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What makes a great male singer?

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CasenW
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Not bad? I saw some lady, in the comments on one of your videos, saying she's falling in love with you! Unless she's not the one you want ;)

You're in an interesting place. You'll probably start hearing what you want to hear when your voice gets some more texture to it, and it will. Look for ways to spice things up. Add more energy.

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       You are young. You have a really good voice now and you are using it. What sets apart a good singer from a great singer?  Apart from things like Pitch accuracy and and a good tone I would think personality and believability.

    Sincerity is the key. Once you can fake that you have it made. :lol:

  Seriously, A great singer takes the audience for a ride with them. You are not just singing for yourself you are entertaining other people too. Projecting the emotions of the song and telling the story of the song also. This is something that has to come from within you. Dynamics(soft vs. harsh, Quiet Vs.loud, clean vs. distorted, Vibrato vs. no vibrato) are things to think about when practicing or working on your songs they help express feelings and make a song less boring and more entertaining.

  The training of the voice is importaint because it gives you the tools for expressing yourself and the song when it comes time to sing.

  You have a great start do not think that others are passing you by. We each have our own journey. Experience is a great teacher.

 

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I think like all great musicians, you need to learn the technique well enough that you can start to forget it and lose yourself in the music and emotion. To me, the best singers are lost in the ether of their performance. No technique can equal emotional honesty. 

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To echo Phil a bit, I think what makes a great male singer is the same that makes a great female singer; emotionally connecting to your audience. 

 

Since this board is more technique based, from a technical stand point, what makes a great singer is being able to manipulate your folds, vocal tract, embaucher, throat shapes (vowels), volume, air pressure/resistance etc to get a sound that emotionally connects to your audience :P

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Just a question (not a trick one, I'm also wondering about myself), do you think that you could relate to a guy singing in this style?

 

I think so. But the yodeling thing she does would likely be a lot more noticeable in a dude. Would be interesting to see how male voice, particularly the deeper variety navigate it. 

 

As to the topic title. For me, I like singers that emotionally connect. I like to hear elements of their humanity, and attempts to convey imagery, analogy, emotions, stories, melody, phrasing, timing, and such for me. "Movement of sound by human voice." It's an art form, like they paint the voice into my ear. A lot of it is the in the texture, the timbre of the voice.

 

For every supposed technical rule, someone breaks it and it connects with me. So I'm a bit hesitant to define what makes someone great. I've been known to enjoy pitchy singers, straining singers, singers who violate traditional timing, weird accents, or even wordless singing. I think I've enjoyed singers conveying most emotions I've experienced, and even some I hadn't experienced until they exposed me to them.

 

It's probably helpful to be in tune, be able to control your straining, and be able to be on time, be able to sing a native relevant language, sure, but ultimately, for me these rules keep getting broken. Some singers are more commercially successful than others, others have more proficiency at manipulating the physical components of the instrument to achieve a result, but when I listen to singing it's emotional for me. It's an art form and there is no way to really quantify it.

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I think so. But the yodeling thing she does would likely be a lot more noticeable in a dude. Would be interesting to see how male voice, particularly the deeper variety navigate it. 

 

As to the topic title. For me, I like singers that emotionally connect. I like to hear elements of their humanity, and attempts to convey imagery, analogy, emotions, stories, melody, phrasing, timing, and such for me. "Movement of sound by human voice." It's an art form, like they paint the voice into my ear. A lot of it is the in the texture, the timbre of the voice.

 

For every supposed technical rule, someone breaks it and it connects with me. So I'm a bit hesitant to define what makes someone great. I've been known to enjoy pitchy singers, straining singers, singers who violate traditional timing, weird accents, or even wordless singing. I think I've enjoyed singers conveying most emotions I've experienced, and even some I hadn't experienced until they exposed me to them.

 

It's probably helpful to be in tune, be able to control your straining, and be able to be on time, be able to sing a native relevant language, sure, but ultimately, for me these rules keep getting broken. Some singers are more commercially successful than others, others have more proficiency at manipulating the physical components of the instrument to achieve a result, but when I listen to singing it's emotional for me. It's an art form and there is no way to really quantify it.

​I agree with a lot of your points here.  I think that it's important to learn good technique though because once you have mastered the "rules" you can easily break them. :) Where as someone who just never learned them might be kinda stuck.  There is a big debate among singers as to if taking lessons might make your voice more technical and take away your unique edge but I believe that is mostly false.  If you have a teacher that is interested in you achieving your artistic potential and not bogging you down with rules and limitations on what you should be able to sing, then I believe it's almost always a better investment to get at least some kind of help.  

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​I agree with a lot of your points here.  I think that it's important to learn good technique though because once you have mastered the "rules" you can easily break them. :) Where as someone who just never learned them might be kinda stuck.  There is a big debate among singers as to if taking lessons might make your voice more technical and take away your unique edge but I believe that is mostly false.  If you have a teacher that is interested in you achieving your artistic potential and not bogging you down with rules and limitations on what you should be able to sing, then I believe it's almost always a better investment to get at least some kind of help.  

If you want to be a successful singer, I would venture a guess than 95+ percent of the time, getting help will help you achieve those goals.

