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Vocalist TIP's and TRICKS from Lance King

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

  1. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Yeah, that's one I've never been tempted to do. Usually, if I feel at all off during warm-up, I tend to pull back a little bit and just try to warm up a little longer..
     
  2. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    Most singers seem to have issues with their mid to high range, bridging the crossover point of full voice to their high range.
    Anyone else out there having this issue?
     
  3. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    ALWAYS! *heh heh* This is why I enjoyed adding the chorus to Malmsteen's "Fury" (from TRILOGY) to the end of the warm-up. Attempting Boals' range forces me to flip, and I have to do it repeatedly throughout the chorus of that song, but it's methodical & relatively benign, so I think it helps. Parts of the Melissa Cross exercises focus on this transition, too, by the way.
     
  4. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    I'd be quite interested in hearing what Melissa has to say about it.

    For me, I always teach this simple technique, and it's one that needs to be repeated until you start to really internalize where your "Exact Break spot is" and then continued until you can gracefully graze over this zone without anyone noticing your crossing it.

    Simply sing softly a mid low note, and slowly ascend your note sliding upward until your nearing the danger zone....as your get closer to breaking, sing lighter, blending half voice with your falsetto into the higher ranges, then descend back down over the problem area, and continue to repeat this over and over lightly, gradually adding a little more power to it testing the waters.

    This will build the muscle memory and body mechanics you'll need to and help your brain internalized the process, the more you do this, the easier it will become and the more power you'll be able to use over this area. Likely the lighter you will sing over all singing will seem to become a lot more effortless. It's harder coming down from a note and not falling off of it that it is going up at first.

    Most people have problems with this because they simply psych themselves up their singing too hard over this area, and they're in full voice at the top of their range, singing hard, the transition will be very obvious into falsetto from that. If your blending as your making the transition, the more you do this, the easier it becomes.

    Remember PRACTICE MAKES HABIT so do it right a lot and whamo, it's on auto pilot. Do it wrong a lot and unlearning it becomes a lot more work.

    Keep in mind this is more about YOUR VOICE and helping you to develop your own higher range.

    If your trying to cover someone elses tone in a cover band, this can somewhat go out the window A LOT, since many singers don't sing over their full voice these days.
     
  5. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    I'll have to review the DVD for more, but what I was talking about was an exercise included in the (warm-up drills CD) which accompanies "Zen of Screaming" pt 1. It involves a 5-note (or is it 7?) passage (I never bothered to see if they're 4ths or 5ths or whatever) where you climb from 1 - 3, and the third note is to be sung falsetto, then you come back down for the final 2 notes. Then, move the pattern up (1/2 step?) and repeat. Oh, and the vowel sounds accompanying the notes are "EE," "AH," "EE," "AH," "EE."

    So'mBITCH! I played with this for a few minutes this weekend, and was shocked at how well it worked (in the short term.. Clearly, I have a lot of repetition to endure). Thanks for that..

    This ALSO proved quite true. In fact, the whole "blending head voice with normal" idea seems to elude me in descending. Like I said, more repetition needed..

    One of my greatest fears, having never had actual 1-on-1 face-2-face coaching up to now..

    Yup. My biggest issue with covering anything recent has been the addition of gravel/rasp/("heat" as Melissa Cross refers to it). Trying to cover Disturbed or Rob Zombie or Drowning Pool is so far out of my normal arena, I fear for our credibility. I have been working on trying to bring a safe bark/growl/edge into my voice, but it's slow going when trying to be certain nothing gets damaged.

    Segues nicely into another question, though it may be moot. From everything I've heard recorded of you, you don't really bother with that (and rightly so, since you're singing your own stuff). Do you have any input for this situation?

    Thanks for making yourself a valuable resource.. *heh heh*
     
  6. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    I'll be back to this one don't have time today, but will post much soon.
     
  7. Kirsten "Bruce Chickinson"

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    My friend MrNot told me about you. ...I am lurking and learning. :D Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom!
     
  8. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Just in case you forgot, or got busy, we're all here and our breath baited.. *heh heh* Hope all is well.
     
  9. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    yes guys, sorry it's been extremely busy for me, I haven't been able to hit this forum at all for about a month.
    I'll be catching up in a couple weeks on things for sure, in the mean time check out the new nightmare releases for some amazing vocalists and music at www.NightmareRecords.com ; )
     
  10. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    OK where were we, anyone paying attention anymore? where should we take this?
     
  11. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    For what it's worth, it seemed like my question about adding grit/heat/fire to a clean vocal must have triggered some important input in your head, 'cause you're reaction was a quick (I need to reply to this, but it may take more effort & time than I can give it right this second, so hang onto your ass) kind of response..

