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How to make belting less tasking at G4-Bb4?

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Solution A: Don't belt, mix, and make that mix powerful.

Solution B: Learn to belt efficiently

Solution C: Get the muscles it requires very fit so that you can handle the extra effort.

Or all of the above or any combination.

Solution A and B REQUIRE that you study with a great vocal teacher - but the vocal teacher that is great with teaching solution A might not also be with solution B and vice versa.

Solution C I guess you can do on your own? But it would help to know the correct muscles to train.

They all have their pros and cons of course. The variables involved in making the decision are individual and involve dynamic capability (what intensities you want to be able to sing at), longevity of your voice, physical strength, frequency of off days, age (as a your physical strength will naturally decrease in later years a bit no matter what), natural voice type (are you more of a light or heavy singer by nature), learning curve time, learning curve difficulty, maybe natural body type? All kinds of stuff like that.

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Hey Owen,

Thanks for answering :)

Solution A: Yeah, I can probably mix (curbing), and make it somewhat resonant, but it still won't match the sound color of belting (think gospel, rock, etc). I've been trying to sing some 30STM stuff with the sound color Jared Leto uses, and I don't think I can do it without practicing belting. So, if there was a way to make a really big sound from mixing, I'm down for it!

Solution B: I've been experimenting, and I've made some progress, but it's still quite hard.

Solutuion C: Hey, that's a good idea! I'll try to do more fitness stuff. Thanks :)

I'm not so sure about the vocal coach part. Yes, I definitely intend to get a coach later on, but I think I can make a decent amount of progress without any teacher for now.

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Hey Phil,

Thanks for replying :)

I made this a few days ago.

It's my 3rd take on the chorus of this 30STM song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eADrPh26tZg

If you notice, I'm trying to match the sound color the singer is using, which IMO is kinda hard.

1. Backing off the volume works below the bridge for me, but above F#4/G4 I can't get the same amount of power, which is what I'm trying to achieve. If you can give me any tips on singing powerful with a light volume/ weight above F#4, I'm all ears :)

3. Concerning vowel mods, I'm currently modifying towards open vowels like EH and AH, because of the belting position (in CVT terms). Is this correct in this situation? I find if I try to go towards more neutral/closed vowels, the sound doesn't come out as powerful.

No. 2 & 4 aren't really a problem for me.

EDIT: I forgot to add, singing the chorus of the song was quite energy consuming. I want to find a way to make stuff like that easier to manage, but without compromising the powerful sound quality.

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If its tasking on your "support" than most likely you are trying to "support"rather than allowing the the cords to approximate with your breath freely flowing. Don't push down or hold back anything like that just breath in and then let the motion of the breath go all the way through the end of your Phrase.if you stop it and hold back or push down or squeeze you are just interrupting the natural free flowingness of the voice.

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the advice i'm offering here is not going to be thought of as the "right" thing to do...but it worked/works for me.

strengthen the falsetto first..get acquainted with the correct application of falsetto....not the airy, flute like one, the darker, connected one.

work on the falsetto voice with the ta muscles out of the way...isolate and train the falsetto. here's a good argument for doing so.

i am a firm believer that this voice (for training and development purposes), not for performing, is the single best thing you can do for developing your voice and your range.

here's a good argument for doing so.

http://silvervoicestudio.blogspot.com/2009/09/importance-of-developing-falsetto.html

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@Phil: Alright, I'm on it! Just gimme a few hours.

@Danielformica: True, I am "trying to support". However, without actively trying to resist the air pressure I don't think I can be able to go that high. If I don't consciously push down, it won't come out right.

@geran89:

probably when you succeed in accomplishing most of these vocal technique goals like a very usable (and durable) belting, you will be in other stage of your life, more mature, and a bit older, this WILL NOT occur over night, neither in 1 single year, if you start around 18 years old, be mentally prepared to accept that you will be ready around your mid 20s :) (and you will still want to keep improving)

I know :) Unlike other people (I guess), I can't wait to get older so my voice can solidify and all that. I'm just focusing on technique right now

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@Danielformica: True, I am "trying to support". However, without actively trying to resist the air pressure I don't think I can be able to go that high. If I don't consciously push down, it won't come out right.

