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Maynard James Keenan

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One of my biggest influences hands down as a singer has to be be Maynard from Tool. I love his amazing technique and the way he sings with passion. lately i've been trying to emulate his more aggressive vocalizing but i've hit a wall. I've noticed that after practicing the technique for 45 minutes or so @ practice, my voice doesn't necessarily hurt but is "raw" afterwards, and i sometimes lose my higher notes. does anybody have an idea what Maynard is doing to achieve that vocal distortion in a safe way? any advice would be greatly appreciated.

p.s. i recently purchased a copy of Robert Lunte's 4 pillars vocal program and can't wait for it to get here! :]

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One of my biggest influences hands down as a singer has to be be Maynard from Tool. I love his amazing technique and the way he sings with passion. lately i've been trying to emulate his more aggressive vocalizing but i've hit a wall. I've noticed that after practicing the technique for 45 minutes or so @ practice, my voice doesn't necessarily hurt but is "raw" afterwards, and i sometimes lose my higher notes. does anybody have an idea what Maynard is doing to achieve that vocal distortion in a safe way? any advice would be greatly appreciated.

p.s. i recently purchased a copy of Robert Lunte's 4 pillars vocal program and can't wait for it to get here! :]

what tool song? can you post it?

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I am aware of two ways to produce distortion. One is so much twang that your false vocal folds are close enough to rattle off each other. The other is fry, where you introduce just enough air escaping. Either one is going to where you out, at first. I'm currently working on the twang route. It could be a growl in the song but how does one do a growl at any pitch? Is it not the FVF, really?

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There are a bit more than 2 ways to produce rasp, actually. The ones ronws mentioned are both great but I don't think the Tool singer is using either of these.

I think he's using something CVT calls creaking, and it's probably the most common type of rasp there is. It's produced by the true folds and not the false folds, even though the false folds might come into play at some notes, just due to the emotion of the singer bringing it out or the pitch of the note (it being very high, most noticably) or the sound colour, f.ex.

CVT describes creaking as singing between two vocal modes, one of them always being curbing.

One way you could try it out is singing with a "hold" - which sounds like you're singing with a stomach ache and are hurt, in medium volume and then gradually increase the volume until a slight rasp appears, but keep that "hold" - DON'T release it. NEVER use a breathy/airy sound when doing this, make the sound thinner/twangier as you go up in pitch and try to make the rasp appear before you get to maximum volume, even though the volume will get pretty loud, especially for higher notes. Keep the focus of your sound in your soft palate and be aware that your stomach muscles will automatically work a bit harder for raspy sounds. And try to figure out which muscles, especially in your throat and stomach-area you can relax and which ones you need to contract. Only contract the ones you really need. That will save you so much effort.

Another way to find creaking is starting with a "shouty", but "free", tone, but NOT breathy and with a very relaxed, open throat and then start putting in that "hold" sound more and more until rasp appears. Here's an example of me doing this: http://www.box.net/shared/eknsc0vvh8

In my opinion, the 2 main enemies of raspy singing are a) singing with a breathy tone (even slightly breathy is BAD) and B) distorting the notes ONLY by singing louder (as opposed to increasing the hold or/and the twang and increasing breath pressure into your soft palate).

Also, rock vocal coach Jamie Vendera always talks about that having the focus of your tone in your soft palate is probably the most important thing to do for raspy singing. By that I think he personally means having lots of twang and lighten the sound colour as you go up in pitch. I almost wrote an essay about this on the CVT forum the other day but I'm not sure if it's acceptable to put links to another forums from here.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I'm not the biggest vocal expert here, not by a long shot and I'm not a vocal coach.

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There are a bit more than 2 ways to produce rasp, actually. The ones ronws mentioned are both great but I don't think the Tool singer is using either of these.

I think he's using something CVT calls creaking, and it's probably the most common type of rasp there is. It's produced by the true folds and not the false folds, even though the false folds might come into play at some notes, just due to the emotion of the singer bringing it out or the pitch of the note (it being very high, most noticably) or the sound colour, f.ex.

CVT describes creaking as singing between two vocal modes, one of them always being curbing.

One way you could try it out is singing with a "hold" - which sounds like you're singing with a stomach ache and are hurt, in medium volume and then gradually increase the volume until a slight rasp appears, but keep that "hold" - DON'T release it. NEVER use a breathy/airy sound when doing this, make the sound thinner/twangier as you go up in pitch and try to make the rasp appear before you get to maximum volume, even though the volume will get pretty loud, especially for higher notes. Keep the focus of your sound in your soft palate and be aware that your stomach muscles will automatically work a bit harder for raspy sounds. And try to figure out which muscles, especially in your throat and stomach-area you can relax and which ones you need to contract. Only contract the ones you really need. That will save you so much effort.

Another way to find creaking is starting with a "shouty", but "free", tone, but NOT breathy and with a very relaxed, open throat and then start putting in that "hold" sound more and more until rasp appears. Here's an example of me doing this: http://www.box.net/shared/eknsc0vvh8

In my opinion, the 2 main enemies of raspy singing are a) singing with a breathy tone (even slightly breathy is BAD) and B) distorting the notes ONLY by singing louder (as opposed to increasing the hold or/and the twang and increasing breath pressure into your soft palate).

Also, rock vocal coach Jamie Vendera always talks about that having the focus of your tone in your soft palate is probably the most important thing to do for raspy singing. By that I think he personally means having lots of twang and lighten the sound colour as you go up in pitch. I almost wrote an essay about this on the CVT forum the other day but I'm not sure if it's acceptable to put links to another forums from here.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I'm not the biggest vocal expert here, not by a long shot and I'm not a vocal coach.

that was very good.

if i can add another, when you're going for any type of extreme or non neutral tone, it really helps to visualize, almost "pre-hear" yourself in your mind as you want the voice to ultimately sound. conjure up in your mind.... let's say a raspy sound is your goal, visalize a raspy sound such as a buzzsaw, (ron will like that one,lol) or an animal that may have a sound like you want to. act out the sound, acting the sound. it really works!!

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