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IAm a singer, and this is my progress thread.
September 2, 2014
6:39 pm
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IAm
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Hi all. This will be the place where I, when able and willing, will discuss matters of my vocal development as I continue to practice and learn.

I am quite busy with a full-time job, a marriage and a band that has a LOT of recording/mixing/mastering to do... that said, I don't really have a soundboard for my stream of voice-related consciousness, so this will do quite nicely when time permits.

I appreciate your time and attention, should you just so happen to be reading any of my prattle. Embarassed

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

September 2, 2014
7:05 pm
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IAm
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I will recap, for the sake of preserving memory as close to incident as possible, the manner in which I have come to a place such as this.

- Write new tunes with old friends/band-mates.
- Realize that, though reminiscent of prior output, that we'd come across something vastly different than our first incarnation.
- In exploring facets of the above, discover that certain passages of our music would be best paired with actual singing, as opposed to scary angry noises.
- Being a person that has high standards for my own performance, readily admit that I have a lot of work to do should I intend to find myself compelling as a SINGER, rather than a scary angry noisy person.
- Immediately seek guidance.
- Look into voice coaches. Land on Phil Moufarrege, since he shares his information in a manner that is devoid of fluffy bullshit, and doesn't carry himself like a fucking asshole.

Fast-forward half a year or so, and here I am. Several tunes that used to be difficult to me have become natural, and I am able to sing them with confidence. Other songs that were flat-out *not happening* for me have now come into the realm of tangible possibility.

For the sake of context, it bears mention that my voice is seated around Baritone range at present, which I am attempting to expand (slowly, carefully) into the tenor range.

Big hurdles for me at present:
- Stamina in the A4 - C4 area. A4 is slowly being nicer to me. B and C are not presently on speaking terms with me, so my visits to them are brief.
- Distortion via glottal compression. I am like a baby finding its legs with this at this time. When it comes, it is occasional and undeveloped sounding.
- If singing very soft and gingerly is 10%, and full-on belting is 100%, I don't like the way I sound at 35 - 45%.

Food calls. KissKissKiss

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

September 2, 2014
8:25 pm
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quentin
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I found your thread funny because i used to do some metal growls on my own years ago , as along my classic rock influences there was also some heavier stuff.
I would actually have good sounding low "false chord" growls but i never figured out how to get the high screeching one.

I have also remarked that a lot of talented extreme vocalists end up adding more clean tones into their stuff and being actually quite good at it.
I like Bjorn Strid from Soilwork and Rody Walker from Protest the hero, who are very versatile and can switch from very agressive singing to softer tones.

I am curious about your own references

September 2, 2014
9:55 pm
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Hi there!

I'm glad you're hip to the technique. For me, the screechier-sounding false-fold distortion is enabled by two things: making the pharyngeal area smaller, and opening up the mask. Bearing the top row of teeth seems to aid resonance as well.

Both of the dudes you've mentioned are extremely talented! I really appreciate vocalists with dynamic. There are very few strict screamers that I find impressive. There are a few, to be sure...

As for my tunes:
I'm forming a new band with some old band-mates. We have yet to decide on a name for this project. We originally intended to write music for our original project, but it took a left turn and decided it wanted to be a new thing. As with the old project, I will share vocal duties with another fella by the name of John. We're recording a demo which I will be happy to share once complete. For now, check out our old stuff!

I'm doing the backups, higher-pitched stuff, and playing guitar.
SWWAATS - The Tamagotchi Gesture

In the video below, I'm stage left/right side of the screen, with the mic stand and tipsy headbanging.
Live in Norwich, UK 2009

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

September 3, 2014
5:23 am
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quentin
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Great tones. These kickdrums never cease to amaze me. You guys are quite Advanced regarding songwriting, execution, and stage presence.

Some cleaner vocals could definitely add some space and melody because your songs are very dense. I can imagine for the stuff you guys are doing, you want some heavy and raspy clean vocals

September 3, 2014
5:44 am
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Why thank you! And thanks for taking the time to listen to our tunes! Smile

Our new stuff has a lot of these elements, but had far more dynamic and leans a bit more towards "progressive" metal, or so I am told. Thus our making it a new band rather than another album for the old one. It makes more sense as its own entity.

We'll likely require many kinds of vocal styles to do the songs justice. Among them, however, is what you've mentioned. Working on a few healthy forms of melodic distortion. Also working on expressing anger/frustration in the voice *without* distortion. It's an interesting challenge. Cool

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

September 3, 2014
6:17 am
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Anyway, I digress. This is a progress diary! Embarassed

In the morning on the way to work, I like to do the following things:
- Long sustained hisses and big, sharp diaphragmatic breaths to wake up the support system.
- Long sustained hums with focus on the mask resonance. The scope of this is stimulating the sinuses to help clear them out. Best coupled with sharp sniffing breaths through the nose, and a lot of swallowing in lieu of clearing the throat.
- Long sustained single notes with the "EE" vowel.
- Long sustained single notes, starting with "EE" and opening up to "AH"
- Long sustained notes alternating from "EE" to "AH" and back repeatedly. The scope here is getting them to sound even in resonance. A work in progress, of course.
- If I encounter cracking/dropout on any single note I choose, I will sing a half to full step above, then below it, and then return to it. I'll repeat the process until the note rings clear.

