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Me singing "Sweet child o' mine" by Guns N' Roses

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jonpall
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Hi guys,

I just attempted to sing Guns N' Roses' "Sweet child o' mine". Here it is:

http://www.box.net/shared/yjerp2dyol

My (top) hat off to Axl for performing that vocal track so amazingly well. I know I'm not up to par and I also have a slightly different sound (which I think is good for me, actually, as opposed to try to imitate too much).

What you're hearing is the very first take, btw. I put slight compression and some reverb on the vocal track but no other effects, not even eq.

Have a nice day, all! :)

Cheers,

jonpall.

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It sounds a little different, especially in the upper parts of the song but that is just genetics. Neat harmonies. And I am officially envious of the accompaniment. It beats the crap out of the karaoke track I have. Is that your band playing it or did you shell out some good money for a full backing track, minus vocals? Axl's vocals have a little more sustain but I'm not sure how much of that is due to processing on vocal tracks.

As far as I am concerned, there is nothing I can critique. And I bet I am at least as big a fan of GnR as you are, and for at least as long, if not longer. I was married for the first time when the album Appetite for Destruction came out in 1987. I got married 3-24-1987 and the album came out in July of that year. But it was a few months before radio stations started playing "Welcome to the Jungle." And I have followed them ever since then. As you know, I have mentioned that Axl Rose, and this song, in particular, were the reason I got into voice big time, even to the point of not concentrating on guitar as much as I once did. So, from one fan to another, well done, again.

You got the emotion. And you totally nailed the ending, which is harder than most people might give credit for. Axl stops just short of a glottal stop to do that bit.

Seriously, you should put this in your set of cover tunes.

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Hi Ron. I was hoping you would like it and it makes me happy that you did :) Thanks! I know you're a big GNR fan like myself and that this song means a lot to you. It's also special to me and I'm gonna continue trying to improve my performance on it. It's quite a workout to do, even though I'm working on trying to reduce all extra and unnecessary support effort. I tend to support too hard sometimes and it tires me out on songs like this.

I found the backing track on youtube and used "Freemake video downloader" to convert that link into an mp3 file. It had everything except the lead vocal. It was absolutely free like anything on youtube. It even had some backing vocals and it's apparent that there are some great musicians playing on that file, even though it's not GNR. Then I took that mp3 file, imported it into Cubase at home and used my Sennheiser 835 dynamic mic to record this.

The best thing about recording challenging stuff like that is that you push yourself a bit and then learn a lot and grow a lot as a singer. I also think it's very important to work on one's low to mid range vocals, like I did in the outro and also in Patience.

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Oh, yeah and I know that Axl sustains the notes perfectly in the studio recording but not quite as much live, even in early live recordings before appetite came out. It doesn't take anything away from him, though. He could still produce that sound like drinking water and also, he was jumping around stage at the same time which drains your stamina a lot.

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Thanks, I appreciate it, Chavie :) . I think what you are perceiving as my voice sounding close to Axl is the fact that I think I'm using pretty much the same vocal modes and vocal effects (using CVT terms) as Axl. Even so, I can hear a big difference in my voice and his and for that I'm actually glad because I don't want to be a carbon copy of anyone. But Axl sings this way better than me, of course. I'm just trying to gain on him :) . Cheers, man!

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Right, Ron. If I'm doing a cover, I always want to try to bring out the emotion of the original performance, even though the sound will be different. If such a thing is done well, it has a good chance to bring out the same response in the audience as when they hear the original.

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Hmmm...man I can't put my finger exactly on it, but I wanted something else in the verses. Absolutely nothing wrong with what you did, but what makes this song so feckin impressive to me, is the apparent ease of the original vocal line. It sounds effortless and IMO closer to a lullaby(albeit a very twanged one.) Your verses sounded a little too "bratty" for my taste...but you certainly know me well enough to know that I can separate taste from technique.

I would "produce" your vocal a bit differently, but your version would be PERFECT for a live setting. Still a kick ass job.

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You're turning into a monster singer. Or you are one already, I dunno.

It seems you get a "feel" for what direction to follow and what to exercise in, which indicates a very strong mind and

a voice strong enough to follow. To put it in a few words you're your own doctor - and a very good one.

Is there any criticism ? Well, how many people can do what you do ?

So speaking about you not nailing that 03:19-03:21 would be pointless 'cause you could have corrected that in a sec if you wanted to.

Great-Great singing Jon!

Thanos

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Thanks, Thanos. Yeah, I could do certain parts better like the one you mentioned. I think it happened because I don't have the required stamina for singing like this for a very long time yet. I'm gonna try to improve my breath support (minimize all extra and unecessary effort) and just really put in the hours training this stuff. Note that I've been putting the pieces of the rock vocal puzzle together for several years now so it may damn start to work a bit for me now, even though it's not perfect yet. :)

Analog, I think you might be wanting me to use a more non-distorted sound in the verses with very slight distortion on key words and phrases, like Axl did in the studio (in the verses), even though he usually sung the entire thing with very heavy distortion live. In the back of my head I must have chosen to go a more "live" way, perhaps to train distortion. Good call. Thanks!

I appreciate all your help and friendship guys. I feel humbled. Have a nice day.

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  • 1 month later...

Here I cheated slightly. Well, maybe not exactly, because this is what is done all the time in studios. I noticed that there were two places in particular that REALLY bugged me, so I did a little "punching in" and re-did those two places. Those two places are actually just a few words, so there is very little change. Anyway, so here is the slightly improved version:

http://www.box.net/shared/4d7mzfp117

Note that I'm deliberately having constant rasp and not just every now and then, just for the sake of practising rasp. Personally, if it were my own original song, I'd use it more sparingly. Just wanted to let you know that :)

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Never apologize. This song is a beast and you are the only one I have heard get this close to Axl's sound. Way closer than I can, and Axl was my inspiration. And if you don't think Axl hit a few notes that didn't have "perfect rasp" (if there is such a thing), then you need to read Slash's autobiography. You're already there. Get out there and make an album. That way, I can drop your name at parties and make myself look cool. :)

As for patching in, I made no secret of it that I did such on "Rainbow in the Dark." It was a compilation of three partial tracks. That got exported down to one. It was the end of a long day. And, as Mike noted, I was singing my ass off. And getting tired. I would have to rest and calm down, and take another stab.

And I didn't notice or remember from before but I like how you did the harmonies.

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The new version kicks ass brother. The only parts I would consider tweaking are right at 3:01 "woahowoh"

{the "yeah whoa" @ 3:03-3:04 after it sounded genius. Man you did something to that "OH" that killed.}

Also at 3:24 the "Ooo" sounded a little funny to me. I am being insanely picky here :) This is truly a great version man.

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I missed this the first time around. That really kicks ass bro! You definitely have this song under control - like it flows naturally. The rasp sounds excellent - especially above C5 (where I haven't figured how to do that yet!)

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