Gsoul82

GSoul Got 4 Pillars! (Thoughts/Progress)

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Hey all,

A few months ago, I decided to get The Four Pillars. Since then, I've looked over different areas of the program, several times .At the time, I was too busy to really get into it all, and start practicing regularly, but I've just now got things together, so I can begin doing just that.

A little background on me: I got into this singing thing a few years ago. It was something I was fascinated with for a long time, but I didn't know it was a skill that could be learned and developed. Once I found out that it was, I immediately decided that I wanted to learn.

To try to accomplish that, for a while, I took lessons, and used several programs, including CVT and Singing Success. I even had purchased Singing Success forum access for a few months.

I'm now going to express why I feel this is the best program around, if you really want to learn how to sing. This program is as thorough as a program gets. A comprehensive book, with an exhaustive assortment of video instructionals, explanations, and pre-recorded workouts. There's order, and guidance in this program. You're not completely overwhelmed by it all. You know what you're doing, when you should be doing it, and why you're doing it. The very science of it all is explained, but you aren't  overwhelmed with a flood of terms. Still not quite sure about something? Check out the video library or come to the forum, because there's actually a forum where the creator of it all is actually active, and answering questions, everyday.

This makes Singing Success look like an unfinished product. I bought access to that forum, for a while, and while it did show far more exercises, there was no order. You didn't know when to work on things, or why you were doing things. Forum was barely active. I ended up deciding to get that program. It was a 7 page ebook and a bunch of exercises in MP3 format. No direction. I used the exercises for about 3 weeks, and stopped. Looks, and sounds good, but no substance. For example, they put in examples of the whistle register being used, and no explanation of how to use it, at all. Perfect example of the entire system. Looks good, but nothing behind it. There were also examples of singing in several different styles, but no instructions or explanation regarding the dynamics necessary to sing in those styles. Should have just been called "Mirage Music" system, because it looked like something, but it wasn't.

CVT was better, but it did not go as far as this system does. There's a book, and exercises, but reading, and hearing, is not enough. Some things are hard to pick up just from reading descriptions, and hearing them done. And when you're not able to bridge that gap, there's a dead forum. There are vocal effects and techniques in this book that sound great, but are not easy to perform. This can be dangerous, because if you think you are doing what you're reading and hearing, but you are not performing the exercises and techniques properly, you can seriously damage your voice.

With The Four Pillars, you can read about the technique, hear the technique, and see the technique. Still have something you're not sure about? Go to the forum, ask, and you'll get assistance pretty quickly. Nothing is left to chance here. It's an honest, complete program. If you want to know how much confidence and honesty is behind this program, simply look at the fact that the author of the program owns this site, and there is a forum here, where you're allowed to talk about other programs. The author of the program isn't even trying to keep people from knowing there are other options besides The Four Pillars. A testament to how unparalleled this system is.

If you're serious about learning how to sing, this is the only complete system. Learning to sing is like going to the gym. You use proper form, you do the right exercises, you work hard, and you will end up with a very strong body. Something that looks great and performs extremely well. The same applies to singing. You use proper technique, do the right exercises, and workout your voice enough, you will end up with a very strong voice. A voice that sounds great, and performs extremely well. The Four Pillars is the only gym regimen you need for your voice.

And to add one more thing, some may be skeptical of whether this program is for you. For a while, I was. As some may have already guessed from my name, I'm into R&B/Soul music. There's an assumption that R&B is a genre where everybody sings softly. This isn't true. There are plenty of singers who sing with power and rasp. For example, Beyonce, Jazmine Sullivan, R. Kelly, Tyrese, and many more. I'm a guy, who's been practicing for a while, and I've got okay range (D2 - C5 in full voice and somewhere like E4 - A5 in falsetto), but a lot of where my strength is at is the lower part of my range. After a while, I managed to get my head voice to not sound like a dying cat, but still sounds like the notes are weak, up near the top of it. This program will build up my musculature so that I have strength and power up there, when I sing in that part of my range, while still working out other parts of my voice (Remember, NEVER skip leg day ;) ). Also, for those interested in Pop or R&B, the scale exercises in this system, and several of the "run" exercises, will also train your voice so that you have the agility necessary to perform those riffs and runs.

This is truly a program that is going to help tremendously, no matter what style you sing, and it's the only program out there that is thorough and resourceful enough to reduce your margin of error by this much. And did I mention that new videos are regularly added to the library? Enough said.

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... Well, that is a nice surprise... thanks a lot Geoff for sharing your honest and seemingly, well researched opinion of the home study products out there. I really appreciate your recognition of my work. I'll keep doing' it.... 

RESPECT

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I had to tell the truth. I'm just mad I wasted my money on the other stuff. 

This is what a serious singing program looks like.

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Totally awesome, G. And yes, R&B has some weight and power in it. In fact, even though I mainly listen to rock and the radio in my wife's car is either on Hair Nation (80's and 90's pop metal) or Ozzy's Boneyard, I will listen to anything by Cee Lo if you just say the name, or any of his stage names, like Gnarls. He has a voice and style that transcends genres. He could sing country and get away with it.

