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I want METAL in my voice but don't know how to get it!

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eunice_hairburger
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This is for all the CVT people around here, and anyone else who knows how to get more metal into a voice that is currently VERY neutral-based, with only occasional light curbing.

I don't know how to use overdrive or edge, I have major issues "grounding" myself (not sure if that's the right expression for it...I tend to always go into a very heady-type of voice and I don't want to do that), and I have absolutely NO metal whatsoever. I WANT METAL!

I can't afford the CVT book, and would be worried if I did go broke buying it that it wouldn't explain how to get metal and edge and overdrive enough so I could actually understand what to DO to get it.

I can sort of see what I should be doing, but exactly HOW to do it is another story entirely!

Thank you!

Examples (vocal clips) - www.soundclick.com/germpatterson

You'll see what I mean, I'm sure.

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What I did to find overdrive first was to focus very much on the overdrive vowel EH as in "Hey!". Also don't do it too high at first, try it in the most comfortable range you got. A picture that helped me was imagining that I was shouting to someone far away.

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I think I have a biggish problem with this. I find the AY (eh) vowel to be the most difficult one to get any strength and resonance on. I’m alright with Oh, Ee, Ah, etc, but Eh is HARD. All my comfort flies out the window for some reason! I have to get into the right mindset. I’ve actually got a song example that I’ll post here later on (am at work now). It’s a song sung by Grace Slick (from Jefferson Airplane, back in the 60s. This song was in the 70s though), and it’s called Across the Board. I’ll post the Youtube link here for you to listen, if you’d be so kind.

In the song, she is very metal-based (I think) and has a lot of twang too (again, I think, but am not sure if I have the terms right).

Thanks!

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I think I have a biggish problem with this. I find the AY (eh) vowel to be the most difficult one to get any strength and resonance on. I’m alright with Oh, Ee, Ah, etc, but Eh is HARD. All my comfort flies out the window for some reason! I have to get into the right mindset. I’ve actually got a song example that I’ll post here later on (am at work now). It’s a song sung by Grace Slick (from Jefferson Airplane, back in the 60s. This song was in the 70s though), and it’s called Across the Board. I’ll post the Youtube link here for you to listen, if you’d be so kind.

In the song, she is very metal-based (I think) and has a lot of twang too (again, I think, but am not sure if I have the terms right).

Thanks!

You are correct, Grace Slick uses twang. Very brightly, too.

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What I'm about to post is just my opinion and may or may not apply to you. I will start by saying I have been teaching screaming probably longer then anyone on this forum and that's not to say I'm the best but I have been in the screaming game since the 80's, I'm 46 years old. Second, no one taught me how to scream and almost nothing I've learned has aided in my ability to scream. I learned a few tricks from Sabine and Lamm but neither taught me to scream. When I open my mouth that's what comes out, it's an extension of my personality and who I am at my core. I am very intense and have a lot to say when I stand behind a 58. Over analyzing the voice, which is very popular on this forum will only distance you from the winner's circle, in that it gets you thinking and thinking and singing don't travel the same path IMO. The only thing that has helped my scream is solid fundaments. Any of you who have studied with me know that's my mantra. The question is do you have screaming inside of you? Because that's where it starts.

Another feeling I have is be careful of all the 'methods' out there. There is huge marketing with vocal coaching going on these days, many years ago a very famous voice coach made a lot of money and really knew what he was doing by giving it a name. And this is not to say these aren't great teachers or whatever but don't limit yourself to an 'I'm this acronym style singer', you fill in the blanks. I've spent $300 an hour training with the elite coaches in the world and I've spent $25 an hour learning from an old choir lady and many times I got just as much if not more from the choir lady, especially cuz I didn't have to endure 20 minutes of name dropping.

Sing or scream from the heart, go after the tone and get your fundamentals as solid as you can.

Bruce Lee said in his book 'I have the technique of no technique, because as soon as you define your technique you limit yourself'.

