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hi folks,

i was just thinking...we're always in some sort of debate and/or seriously technical discussion, or an "i can't do this/how do you do this or that" discussion which is fine.

but wouldn't it be nice to have a post where we could talk about what we have acheived or experienced from our training and hard work? i've noticed that very few of us ever talk about the gains we've made and how we accomplished those gains. perhaps what you have learned can help others?

if anyone has an acheivement(s) please, i think we should post it. even if it's just a revelation, or a new goal that has been reached no matter how big or small it would be great to read those.

so i officially dedicate this post to toot our own horns, and celebrate our gains. because as we all know by now, they can be very subtle and incremental but they are still gains. rejoice in those gains!!! bob

who wants to go first?

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I'd love to Bob. However, I just posted something that was meant to be an example of a gain on my part and got told what I was doing wrong, totally countering the gain I had just made. And tried to change that and received more criticism of what I was doing wrong. No "well done" just, "this is where you need to change something", "this is what I expected", "you're not singing it right (paraphrased)."

So, I am probably going to be hesitant to put out any more gains or achievements. It's not that my feelings are hurt. Please believe me. I have a tough hide and most of my feelings burned out long ago and the others were surgically removed. It's just, why bother? Any achievement I make is overshadowed by my mistakes or limitations, kind of like the way I was raised. It didn't matter how well you did, you were supposed to do better. No reward for what you had already done. So, my feelings burned out.

But I did not let it affect how I treat others. Even in my own trade. I preferred to applaud the good stuff and let the not-good stuff extinguish itself. But that's me, even here. I prefer to tell a person what they did right and if possible, do that some more, rather than only speak up when they did something wrong. Or something I thought was wrong. Or something that wasn't part of my particular aesthetic of how I think it should be done. If possible, I try not to put my own preferences on it but simply try to help the person get where they want to go.

Anyway, good luck.

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Ron...sorry to hear you feel that way. I may be missing something entirely, but if you were referring to your thread with "I Don't Believe in Love," not sure why you feel that way? Here is the first response to you in that thread:

Hey, the last one was by far the best take. I'm not sure if you're singing this tune in a soft way because that's your approach or because you want to avoid mic clipping.

I suppose my ears ask for a "meatier" vocal approach because of the original - but that's a personal opinion and has nothing to do with your choice.

Anyhow, I liked it a lot and I believe that only the high notes needed a bit more "meat" or support, hell it's hard to describe it.

What's really important to me is that your timing and pitch accuracy have improved greatly since the 1st take and this shows that you are starting to own this song.

I'd like to think that your warm up helped towards ironing out most pitch issues and that they will soon be eliminated all together.

Looking forward to hearing more,

Thanos

I just can't see how Akarawd could be more positive in his tone and supportive in his response? I really like the idea of this thread and hope that we can continue with a bit more of the ol' "warm and fuzzy."

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I'm in.

Two weeks ago I discovered how to use my heavy voice. I was stuck in a light (neutral in cvt) coordination for my whole life and found out how to get the meat (thickness, whatever) in my voice that I have always wanted.

And then today I FINALLY figured out how to use support. HOLY MOLY I am happy. It seems like I will finally make the progress I have been wanting to make.

After years of wanting to sing up and into the A5 region, I can finally hit some of those notes (full voice). Now, in no way am I finished learning and experimenting and trying to better my singing, but I am HAPPY to say that I have made progress!

Here's a link to a thread that helped me find support:

http://forum.completevocalinstitute.com/viewtopic.php?t=6895&highlight=checking+action

I had always thought that support was like one feeling. But for me it's two.

1. The feeling of maintaining expansion around the solar plexus

2. Downward pressure, similar to using the baño, #2.

Thanks to all on this site who ask questions and provide great responses. Without your questions/input I don't know where I would be. THANK YOU ALL!

Hopefully I can post some clips up tomorrow and show off a bit! lol.

Best regards,

EGO

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ronws, if we spot some flaw in your vocal technique that we know you could fix and it would make a huge impact on your voice, wouldn't we be nice if we pointed that out to you, in a careful, polite manner? And wouldn't we be mean to you if we heard that flaw and NOT tell you about it? That's part of what friends do. They try to help each other even at times where the help could hurt a bit. But obviously, if it just continues to hurt, a friend will stop and go back to saying nothing at all. Cheers.

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I learned a few things recently:

- Seth Riggs' Singing for the stars vocal exercises, although they are probably not sufficient for a complete rock vocal program, work well as a warm up, especially if you've got a flu.

- I've been singing slightly too loud in my curbing/mixed voice, i.e. my vocal folds are thicker than they have to be.

- I'm getting better and better at false fold distortion.

