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Found 9 results

  1. Hello Robert and Hello to all! I just ordered the TVS program and am excited to start working on my singing. Quick bio. 48 Y.O. male from southside Virginia. I have played lead guitar since 1988. After taking many years away from home recording, I got back into it about 18 months ago and had to learn the new DAWs etc from scratch. To make a long story short, I have about 50 "songs" on my hard drive that need vox. I also have quite a few lyrics written without any music etc. It has been difficult (impossible) for me to find any singers to work with so the next logical step is to just develop my own singing voice more. Hopefully it is not too late. Besides which, I love to sing even if I am not very technically aware at this moment. As far as singing, I want to sing rock, classic rock, 80-90s rock, grunge, bluesy styles etc. In my songs I generally find myself in sort of the style of VH, Rainbow, Whitesnake, LedZep....sort of melodic and bluesy stuff. (at least thats the aim, hehe) My fave singers in no order. Ann Wilson, David Coverdale, Goran Edman, John Sykes, Glenn Hughes, Mark Slaughter, Marq Torien, Barry Gibb, Layne Staley and many others. I am not fixated on copying anyone though, I just want to develop my own innate abilities. My dream song might be "Love Kills" by Mark Slaughter when he was with Vinnie Vincent, but again, its not a fixation. (Im aware Mark had a pretty high voice lol) My current estimation of my singing abilities? I have potential to have a nice voice etc but am pretty clueless technically and totally untrained lol. Just from browsing vids etc I think I have a good understanding of some of the terminology....chest voice, head voice, falsetto, bridging etc. I understand the concept of vowel modification but have never tried to practice it myself. I am probably like a lot of other untrained people. If the song happens to "fit" my current capabilities, then I sound decent. But if it doesn't, I sound like a frog that spent the previous day hollering at a sports event. Sometimes I can sing along with the verse to a song but when it goes into the higher chorus part I cant hit that.....or I can hit it but I have to jump up to head voice with no bridging going on lol. I think my head voice is developed to some degree but there is a no mans land between my chest voice and head voice. If I work on a song I tend to get into a lot of pushing/straining/choking lol. No bridging currently happening. On occasion I also like to throw in some BeeGees falsetto. Anyway, I am excited to get to work and am looking forward to some nice progress. I am throwing in this link to a "before" song where I sang and played guitar over an existing rhythm track. This was in Jan 2014. Pretty sure all the vox are doubled. (manually sang twice) Im pretty good at doubling...since I have never thought my voice was good enough to stand on its own yet lol. Any feedback on the singing is welcome. Id be interested as to what my natural range is. I understand it isnt going to be that impressive as it is an untrained voice but maybe we can get an idea of what we are working with and what potential for range and style I might have etc Thanks a lot for any feedback! https://clyp.it/egudjvlp Peace, JonJon
  2. Good singers are often described as having a unique personal style, a special way of expressing a song. But in the larger picture of singing, let's talk about vocal styles in general. First off, you want to be clear on which style you sing the most. Pop, rock, jazz, country, blues, R&B, classical, folk, gospel, Broadway belting or perhaps a combination of one or more of these styles? I frequently encounter singers who think they're singing in a pop style but are actually singing in a classical style because of prior training. It can sound quite strange and disorienting to the listener to hear someone sing in a wrong style. The conventions and techniques of classical singing are so different from popular, commercial styles that classical voice training can become a disability to the budding pop singer. Every vocal style is a recipe using only certain ingredients. Like a cook who knows the difference between braising and grilling, you should have an acquaintance with the recipe for your desired style. Let's start by comparing classical and non-classical styles: simply put, non-classical sounds like speaking or yelling and classical singing doesn't. If you've ever heard an opera singer speak then sing, you might be shocked to notice how different these two modes of vocal production are. Whether you sing classically or in a commercial vein, your choice of ingredients will determine