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Gilliangirl

If you could sing like anyone......

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pretty sure you are correct yet you are giving a fair width in "has the ability to learn to sing"

 

 

OK...back on my soap box, but just the fact that this is one of the longest running threads in quite a while tells me there are many who do wish they could sing or sing better. Half the battle is just admitting you want to, getting some ba11s to put yourself into an uncomfortable activity and be willing to learn.

 

To keep with the voices and tone-wood and guitar analogies.

 

Those who say they can't sing ....imagine an old Gibson acoustic sitting in the back of the Guitar Center playing room. It has crusty old strings and an action that feels like barbed wire on the fingers. Then having a guy come in who has never really learned to play guitar. Can't even hold the guitar correctly. Well he strums a couple of incorrect chords and looks that the poor guitar and says "This instrument just can't sound good".

 

Not to be taken as critical, but those who say they can't sing are doing the same dis-service to themselves. You vocal instrument needs a good set up (vocal exercises to give the vocal chords good "action"), some lessons so you understand how to hold the instrument and make proper sounds and then practice so you can consistently hit the right notes. Again I say if you have the determination to learn to play guitar....you can learn to sing.

 

Certainly as JK and Johnt are discussing ...each persons voice will have it's own characteristics and personality ...some good and some that need to be accommodated. But just as a small bodied ladder braced L-1 has it's particular strong suits and weaknesses compared to a SJ or Dread...that is where playing to your strengths comes in. So many of the best voices are those who have learned the techniques that make their voices sound good and perform the right material for their style.

 

I guess I just know the feeling....thinking I can't sing and when I would open my mouth to try it only re-enforced my belief. And using your speaking voice as a barometer is totally incorrect, as a person develops singing techniques, their speaking voice will also change and IMPROVE! The thing is that until you tune up the vocal instrument and take a few lessons so you can really give your voice a fair evaluation ..there is no way to really know! I am still not any great shakes of a singer...but I can finally see the path and at this point I know I just need a year or two more to practice.

 

AGAIN I cannot stress enough how important it is to take a few singing lessons to get a couple very fundamental techniques that make all the difference!!

 

OK....I am stepping off the soap box. I guess because I was one of those who wanted to sing, but thought I simply couldn't until I took some lessons and learned a few very simple techniques. It has totally turned me 180 degrees. Now I am a bit passionate about it.

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"So many of the best voices are those who have learned the techniques that make their voices sound good and perform the right material for their style." Paul Rishell has pointed out that the country bluesmen tuned their guitars to suit their voice, not visa versa. Good post, Nid--you cut to the heart of the matter.

 

A note a bout lessons and workshops. Getting feedback is so important. Had a picking workshop over the weekend with Ernie Hawkins. He noticed right a way a stiffness in my right hand. Been working on loosening up--have a ways to go but can feel the difference. The things a player or voice coach can notice can be priceless.

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Used to love the sound that Lowell George kicked out both vocaly and on slide guitar. I wish I could manage to get at least one octave somewhere in tune.

 

For a choice of female singers Mary Chapin Carpenter has just got the best warm toned voice.

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Hmmm. What tonewood could we use to describe a voice like that of Tom Waits? Marine-grade plywood? #-o

 

 

Tom Waits sounds more like the blocks of lignum vitae they use as skids to launch ships down slip ways with a little gravel underneath

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OK...back on my soap box' date=' but just the fact that this is one of the longest running threads in quite a while tells me there are many who do wish they could sing or sing better. Half the battle is just admitting you want to, getting some ba11s to put yourself into an uncomfortable activity and be willing to learn.

 

To keep with the voices and tone-wood and guitar analogies.

 

Those who say they can't sing ....imagine an old Gibson acoustic sitting in the back of the Guitar Center playing room. It has crusty old strings and an action that feels like barbed wire on the fingers. Then having a guy come in who has never really learned to play guitar. Can't even hold the guitar correctly. Well he strums a couple of incorrect chords and looks that the poor guitar and says "This instrument just can't sound good".

 

Not to be taken as critical, but those who say they can't sing are doing the same dis-service to themselves. You vocal instrument needs a good set up (vocal exercises to give the vocal chords good "action"), some lessons so you understand how to hold the instrument and make proper sounds and then practice so you can consistently hit the right notes. Again I say if you have the determination to learn to play guitar....you can learn to sing.

