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kevinsongwriter
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So I'm a relatively new singer, I recently bought a mic and thought what the heck, i'll throw down some vocal tracks to my songs. From what I notice about my voice is that I can be pitchy and my tone could be better, my friends tell me I sound like the guy from Puddle Of Mudd... great lol. So far I'm just doin scale exercises along with my guitar, I currently cant afford a vocal coach.

Another question I have is, can you tell whether I'm sufficiently using my diaphram? Anyways, just some good honest reviews would help me out alot and would be much appreciated.

www.soundcloud.com/bleakperfect

Thanks!

Kevin,

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Thankfully, you don't remind me so much of Puddle of Mudd, because I'd probably have to smack whatever was in the nearest vicinity. I'm afraid people who haven't responded yet might be terrified of doing the same! That guy is all nose, he gets under my skin.

But I took a chance, and at least on "My Place" who you sound most like, is an early unpolished Trent Reznor who hasn't totally found or polished his sound yet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hpuu_xODUpo&feature=related

Now that's something you can get behind a bit better eh? Hopefully that's less scary to our ears too because Trent Reznor is a badass.

Unfortunately I'm not totally sure how to get the Trent Reznor sound myself. It's kind of a snarled, vocal fried, sometimes curbing (the hold), husky, breathy, sometimes strained kind of sound that if I were to try it, I'd abandon much of what I know about proper technique at getting a traditional 'sung' tone. But I hear things in there that don't 'sound bad' they actually sound pretty interesting.

I could give you advice on how to sing more 'properly,' but most of what I know to tell you would probably would lose some of that husky, nasal, breathy, cracky, somewhat pained sound you got. Your voice isn't hurting you right? does it feel comfortable? That's not always the best indication, but it's 'an' indication of healthy voice production.

I'll just be honest, I don't know what to do with you, cause I hear this potential for some really gritty, taboo sexy stuff with that voice if you could control the whine a bit more. I don't know for sure if you're breathing correctly, it almost sounds like not (sounds kind of high up in the chest rather than low down in the belly), but since I don't have a clear roadmap to get to your sound, it feels like I'd be taking stabs in the dark.

I suppose you've got some choices. You can go get lessons and get help on what you're doing more correctly or incorrectly. I think you should do this for safety reasons. You might lose some of your sound if they insist on straightening you out completely proper which would be unfortunate. Or you can keep doing what you're doing that seems comfortable and natural and hope you don't get injured. This is a pretty big gamble. I took this and I lost.

Me, I think you could use less nose or whine for my tastes in places, but this kind of sound has actually sold albums. So it's a question of polish and health, and I'm having trouble figuring out how to help you either way. I'm hoping the right teacher can help, cause Trent Reznor still has his voice and is ok as far as I know. I think it's possible to do that healthily, I just don't know how.

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I didn't really get any PUM feel here, at all. I missed the NIN thing and wished I had thought of that. My actual impression was STP. Kind of a Scott Weiland sinewy David Bowie-esque thing but I can now hear the creakiness of Trent in there, too.

Both songs were really good. "My Place" sounded like something STP should have recorded and didn't.

"Tune Up" is radio ready. I like to watch those documentaries of extreme snow skiiers and boarders slamming down a 70 degree slope higher than the highest black diamond course and it is always scored with something like this. Seriously, you already have copyright from your initial tangible production. Look up those film producers and get this one synchro-licensed (synchronous license for use of music in a motion picture.) Also, get yourself registered as a songwriter (if you haven't already) with BMI or ASCAP. They pay royalties directly to you for any use of this song. Spend 10 dollars in Maricopa County and register your own publishing business. Get that publishing business listed with BMI or ASCAP. Then, license your stuff.

Granted, it's a holiday, so you might better doing this stuff Monday.

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Thankfully, you don't remind me so much of Puddle of Mudd, because I'd probably have to smack whatever was in the nearest vicinity. I'm afraid people who haven't responded yet might be terrified of doing the same! That guy is all nose, he gets under my skin.

But I took a chance, and at least on "My Place" who you sound most like, is an early unpolished Trent Reznor who hasn't totally found or polished his sound yet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hpuu_xODUpo&feature=related

Now that's something you can get behind a bit better eh? Hopefully that's less scary to our ears too because Trent Reznor is a badass.

Unfortunately I'm not totally sure how to get the Trent Reznor sound myself. It's kind of a snarled, vocal fried, sometimes curbing (the hold), husky, breathy, sometimes strained kind of sound that if I were to try it, I'd abandon much of what I know about proper technique at getting a traditional 'sung' tone. But I hear things in there that don't 'sound bad' they actually sound pretty interesting.

I could give you advice on how to sing more 'properly,' but most of what I know to tell you would probably would lose some of that husky, nasal, breathy, cracky, somewhat pained sound you got. Your voice isn't hurting you right? does it feel comfortable? That's not always the best indication, but it's 'an' indication of healthy voice production.

