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High Notes and Damage

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eggplantbren
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I stumbled across the following on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_type#Classifying_singers).

Voice classification is important for vocal pedagogists and singers as a guiding tool for the development of the voice. Misclassification can damage the vocal cords, shorten a singing career and lead to the loss of both vocal beauty and free vocal production. Some of these dangers are not immediate ones; the human voice is quite resilient, especially in early adulthood, and the damage may not make its appearance for months or even years. Unfortunately, this lack of apparent immediate harm can cause singers to develop bad habits that will over time cause irreparable damage to the voice.[6] Singing outside the natural vocal range imposes a serious strain upon the voice. Clinical evidence indicates that singing at a pitch level that is either too high or too low creates vocal pathology.[11]

Is this true? It seems to go against everything that is said by the teachers that I respect and people on this board. I thought that range was mostly dependent on technique and that something that feels okay and doesn't make you hoarse is unlikely to cause any damage.

I think it's a good idea with beginners to have them mostly sing in their existing comfortable range in order to free them up and give them confidence etc, but if you want to extend your range you need to work on that. Many people think their starting range is "their range" and is a fundamental property of their voice. If that were true I could only sing Johnny Cash songs.

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First do what is comfortable. Then do what is uncomfortable. Ofcourse you can develop but if for example you have a bass voice you will always have that ring... however it is virtually undetectable after a certain range.

You are missing something though. The clinical evidence is based of the untrained voice. I guarantee you atleast 3 members of the forum would blow a scientist mind with range ALONE even before singing.

Nowadays there is little knowledge on how to develop the voice specifically for fach.

Head voice is too high for me. It's out of my "by the book" range will it damage my voice if I keep using it untrained? YES absolutely. If I work it to the point where I can do it effortlessly and blend it with my speaking range will it hurt me? You can answer that question.

One day a bass will come around with a completely developed voice and respectable range and scientists jaws will drop. Actually you can find them on youtube if you look hard enough.

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This article focuses on voice classification within classical music.

In that realm, very true. And even outside of it if you abuse.

What is important:

Its never a restrictive "penalty" to the singer, developing your tessitura fully will give you much more resistance and endurance, as well as protect your health should you use more agressive strategies. And they dont even need to be so agressive, we use mics...

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I will just recite Felipe

This article focuses on voice classification within classical music.

In classical singing there is no bridging and connecting (there is head resonance of course, but no bridging into M2). Males sing everything within full voice M1 and also have to use a lower larynx configuration, which prevents the use of heavy twang and makes you sing the high notes with more mass. Thus, there is neither bridging nor 'light-mass'-singing (only for piano volumes) in classical music.

For women the problem is not so much the chest pulling (as they are singing mostly in M2) but the sound. In classical music fachs are associated with a certain timbre and if you are misclassified you will try to 'imitate' the timbre of that voice type, which messes up your vocal tract configuration and will lead to tension and damage.

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I will just recite Felipe

In classical singing there is no bridging and connecting (there is head resonance of course, but no bridging into M2). Males sing everything within full voice M1 and also have to use a lower larynx configuration, which prevents the use of heavy twang and makes you sing the high notes with more mass. Thus, there is neither bridging nor 'light-mass'-singing (only for piano volumes) in classical music.

For women the problem is not so much the chest pulling (as they are singing mostly in M2) but the sound. In classical music fachs are associated with a certain timbre and if you are misclassified you will try to 'imitate' the timbre of that voice type, which messes up your vocal tract configuration and will lead to tension and damage.

Classical bridge and connect :) www.youtube.com/watch?v=drb7Q7p1Lk0

No way this is m1 F5's, he's jumping m1/m2 alot aswell

I heard a tenor pull one of those once, crazy shit

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it's 100% true. As some have said in this forum, you can't sing popular music without compromising technique. What that means is that singers will be singing with unhealthy tension, and this is clearly evident in their own recordings.

It is what it is and you can either accept it or risk suffering the consequences by ignoring it.