This is where everyone runs into problems sooner or later. Usually they end up able to hit some higher notes but want to know why they sound a little constipated or strained. Hopefully eventually you will understand what is meant by "support". For now my advice would be still be to consciously try to make an effort of a steady stream of air. Good luck if you need any help in the future.let me know.

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strengthen the falsetto first..get acquainted with the correct application of falsetto....not the airy, flute like one, the darker, connected one.

work on the falsetto voice with the ta muscles out of the way...isolate and train the falsetto. here's a good argument for doing so.

i am a firm believer that this voice (for training and development purposes), not for performing, is the single best thing you can do for developing your voice and your range.

Yes, I too believe in the power of Falsetto :lol:

I have Frisell's book, The Tenor Voice, which emphasizes falsetto stuff. I've been doing slides and stuff for some time, and I would say my voice is head voice dominant. I'm starting to understand what he means by head voice ramp and all those seemingly weird things. BTW, one problem with Frisell's stuff is that you have to experience it to understand wth he's talking about :)

Even when belting, it feels like head voice. But I can't carry it that far up for long though.

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Yes, I too believe in the power of Falsetto :lol:

I have Frisell's book, The Tenor Voice, which emphasizes falsetto stuff. I've been doing slides and stuff for some time, and I would say my voice is head voice dominant. I'm starting to understand what he means by head voice ramp and all those seemingly weird things. BTW, one problem with Frisell's stuff is that you have to experience it to understand wth he's talking about :)

Even when belting, it feels like head voice. But I can't carry it that far up for long though.

to sing in the g4 to b4 area you need to develop stamina. here's another helpful article. even tough it's written for opera singing, i believe the core principles still apply to pop rock singing.

don't get me wrong it will eventually become "easier" but not until several years have gone by.

article:

One of the key elements to being able to sing with a big, full, rich and resonant sound is stamina. It is one thing to make big sounds, but quite another to be able to make these sounds throughout an aria or song; and even more throughout a whole opera or concert. This most vital component is something that is not considered in vocal training today by most teachers, and especially those in universities. This is due to the fact that in those settings the teachers are required to put out singers at such a fast rate that the time needed to really develop a voice is severely curtailed. So they are forced to get singers to learn music to be able to perform in recitals which are required by the schools. This makes it impossible for big voices to thrive. Smaller voices have an easier time with this kind of curtailed process because they are less difficult to train. Bigger voices take much longer and require increased attention.

When a singer with a big voice decides to train they are dealing with developing bigger muscles. Those muscles take longer to develop. Not only do they take longer to develop, but also it takes longer for them to gain stamina. So we have two important components to training:

1) Developing the muscles needed to sing

2) Developing stamina to sustain big singing

A student will often find that in the beginning of their training that they are able to make some big, beautiful and impressive sounds. And they will often talk about how much easier these sounds are to make when they are done correctly. However, the ability to sustain these sounds throughout a musical piece is a whole other can of worms. This is where composers do not make it easy either; and in particular with bigger voices. The repertoire for more dramatic voices contain more low notes, but also many more high notes than the lighter repertoire. The dramatic singer is required to constantly go up and down the scale and also to sustain long, held out lines. This takes incredible stamina. On top of all of that the composers usually write the high note climax at the end of the aria - which only makes sense. This adds to the need for stamina.

Often I will hear young or developing bigger voices (and also smaller voices) make these big, full, rich sounds. However, since they cannot maintain that sound throughout the aria, the high note at the end will suffer. Many teachers and coaches will try to avoid this by lightening the voice so as to make it less taxing on the singer. The problem with this approach is that it skirts dealing with the issue at hand by avoiding it. When that happens the singers never reach their full potential. Instead of engaging the sound fully and gaining the stamina to do so, they are told to lessen the sound. Consequently, we never hear what the voice could have been at its prime development. This is one of the main differences in the singers of the golden age compared to the singers of the current age. The older singers had much bigger, fuller, more beautiful and richer voices. They were able to thrill us with the sheer beauty, power and mastery of their voices. This also included the ability to sing piano, decrescendo and crescendo. If a singer never gets to their full vocal potential then all we hear is the ability to hit notes instead of the ability to thrill.