I hope I didn't offend anyone, I tried to be as PC as a could, you guys don't want to know how I really feel...lol

James

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Here's that link I mentioned...twang and metal here, I think...

I totally get what you're saying, James Lugo. I really do. I've often thought this myself. I think, these people who I WANT to sound like and who I admire vocally, they didn't do what they do by watching someone else, by reading a BOOK, by copying someone or by analysing their vocal muscles and MODES of singing!!! They just DO it!

And so I sometimes think...if I HAVE to do all of the above, well...what hope do I have??

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Many of the finest singers on God's green earth know nothing about singing and many have done a little training along the way and know some basics. And that is not to say that training your voice is a bad thing because it's not but being obsessed with technique to me can be very detrimental to really conveying a story. At the end of the day that's out job as singers is to make the audience feel the lyrics and over trained singers can sound antiseptic and distant. So I think if you're gonna sing rock-n-roll you have to find a happy medium.

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Yeah, so true.

I've never had any lessons. I come from a place (in my mind, not geographically, lol) that's always believed restricting yourself is stupid and pointless, and sometimes too many lessons / teaching can lead to that.

My best friend had lessons for years as a teenager, and she still can't do vibrato, and she believes certain high notes are "physically impossible" for her. I used to argue with her about this a lot, saying why limit yourself?? Just keep trying. Do what you can, challenge yourself, and so on.

I myself feel I just have to try and BREAK OUT something to get to the rock vibe...the yell vibe...the EDGE, METAL drive.

I only research this stuff cause I've hit a wall and can't work it out for myself. Everything else with singing (singing in tune, nice tone, range, etc) I've already done.

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What I'm about to post is just my opinion and may or may not apply to you. I will start by saying I have been teaching screaming probably longer then anyone on this forum and that's not to say I'm the best but I have been in the screaming game since the 80's, I'm 46 years old. Second, no one taught me how to scream and almost nothing I've learned has aided in my ability to scream. I learned a few tricks from Sabine and Lamm but neither taught me to scream. When I open my mouth that's what comes out, it's an extension of my personality and who I am at my core. I am very intense and have a lot to say when I stand behind a 58. Over analyzing the voice, which is very popular on this forum will only distance you from the winner's circle, in that it gets you thinking and thinking and singing don't travel the same path IMO. The only thing that has helped my scream is solid fundaments. Any of you who have studied with me know that's my mantra. The question is do you have screaming inside of you? Because that's where it starts.

Another feeling I have is be careful of all the 'methods' out there. There is huge marketing with vocal coaching going on these days, many years ago a very famous voice coach made a lot of money and really knew what he was doing by giving it a name. And this is not to say these aren't great teachers or whatever but don't limit yourself to an 'I'm this acronym style singer', you fill in the blanks. I've spent $300 an hour training with the elite coaches in the world and I've spent $25 an hour learning from an old choir lady and many times I got just as much if not more from the choir lady, especially cuz I didn't have to endure 20 minutes of name dropping.

Sing or scream from the heart, go after the tone and get your fundamentals as solid as you can.

Bruce Lee said in his book 'I have the technique of no technique, because as soon as you define your technique you limit yourself'.

I hope I didn't offend anyone, I tried to be as PC as a could, you guys don't want to know how I really feel...lol

James

And the clouds part, and the heavens open, and angels, in chorus, sing "Amen!"

I, too, have studied Bruce Lee's "Tao of Jeet Kune Do" and yes, his style was the style of no style. That was its strength. The other martial arts I have studied have a particular style and form. Some are easily identifiable, which basically warns your opponent of what you will do next. Bruce Lee also said that it when it came to teaching students, "Teach them two punches, two blocks, two kicks." Basics. The rest will come along. Because the new movements will once again become every day movements and as instinctual as breathing.

Sometimes, I have overanalyzed. Other times, I have been the object of close scrutiny. And you are right, it can take the joy right out of doing something. Once in a while, you just have to relax and let the plane fly itself, so to speak.

