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to those just starting to train...

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hi folks,

this message goes out to all the folks who are not routinely exercising the voice and/or are beginners to vocal training.

if you are truly serious about learning to develop championship caliber vocal ability to sing as a profession, no matter how motivated you may or may not be, understand you need to start with the fundamentals, the basics, and work your way up slowly and methodically, especially if you are attempting to go at this without formal instruction.

i hear so many forum members trying to "get it" practically overnight or some are trying to "spot train" to develop in areas that need requisite strength and coordination just be able to attempt what they want to do.

folks, if you read between the lines, voice training is a process, and it begins first and foremost with the fundamentals...breath management, posture, relaxation and a willingness to accept the fact that this endeavor with take several months to years before consistent results are realized.

there are forum members i've read the posts of who are trying to circumvent the basics, or are attempting to bypass the hard work and repetitous yet important vocal exercises to achieve success. well, i'm gonna ya straight..it just ain't gonna happen.

so, why not either start to train with one of the great instructors here on the forum, and/or buy a program and commit to doing the exercises at least 4 days a week or more, for a good year and see where it gets you. don't concern yourself with "will i be able to do this and that and the other thing" just focus on doing the training, dilligently and consistently.

wonder, like i did 15 mos. ago, how the hell is all this stuff is gonna translate into a significant improvement to my singing voice. i had no clue what the hell i was doing 15 mos. ago. but i stuck with it and the improvements, yes they were gradual, and i had my setbacks, but overall it was worth every minute of it. all i can say is, i can't wait to hear the improvement each succeeding year after this.

so to summerize:

don't look for a quick fix

don't spot train

learn the fundamentals , the basics, first

be patient and work hard

i want to go on record if you do what i'm suggesting, i guarantee you, you will improve.

it would also be helpful to everyone who enjoys helping you to please let us know whether or not you are a novice and are training, how long you've been at this, etc.

when you post "help, i can't sing high notes" for example, include in your post some background, experience...are you an amateur, profressional..give us the information so that we can help you better..or direct you to the more experienced folks.

thanks for reading this. i wish you the best in your journey. bob

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And I would add to this that we are all always on a path to new discoveries. Not any one system is the final answer. But also learn to trust your instincts. If it feels strained, that's because it is. I am not saying that vocal training is not work. But it should not strain you. Awkward at first? Sure. Some weird tones and sounds and not very "singer"-like. Sure. And time spent singing doesn't equal competency, necessarily. I have been singing for quite some time and I am still learning, even if it is learning something old that I need to "re-learn."

Learn to have a tough "hide" and look past the stylistic quibbles and comments. One of the best comments and tips I ever received was when another member said I "crashed" notes. A sudden descent in pitch at the end of a note or phrase. I noticed I did it while speaking, too, an effect from the culture I live in. That one comment did more for me than a thousand scales or breathing exercises. And I do not exaggerate.

Accept that you will make mistakes. Even the pros make mistakes. If you ever see Rob Halford show his thumb down, that is because he evaluated the note he just sung as sub-standard. No one is perfect. Have patience with yourself. Remember that the big singers you have seen and admired spent the better part of at least 10 to 15 years in smoky clubs singing to drunk people and paid their dues.

Just the same, just because someone says it's a lot of work doesn't not mean that you will fail. A singer is a person who feels it in their heart. Regardless of what system you use, genre, whatever, you sing because it's a part of you. Not because of fame and fortune, which come and go. You sing because not singing is worse for you and there could be no contemplation of life without singing.

Nor am I saying that you have to have been singing for so many years before you can be regarded as competent. Everyone progresses at different rates. But mostly, have patience.

And probably the hardest part is to change your mind about what you expect. Singing is not about doing a few videos, getting a limousine, and walking the red carpet. It's about hitting that note, night after night, forever. And that takes the dedication that, if you are a singer, is second nature.

Harkett still has it, hitting the same note he hit in 1984, when this song was released/

And the reality check. Do what your voice can do. I can't say that enough and it ticks off people that think that any voice can do anything. And I will go on ticking people off (I'm good at, a natural talent, actually.) Sure, there are few genetic flukes that can do any singer with their voice. It's the exception that proves the rule. So, yeah, training takes a while. But have patience, you will achieve things you didn't know were possible.

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This thread is fortified with heaping helpings of correctness.