- One way to improve your rock voice is to sing with your intensity level being very, very slightly below that of which produces grit or rasp, so that most of your notes have a borderline distortion effect on them, or none at all, but the distortion or grit kicks in a bit on the words in the song that mean the most to you.

- If you're getting feedback in a live performace, it could be from your monitor and one way to fix it is to play with how you angle your monitor.

- Have your set list on a piece of paper somwhere in front of you, not behind. That way, you don't have to turn your back to the audience while they applaud, checking what the next song is. You want to keep eye contact to them as much as possible during and between songs, or at least look that way. They're applauding, so turning your back to them could be perceived a bit rude to them.

Perhaps I'll add a few more if/when I can remember them :)

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I just posted something that was meant to be an example of a gain on my part and got told what I was doing wrong, totally countering the gain I had just made. And tried to change that and received more criticism of what I was doing wrong. No "well done" just, "this is where you need to change something", "this is what I expected", "you're not singing it right (paraphrased)."

If you've ever gone to a vocal coach this is exactly what happens. This is how you learn how to sing. Although your vocal coach would probably be more careful to praise you on a regular basis. We are not your vocal coach. Therefore, we sometimes forget that it's been a while since we praised you and therefore it might sound a bit odd to you. However, we ARE trying to help you and that doesn't just apply to you but to every forum member. People in the "real world" (i.e. outside of this forum) will be MUCH meaner in their comments - again, not just to you but to me and probably everone here and even to world renowned, famous, technically great singers. I've heard countless times that f.ex. Mariah Carey "sucks" or that some legendary rock singer has "lost his/her voice" - maybe he/she was just having an off day/days. We're all here to help each other. After having written over 1000 posts here since you joined a half a year ago, you should understand that. But hey, singers are often touchy, what can I say - I'm sometimes touchy myself.

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Also, please don't think that we consider ourselves "better" than you are, in terms of singers of just people in general. Speaking for myself, there are quite often times where I've completely butchered a song, both at home, in rehearsals and live (it happens the least live because I take less chances there, at least up to now). It's a fact - I just can't sing very difficult songs consistantly well enough. On some days I seem to just nail lots of very tough songs and feel like I can sing anything (which is a huge improvement to my skills 1 or 2 years ago), but on other days my voice is just a mess and everyone can hear it and they've even mentioned it. I simply need more training and I also need to realize and learn what I'm doing wrong. But I completely realize this and try to be patient and practise a lot with vocal exercises as well as songs. Cheers.

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Ya'll still aren't getting what I am saying, so I must not be stating it clearly enough. I don't mind pointers on what I could do better. And, yeah, I get the "criticism is us being kind" sort of thing, like pointing out that I have a booger hanging on my moustache so that I can get rid of it and not look like the east Texas hillbillies I came from.

This thread, for example, is about achievements. And recently, I pointed out an achievement I had made and nothing was said about that. Instead, what was given was criticism, which was probably well meant and necessary, at a certain point in time. But, evidently, the need to be kind with criticism couldn't wait long enough to applaud the gain I had made. I, too, have been rebuilding my voice since I messed it up since trying to achieve that almighty, most important, thick distortion (which I won't do, again). That was for my last version of "Highway to Hell". And that received the biggest applause of all for what felt to me to be the crappiest vocals I have ever done, at least as far as my personal aesthetic goes. And it cost me my voice for a few weeks.

I'm not saying I am perfect and we'll all need pointers from time to time. But evidently, it's impossible to allow someone to show an achievement and just let it be that, for a change. And I may be talking to a brick wall. Most people cannot ever admit when they have been wrong or could do something better. That makes me different than a lot of people. I am often wrong and don't have a problem admitting that. There are times when I know my pitch was a little off. And the version of "I don't believe in Love" where I had pointed out better control was criticised because it wasn't loud enough and no one could hear the vibrato I had and assumed that I wasn't using vibrato, which I was. That the word "love" ended abruptly. Well, I can draw a "V" out in speaking but I'm not sure how to do it in singing and have it sound enough to be picked up. So, I guess I need someone to teach me how to sing English.

Again, I'm not saying I don't need advice and pointers, otherwise, I wouldn't be here. But I can't get, at times, just an approval for at least one small gain in one area without incurring or being overshadowed by other apparent problems.

So, I'm not mad at anyone and will continue to value advice. I notice Bob doesn't post examples of himself with whole songs. And possibly for the same reason. We have cheapie mics that are flattening out in response to frequency and volume and who wants to take a hit when they poke their head up. It sucks when someone points out something as not quite right when you thought you were doing fine, doesn't it?

I'm not trying to fight or war with words, either. I just haven't had the best experience trying to illustrate a gain on my part and have it not get swallowed up by whatever I did differently than others thought I should have.