    I'm definitely still interested in whatever you're willing to share, especially since adding a new guitarist has sparked the learning of some Shinedown tunes, which ain't easy for me..

    Cheers!
     
  12. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    thanks hadn't gone back and re read everything so thank you for the summation!

    Heat, Fire and Grit...

    OK, Most people think I'm only a clean vocalist, since the majority of what I've recorded is that, but I can sing Brian Johnson style ACDC to a "t" not exactly sure what you mean for heat and fire, so I'll assume this means "ATTITUDE" or Rock-a-tude, and perhaps passion, or could even be a unique aspect of vocal tone that is all your own that will help you have a signature sound. (all good things)

    "Edgy Rasp" in general can be something that takes people out if it's not natural, it can come out as forced (because it is for those with clean vox) or if you learn to do it "relaxed" rather than too tight, like I have in this video doing a cover of Whitesnakes "Still of the Night" you can do it and still have some control.



    So how do you do this without hurting your self? Well that depends on the range your going for...
    The ACDC range of what I would call "Falsetto rasp " can be attained quite easily, IF... you can relax your throat and open that pipe up all the way, allowing air to flow unrestricted through your nose. Then just add a little but of grit to the vocal, the idea here is volume of air moving, nasal tone shaping, and not clamping down on your vocal chords, their adding the texture of grit through the middle of your vocal cords and the pitch and tone from around them (which is the difference between full and falsetto vocals)

    Full voice = through, and falsetto = around the chords, note there are several variations of this as you can flow from seemingly clean to downright dirty doing this. Think of it dimensionally, meaning you have four variables going 8 different ways.
    You have the amount of grit (controlled, only by what your doing with the sound inside your vocal cords), the range of pitch (controlled by how much you stretch the vocal cords) the variable of blending your full voice into your falsetto range without breaking (which we talked about earlier), and the way in which your shape your tone (how you shape your mouth, position your jaw, use and position your tongue, and use your nose flow to create the dark, or bright tone)

    Being aware of all of these 4 aspects of voice and working the dynamic range of each will give you a lot of range of tones. Keep in mind that your actual vocal cords are only able to create (clean and dirty, airy or full, high or low), the rest of the sounds come from your mouth, your nose, the way you breath, stand and even hold your head.

    Now upper mid range like I'm singing most of the Whitesnake vocal is more full voice obviously. There is more effort going into this for sure, and it becomes a fine line of balance between staying relaxed and not tensing up so much you choke down the open pipes you want. Airflow is the key to keeping your voice volume and flow good, so you need to remain open as much as you can. Still this tone requires clamping down a bit. So you need to use your nose as a release valve and have that flow open.

    You will need to adjust your jaw differently to get this to work right, you'll need to in effect move your lower part of your jaw out farther.

    That probably enough to digest at this moment!
     
    #32 MEGALOUD, Nov 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2015
  13. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    did I elaborate enough on that last part, any questions, comments?
     
  14. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Even as I asked the question, I was thinking, "ya know, I've never heard him do it, but I wouldn't be surprised if he knows how," which is kind of the way I feel about the whole thing. I don't intend to make a living covering UDO or Grave Digger (or even Anselmo, for that matter0, but I wouldn't mind having the tool(s) in my back pocket to break out if the atmosphere would benefit..

    Basically, I was just speaking of the one thing, but labeling it in as many ways as I've heard it referred to previously.. (aside: I think this is one of the most difficult aspects of sharing this sort of advice through a medium such as the internet.. Making sure you're communicating clearly to someone who's coming from a completely different place is obviously quite difficult.. ie: Define your level of pain? Describe the colour, azure, to someone that was born blind.. *D'OH!* You get my point)

    /raises hand/

    For what it's worth, here's an example of how my voice sounds naturally (recorded in the apartment living room of a friend, Jeff Prentice of Predator & Outland fame (or infamy, as the case may be) in the days following 9/11 when I couldn't get home from LA for a week). It's a cover of a song written and performed by Matti Alfonzetti when he was in Jagged Edge UK.
    Fuel for Your Soul

    That is fairly awesome, dude! I shouldn't be surprised, I guess.

    Here's where the written communication becomes a hindrance, and why I'm fairly certain I NEEEEEED a first-person, hands-on vocal coach (I know you have never advocated against that.. I'm just saying time & money are very tight at this point, not to mention I've had no luck finding someone local, OTHER than Steve Whiteman, who is only loosely local)

    Frankly, the concept of relaxing & opening the throat is pretty much way over my head as is (but I have heard/seen the same descriptive language used, so it's not the way you're saying it that's the problem; it's me..)

    I've begun, I believe, to grasp the seeds of the skill, and just need severe dedication to work on it, but I may be way the hell off, too, and without first hand, real time feedback, I remain concerned for the safety of my cords.. *heh heh*

    Yes, and I thank you. I'll continue digesting..

