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New Me and Bobby McGee(Recorded Today)

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Hello! :) I have a new video from one of my favorites, Me and Bobby McGee. The other 2 were taken down, so from now on this will be what is seen.

We used a new camera today, and though it still isn't studio quality this is all we have for now. Let me know what you all think!

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You have a lot of "talent"(I put it in quotes cause it's usually hard work more than talent). Your voice is very pretty and somewhat unique. It's a bit more "breathy" than most which can be a good or bad thing depending on what your trying to do but can definitely be an asset. I think you have the potential to do really well. My 2c,

Assuming you want to be at the top some day:

1. If you are not working with a very good vocal coach start! You have a few issues that may prevent you from being absolutely amazing. It could just be your style but I except you do belt out a few tones on the climaxes which you tend to subdue a little to much for my taste.

2. Your vocal style tends to sing across beats instead of on beats and subbeats. This a more "talking" feeling than singing. Again, you may want this but also you may not be aware of it. Try singing more with the meter than against it. I'm not saying starting your phrases on the beats you should not start a word right before the beat and have it sustain over the beat unless it is the last word. When you do this all the time it's like you are not creating a counter meter which can hurt the momentum you want to build.

3. Stop looking around all wildly!!! It makes you look uncomfortable/anxious. Practice as you will perform. Perform as you are a star. If you develop the mindset now(I assume you are somewhat young) then you'll more likely "make it".

4. You have the very basics of guitar playing but work on it. Keep the guitar tuned(The House of the Rising Son was definitely out of tune). Just constantly strumming away at the chords can be very monotonous and tiresome to the ear. Use dynamics, fills, different strumming patterns, etc. Learn Barre chords! This will prevent you from playing wrong chords. (I know a guy that won't learn barre chords any he always stumbles when a Bm comes up which invariably happens in a few tunes he plays)

5. Don't play the guitar when you practice singing and vice versa. You need to focus on one or the other. Then combine them when you are comfortable with both. This way you'll be free to focus on the sound that is created rather than trying to focus on playing the right chord/fill/pattern and sing the right notes with the right feel, etc.

6. While you have a nice voice you seem to lack awareness of what you are singing and how it all relates to the song. It's good that you are recording yourself as you can watch your videos and critique yourself. This is the best way to develop your unique style. Find things you like and work on making them better and discard the things you don't. Eventually you'll distill your style and it will be awesome. It will be slow and frustrating at first but that's the price one has to pay.

Learn to write songs(I'm sure you've dabbled in it) and learn about phrasing, phrase structure, articulation, dynamics, meter, etc... When you become aware of these things on a conscious level they seep into your subconscious and effect your singing in a positive way. There is a ton of "Theory" out there and much of it is hoopla and most people don't need it. But there are some pretty basic things that can really take your singing to the next level.

7. Biggest thing: Surround yourself with talented people that you can learn from, get teachers that are good(not all teachers are made the same) and that you like, and don't stop learning and practicing. I'm not sure how old you are but lets say you are around 16. In 5 years you will be about 21. By the time your 21 you are almost over the hill. It becomes much harder each year. The chances that you will make it in the music business is very low if you half ass things and are satisfied. I know a few young, and for there age, very talented musicians... but they will almost surely not make it because they don't have the true passion to be the best.

When you perform, you have to perform like you would perform if you were in a concert in front of 10k people. Why? Because how else are you going to learn if you don't "pretend" and "practice" that way in front of the mirror or a few people. (It's true some people are more natural at it than others but practice will make it happen faster and more likely)

8. While you don't have to know everything about everything it helps! Obviously you have limited time so you have to prioritize. Make a list of things to do that you believe will help you the most and work on them religiously.

9. If you hear something is wrong. Such as: Your guitar is out of tune or sounds weird, there is something wrong with your vocals if your singing into a mic, your throat hurts, etc... STOP AND FIX IT! Don't get in the habit of just letting issues go by. While it might be easier to just ignore the problems they hurt you overall. If your singing into a mic, for example, and it's sounding like crap, and you just go with it instead of trying to fix it then you'll get used to hearing yourself sound like crap. This will cause you to be less excited about singing and it will be harder to improve(we improve when we are most excited about things as we put 110% in). While you can't fix everything you won't know unless you try. At your age you kinda gotta learn a ton of stuff quick or find people that you can trust to do it right for you(which is hard as usually those people work in the industry and make big bucks and want big bucks to help you).

10. If you don't really care about being the best you can be then just ignore what I said. Also, I'm not an expert and try not to pretend to be. I'm just passing on my experiences so maybe you can learn from my mistakes, things that took me a long time to figure out, and things I have learned from others.

11. Your local college may have some music classics to take if you are not already looked into it. You can learn a lot quickly and the environment helps you learn faster and better.

12. You don't have to do anything and you can sing better than most. If your lucky or have just enough talent you might make it. I personally hate rolling the die because you are giving up control of your own fate. In my opinion it is up to you if you want to be the best. The only thing/person holding you back is yourself.

