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Ramon

The Four Pillars of Singing 2.0 questions

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Hey, I'm new to the forum and I'm thinking about buying The Four Pillars 2.0 since I've heard good things about it and I like it's approach.

I'm 19 and I've been playing in a band as a lead guitarist for a couple of years, but I've only recently picked up singing. What I aspire is to someday front a band myself. Before I buy the program I had a few questions though, and I'm hoping that someone could answer them.

Will the program help me increase my range if I practice by myself, without seeing a vocal coach? I really can't afford weekly lessons right now and would rather go for a one time investment. I've had like 5 lessons in the past, but the woman I was seeing teached classical music and it just wasn't for me.

Now that I've typed out that question I realized that my all my questions pretty much boil down to this (lol); will the program do anything for me, a beginner, if I do not see a vocal coach?

I can currently sing up to a E above middle C (I think, I use my guitar to measure the pitch since I don't have a keyboard) , but to do so I have to sing loudly and can hardly sustain the note. And, when I try to go above that my voice constricts and just sounds terrible. Imo, I think I always sounds terrible so that's why I'd like to know if this program will improve my voice.

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It's POSSIBLE with lots of hard work but usually people who do it later think "now why the hell didn't I take lessons from a coach earlier?" :) So try it out, but if it's really hard, put aside some cash every month and later take a private lesson. IMO.

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Hello I'm Ryan,

I've lurked this board for a long while now but this is my first post.

I recently purchased The 4 Pillars as it was on offer over the xmas period ($99 which is about £60 roughly) and came with a free lesson with Rob (which i haven't booked yet but will be within 2 weeks hopefully, schedule permitting). Once the holidays are over and everything returns to normal i'll be hitting the training everyday, but thus far, i've found the importance of really making sure the onset is light and weightless, which makes sliding up the scale on the sirens much easier when approaching the bridge and keeping the voice from wobbling and breaking.

My main aim is building a big, chesty sounding head-voice, a la my favourite singers like Chester Bennington, M. Shadows, Axl and the like, and through his work that is available on youtube, this forum and his own art, Robert is definitely the man to go to (looking forward to training with you and 4 Pillars Rob, if you're reading!).

Seeing as the regular posters in this community put themselves 'out there', as a newbie i should step up and do the same... Here's some of my stuff...

EDIT: the track titled 'I saw that i could' doesn't have vocals yet. And the best performances vocally are on the tracks 'Forever it seems' and 'Under the surface'. So skip straight to those!

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It's POSSIBLE with lots of hard work but usually people who do it later think "now why the hell didn't I take lessons from a coach earlier?" :) So try it out, but if it's really hard, put aside some cash every month and later take a private lesson. IMO.

Well I'm definitely going to give it my all, and will train alot and possibly post some of my singing on this forum (when I get recording material). And do you mean a lesson with Rob, or a coach in my area?

Hello I'm Ryan,

I've lurked this board for a long while now but this is my first post.

I recently purchased The 4 Pillars as it was on offer over the xmas period ($99 which is about £60 roughly) and came with a free lesson with Rob (which i haven't booked yet but will be within 2 weeks hopefully, schedule permitting). Once the holidays are over and everything returns to normal i'll be hitting the training everyday, but thus far, i've found the importance of really making sure the onset is light and weightless, which makes sliding up the scale on the sirens much easier when approaching the bridge and keeping the voice from wobbling and breaking.

My main aim is building a big, chesty sounding head-voice, a la my favourite singers like Chester Bennington, M. Shadows, Axl and the like, and through his work that is available on youtube, this forum and his own art, Robert is definitely the man to go to (looking forward to training with you and 4 Pillars Rob, if you're reading!).

Seeing as the regular posters in this community put themselves 'out there', as a newbie i should step up and do the same... Here's some of my stuff...

EDIT: the track titled 'I saw that i could' doesn't have vocals yet. And the best performances vocally are on the tracks 'Forever it seems' and 'Under the surface'. So skip straight to those!

