The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music


Singing at the top of the range, baritone, and Johnny Cash

Hi,

I've always struggled with singing but I've been making some progress with the Toneway system. When I watched the workshop I was puzzled about the vocal range part.. why would someone want to find their highest note and sing the song up against it? I feel like the high part of my range is my weakest, so singing up there is an exercise in frustration. Trying to sing along with the core songs is difficult, some I can sing down an octave and it's ok. But overall I was a bit lost..

.. until the past few days I've been listening to Johnny Cash. Yesterday it was “I'll fly away” and today it was “Banks of the Ohio”. I was able to sing along with him, very much in tune (not perfect but much closer than usual).

Is singing at the top of the range to get that “high lonesome sound”? I've read that Johnny Cash had a small range and many say he didn't sing well technically (I'm not qualified to judge that). But he was a powerful singer that really got across emotions and feeling (for me at least). And he's an inspiration. I figure if he can sing well with a deep low voice then there's hope for me.

I took singing lessons once many years ago and the teacher told me I had a baritone voice.

I'm not sure what to make of all this, I'm just sharing some thoughts and experiences. I'm curious if there are other baritone singers here and how they sing? I have the impression that Luke is a tenor (or higher?) and Kyle maybe a baritone but I'm not sure. When I speak I don't have a deep voice like Johnny Cash so I find it strange I can sing so well with him. I don't know if he's singing at the top of his range, middle, or bottom.

Any advice?

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Thanks everyone for all the feedback. I'm glad there are some other people who like Johnny Cash's vocals. :)

I'm going to continue learning some of his songs (currently working on I'll Fly Away and Banks of the Ohio) and I'll also try singing them up a little to see how high I can comfortably go.

As an aside, I also want to practice some fiddle backup with Johnny Cash's songs too. The ones on the CD I'm listening to are slow and accompanied with only an acoustic guitar so it seems like it'll perfect for practicing fiddle backup.

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@ Katie Daley, I have heard that female vocalists cannot do a falsetto that the range they can sing is all they can reach.

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@Katie Daley – Women don't have a falsetto in the same way a man does. Women's voices have 'registers', a 'head register' and 'chest register'. What you experience is your 'break' between these two registers. Yodeling in old-time country music takes advantage of this. Male yodelers jump quickly between 'full voice' and falsetto. If you ever study with a legitimate and credible voice teacher, their goal should be to help you transition smoothly between and among your registers.

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THE GOOD LORD HAS BLESSED ME WITH A RANGE OF THREE OCTAVES. ONE MUST KEEP SINGING IN ORDER TO KEEP THEIR VOICE IN TOP FORM. ANOTHER PRACTICE I DO OFTEN IS WHEN IN THE SHOWER ALL STEAMED UP, I WILL SING A SONG AS HIGH AND LOW AND AS HARD AS I POSSIBLY CAN,BUT BEING CAREFUL NEVER TO STRAIN MY VOCAL CORDS. AND AT AGE 70, I CAN SING AS HIGH AS I COULD WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER. TRY IT.

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Finley - good !!!

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