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General Guitar Learning Discussions => Tips and Tricks (User to User) => Topic started by: Tourniquet on November 09, 2010, 06:05:01 pm

Title: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 09, 2010, 06:05:01 pm
Singing questions continue to crop up every now and then so I'm pulling all the singing resources together in one post that can be referred to. I'll add to it as things occur (If anyone wishes to add to it they are welcome, i'll edit submissions into the main body

Singing 101
It's not uncommon for people to dislike the sound of their own voice when they first hear it recorded whether speaking or singing. It only takes a little effort to get past this. As with the guitar, improvement comes with correct practice.

A few links to vocal coaching courses that have free video content (may require registration, but the content is good)
http://www.aussievocalcoach.com/
http://singingsolutions.com/
http://aapproach.com/free-lessons/

and a few links to text courses
http://www.voicelesson.com/html/lessons/free_lessons.htm
http://www.vocalist.org.uk/voicetraining.html

Getting the best out of your voice
Drink plenty of water
Relax, singing in the morning when you are rested will produce better results than late at night when you're tired or tense
Warm up by singing or humming scales
Never ignore pain

Vocal registers
It's important to recognize that there are several vocal registers, each with it's own range and tone
Vocal fry: The lowest register which is characterized by a clicking sound due to the low frequency. most vocal coaches seem to discourage regular use of this register.
Modal: This register is also used for speech.
Falsetto: High pitch and quite thin, it's commonly used by men when trying to talk mockingly like a woman.

Chest voice/Head voice: Not registers but where the sound chiefly reverberates.



Finding your vocal range and using the guitar to compare pitch

 6th string       5th string       4th string
E---------------  ---------------  -------0-------
B---------------  -------1-------  -----0---0-----
G---------------  -----0---0-----  ---1-------1---
D-------3-------  ---2-------2---  -2-----------2-
A---0-3---3-0---  -3-----------3-  ---------------
E-1-----------1-  ---------------  ---------------

Play the mini scale on the guitar and sing the notes along with it. when you finish a scale successfully, increase all of the notes by one fret and start again
Start with the 6th string until you've increased it to the 7th fret on the Low E. when you finish that one move onto the 5th string pattern and repeat until you reach the 6th fret. finish that and move onto the 4th string pattern, repeat until you run out of frets.

this covers almost 4 octaves so don't be surprised if the lows and/or highs are out of reach. don't push your voice for them either, if a note is out of reach go no further and consider that the end of your range.
This exercise will first off help you find your range. done with regularity it should also strengthen your voice and extend it over time.

for reference the first fret on the B string is Middle C and the guitar covers most of the approximate human voice range going from E2 to E6 (on a 24 fret guitar)

Matching your vocal range to the song
You should have two ranges, one you are comfortable in and one you are not.
it is down to you to be honest with yourself when you become uncomfortable.
Once you know your comfortable range you need to find the vocal range of the song. if you can follow the vocal melody on the guitar it should become apparent what the lowest and highest notes are and how many octaves (if any) it covers.

If for example your comfortable vocal range is C3-C4 and the song ranges D4-D5 dropping the key by a whole tone and the vocal by an octave should put you right.
if the song has a greater range than you can manage comfortably, you can try going a little further, just don't push it too far.

Vocal range in comparison to musical instruments
(http://images-mediawiki-sites.thefullwiki.org/08/3/8/8/5710768927378145.png)
http://images-mediawiki-sites.thefullwiki.org/08/3/8/8/5710768927378145.png

Recording
It's important to record yourself singing as the sound you hear in your own head is altered by vibrations. recording allows you to check up on your vocal tone and pitch

Singing while playing
Start with something simple that you know both the lyrics and music like the back of your hand... well enough that you don't need to concentrate on either vocals or rhythm and can concentrate instead on getting the two to fit together.
No matter how well you can play appreciate that you'll have to slow down your playing to make the initial connections.
You could also try recording your strumming and then sing over the recording,  it might help reinforce where the changes should fall with the vocals.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Paladin117 on November 11, 2010, 06:00:42 am
Unless I can sing like Chris Cornell, I don't want to sing at all. There's no point.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 11, 2010, 08:52:19 am
Can't say whether you have the potential to sing like him, but if you don't try you definitely won't.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: flyhead on November 11, 2010, 11:18:19 am
Unless I can sing like Chris Cornell, I don't want to sing at all.
Chris Cornell couldn't always sing like Chris Cornell.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Asjh89 on November 12, 2010, 02:03:42 am
Unless I can sing like Chris Cornell, I don't want to sing at all. There's no point.

I smell fear  8)




A few points about vocal development

When practicing melodic exercises such as:
Do Me Re Fa Me Sol Fa La Sol Ti La Do, etc.
Do Re Me, Re Me Fa, Me Fa Sol, etc.
etc.
Its a good idea to keep your voice free of vibrato, you want to use vibrato intentionally. If you can't help but use vibrato then you need more practice.

When you're warmed up proper and you've gone through a few songs you want to try to sing loudly (shouting even) keeping every note at the same volume, just to develop tone and projection. When you can project easily start adding more dynamics, this could take a few months.


A technique, not necessarily a beginner's technique, for vocal strengthening is to try holding a note as long+loud+steady as you can. Do not try this for a few weeks after starting, it can easily throw your voice out, when you can sing for 2 hours though, that would be a time you could use it. This exercise should follow your regular warm up, try singing through a song or two as well, you want to be at 100%



I have a chronic infection in my bronchial tubes, so vocals come particularly difficult for me. However by warming up with 20 minutes of sulfeges and focusing on being deliberate with my voice I've found that I can avoid most of the irritation.
Even with a healthy throat the vocal chords are very fragile and you must treat it well to develop (past kareoke level aye?). All that really means is starting slowly - never skipping the warm up, and focusing on the moment.
10 minutes of long tones, 10 minutes of short tones, followed by a logical progression of songs (easy - mod - hard - mod - easy)

Break the songs down, master each piece and then master it together, hit every note deliberately. Not much to it really - just focus and have fun
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Paladin117 on November 12, 2010, 02:11:11 am
Can't say whether you have the potential to sing like him, but if you don't try you definitely won't.

I try every day.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Asjh89 on November 12, 2010, 02:25:28 am

I try every day.

Every day for how many years?

Chris' singing displays discipline which he could only have gained after years of practice. His voice is well developed, he has good tone, good intonation, strong projection, and tight control over vocal ornaments.
It takes years to master any craft, and though I'm not particularly a fan of his, Chris is definitely a master at his craft.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Paladin117 on November 12, 2010, 09:21:36 pm
Every day for how many years?

Chris' singing displays discipline which he could only have gained after years of practice. His voice is well developed, he has good tone, good intonation, strong projection, and tight control over vocal ornaments.
It takes years to master any craft, and though I'm not particularly a fan of his, Chris is definitely a master at his craft.

You think Chris Cornell sat around all day with a piano singing solfege? ahahaha
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 12, 2010, 09:51:54 pm
No singer gets to the top of their game without some measure of practice or coaching.
It no more absurd than Hendrix, Clapton, Page etc plinking away on their guitars on day one like the rest of us.

It all takes practice.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Johnny Proxy on November 12, 2010, 11:27:31 pm
I once heard an interview with someone who was in the studio with Jimi Hendrix. He was telling about how Jimi was ashamed of his own voice and had to sing behind a cardboard barrier at times so nobody could see him. I wish I still had those interviews. Had an amazing unreleased rehearsal of Angel on it where instead of singing "Angel came down from heaven yesterday, stayed with me just long enough to rescue me" he sang "stayed with me just long enough for afternoon tea."

