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My Bohemian Rhapsody Attempt Journey

victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
@highmtn @Gaston_Jauregui @Furious_Phil @doc_ramadani @Diego @cwcw @Klaus_T @Andi77 @Vixen85 @Rick_amateur @IraR @Michael4000 @reallydanny @Sophia @Mysti @Vocality @Wigs ....


Just sharing my progress through the demonstration of this very difficult song. Well, difficult for me anyway...

Note: This was a song I deemed as absolutely NOT suitable for my tessatura.....didnt even think this was a remote possibility!!!

I am now on my 6th month of not-a-single-day-off, and twice a day of vol 2 and Vol 3 since Jan 2019 of the program. On top of the 3-4 hours a day of dedicated exercises, I also fit in about 1 hour of song practice. Most days, I don't have enough time or energy to fit in the song practice.

SO 2 nights ago, while on holidays I went to a karaoke club. In a tiny room with a friend, we sang whatever we wanted - good or bad. There was no one to annoy so we even sang stuff that we were UNABLE to sing properly. Just for laughs, and just to see how it turns out.

I dived into Bohemian Rhapsody.

No practice, no rehearsal, expecting to fail big time. I was expecting to stop by within 1 minute of singing. I have tried singing this before and could not continue after "....mamma life had just begun" and choking on the "throw" of "...gonna throw it all away". That was as far as I had gone in this song 1-2 months ago.

So even though this performance (below video) was extremely raw, unrefined and full of hiccups, I was surprised how much more stamina i now have. I was also surprised that i could negotiate the passagio area. Mostly I am surprised that the vocal exercises actually allow me to open my throat without being conscious of it. It kinda happened by itself. It is as if the exercises done and repeated (now over 400 repetitions over 6 months), had installed a new software into my vocal production mechanism.

This stuff is working better than i hoped! For those of you who doubt it, please know that the hard work does pay off!!


Please remember that this is the first time in my entire life that i actually sang beyond the first 1:20+ minute, without rehearsal, in a karaoke situation:

Comments

  • cwcwcwcw Posts: 1922.0 PRO
    Ok...so after cleaning up the vomit for getting motion sick from the video...Mind you, I vomited a few minutes earlier after watching the video of you on the balcony in Singapore. ;)

    If that was my first go at Bohemian Rhapsody - a monster of a song - I'd be very pleased. Not perfect of course, and lots of work to do, but well done, Victor. Hearing you grow vocally has been a delight. You know where you need more work, and I can't comment to the level of technical details as other more seasoned folks, so I'll leave that to them.

    Thanks, Buddy!

  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    @cwcw Hahaha....I am not sure whether to believe you or not. I actually tend to get severe motion sickness from watching shaky unstable videos so I actually lean towards believing you!!!

    Regarding where I need more work. At this stage, I first and foremost priority is to sing in a quiet library and still sound good, not just soft but resonant and pleasing to the ear. If I had to critique myself, that is where i would start. But it is difficult to be objective with myself.

    Any suggestion would be appreciated and valued.
  • cwcwcwcw Posts: 1922.0 PRO
    @victortang didn't vomit, but watching the moving video was rough. My wife couldn't watch the Singapore video after about 1.5 minutes. The heights didn't bother me in the least, it was just all that swinging around that made me look away - on both videos. :blush:

    What I meant was that you're self-aware enough to know what you need to work on. I don't necessarily know that for you, given your current skill level.

    What is it about singing in a library? The dead sound from all the books, etc.? Would you make volume adjustments based on that? Something else? The reason I ask is that I'm trying to find a balance between volume, tone, and tension (not having any). I tend to sing too loudly, and I'm finding that lowering the volume helps me relax and it provides more control.
  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    edited March 19
    @cwcw Sorry about the motion. I was holding a selfie stick so the movement was kinda inevitable.

    Ah the library thingy. Bob (@highmtn ) actually coined that analogy when advising me. For me, it is difficult to sing with a vulnerable emotion, soft, tender and low in volume. Singing softly is not enough, it needs to sound good too. it is a matter of air control and still producing a balanced sound.

