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Too much twang?

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ronws
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In a thread about Jon bon Jovi, it was brought up that he may have increased his use of twang.

Is there such a thing as too much twang?

(in the spirit of the SNL skit) "The number is 555-4444. Discuss amongst yourselves."

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Ever heard Fran Fresner sing? End thread.

;)

...but, as I mentioned in the Bon Jovi thread, this is not only a lot of twang but twang with the nasal port open and a light sound colour (high larynx and/or low soft palate and/or broad tongue).

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Sure, Raching, but I think a vocal coach should TELL a student that 99% of people on this planet dislike the tone of Fran Fresner. In some cases, singers THINK that they're using an "ok tone" or whatever and "maybe they're not for everyone" and "it's good enough", etc. but there's a difference between an interesting tone for a lot of people (an example would be Bob Dylan) and a tone that just TOO many people dislike. And if the vocal coach SEES that the student is SIMPLY NOT AWARE OF IT, then I think he/she should explain this to him. AFTER that is done, then yes, it will be the student's EDUCATED decision to sing with or without an extreme twangy/light sound. But you have to tell him that that kind of sound will be disliked by the majority of the population. Cheers and peace :)

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The problem jonpall is this is soo much up to taste, we got an million dollarselling artist here in sweden who has a terrible tone, pitchy as hell. Yet he has sold more albums than many ofthe great singers here in sweden, and belive me sweden has tons of great singers.

If he would have went to a vocalcoach they would have corrected him of his "errors" i dunno if he would have been a "hit" then.

If you wanna make it, it's alot better to standout even if it's in a bad way then to try tofight on equal grounds with all other pitch perfect great singers.

Cheers

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I totally agree, Jens. But at least it would be good for the singer to KNOW about this and not being lied to by people saying that he has super pitch and doesn't sound like a witch.

Also, note that these people are the EXCEPTION. The majority of bad pitch, too-twangy singers have FAR less chance of having any kind of success (at any level) as a singer than people who are better technical singers. Interestingly, I personally prefer singers who are NOT technically sterile. That's why I like Robert Plant. He had a good combination of technique and do-whatever-he-feels-like attitude in his singing.

But I must re-state that I dislike the idea of a vocal coach not even MENTIONING to a singer that something that he's doing is universally disliked by lots of people. The student must know both sides - that if he/she continues singing in this "strange" way, he/she MIGHT get attention IF he/she sings in a very interestingly way in this "bad" style, if you know what I mean. Myself, I every now and then sing something intentionally "badly" or ugly. I like it :)

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I agree most with Jonpall, so far. It's one thing to do a sound on purpose, if you know what you are doing and why. It's another if you don't realize what you are doing and yet a good teacher can hear it. I have just been reviewing such a lesson where the teacher could hear what the student was doing incorrectly and the student couldn't quite hear or feel it until after a few repetitions. Once the instructor could hear the right thing, then the student could feel the right thing and re-calibrate his own hearing. Kind of lends credence to the idea that good singing requires good listening. And you need to hear a good thing to get used to it.

Later, if you want to use the wrong thing on purpose for an effect, then you can do so.

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I totally agree, Jens. But at least it would be good for the singer to KNOW about this and not being lied to by people saying that he has super pitch and doesn't sound like a witch.

Also, note that these people are the EXCEPTION. The majority of bad pitch, too-twangy singers have FAR less chance of having any kind of success (at any level) as a singer than people who are better technical singers. Interestingly, I personally prefer singers who are NOT technically sterile. That's why I like Robert Plant. He had a good combination of technique and do-whatever-he-feels-like attitude in his singing.

But I must re-state that I dislike the idea of a vocal coach not even MENTIONING to a singer that something that he's doing is universally disliked by lots of people. The student must know both sides - that if he/she continues singing in this "strange" way, he/she MIGHT get attention IF he/she sings in a very interestingly way in this "bad" style, if you know what I mean. Myself, I every now and then sing something intentionally "badly" or ugly. I like it :)

You cannot grade sounds, sure in a way we all do. Im guilty of that myself, but im trying to get away from it.

Robert plant is a great example of what you said, to witchy pitchy if your gonna ask the audience today.

I mean you can take any sound, there will probably be an artist who has become famous using that. Heck you can squeal like a pig and bark like a dog today and make money and fans.

Because we know about technique and singing, and what's(we) consider is good. It's very easy to get up on a high horse. Im not saying im good a this rather the oposite, but im trying to get down from that "singingtechnique/this is correct sounds horse"

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This fixation on using technical fundaments, meant for trainning, as ways to be "different" is beyond my hability to understand, really.

