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Singing. The artists and the virtuosos.

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Snejk
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Most of us sing. In the shower, in front of the computer, at work, in front of people or professionally. Singing is everywhere and basically in anyone, regardless of skill.

Singing is for me a sense of freedom, it allows me for a subtle sense of being more than what resides inside this little 65kg temple of mine. That's my basic reason for singing. Not the ego boosts, not the need for impressing other people or getting panties wet.

We all have our own reasons for singing. Some people are dazzled with the potential of the human voice and wish to understand every corner of it. Some like to captivate and convey every shade of life into a melody and some just like being loud ;)

This has lead me to ask the question; how can there be so little "scientific fact" when it comes to singing? We have the anatomy down. The physiology of the voice from head to toe.

Yet there are so many different schools of teaching - each, of course, believing that they are right. While the old operatic teachings of Bel Canto focuses on alot on things not necessarily applicable to the modern rock singer, that same rock singing produces sounds, distortion and grit heavily frowned upon by the same, usually elitist club of operatic standards.

While differences in opinion work to diversify and give us this rich field of vocal identity somehow I feel that there should be alot more common ground to stand on than what is generally the case now - each school attempts to distance themselves from the other and basics such as breath support is oftentimes heavily debated.

Now what I've learned from singing and taken an interest in the human voice is the danger in assumptions - assuming that every male has the same creak at the same note, that every passagio is on the same note for every individual et cetera et cetera. I've found out that a general understanding is alot more helpful in guiding people towards understanding their own voices than set-in-stone point-lists of how "everyone works". While we do function the same way, the individuality of the human voice is astounding and one should always work on his or her own voice rather than blindly follow teachings that dictate this or that without having a reference point in the individual voice.

This is not saying vocal coaching is bad. It's probably the best way to ensure a long and healthy singing voice! What I do oppose is the homogenization of every voice.

This leads me to another interesting topic; the constant fight for technical brilliance, rather than singing brilliance. Allow me to explain;

I see alot of talented people, ALOT more talented than me, with inherent qualities to their voices that I can only but be envious off!

It pains me to see these same people putting all their effort into reaching that full D month after month, posting clip after clip displaying their register while neglecting the VERY basics such as staying on pitch, following rhythm and phrasing well.

Of course it's everyone's choice to choose what one wants to focus on. This is only my opinion. I've been chasing high notes for five years now, ever since I started singing. Back then I had no idea how to sing a note I heard or how to place my voice into a chord on the guitar - needless to say, I was NEVER on pitch. I have a recording on my first singing lesson when I was supposed to follow a simple major scale. EVERY note was about a quarter off - and I just couldn't hear it!!

I keep these recordings simpply to remind myself that as a singer, there are alot more things to consider than simply reaching up to the top shelf, grabbing the high D, E, F# or whatever! Nowadays I consider my pitch my absolutely strongest suite, allowing me to attempt harmonies (which is TREMENDOUSLY difficult! :D) and focusing more on the emotion of the song - singing the message, not the words...

With that said, I hear so much talent and so many beautiful voices, people who've put so much effort into reaching notes I can but dream of... Yet, when it comes to singing songs, there oftentimes is no feeling for the song, no emotion... The words are barely sung rhythmically and pitch is sometimes off more than it's on...

This brings me back to the top statement that we all have our own reasons for singing, and our own ways to appreciate the voice.

But in the end I believe, deep down inside that we all want to be able to sing songs we like on pitch, with emotion and conviction...

Having a shed full of tools is only useful if you know how to handle them correctly.

So let me end by saying; technique opens alot of doors. But technique alone will not deliver your heart into music.

PS: Hopefully this didn't sound TOO conceited and stuck-up. I feel that I myself am in the beginning of my singing and I learn stuff everyday and I have this forum to thank for alot. Some feedback has been invaluable and the encouragement have kept me on track when I, alot of times, wanted to stop.

So alot of love from Sweden

/Patrik

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Some interesting thoughts and largely I agree. One point of interest is that operatic singing initially came about partially because it was necessary for people to healthily compete, unamplified with man made instruments in live performance. By necessity, it takes certain technique to even get that volume and cut in the formant to be heard at all, much less not hurting yourself in the process.

