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Something I have been thinking on lately. I really see good basic, supported, open throat singing as the real basis for good rock singing. I see a guy like Paul Rodgers being almost the ideal base model. Learn that base and THEN add on or go into other directions such as Plant/Cornell

 

As far as actual difficulty or skill level of various classic rock/metal singers, I see it sort of as follows starting from "easiest" to hardest: (of course, ALL of these guys are great and all of it is hard to get close to!)

 

Paul Rogers-----> Robert Plant, Chris Cornell, Rob Halford, Geoff Tate----->  Bruce Dickinson, Dio

 

My reasoning:

Paul Rogers has a great tone and in general he "just sings". He doesnt go out of his way to do anything fancy or overly impressive, yet he does sing with a nice tone through a decent range

 

Plant, Cornell, Halford, Tate. These guys are more varied and may generally have a higher tessitura etc, but some of it isnt THAT hard to sing because it gets into a released type of headvoice sound. Some if it can be emulated without a ton of physical effort

 

Dickinson/Dio.  Okay, these guys can be ridiculously hard to emulate. IMO you have to actually have the strength built to sing like these guys. ESPECIALLY Dio. This is like bench pressing 315 lbs. Reading a book or finding a "trick" wont get you to bench 315. You have to put in the time and work up to it

 

ITS HARD TO FIND DECENT COVERS OF DIO, EVEN FROM OTHER PROS!!!    That says a lot

 

Some of Dios songs are in a higher range than what u might think....yet he still has that beefiness and somewhat "round" tone. You can tell there is a lot of support. Yet when u see him on live clips it doesnt seem that hard for him. Of course by the time any of us heard of him he was at least up into his 30s with a lot of mileage under his belt so he had that technique and strength down solid

 

So that leads me to this video where the guy shows 2 approaches to singing "Rainbow in the Dark"

 

 

To my ears, the first version is way closer to Dio. The 2nd version isnt that close

 

So this is the hard part. Can one get that sound WITHOUT the really strong supported style?? Like the guy in the vid said, he was exhausted by the time he got to the 2nd verse etc.

Is it then just a matter of one having to build that strength over time??

 

Here are a couple of covers by guys that do GREAT covers....but they dont get that close to Dio IMO.

 

 

to my ear, both of these are a little "lighter" than Dio. So therein lies the dilemma. How to get that powerful compressed sound yet stay sort of "round" yet also still be light enough to sing into decent higher range??

 

Even good old Ken, who promotes strongly supported singing etc....sounds rather strained while attempting the Dio stuff. Doesnt really sound like Dio at all

 

and this guy. Great singer, huge range etc. 2.4 million subs. Doesnt sound anything like Dio though

 

Felipe gets pretty close, which is impressive since he has to fight his natural accent and sing a second language etc. Felipe's tone is pretty warm generally too AFAIK

Jorn is about as close as ive heard and even then there are some slight differences. Jorn seems a tiny bit scratchier whereas Dio could be really clean while still sounding huge

 

 

 

So was Dio just a mutant or did he just build great strength and control over time?

 

here he is live.

 

 

assuming this vocal is indeed live lol

 

 

Im seeing him using decent support and lots of resonance. In other words it seems as if he is pushing a lot of air up with a generally open throat....letting that air find good resonance up in the head etc, as opposed to physically trying to squeeze with the throat. of course I may be totally wrong lol

 

His speaking voice already had that sort of warm round tone to it so maybe he just got lucky and learned to sing with power with his natural round tone

 

Anyone have any ideas or want to discuss??

 

Peace, JJ

 

 

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I would put Paul Rodgers right up there with Dio. He has a lot more agility (licks, runs) than the other guys and still is ridiculously consistent live... maybe even moreso than Dio ever was. The other guys are prone to just pedalling on 1-2 notes for songs at a time. Paul Rodgers (imo) is also a lot more musical due to his improvisational ability with his licks.