I'll just be honest, I don't know what to do with you, cause I hear this potential for some really gritty, taboo sexy stuff with that voice if you could control the whine a bit more. I don't know for sure if you're breathing correctly, it almost sounds like not (sounds kind of high up in the chest rather than low down in the belly), but since I don't have a clear roadmap to get to your sound, it feels like I'd be taking stabs in the dark.

I suppose you've got some choices. You can go get lessons and get help on what you're doing more correctly or incorrectly. I think you should do this for safety reasons. You might lose some of your sound if they insist on straightening you out completely proper which would be unfortunate. Or you can keep doing what you're doing that seems comfortable and natural and hope you don't get injured. This is a pretty big gamble. I took this and I lost.

Me, I think you could use less nose or whine for my tastes in places, but this kind of sound has actually sold albums. So it's a question of polish and health, and I'm having trouble figuring out how to help you either way. I'm hoping the right teacher can help, cause Trent Reznor still has his voice and is ok as far as I know. I think it's possible to do that healthily, I just don't know how.

Thanks for the informative posts. I really, truly appreciate it!It probably was a mistake to even mention Puddle Of Mudd haha, I have been reffered more to sounding like Scott Weiland, I dont personally hear it, but hey ill take the compliment

I want that "gritty sexy voice" I don't particulary like the way I sound as of right now, it doesn't hurt or feel unatural for me but I do wear down quite quickly. When I first started singing I sung along to Nirvana songs, I tried imitating Kurts voice, which probably isin't the best thing to do as someone just starting out, especially on their harder tracks. You mention how it sounds like I'm not breathing low down in my belly (diaphragm?) this might be true but I think it could be something has to do with strain in my throat, I have noticed that my throat gets clenched up when I sing, from what I have heard is that you want a relaxed throat when singing, any advice on breaking this habit? I'm just going to keep working on that for now.

I really want to get singing lessons , just cant afford it right now as I'm a broke college student. To try to make up for not having a teacher I bought a book accompained with a CD that has around 100 singing exercises, so I'm hoping that will suffice for right now.

By the way I have uploaded a new track on www.soundcloud.com/bleakperfect titled "Rid This". This song is more in the "middle" of my range and is my most recent song, I think this offers a better idea of where I am at currently.

Thanks again for your informative post, much appreciated.

I didn't really get any PUM feel here, at all. I missed the NIN thing and wished I had thought of that. My actual impression was STP. Kind of a Scott Weiland sinewy David Bowie-esque thing but I can now hear the creakiness of Trent in there, too.

Both songs were really good. "My Place" sounded like something STP should have recorded and didn't.

"Tune Up" is radio ready. I like to watch those documentaries of extreme snow skiiers and boarders slamming down a 70 degree slope higher than the highest black diamond course and it is always scored with something like this. Seriously, you already have copyright from your initial tangible production. Look up those film producers and get this one synchro-licensed (synchronous license for use of music in a motion picture.) Also, get yourself registered as a songwriter (if you haven't already) with BMI or ASCAP. They pay royalties directly to you for any use of this song. Spend 10 dollars in Maricopa County and register your own publishing business. Get that publishing business listed with BMI or ASCAP. Then, license your stuff.

Granted, it's a holiday, so you might better doing this stuff Monday

Thanks for listening, glad you liked the tunes. Thanks also for the informative info, i'll definately look into getting synchro-licensed and getting registered as a songwriter so I can get the song on some films, maybe then I can afford voice lessons haha. Again, thanks for the great info, much appreciated.

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Hey Kevin, already got a new tune, that's productive. This was actually my number one musical problem. Can play guitar, bass, drums, and could sing, but have so much trouble putting it all together in a satisfactory way. I need to work on this and could learn a lot from your work ethic there. Nice job on the song.

Ok, I was listening to the new track and thinking carefully. Now your voice is a lot harder for me to tell than some, because you do this vocal mode called glottal fry, or 'creaking' like Ronsw said that makes kind of gritty noise that doesn't use much breath. In fact using too much air with this can cause strain. Me, I always had trouble with this sound as you're doing it because it always made me want to strain, though a lot of people seem to do fine with it (I always think of Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor).

But behind that sound, when you talk about feeling a bit strained or tense, it almost sounds like you're holding your breath a little bit rather than supporting the note too. The difference between holding your breath and providing breath support is quite hard to explain, but if you actually hold your breath even a 'little' in the same way that you would if you were underwater (you know in your throat) while singing you'll strain every time. Believe me, you don't ever want that sensation in singing as I've had it with my voice problems.

Something you might try as a visualization, is imagine the sensations you get while inhaling except in actuality you're exhaling freely. One thing that helped me was to take a straw, suck in on the straw very deeply. Get that feeling in the abdomen like it's engaging, now when you exhale try to keep a similar feeling like you're metering out the air in the abdomen.

