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Found 18 results

  1. Hello Fellow TMVW members! Humbling though it may be, I thought I would share a track I'm working on, (Beatles - In My Life) and the vocal "sculpting" process I go through in an effort to record my best performance. (I'd never share unfinished tracks except to friends and in this forum . . . plain vanity) I've had a lot of experience analyzing my vocals for recordings, I never quite knew how to articulate the process I was engaging in nearly as well as after having gone through The Four Pillars of Singing, learning the "talk track" I've heard Robert Lunte utilize across many hours of lecture videos! Once one is familiar enough with these "mechanisms" for mending, strengthening, or otherwise fine tuning a vocal line, the mystery about what to do goes away! Rob's techniques are structured in a simple, yet meticulous sequence that really does create the feeling of having a vocal sculpting tool box! I'm posting this both as a subject of interest to others who may be starting out with this type of challenge, and as a means of accountability for me to complete the process, which has been brutal for me due to inexperience with the recording software. It's good for me though, as I intend to record several old hit favorite song interpretations in the coming months. I'll post my final "sculpture" here for this track when I finally complete it. "Work to be done" on this vocal performance is: Pitchy lyrics / appaggio drop out, vowel mods for best resonance, better phrasing, embouchure brightening, slight lightening of mass throughout, . . . . I'm sure there's more, also, rhythm guitar mistakes, and guitar solo is not quite tight yet, not happy with the effects on my voice yet either. I'm contemplating leaving the last "in my life" line unresolved like it is now. I was trying to sing that last half of the last line and had to quit recording due to a leaf blower. I think i'll like it that way, maybe with a high harmony over the top. Lastly, I may end up using a different mic than I did for this take. One thing that clearly gets hammered home in this process is that performing live is a far more forgiving environment than being under the microscope of a recording. Peace, k
  2. Something I have been thinking on lately. I really see good basic, supported, open throat singing as the real basis for good rock singing. I see a guy like Paul Rodgers being almost the ideal base model. Learn that base and THEN add on or go into other directions such as Plant/Cornell As far as actual difficulty or skill level of various classic rock/metal singers, I see it sort of as follows starting from "easiest" to hardest: (of course, ALL of these guys are great and all of it is hard to get close to!) Paul Rogers-----> Robert Plant, Chris Cornell, Rob Halford, Geoff Tate-----> Bruce Dickinson, Dio My reasoning: Paul Rogers has a great tone and in general he "just sings". He doesnt go out of his way to do anything fancy or overly impressive, yet he does sing with a nice tone through a decent range Plant, Cornell, Halford, Tate. These guys are more varied and may generally have a higher tessitura etc, but some of it isnt THAT hard to sing because it gets into a released type of headvoice sound. Some if it can be emulated without a ton of physical effort Dickinson/Dio. Okay, these guys can be ridiculously hard to emulate. IMO you have to actually have the strength built to sing like these guys. ESPECIALLY Dio. This is like bench pressing 315 lbs. Reading a book or finding a "trick" wont get you to bench 315. You have to put in the time and work up to it ITS HARD TO FIND DECENT COVERS OF DIO, EVEN FROM OTHER PROS!!! That says a lot Some of Dios songs are in a higher range than what u might think....yet he still has that beefiness and somewhat "round" tone. You can tell there is a lot of support. Yet when u see him on live clips it doesnt seem that hard for him. Of course by the time any of us heard of him he was at least up into his 30s with a lot of mileage under his belt so he had that technique and strength down solid So that leads me to this video where the guy shows 2 approaches to singing "Rainbow in the Dark" To my ears, the first version is way closer to Dio. The 2nd version isnt that close So this is the hard part. Can one get that sound WITHOUT the really strong supported style?? Like the guy in the vid said, he was exhausted by the time he got to the 2nd verse etc. Is it then just a matter of one having to build that strength over time?? Here are a couple of covers by guys that do GREAT covers....but they dont get that close to Dio IMO. to my ear, both of these are a little "lighter" than Dio. So therein lies the dilemma. How to get that powerful compressed sound yet stay sort of "round" yet also still be light enough to sing into decent higher range?? Even good old Ken, who promotes strongly supported singing etc....sounds rather strained while attempting the Dio stuff. Doesnt really sound like Dio at all and this guy. Great singer, huge range etc. 2.4 million subs. Doesnt sound anything like Dio though Felipe gets pretty close, which is impressive since he has to fight his natural accent and sing a second