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Deurge

A disheartening lesson

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Hello everyone! As I said in my introduction post, I started taking lessons not too long ago. Right now I can comfortably sing most Opeth stuff (yes, I'm one of those metalheads), but I'm not satisfied with my current G4 limit. I'm a big fan of other baritones who can go up to C or even D5, and I talked to my vocal coach about it and how right now it's impossible for me to go past that G without going full head and sound like a muppet. He answered "well, maybe those notes are not for you, you just have to deal with it. You can't change the range of your voice like you would a guitar, maybe you'll need to sing those songs a couple tones lower". I have to admit that it really disheartened me. I do a lot of reading and I've always been sure I could expand my range to a certain degree; of course I'm never going to be a tenor like James LaBrie, but I don't really care about that either. Let it be said that I'm still lacking in the technique department and that I was asking him if maybe, with the correct training, I could reach higher than I presently do. What do you guys think about all this? Of course you can't really tell without hearing my voice, I'm not asking for that. Just give me your 2 cents about the whole situation. Thank you!

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1 hour ago, Deurge said:

 I was asking him if maybe, with the correct training, I could reach higher than I presently do. What do you guys think about all this?

Of course you can. Technique + practice + patience will get you there.

It's probably a matter of learning not to "pull chest voice" and to let go of "mass" as you ascend. It's a common problem.

How far has your range expanded since you started taking lessons? Over time, an octave on top of your starting range is quite plausible.

(You are Italian? But from the way you write, I am guessing that you have at least one English born relative or have lived in an English speaking country for a while. Just curious).

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Well, I took lessons for about 4 months some 5 years ago, but that was with another teacher. I had to stop due to university and work, but I started again a couple of month ago. When I had just started out with my first teacher I struggled to get to E4, but now it's a note I reach comfortably. I noticed I still can't control my larynx at all, so maybe that's one reason.

To answer your second question: I was born in Italy and my parents are both Italian, but I'm a translator/interpreter.

Thank you for your kind answer!

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 I am not sure why voice teachers of any credibility would say you cannot sing higher than G4.  I could understand G5 if you are a male. The whole point of getting a teacher is to train the middle notes and how to manage the passage.

2 hours ago, Deurge said:

right now it's impossible for me to go past that G without going full head and sound like a muppet.

      Part of the training is to go ahead and sing sounding like a muppet.  The middle notes are blending the low range sound with the high range sound. One way is that the muscle groups work together and another way is to "Change" from one voice to the other where it is possible. At least in the beginning until the muscles get strong enough or balanced enough to work together.

      

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12 hours ago, MDEW said:

 I am not sure why voice teachers of any credibility would say you cannot sing higher than G4.  I could understand G5 if you are a male. The whole point of getting a teacher is to train the middle notes and how to manage the passage. 

      

I know he probably meant I can't go past G4 in my chest voice, but I think that with a mix and some good training I could easily go beyond that. Honestly, after everything he told me yesterday, I'm considering switching to another teacher.

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23 hours ago, Deurge said:

Hello everyone! As I said in my introduction post, I started taking lessons not too long ago. Right now I can comfortably sing most Opeth stuff (yes, I'm one of those metalheads), but I'm not satisfied with my current G4 limit. I'm a big fan of other baritones who can go up to C or even D5, and I talked to my vocal coach about it and how right now it's impossible for me to go past that G without going full head and sound like a muppet. He answered "well, maybe those notes are not for you, you just have to deal with it. You can't change the range of your voice like you would a guitar, maybe you'll need to sing those songs a couple tones lower". I have to admit that it really disheartened me. I do a lot of reading and I've always been sure I could expand my range to a certain degree; of course I'm never going to be a tenor like James LaBrie, but I don't really care about that either. Let it be said that I'm still lacking in the technique department and that I was asking him if maybe, with the correct training, I could reach higher than I presently do. What do you guys think about all this? Of course you can't really tell without hearing my voice, I'm not asking for that. Just give me your 2 cents about the whole situation. Thank you!

Nah, change teacher.

G4 is the limit almost any male gets with... lets call it plain... chest voice. It´s not a surprise nor it means a hard restriction, there are things you will need to learn to do to go above that with control (technique). G4 was my limit too for a long while and I am pretty sure many others here had the exact same experience.

Learning how to control chest voice well before learning other stuff is one thing, and I would agree that your focus should be at that first. But if your teacher solution in the long term is to just lower keys and not get you to do what you are looking for, then something is off.

If the teacher does not know *how* to do it, which is ok, then that´s what he/she should say instead.

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26 minutes ago, Felipe Carvalho said:

I'm a big fan of other baritones who can go up to C or even D5, and I talked to my vocal coach about it and how right now it's impossible for me to go past that G without going full head and sound like a muppet. He answered "well, maybe those notes are not for you, you just have to deal with it. You can't change the range of your voice like you would a guitar, maybe you'll need to sing those songs a couple tones lower". I have to admit that it really disheartened me.