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And yes, Jonpall, people in the "real" world are meaner. People in the real world also smoke crack, drink too much, and kill each other. That doesn't mean that is the way it has to be. Nor am I expecting a warm fuzzy feeling every time, as well. People I have worked with are meaner. That didn't stop me from treating my crew with respect and an eye toward what they did well. For it achieved the impossible. I had a project that was 5 months behind. And half the crew I was supposed to have. And we finished by the due date, regardless.

Anyway, my most recent achievement, whether it deserves merit or not is due in part to an angel who shall remain anonymous, unless otherwise desired. Since I am near broke, this angel got for me, the pdf version of Jaime Vendera's "Raise your voice." And I read it through and immediately started putting some of the practices to use, looking at the tutorials on the website. (I still plan to get 4 Pillars when I can afford it.) And had immediate results. And used them on a song that is actually sung with a light vocal volume. So light, at times, the singer is getting some fry. And the point of the exercises was that doing light lip bubbles and scales and doing those simultaneously was creating a better metered breath support and placement of notes. Finer control, which was also an achievement because I had lost that finer control for a few weeks, trying to get the distortion so many here value. So, not only was it an achievement of technique that many here may take for granted, but my voice was rehabbing because of it, hence, the partial title "my rehab." Granted, in my take, I don't sound like the original singer. In person, my wife thinks I sound like David Byron. In recording, I think I sound like Billy Corgan in a can. That's just the facts of life.

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Raise your voice is a very good book. It does take a bit of time to read it through a few times and actually understand it well (because it's so big - not because it's complex - in fact the explanations are great). It's great that you got it - what a wonderful person your angel is, I must say. Ron, just so that you know, your recent recordings ARE better than your first one, so you've gotten better as a singer. Congrats! It's a step by step process. Hang in there (that's the most difficult part, at least for me). Your continuing improvement would please me, believe it or not. It makes me happy when people become better singers. It's just my believe that right now you need to work on improving some of the basics of singing, which you will get from Raise your voice or Speech level singing or probably most vocal programs out there. Also, here's something that has helped me a LOT in the past and I'll share with you for free:

. In particular, check out the related videos... ;)
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folks, remember the whole idea is to post acheivements. ron, that's your acheivement...great!

i have an acheivement i would like to share with everyone. i have come to a place of understanding that some songs, lou gramm stuff in particular, i simply don't (currently or otherwise) have the range to sing in the same key. i used to regard that as a failure. that infamous c5 sharp in "waiting for a girl like you" in full voice no matter how much i try i cannot hit that (yet) consistently. so rather than beat myself up about it, i lowered it down a half step to a c5, but still it's not consistent nor am i confident with singing it. so i dropped a whole step to b4, and you know what, it may not be that attention- getting high note the whole world knows, but i do a damn good job on the rest of that song (if i don't say so myself,lol!!!) a full step lower. am i gonna keep trying to build up to that at 57 years of young? you bet cha, but i'm still not gonna stop the enjoyment i get out of singing it in karaoke, because most people know that gramm's stuff is a bitch to sing (his way, in his range).

so the acheivement is just because you can't sing a song in the same key, dosen't make you a less skilled singer. i'm obsessed with range extension, but i really think the c5sharp and up in a powerful full voice is gonna take much more time than i thought it would. i'm never giving up but it's one thing to hit a note and quite another to hit in the song night after night, time after time.

lou, if you're listening to this, if you're retiring, there's a second career for you as a voice consultant. lol!!!

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Now, Bob, wouldn't that be cool if you could manage even a day with Lou?

ron, you have no idea how much i'd love to sit down for a cup of coffee with him and talk vocals.

one of the questions would be...

"lou, please tell me, why were almost all your songs so goddamn hard! didn't you ever want to break up the night with something a little easier?" lol!!!

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one of the questions would be...

"lou, please tell me, why were almost all your songs so goddamn hard! didn't you ever want to break up the night with something a little easier?" lol!!!

I bet there are some nights that he wishes he did make 'em a little easier :) I've gone on a youtube kick lately checking out all the LIVE recordings of my favorite artists. There are plenty of "rough" takes out there. Just goes to show that it takes serious stamina to do that stuff night after night after night after night.

My biggest accomplishment lately is finding a whole new "level" of balance and support to my voice. Really focusing on rib expansion, back/neck anchoring. I've felt like I had a good handle on my support(CVT version) before, but this is like a whole new gear(could be that I've just gotten progressively stronger also.) I'm able to get some really neat tones with a LOT less work(in the larynx.)

It doesn't sound exciting or sexy...but holy hell it is. I've felt plateaued for so long...any gain is incredible.

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I started teaching myself to sing about 3-4 years ago. I had a number of experiences as a teenager where someone would hear me try to sing and just genuinely laugh at me or tell me I suck. And I did, I really did. I was the worst of the worst, something you might hear on an American Idol "worst audition" reel.

