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from Opera.. towards Rock..

Hi everyone
My name is Roane. I live in Belgium
I've been on the program for about a year now, and I'm amazed by the great things it has allready brought me( and I feel it's just a beginning...)
I've had a long training before taking on Ken's program... but mostly lost a lot of time...
I'm a bass-baritone. I was trained to sing opera. Entered the "Conservatoire Royal Superieur de Musique" at age 18. Was told I had the most promising opera voice. Earned a "second price" in opera class after two years... Then things started going wrong. I was having issues with my singing and didn't get any good advice or valuable help from my teachers at the time. And after two more years, I was expelled from the conservatoire, and was told I didn't have the voice suited for the job...
I was sure they were wrong.
Beeing very passionate and obstinate, I started working with an Italian Tenor in private lessons. (The only good teacher I've had in many years!...) Slowly erasing the rubbish I had learned before, and growing my voice in a way I felt was good for me. The fundamentals of his teaching were: "clear natural sound"( which is unfortunately never taught anymore in opera classes today ), open throat exercices with the tongue way out of the mouth, and saying the only way to grow a voice, even for soft sound, is to slowly grow a strong robust "well sustained" sound first. It's been the Fundamentals of my method ever since. I came back to the superior school a year later!,.. got through the "entering auditions"( before many of the teachers who fired me a year earlier),.. and after two more years earned a second price in "classical concert singing" class. But still working aside with my private teacher, and I was more and more aware of the incompetence of the teachers in the school, and so left before getting a degree, too disgusted and tired of losing my time. My father did not support me anymore since then, and I had to earn a living. I've been doing many different jobs, allways part-time, to give me time to train my voice and live my passion. I've been going to international masterclasses every year for many many years, trained as a counter-tenor for a year and a half( as I had become a part-time singing teacher and wished to be able to demonstrate, even to my female soprano students). All along it's been a permanent research to develop my voice, as well, and as far, as it possibly can. I trained to sing musicals, and jazz and pop(which I was always told would blow my opera voice). It never did... I was obstinate and allways thought: "I don't see why learning to play soccer would make me become a worse swimmer if I learn to do t well.
I've been teaching singing now for many years. Still have a lot to learn and gathering every possible new discovery that can get me to improve, or help my students improve.
When I heard Ken's singing, I thought: "Holy sh..., That's something new! None of my teachers ever tought me to work through my break (occuring around G4), or that a low baritone could erase the break and sing bright and rock over the second passage. Is this guy serious when he says he can show me how to do it?
When I heard Ken say in his tutorials the exact same things I had learned from "the only good teacher I'd had", I thought: "Looks like here's "at last" another vocal coach who knows what he's talking about!... and obviously knows much more!..."
After 2 weeks on Ken's method, no more break! Stayed on volume one for another month cause I was still having little issues with the "ee" vowelI and wanted to get things really right before moving on. Worked on volume 2 for 4 months. I've now been for about 6 months on volume 3. It made me realize I still had some weakenesses and tensions I had to get rid of.
My singing never improved as fast as this year!
As for my register, I thought the method would maybe make me gain a few high notes...
Well,.. I was able to reach F5 before KTVA... It still is my limit after a year... :)
And it's fine...
But now I'm leaning more and more into the sound in the mixed register, singing belted songs higher with ease... And what most suprised me: My bass-baritone opera voice developed wonderfully! I didn't only gain strength and ease in the high register, the many "little tensions" beeing slowly removed and my muscles getting stronger. But that strengthening and "healthier singing" made me develop my "Strohbass register"( underneath F4) greatly! I am now able, almost every day, to reach A1 after a few warm-ups . ( I never reached lower than D2 before taking on the program). And without losing any high notes!
Today I am happy to say "My best opera teacher ever is a heavy rock singer!" :D

I've been wandering though the forum for a few weeks now. I really haven't been active on it yet. But came across many generous and passionate people, and great discussions I want to jump into, and in which I feel "I too" have a lot to share that might help others...

I felt like introducing myself first,.. and hope I didn't bother you too much with my "too long" message.

Looking forward to join in!

Comments

  • 6 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Hi, @Roane!

    It's good to hear from you. You have quite a story to tell. One of struggle, and passion, one of overcoming obstacles in your path, and a story of having to sift through ignorant "experts" who tried to prevent you from reaching your goals!

    You sound like you're about as glad as I was when I finally found Ken Tamplin's YouTube demonstrations, and heard Ken say "If you like the way I sing, I'll SHOW YOU how I DO IT!" My life took a turn for the better at the moment I pulled the trigger and started doing Ken's course. I knew from the first exercises and explanations that this was going to really work, unlike the other vocal courses I had previously invested time and money on.

    Looking forward to hearing more from you!

