MDEW

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MDEW last won the day on August 9

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  1. MDEW

    Singing along with basslines

    If you are singing an already established song......The melody would not change just because you are now singing to a bass line. The Bass line would be using notes that represent the chords and chord pattern. A bass line is not normally a copy of the sung melody. Are you now ONLY singing to a bass line? or are you adding a bass to another form of accompaniment like guitar or keyboard?
  2. I sent a message in the personal message section. If you cannot download MP3s let me know. I will try to upload them to soundcloud or something. Robert, You can listen also if you want.
  3. MDEW

    Singing sounds so bland

    Hi Austin. Welcome to the forum. First off....you do have a pleasant sounding voice. I want to make that clear to you. Your voice sounds flat and boring because you are not putting energy into it. When we do practice and do exercises, we are supposed to be paying attention to what works for us and what we have to change to make the exercises work and then apply them to our singing. The exercises do not magically change our sound....we do things on purpose. Like if we keep singing flat on certain words we find out why and change how we sing those words so they are not flat anymore.
  4. That is a good way of thinking about things. Before I found out about "TheFourPillarsof Singing", The other books and videos I found made me think you were not supposed to "Do" anything other than use support and let your throat relax. Whatever sound came out is what you had to work with. Anything else was manipulation,and manipulation is bad. At the same time these teachers were saying things like "Bring the voice forward" "Sing in the mask" "Add Twang" "Tilt the larynx" "Raise the soft palate"..... I was trying to "Let these things happen" without "Doing" anything. With "TheFourPillars" Robert would run through the coordinations......"Hum on an EE sound"...."Open to "EH" while keeping the Twang of "EE"" "Dampen the larynx"..... Not only were you ALLOWED to DO stuff....you were supposed to and instructed on HOW to make that sound.. Of course, these are extreme sounds and what you use for Exercising. But they also teach you how to control the amount you are using and HOW to dial in more or less of the effect. I was also under the impression that if you used one effect you wouldn't be able to use another or the one prevented the other from happening......Like if you were adding "Twang" you could not also "Sob". But, as you show in your Effects box, these are different controls that are controlled by separate actions of the voice box and vocal tract. I guess if I keep on there is a danger of your head exploding again...... I am still trying to fit the time to record, soon I hope. I will send you an Mp3 of my progress plus a recording I made of "Honesty" about 10 years ago. You can let me know if I have improved or lost focus over the last few years.....No pun intended but be honest in your evaluation.......I can take criticism, especially when improvement is the goal.
  5. MDEW

    From the living room to the stage

    What you use to gauge your pitch by could sound sharper or flatter to you. At the very least it will sound different. How many band members are there? What are the instruments and how are they arranged? How big is the room you are performing in? If you get your pitch cue from the guitar and you are on one side of the stage and the guitar is on the other side of the stage....You may not be hearing the guitar from the source but after the sound returns from the walls of the room. When that is the case the sound you are adjusting to is flat compared to someone who is standing in front of the guitars amplifier. No matter what the actual cause.....rehearsal in a full band live environment is the answer. At the very least you can track down the problem and do the appropriate.adjustments. Small room acoustics are far different than open hall filled with people....or in some cases empty halls. Whether it is energy dynamics on the part of inexperienced singers or a proximity problem(not hearing the music from the source) or not being used to hearing your voice from the PA, muscle memory needs to be adjusted for those also. Even if you are doing a separate vocal practice without the full band....use microphones and Stand as you would when performing live. Get the singers used to hearing your voices through the pa system. The sound is different when you hear it from an outside source than it does with only your ears.
  6. MDEW

    From the living room to the stage

    Pitch is still reliant on what you hear.
  7. That is a pretty cool concept. One thing is missing though......A sound man to adjust things during a performance. My effects boxes and tone controls are labeled towards Character voices rather than vocal pedagogy.....I am more familiar with making character voices. I am now a "set it and forget it" kind of guy. I have been working on "Honesty" by Billy Joel. The sound was kind of OK to me but did not have his punch. Then I made the realization that he is a TOUGH GUY FROM THE BRONX.......I set the "effects array" for New York Gangster and there it was.....The sound I was looking for.
  8. MDEW

    Grow Old With Me

    You may not find a teacher like those to be in the same room with you but Skype lessons are almost as good. I do not know too much about how Ken Tamplin teaches or about his course. The owner of this forum also has a course called "The Four Pillars of Singing". I have this course and I know that it is in depth and has more information about how the voice works and how to train it. His course has videos of how and why you perform certain exercises The types of exercises are basically the same . The difference is how and why you perform the exercise and what it is that you are exercising. You are or should be learning how to control your voice and control the sound while performing these exercises. Singing is easy when you already like the sound of your voice and can match melodies with the intended emotions. But when learning how to shape the sound and get the effect that you want it can get a little complicated. My biggest breakthrough was realizing that if you do not like the sound of your voice, not only are you allowed to change the sound, changing , maintaining and directing the sound is required for good singing. You do this by learning how to shape the vocal tract and adjust breath pressure and amount of vocal fold compression and vocal cord closure. The vocal tract is "shaped" through different positions of the tongue, throat, larynx, mouth cavity, lips, soft palate.......How do you learn how to do this....By exercising on funny sounds and singing repetitive scales and sirens while maintaining the funny sounds. Singing scales on different vowels and mouth positions. All the while you should be paying attention to which sounds "Sound" better, feel better and allow different areas of the voice to get louder, softer, fuller, brighter or stronger. If listen to your voice after making a recording, and you find your voice is dull, lifeless or muffled......add a little of the SHAPE or larynx position that adds brightness....... You can't do that until you Learn the Shape or position that adds brightness.
  9. MDEW

