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folks, i just read "the right way to sing" by linda Marquart & lea salonga. a nice quick read, what i call a "fits in your back pocket size." you can knock it off in a few hours.

the author talked about how singers without any formal education, can make great vocal teachers. hymm, a new career path anyone?

their explanation of breath support and the passagio was simple and very convincing. all in all, an enjoyable read. bob

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I've had some good reads, recently, too. My employer gave me, as a gift, an Amazon Kindle. First thing I did was take the pdf I have of Jaime Vendera's "Raise Your Voice" and load it on to there. And found some free pdf books online, such as "Confessions of an Opera Singer." Lilli (I can't remember her last name) "How to Sing."

"Set your voice free" by Roger Love. He has been coach to the Beach Boys, the Jacksons, to name a few.

"The Secrets of Pro Hard Rock Singers." Not only the techniques of the author, Bill Martin, but the input of many a famous singer, including Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickinson. Ron Keel shares a tidbit taught to him by Ronnie James Dio. Nuggets like that. For example, Tate sings by feel. Whatever the emotion requires. He doesn't think in terms of a note on a staff or even "I think I will use this technique that I learned to show off." Also, he starts from top down in his warm-up. And breaks it up through the day. In the morning, he starts out light in head voice, and not for very long. Mid day, some middle area stuff (what some call mix or early bridged head voice. Afternoon, chest voice. By show time, he has not worn out his upper range and is warmed up because it was not all at once, an hour before show time. And that works for him.

Bruce Dickinson spends about 30 minutes humming with his mouth closed while smiling, to find his resonance. In between shows, he does absolutely nothing, as the shows involve him running about 6 miles on stage.

Others have practice tapes from classically trained coaches that they practice religiously. And guess who uses those? The guys that do growling and screamo.

The primary dominating "secret" of these guys that do it for years on end? Hydration and sleep. Water and rest.

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Hey ronws, what does Bruce Hall say he does in the book? Whats his warm up like?

For practice, Bruce Hall does about an hour of scales a day. Then a few songs from maybe Dio or Steel Prophet.

He has a small humidifier he can breathe in to keep the folds moist. On tour, he warms up with light humming, saving his energy and flexibility for the performance.

For high parts that might feel like they are strenuous, he transmits the tension to elsewhere, such as clenching the mic. Let the "tension" travel elsewere. Be it your hand or stomping foot.

And again, like everyone else interviewed, water and rest. And, everyone gets to party except the singer. You simply can't do all the drinking and drugs that the others do, though they shouldn't do them, either. Your voice is what you eat and drink, quite often. Especially when it comes to relaxants such as alcohol and some drugs. Nothing against drinking, you just can't let it affect the performance. Most enduring singers don't drink before the show. Except for Rob Halford. He will have a cigarette and beer sometimes, waiting backstage. But that is the exception that proves the rule, I think.

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I, too, during the week, am short on sleep. On average, I have to get up at 4:00 am. Go to work and deal with that. If I have time that day to record, it is usually about 6 or 7 in the evening. The saving grace is that I am drinking some kind of liquid (not always water, though that would be better) all day. My best place for vocalises is in the car, driving for 50 minutest to an hour (I live near Sherman, Texas and work on the west side of Dallas. My employers gave me a toll tag so I use SH 121, which is now Sam Rayburn Freeway, everday. It's our local equivalent of the Autobahn.) Unless it's a really cold morning and I have the heater on high. It dries things out fast, which is what it is supposed to do. And it will dry out folds, too. So, keep hydrating and keep my mouth closed.

I am reminded of a few years ago when I performed quite a bit at a New Year's Party. We had a mic and amp set up for singing. I brought my guitar, amp, and digital effects unit separately. Over the course of several hours, I would perform and usually sang. And yes, I had a few beers. Interspersed with water and Diet Coke (my albatross around my neck.) More important than a systemic dehydration by the 6.0 % in beer, (you would have to drink a lot of beer really fast to cause blood level dehydration) is how fast you get too relaxed. For most people, drinking causes too much relaxation before it can cause fold dehydration. Anyway, my folds were fine because I was not "drunk." And, while busy performing, I am not drinking anything. What's more important is how much water that is drank 6 to 12 hours before the performance. That is the hydration getting to your folds.

Other nuggets from that book include an interview with Ron Keel, who has sang with just about everyone in the modern metal circuit. He was friends with Ronnie James Dio. Dio was backstage with him at a show and Keel was going through a strenuous warm-up. Dio said, "Don't spend all your time warming up. You are wasting notes."

Back to Bruce Hall. He, like me, gets warn out from "over singing." Singing the same song, over and over, usually in a studio, trying to get several takes. Often, an engineer wants several takes of the song and will "comp" the vocal track together, patching in the best pieces of each take. This produces "perfect" tracks that cannot be reproduced live. And they autotune every vocalist, regardless of who it is. That's because human singers do not have digitally perfect pitch. Anyway, singing the same song over and over again gets tiring. In a show, one goes through several songs, each one having different vocal lines and attacks. You don't sing several songs the same way because they all have different melodies and lyrics. This allows the voice to rest from what the last song was and stretch a different way on the next one. And considering that people that can sing live have developed the ability to go through several songs in a show, it makes sense that they can't do the same song over and over again, like a singer who only works in the studio. You get good at what you train for. So, then, comping vocal tracks makes sense. But it can take 3 hours to do one song. The singer needs to rest, drink some water, smoke a cigarette, go and pee, sing a Barney song, whatever, to get out of that head and come back at it, fresh. Me, I go and wash the dishes. Nice, hot steamy water and I get away from the song for at least 20 minutes.

Without exception, these singers, new and old, recognize that you have to care for your body in the long run. It's not like the guitarist who can put his axe in an Anvil road case. That case will protect the guitar even if you drop it. A group of cautious techs packs up and loads the instruments. And daily re-stringing and tuning and cleaning of the instruments. What happens with the singer's folds? They go with him everywhere and are subjected to everything he is exposed to.

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