language etc. Felipe's tone is pretty warm generally too AFAIK Jorn is about as close as ive heard and even then there are some slight differences. Jorn seems a tiny bit scratchier whereas Dio could be really clean while still sounding huge So was Dio just a mutant or did he just build great strength and control over time? here he is live. assuming this vocal is indeed live lol Im seeing him using decent support and lots of resonance. In other words it seems as if he is pushing a lot of air up with a generally open throat....letting that air find good resonance up in the head etc, as opposed to physically trying to squeeze with the throat. of course I may be totally wrong lol His speaking voice already had that sort of warm round tone to it so maybe he just got lucky and learned to sing with power with his natural round tone Anyone have any ideas or want to discuss?? Peace, JJ
  3. Lucky for me, I healed in two days! Yes, this is a personal story, a cautionary tale of the vocal danger of over confidence, which can fuel lack of training, and lead to injury! It's a slice of humble pie for me to tell about this, especially with the influential voice of TVS & this TMVW community always echoing in my mind. So here's what shut off the echo (my excuse). A friend of mine gave me a call to invite me to jam with an old cover band he is considering reforming. I had not had the chance to jam with local musicians since I was last living where I am now some 8 years ago. Back then, my friend (the drummer), had me sing as a temporary fill in for his band since I couldn't commit to long term at the time. I was amped about singing live hard rock with some talented players! On the way to the jam, in the car, I made a feeble attempt at "tracking" (nasals) with the radio. Failed to get a proper sound check and sound level. I walked in to the rehearsal room (garage studio) and within a few minutes, the PA was flipped on, the guys were warmed up and I chose this song off the set list on the wall, an old favorite to start off the night: Song went great, these kats are tight! I was having a good time yet, as soon as we were done with that song I knew instantly I had very little passaggio left! I could feel it when I would just softly sing a scale. I told the guys the bad news, THEN had us get my mic level right, and was expecting the jam to be ruined however, I was surprised to discover that the songs we then played, I was able to gimp through them relying only on M1 and the upper end of M2. The guys said, "dude you sound fine, there's nothing wrong with your voice!" That gave me a chuckle and I proceeded to tell them a brief explanation of passaggio. Then, the last song we played for the night helped them see exactly what I was talking about. The guitarist (who could sing quite well) had to take over. Much of this song is in the passaggio for me. I was quite bummed as I'm a big Adams fan, love singing any of his tunes! So, In my defense, I was sort of swept off my feet in the excitement of getting to jam after years of missing it! I forgot the most basic elements of protecting the voice from damage. Singing too loud (due to no sound check, lead vocal mic too low), with distortion, WITHOUT proper appaggio (mainly diaphragmatic support) I've got no real excuse in forgetting to support, complete failure as a vocal athlete. At least I can say, it won't happen again! So there's that, don't do what I did! Sing every day! Always sound check! Train, Train, Train! peace, k
  4. Kevin Ashe

    Control Master

    I had mentioned this singer "Chris Stapleton" in another thread. Thought I'd share this video/song he recently published. I was really struck by the numerous examples of solid vocal athleticism that arise in this performance. I try not to overanalyze every good vocal too often, cuz sometimes I loose the "soul" of the song in my ear from all of the deconstruction I use to understand the vocal. Couldn't resist on this one. Still "hearing the soul" to date. I've tagged all the key words that I believe I recognize "done well" in this composition. Personally, I'm most impressed with his mastery over what I would assume are the critical configurations which bring great resonance with comparatively low level respiration. I'm convinced that, with the best possible formant, combined with the strength support of skilled appoggio, the "illusion" of a belt is created. He is singing at a relatively low volume yet, the intensity of his voice is sustained. The same nuance is applied to his vocal distortion, which he employs mostly in the higher notes. Those are my impressions.
  5. I'm causing a little riot here. Support is over rated and shouldn't be focused so much on, especially if you are a beginner. Seth rigs was right when he said "You don't need so much support unless you're trying to force the voice" Those who focus on "support" tend to push and yell rather than train. You should focus on the resonance and the support will follow. It's popular in the community to promote pushing down and out or squeezing the butt cheeks, etc. This only leads to unnecessary strain and distracts you from the real issues. Focus on resonance and bridging through the registers and support will find itself.