And of the training systems out there, none is more complete than Robert's. And he also filled a niche that others have not. The training workflow. It is not enough to just say do this thing and then do that thing. You need to know in what order. How does one exercise or skill lead to another? If it were easy, every quick vid of every screamo kid in his basement would have that. I know from my own career that skill in the field of the work and skill in teaching it are two separate skill sets.

As you mentioned, in other systems, you may ask a question of a gap in understanding and get lost in the interpretations du jour. And that can be frustrating.

Love that phrase, "mirage music." I wish I had thought of that.

 

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Cee Lo has a crazy tone. I could recognize him anywhere.

And, yes, there are a number of artists who could cross over. The lead singer from Rascall Flats is a country guy that could definitely sing R&B.  There's even a video of him performing with Jamie Foxx.

If you like the idea of an R&B guy that could sing country, you might want to give Anthony Hamilton a listen. I suggest the song "Lucille", for starters. Perfect example.

I did briefly notice there were a number of charts, and in one of the videos, I remember him suggesting  TVS students take a look. It really is like you're enrolling in a class, but you work at your own pace. Do the work and you will succeed.

Other systems really do leave gaps, by presenting not things one or two different ways. There's stIill a big opening to fall through and get things wrong. Other forums are dead, and you won't find the creators of those systems posting every day.

Some may think I'm just saying things, but I'm stating facts here.

This system ensures you're going to get it right, better than any other system there is. The only way to make things any more certain would be to have an actual teacher in front of you, giving you instant feedback.

Those other systems are lacking. Singing Success is only going to get you somewhere if you try to sing those exercises. You'll add some texture and agility, and strength to your voice, but you won't know why you're doing what you're doing, or if you're doing things with proper support, which is how you learn how to screw up your voice. You could get those same results by ordering a $20 CD with random scale exercises. For a "system" that costs over $200, that's ridiculous.

Like I said, CVT is better, and I like their approach, with their dictionary of effects and stuff, but there's not enough fundamental stuff, and, as I said, those are the kinds of techniques that will cause you serious issues, if performed wrong.  And the forum is dead. 

This covers all bases, and so it is a complete system. Everything I'm talking about here can be verified.

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And of the training systems out there, none is more complete than Robert's. And he also filled a niche that others have not. The training workflow. It is not enough to just say do this thing and then do that thing. You need to know in what order. How does one exercise or skill lead to another?

Thanks for pointing that out Ron...  

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... I do have a holiday discount going on right now... go to the site and look at the home page. 

http://www.thefourpillarsofsinging.com

Use the code to save $50.

Try the real time chat system as well, often times I am there and you can chat with me in person to as questions before a purchase, etc... 

 

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So, I had a question, regarding something in the book. I decided to message Robert about it, and we decided it would be something great to put in here. Not only does it show a change in my understanding of head voice and falsetto, but it also represents an important question regarding what the system can do.

I had asked this:

I'm trying to make sure I understand the intended result here. Is the focus here to remove falsetto, as something that naturally happens when you sing up high or to remove it completely? What I mean here is, will you gain the ability to sing high, with power, while still having the choice to use falsetto?

I then randomly found the video below, later that night, which helped answer things a little bit, but I still was not sure about things, completely. I didn't have absolute certainty yet.

 

 

This is his response:

Your not going to loose Falsetto, ever. It is a primitive physical mode... see the lesson on primitive physical vocal modes. That means it is intuitive for the body.  You have no risk of losing what your already doing in those lighter mass configurations. The only risk you have is not building the more connected configurations if you don't practice. 

If you want to only be the "falsetto" guy.. then your already there... if you want to have chest voice high, you need to practice. 

My response to that, as well as another question:

Cool. I need that to get the panties wet, Rob. :24:

I ended up seeing your video called something like "Falsetto is NOT your Head Voice" last night. It happened to pop up in suggestions, on YouTube.

So, the musculature gets built, so that, when you use twang, you carry the "boom" upwards?

And this is why this is a complete system. I can completely confirm my understanding.

 

As I said in that last line, this is exactly why this is a complete system. I had read something, and watched a video on it, and still didn't quite understand. Then, there are a lot of videos. The topics overlap, which means they are mentioned in multiple videos.  I was able to watch another one that seemed to be about what I wanted to know (the video I got up there). I understood things a bit better, but not 100% yet. So I got in contact with Rob, and that's what's driving it home right now.

Each resource, things get reinforced, and I got closer and closer to the intended understanding. I read the topic in the book, and watched a video. Didn't quite understand. Found another video, because topics are not kept in separate boxes in this system. My understanding grew (the concept of falsetto, as a mode, and there being multiple modes, is something I understood) but not 100% certain yet. 

You don't have this luxury with other systems. You've got one medium to absorb something through. If you can't get it, the forums are dead, so odds are that somebody won't even see your question for a while. Forget whether they know they answer or not, but by that time, you've probably forgotten about the forum. Here, I'm getting it straight from the developer's mouth. This is why I went on and on. Things can only get better than this if you have a vocal coach giving you instant feedback, in-person. Even then, all vocal coaches are not created equal. 

 

 

 

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.... Thanks Geoff... 

