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does "pulling chest" get a bad rap?

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i'd really like to ask you folks your take on the act of "pulling chest," meaning bringing more of the chest voice up with you into your head voice. it seems most people consider it a negative technique that should be avoided, but i'm not sure that's really always the case.

can't it also be a capability to do it, or a stylistic choice at times? grant it, it may the more difficult way to go, but i just think we shouldn't perceive doing it as a negative.

what's your thought on this? thanks in advance for your opinions.

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While I consider chest and head to just be overrated images(At a certain pitch the vibrations in your chest disappear, no matter how you sing), I'm quite sure that you are talking about singing with overdrive from CVT around the C4-C5 range. There is definitely a big fear incited by people on youtube and most teachers not to use a sound like this. And it has made sense before, this technique is VERY limited vowel wise. But if you really can nail the vowels in "HEY!" and "GO!" and only use them with this technique you can get an amazingly powerful sound that feels just great to pull off.

There is a way to sing with quite a similar power that involves a shitload of twang and a smaller, but still present glottal attack which is used by Jorn lande in this song

at 5:28~

I have no idea if this also is what people would call pulling chest(However, who cares when it feels great, and sounds great?).

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I think pulling chest, if done correctly, can be amazing. Chris Cornell pulls chest a lot, then shoots up into head. So does Steven Tyler. Bruce Dickenson pulls chest like a mofo, and a lot of operatic tenors sound amazing with chest up into the A4-C5 range. I think it's unhealthy is you simply bludgeon your voice using little support and technique.

In his early days, Steven Tyler almost always pulled chest, and used head voice as an effect. If you listen to the first 5 albums, it's almost all chest, except for some head voice money notes. It wasn't until the 90's that he really started relying on head voice to do his main vocals in. He must be doing something right, still going strong after 40 years...

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Bob - Here's the way I see it: Pulling chest is keeping the TA pulling against the CT to create thick, strong folds. Singing with thick folds especially up high gives strong (bright) overtones. Like if you stretched the lower strings on your guitar to play really high. You can only go so high with the TA engaged like that before it has to disengage to allow the folds to thin out and stretch more. That is head voice. Twang is used to make up for the lessening of overtones. That's why the higher pitched strings on the guitar are thinner.

I think it sounds really cool to sing either Overdrive or Curbing high - up to C5 in chest. It can be done safely, if you train for it. I've heard you do it before in your audio samples. But it does restrict the vowels. I've got a couple songs that use an "EE" vowel up at B4 and C5 in Chest. This has been difficult for me, probably because this vowel is not supposed to be sung that high in Chest. It doesn't sound good to me in Head. These attempts of mine may not be healthy for me.:(

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Bob - Here's the way I see it: Pulling chest is keeping the TA pulling against the CT to create thick, strong folds. Singing with thick folds especially up high gives strong (bright) overtones. Like if you stretched the lower strings on your guitar to play really high. You can only go so high with the TA engaged like that before it has to disengage to allow the folds to thin out and stretch more. That is head voice. Twang is used to make up for the lessening of overtones. That's why the higher pitched strings on the guitar are thinner.

I think it sounds really cool to sing either Overdrive or Curbing high - up to C5 in chest. It can be done safely, if you train for it. I've heard you do it before in your audio samples. But it does restrict the vowels. I've got a couple songs that use an "EE" vowel up at B4 and C5 in Chest. This has been difficult for me, probably because this vowel is not supposed to be sung that high in Chest. It doesn't sound good to me in Head. These attempts of mine may not be healthy for me.:(

i agree, but you see you're likely in head at b4 and c5 but you are in a serious "chead" voice....lol!!

it's my new word for combo voice....lol!!!

i'm a guy who reallly likes to avoid light head voice..that why i gravitate to power vocalists.

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Bob - yes normally I'm in head up there, but not in the example I'm talking about. But I view Chest as the thick folds caused by TA and CT pulling against each other. Some people are defining Chest if you can feel vibration in your chest.

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People who are good with curbing/mixed voice sound very chesty with their high notes. In the high part of the voice (C4-C5), I like to blend two types of sounds - cry and twang. Having only the cry sound in that range can sound a bit hooty and having only twang can sound a bit thin (like Brian Johnson on a bad day, with or without his distortion).

guitartrek - what is TA and CT?

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jonpall - You are really good at singing up in that range.

TA and CT are abbreviations for two of the muscles in the larynx. I'm not an expert - only picking this up from Steven Fraser and others. CT - Cricothyroid is responsible for stretching the folds which determines pitch. TA - thyroarytenoid is another muscle that actually pulls against the CT causing the folds to thicken. It's like when you are lifting weights, there are usually two muscles involved working against each other to stabilize the action. The muscles bulge because of the two opposing forces.

