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he shows a lot of vocal tract shaping skill in that video. i hear the intensity..i don't hear it as thin....

i hear it as full...who knows....lol!!!

Light mass and thin sound is not the same thing imo. He is light but he is not thin. His sound is full. He has a good use of (light) resonance and I think a good chunk of glottal compression.

Just to give an example: The sound of the high E string on an acoustic guitar will create a "fuller" sound than the low E string on an electric guitar (without amp of course). The high E string is thinner, but it has the resonance chamber of the acoustic guitar, which makes the sound more full than the thicker E string on the electric guitar without the resonator.

If you are looking for this kind of technique I think it might be useful to look at Ken Tamplins method. His technique is also based around a wide opening of the light (chiaro) resonators and strong glottal compression.

As opposed to that, chiaroscuro technique is about opening both, the light and the dark resonators. It uses more air and more weight, but less compression.

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its funny "chiaroscuro technique" is not a technique its just light sound and dark sound. This is where internet terms get confusing its like saying "appogio"is a technique when it just means to lean upon. It was just a way to say it in italian. Dont get hung up on that stuff like "chiaro scuro school of singing" its just a definition to say "hey darken your sound or lighten" to find the right balance of color.

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benny, when i think of light, i think of singing on the edges of the folds....lou seems to be really leaning in on the folds.....

if we were in the same room with lou when he is singing, you don't think he'd be pretty loud?

again, maybe i'm wrong.

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Daniel description is correct. And this sound would be useless on pop.

Its a totally different context... And about appoggio, it cant be soft or strong. As with everything on technique its either correct or wrong.

In fact, exaggerations on support, either creating too much pressure or holding back too much, makes you sound less intense, always.

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yes, felipe i agree.....but focusing on lou's voice, it's also deep and rich. there are videos all over yt to illustrate just how much sheer power he had as well.

it's more than just resonance and vowel skills......there is this punchiness that defined his sound.

that's the reason i admire him so much is the effort he put out. a lot of us focus on singing with the least amount of effort..he certainly did not.

the man was a powerhouse. now at 63, dropped a half step here and there, but still powerful.


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i hear you benny, i just don't understand how you guys find that light?

It is just light in terms of weight. It is very far from easy on support, because even though it is light mass, it is not falsetto, which means it is compressed and has full cord closure. To achieve that on really high notes you have to slow down the airflow like hell, which is very intensive on your support. It is almost like holding your breath.

And yes, light mass means singing on the edges of the folds. In most papers I know the typical switch for males towards M2 (edges of the folds) is around A4 in contemporary singing. There also was a paper that compared contemporary to classical singing in that regard (unfortunately I can't find the damn link anymore), which found out that classical singers (tenors for that matter) carry M1 up to the high C5.

Notes above A4 are sung on the edges of the folds most of the time in rock singing. There are even lots of singers that "bridge early" and start singing on the edges earlier. However, it is often hard to tell if a singer is just very light by nature and is actually bridging late or if he is more heavy by nature but bridging early. Their sound above the passaggio area is often quite similar.

But even while singing on the edges of the folds you can create a much more intensive sound by adding compression and narrowing the vocal tract, this is what Lou is doing imo.

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thanks benny, i'm not so sure. i'd say he developed a really strong head voice and really knew about support. in his book, he spoke about this opera singer/teacher that taught him all about how to breathe and support.

maybe his uppermost notes are sung that way in certain songs, but if you listen to him sing other songs you can hear the depth.

compare the vocals on the chorus especially on these two performances..one is richer (more classical) i believe, the second is edgy, and thinner.

he's pretty rich in the verses but then thins out a lot in the chorus. there's more hootiness in the first which i like better than the second.


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Yes, his support is definitely great, but he also has strong internal anchoring and glottal compression. It's the whole package.

I hear the difference between those two and I agree, the second is more edgy in sound compared to the first. It has more twang and a little higher larynx. The first is more classical but still a good bit away from typical classical style.

