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Well, for many reasons both personal and professional I have been studying vocal techiniques and working with a vocal coach for the past year, and thought I'd chime in. Unfortunately Axl's singing has

He hadn’t sang from December 2010 to October 2011. That’s 10 months, which is a long fuckin time to not sing! At that first 2011 show at Rock in Rio you can actually hear Tommy tell him “That wasn’t s

I guess the people who attribute it to the weight gain have never heard of Pavarotti (and many other overweight opera singers)?  And I believe there is nothing more demanding than opera. Of course ope

22 minutes ago, Pedrolg said:

Well, for many reasons both personal and professional I have been studying vocal techiniques and working with a vocal coach for the past year, and thought I'd chime in. Unfortunately Axl's singing has every indication of someone who studied a lot of vocal techniques, applies them and seems to be working hard on getting around his sadly increasing limitations.

There are a few examples. When Axl screams or sings a longer vowel, note that his tongue is pressing against his lower teeth. That is proper singing techinique, is something that you study and train or body to do as it ensures optimal projection of your voice. Check how Axl frequently presses his hand around his midsection, just a bit under his sternum, particularly when singing some harder parts. He is keeping his breathing in check and making sure his voice is coming from the right place. Once again, this is singing technique.

Axl's drive or rasp post 2010, particularly with AC/DC in 2016 is also properly technical. There is a basic exercise of training your drive called the "fry" that basically involves doing it on your regular speaking voice and then gradually working your way towards higher notes. Once you train it a bit and get the hang of it, you will notice that it's the technique Axl uses. You will also understand why he seems to have an easier time hitting his drive on high notes, and seems to struggle a bit in his mid range. You can, in fact, use drive on the mid range, but it is much easier for me to hit it with power as I go a bit higher. Anyways, this is the right way to use drive, one that can still be damaging to your voice, but it's much less damaging.

Vocal techiniques have to be constantly trained and ingrained into a singer. When it comes to vocal health, there are two huge danger zones: singing constantly way above your natural register, and singing constantly with loads of drive without proper techinique. Well, the things a singer should avoid were Axl's bread and butter for decades. This is a dude that would sing a whole show with that throaty rasp, smoking a few cigarettes while at it. 

See my posting history and you will notice that I'm far from an Axl defender. I'm actually the one that started the "Axl's voice thread". Being a bit more informed these days, though, I'd say that the notion that Axl is this bum that falls of his bed and goes singing is ludicrous. He is a technical singer that has been working hard to get around the physical limitations that have been surfacing since 2011, and the work that he's been able to do with AC/DC is a testament to how resourceful he still is. See how Axl changes his approach and finds some new voices when something seems to be failing him (like he did in Better in that 2017 show that was soundboarded)? That is someone who understands his voice, and that comes from work.

Trust me on this, Axl works a lot on his voice. Unfortunately some of the GNR material is in a range he can no longer hit confortably with power and specially drive, so he has to resort to falsetto to hit those notes. There is no amount of practice, weight loss or rest that will restore him. Reworking the songs, tuning stuff down, finding different ways to sing and writing new material that fits his current voice (that still has a lot in the tank) is the way to go.

Interesting post. And having sung in bands for years, I'd agree with this. I think Robert Plant managed his latter years voice really well. He changed keys to suit and tried different approaches. In all honesty, Brian Johnson has actually aged fairly gracefully as well. Then you have Glenn Hughes who is just freakish! 

Thanks for sharing.

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1 hour ago, 19AT5 said:

Interesting post. And having sung in bands for years, I'd agree with this. I think Robert Plant managed his latter years voice really well. He changed keys to suit and tried different approaches. In all honesty, Brian Johnson has actually aged fairly gracefully as well. Then you have Glenn Hughes who is just freakish! 

Thanks for sharing.

Yeah! I absolutely agree about Robert, he is the blueprint for how a singer should sound as they age and reinvent themselves. Brian still sounds good for what he does for AC/DC, but if you listen to his early stuff both with Geordie and with AC/DC up  until 1983 you will notice that he did enormous amounts of damage to a voice that was absolutely beautiful.

Both Robert and Brian are examples of the damage done by abusing drive an constantly pushing into the upper limits of their range. Both of them cope with their limitations and adapt better than Axl this days, but I'd say that they lost their range much faster than Axl did. Yet another indication that Axl is a singer who knows his instrument and maintains it.

