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  1. #1
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 05:44 PM
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    Default An Experiment....is Dave really "choosing" to sing bad? Try it yourself

    This thought came to me last night when my bass player said his voice wasn't up to singing Dance the Night Away. (We tune down 1/2 step)

    So I wondered how easy it is to sing that song. Someone in another thread brought up that certain parts of the song are close to the notes in Dreams....(!)

    Maybe Dave just can't sing it any more? I just listened to it and Dave does sound like he is pushing his voice during parts of the song. I thought it might be interesting to try singing it myself...and sure enough...it's not exactly easy to sing. I couldn't help wondering what other people thought about it.

    Anyone else willing to try to sing along to record to get a gauge on the difficulty level?

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  3. #2
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 06:26 AM
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    Yeah but are you a professional singer? I'm not.
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  5. #3
    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 10:54 AM
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    Default

    it's likely one of the tougher songs vocally from those days. But still think he's going places he doesn't need to go with the vocals. More by choice.

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  7. #4
    On Fire Pizza Man's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 04:12 AM
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    I sing professionally, and I think I understand what's going on with DLR's voice. I personally believe Dave suffers only slightly from physical vocal quality loss, from cigarettes I guess. I hardly hear any deterioration honestly. Maybe it's making the really high notes more stressed-sounding, and he's sharp or flat once in a while, which happened to me when I smoked. But I don't hear his voice as "in bad shape" whatsoever; he sounds strong to me, especially for a smoker.

    There's a change in his singing that has gradually come about over the past 25 years or more though, which is that (unlike almost every other rock vocalist) he now sings *higher* than he used to. They say it's around the YFLM album that he started doing it, but I think he was working on singing higher notes before then, on the previous solo albums as well ("Yankee Rose" comes to mind). Whenever it was, he discovered this new high range and has been just using it constantly, especially when he wants to venture off and sing a given song a new way. [Which is every time.] It's a new trick and he uses it a lot.

    I think "Everybody Wants Some" is a great example of what's going on with Dave. The Tokyo version sees him singing really high, and I think it's just for the fun of it honestly, the more I think about it. He just likes it, I think! He sounds really good in a lot of places, even the high notes, when he's not too far off the script! My main issue is that he chooses to make up a brand new melody on the spot all night, and he's hit or miss with that.

    Regarding Dance the Night Away, yeah that song's kinda high! I just don't think it's high for Dave, he really wails and sustains some nice high notes. The real trick is, he never sang like that on the 6 pack, and most of us agree that we like his original mellower voice better.
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  8. #5
    Eruption Infinite Cactus's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 04:02 PM
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    Default

    I sing, and have more "professionally" for the last 12 years or so. I also dated several vocal instructors and have taken lessons myself before. I personally, as a high baritone, I don't find Dance the Night Away hard at all. It's not really that high save a few notes here and there Dave though seems to be raspier in the range right around there now. Where most baritones tend to have problems before they have to switch, is around F above middle C, all the way to about Bb above middle C. This is the common area where you can have a lot of problems with vocal breaks or pushing to hard. The highest notes are around G above middle C. Pretty high for someone like Dave. But it's only a few notes. Notes in the range that tends to become the first to deteriorate. Sometimes, when I'm sick, I can go higher more consistently than worrying about switching to head voice, mixed voice, or falsetto My theory is the following: Dave has some issues in that area where it doesn't feel like he's going to make it. So he belts over the note and stays there. Part of this is I'm sure, also preference. He discovered his high range much later than most singers, so it's probably two fold. 1.Make sure he at least hits a pitch and doesn't break. 2. Amusement of having gained an insane amount of range. Dave hit's Sammy ranged notes now. Problem is, in order to maintain that, he either belts hard or yelps. I can hit high notes too. But sometimes they don't sound good. Dave's no dummy, so he probably assesses "Well, it's fun for me and I don't have to have my voice crack, better than nothing." It's also easier to hear yourself when you sing high and powerful, and it's a good tool for hitting emotional points. But even Unchained during the prechorus is in that same trouble zone for baritones (Non stop talker). On Jimmy Kimmel Dave goes higher. Could be to avoid those troublesome middle notes. It's all speculation, but it's what I think is up.
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  10. #6
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 05:44 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Yeah but are you a professional singer? I'm not.
    Technically I am. I sing and get paid for it. I'm not great though.

