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What Does It Mean When Tenors Sing Up To A C5?

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Is full voice the same as chest voice or is it chest + head/mix? Let me use Paul McCartney (well known tenor as an example). Is he singing chest or head/mix here: https://youtu.be/ivW2Rkkj5gU?t=26  (the highest note he hits is B4)?

What about here? https://youtu.be/Mi5ODY-vIzI (he hits G#4 at "through", which register is this?)

In the same song he hits a B4 here https://youtu.be/Mi5ODY-vIzI?t=26  (is this chest voice?)

I'm asking this because I'd ideally want to be this kind of a singer, but as of now (without any proper lessons) my chest voice limit is F4 which is very low and I'm not happy with that at all. I hear people sing notes like the G#4 in the video and I think "That doesn't sound so high, yeah I could do it" and then I can't hit it without going into nerdy head voice or falsetto. Incredibly frustrating. I'm doubtful that lessons can increase my chest voice range significantly (right?). I know the reasonable thing would be to work on my mix, but if Paul doesn't do it I'd feel like it was cheating. What are you thoughts on this? I appreciate your input, cheers.

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To tell you the truth, the reasonable thing isn't to work on a 'mix' or any one thing and think that there is a magic button you can press to get there. Singing will take, time, effort, training, and would go faster if you know what to train. If you don't know what to train, you could spin your wheels. 

Another thing, is unless you have laryngeal scope and pharyngeal scope, and some EMG equipment to measure muscular tensions, some of air flow detector. Singing is a sound that is a result of so many components, worrying about what name people give to a sound isn't really important. People give all sorts of weird names to sounds and a lot of times they aren't correct.

So what you'd need to do, is coordinate your voice to sing up there with a sound that is compatible. It's probably going to involve bridging, and it might involve making sounds that are stupid before you get to the one you want. If your voice taps out at F4 or whatever, then most likely you are using a coordination that taps out at F4. You can call that coordination whatever you want. Ground voice (it's stuck on the ground).

 

You have some options here, imo:

1. Make a LOT of different sounds. Try to learn different coordinations for your voice. vowels, airflow, timbres, etc. You can give them hundreds of names. Look for the ones that are straining less, resonate more, and give you what you want.  Some things will get mixed, but probably not the way you think.

2. Get lessons, training material, learn about the voice,, and have someone who knows how to do coordinate the voice help you towards the sound you want. 

3. Continue to fear sounds because people give them wussy names like falsetto or head voice and keep trying to stay in your 'whatever' voice and getting stuck at F4.

 

I can tell you one thing that Mccartney most likely didn't do, which is 3. I've heard stories of him and Lennon making all kinds of inappropriate sounds. Joking, having fun, sometimes at the expense of others, but he learned how to coordinate the voice cause he was fearless, not because he was concerned of if he was a true tenor, or if he was always in chest voice.  He trained and coordinated his voice to do those things. Most likely you can do that too, greatly expand your range, possibly exceed Mccartney, who knows? The least likely way you'll get there is by fearing sounding like a wuss while finding new to coordinate your voice. You're not going to get the muscle memory, coordination, and strength in place, if you aren't willing to try various coordination. That coordination will almost definitely be different from whatever you currently experience a a chest voice. Cause, well? That doesn't go above F4, does it? :D If it really makes you feel better, you can call the new coordination that goes higher, the Zubadoo, the Diggidy Bowow. If it works and sounds good for you, that's the one you're looking for.

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Full voice Is often a term to describe a fully adducted and moderate to loud sound.  

Mix voice is a term that usually means a fully adducted M2, which many would call head voice.  

Chest usually means M1, but you might get arguments around here on that.  

Using those definitions, Full Voice can be Chest or Mix (head).  A lot of tenors will be in Head at C5.  The transition from Chest to Head is highly adjustable, but caps out at C5 for males.

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In the end what we label things does not matter. It's "that" sound you can clearly hear what sound it is, the key to getting these sounds is practicing your entire voice with a good coach that has understanding of the voice and how to train it.

Regardless if i say this is chest or head or mix or curbing or overdrive or whatever term you wanna label it as. The key to getting sounds like this is training your entire voice, meaning you need to train falsetto, you need to train chest, you need to train mix and headvoice. You need a wellbalanced strong voice that can handle dynamics, i get the feeling by giving you a certain term to this, lets use "chestvoice" you will pinpoint your training on just "chestvoice"  and you will completly miss out on the things that will actualy get you there.

