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#1
I'm more or less a tenor myself, but I never got why every singer seems to want to be a tenor. A Baritone's high G will sound just as powerful as a Tenor's high C to most listeners, and I know a lot of listeners tend to dislike tenors for sounding too "girly" or "whiny". And it's not like tenors are particulary rare or anything, a true bass is a lot rarer than a tenor and most males are only a few semitones below a natural tenor range anyway.

So why is it that so many singers seem to wish they were tenors? The whole thing never made much sense to me.
#3
I believe a tenor's voice resonates in the ear canals in a better fashion than most other voices. Thus, their voice appears to be louder and more pleasurable due to the nice vibrating sensation in your ears. It may also have to due with people thinking that a tenor is the most versatile voice, thus is perfect for all genres.
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#4
Quote by Cheeseman07
A Baritone's high G will sound just as powerful as a Tenor's high C to most listeners,


Yes.

Quote by Cheeseman07

and I know a lot of listeners tend to dislike tenors for sounding too "girly" or "whiny".


That may be true for tenors who aren't quite tenors who tend to sing more in falsetto. When I think tenor, I think of singers ranging from Pavarotti to Bruce Dickenson. Far from girly or whiny.

Quote by Cheeseman07

And it's not like tenors are particulary rare or anything, a true bass is a lot rarer than a tenor and most males are only a few semitones below a natural tenor range anyway.


You sort of addressed your own point there. A true bass is no more or less rare than a true tenor who can reach that tenor high C. Most people who call themselves (or get labeled by others as) tenors can only hit an A or a Bb.... which widens the pool considerably.

Quote by Cheeseman07

So why is it that so many singers seem to wish they were tenors? The whole thing never made much sense to me.


I think there are a couple of things at work here.

1. Regardless of instrument, people tend to associate high notes with skill. High notes on trumpets will get the applause. People love to see people doing guitar solos up the neck and squealing out those high notes. And people love to hear a singer crank it up and wail out an impressive high note. Why? I dunno, but my point is that it isn't just singers.

2. Turn on the radio or MTV or whatever. Most pop repertoire emphasizes upper mid range notes towards higher notes. When was the last time a pop star was ever a low baritone or a bass? It rarely happens. So, people want to sing what they like to listen to.... and the cycle repeats. This is also genre-dependent too. Hair-metal fans LOOOOOVE those good old fashioned Vince Neil style hair metal wails. The harmonic and melodic artistry of Boston could never be fully realized by a baritone singer. On the other hand, your grandparents really wish they'd all stop screaming and sing like the true masters - Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Dean Martin, etc. Most country artists are baritones. I'm not sure how well a true tenor would go over in country.... even in new country.

CT
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#5
Quote by Cheeseman07
I'm more or less a tenor myself, but I never got why every singer seems to want to be a tenor. A Baritone's high G will sound just as powerful as a Tenor's high C to most listeners, and I know a lot of listeners tend to dislike tenors for sounding too "girly" or "whiny". And it's not like tenors are particulary rare or anything, a true bass is a lot rarer than a tenor and most males are only a few semitones below a natural tenor range anyway.

So why is it that so many singers seem to wish they were tenors? The whole thing never made much sense to me.


It depends on what genre you like. I, as a pop-punk artist, LOOOVE high notes. A well trained head voice hitting a spot-on A#, to me, is the coolest sound in existence.

To address the whiny thing, I think singers that "cry on pitch" have the coolest style. But then again, my voice is whiny. Maybe I'm biased?
#6
I love that whole cry on pitch thing too, though funnily enough I couldn't do that at all myself for over a year.
#7
I dunno, I've always preferred baritones, especially when they can sing convincingly in a tenor range. A strong upper mix in a baritone will beat out a tenor any day in my book. I just happen to think baritones have more mystery to their sound, and have a little more depth. I guess it's a personal thing.
#8
Rarities almost always become coveted.

Diamonds, Gold, etc...
Rare trading cards...

In the days when fat people were a rarity, the ideal woman was on the plump side...

So, the bottom line is: People like tenors because proportionally, there's not so many of them.

That, and people tend to admire what they can't do themselves.

Most people are baritones, so naturally they aren't as impressed by fellow baritones...
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#9
Based on that logic, though, basses would be just as esteemed by the general public, and just as many singers would be worried about becoming basses... and they aren't.

CT
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#10
Bass and baritones were the big deal back with all the 80's new wave and 90's grunge bands.

