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Range Demonstration; want to sing classical

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RockNSoulLover
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I want to try singing classical and opera styles, but I have no training. In pop, it doesn't matter what your voice type is, but it seems central to classical. Can anyone help me determine if I should try tenor, baritone, or bass roles?

I go from my highest comfortable to my lowest and include my speaking voice (I am not sure if that matters):

http://vocaroo.com/i/s1wLU3VQZcr4

warning: my speaking voice is almost inaudible (I get told to "speak up sir" almost everywhere) but my singing voice isn't. I backed up about 7 ft from the mic and kept it at the same sensitivity so it is as close to "usable classically"

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You sound like a tenor to me. On the low side of tenor maybe. And yes, your speaking voice is kinda quiet. Maybe you should try some annunciation exercises that speakers use, so that they can be heard towards the back of a room. I believe operatic singers to similar exercises.

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I am willing to think and say that how we speak and how we sing are two different things. I've gone back and forth between worrying about how I speak and not worrying about and I gravitate to the latter. As long as you are doing what is right when you sing.

Anyway, listening to your sample, I would say helden tenor. A person cast as a helden tenor is expected to be strong and heroic from C3 to C5 and you have that. While a helden could sing some notes outside of those two octaves, they are simply not as important as a solid and unified sound within those end points.

For example, in my redneck opinion, you have the right voice for range and tone for "Nessun Dorma." I would likely not do it right, though I have the range that can carry it. Because my voice is not so "helden." And some would say, "well, Ron, you could train to be helden, if that is what you want." Fair enough, and I could say the same to you, Rock. But you are already getting that tone, even with this sample.

It also depends on what your professional goal is. If you want to be an opera singer, you have to study with a coach, regardless of how good you are. It is the way of the opera world. In 1976, the Philadelphia Eagles held open try-outs for people not trained in college or having a lot of bona fides in football. In walks Vincent Papale. Mark Wahlberg stars as him in the movie, "The Invincible." He had a 3 year career full of injuries because he was already an old man of 30 when he joined.

They don't do that for opera. Which should not stop you. For you could local theater and musicals. In smaller towns that don't attract big opera names, you could shine. Then, again, so could I, which may not be saying a whole lot. :lol::(

What I have also noticed is that training for something like opera or classical art songs may also change your fach or description. It can also change, depending on the music. Vocal fach is more often about the role being cast than the actual singer, though the fach of the singer is described what range they can most comfortably carry for an evening performance for several nights a week, for several weeks or a year.

For example, I would most likely be cast as some kind of tenor in a show because that is where the strength and endurance of my voice is. My lowest notes are really soft and low in volume, not suitable for carrying across the footlights of a stage with acoustical accompaniment. My voice is centered kind of high and light.

And, like you, I have a soft speaking voice even though I can sing with considerable volume.

What makes you an opera singer? Depends on whom you ask and what day of the week. That sounds cheeky but it's true. But if that is what you want to do, then do it and let no one stop you.

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Too tense to know.

I've gotten this before. I don't know how to fix it? It doesn't hurt at all and I can do it multiple times. Is there anything in particular you hear that I am doing wrong?

I'm really trying to imitate Pav/Bocelli/Diego Flores/Sherill without any training, so I'm not sure if that's wise to do considering those three are very, very trained.

I did have one vocal lesson, and the teacher just asked me "So tenor or baritone?".

Am I in danger of losing my voice like that even if it doesn't feel "bad" now? I'm 27 if that matters.

Another thing that is odd: I tend to lose my voice speaking quicker than I do with singing. After a night of singing, I'm still okay. If I "speak up" in a bar, my voice is hoarse the next day. Does my speaking voice sound unhealthy as well? What do you recommend I do first?

Would you describe any of my influences as tense?

They are:

Whitney Houston

Mariah Carey

Robert Plant

Steve Perry

Peabo Bryson

Pavorotti

Bocelli

Diego Flores

Barry White

Issac Hayes

Stevie Wonder

Celine Dion

Lara Fabian

Axl Rose

Christina Aguilera (okay, this is probably just silly to mention as she seems to be every vocal coach's "dont" )

My vocals are pretty much just a combination of trying to imitate all of these people at some point in my life (of course, an octave lower or so for the females).

I'm making a program to test for my resonance peaks; I'm not sure if that will help.

If it helps, it seems I don't employ much effort until around E4. After that, I can feel my voice "switch" so to speak. I feel it more in my head. I just kept working in this direction until I could get up to the 5th octave without feeling it hurt. I'm trying to "mix" as they say.