The basics are not to be overlooked or underestimated. To put it metaphorically, you can't skip chapters of a book and expect to not have holes in the story.

I get frustrated with those who lack the patience to do what needs to be done in order to achieve what they desire, but then I realize that I need to practice what I preach, and have patience with the impatient.

I think many get discouraged because they believe they're not progressing, though they actually are, which is why implore everyone to record themselves, and do it often. That way, they'll always have a "vocal diary" to keep track of how things are coming along.

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Great words here. To add, it doesn't matter what style you're wanting to sing, the basics are the same.

Also, keep in mind, no matter what kind of voice you think you have, your voice is capable of amazing things. Your potential range is huge.

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thanks for the input folks! this is a big issue i think for a lot of the younger folks who seem to be spot training.

ron, love ya my brother, but i believe if you really want to, and work hard enough you can do just about anything you want with your voice. perfect example is michael bolton. the guy has done rock, r&b, and opera and is still going strong.

the mind is a big factor.

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Well, Bob, blame it on my career as an electrician. As an electrician, one deals with applied science and engineering. There tends to be facts and physics, independent of faith and belief. I fully believe a person can improve their voice. But there are structural differences between people and no amount of "you can do whatever you want to do" can change that. And you can still do whatever you want to do.

Is that another windmill I see in the distance? Let me sharpen my lance ....

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Or, to put it another way, and I know this makes me a bastard. Even with opera voice lessons, does anyone here seriously think that Bon Scott could have sang the bass role in Mozart's "Don Giovanni"? Or even the role of Caiaphas in the original stage production of "Jesus Christ, Superstar"? Or how about Pat Boone, a bass, singing the title role in the movie, as it was performed by Ted Neely, drummer-turned-actor?

Can Pat Benetar hit Tate's low note in "Silent Lucidity"? Could Rik Emmett from Triumph hit that Tate note?

Let the name-calling begin.

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You can never sound EXACTLY like someone else, but you can sing with the same vocal configuration as any other human on this planet because we all essentially have the same instrument in our throats. So what people are usually looking for is the ability to sing high notes with power instead of just falsetto and that's something that anyone can do. Note that it requires a lot of discipline and YOU putting in the hours doing the right vocal exercises that will develop your voice. And I'd note that there are many paths to this goal, even though they have a lot of things in common.

Ron, I think that if you hammer this point of yours too many times in this vocal forum, people will start to think that you're saying these things simply because you yourself can't produce those sounds. But I know that's not true. You and anyone can. You're correct that you'll never sound EXACTLY like someone else, but if you want to capture the feeling of some singer whose sound you love, it's possible to get "close enough". F.ex. Celine Dion sounds "close enough" to Whitney Houston who sounds "close enough" to Leona Lewis, all of which are essentially using the same technique (some straining more than others, recently). It's just that most people aren't willing to put in the amount of time training it takes. Or they're just training incorrectly. I say this with respect. I know how much you love singing and your willingness to help people here is admirable. And no one on this planet is a technically "perfect" singer. Not me, not you, not Bob, Geno, anyone on this forum, any legendary singer. We all have moments where we sing sub optimally. The funny thing is that sometimes we even sound good during those moments. Peace!

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Ron, I think that if you hammer this point of yours too many times in this vocal forum, people will start to think that you're saying these things simply because you yourself can't produce those sounds. But I know that's not true. You and anyone can. You're correct that you'll never sound EXACTLY like someone else. Peace!

Somehow, I knew that was going to happen. And my meaning would get taken the wrong way.

Yes, on a basic level, we all have a larynx, lungs, soft palate, whatever. And yes, within a general limit of high and low, we can all produce the same notes. But the character of the note is determined by the the qualities of the resonators. And, to some extent, the thickness or thinness of the folds of the individual. And what we are talking about in sounding like another singer is really trying to manufacture the pecularities of their resonator. An effect, rather than a solid tone.

I cannot sound like Bon Scott, or Brian Johnson. I tried a few times and paid the price. Has it ever occured to you that there are limits to my voice? Once again, and I expect this to get ignored because people don't want to hear it, that no one, least of all myself, should not try new things and take influences from other singers. So, you (the only one so far, and I am sure others will chime in) telling me that my hammering of my point is going to cause others to think that I say that because I can't do some of those sounds is worthy of a response.

