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Clocks (Beginner)

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wingedsheep
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Hey,

I recorded a cover of clocks by coldplay and would like to ask some advice on my singing.

With some practice i've come to the point I can (just) reach the notes to sing this song. (Most of the time i come to D#/E/F without using falsetto)

Youtube link

Maybe you have some advice on how to practice or what to change to be able to sing these higher notes easier, or see anything i'm doing in a wrong way.

Thanks in advance!

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Nice video. the D# - F area is the start of the passagio. Some people can naturally sing through this area and higher (not in falsetto) with no strain. However most of us can't. The good news is that we all can learn. You have to change your vocal tract to tune the 1st formant as you go through this area. If not, you can strain and this can be harmful. You really need to go to a teacher, or obtain a instructional DVD program to learn how. It takes a lot of practice - and the right kind of practice.

One of the forum members has some video demonstrations that can get you started. Check out the videos here:

http://www.vocalpower.co.uk/Videos.php

This is Robert Lunte's forum - he is a vocal instructor and you can learn how to sing with his help either private skype lessons or his instructional dvd's or both.

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Thanks for the reply.

Well I've taken some lessons but I didn't really progress. I was told to relax my throat more on the high notes and think 'low', but I just couldnt sing the same way past the passagio and keep relaxing.

At the moment lessons are a bit too expansive for me as well.

Maybe some day I will get it :)

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wingedsheep - if all the teacher told you was to relax, that definitely won't help you. Relaxing is good, don't get me wrong. There are a couple of tricky things that you need to do to get over the passagio. One is you have to start changing your vocal tract to ease the reasonance change. If you sing normal speech vowels, and try to sing those vowels into the passagio, you will tense up. You've got to learn how to modify the vowels. For example, "Ah" starts to become "Uh". Think of the sensation of yawning. The second tricky thing is to thin out the vocal folds. In normal chest voice you are using "thick" folds. You can't use thick folds up really high, so you have to learn how to shift from the TA muscle slowly to the CT muscle otherwise you will hit a limit. The point at which you let CT take over seems to be different from person to person and vowel to vowel. For me it occurs around Ab, but others may be at a lower point. But the Vowel Modification thing needs to occur at the same place for everyone because it is more of a law of physics. Right in the Eb to F range is where the vowel mods need to take place.

Almost forgot to mention the importance of correct breathing. You're going to need to maintain good breath support always - and especially through the passagio.

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Looks like a professional editing job on the video. Especially synchronizing soundtrack to video. You are nowhere near a microphone close enough to pick of the softer qualities of your voice. Which means you sang a track that was later synch'd to the video. Including the two different takes of you singing the same line, while wearing different shirts. Professional mixing, too. All the levels seem right, just like the original. I might suggest that for the chorus, rather than sing a separate track that wasn't quite tuned to the first track (this let me know that it wasn't' autotuned as far as I could tell) it might be better just to duplicate the original track and flange it just a smidge.

As for the actual singing, I would say try an oh on the high parts rather than an oo.

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Thanks for the replies.

@guitartrek I guess it's best to go and save some money to take lessons again, because there's so many things you can do wrong. It's very hard to find out all of it without a good teacher.

A lot of times when i try to figure out how to sing past my bridge myself I end up with a very low cracking voice the day after, telling me I was doing it the wrong way.

@ronws: Well, I recorded it with a camera, so I didn't have to synchronize the video to the sound. It records audio quite well. Aligning the different lines was still quite some work though.

Hehe sharp, you spotted the different shirts :P Thanks for the tip of not recording two seperate vocal lines but doubling one, that would be a lot better for the consonants.

And no I didn't use any autotune. You can also tell, cause i sung a few lines a little flat.

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Yeah, just the fact that the doubled vocals were actually sung, rather than duplicated, is enough to know it was not autotuned. And mucho respecto from me-o for not autotuning. A real singer just deals with it as it happens, like you.

And it may or may not have been flat on the second track. Sometimes, just having a different rate of vibrato in your voice on two tracks is enough to make it sound muddy. That's why I suggested just dup'ing the vocal track and do whatever you want to the dup'd track.

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I love this song. Your vocals do need work however. First of all, I tell practically everyone this, but especially to you: BREATH. Even just the way you're singing if you were to take deep breaths before each line (listen to the song and mark where the breaths go). And when you breath in, imagine you're coming up to the surface from under water for a gasp of as much air as you can get before you go back under again, and imagine breathing the breath all the way into your stomach, feel your chest expand. even when you're not singing, just take 10 minutes to take in big deep breaths and hold em for a few seconds at a time. Without the strength of breathing, you're gonna hurt your voice. I love your effort, I love your passion, and I know you can take your voice further than you are now. Good luck :)

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I like the video!!

What did you use to do it?

You're a far better singer than I, but I can hear a nervous tension in your voice like I have.

You have the pitch, you just need to sing freer and more relaxed.

This breathing business seems to be the fix according to everyone on here and I'm working hard on it myself.

Another possible idea might be to sing it in a funny voice so that you relax more and stop focus so much on the pitch, as that's all that seems to be holding you back.

Hold onto to that relaxed, care free feeling and then sing normally again.

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I love this song. Your vocals do need work however. First of all, I tell practically everyone this, but especially to you: BREATH. Even just the way you're singing if you were to take deep breaths before each line (listen to the song and mark where the breaths go). And when you breath in, imagine you're coming up to the surface from under water for a gasp of as much air as you can get before you go back under again, and imagine breathing the breath all the way into your stomach, feel your chest expand. even when you're not singing, just take 10 minutes to take in big deep breaths and hold em for a few seconds at a time. Without the strength of breathing, you're gonna hurt your voice. I love your effort, I love your passion, and I know you can take your voice further than you are now. Good luck :)

I've heard the opposite, i.e. that you should NOT inhale as much as you can, because it can constrict your throat. Inhalation should be as natural and relaxed as possible.

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