Welcome to The Voice Connection Sound Off; a forum for users of books like Raise Your Voice, Melody to Madness, The Ultimate Breathing Workout, and Unleash Your Creative Mindset, as well as a place for Vendera Vocal Academy members to interact.

This message board was created so that singers could come together and "sound off" to help support each other during vocal development and the creative process of unleashing the creative spark that occurs when writing and producing music. Currently, myself and vocal coaches Ben Valen, Ray West, and Ryan Wall are here to respond periodicially to your questions, with new vocal coaches coming soon. But, feel free to help each other too:)

This board is here for you to ask questions about my and my fellow coach's books, videos, and MP3 programs, as well as offer others help with our vocal techniques. You may also post videos of yourself and your band to share your music and ask for critiques.

Please refrain from negative comments, profanities, spamming, and inappropriate criticisms of vocal methodologies, vocal coaches, and singers. All negative posts will be deleted and subject to banning without question. I will not respond to negative posts, because, as Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” With that said, positive criticism is welcome because that is how you'll grow as a singer during the training process.

The Voice Connection - Sound Off
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Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

Thanks Brandon, I appreciate it. My voice is just fine today - I could do another show no prob. I didn't burn it out.

I'm just the type of person who thinks; "If I CAN do it under certain circumstances, I SHOULD be able to do it under any circumstances w/ practice."

Know what I mean?

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

I know exactly what you mean. Whenever people ask me what my career goal is I say "I'm a singer." Upon which time they say "Oh really, sing something for me." As if they were going to be the determinant factor in regards to my level of success. "Oh, you're a comedian? Tell me a joke!" Oh, you're a dancer? DANCE MONKEY, DANCE!!!" Taht type of shit.

I always end up refusing to sing unless I at least have my guitar, and so they usually think I'm just lying. But go look at those youtube vids I posted on here, particularly the Middle Eastern Jam. I can sing pretty damn well. I'm not tooting my own horn. I'm just saying that I know what you mean when you want to be able to just get up and do it regardless of the circumstances. I'm glad I've helped a little. Take care...

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

The singing on command thing is pretty annoying. I have teachers and random people all the time actually demand that I sing right at that moment for them and when I refuse they decide that I can't sing or else I wouldn't. I've never gone up to a football player and asked him to tackle someone or a cop and tell them to go arrest someone so why have to sing on command to prove you can do it? Just my random statement/complaint for the day.

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

It's because they are jealous... seriously. They cant do it, so when someone else has that dream, they either want to tell them they never will either, or be WOWED by their amazing talent. I don't sing either when asked on command, but I do let out an ear shattering E,f,or g 5 in full voice at full volume to get them to shut the hell up

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

I know we're veering so far off the original message, Wylde, but this is too damn fun! ;)

Here's a little tip for all of you to try. Instead of calling yourselves singers, call yourselves vocalists. It sounds dumb, but trust me! No one's gonna go "Oh, you're a vocalist? VOCALIZE, BITCH!!!"

I think it's safe to say that almost everyone on this board so far has seen my videos, and therefore what I look like. I'm a scrawny little white dude with long hair. If I call myself a vocalist, it sets up a mental image of some crazy death metal screamer, if not just someone who "sings" with a lot of rasp.

I'm still amazed at how many people DON'T know that rock singing requires more technique and vocal control than pretty much any other style of singing. I'm NOT dissing other styles. I listen to everything from metal to jazz to Middle Eastern music to some pop to...basically everything except rap and most country...AND EMO, GOD I WANNA STRANGLE A FEW EMO KIDS! No offense to anyone who likes emo. I understand that everyone has their own preferences, and that's cool. I'm just so sick and tired of that whiny sound filtering into all the rock stations.

Anyways, my point about the rock singing is that I sing quite a FEW different styles. Beyond Middle Eastern and rock, I sing the blues, as well as jazz, R&B, and some more classical styles. Rock singing is BY FAR the most difficult to master!

If you don't have the advantage of looking like a rock singer to prevent people from asking you to sing, I recommend singing badly for them on purpose. And sing some kinda sappy bullshit like "Ooh ooh, baby girl. You know I love you so. I want yo luvin', baby girl. Ooh ooh!" And if all else fails, just blast out Maiden's "Run To The Hills" as loud and high as you can. That oughta do the trick. Yeah...yeah...

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

wylde342 - I'd agree with everyone else that it was the "freedom onstage vs. embarassment at home" problem.

