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Can you get it back? (Passaggio and hard vocals) - Printable Version

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Can you get it back? (Passaggio and hard vocals) - TwelveEighteen - 07-27-2017

So I'm an old guy by any reasonable musical standard.  44 this year.  Lifelong bass range, but can extend with power falsetto even now up to around an Eb5 on a good day.  I sing metal - not growly screamy metal (though I do employ those techniques occasionally) but more like older James Hetfield compressed epiglottal "yelling in key" these days, because it feels and sounds good and doesn't hurt my throat.

I learned how to sing pretty much every wrong way you can imagine.  Developed choral-itis (lots of power and pitch accuracy with no timbre) in high school carrying the bass section one year, the tenor the next (because the highest note he ever made the tenors sing was an F#4, which is cake for any reasonably trained male singer).  Then (this being 1987) I decided that it would be a good idea to learn how to sing high pitches by singing along with Axl Rose, then later with Chris Cornell.  Having no idea what I was doing, it worked to the extent that I developed a good falsetto power range, but I never really learned how to bridge the two so I could smoothly transition.  Which basically meant that anything from about a F#4 to an A4 either sounds weak and thin as I audibly shifted gears, or I wound up just mangling the notes.

The other thing I didn't learn how to do during this time, and it probably nearly destroyed my throat, was screaming.  It wasn't until my late 30's that I finally discovered that screaming was really all about shoving a compressed epiglottal attack up into your soft palate and safely out of the back of your throat.  

Fast forward to the present, 20-odd years later.  I took an extended break from singing higher register stuff because I convened a band with someone else on lead.  When he departed the band, I tried to step up and sing stuff that I used to sing 10 years ago and it was just not there.  Incredibly frustrating.  But I kept working at it.  And some of the pitches are coming back, again, up above that passaggio/transitory range, but I feel like I've just completely lost any kind of contact with that intermediate range - no accuracy, timbre, or anything else.  I can solidly hit a G#4 in my chest voice.  I then have to basically skip up to B4 to get anything that doesn't sound completely ragged.

Yes, I bought Ken Tamplin's package.  Yes, obviously I'm here because it didn't work, and it's because while the man spends a lot of time talking about the need to build up the passaggio, he DOES NOT SPEND ONE SECOND on exercises or techniques to actually DO SO.  So yeah, I've got a $300 package of warmup arpeggios that are exactly the same (other than the tongue-wagging vowels) as the shit I used to do in high school choir.

Is there ANYONE here who actually teaches passaggio development?  And more importantly, can this person work with a voice that is not, never will be, nor desires to be clean pop style?  I like the timbre at the top of my chest voice.  And while I'm not entirely happy with the way my power falsetto sounds these days, that can wait.  I want to learn to build that bridge solidly, as opposed to the "however I can make it work" methodology I've been following my entire life.


RE: Can you get it back? (Passaggio and hard vocals) - ronws - 07-27-2017

I could recommend what Tristan does, primarily because it builds resonance, which keeps you from pushing the voice so much, which is what you are doing. Close up the vowels. Shape like an ee but you don't have to sing every vowel as ee. This will kind of close the mouth a little at first. This is also going to help articulation of lyrics, though I think that is a secondary concern. Open vowels still have uses, maybe on the very highest notes. Don't worry about breath support, worry about containing the note. You might even get away from the screamo stuff, at first, to recalibrate yourself. You may not be into the band but I find singing stuff by Boston to be great for tuning and managing resonance and volume. Brad did sing loud but he sang well.

RE: Can you get it back? (Passaggio and hard vocals) - TwelveEighteen - 07-28-2017

I'm not actually pushing my voice, though. The grit I get is not from excessive air across the cords, it's from a compressed glottal attack. I can sing clean passages, I just don't like the timbre of my voice when I do, so I allow that natural grit to color the tone.

RE: Can you get it back? (Passaggio and hard vocals) - ronws - 07-28-2017

You might try Tristan's discord page. You will find plenty of people with more ideas than I have.
Hold on while I get the link.

And here it is: