Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Workng on my snging


Lars68

Recommended Posts

I am trying hard to improve my singing. As some of you might know from my previous posts, I have recently been trying to write my first songs (three so far), but I have been frustrated that I can't sing them right. The last two nights I have been trying my songs again to see if I could impove my singing.

 

I know it might be asking a lot, but I would really appeciate some input on the three new attempt below. I really do feel I am on the right track, but don't know for sure...

 

https://soundcloud.com/lars1968/all-i-ever-wanted-june-16-2015

https://soundcloud.com/lars1968/over-and-over-june-17-2015

 

Thanks as always!

 

Lars

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've not listened. But one thing I've realized for me - you really need to punch out that last note on each line. You may run out of air, or focus - but if you can get that last note down, the first note on next line will be a lot easier. G"Luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honest input: pitch, dynamics and breath control............you're missing all three.

 

To get to pitch you need to hear yourself very well. Stand or sit facing a wall or hard door.......and be very close, your nose no more than an inch or two off the surface. You can then really hear what's coming out of your mouth. Strum an open chord 4:4 and sing the root note long and loud (more on loud later).....just the one note. Over and over. Keep the chord and raise the voice one octave. Over and over. Change the chord and do it all over again. When practicing for pitch you must hear yourself very clearly and know when you've hit it. Everyone has a different ear and a different voice. Some can hear pitch issues very clearly, others not so much. Do you think you know when you're on and when you're not? That needs an honest answer.

 

In all three songs, despite the melody, your voice sounds very monotone and, well, lifeless to be brutally honest. As if you were reading a book, your voice sounds like you're just going through the motions, mailing it in. Dig in vocally at appropriate points, leave a little air space here and there. Put some life into it, some emotion, not the boredom your voice imparts. Where a particular song needs a change in dynamic depends upon the singer and what the song itself will allow. Listen to the many, many interpretations of the national anthem at ballgames............same song, different singers. Some bring terrific new phrasings and dynamics to this song that really work......others I've heard I'd rather not have to listen to again as it seems they have rewritten the melody completely. But, that is the nature of singing: there is almost always some room to be a little inventive and dynamic while still staying true to the original melody. Listen to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett........both masters of vocal dynamics.

 

Learn to breathe as a singer. Breath control, to me, is the lynch pin of singing. With it you can deliver vocal punch when the song needs it; you can sing a phrase almost breathlessly to convey a particular mood; you can hold on and sing a line strong and sure that would otherwise stumble and end weakly, as happens often in these three tunes. Learn to inhale powerfully through your nose and your mouth between phrases - you must have plenty of air to sing. Vocal sound comes from the throat, vocal power comes from the diaphragm, supporting and pushing the air from below with steady control, whether you are singing loudly or softly. To push from below, tighten your abdominals sing. You will immediately feel new power in your voice and, at the same time, be able to sing longer phrases without running out of breath. Once you understand and can control this power from below you will have gone a long way toward mastering dynamics as well. The same push from the diaphragm delivers a roar or a whisper with control. Listen to Neil Diamond sing "If You Go Away". Wonderful calm beginning, some of it nearly spoken. The song rises and falls throughout, soft to powerful and back again, but with great control throughout. Good breathing leads to good dynamics.

 

Now I'm not a trained singer, never had a lesson, but I have learned a few things over the years that work for me. What specifically works for you might be some variation of what I have suggested but, you know, I just might be full of **** and none of this will work for you at all. But, in listening to these three tunes, you do need to do something that does work for you to get a handle on pitch, dynamics and breath control. Please take no offense if I've been too honest in my assessment - this is one man's opinion and everyone has one. You asked, and this is mine. Now go sing!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try writing about something a bit brighter. I know you have a lot of fun things going on and I would like to hear about them. Try a different style of tune. maybe some rock stuff with an up tempo.

 

You're getting a bit to predictable in your writing and a different style will challenge you singing. Make the next one an upbeat country tune. I admire your persistence and it will pay off. Just keep playing and really try a couple of different styles.

 

I'm looking forward to a lot of fun stuff so lets get the summer going with a good rousing toe tapper.

 

Buc gave you some wonderful advice. The Sinatra and Tony Bennett advice was spot on. Frank Sinatra was famous for his breath control. You mastered the Leonard Cohen style so step out and shine. Keep up the good work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honest input: pitch, dynamics and breath control............you're missing all three.

 

To get to pitch you need to hear yourself very well. Stand or sit facing a wall or hard door.......and be very close, your nose no more than an inch or two off the surface. You can then really hear what's coming out of your mouth. Strum an open chord 4:4 and sing the root note long and loud (more on loud later).....just the one note. Over and over. Keep the chord and raise the voice one octave. Over and over. Change the chord and do it all over again. When practicing for pitch you must hear yourself very clearly and know when you've hit it. Everyone has a different ear and a different voice. Some can hear pitch issues very clearly, others not so much. Do you think you know when you're on and when you're not? That needs an honest answer.