 

Certainly as JK and Johnt are discussing ...each persons voice will have it's own characteristics and personality ...some good and some that need to be accommodated. But just as a small bodied ladder braced L-1 has it's particular strong suits and weaknesses compared to a SJ or Dread...that is where playing to your strengths comes in. So many of the best voices are those who have learned the techniques that make their voices sound good and perform the right material for their style.

 

I guess I just know the feeling....thinking I can't sing and when I would open my mouth to try it only re-enforced my belief. And using your speaking voice as a barometer is totally incorrect, as a person develops singing techniques, their speaking voice will also change and IMPROVE! The thing is that until you tune up the vocal instrument and take a few lessons so you can really give your voice a fair evaluation ..there is no way to really know! I am still not any great shakes of a singer...but I can finally see the path and at this point I know I just need a year or two more to practice.

 

AGAIN I cannot stress enough how important it is to take a few singing lessons to get a couple very fundamental techniques that make all the difference!!

 

OK....I am stepping off the soap box. I guess because I was one of those who wanted to sing, but thought I simply couldn't until I took some lessons and learned a few very simple techniques. It has totally turned me 180 degrees. Now I am a bit passionate about it.

 

 

[/quote']

Okay, now I feel guilty that I've pretty much given up on my voice. That being said, I'd be embarrassed to go to someone for lessons for fear that they'd say something along the lines of "Don't waste your time and mine"[biggrin]

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thinking of voices that have been recorded, I'd have to say that finding your own voice and making work for you is pretty much what it's about. How about Tiny Tim's voice. I'll bet that you can hear it right now, eh? Worked for him.

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Okay' date=' now I feel guilty that I've pretty much given up on my voice. That being said, I'd be embarrassed to go to someone for lessons for fear that they'd say something along the lines of "Don't waste your time and mine"[biggrin']

 

GGirl... I know exactly how you feel and during my first few lessons that is EXACTLY what I thought. Of course that alternated with "Let me just give you a refund.....there is nothing I can do"

 

Singing is so much more personal than playing guitar. It is so exposing of yourself. In a way it feels naked to try and sing...no pretty shiny Gibson Guitar to hide behind. I am still so shy about singing...many times even if my Wife is close enough to hear I get self conscious. Turn on a video cam and my technique flies out the window.

 

But the trick is to think about it like learning an instrument. Even the first few lessons when I was terrified of even trying to sing in front of the instructor...he simply focused on teaching me. Get the posture straight...head up and eyes looking forward not at your shoes, breath with the belly, relax the jaw and throat, open up the soft palate to create better sound...etc...etc... soon it became just like learning guitar.

 

Hopefully it is a guilt that in the end gets you to work on singing. I have seen a few of your videos and you sound pretty good...maybe better than me even after I have had 7 months of lessons. You CAN sing if you want to.

 

YOU GO GIRL!!

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Singing is so much more personal than playing guitar. It is so exposing of yourself. In a way it feels naked

 

This is why I cant sing in front of people. But I think it feels more exposing of yourself than it actually is. Most people wont get it, so they won't see you naked. Still it feels naked.

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I can only speak to the voices I love to listen to:

 

Men.........Tim OBrien, Steve Winwood, Richie Havens, Peter Rowan, and Bob Dylan.

 

Women........I find Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt way ahead of the rest.

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This man one of the only new artists who is real country.

Jamey Johnson

Also Alan Jackson, Johnny Cash, etc

 

Female singers would be Allis Krauss & Gillian Welch

 

[YOUTUBE]

[/YOUTUBE]

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"Singing is so much more personal than playing guitar. It is so exposing of yourself." Nodehopper

 

Uhm-hm. Phil Alvin (the Blasters) has said as much--"you are making emotional sounds." Harder when singing by yourself.

 

A lot of singing traditions are choral--church, shape note etc. So many of the great singers came up that way. There's your solution GG! Join the church choir!

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Has anyone else been watching "The Choir" on BBC America. (or I guess BBC for those across the pond!)

 

http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/401/index.jsp

 

Too hard to explain entirely, but he goes to less privileged schools and tries to start a school choir. Very inspiring to see what singing and music can do to kids who get interested. Can turn kids lives around !

 

Highly recommended!

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Okay Stephen, you've convinced me! I'm going to contact a vocal teacher here in Calgary and inquire about a few lessons!

 

Jkinnama, I did find a local women's choir here in Calgary but it commanded a whole lot of time and I don't know when I'd squeeze it in, what with the labour-intensive hobbies I already have: guitars, horses, home ownership :-

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Jkinnama' date=' I did find a local women's choir here in Calgary but it commanded a whole lot of time and I don't know when I'd squeeze it in, [biggrin']
GG, am sure you will find what you truly need to find (smile).

