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Losing bassy sound of chest voice

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Mr Hadeon
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My upper range is weak unless I lean heavily on my head voice but then I lose ALL my baritone chest sound. I've been told my chest voice sounds like Corey Taylor, but my upper voice sounds like Axel Rose. This isn't working. :(

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Hi, welcome to the forum. I would love to hear a sample clip of what you are talking about so its easier to understand what exactly is happening. Also if you can load up a pic in your profile, it can be anything that you want to use as an avatar. Its one of the only requirements in this forum and It helps people identify you easily. Can't wait to hear what's up.

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Thank you kindly for your reply. I've uploaded a pic as per your suggestion. I don't have any clips of me singing like axel as it sounds pretty embarrassing! Although now I'm considering doing it just for any kind of help!

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Sound clips, of course man. People can't really address you specifically without you existing. I'm uncertain of whether you're talking about an aesthetic problem with your high notes or a problem with balancing the voice in general.

I can speak for myself, but I can pass for a high baritone, or a low tenor depending on where my resonance sits and how I choose to use my voice. I've had quite a bit of experience losing balance between a higher placement and keeping my lowest notes stable. 

The one thing that has been true, s the more free flowing the phonation (least push/squeeze/pulling), the less chest I lose. In the earliest days, when I was shouting, my larynx actually shot up and the supporting muscles would kick in and stabilize it So when I tried to go back down, my larynx would be refexively high and some degree tension. In latter days, inefficient use of the folds and supporting muscles, can result in slight tension that prevented a free flowing and complete relaxation.

Balance, I think is getting a free flowing coordination with minimal wear or force on the voice. And any unwanted tensions or habits occurring that will interfere will be minimized. The more free the voice gets from unnecessary tensions in each part of your voice, the less those tensions will remain and interfere in other parts.

I'm still uncertain of is whistle voice. I think by nature and definition it involves some kind of tension. If I make that noise for too long, (which I generally don't) it tends to destabilize my chest voice more than anything.

But if what you're looking for a voice that is less like Axl, you'll need to train for that, and that's beyond the scope of this post. That's some serious, long term training, probably with guided instruction with very specific advice. Even singing like Axl is a tall order and is pretty advanced as it is.  I don't know if anyone would have realistic forum advice for goal like that. It's a very specific, but complex goal.

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Post a sound clip I promise you nobody here will judge you negatively even if you post the most horrifying Axl Rose impression-esque clip of all time.  This is coming from a guy who is renowned by his friends as having one of the shittiest high range voices they've ever heard so don't worry you are just starting out, it's no big deal if it isn't perfect.  But if we can't hear you it's impossible to give you any advice.

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I am very careful who I let hear me sing. I have noticed people aren't always that nice when it comes to singers. the forum however, know where you're coming from and will never tell you to stop singing. 

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Sorry guys, I finally got around to getting a decent set up to record something. I recorded the part of snuff that I feel sits at the top of comfortable range. So my hopes is that you can hear what I'm doing wrong and why i cant naturally sing higher than this. 

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I'm under the impression it would be easier to tell what is wrong by hearing what is wrong rather than what is going right. In a sense, it's kind of like, 'here's my speaking voice, why can't I sing Dio?'

It could be a lot of things, you might be using a type of rasp that uses your true vocal folds and have difficulty getting getting closure in head voice. You might not have a smoothed out passaggio. You might push the lower register to the point where it flips into falsetto. You might use vowels that are counterproductive for bridging and getting more body in the head voice. Your fold closure a little too open/breathy or not open enough.  

You also might want to try singing without rasp when trying to figure out what your voice is doing and adding the rasp back on. It can mask a lot of what is going on with the voice, imo. There are a lot of different forms of rasp and a lot of them sound pretty similar but they can be produced different ways and it's an added ingredient that can make it both harder to dial something in or hear how it is functioning.

I can picture a lot of things happening if you were to raise that kind of voice up further. If you changed nothing it might pull, or push, or strain. If you changed something, well... I wouldn't know what you'd be changing, cause you changed it, right? :4:

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I'm under the impression it would be easier to tell what is wrong by hearing what is wrong rather than what is going right. In a sense, it's kind of like, 'here's my speaking voice, why can't I sing Dio?'

It could be a lot of things, you might be using a type of rasp that uses your true vocal folds and have difficulty getting getting closure in head voice. You might not have a smoothed out passaggio. You might push the lower register to the point where it flips into falsetto. You might use vowels that are counterproductive for bridging and getting more body in the head voice. Your fold closure a little too open/breathy or not open enough.  