A) You're right, I can't do some of those sounds. And in some cases, don't want to. But mainly, sure, there are some sounds I can't do. Tate, who is friends with Brian Johnson, was asked if he could sing like Johnson. He said, "It's not a matter of could I but would I? The answer is no."

B) Such a statement of yours might be designed to make me shut up. Good luck with that.

C)Such a statement does not eradicate any veracity of statement I may have accomplished. (Try saying that in a redneck accent.)

All that being said, can I do some rasp? Sure. Will it sound like some other singer? Possibly.

You are not the first one to imply or even tell me straight up that I don't do enough with my voice. And exactly what is it that I should do with my voice? Who am I supposed to sound like? That may come across in print as kind of snotty but I mean it in all honesty. Am I supposed to sound like Bruce? Or Steven? Or Steve? Or James (Lugo or LaBrie)? Should I sound like Robert (Plant)?

You, jonpall, were the one who told me I go into headvoice too early. You are right, especially these days. Then, again, I might be in the wrong place, if the only view here is that one can only sing rock or heavy metal with a gruff sounding voice, ala David Coverdale, f. ex.

I don't sound like any particular person, though I have absorbed the influences of many. And I am more pleased with my performances when I capture the emotion or intent of the song than if I try to create a specific "tone."

Then, again, at least I am right, for a change. I knew the last part of my previous post would raise some ire. :D

Again, I am not against trying for sounds one hears, as long as you can do it in a healthy way. And you might be surprised by what you get. It may or may not sound like another singer. Is that politically more correct?

The other point of my previous post that got missed because you couldn't wait to hammer on me is that it will take work and time. Have patience. Trust me, I did say that in the previous post, in so many words.

And that was the intent of this thread, I think.

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ron, no one is "hammering on you" we are your friends and mean no disrespect. it's just that you may have more in your voice buddy than you think...isn't it cool we tend to all feel this way?

i personally always consider the tone and resonance...the truth? i wish to sound sexy at times when i sing. other times classical, other times who knows? that's the fun of singing i think.

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Lately, this forum has been overrun w/ half truths, non-linear theories, and "armchair" observations. WTF? Ron, buddy, you have crafted a great "online personality" and I think it gives this forum color and colloquial charm...but sweet Jesus...Jonpall is the most OPEN-MINDED, SUPPORTIVE MOTHERFUCKER to ever inhabit a "virtual space." He ain't be hammerin on ya.

Also, until we can ALL agree on vocal terms(i.e. chest voice, head voice, middle voice, falsetto, pharyngeal, support, belt, mix,blah blah blah) there is NO TRUTH. How can there be?

(We may have an easier time believing in the same God)

....wait...there IS a God? Shit....

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analog, buddy, I'm touched by your kind words. Thanks, man. However, I didn't really feel that Ron was particularly hurt or lashing at me or anything like that. I think he was rather trying to explain himself. Regarding the armchair observations, well perhaps that's why half of the forum members that used to be here all the time have simply left. It got a bit theoretical. No one person is to blame for that. One good thing about both Ken Tamplin and Robert Lunte is that they back their views up with lots of online examples of them singing, so you can get a chance to actually hear what they're talking about. That's why I suggested a while ago that you, Ron, could perhaps point out a section in one of your posted songs here that shows people what you are referring to when you talk about your theories on singing. I know you have several clips of you singing. It doesn't have to be the greatest clip in the world but any audio example can make people "get it" much quicker than a barrage of words on a screen.

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Nah, Analog called my thoughts and ideas, some of them direct quotes from true experts in the fields "armchair observations." Accused me of "crafting" an on-line personality.

I too, mentioned semantics (what do we mean by which words). But it's better when analog says?

Great, wtf-ever ...

So, I probably need to post less.

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Hi all,

Been very busy of late and will be for next few weeks, speaking exams next week, singing practicals the week after (or maybe the week after that!!), concert next week, another concert in 2 weeks, theory "finally!!!" over with yesterday. Kind of a bit manic, but it's what we do. Roll on festival in 2 months. ... Might get to post little more after that (i.e. next few weeks).

Bob - This post needed to be posted a lot earlier, actually could do with some portions of it being a sticky.

The other thing to add to this list (Which Bob has posted elsewhere), is the posters posting a; "am I really that cr£p on this song / that song" and really asking for confirmation that they aren't really that bad .. I've reallt started to cut postings to that kind of post.

