Ramon

Eddie Vedder Technique

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I've sparked up a bit of conversation about this in my other thread some time ago but I figured I'd put it in a seperate thread.

Eddie Vedder is one of my favorite singers and I always have been wondering about his technique. I'm a nobody when it comes to knowledge on singing so that's why I'm posting this here:P

I believe that back in the Ten days, he had pretty poor technique and pulled chest alot because he often sounded like he shouted and strained alot. Now I think he has better technique when he goes higher because it sounds less strained and more 'heady'. (just my opinion though, again, I don't know much :P)

Compare these two live performances of the song 'State Of Love And Trust', one from the 1992 unplugged where I think that he had poor technique and a more recent one, 2009 I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da46tpono_M

The chorus sounds to me like he is just shouting it out there?

Here it sounds more heady in my opinion.

I'd like to know what you guys think regarding his technique.. seeing as my knowledge is very limited.

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Eddie Vedder and vocal TECHNIQUE?... Isn't Eddie Vedder and the whole grunge movement all about "technique isnt cool"? Isn't that the appeal to some people...? The "Eddie Vedder Technique" is to have no technique.

Now, Im not saying I don't enjoy his singing or he isnt a great song writer and has world-class merit... Im just saying, ... if you want to witness vocal technique, it would not be Eddie Vedder.

Yes, he is just shouting and frankly, as so often with Vedder, shouting flat.

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One day, I was listening to a grunge song. And I surmised if the guitar player could focus his guitar tone just a little more and if the singer could have been convinced to NOT sing like he was gargling with pea gravel, it would have sounded like a Queensryche song. So, I agree that the whole grunge thing was about de-tuning and rebelling against the precision of prog metal and glam metal. Which meant it was just as much about image as anything accused of, say, glam metal. After Nirvana hit it big, metal tours were cancelled within a year and big record companies were taking any new acts and "developing" them into the next grunge thing, complete with flannel shirts, relaxed fit jeans, and Doc Marten boots.

Or, I am just an old curmudgeon. I never particularly liked grunge and I think PJ could have been even bigger if the label wasn't trying to paint them into a grunge corner. But PJ is one of the more melodic bands to survive that. Just as Green Day, a melodic band, is the one to survive the punk era.

Regardless of the nihilistic approaches that make these forms seem attractive, people still value melody. An interview with one grunge rocker stated that what they were rebelling against was the notion that music must eventually graduate toward selling to soccer moms. Well, too bad, that's where the money is. And soccer moms like melody.

Many of us here like musicians that are simply not household names. Virtuosos? Sure. Intellectually complex and demanding music? Most definitely, requiring more skill to play than "The Macarena."

We also like well-known, multi-platinum singers. And their music sells well across the board, (thanks, soccer moms.) And they are often solid on technique, at least the technique that fits their voice.

And Robert could indeed, be right. That a singer is not using a particluar technique and many is a famous singer that had bad technique. And when young, they recovered quickly. In their 40's the voice went.

There is often the misconception that just because a singer is up there singing and has had some success, he or she has had some training, therefore, some identifiable technique. It's even more assumed if the singer sounded good. "He must have had lessons and it's hidden from us to compound and continue the mystique."

Or that a record producer is going to force some singer into voice lessons. I don't assume that, because some voice lessons, while creating a better singer, could alter or take away the sound that got the singer there. A case-in-point for me. I did a challenging song when my voice was still recovering from a self-inflicted malady. And someone really liked the tone I had on the high notes. My response was, "With any luck, I will NOT be able to do that again."

That being said, I like Eddie Vedder and PJ songs, even with pitchiness and tonal issues. But I certainly don't try to sing like him. And I could sing a PJ song if I wanted to do so and I will absolutely guarantee that it will not sound like him. Which, of course, will offend the faithful who only want to hear it like the original was done. Or that I have not done enough because I am not trying to sound like him. That is the danger of doing cover songs, especially those that do not match one's voice type. But I digress.

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The difference between Vedder and most of the singers talked about on this forum is that Vedder compromises perfection in favor of a more natural and sincere sound. He's not trying to prove anything to anyone including himself. I believe he performs first and foremost for the purpose of his own entertainment. Not to impress anybody or be a master exploder. One of my classical teachers used him as an example for a healthy baritone sound. Bright, not artificially darkened, there's nothing artificial about his voice, really.

