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Amazing Male Singer: is it a well developed Chest Voice?

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saucy88
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Hi guys,

I'm new to this forum. I was wondering if I could have some advice about this the video clip. I feel like he is pulling his chest voice to reach all the notes in this song except for when he sings "use" from the phrase "use somebody".

I'm asking because I think I'm a Baritone, and I feel like my voice naturally wants to switch to head voice at the B note, so I would be inclined to switch between chest and head registers throughout the song. Although I can sing E, even sometimes F# in chest voice, I feel like I'm straining way too much.

Is my assumption about the singer using his chest voice for the whole song correct? Is it possible to achieve the same quality as the singer using a mix of chest and head voice, or do I need to work on improving my chest range?

Thanks,

Drea

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Saucy, its impossible to improve just chest or head voice. Your voice works as a whole. Chest voice is not the same as tense and strainned voice on high notes. The term is used to reference sensations only.

Also, who classified your voice as a baritone? If you are having trouble on the passagio, which is what you describe and is quite normal, your voice must sound heavy as hell to allow someone to classify you as such so early.

Anyways if you want send a sample, but Im willing to bet that you are just as a baritone as most of all other untrainned tenors think they are.

GL!

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Felipe,

I felt like I was baritone because when I keep my throat relaxed I just naturally feel like switching to head at middle C. But my biggest trouble is my head voice sounds nothing like my chest voice at those low notes: B C C# D..

I'm not even entirely convinced its proper (or possible) to sing those notes in head register and have them sounding full like a chest voice sound, only because whenever experienced male singers do it on radio or youtube etc.. it seems like they always do it in their chest voice..

I can get those notes (C C# D D# E) in chest voice too but it sounds and feels squeezed and strained as I go higher.

What should I do in the sample? like.. me singing "EE" or "AH" up through my passagio?? ..also I'm not very good but trying my best to learn.. put in about 1 hour a day for 3 months now.

Thanks again

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If you understand where the chest, mixed, and head voice lie, he is using his mixed and head voice since it's above his primo passagio. Then you need to understand, the three voices are just modal patterns, When someone sings you have to consider their natural tone, their larynx and trachea positions, and their breath support. Simply saying that a person sings in one of the 3 modal voices doesn't prove much in modern singing repertoire. SO you will need much more than a chest voice to sing like this guy. For vocal classification, you need to sing in a specific style, But I recommend looking at your lowest comfortable note as the easiest indicator. If that lowest note is around the range of g2-Bb2 then you are probably a baritone.

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Saucy, from a technical viewpoint, there is nothing exceptional happening in this performance. That's not a judgement of the aesthetic of the style or song.

He is definitely NOT singing the word "use" from the phrase "use somebody" in a strong chest voice. In fact quite the opposite, he's pulling all the weight off and it's either a very lightly connected head voice, or falsetto even - kind of hard to pick the two sometimes.

That's not to say you couldn't belt and wail that part if you wanted (and had trained to do it right), but that's not what this fellas doing.

What does your practice consist of? are you working with a vocal system? do you take lessons? If you're getting squeezed from middle C up, you need to modify your vowels to release the tension. There are people with far more experience on here than myself, so I'll tag them in regarding that discussion.

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and don't worry too much about what notes get hard to hit. They come with practice. try singing really light voiced, romantic songs to get the feel of hitting those higher notes. If you just concentrate on 1 technique, it's gonna be slower until you can develop the support for them.

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thanks DoverOs that was very helpful:

I cant really see his larynx but I'm assuming it would be neutral since none of his notes sound squeezed or forced at all. I've always understood mixed voice to be in the head register.. just a well covered sound by good chord closure etc, however I don't really know what that is supposed to sound like when singing actual words. (not just Nay MEE vowels etc)

I understand what you mean when you said: "he is using his mixed and head voice since it's above his primo passagio." but I find that very hard to believe or understand because his voice sounds so clear and full on those notes, and I really haven't heard head voice sound so full before..