What makes a good singer really though? Somehow I don't think Jimi or Neil Young would have made it past auditions on American Idol. On the other side of that coin, I don't think and American Idols will be heard on the radio in 100 years from now.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 12, 2010, 11:53:17 pm
What makes a good singer really though?

The qualities of a good singer can be easily defined. Accurate pitch, interesting tone, strong resonance and an appreciation of how best they can use their voice.
The qualities of a great singer are less easily defined.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: licksnkicks on November 14, 2010, 03:41:21 am
Do you really think that a frog can turn into a princess?  I really sound like a frog that croaked and is almost dead.  I honestly don't think I have the potential.  When I go around do my "womanly" chores like cooking, laundry and crap to boot I sing and everyone says don't sing pulleeze!  It's really annoying they say!

With all the negativity surrounding my vocal renderings it leaves me with no confidence at all!
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: flyhead on November 14, 2010, 08:39:13 am
Neil Young, Bob Dylan and JJ Cale all have voices which would disqualify them as 'good' singers by TB's definition. Billie Holliday had a range of barely an octave. They are all arguably 'great' singers. 'America's Got Talent' is full of ostensibly 'good' singers, yet they are generally simply dreadful to listen to.
Technique is an important part of being able to sing but it doesn't always trump musical intuition or character. One needs to find and develop one's own expression, given the flaws and restrictions that limit technical ability.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Paladin117 on November 15, 2010, 02:15:11 am
Neil Young, Bob Dylan and JJ Cale all have voices which would disqualify them as 'good' singers by TB's definition. Billie Holliday had a range of barely an octave. They are all arguably 'great' singers. 'America's Got Talent' is full of ostensibly 'good' singers, yet they are generally simply dreadful to listen to.
Technique is an important part of being able to sing but it doesn't always trump musical intuition or character. One needs to find and develop one's own expression, given the flaws and restrictions that limit technical ability.

I agree with everything you said. Bob Dylan is one of my favorite singers.

But back to Chris Cornell: I never implied he didn't practice. Obviously he did. But what's more likely than him singing scales along with a piano is him singing along to Led Zeppelin records.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: jimiclaptoncarl on November 15, 2010, 05:39:41 am
Interesting topic.  ;)

I agree with TB's definition of a good singer, however I meet all those requirements and I would not consider myself a "good" singer. 

There are just some people who have voices that are meant to sing.. that it's pleasant to listen to.

Everyone CAN sing, whether or not they are good at it, is a different matter. 
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Asjh89 on November 15, 2010, 11:58:27 am
I agree with everything you said. Bob Dylan is one of my favorite singers.

But back to Chris Cornell: I never implied he didn't practice. Obviously he did. But what's more likely than him singing scales along with a piano is him singing along to Led Zeppelin records.

You may be able to develop a good singing voice that way, maybe, but without vocal exercises you're more likely to sound like a drunk doing kareoke. If your voice happens to be able to develop that way without hitting any walls, thats good, but you're not making your life any easier than an athlete who doesn't work out. In my work people think I'm fast, but I'm not fast - I just don't cut corners, so at the end of the night it looks like I was fast because I actually got the job done.

I don't encourage hours of practice, I think a 30min warm-up is suffecient, past that its all about singing. So in saying that (again), I agree with you in that I don't think Chris Cornell spent hours at a piano - though I know of some very amazing vocalists who have spent considerable time practicing technique (more than I would or encourage for non classical music).
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 15, 2010, 01:06:17 pm
Missed the earlier replies

Do you really think that a frog can turn into a princess?  I really sound like a frog that croaked and is almost dead.  I honestly don't think I have the potential.  When I go around do my "womanly" chores like cooking, laundry and crap to boot I sing and everyone says don't sing pulleeze!  It's really annoying they say!

With all the negativity surrounding my vocal renderings it leaves me with no confidence at all!

I think that anyone can improve if they put beneficial effort in. I'm not saying that everyone can develop to a point that they rival professionals, but that whatever you start with can be improved upon in practically every way.
Singing along to songs or while you do other things can help with the words and tones of a song but it doesn't do all that much to improve technique.
It's a common error to think that because we speak every day, maybe even sing along with the radio that what we have is the best we can offer. One of the clearest examples I can offer is that of a baby. When a baby opens it's mouth to scream it gets heard. even with a tiny set of lungs an zero training any baby can better the vocal projection of most adults... baby's just doing what comes naturally, it's the adults that have learned to be lazy over a lifetime.
Try to find a moments peace to try a few vocal exercises, nothing wrong with criticism so long as it's constructive but I don't think what you're getting is.

Neil Young, Bob Dylan and JJ Cale all have voices which would disqualify them as 'good' singers by TB's definition. Billie Holliday had a range of barely an octave. They are all arguably 'great' singers. 'America's Got Talent' is full of ostensibly 'good' singers, yet they are generally simply dreadful to listen to.
Technique is an important part of being able to sing but it doesn't always trump musical intuition or character. One needs to find and develop one's own expression, given the flaws and restrictions that limit technical ability.

You're mixing your mods ;)
Such is the reason I didn't try to define the qualities of a great singer, all bets are off when it comes to great.

But back to Chris Cornell: I never implied he didn't practice. Obviously he did. But what's more likely than him singing scales along with a piano is him singing along to Led Zeppelin records.
Possible, Singing along the recordings offers less benefit than you might think though as the original recording covers weaknesses in your own voice. It's more common though to learn and refine vocals as part of a small band doing local pubs and clubs, the PA system gives them a true representation of their tone and lots of small gigs means lots of practical practice.

I agree with TB's definition of a good singer, however I meet all those requirements and I would not consider myself a "good" singer. 

Still not TB ;)
If you meet that standard but don't consider yourself good, what's missing? (or could you be overly self critical)

@asjh89: fair comments
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: licksnkicks on November 15, 2010, 01:59:20 pm
Interesting topic.  ;)

Everyone CAN sing, whether or not they are good at it, is a different matter. 

That's the million $ question!!

I think I might be better as a back up singer!  Ya that would be the ticket.  Someplace to hide my not so fabulous voice.  As a matter of fact 4 girlfriends and I had a few tipples and we sang barbershop quartet style and I sang harmony and it really wasn't too bad or maybe it was the alcohol that made us sound better. I think it was a Beatles song that we did.  I can't remember but I do remember that we did sound not too shabby!  There's something about singing harmony that's very appealing to me.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: flyhead on November 15, 2010, 04:51:46 pm
Quote
You're mixing your mods
Apologies, T, it's just that you all look the same to me.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: jimiclaptoncarl on November 15, 2010, 04:56:30 pm

I agree with TB's definition of a good singer, however I meet all those requirements and I would not consider myself a "good" singer. 

If you meet that standard but don't consider yourself good, what's missing? (or could you be overly self critical)

No not overly self critical.. there are some people who are born with voices to sing solo, out in front. My voice is not one that people enjoy listening to. The highest level I may sing is in a choir or backup vocals, where my voice won't stand out as much.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: SJP on November 15, 2010, 05:28:34 pm
No way I'd knock technique but the acid test is obviously the capacity to stimulate emotion. That's a matter of personal taste, but to me the essential building blocks are authenticity and substance. So i get the same buzz from the technical expertise of Aretha Franklin as I do the barking onslaught of Mark E. Smith. And why winning a TV talent competition is about as much use as a Anne Frank's drumkit.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Paladin117 on November 15, 2010, 08:35:41 pm
Possible, Singing along the recordings offers less benefit than you might think though as the original recording covers weaknesses in your own voice.

You can say literally that exact same thing about playing guitar along with a record. And yet, how do we learn?

