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A ton of clips with Steven Tyler singing a capella

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jonpall
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Reading this, I just recalled another book I'd forgotten I read, which was "Rock and Roll Singer's Survival Manual" by Mark Baxter. He was/is a voice coach for Steven Tyler, and I remember him quoting specifically in his book that it hurts Steven to do what he does every night. He'd end up hoarse or with terrible headaches, but he says that Steven is the kind of person who will do what he does anyway, and his job as a vocal coach was about finding ways to make it 'more' safe to do what he does and teaching Steven to 'manage' the amount of discomfort rather than completely eliminate it?

It's an interesting perspective. I'm not convinced it's unhealthy to get those kinds of sounds, but I do think they can be very tricky to nail down in a more healthy way for the vast majority of people and messing with those sounds in ignorance can likely be dangerous and hit and miss for the majority of people who tend to naturally sing cleaner by instinct.

If I wanted to pursue these kinds of sounds, I'd likely try a CVT instructor and not do this further on my own, based on my history of voice problems and the knowledge that 'too much experimentation' might have played a role in them.

What I find fascinating, is Steven Tyler ended up with serious voice problems and has needed voice surgery at one point, but a lot of my favorite soul singers who used a lot of grit, were fine from birth until death. I recall reading and agree the correct bluesy grit sound was likely originating in southern black churches, with it's roots in Gospel music and passionate sermons. That grit, was associated with passion for God and preachers would use it for emphasis. So if you grew up in a southern black church back then, you might naturally get this sound too as an instinctive accent!

For the rest of us, it's a bit of a mystery, and for an agnostic like me, this sound is my favorite thing I've ever gotten from a church! Me, I've always had a preference for the ways black guys sound when they rasp. I don't know if it's a slight difference in anatomy on average or in technique, but I've heard few white guys that can get the kind of 'comfortable depth' to the grit. A lot of times white guys sound more like Robert Plant (shreakish), which I really like a lot too, but deep down sometimes I wish I wasn't such a pasty white boy!

Here's my favorite rasp of all time, (Listen especially to 1:59 and 3:48)

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I have that Mark Baxter book and I'm pretty sure that he doesn't say that about Steven Tyler in it. However, I think I've seen him say something like that on his web site. Still, he was referring to the way Steven Tyler USED TO sing. At some point, probably close to the Permanent Vacation album in the eighties, he learned how to do rasp much safer.

Here's a young white guy, Casey Abrams, doing a more "bluesy" rasp (although Steven Tyler often does a pretty light, bluesy rasp himself):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6pM_ftup8U

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Sounds like David Ruffin, in your clip, is using pretty much the same techniques as Steven Tyler. It's just that his voice is different. Steven has a more natural edge to it and David is more of a baritone. Great singing by David, though!!

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Ok, good point, Jonpall. Maybe I'm confusing his book with this website as I had read both. Steven seems mostly ok these days, though apparently he had a ruptured blood vessel in 2006.

It's probably not fair to blame the style of singing on problems people have every time, I still think it's a riskier style of singing to experiment with for those of us that aren't naturally this way. I'm glad you've been seeing a teacher to make sure you're getting things as correctly as is possible.

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Btw. thanks for introducing me to David Ruffin! Man, he had an awesome tone!

I've heard him described along the lines of, 'if there was ever a super hero in soul music, a voice so strong it could move mountains, so high it could clear skyscrapers, this would be David Ruffin." I snickered at that, sounds about right.

Yeah, on the different voice types getting different sounds, that's kind of what I was thinking. I like both Steven and David (and Plant) and I figured they might be doing something similar, it's just fascinating to me how the sounds are so different.

That Casey Abrams clip sounds absolutely bizarre. It sounds like they are autotuning rasp, wtf are these people thinking? It sounds like he has a decent voice behind that though. My vote goes that rasp gets a lot of fuzzy kinds of harmonics that shouldn't be tuned. When you tune it, it's like tuning static on the radio or a snare drum or something. Marvin Gaye had a fantastic rasp too so he's getting some help on how to 'imitate' a master there, but I hear your point there.

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Hey guys check out Ali ollie Woodson and one of my all time favorites Gavin Christopher and also terence Trent Darby aka sananda maitreya. Some sick vocals rasp range soulful silky falsetto they got it all.

Www.danielformicavocalstudio.com

loved it. bob

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it hurts Steven to do what he does every night

In my opinion, Steven's singing technique is pretty amazing. It has to be really amazing to overcome all the rock'n'drugs...:cool:

This guy was obviously an addict, and that has a lot to do along the years with voice health.

I always remember Chris Cornell's case. Even he had to cancel the tour, and be coached. He admitted (not his coach of course!) that has more to do with his smoking/..... rather than his technique.

For me, the stress (fans expectation) in bad physical condition, has a lot to do with this guys vocal problems.

After years of trying to hurt my voice to get a raspy style when I was younger and a little more stupid =D, I concluded that hurting your voice is quite difficult.

Have a nice day!

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I concluded that hurting your voice is quite difficult.

I used to believe that too. You and I may have been right the vast majority of times, but after 3 years of constant pain in my throat I have no idea what to believe. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.

So I'd prefer to encourage people to have some caution and be careful what they put into their voices. Do I believe most sounds can be done fairly healthily? Yup. Do I believe it's possible to develop a bad habit or injury from doing it badly? Probably.

This guy has had repeated voice problems and even had to give up singing for large stretches of time. Probably unrelated? But can we know for sure? When I hear it, it sounds strained to me.

There's also a lot of coincidence. Were Robert Plant's voice problems around Physical Graffiti (including voice surgery) related to smoking, singing, or speaking? Steven Tyler has had multiple voice surgeries? Too many unanswered questions for me. I don't know the long term effects of the hard rock voice rasp. The only thing I know for sure, is doing it wrong is probably bad news.

That glottal fry, creaky voice thing is also a tough habit for people to break. When I first found it, I couldn't figure out how to stop doing it for like 3 days. Your voice will grab onto that and make it a habit real fast. People told me 'what the hell happened to your voice, you sound like ****' right off the bat. I think it's also a more 'vulnerable' voice mode for some, because I found it easier to strain there, where as with the regular modal voice I could throw the kitchen sink at it.

I actually think if people are going to creak sing, they should consider including it in their singing voices as effect (I agree it sounds great), not in their speaking voices as a constant like Tyler or Plant. I think if it 'is' a more unhealthy sound long term, that would at least minimize the amount of damage that might occur through regular voice usage.

Since I was using David Ruffin as an example of someone who's voice was healthy from birth til death (including loads of drugs) who sounded creaky in singing, keep in mind he didn't speak this way. He spoke in a mannered, kind of cultured tone. And he could turn off much of the creak at will in singing and generate a very relaxed, smooth tone:

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In my opinion, Steven's singing technique is pretty amazing. It has to be really amazing to overcome all the rock'n'drugs...:cool:

This guy was obviously an addict, and that has a lot to do along the years with voice health.

I always remember Chris Cornell's case. Even he had to cancel the tour, and be coached. He admitted (not his coach of course!) that has more to do with his smoking/..... rather than his technique.

For me, the stress (fans expectation) in bad physical condition, has a lot to do with this guys vocal problems.

After years of trying to hurt my voice to get a raspy style when I was younger and a little more stupid =D,

Have a nice day!

i would really ask you to rethink that. remember the speaking voice can land you into just as much trouble as the singing voice.

i used to think just like you, but what you may not realize is more often than not, there aren't always symptoms of damage.

i had phlegm issues. i had no clue i had a polyp.

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