I think that mostly everything has already been said in this thread. Also I noticed that tenors sound happier naturally.
#11
I used to wish I had a higher, tenor-range voice, but I got around to listening to vocalists that really make the most of their deeper baritone range. Examples include MJK and Mikael Akerfeldt.
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#13
Quote by axemanchris
When was the last time a pop star was ever a low baritone or a bass?
Not to try to disprove you or anything, but John Mayer. He uses falsetto a lot, but he can't go any higher than G in modal voice.

Then you have Jack Johnson who usually uses a pretty limited bass range. He could be a baritone, but he never really pushes the top of his range, so it's hard to tell.
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Last edited by food1010 at Oct 30, 2009,
#14
I think that its just to do with what some here said, how people associate high notes with skill. Though I tend lean towards baritones that push up towards the limits of their voice. For me, they posses that sort of richness that bass/baritone has and the cutting-through that a lot of tenors do.

I also think that the tenors that sound "girly" or "whiney" are those of scrawny little child-rockers. Usually, whenever I hear a tenor, it is usually coming from a band where the singer is quite thin, and I think that this affects the tone quite a bit. So i think that if you listened to a tenor with a decent build, they wouldn't sound so "girly."

But then again, I'm an amateur and I'm probably wrong...
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#15
cause rock music is ruled by tenors, that's the kind of voice you need for rock, baritones have a hard time to sing most of the rock songs unless you're born with a gifted extended baritone vocal range (E.G david coverdale, eddie vedder, axl rose, Elvis Presley).
Rock is noisy, distorted guitars are loud so is the drum, let alone metal, a low pitched voice would be overwhelmed by such loud instruments, so if you wanna emerge you need high pitched notes, that's why rock singing often includes screams, it's the genre that calls for the tenor's tessitura just like it calls for distorted guitars, besides the tenor voice is indeed the most versatile voice type, why? simple stated:

the schemes says that the range of a baritone goes from a G2 (third fret E bass string of the guitar) to a high G4 (third fret thin E)

the tenor range goes from a C2 to a high C5

you hardly ever hear notes below C2 in a song, in a rock or metal chorus they wouldn't even be heard, but even in a country song you'd never sing such bass notes, of course a baritone would sing middle range notes with more body and with a thicker tone compared to a tenor, but a tenor can easily manage middle bass notes as well, less body but he can still hit them with ease, a baritone has to strangle himself to sing hard rock songs, and the result would be shit.
I'm a baritone myself and feel very frustrated cause I love rock songs and punk rock, but I often have a hard time even with green day songs cause they already feel highish for me, so you can imagine myself singing a led zeppelin song, or U2, police, AC/DC, iron maiden etc, I can't even think about it.
#16
True Basses (I'm talking about down to C below Baritone Low G, but higher than Basso Profundi, which can go down to G below that) are even rarer than proper Tenors, but there is no call for them whatsoever in Rock Music, which really leaves me high and dry completely.

I can hit an Eb above Middle C fairly consistently, but couldn't really keep it up for a full song, or even a few times. As far as high notes go, it's so so much harder when the tessitura (general range of a song) of a song is all high, as sustaining many individual notes above Middle C for a while is quite difficult for me. Like, the odd time, I can hit the High A in Creep spot on, but that's resorting to some fairly clean screaming (a far cry from my classically trained lower range), and it's only once in the song. Keeping that up for any longer would be hell for me.

As people have said, it's because the high tone with Tenors (even when Baritones, Bass/Baritones or Basses are singing the same notes), that makes them stick out of the range of the chords that guitars generally play at. Unless it's done very well, it's quite difficult to get the other voices stick out quite as well.
Last edited by michaelwalsh123 at Jan 3, 2010,
#17


As people have said, it's because the high tone with Tenors (even when Baritones, Bass/Baritones or Basses are singing the same notes), that makes them stick out of the range of the chords that guitars generally play at. Unless it's done very well, it's quite difficult to get the other voices stick out quite as well.


yep, in a nutshell, in a rock or heavy metal band, the bass guitar covers the bass range, the guitar power chords cover the baritone range, so of course the lead vocal has to cover the tenor range to be heard, or it would stick behind.
High notes have nothing to do with skill, but they are more pleasent to be heard and have more clarity, when you play a solo with your guitar and jam in the first position what you do is not as clear as when you're at the bottom of the fingerboard, same with the voice, in a noisy rock background the only way to stick out with the voice is singing high notes or screaming, and that's the way rock has always been.
I really hate to say this but after so many years of practising in rock songs I have to admit that typical bass and baritones notes are useless in modern songs, the lowest note you hear in the 99% of modern songs can be pulled off by any stupid tenor as well, we can't say the same thing with baritones or basses when it's time to pull off the very frequent high notes we hear in pop music, rock, metal etc
#18
Quote by whoever said this, I accidently cut it out


