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  #46  
Old 08-11-2021, 11:21 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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I've had good results from imitating my talkative cat and dog.

I first recognized head voice watching Neil Young singing. I heard the sound and saw the face expression and some how I knew this is what I'd been looking for. I had been killing myself try to sing too high in full voice.

Should have taken some lessons earlier on in life.
Neil Young is a tenor - his register is naturally high.
His comfortable top notes would be a strain, or simply impossible, for most men - unless we go into falsetto (counter tenor) which is a different sound altogether.
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  #47  
Old 08-11-2021, 11:59 AM
Andyrondack Andyrondack is offline
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Originally Posted by Pnewsom View Post
I've had good results from imitating my talkative cat and dog.

I first recognized head voice watching Neil Young singing. I heard the sound and saw the face expression and some how I knew this is what I'd been looking for. I had been killing myself try to sing too high in full voice.

Should have taken some lessons earlier on in life.
I think if you want to find your head voice pay attention to the late great Monty Python's Flying Circus! and sing 'We are the knights who say kneee'.
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  #48  
Old 08-13-2021, 11:17 PM
nightchef nightchef is offline
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Neil Young is a tenor - his register is naturally high.
His comfortable top notes would be a strain, or simply impossible, for most men - unless we go into falsetto (counter tenor) which is a different sound altogether.
I think Neil Young is an example of an unusual but not unheard of male vocal type — a counterbaritone, if you will. He actually sings in his head voice quite a lot of the time, maybe more often than not. His break point is pretty low, though hard to pinpoint, because he has a fairly bright, robust head voice and a thin chest voice. But I would venture that he sings every single note of “After the Goldrush,” for instance, in head voice. Ditto “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”, though he may be descending to chest for “burning” and “around” on the chorus. For a good example of his chest voice, check out “Birds” from the same album.

Point being, he doesn’t really have an unusually high voice, he just spends a lot more time than most singers in his top register. In fact, people often wildly overestimate how high Young is going precisely because he actually has a moderately low voice, and is often operating near or right at the top of it. “Old Man” only goes up to A, a perfectly normal high note for tenors, but when Young sings it he sounds like Yma Sumac. (He sounds even more Himalayan on a mere G on “Don’t Let it Bring You Down.”)

Young probably had the second lowest vocal range in CSNY — Crosby was more of a natural tenor than he was, and Nash was certainly higher than either, a true tenor 1. Listen to Crosby sing that top A from “Old Man” on the Byrds’ “5D” and Jackson Browne’s “For Everyman” — it doesn’t sound nearly as high, because Crosby, a real tenor, is comfortable up there.
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Last edited by nightchef; 08-14-2021 at 08:36 AM.
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  #49  
Old 08-14-2021, 09:08 AM
Stringmaster Stringmaster is online now
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When I started singing vs only playing guitar I was more of a casual singer-i.e. singing a few a night with my band. Then I “graduated” to singing a handful of sons a set. I sought out songs and singers that could fit my style by recording myself and listening back—so I could pull it off ok. I never took any formal lessons, and rarely practiced. As a result I would often blow out my voice after a few songs, especially if the band was loud (and my voice isn’t very powerful anyway). In my early 60’s (I’m 66 now) I decided to “branch out” and work on more solo performance which meant improving my vocal game. I started taking voice lessons and more importantly practicing regularly. I have noticed a tremendous improvement in my stamina, as well as my range. As I work on new songs I record them in several keys and listen back to find which sounds best. I will often use my vocal coach (which I only work with occasionally) to get feedback on my songs. Interestingly, I always thought of myself as more of a bass/baritone (I sang bass in my high school choir), but since my high register has increased, I find that many of my songs sound better when I’m pushing them up to my upper limits. My coach tends to prefer that range for me as well, which she describes as “bright” in a good way. While I’m never going to have great power, my skills have really improved and continue to—this comes as a result of a lot of hard work. Those with a natural gift for singing in (like some of my friends) don’t work at it much (not fair), but I actually enjoy the work, especially when I can observe the benefits.
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  #50  
Old 08-14-2021, 10:13 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by nightchef View Post
I think Neil Young is an example of an unusual but not unheard of male vocal type — a counterbaritone, if you will. He actually sings in his head voice quite a lot of the time, maybe more often than not. His break point is pretty low, though hard to pinpoint, because he has a fairly bright, robust head voice and a thin chest voice. But I would venture that he sings every single note of “After the Goldrush,” for instance, in head voice. Ditto “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”, though he may be descending to chest for “burning” and “around” on the chorus. For a good example of his chest voice, check out “Birds” from the same album.

Point being, he doesn’t really have an unusually high voice, he just spends a lot more time than most singers in his top register. In fact, people often wildly overestimate how high Young is going precisely because he actually has a moderately low voice, and is often operating near or right at the top of it. “Old Man” only goes up to A, a perfectly normal high note for tenors, but when Young sings it he sounds like Yma Sumac. (He sounds even more Himalayan on a mere G on “Don’t Let it Bring You Down.”)

Young probably had the second lowest vocal range in CSNY — Crosby was more of a natural tenor than he was, and Nash was certainly higher than either, a true tenor 1. Listen to Crosby sing that top A from “Old Man” on the Byrds’ “5D” and Jackson Browne’s “For Everyman” — it doesn’t sound nearly as high, because Crosby, a real tenor, is comfortable up there.
Good points - thanks for all that. You're obviously right about Nash, at least.