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I am willing to think and say that how we speak and how we sing are two different things. I've gone back and forth between worrying about how I speak and not worrying about and I gravitate to the latter. As long as you are doing what is right when you sing.

Anyway, listening to your sample, I would say helden tenor. A person cast as a helden tenor is expected to be strong and heroic from C3 to C5 and you have that. While a helden could sing some notes outside of those two octaves, they are simply not as important as a solid and unified sound within those end points.

For example, in my redneck opinion, you have the right voice for range and tone for "Nessun Dorma." I would likely not do it right, though I have the range that can carry it. Because my voice is not so "helden." And some would say, "well, Ron, you could train to be helden, if that is what you want." Fair enough, and I could say the same to you, Rock. But you are already getting that tone, even with this sample.

It also depends on what your professional goal is. If you want to be an opera singer, you have to study with a coach, regardless of how good you are. It is the way of the opera world. In 1976, the Philadelphia Eagles held open try-outs for people not trained in college or having a lot of bona fides in football. In walks Vincent Papale. Mark Wahlberg stars as him in the movie, "The Invincible." He had a 3 year career full of injuries because he was already an old man of 30 when he joined.

They don't do that for opera. Which should not stop you. For you could local theater and musicals. In smaller towns that don't attract big opera names, you could shine. Then, again, so could I, which may not be saying a whole lot. :lol::(

What I have also noticed is that training for something like opera or classical art songs may also change your fach or description. It can also change, depending on the music. Vocal fach is more often about the role being cast than the actual singer, though the fach of the singer is described what range they can most comfortably carry for an evening performance for several nights a week, for several weeks or a year.

For example, I would most likely be cast as some kind of tenor in a show because that is where the strength and endurance of my voice is. My lowest notes are really soft and low in volume, not suitable for carrying across the footlights of a stage with acoustical accompaniment. My voice is centered kind of high and light.

And, like you, I have a soft speaking voice even though I can sing with considerable volume.

What makes you an opera singer? Depends on whom you ask and what day of the week. That sounds cheeky but it's true. But if that is what you want to do, then do it and let no one stop you.

I was thinking Heldentenor, but their roles tend to require huge breath support, which I've only recently got access to... somewhat. I had bad asthma (to the point where my allergist told me that I cannot sing anything until I got it under control). In comes symbicort , and I can now get up to Cs and such.

Interesting, Im not too far off, Im 27 (ugh as 30 approaches...)

I'm not sure if it's healthy. I've been told it sounds tense by those with better musical ears (no offence to you; some people actually just dedicate their lives to voice). For example Felipe above (once I clicked his link) is an actual vocal coach, who , interestingly enough has a section on "classification"

I can get away with most of this in pop. But I notice a lot of big/showy pop vocalists lose their voices much more quickly.

I'm a big fan of Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, etc. All "big voiced" people. But they all seemed to lose their gifts rather quickly, even though they could sound great to most people.

Stevie didn't largely because he invested in operatic training once he noticed he was getting sore a bit after nightly singing, and he has a much higher sitting voice than I do.

Mariah, I loved her range. I liked being able to sing low then high. Even now, I get asked to be a "fill in" for whatver is missing. If a group needs a tenor, I sing that, if they need a bass, I sing that.

I sing as a hobby, really. I'm far too shy to really want to do it otherwise. I'm a scientist as a living.

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Okay, Rock, as I have said before, I am not an expert in singing. And I don't describe or define myself as a teacher of singing and because I don't, my opinion can only mean zero. I apologize for my ignorant statements.

Oh no, Im sorry if it came off that way. It's just me being critical of myself. I appreciated your comments, as always :D

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No offense taken. And Jens gives the same wise advise that Felipe would. To get a coach. I realize, now, that I was not clear enough in my initial response and that is my bad.

In opera singing, you must have a coach because that is the way that it is done. There are no "walk-on's" like I mentioned with Vince Papale and his short-lived pro football career. You can also train for whatever level of opera singing profession you care to sing. But it will be with a coach. Because that is how they do things in that world. Again, I am not an expert but I do read a lot, including the interviews of opera singers from this century and the last one.

You can also gain good instruction for a pop singing career by seeking classical instructors in your own area. A former member once suggested that as a viable alternative. If you are on a limited budget and most people are, you can often afford a few lessons at a local college. Many graduate level voice majors also work as teaching assistants and have no problems or conflict of ethics teaching amateurs and pop singers.

