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Vocalist TIP's and TRICKS from Lance King

Discussion in 'Nightmare Records' started by MEGALOUD, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I've decided to start a little thread here regarding vocal tips and tricks. To share whatever I've learned over the 29 years I've been singing live in clubs (a test for a vocalist). Since I'm strapped for time with many things going on and this could conceivably take a lot of time,
    I would ask that you contribute by asking questions, so I know what your having issues with, so I can get a base of where to start.

    Let the comments begin.....
     
  2. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    Well this thread seems to have some interest, people are viewing it, but no one is commenting, so I guess I'll wait for some interest before spending any further time on this.:headbang:
     
  3. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Had I been paying attention, I'd have been all over this, dude! *heh heh*

    OK.. How about this.. It has to do with durability. As a frontman, your band expects you to interact with the "crowd," and just be all around charismatic. This is all fine and dandy, but I find talking to people, especially in loud clubs where there's house music even when the band is not playing, just rips me up, and I suddenly have to struggle BIGTIME to finish the night. How do you balance the need for interaction off-stage with the need to preserve your cords for singing?
     
  4. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    So if I understand you correctly, your saying that...your voice is getting tired from communicating with the audience in between songs?
     
  5. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Actually, it's mostly from before the show and between sets. We're still playing fairly small venues and there's no sequestering myself in a dressing room or anything..

    In my previous band, we were trying to make our way as all original, and were stuck playing one-set shows with 3 to 5 other bands, so durability wasn't much of an issue, but this band does 3-hour nights, so it's a whole different monster.
     
  6. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    well I was working on this more, then my session timed out, I resigned in to see your further comments, so I'll post what I have from before, and add to it;

    So if I understand you correctly, your saying that...your voice is getting tired from communicating with the audience in between songs? If this is the case, I have to ask you, what type of voice are you using to do this with, obviously something different than your singing with...so why not use some of the same technique your using when you sing, project from your diaphragm. Also in my perspective, I've found that the band can help quite a bit to keep the shows energy up, but not stopping playing "Every song" it keeps the show flowing better if you knock out two to three songs in a row, then talk to the audience, in addition I've also noted recently that it really helps keep the energy up when the band "NEVER STOPS" playing segues in the spot you talk over, or finding points in the song that are appropriate to yell out a few motivating energy building comments.

    There are those front men out there that are just funny people and interject a few jokes or even a bit of a comedy routine in there, that works well for some of the greats.
    if they have some background music on, come up with a good quip or 3 to slam that music so that it's turned off during your performance, shouldn't be hard, they should be listening to the band that's playing live in front of them!
     
  7. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    USE EAR PLUGS, you talk quieter ; )
     
  8. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Ya know, I used to do that. Need to get back in the habit. My ear canals seem to be funky, though. Little fuggers don't like to go in, and don't like to stay once I get them there.. *GAAH!*
     
  9. J-Man

    J-Man Old as Yoda

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    Four of the greates frontmen in my humble opinion, not just for the voice but the interaction are:

    1. LANCE KING(naturally, he is a natural)

    2. MATTIAS "IA" EKLUND( great with a crowd)

    3. ROB ROCK( no need to say more)

    4. MARCO HIETALA( FInnish Humor)
     
  10. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    Thanks John!

    MRnot : you can get formed ear plugs from an audiologist that will fit your ears well, I actually need to do this as well, I've one ear that they won't stay in when your singing your mouth is moving your jaw a lot so naturally this effects your ear canals.
     
  11. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Ooh! I'd bet I could even use ye olde "flexible spending account" (pre-tax) for that. There's a thought!
     
  12. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    Other concerns when your doing 3 - 1 hour shows are;

    > hydration

    >Air conditioning

    >and booze...

    So room temp water a couple hours before the show and on the breaks, avoid direct blowing from air conditioning on the stage, turn it off if you have too, and stay away from booze especially beer.
     
  13. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Thanks again.. I do know about hydration, however, I'm still fuzzy on exactly how much hydration is optimum. I'm sure it depends on the individual body & metabolism involved. I try to hydrate all day to an extent on show & rehearsal days.

    Air conditioning is seldom an issue in the places we play. It's usually ungodly hot between March & October in these venues. Of course, then there's the show I did in Feb of '08, when the club was fuckin' 55d F, and no, I'm not exaggerating.. THAT was fuckin' miserable!

    I also avoid drinking anything (beyond on VEEEERY rare occasions, perhaps a shot of bourbon) other than water or herbal tea until the show is almost over.

    Another bonus working on my side is that the State of Maryland required all bars/clubs/restaurants statewide to be smoke free as of some point in 2007.
     
  14. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    I have a couple other thoughts that need clarification, but utmost at this instant is that I am on stage tonight for a full show, and wouldn't you know it, I acquired the bassplayer's cold, beginning last night. I'm drinking herbal tea (w/ honey) until my eyes are floating today, but do you have any tried & true workarounds for dealing with a sore through & stuffed sinuses when belting out the stellar pitches? I am avoiding any drugs that will dry me out, but may partake in some generic ibuprofen to combat any inflammation that accompanies this funk. HATE THIS SHIT!
     