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Geran, to answer your question, yes. Eddie Vedder probably could. ;)

I'm pretty sure Man in a Box is in a heavily twanged head voice after hearing the isolated track.

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Can't stay away with Eddie here! Just as a quick comment before going back to my break, Eddie Vedder might be my favorite of the grunge singers though I like each major personality (Cobain, Cornell, Staley) for various reasons. With Eddie, I feel like he pours his heart and soul into his voice and it shows in his quivering, unbridled timbre, he feels genuine to me and I really like his tone. He's kind of a soul twin for me, not in tone, but I guess identity in that he is more interested in trying to express himself and his music with songwriting, melody, and emotion in his own way rather than being proper.

As far as technique, I think he centers around a shout (eh, oh vowels) which Rob is right on, but what I feel is tricky about him, is I think he does the moan sound too and shifts towards ih, uh as well. From what I understand, CVT says there could be danger when drifting between these sounds, especially at loud volumes, so my honest opinion is this kind of singing might put your voice in a potential danger zone if you aren't physically up to the task or you overblow.

What I would say, is Eddie does have a reliable and effective technique he has proven can be used long term (by him) and achieve consistent results. I'm just not sure it's the kind of technique that can be safely and easily defined for people to copy without risking injury, especially with the moaning and gritting which adds compression to a shout. I think it requires a lot of strength and breath support for him to carry that kind of voice as high as he does as a baritone. I'm pretty sure he's hit B4s which is near the very limit of a healthy shout, so for his 'style' of singing he's nearly perfect.

Eddie's still going, and happily singing today, so he must be doing something right for 'him.' Honestly, if there is anything we can learn from him, I feel it's rather than copy his technique which we don't completely understand, and even if we did, it might not work right for 'us,' accept that he has his limitations and you have yours! Ok, back to break.

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Nope, no technique, just screams. That and Eddie Vedder kicking some ass.

In that clip yes, but in the studio clip I listen to it over and over trying to figure out what's going on. It sounds lighter somehow. There is breath in the sound.

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One thing we may never know is what Vedder was taught under Liggett's tutelage. Liggett (Clayton E.) had the book - Concert Theatre (The Theatre Student) which was 70's thus written before Vedder knew him which would be 76 (ish) onward.

School theatre can create a lot of tallent, possibly some early theatre technique with Liggetts knowledge was absorbed.

Part of Standly's work has reference to Liggett's book, under Choral reading defined as .... "Different vocal qualities are blended to produce a unified sound" ... So possible that Vedder may have been choir too (I do not know however and may not be published anywhere).

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Which also denotes lack of technique.

Look, Eddie Vedder is incredible, Im a fan, I can study more 10 years and I will still not be half the frontman this guy is. But that does not equal technique ok?

He is musical, he knows how to do his "stuff" with the voice, and I doubt seriously he can even put it into words if you ask him how. There is one downside though, you listen to him live and the lack of trainning gets evident, as his voice quickly gets tired and is nowhere similar to what you hear on the albuns. Through the years, the changes in his voice due to abuse are also evident.

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but if grunge isnt about technique, are you saying that anyone without technique could sing like this?

(notice the extreme chesty belting that layne did at 1:12 and 1:20. can anyone without technique belt an A4 sharp like he did there?)

i think the opposite! few singers in history have been able to do this :D

Layne Staley was a student of the Late Maestro David Kyle (the same teacher I had, I passed him as I was going into my lesson and he was going out) and he studied with another Seattle teacher, Susan Carr. Layne Staley had a LOT of vocal training. There was a promotional picture of Layne Staley in Maestro Kyle's studio of Layne so glammed out with silk, lip stick and spandex, you would never recognize him. Layne Staley was an 80s glam rock screamer in lip stick, before he changed his clothes because it wasn't cool anymore and started singing with more shallow placements, which is fine, but the point is... Layne Staley does not represent the low standards of grunge rock singing technique. He was a trained singer, that took his skills and applied it to the new movement.

In general, grunge singing most certainly is not about technique, there may be some exceptions... so lets not be ridiculous and argue on absolutes, but Layne Staley for one, was a trained vocalist, working in the grunge era and could sing circles around Eddie Vedder any day, because of his training.