Ever since the microphone was invented, we've had a gradual shift away from more operatic techniques, into ones that were more intimate, or 'individual.' Something to consider, is that scientifically there is greater formalism in the perception of pitch and intervals being more universal. Where as a perfect 5th or 3rd tend to sound very harmonic and aesthetically pleasing to everyone, a minor second sounds incredibly dissonant and tends to cause many to feel there is something wrong. Not to mention, finding the 12 tone scale westerners use was originally a fairly scientific exercise in finding matching wave forms to begin with. With tonality there is significantly less agreement.

One of the largest differences between classical music and popular music is classical music tends to emphasize more objective elements which can be measured or 'compared scientifically' (form) where as popular music tends to put more emphasis on tonality (vocals especially, but also in the instrumentation). When you have two violins playing the same melody in a classical piece, they will often sound fairly similar, while having Bob Dylan and Pavarotti singing the same melody will sound very different and ignite very different emotional responses from people using exactly the same form. So there is a similar goal in classical singing, in maintaining a similar 'consistency in voice' similar to how a violin does.

The voice is by far my favorite instrument because of the near endless possibilities in that tonal range, which connect on an instinctual level with people. From a roar to a whimper, to any number of tonal colors, vowel shading, vibrato, that can express basically any human emotion ever felt, the voice is an incredible instrument, and it deeply saddens me to have lost mine.

Even when taking all that into consideration, you have the added bonus of adding words on top to combine poetry with the instrument, I am continually in awe of the human voice's endless potential when used in the arts.

One thing that saddens me in modern times is the use of autotune, as it takes a lot of the subtly that is unique to each voice out in favor of processing a 'mathematically closer artificial note.' For me it sounds honestly unappealing. Though I'm only in my later 20s myself, I vastly prefer older soul, rock, blues and jazz voices, from back when music was more organic and there was less of a barrier between what the artist was expressing and what you heard. I can feel those voices better.

Anyway, at the end of the day, technique is a means to an end. Having a technique that can express something valuable in a healthy way should probably be every singer's goal, and in that way, we probably all agree, regardless of background, style, technical skill, or preference. When you find a technique that can do that, you know you've got a good technique. You'll never please everyone, and you don't have to, art is inherently divisive. If we all had the same preferences and could 'manufacture' appeal on the dot according to some scientific understanding, that takes a whole lot of the point out of expressing emotions. Some of that fragility and feeling, and yes, even flaws are what communicates the message in a human way.

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i think there comes a time where you have to take what you've learned (in so many ways) and start to experiment per your own particular voice and work on honing your sound and technique, again through an awful lot of experimentation and trial and error. what works specifically for you.

you learn to fine tune and tweak and re-tweak to get the voice effort to output ratio equalized. or as some have said a balance.

you can continue to study, and get great tips, and all, but in the end you have to apply what you know for yourself and your voice.

i never want to sound totally polished..i actually prefer i bleed through my vocals. but the funny thing is too, the less you worry about it all, and your just in the moment, the whole thing just seems to come together.

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Excellent post, Patrick. I'm glad you posted it. And you expressed so eloquently the things I feel and value.

Let me expand on the chase to pinnacle of Everest. Many others, and this comes from some vocal coaches, are chasing the 4 and 5 octave range. in my opinion, those who are having a 4 or 5 octave ranges are actually basses who can sing quite high. I don't have 4 or 5 octaves. But I do make the 2.5 that I do have, work for me (closer to 3 octaves if I use spoken volume notes right up on the mic.)

And this post speaks to something I was able to clarify for myself this year. Many want the large range. Many want the incredible distortions. Many want the highest note possible. Not me. And it's not a case of me "not wanting to work on my voice." It's not a case of me "not doing enough with my voice." I am doing what my voice can do and my best work has been to best use my voice to communicate the song that I am singing. And that influences what I practice on and importantly, to me, how fast I can get it into song. Because singing a song for sometime builds a habit. If I can change one little habit to a better one, it sinks in faster if I can put it in a song.

When you talk about a common ground, well the first thing that comes up is nomenclature. What do we call what? And semantics, what do we mean by this or that word? For example, though I may be wrong, it seems to me that the swedish falsett is a clean, high tone. Where as I think of falsetto as an airy tone, lacking some fold compression, or breath power, or both.

And you are right. Some of the teaching systems certainly have the practice of "branding." Their own set of esoteric lingo particular to that system. Not that such a thing is so bad. We organize in boxes and chunks. We form our own mental pictures, accurate or not. In the end, if it sounded good, you could call it "goosenfrabe" (from the movie, "Anger Management.") I am also struck by the irony that some systems rail against the notion of holding on to "secrets" to be doled out, piecemeal, when it should all be laid out on the line, and then turn around and present their systems in stages or modules or whatever.

