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MagicBus

Roy Orbison technique?

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I'm trying to sing some Roy Orbison songs and I just don't quite know to do his higher notes. When I try to hit the high notes in chest voice they come out belty and they strain my voice quick. I usually have to resort to head voice to pull these notes off.

 

The example below the notes I have trouble with are after the 1min mark like "just before the dawn", "i awake and find you gone", "its do bad that all these things".

I can hit the notes with a clean head voice but I'm having trouble distinguishing how high I should go with my chest voice in Roy Orbison's songs.

I'm a male tenor with a chest range of around C3 to F4 where the F and G seem to require belting or using mixed voice.

 

/watch?v=TPqZs7Vl_xg

 

Around the 2min mark h says "Anything you Waaaa-aaaaa--aaant" I the last pitch and subsequent "oooooh" I have to use head voice to hit.

/watch?v=NcGzwyTvkIQ

 

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Roy Orbison DOES use headvoice and Falsetto.......More than most people think..    His lower notes are already in a Headier coordination.

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I'm trying to sing some Roy Orbison songs and I just don't quite know to do his higher notes. When I try to hit the high notes in chest voice they come out belty and they strain my voice quick. I usually have to resort to head voice to pull these notes off.

 

The example below the notes I have trouble with are after the 1min mark like "just before the dawn", "i awake and find you gone", "its do bad that all these things".

I can hit the notes with a clean head voice but I'm having trouble distinguishing how high I should go with my chest voice in Roy Orbison's songs.

I'm a male tenor with a chest range of around C3 to F4 where the F and G seem to require belting or using mixed voice.

 

/watch?v=TPqZs7Vl_xg

 

Around the 2min mark h says "Anything you Waaaa-aaaaa--aaant" I the last pitch and subsequent "oooooh" I have to use head voice to hit.

/watch?v=NcGzwyTvkIQ

 

Hey Magic,

Welcome to the forum. Please go ahead and upload a picture to your profile. It really helps the forum. If you don't know how, look here: https://youtu.be/o5shcSf9VXs?list=PLzvXyyJTjIJaSSmFNo8McrMih8jN6Vn-x

Thank you.

 

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Roy Orbison DOES use headvoice and Falsetto.......More than most people think..    His lower notes are already in a Headier coordination.

That is what it sounds like to my ears as well. He sounds placed into a really beautiful head voice. He described his voice as 'flowering' it was definitely not a pushed sound. I've bombed on this song repeatedly in the past, and might try again sometime:

 

 

 

Every time, I'd push or squeeze or try to do something and he is 100 percent relaxed. :D

 

Anyway qualities that can help:

 

1. Plaintiveness (slight cry is present in all of his recordings)

2. Top down (start with a lighter timbre and add only add the least amount weight needed)

3. Pay attention to vowels, look for the ones that are the freest floating but still maintain some degree of weight.if they start grippng or pulling move them around, grabbing a vowel like in 'book' and sliding into an 'uh' might help keep warmth. Some of the easiest vowels popular for shouting and screaming higher notes will fall on their face trying to sing delicately throughout the register with power and with control.

 

Roy was a fantastic, emotive singer and I love his voice. It has more power than some of the thickest shouts and screams and to me is a perfect example of strength coming from allowing vulnerability into a voice. It's one of the least guarded and most honest voices in rock.

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Thanks for the replies! It's nice knowing that he uses head voice a lot. I'm going to record myself singing and post here maybe tomorrow if the recording equipment works. From now on instead of straining my voice with very high chest notes (for me at least) I will use my head voice more.

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    Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley are two sides of the same coin.....The difference is that Elvis used Heavy Mass and Roy uses Light Mass.

   Elvis started as a Rocker and Belted for the higher notes....and refined that in later years to a more Classical style..... He may or may not have had training but certainly the other singers that he worked with were and he was VERY conscious about how he sounded, he would have gotten tips from his costars if nothing else.

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   Maybe not a formal technique but a technique non the less......How you do whatever it is you do is a technique. Whatever he is doing it works for him.

I think I am experiencing Deja Vu.......Seems we have been here before with the question of Roy and whether or not he has a technique.......

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Uhm... ? Does Roy Orbison have a technique? LOL ... what am I missing? Lovely voice...

 

​As much as I love and respect the man I was never too fond of the way he describes his vocal talent.  As a "gift" that "he had nothing to do with."  Come on man, that's humble sure but it's also just not the truth.  This guy even says himself that his voice developed into what we know and love over time when he gives this quote here, "I liked the sound of [my voice]. I liked making it sing, making the voice ring, and I just kept doing it. And I think that somewhere between the time of "Ooby Dooby" and "Only the Lonely", it kind of turned into a good voice."  

 Okay, so "Only the Lonely" was released 1960. He would have been 24-years-old when his "gift" suddenly started sounding good?  As I said previously, I love and respect the man but I think this kind of attitude that a great singing voice is a "gift" given to a select few is unfair to the aspiring singers of the world.  I think it would have been much more respectable and honest if he had said, "I started with very little and worked my ass off for ten years until I had a lot."  With that rant out of the way though, still a great person and an amazing musician/vocalist/etc/etc.  R.I.P Roy Orbison

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I agree. he definitely knows what he's doing. You can hear how he shapes the vowels.

He is another example of a singer where their falsetto and full voice (whether trained or naturally endowed) are tonally similar.

I truly believe that you can really mislead yourself when you don't have a voice like this and you try to sing like this. Here are two singers Benny Mardones and Roy Orbison.  You can hear the vocal weight difference almost immediately. Mardones has more girth to his sound even as he sings softly compared to Orbison. I believe if Mardones tried to lighten his voice to get to the weight of Orbison's he may not even be able to phonate. His voice requires more.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Roy Orbison How to sing

Well truth is this. Unless a person is born with a 5 octave voice. Now that is very few. You should be able to go from below bass (octovist) to an octave above soprano. Roy Orbison type voice could go lower or higher than what he recorded if he wanted to. I know becouse I can go from octovist to above soprano in one held breath for fun. Roy sang high mostly in his chest voice, sometimes softly or with power by simply relaxing and opening up his voice, letting it flow out. He of cause learnt how to sing and play guitar from his dad, the Teen Kings. And picked singing tips up from his time at Sun Records, Monument. Others with non Orbison voices will need to learn advanced technique to sing a little like Roy. Great voices take a long time to develop, as did Roy's. Roy was correct to say "God gave him his golden voice". 

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Guest Roy Orbison singing method

I not fooled by this singer Benny. Yes he is a good singer but not held his end note like Roy. Benny starts of with a mixture of soft and strong, is a little breathy. Roy just starts of softly with nothing to prove vocally, no breath escaping. Hence that's why he is so powerful on his high notes, chest or head voice, resonating so bauntifully. 

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Guest Roy Orbison singing method

Listen to Roy before the end part, we're he is no longer singing softly but his normal strong voice. This is his real voice, now compare him to others. Yes this Ben is a good singer though. 

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