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getting past being a G4 singer
January 9, 2015
6:07 pm
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OwenKorzec
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It seems like all of the songs I can perform well top out at the G4 LOL. It's still not a 100% perfect G4 but my higher notes are more than ready in certain applications and I've been getting bored with just being the guy where every song goes up to the G4 and i figure it bores the audience too.

I guess part of the issue is my A4 doesn't feel totally ready for most songs yet (only some where they're not LOADED with A4's) and I can barely find any songs I know and love that top out at the G#4. It's just hard to find songs that are a good fit for my voice that don't HAPPEN to go up to the G4!

Did anyone else recall going through a phase like this (on whatever high note) and how did you overcome it and work your way up to performing higher stuff?

January 9, 2015
6:39 pm
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daniel formica
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hey owen what i see is the problem being 'topping out". If you have to the G4 happening, then the higher notes should be there as well. Because you are singing passed the passagagio already..Without hearing you i would say you are probably just muscling up to the G because there wouldn't be "topping out". the higher notes are actually easier to sing once you get the passagio worked out. Its always harder to sing in the c4 to A4 range especially if its unbalanced. You could always send me clip of how you are performing the scales/songs if you want.

January 10, 2015
12:25 am
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Phil Moufarrege
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The lesson we had yesterday you were soaring dude, and we were above the G4 and it was free. You need to work on exactly what we did in the lesson. You already have the capability to sing really high, you just need to "find the spot" like I was helping you do. Less in the mouth, more in the head. Watch the video of the lesson and work with it. Be careful not to fall into "it doesn't sound full enough so I'm gonna pull more chest and lose the placement".

Once you get comfortable with getting into that placement all that range you have in the scales will become more and more available quite quickly.

@PhilMoufarrege
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January 10, 2015
3:52 am
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Sexy Beast
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"I've been getting bored with just being the guy where every song goes up to the G4 and i figure it bores the audience too."

No at all! There's so much more about singing than just range.

January 10, 2015
5:05 am
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OwenKorzec
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@Dan:
Yes I think it is kind of topping out but in a very subtle way, it's more of a problem in songs not scales. When I sing a simple scale on any vowel I'm able to shift resonance at the bridges and stay in full voice. But then when it comes to performing songs with lots of changing vowels and consonants plus wanting to make sure I don't crack in front of people I tend to miss the boat on the freedom, head resonance release aspect and sing with more weight, making getting higher with the same quality more difficult. I don't know whether the technique solution is a matter of creating more overlap between the stability of full voice and freedom of head resonance, or just finely managing the balance between the two, but it's just something I'm not able to sit in consistently yet because when I do find release I often lose the stability.

For a file, best thing I have at the moment is my You Make Loving Fun cover I recently posted in the Showcase your singing section. Only problem is it's a recording I could take as many takes as I want on, so it doesn't really show the problem fully like if I performed it one take. But maybe you can still hear through to it in a subtle way.

@Sexy Beast: I don't mean because the range isn't high enough I mean because almost every song goes up to the same note. I could also fix this problem by adding songs that are lower and I feel that would remove their boredom in the same light. So I know I have that half of the solution down, in fact, damn I should just do that a lot more than I have been lol. But I'm just combining it with the issue of I need to work on performing my high range anyway, so I'm forced to stop "topping out" like Dan said - and adding songs above the G4 could help me with that and double as adding variety to my performance in another way.}

January 10, 2015
7:42 am
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quentin
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Owen,

I had this issue too with G4 one a bit more than a year ago. Its not that i couldn't sing higher but anything past G4 would be sketchy or feel like "hit and miss".
I have now a new ceiling around C5, which is kind of my weak spot unless i very warmt up.

Did you try the staccato light mix exercices (trying to do a scale in full voice, but as light as you can)? It helps a lot getting the right placement in the G4 - C5 area.

January 13, 2015
4:09 pm
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mystarryeyes
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@ OwenKorzek: Jeez! I'm an ancient pro singer-songwriter, and have had the same problem for as long as I can recall. It stems from the time my voice changed/broke, back around the tender age of 14. I couldn't sing more than a handful of notes in pure chest voice, for years. I basically had that part of the range which I could 'muscle up' to G4, G#4, with a lot of effort, then a disconnected high head voice, and an ok falsetto. But I had no idea how to fuse the chest and head together, so began a professional career in music where I found myself composing melodies that rarely included notes higher than A4, and - on occasions, higher. Since I mainly employed a pulled chest, with patchy support, at best, it comes as no surprise that I struggled for the majority of my career, which includes the '15 minutes' where I tasted some tangible fame, (though minus the fortune part of the equation!) Yell!
Even though I now finally have enough knowledge and wisdom to sing with correct technique, I have yet to fully break the curse of that G/G#4 part of my range, which is clearly so burned into my muscle memory that it's all too often really tough for me to get past, psychologically speaking. The fact is, I'm now able to tackle songs I could only dream of singing back then, however I'm still having issues with those G4s and such, especially in certain songs, so until I'm able to break free of this curse, I remain a work in progress.

