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Distortion

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colin040
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Hey folks, I was wondering: how does one use proper distortion? Some of the best examples I can come up with are included in the following links.

Nick Holmes harsh vocals are some of my favourite on this album. He sounded more comfortable than on Icon, the album that was released before this one and way more natural than on the latter albums (sadly he doesn't even pull much of the harsh lines off live nowadays, or atleast not with convince.) I knew the guy used to smoke which I'm sure influences your voice too...but does anyone know how to do this sort of singing style without blowing up your voice?

This is my favourite The Who track and I'd say the vocals play a huge role here. I love the raw, raspy screams Daltrey pulls off here. Considering he's still able to do that nowadays I assume he used a safe technique. Thoughts?

This one seems to be a bit of a question. The singer is still able to scream yet I have absolutely no idea how he does this. The half sung/screamed stuff sounds great to my ears and nor really strained. Does anyone have an idea how to do this?

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I am also interested in knowing how to create distortion safely. In the lower notes I can create a distortion but not above passaggio(some day I will learn how to spell that :P ).

I wonder if some distortion helps to keep you connected when belting. Most of the time when I hear occasional distortion in a song it is in the F#- G# area especially in country type songs.

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I've read that "Safe" distortion can be made above the cords by alowing the air to vibrate the soft palet. I do not know axactly how it is done. I was hoping that one of you had information on this.

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Roger Daltry was not using a technique for the screams on "Love reign o'er me." He was screaming. And has paid the price. Recent performances have him omitting those.

Just like, even with Ian Gillan back in Deep Purple, they try to keep "Child in Time" out of the set list. Because he used to scream those notes and can't do it anymore.

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Until the job can be well done using just dynamics to deliver power, distortion will make not much difference. Study, get a solid grasp first, and then venture in this direction.

And yeah, if you use drive/distortion/rasp, you are getting into more risk of damage. IF perfectly executed, the damage can be minimized. But its the not so perfectly executed times that will ammount stress.

Getting it as an effect is cool, but depending on it... Not really a good idea in my opinion.

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I agree with Felipe. Don't worry about the rasp, just now. Learn how to sing first. And we are probably talking into the wind. Since you start buy hearing the finished product and hope to have a secret pill to get there.

Whereas, I would want the op to realize that the long road of learning how to really sing is ahead. And at the end of it, he may still not have it in his voice to sound like this admired singer.

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I agree with Felipe. Don't worry about the rasp, just now. Learn how to sing first. And we are probably talking into the wind. Since you start buy hearing the finished product and hope to have a secret pill to get there.

Whereas, I would want the op to realize that the long road of learning how to really sing is ahead. And at the end of it, he may still not have it in his voice to sound like this admired singer.

I guess I want too much too quickly. I'm pretty new to singing, still learning everything that has to deal with it so I guess I could ask again about the more advanced stuff later on, once I have much more experience with it all.

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That's exactly it, Colin. You need to start with the basics and a clean tone. Later, you can add some effects. And remember, distortion effects carry a risk of damage. Damage to the vocal organ(s) as well as damage to your technique. I watched an interview with one of those scandinavian bands and the singer does not do the high notes with rasp in a live show that he does on the album. It's simply not sustainable on a tour. He can get away with it in the studio. He might wear his voice out in one day of recording. And have the luxury of a few days off to recover. Live, on tour, there is no time to rest. And one or two of the fans may feel let down because he is not doing all the high notes. Those one or two fans will live another day. And so will the singer.

A side note to others:

It felt good to channel my inner-Bob.

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^ that's usually the best advice there is.

Sometimes I get annoyed when I'm not doing some of my favourite songs justice singing along, but then I have to remind me again that all the singers I listen to have years of experience, probably trained their asses off and just like me, once started as young folks getting impressed by their favourite vocalists as well. Singing is a proces that will take quite some years to get great at, right?

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I've been singing most of my life, certainly since 1974. Really opened the volume in my upper range in 1988. And I am still learning things.

Bob is 10 years older than I am and he is still learning things.

It's a never-ending journey we are on.

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Yep. If you work hard you will probably be able to get the ball rolling in less than a year, any singer can get good quickly. But to become a great singer takes at least several years, I don't think there is any argument there.

Remember that there are other ways to do a song justice than to imitate what the original singer did. I personally believe that a singer can do pretty much any song justice without the need for any vocal effects like distortion or vibrato. So I'd advise you to be really patient with those things. If you feel you aren't doing a song justice without them, it's probably not because you need those effects, but because the quality of your clean singing is not yet good enough to stand on its own. And no amount of distortion or vibrato or any other vocal frills are going to fix that.

It's got do to with the latter. Although I feel like I've already improved in half a year, I still have a long way to go. At the moment I'd say my comfortable/good/usable high notes end at approximately A4 (this also depends on my mood, other things that you can consider e.g sleep, stamina for the day, my warm ups) but this is at the moment the highest I can go while keeping sounding decent and and all.

I'm definitely passionate about singing and I'm sure I'll eventually end as a decent singer...but as I mentioned, there's still lots to work on and I really need to take things easy. High notes are fun to sing but for now I only sing these in scales/exercise rather than putting them into songs. Once I have a vocal teacher again I hope to speed up with my training and all.

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