tomasmk
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
111 IQ
#1
Hi all

I was wondering if you, experienced people, would mind helping a newbie like me (I started with piano, guitar and singing this year) understand the potentials and limitations of his voice.

A friend of mine, a very talented piano player and opera singer, has been helping me out develop my vocal skills. He says I have a beautiful voice with a good range (2 octaves, from G to G). He says that because of the "feel" of it (very deep), I can sing songs like the ones of Sinatra or of Argentinian Tango, for example. He thinks I could be very good at it.

He said, tho, that I have no future in other musical styles like rock or pop, since the voices in there are softer and more "girly", even those that have my same vocal range.

Problem is, even if I enjoy Sinatra, I do realize that genre's big time was 50 years ago, and today, I could do very little with it...besides, the music I really enjoy is rock, like Bon Jovi or Aerosmith or Bryan Adams, or pop, like Duran Duran, Maroon 5, etc etc.

Honestly, I'm not really interested in going any further with singing if i'll never be good at singing the songs I love.


I wonder if theres anyone that has experienced a similar problem, and if theres a way to deal with it and my friend is wrong, or if its just the fate that comes with our vocal chords...any advice ? any "emotional" rock or pop singers with Sinatra-like voices?
Last edited by tomasmk at Aug 1, 2012,
vjferrara
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2005
1,854 IQ
#2
Go listen to Tantric. He found a way to make a bass/baritone work pretty well for rock.
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#4
Kurt Cobain may well have had the same concerns in 1989.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
tomasmk
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
111 IQ
#5
tantric and cobain, awesome examples! thanks!
Sethis
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2011
171 IQ
#6
Quote by tomasmk
Hi all

I was wondering if you, experienced people, would mind helping a newbie like me (I started with piano, guitar and singing this year) understand the potentials and limitations of his voice.

A friend of mine, a very talented piano player and opera singer, has been helping me out develop my vocal skills. He says I have a beautiful voice with a good range (2 octaves, from G to G). He says that because of the "feel" of it (very deep), I can sing songs like the ones of Sinatra or of Argentinian Tango, for example. He thinks I could be very good at it.

He said, tho, that I have no future in other musical styles like rock or pop, since the voices in there are softer and more "girly", even those that have my same vocal range.


Your friend is talking bullshit and the only thing he's managed so far seems to be cutting your wings. I am assuming your talking a range of G2-G4? That's not really low dude. In fact, it's about average.

Do you have any idea how many succesful baritones are in rock and in metal? You'd be surprised. Tenors are overrated anyway and pure ones are not usually found in any of the genres. Most high-singing dudes fall in the high baritone/low tenor range and even them don't always use their full range.

Do whatever you like.

Edit: A thought just popped into my head. Could it be perhaps that you're trying to push the adams apple as low as possible when you sing? If that's the case then dont. That's not needed in the genres you like. Keep it in neutral position.
Last edited by Sethis at Aug 3, 2012,
tomasmk
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
111 IQ
#7
sethis, I think that what my friend means is not the range, but the "feel" of the voice.

me, being from argentina, have quite a different feel to my voice than, lets say, englishmen, for example. theyr voice is very, very soft. even within the same range, they sound different.

to get an idea, you can think of sinatra, but better yet, listen to something from Carlos Gardel , he was the most successful argentinian tango singer, and ofc my voice will never be half of his, but just to get an idea

could you imagine this guy singing any of the modern pop songs?
Sethis
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2011
171 IQ
#8
Easily, if he had the necessary training. I can even sound like him (I mean his style not his actual voice) if I imitate his voice. I just have to do that adam apple down thing I said before. It's commonly used by opera singers to achieve that deep sound. It's not like they were born singing opera.

But since you asked here or here are modern singers singing deeper in a similar but more aggressive style than sinatra. Both are absolutely great at their thing. Sinatra's voice is crystal clear, because his genre does not demand any distortion. But he certainly could add it if he tried.
Last edited by Sethis at Aug 3, 2012,
intothe
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2008
852 IQ
#9
You're underestimating how much you can form your voice to fit the style you want, all of these great pop/rock singers worked on getting that special tone, you only very very rarely start out with a great voice.

My advice to you is to keep singing the kind of music you like, and try to analyze what it is in the sound that you want to use yourself. Something that has helped me a lot is to record myself singing, and then try to change what I want to change in my sound.
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#10
Quote by Sethis
Easily, if he had the necessary training. I can even sound like him (I mean his style not his actual voice) if I imitate his voice. I just have to do that adam apple down thing I said before. It's commonly used by opera singers to achieve that deep sound. It's not like they were born singing opera.


No. Opera singers sound like opera singers because that's what they sound like when they sing with proper technique - not by forcing some trickery on their voice by repositioning something that doesn't naturally go there.

