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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