2. Turn on the radio or MTV or whatever. Most pop repertoire emphasizes upper mid range notes towards higher notes. When was the last time a pop star was ever a low baritone or a bass? It rarely happens. So, people want to sing what they like to listen to.... and the cycle repeats. This is also genre-dependent too. Hair-metal fans LOOOOOVE those good old fashioned Vince Neil style hair metal wails. The harmonic and melodic artistry of Boston could never be fully realized by a baritone singer. On the other hand, your grandparents really wish they'd all stop screaming and sing like the true masters - Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Dean Martin, etc. Most country artists are baritones. I'm not sure how well a true tenor would go over in country.... even in new country.

CT

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#19
i think i prefer more baritones who can get into the tenor range. kinda like david bowie. he can get some low note but he can belt out some decent notes too.

but i also like tenors like stevie wonder or mark farner (grand funk). although, if you ever hear mark in an inerview, you might think hes a baritone.

i think there are just a lot of good rock and pop songs that have tenors for their singers. i guess there is just something about belting out those high notes.
#20
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
i think i prefer more baritones who can get into the tenor range. kinda like david bowie. he can get some low note but he can belt out some decent notes too.

but i also like tenors like stevie wonder or mark farner (grand funk). although, if you ever hear mark in an inerview, you might think hes a baritone.

i think there are just a lot of good rock and pop songs that have tenors for their singers. i guess there is just something about belting out those high notes.


yeah, but you need to be naturally gifted with 3 octaves or so, that's why those baritones are famous, even ian gillan is listed as a baritone but everybody knows the high notes he can pull off, another one is bruce springsteen, but baritones like that are born one over one thousands, even placido domingo when he was young started as a baritone, but studying he happened to have the tenor range at his disposal too, so he can sing both registers with no problem, but these people are aliens
#21
Quote by kevinmask
yeah, but you need to be naturally gifted with 3 octaves or so, that's why those baritones are famous, even ian gillan is listed as a baritone but everybody knows the high notes he can pull off, another one is bruce springsteen, but baritones like that are born one over one thousands, even placido domingo when he was young started as a baritone, but studying he happened to have the tenor range at his disposal too, so he can sing both registers with no problem, but these people are aliens


No, that is ridiculous. These people were not born with those ranges. They're very good at utilizing a powerful mixed voice. When I got through puberty, and my voice deepened, I had access to maybe an octave. I did a lot of voice training, and now I can match a low E string on a guitar, up to an A above high C. I guess if you're counting whistle notes, I could probably do up to the E above that, but notes like that are kind of unusable. I really don't think I'm anything special in that regard, I just practiced A LOT. I'm sure Ian Gillian did the same thing. I would wager he didn't come blasting out of puberty belting Child in Time.
#22
Quote by Chaingarden
No, that is ridiculous. These people were not born with those ranges. They're very good at utilizing a powerful mixed voice. When I got through puberty, and my voice deepened, I had access to maybe an octave. I did a lot of voice training, and now I can match a low E string on a guitar, up to an A above high C. I guess if you're counting whistle notes, I could probably do up to the E above that, but notes like that are kind of unusable. I really don't think I'm anything special in that regard, I just practiced A LOT. I'm sure Ian Gillian did the same thing. I would wager he didn't come blasting out of puberty belting Child in Time.


springsteen never uses mixed voice, eddie vedder doesn't either, coverdale can sing low notes and high notes in full voice, and well yes, some very extreme high not he might use falsetto.

The only ones mentioned up here who developed an effective mixed voice and head voice are gillan and axl rose, and metal singers in general, but that will always be different to a real tenor voice, and yet gillan is not able to sing child in time and many others anymore, not even if you squeeze his balls.
If you use falsetto, head voice and all these tricks it's not hard to go very high with a low voice, but how about the notes close to your passaggio? if you're a baritone I don't know if you are able to pull off in full voice an A4, or a B4 and keep this not for an entire stanza, but even a G4
#23
Quote by kevinmask
springsteen never uses mixed voice, eddie vedder doesn't either, coverdale can sing low notes and high notes in full voice, and well yes, some very extreme high not he might use falsetto.

