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kickingtone last won the day on September 23

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  1. I think that it depends on the type of questions being asked. For example, in an online singer's master class I was watching, the maestro said to the student, "Don't rush that section. The pianist knows that it is vocally challenging, and will give you time!" That makes it clear that it is part of the pianist's skill set to appreciate what is vocally challenging, even if he or she is not a singer. Questions around this are clearly in the domain of the instrumentalist, and should motivate them to get involved. To accompany a singer, you need to have some knowledge of how to sing. Then there are question that the instrumentalist may not think really concerns him, or which may be asked just to get a discussion going. The attitude of the instrumentalist may be that he is not the best qualified to answer, so he keeps quiet and leaves it to the "experts". So, again, I would say that it is a matter of pitching the relevance of the line of questioning in a way that taps into the skill set of the instrumentalist. Finally, there may anticipatory fear by people in the class who are not singers but are terrified of being asked to demonstrate a technique if they get too involved or appear too enthusiastic. They would have to be reassured somehow that any demonstration would only ever be voluntary and instigated by them. (Unless, you have a sikrit plan that no one has spotted, to get them to sing likkle by likkle... lol). In a class of any subject, you usually get a couple of vocal (forgive the pun) students, and a load of passengers. It would be triply difficult in a music class, where there typically is a pedagogical mindset, and "demo-phobia". Part of being an artist is broadening the comfort zone, so perhaps students should learn to be "called out" and rise to the occasion.
  2. First time I produced a natural vibrato, it was on the highest note I could reach at the time. Almost stalling on the note somehow produced the vibrato. I think that vibrato itself is hyped and overrated. What is really interesting is movement on the held note, in general. Pitch is only one aspect of a note. You can get other interesting dynamic shifts on a held note. Vibrato is a rather plain dynamic. Because it is plain and evident, it can be used by classical singers to show of a level of control, e.g where they end a phrase with a precise number of wiggles. But, I don't think that vibrato is the most expressive dynamic. With the appoggio technique, vibrato is achieved by keeping everything "fixed". But it is not really fixed. That would kill any dynamic. The singer has to find, feel and subtly play around a fixed or "equilibrium" position. I think that a great sense of energy and movement around that steady position is crucial. With appoggio, the diaphragm and abs are in opposition. That opposition is active on a held note, meaning that it is constantly finding the equilibrium balance without freezing on it. That can produce a vibrato or other dynamic.
  3. Falsetto to chest voice is an atypical sample for general reviewing, so I can't say much except that the pitch seemed fine. The falsetto seemed to me to be a bit too thin and breathy. What about your call register? It's not used in the sample, but is quite central in a lot of songs.
  4. That is such an important point. There will always be those people who will tell you, even before you have sung two words, "don't give up the day job". Some of it is simply cultural automatic reaction to anyone singing, who is not "officially a singer". Then there is the obvious fact that people are different and like different types of music and singing. Some cultures are great when it comes to singing. People are more likely to join in than complain if you sing. Such "singing cultures" allow people to relax, practise easily, and improve. I noticed this when I was at uni. Someone will be singing a song to themselves for whatever reason, and other folk would pick it up and join in. But that tended to be students from particular countries. For the UK students, hell nawww!! With all that stiff upper lip reserved stuff going on, you'd berra have a certificate and license tattooed to your forehead to start singing in public. It was the same with parties. There were cultures that could throw great spontaneous parties with no alcohol in sight -- often kicked off by one of those singalongs, then people would rustle up some snacks, put on some music, start dancing... Not the British though, lol. Alcohol would have had to be flowing for an hour before a certain..*cough*... "party atmosphere" would take over... ....and THEN they would start "singing". Fortunately for me, the overseas students at my UK university were usually very interested in improving their English, which involved joining in debates and songs. People like picking up culture. So, my naive tendency to be an oblivious "singer" was well tolerated. I was basically singalong master in chief, and I could get whole groups of people singing (and I am not exaggerating when I say that singing gets you the pick of the girls, whooop!). So, if you surround yourself with the right people, you will realize that negative reactions to singing are not the norm, whatever your level. The right company will set you free to sing. And if you are using any kind of social media, you are going to have to get past trolls, anyway -- people who instinctively want to obstruct your progress for whatever reason (usually their own sense of failure). What has really surprised me is the incredible amount of effort trolls are prepared to put in -- crazy amounts of energy that they are not using to improve themselves. And the penny never seems to drop that it's like water off a duck's back, to me. I ignore them but I never complain, because I think it demonstrates how easy it is to brush them aside. I recall a couple of posts where people have said that they are not bothered by negativity and trolls any more. I like to think I played a little part in that, with the tremendous help of the trolls.
  5. Seems to me that there is quite a bit to unpick, here. You wanted to sing to help with learning the guitar? Have you since moved on to wanting to sing in it's own right? That's important, because singing only for technical reasons probably won't carry the necessary motivation for success in singing. Singing is about expression. When you sing, you are communicating a vibe, an emotion or a feeling, and it varies from song to song, and passage to passage within a song. In fact, monotony is one of those vibes, and there are songs that swing between a downbeat monotone vibe and 'other vibes to great effect -- or sometimes the vocals remain downbeat as a foil to great instrumental passages. (Listen to how Paul Simon sings in Sound of Silence -- some people don't get it -- his relatively monotone counter vocals are producing that foreboding vibe that the song has.) But there are a host of other vibes you would need to develop for most songs. My advice would be to stop thinking in terms of "good" or "nice sounding" voices. Personally, I think that is a load of BS -- often used to encourage people. A singer who sets out to sound "nice" or be "good sounding", without making expression his focus, is likely to end up sounding uninspiring. I say that that has nothing to do with physical makeup and everything to do with creativity (or lack of it). You need to think of more vibes and more emotions, and add more sounds to your portfolio to capture those vibes. You have to learn dynamic -- the ability to switch between the various qualities of sound. Listen to your favourite singers and hear how they do it. They are employing contrast all the time to bring out the expression in their vocals. There is a lot to it, which is unfortunately missed when people repeat that it is a matter of having a "good" or "nice sounding" voice. One of the "worst sounding" voices I have heard was really good. The dude was a wino, probably lived on the streets, and his voice was cracking all over the place. It didn't seem to matter. He must have learned to sing at some point in his life. The fact that his cracking voice was hitting all the notes, and a certain emotion packed energy was oozing through, made his vocals sound almost gravity defying. I liken it to a suspected lard azz who is able to do back flips and cartwheels. They end up looking more spectacular than the typical looking gymnast. If you think that your voice is not typical for a singer, you can turn that right round to your advantage. But you need confidence in how you naturally sound, and patience in bringing it out and expanding it. So, in summary, like your voice. Find what is good about it (you are simply not trying hard enough right now). Build on it. It's all about expression, not physical make-up.
