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a royally confusing aspect of singing

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well,

leave it to moi to post some dumb ass question that sounds like i'm starting from square one, or (hopefully) i'll be talking about something that others might say "hey bob, i've been wondering about the same thing."

i'll take my chances here because this really has me confused and perhaps a little miffed.

to help make my point, please try to forget about cvt and all the modes ss, and those doctrines and this and that and just focus on the voice. building the voice from the bottom of your range to the top with a smooth imperceptable eliminated break with girth and resonance and power.

this singer ricki, this whole idea he's out there teaching that if you transition up and bridge early in a light phonation, a falsetto-ish-sounding phonation, i.m.o., you are considered there, the secret to singing steve perry! these singers that teach this light phonation i feel are really shortchanging and misleading the student...do you see where i'm going?

in the "critique my singing forum" (see jonpall's steve perry song) we applaude ricki's vocal skill, (not to say he's a bad singer) but is it just me that sees this as nothing more than falsetto skill? the audio embelllishments are providing his sound, (christ, i've never seen a bigger mic) strip away that and he's just a reinforsed falsetto singer i.m.o.,....there's no girth, no meat, to those vocals. please check him out on youtube or in the forum mentioned before.

the way he sings everybody can (note: not "sound" like perry, but phonate like perry) and we know that's no easy feat.

so please help me here, aren't we supposed to be building a voice with power and chestiness and meat in the upper notes an enviable, developed, chesty head voice, (ala james lugo) rather than just glide up to the top with a piercing falsetto-ish voice? with logo, the last thing he wants you to do is drop into head voice. i feel like ricki takes an easy way out (and i mean no disrespect to ricki, he just serves as an excellent example of the point i'm trying to make).

folks, i'm so much wanting to hear your thoughts on this, because i'm one, big, loud-mouthed tenor who feels now like this is just not the way to go......isn't the whole idea to graduate from this to a richer meatier vocal capability?

now if a voice like ricki's had to take on a dio, or a bolton, or a "you know who" how can he possibly?

b.t.w. the "karaoke" guy eric in the critique post had the voice i'm talking about. that to me was the more developed voice.

i'm so interested in chatting on this topic, feel free to call me at my store if you care to via skype or phone

914-963-8437

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Hi Bob, I agree with you. Though I can't see those links right now from work, I see your point. I will not comment from a CVT point of view as you requested; and I have to say that I enjoy a "powerful" voice up there... I'm not a big fan of falsetto/head voice sounds in the higher notes, because I feel that they are much easier to produce than a "full voice". That is one of my biggest goals, to be able to reach high notes with a full sound, as opposed to a frail, however pretty, sound. I feel that most people enjoy full voices better than thin ones, and it's because in my opinion, it conveys a lot more emotion. Even with a slow song. I don't see that much merit in voices that "bridge early", but that's me and hopefully no one will tell me that I should bridge early, because I simply don't believe you SHOULD do that. If you want to do it, great, but that's not for me. Then again, I sing mostly metal so let's say that a "full voice" is greatly appreciated in that genre, though most genres appreciate it anyways... I am rambling nonsense I guess, but that's just my point of view... :D

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I think it totally depends on what you are going for, as far as the sound timbre, as well as what your voice can do. You, Bob, from day one, have wanted a meaty or chesty high. Which is good for a lot of rock music, especially the darker sounding stuff. Howsomeever, I could never imagine Perry singing "Still of the Night" like David Coverdale. And he would physically incapable of singing "Ice Cream Man" by Van Halen, as sung by David Lee Roth. What about Sweet from the band Stryper? He has piercing highs that sound awesome but I wouldn't say they have meat the way that Axl Rose does. Or even how meaty Scott Weiland sounds in the mid-range. You've got a lot of meat in your own Sam Cooke kind of voice. And, of course, Gramm's voice sounds meaty, even if he was phonating lightly with some distortion or heavy twang. Steve Perry singing "Hot Blooded" would still sound dusty and light.

Hence my submission in jonpall's thread. Even though he said it didn't sound shouty, it sounded meaty, for the most, even though it felt light, to me when I was singing it. Meaning that I must have some natural meatiness, even when I think I am light. Which gets back to my supposition (like a dog focusing on a bone) that much of a singer's sound is unique to that person, technique notwithstanding.