if you're nailing your style or not. What are some of the ingredients of vocal style? Laryngeal Height - Your larynx (voice-box) can easily move up and down. Which vertical position you choose, regular, raised or lowered, will affect your sound. You might lower it for classical or soulful R&B and jazz, keep it regular for pop or legit Broadway singing, or raise it for rock and country. Airflow - How much air should you have in your sound? In country, there's typically not a lot of air coming through the vocal folds, but when singing sultry R&B or jazz, you may allow the folds to open more. Resonator Shape - What is the shape of your throat and mouth? For country, I recommend constricting the pharynx slightly under the jawline (never constrict the vocal folds themselves), while in classical or R&B I recommend widening that area to give me a more open sound. Shape decisions also include how open your mouth should be and if you're mostly smiling or pursing your lips. Nasality - Air which is routed through your nose creates the buzzy sound of nasality. Listen carefully to your favorite singers to see if you can discern how much nasality you hear. This important resonance is a must in rock and country, less so in pop and jazz, and not desirable in classical production. Dialect - Can you imagine hearing a country singer with a Russian accent? Or a blues singer with a French accent? Might sound strange. Consider a Southern accent for R&B and country, a standard American accent for pop and Broadway singing, perhaps even an English accent for classical. Stance - Ever notice how classical singers seem like they're leaning forward but some R&B singers may be leaning back on their heels? Subtle stance differences can make a difference in vocal production and are interesting to watch for. Volume - In sultry jazz singing, you may hear singers shift their volumes suddenly from loud to soft and back again, while in opera the vocal dynamics mostly range from loud to louder. Pop is often soft to medium loud, never getting very loud. When country, which is fairly soft to medium loud, gets louder, it then enters the world of country-rock. So volume can be a determining factor when combining styles. Stylisms - Each vocal style has particular stylisms which act as style hallmarks. For example, vocal fry can be heard in pop, jazz, and rock, which cry is common in country. Yodel can be heard in country and alternative pop, while stops are only heard in Broadway belting. There are different slides and swoops used and using the wrong swoop can get you into big stylistic trouble. Ornamental riffs such as R&B runs are important to master as well as classical ornamental runs called melisma or coloratura. Emotions - No one style has a monopoly on the human experience. For dignified and regal, no style comes closer than classical. If you want to express sensuality or ecstasy, look no further than R&B. Pop is sincere. alternative pop is quirky, rock is anti-social and powerful. You get the idea. A fun way to hone your style discernment skills is to sit at the ole radio tuner and go from station to station. See how quickly you come to a conclusion on the vocal style(s) you hear. It's not easy sometimes. Are you hearing country, pop-country, rock-country or R&B-country? Can you identify WHY you came to your conclusion? Remember that like in cooking (Thai, French, etc), each vocal style has conventions; rules that have developed over time. These conventions arise out of the particular culture and history which are the roots of a style. Listen and watch your favorite singers. Everything you see or hear helps to determine style choices. Styles are not accidents- make sure your style choices are well thought-out. Your next step? Pick a style, listen to the greats, observe everything, imitate, THEN play around to creative your own unique expressive masterpiece. Stay true to your style before you venture forth into uncharted territory. Lisa Popeil - Voiceworks Method - www.popeil.com 818-906-7229