  6. Hello TMVW Friends! Yesterday I shared a Youtube video slide show with Robert Lunte, which I had created to accompany a Song I wrote for my Dad's memorial service. He passed away, early last December. Normally, I would not have posted it here, only because I'm a tad self-conscious about being perceived as "fishing for compliments." Rob urged me to share it so I am doing so. I am proud of the song, and I'm just like anyone else, I do love compliments yet, because this is not a "review my singing post" that I am paying for, I want you all to know that I'm not opposed to "discussions" regarding my singing on this tune. I will give some back story on my Dad, some "behind the scenes" notes on the recording, then list some post recording observations about my vocals which I have had recently, those should ring true to discussions that are commonly had here at TMVW. My Dad: A pump engineer who's family business focused mainly on groundwater applications. After having the opportunity to help an orphanage in Mexico establish a much needed water well, he realized this was something he could do all over the world. He founded the organization linked here https://lifewater.org/ , back in the mid 70's which grew over the years to it's present impressive status. He and my Mom raised my two Brother's and my adopted Sister, and I, in a fundamental Christian tradition. While I have moved to a more "Mystical" type of Theology in my adult life, I revere, and am grateful for that upbringing. I did my best to honor this in the song. My Dad played Double Bass, and left a legacy of music for my siblings and I, my kids, and all my siblings kids as well. The recording: Recorded at Mindseye Productions http://www.mindseyeprod.com/ Arizona. My long time friend Bill Pearson is the owner. He is a master engineer, producer, & composer with a Grammy! I'm really lucky to know him. He's the reason I got some great studio vocal experience back in the late 80's and early 90's. After I wrote the song, I didn't have much time to rehearse the guitar plus, I have fairly bad carpal tunnel in both wrists so, my rehearsal endurance on guitar is limited to about 20 or 30 minutes per day. Due to this I ended up playing each (repeated) guitar section of the song only once or twice, then Bill copied and pasted. He made some beautiful embellishments on the keys, and added a nice sampled Double Bass & percussion tracks, which he composed and performed. This made it feel like my Dad was playing along with me, really moving for me! Also, I only had a rough idea of the melody, I wanted to sing it live and let any inspiration flow that came along. This made extra work for Bill because it took quite a number of takes to get the melody just how I liked it. Bill suggested the "speaking line," which I was hesitant about at first but ended up loving it! (That's what good producers do). My Vocals: A re-occurring experience for me, when it comes to studio vocals is; I will usually "o.k." a final take, then regret it later, wishing I had punched a "better," or "different" take. This happened on this recording. There were a few lines where my vowel modification was less than ideal. Also, one line in particular where I didn't use the best appaggio. Maybe you can spot those. Lyrics are in the Youtube description if you're interested. I strongly suggest using headphones or really good speakers!! Thanks for listening! k
  7. I recently discovered the importance of cord closure in singing. It made singing so much easier and accessing the mixed voice feels just so natural and good now. But, it kind of changed my view on breathing in singing. I don't understand if I should just focus on cord closure or actively focus on keeping the breath in the body with abdominal, back and intercostal muscles. Before I worked on cord closure so much, I would focus on what was happening with my torso muscles, but when I started developing good cord closure it all came naturally. My muscles would engage as they were supposed to do and I would feel it and I didn't worry about it. But sometimes, for example when I'm nervous, actively holding the breath with those muscles combined with focusing on good closure seems easier. Then again, at times I feel like I'm holding the breath a bit more than necessary - it doesn't hurt my singing, but I feel good closure could be achieved with less engagement. The question is: should I actively focus on holding the breath in the body with my torso muscles or is focusing on good closure enough?
  8. I was pondering these metaphors and thought I'd see if I could expand it some. Let me know how you see it! Easel is the pedagogy/coach Canvas is the formants Paint is the phonation Colors are the acoustic qualities & vocal modes Brushes are the intrinsic muscular configurations & appoggio Frame is the musical context/setting (band, choir, acapella, singer w/ instrument, musical, etc.) Lyrics are the finished image Lighting (as in a gallery) is amplification & vocal effects
  9. Hi, I would like to know does messa di voce determine my vocal volume limit? I have tried to vocalize with messa di voce and found out that the upper limit of my crescendo is not loud enough although my mask resonance is buzzing strongly. I have tried to outsing the limit by pushing up my diaphragm but ended up with a sense of disconnection from the support which is dangerous. Besides, I am talking about the messa di voce with traditional appoggio that is using light approach, not that deep core appoggio with dark and powerful sound.
