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Hi guys! I just signed up for the premium membership and I am so excited to get advice and critiques from you all. I am very serious about my singing and I would like complete honesty when it comes to critiquing my voice. It has has always been my dream to be a recording artist and I really want to go on The Voice or a similar show. Over the past year or so, I have really been trying to develop a unique tone to my voice and I would like to know if it working for me or not and what can I do to improve? I can sing several styles and do different things to my voice for different effects. For the purpose of this post, I have a certain singing style that I would like critiqued, which is my "rock voice." Please be brutally honest and I would like a critique on both videos below. Thank you!

http://www.smule.com/recording/nirvana-smells-like-teen-spirit/350287919_289787967

 

http://www.smule.com/recording/guns-n-roses-sweet-child-o-mine/350287919_289762473



 

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First off, you have a really good sounding voice. A nice tone.

As for the look, I think the "rocker chick" definitely works for you. Kind of like Brittany Spears and Lita Ford had a love-child born with the heart of a lion.

Of the two songs, "Sweet Child of Mine" works better in your tone than "Smells Like Teen Spirit." But I applaud you having the desire and heart to tackle that song.

I can tell from your pronunciation that English is not your first language so kudos to you for singing in what is a foreign language to you.

Simplify vowel sounds. For the word "ounce" in the lyric "see an ounce of pain" you sang ah -oh-oo-nz. It should be ah-nz.

Places here and there where pitch was off. It was more forgivable in the Teen Spirit because Kurt Cobain was pitchy. Kind of like, I could not complain of someone being pitchy on a Lou Reed song when Lou Reed is pitchy. 

You can also expand your range but it is going to take the effort of controlling how much volume you put out in the lower end of your voice. It is too much now, making the transition to the higher notes a more obvious flip to falsetto. If you hold back a little in the low end, then the high end sounds more balanced with it.

When you sing, think of the voice as a musical instrument. Don't try to sing the same way that you speak. Again, keep simple and single vowel sounds, ah, ee, oh, oo, eh. Doing that will, oddly enough, make you sound more american.

Performance wise, pretty good. I would suggest that when singing a line, don't move the hair out of your face, let it go. Between lyric sections you can do that. During singing, it is distracting.

Also, timing. Your timing is off because you were getting excited and losing your place in the song. I have also done that. I did a cover of "All of Me" totally botched one passage in the middle because of timing. Get the pulse of the music in your blood. Forget the camera is there.

And I can't wait to hear you on a real mic. I assuming you are singing into the inline mic in your phone headset. The squealing distortion from that is a give-away.

You definitely have a good voice and a great look and even a natural self-confidence that can take you places. Just need to tune up and align your instrument, which is your voice. 

And your pitch is good in some places, so I know you can hear and match pitch. That's way better than 90 percent of humans on the planet.

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40 minutes ago, ronws said:

First off, you have a really good sounding voice. A nice tone.

As for the look, I think the "rocker chick" definitely works for you. Kind of like Brittany Spears and Lita Ford had a love-child born with the heart of a lion.

Of the two songs, "Sweet Child of Mine" works better in your tone than "Smells Like Teen Spirit." But I applaud you having the desire and heart to tackle that song.

I can tell from your pronunciation that English is not your first language so kudos to you for singing in what is a foreign language to you.

Simplify vowel sounds. For the word "ounce" in the lyric "see an ounce of pain" you sang ah -oh-oo-nz. It should be ah-nz.

Places here and there where pitch was off. It was more forgivable in the Teen Spirit because Kurt Cobain was pitchy. Kind of like, I could not complain of someone being pitchy on a Lou Reed song when Lou Reed is pitchy. 

You can also expand your range but it is going to take the effort of controlling how much volume you put out in the lower end of your voice. It is too much now, making the transition to the higher notes a more obvious flip to falsetto. If you hold back a little in the low end, then the high end sounds more balanced with it.

When you sing, think of the voice as a musical instrument. Don't try to sing the same way that you speak. Again, keep simple and single vowel sounds, ah, ee, oh, oo, eh. Doing that will, oddly enough, make you sound more american.

Performance wise, pretty good. I would suggest that when singing a line, don't move the hair out of your face, let it go. Between lyric sections you can do that. During singing, it is distracting.

Also, timing. Your timing is off because you were getting excited and losing your place in the song. I have also done that. I did a cover of "All of Me" totally botched one passage in the middle because of timing. Get the pulse of the music in your blood. Forget the camera is there.