  6. Practise. That's the simple answer. Practice gives you flexibility and options in expression and style. There is no absolute "better or worse" when it comes to expression and style. It's subjective. You choose style and expression, and try to get the listener to buy in to it. The listener is not the artist. The art is your job. The singer is the artist, a bit like a chef or painter. The chef isn't going to ask you how he can improve his recipe -- he is going to try to "educate your palette", and the painter isn't going to ask you how she should mix her colours. That is what makes them artists and not simply technicians. Once you know what style you want, then the question of controlling your voice takes shape, and those questions are more specific and objective. e.g "How do I make my tone lighter or heavier in a particular range?" or, "I would like to use vibrato, how do I do that?"
  7. I have half a dozen different clicks I can do in isolation, but they are intentional. This one seems to be something new. After some tests (same phrase as OP), I only hear the effect if I record over myself. Then it is effortless. Maybe that is all it is, just a recording effect. It doesn't seem to be any of these..
  8. The trouble I am having is not eliminating it, it's reproducing it...
  9. There's this exercise I do, where I record myself singing a short melody of some kind, and then sing over it with a different timbre or pitch. Today, I picked an old UHURU melody I can remember from way back. Uhuru is South African music. I like a lot of African music. Well I was innocently doing this exercise, singing normally, and I played it back and listened. I couldn't believe it when I heard all these tongue clicks going through it. Tongue clicks are a feature of South African languages and music! How the **** did that get into my recording!!! Anyway, its pretty handy. I'm gong to investigate wtf went on there. Maybe I can become proficient at clicking! Must be something to do with the "word" I used.
  10. ok A singer is an artist. That means that you MUST have or develop CREATIVE INTENT. So, first off, you can build up positive ideas by listening to your favourite singers more critically, and deciding what it is that you like about their singing in particular -- physical sound AND psychological expression. Then you can start to incorporate some of those things as your voice evolves. A lot of voice training starts with listening. Yes, you have to put aside time for critical, not-so-easy-listening of other singers. Listening to your one clip, you seem to be using one coordination for everything. But your last post shows that you appreciate and know the importance of DYNAMIC, without which the tone remains uneventful. You can explore head voice, chest voice, mix, falsetto, vowel modifications and shades, to achieve more dynamic and expression. Dynamic is the transition among the various modes, and expression comes through the artistic choice of mode. I don't think that your tone sounds at all weak. There is some decent projection in there, but effort is showing through, and the cadence sounds a little too deliberate. If you keep practising, it will become easier and more natural sounding. Singing may be technical, but you probably don't want it to sound that way. You are ok for two years of self-teaching, imo, and right to question, if you feel stuck. I just want to emphasize that i think that it is crucial to have a target tone evolving in mind, even if you cannot achieve it now. It can, and perhaps should, be your own creation (not lifted from anyone else). And don't worry too much if you have to go through a "phase" to get close to it Your evolving creation is always supposed to be a step ahead of you, anyway, and, like the fruits of Tantalus, just out of reach.
  11. What specific improvements are you aiming for, and what don't you really like about your overall tone?
  12. I didn't actually hear anything amiss with your tone. I thought that it suited the song. With this song, I'm not really thinking vibrato. Majority of songs don't need vibrato, in my opinion, but that's only my take. Until I hear what the artist makes the vibrato bring to the song, it's hard to decide. For me, it doesn't automatically bring anything. My initial impression, while in technical critique mode, was that you were not as confident as you could be, and you were being a bit too deliberate. But that all became academic because you carried it. Do that, and the rest is academic. I'd sooner revise what I thought would be necessary and pay attention to what actually worked.
  13. You carried it, man! Two of my tests.. Tomorrow, will I still be able to "hear the echoes" of you singing the song? Yes. Two months later, if I heard another song, would I be able to tell it is you? Very probably. It all comes down to getting that story, expression and vibe across, and you nailed it, imo. And I can hear a personality in the voice, which is very important.
  14. Here's another consideration. The attitude and shape of your vocal tract is very important, which is why some vowels work better than others in certain situations. Resonance is "sound build-up" due to favourable vocal tract geometry (not extra effort). It is resonance that produces fuller sound without getting shouty. When you sing, you are continually tuning the vocal tract geometry for resonance, according to the pitch and timbre that you want. Where the tuning is less accurate, there may be a tendency to try to compensate by pushing the sound out (getting shouty), or limiting yourself to softer sounds. You can experiment and practise getting a relaxed and fluid vocal attitude, and finding good resonant configurations. Experiment. Play around with different sounds/noises. See where you feel them resonate. Bridge of the nose? Eyes? Tip of the nose? Back of the mouth? etc. etc. Play around, and get relaxed with the configurations. That will start to reduce the effort and shoutiness.