They don't sound like that because they're singing opera. They sing opera because they sound like that.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Sethis
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2011
171 IQ
#11
Quote by axemanchris
No. Opera singers sound like opera singers because that's what they sound like when they sing with proper technique - not by forcing some trickery on their voice by repositioning something that doesn't naturally go there.

They don't sound like that because they're singing opera. They sing opera because they sound like that.

CT


Not true. I didn't invent that technique anyway. It's not some kind of trickery, it's just the way opera singers are taught; keeping the larynx low. Look it up. They sing opera because they grew up listening to opera. Opera is a vast genre and has room for all types of vocal ranges after all. Isn't it strange that nowadays you rarely hear people singing with operatic voice while a century ago it was the norm?
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#12
Quote by Sethis
it's just the way opera singers are taught; keeping the larynx low. Look it up.


No need for me to look it up. I spent ten years studying operatic vocal technique with a man who was a performer with the Metropolitan Opera.

In all genres, there are those with excellent technique and those with poor technique. Dropping the larynx is generally considered bad technique. More appropriate technique is to lift the throat.

You don't "make it" in opera unless you *sound* like an opera singer. This is why people in metal bands don't play Rickenbacher guitars. Or dobros. If you don't *sound* like a metal player, then you have a hard time in that genre. If you don't *sound* like an opera singer, you won't make it in that genre.

Sure, you can artificially make yourself sound a certain way, but if it ain't legit, those in the know will suss it out pretty quickly.

Quote by Sethis

They sing opera because they grew up listening to opera. Opera is a vast genre and has room for all types of vocal ranges after all.


True.

Quote by Sethis

Isn't it strange that nowadays you rarely hear people singing with operatic voice while a century ago it was the norm?


Not really. It's all about what is "common convention" for the time and place. I'll argue that a century ago, it was not the norm to sing like that either. It's just that the vast majority of the music that got preserved from that time was of that genre. Folk singers and yodellers and tavern callers and such just didn't get recorded.

It's interesting that you suggest that though, because a century ago was considered the "golden age of singing", and since then, the percentage of people who sing with excellent technique has dwindled.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
tomasmk
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
111 IQ
#13
hey guys, i finally got my hands on a new phone that can record audio, so i sang this for you so you can give me your oppinoin about what i was asking in the first post.

(yes I know its way off key too many times, and the guitar isnt that good either...I started with music 6 months ago, and this is the best i got for now :P and i'm a newbie with the guitar too, so having to focus in playing it while singing doesnt helps either)

thanks!

http://www.2shared.com/video/EsSfOjUz/AUD0043.html

http://soundcloud.com/tomasmk/sets/off-key-trials
Last edited by tomasmk at Sep 23, 2012,
20Tigers
1
Join date: Jun 2008
640 IQ
#15
Jim Morrison was a rock icon and had a rich baritone voice. He loved Sinatra and was excited when he recognized the same kind of mic in his studio that Sinatra used. Morrison had no training but I wouldn't be surprised if much of his vocal development happened with him singing along to some Sinatra numbers.

Have you heard Scott Wieland from STP - listen to the acoustic version of Plush.

Maynard James Keenan from Tool/ a Perfect Circle has a good rock voice and it is far from girly.

Nick Cave and Johnny Cash also have deep voices.

With the deeper male voice there is just one thing you want to really be careful of and that's becoming another Eddie Vedder wannabe. Eddie was great but all the people that came after that mimicked his vocal style (Creed Nickelback and a ton of others) have ruined it for me. Now I find it hard to listen to Pearl Jam for extended periods of time.

The lesson here is use what you have and don't try to hard to sound like someone else.
Si
Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
288 IQ
#16
Quote by axemanchris
Not really. It's all about what is "common convention" for the time and place. I'll argue that a century ago, it was not the norm to sing like that either. It's just that the vast majority of the music that got preserved from that time was of that genre. Folk singers and yodellers and tavern callers and such just didn't get recorded.
I'd also speculate that singers had to be better naturally, than they are today, simply because they had no electronic bailout waiting for them. If you wanted the back of the room to hear you, then you'd better project. Isn't that what the proscenium arch is all about, horn coupling the instruments and singer's voices to the room? I mean really, they just invented the light bulb. 6L6s were still quite a ways away:
6L6 is the designator for a vacuum tube introduced by Radio Corporation of America in July 1936. At the time Philips had already developed and patented power pentode designs, which were fast replacing power triodes due to their greater efficiency. The beam tetrode design of the 6L6 allowed RCA to circumvent Philips' pentode patent.
And yeah, even the PA amps were tube, way back when......
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#17
Good point.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
191 IQ
#18
Quote by tomasmk
hey guys, i finally got my hands on a new phone that can record audio, so i sang this for you so you can give me your oppinoin about what i was asking in the first post.

