Slow Start

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  1. Great job on that Seal, Javastorm! Strong a capella work too, must've taken a minute to figure out how to arrange. Do you have a low-ish speaking voice?
  2. Thanks, Rosa! I am definitely playing the guitar part myself. I wish the songs were my own! The first one is a cover of The Waterboys (re-released by Ellie Goulding in the last few years) and the second is a cover of an unreleased Keaton Henson song. I tend to pick songs that resonate with me
  3. Uh oh I'm a little late but I've got a couple I recorded recently. Sharing just for the sake of sharing the music. I like your timbre, GSoul82! So rich! haha Some good melisma too.
  4. I think determination of proper pitch is best described as a cloud of pitches that the singer hits during the duration of the note they're singing (pretty much what you said). So there is probably a sort of "center" of the note being sung that sits inside the cloud. But most people do not have perfect pitch or even extremely good relative pitch, and the level of pitch awareness really varies among people. The idea of "on pitch" is basically an individual preference for the size constraint of that pitch cloud when singing or listening to others sing (or play violin or tune a guitar or whatever). Some people can tolerate a really large variance in pitch that's considered a certain note (F4) but others may be pickier, thus preferring a tiny rather precise cloud of acceptable pitches for a certain note. You can find a note a singer is singing in a song like a A4 somewhere in a song, and then from when the singer starts the note till when they end, if you took list of all the different pitches (like if you want a A4 to be 440hz, but they probably went to like 438-442) they hit, you could basically compile a cloud of pitches and see how much variance there is in their pitch on that note. Giving credit to Sadolin (CVT) for the graphic: I hope that helps confirm your beliefs. You were basically thinking of using the scientific method to try to figure out the above graphic.
  5. I see what you mean. I personally view the epiglottis as the valve and the tongue as a tool for forming shapes that should try to not impede the valve by getting tense in the wrong ways (or encouraging other constrictions). This has convinced me of the merits of using laryngeal massage and tactile response as a method to gain awareness of what is going on. It was worth learning, so now I can feel when my larynx is too high for a certain note in a much more precise manner. It is cool that now I feel I have a more concrete idea of what to strengthen and how to strengthen the voice in a logical and consistent way that is tailored to my individual needs. I think they are sometimes taught but the lesson does not always "click" properly. The CVT book does teach that for many beginners while they have not developed adequate coordination, some constrictor muscles can get used sometimes to try to muscle the vocalizing a little (maybe to some small benefit) and that should decrease as they grow the voice. Of course, Bob. Basic exercises make so much more sense now and I have a better idea of what I'm doing right and wrong. And your ideas about how support is a very muscular activity - hey man. I now completely agree and can give you straight of proof of how it functions. Perhaps some of those past disagreements with Daniel were all just over y'alls subjective characterizations of the exact same fundamental sensations that make you guys good singers - describing how it "feels" when muscles in support lead to compression. I try to get an hour or so of practice in daily, even though many days I am limited to vocalizing in the car because my apartment has rather thin walls and I'm busy all day long many days. I try to do quiet sirens, hums, and support coordinating exercises at night without disturbing those around me, and it seems to be improving my coordination in weaker parts of my voice. I feel like I'm now back to being a beginner who is extra-aware of the road ahead.
  6. Hey everyone! Just wanted to check in with some interesting reflections that I had recently with the folks who could benefit. So for background, I recently started med school and we have to take a pretty detailed course in gross anatomy that covers the entire body head to toe. I found that as a singing student, learning gross anatomy in lab and lecture has been extremely beneficial. There are so many things that we talk about and try to cue ourselves and others to do in order to achieve certain qualities in vocal production that now seem so much less mysterious, mystical, and/or unclear to me. 1. Twang - quacking, pharyngeal voice, narrowing of ari-epiglottic funnel/space/whatever people want to call it. I have seen SO many thread about "what is twang, how do we do it"... seriously, cutting into the back of the pharynx and looking at the picture like this taught a very real lesson of how close the muscular back of the tongue is to the epiglottis, which creates the necessary twang to help us negotiate pressure to adduct our vocal folds for good singing. This explains why the cue of "raise back of tongue to molars" can help get the epiglottis to move if the student does not know what it means to "twang". There are three muscles attached to the pharynx called "superior, middle and inferior pharyngeal constrictors", the infrahyoid muscles, and some of the tongue (more on that later) muscles... some of the enemies of beginning singers. 2. Support - If anyone wants any cool pictures of support muscles, please let me know and then tell me how real you want the pictures to look haha I have a better understanding now of... what muscles are used in support, how to use them, do I tighten/tense them or not?! how proper support is almost as easy as learning a few things about what proper "bracing" for daily activities and athletics is from a physical therapist. How you can squeeze your glutes to "set" the spinal alignment before you work on the breath so you KNOW 100% that you are straight. How the pelvic floor contributes. How scapular stability relates to consistent support and expansion. How pulling in from the stomach is invariably requires strength and command of the transverse abdominal muscle, so telling students to "just relax and breathe and pull in but stay relaxed" can be counter-productive because they don't realize they're engaging one muscle while keeping the other muscles in check. Also, Phil is totally right about the "fist into the gut" feeling, and Marnell is def talking about the transversus abdominis when he talks about the sensations of support (vomiting, etc) in that 1 hour long video. 3. Soft palate, the nasopharynx, sinuses - After seeing the sinuses in real life and finding them myself, I can definitely say I have a new appreciation for how vibrations and sound and fluid all interact with the sinuses in the nasopharynx. Also a new appreciation for how bad head colds with sinus problems can be. 4. Ken Tamplin's tongue - that's right, I said it. So many questions are asked every year about "wtf his tongue is doing" and if it is okay or not. My personal verdict on the topic is now out: what I learned suggests that it is indeed okay to change the shape of the tongue in the mouth while singing if you want - to a certain extent. The genioglossus (the largest tongue protruding muscle) and some other tongue muscles are attached to a bone can cause unintentional larynx raising (as larynx is also connected to said bone lol) if the tongue is protruded too far out, but where and how to shape the tongue otherwise is rather individual and totally cool if you can still form your vowels and consonants the way you want (I admit some of Ken's vowels are not how I personally would sing my vowels but I know he likes em and that's cool): this is because the muscles that do that part of tongue shaping "making concave U's or fat lizard tongues or flat tongues" are NOT attached to any bones, making them totally cool to do what you want with them, including help you form consonants. Stopping myself from going on forever now. tl;dr: Med school anatomy has confirmed to me and taught me even more about many things in vocal pedagogy that I was not sure about before, feel free to discuss how you guys might have already known this stuff or whatever or ask for cool pictures.