The only ones mentioned up here who developed an effective mixed voice and head voice are gillan and axl rose, and metal singers in general, but that will always be different to a real tenor voice, and yet gillan is not able to sing child in time and many others anymore, not even if you squeeze his balls.
If you use falsetto, head voice and all these tricks it's not hard to go very high with a low voice, but how about the notes close to your passaggio? if you're a baritone I don't know if you are able to pull off in full voice an A4, or a B4 and keep this not for an entire stanza, but even a G4


I feel like I'm fairly comfortable around my passaggio. Some vowels and individual words can be pretty tricky, but for the most part, I don't really think there's any note that's particularly shaky. Honestly, that's kind of the deal with having a good, connected mixed voice. You really shouldn't be sacrificing tonal quality or any kind of agility anywhere.

I'm not really sure what to tell you. Any assertion that a wide array of singers are reaching high C or anywhere near that vicinity in full chest voice, and comfortably, is a false one. The male voice does not do that, regardless of voice type, unless you are quite literally an anomaly of nature, like Michael Maniaci (underdeveloped larynx.) I can guarantee you that none of the singers you mentioned are in that boat.
#24
Quote by Chaingarden
I feel like I'm fairly comfortable around my passaggio. Some vowels and individual words can be pretty tricky, but for the most part, I don't really think there's any note that's particularly shaky. Honestly, that's kind of the deal with having a good, connected mixed voice. You really shouldn't be sacrificing tonal quality or any kind of agility anywhere.

I'm not really sure what to tell you. Any assertion that a wide array of singers are reaching high C or anywhere near that vicinity in full chest voice, and comfortably, is a false one. The male voice does not do that, regardless of voice type, unless you are quite literally an anomaly of nature, like Michael Maniaci (underdeveloped larynx.) I can guarantee you that none of the singers you mentioned are in that boat.


I actually don't care so much about the high C, cause my range ends pretty earlier (doesn't go beyond a G4), and I can garantee that many singers who sound lowish in tone who never even taken a class can reach at least a B flat with no effort in full voice, no mixed, nor head voice.
So far we mentioned hard rock and metal singers who frequently milk the mixed voice, head voice and falsetto, let's talk about pop or punk singers who simply use their natural full voice, billie joe armstrong from green day can easily hit a B4 in full voice, and he does sound lowish in his bass notes and can pull off a thick and warm bass G2, yet I can't say whether he's a high baritone or a low tenor, anyway he has a great agility in both ends, and if you talked to him he wouldn't even know what the heck mixed voice, and head voice are.
Elvis Presley is listed as a baritone too but in the high range he sounds like an opera tenor, he can pull off a C#5 just with his plain natural voice, again, no falsetto, no head voice nothing so complex.

I believe there are people gifted with a great range and a great voice, these people when they happen to sing they become famous, voice is a complex thing, each individual has a different anatomy therefore a different timbre and range, opera schemes only represent the avarage, but cover most of the cases just fine, if you are a baritone and can sing for hours notes like F4 G4 and A4 well congratulations, you have a great range and a good anatomy for singing
Last edited by kevinmask at Jan 5, 2010,
#25
Quote by kevinmask
yeah, but you need to be naturally gifted with 3 octaves or so, that's why those baritones are famous, even ian gillan is listed as a baritone but everybody knows the high notes he can pull off, another one is bruce springsteen, but baritones like that are born one over one thousands, even placido domingo when he was young started as a baritone, but studying he happened to have the tenor range at his disposal too, so he can sing both registers with no problem, but these people are aliens

i dont think they are that rare. it might just be that people people dont know how many baritones are actually out there. im a baritone and i can sing in the tenor range too.
#26
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
i dont think they are that rare. it might just be that people people dont know how many baritones are actually out there. im a baritone and i can sing in the tenor range too.

well you wanna make a comparison with how many baritones are out there compared to tenors? you can count baritones on your fingers, tenors are a big majority.

As for the tenor range, I ask you the same question, can you sing an entire chorus which hits a G4 or a A4 continuosly? full voice, not mixed, nor falsetto/head voice, I really doubt if you're a real baritone
#27
Quote by kevinmask
billie joe armstrong from green day can easily hit a B4 in full voice, and he does sound lowish in his bass notes and can pull off a thick and warm bass G2, yet I can't say whether he's a high baritone or a low tenor, anyway he has a great agility in both ends, and if you talked to him he wouldn't even know what the heck mixed voice, and head voice are.
Elvis Presley is listed as a baritone too but in the high range he sounds like an opera tenor, he can pull off a C#5 just with his plain natural voice, again, no falsetto, no head voice nothing so complex.


Just because he doesn't know what a mixed voice is doesn't mean that he never uses it, pretty much every singer after a few years would learn on their own to lighten up the top end of their range, otherwise on those notes they would either break into falsetto or have a very strained, chokey sound (which billie certainly doesn't have)
If you shoved a camera down armstrong's throat while he's towards the top of his range, you'd probably see his vocal cords doing something almost identical to a mixed voice co-ordination.