(yes I know its way off key too many times, and the guitar isnt that good either...I started with music 6 months ago, and this is the best i got for now :P and i'm a newbie with the guitar too, so having to focus in playing it while singing doesnt helps either)


Okay, well, I'm not even going to listen to that link - because it's irrelevant.

The first thing is look, you can't do this because of dreams of dollar signs, fame and fortune. If that happens to you, great. But you have to do it because you love it and it makes you happy. YOU have to like your voice.

So for the time being it simply doesn't matter what anybody else says about "sinatra-like" voices or whatever. You enjoy it. Do it. You'll either find a way to connect with an audience or you won't, but if you enjoy it you'll be creating music you love, and it always has to start with that.

That being said, look - never ask people to look past the fact that you're out of key and can't play and sing at the same time. I know you're enthusiastic and that's great. But if you can't sing on key, learn to sing on key. And practice until you can sing and play at the same time before you ask people to tell you if you have a future or not.

Would you ask someone to tell if you if you had a future as a guitar player if you had no formal training, and had only ever messed around a little with it? Probably not, right - you'd think "that's crazy - you can't possibly judge someone's future as a guitar player before they've actually put some time into developing their skills."

Well, guess what: It's the same thing with singing.

There is exactly as much technique involved in singing, if not more, than there is in playing guitar.

Because everybody can open their mouth and have sound come out, we tend not to think of singing as a technical thing, but the reality is that the details of how you hold your mouth, your rib cage, your abs, what you do with your lips and tongue, how you THINK about hitting notes, the way you use your diaphram - all of these things affect not only your volume and pitch accuracy, but also your timbre, the "way you sound."

You are (and okay, I just went and listened to the link - or at least as much of the soundcloud one as I could stand) the singing equivalent of the guy who hasn't even learned how to form a chord yet asking how he sounds. Could you tell someone after their first lesson if they were more of a Joe Satriani type player or more of an Andy McKee type player? OF COURSE NOT. It's absurd. Yet that's what you're doing when you listen to someone who offers an opinion about your voice being "Sinatra-like"

Nobody could tell you what "sort" of voice you have yet because you haven't figured out what sort of voice you have because you don't have the slightest clue what you're doing as a singer.

The other thing is that the range of what's acceptable in popular music changes. In the mid-80s, if you wanted to be a rock star, you had to be a screecher. It was all about the massive vocal jumps, the ability to hit the high notes.

And then Eddie Vedder happened. And all of a sudden the low growl was what mattered, and you had a whole bunch of singers who, a decade earlier, nobody would have thought of as rock singers. (Creed, Stone Temple Pilots, etc).

So even if "the way you sound" (once you know what that is, which you don't yet) is out of step with whatever is popular in the genre you want to perform in, don't worry about it. Blaze your own path. Because what's popular may change, and, heck, if you're good enough, you might be the one who changes it.
Last edited by HotspurJr at Oct 9, 2012,
CelestialGuitar
Celestial Wish Guitarist
Join date: Nov 2011
518 IQ
#19
Quote by axemanchris
No need for me to look it up. I spent ten years studying operatic vocal technique with a man who was a performer with the Metropolitan Opera.

In all genres, there are those with excellent technique and those with poor technique. Dropping the larynx is generally considered bad technique. More appropriate technique is to lift the throat.

You don't "make it" in opera unless you *sound* like an opera singer. This is why people in metal bands don't play Rickenbacher guitars. Or dobros. If you don't *sound* like a metal player, then you have a hard time in that genre. If you don't *sound* like an opera singer, you won't make it in that genre.

Sure, you can artificially make yourself sound a certain way, but if it ain't legit, those in the know will suss it out pretty quickly.


I'm sorry, but no, the correct technique achieves that Operatic tone, due to the fact that it is created in a different space to what is now considered 'Normal' singing, anyone with training can sing Opera, and anyone with luck and dedication can make it.
Gear

Mesa Dual Rectifier
TC Electronic Polytune
T Rex MAB Overdrive
Boss NS-2
ESP Horizon NT See Thru Black (D Standard)

Celestial Wish on Youtube
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#20
So Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Lemme, and Brian Johnson could all be opera singers with the proper training?!

Yer killin' me.

I mean, you're right inasmuch as an operatic tone is impossible without proper technique. That sound is "created" by good technique to a point.

But to suggest that proper technique will give anyone a voice suitable for opera is misguided. It really is like suggesting that you could come off as a convincing metal player by plugging in a dobro, or a Rickenbacher. The technique may be there, and you might be achieving a great sound, but it's not a metal sound.

