Singing Forum by Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy
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My Real Name is Patrick, and I'm Very Pleased to Meet You.

I'm 52 years old now, but since I was a child, I always wanted to participate in musical theatre. I took voice lessons in college and thought I would do all right. Following college, after a summer of writing reviews for a professional theatre in Maine, I decided to audition. My audition was heard by the founder of the theatre company.

I chose a song I had worked on and prepared for my final exam in college, Dulcinea, from "Man of La Mancha." The company's founder, Victoria, accompanied me on the melodeon. I was nervous as I performed, but I thought I did all right. Her assessment, however, was less than favorable. She flat-out said that there was no way I would ever be able to participate in musical theatre, unless there was a "violent change."

"Why is singing so important to you?" she asked, as if trying to steer me away from musical theatre. "Do you sing only for your own enjoyment?"

So, I gave up on the dream and had done no serious singing since then, thirty years ago. But since musical theatre is very popular down here and I was trying to get involved in theatre productions in this area, I could take some lessons and perhaps I could be put into the chorus. Since male performers tend to be more scarce, they need all the men's voices they can get. So, if I worked hard, I could be in the chorus and not sound completely horrible.

I went to see a voice instructor in this area, and prepared her for the impending disaster by telling her my experience in Maine. After doing a few exercises with her, she came to the conclusion that the woman I had auditioned for 30 years ago was unduly harsh.

She thought she was going to spend the lesson teaching me to follow notes, but she discovered I can follow notes. After a few lessons with her, I finally decided that possibly my case isn't hopeless, that maybe I'm not some aberration that cannot be taught to sing, regardless of how much training I get and how many exercises I put myself through.

So, I checked out voice lessons on YouTube and found Ken Tamplin. And started to do some of the exercises. I think I'm finally able to lift the soft palate and direct the voice to the front of my face, in the area surrounding the eyes, so I can get some resonance going.

I'm working on the exercises to find my "mixed voice," and it's quite a challenge. I gliss up and down like Ken demonstrates in the video, but I find that the transition from head to chest voice has a huge, noticeable break. It's like there's not a single note I can hit with mixed voice, so I guess the best thing to do is hover near the area where the break occurs and hope perhaps the mixed voice will show itself.

Because, as the name implies, I'm a basso profundo. I can hit F# consistently and on a good day, I can hit G with my chest voice. But based on the music I'm seeing in musical theatre, I will have to do much better. Musical theatre is dominated by baritones and tenors. There is very little written for basses. So, I need to develop a mixed voice, so I can get beyond the F#/G.

Very nice to have met you all. And I hope I get some good and valuable tips during my stay here.

Comments

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 12,825Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    It's quite possible to stretch your chest voice to notes you have felt were out of bounds for a bass. It's not the easiest thing to do, or the quickest, but it can be done. Ken's course is loaded with exercises that will yank you up from your present comfort zone into uncharted territory.
  • SophiaSophia Posts: 472.0 INTERMEDIATE
    Hi @BassoProfundo! I'm sorry you had such a crushing experience in your life. The fact that you tried again and are moving forward now is great to hear. I'm sure this course will get you to your goals. No matter how challenging it feels, keep practicing, because you can do this!
  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    Welcome on board @BassoProfundo, there's a few of us on here who've been cursed/blessed with really deep voices so, from my own experience, it's completely possible to do what you're aiming for and KTVA is the way to go about it.

    If you're able to get that resonance in your face, you're already opening up those spaces where those notes that seem outwith your reach are sitting waiting for you. It's just a matter of practicing as if your head was on fire, pushing yourself (sensibly, of course) and coordinating your breath, support and the openness of your throat, which you're clearly getting to grips with already.

    With regards to your sliders and bridging, pull your air right the way back and, as Ken says repeatedly, only bridge at the volume you're able. Don't veer off into putting more pressure behind the higher or lower notes, and don't dwell or linger around the 'speed bump'; keep your volume consistent. Knowing exactly which note you're 'speed bump' sits at doesn't seem to be hugely important at this stage, so just practice working through it very, very gently and gradually increasing the volume over time.

    Due to the lowness of your voice, it might just take you a little more time than others but it's ultimately worthwhile and you'll be shocked by what you're able to do within a few months of solid practice.
  • BassoProfundoBassoProfundo Posts: 2Member
    Thank you for all the kind, welcoming remarks.

    I just got an email, and saw that Ken Tamplin is offering a deep discount. So, I purchased the intermediate level course. I would have loved to have the three private lessons with Mr. Tamplin himself, but even with the discount, the course would have cost over 1000 dollars, which is a little out of my price range.

    Ah, well. For my purposes, I'm sure the midpriced package will do nicely.
  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised by both the quality and quantity of material involved. I bought the Pro pack after getting a tax rebate when it was around, I think, £300 or lower and when I picked up the package I was blown away. Plus I'd been sent access to the downloadable version in the meantime and had already started on that.

    Bear in mind too, I'm Scottish. We're notoriously tight-fisted, so parting with cash for a singing course was a real first for me but worth every penny and more. Also, the additional access to the forums alone makes it worth the price 'cause there is SO much information and additional resources available to you.

    I'm sure you'll do absolutely fine with the package you've opted for, so good luck and hopefully we'll see you around on the forums too!
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