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Complete beginner... where to start.

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At the age of 52, I have just become the vocalist for a small classic rock band.... Very few gigs and all for the sheer fun of it.

I have never done this before but I am really looking forward to it.

I would just like to know what to concentrate on first??

Also some decent starter gear, mic/amp effects perhaps.

We will be covering early AC/DC, Whitesnake,Sabbath, Dio etc.

Any advice gratefully received.

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Hi, @greenbandit99

You say you've never done this before...

Some of the vocalists for the material you will be covering will be challenging. What is your vocal experience? Do you know how to safely get the distortion of Dio, AC/DC, etc? You could hurt your voice if you don't have the proper training and techniques.

Here's a pretty good deal I happened to see while browsing my email this morning on a full starter setup for a small band. Not exactly PRO stuff, but not bad for entry-level starter gear. At a major internet store, an eight-channel mixer-amp, with two front-of-house speaker cabs on stands, two floor wedge monitors, four starter mics, and cords for the whole shebang for $599. Other sales sites most likely have similar packages. I'm not trying to sell you on any one dealer, just to show you what it might cost to get started at the level you are presently at. This is not top-notch gear, but is certainly better than what I started out on.

By the way, you're just a young-un'

You can email me if you want the exact name of the company that had the offer. I don't think we're supposed to put anything here that could be construed as "advertisement".

Get a good vocal program and get your voice rockin'.

I know there are lots of recommendations on that available here!

: ^ )


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I don't want to exactly sound like Dio etc... Just covering their songs. I have no delusions of being that good.:P

As long as you are fine with lowering the pitches of the songs then just that and have fun with it. Remember that live singing is probably harder than singing in a rehearsal space so keep it on the safe side until you have more experience!

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From one beginner to another - the guys you've mentioned are to vocalists what Jimi Hendrix is to guitarists, Jaco Pastorius to bassists and Cozy Powell to drummers (or any other big name you can think of for these instruments). If you're not experienced with singing you can hurt your instrument, which in this case it's your own body.

So, if you're a complete beginner - maybe start with taking some lessons. As mentioned - I would definitely lower the pitch in which you play the songs - in many cases, even the original bands do the same when they are playing live.

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try to get good at low songs *before* you worry about lowering the larynx for high notes. if you're anything like me, where my lower vocal muscles are just too damn big, then there's a possibility you'll still have a lot of tonal problems in high notes even if your adduction and larynx dampening is perfect.

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I have a question to ask. Though you may be just now picked to be lead vocalist for this band, is it your first singing experience? I ask because most musicians have also done a bit of singing, to good effect. For those who don't know it, the higher harmony lines, aside from Diamond Dave's howls, in Van Halen songs were sung by Michael Anthony, the bass player.

And Michael does the same thing in his current band, Chickenfoot, which he shares with Sammy Hagar, Chad Smith (RHCP), and Joe Satriani.

Have you sung before, just not as the "lead" singer, out in front, as Steven Tyler says, "jumping around like a monkey"?

And hey, age ain't nothing. I am 50 but you could not tell it, listening to my voice. I always thought I would grow up to have a man's voice. Nope, still sound like a woman. Not even an old woman.


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Your necks muscles support your head on your shoulders and allow your to keep your vocal tract in the correct alignment. It is estimated that the average adult head weighs around 10-11 pounds. Imagine holding a 10 pound weight in the palm of one hand all day. The neck muscles are then crucial to providing the support for your vocal tract to produce the sounds and vocalizations that you desire.

Here's a video to help you sing better: Building Pharyngeal Resonance

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