I still think its his compression and support that gives him the power and not the "weight". Just saw that video by Sergio Calafiura here: Look what he does on the Sting example when he shows the "ooh" in falsetto and then adds compression and support to it. The weight doesn't change by doing that. It is still a light M2 mode. But the added compression makes it closer in sound and "thickness" to M1. Lou Gramm has a lot of exactly that action imo. To add weight he would have to supply more air and open up space in the pahrynx, which is very hard on an "OOH"-vowel on high pitches.

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Yeah - Lou is fantastic. He is definitely able to belt it out with a thicker tone than Steve Perry.

Check this video of Ken Tamplin - I would say that Ken is using similar weight as Lou? When he goes up to G5 he's able to thin it out appropriately, yet retain a very strong tone. After the performance he talks about managing the bottom so as not to bring so much weight when going high. It's interesting and relevant to our discussion. (I think I would be totally worn out if I tried to sing like that :| )

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Fredrik of this forum uses a similar tone to lou gram, and well he's the loudest singer ive ever heard. It's very hard to describe how it sounds in a live room, it's extremly powerfull. A recording does NOT give justice to the sheer power he has.

I think it's usually the soundcolor that tricks you, but when you hear it live in a room it's crazy.

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boy i wish i could understand what he's saying?

geno, benny, all, is it me, or do you hear a very intense, very developed hooting going on inside his voice? i really think it's this hoot thing that in there too...that sort of richens it?

that hoots get taken up so skillfully it can (at least to me) sound operatic...ish

notice how in the verses there's that hootiness, and when he screams he maintains that hootiness inside the high screams. and the screams are screams, yet they sound melodic and rich.


and this tune one of my all-time favorites for the vocals....how could this possibly be light? i'll bet if you were in the room with him when he sang that tune he was pretty darn loud.

but i can hear that thick hootiness (or i perceive it as really thick hootiness) as a voice characteristic.

i'm really starting to work my hooty part of my voice more.

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Bob, help me understand you please.

Which one here is more chesty in your opinion?




Which one do you think is louder, and which one do you think that involves more effort support/larynx?

Does any even touch what you are talking about?

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Your ess's are too harsh and Lou has a bit more rasp. The ess's need to sound more like z's. But I liked the second link, better. You had a lighter and higher onset that matched the original intent, better, in my opinion. The first link, you were scooping a bit.

You have to remember that Bob is going to compare to Lou Gramm, every time. And no one but Lou is going to measure up to that. Ever.

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felipe, as i hear it, neither were chest, both were head voice.

(yes, for the beginners out there, that is head voice!)

the second one had more twang and ring. other than that, i cannot tell which one involves more effort or support. i'm not you.

i know for me, this remains a challenging song. if you want to go for that mixture of light and dark (chiaroscuro) you are going to have to support really well and keep the larynx from shooting up.

here you can clearly hear the mixture of light and dark, plus the degree of work is obvious.

of course, you could choose to sing this song more "economically" but it isn't going to sound like this.

a point i want to make is i believe when you go this level of sound with your singing, you improve in other ways too.

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Got that Bob. Yes it is head voice indeed.

I think I understand what you want, I just dont think that chesty is a good way to define it, and the larynx will need to rise from what I did in there.

What you are saying with chiaroscuro is that he does not let the tone become splatted on the process. That is happening but mostly via resonance. It kinds of make sense. As long as you don't mean lowered larynx, like in the first sample Ive sent, I agree :P.

My view on it is that to go for the aggressiveness, you need to first be able to do the song totally by the book, using head voice and still making it sound pleasant. Even what I did on the second clip can be tricky, although I agree that is easier than what you mean here.

Wouldnt you say that you need all this stuff under control to do justice to the song, and that the resonance adjustment needs to happens precisely? I mean, despite you being correct when you say that its kinda like carrying chest up, the placement can not fall, or you will spit your larynx on the floor, so its still head, a very different one but still high placed.

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Actually in the original clip with Lou, it distorts pretty much every time.

Yes, your new clip is still Curbing, but you are now creating distortion by being a bit unbalanced or using a bit false folds. However, it sounds like you chose to do so. :)

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