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I'd like to put something out there. I try to look at the simple side of things. However I often come across discussions or confusion that I believe may be caused by over thinking. I think that sometimes we all can get to a point where we intellectualize, and assume and over analyze so much we end up passing right by the real answer.

If you are familiar with Occam's razor then you are familiar with seeking the most simple conclusion. Look it up :D

With this in mind I'd like to address something I've thought about while reading through various posts on a recurring theme for the passed few months. I'll use Steve Parry as an example because his name seems to pop up most times with this issue. That being "how does he do it?" Mixed voice, chest voice, head voice, a little of both, curbing, not curbing and on and on. When I read this stuff I am sometimes a bit perplexed because I look at it in a simplified manner. I listened to an interview with him and when I heard him speak what I heard was Steve Perry minus any melody. What if it is as simple as, his voice is his voice and when he adds melody to it and sings it just comes out the way you hear it? Sure, over time he may have learned a few things to aid his ability to project his voice but it is what it is because that is his voice. Same with Robert Plant. When he speaks I hear Robert Plant, just like he sings only without the melody. Over time because they sing so much they just get better at hitting higher notes and breathing etc.

But I think the problem for us mere mortals is that we are wondering how they do it because we are trying to sound like them. We are actively setting out to sound like someone we are not. Meanwhile they are successful at it because they never set out to do anything but open their mouth to sing. The rest was an afterthought and part of improving.

So when they it a higher note and it sounds so nice; it probably started out pretty close to that already just because "that is their voice." My voice is my voice and it wants to go where it is supposed to and if I try to make it "someone else's" that would be where I get to the point of "how the hell does he do that?".

Maybe, just maybe they aren't doing anything but singing. That is their individual voice. Simple!

Thank you for allowing me to think out loud. :D Well...text actually.

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Tommy, I think I know what you’re saying. I wonder though if all singers have artists that they would say have been an influence to them. Really no differently than a guitarist has artists styles they try to emulate. I wonder if Steve Perry has someone he tried to sound like when he was a young singer just discovering his voice. Fortunately for us, he discovered what his true voice is and tailored his singing style around it.

Steve

p.s. Occam's Razor would be an really cool band name but I believe it is being used by a band out of Poland.

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Kind of. I threw that in there about sounding like yourself, but the point was that rather than wondering and analyzing how he could possibly be doing what he is doing; maybe he isn't doing anything. That's just him. When he opens his mouth that is what comes out. I point out that when I heard him speak I said wow....that's his singing voice in speech! So "maybe" all the assumptions are just over thinking. It isn't as much his technique as it is just his voice. For sure that is "his" tone. Not trained...born. You can hear it when he speaks. Same with Plant.

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tommy i hear and respect what you're saying, but there are those of us who are trying to go to another level of proficiency and knowledge....whether it be text book or street knowledge.

we're wanting to go beyond, but "beyond" is relative to each singer and their particular goals.

and then are those of us, i'll put myself out there and say i'm certainly one of them, who really is totally into studying and experimenting with this as a source of pleasure, just like any aficianado would. this subject really intrigues me, probably because of the inherent mystery behind a lot of it. i really enjoy helping others who might be going through what i did and learning from others as well.

it's an enjoyable thing.

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I threw that in there about sounding like yourself, but the point was that rather than wondering and analyzing how he could possibly be doing what he is doing; maybe he isn't doing anything. That's just him. When he opens his mouth that is what comes out.

Everyone can learn the same vocal setups, even though a singer doesn't know or think about what he is doing, he is doing some setup that can be replicated by anyone.

If a singer has a sound you like it makes sense to replicate the setup he is using, doesn't mean you are trying to be that singer but just that you simply want a similar sound.

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tommy i hear and respect what you're saying, but there are those of us who are trying to go to another level of proficiency and knowledge....whether it be text book or street knowledge.

we're wanting to go beyond, but "beyond" is relative to each singer and their particular goals.

and then are those of us, i'll put myself out there and say i'm certainly one of them, who really is totally into studying and experimenting with this as a source of pleasure, just like any aficianado would. this subject really intrigues me, probably because of the inherent mystery behind a lot of it. i really enjoy helping others who might be going through what i did and learning from others as well.

it's an enjoyable thing.

