PianoandGuitarguy

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Everything posted by PianoandGuitarguy

  1. I see, fair enough. I have to think about what I want to sing that I can get a karaoke version of and would be a good example piece.
  2. I was curious what people here heard. Both here and on sites like TheRangePlace, they tend to call singers Baritones quicker than classical singers would. Eric Adams of Manowar, for example, is called a baritone, because he has some weight to his sound, and goes down to A2 or so. An opera person I think would call him squarely a tenor. We can got into how rock singers produce the sound a little differently, and that has something to do with it too, but I think in general you have to have a much darker, heavier sound in opera-land before you get called a baritone, instead of a lower tenor. With me, for example, I have an E2, and with some mixing my low range could sound bigger, but at best I'm being called a Baritenor for pop purposes, and would likely settle into one of a low tenor fachs if I went the opera route, although opera people tend to wait a long time while a voice really finds itself before they are ready to be certain about it. It's still possible I would wind up singing as a lyric tenor (Pavarotti, for all his hugeness of sound, was a lyric tenor). So basically, I wanted to see what 'rock ears' heard.
  3. So, nothing fancy, but I made a quick recording of my voice on my phone, and wanted to get feedback on my voice type, as well as some thoughts. E2 -E5: raw voice.mp3 my E4 sounds nice, but above that I'm strangling a cat. I can, and have, hit high notes better than that sometimes, but I wanted to just let it all hang out and do a really basic raw sound and show where I'm at. I've spent most of my life assuming I was a baritone, and the lowest octave is the one I talk and am most comfortable in. But even on this recording I can hear how my voice really brightens and gets big in the upper registers. So, once I learn how to use them better, maybe that's more my thing. My teacher thinks once I get a handle on things, I'll have Bb4, B4, and C5 in my chest voice with a nice sound to them. But although I want to be able to sing things like Iron Maiden and Dream Theater, it's been suggested my voice might be too heavy for rock tenor stuff. If anyone has any suggestions of songs to try, I'd be willing to give it a shot.
  4. I find it funny how I might be working on a piece with my teacher, and struggling with a part that only goes up to D4, and then I switch genres and I'm happily hitting G4 without difficulty. I almost want to classify things as 'rock high' vs. 'classical high' or 'Broadway high'. I had a piece of music that was killing me that centered around C#4 and D4 that kept going back into my throat, and I had to stop after a few minutes. But then I'm singing Karn Evil 9 by ELP, which is basically 100 G#4's and A4's in a row...and it's not a problem. Does anyone else find this to be the case? What is it about certain things that make them harder than others?
  5. I be curious to hear what people here think of this, because my experience is that I actually feel more in danger of hurting myself trying to sing very low notes than very high ones. I'll try to really relax and get those 'pedal tones', and they will come, but if I do it too much eventually I'll get, "Ouch! OK, better stop doing that now." I think of it almost like speeding up the vocal fry from an effect into audible range, kind of like a drummer playing double-bass faster until it starts to just sound like a solid tone. It's hard to get solid, but it feels like with a lot of control you could produce almost any sub-voice note this way, albeit not loudly.
  6. First of all, expensive to live in this area so you don't usually get those rates. I charge $55 a lesson ( for guitar and piano), as does my vocal teacher. I had a piano PhD who taught me for a bit who asked $85, and that's about the rate I see for an hour with a high-end vocal teacher who might be on a music school faculty or the like. She gets a large variety of students, usually younger, some more advanced working on stage auditions. I'm her only metalhead, though. For example, she gets 'rock' students who mean they want to sing things like Wonderwall by Oasis, which to me is less interesting because you don't exactly need much singing technique at all to sing that, yes? It's like a piano student bringing a 4 chord song to me. I'd much rather they brought me something weird and interesting.
  7. There's a general thing here that extends beyond singing or even music. I have what some people think of as a kind of scientific mind, where it's my natural tendency to approach everything skeptically, ask the questions that most challenge assertions, weigh everything out, etc. This drives some people nuts. There are those who think when you question something in their advice, it's a personal insult and you don't appreciate them, and those who need to think in definite certainties about the world where their totally 100% right always. I just find it interesting that one group has one perspective, and another group has another. I love heavy metal music, and you can think Dio sounds awesome (which I do) while also realizing his approach does not fit an ideal in another world. I mean, Dio himself could probably have told us that. He sang in multiple genres, which means he 'got' what was the right approach for the world of metal, while not being oblivious to the world outside of it.
  8. I had an interesting experience at the end of my voice lesson yesterday. We were talking about rock repertoire and I mentioned to her I sing along with Iron Maiden and and lots of other music with high notes in the car all the time, and she wanted to hear what I was doing (since she thought it was completely wrong for my voice). I did the section form To Tame a Land starting at 3:13 : She was surprised what I was able to do. It's interesting how I have a 'rock mode' mentally when I sing, and a classical/stage mode where I can't go as high. My D5 at the end sucked because I'm trying to hit it in chest voice and don't know how to blend head voice at all yet, but I got up to that point decently. She mentioned, "You have a really good ear, because you're doing almost exactly what he's doing, even the bad things." (Like the unsupported drop offs on 'You'll see, he'll be...') I can see that's going to be a problem for me in the future, because when I want to 'act' a line of music, I want to do it with a speech-like delivery, which is totally different than a singing delivery, and totally worse for your voice, I can feel.