  3. Good singers are often described as having a unique personal style, a special way of expressing a song. But in the larger picture of singing, let's talk about vocal styles in general. First off, you want to be clear on which style you sing the most. Pop, rock, jazz, country, blues, R&B, classical, folk, gospel, Broadway belting or perhaps a combination of one or more of these styles? I frequently encounter singers who think they're singing in a pop style but are actually singing in a classical style because of prior training. It can sound quite strange and disorienting to the listener to hear someone sing in a wrong style. The conventions and techniques of classical singing are so different from popular, commercial styles that classical voice training can become a disability to the budding pop singer. Every vocal style is a recipe using only certain ingredients. Like a cook who knows the difference between braising and grilling, you should have an acquaintance with the recipe for your desired style. Let's start by comparing classical and non-classical styles: simply put, non-classical sounds like speaking or yelling and classical singing doesn't. If you've ever heard an opera singer speak then sing, you might be shocked to notice how different these two modes of vocal production are. Whether you sing classically or in a commercial vein, your choice of ingredients will determine if you're nailing your style or not. What are some of the ingredients of vocal style? Laryngeal Height - Your larynx (voice-box) can easily move up and down. Which vertical position you choose, regular, raised or lowered, will affect your sound. You might lower it for classical or soulful R&B and jazz, keep it regular for pop or legit Broadway singing, or raise it for rock and country. Airflow - How much air should you have in your sound? In country, there's typically not a lot of air coming through the vocal folds, but when singing sultry R&B or jazz, you may allow the folds to open more. Resonator Shape - What is the shape of your throat and mouth? For country, I recommend constricting the pharynx slightly under the jawline (never constrict the vocal folds themselves), while in classical or R&B I recommend widening that area to give me a more open sound. Shape decisions also include how open your mouth should be and if you're mostly smiling or pursing your lips. Nasality - Air which is routed through your nose creates the buzzy sound of nasality. Listen carefully to your favorite singers to see if you can discern how much nasality you hear. This important resonance is a must in rock and country, less so in pop and jazz, and not desirable in classical production. Dialect - Can you imagine hearing a country singer with a Russian accent? Or a blues singer with a French accent? Might sound strange. Consider a Southern accent for R&B and country, a standard American accent for pop and Broadway singing, perhaps even an English accent for classical. Stance - Ever notice how classical singers seem like they're leaning forward but some R&B singers may be leaning back on their heels? Subtle stance differences can make a difference in vocal production and are interesting to watch for. Volume - In sultry jazz singing, you may hear singers shift their volumes suddenly from loud to soft and back again, while in opera the vocal dynamics mostly range from loud to louder. Pop is often soft to medium loud, never getting very loud. When country, which is fairly soft to medium loud, gets louder, it then enters the world of country-rock. So volume can be a determining factor when combining styles. Stylisms - Each vocal style has particular stylisms which act as style hallmarks. For example, vocal fry can be heard in pop, jazz, and rock, which cry is common in country. Yodel can be heard in country and alternative pop, while stops are only heard in Broadway belting. There are different slides and swoops used and using the wrong swoop can get you into big stylistic trouble. Ornamental riffs such as R&B runs are important to master as well as classical ornamental runs called melisma or coloratura. Emotions - No one style has a monopoly on the human experience. For dignified and regal, no style comes closer than classical. If you want to express sensuality or ecstasy, look no further than R&B. Pop is sincere. alternative pop is quirky, rock is anti-social and powerful. You get the idea. A fun way to hone your style discernment skills is to sit at the ole radio tuner and go from station to station. See how quickly you come to a conclusion on the vocal style(s) you hear. It's not easy sometimes. Are you hearing country, pop-country, rock-country or R&B-country? Can you identify WHY you came to your conclusion? Remember that like in cooking (Thai, French, etc), each vocal style has conventions; rules that have developed over time. These conventions arise out of the particular culture and history which are the roots of a style. Listen and watch your favorite singers. Everything you see or hear helps to determine style choices. Styles are not accidents- make sure your style choices are well thought-out. Your next step? Pick a style, listen to the greats, observe everything, imitate, THEN play around to creative your own unique expressive masterpiece. Stay true to your style before you venture forth into uncharted territory. Lisa Popeil - Voiceworks Method - www.popeil.com 818-906-7229 View full articles
