TheWaiter

What vocal mechanism is this singer using?

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Well, first of all, I must say that I'm not a native speaker, so I may have some mistakes in my writting.

I have some questions about the vocal technique of a specific singer. His name is Pall Jenkins, and is the singer of the indie rock band The Black Heart Procession. I've been listening to their music since 8 months or so, and for what I've been able to note, he seems to be a Baritone. The thing is, that his (live) vocal performance is not too good, he doesn't seem to have such a great vocal technique. In their song "The Old Kind Of Summer" he hits multiples A4 (I'm almost sure that that's the note he's singing) but he really struggles a lot, he's basically yelling the note, like if that note is not safe for a baritone like him. And for this reason, he never gets to sing that note live, he changes the pitch and so. Everything is okay to this point. BUT, one day I found this old concert, which took place in 1998, the same year they released their first album, and somehow, he actually hits that A4 and his voice sounds really weird, it changes a lot compared to how he sounded in the record, and I don't know if he's using his chest voice or what, I don't understand why in this specific concert he was able to hit the note. Also, in the next song of the video "Stitched to my heart" he sing the same note again. I don't know if he "lost " those high notes with time, or if he used an incorrect vocal technique to hit those notes in the past, so he stopped doing it. There is also another song of their first record, "Blue Water -Black Heart" where I think he sings an A4 when he says "When I LOST myself" but in this case, he's not strugelling like he did in The Old Kind Of Summer. And again, in the concert I mentioned before, he could sing that note, but in later concerts he changes the pitch in that part, then again, I don't understand what is going on. I'd be really thankful if someone answers my questions, I'll leave the links here.

 (The song where he struggles to hit the A4, from minute 1:57)

(This is the concert where he hits the note and I don't know how is he able to do it, and why he sounds so different, from minute 2:22. Also, in the next song "Stitched to my heart" he sings the same note again, minute 6:54.)

(Here they're performing The Old Kind Of Summer 11 years later, and look how he isn't able to sing it correctly, minute 2:09).

 

(And finally, in this other song of their first record I think he's singing A4 in the minute 0:46, when he says "When I lost myself".)

 

(But here he doens't hit the note, minute 0:44).

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A4 is not an easy note for a man to sing. At least not when you want it to sound like normal speech. There is a range of notes that are between 2 different resonance centers and 2 different muscle groups in the voice box. If it is not coordinated correctly you can either stop producing sound, get stuck on a lower note or flip into what is usually called falsetto(that voice that men use to sound like women).

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23 minutes ago, MDEW said:

A4 is not an easy note for a man to sing. At least not when you want it to sound like normal speech. There is a range of notes that are between 2 different resonance centers and 2 different muscle groups in the voice box. If it is not coordinated correctly you can either stop producing sound, get stuck on a lower note or flip into what is usually called falsetto(that voice that men use to sound like women).

I see. But, in the case of this singer, what voice is he using in this video, minute 2:22, it is chest voice, head voice, or what?

 

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It is not as easy to say "This is chest voice" or to say "This is Head Voice". The voice is "Mixed". Some elements of both. And that is why Sometimes He can sing the note and sometimes not. The voice wants to be one or the other. The mix is like balancing on a tight rope between 2 configurations.

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If you are asking how to approach that quality, it would be belting, or open chest voice or however you want to call it. You can get something similar by pretending you are a drunk dude using a very annoying obnoxious voice.

As to why he is having issues... That's something for him and his voice teacher to figure out, or if he ever joins the forum and asks then I can go in more detail. But it's got really little to do with being "baritone".

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