  9. I think about Ken Tamplin who has tons of videos on youtube. Some singers his voice is close to and his imitations sound excellent. Others, he's doing what his voice can do, but it's just not right for him. I might be able to hit Geddy Lee's notes with some more skill, but it's just SO not my voice, it's always going to sound weird, and then you have to wonder what the point is.
  10. OK, and I suppose that's true, so I see your point. But I can't exactly walk in next time and say, "there are some people on a modern singing forum who don't think you're legit, can you go perform something extremely difficult and let me record it to prove them wrong?" She had her career, she's on the Playbills, and if that's true (assuming no massive scheme to rig wikipedia and google search) I have no cause to believe she'd need to make anything else up. So, if you're performing stuff like the thing I linked above well enough to land serious gigs, that assumes a certain ability.
  11. ? This implies you think I'm making up a teacher, or that you think she's making up her credentials, both of which are untrue. And I'm not sure why you think it would be unrealistic.
  12. It's not appropriate for me to reveal names and the like. And she likely wouldn't have interest in recording herself to prove to an internet forum she can sing. She did Broadway, I've heard her do 70's singer/songwriter style vocal and piano numbers that were spot on, and she did backup vocals for a big 70's rock act tour when she was younger. But yes, modern rock is NOT her thing, she doesn't get why you would want to sing like that.
  13. Oh, she can sing. She's more or less retired and just teaches now, but she had a career as a coloratura soprano. Just to give some perspective, this was her go-to audition piece for years: ...you don't get hired doing that unless you're have serious singing and performance chops.
  14. As I've mentioned in other posts, I've been taking lessons for a few months with an opera/musical theater singer, and I've played a whole lot of different singers I enjoy for her to hear her opinion, and I find it interesting to hear the impressions of someone from a different world and different sensibilities. I thought I'd compile all the ones I remember into a collection because I was also curious to hear reactions: Chris Cornell: Disliked. "He's just screaming in the one part. And his high notes are very thin, but he puts all the scream and effect on it. If you heard it without that stuff it would just be a very weak sound." Bruce Dickinson(Iron Maiden): Disliked. "Sound is thin, poor technique on higher notes, badly produced vibrato." Dio: Unimpressed. "Again, just a thin tenor putting some effect on his voice." Warrel Dane(Nevermore): Liked. "Good control. He's making a choice on every note." Eric Adams(Manowar): "One of the best sounds of all the singers you've played for me. But still a thinner tenor voice." Mike Patton: Liked. "Nice voice, clearly knows how to sing. But I wish I could hear his natural sound more instead of all this 'put on' stuff he does." Tarja Turunen and Marco Hietala(Nightwish): "You can hear both these people know how to sing correctly, they're just doing some weird things because that's the style I guess. Forcing the straight tones is making her sound flat, and she knows that, but she still does it." Devin Townsend: "If I were his ENT doctor, I'd love him, because of all the money I'd make form all the damage he's doing. He has to be on steroids to be doing what he does consistently. Either that or he's just a freak." Eric Clayton (Savior Machine): "Completely different from the other stuff you've shown me. Sounds like a regular baritone stage voice." Daniel Heiman (Lost Horizon): "Not bad. He's doing some of that weird stuff again, but he sounds good otherwise." Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy): "Oh God, that's a woman!? I can't listen, it's too painful, she's ripping her vocal chords to shreds." Phil Anselmo (Pantera): "I guess it's...kind of like singing." Tim "Ripper" Owens (Judas Priest, Iced earth): "His voice will probably last a bit longer because he knows what he's doing and being very controlled about it." Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth): "He's got a nice voice." Mikael Akerfeldt growling: "There's no way he's producing that sound naturally. Either that or he's doing it very quietly and it's made to sound much bigger."
  15. My hearing is that she'd been on tons of steroids to do what she was doing night in and out, and finally had enough damage to need surgery. She's had to change a part or two, but refuses to take more drastic measures like dubbing parts of her shows or really changing her style. My impression, based on what I've learned thus far, is that 'properly' does deservesto be in quotation marks there, because her soulful belting thing is NOT proper and can never really be; it's inherently a damaging style. But to sing otherwise would remove a lot of the style and affect from the music that modern audiences look for.