    So if I can sing a song in a library without disturbing others who are reading their books, and still sound in pitch, good tone, and sounding good generally, I guess it would be what I am working toward. To me that is much harder than singing in full voice and loudly.

    As @Klaus_T had suggested to me (in our private messages), "mamma, just killed a man, put a gun against his..." could have been less aggressive. I guess you could say it should've been sung as if I was in a library and not wanting to alarm everyone there.
  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    Here is what I call singing in a library and still sounding impressive:
  • cwcwcwcw Posts: 1922.0 PRO
    Gotcha. Thanks for explaining the library. Makes sense.

    If you haven’t already seen Ken comment on Marc Martel’s version of BR here’s a link.

  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5242.0 PRO
    @victortang it is great to see the hard work paying off! if you never made it past the 1:20 mark before, it is a massive achievement. i think the training also gave you the confidence that was maybe missing before!
  • MystiMysti Posts: 1332.0 PRO
    Wow. Very impressive. If you had not told me you had problems at the phrase, I never would have known. You sailed right through it. Your karaoke must have had the wrong lyrics there as it is in the past instead of the future. “Now I’ve gone and thrown it all away.”

    I would love it if you made this a challenge song like Still Loving You and let us see and hear your progress.
  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    edited March 19
    @Mysti To be honest, I didn't even dare dream of making it a challenge. I don't think that it is necessarily a much more difficult song than other songs per se. I did and still do think it is in a range that wasn't written for my natural range. Imagine Freddie Mercury trying to sing in Celine Dion's range. Not impossible but a challenge.

    I will make it a challenge, and keep you updated. i am curious how far i can improve...
  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    @Mysti “Now I’ve gone and thrown it all away.” is the correct line yes?
  • MystiMysti Posts: 1332.0 PRO
    edited March 19
    @victortang Yes, that is correct. The full line starts with but. “But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away.”

    I look forward to hearing your next versions. Ken has made me a believer that range is not as fixed as we were taught. I am sure with time you will nail that last “for me” with ease.
  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 1,794Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    Hi @Mysti,

    Ken has made me a believer that range is not as fixed as we were taught.


    Absolutely. I do not give anything anymore on these concepts. I started with my highest note being a F#4. Now I can hit sometimes a F# 5(!!!). This should be impossible for me as a regular baritone.

    I am absolutely sure that Victor will be able to do this song.

    Doc
  • DiegoDiego Posts: 7592.0 PRO
    I've done the full song. It's somewhere in the forums. I'm thinking of doing it again soon. It's not a easy song. Especially with all of those voices around.
  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    edited March 20
    I have always known that range is NOT fixed, even before KTVA. But we have been told by traditional singing schools that it is. But monkeys climb and fish swim. And sometimes we do get monkeys swimming and amphibious "fish" attempting to climb a tree. My point is that reaching a high note is not the only concern. Sounding good is the concern. I can reach A5 anyway. And I have even squeezed out a C6 once or twice - and that, to me, sounded silly. But I cannot really use them in most contexts.

    Sure, I can and will keep pushing the boundary. Let's see what happens.....

    @doc_ramadani It is not true that a baritone should NOT be able to reach F#5. If it is true, you would not be reaching it. It is true, though, that the Bel canto way of voice training (amongst other traditional methods) would NOT allow a baritone to reach F#5.

    I was reaching G#5 comfortably in a song before KTVA. KTVA has NOT actually stretched my head voice (yet). But for me, the use of head voice is very limited. What KTVA has done for me, is that it has given me (1) better tone, (2) more control over my passagio (3) stretched my existing chest voice by more than 4 steps/semitones (from G4 to B4, and sometimes *C5). *It was a C5 full chest voice at 4:24 (singing the word "die")
  • MystiMysti Posts: 1332.0 PRO
    @victortang Wow. C6 is very high. I understand what you mean about having good tone along with the high notes. You have done that with still loving you. I am looking forward to what you do with bo rap. Hopefully my words did not offend. They were intended to be encouraging.

  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    @Mysti No offence at all!!! You are so encouraging!!! Thank you.

    Actually I don't even know why your words would even offend at all, seriously.

    I am here to learn new knowledge, and being offended does not help me. I can't see how you could have offended anyone.