I have been keeping my hand in and am interested in one of JP's comments on another thread - that being the gold of some of the advice given on the forum. The other thing is that some posts by Ron have been bob on with good advice. Yes it's "interesting" to hear some of the "banter", but Ron - no, you don;t need to post less. ... I don;t feel people are being hit on ... yet ... and find some of the constructive critisism of value (although occasionally, I do want to post and say ... well actually).

Keep it up people, am thoroughly enjoying forum.

Stew

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I never went away - I've been following most threads, just not posted. I had various comments on your .. Faithfully and one other. Maybe this one is one for the threads to which you have posted - i'll have a look.

Faithfully, diction is a LOT better lately - well done there, Would like to talk about what goes on at 3:54 onward, because (and I hate to use a music production terminology), money notes ... Your vocal ability FAR outweighs 3:54 onwards (apologies) ... i.e. singing 3rd to 5th above what you sang.

There was one other song and it was a note you "slid - not quite portamento" upwards to an "S" on one note (and outside of your normal singing ability) - i'll look through my music. It was EXTREMELY interesting to hear.

One thing I would like you to look at (at a coaching level) is .. "the trombone slide". Do the usual google's and pm me if you don't find much :-)

Am awaiting you to post on the John thread (possibly worth you giving a post) .. am watching that one with interest :-)

Stew

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I made an example and I am waiting for the process of dropbox, which usuall takes at least five minutes before I can get a public link to copy.

Thanks for chiming in, Stew, and I hope you are doing well.

As for my on-line personality, ask Bob. We have spoken with each other a few times. (My cell is AT&T nationwide thingy. That's why a redneck from Texas can talk to a yankee in New York. The closest I got to New York City was Newark, New Jersey, specifically, Newark Intl Airport. Went up there in 2005 to see my step-daughter get married in Princeton, N.J. Almost went to NYC. Step-daughter nearly had us going into the Holland Tunnel, which takes you right into the Big Apple.)

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Faithfully, diction is a LOT better lately - well done there, Would like to talk about what goes on at 3:54 onward, because (and I hate to use a music production terminology), money notes ... Your vocal ability FAR outweighs 3:54 onwards (apologies) ... i.e. singing 3rd to 5th above what you sang.

The improved diction is actually largely thanks to you, Stew :) . However, I don't understand your statement above. Do you mean that I should be able to sing that line at 3:54 better than I did in that clip? Or something else? And do you think I should have sung a 3rd or a 5th higher than I did? I'm pretty sure that I'm singing the right melody, but maybe I'm wrong or just misunderstanding you. But thanks so much for you help and perhaps it would be better to discuss this via email, since my Faithfully cover is hardly the topic of this thread here. Cheers!

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Am awaiting you to post on the John thread (possibly worth you giving a post) .. am watching that one with interest :-)

Out of curiousity, why are you interested in that? I'm not quite following. But I recently commented on that thread anyway, just perhaps not with the comments you were looking for, or what? Cheers, man.

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This was related to an earlier threat you posted about ... others asking you for advice, lessons and skype .. and the direction this may take you .. (i.e. the route to coaching people).

I posted ... actually awaiting a post .. I actually saw you had already posted, but .... As per above comment, are you looking at the comment from a coaching perspective .. or a.n.other perspective.

The reason is, "if" you approach the comment from a coach perspective, the comment would be different from a.n.other perspective.

It's an odd thing to be typing (i.e. forum) and would be better skyping ot other as I could discuss various sections and what is happening at various parts.

one for further offline...

Stew .. as for the song - i'll find the post an comment ... It's good to be back posting, but next few weeks may be a bit sporadic ... (for me roll on after Tuesday ... Speaking exams (Lamda, esb, country version).

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Accused me of "crafting" an on-line personality...

I certainly don't think you "crafted" a personality; at least not in the sense of you're really a 5'2 computer geek from Seattle who is posing as a 6'5 biker/electrician from Texas. What I meant was you have a definite "persona" in your writing. Or maybe more appropriately...you have a very strong voice. Also, and I mean this with all sincerity, you seem to truly care about the people on this forum and the proof is in your rep points.

I should have worded my other post differently, as it wasn't all directed at you. I apologize if it came across that way, I just worry that some people new to the forum may not realize that most of us are students and not pro's.