In regards to where we left off on our discussion... The ability to engage vocal twang mode in your head voice is critical to making the voice sound "boomy" in the head voice and for stability in all areas of your vocal range. That is why in the book that comes with "The Four Pillars of Singing", vocal twang gets its own essay titled, "Vocal Twang Is King"! However, the ability to compress (twang) in the head voice is only half the job to eventually getting to a full, belt voice sound color and stability. In order to get the kind of head voice sounds we are all trying to get to, (when you don't want to sing falsetto), you have to train good belt voice techniques. 

Good belt voice techniques MUST isolate the TA musculature and offer techniques that also increase your closed quotient for belting, that means, ... by strengthening the TA muscle, the amount of time that the vocal folds are closed vs open in the sound making cycle is high. And this is one of the key characteristics we all have to achieve and train to TRULY get big, boomy, chest-like, belt head voice singing going.

... BUT BE CAREFUL.... !  :39:

 

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    Hey G, Great to hear you now have the "Four Pillars" course. It makes a difference when you have someone walk you through a coordination instead of just hearing how something is supposed to sound. Guiding students through workflows is shear brilliance. (Hats off to you Robert) And having it flow like a real classroom is awesome in itself.

  

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Pleased to hear you guys are enjoying the program, more to come... Ill be filming on Tuesday to lay out some VERY practical training routines that will be one last step to make things very clear and very applicable on what it is and what to do.

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.... Thanks Geoff... 

In regards to where we left off on our discussion... The ability to engage vocal twang mode in your head voice is critical to making the voice sound "boomy" in the head voice and for stability in all areas of your vocal range. That is why in the book that comes with "The Four Pillars of Singing", vocal twang gets its own essay titled, "Vocal Twang Is King"! However, the ability to compress (twang) in the head voice is only half the job to eventually getting to a full, belt voice sound color and stability. In order to get the kind of head voice sounds we are all trying to get to, (when you don't want to sing falsetto), you have to train good belt voice techniques. 

Good belt voice techniques MUST isolate the TA musculature and offer techniques that also increase your closed quotient for belting, that means, ... by strengthening the TA muscle, the amount of time that the vocal folds are closed vs open in the sound making cycle is high. And this is one of the key characteristics we all have to achieve and train to TRULY get big, boomy, chest-like, belt head voice singing going.

... BUT BE CAREFUL.... !  :39:

 

Sounds good. Confirms I am where I need to be, because I learned about the purpose of onsets on Friday, and I've just started learning the differences between them.

 

    Hey G, Great to hear you now have the "Four Pillars" course. It makes a difference when you have someone walk you through a coordination instead of just hearing how something is supposed to sound. Guiding students through workflows is shear brilliance. (Hats off to you Robert) And having it flow like a real classroom is awesome in itself.

  

Absolutely. I remember seeing the concept of modes in CVT. I thought, "There's no way I'm going to be able to learn this stuff from a book and just some audio clips of them being used."

I know I'll be able to get all of this down, because I know I can always confirm, if I'm ever unsure. 

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In about two weeks you guys and all Pillars clients are in for an additional treat... see the "Integrated Training Routines" module... Im going to beef that up with about 10 - 20 more videos... all pure training. Here's how you do it sort of content with me just training the concepts in front of a camera.

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In about two weeks you guys and all Pillars clients are in for an additional treat... see the "Integrated Training Routines" module... Im going to beef that up with about 10 - 20 more videos... all pure training. Here's how you do it sort of content with me just training the concepts in front of a camera.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ;)

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This is also going to be a progress thread. 

I saw distortion is mentioned in this system, so I thought it'd be cool to post what I'm starting out with.

Don't know much about kinds of rasp, at all, but I'm trying to change this. And I know there are different types of distortion, but I have not delved into that yet. I'm pretty sure, from the sound quality, what I'm doing is distortion. Whether it's "overlay" or something else, I haven't found out yet. Looking forward to finding that out, as well as better technique, as far as that type of thing goes. I've just about gotten to the point where I can consistently bring it out.

Three examples:

 

 

 

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I like what you are doing and I did something similar to that working on a cover of "Close My Eyes Forever," the duet  between Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford.

 

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Yeah, I'm thinking that type of sound is more reserved for Rock. I'll probably do some Rock covers at some point (I'm a Jersey boy, and there's Bon Jovi and Springsteen), where I'll use that.

Who knows though. I know it's got that airy quality to it because falsetto mode is involved.

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geoff,

 

Hope things re going ok for you with the training. Feel free to reach out to me personally if you need some coaching tips. I will listen to your files on Sunday.

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Geoff

Read and view so you know how the voice works and the methodology.

Always do the resonant tracking.

Train the coordination & Tuning onsets + sirens and workouts

then...

Train the resistance training onsets + sirens and workouts 

Sing...

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I'm about to start doing something like bi-weekly check-ins. It will be a nice way of monitoring my progress, and keeping me accountable with practice.

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Alright, so 5 months later, here we go! Going to upload some stuff within the next few days. :D

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Be sure to make an added effort to bring it to my attention when you are ready. 

Coach

 

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