All the best!

John

January 13, 2015
7:37 pm
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Phil Moufarrege
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John it's always gonna be a work in progress no matter what hahahaha!
I don't think any singer or vocal coach worth their salt would claim otherwise. The craft of singing is always honed for the rest of your life.

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January 13, 2015
10:03 pm
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mystarryeyes
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Indeed it is, Phil. But that's half the fun I think. I'm exposed to a lot of really talented singers and I'm constantly attempting to learn something from them. Even if it's simply that I'm never quite a good as I think I am at any given time. LOL! Seriously, it's something that keeps me on my toes and drives me to try and improve. Laugh

January 14, 2015
1:42 am
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Phil Moufarrege
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mystarryeyes said

Indeed it is, Phil. But that's half the fun I think. I'm exposed to a lot of really talented singers and I'm constantly attempting to learn something from them. Even if it's simply that I'm never quite a good as I think I am at any given time. LOL! Seriously, it's something that keeps me on my toes and drives me to try and improve. Laugh

same here bro

@PhilMoufarrege
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January 14, 2015
3:47 am
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OwenKorzec
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I should be more open to asking the singers around me IRL about things they learned. I have had this bad habit of trying to just kinda stay out of their way if I don't already know they're trained, like I'm afraid talking about singing will interfere with their natural talent LOL. I do already learn a lot from fellow singers by observation though

I also had this idea of putting together a "singer's hang" (a friend of mine used to do a monthly "drummer's hang" i believe) but I can't complete the vision in my head in a way congruent with reality. It would make sense if I'm already around singers that obsessively talk about singing but I rarely come across those kinds of singers locally.

January 14, 2015
2:40 pm
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mystarryeyes
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@ OwenKorzec: I know what you mean. Whilst I'm around and in contact with a lot of singers, it's amazing how rarely I get into a conversation with any of them about the subject.
I have on occasions, of course, but I sometimes have the feeling that discussing the subject is almost a little taboo with some of them. I can't help but wonder if some of them are reluctant to share their 'secrets' for fear others will perhaps learn something from them, and somehow become a threat, or they're just natural born singers who don't need to give much thought to it, so therefore don't feel the need to discuss. I find the conversations with the one's who do open up about it, to be fascinating and illuminating. Plus it really helps me gain perspective. That's one of the reasons I love these forums so much. My thanks and appreciation to Phil & Marnell for making this platform available to all of us.

Cheers,

John

January 28, 2015
6:29 pm
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Asim Hussain
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mystarryeyes said

@ OwenKorzek: Jeez! I'm an ancient pro singer-songwriter, and have had the same problem for as long as I can recall. It stems from the time my voice changed/broke, back around the tender age of 14. I couldn't sing more than a handful of notes in pure chest voice, for years. I basically had that part of the range which I could 'muscle up' to G4, G#4, with a lot of effort, then a disconnected high head voice, and an ok falsetto. But I had no idea how to fuse the chest and head together, so began a professional career in music where I found myself composing melodies that rarely included notes higher than A4, and - on occasions, higher. Since I mainly employed a pulled chest, with patchy support, at best, it comes as no surprise that I struggled for the majority of my career, which includes the '15 minutes' where I tasted some tangible fame, (though minus the fortune part of the equation!) Yell!
Even though I now finally have enough knowledge and wisdom to sing with correct technique, I have yet to fully break the curse of that G/G#4 part of my range, which is clearly so burned into my muscle memory that it's all too often really tough for me to get past, psychologically speaking. The fact is, I'm now able to tackle songs I could only dream of singing back then, however I'm still having issues with those G4s and such, especially in certain songs, so until I'm able to break free of this curse, I remain a work in progress.

All the best!

John

I'm sure it's been said here before, but what has helped me access or tap into higher ranges is staccato scales. It's especially helpful to do them with the mouth almost closed, so that you get placement in the head and not the mouth/chest. It's much harder for me to do with the mouth all the way closed, so I split between the head and mouth resonance. The key is to avoid slamming the highest note. If you memorize the sensations, you can translate that and sing G# easier. It worked for me on the B.

