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chest voice musculature

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you know i've been thinking a lot about this lately...chest voice musculature and what it really means.

is it absolutely correct to say that when you sing with head and chest voice musculature engaged it automatically equates to a thicker tone?

what i'm trying to say is, take a singer like steve perry. certainly he sang with more than just head voice musculature. but he still is "perceived" as light.

but maybe perry did use a lot of chest voice musculature in his singing, but the timbre of his voice disguises the fact?

some singers have very little tonal disparity between their head voice and chest voice tone, vs. other singers who have more pronounced tonal difference.

maybe we can question whether steve perry and voices like him are really singing with just as much chest voice muscualture engaged as more heavier-voiced singers?

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ofcourse perry sung w chest too. he's a lighter voice, so his relative chest/head ratio might sound lighter then when a bigger voice does it ;>

You can cleary see he doesn't sing just from his throat, there is body connection. But for a bigger voice, there will be a bigger sound to find a relative equal balance.

Trying therefor to just copy a voice's asthetic is not smart ;>

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Depends on what you call chest musculature. What I would do to sing journey, is a posture in head that uses more horizontal opening of the mouth, rising the larynx and emulating an open posture withou letting go of covering.

This limits the dinamic range to mezzo at best. So its a compromise, and even so, my voice will never sound like perry, but will be more compatible with his approach.

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Tenors have lighter voices. Take Bruce Dickinson for example, same thing.

But when it comes to singers like Geoff Tate, his voice is also light (to me at least) and he is a baritone. So how do you explain Pavarotti and other operatic tenors?

I think it is also important to distinguish light in context - as in dark or heavy. Perry and Dickinson are light in both instances of the word. Tate has a darker voice (as a baritone it sits lower), but it's still a light one.

A light voice is STILL capable of much power though!

But the short answer is probably because he is a smaller guy :)

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i guess what i'm trying to explore with you folks is perry's voice really light? or are we just perceiving it as light?

how do we know unless we are steve perry that he is not using his voice really heavily in terms of head and chest voice musculature?

maybe he is working as hard as a heavier voiced singer we just don't know it?

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This will answer all of your questions, it sounds a LOT like your training with Frisell.

Interview with Steve Perry, Voice Magazine March-April 1980:

You use a type of falsetto in your singing.

I use a kind of operatic falsetto, a round tone.

Is it a hard thing to do without destroying your voice?

Yes. I try to do everything I do with the least amount of effort. I try to think the sky is the limit on range. A song we do called Wheel In The Sky, when the solo is going on, I am up there doing these angelic things. I use the least amount of effort to pull out these ideas. If I am using the least amount of effort and they don't come out, then I don't go for them. Nine times out of ten, they come. There is that point, the threshold, where the normal voice crosses to falsetto. There is a way in which you make an edge on your voice the higher you get. The trick is to get so you can bridge the upper register of your normal voice to the lower register of your falsetto. I use silent H's on the vowels sometimes to get across that bridge.

http://steveperryfanclub.homestead.com/steveperryleadvocalistofjourney.html

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you know i've been thinking a lot about this lately...chest voice musculature and what it really means.

is it absolutely correct to say that when you sing with head and chest voice musculature engaged it automatically equates to a thicker tone?

what i'm trying to say is, take a singer like steve perry. certainly he sang with more than just head voice musculature. but he still is "perceived" as light.

but maybe perry did use a lot of chest voice musculature in his singing, but the timbre of his voice disguises the fact?

some singers have very little tonal disparity between their head voice and chest voice tone, vs. other singers who have more pronounced tonal difference.

maybe we can question whether steve perry and voices like him are really singing with just as much chest voice muscualture engaged as more heavier-voiced singers?

I don't believe in chest or head voice I only believe in one voice. The only difference in the amount of chest resonance we can take up the scale is the strength we have to do this without over doing it.

The voice should always have a seamless transition from low to high without a "register" Just different fold mass.

The stronger the voice gets the better you get at taking more mass into up the scale.

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above t: thanks for the info

izzle: i totally agree with you. i don't bridge anything. all one voice with a lot of support.

felipe: yes, but if we could peer into his voice and measure the muscle activity, could it be more than we realize?