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • Hi Bob. Very pleased to meet you!
    Thanks for your kind post and for having taken on your time to read mine!
    It seems our stories have a bit in common..
    As you can tell I was indeed very excited to discover Ken's videos, and maybe get to explore a whole new territory, high clear rocking voice in a register way above my natural bass baritone register. I was familiar with diaphragmatic breathing and support, open throat and even vowel mods, but in opera we get stuck on the first vowel mod by trying to keep the depth and warmth of the voice as high as possible. Most opera teachers even insist far too much on 'covering the sound'( which again wasn't taught in early italian school, where you let the modification occur naturally in 'aperto-coperto' feeling( clear-dark mix))
    Having had, on and on, wrong guidance from teachers one after the other, I had become very cautious, and after a while, because I had no other choice, learned to trust only my instinct to choose the things to keep or not in 'what I was told'. In a way, you slowly become your own teacher, and 'monitor yourself' all the time. It's a slow process but makes you build wonderfull awareness of your instrument, and gives you the great feeling, when you eventually get great results, of beeing indepted only to yourself for it.
    Therefore, to be honest, it was quite a step for me to take on Ken's program, and in a way, become a 'disciple' again by fully giving a go at somebody else's teaching in something I had not yet explored. But Ken had such obvious qualities as a singer, but also, as a person, seemed to be such a nice and generous guy, that I really felt like giving it a go. And the greatest pleasure for me was to discover how much it was in fact in the continuity of what I had acquired,... but with fresh great new discoveries and feelings! And as you say for youself, it's, with no doubt, the best decision I've taken in a long time. And I allready feel really grateful for what he has brought to me.

  • Thanks for sharing your story! Very inspiring and passionate! See you around :)
  • Thanks Karen-Anne! It's nice to get reactions! See you
  • While many aspects of opera training cross over into pop and rock singing, it is not the other way around. My family choir has a Bel Canto vocal coach and I have begun singing arias with him. While in general he likes the agility and "raw range" KTVA has given me, he says my vowels are far too wide (aka the "LAW"). He has told me that if I keep singing "open" (with mask and "wider" vowels the way Ken Tamplin teaches), I will lose my voice eventually and that it is not a sustainable sound.
    I have heard other people on here talk about bel canto teachers dismissing Ken Tamplin's technique.
    To say that singing the way Ken teaches will ruin the voice is kind of crazy given the sustainability and versatility his voice has shown.
  • Hi Matt
    I'm not quite sure what is your personal opinion on the subject, since you say your Bel Canto coach, that you seem to trust, thinks it is unhealthy. But you say it's crazy to say it will ruin your voice.
    I believe if you acquire good support, and train the muscles required for any given technique IN A HEALTHY WAY (respecting the rythm of growth of your voice and listening to your body's limits while you try and stretch), it will give you more versatility and longevity; Distortion is another subject. I am willing to get into it, but, as an opera singer will probably be more cautious with that particular technique.
    What does happen, is that with a good training on a Technique like Ken's technique, your bel canto teachers (or even yourself) may be mistaken on your natural vocal register (bass, baritone or tenor). And if you wish to train as opera singer, I believe it is crucial, in that particular art of singing, to sing in the range in which your vocal chords will reveal their full richness of timber. If you are a bass-baritone, you won't "become a tenor" because a good training on Ken's method allows you to sing in that register. Your voice will allways sound less suave in that register than that of a tenor, because paring down the weight it naturally has, will make it lose some resonnance and natural colours. I'm able more and more to sing slides from bottom to top( way over oper bass-baritone with a full rich Bass-Baritone tone as long as it is in the written for that kind of voice
  • Sorry, must have pressed a wrong button, an sent my post before fifnishing it...
    Thanks to Ken, today, I'm able to sing slides from bottom to top( way over opera bass-baritone register) but, I'm more and more able to keep, even in those slides, a full rich Bass-Baritone tone as long as it is in the notes written for that kind of voice. But if I cover the sound too much over D4 (which most opera techers recommand nowadays), in arias I will lose a tone or half tone, and will be unconfortable on my 1rst passage. But most of all, if my voice, in a room may sound warmer and darker, it will sound more artificial, and in a great theater will not be heard as far. Great opera singers of the past ( Manuguerra, Pinza, Siepi, Kraus... and even Pavarotti) did not cover their sound, they kept it bright and natural up to the top, letting the vowel mod occur naturally and darken it (but just slightly), as it does when you have open throat and relaxed technique and great support. And they became legends. Their voices were so much more expressive and moving, because 'with a natural core'. But it is a technique that is harder to acquire. Today most opera basses are in fact Bass-Baritones covering too much their voices (Erwin Schrott is a good example), and even many baritones are in fact tenors. And it's a shame, cause it does opera a great disservice, letting people think it's an art of ridiculous Wo Wo singing...
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