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any tips for me here, how does paul get this?

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rich2k4
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here is a clip of me singing yesterday.

http://www.box.net/shared/984ya51c4d

however i noticed that whenever i hear paul sing it, he has this tone to his voice where when he goes higher, it seems like his volume doesn't get any higher, it just sounds really smooth.

i want to be able to get my voice to sound more pleasant.

here is an example of paul singing it live

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Paul is onsetting the notes more directly, where as you onset and then float to the center freq of the tone. I listened to the video you linked and also listened to him doing it a capella. And there is a slight volume increase on the higher notes, as they require more solid breath support than the conversational volume he has going on in the lower parts. So, in reality, it's not all one volume from beginning to end, even if that is how it sounds in recording. I would invite you to listen to the a capella version.

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rich2k4 - your version sounds really good. You've got Paul's delayed vibrato going on. Yes - Paul is very smooth in his upper register. I believe this to be very good curbing (cvt) or passagio (bel canto) - not head voice.

I posted a version of Eleanor Rigby you should check out. In this post I was trying to demonstrate how light I can go in Curbing at the very beginning of the song. Through much practice I'm able singling lighter and lighter up there without going into head voice. You can't lighten up on the support though, support needs to be constant. Your voice definitely can do this with practice but you've got to watch that you don't back off on support otherwise you could strain the voice. And before I learned how to do this correctly my voice would sound heavier like yours. So I know exactly where you are at. I learned this from KTVA videos. It takes time but it can be done.

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rich2k4 - your version sounds really good. You've got Paul's delayed vibrato going on. Yes - Paul is very smooth in his upper register. I believe this to be very good curbing (cvt) or passagio (bel canto) - not head voice.

I posted a version of Eleanor Rigby you should check out. In this post I was trying to demonstrate how light I can go in Curbing at the very beginning of the song. Through much practice I'm able singling lighter and lighter up there without going into head voice. You can't lighten up on the support though, support needs to be constant. Your voice definitely can do this with practice but you've got to watch that you don't back off on support otherwise you could strain the voice. And before I learned how to do this correctly my voice would sound heavier like yours. So I know exactly where you are at. I learned this from KTVA videos. It takes time but it can be done.

Absolutely.

Also, the video gives a great angle to watch his larynx...and how it rises for the higher notes and lowers for the low ones. Really need to make sure yours is rising(if you want a lighter tone.)

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Paul is onsetting the notes more directly, where as you onset and then float to the center freq of the tone. I listened to the video you linked and also listened to him doing it a capella. And there is a slight volume increase on the higher notes, as they require more solid breath support than the conversational volume he has going on in the lower parts. So, in reality, it's not all one volume from beginning to end, even if that is how it sounds in recording. I would invite you to listen to the a capella version.

can you explain "onsetting more directly" better? i don't know what you mean

also what is KTVA?

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Excellent point Analog - I did notice that - his larynx does rise a lot. A couple decades ago that would be considered bad technique and potentially harmful but that has proven to be false. As I don't think any of the Beatles really knew about this, I think they naturally stumbled upon this technique and it worked perfectly for them.

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Onset is the start of a note. Paul onsets at the pitch of the note he is going to sing. As opposed to some country and western singers you onset on a pitch away from the desired note and float up or down to it. It's a stylistic thing, rather than a technical problem. But it's not limited to country.

Bon Scott, in the original recording of "Highway to Hell" onsets the last high note below the desired pitch and floats up to it. And I would do it that way, too. Then someone suggested I should hit it directly. Which I did. Stylistically different and just as valid.

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practice any note staccato. Short sharp durations with a moment's rest between then.

And imagine that you are landing on top of the note instead of reaching up for it.

Take note from an instrument or a song and practice hitting just that note squarely, no waver.

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rich2k4 - your version sounds really good. You've got Paul's delayed vibrato going on. Yes - Paul is very smooth in his upper register. I believe this to be very good curbing (cvt) or passagio (bel canto) - not head voice.

I posted a version of Eleanor Rigby you should check out. In this post I was trying to demonstrate how light I can go in Curbing at the very beginning of the song. Through much practice I'm able singling lighter and lighter up there without going into head voice. You can't lighten up on the support though, support needs to be constant. Your voice definitely can do this with practice but you've got to watch that you don't back off on support otherwise you could strain the voice. And before I learned how to do this correctly my voice would sound heavier like yours. So I know exactly where you are at. I learned this from KTVA videos. It takes time but it can be done.

geno, hymm....."so far away" is not a heady placement and head voice.....ala steve perry technique? please explain.

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rich- your version is cool. It's 'smokier' than Paul's but still cool.