  4. So, You Want To Be A Singer? by Diva Joan Cartwright CHAPTER 6 - REPERTOIRE Having a list handy of all the songs you sing in alphabetical order with a column for the key in which you sing each song can be invaluable when you meet musicians. If you are that organized, then you can probably fill the bill as a singer. Keep adding to the list as time goes by, until you've filled up two sides of the page. Try to include the composer of each song. Example: 1. A CHILD IS BORN C Thad Jones 2. A FOGGY DAY G Gershwin 3. A NEW WAY OF SINGING THE BLUES F J. Cartwright 4. AFRO BLUE Cm Coltrane 5. AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' Eb Fats Waller Versatility is a plus. It always helps to know songs in more than one genre. It may be necessary to have more than one list or categories, if you sing in two or more genres, for instance you may separate songs by: Jazz Blues Gospel Rock R&B Latin/Samba/Bossa Broadway Country Pop or Top 40 Hip Hop Reggae Contemporary Another way of categorizing songs is by composer or artist: Anita Baker Antonio Carlos Jobim Aretha Franklin Beatles Billy Joel Billie Holiday Cole Porter Duke Ellington Ella Fitzgerald Randy Crawford Stevie Wonder Whitney Houston Always have a list of your original songs, as well. That way people understand that you are a songwriter. Have a few copies of your songs in case other musicians want to play, sing or record them. In time, you will be respected as a songwriter and people will begin to request your songs, before they request songs of other artists. Buy this book at http://stores.lulu.com/divajc See all of Joan Cartwright's Books
  5. So, You Want To Be A Singer? by Diva Joan Cartwright CHAPTER 6 - REPERTOIRE Having a list handy of all the songs you sing in alphabetical order with a column for the key in which you sing each song can be invaluable when you meet musicians. If you are that organized, then you can probably fill the bill as a singer. Keep adding to the list as time goes by, until you've filled up two sides of the page. Try to include the composer of each song. Example: 1. A CHILD IS BORN C Thad Jones 2. A FOGGY DAY G Gershwin 3. A NEW WAY OF SINGING THE BLUES F J. Cartwright 4. AFRO BLUE Cm Coltrane 5. AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' Eb Fats Waller Versatility is a plus. It always helps to know songs in more than one genre. It may be necessary to have more than one list or categories, if you sing in two or more genres, for instance you may separate songs by: Jazz Blues Gospel Rock R&B Latin/Samba/Bossa Broadway Country Pop or Top 40 Hip Hop Reggae Contemporary Another way of categorizing songs is by composer or artist: Anita Baker Antonio Carlos Jobim Aretha Franklin Beatles Billy Joel Billie Holiday Cole Porter Duke Ellington Ella Fitzgerald Randy Crawford Stevie Wonder Whitney Houston Always have a list of your original songs, as well. That way people understand that you are a songwriter. Have a few copies of your songs in case other musicians want to play, sing or record them. In time, you will be respected as a songwriter and people will begin to request your songs, before they request songs of other artists. Buy this book at http://stores.lulu.com/divajc See all of Joan Cartwright's Books View full articles
  6. TODAY'S POP & ROCK VOCALISTS: What Comprises Good Vocal Technique! (By Cheryl Hodge, c. 2010, as written for SONGSTUFF.COM - Vocals Section) As I write today's article I am listening to the great Maria Callas, singing her flawless version of Norma's aria from Norma Casta Diva. I am not a classical singer by trade, although I often use classical pieces for warm-ups. When asked to perform a two hour concert of Stevie Wonder songs, I thought to myself: Wow; this is almost too much for me, vocally; what shall I do about this?! Vocal Exercises I went back to the basics, in practicing. I did my breathing, sighing, diaphragm and scalar exercises; followed by some Vaccai exercises. Finally, I topped off the practice with about 3 classical Italian arias. I would break my 1 hour and 40 minutes a day, thusly: Early in the day: 1. 20 min. Breath work, sighing exercises, diaphragm pushes, scales, Vaccai exercises Mid-Day: 1. 20 min. of the same exercise regimen which I did earlier in the day 2. 20 min. of Italian arias 3. 