Since there is no standard language, other than scientific investigation (which doesn't always help a a singer,) there's no particular certification process for a vocal instructor. For example, in Texas, you can have a journeyman or master electrician license only after you have completed a number of years of verified experience and pass an exam. So, there are some basics and landmarks that you must demonstrate to the licensing board. Just calling yourself a journeyman doesn't cut it. That being said, I've known some people who passed their exams on the first try (I didn't) and they weren't good electricians. And vice versa, apprentices with decades in the field that can do the work blindfolded, have sections of the codebook memorized, but can't pass the test (test anxiety, reading disabilities, etc.)

Different than that, we can have any person, with academic background or not, teach singing.

And the different coaches and instructors often have their own sound ideals (what constitutes a "proper" tone for the note in question.) For example, to hold as the guideline, an oscuro sound to make the note seem "meaty" or "beefy." Regardless of voice type and construction.

And to be fair to vocal coaches and instructors, they are besieged by legions of people who want the magic pill that makes them sound like singer X or Y. And sometimes, the effect heterodynes (electronics term for affecting each other based on frequency and stage mixing) where both teacher and student think all voices are just alike, that everyone has the same passaggio at the same point, that this or that technique should produce the same sound in every voice. That is teaching by sound ideal, an accusation normally levelled at opera but just as rampant in rock singing, I think.

I've seen statements such as "you can only sing rock by carrying chest high. Head voice just won't "cut through."" That rock singing must include rasp or distortion. Just as R & B must include endless trills and runs, turning a 10 second phrase into 20 seconds. Similar ideals happen in guitar, where everyone wants to play as many or more notes than Yngwie Malmsteen. And some of them succeed, with no attention to rhythm or phrasing. That country music must include an accent from the southern US.

Some shy away from classical technique because they think, erroneously, that it will make them sound "operatic," as opposed to "rock." Well, even rock singers have to sing on pitch. And it will not make you an opera singer. Some shy away from classical technique because it doesn't include that almighty rasp. Or it divides voices in ranges and tessituras, which may feel limiting to some, especially with it's sound ideal of full voice note with articulation that must be heard over a group of musicians with the singer often not having a mic.

Killer brought up how opera singers often had no mics. True. But even opera singing changed. The old italian method came about when music was played by chamber groups and small ensembles in small, intimate theaters. With the era of Wagner, opera music changed. Grandiose librettos that required much stronger articulation with clarity at a greater volume to be heard over orchestras in amphitheaters. I've seem some unfair comparisons between Pavarotti and Bjorling. Pavarotti sang in much larger venues over orchestras that were multi-mic'd through a p.a., requiring at least an overhead boom mic on him, if not an actual mic on a stand.

Anyway, I've always felt that technique should serve the song. But there may be chicken or the egg question, here. Opera and classical art song singing did not involve tone distortion and is seen as an ugly thing. In rock and even pop, distortion is valued, sometimes, even, "required." But I think that came about because of singers with raspy voices becoming popular, regardless of improper technique, until it became the sound ideal. Back then, the appeal of the raspy voice was specifically because it was not "pretty" and sonorous, like the music of one's parents. Punk springs to mind as another example. Where growly, dissonant singers were valued precisely because they were singing pitchy and rough, "totally unlike" the more anthemic and programmatic sound of say, Roger Daltrey from the Who. Then, that sound becomes the standard and one must rebel against that, at least in the popular and rock field. The music, itself, is about rebelling. In fact, as soon as a singer or artist who is known for rebellion starts to mature and write about stuff that is important, their career tails off. I think another reason that raspy, punkish voices are popular is because they don't sound cultured and operatic. That is, the audience connects with the singer's imperfect voice, allowing him or her to join in.

That being said, the clean voice is still valued. I was listening to Journey before Killer was born and a new generation has discovered Steve Perry. So, there is hope.

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Something else that Patrick mentioned. The endless pursuit of the highest notes. I am reminded of what any number of singers said in the book by Bill Martin, "Secrets of the Pro Heavy Rock Singers."

