Singing Forum by Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy
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Range questions

Hi there I'm still just coming to understand the principals of singing. Truly love the program. Ken lessons are the upmost quality. Iv been trying to identify my actual range. Where I'm confused is that I am a low baritone with some bass, would it make since to be hitting A4 in head voice and a F4/G4 at the top of chest voice? Iv been doing the program about 4 months. And am on volume 2 of part 2. I am just starting to mentally grasp octaves and range


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,206Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited February 2017
    Even at Volume 3, I couldn't get past G4 for the longest time, especially on songs vs exercises. A4's just kill you, until you figure out that you don't take the girth of a G4 up to G# or an A or a Bb or a B... and so forth. If you do, you're figuratively trying to force a 3/4" round peg into a 1/2" square hole. It's important to realize that your girth has to taper on the way up, and your support, or "holdback" pressure has to increase to balance out or help cancel out the air pressure required to get an A4 to sound on the cords. It's a smaller stream of air for an A4 than for an F or G.

    It's even easier if you shave back some of that weight down at the E or F, F# area, and keep tapering. If you try to blast those notes out, you'll cook your cords. That's where the smaller stream of air and the tapering come in. It's Ken's multi-staged rocket. Or the Big Pillars on the bottom, the smaller pillars on the next tier, and so forth. The Elevator that lets you out on a smaller floor, and then takes you up to a smaller floor above that...

    There are various ways to conceptualize it, but every note has its own character, depending on how you are singing that note. You have to get to know them all. Sort of a meet and greet, if you will. Familiarize yourself with this expanded range that you would like to be able to access. Learn how to thin them out and how to fill them out, depending on the needs of the song. Learn agility. Learn to sustain them. Learn how to smooth some of the harder onsets, and especially how to modify as you get out of the elevator on some of the penthouse notes up near the nosecone.

    Have you met Mr. Support? He's a very influential guy in these parts.


  • badtimmy89badtimmy89 Posts: 16Pro
    I have not met Mr. support yet. I was thinking the rocket system was something different, you have clarified allot for me. I will focus on learning those things, and sustainability. Thanks for the great advice. KTA never fails!
  • vmalheirosvmalheiros Posts: 105Pro
    edited February 2017
    Hey guys, let me jump in on this one. It's amazing how we always end up having to go back to volume 1, and eventually realize that there is something we didn't get exactly right. Fortunately, I have met Mr. Support, and I totally get it now (which is awesome). I remember hearing Ken say that we had to relax completely in between each phrase and thinking that it didn't make any sense, that it was probably not important. Man, IT HAPPENS JUST THE WAY HE SAYS IT. If you don't relax the diaphragm in between phrases you WILL get caught up.
    Now that I finally understand support, I'm trying to absolutely understand how to shed the weight to get up top. All my friends say I am a great singer (I don't think so though lol), the only problem is that my range is still somewhat limited in songs. Like, I can sing Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, some Myles Kennedy tunes (one or two, and it's really hard). But I still can't get into Dio territory, Steve Perry, Robert Plant, that kind of stuff. Hopefully, I'll get there sooner or later.
  • badtimmy89badtimmy89 Posts: 16Pro
    Where do I learn about MR. support? in a volume I take it. I am a long time guitarist and tradesman, to conceptualize the lessons, and trying to go along with ken in the videos are two different things. Ken is properly explaining everything but not all of us can pick up on a dime what's really happening. Singing has been tough for me going on 5 years and just now seeing actual progress because of Ken. Spent money on worthless lessons. Personally id like to sing like Layne Staley, I will never be able hit some of his range because I'm not a tenor. Arron Lewis does a pretty good rendition of rooster in Bb4 according to "the range place". I have hopes to be able to hit one day. All in good time, really nice to to be beginning to understand all these principals and concepts.
  • badtimmy89badtimmy89 Posts: 16Pro
    Also bob after applying your insight. My adjusted top range is e4. Any recommendations for songs to learn in that range. I think I have a low larynx. I know you have allot of students to help, to sorry I am being a bother
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,206Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    You're not being a bother. Everybody just wants to learn. Everything... now... ;^)

    I just made up "Mr. Support" in this thread, because I talk about that subject so much, that many people are rolling their eyes to the back of the head when I bring it up. Support is so important to the voice... and you and I have probably wasted money on the same previous singing courses we took that just say things like "You already know how to breathe, so we're not going to waste your time on that!"