40 min. of working on material for concert You're probably wondering how classical singing could help my Stevie Wonder material... Well, it's like this: When I focus on connecting the breaks, then concentrate on power, and work on bridging everything through scales and Italian classical music, I find a magical thing happens. My voice is STRENGTHENED. I am able to "belt" in a healthy way on rock and pop for hours; not feeling the slightest twinge of pressure or pain on the vocal folds. Pretty cool, huh?! When I listen to today's pop singers, I am immediately drawn to the "true" divas. Of course, Christine Aguilera certainly springs to mind, first. She does her homework, and that is apparent. She can sing anything with strength, agility, and finesse. I'm impressed by hearing her sing the blues, pop or even jazz songs, like "Body and Soul". Do not think, for one second, that she does not do tons of warm-ups. Ditto, for Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Alisha Keys, and Celine Dion.... all competent, gifted singers, who know how to take care of their "pipes". Consequences Of No Warm-Up What are the consequences of not warming up? I can tell you, first hand, that it is never a good idea to step onto a stage without first working out.... Yes; I have been guilty of that - and it hurts to admit it! But through the years I've learned my lessons. Who are today's prime offenders; the people who's tone will never be completely realized, due to negligence. I'm not going to name names... that would be vulgar of me. What I WILL say, though, is that people who "yell" songs from the throat will have very short professional lives. People who have not learned to connect the breath from the deepest part of the lungs; and use the diaphragm correctly - well - let's just say that their sound will leave something to be desired. Great rock singers; past and present would include, for me: Steve Perry from Journey (used operatic techniques to warm up), Peter Gabriel, Sting, John Mayer, and Tom Chaplin from Keane, to name a few. Having said this, all of the aforementioned singers are in constant peril of hurting their voice; not because of their technique, but rather because of exhaustion. Hey, being on the road has it's drawbacks. Once tired, the vocal mechanism will certainly reflect the physical abuse. Finally, I am not a fan of the latest heavy metal "growl" singing, known as: "Vocal Fry"... think of George Petit, from the band "Alexisonfire". Yup; he's a "god" to many of his fans. However, George may have a short career. There is no safe way to sing the vocal fry technique. The only way to get the sound is to grind the false and true vocal folds together, which will create nodes, callouses and pollyps (all of which will put you, the singer, out of business). Discuss this article in our Music Forum. About Author CHERYL HODGE Cheryl Hodge has been in the music and songwriting business for well over 30 years; recording on several labels; among them Atco Records (Raindogs, 1990), and has released 4 CDs of her own; on her own label: Jazzboulevard.com Records. She has performed her music for the last 10 years with noted jazz guitarist John Stowell (amongst many others), and they are about to release a CD of co-written originals. She has been private instructor to many; including the gifted Paula Cole. She is also the author of "A Singer's Guide to the Well-Trained and Powerful Voice", and is a published vocal arranger. Cheryl is currently the head of the vocal dept. at Nelson, BC's: Selkirk College Music Program. There, she teaches Songwriting and Advanced Songwriting, Business of Music, Arranging and Vocals. She continues to write and produce her original materials, and has just released "Cheryl Hodge: Original Article" - a compilation of her favourites. For more info, visit: http://www.cheryhodge.com
  7. TODAY'S POP & ROCK VOCALISTS: What Comprises Good Vocal Technique! (By Cheryl Hodge, c. 2010, as written for SONGSTUFF.COM - Vocals Section) As I write today's article I am listening to the great Maria Callas, singing her flawless version of Norma's aria from Norma Casta Diva. I am not a classical singer by trade, although I often use classical pieces for warm-ups. When asked to perform a two hour concert of Stevie Wonder songs, I thought to myself: Wow; this is almost too much for me, vocally; what shall I do about this?! Vocal Exercises I went back to the basics, in practicing. I did my breathing, sighing, diaphragm and scalar exercises; followed by some Vaccai exercises. Finally, I topped off the practice with about 3 classical Italian arias. I would break my 1 hour and 40 minutes a day, thusly: Early in the day: 1. 20 min. Breath work, sighing exercises, diaphragm pushes, scales, Vaccai exercises Mid-Day: 1. 20 min. of the same exercise regimen which I did earlier in the day 2. 20 min. of Italian arias 3. 