When you sing in Chest - overdrive / curbing - the TA and CT are pulling against each other thickening the folds and producing rich overtones. When you sing in Falsetto or Neutral, it is like the TA disengages and you are only using the CT muscle. The folds are thinner and the overtones are much less (twang amplifies the weaker overtones). I also think glottal compression helps increase the overtones. Like Martin said, no one actually knows yet the exact role TA plays in Neutral. Could be that the TA is still active but to a lessor degree.

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Bob - yes normally I'm in head up there, but not in the example I'm talking about. But I view Chest as the thick folds caused by TA and CT pulling against each other. Some people are defining Chest if you can feel vibration in your chest.

i understand...it's not that i'm bringing chest voice up from anywhere it's like you just explained, but i think (just my opinion) a lot of singers bypass or fear this more effortful technique you explained and they always say things like i can't do it or i don't think you're supposed to sing that way.

i tried foreigner's "double vision" last night and there's a part "i'll live all of my years in a single minute".."all" is a powerful d5, and man i can't even begin to tell you how it felt when i made through the "all" powerfully. it literally felt like my soft palate was 6 inches high and i power pushed my ass off. when i came off that phrase i was litterally dazed.

then afterwards i got more realistic and knew instinctively i'd be more consistent dropping it a half step.

so what i'm trying to say is (just speaking to real beginners now) i just feel like they may not be realizing some of the ta/ct development needed to sing like they hope to or how much "correct effort" it takes.

so they develop this light heady sound and don't go further to this powerful head voice sound...oh, man..i'm i making any sense...it's hard to articulate through just written words.

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You're actually making a lot of sense. I'd been a victim of this approach for years.

thanks..i needed to hear that. i also believe that there are just some notes and words with those notes that if you can't generate the pressure and muscle strengh and coordination (or whatever) to reach them you simply won't. that's why i think it's important that folks that can't afford private instruction have to have the drive and discipline and be willing to work really hard to see gains, gains that are oftertimes incremental.

here's a perfect example of what i'm talking about.

please, no disrespect meant to this singer, i'm not saying the guy isn't good, but in my opinion there's a lightness, a way he has of singing, that isn't going to sell any records or turn heads.

if i were him, i'd feel like i copped out or took the easy way out. there's no "balls," no "vigor," no "weight."

it's too "safe" for me.

unless i'm wrong?

http://www.youtube.com/user/RickiKeith#p/u/10/4pfTpkEsSww

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thanks..i needed to hear that. i also believe that there are just some notes and words with those notes that if you can't generate the pressure and muscle strengh and coordination (or whatever) to reach them you simply won't. that's why i think it's important that folks that can't afford private instruction have to have the drive and discipline and be willing to work really hard to see gains, gains that are oftertimes incremental.

here's a perfect example of what i'm talking about.

please, no disrespect meant to this singer, i'm not saying the guy isn't good, but in my opinion there's a lightness, a way he has of singing, that isn't going to sell any records or turn heads.

if i were him, i'd feel like i copped out or took the easy way out. there's no "balls," no "vigor," no "weight."

it's too "safe" for me.

unless i'm wrong?

http://www.youtube.com/user/RickiKeith# … pfTpkEsSww

I agree with you and with guitartrek, although any voice that's stable support-wise and has a fair amount of resonance I'm ok with.

But just like you guys, that tone is not my cup of tea - maybe it's a great way to learn a song until it is sung in a "ballsier" way.

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The guy in the video could have put more "meat" into his tone but without "pulling chest". I stand by what I said in my post number 7 above. I know some of you guys might frown at this but if that singer wants to sing with a "more chesty sound" he needs to find a tone that's somewhere in the middle of sounding "chesty" and "heady". SLS calls this mixed voice but some of them tend to lack a bit of "edge" in their sound, which is something you could get from programs like Raise your voice by Jamie Vendera (just to name one that I own myself and have tried out a lot). He also sounds like his support level is very low. He'd need to up it a notch for a more ballsy performance, I think. Even though I like CVT and RYV better, here's a video that I've always liked that can help people with this subject (it has been posted here before more than once, I think): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0CvItiNMsA

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The guy in the video could have put more "meat" into his tone but without "pulling chest". I stand by what I said in my post number 7 above. I know some of you guys might frown at this but if that singer wants to sing with a "more chesty sound" he needs to find a tone that's somewhere in the middle of sounding "chesty" and "heady". SLS calls this mixed voice but some of them tend to lack a bit of "edge" in their sound, which is something you could get from programs like Raise your voice by Jamie Vendera (just to name one that I own myself and have tried out a lot). He also sounds like his support level is very low. He'd need to up it a notch for a more ballsy performance, I think. Even though I like CVT and RYV better, here's a video that I've always liked that can help people with this subject (it has been posted here before more than once, I think): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0CvItiNMsA

but jonpall, why do feel like it's a negative to pull chest? Maybe it's the definition we have to iron out?

that's what i mean....pulling chest gets a bad rap.

i left a voicemail with them to see if i could purchase the entire lesson. i think there's more to this than what we see in these highlights.

i'm using james lugo's program lately and he's more like roger kain..he really works you. i need to feel like i've worked out when i exercise.