I do this one in shows too. I find it's easier to sing it at the speed of the version on "Help!" (faster) than that of Wings Over America where he sings it slower (WoA is closest to the version you posted). Check out this version from 65

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGQgd2PT4mw&feature=rec-LGOUT-exp_fresh+div-1r-1-HM

magic.

I don't understand half the terms here... 'curbing', etc. I just don't get it. Sounds like yer takin your dog out for a walk. ;)

so...

I find that I have to really lean into the higher notes ("had to GO I don't KNOW..." and "yester- day-ay-ay" and take my air flow down to nearly nothing, but really focus it. I don't use my head voice for it at all I don't think. I do have a tendency to sing too loud, which I'm working on and that may be why I don't. But it's more a focus thing with the air. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'll probably blow it next time out! But GT is right about not letting your support relax. I just got the KTVA stuff and I'm struggling with some of it, but it's definitely great info.

By the way GuitarTek- since you're here- your version of Eleanor Rigby is very cool. I heard it a few weeks ago.

I don't think I'd slide into the note though. Wouldn't that give a pretty pitchy performance? I'm REALLY glad that the whole "lower your larynx" thing has been debunked. I had an impossible time with that.

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However i noticed that whenever i hear paul sing it (Yesterday) , he has this tone to his voice where when he goes higher, it seems like his volume doesn't get any higher, it just sounds really smooth.

I want to be able to get my voice to sound more pleasant.

rich2k4:

If you know what to look for, you can see Paul's technique at work. It looks completely unstudied, but you can bet that he spent years and years learning how to do that, back into the early days of the Silver Beatles in Liverpool and through the years in Germany before they broke out.

Here is what I see and hear going on:

From the front view, Paul has very little visible throat tension. When he inhales, his larynx goes down a little, and then rises back up at onset. He does not open his mouth very far vertically, or horizontally, nor does he shape his lips much. This means that his vowel coloring is almost entirely with tongue motion, and he does not make a big deal about it. Even viewed straight-on, you cannot see the back of his throat.

Since his lower jaw is never dropped very far, and for some vowels this is a very small amount, his vowel formants are fairly low and close together. This seems perfectly natural for his pronunciation of the text, and for the style of the piece. In formal vowel-terms, this causes the vowels to be 'closed' shades. An aspect of closed vowels is that their passaggio points are lower than those for open vowels, so the voice enters the passaggio on lower notes than it would with a dropped jaw. However, Paul's passaggio is almost completely hidden, because he sings in such a light curbing, with those closed vowels, that his voice is being produced everywhere in the same manner that is used for the passaggio. Though its gentle, you can hear the consistency of his mild twang all the way through. Also, pay especial attention to the pronunciation of the last syllable of the title word, and any other word that is rhymed with it. Its brightened almost to the point of EE.

What is very helpful to see is the side view. Paul's mic technique is to angle his head up just slightly, jaw tip extended forward in front of the plane of the forehead. This gives him good light coverage for his face (no shadows under eyes) and also helps prevent stiffness in the back of the neck. Also, in this position the larynx is free to go up or down as necessary, reducing the tendency to accumulate tension.

Finally, look at the front view and get the sense of overall intensity that he is bringing to the performance. He is just standing and singing, with a nice, but not overdone legato. He connects the word sounds together smoothly, with few noticable breaks in the sound.

Its a really well-done performance, by an artist already several years into his professional career.

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rich2k4:

If you know what to look for, you can see Paul's technique at work. It looks completely unstudied, but you can bet that he spent years and years learning how to do that, back into the early days of the Silver Beatles in Liverpool and through the years in Germany before they broke out.

Here is what I see and hear going on:

From the front view, Paul has very little visible throat tension. When he inhales, his larynx goes down a little, and then rises back up at onset. He does not open his mouth very far vertically, or horizontally, nor does he shape his lips much. This means that his vowel coloring is almost entirely with tongue motion, and he does not make a big deal about it. Even viewed straight-on, you cannot see the back of his throat.

Since his lower jaw is never dropped very far, and for some vowels this is a very small amount, his vowel formants are fairly low and close together. This seems perfectly natural for his pronunciation of the text, and for the style of the piece. In formal vowel-terms, this causes the vowels to be 'closed' shades. An aspect of closed vowels is that their passaggio points are lower than those for open vowels, so the voice enters the passaggio on lower notes than it would with a dropped jaw. However, Paul's passaggio is almost completely hidden, because he sings in such a light curbing, with those closed vowels, that his voice is being produced everywhere in the same manner that is used for the passaggio. Though its gentle, you can hear the consistency of his mild twang all the way through. Also, pay especial attention to the pronunciation of the last syllable of the title word, and any other word that is rhymed with it. Its brightened almost to the point of EE.

