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How much can I practice, and how to improve curbing/tenor range?

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Marcus
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Hi all!

I hardly have time for technical vocal workouts these days, have to have enough vocal stamina to get through 5 shows a week. But when I do have time I want to work more on my "tenor register", both stabilizing it further and eliminating weak areas, hopefully getting it seamless into headvoice/neutral at the top.

Is there anyone else who's performing a lot at a constant rate? How much do you dare to "excercise" your voices, without tiring too much before showtime? When performing I have "kids entertainment" for about 30-45 minutes, and after that it's the "main show" for about 85 min, me being the only guy together with three girls (so I have both solo work and backing vocals). We have 5 different shows, with very varied material from schlager/pop and musical to rock and heavy metal. We have some afternoon activities as well, including singing songs by the poolside and such.

I warm upp my voice about 30 minutes with scales and excercises, and then I go through some of the material of the evening show for about 15 minutes. Since I need my voice in shape for the shows at night, there's not much room for technical workouts, and I feel I want to improve on stuff that I don't do in the shows as well.

(Another goal I have is to get more control over distorsion, but it's an effect that I'm a bit scared of practicing, since I can't afford to blow my voice either.)

So, how much more would be reasonable to practice?

Recorded a clip of what I personally would consider curbing in my tenor range. Any suggestions on how to improve it further are welcome. I used to be a basso/baritone before, but with the help of you guys and tons of practice I'm finding it easier and easier to sing tenor stuff as well.

http://www.speedyshare.com/files/25641812/curbing_example.mp3

Cheers / Marcus

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You sound great!

Btw I think you are definitely a tenor because of the sound of your voice at those notes. It's possible that you're just learning your range. I think your "sound" at those notes from G4-C5 would make you a tenor in my books but I'm no expert :)

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Thank you very much! Glad to hear you like it!

When I graduated from the musical academy in 2008 (two year professional education in musical theatre) I was classified as a basso/baritone. All my swedish vocal coaches have always told me I'm a basso and will never be able to sing like a tenor. My highest chest note was around f above middle c on the piano.

The thing is: I always wanted to be a tenor, because of the music I want to sing. Furthermore, to land jobs as a singer it's way easier if you have a tenor range as well, at least from my own experience. I began reading a lot about the voice, and practicing like a maniac. Raise Your Voice by Jamie Vendera set me on the quest for a better top register, and Vocal Asylum by James Lugo gave me the excercises that made me find that tenor range.

It took me about a year to stabilize it enough for landing tenor jobs, and now I sing lots of tenor songs in the shows (almost all the songs are in the tenor range). But I actually think those voice classifications are missleading, it can put a lot of mental obstacles on a singer. Having teachers tell you that you'll never be able to do something is so limiting. I think anyone who wants it can achieve the same, and better, results as myself. It's about coordination/bridging/whatever you want to call it.

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Marcus, could you post another clip with the same song, but this time, have each syllable extended for a few seconds? Kind of like you were singing the song very slowly. I'm asking because I hear that there is SOMETHING in your voice that many vocal coaches would say you're doing "incorrectly", but I'm too inexperienced to tell you what it is. Perhaps someone like Steven Fraser would be able to tell you that. My first guess is that you may either be using the wrong vowels, have your focus too much in the nasal cavities or maybe twang TOO much. I'm not sure, that's why I'm asking you to do this :) And just so that you know it - some words in that clip were just spot on great sounding (to me), most of them in the latter half. And I believe it has something to do with proper placement or vowels. It's time to turn you from a great singer to a terrific one! Hope you don't mind me trying to help. I'm a beginner myself and I don't think my own tone is all that great yet, just so that you know :) Cheers!

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Hi all!

I hardly have time for technical vocal workouts these days, have to have enough vocal stamina to get through 5 shows a week. But when I do have time I want to work more on my "tenor register", both stabilizing it further and eliminating weak areas, hopefully getting it seamless into headvoice/neutral at the top.

Is there anyone else who's performing a lot at a constant rate? How much do you dare to "excercise" your voices, without tiring too much before showtime? When performing I have "kids entertainment" for about 30-45 minutes, and after that it's the "main show" for about 85 min, me being the only guy together with three girls (so I have both solo work and backing vocals). We have 5 different shows, with very varied material from schlager/pop and musical to rock and heavy metal. We have some afternoon activities as well, including singing songs by the poolside and such.

