Jump to content

Finally got a vocal coach

Rate this topic


jonpall
 Share

Recommended Posts

After several years of learning singing on my own I finally enrolled in a 3 months singing course in my home town. There are 11 students and the singer is a woman whose favorite singer is Ronnie James Dio. Not too bad, eh? I didn't know this about her until I met her and she spent half an hour in the first class just talking about Dio :) . I've already learned a few cool things and I'm just extremely glad that I did this. I want to fine tune a certain things in my singing.

Just wanted to share. Or stand up and shout, to quote Ronnie. If you guys have a good feeling about some vocal coach, go see him/her a few times. You won't be sorry. I'm glad that I could learn a lot about singing on my own but I've already received some pointers on things that I thought I was doing but in reality I was doing something else. Minor things but they make a big difference, actually.

Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's cool jonpall. I'm curious to know what kinds of things she's doing with you and what you are learning?

First of all - I thought that my support could be better but she said that it all right, at least for the moment. A bigger concern is that sometimes I sing a slightly incorrect vowel.

Also, I sometimes thought that I was putting a "cry/hold" on a few B4 notes, but I wasn't, so I learned how to get a bit more power and intensity into those notes. I also thought that curbing/mixed voice wouldn't be quite as loud in the high part of the voice, but apparently it's pretty powerful on high notes.

Also, I had the misconception that singing with FULL power up to C5 on Eh and Oh vowels would take CRAZY amount of support, almost to the point of my shaking in my midsection, but she told me to increase the smile (and/or "bite") and also the twang and then she was right - it did NOT take that much effort. In fact, she thought that it takes LESS effort to sing high notes with full power (cvt users read overdrive and edge) than in curbing/mixed voice - and that singing high notes in a Soprano-like style, with no "body/metal" to the sound (except some twang) took the MOST effort. I thought it was completely backwards, according what I've read. So perhaps I'll sing her a Dio song in the near future to showcase this.

That's just a small part of what was so awesome with these 3 lessons I've taken so far. It's also GREAT to hear all the other students sing and be corrected and see and hear them experience improvements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Throughout this 3 month course we have to bring in several songs to sing in front of her and the other students (and get pointers from her) and because of her liking for Dio, I feel I HAVE to take a shot at Rainbow in the dark in front of everyone before the course is over, with full out power and distortion :) . I might royally blow it but if that happens, I'll hopefully get some ideas on how to fix what's making the song difficult for me. Then it would be a good idea to record a cover of it and post it here. It will never sound just like Dio but I would really like to be able to sing it well and with tons of power.

She doesn't have a web site, at least not yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw. here are the songs I think I'm going to work on in this course, for various reasons:

Don't stop believing (Journey)

Eye of the tiger (Survivor)

Cryin' (Aerosmith)

Rainbow in the dark (Dio)

You shook me all night long (AC/DC)

All songs that I can sometimes do ok, but I'd like to improve on. No big reason to choose too easy songs here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

that's great jonpall. i actually made a call to anthony frisell last month asking him if i could study with him, but nw with the vocal issue, i'll have to postone it.

i wish you the best. sounds like you lucked out. do you have anything with the teacher singing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

that's great jonpall. i actually made a call to anthony frisell last month asking him if i could study with him, but nw with the vocal issue, i'll have to postone it.

i wish you the best. sounds like you lucked out. do you have anything with the teacher singing?

Here's one clip:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is awesome, jonpall. And, for the love of whatever you find holy, please post your version of "Rainbow in the Dark" when that becomes the thing to do. If you don't, I will start telling you Aggie jokes until you do, even if it's just to stop the Aggie jokes. (Aggie jokes are jokes about students and alumni from Texas A & M University. And, the book of Aggie jokes are printed by the Texas A & M Press.) Here's a sample. Why does an Aggie beat his head against a brick wall? Because it feels better when he stops.

Why must I tell these jokes? Because I was a student at the University of Texas (Longhorns) at Arlington, Texas in 1982. (Age-old rivalry.) So, to avoid aggravation, you simply have to honor my request.

Blessings and good for you, man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two Aggies left College Station, Texas (where the original Texas A & M University campus is located.) They were travelling to Houston and were following road signs. They came upon a sign that read "HOUSTON left." So, they turned around and went home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An Aggie was driving along a pea gravel county road between two farms. To his left, he saw a fellow Aggie in the middle of a corn field, in a canoe, rowing like crazy and getting nowhere, fast. He screeched to a halt, in a cloud of gravel and dust. Stepped out to the edge of the rural road and hollered.