One of my favorite singers was Ronnie James Dio. He says he never had voice lessons, never studied voice in any particular fashion or system. He didn't strike me as the disingenuous type, so I would tend to believe he was telling the truth. He said his singing came from the breathing regimen he learned from playing the french horn, his first instrument. Which makes sense. Embouchre placement, breath support, resonance.

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To learn how to sing is a journey where you really have to get to know yourself. This can definitely be done without lessons and methods. Methods can be a shortcut to get your singing to new places though IMO.

I think why James is quite mad about all the methods out there, is that there is so much nay-saying in them. And I agree, there are many methods out there with limiting sound ideals that can actually harm a persons ultimate goal in singing. It doesn't have to be this way though. The new generation of vocal coaches shouldn't tell the student how they should sound, he should ask the student what he wishes to learn. (Does he want to sound like Chris Cornell, Stevie Wonder or Louis Armstrong?) And help him achieve just that.

So what about my own method? Well I am a CVT user. CVT is very open about sound ideals and many singers get in contact with it after a certain amount of time because they are one of the few methods to actually treat extreme voice effects seriously like distortion, growling, creaking, rattle and other not so ortodox sounds. There are techniques which most other programs don't include and often judge as incredibly hurtful for your voice.

They believe that every sound can be made in a safe way(At least veery close to it).

Now I think these core principles are really great. Does this mean that every CVT teacher is a vocal god that can sing both death metal, gaga, and Stevie Wonder? I really don't think so(Although I've been suprised by a few) :). And I also do not think that they are perfect in staying objective when it comes to treating sound ideals. But I do believe that it's a step in the right direction method-wise. Now because of this very open way att looking at things CVT lacks a streamlined step-by-step guide for obvious reasons. However I do think they should start making some more videos on youtube where they can show of different techniques in practise just as an inspiration.

What I really want to say is that my method helped me get rid of alot of stupid fears of certain sounds, which I had been indoctrinated to have by the street people(People in choirs actually, so you're not guaranteed to meet the same gal that James met.), my father and lots of internet videos with random vocal tips.

EDIT: About the overanalysing stuff, to be a famous artist this is definitely a waste of time. Good artists don't become famous because the can cover every band in the world. They become famous because the can do this one thing with their voice really good. For someone who simply treats singing as a nerdy hobby though(like myself) I find overanalysing to be most thrilling.

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EDIT: About the overanalysing stuff, to be a famous artist this is definitely a waste of time. Good artists don't become famous because the can cover every band in the world. They become famous because the can do this one thing with their voice really good. For someone who simply treats singing as a nerdy hobby though(like myself) I find overanalysing to be most thrilling.

Another excellent point. Some singers are a success precisely because their voice is like no other. And they don't attempt to sound like another. Sometimes, out of respect, even. Ronnie James Dio covered "Dream On" on the album, Not the Same Old Song and Dance (a collection of other bands covering Aerosmith songs.) He could have hit the high note but didn't.

When I listen to a cover, I don't expect the singer to sound like the original. I may, however, expect them to hit some of the same notes, but in their own voice. I think that separates me from a lot of people. If someone wants to cover "Immigrant Song," they don't have to and 99 percent of the time won't sound like Robert Plant. Even if they hit the same exact notes. And I think that's fine. As Vendera said, many a singer can and has damaged themselves trying to mimic exactly another singer. It's usually doomed to failure because of genetics. Each person is different and no amount of technique can change that. Each throat is different, in natural diameter and length, etc.

The singer who is most famous doesn't necessarily have the highest note or even the cleanest or dirtiest voice. He or she, however, does have a distinctive voice that fits with the music, somehow. Even in the same genre. Brian Johnson with a gravel that is nearly impossible for others to do. Justin Hawkins with a piercing, clean falsetto that changes to full voice on a whim.

When I record a song, I have found that the first take was usually the best. Succeeding takes suffer from second-guessing myself, or wearing something out, or just losing concentration on the whole thing as I concentrate on one thing. If I walk away and forget about it for a while, my voice and inflection re-set.

