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Lars68

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Friends, as some of you know, learning to sing is a dream goal of mine. I've been keeping my practice up, but don't know if it is getting me anywhere. Those of you who have heard me before, do you hear any signs of progress of any kind in the attempt below? The song is one I wrote a while back. There are mistakes, no doubt. I can't seem to be able to do a full three minutes and fortyfive seconds without hickups. So picking a take is always a matter of compromise...

 

https://soundcloud.com/lars1968/sweetheart-caroline-3

 

 

Lars

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Just keep practicing!You'll still think you suck, but eventually you'll hear something you recorded a while ago and compare that to yourself now and be surprised by how much better you are. I'm in the same boat as you. It's been a slow, painful process for me, but as long as you keep practicing and giving it an honest effort it gets better. It's just like everything else, some things come easy for people, while it's much tougher and a slower process for others.

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Glad to hear you guys think I'm moving forward. I trust your ears more than mine.

 

Last night I listened repeatedly to the various takes I did of this song at the same sitting as the one I picked to post above. What I found is that I hear the mistakes much better now. I don't always catch them while singing, but I do hear them better in playback. My initial impression of the quality of a take is often off. I need to evaluate it over and over in playback. Also, I tend to make mistakes at different places throughout the takes, meaning I actually do sing each part in tune at least once. That is frustrating, but encouraging, after all.

 

So Em7, I still have my clothes on then. That's something [biggrin]

 

BBG, no spells here, but wish I had a few. I think the best thing I have going for me is a high degree of determination and motivation.

 

Sal, the guitar was actually a Martin D-28 Marquis on this one, but don't tell anyone...

 

Lars

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Yes, definitely progress but agree with Em7, no cigar yet. Its overall rather inconsistent, parts are spot on, other parts are still very pitchy, in particular when you have to make a prompt jump a register. But you are moving in the right direction Lars, enjoy the journey.

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Friends, as some of you know, learning to sing is a dream goal of mine. I've been keeping my practice up, but don't know if it is getting me anywhere. Those of you who have heard me before, do you hear any signs of progress of any kind in the attempt below? The song is one I wrote a while back. There are mistakes, no doubt. I can't seem to be able to do a full three minutes and fortyfive seconds without hickups. So picking a take is always a matter of compromise...

 

https://soundcloud.com/lars1968/sweetheart-caroline-3

 

 

Lars

 

 

I haven't been here long enough to watch you progress but but, for the most part, you're there with a few errant pitches. "Getting anywhere" is a little vague for me. Is there anything you would like to focus on? It sounds like your interval recognition is not developed to the degree that it is automatic but I can hear you hunting for the correct pitch and you're in the neighborhood but you don't always arrive "home". Do you practice singing scales or intervals like root-third-fifth-octave ascending and descending?

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I haven't been here long enough to watch you progress but but, for the most part, you're there with a few errant pitches. "Getting anywhere" is a little vague for me. Is there anything you would like to focus on? It sounds like your interval recognition is not developed to the degree that it is automatic but I can hear you hunting for the correct pitch and you're in the neighborhood but you don't always arrive "home". Do you practice singing scales or intervals like root-third-fifth-octave ascending and descending?

 

My goal is to develop a solid, working singing voice. I want to be able to sing the songs I write. I don't expect miracles. I started singing and writing less than two years ago, at age fortyseven, so I have to be realistic about my possibilities.

 

As far as practice, I sing with a retired lady living next door, who is a very good singer/ musician. She helps me by guiding me, pointing out the mistakes and showing me the correct pitch. I also do scales, and sing childrens' songs. I have also recently started to carefully listening back to my practice recordings, like the one posted above, listening for problem areas.

 

I have written about ten songs or so. The one above is among the ones giving me the most trouble. As a comparison, here is one I believe is a bit better (which I have spent a fraction of the practice time on, compared to the first song). I have yet to figure out why some songs are more troublesome for me than others...

 

 

I don't know if my songs are any good, but they tend to come to me without much effort, relatively speaking. However, I then have to spend about 100 times as much time trying to sing them right. Frustrating, when I'd rather spend that time on the next song [biggrin] Coming up with new songs is what I love the most.

 

Lars

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Lars, first and foremost----there is nothing wrong with your singing and guitar playing. You have come a long, long ways from when you first put a song in this forum.........Secondly, you are your own worst critic. You are way-too-hard on yourself. The internet is a double-edged-sword. It's great for getting good advice and tips on how to do things, but then you hear someone that is so damn good that it discourages you and you think you can't do it like that. We'll, maybe you can't do it that way, but you can do it your way. I've heard a lot of your stuff and I think you have definitely improved. Don't know if you're doing it, but I think you should go to some "open mics." You'll be at least as good as most of the people there. Get out and sing your songs. You'll continue to improve. [thumbup] [thumbup]

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That's funny, E. , and most likely many here would want Lars to spend less time worrying about other's opinions, and just let the muse loose. Let the song evolve with a little time, and it'll find it's groove.

