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Ronron

Let me put my foot in it

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Thanks, Ron. I started playing guitar in Oct 1974 and would sing along with songs I play. But I didn't develope my tenor range until about 1988. Through some reading and practice, I found that I am, in fact, a tenor but I can sing baritone, too. And the first thing I developed was incredible volume. But that doesn't mean I know everything. I am still learning, even here.

What you talk of in saying how I and other singers don't sound too high, even though it is a high note is something of an illusion, so to speak. The note is on pitch, yes. How it is resonated is the difference.

The first exercises that led me to develope twang is to physically smile (it realigns muscles in the throat) and try to create a creak or cackle sound like the popular conception of a witche's cackle. (Actually, I know some witches and they don't cackle but that's a whole 'nother thread in probably a different forum.) And I could understand it acoustically or with basic physics. A high note is really a "small" note that is resonated properly in the right space with enough breath support to drive the vocal folds. Think of the folds as stretched out and you are only vibrating a small portion of them, close together, which takes a more consistent air pressure than talking, but not much, and in the right space (think behind the nose, though not through the nose.) This is also aided by allowing the jaw to drop but not so far that the tongue depresses on the pharynx area (just above the larynx or voicebox.) Here's an exercise. It's in the mexican song "Cielito Lindo" (beautiful sky) but one of the lyrics is "Ai, ai, ai, ai" Make that sound but a little more "twangy" or sharp. You will find your self smiling and heading in the right direction. In fact, it's one of my warm-ups.

Anyway, you will get there.

I think that what you are hearing that's so high to yourself when you sing it is that you are missing some overtones that would come out when you develope your twang.

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I've tried twang, and I'm not one with the Twang :(

I basically lose it anytime I change pitch radically, or just over time. Same with the note behind the nose when ascending higher than around F4/G4. It also seems to sound horrible, but I have not recorded myself doing it, so maybe it's just me or something.

However, and it means a lot to me, as this is the guy that made me want to learn to sing, I had a demonstration of twang this evening at Brandon Flowers' show, here in Paris. And I think I had to use this to be able to hear myself and not strain. Seems better than yelling like there's no tomorrow. I'll try maintaining twang over an entire song, and hear it. Perhaps it's not as awful as I would think.

Also, that means that, apparently, I can pull some volume and not blow my folds to pieces. I'll have to think about it, although I'm mostly a quiet guy, I don't mind some strength hehe. I don't know why, but I've always equated volume to pain and danger.

[Running out of linking words, insert any here] I tried a song that had me die in frustration a few months ago, and found it was quite easy now. I'm working on it at the original pitch now, and found that twanging like a duck imitating a cackling witch quacking like a duck (yeah, that much) enabled me to hit most of the notes (though hearing me do this makes my ears bleed, I just want to hit the notes right now :P).

And finally, you have a really open mind, ronws :)

Thank you for your time too !

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So far, we haven't heard you twang. So, we only have your word for it that it is horrible. Sounds like another challenge, doesn't it?

Psychology and paradigm are paramount in what a person does. If you think that high and loud is dangerous, then you will stay away from it. If you think your amount of twang is horrible, you will stay away from it. And you will then stick with the soft volume and falsetto range that you do have.

And good for you. Do what makes you feel comfortable. However, if you want higher range that sounds stronger than falsetto, then you will have to come over to the dark side of the force and twang. Also, twanging gets easier over time. Some people take right to it but others have a time of training where the muscles re-condition themselves.

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Sounds like another challenge

Ok then, I take your challenge. But this will be awful. Your ears will bleed, if they manage not to utter a vow of deafness for the rest of your life. Especially as today my voice doesn't seem to want to do what I ask it to do. I guess screaming the whole show on wednesday evening was more tiring than it told me actually, throwing it all of balance. I think I'll rest for a week or so starting now.

So I took Sweet Child o Mine as a start because it is so high with some so low parts. Let me explain what I did :

The first verse + chorus is basically my normal voice when I am this high. I noticed my larynx rising extremely high, but I can't control it yet. Not this high anyway.

The second verse + chorus is my horrible falsetto (there is a difference, don't you think, eh ? :P). I hate this sound with a passion.

The first two " where do we go ?" are a bit lower than my normal speaking voice as far as I can tell, and they venture on fry. To me, it's actually a miracle that I hit the " now " :P

The low Axl's " where do we go ?" are in twanged speaking voice.

From the octave or so jump till the end, I use what I think is twang with the former thing I described as falsetto.

http://www.4shared.com/audio/16YoDXQr/Sweet_Twang_o_Mine.html

And now. If you dare, this is a horrible Wuthering Heights. Based on Angra's version (I feel Kate Bush's is higher :P). This is the song I was talking about in my later post. It is an absolutely horrible übertwanged normal high voice. The whole song is a big trouble, my support goes out the window, and can't control the volume in any way whatsoever (it stays soft, but there are jumps here and there) and so on :D

http://www.4shared.com/audio/xgOQYUXM/Wuthering_Twang.html

You had been warned ;p

And now, I feel compelled to ease the pain with something that is a lil bit better. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a backing track...

http://www.4shared.com/audio/sQG_38gi/Wuthering_Heights_2.html

This is basically Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush, except it's one octave lower. And there is no twang whatsoever, or it's against my will.

now I wanna twang too.

I'm absolutely certain that the right amount of rightly done twang is nice, useful and great. The hard part is right, though :P

Wuthering Heights by Angra :

By Kate Bush :

*finds a hole to hide*

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That Wuthering Heights take of yours - you say it's twanged. The problem is that it's NOT. :) It's not twanged at all. You need to learn how to produce that sound before you decide you dislike it ;) That was more nasal than twangy, actually. Also, check out curbing/cry sound/mix voice and not ONLY twang for those tenor songs... Just a hint/tip.

