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Steve Perry cover

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jonpall
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Hi guys,

I think I managed to improve my latest version of Journey's "Separate ways". I like it better myself. I felt more comfortable singing it this time, although I know it's not pitch perfect for each word. It was done in a single take, btw. I'm interesting in how you guys like it. Any comments whatsoever, good or bad would be appreciated :) . Here it is:

http://www.box.net/shared/dx0xlb0p8x

(It sounds best with the volume turned all the way up :) )

Have a nice day, all!

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Jonpall - that sounds awesome! Really ballsy high B's. You seem very comfortable with the song now - you can tell with spot on rhythm and stylistic pitch changes and phrasing. Plus the tone of your voice is very full especially on the high B's. Your chest and head are well connected - actually sounds like all chest (those familiar with CVT would say curbing), so if you went into head you can't tell. Are you going to sing this in your band?

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In the beginning of the song "here we stand", Lets focus on word 'stand' [staend] vowel "ae".

That was perfect, powerful, clear, professional sound! That is the way you live in.

In this single word you have related air (as the media that sound propagates through) and pressure from your perfect connected vocal cords (clear wave). In result we could hear beauty of your singing.

What IMO happened later?

I can hear too much bite, too much pushing the sound, unnatural way of singing. I think Perry sang it (most of the song) like your first word 'stand'.

Its my own opinion based on personal experience and knowledge . Im not an expert. Take it or leave it.

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Thanks everyone for their comments!

Geno, thanks for the kind words. I hope you mean that :) . I can't really do this song with my band because currently we don't have a keyboard player. I'd also like to practise it a bit more. Yes, I think it's curbing/mixed voice, but I wasn't too focused on just staying in a single mode. However, I think that this time around I had more consistant hold and twang and better control of changing my larynx height according to the pitch. All of these things were worse before, I'm sure of that.

The main thing that helped me with this song was taking the first line of the song and sing it over and over, first very slowly and then faster and faster until I reached normal speed. That gave me time to try to make each word sound good (to me). Then I pick the next line in the song. I REALLY suggest you guys try out this way of training. It's almost all I do these days.

Thanks, Ron!

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devaitis, thanks for being honest as always. I'm trying to understand what you mean and I think I do. I will take your comments, try to decipher them and see if some, none or all are things that I agree with :) . This time around I must slightly disagree with you, although I think I know what you mean. I disagree with the sound being unnatural, especially since there are so many different ways to sing. I think it comes down to preference. Well, I could be wrong. Perhaps the majority of people will hate this version of mine, lol. Especially when people have the sound of the original singer in the back of their mind. That's why it's so good to posts songs here and hopefully get as many comments as possible, good or bad. Then you might get a feeling whether or not the majority of people like it or not. But I'm much happier with this sound than the one before (and the one I had on my very first version of "Don't stop believing" - I never liked that version of mine and now I think I can sing it better). That's what's most important to me at the moment. I do realize that I still can improve a lot and I have NOT mastered this type of singing yet.

Anyway, the thing is, a part of me likes a singer with a more "round" tone like Steve Perry, but an even bigger part of me likes a singer with a bit more "edge" and twang, like f.ex. Steven Tyler. So I guess I was singing somewhere in between. It's probably twangier than Perry but I don't think it's too twangy at all. If someone disagrees it would be cool to know. If you check my old "Bed of roses" cover, my sound is pretty similar there. I'm actually trying to find my OWN tone and using it on this song instead of trying to get as close to Perry's sound as possible. And by doing that, I think f.ex. my larynx gets slightly higher than perhaps some people appreciate. I tried having my larynx lower but wasn't liking the sound as much, at least not that day. I liked the edgy cut-through sound more as a personal preference. Perry was always mostly a pop singer and my heart lies in rock n roll so that could have been part of it. But I wasn't pushing the sound at all. My throat felt very relaxed. I must admit that I had practised the verses much more than the chorus and I agree that the verses sound a bit better. Perhaps that's what your ears are picking up. Anyway, cheers, my friend, keep on singing and thanks!

