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how to sing higher for the average baritone?

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rfcorange
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hey guys

im just an average guy with a pretty low baritone range. i really want to know what my general direction for practicing should be, because i just cant seem to sing high notes above the bridge. using chest voice, i can sing maybe up to a D4 without much strain, but after that it gets more and more difficult.

im reading a lot of different things on the internet, and im getting really confused (frustrated, even) about how im supposed to be practicing.

my old teacher just wanted me to keep practicing chest voice exercises higher and higher, but i now understand this may be a pretty bad method.

from what i understand, a good method is to use head voice above the bridge, and practice it so i can sing it lower and lower, until i can bring it down past the bridge, and start to "mix" it with my chest voice. can someone please confirm if this is right?

also, can someone please recommend a book or a program that would teach me how to practice?

thanks a lot!

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I think you need a new teacher that knows how to teach this. You CAN"T just sing higher and higher in chest. There are a few things that you need to do simultaneously to allow your voice to bridge. 1) Support - you need the correct support to maintain the correct amount of air pressure under the folds. 2) you've got to modify the vowels to shift the formants as you go into your bridge. If you don't your body will fight you and you may incur damage. 3) the gradual reduction in the thickness of the folds. You simply can't take your voice higher and higher without starting to thin the folds. This requires a fine coordination of CT and TA muscles - letting your CT start the tilting process to stretch the folds, while retaining and gradually lessoning TA activity. All three of these are new sensations and take a lot of practice to get these to be second nature or automatic.

There are a lot of methods out there with DVD workout programs that can get you there. Lunte, Tamplin, Vandera, etc.

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Then you also need to gradually drop your jaw as the pitch goes up and either keep the same volume as you go up or increase it very slowly. And for many people it helps to imagine that the sound travels higher and higher in your head. And you must not move the tongue backwards into your throat because it will close off the throat. Then you need to relax your throat as much as you can, relax a lot during inhales, bla, bla, bla. And that' just a few tips for range. There's much more to singing than range. Bottom line - if you want to improve your singing technique, you should get a vocal coach or buy a vocal program. The latter is usually harder and takes more time. I personally recommend both. Buy some program you have a good feeling for and then every now and then see a vocal coach a few times.

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Thanks guys for the quick responses!

I think i may be getting four pillars then, from what im hearing, but just to be sure, how is it different from the SS method? I got mastering mix and i found it quite challenging to follow the exercises, because the exercises were quite challenging and i felt like things werent being explained in depth or clearly enough. I really want to be sure before i invest so much in somethng im not sure of.

Or if anyOne has any other good suggestions id love to hear them out.

And Is it just me, or is a lot of the singing-world not really informed about the importance of using head voice? Both teachers i went to didnt emphasize using head voice past the bridge and it was quite hard for me to find out this was the correct method even after actively researching it.

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Yes, some really dont know what they are doing. Thats why I like demonstrations so much, even if they use different methods, they should know how to use it.

Then again, I would never start teaching someone with passaggio or head voice. Speacially if you came to me asking directly for it, lower mid range working = everything else falls into place easily.

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There are a lot of definitions for head voice which makes it confusing. The best definition for me is when CT takes over and stretches the folds. Normally this produces a thinner tone which is associated with the sound of head voice. But you can learn to keep the TA engaged so that there isn't a sudden shift into head voice, and it sounds like you have one continuous chest voice. This is the "single register" which a lot of us strive for.

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Thanks guys for the quick responses!

I think i may be getting four pillars then, from what im hearing, but just to be sure, how is it different from the SS method? I got mastering mix and i found it quite challenging to follow the exercises, because the exercises were quite challenging and i felt like things werent being explained in depth or clearly enough. I really want to be sure before i invest so much in somethng im not sure of.

Or if anyOne has any other good suggestions id love to hear them out.

And Is it just me, or is a lot of the singing-world not really informed about the importance of using head voice? Both teachers i went to didnt emphasize using head voice past the bridge and it was quite hard for me to find out this was the correct method even after actively researching it.

Hello,... you need to know that the guys making these posts are really spot on... they know what they are talking about. To be painfully honest, you need to get in touch with with a voice coach that can help you and really knows what they are doing with these issues. They are hard to find, but there are some that do. I happen to be one of them and I am the author and producer of a popular book/DVD/CD vocal technique training system titled, "The Four Pillars of Singing" 2.0, and founder of this forum. If you invest in "Pillars" and train with me over the internet, especially in the beginning, you WILL win. You will catapult your voice and capabilities forward.

Sadly, some people just troll about on this forum and try to take the easy and cheap way out... hoping to just read some piece of information that will enable them to sing amazing, without doing the work, without practicing or making an investment in their singing... Its doesn't work that way.