Quote
It's more common though to learn and refine vocals as part of a small band doing local pubs and clubs, the PA system gives them a true representation of their tone and lots of small gigs means lots of practical practice.

Of course. But that's not really practice, is it? It's performance. If you perform a lot you get better at performing. It's true of any instrument.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Asjh89 on November 16, 2010, 12:09:51 am
No way I'd knock technique but the acid test is obviously the capacity to stimulate emotion. That's a matter of personal taste, but to me the essential building blocks are authenticity and substance. So i get the same buzz from the technical expertise of Aretha Franklin as I do the barking onslaught of Mark E. Smith. And why winning a TV talent competition is about as much use as a Anne Frank's drumkit.

Definitely true, but its hard to say what is authentic or what has substance - thats also really subjective.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: SJP on November 16, 2010, 08:45:26 am
Oh yeah, the subjective part is a given and that's why I said 'to me...'.

We're never going to be able to produce an objective pie chart on the subject. Thankfully.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 16, 2010, 04:38:53 pm
You can say literally that exact same thing about playing guitar along with a record. And yet, how do we learn?

I can only speak for myself, but I learn by listening to a section and then trying to repeat it. It's rare if ever that i'll play along to the original track if i'm trying to learn it.

Of course. But that's not really practice, is it? It's performance. If you perform a lot you get better at performing. It's true of any instrument.

Call it what you will, it amounts to a lot of time put in productively honing an ability.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Paladin117 on November 17, 2010, 08:17:34 am
I can only speak for myself, but I learn by listening to a section and then trying to repeat it. It's rare if ever that i'll play along to the original track if i'm trying to learn it.

What the xx--xx? Are you for real? What do you do after you learn it, then? Just play it by yourself? How the xx--xx can you even play guitar without playing along with records. I seriously cannot even comprehend what you're telling me.

Quote
Call it what you will, it amounts to a lot of time put in productively honing an ability.

Yeah.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: flyhead on November 17, 2010, 09:01:59 am
Quote
What the xx--xx? Are you for real? ( ) I seriously cannot even comprehend what you're telling me.
He probably isn't for real, and it's your inner thoughts that are confusing you. In fact, this comment is merely a projection of your inner reasoning responding to your inquiry.
(http://joshreads.com/images/07/05/i070504famcir.jpg)
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 17, 2010, 10:27:53 am
What do you do after you learn it, then? Just play it by yourself?

Nope. I play it..... and sing it. A chord progression on the guitar can quickly get monotonous, throw vocals on top and it never gets dull.

How can you even play guitar without playing along with records.


If I really want to play along with a song I'll find, or more often make, a backing track.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Paladin117 on November 17, 2010, 07:40:59 pm
A chord progression on the guitar can quickly get monotonous, throw vocals on top and it never gets dull.

So what, you only play open chord strumming songs? I guess that makes sense. The music I play would not sound that cool with just a guitar.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 17, 2010, 08:51:18 pm
Open or barre chords, strumming or fingerstyle.... rhythm at any rate. Playing lead and singing at the same time is a pretty rare field that seems mostly limited to a call and response style (playing lead fills between the vocal lines)

The music I play would not sound that cool with just a guitar.

Not the sort to do an "Unplugged" album eh ;)
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: gryan on November 18, 2010, 01:01:01 am
I sound like a chronic chain-smoker with throat cancer gargling razor blades and screaming cats. On a good day.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: PattheBunny on February 05, 2011, 06:49:18 pm
So how does one find a good instructor? 

I have a pleasant enough voice but no technique at all.  In fact, I have a habit of breathiness that I feel needs to go the way of the dodo.   I like to sing, but my particularly peculiar background is that I have not sung for most of my life and am only starting now.  There is a lot of stuff attending the stuffing of one's musicality for twenty five years and it can be overwhelming.  I feel like I'm opening Pandora's box sometimes. 
I guess results are everything but I am wary of a bad instructor screwing up an already inhibited voice.  I almost wish I could sing like Patty Smith but that's not me.  I have a feeling I am going to end up the route of Joan Baez but who knows.  How do you find someone to help you figure it out?

PTB

Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Asjh89 on February 14, 2011, 10:47:05 am
No clue, I wound up with a great one last year but incidentally. Maybe work on doing covers for a bit and when you're more comfortable with your voice find an instructor, that way you won't get discouraged by a bad one steering you in circles.

To start with some sense of order just pick out an easy song, listen to it and sing it for a good hour every day.
Sing with the track, sing without it, listen without singing.
When you got it good, move onto the next one (etc)...
Keep refreshed on the old stuff too.

You can get pretty far that way, and won't need a teacher for awhile. If you go to find one you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: PattheBunny on February 14, 2011, 11:01:24 am
I decided to take a lesson with the singing teacher at my guitar store.   I'm going back today for what is really a first session after getting lost and only having ten minutes with her last time.  But in that ten minutes she took the song I wrote and started to polish the thing immediately, finding the notes I had been looking for and using a variety of tempos. Her musicality is pretty fluid, that's for sure.  She is the founder of a choir as well, so that will be interesting. 

I was unusually nervous too, but what I do with nerves is note them and then ignore them.  I figure they will eventually disappear but they aren't going to stop me from anything I want to do.
As for singing alot, I already do that.  With and without music.  But when I record it, I still sound like a kid.  I think the breathiness is not having a range opened up because when I find something in just the right key, I don't sound like Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday to Jack Kennedy any more.  And not having sung for so long,I don't actually have any habits that are deeply ingrained.    Good or bad.   So I am optimistic. 
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Asjh89 on February 15, 2011, 04:21:50 pm
Sounds good, hope that teacher works out for you
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Toad on February 28, 2011, 03:10:23 am
I have a question.  I just started singing with the mic on and hearing my voice through headphones.  I've noticed I have to readjust my voice to make it a little higher because when I sing in my head it sounds pretty high already.  So when I sing with the mic on, I can hear it and adjust it accordingly, but what if I'm just singing in a room without a mic?  How would I adjust my sound without being able to hear my voice?  Because after I readjust it, it sounds horrible in my head (but good in the mic). lol 

Another question, after readjusting my voice, I noticed that I'm using more of the bottom part of my throat.  The part right above where teh collar bones meet.  I find it doesn't really feel natural, will I get used to it?  ( I used to use both the upper and lower throat evenly when singing)
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: PattheBunny on February 28, 2011, 09:08:57 am
I have a question.  I just started singing with the mic on and hearing my voice through headphones.  I've noticed I have to readjust my voice to make it a little higher because when I sing in my head it sounds pretty high already.  So when I sing with the mic on, I can hear it and adjust it accordingly, but what if I'm just singing in a room without a mic?  How would I adjust my sound without being able to hear my voice?  Because after I readjust it, it sounds horrible in my head (but good in the mic). lol 


What do you mean by "higher"  It sounds like you're saying you're off key when you sing? 
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Toad on February 28, 2011, 09:07:28 pm
I meant singing in a higher tone.  Not low...but more airy and light.  I am in key though.

I basically sing softer.  With less strong vibrations in the upper part of my throat and more soft vibrations in the bottom of my throat.  I can feel my muscle in right above where my collarbones connect working.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: PattheBunny on March 08, 2011, 02:57:53 am
I've taken four singing lessons so far and I have to say they have been amazing.   My instructor is slow and steady, teaching one new concept at a time for a few minutes and ending with about ten minutes of just singing a song.  She took the song I wrote and played piano for me so that I could do some work on it and when I listen to the recordings of these sessions the progress is scary.  Not that I am there yet but she says that I'm only hearing thirty percent of what I can do and while it sounds peculiar in my head it sound like "singing" when I listen to it.