This is just a way for me to get the voice started. I have to speak to quite a few people fairly often at my job so doing this gets my voice production habits in order prior to all that talking. Yell

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

September 3, 2014
8:14 am
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Phil Moufarrege
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IAm said
Big hurdles for me at present:
- Stamina in the A4 - C4 area. A4 is slowly being nicer to me. B and C are not presently on speaking terms with me, so my visits to them are brief.
- Distortion via glottal compression. I am like a baby finding its legs with this at this time. When it comes, it is occasional and undeveloped sounding.
- If singing very soft and gingerly is 10%, and full-on belting is 100%, I don't like the way I sound at 35 - 45%.

Food calls. KissKissKiss

What will help you with all these things is focusing strictly on the restrained sensation that helps glottal compression come into play. Focusing on restraining the sound and so that you feel the resonance start shifting BEFORE you get stuck will give you a sensation that you are guaranteed to hit those notes. When working on song phrases slow them down like crazy and do many reps in the area. Ensure you have the sensation that the song phrase feels like one vowel and OPEN in the throat. Feel free to upload a clip up here for further help

@PhilMoufarrege
Online Vocal Coach, Singer/Songwriter
Grow-The-Voice.com | PHILMOUFARREGE.com

September 3, 2014
7:19 pm
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IAm
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Phil Moufarrege said

IAm said
Big hurdles for me at present:
- Stamina in the A4 - C4 area. A4 is slowly being nicer to me. B and C are not presently on speaking terms with me, so my visits to them are brief.
- Distortion via glottal compression. I am like a baby finding its legs with this at this time. When it comes, it is occasional and undeveloped sounding.
- If singing very soft and gingerly is 10%, and full-on belting is 100%, I don't like the way I sound at 35 - 45%.

Food calls. KissKissKiss

What will help you with all these things is focusing strictly on the restrained sensation that helps glottal compression come into play. Focusing on restraining the sound and so that you feel the resonance start shifting BEFORE you get stuck will give you a sensation that you are guaranteed to hit those notes. When working on song phrases slow them down like crazy and do many reps in the area. Ensure you have the sensation that the song phrase feels like one vowel and OPEN in the throat. Feel free to upload a clip up here for further help

Hi Phil! Yessir, that is precisely what I've been working on. Making good progress too. There was A LOT for me to chew on in our past two sessions we had together!

I think that initially, I was reacting incorrectly to the term "compression"; I had to come to realize that it was not about the air under the folds, and more about the folds' resistance to the natural "release" of the diaphragm/abdomen. More air *does not* mean more compression, and my body not realizing this was causing some unnecessary tensions (my mind understood it the first time you told me Laugh ). This greatly aided in getting used to the sensation of *backing off* of the air for my higher notes, rather than trying to overcompensate because I perceived something to be difficult. Am I close to making sense here?

Anyhow, still working the steps, and teaching my muscles what the mind understands.

In a semi-related note, big thanks to you for the content of the recent sessions. There was a part I wrote for a song on our demo that I wasn't quite satisfied with; the skill I've developed in the past few weeks helped me to re-write the part in a way that I enjoy a lot more. Huge, dude!

I'll be e-mailing you soon about booking another session. Cool

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

September 3, 2014
8:44 pm
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Phil Moufarrege
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IAm said
This greatly aided in getting used to the sensation of *backing off* of the air for my higher notes, rather than trying to overcompensate because I perceived something to be difficult. Am I close to making sense here?

Yes you want to feel like as you go higher the distance between notes gets less and less. With the air, make sure to maintain a 3/4 full tank of air so that the chest can maintain expansion.

IAm said In a semi-related note, big thanks to you for the content of the recent sessions. There was a part I wrote for a song on our demo that I wasn't quite satisfied with; the skill I've developed in the past few weeks helped me to re-write the part in a way that I enjoy a lot more. Huge, dude!

I'll be e-mailing you soon about booking another session. Cool

Awesome!!!!

@PhilMoufarrege
Online Vocal Coach, Singer/Songwriter
Grow-The-Voice.com | PHILMOUFARREGE.com

September 3, 2014
11:08 pm
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IAm
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Phil Moufarrege said
Yes you want to feel like as you go higher the distance between notes gets less and less.

This makes a LOT of sense! On a guitar, the same thing happens as you travel upward in pitch. The fret distance becomes smaller.

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

September 11, 2014
6:19 am
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IAm
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The past week has been bittersweet; whereas I have been proper ill, fever sinus etc., I have discovered that I am able to sing in this condition. I've applied mild exercise to restore the normality of my folds when under stress from sinus drainage/coughing. That was a really good feeling.

Phil, your top-down suggestion works great for smoothing the break in this context, just like you said it would Wink

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

September 11, 2014
8:46 am
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Phil Moufarrege
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IAm said

The past week has been bittersweet; whereas I have been proper ill, fever sinus etc., I have discovered that I am able to sing in this condition. I've applied mild exercise to restore the normality of my folds when under stress from sinus drainage/coughing. That was a really good feeling.

Phil, your top-down suggestion works great for smoothing the break in this context, just like you said it would Wink

That's great you found a way through it. For someone that has already developed a full voice, the top down approach can be extremely advantageous. Once the headvoice begins to get stable it can sustain the weight of chest quite well.

@PhilMoufarrege
Online Vocal Coach, Singer/Songwriter
Grow-The-Voice.com | PHILMOUFARREGE.com

September 16, 2014
11:38 pm
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Shifting resonance really well on G#4 lately. I've come to need much less modification on that note than before. Smile

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

September 16, 2014
11:50 pm
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Marnell Sample
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Good! When you find you don't need to modify the vowel as much, that means you're progressing well!

September 17, 2014
7:51 am
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Marnell Sample said

Good! When you find you don't need to modify the vowel as much, that means you're progressing well!

Sweet, good to hear!! Thanks for dropping in, Marnell! Smile

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

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