Anyways, i want to help you and i can. So as to not appear in a conflict of interest on my own forum, I can also recommend Tamplin, Richards, Vendera & CVT to help you get progress. There are other good teachers and programs as well, but I'll just leave it at that for now.

My book/DVD/CD system is titled, "The Four Pillars of Singing" 2.0 (watch the video on the page that explains in details). Here is the link.

http://www.thevocaliststudiostore.com/Four-Pillars-of-Singing-Digital-Download_p_27.html

Now get to work and start training with people that know what they are talking about and know what they are doing.

Hope this helps...

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Guitartrek,

I was wondering if you could share a brief overview of how the range expansion process was for you? F.ex. did you acess all your current range initially or incrementally? How long until you could use it in actual singing, overall timespan etc? Did you have problems with cracking etc initially?

rfcorange,

Don't worry about voice type, you would probably be surprised by how many baritones in rock singing and in general have huge ranges, it's a matter of technique. What guitartrek said about letting the folds thin is correct. We talked about this very thing in this thread:

http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=3324

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hey guys

im just an average guy with a pretty low baritone range. i really want to know what my general direction for practicing should be, because i just cant seem to sing high notes above the bridge. using chest voice, i can sing maybe up to a D4 without much strain, but after that it gets more and more difficult.

im reading a lot of different things on the internet, and im getting really confused (frustrated, even) about how im supposed to be practicing.

my old teacher just wanted me to keep practicing chest voice exercises higher and higher, but i now understand this may be a pretty bad method.

from what i understand, a good method is to use head voice above the bridge, and practice it so i can sing it lower and lower, until i can bring it down past the bridge, and start to "mix" it with my chest voice. can someone please confirm if this is right?

also, can someone please recommend a book or a program that would teach me how to practice?

thanks a lot!

BTW... I really want to just reach through the internet and rescue you... anyone that is teaching you to just keep practicing "chest voice higher and higher" is totally and completely wasting your time and money! There are teachers like this on every corner and they DON"T know what they are talking about! The true secrets to singing amazing involve understanding something about laryngeal physiology, acoustics and to have training materials that are effective and aggressive... I believe it also includes, having a teacher that can actually do the things they are teaching... most voice teachers cannot... Another phenomenal reality of the business that adds to the frustration levels. Anyone that tells you to just keep pushing chest is telling you to do exactly what you should not be doing, because they have no other ideas or solutions for you... essentially, your spending money to have someone tell you to shout harder and harder and just keep shouting... and they don't have a clue where they are taking you with it... all they know is they are taking your money at the end of the "lesson".

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Guitartrek,

I was wondering if you could share a brief overview of how the range expansion process was for you? F.ex. did you acess all your current range initially or incrementally? How long until you could use it in actual singing, overall timespan etc? Did you have problems with cracking etc initially?

rfcorange,

Don't worry about voice type, you would probably be surprised by how many baritones in rock singing and in general have huge ranges, it's a matter of technique. What guitartrek said about letting the folds thin is correct. We talked about this very thing in this thread:

http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=3324

I am a Classical Baritone... but sing tenor parts all day long... these traditional voice type classifications have little relevance in the world of contemporary techniques that teach people how to sing in the head voice, period. Stop worrying about your voice classification... people invest way too much angst into that... they let it bother them that they someone said they are not a tenor... its just fear and head games and people trying to hold you back... believe me, if you are not interested in Classical singing, it doesn't matter, IF... you have good techniques.

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"Sadly, some people just troll about on this forum and try to take the easy and cheap way out... hoping to just read some piece of information that will enable them to sing amazing, without doing the work, without practicing or making an investment in their singing... Its doesn't work that way."

I sort of resent this. I'm a very new member here and joined because I was indeed hoping to read some piece of information that would enable me to sing amazingly... which is not mutually exclusive from putting in the work and practicing, because I do plenty of that too. I have read pieces of information that have helped steer me in the right direction too! It's rare to find a place like this on the internet with such a high "signal to noise" ratio in terms of good information vs. misinformation. There seems to be an insinuation, though, that one must buy a particular program to be a valued member here rather than just "trolling about."

While I'm positive that the four pillars program is awesome since it's sort of the foundation on which this forum was built and all the folks here are super bright, some people, like myself, just prefer one on one lessons face to face because skype won't work for them for any number of reasons. Folks like us take private lessons, work very hard to improve, and come to this site for ancillary reading and I'd like to think that not having purchased a specific program wouldn't preclude us from being a part of this community.

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great posts...read them again!

