Draven Grey

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Draven Grey last won the day on June 11

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About Draven Grey

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  • Birthday May 21

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  1. Before I jump in, I do want to say that I like your storyteller style. I suspect the biggest culprit in your accent for causing problems is your hard "R" at the end of words, whihc is a consonant that is almost crossed with a vowel. It sounds like you pull the tongue up on that consonant. Most people pull the hard "R" to their throat, so you at least are headed in the right direction! I have a specific exercise to correct this type of issue, but it would be difficult to explain here. I can at least get the most important part here though. It's what I call "relaxed speech." I've used not just to help correct placement and throatiness, but also to change accents. One of my students was from France, where everything is spoken near the back of the tongue. This helped her a LOT. I've also seen it get many people out of their throat when in a tough spot in the recording studio. First, make a soft "g" into /eh/ (geh), and pay attention to where the tongue hits the roof of the mouth. I call that the "resonant spot". I use it as an anchor or default point for vowels. That anchor can be moved a bit further forward or back for sound color, but in general, the vowels will stay anchored to, pointed at, or move around that one point. It should feel like your vowels are being generated in that point and then only outward from there. Try to stay relaxed and speak a whole line of the song from that point, then sing that line into the exact same spot. At first, your speech might remind you of the priest from The Princess Bride. It sounds ridiculous when speaking, but it makes for a solid singing accent. Now try to say problem words, like ones with hard "R" sounds, into that point. Your "aR" should sound more like /ah/oo/. For "eR", it might ssound more like /uh/ou/. The "R", if sung at all, would be at the very very end, closing the word, and not really sung. For the pitchiness on high note, it sounds like you might be moving into a grunt mode, where your neck and glottis tense up to try and "hit" the note. I see this a lot. Try humming into a cocktail straw for those lines, relaxing the throat and neck as much as possible so that the only tension you feel is the solar plexus, then the resonant spot (above), and maybe, just maybe a little bit in the TA muscles. There should be very little air coming out of the straw, even if you hold your nose. You might have to start that at lower volumes at first, just to get used to it. Grunting on high notes is difficult to overcome. I've yet to find an onset that immediately releases that particular type of compression. Isolating the note with Pulse & Release, Wind & Release, Contract & Release, Head to Chest only, Relaxed Speech, The Straw, and more, seem to work sometimes and not others.
  2. Your pitch is spot on for the most part. That is the most difficult thing to train in singing, so you've got a 1-up on most people who haven't taken lessons. The thinness you're experience is because you need to be training strength and control of your TA muscles (chest-voice musculature) to be able to carry them up into that range. I don't mean just yelling at full force either, but rather training in how to turn them on without strain - which there's a point where they have to taper off. You can train your body to be able to use TA engagement for that "chesty" sound as high as your head voice can go. On top of TA engagement, Chris also used larynx dampening often, really solid acoustic mode and vowel modification as he went higher, incredible bridging and connecting of teh voice, and very solid breath support. He's also a great example of a singer who trained to completely relax his voice no matter what he was singing. If you want to be able to sing like that, then get determined to learn and start training. Check out The Four Pillars of Singing. it's an incredible program, and you'll get a ridiculous amount of solid instruction for the price.
  3. You have a great voice! Good choice of song too. However, most of your singing and resonance is being placed in your throat, in more of a speech mode. This will make higher nd lower notes more difficult, even if your more relaxed chest voice range is easy to control. It's also apparent in some of the dynamics of your plosives, the low level of breath suppport, and some of your curbing vowels (vowels resonating further back). You are, however, always on pitch in the more comfortable parts of that range. What I hear you need is better resonant placement, more lifted to the soft palate and a bit forward. A bit more push or lockdown in the diaphram area (your solar plexus specifically) will support that better resonant placement and give your voice more body too. But that's only a start. One way to begin training yourself to resonate and support in this way is to start humming songs while buzzing your lips. This is called "Tracking". Another that I teach is to place a finger across your bottom lip and try to sing up and over it. Are you training? Do you have a teacher? I highly suggest you check out the course, The Four Pillars of Singing, created by the owner of this forum.
  4. I noticed a bit of strain there too. Get a cocktail straw and start humming those parts with the straw in your mouth. Don't push. There should be minimal air coming out of teh straw, and it should'nt feel like you're pushing once you can relax those notes properly. To test if you're balancing the air and relaxing well, you can hold your nose. When holding your nose, there shouldn't be a major change in pressure from when not holding your nose. I know this sounds really strange, but it does so many great things for you. If you use it on warmups, it cuts down your warmup time to 5 to 10 minutes because of the push-back gently stretching out every muscle you engage. If you use it like I described above, for training a song, it is an incredibly helpful assitant in getting proper resonant placement, tuning your formant, relaxing any tension, balancing air pressure, and more -- in short, training your body not to push on those higher notes, but just sing them without tension intead. I suggest using it for cooling down after an hour or more of singing too. However, don't do it for more than 10 minutes at a time. The gentle stretching I talked about will become more like power yoga, and you'll end up wearing yourself out instead of helping.
  5. Before I dive into this, where do you feel you're struggling or want to imrpove?
