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June 11, 2008

Brett Manning's five octave range

So I'm writing this story about local singer Caity Lynn Fisher, who landed a spot on the TV show Can You Duet, and I see that Brett Manning is one of the judges.

He's an acclaimed vocal coach with a reportedly ridiculous singing range.

So I plugged his name into YouTube and watched this video ...

Don't get me wrong -- this guy has helped train some top-notch singers. But watching this, I couldn't help but laugh. It's hilarious. And he's so serious, too.  

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:32 PM | | Comments (34)
Categories: Random stuff


Okay - that's it. It is time to clear up this nonsense. There is no way that a human voice can have a five-octave range. I don't care if you're Brett Manning or Mariah Carey or Minnie Ripperton. It is not physically possible.

Consider the facts: there are 88 keys on a standard piano keyboard. That encompasses seven full octaves (12 keys each) plus three more keys. Even a four-octave range is impossible. I'd like to know how these people count their octaves.

Thanks for allowing me the forum.

I think this all depends on what you consider a legit range. If you could actually utilize all these notes when singing and sing well doing so, maybe I'd buy it. But a lot of this is either low grumbling or high squeaking. This does not cut it for me. Julie Andrews had a four octave range and could actually use all of those notes. If Brett tried to actually sing using his "five octaves" he'd be laughed off the stage. I can grumble as well as the next guy, and squeak to my hearts content, but that doesn't make a legit singer outta me and I'd never go touting that ability especially if I was trying to make a name for myself as a vocal coach. This video honestly just makes me think less of the guy...

How do these facts prove that a four or five octave range is physically impossible?

I'm not saying this article answers or proves anything. But go to, type in "five octave range" and you'll find some other interesting sites.

dude. Give Brett a break.
I LOVED his range on "Every Rose has its Thorn"

To clarify - I wasn't trying to prove that a five octave range is physically impossible. I was just saying I don't think this is it. Or maybe it's just not a good enough example for me.

What a cheeseball. This guy is why Nashville sucks.

After a certain point does it really matter how many octives you can span if you can't put over the song.

Hated Michael Bolton, always thought he could hit the notes but really couldn't carry a tune.

Linda Ronstadt could sing but often gave the impression she didn't really understand what she was singing.

That fellow Garden Stater, Whitney Houston on occasion gave the impression the song only served as a vehicle to show off how many high notes she could hit.

I've got more out of Francesco DiGiacomo of the Italian band, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, not having a clue to what he was saying.

David Thomas of Pere Ubu, while a middling singer in many cases, usually puts the song over with his ability as a storyteller.

A voice I really love is Laurie Anderson, she has such voice and phrasing, I love just hear her storytell as well as sing.

All this blather about the technical ability sing is moot if the singer is like the best performing racecar being driven by a student driver.

footnote, I wish there were better examples available, but limited to what's on YouTube.

Consider the facts: there are 88 keys on a standard piano keyboard. That encompasses seven full octaves (12 keys each) plus three more keys. Even a four-octave range is impossible. I'd like to know how these people count their octaves.

what if you were playing one of those pianos that was like, you know, "double".

This a moment I can authenticly ask out of ignorance not sarcasm,

...Who is Brett Manning?

The YouTube clip isn't exactly the most enticing demostration for his product/service.


you mean louie anderson?

Brett Michaels had true vocal range!


When you say had, doesn't mean past tense?

Sounds like a bad imitation of someone who doesn't know how to sing!
My [expletive] can sing better than this loser!

Maybe Brett Manning should take David Thomas' advise to children about becoming a musician, which occurs during the first two minutes of the following.
It's not worth watching beyond the first three minutes, one seriously hokey and zero budget childrens show.
Lil' Ratso meets David Thomas of Pere Ubu:

Julie Driscoll was a singer who never cracked the US market could really sing over several octives who worked with Brian Auger & The Trinity. She called the English Janis Joplin but she was a better, cooler singer, even elegant in comparsion.
The following clips are from 1968 and visually dated but listen to the voice.