I can understand that and I have no issues with any of that. Actually I have no issues with anything :) I'm just wondering is all. I just see a lot of speculating on his as well as others' voice and what technique he is using or techniques. While I tend to wonder if he isn't using anything or even had any thought about it. Maybe he just sings.

Digging and studying and looking into the science behind singing or any other endeavor one is into is all good. I do it all the time. I am only addressing the particular sound of certain singers which doesn't fall into (at least imo) the category of research.

Certainly someone can attempt to and set goals to sound like or adapt certain traits of their favorite singer. I'm sure most singers do. As Alluded to by Sun. That too isn't my point. My only point is that certain singers may sound like they do and do what they do "just because" and there is no technique they are using or something for you to learn. Maybe if you asked him how he gets his sound he would say " what? My sound? I never really thought about it, I just open my mouth and sing."

I thought about this more when I recently watched an interview with him and he spoke (to me) like he sang.

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Well, I for one use CVT. Take any singer who makes any sound, and a CVT teacher (or just myself) could decide which mode, soundcolor and effects are being used which lets me know how to replicate it because all sounds you can make are covered by these modes. So it doesn't matter if he "just sings", because whatever sound he is making can be quantified regardless of him not knowing what the hell he is doing.

What is confusing here on this board is everyone using different terminology or even the same words for different things, or people trying to explain sensations or even people from different schools of singing doing different things and using different methods etc

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What is confusing here on this board is everyone using different terminology or even the same words for different things, or people trying to explain sensations or even people from different schools of singing doing different things and using different methods etc

Yea I try to stay away from that as best I can. I've had that lead to problems in other areas of training (non vocal) where "labels" led to confusion. I call it label disease.

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tommy, good discussion.

here's how i feel. yes, you have those singers who just sing, never had a lesson in their lives. never do anything.

but i think there are rock singers that know all too well exactly what they do, why they do it, right down to each vowel, each syllable, each little nuance of technique, or detail possible.

and a lot of them are staunch perfectionists. when i watch a guy like steve perry sing, you can tell he knows exactly what he's doing every second he's up there singing. the guy is technique and skill personified.

watch this cool section starting at 3:55. if you watch real closely, you'll see perry get into trouble because he's a little too opened with his vowel and it caused a wobble. he brilliantly realized this, and he narrows up the vowel and clears it right up.

that's so cool to learn from him.

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Thanks for that clip Bob. Yes he did a good job there and knowing your craft like the back of your hand is what it's all about. I agree that these great singers know exactly what they are doing and how to enhance it and how to get out of trouble and how to raise the bar etc. No doubt. Whether they are trained or not. But that aside. When you hear his beautiful tone and where debates rise about is he in a mix or his it this or is it that, I tend to think it's just "his" voice. ("His" can be replaced with many other singers).

Yes, he has techniques he uses to sing and to guide him but they were probably learned after the fact. I'd like to hear him before he was ever known or had a lesson or learned anything. I bet he sounds the same only less polished. Why? That's my whole point....because that's his voice. Anything else (like what he does to correct himself in this clip) are the extras picked up along the way. But his sound imo isn't a mystery. It's just his voice, speaking or singing.

Hey....was that a shoe I saw coming at my computer screen? Don't start throwing stuff at me now!!! :lol:

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Tommy, not quite right.

Still you have one major point you are making that is more important than all other technical arguments (that are useless, because arguments on technical procedures without demonstrations is like arguing about colors or taste for food):

Its impossible to do this level of performance thinking about technique. If you cant simply use your voice without being concerned with how you need to breath in, it simply wont happen. Using a resource on the interpretation line is not even close to having to think about technique to be able to sing. This is control, control means that your voice does what you want, not that you have to force it do be like you desire.

And in the end of the day, if we keep a strict technical vision, his voice degraded over the years, so instead of concerning about what was his methods or the "CT/TA relationship", look at the performance the man is delivering in stage, and consider carefully what is it that you are hearing in musical terms. What does his interpretation line consists of?

The number one thing that calls my attention, are those low dinamic notes done in full voice. Beautifull, sounds so simple to do, and yet its virtuose and does not sound like showing off. Its perfect. And thats whats so amazing in this guy, the world is full of light male voices, its not just it. Its the level of refinement and his incredible deliverance of performance.

