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question for the "pros" please

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hi folks, i picked up a nice buy on the tev mixed voice master class download from rae henry. hey, it was only $20 bucks, i'd figure i'd give it a try.

the exercises are very easy, very lightweight, compared to james lugo's program let's say. if i'm used to more beefier exercises like rob lunte's, and jaime vendera's will i reap any benefit from spending a few months integrating these lighter exercises into my routine or should i just continue with the more beefier exercises i'm used to?

kind of like asking, should i train with less weight even though i'm lifting heavy right now?

thanks in advance for your opinions. bob

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hi folks, i picked up a nice buy on the tev mixed voice master class download from rae henry. hey, it was only $20 bucks, i'd figure i'd give it a try.

the exercises are very easy, very lightweight, compared to james lugo's program let's say. if i'm used to more beefier exercises like rob lunte's, and jaime vendera's will i reap any benefit from spending a few months integrating these lighter exercises into my routine or should i just continue with the more beefier exercises i'm used to?

kind of like asking, should i train with less weight even though i'm lifting heavy right now?

thanks in advance for your opinions. bob

Bob, if you are continuing to use messa di voce regularly in your exercising, the 'lighter' production does not get you much... unless you use them as an avenue to get to well-produced softer phonations that you may want to incorporate into your vocalism. If the latter, then immediately add the lighter registration to the low-end of your messa di voce, so that your exercise begins and ends there. Remember, you are building coordination.... so do this in a manner that does not isolate the new timbre, but rather incorporates these tones smoothly into your technique.

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Bob, if you are continuing to use messa di voce regularly in your exercising, the 'lighter' production does not get you much... unless you use them as an avenue to get to well-produced softer phonations that you may want to incorporate into your vocalism. If the latter, then immediately add the lighter registration to the low-end of your messa di voce, so that your exercise begins and ends there. Remember, you are building coordination.... so do this in a manner that does not isolate the new timbre, but rather incorporates these tones smoothly into your technique.

thanks steve!

i've been off the messa di voce lately (maybe i shouldn't have) and have been really focusing on range extension, because i feel like my age is working (or will be) working against me soon. this "ng" siren exercise as a means to bridging chest and head has worked wonders for me.

if you were me, would you resume messa di voce? i'm 57, so i figured i'd shoot for the most range i can achieve for now.

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i've been off the messa di voce lately (maybe i shouldn't have) and have been really focusing on range extension, because i feel like my age is working (or will be) working against me soon. this "ng" siren exercise as a means to bridging chest and head has worked wonders for me.

if you were me, would you resume messa di voce? i'm 57, so i figured i'd shoot for the most range i can achieve for now.

Bob: You are an adult. You know what you want to achieve, and ways to get there, and that there are trade-offs for anything that you choose to do, or not do.

It all depends on what your goals are, what characteristics you wish to incorporate into your singing. I cannot tell you what you should want. I can only tell you how to achieve what you think you want.

I am not being facetious. If, for example, you do not need to be able to crescendo or decrescendo a note or a phrase, then messa di voce does not have any value to you. It builds, and assesses a coordinative ability to control dynamics, and indirectly is an indicator of vocal freedom and balance of registration. There are very, very many successful contemporary singers who sing only in a very narrow dynamic range. If that's you as well, then messa di voce is worth very little. If range is very important to you now, then by all means go for it.

The physical principle is that your body responds to what you choose to do with it. When you exercise for range, but not for dynamics, then your body will adjust, as you have experienced. You will achieve range, and over time, lose fine control over dynamics. Its just the way things are.

If, on the other hand, you want both range and dynamic flexibility... then you must continue to exercise them both, and in combination with each other, so that your vocalism is a single set of concepts and technique woven together.

Now, you are working on lighter phonations, and I think that is very useful. My point is that you do not lose sight of your own vocal aesthetic... what is important to you as a singer. IMO, be about building a more capable, entire vocalist... able to sing whatever you choose to sing, and in the manner that you think is the best way to sing it.

I hope this helps.

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What Steven said. If he's not careful, he's going to earn another rep point, that careless texan.

What is it that you want? To sing Gramm stuff? And did he use a lot of lighter phonation? Granted, like you, I am tempted to try everything and be able to do anything. And, like you, age is with me, always. But, in the end, who cares how many tricks you can do? Can you do the songs you want to do and feel comfortable doing them?

If you were here in Texas, I would "kidnap" you, bring you to my house, keep my dog in the bedroom (he won't bite but he can scare the crap out of strangers) and make you use my real mic and do "Hot Blooded," at the very least. And absolutely require you to enjoy yourself.

But if you want lighter phonations, that's cool, too.

