Ok, So I've been on Volume 2 for well over a month, I do my warm ups nearly every day and I'm very determined to improve. I recently performed with a local band and did some cover songs, I included the link in this message. First we did "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour and then we did a YES medley including the songs "Roundabout" and "South Side of the Sky" .. I really would love tips, and feedback based on what you see and hear in this video. Would also love to know when it would be a good idea to start on Volume 3 .. Thanks!




  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346

    Let me start off by saying you sound pretty good.  The sound is good for a live recording, as well. 

    Cinema is correct in his observations that the heavy mechanism that you are using makes it more difficult to pull off some of the higher notes. Your placement is great for rock and heavy singing, and your tone is great.  You may want to change the focus somewhat for lighter mechanism songs like Yes material, if you are wanting to come closer to the style.  You have the range to just about sing it in rock style, but the weight is holding you back ever so slightly from being centered on the notes in the top of the range on the Yes tunes.

    Jon Anderson used Little Kid Voice in his style of singing and that helped him immensely in pulling off the tunes he recorded.  I happened to be standing a few feet from Jon in the afternoon before a Yes concert that I was hired to attend as a "security" person back in the '70's.  He was talking to his wife, who was seated at the sound console in the center of the auditorium, passing the time after sound check.  His speaking voice was the same Little Kid voice as the placement he used when he sang. 

    That probably goes along the same lines as Michael Jackson's speaking voice, which was very thin and transparent.  Michael did everything he could to keep his voice from going through "the change".   He was always able to get into those high registers by keeping his placement very high and thin.

    So that brings us all back to the rest of us mortals.  We are either going to have to do these songs in a heavier belted voice, or we are going to have to really cut back on the weight in order to approximate that light tone that we can carry higher without hitting a heavy ceiling.

    So dropping a lot of weight will likely help you to get to some of those notes that are sounding like you're really pushing to get to.  You're right there, but just under by a shade, and sounding very heavy by comparison to the original.

    Sometimes we don't want to sound like the original, we want to sound like ourselves.  If we want to sound like the original, then we need to match the placement as much as we are able.  Getting that high placement often requires working out in high, high registers and really shedding as much weight as we can. 

    Don't get me wrong, you are sounding very good.  Continue your workouts, and maybe focus on the weight shedding.  Your energy and the band's energy is good.  I rather expect that the audience appreciated you all.

    Spend lots of quality time on Volume Two.  You will thank yourself when you get into Volume Three.   

    Your voice is coming along well, and the live environment is tough to bring it all together in.  You are choosing challenging songs and that will force you to grow your voice. 

    Good job, keep up the good work, and keep the demos coming in!


  • AnthonyVAnthonyV Pro Posts: 44
    bob thanks so much. Cinema, you as well. I love hearing how I can improve.. Yeah I do agree, I felt that some of those high notes did fall a little flat, And yeah, even though I could get high up there in the belting voice, it is tough. But see, this is what I don't really get.. The weight thing. Shedding weight, I'm not 100% sure what that means .. Like to me.. it's either I switch to head or stay in chest.. Mix voice is a little difficult for me to understand... Which leads me to my next question.. 

    There is a lot of information to cover in this course, obviously .. Aside from the actual volume videos, what other videos should i be watching? There's BONUS folders, PRO, etc .. I just want to make sure I'm getting the absolute most of this course. 

    As far a the volume 2 vocal exercises, My itune playlist reads 40 plays .. that just goes to show how often I do these exercises and for how long I've been in volume 2 .. 

    I wish I could post more in the forum, it's sometimes tough to find the time. Thanks again, guys!

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
    edited January 2014

    The topic of shedding weight is an important one, but there isn't a great deal of specific, detailed instruction available on the topic. 

    Ken describes the Multi-stage Rocket, that drops off the heavy booster stage as it fires the second stage, which is a lighter and faster, then fires the third stage rocket and increases in velocity and pitch even more.  You can't get that high with the Bottom Stage. 

    Ken also uses the metaphor of an elevator shaft that takes you to higher and higher floors. The bottom floor is for the heavy items like chest voice.  Second floor has lighter items like call voice or mid voice...  Third floor, head voice and light mechanism.

    The truth is that there are more than 3 stages, or three floors.  There is a floor for every note in every sound.  But it's good to simplify in order to get basic concepts started in our understanding.

    If we can begin to grasp three levels of vocal "weight", then it's not that hard for us to expand that into understanding that as we progress, we can grasp that every note has its own placement and its own weight.

    Like the vowel mods, which we also start out saying there are only four, that's easier to grapple with than explaining that there is total variability between each mod, and from no mod to the first mod.

    With the weight stages, it's often easiest to start down low and do chromatic scales and see if you can drop off just a touch of weight at each note, and see if you have dropped off too much or not enough by the time you reach the top of your range.  Maybe you can extend your range simply by getting better at dropping off weight or by even more simply, starting off with less weight at the bottom to begin with.

    Oh, Yeah, and don't forget about Little Boy Voice or Little Girl Voice.  That's a voice that starts out very light at the bottom and gets even lighter as it goes up.

    Experiment with this.  Get to know it.  Try it, you'll like it. You've got nowhere to go but up, up, up!!!

    Good Singing to You!



  • AnthonyVAnthonyV Pro Posts: 44
    Ok well here's the other thing.. I actually didn't want to sing it like how the guy was singing in YES .. In fact, I was told by someone there, who I'm guessing knew a thing or two about singing technique, that they loved how I sang it in full belting voice as opposed to head.. BUT .. This is what I'm not really getting because, when I listen to the recording of their singer, it doesn't sound like head.. and I don't know that I'm fully understanding the idea of mix voice. I want to learn.. Because other than singing live and being a live vocalist, I do have a custom songs business I run where I sing in different styles, and if someone prefers a different type of delivery, I want to make sure I know how to do that. Thanks again, guys, this is a lot of fun. I gotta say, I'm grateful to have a place where I can discuss stuff like this, it's really cool. 

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346


    I'm totally fine with you doing your own version of this or any other song.  One of the advantages Jon Anderson took with this and just about all of his other material is that his voice was very light in the weight department, and that freed him up to sing in the upper registers most of the time in what was his version of chest voice and mix.



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