It seems like I am rambling. Maybe I'm just tired (another long day, at the office by 6 didn't get out of there until 5, made a commercial deposit, then went to my bank to put my check in, fought DFW traffic for two hours, chingao (spanish curseword.))

As for falsetto, it depends on where you are in the range. My falsetto only goes so high. I can sing full voice higher than I can sing falsetto. For example, the high note I have done in "Highway to Hell" is higher than my falsetto-usable region.

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I think it totally depends on what you are going for, as far as the sound timbre, as well as what your voice can do.

I agree with Ron. If you want that beefy type of singing that Bob likes, I think you should bridge a little late, but for other things, you should bridge a bit earlier. There is no wrong or right way and Bob, you have an awesome voice so you shouldn't worry too much about this :) I agree with you that if Ricki is TEACHING people to bridge early in order to get that extreme chesty sound, he could be misleading people.

But note that to many people, bridging early will also sound very chesty, if you twang a lot, or if you sing in curbing. It's just that you want that "extremely manly" type of chesty high singing, like your own's f.ex., you might want to experiment (carefully) with bridging a bit later, i.e. take overdrive slightly higher, which is probably what people would call chest pulling, but only a slight one.

F.ex. in Don't stop believing, Arnel sings most the Ab4's in overdrive, I think, and then some B4s are in curbing, some in MLN, but some even in overdrive. But any higher than that and then you're talking about a pure twang configuration (MLN). Ultimately, the lyrics should dictate what sounds best and that's different for each song.

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the way he sings everybody can (note: not "sound" like perry, but phonate like perry) and we know that's no easy feat.

I wanted to highlight that, in particular. How would one phonate like Perry? I am much taller than Perry, with a larger head and possibly a larger or more muscular neck. Even I was standing next to Perry and could match onset and duration and not slide (keeping jonpall happy :P ), I would not sound like him. I would probably have some low overtones or harmonics that he can't get. We could sing the exactly same pitch. Steven mentioned it once in a post. A bass-baritone could sing a B4 and it will sound tonally and resonantly different than a tenor who has B4 in the middle of his comfortable range.

Given enough time, desire, and effort, I might be able to maybe accomplish a sound similar to Steve Perry through whatever mechanisms I would employ to get that exact sound and I'm sure my mechanisms wouldn't be the same. If I wanted to.

Someone mentioned the golf analogy in the other thread. There are some basic mechanics to golf. The swing is essentially the same. But it has to be adjusted for each person depending on the person's height, arm to body ratio, size and type of club, how they address the ball, how their body moves with it's individual idiosyncracies. Also, wind speed and direction have some effect, especially on slow high lobs. I have sailed 200 yards with an 8 iron. But I played a game with a guy half my size and worse back problems that day than mine. And he beat the snot out of me, and he had just finished playing a round.

Sure, there's a number of factors. He's been playing longer, has better equipment, technique, He plays that course regularly and it was my first time at that course, etc, but that just proves further the differences, in analogy.

And, again, a spot-on post by jonpall. Bob, you bridge late, you admit to being a chest puller from way back. And to that end, you will get the most out say, Roger Love who helps people find the middle, as he calls it. Or, from what I understand from others, KT. Although, in your vocal sample, you don't sound overly-exerting, as if you were constricting while trying to pull chest too high. It sounded like you were "mixing" a lighter phonation with a vowel color that had the affect of distortion without actually being much of a distortion. An auditory illusion.

But, I too, ask myself what I am doing here, from time to time. A number of the singers here are interested in specific sounds, mostly involved in hard rock and heavy metal, as performed by singers with specific characteristics to their voice. And everyone does bring in their own sensibilities, opinions, psychology, what they value and I think it colors their perceptions when they critique. (I'll go ahead and dare anyone to prove me wrong on that :) ) I like all that music and others, too.

