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Constriction...

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Snejk
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I have a tremendous problem with singing. I reckon I'm a fairly good singer and I would guess that I'm not quite a tenor, more likely a high baritone.

My problem is that I can't sing high baritone songs, let alone tenor ones!

What happens is that on "ee" vowels, my voice can handle them fairly high (A4) with a crisp clear sound BUT, after a while my voice tires and I have to modify them to "ey" and go into overdrive. This makes the note alot more screamy, albeit 100% effortless... The thing is, I do NOT want to resort to vowel modification, I think that is really cheap. Most of my singing influences can rip through a live set on a good day without cracking a note or modifying a vowel. So there must be some technique to it.

A few examples in songs...

Ozzy Osbourne - Bark At The Moon; Starts at a rather high "screams break the silence". Which is no problem. But then comes the second verse "years spent in torment" and then my voice is failing the note half the time.

Scorpions - Send Me An Angel; The first "Heeere I aaam" works great. The second, not so much, the third = Bye bye voice.

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The thing is, I really FEEL the notes going throaty, I really FEEL the constriction and strain... But for the life of me I can't bring my support to ease the notes. Whenever I go narrow vowels it's like my vocal folds become an hourglass and I lack connection with my support...

Oh. And I'm not talking about going head voice at all here, that is not the solution :3

Thanks guys!

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I have a tremendous problem with singing. I reckon I'm a fairly good singer and I would guess that I'm not quite a tenor, more likely a high baritone.

My problem is that I can't sing high baritone songs, let alone tenor ones!

What happens is that on "ee" vowels, my voice can handle them fairly high (A4) with a crisp clear sound BUT, after a while my voice tires and I have to modify them to "ey" and go into overdrive. This makes the note alot more screamy, albeit 100% effortless... The thing is, I do NOT want to resort to vowel modification, I think that is really cheap. Most of my singing influences can rip through a live set on a good day without cracking a note or modifying a vowel. So there must be some technique to it.

<snip other comments>

Snejk: Yes, there is technique to it. Because you mentioned that your 'singing influences' don't modify vowels... its to their credit that you do not catch them doing it.... but they are, even if they are not using the overdrive approach. :-)

That said, if you want to get endurance up there on any vowel, you have to practice good techique there, and not bad. Later in your post, you disparaged head voice. Please do not be so hasty to trivialize its importance.

To be able to sustain A4, Bb4, B4 and C5, I suggest these things:

1) maintain twang

2) reduce breath pressure

3) sing the most resonant ee vowel you can

4) let the throat relax

5) when you start to tire... stop. do not practice 'tired voice' technique.

I hope this helps.

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Thanks for the reply Steve! :)

I'm not familiar with twang really. I've gotten all kinds of "explanations" as to what it is but almost everyone says it's a different thing. Hence I've not looked it up =( Is there any reliable sourcce where I could read up on it? I have no idea if I ever "twang" anything or not... :P

If I want to let the throat relax, the note gets thin and goes up my nose, making it a VERY nasal sound (although my throat ain't working at all then)... I guess I'm doing it wrong :o

Going to see what I can do, and work my way up, instead of hitting myself on the chest saying "let's go high note!!!" :O

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snejk, may i offer you to try this to produce a really nice sounding "ee"

relaxed, open throat

open to a yawn-like tall mouth dropping the larynx (as opposed to sideways like we would speak words with "ee")

sing the "ee" through the mouth shape of an "oh" or an "oo" which you feel comfortable with.

see if that doesn't produce a nice full "ee"

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VIDEOHERE: It does indeed =) Rings full but... I don't get the bright and light timbre that I love =(

Jens: Never. I want to sing "ee", not "y" ;) Listen to Michael Kiske, he has crisp, crystal clear "ee" vowels, even live on his A4-F5's :o

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VIDEOHERE: It does indeed =) Rings full but... I don't get the bright and light timbre that I love =(

Jens: Never. I want to sing "ee", not "y" ;) Listen to Michael Kiske, he has crisp, crystal clear "ee" vowels, even live on his A4-F5's :o

experiment by lowering the palate just a little and and some twang..

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VIDEOHERE: It does indeed =) Rings full but... I don't get the bright and light timbre that I love =(

Jens: Never. I want to sing "ee", not "y" ;) Listen to Michael Kiske, he has crisp, crystal clear "ee" vowels, even live on his A4-F5's :o

Michael Kiske was known for being able to sing unreasonable high for unreasonable amounts of time. Listen to him now... When he tries to sing the old Helloween stuff, he lowers notes, doesn't hold them for long, and overall does not sing like he used to.

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Keith; are you sure we're talking about the same Kiske? :o

Listen to his Place Vendome stuff he did late in his thirties, some notes are just as high as some old Helloween stuff.

Also I've seen some rare footage he's done with his new band Unisonic where he sings some old Helloween stuff in the same key as the originals... (though I'm also aware of how he's lowered some stuff in his acoustic "Past in different ways")

But it's also only fair; the older you get after your thirties, the voice just ain't as agile and strong anymore - like the rest of the body, the muscles in the throat suffer from atrophy slowly but surely. I have not seen ONE single metal singer over 40 who has sung extreme high notes (not head voice metal screams) like they used to "back in the day". Sebastian Bach is a prime example as well.

Even Tony Kakko is suffering from a lower register nowadays and he's what, just into his thirties? He can't sing the very highests notes anymore, that he did 10 years ago =(

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Not one singer over 40 huh... How about Bruce Dickenson? He sings everything just like the CD, and sometimes even does higher screams.. If you compare his voice now to live after death, he actually sings better and higher with more power. I'm sure I could name others :)

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I love Kai Hansen, Gamma Ray is a great band. That was an amazing performance ;D Though I must say he's doing basically ALL the high notes in head voice =/ That's no problems at all. My problem which I talked about are chesty high notes (A4-F5). I can overdrive these without involving the least bit head voice (Coming up to F5 on a VERY good day, often I need to head voice scream it) but that's on easy vowels, eh, ah, oh...

Now of course, every person is different. Some people say it's "IMPOSSIBLE to overdrive above tenor C" but these people think everyone's born with equally long/short vocal folds and that there are no individual traits. I am not a tenor, admittedly, I will never be. But I've heard baritones who achieved what I'm talking about...

HOWEVER; this discussion is not really about the HIGHEST of high notes. Like I said, easy songs such as "dream on" by Aerosmith or "bark at the moon" by Ozzy Osbourne only work on good days for me, and then my throat is exhausted afterwards... There you have it - "throat"... Of course there ARE muscles in the throat that NEEDS to work while singing, but I'm doing it so horribly, horribly wrong...

Lowering the larynx gives me a REALLY ugly tone, far from the bright one I sound good with...

Bleh...

PS: I read a bit about Kai Hansen a while ago, he says that there is a note within his register that he can't sing anymore due to smoking... Imagine that, one note, somewhere in your register, which you just can't sing even on a good day :( This does put even more credit to Kai... That voice while having smoked so much! It's a shame though he VERY rarely performs this well live. He's known to have one of the most unstable live voices in metal but having a blast on stage - regardless of how he sounds for the day.

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I have not seen ONE single metal singer over 40 who has sung extreme high notes

careful now, the senior guys are listening...lol!!!!

he's not a metal singer, but not too shabby for 64!!

but here's the cool thing...here's a guy, a veteran and a half vocalist, just hanging out at a local bar, and jamming with some house band in the club. no star status, no prima donna attitude, just belting out and having fun.

i love this kind of video!

starts at 2:00

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