2015 Voice issue

TopicsAll ForumsVan Halen2015 Tour2015 Voice issue

This topic has 6 voices, contains 8 replies, and was last updated by  thismusicsux 816 days ago.

September 22, 2015 at 6:41 pm Quote #49672

Mink
(2613)

I was watching the Bristow video the other day while strumming my guitar. I played along with the songs I know or to the parts I can play. During the Ice Cream Man intro I noticed Dave played his acoustic guitar open tuned to the key of D. The song ICM was played in it’s original key of E flat when the band joined together.

The key change got me thinking about Dave’s voice issues. His vocal range has obviously diminished. I feel, maybe it has diminished to a point that he physically can’t sing the songs in their original key. This being why he sings the intro to ICM in the key of D. He doesn’t have to strain as hard and in my opinion actually sounds better. I know other bands have tuned down to accommodate the singers vocal range. Led Zeppelin de-tuned a whole step for Robert Plant for the ’07 reunion show. Black Sabbath changed the keys of the songs for Ozzy as well. So I ask this, why are Van Halen playing their set in the original key of E flat? Dave is taking a lot of flack for his vocal performances this tour and I don’t feel that it is all his fault. He no longer can sing in the original register and I feel tuning down another half step would ease Dave’s vocal performance. He wouldn’t have to strain as hard to sing in key.

I’ve been pondering this question for a couple of days now and wanted to post it here and see what you all think as well.



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September 22, 2015 at 7:46 pm Quote #49676

Gilligan
(1441)

I don’t think Dave (or the band) is that concerned about it. Dave still smokes, he’s way more in “showman” mode than “singer” mode and they’re getting great audience reactions. I don’t see where they would see a need to change anything.


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September 23, 2015 at 8:18 am Quote #49688

wjamflan
(972)

Mink: So I ask this, why are Van Halen playing their set in the original key of E flat?

Matt – the band originally played most of the first 6 albums tuned down a quarter step – 1/2 way between E and E flat – for vocal reasons. There were occasional songs in standard tuning – Hang Em High, for example – but most had the slight detune. Then they tuned down at least a half step, sometimes a full step, for the 1980 World Invasion tour, but went back to standard practice from ’81 to ’84. In 2015, the band tunes down to E flat to accommodate Dave’s vocals. The problem is not that he can’t reach certain notes, it’s that he’s developed a bad habit of trying to sing a higher harmony to his original melodies, and he’s just murdering those lines most of the time. They are clearly out of his range and sound strained at best. He’ll never again be able to scream like he did back in the day, but he could still give us the boozy wheeze of voice he’s famous for. And it would be in tune if he stuck to the original melodies.

Bottom line: the band is trying to help him out. He needs to help himself. Tuning down more would do nothing if he continued to stray into an unnatural range.


“This hamburger don’t need no helper.” – DLR 5/17/15


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September 23, 2015 at 11:00 am Quote #49694

voodoo
(1877)

Pretty much every band tunes down live. It’s not a big deal. Dave’s voice is shot to hell regardless. As was said above, he’s more concerned with being a showman now rather than attempting to “sing”.


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September 23, 2015 at 7:08 pm Quote #49701

Mink
(2613)

wjamflan: Matt – the band originally played most of the first 6 albums tuned down a quarter step – 1/2 way between E and E flat – for vocal reasons. There were occasional songs in standard tuning – Hang Em High, for example – but most had the slight detune. Then they tuned down at least a half step, sometimes a full step, for the 1980 World Invasion tour, but went back to standard practice from ’81 to ’84. In 2015, the band tunes down to E flat to accommodate Dave’s vocals. The problem is not that he can’t reach certain notes, it’s that he’s developed a bad habit of trying to sing a higher harmony to his original melodies, and he’s just murdering those lines most of the time. They are clearly out of his range and sound strained at best. He’ll never again be able to scream like he did back in the day, but he could still give us the boozy wheeze of voice he’s famous for. And it would be in tune if he stuck to the original melodies.

Bottom line: the band is trying to help him out. He needs to help himself. Tuning down more would do nothing if he continued to stray into an unnatural range.

Well, there you go then. Thanks for the input. I wonder why he’s playing the intro to ICM in the key of D while the rest of the song is in E flat? The harmonica perhaps?



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September 23, 2015 at 7:54 pm Quote #49704

mrmojohalen
(5454)

Mink: Well, there you go then.Thanks for the input.I wonder why he’s playing the intro to ICM in the key of D while the rest of the song is in E flat?The harmonica perhaps?

He also did this on the last tour


When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?


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September 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm Quote #49707

wjamflan
(972)

Mink: I wonder why he’s playing the intro to ICM in the key of D while the rest of the song is in E flat?The harmonica perhaps?

Mojo’s right – he did it last tour. Also, Dave’s playing in the key of C (tuned down a half step so it sounds like B) because that’s how he played Stay Frosty on ADKOT.


“This hamburger don’t need no helper.” – DLR 5/17/15


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September 23, 2015 at 9:30 pm Quote #49708

Mink
(2613)
September 24, 2015 at 2:54 am Quote #49711

thismusicsux
(523)

I think a little differently about it. Yes lower tuning would help DLR… but I still believe he can hit all the same notes from record fine (mostly). We’ve seen good spots. Good sections.

To me the problem is in his head… he **thinks** going off script and making up new keys and melodies is ok or interesting (after all, he always did a bit of this since 78 it’s part of his show). It’s just now at 60 he can’t quite find the right spots like he used to. But I still have heard him stay closer to the records and basically sound fine.

Also the showmanship part that was mentioned. I’ve seen when he’s mellow Dave during certain songs and focused… he’s much more controlled.


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