40 min. of working on material for concert You're probably wondering how classical singing could help my Stevie Wonder material... Well, it's like this: When I focus on connecting the breaks, then concentrate on power, and work on bridging everything through scales and Italian classical music, I find a magical thing happens. My voice is STRENGTHENED. I am able to "belt" in a healthy way on rock and pop for hours; not feeling the slightest twinge of pressure or pain on the vocal folds. Pretty cool, huh?! When I listen to today's pop singers, I am immediately drawn to the "true" divas. Of course, Christine Aguilera certainly springs to mind, first. She does her homework, and that is apparent. She can sing anything with strength, agility, and finesse. I'm impressed by hearing her sing the blues, pop or even jazz songs, like "Body and Soul". Do not think, for one second, that she does not do tons of warm-ups. Ditto, for Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Alisha Keys, and Celine Dion.... all competent, gifted singers, who know how to take care of their "pipes". Consequences Of No Warm-Up What are the consequences of not warming up? I can tell you, first hand, that it is never a good idea to step onto a stage without first working out.... Yes; I have been guilty of that - and it hurts to admit it! But through the years I've learned my lessons. Who are today's prime offenders; the people who's tone will never be completely realized, due to negligence. I'm not going to name names... that would be vulgar of me. What I WILL say, though, is that people who "yell" songs from the throat will have very short professional lives. People who have not learned to connect the breath from the deepest part of the lungs; and use the diaphragm correctly - well - let's just say that their sound will leave something to be desired. Great rock singers; past and present would include, for me: Steve Perry from Journey (used operatic techniques to warm up), Peter Gabriel, Sting, John Mayer, and Tom Chaplin from Keane, to name a few. Having said this, all of the aforementioned singers are in constant peril of hurting their voice; not because of their technique, but rather because of exhaustion. Hey, being on the road has it's drawbacks. Once tired, the vocal mechanism will certainly reflect the physical abuse. Finally, I am not a fan of the latest heavy metal "growl" singing, known as: "Vocal Fry"... think of George Petit, from the band "Alexisonfire". Yup; he's a "god" to many of his fans. However, George may have a short career. There is no safe way to sing the vocal fry technique. The only way to get the sound is to grind the false and true vocal folds together, which will create nodes, callouses and pollyps (all of which will put you, the singer, out of business). Discuss this article in our Music Forum. About Author CHERYL HODGE Cheryl Hodge has been in the music and songwriting business for well over 30 years; recording on several labels; among them Atco Records (Raindogs, 1990), and has released 4 CDs of her own; on her own label: Jazzboulevard.com Records. She has performed her music for the last 10 years with noted jazz guitarist John Stowell (amongst many others), and they are about to release a CD of co-written originals. She has been private instructor to many; including the gifted Paula Cole. She is also the author of "A Singer's Guide to the Well-Trained and Powerful Voice", and is a published vocal arranger. Cheryl is currently the head of the vocal dept. at Nelson, BC's: Selkirk College Music Program. There, she teaches Songwriting and Advanced Songwriting, Business of Music, Arranging and Vocals. She continues to write and produce her original materials, and has just released "Cheryl Hodge: Original Article" - a compilation of her favourites. For more info, visit: http://www.cheryhodge.com View full articles
  8. This article will compare the 'belt voice' production as used by female singers, the 'robust head voice' as used by Operatic tenors, and the male 'Rock' pharyngeal voice. These types of vocalism share some characteristics that make them similar to each other, but also have some characteristics, which differentiate them. As I have done before, I will use spectrographic analysis to assist in the understanding of how these voices can be compared and contrasted. A First example: 'Top Line F', Belt and Robust Head Voice The following spectrograph shows the harmonic content of two voices singing the F natural usually written on the top line of the treble staff, that is, the F at the upper range of both the belt and tenor voices (the F the octave and a perfect fourth above middle C.) The female singer, represented in blue, is Patti LaBelle, from a televised recording of "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel, recorded in the mid-'60s. The tenor is classical tenor Nicolai Gedda, from a 1973 recording