And you are correct. I did not dedicate my life to voice. I have been financially responsible for myself since 1982. Struggling just to feed myself and I have been homeless twice and flat, stinking broke a few other times.

Even today, I cannot devote my life to voice. I have a good paying job to finally pay some bills and I work an average of 60 hours a week, not including the 1 hour drive to work and the 1.5 hour drive home (thanks to traffic.) I leave the house before 5 am and I am lucky to get home by 6 pm (traffic, stopping at the grocery store.)

But you've got some good people here giving you some good advice. In fact, it was writings from Felipe that helped me discover that fachs are more dependent on the role and who is casting it than what the singer thinks of himself.

For example, 3 helden tenors audition for the same role. Only one gets chosen. Are the other two any less helden? And really, aside from a carte blanche appraisal of your voice, you won't be legit "helden" until you have trained for such a role. And then you are helden for the duration of that role.

As for breath support, all forms of singing and fach require management of the breath, as far as I can see.

I had asthma, too. The problem with that, during an attack, is that often the only way you can get air in is by heaving the chest, the excact opposite of what you should do to sing. So, yeah, take whatever medications that soothe the systems and let your belly take the air in.

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Oh, wow, sorry to hear rowns. Congradulations on the job. Again, Im sorry that came off rude. I just thought I was perhaps harming my voice.

Thank you, yes, I use that. Is your job related to music? Or did you diverge?

Nice speaking with you.

My name is Sean by the way :-)

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No, I am an electrician by trade, operations manager, by occupation, for a contractor that specializes in electrical work for swimming pools and outdoor kitchens and arbors, though my career experience has been in residential, commercial (offices, schools, stores,) and industrial (repairs and change orders in hazardous factory locations like paint factories and breweries. Those are considered class I, division I (flammable vapor in open air contact.)) Thanks to my step-grandfather, I started studying electrical theory and electronics in 1975. But I didn't start doing electrical work until 1983. These days, I have a Texas State Master Electrician license, the "biggest" one they issue. You have to have one to get a state contractor license. At my company, one of the owners is also a master electrician and it's his license that is legally "attached" to the contractor's license.

As operations manager, I am responsible for every detail. I mean, every detail. Though only things I don't regularly do is invoicing and payroll, though I have had to once or twice. Maintaining stock, ordering and receiving. Scheduling work. Designing systems. Answering technical questions, NEC code questions, maintaining company registration in the various cities, administering continuing ed for the state license, logistical support for the crews in the field when it turns out they need something that was not anticipated, maintaining the security of the office and shop and sensitive documents, pursuing slow paying clients. They call me one time to get something scheduled and I do it. This is then followed by my pursuing them for a month with emails and phone calls to simply get paid for work we have already done. Sometimes, I have to leave the office to pick up the check.

I am responsible for the preventive maintenance schedule of our fleet of trucks. We do our own oil and filter changes, brake pads.

I am responsible in some cities for requesting inspections which must happen in a timely manner because the builder has other trades scheduled after us, pending inspections. One day of slipping up can cost them a week. And we are talking about projects who's total value approaches $100k.

Often, on the way home, I am dealing with more business calls on my company cellphone, making notes and then sending an email to my work email, once I get home, copying to one of the owners with whom I do the most work, as it will affect the schedule and needs to know the updates.

And he does special projects, such as the fountain for the new mirror at ATT Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium.) And, of course, providing logistical support for special projects like that, which are always like a burning fire.

Receiving and scheduling service calls and quoting prices and providing estimates. Drawing electrical diagrams for arbor structures as required by some cities in their plan review and approval process for some of our builders.

Seeing that the office has it's supplies, such as printer ink for for different printers. Bathroom tissue, paper towels, whatever an office needs.

Then a builder starts using a new piece of equipment, such as the Hayward Ecostar pump, which requires a special connection of communication cable. So I have to research that and present it in a color coded format for the installation crews. Or an Aqua Comfort heater/chiller and I need to know what the voltage and current requirements are so that the crews have the right size wire and circuit breaker.

What cities are following which edition of the NEC (not all cities are following the 2011. And a new one, the 2014, is out.

Coordinating with crews in the field over the phone for information that builders had failed to give and we need to know now. The crews speak mostly spanish, so I am translating across a language barrier with my tex-mex lingo. At least one problem on each job for each of three crews and one service tech, averaging two to three jobs for each crew, each day. Every day.

So, sometimes, given a free moment, I can wonder around the shop and sing something. And the one owner I often work with, he has his ipod station going all the time and we like to recite lyrics ala comedian Steve Allen.

