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building one voice

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MDEW
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When working to get the high and low aspects of your voice to combine or work together would a person hear

two tones seperately? Sometimes when I am singing in the higher range and I purposely try to bring in modal sounds I will hear speaking (modal ) texture and falsetto (non modal) texture as seperate souds.

Or should it blend enough to to create one complete texture.

I am trying not to use undesirable words. So if you understand what I am asking pleas rephrase my question in a way that others will understand also.

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Depends on which school of thought. Some people value carrying chest up high and when you crack, they advise pushing farther. That the head voice "just can't cut it in rock music."

Others value going into head voice earlier or blending earlier. In either case, you will transition to head. The danger of getting into head voice too early can be hooty tones or low tones that don't have a lot of volume. Obviously, the head voice school believes in the use of head voice in rock music because there are successful singers doing it and, of course, it's part of the school of thought.

So, basically, you've got two schoolyard tough kids squaring off over who gets to use the swing set. And that could also be used as a analogy of for the seeming opposing forces of head voice and chest voice, especially for those who need antogonistic models. The idea of antagonism seems to work well for some.

Of course, in a real schoolyard scrap, there's usually on one winner, not some idealized eternal battle between the two.

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In my fairly limited experience (at least to some of the guys on here) I have experienced no value in carrying chest up high.

At least if you START by bridging early you have something to build on. Then you can turn those breathy falsetto notes into something more powerful using twang.

As far as i've come across with my students 'pulling chest' just leads to shouting and constriction. I can't see any way to build on that. However, If i'm wrong i'm interested to hear how you would build on the pulling chest idea.

As you build the muscle strength required to carry chest a couple of tones higher, that's different but for a beginner I think it's safer to get into that bridging early 'set up'

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Believe it or not, Gina, I am not the one that values carrying chest high, either. And it was someone else who told me that "head voice will not cut it in rock music." Someone much more important than I am. I'm one of those bridge early guys.

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No, I didn't think you were! but bridging early doesn't mean you have to loose power. It may take a while to get the power there but it's well worth it in my opinion. It's easy to pull chest up as a beginner cause it's either that or a weak falsetto (if you don't know how to make it full using twang) But it's worth sticking with. I've seen great results this way but never the other.

I'm firmly with you on that school of thought

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MDEW - There are not actually "two" voices. It is the same voice - same folds creating the sound - but "processed" a little differently - with different muscles in control of the folds, to varying degrees.

From what you are desribing you are either singing in "chest" or "falsetto", with nothing in-between. This is normal at the beginning. What you can develop is that middle part. This is where really fine control over these small muscles comes in. The muscles can be trained to work together - in fine coordination - so that the two registers can blend and morph together so that you develop a "continuous" or "single" voice.

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Thank you for your input,

I could not get on the forum since I posted that. I know that there is not two voices. The effect that I am getting may be an internal perception. I have not tried to record it yet but I will.

I have been trying different expierements with my voice to find the proper coordination. The seperated tones was one of the sounds that I was getting. I will post it once I get my recording gear running.

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Depends on which school of thought. Some people value carrying chest up high and when you crack, they advise pushing farther. That the head voice "just can't cut it in rock music."

Others value going into head voice earlier or blending earlier. In either case, you will transition to head. The danger of getting into head voice too early can be hooty tones or low tones that don't have a lot of volume. Obviously, the head voice school believes in the use of head voice in rock music because there are successful singers doing it and, of course, it's part of the school of thought.

So, basically, you've got two schoolyard tough kids squaring off over who gets to use the swing set. And that could also be used as a analogy of for the seeming opposing forces of head voice and chest voice, especially for those who need antogonistic models. The idea of antagonism seems to work well for some.

Of course, in a real schoolyard scrap, there's usually on one winner, not some idealized eternal battle between the two.

I don't agree that going into head voice "early" produces hooty tones or low tones that don't have a lot of volume. The idea of a seamless transition is that it's seamless. You have to gradually use less air and less and less fold mass as you ascend the scale. The "passaggio" isn't really some magical area where you need to transition from one voice to another, although for beginners that is a good way to think of it to get started smoothing it out.

The passaggio is just an area where the notes start to become too far removed from the pitches that we used in everyday speech. We thin out our vocal folds as we go from the bottom note of our chest voice to the top of our chest voice. It's just that usually until we've had some formal training, we reach a break where we have trouble thinning them out any further, because we're not used to doing it.

And I'd contend that there is a absolutely real winner in this debate. We had a rather good discussion on the Eddie Vedder thread about his technique or there lack of. Some contended that those of us criticizing him for pushing his chest were being ridiculous considering he's sold multi-platinum albums and we had. In the other camp, we contended that he sold multi-platinum albums because he's a great songwriter, a great showman, and he wrote songs that didn't require a whole lot of use of the upper register anyway.