And that high C# by Elvis Presley is definitely in mixed voice, you probably have a completely different definition of mixed voice to us if you're sure he's still singing that in chest. boo, terminology sucks
#28
Quote by kevinmask
well you wanna make a comparison with how many baritones are out there compared to tenors? you can count baritones on your fingers, tenors are a big majority.

As for the tenor range, I ask you the same question, can you sing an entire chorus which hits a G4 or a A4 continuosly? full voice, not mixed, nor falsetto/head voice, I really doubt if you're a real baritone

honestly, im not enough of a singer to really know those terms. i can sing those notes though. im not sure what voice im using. i dont really think about that. i just sing and try to make it sound nice haha. ive been told on this site that im actually a bass because i can hit the low E on a guitar. but i think its just me going outside of the guidines of what a baritone is. there are a bunch of songs i can sing in 3 octaves though. like roxanne by the police and can sing in 3 octaves: the one he sings, an octave below that, which im assuming is baritone range, and then an octave below that which im assuming is bass.
but most singers i hear dont really sound like true tenors to me. id argue that most male singers are probably somewhere between a baritone and tenor. i doubt most people fall strictly into one class of singer. i mean, again if you listen to mark farner talk, he sounds like a baritone at least but he is known to be a great tenor singer. he probably just learned how to put power behind his notes and fill out the upper range of his voice.
#29
Quote by kevinmask
well you wanna make a comparison with how many baritones are out there compared to tenors? you can count baritones on your fingers, tenors are a big majority.

As for the tenor range, I ask you the same question, can you sing an entire chorus which hits a G4 or a A4 continuosly? full voice, not mixed, nor falsetto/head voice, I really doubt if you're a real baritone


I think you might be confused about what mixed voice is. If you have a strong mixed voice, it shouldn't really be that distinguishable from chest voice. I don't doubt that a lot of these musicians you mentioned probably don't know the distinction, but I can almost 100% guarantee you that they are using at least some head resonance, whether they know it or not. If they were only using their chest voice they'd be able to speak consistently and with perfect diction in that range all the time if they wished. If they're just yelling, then that's a different story. A good example of this is Kurt Cobain. He sang in that register probably using almost entirely chest voice, but it almost always sounded strained, and he would break and flip all over the place. He wasn't singing those tones, he was shouting them. Bruce Springsteen may do the same thing, I don't know much about him or his singing. It's distinctive sounding though. It takes on a shouting quality when you pull up chest like that, regardless of your voice type. If you're pulling chest like that, yeah you might be able to hit those notes based on your physical makeup, but frankly, I don't really give a shit, because it's going to sound awful, relative to the same singing in a solid mixed voice, unless you're basing your sound on sounding like shit, like Cobain did.
#30
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
honestly, im not enough of a singer to really know those terms. i can sing those notes though. im not sure what voice im using. i dont really think about that. i just sing and try to make it sound nice haha. ive been told on this site that im actually a bass because i can hit the low E on a guitar. but i think its just me going outside of the guidines of what a baritone is. there are a bunch of songs i can sing in 3 octaves though. like roxanne by the police and can sing in 3 octaves: the one he sings, an octave below that, which im assuming is baritone range, and then an octave below that which im assuming is bass.
but most singers i hear dont really sound like true tenors to me. id argue that most male singers are probably somewhere between a baritone and tenor. i doubt most people fall strictly into one class of singer. i mean, again if you listen to mark farner talk, he sounds like a baritone at least but he is known to be a great tenor singer. he probably just learned how to put power behind his notes and fill out the upper range of his voice.


E2 is a baritone note, a true bass hits a C2, you said you have 3 octaves, the avarage is 1 octave and a half, and most of the singers develope 2 octaves, 3 octaves is already rare and if you have them well you're lucky and well gifted, a baritone with 3 octaves doesn't have any reason to envy a tenor.

as for billie joe armstrong I think he's a tenor, probably a darkish tenor but not a real baritone, and his high notes sound exactly as his lowest notes so I don't really think he switches to mixed voice or use any other particular technique, besidesI never really heard him hit singable notes above a Bb4, above that he screams a lot, especially when he talks to the audience, but he has a great agility in the passaggio notes,I might be wrong but that's what my ears hear.

