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need someone with great ear for pitch

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nycgirl
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to critique my singing. I am too shy to post a link here but if anyone who has a great ear for pitch (im only interested in a pro/experienced tonality & pitch assessment) could send me a PM or post here I will email you a brief demo of dry vocals.

i recently started singing with professionals in NYC but am worried my vocals are only coming out okay on recordings because of engineering and wondering if my pitch is good enough for live performances. I have had a few voice coaches since i started but ive had a few bad ones, and one good one. I would really love to hear from anyone who could honestly tell me what their ear is telling them, because I am afraid I am getting a lot of opportunities because of my looks even though i have been working very hard on pitch, even though my breathing is still not very good, im working on it.

any responses GREATLY appreciated. I just wanted to post here because I believe people I dont know will give me better feedback.

thanks much in advance! ;-)

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I'm happy to have a listen. I've a good ear. I lead a choir, perform as a vocalist and have been professionally trained in voice and piano. However, you do have to post here as I am not keen on receiving files from people I don't know. Post here, folks are kind hearted in their critisism, and the don't know who you are IRL anyway. You can read up on people's backgrounds before you listen to their advice, and listen to their own singing, too.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi- thanks so much SH, I greatly appreciate you helping out a newbie. I have posted two direct link streaming links below to 2 brief snippets of my vocals you can hear. Both are 100% completely dry vocals, no fx, no reverb, no autotune. One is a song Ive been practicing for a while and recorded that in a home studio on a good mic, etc. with a recording engineer, but he never mixed or finished it because the engineer said I sucked and refused to keep working with me because my pitch was past his ability to autotune it and he didn’t like “tedius work” (even though i was paying him!). The other clip is a 15 second snippet of me singing a melody acapella at home I was learning and practicing.

I greatly hope and deeply appreciate as many as are able, will chime in with their opinions here. Good, bad, insightful, indifferent, everything.. the TRUTH! I am really looking for tough or honest criticisms because, i have only sung for a year, but don't think i have had very good coaches and would greatly appreciate HONEST feedback, I think sometimes because you are paying a voice coach they tell you it sounds okay because they are getting paid and want you to come back. ( i just hired a new voice teacher btw).

i am particularly interested in assessments of my pitch, the more in detail the better, and how off it is -like on a 1-10 scale, it would be even better if you could tell me where it was off and which way (sharp or flat). Even bestest ;) if you have some insight into why!! but I don’t expect that, and I know it is a pain to listen to this stuff, even the simplest comment will help me.

i would also be grateful for any general impressions, thoughts, advice, reactions in general to my voice. tone, tempo, resonance, delivery, feel, talent (or lake thereof lol), phrasing, etc. if anything happens to cross anyone’s mind who is kind enough to give me some feedback and share their experience and insight, and thoughts with me. basically id just love to hear your guy’s advice about any and all the elements that go into this very beautiful art form that I am trying to learn to do well. Please don’t mince words, I really want to improve and get better and need the straight dope to do so from pros;)

Thanks so much in advance.

links:

http://www.muziboo.com/NYCgirlV2/music/dry-vox-snippet-from-studio/

this one is practiced a lot before and I spent every minute thinking about while trying to record it getting my pitch and tempo right (this is the one the engineer said is was too sucky for him to finish).

http://www.muziboo.com/nycgirl/music/bridgevox-snippet/

this one is me in my house practicing a new melody. This pitch quality is usually where I start at on song w/o hours of practice.

Thanks again for any feedback!!

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Interesting... I'm just a "self-taught" singer with no formal training, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but...

You have an interesting tone to your voice and some cool characteristics, but yeah, your pitch is a bit shaky. It seems like it's mostly flat, rather than sharp. I'm sure some more knowledgeable folks will reply soon, but I'd look in to vocal scales as well as finding a reputable coach/instructor that can set you up with some exercises to do to help improve your pitch. Your timing is also a bit off at times in the first recording. It sounds to me like you may be getting a bit caught up in the tune and not focusing so much on the vocal. Maybe you're trying too hard to sound a certain way that's not natural to you and it's causing you discomfort or strain? It's hard to say.

I'd also mention breath control. In your a capella clip, it sounds like you're cutting off notes rather abruptly and you're not timing and regulating your breathing to support the kind of vocal changes you're doing. There's some really smart dudes on this forum, especially when it comes to the physiology of it all and they can better explain this stuff.

What was your monitoring setup like in the first recording? Was the music very loud? Were your vocals loud enough for you to hear yourself properly? Personally, I always pan the music to the right and keep my left headphone off while recording vocals.

It's hard to say exactly, but there are some pitch issues. Again, your tone is pretty cool and better pitch will come with practice. The same can't always be said for a desirable tone.

Keep at it. I think people tend to get swept up in the whole "natural talent" thing and think they don't have to work at singing and they'll just be amazing. That's hardly the case.

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G = orange

A = blue

B = brown

C = yellow

D= green

E = purple

F = black

The sharps/flats in between can be shades of the nearest color.

Spend a week solidifying the colors = notes on your mind.

