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Physically demanding songs...

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derekreno
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Ok, so I'm doing this acoustic cover project with a friend of mine. Much to my chagrin, my guitar player wants to do "Best of You" from the Foo's. We practiced it today...first time actually singing it, other than with a karaoke track, and much to my surprise, I could sing it, lol. Not all gritty like Grohl, but clean...not quite performance ready yet.

Anyways, this has gotta be the most demanding tune I've ever done, I mean he's just hammering on that G#4 I believe. The intensity never really stops, lol. I'm physically exhausted by the end of it...not straining or anything, just the massive support I'm using on it. Any tips on tunes that more or less stay above the passaggio the entire song?...or just keep doing it until it gets easy?

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Well G#4 for most males is just slightly over the passaggio, so there is quite a big danger of pulling chest up there (which Grohl himself actually seems to do). Singing this in chest is possible, but WILL drain heavily on your endurance even if you train a lot.

A song that stays mostly above 2nd passaggio would also be "Take hold of the Flame" by Queensryche, which is a really good training song. Also good for training is Robert's "Souls of Silence" (which also has a lot of G#4's in it), but this song is more about switching back and forth between chest and head and not so much about singing head all the time.

QR in general is good for training because there is A LOT of head voice singing going on. Another very cool training song is their version of "Scarborough Fair" because it has a layout where you sing low on the start of a verse, high in the middle an low again in the end. Geoff changed the vocal line of the song in a way that the first 2 verses go chest -> passaggio -> chest and the next 2 verses go passaggio -> head -> passaggio, which is also very good to practice all those switches.

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You want to go above the key and work that feeling down into the key your in. I sing sweet child of mine in a few different bands a couple bands do the song in Db some in D. When your are doing songs that live on certain notes like Ab or A4 it gets tiring because its repetitive like lifting 10 lbs 100 times as opposed to singing high C once or twice in a song which is much easier Like lifting 50lbs once

the tug of war between the chest and head is being won slightly by the headvoice in the A4 area and as you continue up headvoice is winning more and more. Though you never lose that connection to the chest completely or you will be in falsetto.

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Cool. I'm not really pulling chest up, it feels like "mix" or whatever that area is called. I notice by the end of the song it gets "headier"...I think it's cause I'm getting tired and letting more head voice take over.

So more or less its what I thought then? Just work up to the entire song, like treat it like the gym. 3 sets of the chorus/verse, 10 reps...or something like that, lol. I'll try doing it maybe a half step up also. What I liked though was every song after that one was 10x's easier to do, haha.

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you will find (at least from my own experience) if you sing demanding songs and practice in a demanding way, you will get to a point where you'll be glad you did. things become somewhat easier and the voice seems to get richer sounding, a tonal quality develops that cannot be anticipated.

in time the voice just becomes one...nothing to go into or out of.......just one voice.

hammering the hard stuff was one of the best things i could have done. i didn't set out to just do hard stuff, it just happens to be the hard stuff tend to be the songs i like....lol!!!

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Just a general tip I've found that works for my voice at least. I will work it hard for a while (without blowing it out completely, mind you) and then take a break for maybe an hour or so. After this period of time, my voice seems to come back stronger. Or at least it did...I haven't tried this approach in a while. haha

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you will find (at least from my own experience) if you sing demanding songs and practice in a demanding way, you will get to a point where you'll be glad you did. things become somewhat easier and the voice seems to get richer sounding, a tonal quality develops that cannot be anticipated.

in time the voice just becomes one...nothing to go into or out of.......just one voice.

hammering the hard stuff was one of the best things i could have done. i didn't set out to just do hard stuff, it just happens to be the hard stuff tend to be the songs i like....lol!!!

Right on. That's why I went ahead and ok'd adding the song to the list. I'm used to doing tunes that may jump up to G4-B4, every now and then in choruses and stuff. But to stay in that area for pretty much an entire tune, I think will be good practice for me.

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Right on. That's why I went ahead and ok'd adding the song to the list. I'm used to doing tunes that may jump up to G4-B4, every now and then in choruses and stuff. But to stay in that area for pretty much an entire tune, I think will be good practice for me.

Yes it definitely is a totally different ball park. But as written above it really is the area where chest and head are fighting each other that you should go through over and over. Once you are in an area where the head voice is clearly dominant it gets easier again.

