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What type of voice?

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Damon 16 Mar 04 - 08:06 PM
Padre 16 Mar 04 - 09:53 PM
Deckman 16 Mar 04 - 10:00 PM
Escamillo 17 Mar 04 - 03:18 AM
matai 17 Mar 04 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,KB 17 Mar 04 - 08:03 AM
ToulouseCruise 17 Mar 04 - 12:54 PM
Escamillo 17 Mar 04 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,MMario 17 Mar 04 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,KB 17 Mar 04 - 01:31 PM
Firecat 17 Mar 04 - 04:04 PM
Deckman 17 Mar 04 - 04:24 PM
Blackcatter 17 Mar 04 - 05:27 PM
Deckman 17 Mar 04 - 05:36 PM
Uncle_DaveO 17 Mar 04 - 08:44 PM
Peace 17 Mar 04 - 08:55 PM
Damon 17 Mar 04 - 09:01 PM
freda underhill 17 Mar 04 - 09:41 PM
Alice 17 Mar 04 - 09:49 PM
lady penelope 18 Mar 04 - 01:36 PM
Damon 18 Mar 04 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Claire 18 Mar 04 - 02:24 PM
Dave Wynn 18 Mar 04 - 06:30 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Mar 04 - 06:46 PM
lady penelope 18 Mar 04 - 07:12 PM
Escamillo 19 Mar 04 - 03:16 AM
matai 19 Mar 04 - 05:09 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 04 - 05:28 AM
Ellenpoly 19 Mar 04 - 07:25 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 04 - 01:12 PM
Escamillo 20 Mar 04 - 02:01 AM
GUEST,new charlotte church 26 Sep 04 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 26 Sep 04 - 10:55 AM
CET 26 Sep 04 - 01:29 PM
Ebbie 26 Sep 04 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,HevenlyVoice 27 Sep 04 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 27 Sep 04 - 07:00 PM
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Subject: What type of voice?
From: Damon
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 08:06 PM

I've been reading some old threads about singing, and want to ask any helpful mudcats how you know what type of voice you have i.e bass, baritone, etc.?

There were some links in the old threads but they're all broken now it seems, so if anyone knows of any current ones...

I've been trying to sing for a year and a bit now, and am very slowly getting the hang of it all, but aint it tricky!?

As a guide, I can sing Spancil Hill in Dm (albeit pretty ropey), so what's that...baritone? Or is that a stupid question?

One other thing, is joining a choir a good way to learn?

Cheers y'all

damon


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Padre
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 09:53 PM

Joining a choir is one really good way to find out what your vocal range is, and (to a certain extent) to have it expanded at both ends. [Now don't start!!!]


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Deckman
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 10:00 PM

Good advice! Bob


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Escamillo
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 03:18 AM

The only one who can tell you what range of voice you have, is a professional classical teacher, after several sessions of vocal exercise, because not even he/she can determine it at a first glance.
A pop vocal coach will probably focus in your expression and not care about your quality of sound and pitch. A classical teacher instead, will explore your voice in health, quality, reach, power and color or timbre, and then expression and technique. Don't be afraid of becoming an opera singer. The teacher will lead you to the full profit of your vocal resources (generally unknown) and then you will use them to sing whatever you like.

The coral experience is good but not sufficient at all.

Un abrazo,
Andrés (the bass who sounded better as baritone, but happened to be a tenor)


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: matai
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 05:41 AM

Last time I sang I was told I had a baroque voice. Now I wonder what type that is....something out of the 17th century I guess. I didn't think I was that old. I suspect it was mean't as a compliment.

matai


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:03 AM

I started a thread just like this years ago - and the responses prompted me to go and find a singing teacher.

It was one of the best decisions I ever made. My coach can teach various styles, but her passion is classical - and I am happy to learn that way and then use my voice to sing whatever style I like. The classical way of singing is the best way to develop and protect your voice, but that doesn't mean that you have to sing that repertoire all the time - and it does NOT take away anything you already had, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. My singing is astronomically better than when I first went to her.

When I first started lessons I thought I was alto, but she insisted I was soprano really (because of the where the "breaks" were in my range). BUT - nothing is set in stone, and she now reckons I may be an alto after all - because the breaks have moved!! So - its more than just which notes you can sing - its to do with the quality of the notes at different points.

If you can't afford the time or money for a good coach, then joining a choir will also help - but you have to be aware that choir singing is a different skill to solo singing, so its not a direct substitute.
A colleague of mine goes to the same coach as me, but he has also joined a choir, and is finding the choir training extremely helpful - especially in terms of brushing up his sight-reading.