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above t: thanks for the info

izzle: i totally agree with you. i don't bridge anything. all one voice with a lot of support.

felipe: yes, but if we could peer into his voice and measure the muscle activity, could it be more than we realize?

That's a possibility, but If you compare his lower chest voice to his higher head voice you can see a difference in muscular activity.

He seems to be using a smaller lighter use of fold mass with great closure.

You can compare that with an operatic tenor who sings the same pitches.

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dan, you have one of those voices where there is very little tonal disparity between your head voice and chest voice.

singers whose voices have a greater gap in the two tones have more of a time singing blended. wouldn't you agree?

there are some singers where their and head voice sound like two different people and learning to blend is more difficult..

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Why do we keep talking of blending, when it's more like just activating them simustaniously anyway? :P You're a frissel guy aren't you? :P

As far as tonal disparity...Since daniel is a higher tenor, he can sing connected with a sound which is lighter sounding then you or me bob in a more easy way. Relative for his voice he does also need to engage his support, head, chest n pharyngeal.

In my personal experience though I would agree that I've seen lyric or leggerio's often get their high notes alot easier or faster then bigger tenors, or baritones. Sometimes these higher tenors actually struggle longer to get their lower notes down. I'm not sure how that relates to the headvoice and chestvoice being different in color though... I think that's unrelated, I think it has more to do with the way our voice sits and the amount of vocal fold mass we have to work with ;>

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yes, could be. i guess i wanted to explore this more.

whether his lightness of sound means it has to be a lightness in the mechanical production? we say steve perry sings lighter, but i'm saying maybe that's not true.

oh well, maybe i have analysis paralysis...lol!!! this stuff intrigues the hell out of me.....lol!!!

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For the record guys I used to pull much much heavier and couldn't sing as high until I learned the coordination. Took a long time yrs. I had to learn how to re-sing. The ahh video example is me trying to show that you do not have to push so hard or modify so much. I had already gone threw all that yrs ago. If I do examples of singing I usually try to do them using minimal effort, the least possible to show you do not have to try so hard. I know your going to say"wel you don't because your a light tenor but I do because of my musclature". But let the truth be told I used to sing till I was red in the face and hoarse but after many many years of practice I am now able to do it with less effort. Exactly like being a weightlifter.(without the steroids ;)

Daniel

Www.danielformicavocalstudio.com

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bob, I think its impossible to know without working directly with Steve Perry and asking him to show what he does and what he feels. If you could measure muscular activity, Im sure that you would find a lot.

Still, if you are asking if what he did on Journey was only due a light voice, I can say with some confidence that no, he was also one hell of a singer. Even if he didnt train and did it naturaly, its still something to look into with a great deal of respect.

But consider these two samples please:

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=11716779&q=hi

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=11716781&q=hi

The first is done in a more let it out approach, I dont think that fits the song, overdone.

The second is using the horizontal opening to bring the larynx up a bit.

My voice, when used normaly will gravity towards the first sample. But if I needed to perform Journey, I would use something more centered around the second sample. Because it fits better.

Still, the second sample use a hell of a lot of support. With just this phrase, I was sweating. And while on the first I just feel pressure on the resonators, on the second I do feel a slight "hold" on my throat. What I know as head is closer to the top note on "living" of the first sample. The second sample is done fully using at least some covering (which I figured that is what you know as head), and on the end of the verse I use even more to allow the dinamic to fall without causing more strain.

To my voice, doing a whole song in this posture is like running or doing other demanding task, it really tires me.

The first does uses support of course, but not like this. To perform live, I would probably chose a mix of the two worlds, to not destroy the original interpretation line but also not destroy myself on the process (kinda hard to convince me to put this on the setlist though).

If I try to open my mouth too much with the second or use more projection, immediately veins start poping around my neck and I feel more pressure on the larynx, the kind that I know that will cause consequences.