Young singers and older singers alike need not forget the importance of vocal stamina. If you are making big, free sounds, but you just lack the ability to sustain them to the end of an aria do not give up on them. Remember that it takes time to build up your muscular stamina. Athletes and artist athletes such as ballet dancers know the need for stamina. And singers, being athletic artists themselves, also need to remember this fact. Stick to developing your muscles and stamina so that you can achieve your ultimate potential. There is nothing more thrilling than that.

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I wish I knew the author of that article so I could tell him to get out of the 1800's and into the year 2014. Writing a book or article does show anything but good writing skills.

It's seems the big excuse is a big voice but the singers like Felipe,myself, and others that can actual do the things we want with our voices have "small voices". Felipe's voice sound very big same with chris his teacher but I guess that means chris too has a small voice same with Bruce Dickinson dio Freddie mercury David Coverdale Paul Rodgers etc. especially Paul Rodgers who was recording with free when he was 18 that puts this whole article in the toilet alone.

come on guys with your big voices dont hide behind the excuse learn the right way to do it and be happy. You will then be able to say I have a big voice and sing whatever I want. :)

Also I would just like to add we are not singing arias unless one of you guys is holding I would love to hear you sing an aria with your big voice that would be awesome.

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@Phil: This is the recording you asked for. Cutting back the air actually made it a lot easier :) Thanks :D

(P.S: I know the Bb4 is a bit pitchy, sorry about that. I was singing with headphones on, so yeah :P)

I also made another recording attempting to go to a G4 on a bit softer dynamic. It's from Rude by Magic. Here it is:

@Daniel: I think i see what you were trying to say about consistent air. I think I was pushing a lot more air than necessary to get the high pitches. Phil's tip of cutting back the air made me realize it.

@VideoHere: Does the article state how one goes about developing the stamina? Does it come naturally with singing? Or are there specific exercises targeted at strengthening your stamina?

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I wish I knew the author of that article so I could tell him to get out of the 1800's and into the year 2014. Writing a book or article does show anything but good writing skills.

It's seems the big excuse is a big voice but the singers like Felipe,myself, and others that can actual do the things we want with our voices have "small voices". Felipe's voice sound very big same with chris his teacher but I guess that means chris too has a small voice same with Bruce Dickinson dio Freddie mercury David Coverdale Paul Rodgers etc. especially Paul Rodgers who was recording with free when he was 18 that puts this whole article in the toilet alone.

come on guys with your big voices dont hide behind the excuse learn the right way to do it and be happy. You will then be able to say I have a big voice and sing whatever I want. :)

Also I would just like to add we are not singing arias unless one of you guys is holding I would love to hear you sing an aria with your big voice that would be awesome.

Word! couldnt have written it better myself

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Billy, try inhaling slower and more relaxed and somewhat through your nose, instead of taking quick, powerful breaths while summoning cord closure - and see what that does to your stamina, because it's been helping me a LOT lately.

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Yeah, stamina has been the "Holy Grail" for me for years (NOT TO HIJACK THE THREAD-sorry ProfessionalChestPuller!). And I am a HUGE Belter guy. I never learned to sing quietly and am trying to learn now....

Through tons of teachers, programs, etc. I'm STILL trying to find the secret of that. Now of course, I'm older, so that throws another "here! Deal with this now!" kind of thing into the mix. I've actually given up on trying to chase it and just kind of do my best. This from a guy singing 4 hour gigs 2 to 4 nights in a row. 3rd and 4th night gigs scare the crap out of me, but I always seem to make it through. I really no longer believe that a guy can sing at the top of his game night after night after night after night. I think that might work for a guy doing an hour show, but not a club guy or a rock guy.

