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A serious attempt at "Open Arms" by Journey (not finished)

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Olem
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Hello!

I have been working on my pitch lately and practised it on Open Arms by Journey. It´s acapella and it´s the whole song. Please tell me what you think and what needs to be improved.

Thanx in Advance/ Ola

http://www.box.net/shared/kdqh3bycvky3tfbzuly5

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Olem - Sounds good - that's a great song. Your vowel modifications seem to work well - reasonce tracking sounds pretty good overall. You are singing the higher parts with a lot of "meat" (very thick folds). In general, it seems that you'd benefit from learning to sing lighter above E4. If you thinned out the folds more I think you would find it easier to sing up there on this song.

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Hello, Geno, thanx for your reply.

Yeah, i think you are right about the higher parts, it took alot of energy to sing the higher parts. Well, i have been experimenting and sung with thinner folds up there but haven´t found the right balance yet, my voice doesn´t connect in the passagio, it doesn´t sound like one voice. For example when i sing the chorus and the phrase "with open arms" i know that i have to thin out alot from "open" to "arms". Maybe i sing the A4 "open" with too much chest, maybe i need to modify that vowel, because when i go from "open" to "arms" the "arms" often sounds alot thinner compared to "open" and it sounds a little strange. There is a similair problem with the line before "come to you", the "come" is belted with alot of chest and then i try to thin out in the words "to you" and get problems.

I know that Perry/Arnel doesn´t belt/shout as much in those lines as i do, but for the moment it´s difficult for me to thin out alot and sound powerful. I hope you understand what i mean. I read in Jonpalls thread regarding this song that u could use the "ah" vowel in "come", i tried that but it sounded a little too weak. I guess i have to practise that vowel more. Any ideas, someone?

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Olem - I totally understand what you mean as I went through the exact same thing with my first Journey song. Do you have the CVT book? I use the "neutral" exercises to work on singing lighter. They are on the EE vowel, and I've been using the same exercises with other vowels too. These exercises really helped me relax and thin the folds up high. Not that I'm an expert, but it is helping. Also the KTVA "chest to head connection" exercises are good too.

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Olem, really good job with this song! I like the voice quality you're getting at, and this song suits you voice very well! I agree with guitartrek that you could work on thinning out the folds a bit more on the top notes to make it a little easier for you to sing it. Personally I like the KTVA excercises, and I think everybody would benefit from at least reading through the CVT book.

One thing you could to is to practice the higher parts with singing just the vowels, and using the same melody as an excercise to really feel how to keep them connected.

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I agree with Marcus. I like the tone of your voice. It's actually a bit darker and fuller than, for comparison, Steve Perry.

I also agree that that this could be sung a little lighter, but only for stylistic concerns. There is something kind of neat about hearing you belt a dark tone in this. Like a new flavor of spice rub that I haven't tried until now and it is unique.

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Geno, i have read the CVT book but i didn´t find any excersises in it what i could remember, maybe i read an old version. The only book i own is Jamie Vendera´s "Raise your voice" - an excellent book - and in it there are some falsetto excersises, maybe i will focus more on them from now on. The KTVA excersises i am very interested in buying but right now my economy is a little strained so i´ll have to wait with that.

Marcus, thanx for your answer, i think i will buy the KTVA discs as soon as i can. No garanties, but both of you have top quality voices so i think there is a chance i can benefit from it too.

Ron: Haha, thanx for your kind answer. Yeah, it´s a little bit rough and has a rock´n roll vibe to it. I would like to sing it a little softer but right now that would sound more terrible than this effort.

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Olem - the exercises from CVT are not in the book, but come as audio downloads, and these clips are referenced in the book. They have hundreds of audio clips, and there are a few that work on the neutral mode.

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Liked it. Vowels were mostly spot on. I could nitpick on where they weren't but I don't think that's your main issue now. Just try to sing as naturally as possible. I'd a) try to really nail the melody because it was a bit off at spots, B) improve your english accent and c) just try do it in one take - it a was a bit distracting to hear the comping of the different takes and then we'll get a clearer picture of how your support is working because a bad support for one line will make the next line more difficult.

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Ok, Geno, that´s why i didn´t see them. I borrowed the book from the library.

Hello, Jonpall, thanx for your answer. I sang the song verse by verse, i can´t sing the whole song in one take yet, maybe i never will. I removed pauses so it wouldn´t take so long to listen to it. With music i wouldn´t do that of course :) Maybe it wasn´t a good thing to do.

By the way, i am curious to now where the vowels weren´t spot on, that would help me alot because i am not 100 % sure of how to modify vowels. I found success with ee to eh but i don´t think i made that everywhere.

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Olem, go ahead and practice for a while a falsetto version. It doesn't have to be pretty but it will let you know where your notes are and after a while, your support will fall in line. Falsetto, though it is a timbre that can be used for effect, is also a training tool. As Anthony Frisell might put it, of course you will make some ugly tones, at first. But continued effort, like pressure and heat on a piece of carbon, will produce a diamond, after a while.

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