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For the record guys I used to pull much much heavier and couldn't sing as high until I learned the coordination. Took a long time yrs. I had to learn how to re-sing. The ahh video example is me trying to show that you do not have to push so hard or modify so much. I had already gone threw all that yrs ago. If I do examples of singing I usually try to do them using minimal effort, the least possible to show you do not have to try so hard. I know your going to say"wel you don't because your a light tenor but I do because of my musclature". But let the truth be told I used to sing till I was red in the face and hoarse but after many many years of practice I am now able to do it with less effort. Exactly like being a weightlifter.(without the steroids ;)

Daniel

Www.danielformicavocalstudio.com

Dan....you sweet son of a (you just just yo mouth.) It's been a while since I've been on here, but great post!

I can't overstate how true this is. I've been singing "professionally"(meaning Wedding Singer/Top 40) for many many years(long before learning about technique/turning into a vocal tech geek) but I had ALWAYS been known for my bariton-ish crooning voice(thank you to all the freaky womens of the world that kept me employed :P )

It's taken me many many years myself to re-set my voice and sing as high/light as I want, but it can be done.

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For the record guys I used to pull much much heavier and couldn't sing as high until I learned the coordination. Took a long time yrs. I had to learn how to re-sing. The ahh video example is me trying to show that you do not have to push so hard or modify so much. I had already gone threw all that yrs ago. If I do examples of singing I usually try to do them using minimal effort, the least possible to show you do not have to try so hard. I know your going to say"wel you don't because your a light tenor but I do because of my musclature". But let the truth be told I used to sing till I was red in the face and hoarse but after many many years of practice I am now able to do it with less effort. Exactly like being a weightlifter.(without the steroids ;)

Daniel

Www.danielformicavocalstudio.com

In your analogy of weightlifting: If you lift 50 pound for the first time and never been to the gym, it might be hard. After you've done more then that, 50 seems like you're not doing effort ;> For starting students, who are not used to using their body to power their voice, the idea of not straining, doing effort, etc... and being able to perform freely is the endgoal.

However, at start often the singer compensates using wrong musculature or using musculature inefficiently, causes them to do more effort per the part required. This is not a bad thing however, because in the process they learn how to do more with less :>

In absolute terms speaking though, for a baritone or heavy tenor the relative amount of effort necessary to sing lighter up high is alot higher then for a lighter tenor voice. Then again lighter tenor voices would have a harder time having to start lower ;> Everyone has their sweet spots in their voice, and parts where they have to work more for, nothing exceptional :p

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thanks for the input folks. i appreciate it.

as dan knows, one of my areas of weakness is singing in that lighter place, making perry's songs a challenge and a half.

analog, where the hell did you come from? long time no hear. welcome back.

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Well again just putting it out there if anyone would like to see how I came from starting with tons of effort to being able to do it easier hit me up. It doesn't come over night it takes months of practice and once you get it, it doesn't just stay built in its a continuos balancing act unless your really just naturally gifted. And if your that gifted you are probably not on this forum:P

Www.danielformicavocalstudio.com

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It's a cross between what I showed you as opera man voice and Dave brooks cry example. You have to remember I tried everything and teacher. It was not just there one day it took a ton of work. I'm sure sometimes I was right sometimes I was wrong. I'm not saying I'm right I'm saying what I went through and how I found it was alot of work. (still is)And seemed to be a path I could have found shorter than I did maybe maybe not.

Remember what you show one person may not work for the rest. I have a bunch students and if they all got together and showed each other what they were working on they would think they all had a different teacher. I solve problems. Because I had alot of problems.No one methodology is right for everyone because everyone comes from a different speaking stand point. Take an Italian from new York and a Frenchman from France. They usually speak from a totally different place so my job is to take that voice find what's wrong in it and balance it.

HOLY CRAP I HATE WRITING THIS MUCH. My fingers and eyes hurt. Any of you guys can call me

Daniel

Www.danielformicavocalstudio.com

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dan, i know what you mean....sometimes i'll train and i'll notice i can back off the power or the support a bit and i'm still resonant and metallic and i'm connected well.

i remember in roger kain's book he said something about how after several years the things that were straining and difficult over time become much easier.

i'm just starting to sense that lately. but i've got a long way to go...lol!!!

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