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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."

 

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I chuckled at the Devin Townsend opinion. Somebody's about to bust a window out over that Dio comment :lol:

I recently heard from a couple of coaches I've been talking to about what they thought about various famous singers.

It's really interesting. A lot of guys and ladies are out there making a living with their voices and sounding really great, but to somebody with a really good ear, they can hear certain problems. You might think some comments are  more opinionated than anything, and all vocal coaches are not created equal, but if you just think about it, would you assume everybody who's out there sounding great has achieved their sound by practicing everything properly and using the best technique?

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1 hour ago, Danielformica said:

Cool now record her and let us hear her voice 

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.

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7 hours ago, Danielformica said:

Cool now record her and let us hear her voice 

No kidding.

Typical Classical attitude. I have found that some of the most out of date, obsolete and unknowing voice coaches in the world are Classical voice coaches. Their arrogance prevents them from having an open mind to new ideas. I've seen this pattern over and over again. 

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6 hours ago, PianoandGuitarguy said:

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.

Fine. But now let's hear her sing Pat Benetar or Anne Wilson. Let's here her sing rock... she will fail miserably. 

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... actually her critiques were ok on 2nd reading... but the comments on DIO, Cornel and Dickinson are misunderstood and hasty.

Let's hear her sing Rock. PERIOD. Ask her to sing "Barracuda" by Heart and "Fire and Ice" by Pat Benetar. 

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10 hours ago, PianoandGuitarguy said:

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.

But that's not her is it? I have tons of goto pieces but I sing them ;) not show others singing them. I'm just busting balls. I still studied and still study with a coach who was taught classically  however he can sing the shit out of rock or opera. Here's him singing opera 

his rock is just as good its insane

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3 hours ago, Danielformica said:

But that's not her is it? I have tons of goto pieces but I sing them ;) not show others singing them. I'm just busting balls. I still studied and still study with a coach who was taught classically  however he can sing the shit out of rock or opera. Here's him singing opera 

his rock is just as good its insane

OMFG

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3 hours ago, Danielformica said:

But that's not her is it? I have tons of goto pieces but I sing them ;) not show others singing them. I'm just busting balls. I still studied and still study with a coach who was taught classically  however he can sing the shit out of rock or opera. Here's him singing opera 

his rock is just as good its insane

 

This is the guy in Maplewood, right?

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10 hours ago, Robert Lunte said:

Fine. But now let's hear her sing Pat Benetar or Anne Wilson. Let's here her sing rock... she will fail miserably. 

Quote

But that's not her is it? I have tons of goto pieces but I sing them ;) not show others singing them.

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.

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I see. So you are worried that she would not like to have her singing on a internet forum, but its fine to second hand her opinions on a forum, a professional teacher, about vocalists she did not work with.

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1 hour ago, PianoandGuitarguy said:

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.

I have 25 inch biceps do you believe me? ;)

 

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1 hour ago, Danielformica said:

I have 25 inch biceps do you believe me? ;)

 

? 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.

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I'm just saying there are a lot  and I mean tons of teachers talking credibility but never showing any. Nothing against you or your teacher. As I would love to hear her. But you know what I'm saying no?

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2 hours ago, Danielformica said:

I'm just saying there are a lot  and I mean tons of teachers talking credibility but never showing any. Nothing against you or your teacher. As I would love to hear her. But you know what I'm saying no?

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.

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11 hours ago, Felipe Carvalho said:

I see. So you are worried that she would not like to have her singing on a internet forum, but its fine to second hand her opinions on a forum, a professional teacher, about vocalists she did not work with.

In genres she is not experienced with nor understands the values ... 

The topic was compromised from the get go. Asking a classical singer, in most cases, what they think about rockers is typically going to get you nowhere.

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10 hours ago, PianoandGuitarguy said:

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.

Lets assume she is this accomplished singer, I tend to believe you.

that doesn't mean her opinion on a handful of rock singers is fascinating. As I said before and have seen played over and over again in my life, hard core classical singers and coaches are surprisingly greatly uninformed about rock singers. They don't get it, they are clueless of the training, and they typically have elitist attitudes, unwilling to be open minded and learn new ideas. Frankly, they tend to be the least informed teachers regarding technique in the industry. Most are experienced classical aria, art song and theater tune repertoire coaches, which is important and a set of talent and skill in itself. But they are not the go to people to build new voices with training.

They typically are not voice training / vocal workout coaches which requires special insights on how to work the voice to build strength and motor skills with techniques. In my opinion, It seems they just sort of... cross their fingers under the table and hope they get students that already have the motor skills and strength to sing decent or great, so they can get on with song coaching, which is their wheelhouse. But ask most classical voice teachers to build a beginner voice with all kinds of problems, into something that can bridge registers, sing in the head voice, have endurance and generally not shit out,... and you typically get a defensive response framed in that elitist, arrogant vibe that I was referring to. When they are challenged legitimately, they play the "we are classical and therefore we are the elite and we therefore shant not be questioned" BS card...There are exceptions of course, but that seems to be the general rule and what I have witnessed repeatedly.

Kevin Richards and I used to spend time out at the LinkedIN group for the National Association of Teachers of Singing, a group I am a member of and.. OMG, it was so bad. You had tenured teachers on there that had been teaching for decades in prestigious Universities that could not even tell you what a lip trill was?!!!!? I am not exaggerating.  They were totally clueless about belting, vocal effects, and surprisingly, were ignorant about formants, vowels and the acoustics of singing. NOT all. From time to time, someone would chime in that demonstrated they had taken the time to read some books and understood the tech stuff, but about 80% of them were just weak. About 20% were impressive, and about 80% left you pondering how they were justifying their paychecks. Daniel is correct, the industry's cup overfloweth with people calling themselves voice coaches that can't sing, never try to sing, never made a recording, never wrote a song, never wrote a book, never wrote a blog on technique, can't explain things that they need to be able to explain if they are calling themselves professionals and on and on. Administrators of Universities don't know anything about singing typically, so anyone who can claim to have sang in a few operas is interesting. If they would only look outside the classical world and look at all the great innovation that is going on outside of academia, they could build some fantastically progressive new vocal programs.

Classical singing teachers are NOT the end all authorities on all things singing, especially how to physically train voices, even though this seems to be what the general public believes. It is one of several myths I discuss in my book, The Four Pillars of Singing

 

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On 7/21/2017 at 11:38 PM, PianoandGuitarguy said:

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."

good post Mr. Guy! lot's of interesting reading going on here!

I thought this comment on Cornell was interesting. In one sense, it's kinda true about the thin high notes needing distortion for power. That's the beauty of safe distortion. It beefs up high registers, morphing them into an emotional intensity that the music & song calls for.  

That being said, you can still hear singers like Chris and others sing those same high registers without distortion, at those times they use vowel modification, larynx dampening, etc. to affect the thickening of the sound color.

I think this video is a good example of Cornell doing both in one song. I hear a non-distorted or mildly distorted high register that does not sound thin to me. check out the breakdown at 2:58

 

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1 hour ago, The Future Vocalist said:

Actually I expect someone to throw her out the window with that Dio comment :4:

 

Less legal fees if they just break the window. Especially if it's their own window. ;)

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