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Old 03-16-2013, 02:58 PM   #1
special1ne
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What did Whitney Houston's voice have that others don't?

Right, it's my first thread here, I'd like this question to again be answered/approached/discussed on a technical basis. (I'd also like to preface this with asking others to discuss Houston's voice up to the end of the Bodyguard era, so up to around June 1995).

I'm aware that her appellation of "The Voice" is as much a marketing device as it is an indicator of the presence of a more-powerful-than-most, once-in-a-lifetime human instrument. But what did her voice have that, say, Jennifer Hudson or Mariah Carey doesn't? Is it range? Depth? Vibrato? Timbre? Power (or the equivalent musical term)? Superior belting technique? Something else?

In other words, from a technical standpoint, why are we not likely to have another Whitney Houston voice? Leave aside that there's only one Houston and no singing voice will match hers by definition. On analysis, what specifically did her voice possess that made critics call it "powerful" and a "tour de force"? Maybe it's just a voice like anyone else's, and everyone got it wrong?
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
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Most of the time, popular singers will have talent but won't know how to train it.

Singing high notes involves having solid cord closure and the ability to tune the vocal cords to have a cutting resonance.

So depending on the singer, they might have X amount of cord closure and X amount of resonance, but won't know how to improve it. You could say that Whitney Houston is more skilled when it comes to those 2 factors.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
special1ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doveri
Most of the time, popular singers will have talent but won't know how to train it.

Singing high notes involves having solid cord closure and the ability to tune the vocal cords to have a cutting resonance.

So depending on the singer, they might have X amount of cord closure and X amount of resonance, but won't know how to improve it. You could say that Whitney Houston is more skilled when it comes to those 2 factors.

I'm going to be annoying and ask you to please explain what you mean by solid cord closure. Maybe provide examples/videos of a singing voice which has it, and one that doesn't. But even if Whitney was more skilled on the 2 factors of cord closure and vocal cord tuning, how does that make her voice so much more powerful than almost any female, commercial, professional, non-classical singer there has ever been? AKA that can't be it, right?

Maybe you or someone can break her voice down musically and technically? That'll answer the thread question much easier. In other words, could someone outline her vocal technique, and use that to show how her singing and belting was distinct to all other vocalists. E.g. maybe Whitney has a larger chest voice/middle register. Maybe Whitney had tough vocal cord muscles?
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:11 PM   #4
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The kind of voice someone has is inherent, but how it can be used depends on cord closure. So if you wanted to break down, what kind of voice she has, then that's fine. But the primary and only factor that decides whether the person can sing well or not, is the cord closure.

What happens when you phonate sound, is that the vocal cords adduct and vibrate. Now voices aren't generally designed to "sing", so at certain pitches, people will lose that coordination.

You have some idea that phonation is different between certain people. Phonation is universal. It's how the voice naturally functions, primarily in the vocal cord department, which influences how one sings.

Last edited by Doveri : 03-16-2013 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
special1ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doveri
The kind of voice someone has is inherent, but how it can be used depends on cord closure. So if you wanted to break down, what kind of voice she has, then that's fine. But the primary and only factor that decides whether the person can sing well or not, is the cord closure.

What happens when you phonate sound, is that the vocal cords adduct and vibrate. Now voices aren't generally designed to "sing", so at certain pitches, people will lose that coordination.

You have some idea that phonation is different between certain people. Phonation is universal. It's how the voice naturally functions, primarily in the vocal cord department, which influences how one sings.

OK, we've established that Whitney had cord closure, probably utilized to a high degree. But what else is it about her voice that makes it so unique, and in some ways, inimitable?And yes, I do want to break down what kind of voice Whitney has.

Why did she have so much power and depth? What about the tone to her voice? Her middle register was her most comfortable, and her belts in chest voice were one in a million. Oh, and she could sing melismatically too, very well indeed. What was she doing, aside from cord closure, that allowed her to achieve the two things I just said? Or are you telling me her voice/sound was the way it was because of luck, and her vocal technique was the same as any professional singer?
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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Even though she was a good singer I don't think her vocal technique was THAT special. She succeeded because she sung with passion (that is not something you learn in books) and due to marketing reasons. I think that any dedicated singer can sound just as good even if they're totally different. And I know a lot of great singers that remain unknown or unemployed. It's just that we've put Whitney on a pedestal. But in the end, everyone has to accept what they were born with.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #7
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I agree with Sethis. Whitney has a lot of talent and passion, but it is a lot to do with marketing. There is a lot of people who have amazing singing voices, but they often don't get the appraise they deserve.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:55 AM   #8
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Come on, give credit where its due, whitney was a RARE voice and ton and yes i know a lot of singers who have amazing voices too but still not a whitney, they still can't sing a song like whitney and if a singing gift is something all humans have then i would agree with you Sethis but I cant because singing is really a GIFT from god thats why it so hard to understand why she sounded so good, she was born with a GIFT plain and simple, its no way to learn how to sing from books nor can some tech teach you i mean yeah the vocal coaches help a lil, but common sense can tell you if we "all human being "can NOT sing, the gift comes from someone and somewere and its GOD, and if you read your bible you will see jesus gave one man 5 talents and one man 3 talents and he said even those will come with great price, SIN is real folks and whitney paid the price for her HUGH fame,she entered into a music realm were very few have gone and she needed nothing but stand there and sing and she moved people, thats a gift she was massive over night with her 1st album breaking records ,yes all artist are marketed but she was not branded with all them commericals and dolls and things she even turned down a barbie collection because she did not wanna be worshiped, whitney life was taken from her by force all she wanted to do was sing she never imagined she would be that big and lengadary, ONLY the hand of god can do that...READ your bible know were we come from...GOD knew whitney whould be whitney before she was in her mom womb, she died and so will we all, the wages of all SIN = death.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:56 AM   #9
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tone, not ton and there are maybe tons of errors in that messsage forgive me, i am not a good typer at all...lol
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:00 AM   #10
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NO church soul singer ever became a pop singer, soul singer, R&B and gospel whitney can do it all, and thats because she had a GOD given talent and always give him glory for her gift and success,God is still in control of everything.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:03 AM   #11
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To me, she was the first big star to have an exceptionally annoying singing style. Often imitated to my dismay.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:23 PM   #12
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