Cool, I'm listening to one of your tracks right now and can tell that you're a better singer than I am already. :P

Myself, I have a pretty low voice, and I don't want to aim for singing that high (yet). I just think my voice sounds pretty dull and my range is pretty limited. I'd just like to build a unique sound at first, or atleast a voice with quality (don't know how to call it but I think you know what I mean :P) and extend my range a bit. Goal for my range atm is hitting a G above middle C comfortably, which isn't even that high, but as of now I have a hard time getting to and sustaining a E above middle C. Would that be possible, given the way that I'm going to work on this?

Another question, is an E above middle C an E3 or E4? I'm not that knowledgeable regarding notes but I'm assuming the E1, 2, 3, 4 etc, mean what octave it is in?

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Middle C is C4. So E4. My top chest notes are D4/D#4. E4 i can only really do if i belt and pull chest voice. I can do them in a connected head voice but as yet i couldnt start singing in a full voice, good, useable volume. Hence buying Rob's program. There are plenty of exercises to get you going before purchasing any program... like sirens, lip rolls, scales and things that will get you at least knowing where to begin, but obviously getting lessons off a pro like Rob will be massively beneficial so that you (and i) are doing the exercises wrong.

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Does chest voice stop that early? I was under the impression that it went somewhat higher. But yeah I get really loud too when I sing that note.

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Does chest voice stop that early? I was under the impression that it went somewhat higher. But yeah I get really loud too when I sing that note.

i think it's different for everyone but my top chest notes that are comfortable are D4/D#4. There is a video Robert Lunte did called, i think, 'the most difficult notes in singing'. It might be on his website or youtube. Worth a look.

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You should jump on the boat with me and get a lesson with Rob! I'm getting the Four Pillars tomorrow (Hopefully! the bank has been closed for days!) There might be a good voice teacher where you live, you just gotta ask around...

Yea, the chest voice really does stop that early, i think thats a problem with many people, they think E4 or F4 should still be in chest voice (I thought that was the case until last week), when really you have to be in head voice to hit them comfortable. unless your like my friend who can sing upwards of a G4 in chest voice lol.

good luck!

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Same for me regarding top chest notes.. guess we're in the same boat, only you sound better than me. :P Oh and I wanted to ask you, what do you use for recording? I need to get some material to record, too.

And thanks for the info about the video! (:

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@ Jason you posted just before I did, so I didn't see it. :P But it's cool to see that I'm not the only one aspiring to start with Pillars around this time. (:

Yeah I really didn't know that! One of my favorite singers, Eddie Vedder, sounds chesty and pretty much has the exact same sound throughout his whole range I believe. Which is pretty high, but I think he has a pretty crap technique.. though that doesn't prevent him from still going strong after 20 years! :P

About the voice teacher thing, I've looked around for months but nearly every coach is classical and the ones that aren't have a very steep price tag. :(

Thanks mate, you too! :D

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Same for me regarding top chest notes.. guess we're in the same boat, only you sound better than me. :P Oh and I wanted to ask you, what do you use for recording? I need to get some material to record, too.

And thanks for the info about the video! (:

I'm a sound engineering student so i have some decent gear as well as access to a good music studio. I use Logic pro, a line 6 UX2 audio interface and i have an se2200a mic and an SM57. If you have a mac, get yourself a half decent, all round mic - say, a trusty SM58 and an audio interface, and you'll do just fine recording into GarageBand.

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I'm a sound engineering student so i have some decent gear as well as access to a good music studio. I use Logic pro, a line 6 UX2 audio interface and i have an se2200a mic and an SM57. If you have a mac, get yourself a half decent, all round mic - say, a trusty SM58 and an audio interface, and you'll do just fine recording into GarageBand.

Well I don't have a mac but I do have a SM58. Well, it's not mine but the band's, I use it for backing vocals. With audio interface do you mean a small PA-ish apparatus so that I can connect the mic to the PC?

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To answer your last question, yes, basically. Again, you can pick these things up real cheap if all you want is to lay some vocals down. Nothing fancy or complex. Just one mic input would do you fine if you only wanna practice and listen back to your voice.

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Oh, and would I be able to plug a guitar into something like that? I have an electric-acoustic one which I sing along with alot, just don't have anything to record with.

