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Walk off the earth - live at Ellen

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jonpall
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Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvviLGNydeg

The second male singer who sings the tenor part is a bit off his usual form here. He's doing it live, probably stressed out and is pushing too much so that he can't quite make it. I can really relate to this because sometimes this is exactly how I sound and I hate it when it happens. I'm sure that guy hates it, too. Just wanted to share with you guys who are trying to get better at singing. Singing is tough sometimes.

Btw. I love that band - and the singer (all the singers, actually, but the tenor with the long hair is usually amazing).

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Also check out the comments for this video. Very many people can really hear that Gianni, the tenor, is struggling. Some think it's terrible but many realize that he might be having an off night. But you can see it here that people can really hear those small details in singer's performances.

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Wow, those weren't minor mistakes. That was really off. Maybe I just haven't heard you enough, Jonpall, but I've never heard you strain on every note and sing basically everything note at least a quarter to sometimes a half of a note out of tune. I've advocated loose pitching here, but it's more for artistic effect. When a note is slightly flat/sharp it can create a sense of urgency, dissonance, and chaos and a human element, but this is way too far for my tastes. I didn't hear a single note that was in tune.

I agree he was probably really nervous and having an off night. I think what probably made it harder for him, was his part came so late, after they had been playing. He probably was sitting there worrying about his part coming up, while the other guy was singing, you know looking out at the audience and thinking about it being national television, so by the time he actually sang he psyched himself out. I know I'd rather get the singing started sooner rather than later.

As for that band, it was too gimmicky for me. Everyone was so gathered around the guitar, nobody could really play it. It seemed little more than two chords that everyone was playing. Probably a cool marketing gimmick to make the band more memorable in the short term, but I'd wonder about longevity.

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killer, it wasn't that bad...

some of those shows shoot really early in the morning. it sounded to me like it was an off "morning" and i could have sworn i heard some phlegm issues. the "treat" at around 1:50 sounded like phlegm to me.

it's funny how you can nail a song 10 performances in a row, and then there's always that off day, when it counts. soomething just doesn't work right, sometimes you know why, and others you don't.

i feel for the guy.

but i looked at the lead singer of the original, and there's some off notes on his performances as well.

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It sounded un-listenable bad to me. If I were to play that vocal line on guitar, every note would be intentionally bent so far out of tune that it caused constant dissonance within the piece and the piece was supposed to be 'happy pop' too. What I want is more like hints of dissonance, or wavering shimmer, or a shakiness, bends, looseness, and implied ominousness or recklessness looming, growing.

I listened to the original and he sounded fine there. Nothing too unpleasant and he was a good singer having a bad night. Not a big deal, it happens to everyone.

On dissonance, this is one of my favorite vocal performances with intentionally frantically pitchy vocals:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz7vhDHPlyk

The song is so much more intense because of this reckless abandon. It adds so much to frantic, paranoid, and ominous nature of the composition. For me dissonance can be the difference between powerful, chaotic, and emotionally reckless music, and bland actually going through the motions by the numbers boredom. Dissonance can also just sound awful (half step interval is almost unusable in every context). Music is all about tension and release to me. If it's all tension (dissonance) no release, then it fails, but if it's all release (consonance) then it fails again, so it needs both in the right amount. It tugs on my psyche to have a note slightly out of tune, just like when I hear a diminished chord and feel the tension there, it implies that something is in need of release, and makes the release all the more exciting.

It's just like any other language or artform, where you need words or phrases or structures that are more 'tense' on the listener. Sometimes harsher language or structures, expressions are needed to communicate a message. Not everything in art is supposed to give the listener the sense that everything is perfect, sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.

Unfortunately this song, made me feel like I was supposed to be eating a lollipop, based on it's composition and melodic structure, and then tossed me a dead rotten cat. A dead rotten cat, could be a really good artistic message in the right song, it could communicate fear, loss of innocence, sadness, disgust, but not really in this song, so it's extra out of place to have this guy suddenly sing very noticeably out of tune vocals with no context.

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In the original youtube video:

He sounds a bit strained, but he is hitting the notes and I like the tone. Mostly because it's so different than how the rest of the sing. Also, the guy in the right (playing the nut of the guitar) looks like a character from Tin Tin.