Also, this is a strange coincidence. I was reading your post on the Freddie Mercury thread and it turns out I heard your song a month ago on YouTube; it was listed as one of the top 1000 singles of all time on a site I visit. You could write an amazing chorus back then!

January 30, 2015
3:59 pm
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mystarryeyes
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Thanks for the tips, Asim. It's sometimes a physical issue with me on those days when my voice is just not up to par, however, when I am in good vocal shape, I think it's more to do with mastering the singing by feeling, thing, ie: keeping a handle on the correct sensations throughout the range, as you suggested. For instance, when singing during live shows and rehearsals, (without the aid of one ear plugged, or better still, in-ear monitoring) I can so easily find myself becoming too focused on listening to the reflected sound, which oftentimes, effectively has me automatically, unconsciously, altering my technique, and then I find myself struggling. Accordingly, I think the answer in my case, is to learn how to sing entirely by feel, as per Alan Lindquest's teachings. So far, that's proven easier said than done! LOL! I can be singing just fine off mic, but as soon as I step up and sing on mic, that's when things tend to go awry.
As for that song you heard. Was it Starry Eyes? Anyway, I greatly appreciate the kind sentiment. I like to think I'm still composing killer melodies, if I do say so myself.
All I need to do now, is get a firm grasp on the vocal thing so I'm able to consistently deliver great live renditions of the songs! That said, I am getting more and more accolades after live shows, and they come from folks unafraid of telling me I suck, so I must be getting better! Laugh

Thanks again!

John

January 30, 2015
7:04 pm
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OwenKorzec
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mystarryeyes,

Singing is equal parts feeling and hearing. You will need to make sure you can hear yourself well on stage (not what you hear inside you head, but real monitoring mixed to an appropriate level) and also make sure it feels good when you sing in those conditions. Life does happen and sometimes monitoring sucks, I haven't fully learned the tricks to overcome that yet, but my theory is that more often than not we have more control over making the mix right than we give ourselves credit for, even if it involves some trickery with your sound man. I know Phil knows about this stuff pretty well

January 31, 2015
5:28 pm
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mystarryeyes
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@ Owen: Yes indeed. When I say learning to sing by feel, I guess I mean, getting more of a handle on that aspect, whilst still paying attention to what can be heard through the monitors, assuming the mix is decent. I do know that whenever the monitoring situation is inadequate, I sing consistently better and with more control, with one ear plugged, which keeps me somewhat grounded, saving me from the ingrained habit of singing to the reflected sound of the room/venue.

February 9, 2015
11:47 am
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TommyTheHat
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I know this is an old thread but...Laugh

I never really peeked at it before since I am not technical type and don;t really ever concern myself with notes or such. Actually I have no idea what G4 or C4 or A4 or any of that means. However, I do have scales in such keys filed from my lessons. I practice them but could care less about the notes.

Anyway...here are my thoughts First off, I dug up a scale I have from my lessons for G4. I'm not a high note singer but G4 doesn't seem difficult for me and actually it's fairly comfortable. Maybe at one time it wasn't...I can't remember. But like I said, I'm not the high note type so I'm not thinking this is that high. But! I apply the same philosophy here as I do for anything else. Basically it's "being sneaky." I'll use weight training as an example.

Years ago I was very into weight training and getting stronger. The common method was to do 3 sets of an exercise...lets use a bench press as an example...and do three sets of 10 - 12 reps. Ok...to be honest there are many configurations of this but I'm using a basic example. So on set one you get all 12 reps. On set 2 the same. But on set 3 maybe you only get 10 or 11 reps. Ok. so you stay at that weight until you get all 12 reps then you add 5 lbs and start again. Five lbs is usually the lowest you can go because weights normally start at 2.5 lbs as the lowest plates.

But 5 lbs added to a heavy 225 lbs bench press can be a lot. 5 lbs added to a curl can be monstrous!! If you were holding 100 lbs in your arms and someone added 5 lbs more you'd surely notice! Ahh, but what if they added only 1/2 lb or a pound? You probably wouldn't notice a thing. Yea, but your muscles would! Mentally you can manage but physically your muscles know there is added weight and they adapt. They adapt without you realizing in baby steps.

So now, instead of 5 difficult pounds every few weeks you just add an unnoticeable 1 lb every week and move ahead steadily week after week. Baby steps! The increments are so small you don't even notice yet your body knows and you increase little by little. I apply this to everything.

"You can't move a mountain...but!... you can move a stone. Move enough stones and you have moved a mountain!!!"

"It's not how many notes you know. It's what you do with them."

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