Voice question, PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by modernday, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. modernday


    Oct 20, 2002
    St. Paul
    Ok, I know this isn't a bass related question, but I doubt there is a finer gathering of more intelligent musicians on the web that here.

    My band has been having a very hard time with the issue of putting a little edge on our voices. I'm sure it can't be good for your voice, but exactly how harmful is it? More harmful than smoking? Drinking? Caughing? I'm not talking about all out slipknot style screaming, of even Josh Todd style cackling. Just a little bit of rock and roll in our voices.

    If anybody could point me in the right direction, throw me a bone, I would GREATLY appreciate it.

    Thanks much,
    Mike Bishop
  2. ZonPlyr


    Apr 29, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    This can be done somewhat easily. The trick is to project your voice from your diaphram not your throat. Doing it from the throat will cause damage and you will end up sounding like Marge Schott in a few years.
    I had to work at this a bit but when I thought back to how I was taught to use my voice when I was in the military it was easy. Take a deep breath filling your lungs completely then forcefully expel the air making a "huh" or "woof" sound, if done correctly you can rattle the windows without too much effort. Practice this until it gets easy then you can start trying to sing, the most important aspect here is breathing. You must get a lungful of air and sing from the diaphram, not the throat.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Looking at the birth date - I would give it until after 2008!! ;)
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Im not sure i get what you mean by "edge". If you still have a high voice, then wait another year or 2 and puberty will kick in. I have a friend whos voice didnt drop until he was 16. I think he started puberty around late 15, because , yea, he was immature for a long time.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I know a lot of people who are still "immature" in their 30s and 40s !! ;)

    So - are you suggesting that if they settled down and took the old "pipe and slippers", they might get an edgier voice, suitable for Rock!!?? ;)
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Immature physically i meant, not ..er.. emotionally?
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Like the guys doing cunning stunts on Jackass, you mean!!?? ;)
  8. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
  9. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    And he said:

    Now would be a good time to retract that statement.

    Veni, Vidi, Wimpy.




    Watch 'Full Metal Jacket'
    Sing along with the training chants and yell
    'SIR, YES SIR!' at the appropriate spots.
    You will soon have the edge you wanted.
  10. a la steven tyler and other croonin' faves, it does take a little technique.

    diaphragm breathing is important, but there are other vocal exercises that help build strength and allow you to sing without strain.

    i personally sing like a frog, but our singer does la-la-la exercises and what-not, and he's able to belt stuff out way better than me. somedays his singing is better than others, but he really has to be careful coz he gets polyps. it would also help if he stopped smoking stogies.

    there's a famous nyc voice instructor by the name of heidi ingrassia who gives lessons to rock stars. maybe she has a web site or something that gives tips.

    thank god you're wanting to belt it out, though. if i hear one more breathy, whiney rock tune, i'm gonna hurl.

  11. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Attitude, self-confidence and appearance can go a long way to helping out if your voice doesn't have that "edge" you refer to.

    You have to be careful forcing your voice to sound a way that isn't naturally within your capacity or singing out of your range. You can develop polyps or nodules on yuour vocal chords that can make you chronically hoarse. They can even end your singing career before you srart.

    I'm not sure what "edge" you mean. A Robert Plant edge, a Trent Rezner edge, Patton, Veddar, Steven Tyler, Ozzie, Rubben Studdard, Snoop Dog, Eminem? Gosh, all the best known singers each have their own unique voice and style.

    The best goal would be to develop your own style. I don't know if the guys are joking or if you are a pre-teen. If you are a pre-teen, it may be awhile before you can sing like Perry Farrell or whoever it is you feel is especially cool.

    There are vocal exercises you can do to lower your voice somewhat so that you can manage to sing in a lower pitch, but I siugest you seek out a vocal coach so you do not damage your voice trying.
  12. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I regularly do gigs with a particular singer/drummer who deliberately puts on "the edge" when he sings. I reckon he sounds like the cookie monster from sesame street.

    I like the sound of vocals on the edge. But it's gotte sound natural. Be careful.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Have you looked at the birth date in the profile?
  14. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Once again Dr Bop is dead on ( I love this Lady). The key here is, if you force your voice to do what it was not created for, wait for problems down the road. Another point is that what ever the desired "voicing" is, can it be sustained? You dont want to be the next Axl Rose and be a studio voice and suck live. Intonation, phonation, accuracy and pitch are the keys to a good vocalist, not growling.

    If you insist on an edgier voice, gargle with broken glass and smoke 2 packs a day.

  15. This can be done passively too.

    I am in a death metal band. We do the whole range from clean tone to deep growling, to high screaming. I found the best way to improve this was to sing along to the radio, learn the key changes, get it in time/key. Sing old 70's classics etc. I would often sing one song, then the next that came on sing one line normal, the slowly introduce the growling. Trust me.. the looks i get in the car when i am 'screaming' to Bohemian Rhapsody are classics.....


  16. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Yes you can do that, vocal training, but to sustain those types of ranges day in and day out can cause you problems. The pitch comes from the chords, the rasp comes from the soft tissue in the larynx and pharynx. Over time this can cause a form of hypertrophy and/or polyps or even damage to the lymph glands (adenoids, tonsils).

    My question is can you reproduce it consistantly? Some can, others cant. I would be willing to bet that in a couple of years you wont.

  17. As to how harmful it is, the lead singer of the Used, whose voice has a demented amount of edge, pukes during most shows. He's been doing this for a few years somehow.
  18. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    I gave my medical opinion, I wont argue the point further.

  19. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    (Emboldened by Dr. Mucahy's praise) I will say that even IF this singer's method does not give him vocal cord nodules, the puking will ruin his teeth. You see, vomit is highly acidic and over time will eat away the enamel coating on teeth. Ask any chronic binge-and-purge bulimic.

    Furthermore, the constant forced vomiting may eventally lead to painful erosions of the esophagus, causing burning sensations and possibly even ulcers caused by digestive acids...the same ones that will eat away at teeth. The body is not designed for food to frequently back up and go out backwards through the mouth. Years of such abuse come with a stiff price.

    The singer's voice may have "demented edge", but such callous disregard for his own health is what is really demented. Soon the singer of Used may find his health "used up."
  20. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    You younger guys may not believe me when I say this, but at least think about it.

    You only have your health once. You've only got one body. It's not like a car or many other devices that let you replace the bits that break down. Ultimately when things pop, if can lead to an entire lifetime of having to live with it. How much you suffer depends on many things, but any for of suffering is too much, especially if it could have been avoided.

    You may feel invincible now, but all it takes is one scare and you'll change your tune pretty quickly.
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