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Charting progress and gains? how?

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JonJon

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after getting some distractions out of the way I am ready for some serious training.

 

Now then.....how does one track their progress? is it a matter of just continually posting audio and comparing over time? or does one post their "shaky" notes and failures and then later post when they have better attained those notes etc?

 

any ideas?

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Some people do have training threads. Especially with TVS and there is a section here for that and it's kind of like a blog or vlog for TVS students who want to share the product of their work at various stages.

Now, granted, must of them are doing cover songs, so it is easier to gauge improvement over things like range, pitch accuracy, or endurance. Whereas, with you, it is likely to be originals, which I think is way cool. Either one is okay. Singing the song of someone you admire, or singing a new song that you wrote or are writing.

I suppose you could also come up with a literal chart. Something for ease of use in range. Like, say, repeating C5 five or six times in a song, such as is done in "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. Essentially, accomplishing a thing that is repeatable in pro performance.

In my opinion, your voice can already do everything you are going to do with it. Training is about discovering and letting that out, like the sculpture using chisel and hammer to reveal the form underneath the blob of stone. Are some stones naturally beautiful and lend themselves to the shape of the finished piece? Yes.

And others required removing lots of pieces and making lots of dust and were just as beautiful as the stone that needed little work.

Same with singers. Some already do some correct things by nature and don't understand the work of others. And vice versa, some work hard and don't understand the guys that already have some natural things in place or assume that someone with a genetic advantage doesn't have to work at it.

And whether you get a lot of traffic in such a thread or not, it would be a neat history of what you learn.

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I know more or less how I have improved: I can sing higher notes and I've been practicing falsetto much more so I'm better at it. I also know my voice is still not stable at all, and I still need to work on my speaking voice, which means I am far from really singing well. :)  

The improvement in my case is clear because I could not sing some songs in the original key and later I could. That's mostly how I measure it. I have got quite familiar with "Tomorrow never dies" but can't sing it. If one day I manage to sing it, I'll know I have improved. It's also possible some days later I can't sing it :D which is the hardest part of all this process.

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Jon,

That's the cool thing if you stick with it....

For me, gains became apparant gradually and not only will you sense an improvement in one area, but you will likely find you've improved in an area you weren't really paying attention to..like a residual gain in another area.

For example, you do exercises to help keep the larynx from shooting up, and then you realize you can sing songs by artists you didn't think you could because you've gained more control over laryngeal adjustments which might mean you can produce more colors with your voice, more timbres.

Or let's say you worked on your breathing, now note longevity, notes endings (often forgotten about) tone, power, stamina, range, dynamics, all get improved.

 

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     Allowing myself to Sculpt the sound improved my tone and emotional presentation of songs. We sometimes get the idea that we have to sound like ourselves or that whatever our sound is, is what it is. The fact is that each song can have a different amount of Bite, Harshness, Shrillness, Clean and Boomy or silky smoothness.  We choose. Allowing ourselves to make changes to the sound and the way we approach a song and singing makes for better overall control.

      That is basically what I mean when I say that if I do not like my voice I use someone elses. Add rasp, More bite, less bite, darken, lighten, more air, less air............ until it sounds better for the song. It is still my voice of course just used in a different way than my normal(until now), just sing and see what happens.

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yeah, I have a lot to learn about different tones etc. for instance Id like to work on some thicker sounds like David Coverdale gets when he sings low....BUT i ALWAYS FORGET lol.

Part of my issue is I always want to KNOW what i am going to do ahead of time....but the singing is so new that im still somewhat info overloaded.

Im interested in doing everything but end up doing nothing lol

I mainly want to get a nice voice and tone that I like but so far I havent heard it

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  My tone totally sucked. I knew it. I asked people who sounded good. They couldn't tell me. Pretty much just stuff like use more support or sing to the back of the room. I posted a song here. Was given helpful advice by More than a few members but one of the main things that happened was that I was told my larynx was too high and I sang out of my nose nasal. I already knew that the nasal thing was not what was happening. But, I decided to rerecord the song with what I thought was the exact opposite of how I THOUGHT singing should work. I used the most choked up, pressed,forced sound I could come up with. Many people liked that sound better than my normal voice. I am not saying for you to do that.......... I am just saying that it was what freed me to go ahead and imitate, Growl, Darken, Lighten, distort add air ......... you name it. What I was doing before was to make the sound free and easy without constriction like almost everyone says singing should be. Problem was that they forgot to mention that making good sounds takes guidance from you the singer and making choices in the sound. In other words CONTROL the sound and that takes at least a little bit of muscle work in the vocal fold area.

    Roberts program will teach you HOW to make some of those other sounds and give you directions in the choices you can make to change the tone.

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im terrible at anything requiring constant discipline though lol...so following a "program" is pretty foreign to me (unfortunately). I sort of pick and choose and somehow make progress.

Right now I am just trying to learn to feel the resonance in different areas. I at least have figured out how to bridge by sensing that when I choke out I am feeling way too much in the low throat/vocal folds area. So I learned to get more of the sound onto the palate...walla, instant headvoice and bridging.

