#1
Hey guys, I just got into singing after a getting a vocal defect fixed, and after a few days of getting used to singing and warming up, I decided to finally figure out what my vocal range was.

I have a deep voice and so I was pretty discouraged when I tried to sing like some of my favorite singers but simply couldn't because I'm not tenor.

My vocal range is: E3 - E4

I guess that is Baritone I think.

I'm into stuff like Thrash Metal and Post-Grunge and Grunge etc.

I was unable to hit the high notes at ALL, tried singing songs like Tornado of souls and Lucretia. Most of the songs by Puddle Of Mudd are shit but I'll be honest, I really liked Wes Scantlin (the vocalist), and I couldn't sing high like him either. So any robert plant and all that stuff is simply out of the equation.

I would atleast want to sing as high as James Hetfield on Master of puppets, I can't even hit some of the notes on that song, most of it I can nail though.

Plus my head voice and notes around E4 sound very breathy in order for me to nail them, otherwise they just sound very strained.

So my question is, where do I go from here ? Will I ever be able to belt out strong 'rock screams' and highs like I want to ? Is it possible for my vocal range to expand ? Or is it just something based on genetics ?

Thank you, appreciate all replies.
Last edited by MehrozeGillani at Apr 26, 2014,
#2
Your post does not really make sense. Some information must be wrong.
C5 is the tenor-C, which is a fairly high note for any male. Singers like James Hetfield rarely have melodies up there. So are you including your falsetto in your vocal-range? (It's entirely possible to be able to sing C5, but then you should be able to sing Metallica songs)
Another thing to note is that your vocal range does not really determine your vocal-type, it's pretty much your comfort-zone that determines what "type" you are.
Reality is that there is not really a clear tenor or baritone mark. It does not work like that. My highest note ever hit is A5 in a mixed-voice, but that does not make me a tenor.
I start to mix my registers (falsetto, modal-voice) pretty early compared to a true tenor, so I lie somewhere inbetween baritone and tenor.
To determine your vocal-range, find your comfortzone and then work your way up and see when you start to mix. I start around F4, based on your post I'd assume yours would be around the same or lower.
#3
Quote by KrisHQ
Your post does not really make sense. Some information must be wrong.
C5 is the tenor-C, which is a fairly high note for any male. Singers like James Hetfield rarely have melodies up there. So are you including your falsetto in your vocal-range?

No, this does not include falsetto. But I just realized I had made an error while assessing myself.
Quote by KrisHQ
Another thing to note is that your vocal range does not really determine your vocal-type, it's pretty much your comfort-zone that determines what "type" you are.

I was not completely aware of this, I sat on my piano as soon as I read this and went through again, my bottom note was actually E3, but the highest I could comfortably go to was E4, could not go any higher than that without straining, and anything in that region is just very hard to produce, if I go higher my voice breaks.

I don't know, for example, I can sing most of master of puppets, but as soon as a high note is belted out, my voice just breaks, could there be something else wrong ? I know all about breathing with my diaphragm and keeping my throat wide open etc.

Shit I am so frustrated.
Last edited by MehrozeGillani at Apr 26, 2014,
#4
As someone who used to have the same problem...is put some ****ing balls into it. Make the song your bitch. Who gives a **** what it sounds like in the beginning. The breathiness comes from now having enough breath support to give it all you got. People will tell you breathe from your diaphragm....but I say breathe from the bottom your dick and let it ****ing pour. Learn to project as well...my trick is pick a spot on a far away wall and throw your voice at it like a rotten ****ing tomato at a bad clown. Like anything dude, its about attitude, if you don't feel it you'll never get it.
Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds
#5
You might be confusing the octaves. E3 is not really what I would consider a low note, but it would make sense if E2 was the lowest you could go, without switching to your fry-register.
It would make sense for E4 to be the end of your comfortzone however. A lot of male singers, including myself stuggle around G4-B4. It's pretty normal for any untrained singer to strain in this area.
And so, it makes sense that when James Hetfield starts hitting notes around G4-B4, you'll strain to reach them. The only thing to be done about that is practice.
Singing is not something you learn in a few days, it takes a lot of effort and years if you've never sung before.

As to the advice about attitude and just putting balls into it. That probably won't really do much tbh. Just search youtube for some basic singing lessons and work your way from there, another alternative is to get a teacher.
#6
Quote by KrisHQ
As to the advice about attitude and just putting balls into it. That probably won't really do much tbh. Just search youtube for some basic singing lessons and work your way from there, another alternative is to get a teacher.


Oh ok, so James Hetfield sounds like he doesn't have any balls when he sings of course.
Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds
#7
Quote by RBM01991
Oh ok, so James Hetfield sounds like he doesn't have any balls when he sings of course.