Hope this makes sense, cheers

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Paul sings in a mix but remember that mix is also full voice. This is where the terms can get confusing.

It's easiest to just define what he is NOT doing.

He is not:

-pulling chest, yelling, straining himself, etc.

-flipping to falsetto or head voice or generally letting go of that full voice quality

He IS using a coordination in between those two extremes that is similar to speech and I would definitely call it mixed voice.

You have to train this mix over a period of time. It should resemble a natural speech quality, think of the intensity of loud speech. But it will also have a little bit of a cry quality in it that helps tilt the larynx and gradually "thin out" the fold mass so you don't have to push for higher pitches. You should be able to unlock the range you want in this coordination within a couple months training but honing and refining it so it sounds as great as Paul will take many years.

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Actually, the question is so open ended there is really no way to give a pointed answer unless there is clarification as to doing What... In a c5. I guess the what is,,, what is Paul Macartney doing on a c5... ?

... Squeezing on the twanger basically... Nice voice, nice control and nice tone... But...?

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Is full voice the same as chest voice or is it chest + head/mix? Let me use Paul McCartney (well known tenor as an example). Is he singing chest or head/mix here: https://youtu.be/ivW2Rkkj5gU?t=26  (the highest note he hits is B4)?

What about here? https://youtu.be/Mi5ODY-vIzI (he hits G#4 at "through", which register is this?)

In the same song he hits a B4 here https://youtu.be/Mi5ODY-vIzI?t=26  (is this chest voice?)

I'm asking this because I'd ideally want to be this kind of a singer, but as of now (without any proper lessons) my chest voice limit is F4 which is very low and I'm not happy with that at all. I hear people sing notes like the G#4 in the video and I think "That doesn't sound so high, yeah I could do it" and then I can't hit it without going into nerdy head voice or falsetto. Incredibly frustrating. I'm doubtful that lessons can increase my chest voice range significantly (right?). I know the reasonable thing would be to work on my mix, but if Paul doesn't do it I'd feel like it was cheating. What are you thoughts on this? I appreciate your input, cheers.

     The first thing is that you need to go ahead and sing in that nerdy headvoice or falsetto. Sing in that area often even if it sounds like crap. You only learn how to control things by actually using them.

     Other than that do what you are doing by asking questions, research and find a good coach.

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I really like your posts lately MDEW... 

The first thing is that you need to go ahead and sing in that nerdy headvoice or falsetto. Sing in that area often even if it sounds like crap. You only learn how to control things by actually using them.

Yes. Fear of sounding bad when in your head voice making windy Falsetto sounds.... is one of the top Killers of students progress. Because they don't understand that what is a windy Falsetto sound today... with training and good coaching (program and teacher), will become a full, "chesty" sound. It is REALLY hard to believe it when you are a beginner making hot wind hooty-flutes... I KNOW... you think to yourself, "... seriously? I can make that sound big and chesty?... I just don't see how?  I just don't believe that it can be true? How can that be... when I listen to "my hero / professional"... he doesn't sound like that, so ... "  and it goes on and on... 

What students and beginners have to understand is... the placement... the position of the windy Falsetto note is ... and Im over simplifying for beginners here folks... the same resonant position that the chesty voice will one day sit in. The PLACEMENT is the same... what isn't the same initially and has to be developed is the musculature and coordination to change Falsetto, into essentially... vocal twang, with lynx anchoring, good respiration and articulators that are well practiced... 

If it feels like vapor and nothing in your head voice, guess what?  YOUR RIGHT!  It is exactly that... it is exactly what you think you hear and feel... you are not delusional on that point... however... students may be delusional about the fact that... that same heady position, with training... CAN sound chest and beef up.  It is mostly about building musculature strength, coordination and respiration support INSIDE that same windy position... then, what used to be Falsetto mode, will sound chesty.

POINT... 

Stop avoiding Falsetto and the head voice... the more you avoid it, the more you waste your time and are going to go nowhere. Embrace Falsetto. Embrace those heady positions! Get to know them... make them your friend... then begin to build them into something beefy... with a good vocal training program and coach... You can't do this without coaching, training content and reading a few books and learning about.

Watch this older video I did that addresses this very issue... pay attention to the message here!

 

I happen to have one of the top programs int he world that helps people do this, its titled, "The Four Pillars of Singing"...  Read the reviews from 7 years of satisfied singers around the world that used this system...  and the table of contents ... it can give you some insights on the program... if you have any questions, feel free to contact me on the PM system or private email.  I'm not just pitching my product... well, I am... but I do so in large part because the fact is, it will help you! There are other programs that will help you as well... but if you are a singer that dreams to have a big, belty head voice... just like all of us ... we have all shared that same dream... you are not unique in this... you have to do the work and train! My program is one of about 5 or 6 in the world that can really get you there, if you commit. 

Hope this helps... 

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Awesome post Rob!

 

I am here also to tell you (positively) if you work the falsetto, even if you sound like a female opera diva, over time, you will begin to hear the falsetto (best way I can describe it) "seal up" and become richer sounding. Also, when you work the falsetto with an open throat and a raised palate you will be learning how to relax up top and move away from squeezing or locking up.

The benefits to falsetto production go further than just making it stronger.

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Awesome post Rob!

 

I am here also to tell you (positively) if you work the falsetto, even if you sound like a female opera diva, over time, you will begin to hear the falsetto (best way I can describe it) "seal up" and become richer sounding. Also, when you work the falsetto with an open throat and a raised palate you will be learning how to relax up top and move away from squeezing or locking up.

The benefits to falsetto production go further than just making it stronger.

 

 

 

 

 

Yea falsetto is preety awesome training tool. Its like a release valve that if you learn how to operate will free you up of tension when singing some heavy stuff (not falsetto per se, but the mechanism you learn using it in training.

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Awesome post Rob!

 

I am here also to tell you (positively) if you work the falsetto, even if you sound like a female opera diva, over time, you will begin to hear the falsetto (best way I can describe it) "seal up" and become richer sounding. Also, when you work the falsetto with an open throat and a raised palate you will be learning how to relax up top and move away from squeezing or locking up.

The benefits to falsetto production go further than just making it stronger.

That is so true... Falsetto is NOT the enemy!!!  It is actually a VERY important 'friend' that helps us in our training... students don't understand that...

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Falsetto.....that word has a negative, effeminate, connotation.  Maybe it's time for a new word or term.

How about the "Upper Deck?"

Yeah, learn to train the upper deck of the voice!!

 

 

 

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Haha Bob, but its not really a problem with a name, is it?

Thing is, if you are a grown up manly man, and you produce a girly voice, its kinda ridiculous. It will always be, no matter how you choose to call it. There are two ways to deal with, one is trying to convince yourself that the girly girl voice is "head salad mix" and thus, because of this new fancy name, its now appropriate. Or, you can just be ridiculous and live with it.

I find the later a much simpler and less troublesome solution. Specially because inventing new names to circle around the problem (the quality itself) can create confusion on top of it. On the appropriate situation girly will be great, when not appropriate, not so much. A new name wont change much...

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Thing is, if you are a grown up manly man, and you produce a girly voice, its kinda ridiculous. 

:24:

You just described me. I am as manly as it gets in several ways. Attitude, training, life experience. Have you been shot at? I have, twice. Lived to tell the tale. All kinds of chop-sockey training. Master marksman. At 50 feet with a S&W model 19 k-frame .357 magnum loaded with .38 caliber 127 grain,  I had five holes in the target, 3 in the heart, 2 in the head, for 30 rounds. I kept going through the same holes and the instructor was using a sight glass to ensure that I was hitting the berm behind the target.

But I have this woman's voice.

I love irony ....

 

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Thing is, if you are a grown up manly man, and you produce a girly voice, its kinda ridiculous. 

:24:

You just described me. I am as manly as it gets in several ways. Attitude, training, life experience. Have you been shot at? I have, twice. Lived to tell the tale. All kinds of chop-sockey training. Master marksman. At 50 feet with a S&W model 19 k-frame .357 magnum loaded with .38 caliber 127 grain,  I had five holes in the target, 3 in the heart, 2 in the head, for 30 rounds. I kept going through the same holes and the instructor was using a sight glass to ensure that I was hitting the berm behind the target.

But I have this woman's voice.

I love irony ....

 

   "But I have this woman's voice"    as long as it is Janis Joplins' or Aretha Franklins'  your gold.....:headbang:

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Oddly enough, nowadays I find it difficult to produce an airy falsetto when I'm warmed up. I can still feel that it's a falsetto, but the sound isn't quite as weak as when I started out a few years ago.