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Hey Bob, on the video that you linked, yes, that guy is singing light but ringy, kind of like a country lullaby. Could he make it meatier? Maybe, maybe not. As was mentioned, perhaps he has sang that way for a long time and it would take some time to get a beefier sound. Probably by not ringing the resonance so brightly. That is, he could have a ballsier sound by backing off, just a bit. It's counter-intuitive but that's how I see it.

Pulling chest? Really, I think it's effects and resonance. I know I keep referring to a recent recording but I think it germaine. When I sing "Rainbow in the Dark," it feels chesty and sounds chesty but is it, really? Granted, a mix by Mike or Thanos or Geno can turn hammered dog crap into gold but the notes have to be at least in the neighborhood to be usable, even if one doesn't need all the overtone freq's to mix properly. Like I said, it sounded chesty, and felt somewhat chesty but I have been learning from here and I am most certain that it has had an effect to where I actually have a stronger and "rounder" headvoice that can sound chesty. The last note is a high note and it is a "headvoice" note. It may sound light only because I didn't have any distortion on it. But I think it may get that descriptive tag of "head" note because it is a slightly different finish timbre or tonal color than the rest of the lyrical passage. If I could add lots of distortion in the 6th octave, would it sound more chesty but not actually be "carrying chest" that high?

That is, I think the passagio still exists. I, like any other guy, might be able to shout up to about G4 but since I have been practicing technique, it has been almost second nature, now, to bridge earlier so that there is no break in the 4th octave. That is, I would have to break the "new" habit and not bridge.

I guess it involves perception.

The singer you posted sounds like a quieter, country version of Dennis DeYoung. And people here would have preferred more of a Tommy Shaw sound. Bless Styx for providing us to different styles in the same range.

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bringing more of the chest voice up with you into your head voice

This gives you a more meaty tone I think. But I'd say it's not the same as, say, taking your chest voice, bringing it up, punching it in the face until it goes high enough for your liking. The second hasn't really done me good :)

And, in all honesty, I like that man's voice and tone.

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This gives you a more meaty tone I think. But I'd say it's not the same as, say, taking your chest voice, bringing it up, punching it in the face until it goes high enough for your liking. The second hasn't really done me good :)

And, in all honesty, I like that man's voice and tone.

I like his voice too. Nice, easy and pleasing tone. It's not what I would choose to sound like, but that's not to say I don't respect him or his abilities. It's really a personal decision and artistic choice. He could sing in chest - you can hear it in his speaking voice. He may not ever learned how, or he chose not to. I actually had to sing a song all in head voice too because that's what the producer wanted for that particular song. I had to learn how to sing in neutral (head) down into my lower range. It was difficult at first, but after a week I was able to do it.

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I like his voice too. Nice, easy and pleasing tone. It's not what I would choose to sound like, but that's not to say I don't respect him or his abilities. It's really a personal decision and artistic choice. He could sing in chest - you can hear it in his speaking voice. He may not ever learned how, or he chose not to. I actually had to sing a song all in head voice too because that's what the producer wanted for that particular song. I had to learn how to sing in neutral (head) down into my lower range. It was difficult at first, but after a week I was able to do it.

but here's what i mean...i don't bring my chest up (anymore) it's tone above the throat, focused in the soft palatte with support and resonance.

i hear all my friends and you all have valid points, but to me, that richer, chestier, resonant voice is what it's all about...

but again like i've said i gravitate to those types of vocals. sometimes i even enjoy the difficulty in making those kinds of meaty, belty, sounds.

the light, easier, style yes, it can be a challenge especially for someone like me but to me this guy is just a "good singer" as opposed to a "holy shit" what a voice singer.

like jonpall says...just my 5 cents...lol!!!

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What I'm saying that with curbing+twang and good technique, you can really fake that you're singing high notes in your chest voice, because you're bringing out so many overtones, both high and low and everywhere in between. You're just not doing it by thickening your vocal folds above medium thickness.

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What I'm saying that with curbing+twang and good technique, you can really fake that you're singing high notes in your chest voice, because you're bringing out so many overtones, both high and low and everywhere in between. You're just not doing it by thickening your vocal folds above medium thickness.

i hear you, respect you, and i agree, but i still feel another way is to strengthen from the bottom (chest) up..is it potentially dangerous?

i don't think so if done correctly. it's probably harder, (example: michael bolton style) but that's okay with me too.

an analogy would be a body builder who decides to do more variation of barbell curls.

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