  10. This is a hard one, at the same time we all repeat "stay in full voice" and "stay in modal voice", I understand perfectly that the question that would naturally arise is: "How the hell do I do that?" And usually, the recommendation is to go strong. Which is not a perfect solution, but when used with the correct positions CAN allow someone trying it out to figure it out and feel how its like to use the voice in this way. Its such a special and different sensation that many people label it as a new register even though its just the same voice you use to speak with. When that works, its quite nice. However, it can be very frustrating when it doesn't, and there aren't many other choices to experience it. Messing around with something that Daniel mentioned one of these days in a conversation, I kinda rigged together some aspects that make sense thinking of physiology and that I got people to do it (and it worked on both more experience and new students). So first, lets explain a bit the idea. What is the problem to begin with? Well the problem is that the use of modal voice is associated with habitual tensions, and its very frequent that the release of the tensions produces a break in modal registration. Independent control of this is of course totally possible, but can be tricky to figure out. More specifically, when the tensions are released, medial compression is lost and the body of the folds disengages from the movement. So what we need is a reference to increase the medial tension without adding the habitual tensions back in. When should I give this a try? When you have issues breaking above the first passage even though you are sure you are adjusting the vowels and supporting it well. What do I need to know in order to try this? You will need to know how to use vocal fry. You will need to know how to use falsetto WITHOUT being airy. Its very desirable that you know how to use falsetto with a piercing quality, the Bee Gees voice I often mention. How to do it: - First define what you will be working on, for example, and its a quite good example because it goes on the wound almost every time with males. Let's say you want to sing the chorus from "Man in The Box" from Alice in Chains. That A#4 is tricky, because it has a HUGE amount of power behind it and anything less just doesnt cut it. So, lets take a look at the note, the line goes: Feed my eyes. A narrow EE in there will not work (you can do it but it will start to sound like heavy metal, not good for this song), so listen to Layne and you will hear that he sang it like: Fehd mah ahs. (I know some of you got all happy with this one, but its not supposed to sound like that in the end result! ) Which is good enough for the purpose of this exercise. Ok, but wait, don't just go there yet. BEFORE, you are going to practice doing this: - Sing it as LOW as you can possibly go in VOCAL FRY, making sure that all the vowels adjust in the way written up there (Fehd Mah Ahs), trying to find a very relaxed way to produce fry, and already using the placement you normally work with. And by low I mean Siberian Deep Bass morning voice. Map down how it feels like to produce vocal fry, pay close attention to the adjustments and most importantly, what happens as soon as you intend to produce it. Practice going just for this "intention of fry" but not producing sound. Then, sing it on the normal pitch (attack in the A#4), however, in a relaxed falsetto. Try to make it piercing already because you will need it, again using the vowels you will need for the phrase, again using the placement you need. And map this down also. Now practice alternating, VERY DEEP vocal fry, then totally detached piercing BEE GEEs like falsetto. Go back and forth. And feel each. - Finally, you will do this, you will simply create the intention of singing it in the very low fry voice, KEEP that feeling, then just add the falsetto to it and go strong with this, don't think of modal voice or chest, think of this weird combination (fry and falsetto INTENTIONS) and **blast** it out. Chances are, it will be weird and all over the place, which is good. Weird and strange is better than a secure half-assed voice that can't do what you want, at least there is a chance to correct it. Insist on it, give it some shots, even if it doesnt work right away. If you feel tired, or if you are trying it over and over and it just dont work, relax, go do something else, then after 30 minutes or so, try again. If you believe the A#4 is too high for you in the moment, try another phrase that uses G4, G#4 or A4, lower than that will probably go outside the problem spot for most males, but feel free to try it. Girls can raise these references by 3 or 4 semitones (or just work on the A#4, it won't be easy either :P). What you should not do (IMPORTANT): The idea is producing the intention you have when you PREPARE to produce fry, and not to produce a fry like sound. Its NOT supposed to be a "creaky door" exercise, and its NOT supposed to produce creak distortion, the "falsetto" intention should prevent it. Sing that thing clean and strong, and make it sound good. Also, don't try to produce soft voice yet, think powerful, because it is. I strongly recommend you get the basics of breathing/support down because you won't be able to sustain this if you do not breath properly and create the necessary pressure (the attack at least should work). And that's it! I would really like to know how it goes for you folks, even if you already have the necessary control down. There are several exercises that make use of fry in a somewhat similar way, but this particular idea I have never seen explored. Video is done: Felipe
  11. You know that whole thing about pushing down on the diaphragm? I've tried it before and it didn't work for me. In fact when I'm singing freely, I don't feel much tension in the core at all; it's a weightless kind of sensation. Also, if you push down on the diaphragm, the volume of your lungs increase, and all else being equal, that leads to a LOWER pressure. And that kind of position is one of inhalation, not exhalation. Yet, some people get a massive amount of power and volume this way. Jaime Vendera takes this approach, as do many opera singers. So for those of you who do use this technique, how do you do it? And can somebody explain the physics of it? Maybe pushing down coupled with a contraction of the low abdominals builds up the pressure gradient necessary for high intensity singing? Let's not get into a debate of which approach is better. Personally the more muscle I use, the tighter I get, but I am curious to hear from the folks who do this. It'd be great to learn from the rest of you. Thanks!