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My personal preferences aside (which for this song would be pure curbing - even if that meant making a few parts a bit lighter) ,

if there's one thing I think needs a bit more attention, it's the notes where you sing "IN 2" and "FOR YOU".

There you go.

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I can hear too much bite, too much pushing the sound, unnatural way of singing. I think Perry sang it (most of the song) like your first word 'stand'.

I'm interested if anyone else agrees with this and thinks my sound was perhaps too weak or twangy along those lines. Maybe I'm just not hearing that I really was, in which case I might want to change my sound slightly - perhaps sing it "dopier"?

Anyone wants to comment on that?

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I'm not picking up on the "unnatural" thing. I might be missing something that devaitis heard. jonpall - you have improved significantly on this song. If I were to compare your mastery of "Whole lotta love" to this song, I would say you aren't quite to that point with this song, but you are getting there. You can tell you are much more comfortable with it to put some stylistic nuances in it. You rythmical phrasing is great - whereas before, you were a little off from time to time. You've got the zepplin stuff down extremely well. I'd say you're about 80% to 90% there with the Journey stuff. The rest will come if you keep on singing / listening back / listening to the original for another couple months. Of course if you were singing it in the band it would come together automatically. Keys are pretty important - but maybe you could do a 3 piece arrangment? I've done that before in my band, even with keyboard heavy songs. You have to come up with some cool guitar parts to make up for the lack of keys but you might be able to pull it off. It may not work with this song because it is so recognizeable.

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To me, it sounded fine. I'm getting so &^%$ing tired of people nit-picking to death. Some minor little piece of of whatever. I mean, really? Do we have to come up with some criticism just because it is the critique section? Or to make ourselves feel bigger and more important because we can criticize? Not to mention our own particular vewpoints. What if I judged everyone by whether or not they sounded like Pavarotti or Sills? How silly would that be of me to compare everyone to that, if those were my favorite singers? Every once in a while, just from the law of averages, if from nothing else, we get something right. We have a saying around here, in Texas. Even a blind hog finds an acorn, once in a while. And you, jonpall, find acorns more often than not. Quit beating yourself up. That's an order. :D

Edited to add:

This is not directed at anyone in particular. I just think we sometimes get bogged down in details and could all do with just sitting back, listening, and enjoying the song.

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I re-recorded the first line - "Here we stand, worlds apart, hearts broken in two, two, two":

http://www.box.net/shared/ct1ch9jjcg

I was happy with the sound for the first half it in the previous take, i.e. "Here we stand", but this time I made the second half just a tiny bit "dopier" or with darker sound colour, i.e. "worlds apart, hearts broken in two".

devaitis, and guys, what do you think?

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Hello, Jonpall!

I am very familiair with this song, one of my favourite songs from Journey. The first verse is almost perfect, not much to improve there. Then I can see Devaitis point but it is not as bad as he may present it as. That is, in the prechorus you sound a bit too nasal and a little strained, especially in the last two lines "if we can´t go on" and "To survive the tides love divides". Maybe you push too much there to gain the thickness you hear in the song. The thickness in this song comes from the backing vocals and that thickness you will have if you add some more of your vocals and pan them, then it will sound more powerful.

But overall a very good achievement from you Jon.

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Thanks guys. As always, it's good to get a variety of critique, good and bad. I'm glad devaitis made his comments because it made me experiment with different sounds and then I realized that for a pop tenor song like this, you probably want slightly darker sound than for, say an edgy rock song. My initial sound may have worked better for an Aerosmith type of song (maybe), but this has been very helpful because now I'm more aware of the delicate balance between twang, cord compression, larynx height and support effort. And I've been training it a lot today and yesterday. For a tough song like this, you must be careful not to lose this balance, not even for a split second. So I say, use your ears and your mind to help you train your voice :)

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