Today while driving home I was feeling the difference between falsetto vs headvoice. I feel the falsetto way up in the very top of my soft palate whereas the regular headvoice more in the hard palate. Driving down the road I was working hard on trying to connect that 2nd bridge from headvoice to the higher unconnected falsetto. Trying to change the Unconnected to CONNECTED. I felt like I actually bridged it seamlessly maybe twice but its WAY harder than the M1/M2 bridge. It felt more like a "trick" or balancing act so it wont be too useful like that lol

Other stuff I am clueless on....I just cant focus on it all yet. Tongue?? yes I have one but I have no idea what it does when I sing lol. Nasal resonance?? yes, I have heard of it lol. I am sure I have some sound being affected by the "mask" but I dont have any type of sensation attached to it yet.

 

I am making some headway in my tone though, just by being able to bridge and feel the resonance on my palate and opening my mouth wider....I am able to get a little bit brighter tone as opposed to sort of muffled

 

One good thing about my job....I can blast out belts and stuff as much as I want lol. It does get embarrassing though when you belt out a nice loud headvoice note and then you see someone was standing like 10 feet away that u didnt see and u scared the crap out of them lol

 

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     When I was younger I would imitate voices. That was back in the 70s early 80s. I would do wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage, also Comedians like Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. The entire Male cast of Simpsons. It would always bug me that I had all of this range of tones in Speaking but my singing tone sucked. I grew up with my entire family singing. I got the dumb notion that the tone of singing would take care of itself when done with a free easy unprocessed sound without manipulation. If you tried to SOUND like someone else while singing you were cheating or manipulating. WRONG. Yes you want to get rid of unnecessary tension BUT there is necessary tension. There is manipulation in the fact that sometimes you WANT to LEAN into the voice, You WANT to be loud and obnoxious OR you WANT to be soft and endearing. These are Tone controls.

       Just like some people have a naturally resonant tone some do not. I grew up around a lot of cousins, That pretty much meant that if you said something loud enough for others to hear EVERYONE would know about it. I was a private person so I learned to speak softly for only those to hear who were close to me. I pretty much taught myself how NOT to project, How NOT to support. My larynx shot up to keep the voice light and un intimidating.  If I would have gone ahead and Used HULK, Randy, Jeff and Bills voice to sing in, I would be much farther along than I am now.

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11 hours ago, MDEW said:

     When I was younger I would imitate voices. That was back in the 70s early 80s. I would do wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage, also Comedians like Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. The entire Male cast of Simpsons. It would always bug me that I had all of this range of tones in Speaking but my singing tone sucked. I grew up with my entire family singing. I got the dumb notion that the tone of singing would take care of itself when done with a free easy unprocessed sound without manipulation. If you tried to SOUND like someone else while singing you were cheating or manipulating. WRONG. Yes you want to get rid of unnecessary tension BUT there is necessary tension. There is manipulation in the fact that sometimes you WANT to LEAN into the voice, You WANT to be loud and obnoxious OR you WANT to be soft and endearing. These are Tone controls.

       Just like some people have a naturally resonant tone some do not. I grew up around a lot of cousins, That pretty much meant that if you said something loud enough for others to hear EVERYONE would know about it. I was a private person so I learned to speak softly for only those to hear who were close to me. I pretty much taught myself how NOT to project, How NOT to support. My larynx shot up to keep the voice light and un intimidating.  If I would have gone ahead and Used HULK, Randy, Jeff and Bills voice to sing in, I would be much farther along than I am now.

I like Bill Engvall and his bit about meeting his daughters dates when they come over. He will pull the man aside and in a conspiratorial whisper, mention, "I have no problems going back to prison ..."

 

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I did think of one good way which is kind of obvious.

Go back and check on older songs that u sang. In sections where u struggled to reach a note, show that u can now more easily hit that note or hit it better etc. That would show good progress

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It is very useful to keep a repository of phrases that you cannot sing properly, and keep experimenting with them.

I would have two lists:

1. Phrases that you cannot sing, and you get consistently wrong. (Technique that you don't know.)

2. Phrases that you get right on a good day and wrong on a bad day. (Technique that you think you know but don't. ;)) <---- currently empty, and I hope it stays that way.

Today, I discovered a magic vowel.

After working hard on (appoggio) breath support over the last six months, I have developed a lot of freedom in the vocal tract to explore new vowels. While experimenting today,  I hit upon a magic vowel that answers the problems I had singing some of my listed phrases.

This is kind of "pre-progress", because "magic" :) alone is not a full answer. I now have to practise, strengthen and naturalize the vowel. But it is already clear that it is going to work. Then it will become solid progress.

(I call it a magic vowel only because it doesn't appear at speech level in my spoken English, not because I don't understand how it works. I had to discover it for singing.)

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11 minutes ago, kickingtone said:

It is very useful to keep a repository of phrases that you cannot sing properly, and keep experimenting with them.

I would have two lists:

1. Phrases that you cannot sing, and you get consistently wrong. (Technique that you don't know.)

2. Phrases that you get right on a good day and wrong on a bad day. (Technique that you think you know but don't. ;)) <---- currently empty, and I hope it stays that way.

Today, I discovered a magic vowel.

After working hard on (appoggio) breath support over the last six months, I have developed a lot of freedom in the vocal tract to explore new vowels. While experimenting today,  I hit upon a magic vowel that answers the problems I had singing some of my listed phrases.

This is kind of "pre-progress", because "magic" :) alone is not a full answer. I now have to practise, strengthen and naturalize the vowel. But it is already clear that it is going to work. Then it will become solid progress.

(I call it a magic vowel only because it doesn't appear at speech level in my spoken English, not because I don't understand how it works. I had to discover it for singing.)

 

I think its pretty hopeless for me...Im simply a lazy and disorganized person. Anything resembling a plan or method is way over my head

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