of "Credeasi Misera" from I Puritani. Patti http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTAOD-2Fnqw at 2:19 Nicolai http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w_TTK7UP1c at 4:50 As I have done with prior recordings, I have matched the volumes of first harmonic (H1) so that the relative intensity of the upper harmonics can be identified. With this matching, we see the following: There are five strong harmonics displayed by both voices, and for both of the notes, the 3rd harmonic is the strongest. This gives the voices power and color. The relative intensity of the harmonics is approximately the same in both voices. H1 and H2 are lower in intensity than H3, but strong enough to make the core warmth of the tone quality very solid. The 4th harmonic in both voices is within the 'red lines', the most sensitive part of our hearing range. The white trace sections are 'wider', indicating that Mr. Gedda's vibrato is as well. Ms. LaBelle sang her note with almost no vibrato, so the peaks are very pointed. A Second Example: Middle line B, Pop Belt and Rock Pharyngeal Voice This second spectrograph, which I have annotated for harmonic identification, is of two voices singing the B above middle C. The two voices are Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, singing 'A Whole Lotta Love', and Whitney Houston singing 'I Will Always Love You', on a vowel approximating /a/. I have matched the fundamentals as before. Robert Plant's voice is in blue, and Whitney Houston's is in white. The spectrograph shows the following: With the fundamentals equalized, the loudest harmonic in both voices is H2, and approximately the same intensity in both. With fundamental matched, and H2 so similar, the core of the tone for both voices on this note is identical. H2 in both voices carries the bulk of the volume for both. H3 in Robert Plant's voice is somewhat louder by comparison to Whitney Houston's, but for both, it is louder than the fundamental, and the second loudest harmonic overall for both as well. Recall that the 3rd harmonic (an octave and a perfect 5th above the fundamental) as an odd harmonic, adds color to the tone quality. The relative strength of this harmonic in Robert Plant's voice helps us to distinguish his from Whitney's tone quality. H4 for both voices is about equal, but H5 and H6 in Plant's voice are stronger than Whitney's. This may be the result of "Singer's Formant" in Plant's voice. H6 is particularly well situated, as it is not only strong, but within the sweet spot of hearing. Example Three: Broadway Belt, and Operatic Tenor This one is a fun one. The following spectrograph is of two very famous singers, Ethel Merman (the quintessential Broadway belter of the mid-20th Century) and Luciano Pavarotti, Operatic Tenor. Ethel is singing the last note of 'There's No Business Like Show Business' from Annie, Get Your Gun, and Pavarotti is singing the last note of 'Celeste Aida' from Aida. As usual, for comparison I have equalized the strength of the fundamentals so that relative harmonic balance can be shown. Can you tell which is which? Without giving away yet which is which, the following can be observed: With the fundamentals equalized, the Blue voice has a louder H2 than the White one, which makes the core of the tone quality just a bit brighter, but not much. H3 in both voices is the loudest harmonic, so they both have the color this harmonic brings to the tone, with a small advantage for the White voice. H4 for both voices is quite a bit softer than H1, H2 and H3, adding some brightness, but not much to both. The higher harmonics have less energy in both voices, but overall the White voice has more than the Blue one, which gives it more ring. Both voices have vibrato (as evidenced by the 'wideness' of the harmonics), with the Blue voice having just a little bit more than the White one. Have you determined which is which? Pavarotti is in White. Merman is in Blue. Conclusions In looking at these representative voices, there are some commonalities that we can identify for this pitch range: In each voice type, the principal strength of the tone is in the 2nd and 3rd harmonic. The fundamental is often 4th or lesser in strength, meaning that other harmonics align more closely with the resonances of the vowels chosen than it does. Some voices display presence of singer's formant, and others do not. Each of the singers shows strong voice production characteristics, but not equal balances of resonance. This essay was first published December 21, 2008 on The Modern Vocalist.com the Internet's #1 community for vocal professionals, voice health practitioners and pro-audio companies worldwide since November 2008.