Ive never really been that impressed with Robert Plant, Geoff Tate, Cornell (his acoustic live stuff is amazing though) Live. Halford was a great front man and had his tricks, but he kind of only had two gears... Breaking the Law, Painkiller... with a massive hole in between.

Daniel Formica Posted a singer a few months back that tore everyone up... Best Dio I've ever heard... maybe even better.

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1 hour ago, kirkovin84 said:

I would put Paul Rodgers right up there with Dio. He has a lot more agility (licks, runs) than the other guys and still is ridiculously consistent live... maybe even moreso than Dio ever was. The other guys are prone to just pedalling on 1-2 notes for songs at a time. Paul Rodgers (imo) is also a lot more musical due to his improvisational ability with his licks.

Ive never really been that impressed with Robert Plant, Geoff Tate, Cornell (his acoustic live stuff is amazing though) Live. Halford was a great front man and had his tricks, but he kind of only had two gears... Breaking the Law, Painkiller... with a massive hole in between.

Daniel Formica Posted a singer a few months back that tore everyone up... Best Dio I've ever heard... maybe even better.

 

from your post I essentially gather that you simply dont like metal lol. if you dont like Plant, Cornell, Tate, and Halford, then u simply dont like the genre period.

Id go out on a limb and say that for every 1 guy who can get close to singing Dio, there are 10-20 guys who can sing Paul Rodgers. Im talking difficulty level here, not subjective artistic value. Obviously I am a fan of all of these guys.

 

If you think Rodgers did more technically with his voice than Plant or Halford did...I guess I wouldnt have any idea how to reply. Paul was and is great for sure, but he kept it pretty basic.

 

yeah, Joe Retta dude is pretty good.

 

you are selling Rob pretty short, dude is a master. I understand your comment but I disagree. You like Paul ALWAYS singing in that one basic style, which Rob did sometimes but Rob also had many other vibes. Whats he got, like 25 albums out?

 

 

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i didn't say i didn't like those singers, I said i don't think they are anywhere near as consistent as Paul Rodgers live. Paul Rodgers intonation is spot on. I think Rodgers has amuch better command of his upper mid range from notes E4-C5 (he makes it look very easy), I think his runs are tighter, his tuning better and his licks and musicality shine through live. I don't really care about Higher, Higher, Higher... I care about resonance, tuning, musicality and agility.

 

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39 minutes ago, kirkovin84 said:

better command of his upper mid range from notes E4-C5

this sort of makes my point for me. Paul was, as you say, brilliant up to about C5. Effortless with a lot of control and soul. This is why I am realizing that he would be an ideal role model to start with. That being said, most of what he does above c5 is falsetto. Im pretty sure his highest connected note is E5 and above that is going to be falsetto. AFAIK he only has one E5 in his catalog and he doesnt have THAT many d#5's. Pauls highest note is one falsetto A5

 

Dio has a little bit higher range, having one connected G5 in his studio catalog and up to an A5 live...with his highest falsetto going up to Eb6! (unless its studio trickery lol).    And its not just pure range, its just the energy and power and compression etc in that high range

 

Then if you look at Bruce Dickinson he has connected notes (screams of course) up to C#6 meanwhile having many strong sung A5's

 

Paul is one of the great prototypes but Dio and Bruce took it a bit further and even though Bruce is a bit higher range than Dio, id still say Dio is harder to emulate in that he just makes ridiculously "big" notes in that D5-E5 range

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As a Dio fan to me the main problem to solve is the power he delivered WITH the comfort and consistency he did it 

Jorn and Russel Allen come close to it, but its different, they dont use as much dynamics.

I mean just listen, his voice sounds larger than the whole band. Its all up there, but it sounds so comfortable and easy you don't really notice:

The minute you sound like you are trying you lose this. Thats, to me, the main problem on emulating Dio.

