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The vocal range is well preset vs can extand largely your vocal range

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Ivenado
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I was reading an article on the Modern vocalist about myth Busting: that the vocal range is well preset.

Well back in 1975, I went for the first time for a singing lesson with somebody who had a highly good reputation as a singing teacher. He was an old man, kind of very strict, and teaching only in the classical way. I remember that he told me that I was a baryton, that my range was limited and there is nothing I could do about it. My gold was to sing some Plant or Ian Gillan stuffs. So I left and never went back. And at that time that was the only training you could get in my area. I was frustrated, quit singing and put all my energy into guitar playing.

In 1989, the light went on again, so I decided to give it a try. I took a year of singing lessons with a lady that tought me the classical way but felt that I was straining my voice. After a year of these lessons, my range didn't extanded that much ( a whole step). at that period of time, in my area, the only teachers were either very classical with that particularity of beleiving that the vocal range is well preset or the others who would make you beleive anything just to get your money because they didn't know really how to extand ranges like today. So I kept playing guitar and forgot about singing.

2 months ago I was shopping on the net for singing lessons, not for me but for our lead vocalist. I've tried to convinced him but he wasn't interested and still not. So the light came back inside me again. I don't know why, but after all these years it suddendly appeal to me. I wasn't even singing vocals in the band. From all these years my priority was still struggling with the guitar ( Paco de Lucia says that's 10 years per string & for me it is 15). Strangely my priority now is singing. This is weird. now I am very please to be a student of Robert Lunte.

There is a school nearby who's suppose to be the best in Canada but they rely on that old mentality. I know it looks like a bio of myself but it just to get to the point that if I had back then the guidance and the info, I would had save lots of time and probably would been singing since that time. And today we still have these 2 ways of thinking that the range is well preset or you can accomplish marvalous things with your voice. I just can't wait when science will prove entirely the truth about it. I wish that I could wrote all that in shoter sentences. Sorry for my english because I am french.

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Certainement, mon Ami. You can sing beyond the range given to you. It is not uncommon for basses and baritones to sing notes in the tenor range. And Robert Lunte, according to his bio, was typed as a baritone in college. But he can sing notes in the tenor range. So, I think, you are in good company learning from him.

Sometimes, old school teachers will type you as a baritone because they think all males must be baritone, except for a select few who have high speaking voices. But having a high speaking voice doesn't mean one is a tenor.

Our own member, Steven Fraser, once said something that is so astounding. Your range is where you have the greatest dynamic, or change in volume and tone. Others have described this as the artistic range, as opposed to the natural range, which is from your lowest, barely audible fry to your highest whistle note.

A lot of people want to sing pop and rock and heavy metal songs. Most of those are written from middle of the third octave to about middle of the 5th octave, approximately the tenor range. And that is the range to conquer, even for natural tenors.

So, welcome and good luck.

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Your larynx is already there, and it wont change, so the limits are there and are already set.

Which does not mean that simply classifying every guy that cant sing past F#4 as baritones and basses means classical approach. I was classified as a baritone too, by a teacher who also had (and still has) tons of reputation here in my country.

The classifications exist for a reason and they are quite precise WHEN used for their purpose. One year is not enough time to properly classify a voice. If you really were a baritone with such a huge and deep voice that the coach could tell straight away, you would probably believe that you were a bass :P.

And even if it was the case, you can use a mic to sing Purple, there is no need to observe the strict definitions that baritones and tenors must follow. Baritones do not have limited ranges, not anymore than tenors.

Its impossible to properly classify a voice before its well developed.

Reputation and claims on ability are useless in this field. A classification done in the way you described, as a way to justify problems on someone with only a year of trainning, is not old school, its pure incompetence. The way to detect incompetence is quite simple, ask the coach to sing, should be wonderfull and effortless.

That said, a whole step increase of tessitura is quite a lot for one year of trainning. I will guess that its not what hapenned, or else you would not have left.

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It's kind of silly we are even having this discussion...

"Vibrato you either have it or you don't"

"You have to smoke/drink whiskey or have nodules to sing with rasp"

"You can't sing higher than F4 if you're a baritone"

"All rock singers are destroying their voices"

:lol:

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You can develop your range to sing just about anything. Even the famous Italian operatic tenor, Bergonzi, started his carrer as a baritone. After many years singing operatic roles as a baritone, he took some time off and developed his tenor range, and for the rest of his career he sang tenor roles. He made this change in the mid 1900's. So voice classification - even in the classics - can actually be changed.

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range is a really tricky thing. it's not so much the range (and most people when you say the word "range" it's thought of as the high notes) it's really about what you sound like singing up high.

i'd rather have a solid, resonant, ringing c5 in my pocket, than a stratosheric, screechey, yelled, a5.

and as far as range extension 1/2 step to me is progress when it has those characteristics mentioned.

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The range thing is important to some people. I don't have a big range. Approximately 3 octaves. Slightly less without a mic. With a mic, I think, though others may disagree, I can make a passable C3. But I would rather be strong in the range that I have than worry about things I cannot do. I think the people that have 4 and 5 octave ranges are initially basses and baritones who have learned to sing high.