In a nutshell if you think any baritone can sing all tenor songs with mixed voice well I beg to differ, a baritone in mixed voice can go high, but a tenor in mixed voice can go even higher, it all depends how high you wanna go, metal tenors go very high and I really doubt a baritone would equalize a tenor at that point.
A baritone might be able to sing an A4 or hit billie joe's highest notes in mixed voice, but it won't be the same thing, it's not just a matter to hit those notes, it's the quality of how you hit them that makes the difference, and yet a baritone will have to develop and break up a sweat to obtain tenor notes, a born tenor would do those notes naturally with no effort, most pop rock singers hit high notes but just use 1 octave and a half of their range, I personally have 2 good octaves and would be just fine if most of the pop rock songs wouldn't be out of my tessitura, that's why we still wish we were tenors, it'd make life much easier.
To end this up I'd add that in my opinion, and according to all the 4 coaches I've had, it's not true that any baritone can easily go higher than a G4, it depends on the singer's anatomy, the age he begins to sing, and many other things, some people are less cut out than others at singing and it also happens to have a limited range,I started to sing significant things about 2 years ago, I'm now 31 so my voice is already shaped and feels kinda stiff, it'll probably be hard to me to find a way to model it in order to sing tenor parts, I can sing notes like f4 f#4and g4, but they tire me a lot and I have to use them sparingly.

You guys tell me your opinion, I love this debate
#31
hey on the whole high note thing I've always wondered what happens to the rest of you when you try to sing higher than what's comfortable
like I know with me I have a bit of a weird voice in that my voice never cracks no matter how high I try to go, I can just keep pushing and pushing until I try to hit the Eb above the high C and then I either go flat or it turns into a nasty scream (I can hit the D below that alright but so far the Eb is just too much even on a good day). I think it's cause of this that I started with literally less than a 1 octave range and got it up to 2 in a few months, but my tone was shitty even for a while after I could hit a high C
and I know even up there I'm not transitioning into head voice or a lighter mix, I can't even hit a middle C softly cause I'm pushing so hard

so do you all just have your voices go into falsetto when you try to go too high? if that's the case I'm wondering why you can't just practice the high notes until they stop breaking
wish I could relate to every other singer, never heard of someone in the same position as me but if anyone elses voice never breaks speak up
Last edited by Cheeseman07 at Jan 10, 2010,
#32
@ kevinmask...

With regards to breaking a sweat to reach certain notes, if you're having a difficult time reaching notes, physically (as opposed to difficulty as a result of lack of coordination), you're absolutely doing it wrong. If you think that there are notes that tenors can make that baritones cannot produce with conviction, in a pop/rock context at least, you're plainly mistaken. Heard Pearl Jam's new album Backspacer? I can tell you it will change your perception of Eddie Vedder, specifically with regards to his mixed voice usage, and what his baritone voice can do.

I'm not sure who is teaching you the idea that certain people are just "gifted" with a certain range, which is unattainable by others, but I'd can them if you're paying for their services. They're frankly wrong. It would be akin to saying that Steve Vai was just born with natural agility in his fingers, and that's why he's as good as he is. The argument just doesn't make any sense, from a rational, nor anatomical perspective. When a tenor reaches higher notes, all they are doing is zipping up their vocal cords (this is absolutely supported by visual evidence.) There is no evidence on this planet that suggests a baritone is unable of doing the same thing. Furthermore, there is no evidence on this planet that suggests anyone without physical abnormalities would be incapable of doing the same. It's suggested that this is more difficult from a coordination perspective for a baritone, as their cords are more massive, and thus less agile, but to say that zipping up their cords like a tenor is not possible is a falsehood.
#33
you're all writing a lot of good (and rediculous) information, but i can sum it up in a few lines: most rock singers are baritones forcing themselves to be tenors. hence the raspiness that is pruduced that we have grown to love, because it is proven that people would rather listen to raspiness because it shows wisdom and gives credibility. most rock singers would be terrible classical singers, so i disagree that they are born singers
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#34
Quote by Chaingarden
@ kevinmask...

With regards to breaking a sweat to reach certain notes, if you're having a difficult time reaching notes, physically (as opposed to difficulty as a result of lack of coordination), you're absolutely doing it wrong. If you think that there are notes that tenors can make that baritones cannot produce with conviction, in a pop/rock context at least, you're plainly mistaken. Heard Pearl Jam's new album Backspacer? I can tell you it will change your perception of Eddie Vedder, specifically with regards to his mixed voice usage, and what his baritone voice can do.

