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kamikazekamikaze Posts: 154Enrolled
Hey everyone! Hope all is super well

So my band decided just this Monday we're going to cover the timeless Africa by Toto at a show we are playing this Friday. We had never played it, so we threw together a quick rendition of our own and are shedding it for Friday. Monday night, we all sat on the back porch and sang the song softly to get the harmonies down, in which case there was definitely a push required to get to the high lead vocal in the chorus "It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you...." but I was doing it without much of a hitch. When we went back inside and laid the song out as a full band, it was a lot different belting, but I still pulled it off. I went through it a few times by myself later that night. I gave the track a whirl this morning (Granted I didn't warm up) and had much more difficulty with it. I'm honestly not sure what that note is ( I wanna say an Ab4? Maybe 5?) But it's sustained through the whole chorus essentially on the lead vocal. I think i may be closing too much as well as not compressing enough for it. I'm trying to get it loosened up a bit by Friday though, a bit of a time crunch for sure. Anyone have any tips for sustaining that high note, especially with a bunch of consonants in there?

Thank you all!

Comments

  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 848Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    edited March 31
    Well, for starters, I'm pretty sure that high droning part is in and around A4, so near the top of most people's chest voice. The most likely reason why it was easier the first time is by the sounds of it you were singing it softly in head voice... when you went in, you were probably trying to belt it in Head voice... 2 very different animals.
    To maintain that higher note in chest, you'll need to be able to go at least one note above it (ideally), and you'll need to really maintain your diaphragmatic support like a boss. If that kicks out, the note is lost... plain and simple.
  • bentkbentk Posts: 788Pro, 2.0 PRO
    It's kind of constantly A4 to G#4. A pretty tough one to sing as you constantly sit on a high note. A very important part of this is thinning out your chest voice. Don't drag too much weight. And what Phil mentioned, being able to hit notes slightly higher will give you more ease with singing it.

    Furthermore, a good understanding of glottal compression is very important here. If you are at VOL3 of the course, that is where glottal compression is taught.

    Make sure to adjust vowels into more comfortable ones, without making the words incomprehensible. If you are familiar with KTVA, you will be familiar with vowel mods too. Don't sing the consonants very hard, you want to keep the throat open as much as possible. Biting down on a consonant, or drastic vowel changes might close down your throat.

    All the best,

    Ben
  • kamikazekamikaze Posts: 154Enrolled
    > @Furious_Phil said:
    > Well, for starters, I'm pretty sure that high droning part is in and around A4, so near the top of most people's chest voice. The most likely reason why it was easier the first time is by the sounds of it you were singing it softly in head voice... when you went in, you were probably trying to belt it in Head voice... 2 very different animals.
    > To maintain that higher note in chest, you'll need to be able to go at least one note above it (ideally), and you'll need to really maintain your diaphragmatic support like a boss. If that kicks out, the note is lost... plain and simple.

    You are so so right man, I applied what you said all week and focused on supporting that note heavy so I could belt. I really had to widdle down the consonant sounds a lot and accidentally came in a bit heavy so I had some distortion, but I rebreathed and cleaned it up a bit. All in all we seemed to pull it off, crowd loved it!! I’m definitely gonna work on it still because it’s a tough tough note to sustain in that belted head voice. I do have a fairly high tenor range, but it’s still an animal for sure. You were absolutely right also, singing it head voice on the porch and belting with the band are VERY different. I think my mechanics all working in concert seemed to kick in when they needed to however :-) Thank you for your input!! If I can dig up a clip I’ll show ya!
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 848Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Outstanding!

    One other thing I forgot to mention, (that I have to constantly watch myself for) is the tendency to lean a little too hard when I'm singing with the band, especially when live!
    For instance, I may have worked up a song with all the nuances and control I am capable of, but sometimes when I get with the band, I push it harder, especially when I have live audience feedback.
    I mean it comes off decent enough, just not as meticulous as I know I can be.
    If that makes any sense????

    Just something to be aware of...
  • bentkbentk Posts: 788Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @Furious_Phil

    I even notice that in the rehearsal room. As if i become less conserved with air and stress control, and focus more on trying to deliver. But that kind of backfires. It's something i am trying to get rid off actually, and with training you can really improve that. At least, that's what i have noticed.

    Also, a good warm-up prevents most issues for me.

    All the best,

    Ben
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 848Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Ben,

    You're right on the money, brother.
    I am pretty certain that the only way to consistently be rid of "The vocal over-achiever" is to mentally prepare yourself to focus on what you want to do and enforce control over yourself.
    Warming up goes without saying :smiley:
  • AlyonaAlyona Posts: 288Member, Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Yes same thing happened to me. Once I was only warming up - it got so smooth and clear, the sound was easy and great. And as I started singing the song with consonants, that was much harder. And then while I was having a gig - that big space, those monitors influenced on my manner, so I felt I need to belt more - and my voice cracked several times. And then somewhere in the middle of my gig I could have a better control. But seemed like I had 2 different voices - one for warmup and one for stage ahaha
    I also don't have an ear monitors, never tried them. I guess many singers use it, and they feel kind of like "at home" singing. I never tried so I don't know.
    So yes definitely better breath support helps, and I also try to do exersises before the stage, to get a bigger breath.
  • kamikazekamikaze Posts: 154Enrolled
    I think the biggest thing in a live setting for me is performing somewhere with a bad sound system. If the PA is weak, I can’t hear myself and sometimes it distorts to make you think you’re singing out of key, so I push harder and strain myself. With the Toto song, I seem to do better with it live now actually, I think I just subconsciously kick myself in gear and don’t push the consonants too hard. There is quite a few of them in the beginning “It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you” is a trick phrase. However, I think I’ve formulated a bit of a way around it.

    Alyona- I’ve also found sometimes that a warmup can be much easier than when you go into singing full force. I think a lot of times it’s difficult at bar or house shows to find somewhere to do your warmups before a set, I usually try to at least fit in some lip rolls and a few scales though.

    Thanks everyone!
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