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a path to getting better

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in our never-ending quest to become better singers i'm gonna start a new discussion i hope you'll join in on. it's called what things are you doing to strenthen the voice, to grow the voice, to challenge the voice. although i'm not a vocal teacher, i'm really starting to believe that if you really want to go to the "next level" whatever you might define as the next level, the voice has to be stimulated past the point of complacency, or familiarity ...., moved, coerced, coaxed, shocked, pushed, (not sure of the correct verb to describe it) but something has to be done to make it "stronger" and the word "stronger" could have many meanings.

so, the one thing i'm starting to do is purposely select songs that require singing at or near the break for a significant portion of the song.

two in particular is mr. mister's "broken wing" and "kyrie." both songs are challenging. it's my belief (and hope lol!!!) that this will help me strengthen my voice. i want to improve adduction strength at the break area notes.

if you're out to do the same, what are you doing to help yourself in this regard?

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Always liked "Kyrie". Well-crafted song.

I'd say reading this forum qualifies and trying to assimilate some of the ideas and thoughts here.

Along with that, I vocalize every day, even on off days-where before I'd just NOT do it. Trying to work the register switch out so it's smoother. In a few different acts and that kind of pushes me to find answers and get stronger. Not sure any of it's working, mind you, but I would think every little bit helps.

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Always liked "Kyrie". Well-crafted song.

I'd say reading this forum qualifies and trying to assimilate some of the ideas and thoughts here.

Along with that, I vocalize every day, even on off days-where before I'd just NOT do it. Trying to work the register switch out so it's smoother. In a few different acts and that kind of pushes me to find answers and get stronger. Not sure any of it's working, mind you, but I would think every little bit helps.

bill, this strenthening thing could easily take me years and 60 is less than 3 years away, but i'm not giving up. i just love getting better at anything i do in life. my goal is to have such a control over the vocal folds that i can willfully manipulate them at all pressures and all stretches.

i know there is much more to it than that, but that's what i'm after now. b.t.w.

richard page live! at 58, can still nail those notes. he sang background vocals for whitesnake.

this my friends is the "ring."

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I'm currently insisting on correctness in everything. I'm choosing fairly easy music (with the exception of Big Spender), and spending less time worrying about difficult notes etc and more time making sure that alignment, placement etc is spot on. I'm trying to get all those things into the realm of "automatic".

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I'm currently insisting on correctness in everything. I'm choosing fairly easy music (with the exception of Big Spender), and spending less time worrying about difficult notes etc and more time making sure that alignment, placement etc is spot on. I'm trying to get all those things into the realm of "automatic".

yes, i totally relate and when you do, you free yourself up to "wow" the crowd with the storytelling part of it. i love tear jerkers and blues and heartache themes...how this one and that one did me wrong i guess because they really did.

i was engaged twice and the last gal ripped my heart out...lol!!! what a platform to sing off of....lol!!!

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lol. With you 100%. I hate a performer who sits in the corner and fades into the background. I want them (the audience) to watch, damn it, and I'll make it worth while giving me their attention. Storytelling - the whole acting side of it, that's me. I love being on stage, and it's like I take on a different personality when I do. I love performing and don't get too nervous - just excited. But, if I have to go on stage for another reason (I get a few accolades for work I do in the community), I don't get the chance to assume my "stage persona" (the sex kitten jazz singer), and I feel quite uncomfortable with the attention. Funny hey?

Life experience makes you a better performer. I'm in my mid thirties and I can sing about heartbreak, love, difficult choices, regret, frustration, parenting, faith, unrequited love..... Plus I now have so much more self confidence, which makes it possible for me to express myself in a much less guarded way. As they say - every cloud has a silver lining, even if that broken heart only makes you able to bring your audience to tears - that's still a silver lining. I love to move the audience too - but generally with a jollier vibe.

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Something I have read and found true in my own experience. Aside from all the exercises and technique programs. Live performance. Do it every chance you get. Especially if you can get a way from a teleprompter from a karaoke machine. The temptation is to look at the words and color cues, even when you already know the song. So, for example, my last public performance was my best. With everything opposite of all the rules we know. My wife volunteered me to sing "Brandy." And just because it is baritone doesn't make it less demanding. We were at a greek restaurant. I had just eaten dinner. Had two glasses of wine (low yield zinfandel) and some water. Was outside smoking a cigarette. (Yes, I'm on the highway to Hell.) Went in, no warm up or vocalising. The band was a two-piece. Bass, guitar, and a drum machine. They didn't know the exact chord progression through the trickier parts and played it one step lower than what I am used to. And none of that stopped me. I was energized with my right leg doing an "Elvis" thing. Looking at the audience. And seeing them sing along. And the band missed a cue. On a standard arrangement, the ending chorus repeats 3 times. They were in the process of playing an ending coda when I launched into the last repetition and they followed me.