However, now I am "good" enough to be singing in some chorale groups, and people that hear me generally say I have a nice voice. Also, I have an appreciation of the vocal instrument which is great since I am a music lover, and personally I am always improving slowly but surely.

I remember when I couldn't tell the difference between pitches.. I remember when I couldn't hold a note for more than a few seconds.. And I remember not being able to "sing" above about A3 to middle C without screaming like crazy... Whatever my voice is at the moment, I can definitely say that anyone can learn to sing better--maybe not ever like Mariah Carey or Pavarotti or Bruce Dickinson--but definitely WAY beyond their wildest dreams.

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I have recently been able to consistently access my whistle register everyday in the past week. I still can't always sustain, but I can control my pitch on some days. I also figured out when my voice has a sort of change very slightly around f#5, I don't know if that is normal, it feels like a slight change in resonance. I also think I hit a D6 in full voice yesterday, I was imitating Patti Labelle when she did it, and it was pretty good. Only big thing left for me to do in my voice is connecting my whistle voice down into my head voice and strengthening my whistle voice, also just making my voice overall stronger and more controlled. But my only real problem is singing live, maybe when I can't hear myself too well, I just loose focus a little and my voice just does stuff weird stuff. Most of my accomplishments are thanks to people on this forum, especially Steven Fraser and Jens.

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what a good thread!!!!

I finally discovered how to use breath support!!! It's like a new start for me, i now can work to get rid of my strain.

But most of all, i'm close to really understand how to sing with "richie kotzen" kind of tone. I'll throw up a mp3 on the board, maybe tomorrow. Sometimes singing can make you so happy...

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what a good thread!!!!

I finally discovered how to use breath support!!! It's like a new start for me, i now can work to get rid of my strain.

But most of all, i'm close to really understand how to sing with "richie kotzen" kind of tone. I'll throw up a mp3 on the board, maybe tomorrow. Sometimes singing can make you so happy...

yeah man! breath support is one of the keys!!! congrats...i love kotzen's voice too.

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Sometimes, I do my best work in the car. Going up to the grocery store and back today, I had my cd "Dio Anthology" playing. And, of course, I have to sing along. Coming back was "Rainbow in the Dark." Fully supported and with twang. Not one strain, for me. I don't sound like Ronnie James Dio, but my tones were full and rounded. And I wished I had a decent portable digital recorder. It's funny, I started out the day with sinus congestion and sinus drainage, which frogs my voice and drops it almost an octave. But I am an efficient phlegm hacker (I had asthma as a child) and cleared it up by the afternoon. I know some of you have heard pitch or timbre issues with me but, dang it, if you had just been with me.

The key to it was consistent breath support, twang, and a dropped jaw.

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And Bob is quite right. Some achievements are not technical, so much. In fact, not even about hitting the highest note or sounding like an already famous singer. Sometimes, the achievement is one of personal perspective. Just as Bob accepts that he might have to sing a song 1/2 to 1 whole step down from the original, that is plenty good and astounding, considering that 99 percent of the people out there would not be capable of doing that, even now. And that, in concert, most people, even other trained musicians will likely not be able to tell the difference. And often is the case that the original performer of the song is sometimes performing a song live in 1/2 drop tune, anyway.

One of my achievements is to accept that I have a "clean" voice, though I can get some distortion. As one person has pointed out, on a number of songs, I am singing what can be described as metal-like neutral. Which is actually fine with me. To me, that description sounds like a fairly well centered tone (minor pitch issues aside, as that is a matter of fine tuning where the voice already is, generally.)

I'm not ever going to sound like Brian Johnson or Bon Scott or Axl Rose or Geoff Tate or Rob Halford, and that's okay because that has never been my aim, either. My aim has been to sing in the same registers, hit the same notes. And that, I think, I can do. And I continue to be inspired by those singers, as well as everyone here in this forum.

When it comes to a guitar, you can choose the wood and construction techniques. You can choose the controls and style of pick-ups, whether PAF, humbucker, or single coil. You have a range of string qualities to choose from. A gazillion ways of effects processing (I have an old Roland GS-6 digital effects rackmount unit for my electric set-up.) And room to move your fingers and hands. My Fender 85 amp will put out 200 watts rms. I can shake the floorboards with it.

But you only have one voice and other than training it, you were born with what you have. There's a club on the main page of this website called finding your true voice. The flip side of that should be accepting your voice, once you find it. I was constantly trying to figure out who it is that I sound like. Some opinions from other people at various times have been complimentary and even amusing. But usually not accurate, IMO. The US Army used to have the slogan, "Be all that you can be." Wise words. Be ready to accept that you are all that you can be, as well. By all means, train, work towards perfecting, but stand back once in a while, and grab a little glory for what you are now capable of doing.

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