But the bottom line for me is that Eddie Vedder isn't going to be and should not be included on any serious list of top 5 rock singers. A list of top 5 all around frontmen, sure I'll entertain that idea even if I don't agree. But not top 5 singers by any stretch of the imagination.

Then consider the people that merit consideration for a top 5 rock singers list. Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury, Roger Daltrey, Steve Perry, Steven Tyler, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Bon Scott, Ronnie James Dio, and maybe as many as a dozen or two more names depending on your tastes. But regardless of exactly who ought to be up there, these people that merit consideration didn't rely on "pushing chest". They all knew how to make powerful high notes without sounding horridly strained.

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Excellent post, Remy. I agree that Eddie Vedder is not one of what I would consider the great singers or, more accurately, a voice I would prefer. But his songwriting is iconic and everlasting. His songwriting and arranging produces an "even flow," pun intended. Which makes me wonder - is a de-tuned voice necessary to be "grunge?" One of our members is a light tenor like I am. And he wrote a grunge song and the one thing really missing from the song to make it grunge, in my book, is that his voice is too pretty, and he is singing perfectly on pitch, rather than sounding like he has an underbite and gargles with pea gravel, which was the sound ideal for some grunge.

As for hooty sounds, I did not say that was the sound ideal but that it was a danger. Especially for beginners, I think. That low head voice might lack some volume and a number of people sound hooty to begin with in the higher notes until they get some twang going.

And I also agree with your approach to passaggio. And it is proof, once again, that we do not sing as we speak and when we try to sing the same way we speak, we have epic failures and problems.

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Excellent post, Remy. I agree that Eddie Vedder is not one of what I would consider the great singers or, more accurately, a voice I would prefer. But his songwriting is iconic and everlasting. His songwriting and arranging produces an "even flow," pun intended. Which makes me wonder - is a de-tuned voice necessary to be "grunge?" One of our members is a light tenor like I am. And he wrote a grunge song and the one thing really missing from the song to make it grunge, in my book, is that his voice is too pretty, and he is singing perfectly on pitch, rather than sounding like he has an underbite and gargles with pea gravel, which was the sound ideal for some grunge.

As for hooty sounds, I did not say that was the sound ideal but that it was a danger. Especially for beginners, I think. That low head voice might lack some volume and a number of people sound hooty to begin with in the higher notes until they get some twang going.

And I also agree with your approach to passaggio. And it is proof, once again, that we do not sing as we speak and when we try to sing the same way we speak, we have epic failures and problems.

Oh yes I agree it can be a problem for beginners. Figuring out the passaggio area, in particular, is tough. Learning to twang is important, but it's also about getting the right amount of fold mass and air flow. For the super high notes, C5+, you can use almost no fold mass and no air at all. Below the passaggio you need a lot of fold mass and a lot of air, relative to the high notes.

In that passaggio area you need something in between in terms of fold mass and air, and figuring that out just how much in between is a challenge for any singer. But anybody can learn to do it with enough time and practice. And that's why I think this "bridge late" stuff is nonsense. I guess you could push chest up to A4 or so and then start using headvoice after that because you don't want to learn how to get the balance needed to properly sing E/F4-A4. But it's going to sound strained and the notes above A4 probably won't sound connected.

As for Eddie Vedder, I don't think he's really all that "de-tuned", at least not on the albums. The human brain is designed to enjoy music where everything's properly tuned. A little bit of dissonance every now and then is great, but just a little. He's probably a lot more de-tuned in the live shows because he's straining his voice so much and that's probably fine, because the audience isn't listening to the live show day after day after day. But I don't think people in the audience are thinking either consciously or even subconsciously: "man that's so cool that he's not singing right on the pitch". I think they enjoyed the show in spite of that. Hell, even I probably would've enjoyed a Pearl Jam concert back in their prime. From the videos, it looks like they were a lot of fun.

As for your light tenor friend, there's nothing that requires a light tenor to sing pretty. Vedder and Cobain used a lot of distortion and that's probably really what's required for the grunge sound. Granted I would never suggest emulating what they did because most people who teach distortion will tell you that the way they do it was probably not healthy.

The light tenor voice probably isn't considered ideal for grunge. The ideal is defined, again, by Eddie Vedder, Kurt Cobain, and maybe Dave Grohl as well, who are/were all baritones. But as far as I'm concerned, screw the ideal. Grunge is all about breaking down the established norms anyway. If a light tenor wants to sing grunge they should take it and make it their own.

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