  16. When we mention Geddy Lee, I can't help but think of the fact that even Geddy Lee can't sing like Geddy Lee anymore. If you look at recent live performances, it's just impossible for him, no matter how much he strains to do it. I'd be curious if you would agree with this proposition my teacher made: If you're singing correctly, you should be able to do it and sound the close to the same when you're older. You might lose a little bit, but it shouldn't become a totally different thing. I believe she mentioned James Taylor, who isn't a flashy voice, but is a pop singer who had sounded the same for decades. There another interesting divergence when we talk about a singer's 'voice'. I would ask my teacher what she thought about a rock singer voice, and she would remark that she can't tell what his 'real' voice sounds like, because he's singing in a straight tone, and/or it's a 'put on', almost like Seth MacFarlane singing as Peter Griffin, many rock singers are doing a character of a voice, not their natural, unencumbered sound.
  17. I'm a metal/progressive rock/classical guy taking lessons with a classical opera singer. It's always an interesting thing bringing her vocals to listen to. Some get better reviews than others, but the most common thing I hear from her is that the vast majority of vocalists are wrong for my voice, because they're just too high and light, and I have a bigger voice with a darker color. I kinda knew that was true of someone like James LaBrie, but Bruce Dickinson, Eric Adams, Dio, etc. I wouldn't have called them smaller voices, or the highest, or the thinnest, but to her they are. I one guy she thought was a bit closer match for my voice was Tim 'Ripper' Owens, or maybe that I could get get away with singing stuff from baritone-y guys like Eric Clayton of Savior Machine, who has a cool voice but it's usually a different thing. To her, a voice like Geddy Lee is just an exceptionally odd VERY light and high male voice, almost off the spectrum, and 90% of the rock singers out there are light, thin tenors. She asks if I have some other things to bring her that aren't like that, but it seems in rock, almost everyone has that sound, and with the exception of a few baritones here and there. The implication - the world of rock and pop is just filled to the brim with light tenors wherever you look these days. Even on Broadway these days this is all the rage: (Also interesting my teacher thought the composer should be shot for making the singer do that B5 at the end in that style, because it's certain to cause damage over time, and this singer did indeed have to take a break because of voice trouble I think). I mean, if you listen to something like this: ...this kind of voice can't help but sound a bit old fashioned. But really, it's just a natural male voice, singing as it would naturally sound. But there's practically no place for that voice in pop or rock, it seems. I suppose the question is, to what extent are we talking about just a lot of thin tenors, and to what extent are we talking about singers who might be baritones or low tenors, but who thinning their sound out, because that's the style?
  18. F#2 is the lowest note I can project, but I can sound down to Eb2 or D2. When I woke up froggy I've hit A1's in the shower on occasion, which is totally fun. I'm currently studying singing for the first time, and my teacher would say I'm up to hitting G#4 'correctly'. I've throat-sung and forced out higher than that many times in the past. But my teacher thinks with training I just might have a good usable tenor high C (C5). Falsetto I can hit C6.
  19. When I slide, or glissando up to a note, I can hit higher notes, with more on them, than I can just hitting the note alone. What I assumed I had discovered by doing this was 'mixed voice', but I don't know. As someone with a fairly normal male voice range, if I'm starting on g4 and sliding up to g5, heavy metal singer-style, am I still in chest voice, or is that impossible? Or was I right and that's some kind of mixed voice thing?
  20. Yeah, I think that's exactly it. For my whole life, when I get to the intense parts of music and I'm into it, I tense up. It was a problem with piano too, because I would naturally tense my arms when I went big, and it took a long time to stop doing that. Now I'm going through the same with singing - a big intense part = me getting really into it and tensing my throat.
  21. Well, the way she describes it, she was taught: They did raw 'weeeoooo' and lifting exercises. and the like. for months before they got to anything else, and then maybe a year in she added talking about support, and then, only once her teacher thought she did everything correctly, did she say, "Okay, NOW we start making you sound good." She's not that strict, but the basic idea is that she wants me to learn correct technique, and then after you're doing everything correctly you can start to think about shaping things to find tune the sound you want. Apparently because I naturally have a large, resonant voice, and naturally do 'frontal placement', she's not especially worried about trying to help me project or create more resonance or anything like that. More, she wants to make sure I don't kill my vocal chords trying to do too much, and stop me singing from the throat on high notes, which I do.
  22. I'm a slightly older guy and musician who just started voice lessons for the first time. A big thing my voice teacher is having me do is work on 'lifting' as she calls it. And this doesn't mean lifting the soft palate, which I THINK is a different thing. It involves lifting the cheekbones is a way that's not quite a smile, but somehow allows you to hit high notes with much more ease. Most of the time it's kind of "am I doing it right, I have no idea", but maybe 3 times so far over the weeks I somehow got it, and holy shit I had tenor high c without feeling like I might burst a blood vessel...but then I lost it again. So, certainly seems to work, but I did a search and found a lot of things disparaging lifting the soft palate, which might be related, and other things disparaging the 'smile technique'. So I was curious what the consensus was here on it.
  23. Something I've grown accustomed to when listening to extreme vocals is 'imagining' I'm singing it in a way the music might feel, and that involves producing no actual sound, but tensing as if I'm blasting a big screaming high note. And I'm writing this because I'm noticing as I sit here that my throat seems a little unhappy about it. So I'm wondering, is it possible I'm actually doing some damage even though I'm not producing sound?