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Hey all, I'm new. I've been trying to develop my breathing and keeping my throat open etc. I'm not asking for a full vocal review (but if you insist I'd be grateful. All I'm asking is what you think I should focus on for now - here's a link to me singing some EJ. I kind of forgot the chords halfway through and should have had lyrics. That aside, what do you think is the most obvious thing that I need to fix so I don't suck quite as much?

 

 

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For this song, I would say slow it down a little and relax a little more.

If you were trying to sing the melody like Elton used to with the high parts on "Hold me closer tiny dancer" "Count the headlights on the highway", Go ahead and sing "Hold me closer" and "Count the headlights" in a falsetto voice until you get used to it. 

Otherwise your voice did not sound too bad in my opinion.

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25 minutes ago, Troll - 01 said:

why?

Because it sounded like he was trying to sing the high notes but got stuck so he sang notes that were still in key but lower than the melody. If he gives himself the permission to flip "Into Falsetto" he will get used to singing the correct notes. As he gets used to it his voice will get stronger and he will be able to make those notes sound better.

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Sounds promising.

My recommendation would be to train in, and give yourself, more placement options. That will add dynamic and also make thing easier in the long run.

(Detail:I don't know if it is the accent or whatever, but I can only understand a third of what you are singing. Depending on who your intended audience is, you may want to use more neutral vowels.)

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Hello! Good song choice, two weakest links right now would be intonation (seem not very secure of how the melody should go), and lacking legato (your voice needs to be more uniform).

Don't stress much about keeping an open throat or other technical elements, just remember to take a good breath before starting the phrases and use the release of the air to sing.

Work first on listening the original, and trying to mentally recall the whole song and lyrics. Distract yourself, go back to it, fail, listen again. This will create a good memory of the song so that you don't need to worry about "whats next".

While doing so you can practice the melody using humming or lip bubbles. Keep it full and strong, think that the phrases of the song are all a continuous note. The sound you start the phrase with gets, let's say, stretched til the end. Makes sense? Think you are a monk and you are making the melody with a mantra sound. Right after that, try singing and keeping the sound going, connect every word on the phrase. If you listen to Elton John, often he sacrifices clarity of articulation to get it, you don't need to go that far, but it's nice to pay attention.

On the same subject, pay attention to the vowels and sustain them more, we sing on vowels, you want to spend most of your time singing sustaining them. Also listen to EJ more carefully and hear which vowels he is sustaining more.

I saw other comments about placement and I strongly advice against this kind of technical work before you solve the more fundamental aspects, it will just confuse you. It should be well within your comfortable voice and you don't really need something like head voice to make it work. Keep it simple, make it sound good :). And of course, sing everyday and record yourself, you will get things going much faster.

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Good advise Felipe... also, train. If you are not doing any workouts to enhance your motor skills and strength and tuning of resonance for singing, then you will only get so far and will likely run into constriction problems forever in your singing on high notes. For most people, only some training can get you past that issue.

There actually is a training program with video demonstrations offered on this site. Its $5/mth to get access to all the workouts, including warm ups. See the home page.

Good luck... 

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Some people do not believe that there is such a thing as "open throat".

If you understand it, and it is working for you, I recommend that you go for it.

Open throat is not something that you "stress over" or  "work on keeping". It is a result of a good support system, like appoggio. It is part of appoggio.

Placement, in this context, has a more general meaning. The focus is not on "head voice" vs "chest voice". It is on how vowels sit in your vocal tract depending on how you shape it. The whole point about open throat is that it gives you the relaxation and freedom to make vocal tract shape adjustments which would otherwise feel tense and as if they require building more muscle strength.

Open throat with placement is not a technical addition to anything, or anything "confusing". It is a foundation that you can choose. "Forget about it for now" basically means choose another approach (which you would probably discover conflicts with open throat.)

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Sometimes, when you sing a particular note on a particular vowel, the note has to find somewhere slightly different to resonate in your vocal tract. The difference can be quite subtle, but can make things much easier. If you are not making those subtle adjustments, you may instinctively try to make do with less optimal resonant shaping on occasion. That is what "more placement options" refers to in my post.