In "Birds", though, the melodic range is G to G either side of middle C. This is right in the middle of tenor range, and he sounds very comfortable there. Even if his voice does crack a little when he goes much higher, ​I don't quite see how you need to define him as anything other than tenor?
Most men would struggle to sing that comfortably up at that top G.

I.e., I appreciate your info (I'm no expert!) but all I'm really saying is that he sings a lot higher than most men are able to, and sounds comfortable when he does so. (As an untrained bass myself, I sound as comfortable as him when I sing his songs an octave lower!)
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  #51  
Old 08-14-2021, 02:09 PM
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Cecil6243 Cecil6243 is offline
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Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Neil Young is a tenor - his register is naturally high.
His comfortable top notes would be a strain, or simply impossible, for most men - unless we go into falsetto (counter tenor) which is a different sound altogether.
Odd I don't have any problem with Neil Young at all, but some other artists like Kerry Livgren Kansas in Dust in the Wind, I have to drop it a half a step. And The Summer of 69 Bryan Adams is also pushing it for me in the original key.

Over 30 years ago I was the lead singer in a garage band and could probably sing Dust in the Wind with no problem. You guys are making me think I should go back to some voice lessons to regain some of my range. I did take voice lessons years ago too.
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Last edited by Cecil6243; 08-17-2021 at 06:09 AM.
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  #52  
Old 08-16-2021, 06:37 AM
Gdjjr Gdjjr is offline
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Hmmmm - where to start? "Accomplish" seems like good place.

I play at playin guitar and I try to sing- so, I am accomplishing

How about- play the hand you were dealt, forget what their rules say, you know you win, when, you live life your own way

Recently I've tuned down 1/2 step and use a capo on the first fret for everything. (not in the above though that is an older video)-

I do what I'm comfortable with, and a funny thing happens on the way there- the more I do the more comfortable I get doing what I do- I listen to my videos and try to improve on what I hear- my videos I do with an iPhone7- nothing elaborate- I try to abide by the K.I.S.S. philosophy in all I do-

Use your natural strengths- do what you want the way you want.

I accept that I have a long way to go - I reconcile to myself that I've only been at this game (in earnest) for about 16 or 17 months- reconciliation- playin the hand you were dealt, forget what their rules say, you know you win, when, you live life your own way-
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  #53  
Old 08-16-2021, 07:03 AM
Gdjjr Gdjjr is offline
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I might add: It Gets Easier - an epitome of the K.I.S.S philosophy
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  #54  
Old 08-16-2021, 08:24 AM
davidbeinct davidbeinct is offline
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Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
So not that song but here is one in G no capo, a John Prince cover I posted over in the JP cover thread .

This is from a series of cover songs I have been doing I call "One shot One Take " which they literally are And is also a good lesson in what not to do when recording of playing live ,,,which is when backed off from with this mic (in cardioid mode). turning my head to glance at the fretting hand (a bad habit of mine) results in a significant trailing off presence. So do you think in this situation setting the mic for OMNI would be better ? Understanding learning to not rotate my head would be more desirable . Same thing with occasionally shifting the guitar

I love his version of When Clay Pigeons Cry.
Kidding aside really nice!
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  #55  
Old 08-16-2021, 04:01 PM
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I love his version of When Clay Pigeons Cry.
Kidding aside really nice!
opps corrected I'll blame it on spell check.
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  #56  
Old 08-16-2021, 08:23 PM
nightchef nightchef is offline
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Good points - thanks for all that. You're obviously right about Nash, at least.

In "Birds", though, the melodic range is G to G either side of middle C. This is right in the middle of tenor range, and he sounds very comfortable there. Even if his voice does crack a little when he goes much higher, ​I don't quite see how you need to define him as anything other than tenor?
Most men would struggle to sing that comfortably up at that top G.

I.e., I appreciate your info (I'm no expert!) but all I'm really saying is that he sings a lot higher than most men are able to, and sounds comfortable when he does so. (As an untrained bass myself, I sound as comfortable as him when I sing his songs an octave lower!)
Small quibble — the melody in “Birds” actually tops out at E above middle C, a note I think a majority of men (all tenors, and most baritones) can hit without strain. The high G is in the top harmony part, and is probably in falsetto whether it’s Young or one of the other singers credited on the album.

I had my tongue at least a few centimeters into my cheek when I called Young a “counterbaritone”. In choral terms, he’s probably a tenor 2 with a good head voice and a fairly low break. But he’s not really a high tenor, and lots of rock singers have a higher range than he does.
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  #57  
Old 08-17-2021, 05:28 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Small quibble — the melody in “Birds” actually tops out at E above middle C, a note I think a majority of men (all tenors, and most baritones) can hit without strain. The high G is in the top harmony part, and is probably in falsetto whether it’s Young or one of the other singers credited on the album.
OK thanks.

I'm not sure I agree that a majority of men can hit that E without strain. My experience is limited, obviously, but when testing my male guitar students - to demonstrate principles of melodic range and key (not to teach them singing!) - pretty much all of them would strain to get as high as that E; some wouldn't make it at all. Even middle C was an effort for some of them. I mean, they could get it, but not comfortably at all. Bass-wise, they could all get down to A well enough, and most could get lower (though none below E). Naturally, these were all untrained voices, and only one or two would have claimed they could actually sing at all.
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I had my tongue at least a few centimeters into my cheek when I called Young a “counterbaritone”. In choral terms, he’s probably a tenor 2 with a good head voice and a fairly low break. But he’s not really a high tenor, and lots of rock singers have a higher range than he does.
OK!
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