    I have always gone by the belief that if a person feels offended, it is only because he has given permission to be offended. The fault is his, and his alone.
  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    edited March 20
    @Mysti I just did this video to show you how ugly my D6 sounds. It is totally useless, except for annoying people around me. My point is that singing high is not the most important thing. Singing well is.
  • MystiMysti Posts: 1332.0 PRO
    @victortang Thanks for that! Agreed that is not the best tone. You do have some very good tone thrown in there in your raw performance.

    I looked up bo rap at songfacts. They said the original tape got super thin because they overdubbed the voices more than 180 times.
  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    @Mysti Regarding "original tape got super thin" after 180 overdubs, amazing! I wonder if that tape actually physically got thin, and if so will it eventually just break?? Fascinating, when you consider what is now possible in this digital world!

    Let's do a 380 overdubs without thinning the "tape", no problem! haha
  • DiegoDiego Posts: 7592.0 PRO
    When I did the song, I had to do 2 seperate audacity files because there were so many voices!
    It's insane!
  • MystiMysti Posts: 1332.0 PRO
    edited March 23
    @victortang I would imagine eventually it would break. You remember how bad the cassettes were. They were quite handy, but you couldn't trust all the parts, and sometimes the tape would just roll up inside. How many times did you use a pencil to get the tape tightened? LOL! I am sure the reels Queen used were much better than cassettes, but I never had any personal experience with them.

    @Diego Wow! That sure sounds like a lot of tracks. Did you do all the voices yourself?
  • DiegoDiego Posts: 7592.0 PRO
    @Mysti Yes I did! You can check it out somewhere in my profile! I'll link it if you want. @victortang (Sorry to hijack the post)
  • MystiMysti Posts: 1332.0 PRO
    @Diego Listening to it now. Very impressive! I am sure you were frustrated when part of the files were lost, but the end result was worth it.
  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    @highmtn @Gaston_Jauregui @Furious_Phil @doc_ramadani @Diego @cwcw @Klaus_T @Andi77 @Vixen85 @Rick_amateur @IraR @Michael4000 @reallydanny @Sophia @Mysti @Vocality @Wigs ....

    I am only assuming you may be interested to follow my improvement (hopefully) in this song....

    Please throw any advice/suggestion at me!!!!

    Second time singing it (after about 2 practice runs):

  • DiegoDiego Posts: 7592.0 PRO
    edited March 28
    Better than last ones.
    So here goes some advice:

    For advice I would give... on the choruses, Freddie usually did "mAWmAHHHH".

    On "I don't wanna die" you can go "AH DUHWAHNAH DAAAHEH". On "I sometimes wish..." I felt you were a little tired from the previous phrase and started developing a lot of tension, not letting you reach the top note.
    I don't know if you're doing improv in this song or not.

    But I would recommend trying to let some parts better, really run down through the dynamics of the song and the phrasing.

    3:46 you were doing well on this phrase until you tackled the C5. "d-AH-AW-AH-EE" Will maybe work? Experiment.

    This is a very tough song. Especially if you're not familiar with it.
    I recommend this. I always take a look at these types of videos when I'm recording a song.

    This will give you an insight on how the artist sings certain things.
  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 1,794Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    Hi, you both,

    the video with the vocals only is amazing. The arrangement and melody lines are really complex - tough song.

    Doc
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5242.0 PRO
    @victortang great job, it does sound better. you softened the beginning nicely
  • victortangvictortang Posts: 5822.0 PRO
    @Diego Hey thanks for your suggestion/advice. I am so touched you took the time. I shall get to work.....Thanks Diego.

    In this video, what I forgot to mention was that I was trying to do what @Klaus_T suggested/advised. That, I think I have done. There is room for improvement. But i actually worked a bit to get that "soft" beginning. Yes singing in a library is my Kryptonite.
  • cwcwcwcw Posts: 1922.0 PRO
    @victortang - nice work, nice improvement! I'll let the better educated folks help you on technique.
  • Michael4000Michael4000 Posts: 700STREAMING PRO
    Nice job on a really tough song Victor! You had some really high notes in there (F5!) I would suggest using a little less "cry" in your voice and work on your timing. Overall great job.

    Michael
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