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Power To Sing (New Home) Forums Member Progress Logs Colin`s Log – Robert Merrill Here I Come!

  • Colin`s Log – Robert Merrill Here I Come!

    Posted by Colin on August 12, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Thought i would create an online ” training log” here to keep on straight and narrow. Briefly im pulled chest, my goal is to build the best classical/opera voice im capable of. The Robert Merrill reference is to my dream Baritone voice!Though if i weren’t a Baritone, it would be Mario Lanza or Richard Tucker…..
    Sun 12th Aug 2018
    Was singing psalms in church, think hymn tunes, and to my usual annoyance i could not get the E note. Very frustrating. I am getting this E in daily scales though, so i need to remain positive. Im pulled chest, and i noticed that in church that in my passagio my throat & jaw jammed up. Hope everyone is doing well, may you reach your goals!
    Colin

    Colin replied 5 years, 4 months ago 4 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Chuck

    Administrator
    August 13, 2018 at 12:16 am

    @colin Hi Colin: It’s interesting you would mention singing church hymns. I did exactly the same thing today and noticed as I was singing how easy it is to start pulling my chest voice.The hymns in my hymn book are frequently pitched at the top of our chest voices and often into the first note of the bridge…Eb4.

    For me that’s what makes the hymns so hard. All the D, Eb and E4’s on a lot of open vowels. I am successful if I narrow the vowels. I start pulling chest if I try and sing the vowels (words) in an open or wide fashion.

    For example if the word is “Savior” and it’s close to, or in the bridge, I must narrow the “a” to “seh” -vior. So it’s from “a” as in “bay” so that it sounds more like “bed”. Take that sound and sing Sehvior and I can keep it in a mix, rather than letting it go into chest…which tends to pull there.

    Does that make sense?

    Chuck

  • Colin

    Member
    August 13, 2018 at 7:10 am

    Thanks Chuck! I seem to remember you did a video on vowel modification, and possible a PDF chart. So i will have a hunt around for it. I know very little about vowel modification, well nothing really! My problem also is i tend to be good at daily scales, but i sing songs/arias very seldom. Im still self conscious, even if alone in house. Thanks again,Colin.

    • Melody

      Member
      August 17, 2018 at 1:59 am

      I have a terrible time with hymns. Church singing is probably the biggest reason I’ve doubted my voice all these years. I assumed because I couldn’t sing hymns with any depth or vibrato, that I must be only adequate at best. It never made sense to me that I could sing with Trisha Yearwood or Karen Carpenter just fine. The alto parts always run on B-3 through F-4 and I think I pull chest because my throat ALWAYS hurts by the 3rd verse. My goal is actually to be able to sing hymns without straining and to maybe even sing the soprano part on some them.

  • Mike Bidwell

    Member
    August 14, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    @colinbell Gotta beat the self consciousness if possible! I just posted videos on the “Progress” thread, and I have never sang any more then background vocals in bands I’ve been in.
    For me to share them is a big deal for me, but I want to try to document my progress and help others if possible.
    These vids are bad, but I think they’ll be helpful somehow. I’ve been wishing I could sing for 35 years, and this time, I hope to finally make the progress I’ve wanted.
    Good luck to you.

  • Colin

    Member
    August 14, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Tues 14th Aug
    Its been hard to practice in recent days, due to the death of my beloved Budgie, and best friend really last week. And now i have a nice head cold. But managed to do my Pulled Chest exercises the past 3 days anyway. Getting plenty of steam and saline rinses. Hopefully it wont go into my throat or chest. I used to get frequent colds/viruses. But thankfully this is my first one this year. I have been taking 25mg of Zinc and daily cold showers this year which i think have worked.Colin.

  • Mike Bidwell

    Member
    August 14, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Sorry for your loss.
    Get well soon!

  • Colin

    Member
    August 16, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Thanks Michael, best wishes to you too. So my head cold has moved south, down to my throat/chest. So id rested yesterday. What i did instead was diaphragm training and watched some Robert Merrill and Richard Tucker video clips. Its quite noteworthy that when Seth Riggs was learning his art, i think he was doing so during an amazing, hugely talent filled time in Opera. SO here`s hoping!

  • Colin

    Member
    August 17, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Fri 17th August
    My cold dragged on,so just did diaphragm work. Tonight I done some gentle Pulled Chest and then some straw work, just when making dinner. Vocal folds too thick, so having to hold back my enthusiasm.During work I was listening,only, to Seth Riggs CDs.
    Hi Melody Irish- yes I think hymns are much harder than say my opera pieces I am learning. My church ( Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland) sings exclusively Psalms, unaccompanied, and we have the 4 parts option. I could do bass line, but my sight singing is poor plus I love singing higher. I wonder were hymns easier to sing in previous generations, due to higher singing standards then. Best wishes,Colin.

  • Melody

    Member
    August 22, 2018 at 1:25 am

    I’m not sure Colin. That’s a good question. I remember in the 80’s our church went through the hymnal and changed the key on a BUNCH of hymns. I was just a kid at the time, but my mother played the piano and now that I’m an adult, I’ve had the chance to compare the two. I wonder if Chuck remembers when they changed the hymnal to the “green” one. They lowered the key and made them more accessible to the piano players, but I think it wasn’t as helpful for the singers. Plus, a lot of pop music is in “G” and sung in an easy accessible octave for most voices. I think it’s great that you are interested in Opera. Good luck on your vocal journey!

    • Chuck

      Administrator
      August 29, 2018 at 1:39 pm

      @melody-irish Hi Melody: I do remember the new Hymnal coming out and I completely agree with you. The keys were easier for piano/organists but the lower keys put most of the songs…at least for me…where the high notes are now at the top of my chest voice. I think the hymns are very challenging.

  • Colin

    Member
    October 12, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Sorry for lack of updates folks. I was away on a short holiday to Spain – then returned home to find my garden was badly hit in the storm. So my fence, oil tank and car all were damaged. Plus i have been wallowing in discouragement with my own singing. Specifically my higher notes. But anyway back on track now. Hope you are all doing well?

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