Justin, if you think that's really true you should tell that to the guy who runs this forum. Last I checked he makes his living teaching people how to sing contemporary music without unhealthy tension and seems to get pretty damn good results. But if you have evidence that he's causing his students to damage their voices, I'm sure he would want to know. While you're at it tell Ken Tamplin, Jamie Vendera, and all of the other teachers out there as well. Since you know for certain that this type of singing damages the voice, you have a moral obligation to get the word out.

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Justin, if you think that's really true you should tell that to the guy who runs this forum. Last I checked he makes his living teaching people how to sing contemporary music without unhealthy tension and seems to get pretty damn good results. But if you have evidence that he's causing his students to damage their voices, I'm sure he would want to know. While you're at it tell Ken Tamplin, Jamie Vendera, and all of the other teachers out there as well. Since you know for certain that this type of singing damages the voice, you have a moral obligation to get the word out.

DITTO !!! And while you are at it, tell it to ALL of our coaches (and Subject Matter Experts), here at TMV World !!!

So tell me, Justin >>> What exactly are YOUR QUALIFICATIONS ???

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Classical bridge and connect :) www.youtube.com/watch?v=drb7Q7p1Lk0

No way this is m1 F5's, he's jumping m1/m2 alot aswell

I heard a tenor pull one of those once, crazy shit

If I hear it correctly it is falsetto, so it is bridged but not connected. Of course classical singers use falsetto (countertenors use it almost exlusively), but they do not connect in the sense that they keep up the full cord closure (or 'metal') in M2.

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I stumbled across the following on Wikipedia

Is this true?

What constitutes "natural range"? When I started, my limit was Eb3. Any higher and I was pushing and straining. Was my natural range up to Eb3?

Then I started working with a clasical teacher and she immediately starting getting me to sing above that point in my "passagio". It was uncomfortable as hell, at first. Was I going beyond my natural range? If it is uncomfortable to sing in passagio why would these classical teachers try to get me to sing something that doesn't feel "natural"?

My teacher's husband, also a classical singer and teacher, classified me as a 2nd Tenor - the same classification as him. He told me that we can learn to expand our non-falsetto range to reach any note that can be sung in falsetto. So does my natural range include the range of my falsetto?

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Notice, for example, the rapid decline in vocal quality of the guys who sang Gethsemane with with various companies. The first thing to go is generally clarity.

Ted Neeley singing the original in 1973...

Ted Neeley in 1993, 20 years after he originally did the role...

Ted Neeley performing Gethsemane in 2010 (he's in his mid 60's at this point), recorded on someone's cell phone camera, and the man can still scream his guts out night after night...

I don't hear this "rapid decline" you speak of, unless you consider "rapid decline" to be someone not being able to sing quite as well in their 60's recorded on a cell phone camera as they did in their 20's recorded in a studio. In that case Pavarotti experienced some "rapid decline".

Again Justin, where's your evidence? What are your qualifications? Why should we just believe what you have to say when numerous professional vocal coaches and researchers say the exact opposite? If you're such an expert, prove it...

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Remy, I think you are looking for a fight. Justin did not mention a singer by name, though I could be wrong, maybe he was meaning Ted Neely without mentioning him.

I just tried to find the vid of Sebastian Bach doing it in a live show where he sounded horrendous and the video is no longer able to be found, at least in the first to pages of search.

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Remy, I think you are looking for a fight. Justin did not mention a singer by name, though I could be wrong, maybe he was meaning Ted Neely without mentioning him.

You're absolutely right Ron, I am. I have a chip on my shoulder about naysayers who tell others that if they don't stick to some arbitrarily defined vocal range, they will damage their voice. Believing that garbage held me back for years. I don't want it to hold others back.

And while he didn't mention Neeley by name, his assertion is that you can't do this without tearing your voice apart. Apparently Neeley can. So we can reach one of two conclusions...