  7. And that... THAT is how you do justice to Otis Redding.
  8. Here are a couple songs by the impressive Andrew McMahon, formerly of Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin, now performing solo. Sometimes I'm just like man... why does he write such challenging songs for himself to sing?! Plus he has some of the best songwriting of today's artists imo.
  9. Hahaha honestly... I want to sing all of them! Those are all in my favorites. I just want to vote for them all!
  10. Aaaand here it is! I'm going to get someone to take a better video next time because this video quality could've been better. :T Angela's at the Crosswalk in Plano, TX 1. Face To Call Home 2. I'll Follow You Into The Dark 3. High Hopes
  11. I agree with Xamedhi that the delivery is a little low energy. If you want to sing it an octave, I would still perhaps still try to liven it up with some more interesting tone. You could use a more conversational approach in that, the speaking register. Listen to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett for their phrasing and you'll see what I mean. In this rendition, I am impressed with how you are able to get your voice to stay rather stable... fundamental-wise, the stability is good. I myself had a crap-ton of problems with just trying to sound like you can when I started. Took me years to figure out the obvious. If you work on what your support mechanism (the sensation of keeping your ribcage expanded and relaxed lower ab coming in as you sing) you may be able to gain more control over your delivery and riffs. The riff/melisma was a little muddy which usually comes from either not knowing what notes you want to include or not being able to get the notes to come out due to lack of support. If you may not have to do it an octave higher right now if you feel that your voice is not yet ready for that. Perhaps use audacity and raise it a little just to practice it that way. How do you usually practice?
  12. I enjoyed that alot - both of the versions. MDEW I feel like I have heard a lot of improvement in the tone and stability of your voice! You seem to have a characteristically open nasal port sound, which is just an observation... it doesn't bother me. Stylistically fine imo. What happens when you practice singing some scales with your nose pinched just to see if you can operate with a closed larynx sound? I liked MDEW's harmonies on ron's version and that was a nice guitar solo... woulda wished the bend sounded more decisive to me for more flavor. And Ron, it sounds to me like you lose some adduction in your lower register... sounds like a bit of the too depressed larynx with air comin' through perhaps? What happens when you try to find a neutral larynx position and hold your breath for a second and then consciously sing with a little less air on the lower end like you are talking under water? (glottal compression) I feel like lower connection should definitely be something that you can tweak around and get (reasonably since I know you're a high voice) since you have such good control of pressure and adduction in your higher range.
  13. http://mfi.re/listen/1qzbnbc8vwbydmv/high_hopes_practice_1.mp3 Hey everyone! Please take a listen and see if yall can help me out. For the record, I've been doing KTVA volume 2 for about a month but only recently have been able to get my practice back to daily warmups again after being overseas. My first recorded practice cover of this song, I have been working on it for about a week now. Excuse my sniffing through my allergies between verses. a few things I noticed: I pinch up sometimes instead of using glottal compression (which I'm just now getting the hang of) Time could be closer to TAA-EM.. and the way I modify "high hopes" is not consistent, though I wish I could find something that sounds good, feels good, good and will work consistently. Perhaps take the "high" closer to HAA... I'm already pretty happy with the fact that I've been able sing this song at all (used to top out at E4 lol) but I really want to improve it!
  14. http://www.mediafire.com/listen/jonxzdk3gcenw7w/a_face_to_call_home_rough.mp3 Just a little rough... and a little Shakira on the vowels in the first few lines... and choked up a tiny bit second verse. okay so it was rough. ha as raw as it gets, first take practice recording i guess feedback?
  15. The second practice recording you posted was much closer to what would be considered healthy singing, MDEW! I think you may be coming to terms with the fact that you may have had the requisite amounts of twang already and were possibly just coaching yourself with the wrong cues. Also the recording sounds a little better mic'd as well to my ears... or was that just the difference changing your technique made on your sound/resonance?!