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yeah, Dio's exact vibe is hard to put your finger on really. Seems like its really compressed and somehow he sounds distorted and clean at the same time. Thats why I think its moreso related to lots of up-pressure but keeping it open throated so it will resonate in the proper places for headvoice etc....(as opposed to really closing down the throat to get compression)

 

he is using some "sob" here, yes?

 

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DIO is a bit of an enigma. You can listen to his voice and sort of dismiss all that's really going on there. But when you to a keyboard and check the notes and then try to sing some of the parts you are quickly handed your ass. Its like, "Oh, that's not so easy!" DIO has a LOT of strength and motor skills. It is mostly just building the strength for good TA pull with a lot of Sob.

Yes JonJon, SOB is super important. In fact, Sob into just about everything you do. Its not just a Dio thing, it is a fundamental ingredient on almost anything you want to sing.

Hope that helps you with your singing. 

BTW..

Sergio Calafiura is my student and trained with me for about four years to become a TVS teacher. I have done about four masterclasses at his school in Italy.... a really great guy.

In fact that dog tag he is wearing in his video thumb was a gift from me.

TFPOS_Prod_04_200-1_Fotor.jpg

 

David Lyon is also my student. He is from Seattle and trained with me for about two years.

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well he was born in '42 and this was '58 so he was around 16.

He started playing trumpet when he was 5 so obviously all of the breathing and support musculature and coordination was there.

 

 

That means he was around 33 when he first joined rainbow so he had at least 17 years of singing recording behind him and by the time the first Dio solo record came out in '82 he was around 40 and obviously a seasoned pro by then.

 

He was about 66 when this was recorded in 2008. 50 years after the above clip! Kept his voice strong right to the end (gives me hope! lol)

 

 

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My favorite RJD.

This is apparently a new mix of this old classic. You can hear his voice more clearly in this mix... You can hear the sobbing more clearly in here... 2:36 "Far...!"

When you listen to this passage, just try to imagine the color of that phonation as a cry. As if DIO were weeping. Tune out the singing, and tune in a cry, and you can identify it better. 

 

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when I think of sob I always start laughing and having flashbacks to this Quiet Riot song where Kevin Dubrow was sort of getting his Michael Jackson vibe going. Me and my buddy used to mimic it all the time

"still of the ni-i-i-i-i-i-ght"

 

which now reminds me of this one...often referenced on this forum. very emotional singing    "take us to the t-o-o-o-o-o-o-p"

 

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Bang on JonJon.  Both Dio and Bruce are monstrously difficult singers to imitate.  Far more difficult than most singers.  

Both are incredible singers, Dio can do way more vocal colors than Bruce(what I have heard) and some of his softer stuff is equally amazing(like Catch the rainbow for e.g.).  But Bruce has this almost magical clean, warm and in general heavy high notes.  

My sense is that you need to have monstrous(how often the word appears with these two gentlemen) support and take the chest voice really high.  

I think both these guys also have a warm sound in their spoken voice. I can sing for e.g. some of Bruce’s range.  But I have a lighter color and I can’t get the big sound.  It is the combination of warm vocal color, plus weight and sheer power that makes their voices irresistible.  That is why some other really good singers don't sound like Bruce or Dio.. They don't have the warmth in their voice.. 

Dio especially is very weird.  I can’t at times make out whether he sings light or heavy because he can do both.  Just sounds incredible for the genre.. 

BTW, Felipe’s cover was incredibly impressive.. He has a super warm tone to his singing, possibly from his classical background! 

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Oh ya, Freddi Curci... his vocals on this album were just brilliant. Too band more people are not aware of it. I have posted this tune on this forum several times. Love the vocals in this. Also Sobbing a LOT... !

Listen to that "Go'in..." on "Goin to California"... And on the hook, "California..." ... super sobby. :goggly:

 

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5 hours ago, aravindmadis said:

Bang on JonJon.  Both Dio and Bruce are monstrously difficult singers to imitate.  Far more difficult than most singers.  