The first is that Neeley has magical vocal folds that can't be damaged. The second is that Neeley has learned to sing this part in a healthy way and generally takes very good care of his voice, whereas some others haven't. Steve Balsamo still sings it just as well as ever last I checked, so if we're going by the magical vocal fold theory that's at least two people with magical folds. I bet if I searched YouTube I could find dozens upon dozens of people with magical vocal folds who still sing really high and clear after performing demanding high repertoire for years and years.

The vast majority of early posts from newbies on this forum are basically some variation of "I want to learn to sing higher without damaging my voice". This is a community filled with people who can guide them in the right direction to doing that. Anyone is free to dispute that and be a naysayer, of course, but I'm also free to call them on their BS.

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I kind of identify with you on that, from a slightly different angle. I get people telling me that I am not doing enough with my voice because I don't believe in strain, that I work within the limits of my voice.

Believe in yourself. I realized, after a while, to quit worrying about what others say. With a few exceptions, I have been singing longer than many of the naysayers have even been alive. And have broken every single rule and have learned some things the hard way.

So, finally, my one last feeling has burned out. :lol: The other feelings I had, were surgically removed many years ago. :lol:

But guess what? For the most part, my best improvement has come from realizing what my range is and sticking to that, mostly, though I break that rule, now and then, but I break it, "my way."

You know, I claim to be redneck, but I guess I am a complicated guy.

;)

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I kind of identify with you on that, from a slightly different angle. I get people telling me that I am not doing enough with my voice because I don't believe in strain, that I work within the limits of my voice.

Ron, we're talking different degrees of limitation here and I think you know that. Most people without training come here with a range of 1.5 maybe 2 octaves and want to obtain 3-3.5. You sing with 3 octaves yourself. Whether or not it's optimal to try for 4 or 5 octaves is another story, entirely. What we're talking about is not limiting yourself to some arbitrary 2 octaves.

When I posted about singing the G5 in Gethsemane you gave me useful advice on how to improve it (It's helped by the way, thank you...). You didn't post something like "you're a baritone, it's ridiculous for you to sing that high and you will tear your voice apart". That's what we're talking about here. We're not talking about whether or not it's a good idea to try and sing up to C7.

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Ah, but Remy, mon Ami, are you really a baritone? Or are you a tenor who can croak some A2 and B2 when you get up in the morning?

How many people have self-typed themselves as baritones only because they had worked through the passaggio?

What is the lowest note you can sing a foot away from the mic and have it presentable over an instrument?

I was going to apologize for asking a tough question but I feel that would be disingenuous.

Just a straight-up question.

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Ah, but Remy, mon Ami, are you really a baritone? Or are you a tenor who can croak some A2 and B2 when you get up in the morning?

How many people have self-typed themselves as baritones only because they had worked through the passaggio?

What is the lowest note you can sing a foot away from the mic and have it presentable over an instrument?

I was going to apologize for asking a tough question but I feel that would be disingenuous.

Just a straight-up question.

I'll help him out, I recall him (I think it was Remy) telling me in a past thread he could sing down to Eb2, and maybe not presentably, but definitely clean enough for studio work.

So he's probably around my range. Mid-baritone-ish.

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Ah, but Remy, mon Ami, are you really a baritone? Or are you a tenor who can croak some A2 and B2 when you get up in the morning?

How many people have self-typed themselves as baritones only because they had worked through the passaggio?

What is the lowest note you can sing a foot away from the mic and have it presentable over an instrument?

I was going to apologize for asking a tough question but I feel that would be disingenuous.

Just a straight-up question.

I can say pretty confidently that the answer is G2. I'll record tomorrow to demonstrate. After G2 there is a noticeable loss of volume, particularly late in the day but I can go down to E2 before fry really takes over. Early morning I can croak out Eb.

I'll admit that earlier in life I believed I was bass because people told me I was, and I'm certainly not. But my upper 2nd octave is probably too strong to make me a good candidate for true tenor status.

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Or musical theatre.

I personaly know many baritones and bassos who handel even the hardest tenorroles in musicaltheatre. So i dont think it's that important in musicaltheatre... Here in Sweden it's more important to be famous than having the right Voice for the piece

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