Do what it is your voice can do and don't try what it cannot do. Warm-ups range from an hour or so to 30 minutes. From extensive breathing to just opening up resonance. From thinking technically about this or that note to simply singing by the emotion in the song.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with exercising and trying new things to see what it is your voice can do. Many voices are underused. In fact, it is unwise to type or classify a voice until after some training or work. I've known of two cases where a guy was classed as a dramatic baritone and couldn't get the ring down low that is required for the parts he was cast. Going to another teacher who was willing to experiment led him, in a few lessons, to realize that he was actually a lyric tenor with that golden ring at 3 kHz. But he didn't know until he went to another teacher and tried. I value most, the teachers and materials aimed at celebrating your own voice to be the best that you can be. Not to sound like the instructor, not to sound like singer X or Y. Not to sound like some "ideal" founded on someone else's genetics and vocal anomaly. For example, while Macy Gray might be healthy singing the way she does, another person would fry their folds trying to sound like that.

Whatever your voice can do with the emotion you intend, that should be your "sound ideal."

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There are a lot of interesting ideas in this thread. The range one is very close to my heart because I've recently realised that a lot of my practise has been oriented towards range extension, but I don't really have a desire to sing very high and low notes! I love heavy metal and those notes upwards of C5 are just killer to listen to, but I prefer to actually SING more pop-oriented music where the money notes aren't the G5s, more like the G4's! Those notes in and around the "passagio," as Robert so accurately elucidated in a recent video, are the most common notes in popular music because they just sound great and people love to hear them. Without a good ability to bridge and connect, singing contemporary popular music (which seems to be dominated by tenor voices) is almost impossible so this is my singing goal. But everyone has different goals and they should follow them.

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There are a lot of interesting ideas in this thread. The range one is very close to my heart because I've recently realised that a lot of my practise has been oriented towards range extension, but I don't really have a desire to sing very high and low notes! I love heavy metal and those notes upwards of C5 are just killer to listen to, but I prefer to actually SING more pop-oriented music where the money notes aren't the G5s, more like the G4's! Those notes in and around the "passagio," as Robert so accurately elucidated in a recent video, are the most common notes in popular music because they just sound great and people love to hear them. Without a good ability to bridge and connect, singing contemporary popular music (which seems to be dominated by tenor voices) is almost impossible so this is my singing goal. But everyone has different goals and they should follow them.

mr. bounce (your name kills me, "mr. bounce") anyway, even if you only intend to sing songs in the lower to middle range, i'd still recommend exercise to increase your range both lower and higher. the reason is it's good to build the conditioning, muscle memory and adjustment skill. plus, down the road you may hear a song that you'd love to sing, and if you haven't worked your range...well, see where i'm going?

in addition, the better developed your range, the more versatile you become.

it's analygous to if you're going to body build, to not worry about building the legs?

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it's analygous to if you're going to body build, to not worry about building the legs?

I think it depends partially on the kind of music people want to make. If Johnny Rotten had practiced as much as Geoff Tate on range, would people still have liked the Sex Pistols? I always thought the unpolished thing was the point?

Another great example, was Billy Corgan was standing toe to toe with Chris Cornell, sometimes sharing the same stage. I remember reading a comment from him, that he realized there was no way he could vocally compete with Cornell, so in a way that invigorated him all the more to work harder on his songwriting and using his unique voice in ways that no one else could do. I probably relate more to this song than anything Cornell did, personally:

Range can be important, but people respond just as much or more to 'identity.' I'd be willing to bet neither of the above singers could have kept the same vocal personality, the same tone, while getting Geoff Tate's range. They'd probably have to completely alter their singing styles to get anywhere near it. I think the world is a much better place when people don't all do that, and share their unique gifts with the world as is.

Probably my favorite example of all time though, is Billie Holiday:

What is that, one octave? Billie Holiday had 12 equal temperament notes to choose from just like the rest of us, and the end result was it made her singing much more creative and interesting than some people with 4 octaves worth of 12 notes each. People like that all run the risk of losing their unique character just to get a few notes along with a more 'trained' sound? In the grand scheme of things, sometimes more notes just isn't worth it.

Really, it's a personal decision and I'm thankful every day there are people out there who pick up a pen and write a fantastic song or offer a very unique interpretation of a song, instead of having every single person get on an exercise regimen for the most notes. Sometimes I wish I was one of them, because I'd probably still have a healthy voice like I started with if I had just focused on what was unique about my voice and said screw the rest.

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i respect your opinion and your point is well taken, but i'm in disagreement to an extent.

when i refer to range in this case, i'm not thinking of it just in terms of how high or low you can sing. more in terms of the skilled navigation within the range. maybe that's a better way to say it. maybe skill with interval jumps, or songs with demanding tessituras.