So, I still feel as though he's pushing up his chest register to hit those notes, i feel that there is evidence especially when his voice changes so drastically when he sings that distinct note on "use" somebody, which is certainly head.

I appreciate any discussion on this because I noticed other posts asking about that "full" quality in head register, and this artist may be demonstrating it.. but I'm still not sure.

<EDIT>

i just read the other post by Nic, thanks for that., do you feel as though he's singing the rest in a strong chest voice?

My practice consists of 5 note scales in lip rolls and different vowels for about 30 minutes. Then I just focus on going between head and chest register. I've now recently started practising low notes in head voice at a very low volume to maintain the chord closure and full texture, of course my voice still falls apart as i try to add more power.

I don't take lessons, but I think I'm doing the right thing by keeping a neutral larynx while singing and trying not to strain. I do get squeezed from middle C up if I'm doing it in my chest voice. Do you mean that with correct vowel modification I can sing middle C up to say.. E F# in chest without squeeze..?

Thanks again

<- >

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it's hard to say, but personally, it sounds like he has a range suitable for that song, and the texture that range encompasses is high enough for him to really push it, while good breath management is pushing that sound a step further.

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Yes absolutely, and a lot higher than that even. Think of your voice as a muscle, it needs to grow. When I started out I was doing horrible things to try to get past the E - f sharp region.

Make sure you have good support and are using your diaphragm correctly (lots of info in the forums about that), and mega important is to keep an open throat. It seems a natural tendency to close down the throat as you strain to go higher. Get your jaw as open as possible, and smile and keep the throat totally open. If you modify your vowels correctly, the tension will dissipate are you ascend. But also, your muscles and co-ordination need to strengthen and adapt, so it takes time.

I've only really just begun with the vowel mods myself, and they are very natural once they sink in - many untrained singers do them without any knowledge of what they are doing. But if you're trying to carry an open "ah" vowel past say, E, you'll get choked up (I used to choke the crap out of myself).

Yes, most of the song is in chest voice. He's not thrashing it though, it's quite reserved. I'll leave it to more experienced posters to elaborate on what he;s doing more specifically...

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What the singer is doing is in a mixed or mixed head voice. The flips to higher than you hear are falsetto, which is not a range but a sound.

To you, most of it sounds like chest. That's because chest is a misnomer. It really relates to fullness of tone and volume, not specifically vibrations in your chest. The point of training is to have fullness of tone and volume throughout all of your range. And then it will sound like one big chest voice. And one of best ways to do that is the opposite, which is to bring head voice down because head voice requires you to manage your breath properly.

The other good option is to bridge early, before you try to take speech like phonation and breathing up to high, which is what most people trip themselves up with.

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What the singer is doing is in a mixed or mixed head voice. The flips to higher than you hear are falsetto, which is not a range but a sound.

Agreed. Completely.

Ben Sunders is amazing singer, absolutely great technique. In this clip his passagio area is easier to recognize. Radio version uses a lot of compression and specific EQ.

BUT he does not allow the throat to release. One huge thing he does that causes him to strain more is jut his head and neck forward every single time he sings a phrase. His chin also goes up too. This action puts more strain on the neck muscles and on the larynx, in addition to preventing the jaw from opening freely. If he would keep his head over his shoulders, he would immediately find more release in the voice. His vowels might need a little work too, but I can't tell if they are off because he is sticking his neck forward or if he just doesn't know how to approach them well as he ascends. If he fixes those things, not only would the voice be more free, but the pitch would be more secure too.

Do you suggest that it would be sung better?

In my opinion that was perfect singing.

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Thanks CunoDante, right now I feel there is a definite switch between chest and head mechanism. Do you mean that I can make my head voice sound like chest so that there's no audible difference through my passagio? Or do you mean that I will eventually feel that my chest voice can extend to my current head voice range.