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5. Don't play the guitar when you practice singing and vice versa. You need to focus on one or the other. Then combine them when you are comfortable with both. This way you'll be free to focus on the sound that is created rather than trying to focus on playing the right chord/fill/pattern and sing the right notes with the right feel, etc.

I wished someone told me that, before. I've been practicing while playing guitar for longer than some people have been alive. Just to upset those who can't play a musical instrument and sing at the same time. But it explains why I'm not on "American Idol." My focus was in the wrong direction, on the art, rather than the mechanics of "stage presence."

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I explained on ronsw's post that I haven't commented on both your videos because I really have no technical knowledge, or enough of it to offer anything constructive. :) Whereas Stretto has a list of good advice, all I can say is you have a great voice; keep singing and keep posting. Nice to hear I suppose but then my responses start to become redundant after awhile.


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I think your responses are fine, Tommy.

You, like I, represent the buying public. While it is certainly nice to receive the praise of our peers, i.e., fellow singers, it's the public that makes or breaks your fortune. So, if you like something, just say so.

My wife has no problem saying when a singer is going wrong. She doesn't have all the technical terms. Her pronouncement is "that guy can't sing." Nor does she have a problem pointing out when I hit a wrong note. Likewise, if it was good, she doesn't pick it apart, either. It's either good, or it's not.

And she is the buying public. The album she listens to when she feels like cleaning the house? "Made in Japan" by Deep Purple. In the car and driving? "The Scorpions: Greatest Hits."

And she tells others that I can sing. That's as technical as she gets. I may be biased because she is my wife but for her to say that you can sing is a compliment.

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Really good, you have a very relaxed singing technique. The camera quality and sound were good enough IMO. Of course it depends what you are interested in doing.

Keep posting them up and I am sure you will continue to grow more relaxed and accustomed to being in the public eye.

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ronws: It's really about focus. Maybe as a woman she will find it easier to combine the two since woman are better multi-taskers. She plays guitar fine and depending on what she wants to achieve it can be good enough(the fact that she can play the chords is enough. Chances are if she makes it she will have really talented guitar players do everything for her anyways).

I guess I'm more like a producer. When you get into the studio you have a producer who generally tries to make things the best they can be(in his/hers view). You want to push the artist to do the best they can because the cd will last "forever". It is what people listen to day in and day out. If you leave a flub or something, that will detract from the song it is what people will remember. Also, the better the artist the better it will be. A lot of things can happen in production to make up for an artists issues. It happens all the time now days as probably 95% of pop music is manufactured. I'm not to say the artists suck but simply they don't have to be as good as they should. Jewels(I guess that's her name) could easily be the next Taylor Swift if she had the money behind her. She has the looks, the talent, and probably the desire. Just remember though, to be brutally honest, talent is a dime a dozen. I know of several kids in this podunk town I live in that could make it if they had the "money" behind them too and I have it on good authority that you can "buy" into being a star if you can afford the down payment. What truly sets people apart from the rest is what more they bring to the table than just talent(you have to distinguish yourself from the group by being a bit different but not too much).

To me, the most "special" moment was at around 1:18. I'm not going to comment(or not yet)... maybe others saw a big difference?

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So, Stretto, are you saying that you are a producer more than a singer?

And, that a singer is "over the hill" if they haven't made it by age 21?

Guns and Roses hit it big when Axl was 26.

David Lee Roth was 29 by the time Van Halen was headlining.

As far as entertainment, in general, there is no shelf life. Gene Hackman was a retired military man, in his 40's, when he started acting.

Reba McIntire was in her late 30's when "Fancy" took the world by storm.

And Johnny Cash, sneaking up on 80, made "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails a bigger hit than Reznor ever could have. Even he says that's Cash's song, now, save for the copyright lease.

I guess they didn't get the "memo."

Yes, there are plenty of talented people who don't "make it." At least at the level of success of superstardom. And some of them don't want that. And wanting something more managable does not make a singer less serious or dedicated.

Toby Keith stands in one spot and plays guitar and sings. I'm a big guy, too, and I am not going to walk up to him and tell him his stage presence is "wrong."

Bonnie Raitt plays guitar and sings, at the same time. And can write her own check, as it were.

I think it might help a country singer if they are reviewed by someone who has some familiarity with what is "right" in country music.

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Whew A LOT of critique in here haha... Just so everybody knows I have read every reply so far, and instead of commenting through each, I will take everything with a grain of salt, and apply what I believe to be helpful into future videos/performances. I do appreciate everyone's comments on here, and hopefully I can keep on posting and making videos and we can all learn more about each other and watch us all develop here. Oh yeah, and I will be posting a blooper video shortly. It's just for the fun of it, to show a more fun and real side to my viewers.

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rons: I'm a guitarist(but I want to get better at singing which is why I am here) but I have done a little producing before.