#3, 4, 7, and 8

we all like to help each other, but you need to know there is no "magic pill".....no "key"....no "easy way" to build a pro caliber voice. and on top of that, you build it and adjust for it the rest of your singing life!

if you cannot afford a teacher, just pick a top program and get started.

b.t.w., the teacher who was trying to get you to sing higher and higher in chest, may not have been totally incorrect. had you visited him more, you might have have discovered that he would have shifted the focus to transitioning into head a few lessons down the road.

the important thing is to get started...don't get yourself into "analysis paralysis" or the old "if i do this exercise(s), will i be able to do this, or sound like this" stuff.

start to learn about the voice, train the voice. any of the recommended programs will contain beneficial vocal exercises.

good luck.

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But man, face to face is paid too!

I agree with Robert completely. In the sense that just searching forums for exercises will lead nowhere, not if you are serious. An exercise to give a general idea of what you are talking about is nice if the point is to show why its the best idea to seek guidance. But searching the forums to find a way to "do" the passaggio will not work. Takes discipline, hard work and patience to learn. You can read all knowledge that exists on the human voice, if you dont train it PROPERLY, it will not make any difference.

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Of course I agree that nothing can be learned without tons of practice, especially singing which seems to me to be all about retraining your muscle memory. But it seems obvious enough to me that a lot can be learned on a forum. I'm guessing Robert agrees otherwise he wouldn't make one!

I'm probably reading too much into it. At first, I just read that there was insinuation that being a member of this forum without having his program was useless. Maybe that wasn't the point.

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"Sadly, some people just troll about on this forum and try to take the easy and cheap way out... hoping to just read some piece of information that will enable them to sing amazing, without doing the work, without practicing or making an investment in their singing... Its doesn't work that way."

I sort of resent this. I'm a very new member here and joined because I was indeed hoping to read some piece of information that would enable me to sing amazingly... which is not mutually exclusive from putting in the work and practicing, because I do plenty of that too. I have read pieces of information that have helped steer me in the right direction too! It's rare to find a place like this on the internet with such a high "signal to noise" ratio in terms of good information vs. misinformation. There seems to be an insinuation, though, that one must buy a particular program to be a valued member here rather than just "trolling about."

While I'm positive that the four pillars program is awesome since it's sort of the foundation on which this forum was built and all the folks here are super bright, some people, like myself, just prefer one on one lessons face to face because skype won't work for them for any number of reasons. Folks like us take private lessons, work very hard to improve, and come to this site for ancillary reading and I'd like to think that not having purchased a specific program wouldn't preclude us from being a part of this community.

I do not understand how this would create resentment? I was not insinuating that if you don't buy a product, you are lesser of a member on this forum by any stretch of the imagination? We get a lot of people on this forum that do just exactly that my friend, they look for the easy way and hope that they can save money and not have to do the training. They don't understand that we are talking about an athletic endeavor here, it takes a physical workout of muscles and coordination to really do the things that everyone really wants to do, the hard stuff. If that is not you, then great! I believe you, but I' m not going to apologize for giving tough love on this forum in a good faith effort to help you.

People that know me, know I am here to help you and that is my mission in life, to help singers... my style is with tough love and no bullshit and cutting to the chase. It gets results and gets everyone accountable. In any regard, I get the feeling this is not you... that you are practicing and training... if thats the case, great!

Also, the TMV Forum was not founded on the principles of my product or private practice... they are two different companies. In case you haven't noticed... all schools and teachers are discussed on this forum freely and if someone wants to recommend a competitive product to my personal practice, that is fine as well. In a very true sense, I am making sales for my own competitors out of my vision for hosting an open, non-biased platform. I am the only voice coach on the planet that has been willing to do such a thing... now either I am just stupid or it is evidence of my character and contributions to the industry. You decide...

Glad you are enjoying the forum, glad to have you... keep training.

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Of course I agree that nothing can be learned without tons of practice, especially singing which seems to me to be all about retraining your muscle memory. But it seems obvious enough to me that a lot can be learned on a forum. I'm guessing Robert agrees otherwise he wouldn't make one!

I'm probably reading too much into it. At first, I just read that there was insinuation that being a member of this forum without having his program was useless. Maybe that wasn't the point.

I'm probably reading too much into it. At first, I just read that there was insinuation that being a member of this forum without having his program was useless. Maybe that wasn't the point.

Seriously, Bro... give me a break?

You know, all the programs are discussed and recommended every day on this forum... that I am paying for, putting money into my friendly competitors pockets... I no longer will stand on the sidelines and not speak on behalf of my products and services, which happen to be excellent, for fear of a "conflict of interest".... BS, to not do so, would be the definition of insanity. I am not here to sell books only for my colleagues in the business... if you don't mind, I would like to give a fair presentation of my products and services as well on my own forum...

Thank you.

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Of course I agree that nothing can be learned without tons of practice, especially singing which seems to me to be all about retraining your muscle memory. But it seems obvious enough to me that a lot can be learned on a forum. I'm guessing Robert agrees otherwise he wouldn't make one!