    In the meantime, I must say I'm just fairly happy that Friday night's show wasn't a total fail after I made the perhaps completely ill-advised decision to go ahead with a scheduled blood donation Thursday, thereby guaranteeing I'd be sick overnight, and what happened? You guessed it! Due to my ridiculously feeble memory, I totally forgot how sick the bass player was at Tuesday's rehearsal. I felt absolutely fine going into it, and felt great after for a couple hours, then the sinus headache started. YUCK! Still, with a good amount of herdal tea, some Halls Fruit Breezers (which don't have the menthol, etc. in them), and a visit from the Neti Pot, I survived, and I think even shined a bit. Time will tell..

    Thanks for your continued input, Lance! You 'da man!
     
  15. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    Very nice tone and vocal style, a bit retro pop hard rock, ala Survivor is what I'm hearing with maybe a little Southern feel about it. Very Melodic, great pitch, harmonies and a good hook! I'm assuming this is an original, since I hadn't heard it before. So Nice work!
     
  16. MRNot

    MRNot Member

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    Well, the song is from like '91 or '92, so.. *heh heh*

    Thanks, but no, it is a cover, just a song that wasn't on radio in the US (as far as I know). I love Matti's combination of soul & rock. Kind of like a SERIOSULY less fluffy Michael Bolton/Steve Overland. There are a few singers that sing in similar styles, but I can never recall names in a pinch. He's done a couple of releases under his own name for Frontiers or Z or Escape, but other than that, the only things I've heard from him are a few tracks on the Radioactive CDs with Tommy Denander (guitar)..
     
  17. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    Let me know if there are any specific questions you'd like me to try and put into words, I have to sort of think out what I do and explain it, I've given a lot of lessons, but to be honest, not many people ask me how to sing dirty, most just want to learn how to control their break range. Dirty is a whole other area that we can talk about.
     
  18. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    yesterday, I had an epiphany, I haven't had many people ask me about rasp so I hadn't really considered how to explain what I'm doing, or how to practice it effectively, it was never a huge focus for me, although, it should be and will be more for me from now on.

    You see most of the time... and I'm talking about 99.8% of the time, I only sing "dirty" when I'm singing with a band.... either at practice or live...

    For whatever reason I was hanging out with my son yesterday for a moment and I was motivated to bust into a line or two from Alice in Chain's "The Rooster" acapella at full volume I would normally sing at in a band application, I noticed a lot of textures and tonal nuances that I really had never noticed before in a live application with a bands volume.

    last night at rehearsal, I found that I was being more mindful of what I'd noticed and my pitch was better and I was struggling less on certain parts of gritty songs where I wasn't relaxing enough, you know the things you clamp down too much on to get "nasty".

    What I'm I getting too? Well, it's easy to over due it when it comes to singing dirty.
    The outcome of this is, less air flow, less volume, less control, and less variety of tones and textures, generally getting tired faster vocally and physically, and sounding crappy if not all the time, sooner or later.

    So, for those of you that don't understand the concept yet of relaxing, and opening up, I want you (and me for that matter) to work on DIRTY TONES ACAPELLA. in this way, you'll for sure hear all the more subtle nuances of growls and attitude your trying to find. You'll hear how the sound changes when you add more flow through your nose, turning the more open falsetto aspects of tone coming from your throat into a more bright sound resembling full voice a lot more. Open means your using the air flow around your vocal cords as well as the tone through the vocal cords.

    Your nose is key here especially when adding grit, because.... your normally full sounding full voice is now GONE, because your now using that part of your vocal cords for distortion, and rasp and grit, this part of your chords only does two things, clean and dirty, and if your not using the flow around the chords as well to get more volume and tone, you'll sound clamped off
    and very dry and much quieter as well, which in turn will cause you to sing much harder, forcing more air through your chords harder, both being much more physically demanding on both your voice and your body in a live application. This you can't keep up nearly as long as singing open.

    Open is much more natural, relaxed and sounds a hell of a lot better.

    Check it out and let me know what you think.
     
  19. MEGALOUD

    MEGALOUD The Nightmare Has Begun..

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    no feedback on my last post? hellooo anyone out there?
     
  20. NickDivision

    NickDivision Division Vocalist

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    Two examples I would add to this:
    1. On rehearsal nights, if you're sick, practice alternate notes. You don't want to be on stage and know you're going to be unable to hit something and have to guess where to land. It's good to know your options and to have as many licks as possible to fall back on.

    2. Visualize success. I have had the same part in a song bug me for months when I've thought about it from a "oh boy, here we go with THAT note" perspective. Once I stopped thinking about it and visualizing failure, it became just another part of the set.

    Good feedback all around guys!
     

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