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  1. #1
    Good Enough extreme red roth's Avatar
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    06.16.17 @ 09:53 AM
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    Default Singing "in the pocket"

    I'm not a singer or a musician, but something I noticed while listening to ADKOT lately...

    I was listening to Blood and Fire and noticed that Dave was singing with the music, and it was enjoyable. (I'm not talking about quality of voice in this thread.) I don't know how to put it...He isn't singing note for note with the music..but he's kind of harmonizing? Someone help me out. I am a big Sammy fan and think he is the superior to Dave, but in contrast to that, I think Van Halen makes better music with Dave, and I wonder if what I'm talking about with the singing is the reason why.

    Like in Chickenfoot, it's almost like Sammy is alternating with the music on a song like down the drain rather than singing with it...He's decidely not in the pocket.

    This might not make sense to anyone. Hopefully someone will know what I'm talking about. In Vai's recent interview he comments on Dave teaching him things...I know he was being classy, but it got me thinking that Dave is better than given credit for...that he has this ability to fit his singing into a song very well.
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  2. #2
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    I know what you are saying. Dave is actually very good at coming up with vocal melodies that are a complete counterpoint to what the guitar is doing.

    Blood and Fire is one of the few where he follows the guitar melody. Sam does that more.
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 01:41 PM
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    Default

    If I am understanding what you are getting at, Dave is pretty much following the rhythmic phrasing of the guitar while Sammy doesn't. Well Blood and Fire is a good example of that.

    Going against the music I think is akin to what they call "counterpoint" Harmonically rely on each other but different rhythms. Have not paid attention to vocal styling to see if it fits either guy more or less.

    Vocalists are no different than guitarists. Some are restricted by range or technical ability but compensate for it in other ways. One isn't better than the other unless you are judging it on one aspect.

  4. #4
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    I think Dave excels in the counterpoint melody. That's one of his biggest strengths a vocalist IMO.
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  5. #5
    Good Enough extreme red roth's Avatar
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    06.16.17 @ 09:53 AM
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    Yea, you guys are getting what I'm saying.

    Like in Heavy Metal...

    Headbangers and Leather - singing
    -then the music

    Instead of singing that over the music.

    Zig, I'll agree...one isn't "better" than the other...to me it just makes for more enjoyable van halen songs when there is a vocal harmonizing going on.
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  6. #6
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 11:55 PM
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    Default

    Sam is very good at the call and response type of vocal. Heavy Metal is definitely a good example of that.
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  7. #7
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    11.17.17 @ 12:11 PM
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    Drive 55 would be another one, right? Very similar to Heavy Metal in that way.
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  8. #8
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    05.11.15 @ 11:56 AM
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    I've always marveled at Dave's melody lines, and how they're from a completely different neighborhood than Ed's riffs. So many singers use the main guitar riff for the base of their melody, or at least for phrasing, but Dave doesn't often do either.

    This reminds me of when people talk about a couple, saying they complement each other's strengths and weaknesses perfectly, proving they were "made for each other." I feel the same about Dave-fronted VH; just another way in which Van Halen is greater than the sum of its parts. Brett may (rightly) call it counterpoint melody, but I call it magic.
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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 01:41 PM
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    Unchained chorus would be following the melodic structure and rhythm of the music. I don't think anybody would complain

    Cabo Wabo would be counterpoint or call and response. Can't complain about that either.

    I do believe that part of what makes CVH unique is that both Roth and Ed have unique timing. Ed's just fucked up in a good way but I think Roth is due to his loving of R&B and Motown.

  10. #10
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 11:55 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Down View Post
    Drive 55 would be another one, right? Very similar to Heavy Metal in that way.
    Yup same thing.

    One foot on the brake one on the gas...music...there's too much traffic I can't pass no....music.

    I'm sure there's lots of VH examples with him, I just have to think about it.
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 09:31 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    I think Dave excels in the counterpoint melody. That's one of his biggest strengths as a vocalist IMO.
    100% agree.

    And it is really hard to do, at least for me. It is real easy to just put a melody that is either very close to the guitar melody or a call and response. But a separate melody that enhances the overall song?

    Very difficult to do.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  12. #12
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    Bravo to you all. In all seriousness I can't believe I've gotten this far into a thread that talks about the ways Dave and Sam sing and it hasn't gone negative, yet. Honestly, it's nice to see.

    Carry on.
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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    Off the top of my head Sammy has sung in similar fashion on

    Little White Lie
    Poundcake
    Mas Tequlla

  14. #14
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    Dave is probably one of the most unique and distinct lead singer/frontman in the history of rock. Dave finds unusual melodies for Ed's music, and I'd wager that is partly because of the way sings naturally and also because Ed writes song fragments that need to be stitched together.

    When you essentially grow up as musicians together, you develop different instinctual habits. Dave and Ed work in an unusual way. This is why Sam in Van Halen sounds so much different, just a different approach to singing altogether. Sam tends to be more linear in his approach, Dave takes a more circuitous route.

  15. #15
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Sam has a more traditional melodic hard rock voice and he plays to that strength. Dave has a much different approach, and is very good at coming up with clever melodies that you normally don't associate with hard rock. It is unique.
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