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Tips and Pointers for New Students

KevinGremKevinGrem Posts: 144Pro
If you're a brand new student to this singing program, I'd like to offer some simple and effective pieces of advice that may help you along your way. I've been using the program for over a year, and I'd like to offer some help based on what I've learned in my experience using this course.

Ken's teaching style makes heavy use of learning by repetition. He really hammers the points home, again and again, throughout the course. There are things you will hear him say from day 1 that he will continue to keep reminding you about as you move through the program. So my advice here is, if you're watching the videos and doing the lessons and don't understand something at first, don't fret or worry. Ken will be sure to elaborate on those points again and again. There were a lot of things that were not clear to me in the beginning, such as vowel modifications, that became clear at a later point in the program. If you get stuck somewhere, my advice would be to just continue past it, because it will definitely become clearer at a later point. I'm not saying you should rush though, but I am saying that you don't need to get hung up on any one thing. You'll get it if you just keep going.

With that in mind, one of the biggest lessons, if not THE biggest lesson in the program, is the idea to constantly eliminate stress and tension as you sing. If you always remember to do the exercises lightly, YOU CAN'T FAIL. What you will find happen as you go through the lessons is your will grow ON ITS OWN. Just have patience. You need only to sit back and relax, and have fun with it! Just ALLOW things to happen. They will come. So long as you do the exercises while relaxed, there really is no wrong way to go about it.

Secondly, bear in mind that Ken comes from the school of hard rock. What is hard rock singing all about? Hard rock is all about developing higher vocals. So expect to be singing higher and higher and higher. If you're not into that idea, then you need to get into it. For me, the band that really turned me on to high singing was Judas Priest. Ever since I got into them, I have loved and appreciated similar styles of music that employ high pitched vocals. If you need some recommendations on where to start with them, shoot me a personal message and I'd be more than happy to help you out.

Thirdly and finally, the purpose of these vocal workouts is to build and develop your technique. In doing so, most of the exercises will not sound very good to your neighbors. If you live with roommates, expect them to criticize your singing and tell you that you sound like crap. The vocal exercises are not SUPPOSED to sound pretty. They are supposed to help you build the proper vocal methods and muscles so that when you actually go to sing for real that you will completely silence all their ignorant criticisms and show them who really is boss. Just always keep in mind that non-musicians tend to be completely clueless as to what you're doing and what it all means. And in extreme cases they might even try to bully you and put down your personal character. DON'T LET IT DISCOURAGE YOU. I know what it's like. You will find naysayers and critics everywhere you go in life. They are not worth one second of your time. If you need help dealing with these types of people I am here to help.

So let's summarize...here are my 3 pieces of advice for successfully getting through Ken Tamplin's course:

1. Allow your voice to grow NATURALLY, and constantly resist the temptation to strain.
2. Learn to appreciate classic hard rock and heavy metal.
3. Don't let anyone stop you from pursuing your dreams.

GOOD SINGING TO EVERYONE!!! :)

Comments

  • MatsyMatsy Posts: 126Pro
    Soooo, I posted a comment here and now it has disappeared?
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 11,685Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Yes, I saw your comment earlier. You said something like you needed to hear this and found it encouraging.

    I don't know where your comment is now.

    That's odd.
  • KevinGremKevinGrem Posts: 144Pro
    edited May 25
    There's one point of clarity I want to make in regards to my first piece of advice, as I wouldn't want to steer anyone in the wrong direction. After all, I'm not the one who designed this vocal program, I'm a just a student and these are pointers that have helped me get through the program. Singing at a professional will no doubt require you to apply stress and physical exertion, and you can't expect develop strong, powerful vocals if you never push yourself. My main point is that when you train you should not strain beyond what is comfortable for you. It is true that you can't possibly damage your voice if always remain perfectly relaxed, but also, you do need to eventually learn how to apply pressure in order grow your voice. Remember these are workouts, similar to physical exercise you might do in the gym. The voice is a muscle and it grows over time. The idea is to begin lightly, and slowly add weight over time. Just like you would in the gym.

    Some vocal instructors have advocated for complete "stress free" singing, and Ken has said that this is misguiding and untrue.
  • viniciusoliveiraviniciusoliveira Posts: 300Enrolled
    edited May 22
    Bear in mind that Ken comes from the school of hard rock. What is hard rock singing all about? Hard rock is all about developing higher vocals. So expect to be singing higher and higher and higher.

    Exactly what I was looking for.
  • KevinGremKevinGrem Posts: 144Pro
    I think most people would like to increase their range, and their improve their ability to sing songs in a higher register. For females, I would think this wouldn't be as much of an issue. But for most males, it requires some training.

