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Is twang REALLY the answer?

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AboveTenor
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Hey guys,

So I've been working on my voice for over 5 years now and halfway through college. I love to sing karaoke and my goal is to be able to sing anything I want. I have pretty much every vocal training system known to man and still can't get the sound I want. I sometimes try to sing GN'R, Audioslave, Journey, Led Zeppelin, etc. but with little success. When I'm in front of a crowd I can't hold twang or keep that bite in the resonant tract/mask. No matter what, I end up flipping to falsetto and am embarrased. This is only in the passagio area btw. Once I'm above C5, I don't care if it sounds a little heady as more head voice is invited in anyway for the higher notes. My high notes are pretty good as I'm a countertenor and can get up to A5. Twang really helps up there too to make it sound fuller. But I'm going to be honest contracting the AES gives one a very trembly tone. I don't like the sound of twang as it still sounds falsettoey to me, even some of the people on here do too. For me it cracks easily and isn't consistent. At home, I can do it but it's just not as strong and it lacks depth. I'm starting to get discouraged as every time I think I have a breakthrough or go back to another system, I still don't see major results. Even to me, Geoff Tate's tone in that area is heady. I really want a Lou Gramm, Freddie Mercury type speaking chest tone, clean with no rasp. Maybe it's just not possible for my voice, since I'm not a tenor. Or maybe there is really a middle voice (secret area) that can be taught. Some celebrities pick up on singing like that, for ex. Tom Cruise in the upcoming film Rock of Ages. I know there is an answer but literally this is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I just don't like sounding like someone's Grandma trying to sing AC/DC as Jaime puts it. Eric Frey calls what I suffer from "Karaoke Syndrome" where you mimic other famous people ex. Steve Perry and then can't sing in your own voice. My folds just won't close and hold that contraction in that area. I think glottal compression might be the answer, not crying/moaning but like holding your breath like Ken says. I see all these other people at karaoke do it and it is disheartening. Something about stretching out the cords, almost tightening. I know it's not just in my head because people don't applaud since it's falsetto. Seems like my only options are to sing in my chest voice for stuff and throw a few high screams on some songs. I am a top-down phonator, starting to think bottom-up is the way to go to get that sound I want. But how to do it healthy without coming from the throat? Any help would be greatly appreciated guys.

Thanks,

AboveTenor

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if ur flipping into falsetto, theres a good chance there isnt enough twang being used. Also, it could be that you need to learn how to bridge properly - it takes a fair amount of time and practice, not something u learn in a sitting!!

cheers

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After having read that, I'm pretty sure the answer is easy: You need a good vocal coach to help you at this point. Just note that there are lots of bad ones out there, so if you're not getting at least some results in a few weeks time, go to another one, without remorse.

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You're speaking of twang, but you're not speaking of support. How are you in this area ? My personnal limited experience is that when I flip to falsetto, it's not a matter of twang, but of support instead. Usually, paying a lot more attention to it prevents cracking, AND gets the attention away from the throat, which is probably a good thing in and of itself.

Anyway, you should do as jonpall suggests, it's bound to get you results ;)

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I don't think twang is your problem if you are trembly, but rather too much unnecessary squeezing in the larynx. This is also what causes a really bad break because at a certain point all the muscle strength can't carry you any higher so you have to give out. Lack of support is a common culprit. The actual problem area you need to focus on is actually a few notes below the break, because this is where you start going off track; the break point is just the symptom. Forget about a heavy sound up top for now and try thinning out your sound much earlier than you ever would consider. Use twang now to amplify that new thinner sound. Now you're letting the cords stay at a lower level of work and letting the twang do the heavy lifting, and getting a thicker sound will be a matter of lowering the larynx.

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Hey guys,

So I've been working on my voice for over 5 years now and halfway through college. I love to sing karaoke and my goal is to be able to sing anything I want. I have pretty much every vocal training system known to man and still can't get the sound I want. I sometimes try to sing GN'R, Audioslave, Journey, Led Zeppelin, etc. but with little success. When I'm in front of a crowd I can't hold twang or keep that bite in the resonant tract/mask. No matter what, I end up flipping to falsetto and am embarrased. This is only in the passagio area btw. Once I'm above C5, I don't care if it sounds a little heady as more head voice is invited in anyway for the higher notes. My high notes are pretty good as I'm a countertenor and can get up to A5. Twang really helps up there too to make it sound fuller. But I'm going to be honest contracting the AES gives one a very trembly tone. I don't like the sound of twang as it still sounds falsettoey to me, even some of the people on here do too. For me it cracks easily and isn't consistent. At home, I can do it but it's just not as strong and it lacks depth. I'm starting to get discouraged as every time I think I have a breakthrough or go back to another system, I still don't see major results. Even to me, Geoff Tate's tone in that area is heady. I really want a Lou Gramm, Freddie Mercury type speaking chest tone, clean with no rasp. Maybe it's just not possible for my voice, since I'm not a tenor. Or maybe there is really a middle voice (secret area) that can be taught. Some celebrities pick up on singing like that, for ex. Tom Cruise in the upcoming film Rock of Ages. I know there is an answer but literally this is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I just don't like sounding like someone's Grandma trying to sing AC/DC as Jaime puts it. Eric Frey calls what I suffer from "Karaoke Syndrome" where you mimic other famous people ex. Steve Perry and then can't sing in your own voice. My folds just won't close and hold that contraction in that area. I think glottal compression might be the answer, not crying/moaning but like holding your breath like Ken says. I see all these other people at karaoke do it and it is disheartening. Something about stretching out the cords, almost tightening. I know it's not just in my head because people don't applaud since it's falsetto. Seems like my only options are to sing in my chest voice for stuff and throw a few high screams on some songs. I am a top-down phonator, starting to think bottom-up is the way to go to get that sound I want. But how to do it healthy without coming from the throat? Any help would be greatly appreciated guys.