 

On choirs, tho. Not just any choir and certainly not a classical one!!!!! Or High Church. More big voice stuff. Lord knows if you can find a church these days that's in the folk tradition and neither excessively formal or some horrible rock-pop extravaganza.

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Okay Stephen' date=' you've convinced me! I'm going to contact a vocal teacher here in Calgary and inquire about a few lessons!

 

[/quote']

 

GGirl....that is cool! wasn't trying to "guilt" you into it, but if that is what it takes..... :-)

 

As long as you find a good TEACHER ..they don't have to be a perfect musical match. The guy I went to was really into Italian Opera and Theatre Music like Phantom of the Opera. I did learn one song from Phantom just to humor him. Remember that the basics are the same no matter.

 

Getting some beginner vocal exercises and the basic techniques is your main goal. (Sometime in the first few lessons they should offer to record some vocal exercises and maybe ask you to bring a recorder)

 

It is essential that they watch you and catch bad habits early. They should immediately start talking about relaxing your jaw so the sound comes out almost like a YAAAWWWN ..Ahhhhhhhh! Tight jaw=tight vocal chords. Then progress to relaxing the soft palate (kinda up between your mouth and nose inside the back of your throat) gaining some control of the soft palate is what takes a thin voice and gives it tone. Basically by opening up the soft palate you create a large chamber for your voice ...sorta like the difference you would get between playing your guitar in a closet vs. playing in a large concert hall.

 

I really think you will surprise yourself after even a few weeks of developing some technique you will find your singing voice starting to sound fuller. I went for maybe 6-7 months of weekly 1/2 hour lessons. At that point I realized I needed to just sing and sing and sing utilizing what I had learned. I may go back again in a while just to make sure I haven't gotten any bad habits and to get to the next level .....but just like it took me a couple years of practice to get decent playing guitar....it can take some practice singing. But unlike guitar....with singing you can practice in the car (I make singing practice CDs for my commute)....in the shower.....taking walks in the evening. And it really develops your ear too.....which ends up helping your guitar playing a lot. I was never able to figure songs out by ear.....after singing lessons I am now able to do that fairly easily for simple songs.

 

Good Luck GGirl...I really hope you find singing lessons as rewarding as I have!!

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Okay Stephen, you've convinced me! I'm going to contact a vocal teacher here in Calgary and inquire about a few lessons!

 

GGirl....did you ever contact a singing teacher? Not sure if you ever saw my reply as it was during the forum down time.

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GGirl....did you ever contact a singing teacher? Not sure if you ever saw my reply as it was during the forum down time.

Yes, I emailed a place in Calgary that does in-home lessons (no need to advertise to the world how bad I am) but they haven't got back to me yet. I'll let you know how it goes! I was thinking just a few lessons to get some groundwork and basics, then maybe go from there. I've also been reading up on it lately (breathing from diaphragm, etc). I do think I have potential because I can tell when I'm pitchy and when I'm not. My voice is really weak so even if I can strengthen it a bit I'd be thrilled!

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I've also been reading up on it lately (breathing from diaphragm, etc). I do think I have potential because I can tell when I'm pitchy and when I'm not. My voice is really weak so even if I can strengthen it a bit I'd be thrilled!
Sounds like the right track. I suspect the vox is not really weak, just under supported (?) So just keep some air moving and park the extreme comparisons! To keep it pitchy, try singing standing up every now and then -- its easy to get scrunched down trying to wrap around a big box!

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Patty Griffin, Lucinda, Emmy. Each is one-of-a-kind, though, and there's no singing "like" theirs. There's just something about singer-songwriters...

 

(And make no mistake: ELH is, in my estimation, a mighty under-rated guitar player AND songwriter. There's her sound and her unfathomable gift of interpretation, yes, but the lady can surely write and play, too.)

 

Fascinating thread; thanks, all, for the excellent read.

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Maybe somebody's said George Jones. If not, here's a bit of a verse from Waylon Jennings "It's Alright"

 

George might show up flyin' high, if George shows up at all

But he may be, unconsciously, the greatest of them all

From the Beatles and me in Nashville, to the billies and the Rolling Stones

If we all sounded like we wanted to, we'd all sound like George Jones

 

Dwight

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I don't mind my own voice, I just wish I could learn to sing from the heart, full of emotion, and really sing with feeling for the songs I play, AND that it would come naturally, with no fear of playing in front of others. That's all I ask......lol........

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