I've read interviews with pro singers who say the same thing. Where they have recorded several takes during the day and things just seem to deteriorate. So, they go away and come back with a different mindset and nail it. And that's why a song can take a while to record. Some prefer patching in the best of several takes. Others, like myself, prefer to get it in one take. I think, for me, that is because I expect to sing the song live, in front of other people, and I need to have the muscle memory for the whole song.

I get that from David Lee Roth. He knows that the voice has to learn a song, even one sung many times before, for the new set list and a new tour. Even songs he has sang for a decade. If it's been a while and there are new arrangements, you need to train your voice for those songs now. And you do it by singing those songs now, live, as they will be in front of an audience. In recording, you can patch in pieces of different takes. Live, there is no "do-over." And the acoustics are different. So, you have to practice the way you will perform.

I know some people have had problems with the way my voice sounds, especially in my recordings. But it is hard to change my spots. I sing live, and it's so organic. I am usually singing without a mic, over the volume of guitar, acoustic or electric. So, when I record, it's still one take. Problems that one would not hear in a live version, in person, become problematic with the way I record and the equipment I have.

But, as an amateur, I still have fun.

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Here's that link I mentioned...twang and metal here, I think...

I totally get what you're saying, James Lugo. I really do. I've often thought this myself. I think, these people who I WANT to sound like and who I admire vocally, they didn't do what they do by watching someone else, by reading a BOOK, by copying someone or by analysing their vocal muscles and MODES of singing!!! They just DO it!

And so I sometimes think...if I HAVE to do all of the above, well...what hope do I have??

oh man eunice, if you like grace slick, there's a singer i love i wanted to make sure you knew. have you heard of johnette napolitano from concrete blonde? i love her vocals.

here's a real nice one:

as far as that song, twang, breath support, and seems like a lot of reverb on that recording.

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What I'm about to post is just my opinion and may or may not apply to you. I will start by saying I have been teaching screaming probably longer then anyone on this forum and that's not to say I'm the best but I have been in the screaming game since the 80's, I'm 46 years old. Second, no one taught me how to scream and almost nothing I've learned has aided in my ability to scream. I learned a few tricks from Sabine and Lamm but neither taught me to scream. When I open my mouth that's what comes out, it's an extension of my personality and who I am at my core. I am very intense and have a lot to say when I stand behind a 58. Over analyzing the voice, which is very popular on this forum will only distance you from the winner's circle, in that it gets you thinking and thinking and singing don't travel the same path IMO. The only thing that has helped my scream is solid fundaments. Any of you who have studied with me know that's my mantra. The question is do you have screaming inside of you? Because that's where it starts.

Another feeling I have is be careful of all the 'methods' out there. There is huge marketing with vocal coaching going on these days, many years ago a very famous voice coach made a lot of money and really knew what he was doing by giving it a name. And this is not to say these aren't great teachers or whatever but don't limit yourself to an 'I'm this acronym style singer', you fill in the blanks. I've spent $300 an hour training with the elite coaches in the world and I've spent $25 an hour learning from an old choir lady and many times I got just as much if not more from the choir lady, especially cuz I didn't have to endure 20 minutes of name dropping.

Sing or scream from the heart, go after the tone and get your fundamentals as solid as you can.

Bruce Lee said in his book 'I have the technique of no technique, because as soon as you define your technique you limit yourself'.

I hope I didn't offend anyone, I tried to be as PC as a could, you guys don't want to know how I really feel...lol

James

james, you've just said what i've been trying to say for a long time.

a tremendous amount of this is mental imagery, it's confidence, it's hard work and dedication.

i have added james' cd's to my workout and i have to say he's very similar to roger kain..you want it, you are going to work for it.

i went most of my life without any training thinking stupidly it was just for opera singers. in the last nine months i have learned so much.

screaming is not my thing, but powerful, raw energy, soaring vocals are. i got so far without any training, but now that i've had a few lessons with rob lunte and jaime vendera (and forum help from steve fraser and others) i'm just so happy.

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