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KillerKu last won the day on September 20 2016

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  1. The best exercise I've found yet for this is to pick a home note and then sing a spacing an equal amount up and down from that note. You can check with an instrument to see if you are right. Augmented and diminished chords lend naturally as a starting point to understanding this due to their their even spacing of notes, with augmented being 4 note spacing and diminished being 3 note spacing. But really just take a note, then sing: +1 ,-1 +2, -2 +3, -3 +4, -4 +5, -5 And so on from that note. Then randomize it so you can do them on command.
  2. This was great. Kariotis sounded rock solid and informative. The podcast format of singers talking about singing seems like a niche not really covered. I haven't been around much on these forums but the way I've been thinking and training has been very vowel centric. Basically, the vowel does what the vowel does. I don't think of it like modifying from a standard vowel towards a modded vowel. It's more so to use the vowel that gets the sound/register you want at any given frequency. I can kind of see if you have a talk singing kind of style, a little mod might help with a problem area where one of your speech vowels isn't functioning at a given frequency, but the more I sing, it seems I naturally move towards the vowels that work better for the frequency/intensity/sound I'm trying to create. For people with more interesting native accents or speech patterns the path of least resistance towards a vowel could make them boring and less unique, but I haven't found any of my vowel voicing was unique or interesting enough that I needed to maintain my 'standard vowel' and modify away from it consciously. It's more using the one that works and hopefully sounds like you want it to.
  3. Another thing with Ray, is he was known to cry on stage: I think he really embodies being able to channel sincere catharsis into music and have it connect. I think the key is spontaneity of the emotion and whether the musicality of the performance is enticing. When the emotion in question is premeditated before hand and strategically displayed at a pre determined interval/duration it becomes something else, like if Ray was instead thinking, "in about 10 seconds at the middle of the saddest part of the verse, I'm going to cry," that would be very different. For this kind of performance, crying is just one of many feelings that can come and go while expressing the performance, there is no premeditation as to when or why. It is the result of expressing the sound he hears in his head and emotion he was feeling at that moment in time.
  4. I kind of agree with Felipe but almost from the opposite angle. What makes an emotion seem so contrived is the absolute monotony of it. Like if someone makes a an 'angry' song, so every word should sound, angry, every guitar part should be played 'angrily.' It sounds fake to me. Where the sincerity comes through is emotions are not one dimensional. Even if a tonal center of a song might be anger there is room for mockery, sarcasm, bitterness, disaffection, flippancy, disillusion, frigidness, a loss of empathy, deadpanning, scheming, seething, and hundreds of other ways for anger to manifest. It's not a single timbre, it is thousands. Someone trying to dial in some kind 'consistency' in their emoting, for me just sounds fake. It's like if someone got into a heated argument with me but was trying to maintain an 'angry timbre' for every syllable of each word word just to make sure I knew they were 'properly emoting.' I'd laugh. But it's the same with sadness or any other emotion. Emotions are unstable and multifaceted. Spontaneous and in the moment. When emoting comes across as one dimensional it comes across as 'acting,' manipulative, and insincere. When the emotion is allowed to grow and change organically to encompass the singer's present emotional state, in the moment, it comes across as more sincere. Ray Charles articulated it better than most: But now if I can wrap myself up in that song, and when that song gets to be a part of me, and affects me emotionally, then the emotions that I go through, chances are I’ll be able to communicate to you. Make the people out there become a part of the life of this song that you’re singing about. That’s soul when you can do that.[1] You take a song like Georgia, I’ve sung it thousands of times. But what happens is when I sing something, I never ever sing it the same way twice. And that’s not because I’m trying to be different, but it’s because I sing according to what I feel that night. Every day of our lives we feel different. You don’t feel the same way today as you felt yesterday - you may come close, but there is a little difference, and what difference there is, makes the difference. Now there are a lot of manufactured songs and you don't need much emotional sincerity to sell or market a product. You can have a near naked woman lip syncing the same pre recorded audio thousands of times, it sells fine. But the prosody thing is real. It's a different kind of listener looking for it and a different kind of artistry.
  5. I usually have an interplay between 16ths and triplets in mind. The 16ths would be said: 1 ee and a 2 ee and a 3 ee and a 4 ee and a. But it is simplest to start with the 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. Triplets can either be poly rhythm or fit within the framework 16ths. I hear it a lot with jazz and some of the more sophisticated soul singing (Marvin Gaye, Al green, etc). Part of why the 'and' has momentum, is in black influenced music, depending on how you subdivide the notes, the 'and' can form the back beat, when double time. With jazz drumming the back beat is on the high hat stomp which is a more subtle sound, with rock n roll it's on the snare. This video has been circulating among musicians for awhile where the audience is clapping on the downbeat, and Harry Connick Jr plays a single measure in 5/4 time to get the audience's claps to fall on the back beat: The feel suddenly changes. And the audience likely wouldn't even know why. And it is from emphasizing the back beat.