And if you dont deliver performance, you can hit the highest note the universe ever heard, you can generate tornados with your breath compression, you can break solid rock with a scream, but you still have NO singing technique.

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I have heard or read somewhere that ones speaking voice is not ones singing voice. However, I have also read that when training to sing, ones speaking voice may change. Not sure if that makes any sense in this thread .. But I am a believer that ones singing voice is not the same as ones speaking voice. So, it doesn't matter what you sound like when you talk, you most likely sound totally different web singing. I have been told that I don't sound anything like me when i sing .. My speaking voice is nothing at all like my singing voice.

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Keith its a completely different level of refinement. You can bring your speaking voice closer to it if its your desire, but you would have to train for it.

Breathing and improved muscular coordination will affect your spoken voice, but singing and speaking does not originates from the exact same places on our brains. This is known. What is shared and what is not, I dont think that will be possible to answer until the human brain is totally understood.

What I can say is from my personal experience: my spoken voice improved a bit, mostly because of my breathing, and its more ajusted. Still there is no placement whatsoever, and if I try to apply it to the spoken voice, it only comes with some effort. So I figure I would have to train it all over speaking vowels instead of singing.

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I'd like to put something out there. I try to look at the simple side of things. However I often come across discussions or confusion that I believe may be caused by over thinking. I think that sometimes we all can get to a point where we intellectualize, and assume and over analyze so much we end up passing right by the real answer.

If you are familiar with Occam's razor then you are familiar with seeking the most simple conclusion. Look it up :D

With this in mind I'd like to address something I've thought about while reading through various posts on a recurring theme for the passed few months. I'll use Steve Parry as an example because his name seems to pop up most times with this issue. That being "how does he do it?" Mixed voice, chest voice, head voice, a little of both, curbing, not curbing and on and on. When I read this stuff I am sometimes a bit perplexed because I look at it in a simplified manner. I listened to an interview with him and when I heard him speak what I heard was Steve Perry minus any melody. What if it is as simple as, his voice is his voice and when he adds melody to it and sings it just comes out the way you hear it? Sure, over time he may have learned a few things to aid his ability to project his voice but it is what it is because that is his voice. Same with Robert Plant. When he speaks I hear Robert Plant, just like he sings only without the melody. Over time because they sing so much they just get better at hitting higher notes and breathing etc.

But I think the problem for us mere mortals is that we are wondering how they do it because we are trying to sound like them. We are actively setting out to sound like someone we are not. Meanwhile they are successful at it because they never set out to do anything but open their mouth to sing. The rest was an afterthought and part of improving.

So when they it a higher note and it sounds so nice; it probably started out pretty close to that already just because "that is their voice." My voice is my voice and it wants to go where it is supposed to and if I try to make it "someone else's" that would be where I get to the point of "how the hell does he do that?".

Maybe, just maybe they aren't doing anything but singing. That is their individual voice. Simple!

Thank you for allowing me to think out loud. :D Well...text actually.

I've said the same thing, many times. At least you get the same response.

Another time, I explained how to sound like Robert Plant. It's deceptively easy. All you got to do is be about 6' 1". Upper middle-class british. (of the 4 members of Led Zep, his family was better off than the others. He was just a few shades shy of landed gentry.) Then you would need to listen to a lot of early jazz and soul, which he did. In fact, he considered himself a jazz singer, back then. And John Paul Jones called him a soul singer. Then, there's the whole genetic heritage thingy of that exact size and thickness of vocal folds, those exact shapes and constructions of resonators. Of course, the hard part, to have the same psychology and aesthetic. In other words, to sound like Robert Plant, you need to be Robert Plant.

Chirping crickets was the reply.

Then, again, there is also the viewpoint of some that if you are not trying to some like some already famous singer, you aren't doing enough. Or, such comments are are indicators of personal dissatisfaction with one's self. Psychology is a slippery slope.

But I agree with you, Tommy. Steven Tyler and Steve Perry are both singing the same way. The path of least resistance. And yes, I hear the same tone in their voice as I hear in their singing. Which means they are both managing their breath, resonating, etc. They just happen to have voices that sound different. And they may have been inspired by other singers. When Aerosmith was first starting out, Steven Tyler patterned his act after Mick Jagger. And even adopted a faux british accent for a while. But what he really got from Jagger is the swagger. Hey, that rhymes....