I have no idea what it means to have balls when singing.
Are you referring to the use of grit/distortion, because that is a technique even the most feminine singers can learn with proper practice and guidance.
If you want to sing "with balls" then learn proper technique, you'll blast any pretending rock-singer out of the way. Power, High notes and distortion are all things that come with proper technique.
So don't just sing "with your balls", use your vocal-cords and do it correctly.
Last edited by KrisHQ at Apr 28, 2014,
#8
Quote by KrisHQ
I have no idea what it means to have balls when singing.
Are you referring to the use of grit/distortion, because that is a technique even the most feminine singers can learn with proper practice and guidance.
If you want to sing "with balls" then learn proper technique, you'll blast any pretending rock-singer out of the way. Power, High notes and distortion are all things that come with proper technique.
So don't just sing "with your balls", use your vocal-cords and do it correctly.


No dude, you missed the whole point, what I'm talking about is attitude. Technique and all that is important because you don't wanna hurt yourself, but will you sound the same when you sing Master of Puppets in a classical style? No. The man wants to sound like Hetfield....most men can and will sound like Hetfield if they try because Papa Het is a BARITONE. Most men are Baritones, in fact the likelyhood of OP having a Billie Holiday type of vocal range is almost as slim as someone having a whistle range. The thing I'm talking about is the drive, the "going for it" kinda attitude that you need to have when you wanna sing Papa Het. While I encourage proper technique whenever possible for baritones singing baritone repertoire...its not a technique thing, its mostly calming your own nerves.
Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds
#9
Well. Sure thing emotions are important, but it's also very subjective to the individual which singers they feel reach out to them. So, the most important thing is of course to enjoy singing, and don't be afraid to flow with the music.
However, having that drive (showmanship) is not really important unless you are doing gigs.
My point is, you can't just "go for it" and then be better. It's impossible to "show emotions" if you are a terrible singer.
#10
Quote by KrisHQ
A lot of male singers, including myself stuggle around G4-B4. It's pretty normal for any untrained singer to strain in this area.
And so, it makes sense that when James Hetfield starts hitting notes around G4-B4, you'll strain to reach them. The only thing to be done about that is practice.


That is actually comforting to know, that I am able to do something about this, I thought that range was something that is based solely on genetics, isn't that the case ? Or is it possible to build yourself into singing as high as you want provided that you practice ?

All of my main influences (as far as singing is concerned) have been people like Axl-Rose, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Chris Cornell, James Hetfield, Tom Araya, Phil Anselmo etc.

Not being able to sing like Ronnie James Dio or Robert Plant is understandable but when I couldn't even sing stuff like Harvester Of Sorrow or Creeping Death, I was just frustrated.
Last edited by MehrozeGillani at Apr 28, 2014,
#11
Play the hand you were dealt. Get a good vocal coach who understands rock music and dig in to make the most of your tools. No point in trying to sing something you physically can't sing. Robert Plant vocals are even tough for Plant at this point.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#12
Quote by Cajundaddy
Play the hand you were dealt. Get a good vocal coach who understands rock music and dig in to make the most of your tools. No point in trying to sing something you physically can't sing. Robert Plant vocals are even tough for Plant at this point.


I understand what you are trying to say, but I have grown up listening to Metal/Rock and grunge music my entire life, It is perfectly understandable to not be able to sing like Plant or Dio etc. I think we can all agree they are exceptions, and everyone has a different timbre/fundamental frequency, but you do need, atleast like, what ? 3 semi-tones more than a E4 to be able to sing Rock music properly and overcome the whole mix of guitars/bass/drums to sit into the whole spectrum.
#13
Quote by MehrozeGillani
I understand what you are trying to say, but I have grown up listening to Metal/Rock and grunge music my entire life, It is perfectly understandable to not be able to sing like Plant or Dio etc. I think we can all agree they are exceptions, and everyone has a different timbre/fundamental frequency, but you do need, atleast like, what ? 3 semi-tones more than a E4 to be able to sing Rock music properly and overcome the whole mix of guitars/bass/drums to sit into the whole spectrum.



Or tune down a whole step.
I am a baritone and have a LOT of pro vocal training. There is a lot of stuff I can sing well and a lot I am simply unsuited for. Having a 1st tenor in the band is great to cover the ground I can't hit. Finding another 1/2 octave from my pipes ain't happening without a sex change operation and I am pretty fond of my current configuration. Reality is a bitch sometimes.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#15
Vocal range IS determined by your genetics. But you have to "unlock" it first.
When you're a beginner, your vocal range will naturally be small because you lack technique and experience. As you progress you'll notice that you range starts to expand.
There will be a point where you physically cannot go deeper or higher, but from the sound of it, you still have to unlock your range.
A lot of the singers you mentioned are nothing special vocally, so unless you're a bass (vocal-type) it should be possible to reach those notes if you practice correctly.
As you said yourself, there will be a restriction at some point meaning that you probably won't be singing Dio.