For me, starting from Bb4 it gets quite easy again. Because Bb4 is so high for my that I can't sing it in a chest dominant configuration, no matter what I try. On the other hand side, everything below D4 is so low that I can't really sing it in a head dominant configuration (resonance wise) without resorting to falsetto.

Up to F#4 I can sing chest dominant quite easily and that is really troublesome. As long as I sing songs that don't go above F#4, I really don't notice how much I am actually pulling chest. But the moment where I have to bridge to something in the G4/A4 area I notice that I can't do a smooth bridge anymore and my coordination is falling apart.

Thus, in the end it really seems to be the G4-C5 part of the voice that you should train the hell out of as a male, then everything else will fall into place.

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Benny in my experience G4-C5 is not enough...if you don't learn how to lighten the mass inside a chest dominant configuration well before that, you will never have a clean bridge. That's what I'm battling now, I am like you and tend to pull chest up to F#4, but I suspect why that happens is because I haven't started the bridging process earlier. I don't mean bridging early I mean prepping the bridge early enough so it can actually happen smoothly. I can just sense that the weight I'd use on said F#4 would probably never be able to bridge into a head tone so that shows the problem isn't underdeveloped head voice it's uncoordinated chest voice. The solution is not beefing up G4-C5. I've already beefed those up a lot but they still aren't going to bridge with that heavy F#4. The solution is to not sing A3-F#4 as heavy. Which is easier said than done and an important skill to train. If only I realized that from day one. The middle of the voice means the low mid and high mid...all of that, is the most important stuff to train. It's just the problems in the low mid range are so much less apparent.

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Yes of course. That was not the point. The point was, if you ignore the G4-C5 part you will not notice that your F#4 is too chesty, because a chesty F#4 can still feel quite comfortable/unstrained. The G4-C5 will reveal if you sing the lower notes correctly, and once you can sing G4-C5 in a well-coordinated way, you can just pull that coordination down to have a well-balanced C4-F#4 range.

I have come across many intermediate singers (including me) with kind of a "gap" in exactly that area. Those singers do C4-F#4 in a nice and powerful chesty belt, C5-F#5 in a nice and powerful "power falsetto", and the G4-C5 part is just crappy yodeling between those two modes.

I have improved my G4-C5 part quite a bit now, but at the same time the sound in my E4-F#4 range got worse (at least to my ears) because I had the get rid of some of the weight I used to put into those notes.

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i believe you eventually have to get away from any mindset of a bridge and let the voice be perceived as one connected voice.

if you narrow the vowels, you will shed weight. again, from my experience and you can pressure up high. to me c4 to c5 is where you need to focus.

but having to worry about a bridge after you've moved up to an intermediate level is a mistake.

do you folks agree?

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I think after a certain point, you need to forget about/not worry as much about bridging. I don't even think about it, I just do it. For a beginner, yes maybe focus on bridging through the passaggio. After a certain point I don't think you should constantly be worrying about bridging early/late...at some point with training, it should just "happen". In my experience anyways. But yes I agree, train the G4-C5 area, and like Video said, narrow your vowels and shed weight as you ascend.

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yes, but just to add, take into account your particular voice weight...some voices are just heavier and they need to do more to move their voices, than a lighter weight voice. lighter weight voices have less tonal disparity between head and chest i believe.

hey folks, i just heard this new europe track...i always liked joey tempest's voice. they did a cd in 2012.

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yes, but just to add, take into account your particular voice weight...some voices are just heavier and they need to do more to move their voices, than a lighter weight voice. lighter weight voices have less tonal disparity between head and chest i believe.

Absolutely beautiful, twin brutha from anutha mutha.

I have been saying that for a while. And it's not laziness. Each voice is different. Yes, a singer can do some motions similar to another singer. And have different results.

So, derek, sing this like Dave Grohl. And I don't mean match his gravel, bit by bit. I mean, lean into it, like he does. Your voice will have some "meat" in some area. Use that "meat" in the same area as Dave, even if you do not sound like an exact sonic copy of him. When I am inspired by a singer, such as Robert Plant ( I do a lot of Led Zep covers,) I am going for the "intent" not the "wow, that sounds just like Robert Plant" thing. I would rather, if I had to seek a compliment, have someone say that I sing with the same intensity, rather than having someone say that I sound just like him.

Then, again, I am a strange guy.

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Absolutely beautiful, twin brutha from anutha mutha.

I have been saying that for a while. And it's not laziness. Each voice is different. Yes, a singer can do some motions similar to another singer. And have different results.