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@ Bob... 

I totally agree with Felipe... can we just keep the term Falsetto for now? I don't want to fight that battle... I think its like trying to change the word for "Pink" to "Bob"... lets not go there... it could get ugly. 

:z-coffee:

One of the most important things I learned as a voice coach early on was... in the pursuit of trying to train voices to sing with a fully adducted, "boomy" head voice... the irony was... the very thing we are trying to learn to stop doing (Falsetto Mode), turns out to be the very thing we need sometimes to achieve that task. This is a very important point that beginners need to pay close attention to. Beginners out there... if you don't get this... and continue to fear or avoid the open glottis, windy sound color of Falsetto because, "its not cool" or "it embarrassing me" or "it doesn't sound right"... you will NOT get it!! You will not learn to bet... you will never get it.

Just because the sound color of Falsetto is is not the "end game" of what we all want to get to, it doesn't mean that it has no value to you as a singer, ESPECIALLY in training and training techniques. 

Falsetto mode, among other things, is characterized by an open glottis... windy voice. Opening the glottis 5%, 10%, 15% or 100% from time to time is critically important to:

1). Release constriction and pushing.

2). Learn to get a feel for the timing of bridging the vocal break. (... in doing so, this would be an "early" bridging maneuver). 

3). Learning to get a feel for what the head voice feels like! (... surprisingly to me, some people have never been in the head voice. Regardless of what it sounds like, you have FIRST... learn how to get there. This is where the resonation is "placed"... the big, full, belty sounds that beginners want to get to... resonant or are "placed" in the same position. So even if Falsetto doesn't sound good yet... you are still reinforcing the resonant placement for your future belts).

Therefore...

4). (Relevant to TVS training)... There are three specialized onsets that are characterized by an open glottis position. We use this to help students with 1-3 above. And the are part of what I call the, "Coordination & Tuning Set" of onsets. 

@Rotlung

This may be because you are singing a lot... your "attractor state" (muscle memory / habits...), are set to adduct and are probably really "beefy". You probably do a lot of belting, right?  If you worked on lightening the mass a bit, and trained some open glottis onsets and phonations, Im sure in no time you could relax that situation and not sacrifice your belts. It may be a healthy thing for you to work on actually... if you CAN'T get into Falsetto or... CAN'T "bleed" your glottis of respiration, as a voice coach... that would be a mild concern to me. That is not necessarily favorable. It could be a symptom of something troublesome around the corner. I can't confirm this and I don't want to alarm you, but... as a coach I don't think you should be 100% ok with this situation... you should work on Falsetto a bit... there may be some "loosening" up or coordination movements that you are losing... just something to consider.

BTW, anyone that may be interested in learning more or training these techniques, here is my new offering on the new TMV World Teacher Workouts store... check it out, its really cool! I also have a new "TVS Warm Up PLUS!" offering.. We are bringing other teachers in as well in the coming days/weeks...

Full Program: Click HERE >>>

Warm Up PLUS! Click HERE >>>

Hope this helps gents... off to teach for 6 hours now...

 

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@ Bob... 

I totally agree with Felipe... can we just keep the term Falsetto for now? I don't want to fight that battle... I think its like trying to change the word for "Pink" to "Bob"... lets not go there... it could get ugly. 

Hope this helps gents... off to teach for 6 hours now...

 

Good, I would hate for that discussion to happen. To quote Steven Tyler, "Pink is my favorite color ..." And I simply cannot associate that color with Bob, it's just all wrong.

:24:

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Robert,

Nah, I'm really adept at producing falsetto when I want to (especially when my voice is completely not warmed up). While I often sing in the belt range, I always lean on the heady side of things (I very much prefer the flexibility and the ease of doing so), so I think I might habitually do that even when trying to let go of chest completely.

What I was describing was when I'm really "in the zone", sort of like after about 2-3 hours of singing.

On a related note, I was a little surprised to find out that I couldn't post or view posts anymore until I got some free trial. What's up with that, I can't even view posts unless I pay?

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I couldn't post or view posts anymore until I got some free trial. What's up with that, I can't even view posts unless I pay?

That is correct. The forum now offers a referral / affiliate program that everyone gets to participate in. In addition, to keep the doors open and not shut this thing down, we have to make the forum into a paid membership site. Don't freak... its $5/mth or $25/year. More then reasonable... Click HERE.

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