  6. Even Iggy Pop got lessons at some point. He admits that when he was young and ignorant he felt he could create a kind of danger and menace with his singing that he can't reproduce now. Honestly I agree with him. I am not knocking what he does now, but I don't find him nearly as menacing as in the early days. But in other cases we may never be able to tell when a 'natural' got lessons. So why would someone like Iggy Pop get lessons? He probably found he couldn't sustain things in the long term as he aged and continued to do what he did. And that is fine. People can sing risky if they want. That's freedom, maybe it will work out, maybe it won't. Maybe it will work for a time, but not forever. But there's no shame if it isn't working. It may or may not take away the element of danger in the art itself when elements of danger are removed from the act of singing itself. People may or may not be able to even tell at what point someone got lessons. Regardless, it's good when people can still sing and that is something lessons can help a lot with. And it's not like Iggy Pop conveys nothing now when he sings. He's still expressive. He doesn't sound like a robot running through 'singing technique.' By what most would likely measure here he still sucks at 'traditional vocal technique.' It just feels a bit less feral and dangerous as he became less feral.
  7. Cool, and very simple. I like to do that. Vowel morphing exercises. I also suspect some people's voices sound more appealing to the average person forward/back/neutral vowels. Like if your neutral voice is more bright, leaning back could give some darker sound. Or a more neutrally dark voice, leaning forward could give more brightness. Or you could exaggerate whatever is neutral for your voice. I prefer to use multiple vowel shadings depending on context though, like Nina Simone or David Bowie rather than aiming for consistency.
  8. I'd imagine real basses are probably always in demand for harmony singing. It could give groups that extra edge. Higher voices may be more popular for leads, but there are also a ton more competing for leads. It's kind of like how it's easier to get bass guitar gigs cause everyone is fighting over the guitar/drums/voice but also with a rare biological requirement. I could imagine walking into a harmony group, singing a strong C2 and being hired like right there.
  9. I agree, I'm not worrying about professionalism. I just want to make music that I think is as good as I can make it. That is a life long process that involves improvement. But there are plenty of professional singers that don't meet standards of high level singing. If people are getting paid a lot to do an activity and people are appreciative of the activity (some even believing they are the best at the activity), it's a pretty murky line there.
  10. This cover resulted in the album going double platinum and becoming them being one of the biggest bands for a few years: I thought it sucked then. I never liked it, and never will. But that's kind of the point. His singing is flawed in a way that people responded positively to and resulted in a professional singing career. People paid way more money to see this guy do this than they would any of us here sing any of our covers. They have sold 40 million albums. Is he devoted to constant improvement? If he is, I can't tell. We could train and train for a theoretical perfection yet people can sing with the right flaws and blow right past us professionally. There are a lot of flawed singers I like. But it's the same for other people. There are people who would prefer to listen to Durst than Lou Gramm or any other idolized singer. I've even met someone who unironically thought Durst was the best singer of all time and not during their heyday either. It was a couple of years ago when they were very unpopular. I was actually almost in disbelief but it was very sincere. But that's a lot of albums and tours sold. Lots of professional success. We can like it, hate it, but it won't change what it is.
  11. That's always been in my mind as well, Jonjon. I can't think of a single singer I listen to because they are good at sounding like someone else. If you average a bunch of faces together you get a potentially attractive face, but lacking distinction. I think a similar concept can occur with voice where the eccentricities are filtered out and you are left with the 'generic' voice. We're not all supposed to like the same eccentric qualities. It's identity.
  12. Two different approaches to bass on the same song.
  13. My not very useful answer would be that high level singing means nothing to me. It's not like singers level up in my head, they were on level 37, but are now level 45, but not comparable to a level 66. It's a voice making sustained noise, generally in a musical context. I've put my favorite singers into tuning software and studied their pitch, there is a wide range of variation. I've studied rhythms, lots of variation ahead or behind the beat mathematically. Wide range of closure, wide range of range, from barely an octave to really wide ranges. Wide ranges of timbres to relatively singular timbres. Whatever it is, it doesn't appear to impact how I hear music. There's just singing, some I relate to, some I don't.
  14. Good topic, Felipe. This is an example of powerful singing for me. When it hits the climax at about 3:21 or so. He's not straining out a thick one to make it 'powerful.' He's just following the dynamic of the song to its conclusion. The voice follows an emotional arc and rides the music. That's powerful. I can only imagine how terrible this song would be if he was trying to make his voice as big as possible.
  15. I liked the lyrics, Jonjon. I'd find it easier to write or sing something that isn't directly about a forum or a brand or something too, which is not knocking this forum. I actually wrote a song pretty much the next day after the first Modern Vocalist Theme Song was proposed. I ended up writing about singing too. I might revive that song and see if anyone else wants to sing it. It didn't really fit my artistic temperament cause it was written more for a different purpose rather than artistic intent. As for Zepellin, I have a preference and appreciation for originality, but I like some of their stuff. There's room for originality and re-arranging the past in an appealing way in music. My favorites often have both a unique quality and an appeal though. That's what inspires me to improve as an artist. If everything was hip hop samples of the past, I don't think I'd listen to any music. On the other hand, if everyone agreed to stop using the note C, because it had already been done. It would be interesting, but would likely make music inferior in the long haul. It's all a balance and preference.