I'm not sure who is teaching you the idea that certain people are just "gifted" with a certain range, which is unattainable by others, but I'd can them if you're paying for their services. They're frankly wrong. It would be akin to saying that Steve Vai was just born with natural agility in his fingers, and that's why he's as good as he is. The argument just doesn't make any sense, from a rational, nor anatomical perspective. When a tenor reaches higher notes, all they are doing is zipping up their vocal cords (this is absolutely supported by visual evidence.) There is no evidence on this planet that suggests a baritone is unable of doing the same thing. Furthermore, there is no evidence on this planet that suggests anyone without physical abnormalities would be incapable of doing the same. It's suggested that this is more difficult from a coordination perspective for a baritone, as their cords are more massive, and thus less agile, but to say that zipping up their cords like a tenor is not possible is a falsehood.


tenor, baritone, soprano is a pretty schematic thing, and it has to do with ranges, neither with voice timbre or what else, the scheme is very clear, it can go wrong of one tone but it pretty much fits most of the avarage ranges, with your logic there wouldn't be any difference between a tenor and a baritone, and this terminology wouldn't have any reason to exist, but if it exists there's a reason, it's not just a random bullshit invented by a drunken, if you're a baritone there's no way you can do what tenors do and viceversa, would you get to play a bass guitar the same high notes you play with a guitar? the answer is NO, and that's what happens with vocal ranges too, each vocal register has limits, just like instruments, a baritone can go high but not as high as a tenor, and even if you can cover an early tenor range being a baritone it won't have the same consistency and cannot be kept for long without fatigue, on the contrary a tenor can do that cause its tessitura lies in an upper point, the tessitura issue exists, and have to do with these schemes, it's no bullshit. You mentioned Eddie Vedder, I know Eddie is a baritone and can pull off tenor notes, but his name is self explainatory, he's Eddie Vedder!!! not just a random baritone. Even if you know techniques it won't change so much your anatomy, they can ease your extreme notes but won't make miracles
#35
Quote by AE25RR
you're all writing a lot of good (and rediculous) information, but i can sum it up in a few lines: most rock singers are baritones forcing themselves to be tenors. hence the raspiness that is pruduced that we have grown to love, because it is proven that people would rather listen to raspiness because it shows wisdom and gives credibility. most rock singers would be terrible classical singers, so i disagree that they are born singers


AE25RR could you please list all the rock baritones you know, or you think they are? cause I only know 3 or 4

if the rock singers you mentioned forced themselves with the result of raspiness they wouldn't last for long, one year and they were screwed, if you force you feel fatigue after the first song in a live show, it's phisically impossibile to carry on a 2 hours live show forcing in every song and yelling at the audience, let alone singing every day in a tour.
Last edited by kevinmask at Jan 10, 2010,
#36
^if you're counting high baritones there are gonna be a lot
most guys are around that range and a lot of them have a lighter tone too which makes them sound a lot like a tenor

I'd probably put all of these as high baritones/low tenors:
Matt Bellamy
Thom Yorke
Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots)
Kurt Cobain
Mike Patton (Faith no More, Mr Bungle)
Maynard James Keening (Tool, APC)
Chris Cornell
Trent Reznor
Beck
and that's all just me having a quick look through my music folder, there's a shitload of them basically
Last edited by Cheeseman07 at Jan 10, 2010,
#37
Quote by kevinmask
let's talk about pop or punk singers who simply use their natural full voice, billie joe armstrong from green day can easily hit a B4 in full voice,

...

Elvis Presley is listed as a baritone too but in the high range he sounds like an opera tenor, he can pull off a C#5 just with his plain natural voice, again, no falsetto, no head voice nothing so complex.


Huh??!! Where? Either of 'em??!!

Quote by kevinmask

if you are a baritone and can sing for hours notes like F4 G4 and A4 well congratulations, you have a great range and a good anatomy for singing


Hmmm.... that's pretty typical for the high end of a baritone singer. If you are singing with proper technique, you can sing for hours within your range.

CT
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#38
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
i dont think they are that rare. it might just be that people people dont know how many baritones are actually out there. im a baritone and i can sing in the tenor range too.


Quote by kevinmask
well you wanna make a comparison with how many baritones are out there compared to tenors? you can count baritones on your fingers, tenors are a big majority.


Baritones outnumber tenors by a ratio of about 8:1.

Quote by kevinmask

As for the tenor range, I ask you the same question, can you sing an entire chorus which hits a G4 or a A4 continuosly? full voice, not mixed, nor falsetto/head voice, I really doubt if you're a real baritone


I'm a lyric baritone. (a baritone with a bit of an extended top range... I top out somewhere between the A and the B below tenor C, depending on the context of the note). Yes, I can sing G4 and A4 pretty much continuously in full voice. (also known as mixed voice....)

