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Who Inspires You to Sing?

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Gsoul82
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I thought it would be cool to have a topic on influences. I know we've all heard guys either before or after we started training who made us go, "Wow! How is he (or she) doing that?!"

 

Perhaps they phrase things a certain way, or their tone is smooth like butter or rugged like sandpaper. And, inevitably, we liked them so much that we ended up trying to imitate them.

 

Who are these people for you?

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   I was born into a family of singers(non professional). Mainly Bluegrass and country-Gospel.

   I watched the first Partridge Family TV show around 6 or 7 years old. I would go around singing "I woke up in love this morning" to the girls in my 2nd grade class. Of course the "Beatles", "Elvis Presley", Doobie Brothers", Countless Motown Artists...........It was great hearing the songs of the 60s and 70s when they were new........

   Why am I still  "learning" how to sing after all that time? When you have over 20 cousins who grew up together and they all sing it is hard to find a "Part" that isn't already taken. Instead of working with me to improve a harmony they would just find the cousin who already sounded good singing it. Those that did sound good could not explain what the difference was in how I was singing and how they were singing.

    To just sing does not work out all the problems. I have been doing that for over 40 years.

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Queen of the Reich was probably my biggest influence into Geoff Tate's voice. He ended up at the top of my favorite vocalists (at that point number 1 was probably Bruce Dickinson) list within a year of listing to him and then I wondered "how the hell did he learn to sing like that?" I had never heard anyone sing that high before "Queen of the REIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICH"

 

Found out about Maestro David Kyle and Robert Lunte, got 4 Pillars, and started training (singercizing) in summer 2013.

 

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I was an instrumentalist. Then I heard the Beatles and something about them was so simple, yet sophisticated and perfect it lead me to sing.

 

It was Lennon/Mccartney's melodies and how they sounded impossible to write and when they sang them it sounded magical and completely beyond reach. I listened more and more to their singing and they convinced me that the only way to write music that directly was from within the body, not from your fingers or with a theory. So I started singing at that point. As for singing voice itself I have a huge list of influences:

 

Lennon taught me a stark harsh honesty, directness. To sing with no fear of offending and letting the content of the voice cut.

 

Mccartney pushed my technique and helped me explore lighter areas of voice and pushed my sense of melody to the limits.

 

David Bowie would tell stories with songs, using multiple timbres to shade various passages, express various emotions and emphasizing various points. He was fearless and would go from genre to genre and make art music, so I picked up a whole lot from him. I also lifted a vibrato from him.

 

Frank Sinatra taught how to use my lower range, shading lighter, darker, tender, brash, push and pull with intricate timing. He taught me the lower range was just as expressive as the upper.

 

Freddie Mercury taught me how to lighten the voiced sing with greater enthusiasm and power, and above all to not fear feminine sounds, cause they were just as powerful as masculine sounds.

 

Eddie Kendricks taught me to bridge and to embrace falsetto to chase angelic heights, allow delicate sounds to be expressed, and that sounding pretty wasn't the same as sounding weak.

 

Thom Yorke taught me fragility, vulnerability, and ghostliness. How wisping from place to place creates a haunting emotion. 

 

David Ruffin taught me how singing could be explosive, anguished, powerful, and vulnerable at the same time. That you could sound incredibly masculine, distraught, and troubled at the same time. T

 

Toots Hibbert taught me how sounding similar could sound completely opposite emotionally, jubilant, exhilarating and spreading joy.

 

Stevie Wonder taught me a bit of middle voice, improvisational melissma, and taking that mind/body connection of emotion>ear>voice to new levels. He sounds like a lightning rod from emotion to voice, love him.

 

Nina Simone is the ultimately story teller and sounds like she has the strongest emotional prosody of any singer I've ever heard. Every single line, I can tell exactly the emotion she is trying to convey, not just from the words but the sound in her vocal tract, and she always sounds so honest.

 

Al Green taught me twang, he taught me it's ok to have kind of this drunken swaggering kind if passion and that it can sound really exhilarating and that you can do melissma from this kind of angle. 

 

Joe Strummer keeps me in touch with my roots. That deep down, a lot of times I just want to shout if something feels important, urgent. I don't feel very many fancy emotions. I'm an animal, and the emotions I feel are primal. He'd write the most clever lyrics I've heard from a pop lyricist and bark them out with the urgency of a feral dog.

 

Lou Reed taught me that singing out of tune can be more expressive than singing in tune when communicating some things and that somewhere out there, a truly free artist was able to break every commercial rule of the business and succeed. I'm still learning from him as an artist, how to convey broken and flawed imagery.

 

I'm sure I'm missing many, but every singer I've mentioned made me want to sing, influenced my singing voice, and when I hear them today, they still make me want to sing.

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Yea i dont know if he is uber talented and emotional and passionate or just plain crazy. XD

 

He's just listing his favorite singers and what their voice and message taught him.  It be cool to see a similar list from others. 

 

My personal greatest inspirations/influences are John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Roy Orbison, Arthur Lee, Kate Bush, Colin Blunstone, Gram Parsons, and Paul McCartney.  I'd like to think I got a little piece of all of them hidden in my sound somewhere here and there. :P

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He's just listing his favorite singers and what their voice and message taught him. It be cool to see a similar list from others.