I warm upp my voice about 30 minutes with scales and excercises, and then I go through some of the material of the evening show for about 15 minutes. Since I need my voice in shape for the shows at night, there's not much room for technical workouts, and I feel I want to improve on stuff that I don't do in the shows as well.

(Another goal I have is to get more control over distorsion, but it's an effect that I'm a bit scared of practicing, since I can't afford to blow my voice either.)

So, how much more would be reasonable to practice?

Recorded a clip of what I personally would consider curbing in my tenor range. Any suggestions on how to improve it further are welcome. I used to be a basso/baritone before, but with the help of you guys and tons of practice I'm finding it easier and easier to sing tenor stuff as well.

http://www.speedyshare.com/files/25641812/curbing_example.mp3

Cheers / Marcus

i cannot open the file.

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Thanks jonpall, I don't mind at all. I want to know how to improve :) Can't record it right now, it's almost 1 'o clock in the night here, so will have to do it later this week.

videohere, I don't have any problem opening the file. Either click on the link for "curbing example.mp3" and it will play in your media player, or right click and choose download.

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Thanks jonpall, I don't mind at all. I want to know how to improve :) Can't record it right now, it's almost 1 'o clock in the night here, so will have to do it later this week.

videohere, I don't have any problem opening the file. Either click on the link for "curbing example.mp3" and it will play in your media player, or right click and choose download.

i have no idea why, but it won't

"pluggin error"

thanks anyway

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  • 1 month later...

Alright! I finally got around to do the suggested slower recordning of the same vocal line. Suggestions about vowel use and such would be welcome.

http://www.speedyshare.com/files/26417042/Curbing_example_slower.mp3

And how much do you people dare to excercise your voices without tiring too much before performances?

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Regarding warm-ups. You are singing almost all day. More than singers in working bands. More than singers in cover bands. And they may do two 45 minute sets with a 30 minute break in between.

Muscles are muscles and even professional athletes get fatigued. With as much singing as you are doing, you may not need much warm-up and I totally understand not wanting to delve too much into extreme distortion. I'm not singing as much as you but my own attempts at twangy rattle have left me without range for a few days to a few weeks, at a time. And my living is not based upon singing all day, like you. You can't afford down time. You do get some neat, slight distortion on "Galaxy X" and I wouldn't go much further than that.

I have been reading interviews (I am cross-posting as I mentioned this in another thread) of some of the most extreme and famous singers in hard rock / heavy metal. The most extensive of them may warm up a full hour and that ends an hour before show time. It's like being an athlete. You warm up too much and tire the muscles and then you have no steam left for the game, itself. Pro athletes often do nothing but hold the sofa or easy chair down the day before a game. Bruce Dickinson, who runs all over the stage and sings the way he does, does absolutely nothing between shows. And 30 minutes before showtime, he hums to himself for a little bit to find his resonance.

Well, you don't have much time for rest between shows. And I have seen videos of your cabaret show. You are not only singing, you are moving through choreographed routines, as opposed to Tom Petty standing in front of a mic stand. And you are doing this pretty much every day and night while on cruise, right? And that's another thing. Doing the dance routines on something that rolls with the waves, gentle as it may be.

I would say, that whatever "between-ups" that you do should be soft and relaxing, much like a swimmer that does a few stretches and wiggles between matches.

Granted, any training will result in better muscle tone and in voice, more stable sound, but even marathon athletes get some rest, now and then.

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Thanks for the comment ronws!

I guess I need some rest in between the shows, but I feel I want some development in parts of my voice that I don't use on a daily basis (f.ex. extending voice upwards, wich is what I'm attempting to get better at with this posted example). Maybe I'll have to work on that on longer breaks from work then? Now I have 5 weeks off before rehearsals start for summer season 2011, the first vacation for a year and a half for me :D

I feel I have to warm up for about 30 minutes to get the upper register working though, so I can't go too easy on the warm-ups.

I work on land, but otherwise it was correct. Been working at a hotel in Cyprus for 6 months and then a hotel in Lanzarote for 3 months. We do 5 shows a week constantly, and there is a lot of dancing as well. I really like the work. Wouldn't mind working on cruise ships in the future though, just have to land some auditions when I have time off.

Hopefully Stephen will see the post, otherwise I can message him :)

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