Don't be fooled into thinking that Layne Staley was just 'born' that way... yes, he was gifted, but he had a butt load of vocal lessons in Seattle for years...

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Felipe, the way I see it, a habituated routine coordination of regular muscular habits, that can be called upon to execute a specific task with some reliability and control, is technique. It would not always be a documented technique, but it would be one.

This might be why I have trouble understanding people here. I believe every singer has technique (from Neil Young, to Eddie Vedder, to Pavarotti), they are just not all equally documented or reproducible, not all known to be equally healthy, not all created with a calculated effort, and don't all give the same tone, control, or range of notes as each other.

Here's an analogy, say a blind piano player plays an instrument (piano, violin, drums, whatever) every single day with no formal training, and learns how to create the sounds inside his head to express himself. Say he gets really good at this and can reproduce his results, even though he can't really explain the things he's doing well.

Personally, I believe he is executing technique. It's not documented, but it's a mental routine of habituated, repeatable successful muscular coordinations, just like if someone were to shoot hoops every single day with a basketball, without instruction on 'proper form' would develop a technique. It may not always be as efficient or healthy as a formally documented way to shoot hoops, but that doesn't stop it from being a technique in my mind.

That is probably why I come from a different perspective than others here, is this misunderstanding here of what exactly people intend for this word to mean. In this sense, everyone has speaking technique, even though they don't consciously understand every single mechanism involved in the voice and manipulate it. Being subconscious doesn't stop these patterns of successfully completing a task from forming. Singing is the same way.

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The difference between Vedder and most of the singers talked about on this forum is that Vedder compromises perfection in favor of a more natural and sincere sound. He's not trying to prove anything to anyone including himself. I believe he performs first and foremost for the purpose of his own entertainment. Not to impress anybody or be a master exploder. One of my classical teachers used him as an example for a healthy baritone sound. Bright, not artificially darkened, there's nothing artificial about his voice, really.

"Vedder compromises perfection"... no, Vedder doesn't have a choice. It's not like Vedder is making a decision to sound genuine, but if he wanted to, he could suddenly sound like the singer for Heir Apparent... no, Vedder couldn't sing a clean A4 if his life depended on it.

I get your point about the "sincerity" of Vedder's singing... Again, isn't that the essence of the grunge movement? This false sense that its more sincere and genuine than the era before it? Well, it probably is sincere and genuine, I wouldn't argue with that, but is it more sincere and genuine than Geoff Tate's, "Queen of the Reich" when it first hit the world scene... another singer from Seattle? NO, of course not!

People that actually know how to use their instruments do not sacrifice "sincerity", they just sing better and anyone that puts a value on singing with less technique is a moron, even if you are Eddie Vedder or Kurt Cobain. "I'm more cool and more sincere because I strive to do less? I don't work as hard on my craft?"... not in my book. Vedder doesn't sing to impress anyone? He only does it for himself and cares not about the business or fame outcome? LOL... not likely. Vedder is laughing all the way to the bank off of people that drank the "technique is not sincere" cool-aid... Vedder wears the most expensive designer clothing you can possibly afford and drives around in a black Ferrari and $450 sun glasses.

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Geran, to answer your question, yes. Eddie Vedder probably could. ;)

I'm pretty sure Man in a Box is in a heavily twanged head voice after hearing the isolated track.

Every male student wants to do "Man in the Box". I have trained and coached and sang this song a million times. The chorus can only be done in the head voice. If you add distortion to it like Layne Staley did, you will give the impression that it has more weight... or , the audience will think your belting... but the fact is, it is in the head voice with overlay distortion. We work on this sound all the time in my studio.

How the distortion responds is dependent on the instrument that each student has. Some can distort easier than others, but none the less, this is a head tone.

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I've felt, a few times, that Staley sang operatically, whether others could hear that or not. And it has been quite common for an artist to change image before achieving success with a look. The Young brothers started out doing glam rock, as did Bon Scott before he met them. As did Brian Johnson, before he auditioned for them. Wrap your heads around that.

In the video for "Welcome to the Jungle," Axl is a bit glammed up. The teased hair, the make-up.

Motley Crue "grunged up" a bit for their come-back album. As did Def Leppard. And don't make me mention Kiss-co ("I was made for Loving You.")