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 12:54 PM

Matai... better than being told that you had "a broke" voice, n'est-ce que pas?

TC


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Escamillo
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 01:17 PM

KB, I am very pleased to see that you've found good advice in this community, as myself and almost everybody have found. After my experience with my teacher, I improved my quality dramatically, and could sing as soloist (classical, traditional, spiritual, jazz, even Italian canzoni) and climbed in choirs to the top groups performing the masterworks at our main Opera House, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

Note that it was not only some classes but several years of study and continued practice. I was happy as I could never imagine, and I always try to tell to others to follow the same path.

Un abrazo,
Andrés


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 01:19 PM

I refer to myself as "barinor" - I don't really seem to have the lower range of a baritone - nor am I comfortable with the upper reaches of the tenor range. (this is based on where the tenor and baritone parts are in choral music that I've sung) and "barinor" sounds so much better then "tentone".

I probably *should* work with a voice coach - but since about 90% of my singing is self-amusement it doesn't seem worth the effort.


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 01:31 PM

MMario - it is definitely worth the effort. It is such a pleasure, and even your self-amusement singing will be elevated. Go on - give it a lash...


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Firecat
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 04:04 PM

I'm mezzo-soprano. I used to be in the school choir when I was younger, and I used to be able to do both soprano and alto parts, depending on which needed more people!!

I have a range of about 2 and a half to three octaves, going from about bottom F to top B (or top C if it's a good day!!) I had a few singing lessons around then too.


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 04:24 PM

I first started SERIOUS voice lessons when I was 14. That gave me the basics of posture, breathing, phrasing. By the way, those "basics" are not simple or easy. My next teacher was a retired opera tenor. I learned a great deal from him. My next serious teacher was a "basso profundo" ... deep bass. I also learned much from him. I had a few coaching lessons after that, then came years of performing.

Today, because of my wide exposure to serious voice teachers, as well as my lifelong serious study of music, I'm pleased that I still have an incredible range.

If I'm well rested, and warmed up, I can sing comfortably in the tenor range, without falsetto, and decend into a decent low baritone, or perhaps even bass range.

I'm not bragging, just trying to tell you that with serious study and concentration, it's possible for anyone to improve. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 05:27 PM

I wish I could afford voice lesson - I know they would help me. I'd really like to extend my range higher if possible among alll the other things people have mentioned. I sing bass and baritone and like my voice, but know it could be better.

One other issue is that I don't read music (and don't really see the need to learn) Are there videos that might help?


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 05:36 PM

Blackcatter ... "I don't read music and don't see the need to learn." Hmmm? Music is a language. A universal language. Why would you not want to learn the language if you want to speak (sing) the language. That does not make sense to me.

There are so many ways to learn to "read music" these days. Bob


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:44 PM

Deckman said, in part:

Music is a language. A universal language. Why would you not want to learn the language if you want to speak (sing) the language. That does not make sense to me.

A couple of comments.

Number one: The map is not the territory.   That is to say, the written notes are not music. Just as reading and writing and written words are not speech or all of language, nor necessary thereto.

To "learn the language" of singing is to learn to control the voice, to learn presentation practices, to get feel for the kind of music one wants to sing/play.

The notes, and the ability to read or write them, constitute a useful tool toward making music, but that is not music itself. There are many, many fine musicians who do not, need not, and do not want to use those particular tools.

Now, one could paraphrase Deckman's comment to ask, Why would you not want to learn the use of a tool to assist in learning [My bold insert] the language if you want to speak (sing) the language. That would be a far better question, and one that would admit of a great variety of answers.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Peace
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:55 PM

The idea of joining a choir is a good one. It will help you to learn about harmony, and holding your melody line when others around you are doing something different with their melody lines. Also, a good voice coach will teach you some stuff about what NOT to do with your voice--it will prevent you from doing damage to your throat.


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Damon
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 09:01 PM

Ey up, many thanks to all of the above for being bothered to post something...I respect each and every one for their advice.

Since I started this thread, I went to bed, woke up to find it was St. Pats day, ate, had a lesson, went to the pub, got my request for "The Star of The County Down" played, and now I'm back here again...almost a perfect day!

I love what Deckman said about music being THE universal language, its so true, so learning to speak(sing)it properly makes alot of sense, although Guiness was £1.50 a pint tonight so everything makes alot of sense at the moment!