When you're inexperienced the best way to get a sense of your range, is to listen to your speaking voice. Is it extremely deep? Is it very high? If you need to shout at someone (If you've ever been a teacher or similar) are you able to, or do you lack the power to speak up?
Last edited by KrisHQ at May 1, 2014,
#16
Quote by Cajundaddy
Or tune down a whole step.
I am a baritone and have a LOT of pro vocal training. There is a lot of stuff I can sing well and a lot I am simply unsuited for. Having a 1st tenor in the band is great to cover the ground I can't hit. Finding another 1/2 octave from my pipes ain't happening without a sex change operation and I am pretty fond of my current configuration. Reality is a bitch sometimes.


Actually there are ways to change your vocal range without needing to do any operation, but I wouldn't recommend this unless you really can't stand your voice. I used to go from E2 to F4, but I always wanted to sing high stuff. With the help of a coach I can now go for an A#4, but the lowest I can reach is a F#2.

To achieve this I basically worked more on my high notes and less on my low notes, with time the low notes start to fade away as the high ones start to come. Remember that I used the help of a coach for that, doing it alone will likely make you loose your voice or have a vocal drop.

You mentioned in the first post that your head voice sounds breathy. If it sounds breathy it's not head voice, it's falsetto. A well worked head voice will sound very natural. An excellent example is the chorus in Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden.
In the beginning your head voice will sound weak, indeed, and as you work it, it'll probably still be weaker than your chest voice, but it never is breathy, not even in the beginning.
Last edited by mp8andrade at May 1, 2014,
#17
Quote by KrisHQ
When you're inexperienced the best way to get a sense of your range, is to listen to your speaking voice. Is it extremely deep? Is it very high? If you need to shout at someone (If you've ever been a teacher or similar) are you able to, or do you lack the power to speak up?


My 'conversation' voice is not too deep or too high either, but I would safely say it does lurk on the deep side of the spectrum. As far as shouting is concerned, I can speak up loud and yell pretty damn hard, and I'm one of the guys whose presence is certainly felt in the room when he is speaking. So amplitude/volume isn't a problem really.

A vocal sample of my voice is here:

https://soundcloud.com/mehroze-gillani/sample-help/s-RaWtf

Please pardon the lack of resonance, I have a cold.
And also any errors, just winged this without any warm up

Quote by mp8andrade
You mentioned in the first post that your head voice sounds breathy. If it sounds breathy it's not head voice, it's falsetto. A well worked head voice will sound very natural. An excellent example is the chorus in Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden.
In the beginning your head voice will sound weak, indeed, and as you work it, it'll probably still be weaker than your chest voice, but it never is breathy, not even in the beginning.


That's what I've been trying to say, I have a very weak head voice, but in no way is it falsetto, I didn't mean that type of breathy, I mean breathy as in Kurt Cobain singing intro verse to smells like teen spirit breathy.
Last edited by MehrozeGillani at May 3, 2014,
#18
I should figure out my range. I like to sing high, like Jon Anderson, and like
female singers. I have a thin weak voice, but pretty much perfect pitch and ear.
I can write and sing multi harmonies. But when I sing low lead , like Jim Morrison,
I have more power. Jon Anderson, by the way, people think he sings falsetto
but he actually doesn't, he just sings kind of strong like a high tenor.
#19
@Mehroze
I just heard your clip. You have nothing to worry about. You are probably a very generic baritone. Generic does not have a negative connotation btw.
Your tone/timbre sounds very nice, and I believe you could be a great singer
It even sounds like you mix without any large gaps, from listening to your "headvoice" sample.
I don't hear anything that could prevent you from singing standard metal like Metallica etc.
And yes, it sounds like you would be able to put some power behind your voice/vocals if you wanted/needed to. Use that power when singing, no male singer can hit high-notes while being quiet and soft. It might sound like that on recordings due to compression etc. but trust me, people are seriously shouting those notes in the studio
Last edited by KrisHQ at May 5, 2014,
#20
I wouldn't say that notes sung by Anselmo, Hetfield or Cornell are "nothing special'.

Anselmo regularly goes beyond C5 despite being a baritone. A4-C5 are pretty damn tough to hit (they're next to impossible from my perspective haha) and James pretty frequently sings in that range. Chris Cornell also frequently gets into the fifth octave.

Of course you can probably train yourself to sing like them but it'll take a damn good bit of work. All three are baritones but they reach exceptionally high notes (I'm not even sure how they do it whatsoever).