Kevin Ashe

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Kevin Ashe last won the day on August 6

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About Kevin Ashe

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  1. Lately, I've been pondering this metaphor in an effort to effectively convey some ideas about singing to folks who have had little exposure to good singing pedagogy yet, comprehend guitar amplification and effects. I'd appreciate any input on this, how it hits you, is it effective, improvements, any debate or opinions are welcomed. I often think of the physical vocal modes as similar to the knobs on a guitar amplifier. . . . . . and the acoustic vocal modes & effects as functioning like the e.q. and effects pedals.
  2. Liza, Lot's of good reading and advice here for you i see. It's cool when members here can help give other members deeper insight and practical advice. What I would have given to have this resource when I first started my singing journey many years ago. I feel the same way about Robert Lunte's training course, even though I had received the most excellent vocal coaching available in the 80's (which helped immensely with progress). When I learned of The Four Pillars of Singing, I discovered insights into the anatomy, physics, and vocal training scales, well beyond what my former training had taught me! The knowledge of these aspects produces an intuitive comprehension that channels you to all the right actions to take, which produce the results you are seeking! If you want to feel in control of your progress just pick up the course, the cost is seven times less than I spent more than 30 years ago for the best coaching available! AND, the course is more comprehensive and visually engaging than all the lessons I paid for! best, k
  3. Kevin Ashe

    Warming up

    hey ILM, I'm not sure what singing "closer to how we speak" really means. Monks sing chants, Acappella, I can't think of anything about their singing that is "like" speech mode. If we look at the vocal modes we can see that each "type" of vocalization requires a different configuration of the vocal track or formant. Speech- Very limited. not for emphasizing melodies. Sob- A crying sound, more specifically, the sound one makes when they're holding back a full blown fit of weeping, while they are singing. Belt- Yelling, Anger, volume Falsseto- A light airy sound, Feminine, tender. Opera- A full and somewhat "covered" sound, "rounded" and robust. Quack- Increased compression and closure, similar to a cartoon character Twang- Highly compressed, a “witchy,” nasal/mask focused sound Distorton- Anger, angst, violence, gritty/raspy sound. If I were going to try and associate which of these modes most closely represents how monks sing chants, I'd say opera (with no vibrato) in a light mass. So I'd be interested in hearing details of how their singing is more like speech mode. warm ups. Warming up is about blood flow. Just like you stretch prior to playing an athletic sport. Increased blood flow will provide increased coordination, flexibility, consistency, and strength. Warm up exercises/scales are usually designed to maximize or make most efficient, the process of warming up, or increasing blood flow. If you just sing a melody you know, it may not be as effective in taking the voice through the full spectrum of sound that you make when singing and hence, not be as an efficient of a warm up. I hope this helps! peace, k
  4. Kevin Ashe

    Vocal Sculpting - In Search of the Best Take

    gotta say MDEW, that was a fountain of perspective that exceeded even my peripheral vision! It was like a 3D animation voice lessen that made my head explode! I hung in there and one thing I pulled out as feedback was; - it's all about the manipulation! I believe Seth MacFarlane exemplifies this point fairly well. - I would identify one important distinction about "manipulation" . . . that is, (unless you are more concerned with image marketing) keep the manipulation skills as a subtle instrument of embellishment, and retain the authenticity of that element of your voice that is truly uniquely you! (btw, that may just happen to sound like someone else also, just know who "you" . . . . is, an you'll be good!
  5. Kevin Ashe

    Vocal Sculpting - In Search of the Best Take

    hmmmmm. that sounds frustrating alright. I was thinking about this challenge and here's the best I could come up with for an angle on the flat "such:" I was singing this to get the feel and I gravitate to the "Ah-ishness" as opposed to "Uh-ishness" for the lyric "such." There could be times when it distorts the word too much to do this (I guess) but not for the word "such." To me, it feels like less coordination is required to nail the pitch with an "Ah" over an "Uh." Might have something to do with the tendency to scoop up to the note with the "Uh" vowel, and the larynx dampening and covering effect of the "Uh." (?) Don't give up, there's just got to be a formant that you can eventually produce to plant that note dead on! Second thought as an alternative to sining "such" with a lower note is: Sing the high note for "such" on the "Oh" of "lonely." Just a slight switch up of the melody that places the "challenging" note on a different vowel. (?)
  6. Kevin Ashe