Before Sad Wings of Destiny, Halford wore flowing silks reminiscent of the 70's. But he was actually more comfortable wearing biker leathers and studs, etc. And accidently defined the look for a genre.

So that does leave us back in the quandry. Even in a genre that was about de-tuning and being more "real" than some obvious technique doesn't mean that some did not have technique. Yet, at the same time, one cannot assume that someone had technique or good technique just because they have had success in their career. I have been a successful electrician and my body has paid the price for it (working with pain, working with injury, broken bones that didn't heal quite right, etc.)

Not sure what to say about Eddie's technique. It would be like trying to describe Joe Cocker.

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So are you anti intuition Robert? You don't find any value in people discovering their artistic voice through intuition rather than formal training? I'd have to say I see a lot of value in both. I only feel things get bad when it's all about one or the other.

People who express their voices intuitively, I think on average are more appealing to my tastes than those that execute technique for the sake of technique. I believe ideally people get as much technique as they need to express their art, as the flaws are just as much part of the art as the technical perfections.

You've never heard any beauty in a voice that was found emotionally rather than found through a calculated effort to gain the most pitch range, pitch accuracy, and notes? You must come from the extreme other side of the artistic spectrum, cause I find beauty in all kinds of voices. I have trouble picturing how someone couldn't see the value in this, but I suppose it's your right to believe what you wish.

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I don't think it's being anti-intuition. Robert, after all, is also a recording artist and songwriter. And his technique serves the emotions he wishes to convey. A less technical thinker than he would be fellow student Geoff Tate. Tate only had six actual lessons with Kyle. But he learned and practiced those lessons well. And he is never conscious of technique. From his own words, paraphrased, he thinks about what the song means to the audience and sings that feeling. And having solid technique allows him to do this night after night and to still have it decades later.

Some will say that he is not singing all the high notes like he did during Queen of the Ryche era. I think that's an artistic choice.

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Felipe, the way I see it, a habituated routine coordination of regular muscular habits, that can be called upon to execute a specific task with some reliability and control, is technique. It would not always be a documented technique, but it would be one.

This might be why I have trouble understanding people here. I believe every singer has technique (from Neil Young, to Eddie Vedder, to Pavarotti), they are just not all equally documented or reproducible, not all known to be equally healthy, not all created with a calculated effort, and don't all give the same tone, control, or range of notes as each other.

Here's an analogy, say a blind piano player plays an instrument (piano, violin, drums, whatever) every single day with no formal training, and learns how to create the sounds inside his head to express himself. Say he gets really good at this and can reproduce his results, even though he can't really explain the things he's doing well.

Personally, I believe he is executing technique. It's not documented, but it's a mental routine of habituated, repeatable successful muscular coordinations, just like if someone were to shoot hoops every single day with a basketball, without instruction on 'proper form' would develop a technique. It may not always be as efficient or healthy as a formally documented way to shoot hoops, but that doesn't stop it from being a technique in my mind.

That is probably why I come from a different perspective than others here, is this misunderstanding here of what exactly people intend for this word to mean. In this sense, everyone has speaking technique, even though they don't consciously understand every single mechanism involved in the voice and manipulate it. Being subconscious doesn't stop these patterns of successfully completing a task from forming. Singing is the same way.

Killer, I understand your argument, but I disagree. Don't confuse "technique" with "habit"... or what we call in fancy voice lesson talk, "the singer's attractor state" or the state (configuration) of the voice that the body wants to gravitate too naturally. For example, without training, the 'attractor state' of most people is to pull chest and get shouty... with training, the singer replaces the old 'attractor state' with a new 'attractor state' that is inclined to bridge the passaggio and use twang, etc...

The definition of technique is:

1. the manner and ability with which an artist, writer, dancer, athlete, or the like employs the technical skills of a particular art or field of endeavor.

2. technical skill; ability to apply procedures or methods so as to effect a desired result.

Technique doesn't mean "habit". Eddie Vedder is not "employing technical skills of a particular art or field of endeavor"... he is shouting. It might his style, it definately is his habit, it most certainly is not vocal technique. Eddie Vedder is not "applying procedures or methods to effect a desired result"... he is shouting and pulling chest and as a result of that, often singing flat because he knows not any procedures or methods to stop doing that.