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i respect your opinion and your point is well taken, but i'm in disagreement to an extent.

when i refer to range in this case, i'm not thinking of it just in terms of how high or low you can sing. more in terms of the skilled navigation within the range. maybe that's a better way to say it. maybe skill with interval jumps, or songs with demanding tessituras.

I think there is a point that is 'good enough' for the genre or the song, especially pop/rock//jazz where some of the more 'raw' kinds of sounds are desired. There is a certain kind of reckless abandon, or not 'completely in control' sound that attracts people to certain music. I think it may be possible to overtrain and lose some of that.

So in that sense, getting an extremely polished legato sound or very smooth transitions between notes, might not work so well for every person. That doesn't mean it's a bad goal or you shouldn't do it. I'm just not sure it's for everyone.

I've thought a lot about it, and I'm pretty sure if Mick Jagger took the right kind of lessons, he'd stop having to shout so much, could get a better legato, and wouldn't have to use those kind of funny voices on the quieter parts. You know, "Angeh", but if his voice isn't hurting him, and it works pretty well and people relate to it, then I honestly consider what he is doing to be very good. You could probably sit him down and train him with lessons, but should you?

One of my other guys I like is Neil Young. Somewhere deep, deep inside that guy is an operatic voice you could probably pull out, but instead he has that tender borderline falsetto wobble on the notes. He's not very agile with his singing at all, I doubt he could sing a vocal run to save his life, but that's actually what is so good about him. It's that wobble that always sounds like it could fall apart at any moment, but he's 'just good enough' to pull it together. If he got too good, he might lose the wobble.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efFXoCLY_wI

Another guy I like is Lou Reed:

That song is about as polished as you'll ever get from that guy. You'll hear people to this day saying he can't sing. And honestly he's had a lot of trouble with pitch, but if it wasn't a struggle for him to hit notes, would it communicate the same thing? In some ways it's that struggle that touches me and since he's made me feel something with that voice of his, I do believe he can sing, pitchiness or not.

Me, for my personal musical goals, I'm a huge fan of interval training, and I think it's incredibly useful for composition, improvisation, and for training pitch. My goal as a songwriter was to make kind of a raw kind of music, that has some of the 'emotional recklessness' a lot of my rock and soul favorites did, while subtly blending in some of those those harmonic and melodic ideas from jazz and classical, to give the music more depth.

But to me music is kind of a combination between the controlled and the reckless. Too much control isn't always the solution, sometimes it's the parts that aren't in control that are most powerful.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying lessons or training are bad, and I agree they can be very good for expanding your limits, letting you sing more challenging things, singing with more agility and on pitch, even improving tone. I just see both sides of the coin. I'm really glad no one convinced some of these singers that they couldn't sing or should go take lessons until they sounded perfect, whatever that is supposed to be. Instead I can listen to these people 'as is' and it's truly thrilling for me as a fan of art and music in general. Some of these guys inspire me every day to go and play music, hell just to live another day through any hardship and imperfection. Their imperfection is something I can relate to and I find it glorious.

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I think there is a point that is 'good enough' for the genre, especially rock or blues, or some of the more 'raw' kinds of sounds. There is a certain kind of reckless abandon, or not 'completely in control' sound that attracts people to rock music. I think it may be possible to overtrain and lose a bit of that quality.

So in that sense, getting an extremely polished legato sound or very smooth transitions between notes, might not work so well for every person. That doesn't mean it's a bad goal or you shouldn't do it. I'm just not sure it's for everyone.

I've thought a lot about it, and I'm pretty sure if Mick Jagger took the right kind of lessons, he'd stop having to shout so much, could get a better legato, and wouldn't have to use those kind of funny voices on the quiet parts. You know, "Angeh", but if his voice isn't hurting him, and it works pretty well and people relate to it, then I honestly consider what he is doing to be very good. You could probably sit him down and train him with musical lessons, but should you?

One of my other guys I like is Neil Young. Somewhere deep, deep inside that guy is an operatic voice you could probably pull out, but instead he has that tender borderline falsetto wobble on the notes. He's not very agile with his singing at all, I doubt he could sing a vocal run to save his life, but that's actually what is so good about him. It's that wobble that always sounds like it could fall apart at any moment, but he's 'just good enough' to pull it together. If he got too good, he might lose the wobble.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efFXoCLY_wI

Another guy I like is Lou Reed:

That song is about as polished as you'll ever get form that guy. You'll hear people to this day saying hat guy can't sing. And he honestly he has had a lot of trouble with pitch, but if it wasn't a struggle for him to hit notes, would it communicate the same thing? In some ways it's that struggle that touches me.