Though, I kid you not, out of the clear blue with no thought before hand, we both piped up with "Click, Click, Boom!" from Saliva.

Scary ....

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No, I am an electrician by trade, operations manager, by occupation, for a contractor that specializes in electrical work for swimming pools and outdoor kitchens and arbors, though my career experience has been in residential, commercial (offices, schools, stores,) and industrial (repairs and change orders in hazardous factory locations like paint factories and breweries. Those are considered class I, division I (flammable vapor in open air contact.)) Thanks to my step-grandfather, I started studying electrical theory and electronics in 1975. But I didn't start doing electrical work until 1983. These days, I have a Texas State Master Electrician license, the "biggest" one they issue. You have to have one to get a state contractor license. At my company, one of the owners is also a master electrician and it's his license that is legally "attached" to the contractor's license.

As operations manager, I am responsible for every detail. I mean, every detail. Though only things I don't regularly do is invoicing and payroll, though I have had to once or twice. Maintaining stock, ordering and receiving. Scheduling work. Designing systems. Answering technical questions, NEC code questions, maintaining company registration in the various cities, administering continuing ed for the state license, logistical support for the crews in the field when it turns out they need something that was not anticipated, maintaining the security of the office and shop and sensitive documents, pursuing slow paying clients. They call me one time to get something scheduled and I do it. This is then followed by my pursuing them for a month with emails and phone calls to simply get paid for work we have already done. Sometimes, I have to leave the office to pick up the check.

I am responsible for the preventive maintenance schedule of our fleet of trucks. We do our own oil and filter changes, brake pads.

I am responsible in some cities for requesting inspections which must happen in a timely manner because the builder has other trades scheduled after us, pending inspections. One day of slipping up can cost them a week. And we are talking about projects who's total value approaches $100k.

Often, on the way home, I am dealing with more business calls on my company cellphone, making notes and then sending an email to my work email, once I get home, copying to one of the owners with whom I do the most work, as it will affect the schedule and needs to know the updates.

And he does special projects, such as the fountain for the new mirror at ATT Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium.) And, of course, providing logistical support for special projects like that, which are always like a burning fire.

Receiving and scheduling service calls and quoting prices and providing estimates. Drawing electrical diagrams for arbor structures as required by some cities in their plan review and approval process for some of our builders.

Seeing that the office has it's supplies, such as printer ink for for different printers. Bathroom tissue, paper towels, whatever an office needs.

Then a builder starts using a new piece of equipment, such as the Hayward Ecostar pump, which requires a special connection of communication cable. So I have to research that and present it in a color coded format for the installation crews. Or an Aqua Comfort heater/chiller and I need to know what the voltage and current requirements are so that the crews have the right size wire and circuit breaker.

What cities are following which edition of the NEC (not all cities are following the 2011. And a new one, the 2014, is out.

Coordinating with crews in the field over the phone for information that builders had failed to give and we need to know now. The crews speak mostly spanish, so I am translating across a language barrier with my tex-mex lingo. At least one problem on each job for each of three crews and one service tech, averaging two to three jobs for each crew, each day. Every day.

So, sometimes, given a free moment, I can wonder around the shop and sing something. And the one owner I often work with, he has his ipod station going all the time and we like to recite lyrics ala comedian Steve Allen.

Though, I kid you not, out of the clear blue with no thought before hand, we both piped up with "Click, Click, Boom!" from Saliva.

Scary ....

Nice :-). Electricity fascinated me as a child (yeah, it didn't get TOO dangerous :lol:), surprised I didn't do something with it. That sounds like a lot! Amazing to go to that from homelessness. I did sciencecy stuff, but I always wanted to be a writer. I don't know how that happened.

Is everything easier from 1975 with things like CAD and general computing?

tex-mex lol. I only know a bit of castillian, and I can't keep up if they speak fast.

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I know a bit of castillian, as well. And a smattering of japanese, chinese, russian, ukrainian, french. But I studied two years of german in high school and a few years on my own. My mother's father was from Germany.

Anyway, don't mind me crashing your thread, this song describes my life.

"Against the Wind" by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

https://app.box.com/s/vp7zk77fn9y01ufwuct3

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  • 2 weeks later...

I failed to answer your other question.

When I make a diagram for a builder, it is a simple line diagram I draw in red ink over structural drawing sent to me. I then scan and email it back so they can submit it. And, in Texas, with the TDLR rules, a master electrician, such as myself, is also recognized as an electrical designer, without a college degree, because of our applied experience. However, when I started college at University of Texas at Arlington, I was a EE major.

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