When I say, "the technique of Eddie Vedder is to have no technique", I'm being sarcastic... its a joke.

Its true what Ron said... some how when someone becomes a mega star, they suddenly get a pass on any accountability for their misgivings? Forget that Eddie Vedder is a big rock star... put him inside of any modest gig in any bar across America and he would just be another shouty belter with no name.

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Ok Robert, I think I understand you better if you are using that definition. This is the definition I was thinking of:

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/technique

1. The systematic procedure by which a complex or scientific task is accomplished.

2. also tech·nic (tknk)

a. The way in which the fundamentals, as of an artistic work, are handled.

b. Skill or command in handling such fundamentals. See Synonyms at art1.

[French, technical, technique, from Greek tekhnikos, technical; see technical.]

technique, technic [tɛkˈniːk]

n

1. a practical method, skill, or art applied to a particular task

2. proficiency in a practical or mechanical skill

3. special facility; knack he had the technique of turning everything to his advantage

All I'm saying is when Vedder sings, his entire anatomy does perform a systematic procedure that produces his voice based on his practice habits and identity to serve an artistic purpose. He does have proficiency at executing his sound, maybe not with full knowledge or awareness and I agree he's a shouter.

I'm not saying his way of singing is better than any other way of singing, including getting training to bridge head voice. I just feel, both kinds of singers are valuable to me. I wouldn't want to replace any kinds of singers, rather I'd hope each singer can find a healthy way to achieve their goals with the technique they need to get there. What Eddie does is valuable to me, and I hope people like him can find as much technique as they need to healthily express themselves, rather than some kind of mechanical perfection and use that instead. That's what I wanted as a singer.

I could be a shouter too, but if I could have just been steered in the right direction towards producing my sound healthily and with more control, I would have been much better off than what happened with SLS, where everything I read said I needed to completely change the entirety of my voice in order to be healthy. It was more the process of trying to change to something completely foreign that got me in the most trouble.

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So are you anti intuition Robert? You don't find any value in people discovering their artistic voice through intuition rather than formal training? I'd have to say I see a lot of value in both. I only feel things get bad when it's all about one or the other.

People who express their voices intuitively, I think on average are more appealing to my tastes than those that execute technique for the sake of technique. I believe ideally people get as much technique as they need to express their art, as the flaws are just as much part of the art as the technical perfections.

You've never heard any beauty in a voice that was found emotionally rather than found through a calculated effort to gain the most pitch range, pitch accuracy, and notes? You must come from the extreme other side of the artistic spectrum, cause I find beauty in all kinds of voices. I have trouble picturing how someone couldn't see the value in this, but I suppose it's your right to believe what you wish.

Huh?!

How do you suddenly question that I might be "anit-tuition" because Im making an argument for the merits of good technique and calling Eddie Vedder out for what he is, a very intuitive and sincere singer... with no technique. I don't find any value in people discovering their artistic voice through intuition rather then formal training? What the hell are you talking about? Killer, you are drawing the conclusion that singing with technique can't be as sincere as Eddie Vedder's barking. Why? Why does the singer that has vocal technique lack sincerity, can you explain that?

What does it mean to "express your voice intuitively"? To you, it seems that means, sing like Eddie Vedder... wear the costume of the day, (flannel) and sing without technique. That is not 'expressing yourself intuitively' , that is, singing without technique and as a result, pulling chest and singing flat. Singers with vocal technique sing with intuition as well.

You've never heard any beauty in a voice that was found emotionally rather than found through a calculated effort to gain the most pitch range, pitch accuracy, and notes? What the heck are you talking about? Ok, you GOT ME... ! I'm one of the top vocal coaches on the planet and train hundreds of singers and ... I confess, you figured me all out... how could you possibly know?... its true, I "never heard any beauty in a voice that was found emotionally rather than found through a calculated effort to gain range, accuracy and notes"... Killer, what are you trying to say? I understand what your trying to say, your trying to say, there is beauty and merit in just stepping up to the mic and hurling your belts at it and it can be very primitive and therefore, very sincere. Sure, but if you do it with some technique, its going to still be sincere, but better... if you like, you can even keep the flannel shirt on if that makes you feel more "sincere". BTW... "Pitch accuracy"? I don't care who you are, if your not singing in pitch, you suck. Flat out.. I don't care if your in flannel or red leather or wearing a cowboy hat... if you don't have pitch accuracy, you suck. Its not music, it doesn't work for anyone or any genre... so you better damn well have pitch accuracy in anything you do and that goes for Mr. Vedder as well... who frankly, sings shallow too often in my opinion. The dude is flat too often and there is nothing noble and "sincere" about it, its just flat and if its out of pitch, it sucks by the standards of ANY professional or expert in this business... now it may suck for a split second until he pushes from the bottom up another barky shout to the next note... so you can kind of get away with it, but it doesn't change the fact that ... music without accurate pitch, is not music, its noise.

