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Frost 04-17-2011 06:06 PM

Vocals
 
Just wondering who sings, particularly those trained in singing, looking for some technical advice.

Initially I was struggling to sing most contemporary pieces as while many of the notes were in my range (edit: on the lower end of the scale), they were outside my voice typing and I was unable to achieve a pleasant tone. I could hit the note, not make it sound appealing.

So after consulting some people wondering what my problem was, I was asked to do a few exercises with supporting my voice to try find my tessitura.

Now, here is the brunt of my problem, my comfortable vocal range sits around a tenor, singing higher notes, but I have a propensity to over-extend my range, particularly with the higher head voice notes stretching into the realms of a countertenor vocal range. I believe the root of it is trying to avoid my low end range.

I find this to be an issue as it lands up with me straining my voice unnecessarily. Just wondering if anyone has any advice with control and restraint or dealing with notes at the edge of your vocal range.

Bo Eder 04-17-2011 07:47 PM

Re: Vocals
 
Sounds like the songs you sing should probably transposed down a half- or a whole-step. I played with a guy who's range was alot lower and he was transposing things down a whole third or a fourth. It was almost to the point where it almost didn't sound like the song it was supposed to be.

But, when you take into account that he's entertaining for at least four hours every night for about four nights a week, he was definitely thinking longevity for his performing career.

larryace 04-17-2011 07:50 PM

Re: Vocals
 
One thing that helps me is to keep as much air in my lungs as possible. I can't hit some of my notes unless my chest is expanded all the way.

Frost 04-17-2011 08:41 PM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bo Eder (Post 829490)
Sounds like the songs you sing should probably transposed down a half- or a whole-step. I played with a guy who's range was alot lower and he was transposing things down a whole third or a fourth. It was almost to the point where it almost didn't sound like the song it was supposed to be.

But, when you take into account that he's entertaining for at least four hours every night for about four nights a week, he was definitely thinking longevity for his performing career.

Longevity is certainly an issue, especially when balancing the dynamics of metal vocal techniques and clean singing. I can growl properly, so I don't find that impacts the health of my singing voice but it requires extra care.

My issue is more that most of the music I try to sing over is too low, if anything it needs to be transposed up, I have a higher then average singing voice, but not high enough that I can sing in the equivalent of a female contralto range.

When I sing openly, I don't sing in my natural range, rather a higher, uncomfortable range. I'm not sure how to explain it properly, but it's normal for me to sing outside of my ideal range and I have issues managing some notes or pulling my voice back to a comfortable level. Often when I try pull my voice back the pitch is too low and I have an awkward tone, I'm weak in regards to that mid-low range of singing.

Bo Eder 04-17-2011 10:19 PM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frost (Post 829506)
Longevity is certainly an issue, especially when balancing the dynamics of metal vocal techniques and clean singing. I can growl properly, so I don't find that impacts the health of my singing voice but it requires extra care.

My issue is more that most of the music I try to sing over is too low, if anything it needs to be transposed up, I have a higher then average singing voice, but not high enough that I can sing in the equivalent of a female contralto range.

When I sing openly, I don't sing in my natural range, rather a higher, uncomfortable range. I'm not sure how to explain it properly, but it's normal for me to sing outside of my ideal range and I have issues managing some notes or pulling my voice back to a comfortable level. Often when I try pull my voice back the pitch is too low and I have an awkward tone, I'm weak in regards to that mid-low range of singing.

I'm a little confused. You said the songs most likely should be transposed up, but you also said you're singing in a higher, uncomfortable range. And you're doing this because your singing voice doesn't sound well in the mid range where it's comfortable?

inneedofgrace 04-18-2011 02:02 AM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by larryace (Post 829492)
One thing that helps me is to keep as much air in my lungs as possible. I can't hit some of my notes unless my chest is expanded all the way.

Same here - I find myself struggling unless I'm getting my lungs properly into the singing. Sometimes I try to "muscle" the words as I sing, which strains my voice.

I find that drinking nothing but water (room temperature) helps keep my voice lubricated and not get congested with mucus.

Frost 04-18-2011 11:05 AM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bo Eder (Post 829526)
I'm a little confused. You said the songs most likely should be transposed up, but you also said you're singing in a higher, uncomfortable range. And you're doing this because your singing voice doesn't sound well in the mid range where it's comfortable?

Yeah, it's a confusing predicament, I over-complicated things in mentioning that I started out singing lower and struggled. I have a high voice, not a mid range voice, just not as high as I'm singing. I think I'm over-compensating for having a higher voice and because it contrasts rather dramatically with the music I don't have a good guide for pitch.

I guess that's what happens when you're taken on board to growl and then get asked to provide clean vocals. I can sing, but I'm making no claims to being exceptionally gifted at it and as a musician that takes his instruments seriously I want to try improve.

Bo Eder 04-18-2011 11:22 AM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frost (Post 829798)
Yeah, it's a confusing predicament, I over-complicated things in mentioning that I started out singing lower and struggled. I have a high voice, not a mid range voice, just not as high as I'm singing. I think I'm over-compensating for having a higher voice and because it contrasts rather dramatically with the music I don't have a good guide for pitch.