    I've always found it interesting how the singer who nails the high notes is almost universally cheered and applauded by the audience. Why? Because it's impressive, and it's difficult to learn how to do. Our normal talking register is so low, that when we hear the human voice stretch way up beyond that it makes us go "WOW!".
  • stratmanstratman Posts: 248Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    So true. Every month that passes, I notice how much easier bridging is and also improvement in tone.
  • viniciusoliveiraviniciusoliveira Posts: 300Enrolled
    edited May 25
    Absolutely.
    Still, singers with a very high voice aren't regular at all (Anthony Green,Geddy Lee). I bet it takes even more time to sing with a really boyish voice like that... most people don't seem to enjoy it though :D
  • KevinGremKevinGrem Posts: 144Pro
    Not everyone likes high-pitched voices; I guess it's too over the top for some people. I personally love and can enjoy anyone who sings high though. As long as they carry a melody it's perfectly fine for me.
  • MiraMira Posts: 1Enrolled
    Thank you so much for good tips! I have just started the singing program and i am stuck at the vowel modifications. I am way to hard on myself, but now I know that I just have to be patient about it:-)
  • KevinGremKevinGrem Posts: 144Pro
    Yes, you will get stuck at times. But Ken's vocal exercises are very well ordered so that as you move through it things become more and more clear. He repeats the same points so many times that it's almost impossible to fail.

    The results will come. It's a good program and it works.
  • KevinGremKevinGrem Posts: 144Pro
    About the vowel modifications...To be honest, even now I don't think about them when I'm doing the scales. It's the type of thing that just develops over time. I don't try to alter my voice, I just let it alter itself, you know what I mean?

    The main point about vowel modifications is to get you to go up and down the scales smoothly. Different people will use release valves at different points of their voice. Fortunately my own voice is a baritone like Ken's, and so I use them largely in the same way he does.

    If you can go up and down smoothly and in full voice without straining, that's the most important thing. You might even find that you use different release valves than the ones given. They are meant to relieve tension. The vowel modifications are both a guide and a point of information to get you thinking properly. If you get to the point where you're going up and down with a smooth connection and you aren't straining, then you're probably doing it right.
  • EdwardEdward Posts: 2Member
    I am a newcomer, and am generally happy the way things have begun.

    The one point that is a bit confusing is how the video files should be used.

    File 17 says "This concludes Volume 1," but is then followed by Files 18 through 32, which cover various different aspects.

    Can anyone provide some advice about how the video files should be used?

    Thanks!

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 11,685Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    The whole set of files after File 17 were added on later. You can see that they are recorded in a different location at a different time. So what you are getting after that is free added content to further explain the course. Those additions were based on questions coming in here at the forums and from other sources.

    There are similar additions in Volume 2.

    The video files should be viewed before starting to workout every day. The videos teach you fundamentals about singing that you should be applying as you do the workouts.

    You should re-view the videos periodically. There is a lot of information in them, and you will always see something you previously missed when you re-watch.

    The audio files are the meat and potatoes of growing your voice. Doing the exercises daily will grow your voice. Do them the way you are taught in the videos. Also follow the instructions Ken gives in the audio exercises.
  • EdwardEdward Posts: 2Member
    Thanks for the reply. Appreciate it.

    EC
  • finley.jfinley.j Posts: 29Pro, 2.0 PRO
    I found this thread to be a bit helpful, I initially started Ken's method a while back and fell off track, got discouraged etc...I'm a guitarist and have always longed to be able to sing and play, maybe lead worship, perform acoustic covers, and just be more musical.

    I recently got my passion for singing again, and with that I have also picked up a video recorder and made the mistake of recording myself doing warm-ups this morning...So discouraging, it just sounds absolutely horrible,

    Seeing this thread gives me hope knowing that the exercises are not supposed to sound good.

    I'm going to keep at this, I am at a loss as to how to progress, all I'm doing is the vocal exercises for Dudes and watching the video's, and purpose to stay connected here on the forum.

    Thanks for posting this.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 11,685Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @finley.j

    You should be able to find the pdf documents on how to do the course in the Volume One video folder. Put the disk in the computer and look at the file extensions for .pdf, or if you have the download version, just look in the folder for the pdf files. On some versions of the program they are .doc files.
  • finley.jfinley.j Posts: 29Pro, 2.0 PRO
  • Macka83Macka83 Posts: 4Pro
    @KevinGrem thanks for the post. I have just recently joined up, but before I joined I was a little apprehensive "I want to sing like Halford" I said to myself, "I Hope the course teaches those techniques" A there we go, you mention the Priest straight up.
  • KevinGremKevinGrem Posts: 144Pro
    You most certainly can learn to sing like Rob Halford, because believe it or not, he does not have a "naturally" high pitched voice. He is, like most males, a baritone. Whenever I feel discouraged about my own voice, I always remind myself of Rob. If he can sing high as a baritone, then so can I.

    With one of my bands I was able to pull off "Freewheel Burning" at a live show, and although we didn't capture it on video unfortunately, everyone who was there told me I completely NAILED it. I cannot say just how proud I am to have done that. Without Ken Tamplin's vocal training I never would have been able to do that.
  • Macka83Macka83 Posts: 4Pro
    @KevinGrem That's great to hear. I started off a bit easier with Living after Midnight, but have now stepped it up to try and learn Hell Patrol.
  • KevinGremKevinGrem Posts: 144Pro
    Heh, it seems like I need to follow my own advice!! These are great tips. Growing the voice naturally is a lot of fun, and just like exercise, it takes commitment. But you commit to it and it becomes easy. It really isn't that difficult as it is something I enjoy. Vocal workouts can be exhausting though. It really pays off though!
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