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Hm, that's not that bad. Sounds just like how he sing, a cool strained sound, but this was a little more strained in a bad way.

I've been messing around with a violin off and on (more like a guitar, since I suck at bowing), to train my ears lately, and that performance was exactly what it sounded like when I fail to get every note. There was a lot of microtonal shaking from the core scale.

I actually hear a quite a bit of potential in microtonal music for very dark musical context, but it's definitely very tense it still needs to be structured:

If you're like 1/10th or even maybe an 1/8th off a note, that's cool. It can add some flavor. I don't know the exact amount, it's pretty subjective. If you are 1/2 off a note, you better hope there is like a compositional miracle in the harmony/melody or you are really paying attention to how it sounds in the context of the musical structure.

If I realized you guys felt this way, I don't know if I would have said what I said about really enjoying music that has imperfect pitch (even though I'm a huge fan). It can be too much. I really think there is also some confusion over 'tone' with pitch. Yeah his tone sounds strained, but that's not really the musical problem here. The original tune wasn't pitch perfect and sounded a bit strained, but it was fine to my ears. If he sounds like that most of the time, he's fine, but it very well might have been subtly autotuned just a tad too. It's not a big deal, everyone makes mistakes and isn't perfect, but that guy was on national television.

You guys give Ronws a hard time, and yeah on his now infamous Fullmoon cover it sounded off enough to me that I suggested he worked as hard as he could to improve it. But I've also heard him sing 'more' in tune than this performance, on multiple occasions. So this guy, who strains and sings completely out of tune on national television isn't 'that bad,' but an amateur who uploads something equally imperfect onto an internet forum and people are like 'that was just awful. Get lessons.' I think some of the judgment might be clouded by the celebrity and fame or something. I'm not pointing fingers or saying it's intentional or that I completely understand why, but I think 'something' weird is going on in the way that people hear things. Like they are hearing more the person, than the performance, maybe.

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I disagree with you guys. This is simply a reflection of trying to execute something thats outside his technical capabilities.

Anyone can strain some high notes for 3 minutes and comp them into place, its not that hard. The really hard part is to build a technique solid enough so that this kind of situation is nearly impossible of happening.

Im sorry but to me the guy in blue who sings first has a much more interesting tone and interpretation, and if we consider this into the technical realm, his technique is better, since it copes with what he proposes to do.

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I also got the impression that the second guy is singing beyond his means a little bit. But I got the same impression about Bobby Kimbal of Toto too and he made it work.

oh man, bobby kimball....there's a guy that really reached with his voice. i've seen some really sad videos on bobby and some amazing vocals from him as well.

he really has a great site too.

his new hookup with jami jamison for those who haven't seen it.

not bad for guys over 60!

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I think the first singer and the female singer were amazing! Both had great tone, feeling, and delivery. The Second guy sounds like me, only a little better. Not connected in head, and poor use of falsetto in my opinion. I think that the general audience (people that aren't singers) most likely do not notice the stuff that a singer would. OVerall, though, I like the song.

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Keith I think you're wrong. I think a LOT of people would notice when a singer is off like that. That's what some of us here have been saying for a while - singers have to pay attention to details. Even though there are a million different ways to sing in a pleasing manner. Cheers.

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Keith I think you're wrong. I think a LOT of people would notice when a singer is off like that. That's what some of us here have been saying for a while - singers have to pay attention to details. Even though there are a million different ways to sing in a pleasing manner. Cheers.

I usually am lol

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Keith I think you're wrong. I think a LOT of people would notice when a singer is off like that. That's what some of us here have been saying for a while - singers have to pay attention to details. Even though there are a million different ways to sing in a pleasing manner. Cheers.

how a singer ends a phrase or a line in a song is something i've been noticing is often overlooked.

some singers peeter out on the endings of things.

you're right jonpall, i think a lot of non-singers get a vibe sent to their brain that signals them that something is just not right. they may not be able to articulate, but the basics like straining or over blowing or being off key they can pick up on.

you know when you think about it, especially watching recordings on youtube, you'll really start to see how little the singers that recorded back in the day, how little they sang totally live.

a lot of them lip-synced. the recording studios (and their stockholders) i guess couldn't risk an off day by a singer they had a huge investment in.

try it...go on youtube and search for real live recordings and in a lot of cases (particularly years ago) there are

not that many.