I'm not sure what you're asking or suggesting there, though....

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.
#39
Quote by kevinmask
E2 is a baritone note,


It sort of falls into that no-man's land between baritone and bass. Generally speaking, a baritone is not asked to sing below the G, so if a part called for an E2, it would be a bass who would be asked to sing it.

Quote by kevinmask

a true bass hits a C2, you said you have 3 octaves, the avarage is 1 octave and a half, and most of the singers develope 2 octaves, 3 octaves is already rare and if you have them well you're lucky and well gifted


This is all true. I'm instantly suspicious of anyone who claims to have a three octave range. Pretty much invariably, they are including falsetto when they say this. I mean, really..... a person can sing the lowest E string on the guitar all the way up to the top E at the 12th fret all in full voice? Yeah, right. Whatever. In fact, Bruce Dickenson sings a D above tenor C in the chorus of run to the hills, but when he gets the G at the end, he needs to go into falsetto. He has an exceptionally high voice. I'm curious if you can name an example of someone who can sing, say, the E above tenor C in full voice. AFAIK, I have yet to hear it.

Quote by kevinmask

as for billie joe armstrong I think he's a tenor, probably a darkish tenor but not a real baritone,


I sing in a Green Day tribute. Our set list is still in development, but out of the 15 songs I've learned, I don't think I've sung anything higher than an F# or G. I've certainly never had to reach for a note. (as I say, I top out somewhere between the A and B just below tenor C, depending on the context of the note. I consider the A to be the top of my reliable range.) That would make him a baritone.

Quote by kevinmask

and his high notes sound exactly as his lowest notes so I don't really think he switches to mixed voice or use any other particular technique,


Generally a trait of someone who sings with reasonably good technique. It's called the "line of the voice" - that which describes a consistency of tone across the registers. On the opposite end of the spectrum (though I like his voice) is Axl Rose, who, depending on the register he sings in, sounds like three different singers.

Quote by kevinmask

besidesI never really heard him hit singable notes above a Bb4,


I'd love to hear an example of that. In fact, I'd like to hear an example of him singing anything higher than the G in full voice.

Quote by kevinmask

In a nutshell if you think any baritone can sing all tenor songs with mixed voice well I beg to differ, a baritone in mixed voice can go high, but a tenor in mixed voice can go even higher, it all depends how high you wanna go, metal tenors go very high and I really doubt a baritone would equalize a tenor at that point.
A baritone might be able to sing an A4 or hit billie joe's highest notes in mixed voice, but it won't be the same thing, it's not just a matter to hit those notes, it's the quality of how you hit them that makes the difference, and yet a baritone will have to develop and break up a sweat to obtain tenor notes, a born tenor would do those notes naturally with no effort, most pop rock singers hit high notes but just use 1 octave and a half of their range, I personally have 2 good octaves and would be just fine if most of the pop rock songs wouldn't be out of my tessitura, that's why we still wish we were tenors, it'd make life much easier.
To end this up I'd add that in my opinion, and according to all the 4 coaches I've had, it's not true that any baritone can easily go higher than a G4, it depends on the singer's anatomy, the age he begins to sing, and many other things, some people are less cut out than others at singing and it also happens to have a limited range,I started to sing significant things about 2 years ago, I'm now 31 so my voice is already shaped and feels kinda stiff, it'll probably be hard to me to find a way to model it in order to sing tenor parts, I can sing notes like f4 f#4and g4, but they tire me a lot and I have to use them sparingly.

You guys tell me your opinion, I love this debate


Although most of this is basically true, a baritone cannot sing tenor notes in full voice. If he could, he would be a tenor.

The age you begin to sing is not an issue, I don't think. I didn't start singing until I was almost 30. In fact, I hardly sang a note between the ages of 12 and 25. I even mouthed the words at family birthdays when the cake came out.

Those high notes (the F# and the G that you referred to) should not tire you out a lot if they are, indeed within your range, SO LONG AS you are producing the voice properly. If you are not, then yes, they will tire you out.

A singer's range is basically defined by two things - their anatomy and how they produce the voice.

Their full range will be determined by the length and thickness of their vocal cords. That is physics. Their usable range will basically be a subset of that, limited by how efficiently they produce the voice. You might, based on the physical characteristics of your vocal cords, be able to hit an A above middle C, but if you are limited by poor technique, you might top out at the E below 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.
#40
Doesnt mean though it can't be done, look at Barlow's voice from Iced earth, he is a great baritone, possibly bass. Playing in a heavy metal band.
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