Me, for my personal musical goals, I'm a huge fan of interval training, and I think it's incredibly useful for composition and for training pitch. My goal as a songwriter was to make kind of a raw kind of music, that has some of the 'recklessness' of a lot of my rock and soul favorites, while subtly blending in some of those those harmonic and melodic ideas from jazz and classical, to give the music more depth.

But to me music is kind of a combination between the controlled and the reckless. Too much control isn't always the solution, sometimes it's the parts that aren't in control that are most powerful.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying lessons or training are bad, I just see both sides of the coin. I'm really glad no one told Lou Reed he couldn't sing or should go take opera lessons, and instead I can listen to him 'as is.'

killer, great discussion...

all great points and i agree with every one of them. in fact, i share the bulk of your feelings about singing.

i too, am a fan of raw, unrestrained, passionate vocals. many of your favs are mine as well, but i guess since my polyp, i'm more skewed towards doing all of what you say, but in a safer, longevity-conscious way.

this has me rethinking and saying to myself, i can (hopefully) produce my same raw sounds and belts (i love to belt) just more healthily. technique is the "watchdog" if you will, because if i don't find a way to adjust and correct things, i will bring the polyp right back again.

i'm no pretty, polished voice, never will be and never set out to be.

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killer, great discussion...

all great points and i agree with every one of them. in fact, i share the bulk of your feelings about singing.

i too, am a fan of raw, unrestrained, passionate vocals. many of your favs are mine as well, but i guess since my polyp, i'm more skewed towards doing all of what you say, but in a safer, longevity-conscious way.

this has me rethinking and saying to myself, i can (hopefully) produce my same raw sounds and belts (i love to belt) just more healthily. technique is the "watchdog" if you will, because if i don't find a way to adjust and correct things, i will bring the polyp right back again.

i'm no pretty, polished voice, never will be and never set out to be.

What's even more interesting is I don't think being polished or technically gifted is bad at all. I mentioned Geoff Tate, he's one of the few people I've seen in concert and I loved it. Nothing wrong with that at all, when Mindcrime came on I was stoked. It was a concert with Dream Theater and Fates Warning, all extremely technically gifted musicians and singers all around.

It's just not the only way, and sometimes singers (or guitar players, or whatever) can get hung up on the amount of notes or some technical measurement that isn't always related to the music. Those notes can be nice and good, sure, but I would have been just as happy or happier to see Neil Young wobble his way through Out on the Weekend. He might have had me in tears, you know?

The only universally bad thing I've found about singing is pain or injury. You and I both know that all too well. It's awful, truly horrible. You can be pitchy, you can be unpolished, you can have a funny vibrato or whatever, but those aren't a big deal compared to injury.

Technique is the best safeguard especially if you're pushing limits or trying new things like we both did, I absolutely agree. But another safe guard, at least the one that probably protected me for the longest, is the same one that protects Neil Young. It was not pushing so hard for 'everything.' You don't need every note, you don't need every sound, you just need enough to express something. Sadly, I felt I was getting close to my goals when I lost my voice, but it was that drive to towards something risky and that feeling of wanting 'more' that probably did me in.

Sure I'm probably going to try speech therapy again, but I'm dragging my feet on contacting Joanna because the pain can be unbelievable and vocal rest seems to 'calm it down.' Even emotionally, I don't know if I'm ready for this, it's been 3 years and I feel nuts.

But if I can get my voice back, technique is going to be very important for my health 'especially' if I continue to try to push my boundaries. If boundary pushing is still important to me, I'd probably pursue kind of a CVT ish kind of training that can help me produce the sound "I want" in a healthy way.

But the main thing I'd like to be understood and is probably useful for a lot of singers to hear, is back when I was healthy, sure I couldn't do everything. Sure I wasn't the most polished. I probably had more heart than technique, but I probably wasn't as 'in need' of all of the extra bells and whistles as all of my boundary exploration warranted and possibly cost me. So if any singer out there is reading this, and is in the same situation, think twice before you go pushing your voice, and if you plan to go that route, get training from professionals. Even then, you might already have a beautiful, powerful voice as is.

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Killer, totally rocking posts. I should have linked "Anarchy" because it was exactly the example I was thinking of. Even to the points about Billy Corgan.

In fact, here's the way to sing a cover song. Sing it in your own voice, as if you wrote it. And Billy Corgan is an excellent example.

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