And I can't wait to hear you on a real mic. I assuming you are singing into the inline mic in your phone headset. The squealing distortion from that is a give-away.

You definitely have a good voice and a great look and even a natural self-confidence that can take you places. Just need to tune up and align your instrument, which is your voice. 

And your pitch is good in some places, so I know you can hear and match pitch. That's way better than 90 percent of humans on the planet.

Thank you ronws! Yes, I am Irish so that's where the accent is from. ;) I agree with you on the pitch part. I was wondering if the pitch issue could perhaps be related to me using lots of embellishments. I have realized lately that I tend to overuse the embellishments, and I believe this could be related to my pitch getting thrown off. What do you recommend me to do to improve that aspect of my voice? I hate sounding "plain" if that makes sense, but I realize simplicity is better in some cases.

Also, I was wondering if you think I need to sound more American in order to succeed in a contemporary signing career. A lot of people have said they really like my tone, but if you think it won't work as well commercially, then I definitely will do whatever it takes to get to that point.

 

 

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Sounding plain, as you put it, could fix things for now. Embellishments should be sparse, now and then. Too much and it is no longer an embellishment, it is the whole thing.

 

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   Hi Emme, Welcome to the forum. You have a real nice tone. one suggestion I would have is to learn the words like a story. Singing is like acting with your voice. It is not just providing words and a melody, it is expressing an emotional plus musical idea. Timing and pitch improve when you do not have to read the words.

   If you were not reading the words then you are focussing too much on the camera and letting that distract you.

  You have a very good sound and lots of potential.

 

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2 hours ago, MDEW said:

   Hi Emme, Welcome to the forum. You have a real nice tone. one suggestion I would have is to learn the words like a story. Singing is like acting with your voice. It is not just providing words and a melody, it is expressing an emotional plus musical idea. Timing and pitch improve when you do not have to read the words.

   If you were not reading the words then you are focussing too much on the camera and letting that distract you.

  You have a very good sound and lots of potential.

 

Thank you for the advice MDEW! I am going to post a more romantic, emotional song here in a few minutes. Let me know what you think. ;)

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Hi Emme, 

Just getting to this now. I have been teaching all day...

It is nice to see someone on video for a change...

Ok, so...  Emme, it needs work...

I can tell by listening to your voice that you have a voice that can be trained to sound great. You could be a good singer... but I'm not going to sugar coat this for you, because I want you to deal with the real situation.

- The musicianship here needs a lot of work. When we speak of musicianship, we are mostly referring to rhythm and pitch... that your singing has to start and stop at the right symmetrical point in time (rhythm) and the notes have to land on the right frequency that the original artist gave (us) as well as in the key of the accompaniment. Both need work here a lot. You can fix this, if you had a voice coach that would also work with you on some basic rhythm and pitch.

- Question... at 3:54 , where the "hello"s start... These are a good example of not being in rhythm or pitch. Are you aware of this? It is important to know for me and for yourself?  Are you aware that you are radically taking the "hellos" WAY out of their intended position as Nirvana wrote it, but more importantly, it is way out of any sort of symmetry of time or pitch with the bed track....

I wonder, were you trying to be creative in this moment, or were you trying to sing it like the original. I would like to get an answer to that question, it will reveal a lot.

If you were trying to just be creative there... you should know that if your creative interpretation is so "unique" that it falls out of rhythm and pitch of the song, it is no longer a cool creative idea, it is essentially ... noise. So again, back to the issue of needing to tighten up your musicianship.

Are you taking lessons?

You need to take voice lessons and get the fundamentals of rhythm and pitch going, as well as start learning how to sing.... the good news is, you CAN LEARN HOW TO SING!  Most people can learn how... it has a lot to do with muscle memory, motor skills and strengthening your voice... the margin for raw born talent has to be factored, but it is not as big of a requirement as people tend to assume...therefore, you need to get a training program and a teacher. I would be happy to help you.

Send me an email or give me a call and we can discuss how to get you started to actually singing for real... I can help you and so can other great coaches on the site, but it means that you are going to have to make a commitment.

 

Here is my main program:

www.TheFourPillarsofSinging.com 

 

Here is a smaller, training program that I created for people on a budget for $19.00:

Vocal Athlete Training Routine 

 

Hope this helps... 

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22 hours ago, emme207 said:

Also, I was wondering if you think I need to sound more American in order to succeed in a contemporary signing career.