This Wheel's On Fire (a Bob Dylan song):
The sculptures are copies of Dadaist Marcel Duchamp's early work

Season of the Witch (a Donovan song):

From 1978
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (a cover of the Animals hit) - Brian Auger & Julie Tippetts (her married name):

Mickey Dolenz & Julie Driscoll (From The Monkee's 1969 TV Special) - I"m A Believer:

Yma Sumac had a 4 octave range.

Mariah Carey and Rachel Farell have over 4 octaves.

There is a singer who lives in my area, Slough, uk, named Amy Green , and she also has a 4 octave range.

Christina Aguilera has nearly 4 octaves.

Ann Wilson has 4 octaves.

That's more than 5 I can think of who all have 4 octave ranges, so it is possible.

Look them up on Youtube or elsewhere. Unlike Brett, they actually can sing through their ranges.

You can have a five octave range full of notes that can be used.

As for six octaves? It depends on what you define as useable. The whistle register is useful sometimes and would be considered part of your range.

Brett Manning is clearly not a good example. There are some vocal coaches out there that make all kinds of claims but you never see them actually sing. HE NEVER SINGS!!!

I pick that same bone with Jaime Vendera. Except that his lessons actually work. You have to remember that your lower register is part of your range. My range is 4 and half octaves. And thats because I can hit notes low like the Oakridge Boys singer, while saying words, and still sing Never Let You Go by Steelheart in full voice. It took me a long time to build my head voice into a full voice.

I do believe that SLS techniques are very good as a supplemental tool to be used in conjunction with Bel Canto. Its a way of cancelling out the tension caused by sirens and slides, as well as holding out head notes to build resonance.

We now have all we need to be great singers from home.

According to some, Yma Sumac (photo) had a range more than four octaves from B2 to C♯7 (approximately 123 to 2270 Hz).

Although hardly ever displayed, Eddie Vedder (clip) is very close to a four octave range.

Wow...this video demo saved me $200 bucks! And to think I almost bought his vocal training course. Yikes!

You don't have to be a great singer to be a great vocal coach. Brett proves his range. His low notes may not be usable but the high notes could if he had any intrest in them at all. I have heard him sing and he is good. However the way you sing is an artistic choise. He does not value spectacular singing and his own recordings reflects this. He is speach level kind of singer because he values honesty and the fact that every voice has a range that is true to the heart and that every voice is unique. All this is an artistic choise. Brett does not care about his range. But he do care about the feelin and sentiments he convey. That all in all makes him a good singer.
I do not feel I have to defend him as a singer but as a vocal coach he is probably one of the best around. He can not teach opera. But what he offers are a great way to master your voice on a speech level.
And hoever said that avoice coach should be a spectacular singer. Brett is a good voice coach and a fantastic singer for all of you who are willing to listen to an honest voice.

I agree with BKlink.

I am singing in musical theatre for years, and must say that he is a really good vocal coach. Believe it, that I have worked with several """"famous in the country"""" coaches, but none of them compared to him, or Seth Riggs.
Yeah I know, this is kind of taste, but what's he teaching IS working for ME...
By posting is video is nothing, FIRST, get ONLY the first CD, and listen to it. He shows a lot of things with his own voice... That explains a lot, that it's really HARSH to say, that he can't sing.

And I think that this generation is really LUCKY that they can GET this much information about singing easily.

So I don't understand you, who wrote this article.. I think it is hard to tell anything about someone because you heard him one..

Oh and sorry for my english...
Best wishes..

This is pretty ridiculous. Manning and Hayley Williams from Paramore hitting the whistle register:

Well hitting the whistle register basically sells the singing course because its so unusual and "magical" for a lot of people out there. If everyone was doing it, then it wouldnt sell would it? But the fact is that anyone can learn to do it without ever learning to sing a song. Its what should be considered mostly a technical trick because it doesnt teach you to sing. Look at Manning and Vendera, both of which can't really sing anything that lives up to their hype. I heard Vendera pass off a one second Back In Black impression which sounded pretty harsh. I dont think he could endure his own claims. GO to Modern Vocalist and other websites and notice the hundreds of self-proclaimed know-it-alls who never sing. Its sickening. Robert Lunte is one of the few who actual sing but STILL cannot sing the way he claims he can teach.