You also might want to try singing without rasp when trying to figure out what your voice is doing and adding the rasp back on. It can mask a lot of what is going on with the voice, imo. There are a lot of different forms of rasp and a lot of them sound pretty similar but they can be produced different ways and it's an added ingredient that can make it both harder to dial something in or hear how it is functioning.

I can picture a lot of things happening if you were to raise that kind of voice up further. If you changed nothing it might pull, or push, or strain. If you changed something, well... I wouldn't know what you'd be changing, cause you changed it, right? :4:

Thank you for listening. I think everything you said seems plausible, which makes me think i utilize very bad technique lol i know I cannot use this sound of a voice to go into my head voice - that's for sure. That's why i feel this part of the song sits atop my natural range. The singer goes much higher toward the end of the song and i cannot hit those notes like this. I flip out of my voice or strain terribly. 

I thought perhaps one simply could hear what i am doing wrong in the clip but that's kind of silly i realize. Maybe because I can hear where I'm struggling :lol:

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Thank you for listening. I think everything you said seems plausible, which makes me think i utilize very bad technique lol i know I cannot use this sound of a voice to go into my head voice - that's for sure. That's why i feel this part of the song sits atop my natural range. The singer goes much higher toward the end of the song and i cannot hit those notes like this. I flip out of my voice or strain terribly. 

I thought perhaps one simply could hear what i am doing wrong in the clip but that's kind of silly i realize. Maybe because I can hear where I'm struggling :lol:

I could hear hints of what I thought might be an escalating pattern, but it sounded more or less under control. Pitch is pretty good, timbre is stable. Your sound has aesthetic appeal as it is.

But it's very likely something will need to change when ascending. A lot of people sing with some degree of effort in their voice, and while it's probably not the healthiest way to sing, it can sound interesting and appealing, and engaged. How much effort in the voice is safe over the long term, seems to be a bit up for debate.

If effort escalates steadily with pitch, and strain forms, and it reaches critical mass and then breaks? That's limiting and fatiguing for one, and if you want to sing high at some point even the highest voice types would tap out. A lot of singing technique is about making more efficient use of the voice, applying the effort that is needed. So even if you still choose to push things around a bit, you'd have a alternate more efficient method of getting there to utilize.

Regardless, it will take time and training. No single post here could fix it, and it's going to take probably some really specific effort on your part to train smart which could involve learning from teachers/programs and the forum itself has good information. There isn't really a singular piece of advice, even if I could tell you what was going wrong, that could fix it.

"What's wrong with my golf sing? It never goes in the hole?" -Aspiring golfer

"Well, I can spot a few things that are out of form, but the real answer is it will also take a huge amount of smart training and no single piece of advice could really suffice." - Golf Instructor.

Add to that, the voice is inside your body so people can't fully see your form. They can hear it and get an idea of what it might be doing. But they could be wrong  if they tried to explain to you what to do, you might misinterpret it. It's complicated. Sometimes it can help. But often times one on one real time scenarios are most helpful. I guess if I could sum up advice to other singers who aren't getting professional lessons:

"Explore all of your voice, no matter how good or bad it sounds in the least strained and painful way possible. Through these explorations you might find efficient and flexible ways of coordinating your voice to reduce strain, increase range, control, dynamics, and timbre possibilities. Try not to judge the sound of any voice that is not strained or fatiguing as most can be a stable point to launch into another voice that sounds different but might have a similar coordination. It could take years or a lifetime depending on what you find." 

So if you sound like terrible Axl Rose for example, but it's stable (unstrained, controllable), I'd keep that as a tool in your toolbox. If you sound like terrible Axl rose and it's unstable, (strained, uncontrollable) then toss it aside and look for something more stable. You can start from a stable voice and alter it a lot until it barely resembles the original voice. Starting with an unstable voice, there's no foundation from which to grow. Anything stable is a foundation to explore from, when it loses stability or starts to strain, go back to the stable platform and branch another direction.

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That's a pretty good job on the Slipknot cover. I used to wonder who I sounded like. I was not trying to sound like anyone, I just wanted to know who I sound like. As it turns, a bunch of different people and it depends on who is commenting and what day it is.

Don't let the idea of treating head voice as separate stop you. Personally, I see one voice and seek the one voice thing, so, oddly enough, it now sounds like I have one voice. But that works for me and may not work for you at this time.

But I will say this: yes, the singing voice and the speaking voice are different. That's a good place to start.

 

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I could hear hints of what I thought might be an escalating pattern, but it sounded more or less under control. Pitch is pretty good, timbre is stable. Your sound has aesthetic appeal as it is.