If you look at touring rock singers, it's rare that they do that many shows in a row and their shows might be 2 hours long. However, McCartney is doing nearly 3 hours but his voice in the past few years has gotten really rough. He's in his 70s and he has not changed song keys. He's still great but even a guy like him who has done it forever still has issues. It's very disheartening for something that thinks "If I just do A, B, and C, I'll be able to sing well in any and all situations".

If you look historically at my threads here, you'll see I've been chasing that for a long time.

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Billy - how much time have you spent working the head voice and growing it into a head-dominant mix, and then finding every opportunity you can to use that instead of your full voice?

I don't have all your performing experience, but even just from what I have found merely practicing songs, I still find that if I try to sing every note in chest voice that wears me out a good four times as fast as if I use mixed or head voice every chance it's stylistically acceptable.

I think that might be the "secret" (there is none of course but you know what I mean) that you're missing. Especially if you were kind of self-taught and sang like that for decades - the tendency in some voices like myself that really compromises stamina sometimes, is getting hooked into chest voice because it feels so safe and secure and it guarantees power - you know the audience won't think it's falsetto so it calms you down mentally and you perform better, and you think all is going fine...until the physical effort it takes fatigues your voice eventually. Is that what you feel?

Chest voice the comfort zone of a big voice, but also it's biggest nemesis. Because locking yourself into that approach all the time will destroy your stamina compared to learning to get comfortable with the voice freeing up, going into mix or head voice when it's stylistically appropriate. You need to get comfortable with taking the risk of head voice and mixing and the challenge with this situation is, it will sound like weak shit and crack and flip and fry and yodel all over the place at first before it sounds like something you can actually use in music, which is why it needs to be practiced before performed...

It can't be learned quickly, especially if you're forced to perform well constantly with your old habits that you can count on. But I just have to reiterate, it's something vocal teachers remind me all the time...use less weight!! Yes it's easier at first to just throw on all the power but it's inefficient technique to use your biggest voice all the time and it will wear you out. If you let it get small and light and let resonance help you out instead, that is the foundation of healthy vocal technique. It's not about slightly tweaking your big voice...you have to be willing to have some instability here and there and find a NEW CONFIGURATION that is founded on the released feeling of head voice, and you just add power to that. You still have to keep your chest voice strong too, but it's only so you can add more power to that new configuration.

Again, the dilemma is that when you are learning new stuff like this, it will not be reliable for performance for a while. If you restrict yourself to working only on what is currently reliable for performance, you won't improve...

Sometimes you really need to just get yourself in a room and practice what you really need to improve on. That's how we get better. Performing experience is great but it doesn't solve everything.

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Like I said, I hate to hijack ProfessionalChestPuller's thread.

Your reply is right on target Owen. I've been singing forever (playing in bands since I was 15 am now51) and have had a lot of teachers over the years, some of those I still believe helped me to establish bad habits in the very early stages of voice development, but I don't want to open that can of worms here. I use my head voice quite a bit. But there are spots where it just won't engage for me (fries out is a great term!). Lately, I'm REFOCUSING on trying to relearn that whole approach, but I also have to work (I have a ton of gigs and am in quite a few acts actually) and so my bad habits get me through what I have to do and then I spend my downtime trying to assimilate the other approach. It's only been recently that I've met with a few guys that have actually helped me to fix these issues. I DO NOT have a big voice at all. It's pretty whimpy actually and way too delicate. I have lately noticed that if I DON'T push and just get out of the way, SOME things work much better for me. However, there are still a few songs that I kind of feel I have to "muscle through". Hopefully, if I keep working on these issues, I'll fix the issues... however, if I had a dollar for every time I've made that comment over the years... well, you know. But I do think that what you posted is completely correct for my situation.