 

In all three songs, despite the melody, your voice sounds very monotone and, well, lifeless to be brutally honest. As if you were reading a book, your voice sounds like you're just going through the motions, mailing it in. Dig in vocally at appropriate points, leave a little air space here and there. Put some life into it, some emotion, not the boredom your voice imparts. Where a particular song needs a change in dynamic depends upon the singer and what the song itself will allow. Listen to the many, many interpretations of the national anthem at ballgames............same song, different singers. Some bring terrific new phrasings and dynamics to this song that really work......others I've heard I'd rather not have to listen to again as it seems they have rewritten the melody completely. But, that is the nature of singing: there is almost always some room to be a little inventive and dynamic while still staying true to the original melody. Listen to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett........both masters of vocal dynamics.

 

Learn to breathe as a singer. Breath control, to me, is the lynch pin of singing. With it you can deliver vocal punch when the song needs it; you can sing a phrase almost breathlessly to convey a particular mood; you can hold on and sing a line strong and sure that would otherwise stumble and end weakly, as happens often in these three tunes. Learn to inhale powerfully through your nose and your mouth between phrases - you must have plenty of air to sing. Vocal sound comes from the throat, vocal power comes from the diaphragm, supporting and pushing the air from below with steady control, whether you are singing loudly or softly. To push from below, tighten your abdominals sing. You will immediately feel new power in your voice and, at the same time, be able to sing longer phrases without running out of breath. Once you understand and can control this power from below you will have gone a long way toward mastering dynamics as well. The same push from the diaphragm delivers a roar or a whisper with control. Listen to Neil Diamond sing "If You Go Away". Wonderful calm beginning, some of it nearly spoken. The song rises and falls throughout, soft to powerful and back again, but with great control throughout. Good breathing leads to good dynamics.

 

Now I'm not a trained singer, never had a lesson, but I have learned a few things over the years that work for me. What specifically works for you might be some variation of what I have suggested but, you know, I just might be full of **** and none of this will work for you at all. But, in listening to these three tunes, you do need to do something that does work for you to get a handle on pitch, dynamics and breath control. Please take no offense if I've been too honest in my assessment - this is one man's opinion and everyone has one. You asked, and this is mine. Now go sing!

Buc; Thanks for your honest and very helpful critique for Lars and also your really helpful and appreciated voice training advice. Myself and a friend are trying our hand at writing and singing our material. It's a lot of fun and very challenging to get both a good lyric, the right fitting melody for it and have it sung to give it its best presentation.

We specialize in country as that's both our musicaL backgrounds. If you are a performer and do country dial up Hit or Miss Love on UTube, Hot Body Babe Page6 and True Love Never Never Takes A Vacation Page 3 here on the Gibson Acoustic Forum.

 

Regards,

 

Moose

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I'm looking forward to a lot of fun stuff so lets get the summer going with a good rousing toe tapper.

 

 

A rousing toe tapper :-) Not sure I have it in me, but I will give it a try. I have always liked Johnny Cash's novelty songs. Maybe I should try one in that style. As far as my musical personality, I seem to be tuned in a minor key. Mournful acoustic ballads have always been the stuff I like the best. One of my all time favorite songs is Dylan's The Ballad of Hollis Brown, which is not exactly an uplifting piece of work.

 

I guess I keep coming back to my three songs because I don't consider them done until the singing is passable. I don't feel comfortable letting anybody hear them in person, and playing them in front of others is out of the question. The songs are extremely personal, especially 29th of September. Here I am just a stranger on a chat forum, but picking up a guitar and singing in front of others takes more guts than posting songs here, that is for sure :-)

 

By the way, my first attempt at writing a song, All I Ever Wanted, is very bright as far as the lyrics, but not perhaps in style. I am working on a new song in my head (that seem to be the way I do them) which is more of a social commentary / political thing. Not sure yet what it will turn out to be, but I listen to Woody Guthrie a bit and his work also inspires me.

 

So much to do, so much to improve, so much to learn, so little time...

 

Thanks for all tips and pointers.

 

Lars

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't get a chance to listen to these till today Lars.

 

I've heard the first one before, and I think at the time, I had some similar suggestions about breath control and projection as does Buc (Buc spent a lot more time a thoughtful and honest reply it's a very good sign that you understood it all as constructive)

 

imho, you gotta go for it when your singing, a relaxed approach all the time, won't put any emotions into your voice.

 

One question tho.. are you just doing your own stuff? or are you also practicing your singing chops with other peoples music?

