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Looking for some vocal tips...not really a singer. :(

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Janet
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Hi Janet and welcome to our family!

That's a very pretty song and you just need a little guidance and you'll soon have much more control over your voice. I can hear some greatness in you but your breath control is not as supported as it needs to be. By that I mean that is sounds like you are a little breathy and not getting the most from your effort. With some breathing exercises and a little more confidence you'll sound GREAT! :)

Others here are excellent coaches and are far more able to steer you in the right direction but I believe in you Janet.

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It's all about keeping your rib cage expanded and sing as though you don't want to waste a single ounce of your breath as it leaves your mouth. I just posted the finished version of the song "Alone" by Heart and in that thread I share a great breathing exercise that I do between takes. It's in the critique forums like your post. Scroll to the bottom of the thread to listen to the finished version. The first recording wasn't completed.

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Sorry about that! I thought I had explained it but I hadn't.

The particular exercise involves stretching your arms out to your sides and really trying to stretch your finger tips as far as possible. like you are trying to make them grow longer! At the same time, breath in deeply in a relaxed fashion. Relax your belly and let it expand as you do this. Don't be worried about keeping it tight and looking good! lol

After doing this exercise for a few minutes and then singing the same lines of your song you will feel that it is much more effortless than ever before. give it a try and be sure to breath in deeply and try not to let your rib cage contract as you exhale. Keep it expanded as much as you can without being uncomfortable.

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Hey, Janet. your pitch sounded good. I was wondering what kind of mic you are using and if you are knocking the treble down in the recording. At first, I was going to suggest you twang slightly, by smiling just a little. On your highest notes, however, you are already there. In conjunction with Mike's words about breath support, I was thinking your breath support would go easier if you lightened up in the mid-range notes. That is, I thought you were carrying the chest resonance you have in the lower notes too high. That is, believe it or not, lighten up the higher notes and your tone will brighten. You have a good voice and a tight vibrato. Smiling slightly physically re-aligns the throat muscles to give a "brighter" resonance. You are still on pitch, it's just that the notes will be more prominent.

If you have mic issues, trust me, I can relate to that. It's the one thing that plays hob with my recordings. Thankfully, Mike mixed my latest effort and made a good outcome in spite of my limited mic problems.

On your highest notes, you were there, solid. If you can do that at the mid-range pitches, we can hear your voice more truly.

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Thank you Ron. I appreciate you listening and trying to help me. :-) I'm using an MXL V63M mic. It works well when I record my singer friend. :-)

It's nice to hear my highest notes are good. That's about as high as I could go, which made the verses pretty low. So...lighten up the mid-range notes....as in, don't sing them so loud...or strong? I'll try smiling too.

Thanks for your help. I don't know a lot of the lingo, so I appreciate the explanations. I think it's time to try voice lessons again if I can ever find time.

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A couple of things, in addition.

Mike is more than willing to re-mix whatever you have recorded. Just for comparison, if you check out my thread "Rainbow in the Dark," you can hear my original submission which has a fairly basic vocal track, with a slight acoustic eq mix. So, I sent to Mike the karaoke backing track and then my vocal track. Farther down in the thread, he posted the results of his efforts. So, I only suggest that you maybe check it out so that you can see what crazy good work he can do for mixing your efforts.

Stick around here and read some old threads and even listen to the older posts of recordings. Also, the founder of this website and forum and founder of the Modern Vocalist Studio and author of the Four Pillars of singing system is Robert Lunte and he is in here, all the time and gives so much of himself. If you can afford it, he has various format versions of his material for sale, including a free internet lesson in one of the packages, which could either by over the internet (usually, Skype) or over the phone. You can check his results on youtube with some of his students. Proof is in the pudding and he has some good pudding, indeed. Not that you have to buy the system to be here. I haven't, mainly because of finances. If that is the case for you, welcome to a big club. And he has helped people in their own genre of music. From country and torch songs to heavy metal.

