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Awful Singer Requesting Advice

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tisul
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Hey. I personally think I'm a terrible singer. I'd like to improve that. I've been singing, recording myself, trying to fix that on my own for nearly six months at this point. I've also picked up guitar in the last year and enjoy singing with that. On a whim I googled around and found this forum. Hopefully you can help me.

http://soundcloud.com/tisul/audio-recording-on-thursday

Here's a recording i made just now. I was originally going to play guitar with it, but aborted that (the first line has guitar, that's a bit embarassing. Didn't feel like rerecording). My mic doesn't handle guitar+vocals well at all, as it's a cheapo logitech.

The Song is "Alley Cat" by Wingnut Dishwashers Union.

Btw, I'm not interested in virtuosity and incredible control of my voice. I'd just like to sing in a way that's pleasant and non-offensive, which I don't feel is how i sing now.

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Btw, I'm not interested in virtuosity and incredible control of my voice. I'd just like to sing in a way that's pleasant and non-offensive, which I don't feel is how i sing now.

You really can't have one without the other.

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Many times people attempt to learn something half way. Or they just want "a little bit." However, IMO, to do something halfway requires great control. That means that you have to be so good at what you do that you have the ability to control it to a point where you can dial it in. Really good, somewhat good, half assed, slow, fast, loud or soft etc. I think that is more work than just heading straight for the top right at the get go. The other way requires mastery. So head for virtuosity and then see what you find along the path. It may surprise you and you become great. Or you quit at some point but at least come away with something of some value.

But the choice is yours and either way it all takes study. Read, learn, ask questions, practice and if possible find a teacher.

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Well I guess the point is learning to sing then. Well it isn't as simple as a fix in a post :) Read through the forums, check out the technique section, get a book. A teacher would be great but you can still learn a lot by reading practicing and asking questions. But I think a good start would be to actually sing. In your clip all I heard was mumbling and at some points whispering. There is no way to tell what your voice is actually like unless you let go and sing like you mean it. But it isn't as simple as posting a clip and having directions like a little more of this and a little less of that, a little to the left and then straight ahead :D

Stick around and then work at it. :) It's all about baby steps.

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If you're going to sing, sing louder than a whisper. You are not supporting your notes with a good air supply. It's like you are afraid to actually sing, just in case someone might hear you. And the guitar was disconcerting because it was completely out of tune. Either tune it, or sing a capella. I think you have a good tone in your voice, I just need to hear you sing. This was more like whispering almost talking. You need some self-confidence, along with the practicing of what you want to do.

And, to give a proper sample of your voice, try a simple song that everyone knows, like "Happy Birthday." Most everyone knows that song, it has an identifiable, memorable melody. I know it seems cheesy, but you've got to start somewhere.

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If you're going to sing, sing louder than a whisper. You are not supporting your notes with a good air supply. It's like you are afraid to actually sing, just in case someone might hear you. And the guitar was disconcerting because it was completely out of tune. Either tune it, or sing a capella. I think you have a good tone in your voice, I just need to hear you sing. This was more like whispering almost talking. You need some self-confidence, along with the practicing of what you want to do.

And, to give a proper sample of your voice, try a simple song that everyone knows, like "Happy Birthday." Most everyone knows that song, it has an identifiable, memorable melody. I know it seems cheesy, but you've got to start somewhere.

Amazingly I had to look up the lyrics to happy birthday (and then felt like an idiot when I saw what they were).

Here you are.

http://soundcloud.com/tisul/audio-recording-on-thursday-1

Edit: Also, I think you're spot on with the confidence thing. I have terrible confidence when it comes to singing.

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Much better. You knew where you needed to be, pitch-wise. You have your first success. Build on that. Sing it like you want someone on the other side of the room to hear it. I bet you have raised the volume in your voice to get some point across, before. Do that now. And have confidence. You have a strong and good voice. You just need to release it. Get out of your own way.

Stagefright is you obssessing on yourself. Instead, be a fan of the song just as others would be a fan of the song. Quit worrying about how you "think" people will think you sound. Think of how you like the song, others like the song, be a fan of the song. Don't be worried that you aren't wearing the right clothes or don't sound like this or that singer. And that is the hardest part of all, right out of the gate. Change your mind about yourself, about your voice. Now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I've been practicing a fair bit, and I've recorded something that I'm fairly confident in. Here it is:

EDIT: Please excuse the rude word at the end. I thought that it didn't record properly and got a little annoyed.

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I would recommend cutting out your vibrato for now as this is somewhat of a more advanced aspect of singing. Your most recent post was definitely better than the previous because of the confidence and air support. I also recommend going through scales by playing a note on a piano (or on your guitar) and trying to match up the pitch of your voice to the pitch of the instrument. Over time, your voice should strengthen and your ear will become more in sync with your voice which will help with your pitch. Keep up the good work!

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Your pitch sounded better, maybe you really know the song. Vibrato didn't sound like a problem to me. And I wouldn't have a problem with you having or using vibrato. The way to do what successful people do is to do what successful people do. Also, you are wise to start in the comfort zone of your voice. Many is the person who is a baritone like you and they want to sing "Here I Go Again," right out of the gate.

You have a couple of choices. You can start off trying to get Lunte's 4 Pillars, which will include how to sing rock. You can also start out with Frisell's book for baritones, which will give you a start and, I think, would be complimentary to 4 Pillars. Frisell's books are aimed mainly at "legit" singers. Opera, art song, theater, though he does work with rock singers. Our own admin, videohere, has had lessons with him.

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