 

as far as getting in front of people and singing, definitely something most people have to work themselves up to. a good ice breaker is to do it with someone that your comfortable playing with. on the other hand, there are some people who honestly don't GAF and they'll just toss caution to the wind. it's not like you're playing with a loaded gun,, no one gets hurt, looses an eye,.. gets punched in the gut...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't get a chance to listen to these till today Lars.

 

I've heard the first one before, and I think at the time, I had some similar suggestions about breath control and projection as does Buc (Buc spent a lot more time a thoughtful and honest reply it's a very good sign that you understood it all as constructive)

 

imho, you gotta go for it when your singing, a relaxed approach all the time, won't put any emotions into your voice.

 

One question tho.. are you just doing your own stuff? or are you also practicing your singing chops with other peoples music?

 

as far as getting in front of people and singing, definitely something most people have to work themselves up to. a good ice breaker is to do it with someone that your comfortable playing with. on the other hand, there are some people who honestly don't GAF and they'll just toss caution to the wind. it's not like you're playing with a loaded gun,, no one gets hurt, looses an eye,.. gets punched in the gut...

 

No, I don't risk loosing a limb by singing a sour note infront of someone; it is more of a mental thing. I do practice other stuff too, mostly Cash, Springsteen, Neil Young and the like. However, I find it much more inspiring trying to do my own songs. It is like I found something that what missing, something I need to do. I realize that starting this journey at age 47 means I will never be great, probably not even decent, but it doesn't matter. I do it for me. The tunes, the words, and the guitar playing are all very basic but good enough for what I want to accomplish. The singing is my missing piece.

 

Lars

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me, singing and writing are two different animals. I agree w/BBG above - try standard covers.

I find basic, classics like The Star Spangled Banner, Danny Boy, Somewhere Over the Rainbow a capella - are great for hearing your own mistakes. Of course, if you're like me, you'll need to check your intonation by paying the melody on your guitar.

Singing in a basic key like C or G with cowboy chords is sort of foundational, imho, before getting into minor keys. It would be discouraging for most to try to sing jazz or blues before they could sing Teensy Weensy Spider ! G'Luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for taking the time to help. I actually do practice singing childrens' songs. I sing for my two boys at night. The perfect appreciative audience! The Star Spangled Banner, however, won't work for me. I do know the tune sort of, but not all the words. I don't remember if I have ever mentioned it here, but I'm Swedish and English is not my native language.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hah! I'm sure you mentioned it. I try hard to no pay attention to demographics! I'm sure you have dozens of similar songs that are engrained in your musical memory. I would NEVER be brave enough to try to sing in any language other than the one I know best!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you have received some great input here...Good luck on achieving your goal...I admire your courage to post your singing knowing that it is not where you want it to be. I will not do that with the guitar much less singing. Best to you.

 

Well, it is easier being less than perfect here than in real life. Online I'm just an avatar, after all.

 

Lars

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gave the track that matters most to me one last shot for now, really trying to incorporate the advice given. I pushed the singing a bit more, tried adding some dynamics and intensity, and thought about my breathing. Far from perfect, but better I believe.

 

Lars

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have really been giving this all I've got. The song below means a lot to me and I'm determined to one day be able to get a recording down that matches the sound and vision I have in my head. What I lack in talent, I will make up for with persistance :-)

 

Here is my best effort.

 

 

Lars

 

P.S. all in all, this is a step forward compared to what I started with. Thanks to you all for helping me on my journey in music land :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not a lot I can add to all the superb advice offered here. What I would suggest (and you may already be doing this) is that whatever song you sing, sing it in the optimal key for "you." That key may or may not be the key the song (if a cover) was originally written in. Also, don't try to sing in a monotone like much of Dylan's work. That's Dylan, not you. Likewise, don't try to sing low and deep like Cash. Cash had his own thing going and he could truly belt-out a song if he wanted. Plus, he was Cash. Just be you. Make the song your song. Do it in your way. Again, I think it comes back to singing the song in the best key for "you." Don't force yourself to sing in "C" when you can sing it very easily in "E" (for example) just because you might not be good with the necessary chords in "E." Learn the chords or capo it.

 

On the latest song offered---I think it does sound a bit better, but it also sounds like it's not in the best key for you. To my ears, it sounds like your voice has considerably more range than you are using.................Keep working on it. You may not be the next Sinatra, but you'll be the best version of "you." [thumbup]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks MP, I appreciate the help. I am trying to find my "own" voice, just don't know where I will end up, though. However, I do know that emotional content and simplicity of performance are what attracts me to other people's work, not necessarily technical brilliance or complexity of production. That is where I want to go, at least.

 

I see similarities in the rawness, honesty and simplicity of, for example, early stuff by The Clash and Bob Dylan, and also Springsteen's Nebraska, and most of Johnny Cash's American Recordings. If I could get just a hint of that kind of DNA into my own songs, I would be more than thrilled. I need to improve technically, both singing and playing, in order to have the means to find that emotional place.

 

Lars

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...