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Thread: When is it "too late" to learn vocal techniques?

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    When is it "too late" to learn vocal techniques?

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    I've been wondering the following, as I ponder singing (joining a choir, recording things, etc.):

    If one hasn't ever been to a coach, when is it too late (in terms of age) to start taking singing seriously? Meaning going to a coach and learning proper technique and being able to sound reasonably well -- and the requisite many months of working/coaching it will take to progress. Answers should assume a decent voice, good ear and no damage done by smoking, years of screaming, etc.

    40's?
    50's?
    60's?

    I recall Pavoratti sounding poorly (IMO) in his late 50's, but that could be also due to years of hard use.

    Edit: 2 words wrongly used/spelled
    Last edited by BxD; 07-15-2018 at 11:31. Reason: Spelling/grammar

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    It is never too late, if, as we're talking about in the other topic, you have aptitude and the right ability.

    Look at the home organ market - people retire, and have always wanted to play the organ. Ability is not important - they are designed for totally non-musical people to play by numbers, and they invest their pension in a big ticket organ. A year later, they PX it for a better one, and again and again - my dealer friend tells me that 90% sign up for regular lessons, and very, very few are musical. If people are talented, they make super progress with and instrument designed to help. Voice is very different - most people can sing, and some can sing well. Lessons help everyone, and best of all, the older you are the more dedicated you might be and less prone to give up - IF - you have at least some talent. if you have got to say 60, and can't dance, it's doubtful that it will be possible, because you would have done it before. Singing in a choir is a group sport, and most do it for fun - so give it a go!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BxD View Post
    If one hasn't ever been to a coach, when is it too late (in terms of age) to start taking singing seriously? Meaning going to a coach and learning proper technique and being able to sound reasonably well -- and the requisite many months of working/coaching it will take to progress. Answers should assume a decent voice, good ear and no damage done by smoking, years of screaming, etc.
    It can take 5 minutes to "progress". Over the years that progress will accumulate. So, unless you are really concerned about cost, I think it is best approached by singing for the love of it, and not worrying about speed of progress. It can be like watching paint dry, anyway, whatever your age, and it is not linear or necessarily predictable.

    As you get older your voice changes, but it will remain interesting if you sing well. You just have to sing age appropriate stuff. Wanna capture the mood of a rebellious brat, you'd better be the right side of 30. Want to pull off the rich "aged wine" tones of the sage in a ballad? Better be the right side of 50. Try to be what you ain't, and it will show.

    Classical singing is extremely prescriptive, so earlier retirement is inevitable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopington View Post
    They recon when you have passed 30 you have just about it anyway and you can not learn vocal techniques anyway as it is something that about only 1 in 10000 people have the ability to do so
    I have no idea where you get your information - so much here is wrong.

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    I have received an odd reply, but it's not here - it did give my email inbox a bit of a jolt, with that colorful language.

    Was it already deleted from here?

    Don't want to dust off the tinfoil hat, if I don't have to.....

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    No need for the foil hat just yet. It was deleted.
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    While I'm here, I don't think it's ever too late.

    I suppose the walls have to close in at some point, in terms of range, strength, stamina, etc,
    but most of the singers I can think of who no longer sound at their best have damaged or weak speaking voices now too.

    If a voice is healthy and someone's willing to learn, I think age is probably just a number.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    but most of the singers I can think of who no longer sound at their best have damaged or weak speaking voices now too.
    Why does that happen? Vocal chord abuse? Smoking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nola View Post
    Why does that happen? Vocal chord abuse? Smoking?
    Loss of elasticity and ability to repair damage, at least, if you live long enough.

    Damage can be from environmental factors, just like your hearing, or from screaming into a microphone for 40 years. Either way, at some point the cells stop getting repaired as fast or as well.

    But, you can still do a lot by learning better technique, and probably sing longer if you are really doing some things wrong right now.

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    When is it "too late" to learn vocal techniques?
    2 weeks ago. Sorry dude.

    Of course I'm kidding. Get to work. A great method is to record yourself then play it back and hear your performance.... what works, what didn't, etc. Make adjustments as necessary.

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