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Opera/Enquiry to male voice fach

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QUESTION: Dear Mdm,

I'm a 24 year old male who has just begun singing lessons.

Recently, I came across an article: http://www.thoughts-on-singing.com/thoughts%2025.htm, and the author describes a test that might be very helpful in determining correct fach for males .

Out of curiosity, I tried this voice test and there is an abrupt break to a ''heady'' falsetto at around E4/F4. Refer to: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...42785487480160.

How accurate is this test and if so, am I doing this test correctly?

Also, my voice happens to be in good shape today so I decide to vocalize from a low note to my highest possible note in non-falsetto. I seldom vocalize to the extremes though. Refer to: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...44319604736832

I'm aware that range tells little about voice fach and one should NOT be too concerned with classification in the early stage of voice development but I'm curious to know if there is any possible indication of my fach based on the timbre and register breaks in my voice in the recording.


Thank you for your patience and look forward to your advice

p.s. I'm aware of my high larynx position and poor musicality and I'm trying to correct this problem.

ANSWER: HI Alfredo,

I'm sorry I didn't answer sooner - somehow I missed it.  I tried to access your Facebook recordings but they seem unavailable.  Can you put them up again - or a recording of you singing a piece.  That might give me an better idea.

But since you have just started studying voice you should take time to see where the voice goes.  I'm not sure any "test" would be terribly helpful.  Fact is really determined, as you said, not only by vocal quality and timbre but where the voice "blossoms".  What notes are the most exciting.  For example - for a tenor it's probably Bflat to C.  For a Baritone - Aflat or A (even if they have the higher notes).

Once you have studied and you learn how to keep your larynx down, breathe properly, etc. you will have a better idea.

Wishing you all the best,

Pamela

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Ms Pamela,

Please see attached: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151914064119058&l=4312244319604736832

Also, I have observed an interesting phenomena on myself. When I start to sing the vowel 'o' in a sort of reinforced falsetto with a moderate volume and gentleness, I experience chest vibration at C4 till around G4. At G#4, there is no chest vibration.

Answer
HI Alfredo,

I did listen to your recording.  You don't really go into falsetto - but you also don't "cover" the voice at all when you go higher.  You must learn how to do this to protect the voice.  I still can't really tell what you will end up being - what fach.  I would say just keep studying and working with your teacher and work on singing beautifully.  The timbre of your voice might be closer to tenor than baritone - but since you are at the beginning stages of studying I can't say that for sure.

Try this exercise to help you find that correct placement in the passaggio and high voice….

1 3 5 8 3 8 3 8 3 8 5 3 1   on vowels:

1 = Ah or A
3 and 5 = Oh o r O
8,3,8,3,8,3,8 - OO or u
5 and 3 = O
1 = A

So as you go up you are moving from an open vowel (a) to a more closed vowel (o) to a closed vowel (u)

Caruso used these scales….

I think it would really help you to order the CD that my teacher has put out.  He discussed each exercise and explains what they are for.  Check it out at www.voiceteacher.co

Best,

Pamela

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Pamela Thomas

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Questions on Opera performance, repertoire, vocal technique, acting for opera. I have some 20 years experience in opera in both leading roles and chorus. I have sung with New York City Opera since 1981. I have studied voice in NYC for over 20 years and have also taught technique and coached singers in acting.

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