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studying jimi jamison (was survivor's lead vocalist)

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hi folks,

this i thought might help the folks out there who are new to singing.

it's really helpful somtimes to grab a basic live performance of great singers and see just what may be needed to do one of their hits live. When Jimi did this for the recording back in the 80's, he sang it much lighter and more "falsettoee."

now at 58, he's really demonstating his vocal skill and athleticism. this song lives in the passagio, making it especially challenging...

study the singer, watch and listen carefully and you can learn so much. notice the vowel modification, support, and concentration because the song dosen't let up on it's tonal framework. he's working up there, and believe me he knows it too. he can maybe make it look easy, but it's anything but.

you've got to hit those notes without overblowing, and catch your breath quickly for the close phrases. each verse line starts on a f4#.

all this, plus entertain! notice also his strong head voice tones...a gift? maybe, but i'll bet a lot of practice over the years

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5xlaugo-1Y&feature=related

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I'm really interested in singing in the way that this song is sung on the original recording. I can sing mezza on single notes, but when it comes to trying to hold a halfway volume on a series of notes (+the changing consonants/vowels in a song), I lose stability and either sing too quietly or full-on. Btw, Jimi has an amazing sound, not to mention versatility. I recently was looking into his music and prefer his voice over the original Survivor singer.

edit: also in the recording it does have that falsettoey sound. is it an illusion of holding air back? or is he using more air than normal. This is one thing that confuses me when trying to study singers who manage to sing in a semi-breathy-sounding but still full sound. does it sound breathy or is it just "light"?

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the recording engineers can do amazing things with your voice. they can take a falsettoee tone and enrich and embellish it so much so to totally mislead you.

that's why i always make a point to listen to singers live. to me it's an acid test of their vocal ability.

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A very underrated vocalist. I guess that people thought that the guy who sung the Baywatch theme song couldn't be a good singer.

This is a very interesting video for me, because I've been experimenting a lot with different volumes in the high part of the voice. Right now, would categorize Jimi in the "Tamplin" style, because he seems to "start to bridge" at about A4, meaning that he "pulls chest" up to about A4 with a mixture of Ah and Oh vowel (at least on the open vowels) ... and then when he goes higher, he puts a bit of a cry to the sound, plus lowers the volume slightly and modifies to the Uh vowel. I also think that Arnel Pineda's version of "Open arms" is in this style, but not "Don't stop believing" (at least not the original version). For the record, this type of singing takes a LOT of support effort and a very relaxed throat and jaw.

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Doesn't Ken Tamplin start to bridge around A4? After having experimented with this a lot recently, I'm still not sure about how much that style gives you. If I lower the volume slightly and use the Uh vowel instead of the Oh or Ah vowels on A4, I seem to get a pretty full sounding tone. And I think lots of singers go that route instead. What do you guys think?

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You guys who have used Ken Tamplin's program: At what pitch does he modify the Ah vowel to Oh? And at what pitch does he go to Uh ... and O and Oo?

I thought that he went to Oh at A4 and to Uh at B4, but perhaps that's not true - perhaps he goes to Oh and Uh sooner?

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Love how he sounds here

Sounds like Steve Perry if he sang a little deeper into his voice (in his earlier years)

Where would one mentally "focus" the voice for a vocal tone like this? I particularly mean the kind of twangy w/ open throat and lazy sounding jaw in this style of music.

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Thanks, analog. Actually I checked an even better video of Tamplin where it's easier to see where he switches vowels:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZGaxscWLbc

Here, it seems the he starts with Ah and then goes to Oh (as in "dog") at F4, then Uh (as in "hungry" or something similar) at A4 and then O (as in "woman") at D5. He uses different words but basically the vowels are pretty much the same. My main point is that he does NOT really "pull chest up to A4". He starts to change into mixed voice or curbing around F4 and is definitely not using pure chest voice at A4 - if he's really singing his songs with those vowel modifications that he's telling people to use. But when he's singing in a powerful style, he uses a fair amount of cry/hold and a not too high larynx position, so it makes for a very "meaty" mixed voice or curbing.

Comments?

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This is real inspiration.

Thank you Bob.

I think he start to bridge at F4#.

I personally think the key of singing like that is strong attack which is related with good support as well.

dev,

actually i used to think it was a strong attack too, but it's actually strong support which makes it possible for him to hold back to produce "controlled compression."

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Thanks, analog. Actually I checked an even better video of Tamplin where it's easier to see where he switches vowels:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZGaxscWLbc

Here, it seems the he starts with Ah and then goes to Oh (as in "dog") at F4, then Uh (as in "hungry" or something similar) at A4 and then O (as in "woman") at D5. He uses different words but basically the vowels are pretty much the same. My main point is that he does NOT really "pull chest up to A4". He starts to change into mixed voice or curbing around F4 and is definitely not using pure chest voice at A4 - if he's really singing his songs with those vowel modifications that he's telling people to use. But when he's singing in a powerful style, he uses a fair amount of cry/hold and a not too high larynx position, so it makes for a very "meaty" mixed voice or curbing.

Comments?

jonpall, this was a good thing for me to see. a friggin' light just went off for me with this video. i, not being a player of any instrument, would not pick up on this as well as if i did.

i never really realized till now that when he was doing the scale and let's say it had been a five note...

f4, a4, c5 and f5....if you are starting that scale beginning on f4, you really need to start in head and modified accordingly at the get go, something i was not doing.

boy oh boy, you learn and re-learn and re-re learn something different every day.

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if you are starting that scale beginning on f4, you really need to start in head

I have never practiced tat scale in the way you said. F4 in my case is always more chesty. Maybe it is a mistake. I don't know.

Ive noticed lastly - that many great rock singers use strong attack. Please have a listen Jagger;s part in this song and focus how strong his attack is.

I'm sure Jagger sings this one in his passagio.

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F4 doesn't NEED to be in chest. As devaitis pointed out, Mick Jagger probably sings F4s in chest and pretty much most of what he sings is in chest. However ... let's back up ... Mick Jagger is a great rock singer but NOT a great TECHNICAL singer, not even a good technical ROCK singer :)

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F4 doesn't NEED to be in chest. As devaitis pointed out, Mick Jagger probably sings F4s in chest and pretty much most of what he sings is in chest. However ... let's back up ... Mick Jagger is a great rock singer but NOT a great TECHNICAL singer, not even a good technical ROCK singer :)

i can really get into this discussion because i know what both of you guys are saying and it confused me for a long time.

well, here's what i'm starting to read about and realize. some singers i've read simply have a more resiliant vocal mechanism anatomically, much like some people have bigger wrists and necks vs. others. they can take more punishment (for lack of a better word) than others.

i think there is a lot of skill to that punchy sound (which i love). let's go to lou...here he's sounds like he's punching up a storm, but i'm starting to realize he's actually very free in order to jump up so high and quick. his lines in the verses are punchy yet if you listen really carefully they're very free as well.

that to me is a learned skill..what ken tamplin refers to opened throated glottal compression with a hold back. if you plowed into these notes you'd never make it to the end of the set.

this performance to me is all skill!!! he's got a punchiness yet it's free

the part "don't wanna play no" right into the high "head games" amazes me

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