And it has been said that most any voice can achieve any note it wishes. But I think that is bordered by one's bottom note, whether in the artistic range or the natural range. I once tested myself and I could just barely fry at G2 and it was really weak. By F#2, there was no tone, only air.

So, I live within my limitations. Which doesn't mean I am lazy. I have plenty to work on, trust me.

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I think i am getting the idea of Videohere. The one exemple that came to me is the range of Davis Phelps. He sings an F5 with so much power and presence up to an C#6.

Some say that even if you can sing high notes it doesn't means necessary that's healthy for your voice to sing on high range ( high key ex: G4- B4). Is this right?

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It depends on the technique you use while singing high. If your not modifying your vowels correctly and constricting and using excessive tension it won't be healthy. If you're using good technique it is perfectly safe.

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I find that I can't hit real high notes with a smooth voice. It has a screechy fryish thing going on. It used to be uncomfortable and unsustainable to do it at volume but as I've worked it slowly and gently I'm finding it easier to do it longer. I'ts right on the edge of being uncomfortable. Like if I'm not careful I will slip into a place where I shouldn't be. I guess I'm living on the edge. When I say real high bear in mind I'm speaking relatively here. My top full voice note is an inconsistent D5. but that is way better than when I started training my voice to do my bidding.:lol:

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I think that for men, notes in the G4-B4 range usually sound better and more impressive than SUPER high notes, like G5 and higher. The first set of notes are kind of "dramatic" while the latter set is often boarderline girly-sounding.

But I think it's good to be ABLE to sing in a connected way to E5 or slightly higher, even though you might rarely/never sing the super high notes.

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i'm with geno and jonpall.

it really is so important not to strain up high.....not to have to reach or push or squeeze.

you've got to figure out per your own voice, your own vocal tract, what vowel shades allow you to access the appropriate resonating cavities. once you figure this out, it's a matter of how much air tension you want to send there.

and for high notes so many other things have to be in place

support

relaxation

control of the larynx

tilt

ta/ct finesse

so if you added a half step (a solid, resonant, ringing) lousy half step to your range you are doing really well.

and believe me if you sing a note that's in the pocket, you'll know it...it very revealing and the pitch is spot on.

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One of the popular songs around here is "Don't Stop Believing." And curses upon Steve Perry for singing it in the passaggio, one that is place of concern for most vocal types. Conquering that is a greater accomplishment than blasting something in the middle of the 5th octave.

I've sung a C6 a few times. But I think it is a greater accomplishment when one of us can sing that whole sing in the original key, as jonpall has done. Super high notes are impressive, even to us singers. But the body of the song is what counts.

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just want to say again..... it's not so much the note you sing, but how you sound when you sing it.

can you sustain it? can you add vibrato? (or is there vibrato in it) is it resonant and ringy? can you crescendo and decrescendo on it?

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I agree totally. We call ourselves a tribute band rather than cover band because we are trying to do more than entertain drunks at a bar (although we spend a fair amount of time doing that and enjoying it) We want to play the music as close to the original and try be detailed. I can't always match tone or timbre but the idea is to do the songs the best justice. That means I need to be as good high as I am low and consistent. We never change keys only tune down a half step for consistency since a lot of the songs are in D tuning or standard or half step down we try to just split the difference. My goal is to be able to sing our set as well as the original artists and that just ain't gonna happen without education and work.

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I didn't read most of the comments, but just like you can stretch your muscles and become more flexible, you can workout your voice and increase your range.

That's true - and the main difference is that gaining range is not a muscle building thing. It is to form the vowels correctly and develop fine coordination so we can bring chest up into head without hurting ourselves.

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geno, just my opinion, and i guess it all depends on what you're after, but i really do feel there is a muscle building (or better said) a muscle "conditioning" element in the pursuit of range. not the only element, but one of them.

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Bob - yes, you're right. I've come to agree with Steven that, if you work on forming the vowels and coordinating, while providing the best support, the muscle building comes along automatically. I used to promote muscle building more, but I fear that some may take that the wrong way and hurt themselves. For example, if it doesn't feel right through the passagio, it is usually because the person is not modifying the vowels right. But a person may think that all they need to do is exercize the voice more, which can be detrimental. The old sports saying "No Pain, No Gain" does not apply to singing (or any other musical instrument for that matter).

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And you echo my thoughts, as well, Geno. The reason for tuning one's vowels is resonance and intonation. If you have a weak vowel and have not tweaked it to something that will bring resonance (clarity and volume,) your brain will think the note is soft and tell you to push harder to get the right volume. It's a biofeedback thingy. By adjusting vowels and bringing the sound into focus, you perceive plenty of volume and your brain and body react by adjust breath support, etc.

And exactly correct, you don't "build" muscle in the larynx or the intrinsic muscle set. You build coordination. The only muscle that should be fatigued is the intercostals and obliques and only because you haven't used them to control expiration as you do when singing. And those muscles will condition and tone themselves. Even pro singers rehearse for a month or more to get their gut back in shape for a tour.

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agreed guys.

i guess i'm a little more the opposite in that (according to frisell) there will come a time where stress needs to be applied to the voice to engage more fold depth.

the way i've been looking at it lately, through support and engaging more fold depth, you pierce through head voice to arrive at the performing voice.

the trick i am finding is to not glue the folds the folds together or slam them together, but apply them thickly.

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