After that, you won't miss a pitch, again. Pitch accuracy is just a matter of your mind picturing the note. The colors I chose are arbitrary. If another color works better for D for you, for example, so be it. As long as you link the note with a color. This cures pitch accuracy problems 9.99 times out of 10.

Also, the notes live behind your eyes, regardless of pitch. They do not live in your mouth or throat. Ever. So, if you feel the note behind your nose or eyes, you are in the right place.

And trust me, I know someone is going to come along and say, "What about chest resonance?"

Really? So, as we are expending air from our lungs to sing the note, we are still "resonating" in a space that is decreasing with time during the note?

It is a logical and physical impossibility. Blame that on me having a head for math and physics.

And I like the tone of your voice, I just want to hear it with resonance. And you've got great emotion and feel to your voice. You are a born rock singer.

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hey, thank you guys so much for replying and taking the time to help me. i feel like you are right on the money. i will try the color visualization thing too, this is an interesting concept i have not heard of before.

i have done a lot of reading and did a good vocal boot camp once, and the consensus was im almost always a 1/4 step flat. i am learning that it is because i am singing off/from my throat and placing my tone there, almost exclusively. it is a bad habit from never studying singing when i was young. i have to get off my throat, and it is like bad muscle memory that i always revert to. and i am not regulating my breathing at all, as also mentioned here.

the first recording was a bad environment so i never used that recording, but it terms of pitch/tempo it is pretty close to my usual ability. i wish there was some way i could just wake up and place my tone in the right place, b/c when i hear myself doing that it sounds so much better. thanks for you guys commenting here it really helps clarify this for me and give me some new tips and tricks to start working with.

i am realizing that good singing comes from the same principals you here are citing and illustrating for me that always seems to work- breathing correctly, placing the tone in the right place, for me mainly i sing off my throat and simultaneously restrict/close it a bit as well. i am going to start working harder with these new ideas i can try, i appreciate all assessments and pointers greatly.

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I actually thought it was rather good and sounded rather professional and the slight out of tune dips and playing you did with your voice suited the song perfectly. It's kind of like singing a Bob Dylan song in tune - it can be argued that it simply doesn't sound great. It would be interesting to hear you sing something in a different style like a ballad to say more specific things about your pitch and voice. But overall, I really liked it. I also sent you a similar post by mail because you suggested that in your first post.

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I find it a bit surprising you ask about pitch, because your chosen style of singing doesn't suggest you care much about it. You sound like you want about half the notes to be a a certain pitch (and they are) and the other half to be used for effect (rhythmic and harmonically directional sliding up or down for effect). The vibrato used is a nice touch to make it sound musical.

The style grates my ears a little at first and I did have a nasty Ke$ha-assocation (to the non-autotuned singing she does), but your style does sound a little more authentic and organic, so I could probably learn to like it (such has been the case with quite a few singers I didn't initially care for when the music was good enough).

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jen, interesting analysis. I dont really try to have a 'style' but i do care about pitch and rhythm a lot. thanks for your thoughs.

i really like the ron w tip to aim the note behind my eyes or nose and not singing from throat or mouth ever. i learned that from another teacher in a different way and it helped me a lot, but he said nose or cheeks and cheeks were difficult. i am going to apply all the tips i got here and will post more after some practice implementing these suggestions for your guy's analysis. thank you guys again!!

i took those links down btw because i am embarassed and wasnt sure if anyone else would reply, but if anyone else who reads this has an inkling to judge i will re-post them. very nice to get such great insight!! i am so glad i found this forum.

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I don't think my previous post really included the compliment I had in mind, so let me just add: you sound like you can sing in tune when you want to.

You also shouldn't worry about performing live. I can understand that you want to feel completely comfortable with your voice first (I feel the same and tend to spend too much time at home practicing before sharing it with others), but I'm sure someone in the audience will get it and that will boost you confidence (making progress even faster).

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  • 3 weeks later...

And I know I was being flippant, nycgirl, just to recite a funny line from a commercial ad. But no, I do not teach voice, though I have been a teacher, before. According to Mark Baxter, we are all singers. You are a singer. I am a singer. But what I do for paycheck is being an office manager for an electrical company, as well as the last few decades of being a working electrician (the guy that does the work so that you have plugs and lights and power to anything in the building or house that you are in.) That's what pays the bills, day to day. But singing is my passion, as it is yours.

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As for the note = color thing, that is but one method. You could have mental pictures, for all that matters. A = apples, B = bears, or Bare, and so on. Whatever image sticks in your mind so much that you cannot get rid of it. Once the mind or brain sees the note, it's stuck there, forever and the body will follow suit and that is a verifiable fact. Though, stylistically, hitting a note of center has some flavor to it. The singer from 4 Non Blondes always sang a little flat, especially live, but it worked for the song "What's up?" I cannot imagine it being sung any other way. Some songs just have a certain "flavor."

Which also goes to show that it is not always about technical accuracy. It's about what the song means and how you convey that emotion. And you have "stage presence" in your voice that many are still struggling to gain. So, you've got some advantages you can already use. You've got what it takes, you just want more things with your voice and you will get them. Of that, I am sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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