    Grow Old With Me

    The sound remains the same because you are singing the same way. Singing Success gives you the idea that doing these exercises are going to help your voice "Passively". Like you do not need to do anything but sing these exercises and you are good, you can sing the way you always did and your voice will magically sound better and do what it is supposed to do. The exercises are active. Your vocal cords and other muscles DO things to make the exercises work. Like lip Bubbles and Squeaky door exercises. Lip Bubbles teach you how to regulate air pressure and how to alter it to help keep the vocal folds vibrating consistently. Part of the "Instructions" are: to keep the Bubbles consistent: If the lips Stop vibrating or you "Flip" into falsetto.....STOP and start over or start a little lower and continue the exercise. There are also instructions about what to do if the sound STOPS or Changes. You are LEARNING how to maintain the airflow....It is active... you do something to have the bubbles continue in difficult areas of your range. The Squeaky door teaches you HOW to keep the cords closed. The sound cannot happen IF the vocal folds are loosing closure. You DO something to keep the cords in contact with each other to maintain the sound. These are things you are learning. They are not just passive exercises which SLS gives the impression of by using the term "Speech Level Singing". The biggest problem I had with teachers and vocal courses is that they seem to be saying the less you "DO" the more you gain. Which is kind of true in a round about way. When a teacher says things like "Keep the tone in the mask". It is easier to track because you can actually feel the vibrations in the face and lip area when you ARE singing in the mask. But there are areas in the vocal tract that "Shift" to maintain that vibration. And guess what...Muscles are moving to make those shifts happen. More or less air with different air pressures needs to blow through the vocal folds. More tension or less tension needs to be applied to the vocal folds. The student needs to "Alter" things when the exercises are failing. Paying attention to what you had to change to make the exercise work is "Part" of the "Learning". It is not just muscle memory but also knowing when things need to change to have your voice do the things you want it to do. Reguarding not liking the TONE of your voice.....That can be changed. We do it all the time. Happy, sad, angry, sarcastic, jovial, timid bold, sexy, dopey, whiney, bratty. soft, stern.....Each of these things put "tensions" or focus in different parts of the vocal tract or different amounts of air pressure and makes the sound change. One way to change the sound of your voice is to learn what it is that makes these tones different and use them in your singing( without over doing it of course).
  10. MDEW

    From the living room to the stage

    There are a couple of other points to mention. Do you or any of the backup singers play an instrument while performing? If you play an instrument you have that instrument to get your reference pitch from. Maybe you are standing next to the rhythm guitar player and can hear him/her fairly well. Perhaps the backup singers are standing next to the drums and cannot hear the guitars. Do you have set positions when performing? Like the lead singer always standing near the middle of the stage with guitar player on the left, Bass player on the right, drums middle stage in back of lead singer, Back up singers standing together or one on one side of the lead singer and the other on the other side?.......Or are the members of the band constantly changing positions depending on the space available at the time? All of these things make a difference in what you actually hear while performing. Try switching members around and see if it makes a difference. Of course you still need the whole band together to find positioning that works best.
  11. MDEW

    From the living room to the stage

    I am saying the PA will alter the sound and the ability to focus on what a person uses to gauge their own pitch. If you are in the living room with an acoustic guitar and the other singers sitting next to you, you can hear each individual and the blend. If you are in a live situation you are hearing the different guitars, the drums the din of the crowd and the sound bouncing off the walls and coming back to you all mixed together. You might not even be able to hear and distinguish your own voice in the mix. Not to mention the fact that you hear yourself differently when listening to your voice while singing than you do when hearing it on tape. When singing with the pa you hear a mixture of the sound you hear while singing and the sound you hear listening to your voice from an outside source. It does not sound like the voice you are used to. Add to that the effects like reverb , echo, and equalizer , even the boxy sound of some monitors and the "Blend" of the voices can make it difficult to perceive your own voice in the mixture of sound. Several things can throw off your reference. Have you ever tried to talk on a phone when there is an echo of your voice? You speak and a millisecond later you hear the sound. I hate it when that happens....I keep stumbling over my words because I start to talk and I Hear the words I already spoke......Singing with reverb or echo is the same kind of thing....It takes getting used to.
  12. MDEW

    From the living room to the stage

    live practice with band. The voice sounds different when singing through a microphone and the feedback(acoustical properties) through the speakers mixes the sound of the instruments with the sound of the voices. When live you are hearing the voices from the monitors AND from the reverberation of the room itself. In other words, whatever the individuals focus on to keep them on pitch may come through the monitors sounding different than in a living room with no interference. If one voice listens to another voice to get the pitch clues.....if the first voice is off....everyone goes off pitch.
  13. MDEW

    Grow Old With Me

    Instead of singing in the lowest key possible....sing in the key that fits your voice. I like the Beatles feel of this.
  14. MDEW

    About whistle notes.

    I am using this file from Seth Riggs because he explains lip bubbles and how to perform them better than I can and better than I have seen from other teachers. I am not promoting Seth Riggs over any other teacher. I believe the material in "The Four Pillars" is among the best out there and I do suggest that as the best investment for training a singing voice.
  15. MDEW

    About whistle notes.

    The sound UH as in Duh. or Uh-Oh......Some people also call the lip trill.....lip Bubbles. Buh Buh Buh Buh the UH is continuous. The lips vibrating makes the B sound. With sirening on a lip trill you are actually sirening on an "UH" sound while holding a B position with the lips and allowing the air flow to move the lips.