And, again, like a dog hanging onto a bone (you ever try to get a bone away from a dog that has not been trained to give up that bone? It ain't happenin') equipment will cause some variation that would be different than if you heard the person in person. Type and quality of mic. Mic proximity. Mixing strategy, including compression and how much of it, eq. EQ is all about filtering out things more than it is about building it up. A filter slider actually works by attenuating everything outside the band width of the frequency it asserts. And that's another thing. In most any eq function, even Audacity, you can adjust filter depth, essentially bandwidth around the center frequency. Let me get a little technical. A filter is essentially a coil, capacitor, and variable resistor , though a simpler analog version might just be variable cap or coil. Anyway, the response characteristics to changes in voltage and current are opposite of each other between a cap and coil. At a certain frequency, the cap discharges to the coil which builds up and discharges back to the cap. An oscillation. This is called the resonant frequency. And it has the effect of blocking out anything outside that frequency. Even harmonics. Well, that is what a filter is doing. Nominally, by using a variable resistor, you have a little more elbow room as the resistor changes the rate of discharge for the capacitor. And, believe me, the more sophisticated the mixing circuits, the better. You get what you pay for.

I'm rambling again. Anyway, I think the combination of voice type, vocal goals, equipment, and choice of training is going to have some effect, good, bad, indifferent.

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What coincidence, I'm an alto trying to change my approach and have been having all these questions too, though I have to compare to female singers. Still my break is in basically the same place as yours, and obsess over how to sing the same range, f4-Bb4..I have been seeing an old-school teacher who thinks I should bridge at middle C! and we have been doing folk type music with me trying to sound like early Judy Collins or Joan Baez. It's been fun, really different for me, but I don't know where I'm going with it. I need to improve my band singing... :/

It struck me that a lot of people esp men cannot take the sound of a high-voiced female singing for very long, unless she is clearly great. So I'm thinking of returning to my roots, pulling chest to A4 at least, and just using the new head voice range to ease the stress on my cords..but I need coaching and my teacher is not very interested in that.

At least, church singing is more fun now. I used to complain the keys were too high..lol.

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Carol - In my experience playing in bands with female singers, pulling chest occurs in very similar parts of the range for men and women. Carol - if you want a chesty type of sound going above C5 you should learn curbing as opposed to overdrive. Curbing is a "covered" type of sound as opposed overdrive which is a "shouty" sound and has a max pitch which can be unhealthy to sing above. Curbing is still a thick sound as if you didn't bridge at all. Curbing will take you way way higher. Your classical teachers want women to bridge a lot earlier than men - singing in what we men would call head throughout much of your range. They won't teach you how to carry curbing way up there - probably because they never worked on it themselves and classical singing surely doesn't require it.

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Bob - Here is how I see it (and I'm no expert) - You posted a link to Ricki singing high with different weights (I'll stay away from the CVT terms). One of them is definitely pulling chest. I think Ricki is a higher tenor and no matter how hard he tries he won't be able to get as "beefy" as you or I because of his anatomy. And you or I probably will never be able to sing low notes as powerfully as a true bass voice would. Most of us on the forum are in the middle. I've heard some baritones here. I've heard some high tenors here too. I think we can match the range of Ricki because we all have the same mechanics. Where we differ is the resonance - we all have different shaped vocal tracks and resonances that give us our uniqueness.

Your right about bridging early though. There are some methodologies that prescribe this and it sounds like Ricki does do this. Coming from KVTA - I'm bridging late and I love that sound, and I'm going to practice it. Although some songs require me to bridge very early so I need that ability too. I guess it comes down to the method and approach. I can't say one is better than another. I know what I want and I'm going for that. Other people may want different things. There are plenty of young male singers who always sing lightly and there is definitely a market for that.

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Sounds like mostly head voice. And full concert versions start with her in a whistle tone. She's singing the same way here that she does in a full version. Occasionally, a few "chest" sounding notes. I also noticed her breath support. Not once do her shoulders raise. She is singing from the gut, as is meant to be, even with the lighter tone that, in a man, would be falsetto.

MY point for linking in this video is to show that there is a place, in my opinion, in heavy metal and hard rock for a clean, almost nasal tone. Even in the full version with the guitar player singing back up in a rap style, it still sounds clean while the instrumentation affects the distortion. And too, I may be the only one who appreciates the juxtaposition of light and dark, good and evil, the dark music graced by the voice of an angel. Like the old saying goes, "I don't know if it's art but I like it." And I notice she uses what some call slides or note crashes but is essentially a cessation of phonation that sounds like a descension. Totally appropriate and not bothersome at all, at least to me.