    But I was approaching from the perspective of:

    1-the perception that Dave is not a good singer and therefor singing his songs is not hard to do for anyone.
    2-Dave is a professional singer and he used to sing it better....but now certain notes sound terrible.

    I was convinced until recently that Dave was doing all this by choice. I totally bought into the idea that his vocal style was "easy" and therefore something he could do for the rest of his life if he wanted to. I'm starting to rethink that a little. I think he may actually be having issues. So I tried singing it myself and it's a hard enough song to sing that it seems a person who is having issues would struggle with it. So I was curious if other "regular people" thought it was harder to sing than assumed as well. The non-professional opinion on DTNA particularly is exactly what I was curious about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pizza Man View Post
    Regarding Dance the Night Away, yeah that song's kinda high! I just don't think it's high for Dave, he really wails and sustains some nice high notes. The real trick is, he never sang like that on the 6 pack, and most of us agree that we like his original mellower voice better.
    That was my feeling too. I was surprised how much I was pushing my voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Cactus View Post
    I sing, and have more "professionally" for the last 12 years or so. I also dated several vocal instructors and have taken lessons myself before. I personally, as a high baritone, I don't find Dance the Night Away hard at all. It's not really that high save a few notes here and there Dave though seems to be raspier in the range right around there now. Where most baritones tend to have problems before they have to switch, is around F above middle C, all the way to about Bb above middle C. This is the common area where you can have a lot of problems with vocal breaks or pushing to hard. The highest notes are around G above middle C. Pretty high for someone like Dave. But it's only a few notes. Notes in the range that tends to become the first to deteriorate. Sometimes, when I'm sick, I can go higher more consistently than worrying about switching to head voice, mixed voice, or falsetto My theory is the following: Dave has some issues in that area where it doesn't feel like he's going to make it. So he belts over the note and stays there. Part of this is I'm sure, also preference. He discovered his high range much later than most singers, so it's probably two fold. 1.Make sure he at least hits a pitch and doesn't break. 2. Amusement of having gained an insane amount of range. Dave hit's Sammy ranged notes now. Problem is, in order to maintain that, he either belts hard or yelps. I can hit high notes too. But sometimes they don't sound good. Dave's no dummy, so he probably assesses "Well, it's fun for me and I don't have to have my voice crack, better than nothing." It's also easier to hear yourself when you sing high and powerful, and it's a good tool for hitting emotional points. But even Unchained during the prechorus is in that same trouble zone for baritones (Non stop talker). On Jimmy Kimmel Dave goes higher. Could be to avoid those troublesome middle notes. It's all speculation, but it's what I think is up.
    Maybe Dave will open up about this subject one day. He likes to talk, so it may not be stowed away in "the vault" like things tend to do with Eddie.

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  12. #7
    Baluchitherium
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    08.21.17 @ 09:32 PM
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    I just hear him too high to begin with. Several songs he comes into high from the beginning. Then when the high notes are up he can't go there. I see this more as a choice. The evidence is there. When he stays low ( and this generally means low from the top), Romeo, WIL, Pretty Woman, he seems to have an easier time when it's time for a high note. Or he's able to gather himself better for a high note.

    On the chorus' I think he should stay lower and let Wolf's voice handle more of the highs. At times, anyway. Blend it together better.
    He's definitely not trying like he did on the '07 tour. That much is evident.

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  14. #8
    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 10:54 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrideofPasadena View Post
    I just hear him too high to begin with. Several songs he comes into high from the beginning. Then when the high notes are up he can't go there. I see this more as a choice. The evidence is there. When he stays low ( and this generally means low from the top), Romeo, WIL, Pretty Woman, he seems to have an easier time when it's time for a high note. Or he's able to gather himself better for a high note.

    On the chorus' I think he should stay lower and let Wolf's voice handle more of the highs. At times, anyway. Blend it together better.
    He's definitely not trying like he did on the '07 tour. That much is evident.
    agree. Also notice some choruses he's not singing much at all. leaving most up to Ed/Wolf. Just accenting some lines. fine by me

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  16. #9
    Baluchitherium
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    08.21.17 @ 09:32 PM
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    I like that too. Wolf is singing better now. They sound good...why ruin it.

