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James Labrie.

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djemass
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Hi,

I am a huge fan of James Labrie's voice, and I have a question. I am discovering the 4Pillars of Robert Lunte, and I am confused by something.

When I watch all the videos examples of the 4Pillars, I have the feeling that all the singers develop a voice a la Geoff Tate or Steve Perry, ie quite metallic (it is a in a good sense). A kind of resonnant track amplified. But when I hear Labrie, I don't hear this kind of metallic twangy tone, he gives the illusion to keep a very creamy voice, even in the highest notes as if he didn't amplify the same harmonics as 80's metal singers, which seems to be in opposition of TVS vision of singing.

Am I wrong ?

I would love to get and keep this kind of creamy tone. Is it due to the natural vocal signature of Labrie's voice or does he use different techniques ?

Anyway, I will contact Robert for skype lessons, because this guy is THE man !

Thank you

Gerald :D

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A lot of people hate on Labrie, call him a terrible singer and the worst member of Dream Theater etc... but for me he is one of my favourite hard rock/metal vocalists. As you say that "creamy tone" is very refreshing to me. I have wondered why he sings like this when so many other singers in the style all go for a much more similar timbre throughout their range.

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Labrie is a fantastic singer and he is so diverse. Just take a listen to the cover record from the "Black clouds and silver linings". He can belt, he can sing soft, he can rasp, yeah, he does almost everything in style and with high quality. One of the few styles i don´t think he does well is when he growls, that sounds horrible or at least did.

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Sorry, my mistake, it was Mike Portnoy who growled on the last album, maybe that`s why it sounded bad:). Then i actually don´t know if he has ever growled. He did a solo album -Static Impulse- where there is a lot of growl but it´s not him that growls.

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James LaBrie started out with classical voice training. That's per his own damn words in the interview contained in Bill Martin's book "The Pro Secrets of Heavy Rock Singers." See, that book means so much to me because it cuts through all the BS rumors of what this or that singer is doing. You get to read their own words of what they are doing and how they think about what they are doing. Why believe what someone thinks about LaBrie when you can hear from the man, himself? Of course, I may be old-fashioned.

Of the vocal programs out there that will get you what you want, Lunte's 4 pillars will get you what you need. The only thing better would be classical instruction. For Lunte comes from a classical background. Headvoice, learn it, live it, love it. There is no other way and I am setting my foot down and others will disagree and they can go ahead and develope their nodules their way. I can't help that. If you can't find a classical voice coach that will help you sing rock, then Lunte is your man.

Again, I am old fashioned and I think you should start out in head voice, and stay there, rather than bridging from chest voice to head voice, but at least Lunte has you bridging early.

Proof is in the m*&%#$-f*(^%(# pudding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opXcKwFgawI

Will you sound like James LaBrie or Geoff Tate when you are trained with this? No, except by accident of genetics. What you will sound like is dj with cajones made of stainless steel. Which is how it should be. Geoff Tate sounds like Geoff Tate not because he studied with David Kyle, with whom Lunte also studied. He sounds like Geoff Tate because he is Geoff Tate. Don't try to sound like any one else and don't think you will sound like someone else because you have used a similar training. I've studied a bit of the classical method but I don't sound like Pavarotti or Domingo or anyone that I know, of any genre. And that's the way it should be.

Good luck and may the Force be with you, always.

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James LaBrie started out with classical voice training. That's per his own damn words in the interview contained in Bill Martin's book "The Pro Secrets of Heavy Rock Singers." See, that book means so much to me because it cuts through all the BS rumors of what this or that singer is doing. You get to read their own words of what they are doing and how they think about what they are doing. Why believe what someone thinks about LaBrie when you can hear from the man, himself? Of course, I may be old-fashioned.

Of the vocal programs out there that will get you what you want, Lunte's 4 pillars will get you what you need. The only thing better would be classical instruction. For Lunte comes from a classical background. Headvoice, learn it, live it, love it. There is no other way and I am setting my foot down and others will disagree and they can go ahead and develope their nodules their way. I can't help that. If you can't find a classical voice coach that will help you sing rock, then Lunte is your man.

Again, I am old fashioned and I think you should start out in head voice, and stay there, rather than bridging from chest voice to head voice, but at least Lunte has you bridging early.