My personal greatest influences are John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Roy Orbison, Arthur Lee, Kate Bush, Colin Blunstone, Gram Parsons, and Paul McCartney. I'd like to think I got a little piece of all of them in my sound hidden somewhere here and there. :P

Dont get me wrong i love KillerKu truly. Knoedgable guy. And he always amazes me with depth he feels about music.

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He's just listing his favorite singers and what their voice and message taught him.  It be cool to see a similar list from others. 

 

My personal greatest inspirations/influences are John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Roy Orbison, Arthur Lee, Kate Bush, Colin Blunstone, Gram Parsons, and Paul McCartney.  I'd like to think I got a little piece of all of them hidden in my sound somewhere here and there. :P

 

Very nice. Gram Parsons is often underrated. He was a great singer and his work with both Hillman and Emmylou has some of the best 2 part harmonies around. Gilded Palace of Sin.... Grievous Angel.....Powerful stuff.

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Very nice. Gram Parsons is often underrated. He was a great singer and his work with both Hillman and Emmylou has some of the best 2 part harmonies around. Gilded Palace of Sin.... Grievous Angel.....Powerful stuff.

 

Hell yeah, this is my favorite tune by Gram: 

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We had a thread like this before. Who was your favorite singer. And right off the bat, I said Robert Plant, in spite of his faults. Because he has jazz sensibility, I think. But I have always liked the whole band, Led Zeppelin, each geniuses in their own right. But I also think back about what voices influence me or at least ring in my head. And the first singing voice in my memory is quite a bit before Led Zep. And that was Glen Campbell when he came out with "Wichita Lineman." That clear and ringing voice. So, I think my aim is to sound like Glen Campbell and sing like Robert Plant. By way of Ronnie Van Zandt.

 

I don't know. Those are some of the big influences for style, I think. However, what made me want to build volume in the upper end of my voice was the power of Axl Rose on Appetite for Destruction. I don't want to sound like him, never did. I just liked that power. So, I did whatever it took to build volume and power in my upper range and achieve the whole Glen-Robert-Ronnie thing, I guess.

 

When I say influences and inspirations, it's not that I just have to sound like this or that singer. I worship no man and while I may get some feel or lean into a note based on inspiration, I absolutely do not care if I sound like these singers. And some may think I am not serious because of that. Well, keep thinking that.

 

Because even though the power of Axl's voice was enough of a kick in the pants for me to do something, the first song I was able to sing in the right volume and range was "The Immigrant Song" from Led Zep III.

 

And no, I have not covered "Wichita Lineman" and don't really want to. I do admit to having an ego so large I had to hire a semi rig with a flatbed trailer to carry it around.

:lol:

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   I was born into a family of singers(non professional). Mainly Bluegrass and country-Gospel.

   I watched the first Partridge Family TV show around 6 or 7 years old. I would go around singing "I woke up in love this morning" to the girls in my 2nd grade class. Of course the "Beatles", "Elvis Presley", Doobie Brothers", Countless Motown Artists...........It was great hearing the songs of the 60s and 70s when they were new........

   Why am I still  "learning" how to sing after all that time? When you have over 20 cousins who grew up together and they all sing it is hard to find a "Part" that isn't already taken. Instead of working with me to improve a harmony they would just find the cousin who already sounded good singing it. Those that did sound good could not explain what the difference was in how I was singing and how they were singing.

    To just sing does not work out all the problems. I have been doing that for over 40 years.

 

Interesting. That's a damn shame that they didn't try to help you as much as they could have. I sometimes wish I grew up in a family where everyone was singing, but then I remember how great learning to sing by studying the voice is. When you use your voice, there's much more purpose. You know what you're doing and why you're doing it a lot more instead of just trying to sing a certain way "because it sounds good that way."

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Interesting. That's a damn shame that they didn't try to help you as much as they could have. I sometimes wish I grew up in a family where everyone was singing, but then I remember how great learning to sing by studying the voice is. When you use your voice, there's much more purpose. You know what you're doing and why you're doing it a lot more instead of just trying to sing a certain way "because it sounds good that way."

    Some of them were willing but didn't know how to help. Suggestions like sing to the back of the room was the best they could do.

Otherwise I was told to sing someone else's part because I was messing them up. We would get together on Saturday nights, every one had their own harmonies to sing..

    I guess I should add that I was between the ages of 5 and 10 when most of this took place.......but it gets into your psyche and is hard to displace.

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Some of them were willing but didn't know how to help. Suggestions like sing to the back of the room was the best they could do.

Otherwise I was told to sing someone else's part because I was messing them up. We would get together on Saturday nights, every one had their own harmonies to sing..

I guess I should add that I was between the ages of 5 and 10 when most of this took place.......but it gets into your psyche and is hard to displace.

Yeah, I can understand that. I still remember back in like 2nd grade, we had chorus class, and then there was an all-city chorus (which is weird now that I think about it, because we lived in a town). It was made up of kids who went to the school district. I tried out and didn't make it. That stuck with me for a while, because it was like I wasn't good enough. And the other thing about that, I could have been working with the guy who became my coach later on back then. I would've had 13 years of practice under my belt by now.

It's okay, because I've been working hard, and I know I'm good enough to get into something like that now.

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