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  18. #10
    Romeo Delight
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    12.12.17 @ 02:38 PM
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    He has been doing this since 1994, please listen to this from his 1994 Night life single, it his choice to do it.


    Maybe his voice breaks on the original tones but im not sure about it, i wish he could open and talk about it.
    I know what im talking about because i can sing DTNA the way it has to be and the way he is doing it now.
    I can tell you for sure that he is making it on purpose (he changed the melodies as far as 2002) and he is
    singing them higher to have a new flavor out of the tunes. He stopped doing his raspy voice long time ago
    (Since YFLM) but he still have it ! (Don't piss me off)
    The classic high scream was replaced by the "James brown" scream which is very easy for him to do it.
    he still has the classic scream but he does not try it much at all because he has it "blocked" im sure because of
    smoking, but it can be repaired. Guys i feel im talking lots of trash here but if you want i can record some audio
    and youtube it so i can explain better what is happening, ask me some questions if you want. im sure that i know
    Dave's technics quite well.

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  20. #11
    Hot For Teacher Voxmaraya's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 09:36 PM
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    Singer for over 30 years here with my $.02...

    From what I can gather listening and watching vids...
    He is CHOOSING to do this ridiculousness... I mean he is going in registers that never existed before in the songs, and his changing the notes and melodies are suffering big time...

    For example... the "Will your lovin' pay my bills', etc. part in HAIL is completely destroyed by him not letting Wolf and Ed handle the parts they need to handle and him staying in his mid range...

    In the beginning after watching Cafe Wha' and the Downtown Sessions, I did think that Dave had a vocal issue... not really sure what it was but figured maybe he was overcompensating and the "yelps" and "cat in a blender" style was just him doing such and he would soon get back to '07/'08 Diamond Dave... but as evidenced on ADKOT, he really goes to town in many spots with that voice and those to me are the cringe worthy parts of the CD... other than that I thought Dave killed it...

    But apparently, everyone is loving it because it seems nobody had said otherwise, and he continues to use it... I can't recall any '07/'08 vids that he did this in... and there are many '12/'13 vids that prove he can do the songs the way they were meant to be done and I do feel that DTNA is still within his abilities... he even has thrown in a semi-classic scream now and then...

    So, to me, it is clear he is definitely IS choosing to sing this way... the only problem (to many of us it seems) is that NOBODY in Van Halen, especially Dave, thinks that it is bad lol...

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  22. #12
    Baluchitherium
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    08.21.17 @ 09:32 PM
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    Good point about "changing" things. Clearly, he is. Instead of keeping them low he's changing them high for some reason. Or doing a Vegas style delivery.

  23. #13
    Existentially Uncertain Fontcow's Avatar
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    Sometimes I've wondered if Templeman kept Dave in the middle-to-lower-range pocket. I only say this because on the early recordings—both the Warner Bros. and Gene Simmons' demos—Dave would sing in a higher pitch in places. He was young then so it sounded a bit different than it does now but he did have a higher-pitched area that he would sing in. Then once the official releases started in 1978, from Van Halen to 1984 and even Eat 'Em and Smile, he was kept in what we all consider "Dave's range". Then once he stopped being produced by Templeman, this "playing around with his new toy" started. This is just a theory, of course, as I am not a vocal technician nor am I all that familiar with Dave's solo career, but perhaps it's not such a new toy but he was just allowing himself to start to use it again? Maybe Templeman being the great producer that he was/is just knew how to keep Dave in the right range to make him sound as best as he could? And also had the history with and respect of Dave to be the only one who could get away with telling him, "That sounds like shit."

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  25. #14
    Romeo Delight
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    You are right, some demos he sang higher, but not much

    Voxmaraya :
    " For example... the "Will your lovin' pay my bills', etc. part in HAIL is completely destroyed by him not letting Wolf and Ed handle the parts they need to handle and him staying in his mid range... "

    That is terrible, how come he goes that far from the original melodies, i scratch my head, same thing for
    "you can try me at hoooome and it feels allright" wow...beyond words. Seems like he never went back to listen
    the original melodies.

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  27. #15
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 06:26 AM
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    I guess my issue with depending on Wolf and Ed so much is that frankly it doesn't sound like VH to me. Wolf sings well but definitely not the way VH harmonies should sound, and honestly to me it makes Dave's weaknesses more apparent.
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