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First Experience With Seamless Voice

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Hey all, I know many of you on the forum have been working at this for ages and may not even remember when you first discovered you only had "one voice." Now I don't mean a mental notification like some vocal professional said sing in a "mixed" tone but when YOU realized all your registers were just part of one mechanism.

When did you first begin to seamlessly bridge your passaggio? What part of pillars were you doing (or any other vocalize)? For me I vividly remember watching a coach on youtube and she was singing such a twangy powerful NAY up high (head tone) then she slowly and effortless brought it down... no break whatsoever. Obviously I was astounded by such a feat.. so I tried it... bright twangy NAY... getting lower... lower... BREAK... lower lower. Still I would not be discouraged... I figured out the problem. Being a male and generally having less closure than females in the upper register I changed it up a bit. Bright twang MAY... slowly lower... lower... lower....lower...lowest note I can sing. Wait wheres the passaggio? There was none!!! *jump for joy*

When did you first experience a seamless tone? Please share your experience in detail if you can. Hopefully this can help other members of the forum. I firmly believe that we can learn through sharing our experiences as singers. If you can afford an expensive coach that's great too :cool:

I remember thinking, "ride the breath" "ride the breath" meaning do not lose contact with the cords at the same time being supple and relaxed letting the voice find it way through the bridge into the lower register. Now if I could just do this consistently :lol:

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This year.

Some history, for you, Jay, and a few others who have not read it in my other posts.

I started teaching myself guitar in 1974. Just before moving from California to Texas, I picked up my grandparents' classical guitar that they did nothing with. It only had 3 strings on it. I started picking the arpeggio that begins "Who'll Stop the Rain?" by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

We moved to Texas. My mother had no money for lessons but she knew how much music meant to me. She had an old student guitar my father had bought for her (he was originally a music major at the Unversity of South Dakota before transferring to UCLA.) She bought me a set of strings and Mel Bay's Book of Chords. My step-grandfather taught me how to read music notation. I was 10.

So, I learned to play chords. Which was great. Now I could play songs that I liked to sing. But the upper end of my range was falsetto. And stayed that way until my 20's. Until then, I was a guitar player who could sing. Then, the world changed with the release of Appetite for Destruction. I heard the power in that voice and new that I had to get that power in my voice. Believe it or not, though Axl Rose was an inspiration, I never sought to sound like him, but to sing with the power and intensity that he did. Nor do I consider myself a failure because I don't sound like him. But I was inspired by him. I don't know if that makes sense to many, but it does to me.

Anyway, so, I started really working on my voice in 1988 with a book by Graham Hewitt entitled, oddly enough, "How To Sing." As I discovered later, it was not that different from a book by the same title by opera great Lilli Lehmann.

But I, like others, had passaggio problems. I could sing in what I thought was the middle of baritone range and I could sing really high. Songs like the "Immigrant Song" were now easy because the vocal line is divided, nothing in the passaggio, for me. But there was always that rough spot kind of in between, especially depending on the lyrics and my improper use of vowels, then.

Essentially, I thought of myself as a baritone that could sing high notes, though I could not sing the lower notes of baritone range.

What changed this year was a personal revelation. Looking back, I can see that the grown men in my life were baritone. That many of my schoolmates were baritone. And I mean low, grumbling speaking voices. And I just assumed that my voice would drop to a "manly" baritone, eventually. Even though my voice never cracked like my mates did.

As a teenager answering the phone at home, the response to me was often "yes, ma'am." And then I would have explain that I was a boy and not a woman. And the caller would apologize and I said, "Don't worry about it."

And as a young adult, some would make fun of me by repeating what I said in what was, for them, a falsetto tone. But yet, I still expected that my voice would drop. And I would try to talk "lower," as well. I only succeeded in sounding more "raspy" as it were.

Even here, I put up a song that I thought had full baritonic qualities to it because that is how it "felt" in my head. Only to have a wise person say that he couldn't really hear that ring and fullness of baritone in what were my lowest, right up on the mic notes.

So, this year, I finally realized, as we cannot hear ourselves that others hear us, to really listen to myself in playback, whether singing or recording a voicemail. And I am simply not a baritone. Never have been, never will be. And that I have been pulling my voice "down,' detuning myself, trying to force my voice lower than is natural for it.

Letting go of that illusion of a "manly" baritone voice I thought I was supposed to have has freed up the voice that I do have. And, in doing so, I have removed at least one obstacle. Let my voice go where it is going to go. And the seemless quality has really emerged. Stopping the wrong thing has done as much or more for me as doing any right thing. In metaphor, it is so much easier to run when you quit stepping on your own feet.

It's not as easy as I make it sound, yet, it is just that "easy." I had to change my mind, the hardest thing of all. But the goal of seemless voice soaring to the clouds is more important to me than how "manly" I sound.

But there are benefits to accepting the destiny my voice has given me. The irony is so rich. I have the voice of an angel. A light tenor. Yet I am 6' 6", about 225 to 230 lbs, mostly muscle. I wear Orange County Chopper t-shirts and I look like a Hell's Angel that cleaned up for a court appearance.

I am achieving a seemless voice by getting out of my own way. And learning new things about my voice, everday, even at the spring-chicken age of 48, even after singing with concerted attention to my voice for 24 years. Because 1988 was when I changed another line of thinking. That is when I became a singer who plays guitar, rather than the other way around.

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Still working on it. But.... I am almost 50. All of my family sings no one formally taught, I sang the songs that I could in my range G2- F#4. The only time I would venture above F#4 was when I was goofing off. I would not let any one hear me above that. I could sing any song an octave above the recorded key in "Other voices"(... Elmo...Miss Piggy... Alien charactor voice...) But not what I concidered mine.

I would ask other singers how to sing in head voice...Never really understanding that I already was while using those charactor voices.

Now that I have finally convinced myself, with the help of members of this forum, that those charactors are still based on my voice with different sound colors or constrictions or distorsions. I can use them to unify my enire voice range.

When a song comes on the radio that is out of my normal range I go ahead and sing it using whatever charactor I have that can sing those notes and pay attention to where the resonance is going and loosen up on whatever constrictions that are creating that "Charactor".

I am finally coming to understand the nature of support and Twang and what they can do for a persons voice. I think I have made some breakthroughs in the last couple of days but have not had the time or opportunity to fully

explore and test any improvements. :)

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I sing with funny voices, too. "You're just what I needed" by the Cars. Rik Ocasek, to me, sounded a bit like a hollywood dracula on that song. So, I would do it, too, making it extreme, a very dopey sound.

"You could be Mine" by Guns and Roses. Try that one, sounding like Joe Pesci.

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