Sometimes singers are really just too proud about their range and hitting their notes, and I think this might be the case with Axl. Hopefully he comes around to considering approaching songs in a different way, as imo he has much more in the tank than a lot of singers that have sounded better than him in the past few years.

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7 minutes ago, Pedrolg said:

Yeah! I absolutely agree about Robert, he is the blueprint for how a singer should sound as they age and reinvent themselves. Brian still sounds good for what he does for AC/DC, but if you listen to his early stuff both with Geordie and with AC/DC up  until 1983 you will notice that he did enormous amounts of damage to a voice that was absolutely beautiful.

Both Robert and Brian are examples of the damage done by abusing drive an constantly pushing into the upper limits of their range. Both of them cope with their limitations and adapt better than Axl this days, but I'd say that they lost their range much faster than Axl did. Yet another indication that Axl is a singer who knows his instrument and maintains it.

Sometimes singers are really just too proud about their range and hitting their notes, and I think this might be the case with Axl. Hopefully he comes around to considering approaching songs in a different way, as imo he has much more in the tank than a lot of singers that have sounded better than him in the past few years.

Totally agree with your points aboot Plant and Johnson. Beano had a few rough years around mid-80s with Fly On The Wall and Blow Up Your Video. But he really altered his voice around Black Ice and he sounded great.

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I always hear that, but I saw him three times in November 2011, and once in AC in February 2012, and he sounded great each time. No stammers or weakness etc. AC was the best show I’ve ever seen.

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13 hours ago, Pedrolg said:

Well, for many reasons both personal and professional I have been studying vocal techiniques and working with a vocal coach for the past year, and thought I'd chime in. Unfortunately Axl's singing has every indication of someone who studied a lot of vocal techniques, applies them and seems to be working hard on getting around his sadly increasing limitations.

There are a few examples. When Axl screams or sings a longer vowel, note that his tongue is pressing against his lower teeth. That is proper singing techinique, is something that you study and train or body to do as it ensures optimal projection of your voice. Check how Axl frequently presses his hand around his midsection, just a bit under his sternum, particularly when singing some harder parts. He is keeping his breathing in check and making sure his voice is coming from the right place. Once again, this is singing technique.

Axl's drive or rasp post 2010, particularly with AC/DC in 2016 is also properly technical. There is a basic exercise of training your drive called the "fry" that basically involves doing it on your regular speaking voice and then gradually working your way towards higher notes. Once you train it a bit and get the hang of it, you will notice that it's the technique Axl uses. You will also understand why he seems to have an easier time hitting his drive on high notes, and seems to struggle a bit in his mid range. You can, in fact, use drive on the mid range, but it is much easier for me to hit it with power as I go a bit higher. Anyways, this is the right way to use drive, one that can still be damaging to your voice, but it's much less damaging.

Vocal techiniques have to be constantly trained and ingrained into a singer. When it comes to vocal health, there are two huge danger zones: singing constantly way above your natural register, and singing constantly with loads of drive without proper techinique. Well, the things a singer should avoid were Axl's bread and butter for decades. This is a dude that would sing a whole show with that throaty rasp, smoking a few cigarettes while at it. 

See my posting history and you will notice that I'm far from an Axl defender. I'm actually the one that started the "Axl's voice thread". Being a bit more informed these days, though, I'd say that the notion that Axl is this bum that falls of his bed and goes singing is ludicrous. He is a technical singer that has been working hard to get around the physical limitations that have been surfacing since 2011, and the work that he's been able to do with AC/DC is a testament to how resourceful he still is. See how Axl changes his approach and finds some new voices when something seems to be failing him (like he did in Better in that 2017 show that was soundboarded)? That is someone who understands his voice, and that comes from work.

Trust me on this, Axl works a lot on his voice. Unfortunately some of the GNR material is in a range he can no longer hit confortably with power and specially drive, so he has to resort to falsetto to hit those notes. There is no amount of practice, weight loss or rest that will restore him. Reworking the songs, tuning stuff down, finding different ways to sing and writing new material that fits his current voice (that still has a lot in the tank) is the way to go.

Really interesting post, thanks.

 

 

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