I guess that's what happens when you're taken on board to growl and then get asked to provide clean vocals. I can sing, but I'm making no claims to being exceptionally gifted at it and as a musician that takes his instruments seriously I want to try improve.

Well, perhaps as a studying musician, maybe getting together with a good vocal coach would be in order? It would be well worth the investment because just like drumming, doing something wrong could be disastrous over time, but instead of messing up your hands, or your back, you're messing up the vocal cords, which would seriously affect basic communication let alone singing. Like everything else, it should be comfortable and not cause any damage.

Frost 04-18-2011 11:39 AM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bo Eder (Post 829807)
Well, perhaps as a studying musician, maybe getting together with a good vocal coach would be in order? It would be well worth the investment because just like drumming, doing something wrong could be disastrous over time, but instead of messing up your hands, or your back, you're messing up the vocal cords, which would seriously affect basic communication let alone singing. Like everything else, it should be comfortable and not cause any damage.

I try to learn where I can and ask questions, the reason I am the guy doing the growls is because I can do them properly for an extended period of time without damaging my voice but you're totally right Bo, a coach would help. I guess with time and money it's just easier to take shortcuts and jump online, I had singing lessons years ago when I sang regularly and now I'm singing again with my voice having changed so much it's probably time to re-evaluate.

If you don't mind me asking, do you sing at all Bo or do you just know vocalists? Not enough drummers take up singing in my opinion.

Bo Eder 04-18-2011 10:01 PM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frost (Post 829815)
I try to learn where I can and ask questions, the reason I am the guy doing the growls is because I can do them properly for an extended period of time without damaging my voice but you're totally right Bo, a coach would help. I guess with time and money it's just easier to take shortcuts and jump online, I had singing lessons years ago when I sang regularly and now I'm singing again with my voice having changed so much it's probably time to re-evaluate.

If you don't mind me asking, do you sing at all Bo or do you just know vocalists? Not enough drummers take up singing in my opinion.

I'm definitely a singer. Probably more singer than drummer. It's all over my YouTube channel ;)

Frost 04-19-2011 08:22 AM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bo Eder (Post 829999)
I'm definitely a singer. Probably more singer than drummer. It's all over my YouTube channel ;)

Checked out your channel, very cool Bo, you have a real wedding singer vibe going on.

mediocrefunkybeat 04-19-2011 08:45 AM

Re: Vocals
 
Frost, you think your range is confusing.

I've gone from being a bass (at age twelve) to being a high tenor by the age of twenty. At twenty-two I can consistently get a top C now with the right technique. I'm not particularly qualified to answer your question, but one word of advice to you is to not strain your voice. If you feel your vocal chords starting to ache or you start to lose your voice - stop there and then. I have got a Classical singing background, but I'm not a technician so it's probably best to seek advice from an actual professional!

Bo Eder 04-19-2011 10:02 AM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frost (Post 830228)
Checked out your channel, very cool Bo, you have a real wedding singer vibe going on.

................Thanks?

Frost 04-19-2011 10:38 AM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bo Eder (Post 830239)
................Thanks?

I meant that you come across as having the ability to please a crowd, it wasn't a negative connotation.

Bo Eder 04-19-2011 10:58 AM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frost (Post 830244)
I meant that you come across as having the ability to please a crowd, it wasn't a negative connotation.

Ah. You say "wedding singer" and a questionable movie of the same name comes to mind ;)

Frost 04-19-2011 11:03 AM

Re: Vocals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bo Eder (Post 830246)
Ah. You say "wedding singer" and a questionable movie of the same name comes to mind ;)

Adam Sandler was entertaining in that film, and most wedding singers I've met have been very entertaining, they have a certain vibe of performance where critique is against the spirit of what they're doing. They don't set out to win awards, they set out for the reward of making someones day.

EDIT: Not that I'm saying you can't win awards, that wasn't an underhand criticism Bo, you're a great singer.

inneedofgrace 04-19-2011 05:18 PM

Re: Vocals
 
I have the highest pitched singing voice in my band, so I end up singing leads on songs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR, Cream, Neil Young, Talking Heads, etc.

I made the mistake of trying to push the envelope and sing Rocket Man by Elton John, and it backfired. We spent a couple practices on it, but I just couldn't get all of the vocals within my range. The timing on that song is also much more difficult than I envisioned.

I could never sing a majority of lead vocals, but I can handle 2-3 songs per set. I do contribute to background vocals on many of the other songs, but that doesn't strain the voice like leads do.

I know most drummers use a boom stand mic setup, but I prefer the headset style microphone, especially since I sing lead or background on most songs, and I don't want this boom stand in front of my face for the duration. I know the quality of the mic isn't quite as good, but so be it.

I actually find singing lead easier, because I have never been one that was good at creating harmonies. Once in a while I'll stumble upon a good harmony (usually by accident), but too often I get distracted by the melody and can't seem to train myself to stay on the harmony part.


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