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Lars68

My brain is playing tricks on me

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18 hours ago, Lars68 said:

EA & Em7, you are right, the vocals are shakey and unfortunately that's the best I can do right now. I have to be honest with myself, my goal of one day being able to sing with solid pitch for a full song is not very likely to be realized. I know that, and have known it for quite some time. Most “normal” people with my deficiencies would probably have given up a long time ago, but there is something deep inside me that I can't explain, driving me to keep trying, even if the odds might be against me. I need to write songs, and fortunately, amidst the frustration, I'm enjoying the heck out of it 😀

Em7, your advice about singing children’s songs makes sense. It's something I used to do when the kids were younger and have no problems with trying again. My dignity can take it, no worries!

Stopping or hiding would be many many times worse than singing out of tune - and completely wrong. The drive within you is a  value in itself - and the vocal-cord-control will develop.                           Do tell how the kids react when they hear you revive their old top-10 through the walls around midnite.

Edited by E-minor7
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11 hours ago, E-minor7 said:

Stopping or hiding would be many many times worth than singing out of tune - and completely wrong. The drive within you is a  value in itself - and the vocal-cord-control will develop.                           Do tell how the kids react when they hear you revive their old top-10 through the walls around midnite.

Lars, I'm sure Em7 meant many times "worse" than singing out of tune.

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12 hours ago, Lars68 said:

EA & Em7, you are right, the vocals are shakey and unfortunately that's the best I can do right now. I have to be honest with myself, my goal of one day being able to sing with solid pitch for a full song is not very likely to be realized. I know that, and have known it for quite some time. Most “normal” people with my deficiencies would probably have given up a long time ago, but there is something deep inside me that I can't explain, driving me to keep trying, even if the odds might be against me. I need to write songs, and fortunately, amidst the frustration, I'm enjoying the heck out of it 😀

Em7, your advice about singing children’s songs makes sense. It's something I used to do when the kids were younger and have no problems with trying again. My dignity can take it, no worries!

 

No, not at all. It is not even the best you can do right now. It was the best you were able to do so far. I'll buy that, but only with acknowledgement of certain consideration to the term "work in progress".

EA is right on the button as far as I am concerned, and you know it. When you attack the vocals, you hit it some might impressive turf. I dunno. Maybe something was distracting you? Whatever it was, whatever you did, that's the muscle memory thing you have to work on. Remember, recall. repeat, etc, etc.  It will get easier. It always has for you.

Maybe an easy cover song is the best. The phrasing, melodies are all in place. All's you have to do is perform. No decisions. No guess work.

The ideas folks have given you are tools. Pick some and roll with it. How about the finger warm-ups we should be doing on guitar. The alternating pick direction thig where we play the first 4 frets from top to bottom, one at a time. Do some vocals scales with them at the same time. Just do that for a couple weeks. Remember what each of those felt like to hit. If it gets too easy, move up a fret or two. Just remember what you took to get there, so when the red light is on and the environment is different, you have something concrete to fall back on to help you get through the moment.

Maybe you and I should do a CSN cover.   hah! Just kidding.

My own game has improved just in two days time by practicing some of the things mentioned here in this thread.

Music teachers are doing this stuff online, privately, and they NEED the work. That brief time I had gave me a few tools that is still in use and still have in mind when I start messing up.

 

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PB, you know, I consider everything I’ve ever done a ”work in progress”. I revisit all my songs on a regular basis, trying to improve them. Each time I do that, I always manage to improve some part of the vocals. I hope this song won’t be an exception.

I get discouraged for a short while, when I can’t get it right. Then before I know it, I’m eager to try again. I’ve heard the saying ”the race is not to the swift, but to those who keep on running”. I hope that turns out to be true for me eventually...

By the way, anyone got any more ideas on how to make recording vocals while wearing headphone feel more natural?

Lars

 

Edited by Lars68

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5 hours ago, PatriotsBiker said:

Lars, I'm sure Em7 meant many times "worse" than singing out of tune.

Oouuh, thanx, PB - appreciated, , , and edited.  

 

 

But L68 got that 😉

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5 hours ago, E-minor7 said:

Oouuh, thanx, PB - appreciated, , , and edited.  

 

 

But L68 got that 😉

No doubt. I was just having some fun. All good-natured, all due respect, no living things harmed, etc. 🙂

It was a good coffee spurting moment, though.

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6 hours ago, Lars68 said:

PB, you know, I consider everything I’ve ever done a ”work in progress”. I revisit all my songs on a regular basis, trying to improve them. Each time I do that, I always manage to improve some part of the vocals. I hope this song won’t be an exception.