Proof is in the m*&%#$-f*(^%(# pudding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opXcKwFgawI

Will you sound like James LaBrie or Geoff Tate when you are trained with this? No, except by accident of genetics. What you will sound like is dj with cajones made of stainless steel. Which is how it should be. Geoff Tate sounds like Geoff Tate not because he studied with David Kyle, with whom Lunte also studied. He sounds like Geoff Tate because he is Geoff Tate. Don't try to sound like any one else and don't think you will sound like someone else because you have used a similar training. I've studied a bit of the classical method but I don't sound like Pavarotti or Domingo or anyone that I know, of any genre. And that's the way it should be.

Good luck and may the Force be with you, always.

Hi Ron,

I don't want to clone Labrie, nor other guys...

I am defining my goals, and as I did for guitar, I are doing my shopping. I mean, I am taking some elements which I love in some singers and I am figuring out how I will learn and implement these elements in my voice...

This is always easier to get a clear vision of where we want to go...

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True, and all these modern systems offer instruction on vocal effect such as rasp. The better ones, like 4 Pillars and Jaime Vendera's "Raise Your Voice" save it as an appended chapter at the end of their materials. The way it should be.

Although, in my opinion, distortion should be used the way that Robert Lunte and Ray Alder use it. Only on grace notes (transitory notes between sections of melody) or as the end of a phrase, not the entire phrase.

So, really, the proper steps are to learn good technique to begin with. Later, add some of the influences of other sings. For example, what I get from Ronnie James Dio is not so much vocal tone as I do phrasing, especially on the live performances. From such as bands as Firehouse, I get practice in legato, which will really help your breath management. From Michael Sweet and even Rob Halford in his early days, I would get practice in resonance. From Bruce Dickinson, I would also get resonance but also performing viewpoints. To engage the entire audience, no matter how big or small so that we are one group cramped into the same sweaty closet. But timbre-wise, I don't sound like any of them. And it would be vocal suicide to try and do so.

From Dickinson, I also learn to choose the right material. You would be surprised how many people "think" they can write dungeons and dragons lyrics and hand them to a singer and expect to be sung in the 5th octave just as they wrote it. Dio did not have the voice for soft ballads, so he never did them.

And people like LaBrie will only do a cover song if it is arranged for their voice, the way that James Hetfield transposes what he wants to baritone. Like any competent singer, he stays within what his voice can do. Better to have a strong 2 octaves that 5 or 6 spotty ones. Otherwise, they only sing songs they wrote or that were specifically written for them by others who understand their voice and will choose the right key.

Some wrote based on convenience. Steven Tyler started out playing piano and would compose in F and F# because of how the keys are arranged on a piano. "Dream On" is originally written in the key of Fm.

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ron, with all due respect, i really think if you work at it you can take your voice almost anywhere you want it to go. you have to will it and work really hard though.....you (meaning you, ron) can go further than perhaps you may realize.

even if you're a proponent of early bridged head voice, you can still build the strength within that voice to reach chest-like sounds. it just takes more work and more (now go easy on me...lol!!!!! .....more appropriately applied tension in the vocal pitch maker..the larynx.)

maybe i'm reading too many books, but i feel like i'm finally "getting it." while i still have a lifetime to improve i realize now how the mind is such an incredibly underrated component to all of this.

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And with equally due respect, Bob, we will have to agree to disagree.

Though I will agree that singing is mental. I have read a number of essays and books from the classical standpoint and that of doctors that would disagree about the safety and vialibity of bringing up chest for any length of time.

But, if you want to advise dj to carry chest high rather than pursue 4 Pillars and get into head voice sooner, I can still advise him that getting into headvoice can also be a good path.

And someone will surely say, "Yeah, but your're talking about opera singing." And my reply is that singing is singing. Rock and roll is an attitude.

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And with equally due respect, Bob, we will have to agree to disagree.

Though I will agree that singing is mental. I have read a number of essays and books from the classical standpoint and that of doctors that would disagree about the safety and vialibity of bringing up chest for any length of time.

But, if you want to advise dj to carry chest high rather than pursue 4 Pillars and get into head voice sooner, I can still advise him that getting into headvoice can also be a good path.

And someone will surely say, "Yeah, but your're talking about opera singing." And my reply is that singing is singing. Rock and roll is an attitude.

but i'm not saying carry chest up, i'm just saying strenthening from the bottom up...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ronws, in that PRO SECRETS... book, does Dickinson say if he's trained and had lessons?

Sorry that I missed your question.

Bruce Dickinson taught himself. He has not had lessons. If he had, he would say so. He's very much an in-your-face honest kind of guy. For example, he took fencing lessons and did not hide that. He took flying lessons and is a certified commercial airline pilot for an australian airline company. To some extent, he followed the old italian method of singing by imitation, rather than pure mechanics. I.E., listen to good singing and copy that.