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@ ryan11

kind of in the same vein as ramons last question... I have an sm58 and a guitar amp, and an output cable to connect to the computer. I've been using that to record guitar. I was thinking, since my onboard mic cant handle anything like i would be doing during a skype lesson probably, that I could hook up the mic to the amp with the adapter, and put it straight into the computer. Robert mentioned in an email that a mic with reverb would work and my amp has effects like that. Is this a completely stupid thing to do? I dont understand how the set up and everything works, ill send him an email about it once i actually get the pillars lol.

@Ramon

idk man, i checked out Hard Sun by Eddie Vedder, and he got up to G#4 in what im positive is head voice :P it had a nice chesty sound though. It could come naturally for him... he reminds me a bit of Chris Cornell, hes got kinda that same rough voice, but uses great technique i think.

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Oh, and would I be able to plug a guitar into something like that? I have an electric-acoustic one which I sing along with alot, just don't have anything to record with.

Yes, as long as it has a jack input. I use a line 6 ux2, which comes with a whole bunch of pretty decent sounding guitar amp simulators.

@ ryan11

kind of in the same vein as ramons last question... I have an sm58 and a guitar amp, and an output cable to connect to the computer. I've been using that to record guitar. I was thinking, since my onboard mic cant handle anything like i would be doing during a skype lesson probably, that I could hook up the mic to the amp with the adapter, and put it straight into the computer. Robert mentioned in an email that a mic with reverb would work and my amp has effects like that. Is this a completely stupid thing to do? I dont understand how the set up and everything works, ill send him an email about it once i actually get the pillars lol.

I reckon your computer mic would be fine for a skype lesson though bare in mind i've not had one yet. Using your guitar amp as the PA should work just fine (just make sure you turn off the overdrive!! haha). Although, i'd be very surprised if you started overloading your mic during your initial lessons, given that emphasis seems to be in the early stages at least, to practice light phonations and avoid pulling chest voice and shouting. But i imagine what you are suggesting would work well, but i've never even used skype before (i DL'ed it especially in prep for lessons with Robert) so im sure an email to the man himself, or asking a regular on this site would give you a better response mate.

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Hey Ryan, when I was reading your post above, I felt like you were really "getting it"... I particularly liked your observation that light mass onsets are crucial to phonating the sirens and getting through the passaggio successfully. I think you are going to do great and let me know when your ready to sesh!

In regards to the microphones and facilities for internet lessons. First of all you dont HAVE to have a microphone to train TVS, but if you can, its better... training with amplification is a luxury, so do it if you can.

There are two microphones that are needed:

1). the microphone that is in your laptop or web cam that will capture the room you are singing in.

2). the vocal mic you are holding in your hand that you are singing into (sm58, ev 767, rode m1, etc...).

Thats it really, nothing fancy. I will listen and watch you practice in front of me essentially... do not plug the vocal mic, into the computer, that's not what we are doing... Also, always have your "PIllars" workouts cued up and ready to go, especially the sirens and lastly, be prepared to stand up and get to work... at TVS we get on our feet and train... we don't sit on our asses.

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Well I've bought and downloaded Pillars and I gotta say it's great already! I practiced the first few exercises today and I was already able to hit the same note I mentioned earlier (E above middle C), without any pushing or strain, it just felt effortless. (:

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...[many people] they think E4 or F4 should still be in chest voice (I thought that was the case until last week), when really you have to be in head voice to hit them comfortable...

Just curious- Robert, do you concur with this? I know Frissell says the same thing as Jason has explained here. I think he says that up to an E4 is chest, then F4 and above should be head. To me, that seems pretty low, but pulling chest above that would explain some issues. Does Pillars also follow that model or is it more tailored to the individual. Again to cite Frissell, he says that EVERY voice should follow that rule. To me, I'm not so sure, but I must admit I do like having a definite "rule" like that as it tells you what to shoot for.

Again, just curious.

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as a singer gets better at the passagio, you can adjust the amount of the heavy register (chest) you leave in. you don't have to be in all light register (head) all of the time around e4.

i had a couple of lessons with frisell, and he feels you build up head until you develop the sensation that chest wants to move up to meet with head. he said you need to be very patient and not force or try to circumvent the occurence or you will not achieve the balance. i didn't leave his apartment until i got that squared away lol!!!!!

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