  6. There's far too little in that recording to determine if singing comes mroe naturally to you or not. However, it's not about talent, rather it's a decision. Unless they have some sort of physical impairment preventing them from doing so, anyone can learn to sing well. Is it something you want to do? If you want to learn to sing, then do it. There's an incredible program linked on this site called The Four Pillars of Singing. There are also a lot of vocal coaches here, including myself. As for choosing a hobby in general: Is there something you really enjoy? Is there something you're naturally attracted to? Is there something you have been told you have a god-given natural talent for? As I said before, it's not really about talent, but rather about making a decision. However, if you have a natural gift for something you know you enjoy, then pursuing that thing can be a real pleasure too.
  7. It's difficult to hear you well in the recording, at least for picking out specific things about your technique. Are there certain parts you feel extra tension on, parts you're not happy with, or anything specific you can point out for us to help you with?
  8. I'm hearing the same thing as Daniel. I especially hear a drastic difference on the higher notes. It's as if you're trying to relax by modifying your placement a lot more towards head voice, and the end result is actually causing even more tension and instabliity on those notes. Edge it forward just a bit. Focus your vowels either right at where your hard and soft palates meet, or just behind that (depending on the sound color you want). If you're feeling a lot of tension in the neck, then you need to be transfering that extra pressure to both your soft palate and pushing into your solar plexus. If you really want balance your air rpessure, relaxation, etc, try singing the song through a cocktail straw while holding your nose andrelaxing (not pushing extra air through the straw). I don't suggest doing it more than 5 minutes at a time, perhaps a few times a day, because it stretches out every single muscle you're using too. But it can be an amazing asistant to singing a great vocal balance.
  9. I agree with Daniel. There's nothing specific to point out in any one part of the song. Overall, however, you tended to yell on the louder higher notes. Finding either a comfortable belt or strong mixed resonance for those parts (which were very prominant at the beginning), would make this song much easier for you to sing and tighten it up quite a bit. As for not singing as long as you wanted to on the last note, if it's from running out of air, then there is one exercise you can start doing to expand your lung capacity. Breathe in by slightly tightening your abs and focusing the air into your lower back, kidneys, or glutes. This should naturally put most of the air into your obliques or lower ribs. Then make a very strong "sss" sound while pushing the air forward into your solar plexus. The "sss" is meant to be a type of compression that holds back most of the air you're trying to push out. This will compress your lung and open up all the tiny little pockets of air, effectively streching them and giving you more lung gcapacity over time. The idea is, with proper gottal/subglottal pressure balance, you should be able to sing a note at any strength for about as long as you can exhale in the lung capacity exercise. This got me up to being able to belt for 43 seconds. However, the tension you have in your voice on higher notes is an issue, and holding you back a lot. Focus on better placement, relaxing the tension in your neck, and solid breath support from pushing into the solar plexus. The breath support doesn't have to make you super loud. If you balance the pressure correctly, it will simply stablize the note at any volume.
  10. I've never heard this song so light. Very cool! Watch your diphthongs in your accent. If you focus more on the main vowel to sing out, then pitch, accent, and timbre will lock in more often. Another thing to watch out for is anticipating the next note or over-relaxing at the ends of your phrases, both causing the note to fall. Again, that will start to go away when you focus on singing out your main vowels. What Robert mentioned, singing with a bit more weight, might also help stabilize the issues I mentioned.
  11. Have fun. We tried to help. Let me know when you're serious about getting feedback.
  12. I agree 100% with Robert. To be straight: You're yelling, not singing, especially on the verses. It doesn't have to be loud to be yelling. Yelling is a vocal configuration/mode. Sometimes you sing out some notes here and there, but it's very inconsistent in placement, timbre, support, and pitch. What's your goal in singing? Are you just doing this for fun and to sing at Karaoke bars? Or do you want to be taken seriously and sound professional? If it's the latter, then you need a coach and training routine. Hell, if it's the former, you would still benefit highly from training. You can't simply will yourself into being a good singer. If you think you're good now, start taking feedback seriously (from the audience, your friends, coaches like us, peers, etc), and see what others think. As a performer, it ultimately doesn't matter what you think about yourself, but rather what your audience thinks about you. You can become a MUCH better singer than you are now, but it likely won't happen until you listen to others' feedback and start correctly training proven techniques.
  13. I watched it several times this week and have yet to find anything to critique or help with. This is amazing! The only thing I oculd offer constructive criticism on is your performance. I coached bands (signed and unsigned) across the world in their performance and career for many years. You lose yourself in the music quite often, which is absolutely perfect. When you lose yourself, you give the audience permission to do the same. Work on your actions following the lyrics rather than anticipating them. For instance, before you sang "It's the only thing that's in my mind", you pointed to your head and had already lowered your hand by the time you sang the line. The emotional impact from the visual can greatly enhance the performance when in sync. This can also be expressed by letting your entire body flow with the music. HOWEVER, I still felt the song, it didn't take away from it at all.
  14. I wish it was that easy. Some people do seem gifted, and excel even more with training. Most of us have to train in the hopes of sounding gifted. I've been singing professionally since I was 15, and don't think I even sang fully in key for several years. I don't think I truly had a good singing voice until I was well into my 30's and started to take training seriously. Everything before that I'm guessing was good song-writing, passion, and pure determination. I can't even listen to the stuff I sang 10 years ago without cringing.
  15. It's not terrible, it's not good, but that doesn't matter. Anyone can learn to sing. You need to decide if you want to because you want to, not based upon how you currently sound. Get a pitch training app to get you started. A big part of the problem though is that you're not actually singing, but rather trying to use speech vowels with pitch. Like I Said before, anyone can learn to sing. Do you want to? If you base your decision on whether or not you sound good before even learning how to do it, then you're going to have a very frustrating pursuit of anything.