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Whatever I used to squeak the high wuthering out of my mouth sounds awful and I dislike it a lot. It did help reaching higher notes though. I don't intend on venturing there in this manner anymore, as it wasn't quite feeling right. I actually don't really intend to venture there anytime soon. Even if challenged. It's way higher than my current modest goals. :)

But you bring good news. If it really was twang free, then I am not lost to the dark side of twang and can embrass it after I have burnt a thousand cackling ducks and quacking witches while checking anatomy. I should have known better, I never get anything right unless I check anatomy. :) Thanks.

And I've only superficially approched the cry. It's not a sound I'm familiar with, but I'm learning a new thing everyday, so one day it will cling in place and be great. I'll think about it when I have some time.

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Try adding that quacky duck feeling to that "ubertwanged clip" and you will be good to go.

Try like goingt for it like this, the twang is something you add ontop of that "voice"

http://www.speedyshare.com/files/24513074/no_twang_twang.wma

chourus with twang and some distortion

http://www.speedyshare.com/files/24513054/wuthering.wma

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Jonpall and Jens raise good points and Jens is far better at demonstrating something than I am. Actually, your twang through the low chorus in SCOM was nearly like the original. Now and then, in your twang, it sounds as if you are singing through your nose instead of behind it. That, and your vocal folds are not as adducted tightly as they could be. And I know it's because you are singing quietly. That's why it was nice to hear you do SCOM because that song will make you use more volume.

If you will notice in Jen's clips, he modifies vowels when necessary, commonly to the 'eh' sound. So, I have noticed to that sometimes how you speak a vowel may be limiting you.

But, on the whole, I liked the "little" voice that you made. Not unlike what Kate was doing.

But I don't know how to make you unafraid of volume at high pitch. Or even volume at your lower pitches. You may need to find a location where you can practice at a volume above a whisper. I like your voice, I just think you can sing louder and more confidently.

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Thank you all for your suggestions and advice. I'll check it whenever I have some spare time. School's starting tomorrow so... And I need to be mostly alone. My family hates me for erm... " vocalizing ", and I hate dealing with their erm... Mocking. Given the feedback I have received from you and friends I sometimes wonder if my horrible mic does not enhance my voice or something. :|

This may be part of the reason why I'm just at what you call a whisper. Interestingly enough, it seems way louder than my speaking voice, though, come to think of it, it may not. Seems like I'm trying to have the softer sound achievable, haha (I'm not, though, I even try to add some now. But it feels odd. To my ears I'm easily in the 'too much volume' department, and never in the 'not enough').

Last time I had a sort of surge of volume/power, it felt like my voice was piercing through something, trying to get out or escape, I don't know, it's hard to describe, but it was an interesting feeling.

As for the vowel modifications, if they don't come spontaneously, I tend to forget them. I noticed I sometimes naturally do some on tricky parts. Seems to ease them quite a bit. I'm not familiar with it all yet though.

On a side note, a friend of mine convinced me to try and join a choir (or chorus or chorale, I don't know which of these words is appropriate) of some sort. I don't really know what it will be about and in which section I'll end up in, as we have not yet decided which one we will go to, but I'm willing to give it a try. Can't hurt, and I should learn some things. At least, it should help me build some confidence ;p

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Any of the words is fine. A choir is usually in a church. A chorus is usually in a theater setting. Chorale, same thing.

I'm willing to bet you have mic issues, as well. It may be hiding your volume.

As for family mocking you, I can't help that much but to say to ignore them, even if they are helping to pay for you at university. They might right on some things in life but they are not right on this one. That happens with humans. None are perfect, not even our parents. That was a hard one for me to learn.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

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Timetables have not been too kind with us lately, so no chorale for us yet.

I've been working on stopping chestpulling by any means available to me. Sirens mostly. I've discovered a lot of things in the process. Notably that you can control where you want the sound to resonate, and that it has a big influence on a lot of things. I will have to work a lot on it sometimes, as I can't control it all the time yet.

I've also learned that what I hear is not what other people would hear. I stated somewhere that I disliked sounding like a countertenor on the high notes after I kinda learned I could do something like bridgeing. Well, I recorded myself today, and I sound mostly equal to how I sound lower, at least on this record and to my ear. Doing this also taught me that, basically, singing requires energy. I was a bit angry and this feeling's energy supported me very well :)

I don't have control everything right now, but still, I think that's the best take I've ever had at this song.

So here it is, another attempt at Sweet Child o' Mine :

http://www.2shared.com/audio/A_CFuP3u/SCOM.html

There are a few questions that have arisen with this new way of doing, but they can wait a few more weeks :]

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Is there any way you could use another file sharing site? I usually use dropbox. I just didn't want to download another software. I recently had a system crash and had to reset to an earlier restoration date.

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Well done. You hit all the right notes. I think you and I have similar vocal timbres. Clean voices that are limited by the mics we use. You were definitely better on volume. And you hit the highest note with confidence dead-on. I mean, you sang it fine, before, but this one had better breath support. Even though it's a love song with some balladic structure, it's sung at a volume much like the one you used this time. Kind of like a rock aria. So, if one used the same volume as an aria for this, it might be the same. Anyway, you did well on that.

Being able to vary your volume will also help vary tone, I think. Anyway, this version a big improvement over the earlier one, as far as how I think the song should be performed.

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I think it's a little difficult to hear your true potential when you are purposely being quiet for reasons other than singing it quietly. To be honest it sounded pretty ordinary but you are holding back so much.:-)

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