But it's very likely something will need to change when ascending. A lot of people sing with some degree of effort in their voice, and while it's probably not the healthiest way to sing, it can sound interesting and appealing, and engaged. How much effort in the voice is safe over the long term, seems to be a bit up for debate.

If effort escalates steadily with pitch, and strain forms, and it reaches critical mass and then breaks? That's limiting and fatiguing for one, and if you want to sing high at some point even the highest voice types would tap out. A lot of singing technique is about making more efficient use of the voice, applying the effort that is needed. So even if you still choose to push things around a bit, you'd have a alternate more efficient method of getting there to utilize.

So if you sound like terrible Axl Rose for example, but it's stable (unstrained, controllable), I'd keep that as a tool in your toolbox. If you sound like terrible Axl rose and it's unstable, (strained, uncontrollable) then toss it aside and look for something more stable. You can start from a stable voice and alter it a lot until it barely resembles the original voice. Starting with an unstable voice, there's no foundation from which to grow. Anything stable is a foundation to explore from, when it loses stability or starts to strain, go back to the stable platform and branch another direction.

this is really some great feedback and explanation in general to help me think about how I can proceed forward training to raise my range. I wasn't sure how "normal" it is that i am pushing the voice a bit (feels compressed??). I would say that it does escalate in effort and would lead to failure if this song was in a different key i believe. I've had the thought because other singers can take this kind of sound much higher while maintaining fullness, there's something wrong with my approach. 

lol about the "terrible" Axl thing. He's got this weird (kinda full) head/falsetto like voice. I was using Axl to (poorly) describe not being able to keep the sound of my chest voice . If i push for the higher notes, i will break and flip into head voice. If i smooth into them by reducing the volume/rasp of my last notes, then my voice goes into using rasp/head voice sound and the chest is gone and so is the volume. The only part of the original voice is in the rasp sound so i feel like im leaning on it to keep any kind of fullness. 

I feel i sound like a bad axl rose impression when im in head voice looking for the original fullness of the chest - and if i go into my nose - it's game over for anyone within earshot. :(

 

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That's a pretty good job on the Slipknot cover. I used to wonder who I sounded like. I was not trying to sound like anyone, I just wanted to know who I sound like. As it turns, a bunch of different people and it depends on who is commenting and what day it is.

Don't let the idea of treating head voice as separate stop you. Personally, I see one voice and seek the one voice thing, so, oddly enough, it now sounds like I have one voice. But that works for me and may not work for you at this time.

But I will say this: yes, the singing voice and the speaking voice are different. That's a good place to start.

 

Thank you very kindly. I've always felt it was very easy to sing and sound similar to corey with his lower range, particularly when i open my throat. The rasp he uses seems to come second nature (i also cover Bush, another band with a singer who uses a lot of rasp) somewhat easily. 

I do treat head voice as a separate mainly because it just sounds so dang different with my voice. lol

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Nothing wrong with that. And here is a lesson from Corey Taylor from his memoirs (actually, I have his first two books.) He thought he could not be a good singer because he did not and does not sound like Steven Tyler, someone he holds in high esteem. I know, crazy, right? Same goes for you. Discover how your voice works and then do something with it.

One of my favorite quotes for life itself and music in general is from Corey Taylor. "Imitation is the sincerest flattery. Individuality is the key to immortality."

Think about that, memorize it, live it, breathe it, be it.

You are the next "Corey Taylor" or "Ronnie James Dio" or whatever. They can be your inspiration and fuel for ideas but you are and will be the next generation.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

ronws, thank you for your reply. I would say that learning your own voice is important to growing as a singer but it can be quite difficult to get away from wanting to sound like your favorite singers. I think this may be my problem because it's easy to sound like this person or that person leading me to expect to always sound like them and then i run into a problem like i've started here in this thread where i am going "why don't i sound like xx in my upper range??". 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the same problem, I can sound pretty familiar to X or Z singer, so I often tend to imitate slightly their voices when singing their material. This in itself is not bad, it just trains different aspects of my voice. The important thing is that I must remember to keep it free and unstrained. Not look for sound colors and just let them happen on whatever feels more comfortable in my voice.  And then move from that comfortable spot.

 

Good luck, man, with your training. If you wanna chat about technique or show me stuff just send me a message. :P

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I can sympathize a little bit what it must be like to want to be or sound like another singer. I don't understand it fully but I can imagine a little. So, the solution? Stop it.

I like Xamedhi's advice and that is probably how a lot of us approach it.

That being said, if I cover a song by a singer that I like and sound nothing like him, I will think twice about posting or sharing it here. Because so many, including myself, will compare to the original.

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