No... cultural and regional accents and dialects have very little to do with becoming a better singer. The main reason for this is because in singing, the vowels (formants) are homogenized... generally speaking, we all sing with the same singing vowels, but speak with different speech vowels. They are not the same thing. This is why you can hear someone with a very heavy accent sing a song that is not in their native language and more or less, not notice the accent.

Your issue has everything to do with your need to start training and practicing and becoming a real musician... you need a teacher and you need to become a real musician. You need to make a commitment to music in this way. It isn't something you can just "jam" on and expect anything amazing to happen typically. 

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4 hours ago, emme207 said:

Also I am aware that I need a better mic

Yes, that is not a proper singing mic. You can't sing into a voIP, iphone mic... this microphone and a real live mic are two entirely different things. So yes, get a real mic. You can get one here... The Vocal Gear Store.

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9 hours ago, Robert Lunte said:

Question... at 3:54 , where the "hello"s start... These are a good example of not being in rhythm or pitch. Are you aware of this? It is important to know for me and for yourself?  Are you aware that you are radically taking the "hellos" WAY out of their intended position as Nirvana wrote it, but more importantly, it is way out of any sort of symmetry of time or pitch with the bed track....

Yes, I am very aware that the hello's are out of sync. I actually wanted to re-do it because of this issue, but it was getting late into the night and I decided not to do it over again for the time being since it wasn't a professional recording by any means. But I do intend to re-do the cover sometime soon and work on correcting this issue. I was aware of this even as I was singing the song.

Quote

I wonder, were you trying to be creative in this moment, or were you trying to sing it like the original. I would like to get an answer to that question, it will reveal a lot.

To be honest, I have always been the kind of person where I don't like to do things exactly like the original singer. But not to an extreme. However, in this particular moment with the "hellos" I was trying to be creative but definitely did not sing the notes in rhythm with the original, and I can't really give an exact reason for the why the timing was off. I didn't do it on purpose for sure, but I was aware of the problem and it irritated me while I was singing. It kinda just came out if that makes sense. LOL

 

Quote

Are you taking lessons?

I am not taking lessons. It is a goal of mine to start though.

 

 

 

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I'm a huge fan of human timing, human pitching, and vocal originality. I dislike arbitrary rules taking precedents over human expression. That said, Smells like Teen Spirit is a bit over the top for me. I think locking into the rhythm and pitch a bit closer would connect with me more personally. However, I hear a kernel of an identity in there that is distinct and could be polished.

Sweet Child O Mine is closer. I think the yodeling is a great vocal quality for you to develop. The pitch is much better, but the phrasing is consistently rushed. Think of rhythm as a give or take. It helps if you rush to lag a bit later. I think of it kind of like borrowing time.

I have to say I'm very excited to see where you go. I already know these are more stylistic than technical hurdles. You're fearless and willing to try radically different forms of expression in order to find yourself and you emote very clearly in music. Like rhythm, style is often a question of how far away you can get from convention without alienating.

Singing for me in itself can be very bland and vanilla. Voice goes to note on rhythm. Woo. But you've got the spark and the passion for something more. The searching and yearning so that really excites me.

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23 hours ago, KillerKu said:

I'm a huge fan of human timing, human pitching, and vocal originality. I dislike arbitrary rules taking precedents over human expression. That said, Smells like Teen Spirit is a bit over the top for me. I think locking into the rhythm and pitch a bit closer would connect with me more personally. However, I hear a kernel of an identity in there that is distinct and could be polished.

Sweet Child O Mine is closer. I think the yodeling is a great vocal quality for you to develop. The pitch is much better, but the phrasing is consistently rushed. Think of rhythm as a give or take. It helps if you rush to lag a bit later. I think of it kind of like borrowing time.

I have to say I'm very excited to see where you go. I already know these are more stylistic than technical hurdles. You're fearless and willing to try radically different forms of expression in order to find yourself and you emote very clearly in music. Like rhythm, style is often a question of how far away you can get from convention without alienating.

Singing for me in itself can be very bland and vanilla. Voice goes to note on rhythm. Woo. But you've got the spark and the passion for something more. The searching and yearning so that really excites me.

Thank you for the advice! I am definitely taking everything you said into consideration. I am working on getting decent recording equipment, which I know would greatly improve the quality. I appreciate that you like my style! I am still learning and still very experimental, but I'm determined to find my way and make a place for myself in the music world. I'll get there with more practice and the right tools I am sure. Trying to remain positive. :)

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