  15. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    Wish there was an easy answer for you on this one, snot creates issues when singing, some good, some not so good.

    Hydration is the biggest thing on this one and bringing up some nice room temp water to help stay moist, dried snot on the chords, just takes away all control, it's like working with a new set of pipes every couple of minutes.

    Staying relaxed and flexible to morph to the new chords your singing with every couple of minutes seems the best advise. Sometimes a shot of Jag will help loosen you up as much as your throat ; ). I'd personally stay far away from any whiskey though or beer. Tuaka (spelling?) is a really nice Italian
    sweetened brandy that is nice for this if they have it (not many clubs do).

    Smoking ban in MN as well, awesome for vocalists, I had no idea how much I would appreciate this until after the first couple of shows not coming home smelling like and ashtray with the stink in my hair for days. But mostly just for my voice and sinus health, I feel soooo much better the day after a gig than I used too.:headbang:
     
  16. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Now, goddammit! I KNOW I replied to this Monday. I mean, I remember looking at my post with quotes from your post and all.. WTF? (my only explanation is that perhaps I "previewed" my response and never "posted" it, which is entirely possible considering the way things go for me during work hours around here, but it's just another frustrating testament to my failing brain! grrrrr)

    For what it's worth, I more or less "survived." I made it most of the way through the second set with no noticeable problems, but for the remainder of the night, thanks to all the normal reasons, attendance was thinner, and those still there were likely too drunk to notice the issues that did ensue..:Smug:

    Well, in addition to drinking herbal teas (w/ honey) all day, I brought with me about 1.25 gal of additional herbal tea w/ honey (would've been water, but since I was under the weather, I went the extra mile on tea.)

    This actually segues nicely into one of the other questions I did have for you. My current warm-up is the program taken from [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Screaming-Vocal-Instruction-Breed/dp/B000AVZVTY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1249584834&sr=1-1"]Melizza Cross' "Zen of Screaming"[/ame]. which involves some facial muscle movement, some breathing, and a series of 14 vocal "drills." It's about 20 min to a half-hour's worth. I'm curious what you recommend as limits on how early or late to warm-up in relation to a show? The way things are around here, there's no such thing as a "dressing room" or any other place to sequester one's self for the purposes of doing such goofy things as the "Mee Gee Monkey Exercise," for instance, so you're either outside or in your car being a nuisance to smokers and other stragglers, and or feeling quite goofy. I usually tend to do it in the car on my way to the venue in the first place, but that may be too far in advance of the actual performance to be optimally effective.. Any thoughts?

    As a matter of fact, the venue we played at last Friday did indeed carry Tuaca, so I could have partaken had I felt so inclined.
     
  17. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    Warm ups are VERY important when your voice is a bit under the weather or your on the road singing every night, not as big of an issue if you have a one off show, however, I think they're always good to do, it will ensure a solid start, and first impressions count!

    Where to do these? Since every room is different and has varying back stage amenities or the lack thereof, the only constant is the way you travel, so I usually do it on my way to the gig, singing along with the material I'll be performing. Good practice and you get a warm up out of the deal, killing two birds with one stone.
     
  18. CinnaedLoreweaver

    CinnaedLoreweaver Hail the fallen!!

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    Indeed. Warmups are a golden opportunity to get your voice in shape--and to freak out club patrons :)

    Nothing like doing warmups at a bar and having the session turn into a drunken singalong.

    Also, if your band is like mine and has multiple singers, make sure that they are all warming up with you. The harmonies will sound better on stage.

    Thoughts?
     
  19. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    Another aspect to warm ups I didn't go into is that this is a "warm up", it's not a "scream off", some folks think they need to scream and yell if things are not working properly right away ( it's quite normal if your singing a lot that things won't be working quite right when you first start singing that day hence the need for the warm up in the first place) Take it easy on yourself in the beginning, this is a warm up, all you need really to do in the beginning is hum up to your medium range for about 3-5 minutes, then when the muscles and tendons and vocal chords are beginning to get warmed up in that area you can start to stretch to some other things, but sing light at first, no one is there to judge your voice quality (and if they are then likely they understand what and why your doing it) so don't worry about not sounding great during your warm up, that's not really the point, the point is that you want to sound good when your doing your performance.

    Normally takes a good 15-30 minutes before a voice is ready to really rock.
     
  20. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Must admit this sort of situation has never occurred to me (in the real or figurative sense). But, since I've been warming up with "exercises," and not actual songs, it's not that likely, either.. I usually do sing something for a mic-check instead of the traditional "check, 1, 2," crap, though.. The last show, it occurred to me that most of the bar patrons, if they've ever heard of or known who Crimson Glory was probably had no idea Midnight passed away, so in tribute, I sang bits of "Lost Reflection." That worked out well enough I think I'll continue it for a while.. Maybe someone will ask about it at some point.. *heh heh* (I did get a glowing review of it, though the person didn't recognize it, sadly)

    It's a sad state of affairs, but in each band I've been in, singing instrumentalists have never thought of their singing first, and it would have never occurred to them to warm up. We'll see if I can ever effect that perception for the positive...
     

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