  9. This article will compare the 'belt voice' production as used by female singers, the 'robust head voice' as used by Operatic tenors, and the male 'Rock' pharyngeal voice. These types of vocalism share some characteristics that make them similar to each other, but also have some characteristics, which differentiate them. As I have done before, I will use spectrographic analysis to assist in the understanding of how these voices can be compared and contrasted. A First example: 'Top Line F', Belt and Robust Head Voice The following spectrograph shows the harmonic content of two voices singing the F natural usually written on the top line of the treble staff, that is, the F at the upper range of both the belt and tenor voices (the F the octave and a perfect fourth above middle C.) The female singer, represented in blue, is Patti LaBelle, from a televised recording of "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel, recorded in the mid-'60s. The tenor is classical tenor Nicolai Gedda, from a 1973 recording of "Credeasi Misera" from I Puritani. Patti http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTAOD-2Fnqw at 2:19 Nicolai http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w_TTK7UP1c at 4:50 As I have done with prior recordings, I have matched the volumes of first harmonic (H1) so that the relative intensity of the upper harmonics can be identified. With this matching, we see the following: There are five strong harmonics displayed by both voices, and for both of the notes, the 3rd harmonic is the strongest. This gives the voices power and color. The relative intensity of the harmonics is approximately the same in both voices. H1 and H2 are lower in intensity than H3, but strong enough to make the core warmth of the tone quality very solid. The 4th harmonic in both voices is within the 'red lines', the most sensitive part of our hearing range. The white trace sections are 'wider', indicating that Mr. Gedda's vibrato is as well. Ms. LaBelle sang her note with almost no vibrato, so the peaks are very pointed. A Second Example: Middle line B, Pop Belt and Rock Pharyngeal Voice This second spectrograph, which I have annotated for harmonic identification, is of two voices singing the B above middle C. The two voices are Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, singing 'A Whole Lotta Love', and Whitney Houston singing 'I Will Always Love You', on a vowel approximating /a/. I have matched the fundamentals as before. Robert Plant's voice is in blue, and Whitney Houston's is in white. The spectrograph shows the following: With the fundamentals equalized, the loudest harmonic in both voices is H2, and approximately the same intensity in both. With fundamental matched, and H2 so similar, the core of the tone for both voices on this note is identical. H2 in both voices carries the bulk of the volume for both. H3 in Robert Plant's voice is somewhat louder by comparison to Whitney Houston's, but for both, it is louder than the fundamental, and the second loudest harmonic overall for both as well. Recall that the 3rd harmonic (an octave and a perfect 5th above the fundamental) as an odd harmonic, adds color to the tone quality. The relative strength of this harmonic in Robert Plant's voice helps us to distinguish his from Whitney's tone quality. H4 for both voices is about equal, but H5 and H6 in Plant's voice are stronger than Whitney's. This may be the result of "Singer's Formant" in Plant's voice. H6 is particularly well situated, as it is not only strong, but within the sweet spot of hearing. Example Three: Broadway Belt, and Operatic Tenor This one is a fun one. The following spectrograph is of two very famous singers, Ethel Merman (the quintessential Broadway belter of the mid-20th Century) and Luciano Pavarotti, Operatic Tenor. Ethel is singing the last note of 'There's No Business Like Show Business' from Annie, Get Your Gun, and Pavarotti is singing the last note of 'Celeste Aida' from Aida. As usual, for comparison I have equalized the strength of the fundamentals so that relative harmonic balance can be shown. Can you tell which is which? Without giving away yet which is which, the following can be observed: With the fundamentals equalized, the Blue voice has a louder H2 than the White one, which makes the core of the tone quality just a bit brighter, but not much. H3 in both voices is the loudest harmonic, so they both have the color this harmonic brings to the tone, with a small advantage for the White voice. H4 for both voices is quite a bit softer than H1, H2 and H3, adding some brightness, but not much to both. The higher harmonics have less energy in both voices, but overall the White voice has more than the Blue one, which gives it more ring. Both voices have vibrato (as evidenced by the 'wideness' of the harmonics), with the Blue voice having just a little bit more than the White one. Have you determined which is which? Pavarotti is in White. Merman is in Blue. Conclusions In looking at these representative voices, there are some commonalities that we can identify for this pitch range: In each voice type, the principal strength of the tone is in the 2nd and 3rd harmonic. The fundamental is often 4th or lesser in strength, meaning that other harmonics align more closely with the resonances of the vowels chosen than it does. Some voices display presence of singer's formant, and others do not. Each of the singers shows strong voice production characteristics, but not equal balances of resonance. This essay was first published December 21, 2008 on The Modern Vocalist.com the Internet's #1 community for vocal professionals, voice health practitioners and pro-audio companies worldwide since November 2008. View full articles