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Thread: Specific Vocal Challenges for Gifted/Pro Singers

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    Senior Member Barelytenor's Avatar
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    Default Specific Vocal Challenges for Gifted/Pro Singers

    So, I thought I would start this thread for all the singers who are professionally trained (or close to it, like myself). I am a baritone 62 yrs old, and right now i am working on "Rise, Heart," the first of Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughn Williams, for Easter of course. I am going to sing this with my extremely talented, professional-quality church choir. The hardest single vocal challenge for me is the opening leap of a fourth from B-flat to E-flat, forte, right into the middle of the passaggio part of my voice. The challenge is to sing it neither too open (where it sounds strident), nor too closed (where it sounds woofy or hooty). For me, I have to remember to keep the air flowing around my back teeth and sing "Ha-a-a-rt" rather than "Har-r-r-r-t" and it comes out in the right place.

    What specific piece are you working on, and what specific vocal challenges?

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    Senior Member Barelytenor's Avatar
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    No one having any vocal challenge but me?

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    Hi Baryletenor,
    don't worry I struggle too with these high notes (but I am far from professional...).
    Anything above high e flat is scary for me and depending on the notes before more or less hard.
    Its is very hard to make enough space for these notes but not too let them drop in the throat, which would make them sound very heavy and woofy.
    I first practice these notes on "ou" and then on nasal "on", it seem to help sometimes. With "ou" I can sing much higher than with my normal voice but is sounds much weaker.. The idea would be to combine both "ou" feeling and the brightness of "ah", but that takes time it seems...

    Last edited by president83; May-19-2012 at 16:49.

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    Senior Member cjvinthechair's Avatar
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    Gee - top notes ! I'm bass 2, would probably be 3 if such existed, and struggle with anything above middle C. My challenges ? To find anything choral that I can enjoy joining in with without searching for the next dreaded D/E..F for goodness sake; what were some of these composers thinking of ?!
    Second challenge - to find lovely pieces that I can transpose to sing on my own...not to assault anyone else's ears with, just for me. Currently enjoying transposing 'Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit' from the German Requiem. Yes, I know it's for soprano...but it comes down beautifully. Pity my voice can't do it justice down there anyway !
    Anyone else have trouble finding things to suit their range, & what are your solutions ?

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    My vocal solos are mostly performed in church, and the electronic keyboard allows for easy transposition. Of course this does not allow for weighty organ accompaniment.

    An option if you are tech-savvy is to use Finale or other score recognition software to scan and transpose your score.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Hi Baryletenor. I used to have issues with 'high' passages such as the one at the end of Che Faro Senza Euridice (ends on F5) and Ombra Mai Fu (ends on a piano F5) but I think I'm getting over the tension I was introducing and am singing them quite freely and easily now. I have been introduced to perfect onset and it is a wonderful thing.

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