What makes a singer different is his personality and musical background. You can pick a guy like Bono Vox and change his voice in any way you want, the core of his music will remain and in the moment he opens his mouth, you know its him.

Dio on the late shows was bringing the songs down a lot of steps, changing the registration completely, and he was still awesome to watch. Mike Patton now only uses all that "twang" only a few key spots, and thats a guy that used that very forward posture as a part of his "sound", if anything he is much better now, and still sounds like Mike Patton from the moment he STARES are the croud.

Its really naive to think that you will be different by using things defined in books that everyone can have access to... And real technical singers like Myles Kennedy, which is much rarer than you guys propose to be, dont try to show technique.

Technique applied properly should just enforce YOUR voice, not transform or try to give you "personality". A singer that has something good going, absolutely, the teacher should and MUST preserve what is in there that is good and bring it to a comfortable and healthy execution. But someone that does not sings yet decently, simply has no style to be preserved, if anything of use comes around the technical development, awesome, preserve it, but its not by saying "twang your way into uniqueness" that you will help someone become a musician.

Listen to music, a lot of music, and learn. Take advantage of freedom instead of trying to build something static.

Thinking of just becomming a pop star as a goal is too narrow, its not only dependant on your singing and your music, it depends on a lot of other factors, including a very large dosis of luck. Do you think you can really depend on such thing to live your life? Do you see yourself doing that job, have you considered the whole thing instead of just the "star thing", I think it helps, and I dont think that its something anyone can deal with.

Teaching is not the place to be delusional, the bulk of the work will be done by the student, its a lot of responsability and directions that have nothing to do with assuring health and comfort have no place until a very, very late stage. That said, a comfortably produced voice has so much freedom to work that you would have to be a piece of wood to not let your personality come out.

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I agree with you felipe,thats how it should be. But not exactly how it is :P

By getting a vocalcoacg(anyone) you also get some of his "taste" I think it's hard to get away from that. It's not a generally bad thing either, im just saying many singers use sounds that are considered ugly,pitchy,bad,horrible and still get extremly good careers.

I think thats important to take notice of both as a singer and a coach in away " It's more important what you tell than how you tell it"

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You see Raching and Jens - this is where we might differ:

I attended a 3 months introductery CVT course about a year ago and they were all about NOT telling the students how to sound, right? And each student would sing a song and then the vocal coach would say "Now - tell me what you would liked to be improved?"

The problem was that in many cases - or even MOST cases - many of the students did NOT know what they wanted to improve or what could be improved. One guy sang with almost no twang at all and he had no idea that he lacked it.

For myself, I would have loved it if the coaches had been more picky and told me stuff like "you have a habit of hanging too long on some consonants at the onset of some words. Many listeners will dislike it on a subconcious level. Do you want to fix it or keep it?". Btw. this exact problem was something that applied to me a couple of years ago and it was on THIS forum that I realized it because someone here pointed it out to me. I was very, very thankful because I hadn't paid attention to it before and after listening back to my vocal takes, I immedially realized that this very thing was one of several things I disliked about my voice but couldn't quit put a finger to it.

Let me know if you totally didn't understand me :)

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Actually, Jonpall, I understand you. And it's all your fault.

When you first would critique me, I found your reviews a bit vague and general. But one time, you got very specific, nit-picky, if you will. And it was the greatest help.

You pointed out that I was crashing my notes (translation, sudden deflection downward at the end of a word or phrase.) Just you saying that made me powerless to stop myself from watching how I spoke or sang (for it was also in my speach.) And it helped to get rid of that. Something I had not noticed before. Now, if I want, I could do it on purpose, like the way Bob Seger does on "Turn the Page."

Sometimes, nit-picky is good. The hard part is to be accurate with the picking of the nits.

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Well then, what is it that the general public doesn't prefer?

Obviously, they like some rasp. Singers like Steven Tyler could not sing a clean note if his life depended on it.

But they also like clean. Loverboy was huge for a while and Mike Reno is a clean singer.

In my example of what Jonpall found wrong with my singing, maybe it was just a personal preference of his. But I think it has improved my singing, for it leads to a better finish of notes. So that the note crash can be a matter of artistic expression, rather than technical defect. I still, when I can, give Jonpall kudos for that observation, whether we get along or not, whether he likes me, or not. It's all about the singing and I stink at forum politics.

I also agree with Justin's points, too. One should learn technique, take time, realize that it will take time. And that technique can lead to better expression. You can still make the ugly noises or rock noises but with a better educated view of what you are doing.