"Hey you! Don't you know how stupid you look rowing in the middle of a corn field? People will think Aggies are stupid. Don't make me swim out there to stop you!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

Yes, great JonPall... but I can't help but ask... why didn't you let me be your vocal coach over the internet? Not quite the same as in person, but its about 90% the same. Im happy for you, now bring on back to the TMV Forum and lets hear what your learning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The coaches (we have several) stress the importance of twang a lot and help us when we're singing out of balance. The songs I've sung so far in front of everyone and gotten pointers are these:

Don't stop believing (Journey)

Cryin' (Aerosmith)

Bring it on home (Sam Cooke)

This course ends in december so I'm probably going to choose these songs next:

Bed of roses (Bon Jovi)

Eye of the tiger (Survivor)

You shook me all night long (AC/DC)

If I have time, I might squeeze in a Dio song like Heaven and hell or Rainbow in the dark.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no "might," jonpall. You will.

Another Aggie joke, just to show that I mean "business."

(Remember that College Station, Texas is the location of Texas A & M (Agricultural & Mechanical) University.)

What do you call an intellectual in College Station?

A visitor.

And my personal favorite:

Did you hear about the Aggie that moved from Texas to Oklahoma?

He raised the average IQ of both states.

You will, jonpall, produce a recording of "Rainbow in the Dark." I have decreed it. Surrender to forces beyond your control.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Done with:

Don't stop believing (Journey)

Cryin' (Aerosmith)

Bring it on home (Sam Cooke)

Bed of roses (Bon Jovi)

...and received comments on them.

My coach suggested interesting rasp exercises yesterday to me:

1. Sustain a long, CLEAN note (possibly by sirening up to it) and gradually add rasp to it and try to sustain a very slight and constant rasp for the remainder of your breath.

2. Practise being able to hit high, raspy notes DEAD ON, i.e. without sliding up to the note and or using a clean sound for a couple of seconds before you add rasp. This is very interesting and something I've thought about before, because when you're singing raspy songs, you don't have the luxury of any preparation before those cool notes. So imagine if you could just sing high, raspy notes dead on at any time of the day, just at will (except maybe in the morning). I think that many of the best rock tenor can/could do exactly that, and I think this exercise will help you do this.

3. Practise 3 and 5 note scales with rasp on and off, alternatively. I've often had a hard time doing this. That should be a red flag - if I can't even do THAT well, the songs are going to suffer.

4. Sing whole songs with rasp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My coach suggested interesting rasp exercises yesterday to me:

1. Sustain a long, CLEAN note (possibly by sirening up to it) and gradually add rasp to it and try to sustain a very slight and constant rasp for the remainder of your breath.

2. Practise being able to hit high, raspy notes DEAD ON, i.e. without sliding up to the note and or using a clean sound for a couple of seconds before you add rasp. This is very interesting and something I've thought about before, because when you're singing raspy songs, you don't have the luxury of any preparation before those cool notes. So imagine if you could just sing high, raspy notes dead on at any time of the day, just at will (except maybe in the morning). I think that many of the best rock tenor can/could do exactly that, and I think this exercise will help you do this.

3. Practise 3 and 5 note scales with rasp on and off, alternatively. I've often had a hard time doing this. That should be a red flag - if I can't even do THAT well, the songs are going to suffer.

4. Sing whole songs with rasp.

These are great tips. I'm trying to learn how to get some more "grit" or distortion, and if I just try to launch into it, of course I just fall apart and wreck my voice. When I use the same type of methodical "warm up" that we use for normal singing, then it comes much easier. It should be something that is controlled, turned on and off by your own choice. I figure you can learn to do it in a safe way as long as you take it easy and listen to your body; recognise what is harmful and what is necessary tension.

Keep up the updates :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Done with:

Don't stop believing (Journey)

Cryin' (Aerosmith)

Bring it on home (Sam Cooke)

Bed of roses (Bon Jovi)

The show must go on (Queen)

I'm not sure which song I should choose next. I want to choose something that presents SEVERAL difficulties and therefore I'm thinking about choosing Aersmith's Cryin' again because I wasn't too happy with my first rendition of it. I ended up singing it mostly in overdrive (i.e. basically as loud as I could) and I want to try a more curbing take on it. With some rasp here and there. The challenging thing about that song is that it has high notes but not EVERYTHING in the song are high notes, it doesn't have stratospheric high notes (which I'm not that interested in), there are lots of B4s and A4s and a couple of melodies that go up to D5 and E5, and it's both clean and raspy. I was thinking about AC/DC's "You shook me all night long" because that's tough too, but it doesn't have all those elements. I might choose it next. Any ideas on which song I should choose next?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jonpall, my band does Shook Me All Night Long and let me tell you it's a challenge to get that Brian Johnson sound(I personally prefer Bon Scott). For me, the rasp is something that I can tap into as needed but try not to overdo it. I've read quite a bit of your posts regarding rasp and your neverending quest :) to add it to your vocal repertoire, and there's nothing I can add to help being that I'm not as schooled as you and some our fellow posters here. The only tip I ever received was from my uncle, whiskey and cigarettes. Myself, I partake in neither of those vices, so us clean voiced tenors need to find a more suitable way to attain it. My band learned Thunderstruck for a Halloween party last week and I struggled with that sound at practice for a few weeks. Day of the show, nailed it. I think for me it was just not worrying about emulating Brian Johnson so much and then the sound came out naturally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...