.. FIND THE DOOR AND RUN LIKE HELL... Fire this guy... He is TOTALLY wrong. This translates to, "... I have no clue how to teach you how to sing belts in the head voice. I know what you are asking for, ... but I do not know what to teach you to build those muscles and motor skills to do it. So... instead of admitting that to you, ( ... because I still want your business...),... I am going to take advantage of your trust in my authority and make you feel like it is all about your limitations, NOT MINE... That isn't good for you, my student, but it is good for me".... 

That is what you are dealing with... And I am offended every time I hear this same story from students. It is common... Always comes from a voice teacher that doesn't know how to teach what you are asking for. That is all there is to it.

I am a baritone, I can sing high. As a matter of fact, I am singing DT songs right now and have been able to for years... And there are many baritones on this forum that also can. YOU JUST HAVE TO GET THE RIGHT TRAINING TECHNIQUES AND COMMIT TO DOING IT.

I can help you with that, guaranteed. And Felipe can too... so could @Jens.

 

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Guest Jens

Im a baritone and is sing way past G4 without dounding like a muppet. It's just technique, get a Good teacher that can sing high. then train, range will be the least if your problems

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On 7/9/2019 at 1:49 PM, Deurge said:

right now it's impossible for me to go past that G without going full head and sound like a muppet. He answered "well, maybe those notes are not for you, you just have to deal with it. You can't change the range of your voice like you would a guitar, maybe you'll need to sing those songs a couple tones lower".

 

4 hours ago, Dravan Grey said:

that may be for someone starting out from fresh long bearded old man (before they have learnt the very basics first)

   " You can't change the range of your voice like you would a guitar, maybe you'll need to sing those songs a couple tones lower".

Isn't this the same as saying "You might as well give up you will never be able to sing what you want no matter how much training you do?"

Isn't that the SAME BS that got you pissed off at the Jimmysh#t forbrains yada yada you keep spouting?

 

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    Choirs, Opera and Musical theater uses voices as musical instruments. The type of voice is chosen for a reason. Certain voices fit certain parts. And yes, you will be put into a category and pigeon holed, That way if they lose a singer or need to fill a spot, they can pull another similar voice out of the box and fit the space. 

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14 minutes ago, Troll - 01 said:

is that what you ment before about said band looking for a replacement singer and saying my voice was not suitable because the audience want to hear the same singer as before?

So these is no point a bright tenor applying for a role as a dark baritone then, even if there range permits it because they are trained in aspects like bridging the passagio break, when infact most teacher or singers have not a blood clue about all this and don't belive you can expand your range

In a choir the singers have to have a similar voice(those who are singing tenor sound alike and those who are singing bass sound alike) so the voices will blend and no one stands out as being different.

In Musical Theater and Opera you are not just a singer you are playing a role and acting. The music itself is played in a style that needs a specific sounding singer. So no, If a role is designed for a Baritone a bright Tenor voice will not be used.

People got pissed off at Journey for replacing Steve Perry with a Heavier voiced singer. They got pissed off with Foreigner for hiring someone who did not sound like Lou Grahamm. They got pissed of with Van Halen going with Sammy Hagar over David Lee Roth they were OK with that guy who sounded like David, but just like me no one remembers his name.

 So yes there are situations that you want a singer that fits a mold. But when you are the one writing the songs or are changing them to be something new it can be OK for a Baritone to sing Tenor ranges and songs.

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2 hours ago, Troll - 01 said:

the choirs all think you are iver a tenor or a base, you cant be a baritone as they have never heared such rubbish

 

but what you are saying (by your own words) is that you fit into one catogry of type of singers and putting you into another group would not sound right and therefore be no good.

so on that note then the whole purpose of what the OP is trying to achive and the training on off by the big chief RB in his crumbaling 4 pillars of temple are a waste of time and money then, is it not?

No, it is not a waste of time and money. You are confusing being categorized by certain groups who are looking for a particular sound with lack of ability. When it comes down to the bottom line....you need to train  whether you are a Bass, Baritone or Tenor. Without the training you could be miscategorized or labeled falsely. With training a bass could be able to sing into the tenor or even the soprano range. No matter what group you fall into if you want to sing Opera or Musical theater you sing the roles that are given to you. If singing cover songs or singing original songs as long as you find musicians of a like mind you can sing the songs you want, maybe even come up with a new fad. As long as it fits with the music you are singing to. It has happened over and over. 

 

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5 hours ago, Troll - 01 said:

so your saying these muppits in the chour are miss guided

I was told by the band that was looking for the replacement singer said I was no good because I had a higher register then the original singer who was a baritone, are they miss guided as well?

    They are not misguided either. They are using the voice in a particular way And looking for a certain sound. So what? If you want to sing Gospel music do not try to join AC/DC or Black Sabbath....Go to a church. If you want to sing Rock do not go to Nashville. No matter where you go you get people looking for a particular sound. When YOU go to a TEACHER, YOU learn how to use the voice for your OWN purpose. Not for theirs. You still learn HOW TO USE YOUR VOICE.   The teacher is NOT putting you into a category. Not unless he is teaching you in order to FILL a spot that he needs filled. Other wise what you do with the knowledge is up to you.

     

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