From all of this I have decided to start singing lessons ASAP...thank you all.

damon


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: freda underhill
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 09:41 PM

joining a choir is one of the best things i ever did. it gives you regular parctis for your voice, and its what got me back into the folk scene eight years ago.


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Alice
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 09:49 PM

Damon, taking singing lessons changed my life for the better by giving me my truest instrument and the professional ability to use it. You have a whole new world opening ahead of you. Good luck and keep us posted on the progress.

Alice Flynn


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: lady penelope
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 01:36 PM

Blackcatter, even a few lessons can help. A lot of singing techers are happy to see you less often than the traditional once a week. If you can only afford to go once a month or something, most teachers are happy to give you a practice schedule to reflect this. You may not proceed as fast as you would if you went once a week, but frankly, as with any instrument, it's the practice that really counts.

You may also suffer a shock, learning proper singing techniques and constant practice can change your range considerably. It may not be upwards however! As KB has noticed, your 'breaks' can move around constantly. As I haven't sung properly since last autumn, I'm singing fairly easily at the high end of Alto and I'm not hitting the break I normally get about 'A' on the stave, that I get when I'm well practiced. The practice, however, allows me to sing through the break with out sounding like a strangled cat.

I may go mad meself and book a few lesson this spring........mmmmm

TTFN Lady P.


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Damon
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 01:43 PM

I will certainly do that Alice, thanks.

I've been recommended a teacher called Catherine Savage, who sings classical music and also some folk music with her husband, Richard.

But is it the case that men should have male teachers and women female teachers, or is it irrelevant?


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 02:24 PM

According to my voice teacher, it is both the quality of your voice and where the breaks are in your range. However, as an earlier post said these breaks may shift with time and the better trained your voice becomes, the less noticeable those breaks become.

As for the quality of your voice, my teacher said a great thing that really stuck with me, so I will pass it on. I was struggling to have a more mature rich sounding voice and I brought in several recordings of female singers that I would like to sound more like.   He listened and said.... you've got to play the voice your given.... some people have a mazarati (quick light turns through pitch) and others have a cadillac (rich inertia). Better breath control and support have fattened the lower side of my range, but really what my voice does best is make clear bright sounds. I know longer think much about expanding my range, but rather strive to sing more fully in each part of my range.   Does that make sense?

Anyway.... I really recommend taking lessons. This spring I will be teaching a workshop which will synthesize some of what I have learned over the years and bring it to those that just want to sing a bit better in the folk scene.

All the best,

Claire


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 06:30 PM

mmmmmmm.......wonder how all the old guys and gals sang without the aid of lessons.....Must have been just luck and talent I guess.

Spot


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 06:46 PM

I don't have a problem with people who want to go there, but folk music is not dependent on bel canto virtuosity.


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: lady penelope
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 07:12 PM

They still did the practice, Spot, and they still followed basic breathing techniques. Band leaders and older singers would have pointed the way.........


TTFN Lady P.


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Escamillo
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 03:16 AM

Richard, I agree that " but folk music is not dependent on bel canto virtuosity.". If Plácido Domingo was able to enter the feeling and soul of folk songs, he would surely sing very well and would be far more pleasant than most voices that we hear frequently. If he wanted to transform a folk song into an aria, that would sound ridiculous.

The point is to "educate" our voices to get profit out of them, to extend our range and/or improve brightness, avoid nasal and rough sound, and keep our voices healthy, being able to sing smoothly for hours without effort. Beyond that, we may sing in the style we like.

And perhaps be gladly surprised because we can enter other fields, for example old traditionals, black spirituals, European music in general, brilliant Italian and Spanish songs, romantic French songs, and a whole world of good music.

Un abrazo,
Andrés (in Buenos Aires)


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: matai
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 05:09 AM

I like the 'broke' voice comment TC it made me laugh. Although sometimes my voice does get rather husky then I have to beat off all the blokes who want to take me home with them....sigh


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 05:28 AM

WHO SAID THAT ?


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 07:25 AM

Damon, you might want to check the thread called "Voice Problems", because it has a whole slew of links to other threads about the voice. One of the things I like best about mudcat is how much there is to learn, and how many are willing to offer their knowledge..good luck!..xx..e


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 01:12 PM

I think the reluctance some have expressed about lessons and that, is because we have all heard classically trained singers with magnificent voices sticking the odd folk song into their repertoire, and while it may sound quite pretty, it doesn't sound right, and that isn't the way we want to sound, even if we could.