With your trained voice, you may be achieving a resonant and open tone, but it's not necessarily an operatic tone - or at least not a *conventionally good* operatic tone.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Oct 9, 2012,
Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
288 IQ
#21
Quote by axemanchris
So Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Lemme, and Brian Johnson could all be opera singers with the proper training?!

Yer killin' me.

CT
In Philly, there was an older gentleman from South Philly, who everyday, parked his 10 year old station wagon on the supermarket lot at 70th and Grovers.

Out of the back he would sell American flags, and God knows what else. But what he was most proud of, were the cassette tapes he huckstered, of him singing Frank Sinatra songs. He sounded just like him too. At least as much as the small bullhorn mounted of the roof of the wagon would allow.

I know there's a lesson in there somewhere,. But, I'll be damned if I can put my finger on it ATM......
RadioMuse
Tab Contributor
Join date: Feb 2006
264 IQ
#22
Not everyone could or should be an opera singer, but I'd believe that most tonally competent singers could give it a go. They just have to embrace their natural range more first... Most men in rock are baritones that are singing on the upper-end of their range rather than embracing all of what they.

But I think baritones or even basses work out fine in rock... and you can always just shoot for the upper-end of your range anyway... you can definitely push your voice to fit your music and your music to fit your voice.

The biggest consideration if you're going to embrace your baritone is that you need to create space for it in the equalization of everything since a lot of rock instrumentation has a bad habit of occupying the 'space' your voice is in. In studio recordings this has been accomplished time and time again, but it can be a real trick live...

And singing lower certainly isn't limited to hard rock either: The National

Though your voice is probably 'stronger' you can always work on dialing back until you're giving it just enough to hit the note and not much more....

And don't be worried about doing something "different" for the genre. Genres are more like guidelines anyway, and they were almost never created on purpose so much as necessity. Toni Iommi cuts off some fingers -> downtuning -> metal.
Last edited by RadioMuse at Oct 10, 2012,
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
191 IQ
#23
Quote by axemanchris
So Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Lemme, and Brian Johnson could all be opera singers with the proper training?!

Yer killin' me.


Here's the thing:

These guys clearly never tried.

Asking in Neil Young could have been a functional opera singer is sort of like asking, based on his singing, if he could be a good drummer. Who the hell knows?

Bob Dylan has clearly never really cared what he sounded like. What would he sound like if he had, from a young age, tried? If he had taken care of his voice, actually learned how to hit notes, studied articulation, etc?

It doesn't seem like he'd have great range, but how do you get good range? By working on your technique and making range important to you from a young age. He could almost certainly have had better range, and sounded "better" if he cared and put work into it. How good could he have been?

All any of us can do is guess.
Duce180
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2008
350 IQ
#24
Yeah none of those guys really sang with proper technique lol. It takes years and years of training to become an opera singer. Could those guys do it? If they got rid of their improper singing habits and spent years training, probably. I'm glad they didn't
Last edited by Duce180 at Oct 11, 2012,
flame843
stop the munati
Join date: Dec 2004
2,314 IQ
#25
the most important thing you can do is to strengthen your mastery of your range as much as you can instead of concerning yourself with what pitches you CAN'T hit. the idea that having a lower-than-tenor voice is a crippling vocal limitation is just silliness. the most important quality you can have in your singing voice is expressiveness, and that's irrespective of your range.

top-40 male pop singers do tend to be tenors, but that doesn't mean it's a requirement, that's just a byproduct of the type of music that's generally in the top 40 being conducive to a higher voice. that could change over time, for sure! and in rock, nowadays, i think there's probably a pretty even split of baritones and tenors.

i can think of a bunch of very popular modern rock singers whose voices are strongest in the baritone range, like yours: Billy Joe Armstrong, James Hetfield, Corey Taylor, Scott Weiland, Dave Grohl, Mike Patton...tons more. your friend is BS-ing you.
Chaingarden
RE: Su...de "Ret-Siger!"
Join date: Aug 2007
879 IQ
#26
There's always room for a good voice.

Seriously, a thick, sultry baritone has never gone out of style. You also have the advantage of being able to adduct your cords more the lower your voice is.

That's a well kept secret of bass/baritones. You really have a greater range of sounds, though you might not be as versatile as a true tenor in the higher ranges. Personally, I am a low bass/baritone who can hang around the low D of a dropped-D guitar with conviction. I've practiced to the point of being able to sing just shy of every note on the guitar. If you're that concerned, just expand your range, and learn to get fluid and expressive in those ranges in terms of tonal quality. It can be done, and it isn't as harrowing as it sounds.
robsterlobster
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2012
87 IQ
#27
In all honesty I feel the baritone voice naturally sounds more significantly more expressive than tenor voices. Whether my opinion is slightly bias (I sing in a bass-baritone voice) I don't know, but the're are plenty of good deep voiced singers in rock and metal. And if you sing like Sinatra, that can only be a good thing right?