So, (I don't know the song, but...) those occasions where MDEW says that you have switched notes (but kept in key!), you'd be less tempted to do that if the right placement was easily available.

And just a quick word about approach to learning a song. Some people concentrate on a small part and then spread out. Other people sing the entire thing and gradually hone in. There is no right or wrong. Whatever works for you should be fine.

 

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2 hours ago, Troll - 01 said:

otherwise he would end up like the dream trip shit wonder-bee dream F-witts we see on hear who we can not to mention

SEE YA...

 

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Thanks so much for all the responses! I can't hit the higher notes with any consistency and it doesn't sound good when I do manage it so I shifted the vocal line to somewhere I could hit easier for the chorus. I can hear there's pitch issues but, as I understand it that can be a technique issue over just not knowing the song. I'm guessing with better breath control etc it will be more doable. I'm just playing it safe for now :)

I don't really know what you mean by placement so maybe that is a little advanced for where I'm at now? I'm been practising some vowel mods and been doing lip rolls and the tongue exercise etc with different arpeggios and scales as my warm up in the car. That's supposed to help with open throat singing, I'm not sure I've got the hang of that yet but I'll stick with it. 

So in summary it seems like, slow down, check breathing, keep working on open throat, and work on consistency by doing monk impressions? 

And prob use lyrics and a lead sheet rather than blagging it haha

Think I've got all that! Thanks 

 

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27 minutes ago, The Anon Trainee Singer said:

I don't really know what you mean by placement so maybe that is a little advanced for where I'm at now? I'm been practising some vowel mods and been doing lip rolls and the tongue exercise etc with different arpeggios and scales as my warm up in the car. That's supposed to help with open throat singing, I'm not sure I've got the hang of that yet but I'll stick with it.

"Placement", "vowel mods", etc. are all fancy terms to do with shaping the vocal tract -- the mouth, the tongue, the soft palette, the cheeks etc. You hear people say "smile a bit" (singers smile), yawn a bit, pretend you are about to sing -eh- but sing -ee- and all that stuff. These are just different ways of approaching vocal tract shaping, which is what resonance is mostly about. Sometimes we describe placement as where you FEEL the vibration of the sound (chest or head). At other times it refers to the actual shape you are making -- bringing a vowel back or forward in the mouth, or raising the soft palette, etc.

Pitch related inconsistency can be caused by not knowing what to do with the soft palette. The soft palette helps regulate how much resonance "flows to" the mouth and how much "flows to" the nasal cavity..The air "knows" what it wants to do, but our non-singing habits can override that, and block off resonance. As soon as we get feedback that it isn't going to work, or is not working, we may start to force the voice (and sound bad) or improvise (like dropping a tone), or simply sing flat.

Open throat is an excellent way of allowing the resonance to take its natural path (its natural placement). In fact, the entire appoggio system is geared to relaxing and allowing the air to make natural decisions. The famous tenor Michael Trimble is fond of saying, "in singing, the breath moves everything" -- meaning that the breath carries the information for movement, and the singer responds. Another common phrase is "singing ON the breath, not with the breath".

(PS: Of course, the soft palette issue, is only one possibility).

Be careful with the "vowel modification" approach. It is a way to "trick" you into discovering new vocal tract shapes, which will later stand in their own right. Vowel mods indicate direction of change, not the end result.

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you say you are trying to develop your breathing and opening your airway.  I don't hear that.  The only way to open your airway is what you learn in CPR classes.  Check the CPR classes and tell me what you learned to keep the airway open.  Also, to have good breathing you have to have good phrasing.  As a singer you have to be like a writer using periods and commas...it is a must to use proper punctuations when writing or it is unacceptable....How does a singer execute a comma and period?...you gradually soften your notes....read the lyrics and identify those punctuations...execute it in your singing and notice a more professional and smooth performance.  good luck

 

 

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