Which doesn't go against the point that most of us could probably have learned to use our voices a lot more effectively with some tips on how to use it, and how to look after it.

But it's rather as if the only guitar teachers you could find were classical players. (Which as lot of the time and in a lot of places is of course true, though probably less so these days.) There really are different ways of singing just as there are different ways of playing, though there's a whole lot in common as well.


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Escamillo
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 02:01 AM

When I was 13, a few years ago, before dedicating to Argentinean folk, I looked for a guitar teacher to study by music theory, and found only classical teachers. Got advice from some folk players who coincided to recommend me a classical teacher. Fortunately this lovable maestro, Obdulio Lima, taught me the principles of the instrument and music theory leading me to Sors, Tárrega, Granados, Villalobos, but never discouraged me to play folk music, and helped me a lot in that direction. That's what a good teacher should do, in my opinion: enable you to open doors, and then choose.

Continuing the analogy, I would bet that no folk musician would take the risk of a broken guitar in the middle of a concert. They will probably not wear a fine pair of boots, but will own the best instrument that they can afford and a little better, and will care of it as their most valuable posession. Why not their voices, which are not replaceable ?

Un abrazo,
Andrés


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: GUEST,new charlotte church
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 09:27 AM

i guess my voice is soprano,i can sing just like charlotte church
i need some one to discover me gift,i got amazed when i first heard my loud voice.i am trying to make it little louder ,,the nighebours got a headache
i feel that no one around me can apreciate this gift ..it is hard
but i am still trying to make more than perfect


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 10:55 AM

I have never worried all that much about lables - not for my voice or music anyway.

I seem to be able to sing pleasingly enough without having a lesson - however, I have had access to recording equipment for a very long time, starting off with a very good tape recorder, so I had a very good idea of what I could sound like all during the time my voice was developing.

I think that making recordings helps a lot.

Anne


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: CET
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 01:29 PM

New Charlotte Church:

You are in for an exciting time if, as your post implies, you are just beginning to discover that you have A VOICE! Here are three pieces of entirely gratuitous advice:

1.Find your own voice and trust it. Don't let anybody stop you. Never mind the neighbours. A good, big voice is a gift from God. You will find out where you belong.

2.Find a good voice teacher. Whatever talent you were born with, you still need to learn how to use it to its potential.

3.You can find a better model for your development as a singer than Charlotte Church. She has a naturally good voice, but she is doing repertoire that she is simply not ready for.

Cheers

Edmund


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 06:08 PM

A few months ago I attended a few workshops on basic voice with Byron McGilvray. To my astonishment, after testing he said that I was meant to be a soprano. This, despite my very low voice; I can sing lower than just about any woman I know, and lower than a great many men.

He said that my 25 years of smoking are a factor. In addition, I suspect that my childhood indoctrination in avoiding "shrill" sounds (I have four brothers) may also account for my developing low tones.

He said that if he had six months with me, the first thing he would have me learn to do is to speak in a higher tone. (Since then, I've tried that- and discovered I don't have a clue as to how do that!)

I would love to develop a greater range and have discovered in recent years that I can sing in more keys than I had used to think, but I'm not planning to make any serious efforts.


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: GUEST,HevenlyVoice
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 03:48 PM

This is the first time I entered this site, and was amused and educated with many of the comments. There were many I agreed with, and many I disagreed with.
I definitely agreed with CET (Edmund) with his advice for the New Charlotte girl.
I agree that learning to read music is extremely important to want to go forward with your singing talent, and I agree that taking lessons, even if it's once a month is extremely important to learn how to take care of your vocal instrument.
Advice:
1. Don't overlook that God-given talent you call a voice...whoever has that talent is blessed.
2. Remember that talent is powerful...use it wisely!
3. Music is not just music. There is more to it, than just having a pretty tune...there is a lot more behind the music than you think. (i.e. Mozart!)

God bless you all,
Raquel


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Subject: RE: What type of voice?
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 07:00 PM

You sing like Charlotte Church?

Poor thing.

When I heard her on TV I thought there must be something off in the electronics.

I heard a recording of her, and her voice was not all that good on that too.

Sure she has power - but it is just a loud noise.

Rather than yelling out a song, listen to what you sound like - after all, if you are going to be singing into a microphone you need to produce a sound with accuracy and with as few sloughs, slurrs, pops and suusses as possible as to make it louder you just turn up the gain, but you can't turn up the quality.

Anne


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