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i don't have any problem being the only one to say there are light voices and heavy voices and heavy, bigger, voices are harder to train and develop than lighter voices.

b.t.w., dan, lighter does not mean lesser, or not as great, or is in any way inferior to heavier voices...i have read and spoke to too many people that agree or have said that lighter voices have a little easier go of it.

all of these people cannot be wrong.

and it doesn't help to say who is and who isn't...it just has to do with your physiological makeup..whether it be a bigger throat, bigger head, thicker, longer folds..whatever, these differences do exist.

if they didn't, there wouldn't be lyric tenors and dramatic tenors, there wouldn't be peel the paint off the wall and singers who intimidate they're so powerful.

same with support, some can get by with just a little and some singers engage their whole core, because they need to.

some singers can run through a messa di voce much easier than others. some singer's falsetto and full voice are much "closer together" than others....

i'd be willing to debate this issue anytime......

having a bigger, heavier, voice isn't some kind of excuse for poor technique it's an endowment.

now on to stamina:

stamina develops over time by isolating and developing the voices musculature, muscles responsible for adduction, for stretching, all of it.......

stamina means you are strong enough to sustain...whatever....fold adduction, breath pressure, consistent flow, whatever, you get the idea.

it's the difference between curling a dumbbell vs. holding it up in the middle of the movement.

stamina comes from full body involvement in a controlled way.

control, and strength....

get the vocal fold tract relieved of tension and stress...and this is done by support. i still contend support and proper breathing is the key to a resonant, powerful voice.

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Billy - how much time have you spent working the head voice and growing it into a head-dominant mix, and then finding every opportunity you can to use that instead of your full voice?

I don't have all your performing experience, but even just from what I have found merely practicing songs, I still find that if I try to sing every note in chest voice that wears me out a good four times as fast as if I use mixed or head voice every chance it's stylistically acceptable.

I think that might be the "secret" (there is none of course but you know what I mean) that you're missing. Especially if you were kind of self-taught and sang like that for decades - the tendency in some voices like myself that really compromises stamina sometimes, is getting hooked into chest voice because it feels so safe and secure and it guarantees power - you know the audience won't think it's falsetto so it calms you down mentally and you perform better, and you think all is going fine...until the physical effort it takes fatigues your voice eventually. Is that what you feel?

Chest voice the comfort zone of a big voice, but also it's biggest nemesis. Because locking yourself into that approach all the time will destroy your stamina compared to learning to get comfortable with the voice freeing up, going into mix or head voice when it's stylistically appropriate. You need to get comfortable with taking the risk of head voice and mixing and the challenge with this situation is, it will sound like weak shit and crack and flip and fry and yodel all over the place at first before it sounds like something you can actually use in music, which is why it needs to be practiced before performed...

It can't be learned quickly, especially if you're forced to perform well constantly with your old habits that you can count on. But I just have to reiterate, it's something vocal teachers remind me all the time...use less weight!! Yes it's easier at first to just throw on all the power but it's inefficient technique to use your biggest voice all the time and it will wear you out. If you let it get small and light and let resonance help you out instead, that is the foundation of healthy vocal technique. It's not about slightly tweaking your big voice...you have to be willing to have some instability here and there and find a NEW CONFIGURATION that is founded on the released feeling of head voice, and you just add power to that. You still have to keep your chest voice strong too, but it's only so you can add more power to that new configuration.

Again, the dilemma is that when you are learning new stuff like this, it will not be reliable for performance for a while. If you restrict yourself to working only on what is currently reliable for performance, you won't improve...

Sometimes you really need to just get yourself in a room and practice what you really need to improve on. That's how we get better. Performing experience is great but it doesn't solve everything.

This is where I'm at. In the band I'm still the bass-baritone, but alone in my car, and increasingly in front of my family, I practice my head voice/mix. I know when my wife gives me the raised eyebrows or my boys say "Daddy, why are you singing like a girl?" that it's okay in the long run! ;)

But then I've had a lot of experience with this sort of thing in the instrumental realm. First learning the trumpet as a kid, then learning pennywhistle, recorder, and flute as an adult. Then there's the violin... Speaking of which, a student once asked me how to tell if you're tone deaf. I said to pick up a violin and bow and try to play. If you don't make a face like you're sucking lemons in response to the sound, then you might be tone deaf! (Assuming you don't already play the violin...)

The analogy I like to use is learning to drive stick shift. If you don't stall out from time to time, you're probably burning your clutch.

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