Hi Devatis,

With that audition clip you sent, I was wondering around which words do you think his passagio is? I'm listening to the phrase "i was rolling around" - at the word "around", is that where he uses his head resonance? that F# I think it is..... sorry its still hard for me to tell where the passagio is occurring... especially when he sings "someone like me", it sounds like he's forcing the word "someone".. which makes it seem as though he's still carrying the chest resonance to the higher notes..

Ron I would love to know that he's singing this in a mixed voice / head voice that sounds like chest because I feel like it'd be really hard to sing those high notes with chest voice ..i think it would feel unnatural and unhealthy to pull chest that high for most singers .. Also theres no way I could reach those high notes and sound as full as him with chest so if he's using mixed/covered head tone then that gives me hope. At least i can develop that healthily.

cheers :)

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With that audition clip you sent, I was wondering around which words do you think his passagio is?

Depends on vowels, D4 and higher notes were sung in passagio. In general most of this song is kept in passaggio. Why?

Notice this- key of his cover is higher than original one.

sorry its still hard for me to tell where the passagio is occurring

Try to find a great explanation on YT from Robert Lunte.

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Hi, Devaitis,

haha, D4? he starts off the song in D4 "i was rolling"? i think. but thanks, I think I know what you mean. I wanted to know where it occurs because it helps me to image what i should be aiming for with the finished sound of the notes in my passagio.

When I refer to the passagio; I mean a covered head voice with the ambition to achieve the tonal quality of a chest voice.

Right now the low head notes are still too thin and crackly, irregular.. I think its just my vocal folds getting used to the adduction (the vocal chords coming together) at the low head register range. Although I'm still not happy with my (scratchy, choir boy + too much pharyngeal) tonal quality. Backing off the pharyngeal tones causes the chords to come apart so yeah, I'm still struggling to get that fullness.

But anyway this goes back into the general discussion covered in all other topics about low full notes in head voice.

So it helps to have this singer as an example of quality mixed / passagio voice (or as I think of it, covered head to sound chesty and full - but please correct me if im wrong).

Thanks kindly for your responses.

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Do you mean that I can make my head voice sound like chest so that there's no audible difference through my passagio?

This

I think what's confusing you slightly is the way that you are thinking about "chest" and "head" registers and their perceived sounds. When you are singing in your chest register, you are using the TA muscle to control your vocalisation. As you reach and enter your passagio, you should start to release the hold of the TA muscle and start to bring in the CT muscle, which you use for singing in your head register. As you go through the passagio and out into your head register, The CT muscle becomes more dominant as the TA muscle is released.

If we think of these muscles in terms of their strength, the TA (chest register muscle) has the most strength and weight as we use it everyday in normal speech. If we imagine, for example, that the TA is 100% strong and CT is 50% strong, then in order to get that strength and fullness across our entire range, we need to increase the strength of the CT muscle i.e. the head voice.

When you have increased the strength of your head voice, the aural perception of these notes will be that you are singing them in your chest register, when actually you are singing them in your head register. I think this is where you have become confused between the "chest register" and the "sound of the chest register" (the tone/timbre/fullness/weight)

When I first started out singing, I found it impossible to comprehend that these high notes I wanted were sung in head voice. I listened to a lot of Chris Cornell, whose head voice is so powerful, it sounds exactly like his chest. But just know that with dedicated practice you can achieve a chest like head voice, even if it seems impossible now.

Another angle which might help you to grasp the problem is the idea of "covering". This technique allows you to change the perception of the sound and gain, is used to give the head voice chest like qualities.

So instead of:

Chest Register -> Mixed Register -> Head Register

It would be:

Chest Register -> Covered Head Register -> Head Register

Have a look at the videos below to help understand this concept and note that when Robert is singing those high belted notes, he is using his HEAD VOICE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGcZr3l3Bw0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNfpeHE6Wls&feature=relmfu

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Saucy you are really smart guy.