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In all fairness even the original writer and singer of that song is a bit variable when performing live. Usuually he sounds "flawless," but of note was his performance at the ARIAs (Australian music awards) where he had some trouble with the higher notes. Then again, it's not unreasonable that a relatively unknown independent artist who bursts into the mainstream is going to nervous when playing before the whole country. The same can be said for that cover band on Ellen.

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Gotye did a better job if you compare those two videos, even though he was having slight problems. Still, I think both those singers are very, very good and I really like them both. They were probably just having an off day. It doesn't take anything away from them. In fact, I think it adds something to them because it shows that they're human after all. (Not that anyone was doubting it).

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In the original youtube video:

He sounds a bit strained, but he is hitting the notes and I like the tone. Mostly because it's so different than how the rest of the sing. Also, the guy in the right (playing the nut of the guitar) looks like a character from Tin Tin.

Bad technique or not, it sounds great, a little bit strained, yes, but that just adds an emotional effect to it and makes it better i think. In the show he was having a bad day.

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Wow ....

I've been reading the memoirs of Steven Tyler, entitled "Does the noise in my head bother you?"

He does have a good ear for pitch. He could always tell when Joe was out of tune, which was often. Joe has tinnitis from years of playing too loud and has to play loud, now, to hear what he is doing. Anyway, Steven talks about other singers he has known that were technically perfect. Knew all the terminology we know. And maybe more. Some capable (not many) of producing nearly perfect pitch. And just not that inspiring as a performer. As Steven realized, the more he did crazy things he did with his voice, the more his character solidified and created the "Steven Tyler" that we know. His real last name is Tallarico. "Steven Tyler" is an occupation.

And chemistry matters most. For a while, there was talking ressurrecting a version of the Yardbirds. The shifting personnel in the Yardbirds and Small Faces led to the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Anyway, Jimmy Page invites Steven to come over and try some sample tracks. So, Steven gets to sing while backed by Page, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham, essentially, Led Zep 2.0. Even Steven knew it didn't sound right and it was not pitchiness. It's just that there is something about the way that Robert Plant sounds while harmonizing against Pages Les Paul. For that matter, Plant was a fairly straight tone singer who would only add a little wiggle or vibrato on the end of a note, rather than a perfectly executed operatic, perfectly timed vibrato all the way through. It also helps to remember that Plant has always viewed himself as a jazz singer, which lends itself to syncopation, rubato, even a slight variation in pitch from the true pitch. Whether that was intentional or not, the sound is iconic.

Sometimes, it's a matter of what the audience expects and what kind of voice is suited for the song. Can you imagine me singing any Metallica song and sounding anything like James Hetfield? I didn't think so. And I could do a song and it might seem pitchy to some because they are expecting Hetfield overtones that are not present or prominent in my voice. In fact, when I did "Whiskey in the Jar," I sounded more like a mix between between Phil Lynott and Luke Kelly (of Luke Kelly and the Dubliners. My voice was in recovery, regaining bit by bit.)

Of the aforementioned thread that would not die, I explained the circumstances of that recording, which didn't help, as I got "schooled" some some more. Essentially, it did not matter what I did or didn't do, it's wrong. No worries. I listened to the advice. And even follow some of it and apply it as best as I can.

It was noted that Kimball Jamison has an off night, now and then. One performance was linked into the forum, where the FOH dumped his mic on some of the high notes and let the band harmony vocals take precedence, just for that part of the phrase. How come no one here suggested he get some "system" and start from scratch, i.e., get voice lessons and work with a coach, based on that performance? It was an "off" night and it happens to everyone, pro and amateur. Sometimes, even if you are not 100 %, you perform anyway, from inspiration. Or, you are under contract for a gig, recording, whatever. And Kimball is a paid pro.

But I agree with others. Constant off-pitch could be a problem that needs to be addressed. But occasional off-pitch just adds character. Plant ends "Stairway to Heaven" about 1/8 to 1/4 flat from V. I can't do that. So, I don't try. Yet, his is the sound that is identified with the song. And I would not have it any other way.

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