Even Geddy Lee is singing better these days. I have noticed in recent performances that he is not singing with as high a larynx as he used to have. And yes, the pitch of the songs are lower but his voice is also sounding fuller and it sounds like he is more endurable, as well. And, at least with Rush, it has always been about the music, not just the feats of daring-do by the singer.

The goal of singer training should be to unlock the superstar voice in you. Me, I don't worry. I already have a superstar ego. I am Ron, the redneck from Texas. There ain't no other. (some think that is a good thing!) :lol::lol:

That God broke the mold when he made me. (Quite possibly true.)

That doesn't make me the best singer. Just me. Even though others have said I sound similar to Glenn Hughes, when I hear myself sing, I don't hear that, other than having similar voice types. I still sound like Ron, the redneck from Texas.

So, even though I have not had structured lessons with a vocal coach, the one I did consult with said something so valuable. He said not to worry about being a rock singer, or country singer, or whatever singer. Just be a singer. Let your voice teach you. He also suggested that I get away from the rock singer thing. That I should gravitate toward more classical sounding stuff, or at least theatrical stuff.

But I am hopelessly flawed. "I know, it's only rock and roll but I like it." ( I should cover that song. It's a gas.)

Do what it is that your voice can do.

And rejoice in your own sound.

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Try to name me a genre where people think the singer's formant/twang/squillo is considered by many an awful sound...

I was expecting a tougher question than that.

Country music. You, yourself, excluded it from legit singing on the basis of the r's. But I listen to country music and some of the best singers do not hold onto the r's. Though some do.

My step-grandfather loved classical music, hated country music. As an aside, he was a fan of Pink Floyd, which says something more about the band than it does about my step-grandfather. Is my step-grandfather not the general public? (Don't worry, you won't hurt my feelings.) For his generation, he was the general public. And before one assumes he grew up hoity-toity in New York City. No, his family was from Minnesota and he grew up working on ranches in Montana. About as hayseed as you might expect, except that upper midwest accent of his.

Your answer was vague, I think. What is strong? Macy Gray has a voice that is barely there. Colby Calais croons. Justin Timberlake works the heck out of his falsetto.

Lil Wayne raps.

I am not really seeing a competition of belters. Not to say that there are not some good ones out there. I have my favorites sins. I still can't get enough of "Everybody Talks" by the Neon Trees and that guy is belting, at least in some parts.

I might have to ask you for examples.

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Sounding like a duck is only a temporary condition ;) I figure its good to mess around with some dampening and dopey sounds if your twanger is going too crazy.

I feel like I actually FORGET to twang so it really depends on the singers, his voice, and his artistic style. Some genre's like pop have twang as a necessity - try and find a "dopey" sounding pop singer!

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Jens Well man, I dont discard influence of course. It will happen, actually it must happen or else you wont be able to make most of the lessons.

But the idea of using a lot of "twang" or any other fundament as a point of difference... The work begins completely akward, trying to make something that should come from the musical content and how your voice is when you dont tamper with it, to happen through a forced quality.

Plus you lose the resource when you are delivering the song. If its exagerated you wont be able to control it to bring a feel into a phrase or word anymore, and because of the unballance, removing it is impossible without having to train and reposition the whole voice again.

If you are going to have the trouble of learning and train, just do it correctly and be done with it. There is a correct way to placement, and it gives you control of all these things as if they were "vectors". Much easier and could actually allow you to use a very extreme "sounding" posture without letting go of a ballance, instead of hanging in one, you shift and keep everything there even though one is more pronounced.

This thing that jonpall says of letting the student decide what needs work to me is not ethical. So what the hell is the job of these guys? You pay to get help, and the help is something like a self-help content on singing? :/ Most beginners would ruin their voices and get a result completely opposite to what they want if you let them decide what they need to train, the reason most have problems with singing is exactly because of the lack of capacity to understand what they are doing properly.

So yeah, my take on the subject is a bit more influential, remove non-sense, bring results, end of story. If its a singer that already has results, then its another matter and I think its worth do what is possible to not tamper with what is working, people develop some cool stuff on their own that you wont find on any technical reference. So yeah, preserve this stuff and try to bring it to comfort. But placement? Thats something that is quite the same for everyone, it does not change a voice that is working well in a way that would cause a negative impact such as changing the character or losing unique qualities.

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I have to agree with Felipe. The whole point of going to a teacher is because the student is fumbling on his own or needs some guidance, even if not fumbling and just saying, "I want to sing, teach me how to sing," even before any fumbling begins.

That being said, a number of students approach singing knowing what music they like and who they want to sound like.

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