 

If you want to be an extremely unique singer with a strong singular identity. I think it's really a case by case basis. Knowledge changes people. If Bob Dylan was raised by an operatic mother he'd likely be a very different singer and even teaching Bob opera at this point might hinder his vocal habits.

 

I can speak personally as a before and after that my voice and priorities changed significantly as my technical knowledge of voice changed. If you take a cave man out of his habitat, and introduce him to modern vocal science and vocal instruction, it will affect him, no matter how much he tries to stay true to his cultural roots. Even knowing the rules is an influence, as you then have to intellectually decide what to keep or throw away.

 

I don't make much value judgement as to whether the current influence of cultural elements on my voice is better or worse, but it is different. I handle things differently vocally. I have different habits. I can sing many styles intuitively and some with emotional honestly, but as a consequence, I'd be less likely to be known for 'a single, cohesive style' than Joe Strummer who trained his voice to be one guy, one style. And I personally find it a lot more difficult to 'go back'  and try to achieve something as cohesive with my voice as he achieved now that I've expressed my voice honestly and emotionally with a broad spectrum of sounds/styles that I may have never discovered without some kind of intellectual influence.

 

Anyway, the root of the problem is the chances of finding a unique voice and succeeding with your health intact as Bob as Joe are very low whether you have help or not. So in general if singing professionally on any level is a serious goal in your life it's wise to get help. Most successful singers, are just surviving singing. They aren't icons. 

 

If you don't care about success and would sing in a vacuum, it's a more interesting question. My vocal problems may or may not be related to the introduction of outside influences like the 'tongue pull' thing. If I had never encountered that exercise, it's possible I may have never arrive at this website, be singing more like Joe, and not speaking to you. I think some questions simply aren't answerable so you just have to role with whatever choices were made and make the best of your current situation rather than thinking 'what if.'

 

If your choice is instruction, make the best of it roll along. If your choice is to sing in the wilderness and take a journey of self discovery, make the best of that. My only advice for people singing in the wilderness is it can be dangerous so be alert and listen to your body. It's actually the same advice I'd give to someone who is listening to instructions: bad or misinterpreted instructions can sometimes be more dangerous than simply listening to your body and singing comfortably.

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If you want to be a successful singer, I would venture a guess than 95+ percent of the time, getting help will help you achieve those goals.

 

If you want to be an extremely unique singer with a strong singular identity. I think it's really a case by case basis. Knowledge changes people. If Bob Dylan was raised by an operatic mother he'd likely be a very different singer and even teaching Bob opera at this point might hinder his vocal habits.

 

I can speak personally as a before and after that my voice and priorities changed significantly as my technical knowledge of voice changed. If you take a cave man out of his habitat, and introduce him to modern vocal science and vocal instruction, it will affect him, no matter how much he tries to stay true to his cultural roots. Even knowing the rules is an influence, as you then have to intellectually decide what to keep or throw away.

 

I don't make much value judgement as to whether the current influence of cultural elements on my voice is better or worse, but it is different. I handle things differently vocally. I have different habits. I can sing many styles intuitively and some with emotional honestly, but as a consequence, I'd be less likely to be known for 'a single, cohesive style' than Joe Strummer who trained his voice to be one guy, one style. And I personally find it a lot more difficult to 'go back'  and try to achieve something as cohesive with my voice as he achieved now that I've expressed my voice honestly and emotionally with a broad spectrum of sounds/styles that I may have never discovered without some kind of intellectual influence.

 

Anyway, the root of the problem is the chances of finding a unique voice and succeeding with your health intact as Bob as Joe are very low whether you have help or not. So in general if singing professionally on any level is a serious goal in your life it's wise to get help. Most successful singers, are just surviving singing. They aren't icons. 

 

If you don't care about success and would sing in a vacuum, it's a more interesting question. My vocal problems may or may not be related to the introduction of outside influences like the 'tongue pull' thing. If I had never encountered that exercise, it's possible I may have never arrive at this website, be singing more like Joe, and not speaking to you. I think some questions simply aren't answerable so you just have to role with whatever choices were made and make the best of your current situation rather than thinking 'what if.'

 

If your choice is instruction, make the best of it roll along. If your choice is to sing in the wilderness and take a journey of self discovery, make the best of that. My only advice for people singing in the wilderness is it can be dangerous so be alert and listen to your body. It's actually the same advice I'd give to someone who is listening to instructions: bad or misinterpreted instructions can sometimes be more dangerous than simply listening to your body and singing comfortably.

​Yeah I get what you are saying for sure.  I really respect guys who go for singing with the attitude "I just want to learn by myself to discover as crass and raw of a voice as I can."  These are the kinda guys that are typically not worried about having the seamless bridge or flawless head voice but rather the Bob Dylan-esque kinda guys as you would say.

 I think everyone has the right to approach music in any way they may so please.  I especially have one friend back home in mind who is a street musician in New Orleans.  He has a really solid kind of folky sound and his voice isn't winning any technique awards but man it is definitely a cool, raw sound no doubt to the credit of his methods of just going for it.  

It's a double edged sword though because you might not have a voice too long if you approach it like this.  Some get lucky and develop a relatively healthy techniques (some might even develop perfectly healthy habits) but others might just set themselves up for a nice stroll through nodule park.

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