I go beyond "seeing' the value in sincerity and intuition in singing... I know it, teach it and live it personally every day bro.... and I choose to do it with some trained skills and not be half-assed through life. I work on a craft, an art form and techniques for myself and my students... its what I'm about... stepping up to a microphone and just shouting and even worse, refusing to learn technique because its more 'sincere' to not have any, would be the most moronic, under-achiever attitude I could take... which is exactly where 9 out of 10 of the grunge musicians ended up. They are all driving shuttles from the airport to the hotel for real musicians that are still out there because they know how to be professional.

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Jeeze, Rob. I'm not trying to step on your toes, but I'm not sure I understand you.

Do you see the value in the way people naturally sing even if the way they naturally sing results in less notes or technical perfection than calculated efforts at training with a full education? That's all I'm asking. I'm not trying to be accusing, I just don't know what you mean or how you feel about it.

Like, say, Billie Holiday. She could be trained for more notes, but should people have done that, or is it sometimes important to hear untrained voices too? I guess to me, I just see both sides of a coin there, and I don't think either is 'bad' but, why can't we have both?

I don't see it as underachieving, it's more just individual people making unique contributions to art in their own way. Have you heard of outsider art? I find this kind of thing valuable, that's not to take away from other kinds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outsider_art

It's not 'better' it's just different. I'm not trying to accuse you man, I just don't know where you stand.

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Can't stay away with Eddie here! Just as a quick comment before going back to my break, Eddie Vedder might be my favorite of the grunge singers though I like each major personality (Cobain, Cornell, Staley) for various reasons. With Eddie, I feel like he pours his heart and soul into his voice and it shows in his quivering, unbridled timbre, he feels genuine to me and I really like his tone. He's kind of a soul twin for me, not in tone, but I guess identity in that he is more interested in trying to express himself and his music with songwriting, melody, and emotion in his own way rather than being proper.

As far as technique, I think he centers around a shout (eh, oh vowels) which Rob is right on, but what I feel is tricky about him, is I think he does the moan sound too and shifts towards ih, uh as well. From what I understand, CVT says there could be danger when drifting between these sounds, especially at loud volumes, so my honest opinion is this kind of singing might put your voice in a potential danger zone if you aren't physically up to the task or you overblow.

What I would say, is Eddie does have a reliable and effective technique he has proven can be used long term (by him) and achieve consistent results. I'm just not sure it's the kind of technique that can be safely and easily defined for people to copy without risking injury, especially with the moaning and gritting which adds compression to a shout. I think it requires a lot of strength and breath support for him to carry that kind of voice as high as he does as a baritone. I'm pretty sure he's hit B4s which is near the very limit of a healthy shout, so for his 'style' of singing he's nearly perfect.

Eddie's still going, and happily singing today, so he must be doing something right for 'him.' Honestly, if there is anything we can learn from him, I feel it's rather than copy his technique which we don't completely understand, and even if we did, it might not work right for 'us,' accept that he has his limitations and you have yours! Ok, back to break.

Killer, honestly... there are Pearl Jam songs I love... and Eddie Vedder is a great lyrcist, artist, performer... and an "ok" singer... but my point is, don't make the conslusion that taking the time to hone your craft means your sacrificing sincerity. It actually opens doors and enables you to express MORE sincerity. And even if we love someone, their artistry and songs, it doesn't give them a pass on being accountable for honing their craft.

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Even though I am not a fan of SLS, I have a hard time believing it produces permanent, irreversible injury, though I could be wrong. Point being, if there was a physical cause to the malady, there would also be a physical solution.