He and I have read the same book, or nearly enough. There are two books entitled "How to Sing." I originally read the one by Graham Hewitt, later the one by Lilli Lehmann. But they are essentially from the same background. The difference is Lehmann applied her instruction to opera singing and Hewitt was applying classical technique to pop and rock singing. Both books concentrate primarily on resonance, chiefly, head resonance, and the breath to support the note. Upon reading the book (I'm not sure which one and effectively, the books are the same,) Bruce said, "So, that's how they do that thing. What can my voice do?"

Hence the quote in my signature field at the end of my posts. It reflects my philosophy and I would hope inspires others to discover what it is they can do. For Bruce, like many other singers of note, will tell you that you are born with the voice you have.

Training can develope what you have to a fine degree and I would recommend any one practice and follow a system that makes their voice sound good without strain. But do what it is your voice can do. The greatest singers never sang everything in the world. They have only sang what their voices can do well. Bruce has a bad habit of saying what he thinks, whether that is what others want to hear, or not.

If you were famous, would you incorporate into your show a detailed description of which programs you have studied? If you were famous enough to be interviewed on a talk show about your third album, do you think the brunt of the conversation (directed by the host, btw) is going to center on which stage of KTVA you have completed? No, they will want to know the inspiration of your song "Poppin Wheelies on my Unicycle" or whatever your song title is. (Let that image sink in. How do you pop a wheelie on a cycle with one wheel?)

I know some are going to say "Hogwash ... listen to Bruce. No one gets that kind of voice without some kind of lessons." And what would a lesson have accomplished? An instructor telling him something he has already read in a book. Or the instructor sings an example and the student imitates it, with the added danger of the student trying to sound like the instructor. How different is that from reading a book or listening to a cd? Well, the instructor could watch your posture and breathing. Maybe tell when you are flat or sharp. Things that you will have to learn to detect on your own. Otherwise, you rely on the opinion of those around you, influenced by the aesthetic considerations they have.

Unless someone wants to say that there is no way that Bruce or others like him can sing like that without one-on-one voice lessons. And many will say that, without having proved it. Scientifically, in a double-blind study, you would have to have two people with similar voice types. One with a voice coach, one with just books and determination. And then specifically show any differences in quality. And for that, you have to define what you mean by quality. When I first came to this forum, a few people were trying to sound like Brian Johnson. Is that the definition of quality? And no, that is not an insult against Johnson. Just pointing out that it depends on whom you ask. But generally, a note of quality is on pitch with a certain "fullness" to it.

I am not against singing programs. Just the same, I can accept that there are cases of people who can sing well without having had a personal vocal coach. Just as there are people who's voices can sound like so many others, as opposed to some who either sound like one particular singer or no particular one at all. The value of voice lessons is that it can take a person less time to become proficient at singing.

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Hey, Jonpall, outside of classical training, I would think Lunte's 4 Pillars is the next best thing because he does give importance to head voice placement, coordination, whatever you want to call it.

In his "lift up - pull back," I hear similar mechanics to what Frisell is talking about in his plan for developing the passaggio notes. For both systems use falsetto. And, at first, I thought Lunte was using falsetto as just a transition in the passage of the range. But I suspect now it is more of a training thing than a singing thing.

Either system requires coordination. I tend to believe in bringing head voice down, rather than bridging. I believe in starting in head voice and then staying there, which probably puts me more in Frisell's camp than any others. That is, you are a tenor, you do not start your warm-up in bass or baritone. You start it in tenor. Essentially, train your muscles for what you want to do. And that the singing is inverted from the common speaking. That is, you get lighter as you descend. If you bridge down to chest voice, you allow the stronger chest muscles to take over dominance.

I consider carefully each system and what I think it might have of value and what it might have that will screw me up. I love Lugo's rock attitude. But I think his system of carrying chest voice higher, similar to other things I have tried in the past year, would screw me up.

Of the systems, Frisell (which is certainly aimed toward opera and aria singing, rather than pop and rock) is so close to what I have read from other classical instructors. The "work," as I can see it, is in stopping the bottom of chest from taking over. And that is primarily learning new habits. Even then, Frisell talks much about muscle systems where as I approach more from a standpoint of acoustics and science.