For me the in person interaction with another musician is very important.   I want to encourage Toad and others who "can't sing" to say "I believe it I believe it and I know I will achieve it."  Or something like that.  And take a lesson.

I got lucky with this singing whom I found through my guitar store (where I also take lessons), but I took a chance and if she wasn't right, I would have moved on.  Like I did from the choir who auditioned me over the telephone and then ended up with a songbook that included Java Jive and Dancing in the Streets.... not for me.

Try it, you might find out something about yourself that you will enjoy knowing.   

Pat
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Toad on March 08, 2011, 06:44:26 am
Pat, I would love to hear your singing!  Record yourself and let us hear.  Promise I won't criticize, I have no right to criticize lol...
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: PattheBunny on March 08, 2011, 07:29:58 am
I thought it would be fun to put together a little "reel" of the process in a few weeks.  So you can hear a little bit of the change.  Not that there is a lot of it yet... Hang  in there another week at least. Let's see what I've got by next Monday...

Pat
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: PattheBunny on March 16, 2011, 04:24:31 am
I am working on getting something to record with, but my computer is not entirely cooperating.  I just wanted to share this becuz, well becuz it's a little scary.  This week I was able to sing pretty much an octave higher than ever before.  It's not perfect, but my voice isn't cracking like it was.  And I am able to place it consistently.  And then my teacher keeps saying these godawful things that are half exciting and half terrifying.  That I'm going to be a real singer.  That I'm going to have a big voice.  That I'm going to have a bigger voice than her (as if that were possible).  I had not a single idea that any of this would happen when I took that first lesson or that I would be able to sing what I'm singing now.  I don't even like the material very much (Hallelujah right now).  I am worried that I will sound operatic.  Yikes.  And what's really interesting is that psychologically singing is like seeing clearly, your world suddenly gets a little larger.  Or more yours or something.   

What I want to say is that I recommend everyone take a few singing lessons with a vocal coach.  Really you have no idea what may be possible.   Heck, I have no idea what is possible.  Next week I may become a frog.    More importantly, your voice is your unique expression and well, that's what you're here for.  To express your uniqueness.
Go for it.

PTB
Pat
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: CiX on July 09, 2012, 12:17:49 pm
Sorry for the necro but seemed like a good topic.

Anyway I've been trying to sing along with songs. Its been a long time since I last sung maybe 28years since I was in a choir and that was prolly b4 my nuts dropped. LOL.

Anyway.

I always find myself trying to sing in what I would probably say was falsetto at high points in song to match well especially female singers, Which is great except its certainly not my cup of tea. Even when forcing myself to sing lower I will get to a part that will force me back into the higher register. I'm prolly talking rubbish here but thought I would at least ask the question.

Also are there any trips to prevent mumbling which is what I also am guilty of at times?

LOL
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: jacksroadhouse on July 09, 2012, 12:47:20 pm
Not a big singer myself, but fwiw: sounds like you're simply out of your vocal range (low=too low, high=too high?). Try a different key. From a female voice, try 5 or 7 semitones dpwn, that might work better.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on July 09, 2012, 09:32:47 pm
Ideally you want to try and develop all of your registers so that they overlap  and then blend seamlessly into eachother. find the effective edge of each register and slowly try to push it further without switching.
once there's an overlap of at least a few notes try to bring elements of both of them in at the same time, keep working at that until it's a seamless transition.

try to figure out why you jump to falsetto, when it comes to that particular part slow down and take it one note at a time. slowly and carefully. ignore the timing, the words, everything, just give your full attention to each isolated note.
If you feel yourself wanting to switch to the next register take the note down a half step and make sure that is solid. go between the note you are comfortable with and the note you are not while trying to maintain the conditions (mouth, throat, chest etc) that make one of them comfortable.
I saw some rapid gains doing that but it eventually settled to a gain of maybe 1/2 a tone in 1 week of careful practice (ie, don't overdo it)

Preventing mumbling: I sometimes find closing my eyes, even only briefly, aids relaxation, improves projection and boosts confidence as a result (all a net gain in making words more audible). It's a helpful training fix but it's not something you want to become reliant on if you plan to perform (eye contact is important)
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: CiX on July 10, 2012, 12:55:35 pm
Ideally you want to try and develop all of your registers so that they overlap  and then blend seamlessly into eachother. find the effective edge of each register and slowly try to push it further without switching.
once there's an overlap of at least a few notes try to bring elements of both of them in at the same time, keep working at that until it's a seamless transition.

try to figure out why you jump to falsetto, when it comes to that particular part slow down and take it one note at a time. slowly and carefully. ignore the timing, the words, everything, just give your full attention to each isolated note.
If you feel yourself wanting to switch to the next register take the note down a half step and make sure that is solid. go between the note you are comfortable with and the note you are not while trying to maintain the conditions (mouth, throat, chest etc) that make one of them comfortable.
I saw some rapid gains doing that but it eventually settled to a gain of maybe 1/2 a tone in 1 week of careful practice (ie, don't overdo it)

Preventing mumbling: I sometimes find closing my eyes, even only briefly, aids relaxation, improves projection and boosts confidence as a result (all a net gain in making words more audible). It's a helpful training fix but it's not something you want to become reliant on if you plan to perform (eye contact is important)

Strangely enough that strikes a chord. Not looking to be a brilliant singer but would be nice to be confident enough to sing along to some tracks with other people present without sounding like a neutered cat or maybe even enough confidence to do some u tube stuff.

I will try your suggestions tonight.. Try find my vocal range and pop back if i have any other questions if thats ok.

Thanks
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: sanied on September 07, 2012, 12:17:00 pm
i fall to pieces when im asked to sing, dunno what it is, stage fright, anxiety, even practicing in the house if i know the wife is about i just strumm along and hmm the melody to myself.

Tho is i am out for a night and theres kareoke on its hard to get me off the stage  ::), must be the beer i guess ;)

Does anyone else have/had this issue and any tips on how to deal with it?
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on September 08, 2012, 09:52:53 pm
Record yourself playing and singing (audio and video if you can). Just pressing record exposes you to similar pressure to live performance, the recording allows you to assess how other people hear you (can be strange if you're not used to the sound of your own voice) and gives you a recording others can listen to and offer pointers.

really is worth doing.

Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 13, 2012, 08:24:26 am
I've never understtod why this question is not the first one pepole do when teaching someone
How do you "make the notes"
With guitar, piano, Vioan,etc all of which I can play some what you press something or what not and it makes the note I want 100%
I open my mouth and try to sing, its sometimes a C, E or what ever, playing scales on a guitar or piano along with it dont mater, I never hit the ones I want.
 My voice dont sound good, but I cant even get close to the right notes so not much point in improing anythign else till I can hit notes I want right?>


I know "pratice" but thats it I dont know how, I mean play scales yes, but I cant "lower pitch" owhen I need to, when I try to it ogten gose the wrong way not to metion I play a C and my vocals are doing an F#

been doing this for a while and not much luck I just dont know how to lower raise pitch at comand really, in terms of singing.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Dan Graves on November 13, 2012, 09:32:29 am
I have a suggestion for those struggling with playing and singing; try Johnny Cash's cover of 'Hurt', playing just the acoustic guitar part and singing along with that.
Doesn't have to be in the original key, you can capo up if you can't sing as low as Cash.
A former customer of mine had this problem and after he learned this particular song, he felt a bit more confident about being able to learn how to properly sing and play at the same time.
The beauty lies in that it's a fairly simple but powerfull song, it works in a lot of keys, and if you manage to do it, you'll feel a bit more accomplished, and more self-confidence is always a plus.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: shadowscott007 on November 13, 2012, 09:02:46 pm
@kentl

Try this.  Pick a noteon the guitar.  Preferably one that seems to be comfortably in your range.  Say open D.  Pluck it and keep on plucking it.  The "find" it with your voice, kinda like tuning your guitar.  When you lock on it you should feel it.  When you find it stop and do it again.  You should discover you will start finding it faster.