    Vocal Sculpting - In Search of the Best Take

    Thanks MDEW! I fully agree, when i made the comment in my original post about "lighten the mass throughout," I was leaning the same direction. I guess I do think of lightening the mass as somewhat distinct from increasing respiration / relaxing the glottis. This is good cuz it makes me think deeper about the physiology of the distinction. Correct me if I'm wrong, i'm thinking the difference between a breathy sound color, and a "lighter mass" phonation is, 1- closure (of course by definition of breathiness), 2- deep placement (maximizing passaggio notes as low as possible), strong appaggio. I consider a more connected passaggio note as a light mass non-breathy phonation. This is also why I had indicated the stencil font which calls for more diaphragatic support. I find that (for me), a more engaged diaphragm fixes pitchy notes more often than vowel modification. If I can sing that "lose" lyric in a breathy emotion without it sounding like an anomaly in the overall vocal feel, I will. We'll see how it goes! Thanks for the comments, I appreciate them, it's not always easy to be objective about your own vocal takes. yeah J, I could hear you singin' and pickin' an upbeat John Prine style interpretation!
  7. Kevin Ashe

    Vocal Sculpting - In Search of the Best Take

    I listened thoroughly to all the flaws I was hearing in this take and then created my cue sheet in keeping with The Four Pillars of Singing methodology. I've attached the document I created. I will use this to change the way I'm singing the lines and hopefully therein improve the overall performance.
  8. Hello Fellow TMVW members! Humbling though it may be, I thought I would share a track I'm working on, (Beatles - In My Life) and the vocal "sculpting" process I go through in an effort to record my best performance. (I'd never share unfinished tracks except to friends and in this forum . . . plain vanity) I've had a lot of experience analyzing my vocals for recordings, I never quite knew how to articulate the process I was engaging in nearly as well as after having gone through The Four Pillars of Singing, learning the "talk track" I've heard Robert Lunte utilize across many hours of lecture videos! Once one is familiar enough with these "mechanisms" for mending, strengthening, or otherwise fine tuning a vocal line, the mystery about what to do goes away! Rob's techniques are structured in a simple, yet meticulous sequence that really does create the feeling of having a vocal sculpting tool box! I'm posting this both as a subject of interest to others who may be starting out with this type of challenge, and as a means of accountability for me to complete the process, which has been brutal for me due to inexperience with the recording software. It's good for me though, as I intend to record several old hit favorite song interpretations in the coming months. I'll post my final "sculpture" here for this track when I finally complete it. "Work to be done" on this vocal performance is: Pitchy lyrics / appaggio drop out, vowel mods for best resonance, better phrasing, embouchure brightening, slight lightening of mass throughout, . . . . I'm sure there's more, also, rhythm guitar mistakes, and guitar solo is not quite tight yet, not happy with the effects on my voice yet either. I'm contemplating leaving the last "in my life" line unresolved like it is now. I was trying to sing that last half of the last line and had to quit recording due to a leaf blower. I think i'll like it that way, maybe with a high harmony over the top. Lastly, I may end up using a different mic than I did for this take. One thing that clearly gets hammered home in this process is that performing live is a far more forgiving environment than being under the microscope of a recording. Peace, k
  9. Kevin Ashe

    Singing intervals

    very cool post ILM! The volley between Draven and Mdew took much concentration for this blockhead to track. It's good reading, really made me think about the relationship between muscle memory and relative pitch which is good vocal geek session for me. I had the chance to sing in an Episcopal choir for nearly five years. I wanted to do it as a musical challenge to myself since I read no music, and the choir members were super talented singers (some of them paid staff who have day jobs in the L.A. opera, and other hollywood productions . . . . these were not only great vocalists but they were adept at sight reading music. The weekly compositions were almost always classical and complex. The only reason I made the cut (bass section) and was given the chance to sing with them was my good sense of relative pitch. I relied heavily on the pro singer standing next to me (a vocal teacher at a local university on the side). After speaking with several of these pro singers, and the conductor, about the key elements in achieving their skill sets, the consensus was, mastering intervals. I did not have the discipline to practice them. Not too motivated because I wasn't going to be getting any singing sight reading gigs anytime soon. I'm certain however, that practicing intervals will strengthen both muscular coordination, and relative pitch! Intervals also helped me improve my recognition of notes on sheet music. btw, these pro singers did not stop practicing intervals just because they mastered them, that actually enabled them to use them as a training exercise/warm up. That's why I also thought what aravindmadis posted seemed like a good example of the benefits of mastering intervals.