Thanks,

AboveTenor

5 years? exercising 6 days a week, 30 mins. or more a day? something's not right. what exercises?

i'm just a singer, but may i make a few suggestions? without hearing you actually sing, if you are unable to raise your pitch without defaulting to falsetto after 5 years? you basically lack ability in two key areas...stretching and thinning the folds and keeping the folds adducted (closed) as you ascend in pitch. this takes strength (for lack of a better word) and coordination and support.

traditional vocal exercises including, but not limited to full voice sirens, goog, gug, nay, "meows" "ng" and others scales, lip bubbles, all should collectively help.

you've got to work at this...singing alone isn't gonna cut it. you need to strenghen, you need to coordinate..and it takes time.

perry, plant, gramm? (i think the hardest) all these guys you have mentioned are tough vocals.

remember the passagio area is one of the toughest areas to develop.

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Sounds like you aren't yet able to sing high with the same depth of folds as chest voice. With falsetto you are singing only with the outer parts of the folds. You can definitely learn how to sing up there with thicker folds... anyone can. But it does take a lot of work, in combination with learning the tricks, like vowel modification, and thinning the folds as you go up. When I say "thinning the folds" as you go up, I don't mean falsetto thin, I mean fully adducted head voice thin. Once you learn that you can add more thickness.

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The description of your voice reminded me of Ian Gillian. He sang mostly in chest with a few high notes for accent.

I think Ronron has one of the most important points. Breath management. Either too much or too little, which is easy to do when you get excited.

jonpall is right, a good coach could help you. Let me be an ass and mention something that a banned member suggested. Coaches can be found in local theater and opera companies that teach relatively cheap, per lesson, if you can't afford a singing program, all at once.

Bob is right to question the efficacy of your lessons if you are having these problems after so long.

Also, and I know this will draw ire. Some songs just won't sound right with your voice if you are trying to sound like the original singer. Lunte said it about a year or so ago in an old thread. Even though the hating on me shall begin shortly, can't some of that hate spread to Lunte, who is a respected teacher and not a redneck from Texas?

Anyway, point being, until you achieve the goals you want, stick to songs you can do to build your confidence in public. Tom Petty is still a respected musician singing mostly baritone. Not saying that is your destiny. But do what you can do, even as you strive for other things.

Let the hating begin.

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People who have been trying out vocal programs out for a long time and feel stuck should go to a good vocal coach.

Right...and immediately. How bad do you wanna fix it? Depending on your answer, you'll find your way to a great coach. With 5 years experience and a shedload of technical knowledge you know EXACTLY what you want/need to fix. You'll be way ahead of the game.

In the interim, if you have a vocal sample of the problem, we may be able to offer a more targeted response. All in all, I would say your are EXTREMELY LUCKY to have so many tools/options available to you, so certainly don't despair, you'll get there if you want it bad enough. Hell, I promise you that as long as you don't give up(and don't die too soon,) you'll be able to sing whatever the hell it is you want to sing.

BTW...I would've killed for this feckin technology when I was in college(kids these days with their 4G broadband and their Facebookin' and streaming porn.)

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The easiest way I know of to upload audio is:

1. Record it with sound recorder.

2. Slap it into Windows Movie Maker over a picture, make sure you set the picture to the same duration as your audio

3. Render and upload to Youtube (you can make it unlisted if you want).

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Twang is part of the answer, but twang won't get you head voice without the right breath support. I've worked with Roberts program and taken 3 Skype lessons from him, and I have to give him credit, the TVS onset and twang are a powerful combine gives pretty quick results. I stopped lessons so I could focus on building my audition book, and fortunately, my coach is outstanding and I also get help with technique.

For me twang is a bit of a double edged sword. Without a doubt, twang got me through my first break, but even after my lessons with Robert, I was still hitting a wall at my second break (G4). I've been pushing and straining for so long that throat tension is enemy #1 for me. My new coach has me doing exercises in messa di voce (no twang, very breathy) , supported by appoggio. I was having a lot of trouble finding the sensation of proper while using twang, but I tended to over-twang as a crutch. Now that my support is improved, when I add twang, I do a better job of not pushing. It's still a work in progress though.

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