Is having a really impressive vocal range of more than 3-octave a overrated quality?

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mat.bez.lima
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Is having a really impressive vocal range of more than 3-octave a overrated quality?

Post by mat.bez.lima » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:21 pm

Don't understand me wrong: I marvel with singers that have big vocal ranges. What I want to say is that people frequently use vocal range as a crucial aspect in put some singers above others and undeservedly end criticizing some singers just because don't have more than 2 octaves of vocal range. It is very nice have a vocal range of 3 octaves or even more, but the truth is that the most of songs in the world don't need even 2 octaves. It simply is not needed use really high notes and really low notes in the same song. Why use? Sometimes this even distract of the song's meanings. The worst example of this is the song Emotions. I honestly see this song as nothing but showmanship by Mariah Carey. Is it needed a song with 5 octaves to communicate true feelings and make spectacular performances?

Frankly, spectacular singers and performances aren't hit really high notes or really low notes, something that seems the obsession of the contestants in American Idol and The Voice, great singing is about emotions, true emotions and not forced empty mannerisms that try to be emotional. In general, I believe that, less important than true emotion and more important than vocal range, the most important qualities in a singer are great vocal shading, the beauty and richness of the voice, phrasing and good technique also, logically, but always serving the song and not distracting of the song.

But I also want to say there are some great singers that don't have beautiful voices or even great technique, but there is still something very unique and full of personality in their singing's styles and voices that makes them great singers. John Lennon comes to my mind about this. He had great vocal range, more than 3 octaves, but this is completely unimportant in understanding why he was a great singer.

The last thing that I want to say is that if great vocal range is so important in define a spectacular singer and rank them, Axl Rose and Mariah Carey are better than Freddie Mercury, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, singers that haven't necessarily a less than 3-octave vocal range, but their vocal ranges are still smaller than Axl Rose and Mariah Carey.
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mat.bez.lima
Let's Get It On
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:39 pm

Re: Is having a really impressive vocal range of more than 3-octave a overrated quality?

Post by mat.bez.lima » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:39 am

I know that technique is very important and goes far more than vocal range, tough there are and were many great singers that don't have beautiful voices or even good technique, but there is still something very unique and full of personality in their singing's styles and voices that makes them great singers. Many spectacular singers in history, like Frank Sinatra, weren't virtuosos in the specific matter of technique, but still had great technique that many times people today underrate and think that they did not have great technique because that singers generally used just the necessary technique to perform the songs and transmit the meanings of it, without worry in amaze the listener with vocal acrobaties, different of many singers of American Idol that many times transform their performances in pure showmanship, but I not believe that the contestants are really guilty about this problem (someday I intend to make a thread discussing American Idol and other programs of the same style)

The big point about technique is that it must be in service to the song and its emotions. Technique must not be a end and objective by itself, but it must always be a great help to add new great things that deepen the song and performance.
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