As for what Brandon just said - rock singing is the most difficult to master "by far"? What about opera? I mean, I'm no defender of the opera style, I just want to know how you come to that conclusion. I'd also be interested in Jaime's comments towards this. Is opera singing really that hard compared to rock singing? Could any good rock singer also sing opera? Please discuss.

(sorry, wylde342, if I'm hijacking your thread)

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

I think range wise rock takes the metal as far as difficulty. However range is usually not the determining factor of good singing, its control and technicals. I'd say opera takes the technical difficulty over any other style.This is why it takes years to become a good opera singer.

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

DAMN ALL OF YOU HIJACKERS! Jaime, if you read this, please also reply to my original post.

All good fellas ;)

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

Rock and Metal really does cover probably the most range and requires the most power. The thing with the metal I listen to is it's all pretty high in a full voice and for someone to be able to do the songs, they have to have a pretty good grasp on technique. Power Metal does get put down a lot but it has some of the best in the business. The combination of the power, range, then special techniques (like grit and growl) makes it the hardest I think.

Classical is way up there too obviously but I don't think it covers nearly enough range or different types of tones to really qualify it as being more difficult. I think the thing with it is that every analyzes everything, so if your tone isn't exactly as it should be you are thought of as horrible in classical music; in rock no one really seems to care because you can improvise as much as needed.

I think R&B is pretty hard too. I love it and try my best to sing it but the stuff with the real fast runs can get pretty tricky. It requires a good bit of range, different tonalities, and probably the most flexibility of any genre.

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

My turn ;)

The reason it seems easier live is a combination of the energy of performing, using a sound system (which can have a tendency to dirty up the voice a bit on it's own, the fact that you are in the moment and not thinking as intensely as you do in practice, and also the fact that you are actually getting in a lot of singing time and practice.

During your RYV sessions, you are so focused on each and every aspect that sometimes it can get in your way. If you want the same approach as singing live then practice the RYV exercises (after you've warmed up) then actually sing along to every song of one of your sets as if you were playing live. Close your eyes and sing your heart out. You'll notice that by the 2nd or third song, your voice will really blossom if you are using correct technique, and the screams will be easier. Screaming is a vocal inflection placed upon a pure tone and is a lot harder if the cords aren't pumped up and you aren't fully prepared to take that kind of energy. Don't expect to gain that kind of energy in 20-30 minutes of doing pure voice exercises.

Besides all of that, don't worry about it. Practice maintaining a pure powerful tone daily, then add the grit as necessary. You did a great job last night right? So what are you worried about? Do you think all of these insane pro singers wake up and sound amazing on the gritty stuff every morning? Well, hahaha, the don't. They mentally and/or physically prepare for the show, then they put all of the energy into the performance. So don't sweat it, you are not alone:)


Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

Okay Wylde, Jaime posted his response. I'm gonna put one last response and then I'll leave this thread alone.

The reason I consider rock singing more difficult than opera is...Even though opera singers are tackling a very difficult style, rock singers who use proper technique (like all of us;) have to utilize more. I think an opera singer could learn to sing rock, and vice versa, but I know for a FACT that it took me a VERY long time to get the grit and growl down as good as I have, and you can tell by the "Rooster" video that I did that I STILL haven't mastered it.

On top of that, I ended up buying the "Zen of Screaming" to learn just that much more about screaming, and anyone who doesn't yet own it would be surprised at what all it takes. She teaches more than just screaming. And as a side note: Anyone who is considering buying her DVD, I'd ALSO HIGHLY recommend buying her "Scream Xtra" CD. It goes more in depth into screaming, but you have to buy the DVD to understand everything she's talking about in the CD.

I don't think Jaime would mind me promoting her stuff since he did it himself in RYV. Besides, I'll go ahead and say that Jaime has mentioned a few times that he's got a metal system coming out next year that will have everything about rock singing and more. I just got too impatient and bought ZOS, but I'm glad I did b/c it actually explained a few things about singing that I was having trouble comprehending in RYV.

Anyways, I appreciate any style of singing. It's just my personal feeling that rock singers use more techniques than pretty much any other singing style. We have to learn all the basics about singing cleanly and controling vibrato and all of that wonderfulness, and THEN have to hone separate techniques for the unique sounds that rock provides.

Again, PLEASE don't think I'm dissing any other style. I appreciate the talent and hard work that it takes to successfully do ANYTHING in music.

As a matter of fact, one of the songs that my band and I having been fooling around with is "Kiss" by Prince. Maybe we'll "youtube" it someday;)

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

I have always thought "Kiss" would simply SLAY a crowd if done well.