So, derek, sing this like Dave Grohl. And I don't mean match his gravel, bit by bit. I mean, lean into it, like he does. Your voice will have some "meat" in some area. Use that "meat" in the same area as Dave, even if you do not sound like an exact sonic copy of him. When I am inspired by a singer, such as Robert Plant ( I do a lot of Led Zep covers,) I am going for the "intent" not the "wow, that sounds just like Robert Plant" thing. I would rather, if I had to seek a compliment, have someone say that I sing with the same intensity, rather than having someone say that I sound just like him.

Then, again, I am a strange guy.

For sure. I think we got off topic at some point, lol. I was just saying that with the mindset of "should I bridge here", "what mode should I be in"...at some point, IMO anyways, you should let your training take over for your brain and just sing it. That G# in the Foo's tune doesn't feel strained like I'm pulling up chest or anything, it's just physically demanding...for the time being ;) to keep that intensity throughout the song.

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i believe you eventually have to get away from any mindset of a bridge and let the voice be perceived as one connected voice.

if you narrow the vowels, you will shed weight. again, from my experience and you can pressure up high. to me c4 to c5 is where you need to focus.

but having to worry about a bridge after you've moved up to an intermediate level is a mistake.

do you folks agree?

Yes, definitely, at some point is has to be burned into your muscle memory what note on what vowel is sung in which coordination, so you don't have to care anymore about: It this head? Should I bridge here or there? and so on...

However, personally, as a heavy voiced guy, there is still a BIG difference in terms of "feel" depending on if it is head voice or chest voice, and I can still definitely say if a note I sing is chest or head. Of course there is the passaggio, which kind of feels a little different from "pure chest" but still A LOT more similar to chest than head. The passaggio feels more like a "stretched chest voice", while head feels like a different coordination (mainly because the twang overtakes as the "primary compressor").

In terms of timbre the difference is also there. Actually the difference the audience will hear is less than what I feel/hear "in my head", but it is definitely there. If you hear me do a siren from D4 to D5 you will probably not notice a break, but if I sing a D4 and then a D5, you will notice a difference in timbre that is more significant than the difference between D3 and D4.

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i hear ya benny.

i'd have to say for me nowadays, (thank god) tonally there simply is one voice.

in fact, i'm to the point now where i feel like i can isolate my vocal folds and just tweak them for pitch changes...as if i can touch them.....

i know it's just imagery but that's how it feels to me....

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For sure. I think we got off topic at some point, lol. I was just saying that with the mindset of "should I bridge here", "what mode should I be in"...at some point, IMO anyways, you should let your training take over for your brain and just sing it. That G# in the Foo's tune doesn't feel strained like I'm pulling up chest or anything, it's just physically demanding...for the time being ;) to keep that intensity throughout the song.

Okay, I think I understand now. Let me kind of echo Bob. Let it go ahead and be physically demanding, as long as you don't hurt. Some songs require some effort. I was practicing "Child in Time" today, contemplating doing a new cover. And the highest notes, the A5's, they take more effort than casual speaking on the telephone. So, I go ahead and let it take more effort.

It's okay.

When I say sing without strain, I mean to say, sing in a durable way that you can repeat, even if it took some effort. I have used golf analogies. That does not mean that playing golf does not take effort. It does. The idea is to have efficient use of effort.

I guess I don't think of "effort" as others do. For me, effort is digging 18" deep for 300 feet when it's 100 degrees farenheit. That's what "effort" brings to my mind. And that's not as easy as I make it sound. Been there, done that.

rockonwhichyabadself, to quote an old r&b song.

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This is probably the most demanding song ive ever heard

The verses go between F5 and F#5 lol how he keeps it so covered and manly up that high is insane lol

Actually, in my experience that's not nearly as hard as singing in the passaggio if you have good training and are fully warmed up and all sweaty like that

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i agree with avenger.....

check out melissa cross' dvd on this type of singing. it isn't as physically demanding as it appears. a lot of this type of singing is quieter than you think. it's heavily dependent on singing on the edges of the folds with support. once you are up there, positioned up there, you can stay up there quite easily....

it sounds really intense but it really isn't.

there's no tug of war g4-b4 like you experience on a "guess who" or a "u2" tune for example .

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so true my brother from the lone star state........a high voice helps too...lol!!!!!

here's another bitch song:

right out of the gate you have to negotiate so much all the way through

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VumLHOikmU

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