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I've said the same thing, many times. At least you get the same response.

Another time, I explained how to sound like Robert Plant. It's deceptively easy. All you got to do is be about 6' 1". Upper middle-class british. (of the 4 members of Led Zep, his family was better off than the others. He was just a few shades shy of landed gentry.) Then you would need to listen to a lot of early jazz and soul, which he did. In fact, he considered himself a jazz singer, back then. And John Paul Jones called him a soul singer. Then, there's the whole genetic heritage thingy of that exact size and thickness of vocal folds, those exact shapes and constructions of resonators. Of course, the hard part, to have the same psychology and aesthetic. In other words, to sound like Robert Plant, you need to be Robert Plant.

Chirping crickets was the reply.

Then, again, there is also the viewpoint of some that if you are not trying to some like some already famous singer, you aren't doing enough. Or, such comments are are indicators of personal dissatisfaction with one's self. Psychology is a slippery slope.

But I agree with you, Tommy. Steven Tyler and Steve Perry are both singing the same way. The path of least resistance. And yes, I hear the same tone in their voice as I hear in their singing. Which means they are both managing their breath, resonating, etc. They just happen to have voices that sound different. And they may have been inspired by other singers. When Aerosmith was first starting out, Steven Tyler patterned his act after Mick Jagger. And even adopted a faux british accent for a while. But what he really got from Jagger is the swagger. Hey, that rhymes....

I'm sure people understand that they can't sound just like him...He is an individual and unique in himself. What people want is to be as technically proficient as he is. That's just like telling someone that they can't sound like a highly trained classical singer. All of the best classical singers have a very proficient vocal technique and very strong muscles of the larynx which makes them all sound "TRAINED"

Any person can sing just as good if not better than Steve Perry under the right circumstances. Of course everyone is going to sound different because of our different physiology, but we can all enjoy the comfort of being a world class singer if we put in the time and effort.

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Well, let me further alienate people and say that while anyone could sing opera if they wanted to, some of the greatest opera singers tend to have structures that are unique. And that also depends on who's aesthetic you are ascribing to. But some of the greats tended to have cavernous throats, for example. As well as the whole weltanschauung of opera as the be-all end-all. It also depends on the era. Many a fan of the chamber group art song of florid singing bemoaned the advent of Wagner and his louder, heavier sound for singers.

Can Steven Tyler sing opera? Should he? Would he want to do so? Is he not doing enough with his voice because he doesn't pursue opera, even as a hobby? And by the way, he does not pursue opera singing, even as a hobby or a stretch. What he does is one scale. And he does each vowel on that scale.

Is he singing the same way an opera singer does? I think so. Good breathing and management. Resonance. Articulation. It's all there. But I detect something different between him and, say, Russell Watson.

Which muscles of the larynx are really strong? I'm not saying that there isn't conditioning from a long time of singing.

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I'm sure people understand that they can't sound just like him...He is an individual and unique in himself. What people want is to be as technically proficient as he is. That's just like telling someone that they can't sound like a highly trained classical singer. All of the best classical singers have a very proficient vocal technique and very strong muscles of the larynx which makes them all sound "TRAINED"

Any person can sing just as good if not better than Steve Perry under the right circumstances. Of course everyone is going to sound different because of our different physiology, but we can all enjoy the comfort of being a world class singer if we put in the time and effort.

All true and I can't say I disagree. But again, not really the point. Maybe it's me and my way of thinking. It is sometimes hard to get my thoughts into text. I don't think like a normal person. While most people might say "something either is or isn't," that there is black and white, I live in the grey area. My life revolves around "it depends." Even when you say to me 1+1=2 I say "it depends. (that would take too much to explain here :D).

I think most peoples minds work in black and white while mine works in colors and many shades of in between. My mind is like a web of thought all interconnecting. So I think the responses I'm getting here aren't about what I am thinking :D I'm used to that.

But look at it this way. Artists and critics can look at a painting from an unknown and love it. They can go on about the techniques the artist must have (or had to) use. The brush strokes, ponder the training he must have had, what he was thinking when he painted it. The pure technique involved and on and on. But maybe if he came back to life the artist would say "what? Training...technique? lol.... I have no clue what the hell I did....I just found a canvas and some paints and had at it!!"