What is very helpful to see is the side view. Paul's mic technique is to angle his head up just slightly, jaw tip extended forward in front of the plane of the forehead. This gives him good light coverage for his face (no shadows under eyes) and also helps prevent stiffness in the back of the neck. Also, in this position the larynx is free to go up or down as necessary, reducing the tendency to accumulate tension.

Finally, look at the front view and get the sense of overall intensity that he is bringing to the performance. He is just standing and singing, with a nice, but not overdone legato. He connects the word sounds together smoothly, with few noticable breaks in the sound.

Its a really well-done performance, by an artist already several years into his professional career.

steve, which performance are you writing about? yesterday or bee bop?

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Steven - thanks for the great analysis of Paul. It's kind of like unraveling a mystery to me. For most of my life I've been baffled by how he is able to sing that way - light curbing. I chalked it up to: "he must have been born with it" and "unfortunately I was not". Of course we all know now that anyone can learn how to sing that way. I've always wondered if he worked on that or it just came to him naturally. That's an interesting take the tipped back head - It does help the lighting at concerts. Some studio engineers beleive that it opens the throat more and it produces a brighter tone, but I'm not sure that anyone ever proved that.

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it's what paul mccartney achieves with his voice, that is my ultimate goal. I WANT THAT!

here is another video where he shows his mastery of high tones, and singing lightly and not having to sing loud. Forget all the high pitched rock screaming vocals, if i can achieve this sound, my vocal journey will be complete. It is all i want. As of now, the only way i feel that i would be able to learn this is through private lessons which i can't afford right now. Unless, someone wants to be really kind and kind of make some kind of Podcast audio explaining step by step what they are doing with their voice to achieve this. explaining what the hell curbing, and twang is, etc. light curbing. i do not understand those terms at all.

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rich2k4, I listened to your example and I think you're definitely on the right track.

In that clip of "Yesterday", yeah, in CVT terms, he's singing in neutral and in very light curbing for the high notes, as Steven said.

In that clip of him singing "For no one", I think Paul is singing this song mostly in neutral (without air), and putting in curbing/mixed voice on maybe 1-3 words here and there. But mostly it's neutral, which has the characteristics of a lullaby (soft, relaxed and with low volume), where curbing sounds more like a moan (especially if you overdo it) or that you're getting overcome with emotion.

I'm gonna guess that you're doing the following things incorrectly in order to achieve a similar sound to that of Paul's in that last clip of him:

1. It's not the best recording in the world but it sounds like you're a bit too breathy. Try putting your hand in front of your mouth while you sing this. You should feel heat and not wind. If you feel wind, you're too breathy, even for this style of singing. Doing lip rolls is one of the best exercises to reduce breathiness, so check this video of Seth Riggs out:

.

2. I think your throat and facial muscles may be too tense, so try to relax them more. Ask yourself which muscles in your throat you can relax while still singing the song. You'll be amazed to how much you can let go and how much you HAVE to let go in order to sing good. Relax your lips and your jaw and don't overdo your mouth movements when you form the different vowels and consonants.

3. Even though this song requires little or no curbing/mix (IMO), I think your choice of vowels here and there could be improved a bit. F.ex. when you sing "you'll find that all the words..." - the word "all" could have a slightly different vowel to make it sound better and more natural. You're using the Oh vowel (as in "so" or "no"), but it would sound more natural to use the vowel Ah (as in "father"). That's what Paul McCartney does.

I think you're much closer to being able to sing like that than you think. You've already got good pitch, feel, tone and an overall good sense and love of music so you've got an advantage over many people. Although this style of singing sounds very, very beautiful, fortunately it's not the most difficult style to master. It wouldn't surprise me if you'd see huge improvements in just a few weeks, but I'd like to hear you attempt something similar again and this time try to fix the things I listed above. That means you have to record it again and post here :). Note that I'm just a singer and not a vocal coach so take this with a grain of salt but do try it out and see how you like it. Singing like this should not hurt your throat so if it does, you're doing it wrong for sure. Have a nice one, dude.

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I now listened to your version of "yesterday" and that was even better. Great feeling you had going on there. You'd charm many people with that for sure. But there you're using medium and not low volume so you have to be careful on the highest notes as they're in your break or passagio area and you'd probably want to look into curbing/mixed voice techniques. A good start for you would be to listen to the link I included in my last post and look for relaxed exercises from the same program online. Billy and others have already given good advice for you.

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