  12. A recent thread Mentioned Barbra Streisand and that she Never had formal training. Well, she had one coach for a month after she had a little trouble with her voice. Her name was Judy Davis. I remembered an article I had read about this. I looked for Judy Davis and found this little GEM on YouTube. I hope it helps some of you.
  13. To give some background singing info: I am 18, My range is G2-G4 consistently in chest and F3-F5 in head voice. I sing mostly musical theater and Operetta sometimes. My first and second passagio areas are C#4 and F#4. I currently just started taking Musical theater voice with a teacher who specializes in Manuel Garcia Technique (A form of bel-canto) Although I have a lot of singing experience already!-Vocal Fach/Type? I know I am a young singer to try and 'identify" my voice, but I think I might be a tenor? so I'm a little confused... I have a strong low G2-C3 lower register, however, my first and second passagio areas are C#4 and F#4 which are the passagio areas for a dramatic tenor or a robust tenor(Also known as the bari-tenor). I always thought I was a baritone, but I have noticed the ease I have singing in my higher register above my first passagio (C4-F4). I think i may just have a problem singing through my second passagio, because in lessons I have been able to sing up to Bflat4 in a well-supported chest voice. Has anyone dealt with this or have any advice? My ultimate goal (because I sing MT) is to be able to sustain notes and belt from A4-B4. This brings me to my second question...-Singing through the second passagio? I can sing through the first passagio with ease, but I always have trouble once I get up to F#4. My teacher has helped me sing past it up to Bflat4 (I am still new to formal lessons) but I have trouble on my own. Any advice?Thank you!
  14. This is one area of singing that has always confused me a bit. I've been studying and practicing for about 4 years now, and I am a decent singer with power throughout my range, but my voice can be inconsistent, and I believe that the main issue I'm having is with breath management. It's one of those things that I know is important, but I don't quite know enough to apply it effectively and consistently. The reason it confuses me is that I have read many different things about "proper" breath management/support for singing, and it just seems like there isn't much consistency with vocalists and teachers on what the proper way is. All I really know about it is how the basic physiology works. I hear some say there should be little to no conscious effort involved, and I hear others talk about all the different muscles involved. When I was a senior in high school, a classical singer came to our choir class, and she mentioned something about using pelvic muscles to push. I don't know a ton about classical technique, so maybe it's something different, but to me that seems like it would be a bit unnecessary and possibly even bad to push like that with so much muscular force. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that when the diaphragm is in the inhale position, the muscle is tense, as opposed to the exhale position where it is relaxed. So if I inhale I have to "hold" the breath, and when I relax completely it all rushes out on it's own quite rapidly. I imagined it being like a balloon. When you blow it up is when the air pressure is higher, and opening the neck (the airway) will allow all the air to rush out. If you pull the sides of the neck while the air is rushing out, it makes two folds in the rubber that vibrate a high-pitched squeaky tone, which seems remarkably similar to the way the voice works (minus resonance). If this is an accurate analogy, shouldn't that mean that the goal of breath management is not to push at all, but rather to keep the diaphragm stable and to control the speed at which the diaphragm relaxes, thereby controlling the rate of airflow needed for any given phonation? You wouldn't really want to push the air up and out, but you wouldn't want to feel totally relaxed either; you would want to use surrounding muscles to stabilize and control the diaphragm so it relaxes slowly and at the rate you want rather than pushing. Right? By the way, I do have The Four Pillars of Singing and the appoggio techniques have helped me. I just feel I'd be able to better understand and apply the techniques if I understood the physiological and technical components more precisely.
  15. This Guy Trained Onsets & Vowels He's Good...
  16. Arthur Wu

    Classical technique thread

    Hi guys, I'm super new here and I thought i'd start a classical technique thread since no one has seemed to have posted in this sub-forum yet. I'll start with posting a little something I've done. SHOW AND TELL !!!!!!! This was from a few weeks ago. I need to work on my breathing near the end. https://soundcloud.com/arfoo/nessun-dorma-rehearsal
  17. jpeek345

    upper back tension

    Hi, I have an obstacle when adopting apoggio breathing while rehearsing singing. After only a handful of exercizes, tension begins to build up in my upper back. Not my lower back but my upper back. It has been this way for weeks now. Can anyone help me overcome this? Thank you very much. Sincerely, Jay Peek
  18. Many teachers will tell you to squeeze your bum cheeks to eliminate strain and to sing higher notes. What do you guys think of this technique, does it work?