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

i personally believe that rock/metal singing is harder than classical. I mean i love classical singers, but the fact is, they all try and sound the same. They dont show theyre 'real' voice, its hiding behind theyre classical tone... they dont really have any, i dont think they push the boundries of their voice. Its like what people have said in posts on this forum and on the voice council forum, 'my classical teacher says i cant increase my range' etc...
and also, its like Jaime said before, he outlasted a group of classical singers before with his technique, and where he was still singing strong, they had lost their voices... so their technique cant be all that great either...
so even though i like and appreciate classical singing, i still think theres more styles and technique involved with 'real' rock/metal singing.

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

If classical singers seem to frequently sound uninteresting and unoriginal, and there are plenty of rock singers who sound good and original, wouldn't that mean that classical singing is 'more difficult' than rock singing, simply by virtue of the fact that there are very few classical singers who sound good? If classical singing was actually easier, then logically speaking wouldn't there be a ton of classical singers who sound very good?
I'm not arguing either way, but it's kind of silly to say that any genre of singing is "harder" than any other. There are many things good classical singers can do that good rock singers can't do, and vice versa.

BTW, not all classical singers sound the same. You can't really generalize as far as technical skill goes, as there are a ton of crappy opera singers, just like there are a ton of crappy rock singers. There are a lot of misconceptions about good opera singing, and I think when many people think of opera singing, they think of the satirized sound of opera singers in cartoons and movies rather than what a truly good classical singer sounds like.

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

I've listened to tons of various opera singers trying to find one I like, but honestly all I found was a lot of people who generally sound the same. I honestly like Eric Adams of Manowar's and Aretha Franklin's version of Nessun Dorma more than I liked any of the classical versions I listened to. I just think with classical, many of the singer all use a very similar sound because it is the sound that is technically correct for classical music. Nothing wrong with that, but I just don't enjoy the sound very much.

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

There are great singers in all styles from country, blues, gospel. rock, metal, pop, reggae, classical, etc...It is not which is harder but which individual singer accels at their chosen form. There is nothing wrong with opera and the vocal techniques for opera singers are preciseloy what is required to cartry that tyoe of weight. Yes rock is very demanding due to the guttural approach, but I've seen some other stylistic singers pull off stuff that would a rock singer's mind. All in all it boils down to personal preference and it should be left at that.


Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

First of all RX88, I never once said that classical singers sounded the same. That was someone else. You know that, and you know I'm not attacking you. You're one of the people who's helped me plenty a time on this board, but I WILL state that your logic is flawed, my friend. The fact that there are less classical singers only shows the discrepency in cultural popularity. If I decided to start singing WAY off key on purpose and putting it to music that sounds very melodic, I'd probably be very unpopular, and very few people would try to mimic said style. Now, would that mean that singing horribly off key would be the most difficult style of singing, simply because there would be so few people doing it?

I'm not comparing classical singers to my extreme example of course. I'm just saying that the idea of a singing style being more difficult to master based on its popularity, or the lack thereof, is unssubstantiated.

My ENTIRE POINT of stating that rock singing is the most difficult in my eyes is that we utilize every technique that any classical singer would use in regards to training our voices toward being the best they possibly can. BUT, classical singers don't implement all the techniques that rock singers do. Therefore, rock singing requires the mastery of more techniques used simultaneously than any other genre I know of. Luv ya.

P.S. I oughta bring this up before HE does..."Cobby owns you all "

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?

I 100% understood what you were saying, and I understand your point about what is popular at the moment, but I think in proportion to the total amount of classical singers I've heard, VERY few are really exceptional, while out of all the rock singers I've heard, a fair amount of them are very good.

Yes, it is pretty useless to make any sort of direct comparison between rock and classical singers due to the discrepancy in their styles' popularity, but many if not most of classical singers you would hear, even ones who are actually well respected in the classical world and known for being "good singers", might not be all that good. I used to listen to classical singers and not be into it at all, but that was mostly because the ones I kept hearing weren't any good.

And I do understand why you said rock singing is more difficult because it utilizes more techniques, but I know you're a guitar player. Rock guitar players like to tap, sweep pick, bend notes, and overall use more varied techniques than classical guitar players. I'm sure you know that rock guitar is definitely not harder than classical. I understand what everyone is saying, I just think it's a bit silly to do any side by side comparisons. (Bascially, I was just doing the best I could to deviate from the grit topic at hand, haha.)

Re: Discovered" the dirt/grit/scream/etc - live only?