And yes, there can be techniques to use "get to that sound" that Steve or any favorite singers has or notes they hit. It's like copying coke. But I'm speaking of the singer himself not the ones trying to sound like him.

Next time I come across an example in a post of what I am talking about I'll snip and post it here.

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All true and I can't say I disagree. But again, not really the point. Maybe it's me and my way of thinking. It is sometimes hard to get my thoughts into text. I don't think like a normal person. While most people might say "something either is or isn't," that there is black and white, I live in the grey area. My life revolves around "it depends." Even when you say to me 1+1=2 I say "it depends. (that would take too much to explain here :D).

I think most peoples minds work in black and white while mine works in colors and many shades of in between. My mind is like a web of thought all interconnecting. So I think the responses I'm getting here aren't about what I am thinking :D I'm used to that.

But look at it this way. Artists and critics can look at a painting from an unknown and love it. They can go on about the techniques the artist must have (or had to) use. The brush strokes, ponder the training he must have had, what he was thinking when he painted it. The pure technique involved and on and on. But maybe if he came back to life the artist would say "what? Training...technique? lol.... I have no clue what the hell I did....I just found a canvas and some paints and had at it!!"

And yes, there can be techniques to use "get to that sound" that Steve or any favorite singers has or notes they hit. It's like copying coke. But I'm speaking of the singer himself not the ones trying to sound like him.

Next time I come across an example in a post of what I am talking about I'll snip and post it here.

I understand your point completely. I'm not one to put a label on someone or some type of technique. Just because that person didn't study the art of painting or the art of singing doesn't mean that they are not trained. A lot of people have this misconception that "lessons" of any sort will do wonders to the skill you are trying to improve, but they fail to realize that the skill can only be improved by hard work and dedication. That's why I say any person that is good at something is "TRAINED" whether they were guided with the help of a teacher or they did it on there own.

If you do something enough times you will be trained just from the shear fact that it is very repetitive and your body adapts. I agree with you and what you are saying, but what I am saying is people are good at things because they do them over and over and over and over again LOL

No argument here just another perspective.

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A lot of people have this misconception that "lessons" of any sort will do wonders to the skill you are trying to improve, but they fail to realize that the skill can only be improved by hard work and dedication. That's why I say any person that is good at something is "TRAINED" whether they were guided with the help of a teacher or they did it on there own.

Excellent point. The success is as much from the student as it is from the teacher. It's not how many lessons or scales or whatever you do. It's not how long you do them. Or for how long that you have done them. It's how you do them.

Steven Fraser once or twice aptly stated that 30 minutes of the proper practice is better than an hour or 3 of the wrong things.

And the hard part for some is when they encounter a bad day is to try and muscle through it, which can set up wrong habits. Sometimes, it's better to skip a day and come back fresh, another time. The best way to get rid of a bad habit is not so much in "concentrating" on stopping the bad habit. It is to start the good habit and the old one dies, from lack of use.

Also, when reaching what seems to be an impasse, don't be afraid to step back to something that worked. Get back to a successful thing. First, success often breeds success. Second, by backing up a little, you might see a turn in the road, so to speak, that you skimmed right past, the first time.

People have already mentioned numerous times the phrase "hard work." Determination is the other key. The patience of Job is sometimes needed. Not always, but sometimes. Some things you will get immediately. Others will take a while.

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Great post Ron I totally agree...This is what I truly mean when I say we are capable of doing amazing things because when you do something so long and if it is correct you will improve.

Example: I have a female friend at school who has the best vocal agility I have ever heard in person. I mean she can do any lick, rift, or run you can imagine. So one day I sat down with her and I said "How do you do those rifts like that?" she said "What are you talking about?" I said how do you transition from note to note with such speed and agility? Damn girl you're a beast" she replied back to me "I didn't even know that was good" I was like WTF??? LMAO Then I asked her how she got so good at that and she said, "My father and my brother have always played the piano, but they never taught me. I just tried to do whatever they did with the piano with my voice."

That goes to show just how easy it is to get better at something. "Perfect practice makes perfect"

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hey folks, while reading richard miller's book, i came upon a great section about how some singers set out to train for a countertenor voice, purposely focusing on falsetto and head voice production at the expense of not training the other areas.

i wonder if this was steve perry's goal?

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