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A message to all of you rock singers

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jonpall
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I have nothing but the utmost respect for everything you do. Us classical guys, we cannot compete with your brilliance. We are good, but we ain't THAT good!

Last night I sang Deep Purple's 'Highway star' in a pub. I attend the rehearsal with a below average amount of nerves (some nerves are good, in my opinion). I finish rehearsing... then it's the turn of the big guns, the real rock singers.

WOW, HOLY SHIT! TURBINES FULL BLAST TO THE FACE! I'm blown away! These guys, this small tiny group from New York who do this every other day are like totally professional calibre rock singers. The girls' had loads of attitude and all of the other guys (all baritones... I was the only tenor, which is probably why I was drafted) all had power, clarity, rasp and range for days! I should have thought of a better description but I had so much difficulty getting even close to that sound with my classical background.

So I'm sat there, all plain with my shiny shoes, watching these leather clad people (I didn't realise everyone else was wearing a leather until I got there) put so much passion into their work. These voices filled the entire place.

I'm so nervous at this point. We are going to be performing in front of people who are like total metal heads! They love it. Heavy metal to them is what Pavarotti is to me.

Run. Run. Run Away! jonpall, you idiot, get out of there.

I didn't. I stuck around. I sang my song.

It went... okay. I was in tune... my English pronounciation was okay (yes, I sung in English... I always sing in Italian but this time I had to sing a rock song in English with a covered operatic sound, which was horrifying). But, I could hear that my sound was far too classical.

I received a few compliments from audience members after. Everyone could tell that this was my first time singing rock. They all had no difficulty spotting my classical roots.

So this was, in a way, a learning experience for me. I learnt that I have an operatic sound, which is good as really that is what I'm into.

...coming gradually back to reality:

I also learnt, rock singers and classical singers are usually good people. No one group is "better" than the other and shouldn't be treated as such. Even though classical singers sometimes sing louder (not always the case because there are rock singers who use tons of twang among other things to increase the volume), they are better at singing opera but rock singers are definitely better at singing rock. It's the same with pop, blues, jazz and broadway singers, as a few examples. I understand that classical singers often put in more time vocalizing and practising than rock singers, but rest asure that that's not always the case because there are some rock/pop singers out there, many of them forum members here, that are putting in just as much effort practising at home as any opera singer. We all have our goals and it's ok that they are different - what fun would it be if they were all the same? We're all worthy.

Regards,

jonpall.

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They are normal people with a different set of techniques to fill in a different kind of taste for music. While I truly respect and admire them for their mastery of technique, I wouldn't like sounding like them at all, no matter what. That's just not my taste. And vice versa, probably :)

Well, ok, I wouldn't mind sounding like those ones. But the midnight train is at midnight, and it's not even noon right there.

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That's funny jonpall!

Actually, I don't think it is an "either / or" situation and I think it is just fine for rock singers to attempt to sing a classical aria and vica versa. Last year after I gained my tenor range I thought I would try a tenor aria - che gelida manina. I downloaded a Pavarotti version and tried emulating his vowel pronuciation and intense constant vibratto. I practiced this aria for months. It was REALLY difficult - especially delivering the kind of breath energy needed to produce an intense and constant operatic "metallic" tone. But you know what? It helped my rock singing! Now, opera singers would probably throw up listening to me sing it (ha ha), but I felt good about the results. I think I would have to keep a much lower larynx postition to do it justice. I was curious to know if anyone else tried practicing an aria and if it had any effect on your rock singing?

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I was curious to know if anyone else tried practicing an aria and if it had any effect on your rock singing?

geno, sometimes when there's no one in the store, i'll act like i'm a opera singer and blast out some loud heady notes like some women opera singers do. i think it helps strengthen the higher register...?

have you ever used james's lugo's vocal asylum program?

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PAHAHAHAHAAAAAAHHAAAA!!! I'm actually laughing my butt off!

You bastard, this is hilarious! ;) You have definitely earnt yourself a positive reputation point for your blantant plaguarism :)

You're welcome to use my (frankly, brilliant) post as a crutch for any future posting, btw! ;)

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Sorry Nathan, my friend :) I kind of had to do it, lol. I had actually started to write a long response in your original thread but all of a sudden this idea came to mind. I have probably written a post VERY similar to yours in the past. I tend to share stuff when I'm excited.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to share this BRILLIANT clip:

I never would have guessed that Pavarotti and Bryan Adams would make such a great duet! :)

when i first started watching those clips, the friend that sent them to me tainted them with the idea that pavarotti was trying to show the rock guys up. but i soon realized that was not the case at all. he really did respect the rock singer, which made me like him even more.

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To be fair, the only part I thought didn't quite work perfectly was when they sung in harmony together at the end, but I have the feeling they didn't rehearse it that well - it was more just lots of singers coming together and singing for fun with Pavarotti.

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well, they werent off key, but Adams was singing the vowel in 'air' (which is how that word is spoken), while Pavarotti went for a completely different 'the' vowel. The difference is so big, they sound like they're singing different words.

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Hi everyone,

I'm beginning to write more on this forum after months reading...

I write from Italy, I studied a few classical but mainly I studied modern singing (pop and rock), and by myself I'm studying for hard'n' heavy that I like too much.

In Italy there's a famous quote from many years ago "impara l'arte e mettila da parte" that means like "learn how much you can, keep in mind that could be useful in the future"

Classical singing help to improve some techniques that modern don't.. and viceversa.

I think that the way to excellence pass from learning much more techniques and styles we can ... don't forgetting to find our one, mixing with the heart and what we feel about music.

About this topic I would like to suggest to hear a famous italian pop song "Vivo per lei"

it have been made famous in 2 versions with different lirycs one dedicated to music and another one to a woman (but that's not the matter.. I wrote it only to explain why you could hear different words... if someone not italian speaking hear it.. :D)

The two versions have been sang one by Andrea Bocelli (famous tenor) and a lot of woman singers in various languages.

The other one (less famous around the world, but not in Italy) sung by italian rock pop group ORO, in a classical rock pop style.

Both versions (like Adams-Pavarotti duet) have a sense as singers make the song in his own style reaching the heart of the audience.

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