octaves. lol You sound like an untrained soprano to me. 2:35? You sang another C#5 around that time, shortly after that time. I think you should watch the video about airiness cause that’s your biggest priority in my opinion. I think I should make a video on proper vocal stretch as well, singing softly but with connection is very important to develop your vocal cords. Mhmm It’s normal to get tired if you sing like non-stop for hours, but if you’re singing correctly, you should be fine and you shouldn’t really feel abdominal pain nor breathiness. You shouldn’t tighten up your abs when singing, you should let them be open instead.

      Well whom sounds right yes lol No I am delighted that you showed us your singing, thank you for reading our analyses! ^ ^ You shouldn’t be too shy! lol

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  14. Hello again!! honestly I feel shame when I listen to those people who asking you to analyse them and they didn’t train before most of them are sohyang and I am the female version of Henry…but one day I will sound descent….I know what you think pwffffd this weird girl again but pleas can you give a quick analysis…I know I still can’t support and I still nasal and pitchy in the high part but all want to know if start somehow to learn to sing with open throat I did the humming thing you told me and I end up to sound airy I know I sound airy in the first part..but I need to know your opinion I only sing the half song…I did love like you do as you told me πŸ™‚

    http://www.smule.com/c/967492943_929499429

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    1. Mhmm you sound a little better, you seem a bit more confident and I really think the higher you sing, the more comfortable you get with your pitch. You are pretty soft and airy throughout, but my focus for you right now is control, breathing and connection. I want you to work on connecting your vocal cords more and breathing enough at the right time. Also think about the pitch, control your voice, make sure your timing is right. Don’t come in late for the chorus. When you were singing the verse you weren’t usually flat, you were mostly sharp. Meaning, you were singing higher than the melody. So make sure you watch out for that.

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  15. Hi, is being able to sing longer and longer phrases without running out of breath a sign that im conserving breath better and being less airy?

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    1. If your diaphragm is expanded while you do it, you feel no fatigue and your tone quality isn’t as airy, yes. But airiness could still happen even if you are conserving breath as that has more to do with breath management than an airy quality to your voice.

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  16. Thank you so much…how I do exactly connect my vocal cords…and for the problem of singing late it’s because of the app it’s happening in all my songs …Thank you again that’s was really helpful

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