Then find E fourth string second fret.  Same deal, find it.  Repeat until it gets kinda comfortable.

The play D to E while trying to follow it with your own voice.

Start slow.  Find a melody you like and work it out one note at a time like that.  Right now I am doing that with the very first like of Ain't Sunshine When You're Gone".  Just that much play it, sing it and play it, sing it, did it sound right, sing it and play it, strum the chord and sing it, did that sound right, over and over....

That's an idea anyway....

Shadow
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: TB-AV on November 13, 2012, 09:48:03 pm
@kentl... do you know what "beat frequencies" are?

You need to hear those. You need to play a note on sustained piano or guitar. I good solid room filling note. Then sing ahhhhhh.  If you are way off you might not even know it. But when you get close you will hear the piano and your voice beating and then form a unison. Once you can start and stop that unison a few times right on the money, then you can play  a note higher or lower whichever way you want to go.

so you will have
NOTE-----unison----- NEXT NOTE(semi-tone up)
Voice-----unison----- Same Voice  -------- now you hear it beat again so you alter the voice up a touch.

After that for a while you should be able to play a note in your range and sing ahhhh pretty close right off the bat.

Beat Frequencies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hxQDAmdNWE
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 13, 2012, 10:15:01 pm
I' not sure if I understand, I'm playing mid C and I'll get a F or f# try to raise it and cant.

I cant get passed one tone higher to be put bluntly, and thats IF I can do that  so would this still work/
I mean its e-gonly
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: shadowscott007 on November 13, 2012, 10:23:43 pm
Are you trying to sing one note while playing a different note?  Don't do that.  That is pretty advanced.

Are you saying that you can't sing high enough to hit the C?  Then play and sing the C note an octave lower.

I don't think i understand the question anymore.  Are you asking how to hit a pitch with your voice or are you asking how to extend your vocal range?  You need to be able to do the first, before you need to worry about the second.

Shadow

Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: TB-AV on November 13, 2012, 10:27:22 pm
If you are saying you sing an F to F# then the next note you need to play is G and sing ahhhh.

also play E ( below that F ) and sing ahhhhhh

so now you have expanded your range from E F F# G. Now add to each end.  You're a long way from C. Might be a while before you get there.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 13, 2012, 11:10:49 pm
Maybe I dont know what I'm talking about
https://www.youtube.com/my_videos_edit?ns=1&video_id=OA1Sf8aCNEE

Hopefuly that vid may help some what
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: shadowscott007 on November 14, 2012, 12:03:56 am
Tried the link and found:

"No videos were found." :'(

Shadow
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 14, 2012, 12:32:02 am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA1Sf8aCNEE

Try that...

No idea
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: shadowscott007 on November 14, 2012, 01:44:50 am
It would help if I heard the note you were trying to hit.

Few other things.  These are opinions not facts...

Are you watching something to see the frequency of your voice?  I wouldn't.  I would close my eyes and really concentrate on the sound of the notes.  I think seeing something is hurting more than helping, at this point anyway.  You gotta find it  with your ears first, not your eyes.

Second, you seem way to tight, your vocal pitch is not varying much.  I think you need to relax and have some fun with it.  Really yank your pitch around.  Don't even think sing for a bit, think imitate... Johhny Cash, low deep from the chest talking to the crowd between songs... then the real nasally and high, Mickey Mouse, Geddy Lee, Pee Wee Herman.  Practice talking low and high pitched... imitate a burly bouncer deep voiced and intimidating.  Imitate a little child.  That is exactly the same mechanism that you use to change pitch when you sing.

Do you tune your guitar by ear?  Know when you start getting close and you hear a "wah wah wah" sound that starts fast and then slows to nothing when you are in tune.  That is the beat frequency TB mentioned.  You do the same between the sustained note you are playing and your voice.

Hope some of that helps.

Shadow

Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 14, 2012, 02:28:35 am
I am watching something yes.

The problem with that idea of not looking I cant tell how good it is or not, i understand the "idea" behined it, but "hearing the notes" as it where is beyoned my level, I can tell when its out of tune, but not how it is or what to do to chnage it.

Tune my guitar by ear? some what, never get it 100% it tends to be off a moderate bit but i do tune with that and then use the tunner after words, unless I'm not doing standard. So I do it quite often.

So you want something like this? (miuns the "lose" thing really dont understand that)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg6c6wOZg0I
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: TB-AV on November 14, 2012, 04:32:30 am
Man you have got to get rid of all that crap you are looking at. Just forget it.

Here's what you do. Pretend you are Elvis. sing like the microphone is across the room from you.

Now in your best Elvis impersonation....

One for the money
Two for the show
three to get ready
Now go cat go
but don't you
Step on my blue suede shoes.

Try that until you get a reasonably decent Elvis thing going on.

Now.... do it again but this time pause some of those words on their note.

Like one for the mooooooooooooooo  neyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy and try to play that same note/s on your guitar. Also after you hear the vocal differences between mooooooooo and neyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Try to convert them vocally from the words to sounds like ahhhhhhh eeeeeeee. When you can go back and forth on those and hit the notes on your guitar that's good.

Do that with many parts of those lyrics.  Now after that try to change the aaaaaa eeeeeee to aaaaaa  aaaaa with the pitch changing too. You will probably find that your voice cracks meaning your range is not that high.

But you need to sing something Hell sing Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer like Bing Crosby. You need to imitate someone that is actually singing and then try to break that down to actual singing notes.

You sound like someone getting their tonsils checked by a doctor right now. Pretend like you're Pavarotti ... you need to move some air to make music. You're never going to get it until you are belting it out a bit. You have your ear monitors up so they are loud when your voice is soft. You want the opposite of that.

 
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: PattheBunny on November 14, 2012, 07:01:26 am
Play a C Major scale.   Then sing the C major scale.   Do not sing one note at a time and wait a whole lot of time to sing the next note.  Each note is a clue to the next one and when you try to sing them alone you are going to feel lost.  Even if you sing to match a tone, I think you are better off singing intervals.   And to try and pull the tone out of your head without a context is hard.   That's why people ask for starting notes when they sing.   

THe problem you are having begins with not just matching  a tone but being able to hear the intervals, the distance between notes.  So find a short tune, or scale, with fixed relationship that are very very very familiar to you.    Also singing so quietly is not helping you.  Just sing at a decent level even if the note is wrong.  Commit to the sound you are going to make even if it's wrong.   

PAT

If you can't sing a scale, can you sing a simple nursery rhyme?   Or a television jingle?   Or two note intervals? 

Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 14, 2012, 09:09:58 am
The sound i THINK is form the the fact that if I'm not right there with the mic then it dont pikc it up very well, I'm singign pretty loud, not shouting or anything but I'd say nomral.

I'm singing louder then your hearing thats for sure, but I may STILL need to sing louder anyways
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: TB-AV on November 14, 2012, 02:03:11 pm
Quote
The sound i THINK

Stop looking
Stop thinking

Take the ear monitors out, you're not using them properly.

Get an instrument like a piano or acoustic guitar.
An acoustic guitar would be best for you as it will allow you to also feel the vibrations as you get the note.
Sing and play as though you want someone outside the doorway to hear you easily.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 14, 2012, 08:02:45 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJp2gMFhoeY


your going to say sing louder but i AM I'm pounding that guitar, its just the mic wont pick both up well in any way I try to make it
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 14, 2012, 09:31:08 pm
The volume's fine for this purpose, but if mic position matters to you look at getting a mic boom. really does make recording easier.