Is the consumer world really that gullible?

Evan you are right on the money. I heard Vendera do that same ACDC example. But he seems to be more into promoting products. HE IS A SALESMAN!! Manning is the true example of using the voice as a gimmick for profit. And yes, he is a cheeseball.

Robert Lunte has a very impressive following in that he has built a growing network of groundbreaking ideas. He also claims to have trained a long time with Maestro Kyle. Its hard to see the truth in that through his own singing. He has trouble with his break during examples. No one that has trained with Kyle that long should ever have that trouble. And he claims to sing Wheel In The Sky for students. But you never hear this "amazing" range of his. Also, look at the endorsements on his website. You can't find any of them in Google. Randy Loren is the only example that seems legit. But he was doing his thing long before TVS took off. He threw in his two cents on an Amazon review for Lunte. But then never said another thing about his experience there.

Ken tamplin is another hothead that makes a claim. He uses an impressive resume and a lot of Paul Rodgers style yelling with his tongue hanging out. But he can't hit the higher range without pushing and squeezing it. The guy did a demo of a variety of genres, singing even garth Brooks. It sounded weird. His ego has prevented him from seeing that his voice doesn't match his claims.

Personally I wouldn't want to have that "David Coverdale" voice. Its so squeezed and heavy. You couldnt possibly do something like Steve Perry with that technique. You would have to turn your voice wide open from start to finish just to get into the headvoice range.

Many have found ways to get you fast results for hitting single notes. But very few have taught us to sing those notes the way we want. 99% of all online lessons are fraud.

So my hunches were right then. I bought Raise Your Voice last year. My head voice "range" did improve a lot. But even after a year the resonance I have gotten is far less than I would have expected. I can scream. But it isn't something I could do all night. Vendera once proclaimed "I can sing stuff like Back in Black (AC/DC) for hours". But that example you referred too in his lessons was a clear indication that it was a lie. That sounded like he was hurting his throat badly.

But also, I didn't really care for the excuses he was making for himself for not being able to demonstrate some of the exercises properly. He admitted to being lazy. A good teacher would never admit that. I don't think the guy is a teacher. Just a business man.

okok! but i 'd like to know if all these notes are so interesting to do when you sing a song?
did he had written some kind of songs with all these notes inside? can he articulate words on these notes? i 'd like to hear him but where? there are no sogs sung by him on you tube....

okok! but i 'd like to know if all these notes are so interesting to do when you sing a song?
did he had written some kind of songs with all these notes inside? can he articulate words on these notes? i 'd like to hear him but where? there are no sogs sung by him on you tube....

There are some programs which claim they teach how to sing, or they help you improve you singing technique. What is the difference between Brett's program and Singorama?
I tried Singorama myself and I can say it really helped me. I though I was born deaf but the program actually helped me to pith the tone. I'm not Placido Domingo, but when I sing now people don't leave the room.

I didn't really care for the excuses he was making for himself for not being able to demonstrate. i 'd like to hear him but where? i 'd like to hear him but where?

I didn't really care for the excuses he was making for himself for not being able to demonstrate. i 'd like to hear him but where? i 'd like to hear him but where?

man you guys are such fucking whining haters. especially the bitch complaining about ken tamplin....ken tamplin has had a career in music longer than you've probably been living, the qualm you have is actually PERSONAL TASTE in terms of the style he likes to sing in. This has NOTHING to do with his techniques on TRAINING THE VOICE TO BE ABLE TO SING. You whinging like a little wimp about his voice DOES NOT NEGATE HIS METHODS OF TEACHING. Shut the fuck up. Now having said this, Ken Tamplin is the only vocal coach I know of that actually CAN sing and actually has methods that work. Brett manning, Vendera, Kevin Richards and robert CUNT are sacks of shit who can't sing, and have overly compartmentalized methods to make money such as "ULTIMATE WARM UP" and "ULTIMATE WARM DOWN" where you flip the exercises in reverse, LOL!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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