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that damn lou gramm is ruining bobs life :P

i've got replies for all three of you guys:

steve, as always i value & appreciate your advice.....i follow you. i guess i just don't want to waste time. again, using the weight lifting analogy, if i'm doing bench presses with heavy weight to build, i won't bother with high reps for definition right now. but i see it's up to me..got cha.....

ron, i'm one of those guys i'm afraid who just thrives on the hard stuff because i equate singing the harder stuff with being good, which i know isn't always correct. i need to add easier songs to my list, but i never seem to do that. i guess i should just learn to relax and not take this stuff so seriously....

g.q. matt, i gotta tell ya, i really believe that working on gramm's songs have really helped me develop some good skills. believe me, i do other stuff, but for some reason, whenever i talk vocals with other singers, his stuff just seems to be the hardest to consistently perform and that spurs me on to work even harder.

even when i lower the key, that guy really challenges the singer. i love the forum, because it teaches me, and reinforces my knowledge.

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And I just realized that your original question was to ask the pros, and I am not a pro. I'm a pinche electricista, for goodness sake. (Ask one of your spanish-speaking friends what that means. Plus, I have also had the nickname, Oso Blanco. Although I expanded it to osoblancodepinchegringo. AKA, senor Pendejo.) Don't worry, I get it. That's why I still practice "Gethsemane," once in a while. And I still hit that high note at the end of "Highway to Hell" when I don't really have to do so. I know, I'm a mere 46 (I will be 47 in March.) But if you remember your 40's, that's when things started to change. Yeah, I know, you feel you are struggling at your age, but it's not that different than what I am doing. Wth the exception that, as you said, you'ev only applied some training and technique in the past year, as opposed to how long I have been doing it. Not that I get everything right and I have certainly received pointers and critiques, here. Many of which I think are valid. Some of which I think are just stylistic differences.

But I really do get what you are after. And so, maybe, the lighter side may not be for you. If you want the belty sound of Lou Gramm, go for that. Nor do I think you are doing anything wrong for pursiuing that. It is a worthy goal. Personally, I don't think you will sound exactly like him. But, personally, I think you are as good a singer as he is. Deal with that, Hombre.

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And I just realized that your original question was to ask the pros, and I am not a pro. I'm a pinche electricista, for goodness sake. (Ask one of your spanish-speaking friends what that means. Plus, I have also had the nickname, Oso Blanco. Although I expanded it to osoblancodepinchegringo. AKA, senor Pendejo.) Don't worry, I get it. That's why I still practice "Gethsemane," once in a while. And I still hit that high note at the end of "Highway to Hell" when I don't really have to do so. I know, I'm a mere 46 (I will be 47 in March.) But if you remember your 40's, that's when things started to change. Yeah, I know, you feel you are struggling at your age, but it's not that different than what I am doing. Wth the exception that, as you said, you'ev only applied some training and technique in the past year, as opposed to how long I have been doing it. Not that I get everything right and I have certainly received pointers and critiques, here. Many of which I think are valid. Some of which I think are just stylistic differences.

But I really do get what you are after. And so, maybe, the lighter side may not be for you. If you want the belty sound of Lou Gramm, go for that. Nor do I think you are doing anything wrong for pursiuing that. It is a worthy goal. Personally, I don't think you will sound exactly like him. But, personally, I think you are as good a singer as he is. Deal with that, Hombre.

thank you ron, i'm very flattered. hey, i just keep trying, and experimenting, and feeling the notes. but don't worry, i'm having fun.

i've made gains this past year for sure thanks to all you folks!

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Having fun really is the important part. Technique is great to learn, as long as it serves the fun.

Also, I would like to add, it's not how long you have been singing, or even how long or short you've been beefing up on technique, though that is bound to help. It's how well you sing, each and every time, and what you bring to it. A guitar player has the same guitar, everyday. And I'm not dissing guitar players. I also play guitar. But the guitar doesn't have muscles that have to stay in training. The human voice does. The guitar can be put in a case, away from harm's way by means of smoke and other substances in the air. The human voice can't. And, with the interviews with the singers, the voice changes from day to day. One day is rock solid, if you'll pardon the pun. The next day is a little worn and you can't just "re-string" a voice. But singers adjust. Either transpose, drop, or raise, an octave. So, it's totally normal to have a crap day then the next day, be awesome. And, 9 times out of 10, it was breath support or lack thereof. I swear, every singing book I have read starts out with breathing. So, if all you worked on was breathing, you are already ahead of 95 percent of the people in the world.

And listen to your doctor. In the words of Bruce Dickinson, have a doctor who is not intimidated by your tour manager. When the doc says 10 days of rest, he means 10 days of rest, no less.

And it's a worthy goal to achieve the level of ability of Gramm. Even his tone, if yours happens to coincidentally sound like his. The latter is an accident of genetics. The former is attainable and I see you being there. Whether you drop 1/2 or not. If you bring the song to life, you've done your job as a singer.

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