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Classical technique

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Nicogratouille
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Hi,

I have a question for you guys studying classical singing. Does it translate well into contemporary styles (soul, r'n'b, pop...)? Is the basic technique the same? What are the main differences between classical and contemporary technique?

The reason I ask is I got a job as a church singer and need to sing classical there, so I thought I might as well do it right and get some lessons. I've found a classical voice teacher that I'm happy with. One of the good things about him is that he used to sing pop and rock before studying opera.

Anyway, would be great to hear about other people's experiences/opinions on the subject! Also, do you know any good 'pop' singers who are classically trained. I heard David Phelps is.

Nick

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There are different techniques for different styles. Not all of them translate either. I can use my voice in two different ways when singing classical; I use one technique that's especially rare among vocalists for some reason, very full and weighty. The downside is that there is no access to a head voice or falsetto, and so I wouldn't reccomend such a thing for "r'n'b".

The other technique is what I call contemporary, and that's the standard method for vocalists... develop 'head voice' and then 'mix voice' and so on. It's more complicated but many singers can achieve the same amount of weight/fullness with years of practice.

Anyways, the key to classical is weight, or thickness to your voice I would say, so just keep that in mind.

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As Felipe said. The technique is basically the same. The differences are much more in terms of interpretation and expression and the fact that as a classical singer you are basically trained to do everything from light mass to heavy mass, while as a contemporary singer medium mass is often more than enough.

In classical training there is a lot more focus on getting a specific tone and very specific vowel shades. What may happen if you train classical singing is that you are pigeon-holed into the vowel shades associated with classical singing. However, if you know that you can modify vowels differently and train to do that this should not be a hindrance.

Of course there are differences in style: Classical singing has often more vibrato and the phrasing is just different. But of course there are singers that excel in both styles. An example would be the German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff (classically trained).

Classical:

Contemporary:

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For singing in church, I don't think you have to go too deep. Some classical lessons will help and you will definitely not be doing rock singing with rasp, and screams, and growls, and whatever.

If you were going to sing opera, that would be another story. No one gets into the opera world without a coach. Ever.

I am not an expert and my opinion means nothing but I use some classical technique that I have learned and I use it to sing rock.

However, my preferred ideal for church music is the soundtrack from Jesus Christ, Superstar, so, really, I might just be way off base.

:D

Anyway, good luck with the church gig. And I think the classical technique will help with your pop singing. For one thing, you will learn the right way to take care of your voice and have endurance. And classical lessons will task you to have good pitch and a full sound.

I'd say you're worrying too much. Enjoy the learning, enjoy the experience.

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There are different techniques for different styles. Not all of them translate either. I can use my voice in two different ways when singing classical; I use one technique that's especially rare among vocalists for some reason, very full and weighty. The downside is that there is no access to a head voice or falsetto, and so I wouldn't reccomend such a thing for "r'n'b".

The other technique is what I call contemporary, and that's the standard method for vocalists... develop 'head voice' and then 'mix voice' and so on. It's more complicated but many singers can achieve the same amount of weight/fullness with years of practice.

Anyways, the key to classical is weight, or thickness to your voice I would say, so just keep that in mind.

I was working that sound for a little bit too long. I was trying to keep that full weight on everything I sang for awhile. I could keep the weight throughout the entire tenor aria but it is not the best way for me to apply it to other methods of singing.

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I was working that sound for a little bit too long. I was trying to keep that full weight on everything I sang for awhile. I could keep the weight throughout the entire tenor aria but it is not the best way for me to apply it to other methods of singing.

How did you produce it?

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Here is an example of me singing in a classical ish tone within a rock song. The thing that makes it sound classical to me is the vibrato, neutral adams apple, and weight.

https://www.box.com/s/gjx8vh7dpvb99i4edss0

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I think studying classical or operatic technique is great training in that you will learn the basics of good vocal technique that can be applied to any genre. Namely muscle independance, open throat, breath support, vowel formation, vibrato, dynamics, etc. All the modern programs are teaching these same basics anyway, so you can't go wrong with a good classical teacher.

When it comes to R&B, or Pop Rock, or any contemporary genre, it's all about style and interpretation. This is something that the individual usually develops on his own, by defining what it is you like, and then going after it. A teacher doesn't really teach you to develop a "style", that usually comes from within. That's how I see it anyway.

Lord - awsome vocal example. Sounds fantastic.

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Here is an example of me singing in a classical ish tone within a rock song. The thing that makes it sound classical to me is the vibrato, neutral adams apple, and weight.

https://www.box.com/s/gjx8vh7dpvb99i4edss0

Sounds really good, but not really classical. More like "big and boomy" rock singing.

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