Or another underlying condition, either aggravated by that technique of singing or concurrent with it. For example, this might be a symptom of osteo or rheumatoid arthritis that first displayed itself in the cartileges of your vocal mechanism. And you don't have to be old to get arthritis. Our mother was bed-ridden from age 14 to 16 with severe RA and was told she would not walk again. She did, with much pain at times.

Of course you will reply that these things were also considered. Your malady is the perfect storm. A mathematically unsolvable problem, which doesn't actually exist in the study of mathematics. That is, after the dozen or so doctors you have been to find no physical problem, no neurological problem, and voice professionals have determined that you are phonating correctly and that everything is physically functioning, then what is the problem? This gets back to my summation as Dr. Ron that it cannot be as a result of "nothing." Or, if it was caused by the physical manipulations of a technique, then there should be signs of the damage and, in some cases, a physical remedy, either through the use of therapy or surgery.

Putting on my Dr House blazer and cane, perhaps you have an infection there that has not been diagnosed, though that would provide a fever and swelling and you say that you have been x-ray'd, etc. To quote Dr House, "patients lie." Either overtly or one symptom masks another problem, creating a "lie" of symptoms. I am, by no means, saying that the pain is not real. But it has a cause. Pain does not exist just to exist independent of cause. Sure, my mother was in pain for much of her life. And there was an identifiable cause for it, known fully well to her doctor(s.) And some remedy by way of arthritis meds, sometimes including painkiller shots.

So, for you to have excruciating pain to even breathe or swallow, let alone talk of sing, to have such spasmodic dysphonia, there are causes and remedies. For that sounds like a life-threatening condition and I cannot imagine a doctor following the Hippocratic Oath to just let that slide.

Unless, of course, the doctors are right. That there is no physical or trauma-induced cause, no signs of physical damage, no neurological problem (such as sensitivity to any discomfort, which can be managed, too.) There is only one other reason to suffer from this. And that is a different specialty, entirely. But there's an "app" for that, too. Those are the only types of doctors you have not mentioned. Nothing to be ashamed of. I've been through therapy, myself. Long story.

Get well.

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Rob, people hone their crafts in different ways, and that's part of why Eddie sounds like he does. It's like two sides of same artistic coin. Someone working as hard as they can, as an outsider, will likely produce different art than someone working as hard as they can with full education and training.

Eddie likely worked really hard for his goals, but he might have done that as more of an outsider and in ignorance and by the time he formed his identity, he might have decided he didn't need to retrain for someone else's perfection. That's not really a bad thing. It's just another artist coming from a different perspective to add to the pool. It's not us, vs them, it's just, everyone adds their unique contributions which is a combination of both formal training, and/or no formal training, or any place in between.

I really don't see it as 'this is bad, this is good' I see it as artists trying to add their own pieces in their own ways from their own perspectives. If we don't like it, that's fine. We don't have to listen to it. I just like this idea of people offering whatever they offer, and rather than getting down on people for outside the educational lexicon of proper technique, we just look at it like, "well that's not the way I'd do it, I hope he's in good health whether I like it or not."

It's not really a judgmental thing, but I just see the value in the unique perspective rather than a uniform one on how to achieve art.

Every painter could be taught at a college to have the exact same amount of precision and technique, but then where would Van Gogh fit into this? I'm not attacking full on educated techniques taken to their extreme at all, I just don't think it's a simple 'this is good that is bad' equation. Everything has it's place.

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Ronsw, if it was SLS it was either a physical incompatibility or a combination of my added amount of breath or technique execution error. Specifically, the gug one blew me out, I mean physically, like 'gug, gug, gug,' ad nauseum, until I tried to sing and it was like 'REALLY HARD G" and pain.

I didn't know what I was doing. I just read in a book it was the best one for a healthy voice. Creaky door exercise was probably similar. If it was those exercises, it was either my voice wasn't physically cut out to do that, I mean to the extent that they recommend them (scales, lots of times) or I did it wrong. I know there is a mechanical problem as of now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, but exactly why, I don't know.

I do know in retrospect I would have benefited much more from some basic breathing advice on how to swell a note from a soft one, to a full chest voice without doing all of their tricks, and practice that on scales instead of gugging and creaking, and trying to make some elusive perfect mix voice in ignorance.

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