So, paint me bad for not associating with anyone particular system. Of the modern singing systems, 4 Pillars is probably closest to what I do and value. And I don't say that to be on Lunte's "good side." Or because he is the benefactor of this forum and the main website. It's my "Bruce" way of saying what I think, regardless of who is bothered by that. I have said at least once before that I think his system would do better to get people into headvoice even earlier. And not use falsetto as a transition tool but as a training tool and even a timbre desired for effect at certain times, depending on the emotion. And for that, messa di voce is golden. And that is just my redneck opinion. I don't have near the training and education that he does, nor am I a signed artist and performer.

I am so stinkin' independent. I am reminded of my friend, Lee, the former US Navy SEAL. In his younger days, he rode a Harley. I have some of the patches from his "rag" (cut-off vest bearing the patches one associates with.) He was friends with the bodyguard of Sonny Barger. For those who don't know, Barger was the longest running president of the Oakland (California) chapter of the Hell's Angels. But Lee was never a member of that club or any other. He just rode for the enjoyment. Same here, for me. In singing, as well.

As it is, my "rag" (jean jacket with my patches on it) does not have any club patch. Just things that are of significance to me, including one from the Blue Bell Creamery (they make a popular ice cream. My wife's cousin still works there.)

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he may drop the larynx down a bit which would make it a little more duller-sounding, for lack of a better word. which is fine. or as rob lunte says "laryngeal dumping."

Bullseye Bob! Good call... you nailed it.

I understand what djmass is referring to when he says "creamy" vs a more "metallic" sound... but first allow me to thank you guys for your nice support and in the work that me and my teachers do at TVS. Indeed, TVS is dynamic,,, it will always be, if I have anything to do with it, a vocal organization that pushes the boundaries of trying to learn more, of always getting better. So allow me to proceed to shed light on this...

First of all, without a doubt, the techniques you will learn from me and "The Four Pillars of Singing" will take you to this kind of singing. I for one, do not find much difference in early Geoff Tate and Early James LeBrie... its the same approach. Know that if you don't have the new "Four Pillars" 2.0 upgrade, (Now available... but not publicized yet...)... you are working with content that is now about 4.5 years old. 4-5 years ago, I was still a great vocal coach, but I had not yet begin working more on formants, vowels and laryngeal dumping. Its a process guys, its a evolutionary process that anyone that seeks to get better, will go through and Im no exception. I have gone through this journey and then what I do, is develop pedagogy, techniques to help others learn how to do it too. So the earlier 1.0 content represent a "voice teacher" that is singing with a slightly higher, more compressed , twangy configuration. Was this wrong? NO!! To sing with a slightly higher, more twangy compressed sound is perfectly fine... we hear rock singers doing it all the time... and Pillars 1.0 has sold in over 90 countries around the world and I have never had a complaint from anyone who actually practiced and did the training. That is why, when you invest in the Pillars 2.0 upgrade, you will also get a re-masterd PIllars 1.0 dvd that is labeled "Classic" as bonus content. Why not? Its still good and now its nostalgic and kinda funny to see Rob wearing carhart farmer pants with short hair... yes, I have definately changed since those days... I have finally made enough money to buy a decent pair of jeans! LOL!

Fast forward... four years go by, Rob matures as a teacher, as a singer, starts TMV (LOL), begins to tour, gets divorced, begins working with the late Peter Egan and Steve Frasier to learn more about laryngeal physiology, vowel modification and acoustics, etc...

Pillars 2.0... was ready for market last week!!!! You will see and hear a "voice teacher" and "singer" that is singing with a formant that is more "creamy"... less "metallic" and more resonance in a "boomier" formant. I used to be all about "lift the larynx and twang"... again, there is nothing wrong with that, its fine... but today, I realize there is more to the story... today at tVS we talk about "developing an onset package, formants, lowering the larynx through the passaggio and into the head voice, maintaining compression (twang), developing intrinsic anchoring skills and vocal distortion inside a deeper head voice placement". I really want to get this new content out to all of you who have taken an interest in my work... this is my "The Wall" album... this is my master piece and I have have put every ounce of detail and excellence into the production. It is absolutely the best thing I can do at this time. The result is a training system that will change the rules on what vocal training system can be.

The vocal sounds that my students are making NOW... and even myself... are totally world-class. I sincerely mean it, I have finally worked out all the moving parts on how to make a vocal sound that will play in any prog. metal band, R&B group, Jazz group, theater production or classical.

So if you have the old Pillars 1.0 product... god bless you... its good... but as of last week, its nostalgia and only "Bonus" content at this point. HOWEVER... the new Pillars 2.0 is a radical leap forward.