Don't know the song you're singing but it sounds reasonably in key.
Compare your singing voice to your speaking voice (before you pick up the mic) and you might notice a marked difference.
Whether you realise it or not your speaking voice is changing pitch naturally and is significantly stronger than your singing voice.
The biggest distinction between the two is only in your mind, you open your mouth to sing and your mind makes all these little adjustments for "Sing" mode. doesn't matter that they aren't helping you, it's what you're conditioned to do.

Try to use your speaking voice as the base to develop from, might solve some of your difficulties early to use a state you're already familiar with.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: TB-AV on November 14, 2012, 10:21:33 pm
Are you familiar with the Star Spangled Banner. If not there are probably 5 gazillion videos on YT.

Ooh - o say can you seeeee

First three syllables Ooh-o say

G  E  C

On your A string

OOh = 10th fret  A string
o = 7th fret A string
say = 8th fret E string

Go to Youtube and listen to someone sing it. first :20sec of this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y54ZbdAUlak&feature=related

After you can sing those three syllables as words change the words to just aaah sounds. You should be able to still hit them.

You can forget that microphone too.

No think
No look
No mic

this is an EAR exercise. Yours not ours.

You need to get the volume of your guitar balanced with your voice so your ears hear them as near equal. Then you need vary them a bit where your voice will drift just below the guitar volume and rise just above it so you can hear the pitches. Again, when you are dead on your guitar will resonate with your body and you won;t even notice it. When they get real close you will feel the guitar pulsing a bit. Like the beat frequency video I posted above.


Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 14, 2012, 11:39:15 pm
So when I do the 10th fret A with "oh" I hear a "wave". Not sure if thats what your talking about but I think it is.

The others its hit and miss do I need to hit them "a bunch of times" or what?
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: TB-AV on November 15, 2012, 01:18:28 am
The wave means you are very close. Like maybe 1/8th semitone away or even less.

If you could hold the ahhhhhh for say 15 seconds you could move your voice around a bit and the waver will get slower or faster. Faster is the wrong way.

Yes you need to practice. I can't tell you how important the balance in volume between your voice and the guitar is. That is key to hearing this. Later it won't matter as much, your voice will sort of automatically pull to the note. But until you get that in brain you are flying blind.

That's why I said a piano is good. You step on the sus pedal and your voice is not going to be overpowering that note. Now someone that really belt out a song might over power a piano but you won't, not yet anyway.

If you can get the OOH-o say... If you get the "say"  the C note. You might be able to sing sort of

eehhhh and then go down one fret a t a time. C to B to Bb et.. as you go down you will find your voice really needs to change from sort of eehhhh  to aahhh to ooooh to uhhhh if you make it all the way to the Open E.

If you do make it to the E try to then go to A back to E back to A then up to that first C again. If the C is bad start with the OOhh - o say again and start all over.  somewhere on two lowest strings you should be find an area that you can sing the notes up and down a range. don't expect miracles it's not easy.

Once you can go one fret at a time and things are pretty steady hold a singing note and play 3 frets away. that should really sound off to your ears now... so... raise your voice up to meet it. Eventually your voice is going to want to go where your finger goes.


==========================
another thing you might want to do is find a VST 2 Oscillator synth.

It has to have 2 OSC with sine waves. All you do is set one to output at a frequency of your choosing say 880hz. Then move the slider on the other one untill it's almost at 880 as well. There will probably be a fine tune control. those two will beat like crazy when they get real close and you will be able to hear what things are supposed to sound like. then you change one OSC to say a triangle or square adn hear how that impacts the sound as they draw close in pitch ( 880hz). That would simulate say a flute and distorted guitar. Your voice and a guitar is somewhat similar in relation. If you could hear it before hand it might make it a bit easier to understand what you are supposed to be listening for.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 16, 2012, 12:43:15 am
I think I'm doing it wrong, I'm hearing\feeling it way to much...
anywhere at anytime I feel it, even if I go form open a to E on the 13th


Maybe I never was on and I'm not hearing it right?

Not sure...
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 23, 2012, 09:36:16 am
Been about a week
http://soundcloud.com/woflie/sing101-2

Am I even doing it right? I'm singing as loud as can, I know its not ideal but its the best I got, I THINK I hear it but I'm hearing it almost 100% of the time so I wonder if I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 23, 2012, 10:16:14 pm
your aiming for for G-E-C
on the first pass you hit A#-D#-C
second pass you hit A#-G-C

saying G you hit A
saying E you hit F#
saying C you hit C#

While not the pitch you're aiming for, the notes are reasonably close chromatically to standard tuning.

You might benefit from finding a local vocal coach to spend an hour or two with to get instant feedback and adjustments on the fly. worth doing before you find the whole thing too frustrating as they may be able to get you on target quickly and easily.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 23, 2012, 10:52:39 pm
Dont think I'll be able to in till next year maybe then when I go to collage they MAY have something (then again they may not)

I was going to a teacher early this year for piano but had to drop it due to money problems, just like a few years ago with guitar as well, living with parents preety much means I'm going to have to dorp it fi I try.

As for the "buzz" I hear, any idea why?

Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 24, 2012, 08:49:17 am
http://www.justinguitar.com/eartrainer/index.php

Give the ear trainer a try, should tell us if it's note perception or not.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: kentl on November 24, 2012, 10:31:39 am
Got to level three first try, think the big problem for me was the fact that as we went father less songs start with it, and less time "hearing them" so the 6,7 where hard



I missed one in level one, and one in two.
3 I missed 2 and honestly guessed a few times betwen 6 and 7.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on November 24, 2012, 02:38:39 pm
Keep working with that and aim for 100% accuracy to level 6 at least, 10 eventually.

Your note perception seems fit for purpose though, have a listen to your last recording, play the notes you're calling and see if you can hear the difference when recorded. If you can it may be down to the vibrations in your head when you sing throwing off your perception of the note.
see if you can find the means to monitor your own voice live (karaoke system or might be able to do it with a microphone and headphones into your computer if it's set right) the sound output from the headphones should override those vibrations to give you a better sense of the note.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: TB-AV on November 24, 2012, 03:09:27 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31MrCSM6a7I

You are constricting your vocal chords. You are singing with what he calls the "tight voice".

You have little air and constricted airway and stiff vocal chords. You need to fix all that.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: pevsfreedom on December 07, 2012, 08:24:17 pm
I once heard an interview with someone who was in the studio with Jimi Hendrix. He was telling about how Jimi was ashamed of his own voice and had to sing behind a cardboard barrier at times so nobody could see him. I wish I still had those interviews. Had an amazing unreleased rehearsal of Angel on it where instead of singing "Angel came down from heaven yesterday, stayed with me just long enough to rescue me" he sang "stayed with me just long enough for afternoon tea."

What makes a good singer really though? Somehow I don't think Jimi or Neil Young would have made it past auditions on American Idol. On the other side of that coin, I don't think and American Idols will be heard on the radio in 100 years from now.

I have that version. It's an acoustic version. Drop me a PM and your e-mail and I'll e-mail you the mp3 (if you want). I'm a huge Hendrix nerd. Bob Dylan was actually Jimi's inspiration to sing. He figured since Bob was so terrible at it and people loved him, he could do it too.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: TB-AV on December 08, 2012, 04:49:13 am
That was most likely an Eddie Kramer interview.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Hollywood on January 31, 2013, 01:59:21 am
I have a couple of questions which have probably been answered on the forum at some point. 