And it was a hit. People applauded. One wished I had a better mic (not mine, it was the bassist's back-up vocal mic loaned to me.) Repeating the scales one more time in your bedroom or closet or bathroom is fine. But get out there and sing, preferrably with live musicians. You will find that you have what it takes. That you will do what you need to do to project the song. Let your technique serve and support that magic moment you create with the audience. You do have to get into an environment where it's not just you and your voice, a capella.

I think most of us here, though we enjoy singing for the art itself and for our own self-expression, are also seeking to share our craft with others, to spread the joy that it gives us. So, get out there and start spreading some joy. Whether you drop tune 1/2 or re-arrange the melody to suit your voice at this stage. Do it, believe it, and the audience will believe it, too. If they see you believe it, they will, too. It's infectious.

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Something I have read and found true in my own experience. Aside from all the exercises and technique programs. Live performance. Do it every chance you get. Especially if you can get a way from a teleprompter from a karaoke machine. The temptation is to look at the words and color cues, even when you already know the song. So, for example, my last public performance was my best. With everything opposite of all the rules we know. My wife volunteered me to sing "Brandy." And just because it is baritone doesn't make it less demanding. We were at a greek restaurant. I had just eaten dinner. Had two glasses of wine (low yield zinfandel) and some water. Was outside smoking a cigarette. (Yes, I'm on the highway to Hell.) Went in, no warm up or vocalising. The band was a two-piece. Bass, guitar, and a drum machine. They didn't know the exact chord progression through the trickier parts and played it one step lower than what I am used to. And none of that stopped me. I was energized with my right leg doing an "Elvis" thing. Looking at the audience. And seeing them sing along. And the band missed a cue. On a standard arrangement, the ending chorus repeats 3 times. They were in the process of playing an ending coda when I launched into the last repetition and they followed me.

And it was a hit. People applauded. One wished I had a better mic (not mine, it was the bassist's back-up vocal mic loaned to me.) Repeating the scales one more time in your bedroom or closet or bathroom is fine. But get out there and sing, preferrably with live musicians. You will find that you have what it takes. That you will do what you need to do to project the song. Let your technique serve and support that magic moment you create with the audience. You do have to get into an environment where it's not just you and your voice, a capella.

I think most of us here, though we enjoy singing for the art itself and for our own self-expression, are also seeking to share our craft with others, to spread the joy that it gives us. So, get out there and start spreading some joy. Whether you drop tune 1/2 or re-arrange the melody to suit your voice at this stage. Do it, believe it, and the audience will believe it, too. If they see you believe it, they will, too. It's infectious.

Bravo! Well done ronws, couldn't agree more. Hey this is a good thread isn't it. Good on you, Bob.

Having a handful of good chord charts is helpful for getting the chance to sing with a live band - and it gives them the impression that you know your stuff a bit. Yes it is so so infectious. My friend that I do harmony with and I live in a remote outback town in Australia. We do a bit of community music work and make our own performance opportunities now and then. At a recent event, a bloke new to our music groups wanted to have a go. He was a good guitarist but a lot of his vocals were off key. Had nice tone though. Local bloke, well known, family and work mates in the audience. He got the BIGGEST applause and you just couldn't wipe the smile off his face. THAT is terrific. Another bloke, at the country music festival I went to a few weeks ago, played guitar and sang TERRIBLY - but he jumped up and down and had such a great time. It was a bit like watching that african bloke who couldn't swim swimming in the olympics. Everyone loved it and cheered him on. He was so entertaining, even though musically he wasn't very good at all. And that is what it is all about - be entertaining, part of that is believing it. The audience love a performer who they can related to, who is warm, connected, and human. Show your delight. ONe of the biggest compliments I get is that people love to watch me because they can see how much I am enjoying myself and it makes them happy. Good point ronws.

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ron, ron, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron!!!! cigarettes?

as in inhale? say it isn't so buddy!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_5kv8QeBBc

Over and over again, I have said that this is my theme song. You thought I was just being rhetorical or dramatic. It is, in fact, the general ringtone on my cell phone.

"For the path to Hell is wide and easy. It is easier for a camel to pass through the needle (entrance gate of a city) than for a rich man to get into Heaven."

My sins are many.

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