Old Pillars

Book

11 workouts

22 video demonstrations w/ 1 standard definition camera

NEW PILLARS 2.0

You Will Get:

- The Book, "The Four Pillars of Singing" (v.2.0)

- 37 Audio Files Of The Most Effective And Radical Vocal Workouts Available Anywhere!

(11 classic Maestro David Kyle workouts and 26 Newly invented workouts, not found on any other vocal training system, that I developed).

- 22 Lectures in High Definition Video On The TVS Techniques You Will Need To Develop A World-Class Voice.

(topics such as; vocal distortion, laryngeal dumping, intrinsic anchoring, microphone techniques, vocal modes, learning how to twang, passagio & register bridging techniques, extrinsic anchoring, vibrato, vowel modification, breathing excercises, etc...)

- 37 Radical Performance Demonstrations in High Definition Video Of All The "Pillars" Vocal Workouts.

(Creative Edits From 4 Cameras That Simultaneously Captured The Action, Bring You A Visual Experience Never Before Seen In Any vocal Training System!)

- 37 Audio Tutorials & Demonstrations Of All The TVS Vocal Workouts You Can Listen To In The Car.

(Robert Lunte explains how to do the workouts and then demonstrates).

- 37 "Sing-A-Long" Audio Files That Enable You To Train By Singing Over Robert Lunte's Recorded Demonstration.

(An NEW Innovative New Way To Learn Vocal Workouts Quickly and Correctly)

- 37 "Sing-A-Long" Audio Files That Enable You To Train By Singing Over Simulated (Synth) Recorded Demonstrations.

(An NEW Innovative New Way To Learn Vocal Workouts Quickly and Correctly. Same as above, but follwing a synth guide)

BONUS CONTENT:

- 22 Re-Mastered Videos from the original "Pillars 1.5" version.

So, Im not just trying to pitch my product... what Im trying to say to the original post is... TVS and Robert has evolved. Don't judge TVS on content that is now almost 5 years old. I encourage you to upgrade... get this new content, it will blow you away. I spent 1.5 years filming and producing this. NO other voice coach has ever stuck their neck out this far, but most importantly... the singing is better. Im using a more mature, more experience technical package that came from my front line experience over the last 4 years! If you like "creamy" and "boomy" head tones over "metallic" head tones... you'll love the content in Pillars 2.0 because is one of the things that you will hear that is different.

To answer your question simply... James LeBrie is singing through a deeper pharyngeal resonant space. This creates more "boomy" overtones and smooths out the "metallic" qualities that can come from twanging. Important lesson here... if the sound is too twangy or twang's extreme cousin, quack mode... DON'T BLAME IT ON THE TWANG CONTRACTION... LOOK FIRST AT YOUR FORMANT... LOOK TO FIX YOUR RESONANT SPACE, NOT YOUR COMPRESSION. YOU NEED THE COMPRESSION.. BUT TWANGY COMPRESSION THROUGH A SMALLER RESONANT SPACE, GIVES YOU MORE "METAL"... THE SAME AMOUNT OF TWANG... THROUGH A BIGGER RESONANT SPACE (dumping the larynx and other formant details)... you gets you the "cream" that "dj" is talking about ... or what I like to call, more "boom"... its more theatery, a hint more classically...

Bro... bring it on! I cant wait to show you the new techniques and I hope you can pick up the Pillars 2.0 upgrade.

For those that have the old "Pillars"... the current upgrade fee is $99. I can not promise that in the next few weeks that is going to stay the same. Im updating my shopping cart, getting new product photos taken, etc... when that is all ready, ill do a press release and rpublicize. I may ask for more on the upgrade because as you can clearly see... its almost entirely a new system... but for now... at $99, to get 13GB of some of the top vocal training content in the world, or 9 discs if you choose the hard copy version... is a good deal. I think if your really into singing technique, you gotta spring for it. Sure, Id like to make a few sales... but from the bottom of my heart... I really just want people to now have the new stuff... it will help you beyond belief and I want people to judge me and TVS by what is going on today... not 5 years ago. Here is the link for the upgrade... you can go to my store and and purchase a new system at the older pricing for now as well if your a first time client.

The new Store: www.thevocaliststudiostore.com

The upgrade link for current clients:

THE FOUR PILLARS OF SINGING 2.0 UPGRADE (DIGITAL DOWNLOAD) – SPECIAL PRE-LAUNCH VIP PRICING FOR EXISTING CLIENTS THAT ALREADY OWN PILLARS 1.0/1.5:

URL

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=Q4KQGQM689SXU

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