And everyone here has a passion for singing and truly wants to see everyone succeed.

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Hi Janet

Im of the same opinion of the posters above. Can hear alot of potential in your voice, theres some good tone going on there. Have you been singing very long? Im certainly no Vocal coach and have only had very few lessons myself, partly out of laziness, partly out of $$$$s and lack of them...but I think what you need to concentrate on right now is your breathing and a good vocal coach should be able to get you in the right direction there. Once you get your breathing happening (and it wont take long if you are focused and practice every day using the right techniques) then its a case of practice practice practice - without overdoing it of course...every day....build your vocal strength up and never stop challenging yourself.

5 or 6 Lessons concentrating on Breathing techniques would really have you on the right track. There's certainly alot of potential there. Keep it up!

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Thanks Ron. You guys are very welcoming. :-) I looked into Robert's lessons a couple months ago and that's not really an option for me either right now. (still hoping the economy picks up before long, but that's a different story.) :-)

I've heard people do wonders with a so-so vocal track, but I also know I need to learn a lot as a singer. I'll try to listen to some of those tracks as you suggested.

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Thank you, Jimmy. I've been working at singing for several years now. I took lessons for 6 months about 6 years ago and felt I made some progress, but haven't had any directed help lately. (I've always played the piano for everyone else and only in the last few years have cared to learn to sing. And frustrated when it doesn't happen easily.) Anyway, I've been practicing, but still not getting the breathing right. If life will slow down a bit soon I'll try to find a vocal coach. :-)

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Actually, you playing as an accompaniment on piano explains a lot. You have subdued your own voice to fit behind someone else. Time for you to let your talent out. I take it, from your song selection, that you have a faith in God. Then, do not hide the flame of your given talent, any more. Let it shine forth as it was meant to be.

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So true...I always used to sing quietly so no one could hear me. Man, it's hard to change that. And yes, you've judged me correctly. :-)

I have my moments, now and then. But really, rejoice in your tremendous gift and share it with others. That, alone, is going to bring out your voice, in addition to whatever techniques you learn here. Your voice was meant to be heard and now is the time.

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They actually gave me a mic at church for a few months when most of the band left for the summer, etc. That was rather intimidating at first, but I figured I might as well sing out if I was going to sing. It's a little harder singing while sitting down when you don't know what you're doing though.... (that, and knowing there are several very talented singers listening) lol

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Hi Janet! Good to see you here on this forum! If you want to get better at singing you've come to the right spot! The folks here are very helpful.

Your voice has a nice quality to it. I would say that in addition to breathing, if you brightened up the tone a bit with a little twang, and trying the smile thing Ron mentioned, you'd be headed in the right direction.

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I have no business here with you amazing singers

I must disagree here, Janet and I'm sure the other forum members will say that same. We're all equal here. And I have more respect for singers who had to really work for their voice as opposed to ones who could always sing amazingly well from an early age. I know how tough it is. The first time I ever sung in a studio, being a guitar player first and foremost, I was told "don't quit your day job". But with training I've managed to improve my voice to the point that people don't say that to me anymore. The truth is that most people don't realize how much you can improve your voice with vocal exercises. They think that you have to be born with it which is just wrong.

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Well, we'll see. I'll admit I'm a bit jealous of those who just open their mouth and can sing without hardly trying. But I shouldn't be....we all have different gifts. I'm hoping I can discover the magic that will make mine happen.

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The beauty of the forums here Janet is that everyone is here to learn and also to share what they can. Never feel intimidated to post! Posting is the best way to get feedback from people who can help guide you on your own vocal quest. Believe me when I tell you that singing did not come naturally to me! I've been doing this since I was about 18 (Now 40) and I'm only now starting to feel like I'm getting somewhere!

I've never had lessons and the forums here have been SO helpful to me. Once again we welcome you and thank you for joining our online community Janet.

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