1. I just recently started conquering my fear of singing.  Recently as in maybe 2 weeks ago.  Right now it's just in front of my mom, but I'm getting there.  She says I sing well, and I feel like I sing fairly well (though I sound weird to myself at this point).  I've been playing guitar off and on for 7 years, and I can play and sing at the same time fairly well, I think, though it's a lot easier for me to do easy songs or songs that I really know the lyrics to.  At this point, do you think I'd be better off just practicing singing along with songs and get more used to my voice, or also playing along on the guitar to get better at doing both?  I would think a nice mix of both would be best, but I'd like other opinions. 

2. I haven't been singing long enough to really figure out what my voice is like, but once I decide to go at it professionally, I think I'd do rock music.  My favorite music is classic rock.  Are there any exercises or anything to help make your voice more suited to a particular genre, or to emulate a particular artist?  And does the music you listen to influence how your voice sounds?  If so, to what extent, generally?
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on January 31, 2013, 08:36:02 am
1: both.
practice or learn new vocal techniques in isolation so there's no distractions.
Those new techniques then need to be applied while playing.

2: you could try to blend vocal fry into your higher registers for a rougher tone.
You can try to emulate the techniques of a particular artist, but unless you're already close to their tone it's not something you'll get close to.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Hollywood on January 31, 2013, 05:22:27 pm
Thanks!  On that note, does anyone happen to have any experience using online vocal coaches?  I've seen some on YouTube, but haven't used any of the videos yet.  I'm sure it's better to have an in-person coach so they can work with you directly, but until you have one, are online videos effective for vocal techniques?  (Justin doesn't have any vocal videos, correct?)

How do you know if you're close to an artist's tone?  I know that when I sing along to the original song, singing to Bon Jovi songs sounds a lot better than Keith Urban songs...  ::)
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on January 31, 2013, 08:28:13 pm
I've used the online vocal coaching videos linked in the first post of this thread.
So long as you can be self critical (or hear constructive criticism from others) it can be very effective.
same with trying to match tones (or at least find out what songs your voice suits),
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Hollywood on January 31, 2013, 09:51:17 pm
Oh, gosh... I read through this entire thread and somehow still managed to miss your links.   :o  haha
I'll check 'em out. 

I suppose I'll probably post in the critique thread once I get a song down well and recorded.  Thanks!



Edit:  I think I need a little clarification here... is tone what you sound like, like just the general sound of your voice, or what notes you're able to hit...?  I can't find anything online that really explains that. 
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: parkdogs on April 18, 2013, 09:48:40 pm
If you wish to learn to sing there is an advert at the bottom of the page from "The Singing Zone" of which I have been a member for almost 2 years. The Singing Zone is where I found a reference to JG.

I am a very old beginner with guitar and would eventually like to play and sing :)
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on April 19, 2013, 12:00:16 am
May or may not be an effective product, but absolutely everything about that website screams "Infomercial", very much the wrong approach to advertising these days.
Making their forum public access would probably be advisable too, hiding it in the purchase hardly inspires confidence.

http://www.youtube.com/user/PerBristow?feature=watch seems to be the only samples for any that want to see if his teaching style/personality appeals.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Hollywood on June 04, 2013, 08:24:48 pm
Do you any of you  have any thoughts on how you know when you can stop taking voice lessons?  I asked my voice coach about it, and the answer pretty much sounded liek I should take them forever.  I've made a lot of progress, and I know I'm not perfect yet, but there's got to be a point where performing live is better than taking more lessons.  At what point is that?  I've done all the basics - proper breathing and posture, relaxing muscles, techniques to hit higher and lower notes, improving volume, getting a better rock sound, etc. 

I just don't know how many more lessons I need for right now.  I mean, obviously it's always good to learn more, but I can't take them forever, and I don't know of anyone who does.  When do I take a break?
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on June 04, 2013, 09:22:14 pm
There's always room for improvement but there's also a point of diminishing returns.
If you feel you have achieved what you wanted and can continue your own training as needed, job done.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: PattheBunny on June 04, 2013, 11:07:22 pm
I work hard on singing because the odds are I am going to have to sell my own songs, and also I enjoy it tremendously. I'm not the best,  I'm not the worst.  But I sing by thinking about what the song means.   I probably sing songs for an hour at least a day. I sing in front of an audience about once a week.   I listen to other singers for several hours as well.   I notice who moves me and who doesn't and try to understand why.    I'm going toward my fourth year doing this.   It's been hard work and I can see my progress.   I've taken lessons and also worked with a vocal coach (my sister as it happens).  I don't do vocal exercises and I don't mess with my breathing I just let it happen. 

Here's the thing:   Singing isn't really a technical thing in the end, it's expressing and communicating.  Expressing through the words and music of a song what  that song means.  Do you ever think about your songs that way?  What the words mean, who is saying them, who are they being said to?   Can you talk the lyrics in a way that makes sense, sounds natural and has meaning?   

Better to focus on the song and the words and what it means first and then let that meaning carry how you sing it.  Alot of singing is developing the correct experience of singing naturally and fluidly and without effort  -- I hardly want to call it muscle memory because you should not be forcing anything when you sing and your vocal chords are as delicate as a butterfly's wings, well not quite but close.  They are paper thin tissue, not "chords of muscle".   You develop more skill as a singer from the neurological pathways that are created as you sing a sing, not from doing tons of "exercises."   

Breathing funny to sing is waste of time.   Pushing your diaphram around, singing meaningless exercises, belting just because you can,  I just don't believe in it.   It's good to be generous with your breathing and to think about who you are singing to and where they are, but letting your voice out is more valuable than trying to construct it like with strange ritual exercises.   Making a lot of sound that means nothing is not singing in my opinion. 

So I don't think you need a lot of lessons at this point.  You just need to sing the same song until you know it as well as you know your name.   And most people are not really moved by technique they are moved by the honest expression of what you are saying when you sing a sing.   So when you sing a song, make sure you know what the words mean to you and put the intention to express that meaning out there.  Don't imitate another performer.    Make the song your own.    Performing is not better than lessons, it's a whole other world.  If you are game, go for it.  You will find out what you need to know when you do it.  It's not always what you imagine though.  Sometimes it's better.  Sometimes it's, well, if you survive it, it will make you a better singer.    And it will make clear that it's about singing the song, not just singing.

Pat
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on June 05, 2013, 07:26:09 am
Singing requires technique development the same as any other musical instrument, only difference is singing comes with a lifetime of bad habits already working against us. Technique development is first and foremost about fixing those bad habits to allow effortless singing.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: PattheBunny on June 05, 2013, 08:20:05 am
Singing requires technique development the same as any other musical instrument, only difference is singing comes with a lifetime of bad habits already working against us. Technique development is first and foremost about fixing those bad habits to allow effortless singing.

What do you mean a lifetime of bad habits working against us?   How does technique and what kind of technique repairs them? 
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: mumbles on June 05, 2013, 04:31:58 pm
Do you any of you  have any thoughts on how you know when you can stop taking voice lessons?

Annie Lennox still uses a vocal coach. I suspect John Lee Hooker never did. I don't think there's a definitive answer.

I guess the time to stop taking lessons is when they don't help you anymore.

Ultimately, the room for improvement is the biggest room in the world.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Hollywood on June 05, 2013, 04:33:40 pm
Just had a thought.  Maybe a better way to word it is how much of what I need to learn comes through practice and experience, and how much comes through a voice coach?
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Chantal on June 05, 2013, 07:23:13 pm
Funny this topic should wander in this direction... I came here wanting to ask how many lessons should be enough to see some decent improvement. I got a tax return and I am very insecure about my voice so I am considering taking some lessons, but I can't afford having a vocal coach for a long time. I can sing on key though My pitch is sometimes off, but my voice sounds weak and lazy, so I'll definitely need to work on my breathing technique and I'd like to improve my range and accuracy too.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: PattheBunny on June 05, 2013, 08:03:32 pm


Ultimately, the room for improvement is the biggest room in the world.