I'm probably reading too much into it. At first, I just read that there was insinuation that being a member of this forum without having his program was useless. Maybe that wasn't the point.

There is a lot that can be learned here, yes. There is information, very good information. Robert is somewhat of an exception when it comes to this, he gives resonable and responsible answers OVER just selling his product. This is rare.

The difference between being able to "hit" high notes and effectively being able to sing and perform with consistence as you intend is huge. Specially the "consistency" part.

I said this on another thread with the usual tech vs "originality" thing: if you intend to use your voice seriously and/or depend on it as your profession. Then the forum is not nearly enough. Not even close.

If we keep things real then the place is great to know how we are progressing, to know if the coach you contacted know what he is doing, to solve the usuall case of light voiced tenors who think they are basses just because they dont know YET how to use their voices, etc. But self-teaching technique through forum information: no deal.

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"I'm probably reading too much into it. At first, I just read that there was insinuation that being a member of this forum without having his program was useless. Maybe that wasn't the point."

That was meant to be an explanation of my initial interpretation, not an additional dig or anything. I should have added that I understand that wasn't your intent now. I'm be no means familiar with the all the popular singing courses available so it's likely that I've missed their being referenced here. And I get that since they are being plugged for here, you feel like it'd be stupid not to plug your own program that you've worked hard on and believe in. That's cool too. I just mistook that for a sort of "this is a four pillars forum only" and that's why I responded that way; because I've learned a lot here in addition to my own lessons. But I get you now, we agree, it's all good. My bad.

BUT TO RESPOND to the original post:

I'm by no means a pro, I'm going through the same things you are, rfc. I found that the image of "mixing" the head and chest voices often used by voice teachers (but not necessarily by the folks here) wasn't useful to me and didn't accurately describe the sensation of singing high easily. I had/have trouble in the same area you're having as a baritone, but am getting to be able to more consistently sing through up to about E5 without feeling any "flipping" of "oh, now I'm in head voice," it just feels like my voice is moving to a different place, not that I'm doing something radically different.

I think Robert's programs calls it twang? Not sure. But I've learned to sort of feel my voice in front of my face, almost like I'm singing really nasally, except it's not nasal at all (plug your nose to check!). Once I could produce that kind of tone, I found I could extend up way higher with very little effort. Only focusing on making sure my tongue was forward (mine tends to fall back) and I was supporting well. Everything in between kind of works itself out.

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Where can I read up on twang? It seems so helpful but I don't think I've ever used it when singing...?

snejk,

you've probably used it, but you just weren't aware that you were. for some singers, that's about all they use.

rob lunte is very knowledgeable on this subject.

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snejk,

you've probably used it, but you just weren't aware that you were. for some singers, that's about all they use.

rob lunte is very knowledgeable on this subject.

I see... Well that may very well be true.. That's the thing about technique, most of us stumble upon the right ones, the wrong ones and we're not aware of it when it happens.. If it's not too much to ask, would you like to check the thread I made in the critique forum and listen a bit to the first song there? I sang in various modes and ranges there but I have no idea if anything included twang or not :o

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There are probably more discussions on twang on this forum than any other thing... run a search and of course, I am happy to explain it to you and teach you how to do it and how to apply it for your singing if you like. Also, Bob is right, you are probably already twanging to some degree or another. For many people, its just a matter of identifying it and learning to command and control it.

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Guitartrek,

I was wondering if you could share a brief overview of how the range expansion process was for you? F.ex. did you acess all your current range initially or incrementally? How long until you could use it in actual singing, overall timespan etc? Did you have problems with cracking etc initially?

Sun - I first was able to reach into my head voice from reading about doing "ng" on this forum in the fall of 2009. I was amazed and started to sing songs I never could sing before. At that point I was able to get up to about E5. Then I started really working on it, and through the course of about 4 weeks reached up to about Ab5 if I remember correctly. After probably 6 or 9 months I was up to C6. At that point though I couldn't produce a vibrato past about G5. Above that I was too tight. And I did easily crack if things weren't just right - air pressure, vowel, too much TA, folds not thin enough, etc. For the last year I've worked on smoothing out C5 through C6 in terms of no cracking and vibrato on every note. I'm at the point where I hardly ever crack up there and I can produce vibrato all the way up to C6.

The summer of 2010 (within a year after expanding my range) I was recording stuff like Carry On My Wayward Son and The Wall - up to C5. Earlier last year I recorded Dont Stop Believin - with ending up to E5 - but didnt sound or feel that great. I recently re-recorded the ending up to G#5 and it felt great. G#5 is about the highest I've gone in an actual song.

So about 9 months to gain all that range up to C6, but 1.5 years to smooth it all out. I would say an average of 1 hour a day is all the time I could afford to spend practicing.

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