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Well, jonpall said it didn't have to be a fancy clip. And it's not. About as "unplugged" as I can get. No eq, no compressor, no effects, just me overloading the mic, even though in the second half of the clip was a little over two feet away from the pop filter.

I should also note that just because I am singing from what I understand of the classical technique (and I am not perfect. In fact, many of you may think I am arrogant but my greatest problem is that I know that I don't know everything, so I am studying constantly from as many sources as I can get my hands on) doesn't mean that one can't infuse the emotion of the sub-text of the story into the song.

And I have found value in a number of the systems I have encountered, whether I went all the way through those systems, or not. More on that later.

http://dl2.dropbox.com/u/8750209/resonance.mp3

I haven't followed any one system exclusively and that has been a pattern in other areas of my life. Such as martial arts. I have studied Kenpo Karate, Kung Fu (northern shaolin), Tai Chi (short form,) Tae Kwon Do, Jeet Kune Do, Bushido, and received some excellent pointers from my friend, Lee, US Navy SEAL 1964 - 1969, stationed out of Da Nang, Viet Nam. Stuff that got him out alive after 3, yes, 3 active combat tours way deep in-country. But I don't have an advanced belt or any kudos or such from those styles.

Nor do I have the bragging rights, as it were, of saying I have accomplished any of the levels of KTVA or other systems.

Of the modern systems, I am most drawn to Lunte's 4 Pillars, even though it was Kevin Richards' videos on youtube that led me to this forum. Lunte approaches from a classical background, which is certainly a large part of his education and previous cred. Jonpall asked if I had purchased the system, yet. No, I have not. Though I think Lunte could have students start in headvoice rather than bridge to it, that is probably a fine point that further study brings me to a better understanding. Falsetto is a tool to be used, both in training and in emotional effect. Money. I owe two years of taxes on my house. Electric bills that are getting higher with these 100 + degree days we are having. Car payment. Insurance payment on two cars and house. Cell phone bill. Gas bill for the house. Home phone and internet (one package). Food and some gas for the car. My company pays most of my fuel bill as a compensation, plus toll tag for riding the "Autobahn" (S.H. 121, the Sam Rayburn Toll Road.)

But I have an ingenious method of saving. My bank has a deal where every time I use my debit card, which is a lot since I don't carry much cash on me, a dollar goes to a savings account. After a while, voila, "found" money.

I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. I want to sing and improve my singing whereever I can and could probably benefit from a system, especially one that has so much classical element in it. And I've got to pay bills and keep the roof over my head. And who's going to listen to a 47 year old rock star wannabe sing songs from 30 years ago? (There's an idea. Maybe I need to be a lounge singer on a cruise ship ....) My system has been to pick things that work for me and it is in part, I think, due to my psychological make-up. "Redneck engineering," as it were.

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I certainly don't think you "crafted" a personality; at least not in the sense of you're really a 5'2 computer geek from Seattle who is posing as a 6'5 biker/electrician from Texas. What I meant was you have a definite "persona" in your writing. Or maybe more appropriately...you have a very strong voice. Also, and I mean this with all sincerity, you seem to truly care about the people on this forum and the proof is in your rep points.

I should have worded my other post differently, as it wasn't all directed at you. I apologize if it came across that way, I just worry that some people new to the forum may not realize that most of us are students and not pro's.

Thanks for clarifying. Actually, I am 6' 6". About 220 to 225 lbs, which looks kind of thin, on me. Dark blonde hair, that I keep short these days. But regardless of how I dress, I still look like the "1 percenter." Even though I am a "nice" guy.

To me, rep points are for when I said something that rang true for someone else. But I really do like helping people, whether I accomplish that goal, or not. And, like Bob, I am just a "layman," a working joe trying to make sense of it.

And there are plenty of times I get it wrong or discover a better way of thinking about it that is opposite of what I thought I knew. And that is what I mean about having patience. I have been singing a really long time and I am still learning and probably always will be. And like I said in another post, I may seem arrogant but my greatest fault is that I am sure that I don't know enough. Truly, I am smart enough to know approximately how much I don't know.

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Although it's a topic outside of singing and music, I too, dabbled in some of the martial arts you mentioned some years ago, but I got kind of turned off by how incredibly bad they did in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Which is probably why many modern soldiers now train in BJJ, MMA and related combat arts/sports.

Btw. Ron, here's hoping that your financial situation improves soon.

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