Another thing that works for many people, is inhaling deeply, try a voiceless hissing sound exhale. Sssssssssssssss. Keep in mind, no voice on either exercise, just breathing exercises.

As for the glottal fry I know a bit about it, but I know probably the least about this. I'm wondering if you can clear it up with a nice, relaxed sigh sound and get more of a feeling of the difference by comparing that to your singing voice. You won't be singing on a sigh per say, but in all likelihood it's less likely to be a creaked sound. It should sound and feel 'smooth' and free.

Anyway, when you get your breathing and singing voice fairly right it shouldn't feel 'hung up or clamped down.' It will feel free. Keep in mind, I'm not an expert, but I'm giving this advice in that I hope it can protect you a bit. If anything I said feels bad or sucks, just toss it (sorry). But I'm familiar with voice strain and I think if you can get a more free sound you can use under control you'll probably be safer.

Oh, and by the way, Cobain likely used a lot of creaking, so you probably picked it up subconsciously. Cool, eh? But it's also one of the trickier things to get rid of, as it's very habit forming. I recall the first time I ever got a creaking sound, I did it for a couple of days and didn't know how to completely stop it. So you'll probably want your pure modal voice too (modal voice is the average voice that people would use) as I think it's probably the most relaxed and healthy voice people can have. You might be totally fine as is, you might not, but if you can maybe get an idea of the difference, it might help.

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Hey Kevin, already got a new tune, that's productive. This was actually my number one musical problem. Can play guitar, bass, drums, and could sing, but have so much trouble putting it all together in a satisfactory way. I need to work on this and could learn a lot from your work ethic there. Nice job on the song.

Ok, I was listening to the new track and thinking carefully. Now your voice is a lot harder for me to tell than some, because you do this vocal mode called glottal fry, or 'creaking' like Ronsw said that makes kind of gritty noise that doesn't use much breath. In fact using too much air with this can cause strain. Me, I always had trouble with this sound as you're doing it because it always made me want to strain, though a lot of people seem to do fine with it (I always think of Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor).

But behind that sound, when you talk about feeling a bit strained or tense, it almost sounds like you're holding your breath a little bit rather than supporting the note too. The difference between holding your breath and providing breath support is quite hard to explain, but if you actually hold your breath even a 'little' in the same way that you would if you were underwater (you know in your throat) while singing you'll strain every time. Believe me, you don't ever want that sensation in singing as I've had it with my voice problems.

Something you might try as a visualization, is imagine the sensations you get while inhaling except in actuality you're exhaling freely. One thing that helped me was to take a straw, suck in on the straw very deeply. Get that feeling in the abdomen like it's engaging, now when you exhale try to keep a similar feeling like you're metering out the air in the abdomen.

Another thing that works for many people, is inhaling deeply, try a voiceless hissing sound exhale. Sssssssssssssss. Keep in mind, no voice on either exercise, just breathing exercises.

As for the glottal fry I know a bit about it, but I know probably the least about this. I'm wondering if you can clear it up with a nice, relaxed sigh sound and get more of a feeling of the difference by comparing that to your singing voice. You won't be singing on a sigh per say, but in all likelihood it's less likely to be a creaked sound. It should sound and feel 'smooth' and free.

Anyway, when you get your breathing and singing voice fairly right it shouldn't feel 'hung up or clamped down.' It will feel free. Keep in mind, I'm not an expert, but I'm giving this advice in that I hope it can protect you a bit. If anything I said feels bad or sucks, just toss it (sorry). But I'm familiar with voice strain and I think if you can get a more free sound you can use under control you'll probably be safer.

Oh, and by the way, Cobain likely used a lot of creaking, so you probably picked it up subconsciously. Cool, eh? But it's also one of the trickier things to get rid of, as it's very habit forming. I recall the first time I ever got a creaking sound, I did it for a couple of days and didn't know how to completely stop it. So you'll probably want your pure modal voice too (modal voice is the average voice that people would use) as I think it's probably the most relaxed and healthy voice people can have. You might be totally fine as is, you might not, but if you can maybe get an idea of the difference, it might help.

Thanks for the vocal assessment and great advice, I think you are totally right on about my voice. My voice can sound so whiney and creaky I annoy myself sometimes. I tryed your sigh sound technique, it seems to help right off the bat, I just need to make it muscle memory now, I'm so used to singing with a "creak" that it may take some time to change the habit. As for the exhale exercises, I tryed the "sssss" sound technique a couple times, need more time doing it to know if its working. I also need to try your straw technique, seems easy enough. I'm going to bring these exercises into my regular practice routine, I feel quite confident that these exercises will help me out a ton, just got to put the work in . Thanks for your help, your a gentleman and a scholar :)

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