    Sorry, but without supported breath, you just aren't going to sound all that good. Once you get it working for you, it grows and helps your voice in every way. It's KEY to ALL of the things you really want to be able to do with your voice.

    The difficult part about it, is that support is mostly just FEELINGS within your body, a bit unlike anything else, so it's really sketchy to try to "tell" somebody how to do it. It's almost like trying to explain to someone how to "think". We all do it, but we just "do" it. And support is kind of the opposite of most of the ways we normally breathe. It's turning the autonomic way we normally breathe into a controlled process that is directly linked to our singing voice.

    You know how someone who has been in an accident or had a stroke, may need to learn to walk all over again as an adult? We kind of have to re-learn to use our breathing apparatus for the purpose of singing, because we do not speak like we sing. We sing like we sing, and there are a lot of variables involved to get all of those notes and textures worked out.

    I've already written a kazillion articles in the section of the forums on Diaphragmatic Breathing and Support. If you read a few hundred of those, you should start to get a pretty good profile on Mr. Support. He's a very important guy. And Divas, you also need to find Ms. Support. It's just a figurative name for a very important concept. You can conceptualize it any way you want. We ALL need it.

    You'll have to find it for yourself, within your own body. But I'm giving you all the clues you should need to find it for yourself. And DO share what finally works for you. EVERYBODY is looking for it, and we all find it, one at a time, eventually, by trying all of these concepts until you finally have your AHA moment. It's like trying to learn to ride a bike, and you keep crashing, until that day where you start pedaling and go a whole block before you crash! Even when you first find it and KNOW that's IT, you may lose it a few more times before you get it for good. That's how difficult it can be to even TELL YOURSELF!

    Is it any wonder those other singing courses don't bother to tell you about it. They don't want to take the time to work with you. Or they tell you it's all B.S. WRONG!

    Support is going to come from applying the breathing techniques Ken shows in the lessons. For some, that's all they need. Others, like me, have to struggle to learn it, and have a hard time grasping and implementing it. The more you do it, after you learn it, the better your voice will become.

  • badtimmy89badtimmy89 Posts: 16Pro
    I see highmtn, thank you for going over it with me, and replying on a Sunday. It takes a very patient person to fulfill your duties on the forums. After these posts I feel much more confident to start the next disc and go over the previous ones to check what I have missed. Singing is a very difficult thing. I am a contractor in Oregon, let me tell you it was far easier to learn how to build a home then sing lol. I do understand the plumbing and electrical wires come right before you seal the house. I will hit the lessons hard again. After applying what you told me, I'm sounding much better, and warm ups are much more accurate :) I would like to see you sing sometime. Kens pros are pretty amazing.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,206Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    I'm probably your next-door neighbor. My photo (icon) was taken at Heceta Head.
  • badtimmy89badtimmy89 Posts: 16Pro
    No doubt I'm in Cottage Grove, 15 minutes south from Eugene. I didn't think there were that many Ken Tamplin students out this way, let alone the moderator.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,206Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Been through there many times.
  • badtimmy89badtimmy89 Posts: 16Pro
    donnabright, Mr. support from what I gather is a correct breathing posture and diaphragm support, if something is hurting in anyway at this point of the course I would stop immediately, your gut should be sore and you will revert back to incorrect breathing, happened to me just as ken said. you may need to take it a little slower you have to build strength before you can sing correctly for hours on end. Its better to have one quality hour then five not so much. I'm sure Bob will respond with a correct answer that you can understand, he is awesome at that. You may have met mr support but you need to be with him at every point of singing or let your body have time build strength required to do so.
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