I get discouraged for a short while, when I can’t get it right. Then before I know it, I’m eager to try again. I’ve heard the saying ”the race is not to the swift, but to those who keep on running”. I hope that turns out to be true for me eventually...

By the way, anyone got any more ideas on how to make recording vocals while wearing headphone feel more natural?

Lars

 

After I did that fret filing and subsequent set up the SJ-200 Maple that changed it so much, I tried to sing to it and could barely hear myself. I eventually got used to it, but was certainly having one of those moments. Stoked about the guitar, but bummed that I lost that little bit of progress I had made. 

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Em7  hit the nail on the head, I think.  We don't attempt to play complex songs on the guitar until and unless we can play simple ones first, and intermediate ones later.   The few 'students'  I've had,  I've strongly encouraged to start singing to accompany their guitar work.  The don't realize, out of the gate that most of the reason people take up the guitar is to  accompany a singer.  I always start them out with simple, basic songs.  Yep - children's songs.  folk ballads. and also Christmas Songs.   If you can't sing Burl Ives  "A Little Bitty Tear Let Me Down" , you'll never be able to sing  the musical score from "Cats".    IMHO.  

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I found a solution to my problem with recording vocals with headphones. I switched from my normal closed-back headphones to a pair of open-backed headphones with only the music playing back. This way I hear my voice the natural way, not as it is being played back to me. I had always thought bleed into the mic would be an issues, but it turned out it's not. It's not a solution to all my pitch issues, of course, but it helps me  when recording. I need all the help I can get, that's for sure. I did new vocals for my song, and ended up replacing about 75 % of the old. All the new stuff is an improvement, but that's not  saying it's perfect yet.

I have learned another important lesson while doing this. I need to pick my keys more carefully. This was not a good key. I should have moved the capo about two frets back. I have a tendency to pick keys based on where I think the guitar sounds the best, thinking it doesn't matter much and that I will not be able to sing it well no matter what. That's a mistake.

Anyway, here is the song again...fire up your tomatoes 🍅 

Lars

And Em7, I'm doing my childrens' songs...Bä Bä Vita Lamm... 🐑

 

Edited by Lars68

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Lars, that was good, especially for your first iteration of a new technique. Like the last one, I think my only comments would be regarding some of the phrases' mechanics. These seem fewer than last time. This song gets better and better each time you work on it. channeling out your inner-Bruce. Much kudos.

It also seems like more natural sounding, overall. The great unmasking of the Lars. 🙂

I did hear the spots you were talking about, hitting the floor of your current vocal range. Fortunately, guys like us, we can be trained and a vocal instructor will have us sending the vocal from deeper into our chest or up towards the sinuses or nasal cavity along the lines of some 'weird sounding thing until it works and then is no longer weird" kind of thing. That instructor may have you work with a "drone" for that note so that you know what it feels like, physically, to get there. Obviously, I'm just spewing out examples. Point is, I bet it can be brought out by someone who knows what they're talking about.

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I'm not a great or confident singer Lars, but I'm coming to realize what I CAN do as a vocalist is worth focusing on.   I was listening to the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series a while ago - the sessions Dylan recorded with Johnny Cash.   On one of the tracks you can hear June Carter reminding Johnny Cash to 'sing the melody'.  That's Johnny Freaking Cash she was talking to!  That advice resonated with me.  When I really work and  focus on hitting the important melody notes in a vocal , it improves the whole performance.  I like what you said about you liking your singing best 'live'.  Why not go with that?  I know you love Neil Young - he records most of his vocals live as he's playing.  By no means are his vocals perfect, nor does he hit every note.  But he's undoubtedly a great singer nonetheless.  I've come to accept that a 'perfect' vocal performance is not really going to happen, and that's ok.

Edited by northcntryblues

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Lars, it's such a good song. Brilliant lyrics and guitar.

I honestly really like your voice. You convey such meaning and everything you sing is utterly believable. You've got a nice tone too.

Don't lose faith regarding pitch. Things don't always have to be note perfect but also it's something one can work on.

I'd be very proud of that recording.

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Thanks guys for the advice, the kind words, and the encouragement!

I think that it most likely will take quite some time before my process of singing and recording songs will be where I want it. However, I know that given enough time and iterations, I am able to do the songs justice. I have others that I wrote last year that just recently have started to sound like I want them to. I’ll have to accept that, even though I want to hear a good version of this most recent one NOW 😳

Lars

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