 

There was the scene in Bruce's Seeger Sessions video where they're all recording in his old 'Jersey farmhouse, and The Boss is encouraging the boys to have some beverages to get that loosened up sound on the recording. . .

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P.S. - Regarding you fair and easy-coming songwriting, I recommend to spice up and expand the process.

 

Do smoke some hashish.

 

Pretty hard to get hash in Sweden, well, at least that was my experience when i lived there for a few months 20 odd years ago. But where theres a will most likely there is a way ...

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My goal is to develop a solid, working singing voice. I want to be able to sing the songs I write. I don't expect miracles. I started singing and writing less than two years ago, at age fortyseven, so I have to be realistic about my possibilities.

 

As far as practice, I sing with a retired lady living next door, who is a very good singer/ musician. She helps me by guiding me, pointing out the mistakes and showing me the correct pitch. I also do scales, and sing childrens' songs. I have also recently started to carefully listening back to my practice recordings, like the one posted above, listening for problem areas.

 

I have written about ten songs or so. The one above is among the ones giving me the most trouble. As a comparison, here is one I believe is a bit better (which I have spent a fraction of the practice time on, compared to the first song). I have yet to figure out why some songs are more troublesome for me than others...

 

 

I don't know if my songs are any good, but they tend to come to me without much effort, relatively speaking. However, I then have to spend about 100 times as much time trying to sing them right. Frustrating, when I'd rather spend that time on the next song [biggrin] Coming up with new songs is what I love the most.

 

Lars

 

Thanks for sharing. I admire your resolve and your creative spirit. I have had similar struggles learning to sing so your post struck a chord in me. It sounds like you are studying in a very thoughtful manner, no? That's great! I actually think we could discuss this to the point of finding strategies that you may find of value. Before I go on, I am not a trained singer but I do have a minor degree in music and am credentialed to teach music in my state so it's not all fluff. I'd like to think we could come up with some solid ideas that you could try out. If nothing else, it may provide some conversation. Let me know if you are open to the idea.

 

When I listened to the song I heard two things; First the song seems a little low for you. THAT can cause a lot of problems. I don't know if you are able to do this but put a capo on the first fret and sing the song again noting how natural or difficult it becomes to sing the same song. Then put the capo on the second fret and sing it again and rinse and repeat. I would be curious to know what you discover. The other thing is that, I think, it sounded like you got a little lost in pitch moving from the low, medium, and high registers. Does that make sense? It seems like something throws you off in the transition.

 

Finally, I want to echo what MP said. Being hard on yourself is counterproductive to the learning process and you becoming an awesome singer. Comparisons kill the creative process. That should be carved in stone somewhere.

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My wife and I have listened to a lot of your songs over time here and we both think you've improved; you have more dynamic vocal range now vs vocals that were closer to monotone in some earlier songs. Your guitar sounds pretty darned good, as always.

 

It might help to take some vocal training if possible, but with or without just keep on playing and enjoy it.

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Thanks everyone for your valuable input. I appreciate that you took the time to listen and comment. All good advice, and some at the same time very funny, and yet some even illegal [biggrin]

 

Theflyingturtle, thanks for the offer to help, I'm sending you a PM.

 

Lars

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Thanks everyone for your valuable input. I appreciate that you took the time to listen and comment. All good advice, and some at the same time very funny, and yet some even illegal [biggrin]

 

Theflyingturtle, thanks for the offer to help, I'm sending you a PM.

 

Lars

 

 

Any chance you could not pm him and let us all hear what transpires?

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Wow! That's awesome! What did you do?

 

Thanks! I used auto-tune. Just kidding [biggrin]

 

We practiced the song together, and I taught her how I wanted the melody line. Then she directed me until the sour spots were sorted out. I then turned on the recording, and kept repeating until it was all there and she gave a thumbs up. First time I have ever recorded with a "coach" at hand. Made a world of difference, and only took about two hours or so.

 

Normally when I have been practicing with her, I learn to do it right, but come time to try and make a recording, say two days later, I've lost it and can't reproduce it. In those cases, since it is my own song, I have no recording of how it should be...

 

So after all, a big lessoned learned on my part as to how I need to practice and record while my own ears develop. Also very encouraging for future efforts. I have shown myself that I can actually do it at passable quality [biggrin]

 

Lars

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