Both are incredible singers, Dio can do way more vocal colors than Bruce(what I have heard) and some of his softer stuff is equally amazing(like Catch the rainbow for e.g.).  But Bruce has this almost magical clean, warm and in general heavy high notes.  

My sense is that you need to have monstrous(how often the word appears with these two gentlemen) support and take the chest voice really high.  

I think both these guys also have a warm sound in their spoken voice. I can sing for e.g. some of Bruce’s range.  But I have a lighter color and I can’t get the big sound.  It is the combination of warm vocal color, plus weight and sheer power that makes their voices irresistible.  That is why some other really good singers don't sound like Bruce or Dio.. They don't have the warmth in their voice.. 

Dio especially is very weird.  I can’t at times make out whether he sings light or heavy because he can do both.  Just sounds incredible for the genre.. 

BTW, Felipe’s cover was incredibly impressive.. He has a super warm tone to his singing, possibly from his classical background! 

 

yeah, Dios sound is a little elusive. Seems to me that most people WAY overdo it when trying Dio. for instance, no disrespect to Ken T on his cover but he is singing WAY too heavy and strained. Others, as you said, are a little too bright overall

Yeah, Dio's speaking voice gives some clues. id say he is a tiny bit "back of center" on the IPA vowel chart. So thats the challenge...be a little warm and round but still light and bright enough to have decent range. PLUS be pretty compressed.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Robert Lunte said:

Oh ya, Freddi Curci... his vocals on this album were just brilliant. Too band more people are not aware of it. I have posted this tune on this forum several times. Love the vocals in this. Also Sobbing a LOT... !

Lani and Hassel founded Frozen Ghost out of Sheriff.  Out of all the mullet boys from the 80's, I liked the heavy (M2) sound color of Lani's vocals, he had great distortion as well.

 

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33 minutes ago, Kevin Ashe said:

Lani and Hassel founded Frozen Ghost out of Sheriff.  Out of all the mullet boys from the 80's, I liked the heavy (M2) sound color of Lani's vocals, he had great distortion as well.

 

when he kicks it in on the chorus he sounds a little like Jon Anderson from Yes

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My Theory regarding Ken Tamplin's compilation is he is a recording artist rather than a Live singer. There are multiple cuts even in that promotional video posted, who knows how many takes it took him to cut and paste the audio together. That probably applies to all the other YouTube guys posted as well. Live singers need to find the easiest possible way to do things so the you can get through multiple sets, hence why Dio sounds like he does. .i can almost garuntee Dio is not an overwhelmingly loud singer, just has great control and resonance. Imo there's a chance Tamplin is a shouter and would sound flat singing this material live.

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1 minute ago, kirkovin84 said:

My Theory regarding Ken Tamplin's compilation is he is a recording artist rather than a Live singer. There are multiple cuts even in that promotional video posted, who knows how many takes it took him to cut and paste the audio together. That probably applies to all the other YouTube guys posted as well. Live singers need to find the easiest possible way to do things so the you can get through multiple sets, hence why Dio sounds like he does. .i can almost garuntee Dio is not an overwhelmingly loud singer, just has great control and resonance. Imo there's a chance Tamplin is a shouter and would sound flat singing this material live.

I pretty much agree with all of that. I dont have any problem whatsoever with someone being a "recording artist"....as not everyone wants to or has opportunity to sing live. I think Chopin only gave like 30 public performances in his whole career. That being said, Kens video just didnt sound like Dio and it didnt even sound that good lol. It cant really be a demonstration of correct technique if it doesnt sound like the desired sound.

 

Im not even going to touch all of the cut n paste junk lol. (its obvious)

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It sounded ok. Ken Tamplin's thing becomes completely apart when it's a true live performance... his acoustic voice performances are abysmal. To me, that is where the ultimate vocal performance test is... no BS, no effects, one take... if we can't do that, are we really singers?

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