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my take on What Are Words by Chris Medina

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darkclaw3000
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would love to hear all the comments and critiques please! honest n as detailed as possible, if possible. =D

it's my first try, didnt warm up, i just felt like singing it so i just up my protools n record it.

didnt really practiced on the song.

thanks so much!!

J

http://www.box.com/s/1dr5x8aihd0qyxbj4a9b <<<<<<

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Hey darkclaw! I've listened a few times now and I'm gathering my thoughts. First, you sound pretty good and I think you've got a lot of potential. Second, your vocal style reminds of an early, unpolished voice used on one of my favorite songs of all time. This song was never released in his lifetime, but his stage name was Jobriath, and he had a tragic career in the music business. Here I'll put it up just for you, so take a listen:

(Taking down, Since you already heard it!)

You hear him? His sound is very thin, it's reedy, it's similar to yours, actually. This tone resonates with me emotionally very much. This is one of those few songs that have made me cry, and your voice has some of this character. You have a lot of potential as an artist.

There's a caveat I have here though. Back when I was doing speech level singing exercises, it felt more and more like my voice was thinning out, and getting more and more 'thin and reedy.' This wasn't a 'sound problem' for me per say (it still sounded good), but I don't think my voice was ever as comfortable as when I used a thicker, more opened chesty kind tone previously. Since then I've had significant voice problems that I haven't been able to solve thus far. It might have been related, it might not have been, it's one of those 'who knows' situations.

Now you sound like you're singing quite high and what concerns me is you sound a bit pinched rather than open at times. It's not really that it sounds bad, I think if you can polish this sound like Jobriath did, you could probably make me cry with it too. However, if you ever feel uncomfortable or like things are too clamped or like you are squeezing for notes, what you need to probably focus on is opening up more and starting from the foundations of breath support. To my ears, you sound even more closed than Jobriath did, and his sound was already pretty thin. It could be your voice (in that case good), or your technique (in that case, I dunno).

You might be totally fine with this sound, most people are ok so long as they feel ok and don't try anything too funny. But listen carefully to your voice and how comfortable it feels to sing. When you get singing just right, it should feel smooth and free, your throat should feel 'open' and not clamped at all.

Some things to try if you want to open up: Try singing on 10 percent of a yawn. Do the smoothest most relaxed sigh sound you can. Do some breathing exercises. If you look in this thread: http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=3171 I gave KevinSongwriter some pretty good breathing exercises that have helped me.

Anyway, I have mixed feelings. Part of me wants to say 'you go dude, rock on and listen to this Jobriath song,' the other half of me has a suspicion that you need to open up a bit more in the throat, relax just a bit more, and then rock on (and listen to that song!). I'm not really sure, as I'm not an expert, but take it as you will, alright?

Keep singing buddy, and maybe toss us a new clip again sometime. I'd love to hear it.

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0_0. wow. killerku thanks so much for your amazing comments. really appreciate you took the time to listen and give your honest thoughts. just what i needed.

i did listen to the song. i really sound like that? maybe on this song? there's a couple of other posts that i made, but i think the links are gone haha. i probably put em up again. would like to hear your thoughts about them!

u mentioned i was pinched, yes you are right. i was. i seem to have a problem of singing high, n strong, without getting the pinch. it will tire me out. i might defend myself for this song as i haven't really tried practicing the song on open vowels, to get it down first, then move on to the consonants and such. i recorded this just because i felt like it. haha. will try again, but maybe another song.

i THINK i have a problem with breath support. im not that sure to support a high note with my diaphragm. i think i'm getting it, but i rather play safe and say i'm not that sure.

i think you mentioned the two problems i have with me, not opening my throat enough, and lack of breath support. i will record another song soon and put it up again. but i'm more to the heavy metal side. this cover was kinda out of the blue, and i want to try how i fare.

i'm more keen to try out Dio stuffs. biggest idol and influence.

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Yeah Darkclaw, it's probably the thinness and reediness you got on this song that had some resemblance. Dio, as far as I can tell, has a very open sound, he's almost the polar opposite of Jobriath. He uses those wider, or taller vowels, his throat is more open. I've heard someone describe the feeling once as 'if you have a little egg sized opening there in your throat,' just as visualization. Keep in mind it's also possible to open up too much, and get a funny sound, or feel a bit constricted too. You want something comfortable but usually wider than speaking.

Keep in mind, I like both sounds (Dio, Jobriath), but my theory is Dio's 'open' kind of flavor is probably safer on average for someone to self learn towards as it's less likely to accidentally constrict? I think if you can get a nice, open, free, near operatic tone and then twang distort, like Robert Lunte likes to teach, you'd probably be closer to this sound. In fact, Robert would likely be a good teacher this for when you're ready because he's very good at heady, operatic sounds. Beneath Dio's rasp, he's more operatic than anything.

Me, I always aimed for something in between reedy and bodied. Kind of like John Lennon meets David Bowie, meets my favorite soul singers, rock and roll soul baby! But when I tried SLS exercises, it messed with things in a weird way. I wouldn't recommend that for you! Definitely not for Dio! Never for Dio!

Yeah, feel free to put some more of your stuff up. Whatever style you're chasing, go for comfort and feeling free above anything else (sound ideals, etc), alright? I think part of the problem is this song you just sang was high pitched as a mofo and is more in a pop (closed throat) style, so neither helped. I'd be getting a vice on my balls to try to hit all those notes too. Maybe get down a little lower, drop the key at first. I used to do that until I got more comfortable in my high range. I once drop C tuned my guitar so I could play a song I really wanted to play by some damned high tenor! You see I was either a very low tenor or a lyric baritone, so I had to respect where my natural voice wanted to be too. I promise if you sing in your range, even if you drop a half step, most people will never know or even appreciate your voice more! Your range will improve as you keep working too. Get focused on the quality (resonant, open, free), over the range for the moment, I am pretty confident you'll make the most progress this way.

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thank you again for your suggestions and ideas as they are absolute gold for me. i got 4 pillars and trying my best on the classes. but im aiming to really save up to get classes with dear Rob haha. i need his guidance. SLS seems to have a lot of bad rep... *shrugs*

you gave me a lightbulb moment when u mention about focusing on quality rather than range. now i will note that to my brain. also about the little egg in my throat hahaha! will definitely remember that one..

thanks again killerku! much gratitude!

hoping others would give in their thoughts too about my singing!

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Haha, I like your sound, fits this song real good :) But then again, I'm impressed by almost every singer in that range.

oo hehe. thx so much bro. i have to try again though. i dont quite like the transition from the falsetto to the full voice during the first chorus.

kinda have to follow the original if i want to get it right. tricky song. chris medina makes it look so easy.

does he use twang a lot?????

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