And I could listen to Amy Lee all day.

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It seems that Ricki normally bridges early and probably teaches people to do that, but on that Separate ways clip he sounded like he was bridging late. (f.ex. singing the word "broken" with the Oh vowel on A4).

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Ive listened alot to this ricki guy and infact he's great with all modes, and i wouldnt out him in the same fach as a falsettoy singer.

besides who'd want a meaty voice to sing perry anyways ;)

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Ive listened alot to this ricki guy and infact he's great with all modes, and i wouldnt out him in the same fach as a falsettoy singer.

besides who'd want a meaty voice to sing perry anyways ;)

Well - that's a good point Jens. I'm working on Dont stop believin and I definitely don't have a lighter voice so I'm taking a risk. I'm just going to do what seems natural to me and it will be more meaty. Some people will not like this - yikes!:(

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Well - that's a good point Jens. I'm working on Dont stop believin and I definitely don't have a lighter voice so I'm taking a risk. I'm just going to do what seems natural to me and it will be more meaty. Some people will not like this - yikes!:(

That's never happened to me, ever. ;)

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Carol - In my experience playing in bands with female singers, pulling chest occurs in very similar parts of the range for men and women. Carol - if you want a chesty type of sound going above C5 you should learn curbing as opposed to overdrive. .

I think that's what I've been working on for 7 months now, between Roger Love's "middle voice" method and classical techniques for resonance and placement. But I've been practicing and recording it and it still sounds weird to me... :(

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folks thanks for the replies, agreeing with me or not, i value and respect them all.

again, from the perspective of no cvt modes, perry has a light sound color, a light timbre, but i believe a much more powerful full belty voice than we may realize on most of his hits. i actually changed my opinion back recently.

it could be that my preference for rich, meaty, high notes has much to do with this, but i feel some singers are taking a detour, copping out if you will, and a disservice to their development as a pro-caliber singer, when falsetto or hooty head notes are used to make it through a song when the song requires full voice but in the head register. thomas appell, jaime vendera, james lugo, just to name a few have all said if you're gonna drop jaws and sell records you have to deliver the goods in full voice.

again, maybe i'm wrong, but if you asked ricki (i mean no disrespect ricki wherever you are) to sing that song in a live band setting he'd fall flat, and the falsetto components would end up weak and not cut through the instruments.

i've heard singers who sound good "falsettoing"/"hooting" their way through songs that have high notes, but live in a band setting no way....i.m.o..

but working up to chesty sounding head tones takes a lot more work, more everything and not everyone has the drive and desire to do it that way..... or even a light, yet powerful full voice same thing.

we all could falsetto our way through a bunch of songs and sing them, but in the end (depending on the song) it's half way, half assed i.m.o.

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I had to go back and look at the ricki post to get a sense of what you trying to get at. I don't think he used much falsetto except on a few grace notes. But he did have a light phonation. And I think his structure has something to do with it. The foam pop filter on his mic is almost as large as his head. And his approach could certainly arise from his idea of what Perry is doing in the song. I also listened to the Eric from Texas clip. And his is a meatier sound. How much of that is from Eric's structure? Anyway, his tone and style actually make me think of Pineda, who sounds a bit meatier than Perry, by the way. Though, I agree with you, Perry was probably belting, even a little.

Which would, again, prove my point about individual structure. What is a belt for one person might be a curby head tone for another. (Woof .. munch ... chew, pant, pant, munch). And both could create almost the same tone from different perspective. While both the original belter (Perry) and a curby headvoice (Ricki) could belt (same process or technique) at the same note and sound different (pant .. pant... munch ... chew). Or sound the same because of similar structure (woof...).

But, you're right Bob and sometimes, the performer does it different live than they did in the studio. The studio recording of "Play the Game" has some falsetto-ish tones but the live version has belts on the high notes and the low notes are "soft."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATcKY5C4Zto

And there's this version of "Don't Stop Believin' "

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg2d9UFPHjI

This guy has a naturally high pitched voice. It might be an easy belt for him. And he likes to slide and crash notes, too, so he can't be all bad. :lol:

I agree, light falsetto tones might be hard to hear in a full band but it also depends on what is being played.