Practice allows you to get your low-head notes right and you will be able to sing like Ben. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Yes, Robert knows what's going on with voice. He says "make your low head tones sound like chest...." ----> 90% of my daily routine is focused to achieve it.

cheers

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Some use headtechnique some pull chest up high :P both can be used if youve got great technique. I belive he uses à top up technique, Making your chestvoice thinner and ligther to be able to sing in the passagio. I dont hear any headvoice technique used here, he' s more pulling up.

He would in no way be getting that push in low headvoice, no way in hell :)

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mb20 that was a great reply post.

saucy, i've done that song. the song requires support especially when you gear down to sing the "use." there are also subtle crescendos and decrescendos in that vocal.

he his using cry and both chest voice and head voice "musculatures" are used in the vocals.

you simply have to realize you may not be strong enough vocally (yet). don't think of it as chest and head.

think of it as one connected voice with dynamics. chest voice musculature is incorporated. that's what fortifies the sound. like jens said, if you were to use just headvoice musculature in that song it would sound horrible and lack dynamics and power..

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Thanks for all your replies.

From the response from VIDEOHERE I understood this as though that distinct "flipping point" I have will slowly even out and eventually I should feel the sensation of singing with one voice. And I suppose this is because my head and chest musculatures will learn to coordinate and transfer evenly.

and MB20 explained that technically, the transition in voice goes from "Chest Register -> Covered Head Register -> Head Register".. yep, I get what you mean by that. And I suppose that covered head register should sound perfectly blended with chest register with enough practice.

So I guess right now I have my fingers crossed that as my voice strengthens I'll be able to sing those notes with the same strength and fullness.

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Hi VIDEOHERE,

I can afford a teacher but I've never had one and reluctant to get one, with so many varieties of singing methods out there. I choose to just spend time each day experimenting on my own by singing scales and vowels, words, and phrases, and just recording myself.

Right now I noticed that appoggio is very important for singing with power seamlessly through the break and giving the feeling of "one register singing". Although I think I'm still stuck in my throat.

I think the singer in my link relies hugely on his diaphragm or core support when hitting the higher notes in the phrases..like F#..

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It seems to me that he's pulling his voice up and using a mixed voice, but he's pushing too hard. If you're wanting to do something similar to this, I'd suggest practicing using more of your diaphragm for support and letting your throat relax.

The way his face muscles tense, how he brings his shoulders up and how he gets red in the face makes me think he's using his throat muscles and bringing his larynx up to push the notes higher, rather than using proper breathing techniques and diaphragm support to achieve it.

He's definitely switching to falsetto when he sings "use."

If you want to sing higher without straining, try humming scales while keeping your finger above your larynx to tell when it pulls up. Practice letting your throat relax while humming those notes instead of having tension and eventually you'll be able to sing higher without straining. The notes will sound more full-bodied too.

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Hi VIDEOHERE,

I can afford a teacher but I've never had one and reluctant to get one, with so many varieties of singing methods out there. I choose to just spend time each day experimenting on my own by singing scales and vowels, words, and phrases, and just recording myself.

Right now I noticed that appoggio is very important for singing with power seamlessly through the break and giving the feeling of "one register singing". Although I think I'm still stuck in my throat.

I think the singer in my link relies hugely on his diaphragm or core support when hitting the higher notes in the phrases..like F#..

i don't think so. that singer is one of those singers who "sounds good" but it isn't always due to good, healthy technique.

like my speech therapist said, "you can sing fantastic incorrectly too."

what i might suggest is to devote time to strengthening your lower core.

as far as feeling like you're stuck in your throat....here's something to try:

begin to train your mind to visualize sound coming from above the throat. as if you launch the tone by descending upon it rather than bringing it up from the bottom. in other words, train your mind to place the voice higher, above the throat. begin to view the throat as a passive cylinder.....nothing more than a resonating area.

and strive to relax the jaw and the tongue.

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