You speak the truth!
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on June 05, 2013, 09:28:56 pm
What do you mean a lifetime of bad habits working against us?   How does technique and what kind of technique repairs them? 

Perhaps it's better to look at it as potential to be gained rather than issues to be fixed.
We are an essentially lazy species that will usually choose the path of least resistance, that includes using our lungs and voice. we're born with a powerful set of lungs and the instinct to use them to their full potential. as we get older we learn to breath shallow, tense muscles in the face and neck distorting tone and use pressure rather than resonance to create volume.

have a watch of these two short videos from aussie vocal coach and give the exercises a try. it was enlightening for me at any rate.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h9V-52F6TM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni9HP9hpqjQ
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on June 05, 2013, 09:44:52 pm
Funny this topic should wander in this direction... I came here wanting to ask how many lessons should be enough to see some decent improvement. I got a tax return and I am very insecure about my voice so I am considering taking some lessons, but I can't afford having a vocal coach for a long time. I can sing on key though My pitch is sometimes off, but my voice sounds weak and lazy, so I'll definitely need to work on my breathing technique and I'd like to improve my range and accuracy too.

Depends on the individual potential for improvement and the coaches ability to get at it.
I'd expect to see some significant improvements within a few lessons and occasionally surprising yourself for brief moments when everything clicks into place.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: misterg on June 05, 2013, 10:05:41 pm
Funny this topic should wander in this direction... I came here wanting to ask how many lessons should be enough to see some decent improvement. I got a tax return and I am very insecure about my voice so I am considering taking some lessons, but I can't afford having a vocal coach for a long time. I can sing on key though My pitch is sometimes off, but my voice sounds weak and lazy, so I'll definitely need to work on my breathing technique and I'd like to improve my range and accuracy too.

A big confession here - I've been going to voice lessons for the last two and a bit months - 1/2 an hour a week  :-[

I have to say it's been fantastically useful and uplifting. I wouldn't say I'm any better a singer (I'm not!) but I understand much better what my good and bad areas are, how I *should* be singing, and that has made me more confident (not confident enough, but better).  I can see that I've just scratched the surface of what is possible. Objectively, my vocal range has increased from 5 or so notes to pretty much a full octave (this was a surprise in itself - I thought I had a *much* wider range than that!).

If I were to stop now, I know there are things that I could continue with to carry on improving.

So I would say go for it - even if you can only go for a couple of months.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: mumbles on June 06, 2013, 04:21:16 pm
Just had a thought.  Maybe a better way to word it is how much of what I need to learn comes through practice and experience, and how much comes through a voice coach?

My belief is that what you need to learn is partly shaped by what you want to do. Many, many rock guitarists get by with pentatonic scales and the mixolydian mode. They might go further learning more as guitarists but that may not contribute very much to their music if it's never used.

Stevie Wonder, on the other hand, seems to explore lots of scales and modes  - if only briefly - and uses much of it to add variety to his songs.

How broad do you need your range to be? Your teacher can give you the exercises to expand your range - it's your practice (and experience of applying teaching) that will actually get you there. Ditto variety of timbre, pitch accuracy etc. I don't think it's possible to separate development and learning in the way you're asking.

ETA:

What you might do is move to a point where you find resources to learn from yourself and become less dependent on a teacher for your learning.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Hollywood on August 04, 2013, 03:42:32 am
I have 2 questions that I've asked on other singing forums but am still not clear on:

1) What are open and closed vowels, and how do you know which ones "work for you"? 

2) What does it mean if someone's "phonation sounds relaxed"?
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on August 04, 2013, 08:20:36 am
As I understand it, an open vowel is long form and closed is short. For example, consider the difference between "able and attack" separate out the vowel and you should hear one as "ay" and the other as "a". Not really much choice in it though so I don't get the second part of the question :/

I would take relaxed phonation to mean "effortless or unforced". You'll tend to see the tension in the face and neck of a singer when it's not working.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Hollywood on August 05, 2013, 02:12:15 am
Yeah, I don't know - I was just told that this singer tends to use open vowels or that singer uses closed vowels.  But that really doesn't make sense to me.  I had asked about getting a similar sound as another singer, and was told that that person generally uses closed vowels and to use those if they work for me.   ???

But the relaxed thing makes sense.  So thank you.  :)
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Tourniquet on August 05, 2013, 09:02:34 am
Whoever gave you the advice would need to clarify it for you, vocal terminology can mean many things to different people.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: willferral on June 09, 2017, 10:10:59 am
What do you guys think of Ken Tamplin or Brett Manning? They are awfully expensive, and Ken at least seems to have a very unethical marketing campaign with shills posting everywhere about how great his course is.

I just want a basic how to improve your singing. I would like to work on it an hour each day. I can already sing and I sing along with the guitar, but I would like to get better, but I can't find a set routine for getting started which is kind of frustrating.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Laila on June 09, 2017, 11:54:16 am
I don't mean to hijack your question, @willferral, just wanted to tack on another question while this topic was up:

can anyone enlighten me on how head voice versus chest voice is supposed to sound or feel? I've sung a little in an informal choir and have heard the terms used. But I don't fully understand what they mean and I can't feel any clear transition myself like I hear people talking about.

At the lowest notes that I can sing cleanly I hear a lot of rumbling or buzz, that gradually disappears as I go higher. Above the highest notes I can sing I suddenly peter out, it's like my throat just closes up. Somewhere in the middle is a range where it's easier to sing loudly. That's all that I can sense...
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: TB-AV on June 09, 2017, 12:53:27 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnX9DlAQbnc


=========

Instead of looking "how to sing" on Youtube... search for Vocal Coach you will get a lot different set of vids to watch.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Laila on June 09, 2017, 05:50:57 pm
Thank you, TB, that was a good vid. I think I understand the mechanics now. I keep expecting to feel the difference between the two as a clear shift, maybe it's just not that clear.
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: TB-AV on June 10, 2017, 02:06:10 pm
Most new singers don't generate enough power to really 'feel it'. Or it's so mild it kinda goes un-noticed. The next time you yawn try doing that vocalizing exercise or sing a note in your head and you will probably feel your head vibrate or resonate. Then try to drop down through to your chest voice.

It will probably break where the two meet but at least you might get to actually 'feel' the resonances.

Then you have a reference. It's sort of like not being able to play a flute. Most people can't generate the controlled power to make it sound a note so it just sounds like wind.

You kinda need to do it like it's a paying job and not something you expect to be easy.But that yawning trick can work, as your airways are naturally open and your voice will naturally project across a room.

People that can really sing will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck with their power and that's basically what you are trying to emulate.

There are a ton more videos on YT though and you just have to take little snippets from each one and put it all together. Most of them are selling something so they all try to cover a little something special but never give the farm away.

This guy seems to have some good lessons....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKOlgdiqarM
Title: Re: Singing 101
Post by: Laila on June 13, 2017, 07:24:15 am
Oh I have plenty volume, in choir I'm usually told to dial it down a little :-D But I'm not accustomed to listening closely to the mechanics of my own voice alone, a choir masks a lot of things. This is very interesting stuff. I went for a session with a new "real" choir yesterday (as in, one that actually practices every week, all year round), and the director was a lot more professional about finding and focussing different sounds. She also did the yawning thing.

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