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again, maybe i'm wrong, but if you asked ricki (i mean no disrespect ricki wherever you are) to sing that song in a live band setting he'd fall flat, and the falsetto components would end up weak and not cut through the instruments.

This! The best PA and monitor doesn't seem to make a difference, because there is a mismatch in energy?? or something.

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Hi to All,

This is my first post in the forums and I'd like to thank VIDEOHERE for his suggestion that I add my thoughts in the Vocal Techniques area since I am a master voice trainer by profession.

Some of what I say may sound a little odd at first, but there is always a method to my madness. In fact, those who know and love me for my methodology sometimes call me Ms. Wackadoodle because I've seen the most "Aha moments" happen to people when we are doing something that seems totally wacky to them.

But, since I've been able to help a whole lot of people with registers and range issues, please bear with me here. :)

That being said, here are a few of my thoughts.

It's easy to get hung up with terminology (not that it doesn't serve a purpose, it does), but what I have observed in years of teaching is that people seem to make the most progress with the least amount of terminology.

Learning solid vocal techniques should be fun and not complicated, and the more terms that get tossed around, the more confusing it can get.

When discovering the full body of your range, without so-called "breaks" (I don't use this word) from top to bottom (I try not to use these terms either), think of your voice on a horizontal plane instead of a vertical plane.

In other words, use the image of a zipper that is sitting on a floor in front of you. Zip it open and closed but not "up and down."

Think of that zipper with 2 points on a horizontal line. These are how "high" and how "low" you may be able to go. You can even think of it from left to right , if that helps.

Your vocal cords are that zipper.

The main idea is to see or understand the voice as one line with no separate sections in it (forget about falsetto, head, chest, whistle, mix, etc. for right now). It's all one voice and it is uniquely yours so try not to divide it up into parts (head, chest, etc.).

Why is this important?

The more quickly you mentally grasp this concept the faster progress you will make with power anywhere you want to go in your voice.

Here's why: when you think of a "break" it gives the sensation of something being broken.

I prefer to think of the areas where muscle adjustments need to be made as shifting areas rather than "breaks." In fact, when I really get down to it, I don't think of any areas or adjustments at all, not even shifting.

This is one of the most powerful secrets to setting your voice free.

When you have a technique that allows you to play with every note that can possibly come out of you, you'll get the WOW factor, so keep it as simple as you possibly can. Find the smooth line of your voice and see it totally as one voice. Then add whatever style or effects you want for it.

Without experiencing a smooth line with your voice, all the other things are going to be a frustration.

That's about all I want to say at the moment. I hope that it helps you.

If you want to know more about what I do, you can find me at http://singingmastermind.com and also leave specific questions there.

Thanks,

Joy Sikorski

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As my english is really limited, i may have misunderstood some parts here...

Bob, i think there's not 1 way to sing right. The only good way is to sing and practice with what you wanna hear coming out of your mouth lol

Singingmastermind, you did a really great job on this journey cover, but this kind of singing also seems to fit perfectly in your natural voice. You have a natural light voice. I doubt it could work for me ;-).

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Bob, i think there's not 1 way to sing right. The only good way is to sing and practice with what you wanna hear coming out of your mouth

i agree with joshual (above) you can sing a song any way you want. there's songs if we wanted to, we could just sing in falsetto mode.

but i also agree that anyone (and ron, this includes you my friend, even ricki...lol!!!) who puts the time and effort in and is determined enough sing a song in a seriously strong chesty meaty, head voice can do it.

i can't yet, or maybe i'll have to drop a key, develop more vowel mod. skill but one day i'm gonna sing "seperate ways" and sound meaty and powerful dio style and nail that song. maybe on my 60th birthday....lol!!!

please folks, don't rule out that you can too. again that eric "karaoke guy" nailed that song in a rich powerful voice.

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Hi ronws and jonpall.

Thanks for your kind words, ronws! It's very nice to be likened to Vendera.;)

jonpall: Thanks for clarifying that I am not Ricki. And I did not do the Journey cover. I am totally clueless as to where that idea surfaced! :/

Good to be onboard with TMV.

Joy

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