What I mean by "over the hill" is the time frame to make it big in the music industry. Just because you point to a few cases is not a counter example. First, The people you name started in a different time. In the time of American Idol, social media, global connectivity, etc different rules apply. I know many great musicians that are just as good if not better than the "famous" ones but because of various reasons didn't make it(these guys are a bit older). It's even harder today and will be even harder tomorrow. Why? COMPETITION! Now days people have more free time to be better musicians and more access to things that can help them(internet, dvds, equipment, etc...).

There are also more things to the music biz than just music. A big fat ugly dude with an amazing voice MIGHT make it but chances are he won't. There are much more attractive guys with great voices too and from a pure business point of view the attractive guy will be more appealing which will result in sell more records. Because it is a probability based argument there are no counter examples. Everyone has a chance. Look at William Hung. The guy obviously has no talent but yet has done more than most singers(from an accomplishment perspective). Chances are he has done more than you but is a far worse singer. Why? Because that's just the way things work. There are lots of factors involved and no one can control them all. BUT, if you are young and smart you can increase your chances of success.

Take Brad Paisley, The guy is a great guitarist, singer, and songwriter but if he could only do one he probably would be nowhere near as famous as he is. He's also a great business guy which is probably the most important thing that contributed to his success. Being a great [...] doesn't mean you will be "famous"/"rich"/"happy"/"etc".

I'm simply trying to get the point across to Jewels that if she wants to be a very successful singer(/songwriter/guitarist/whatever) she has to work very hard at it. There are many people like Jewels, just check you tube, and what they all have in common is a lot of talent but little knowledge of what it takes to make it big. In fact no one knows 100% but there are some key things. The music industry has figure out what it takes to make a star more or less. They have a "formula" to create them. If they wanted to make you a star they could almost surely do it. BUT they have to ask themselves if it is work the time and money.

There are some factors that that are almost a deal breaker though and age is one. First, If you are too old you have less time to bring in money. Second, it's harder to sell you as a product the older you are. Age is generally more important than talent because talent can be improved(practice can make someone better but you can't change your age). Again, some people have enough things line up for them that age is not important BUT this is not even close to being common.

If you really want to argue your point how bout you first look at all the people that didn't make it?!?!?! It's very narrow minded to point to a few that did because for every one person that made it there are hundreds of thousands that didn't and only ignorance ignores the ratio. BTW, I'm not saying that people shouldn't stop trying. That is entirely different. I am simply trying to help Jewels increase her odds of success. Am I an expert? No! I never claimed to be. Does anyone have to listen to me? No! It won't hurt my feelings if you do or don't. If you are not intelligent to judge what I say and see if it makes sense then I can't help that. If you think I'm wrong then so be it. You maybe right. That's not my problem in any way. I just state my experiences and opinions because I like to help people that deserve it.

It's easy to say "Hey, you sound amazing" but that is almost useless and offers her no real substance to achieve the goals she has. Of course she sounds good. I'm sure people tell her that all the time when they hear her. You think that will automagically get her a multimillion dollar contract? I know girls, maybe slightly older, that can sing circles around her... does that mean she should give up? Of course not. She may have things that offer more than those girls. She might be prettier, for some that is more important. She might have a cool accent. She might have a voice that touches people or just might dance better... who knows? This is why those people you mentioned succeeded. It's because there are many factors involved and they just happen to have enough of them to make it. No one knows all the factors much less control them easily. The Music Industrial Complex has figured out many of them though and that is why it can pump out "fake" stars quite easily.


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I disagree Stretto with "It's easy to say "Hey, you sound amazing" but that is almost useless and offers her no real substance to achieve the goals she has." - as I am sure you know, most singers -especially beginners - need all the positive reinforcement we can get. Most of us beginners don't even like the sound of own voices yet. People need to hear positive thoughts if we feel them. I do agree that we need to say what we feel is wrong, bad, or whatever - but reinforcing strengths is just as important psycologically.

That is all, I will slither back into my hole now.

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Keith: I don't disagree with that(which is why I said "almost"). It's called confidence and is one of the most important things a performer needs. BUT that alone is not enough. There are many people with no talent that are told they are good because people don't want to hurt there feelings or are just egomaniacs and have a ton of confidence. This is one of the reasons I told her to act like a star every chance she gets(it may seem arrogant but it's not really. It won't change her). The only time I felt she was "herself" is at 1:18 when she looked at the camera and her eyes got real big. Just for that split second she became a real person expressing a real emotion. I think she was surprised by the camera being in her face(probably when it was zoomed in she saw it and wasn't expecting it or something happened behind the camera).

Remember, music is simply about expressing emotion, almost always love unless your dealing with rap or metal, and people connect to the performer when that performer expresses the emotion sincerely. It's all subconscious and it's really hard to fake and the "confidence" thing is usually what allows people to open up like this(because they are not afraid of rejection). To me, the 1:18 people was a sincere emotion and I think you and everyone else will agree with me? But the other emotions she is expressing is not sincere(because it doesn't fit with the song and is not an emotion one generally wants to express). It maybe a confidence thing or maybe just not being aware of such things

What Jewels needs is *real* experience and *proper* coaching. That will give her the true confidence she needs. She has a good voice(and somewhat unique), good talent, and a lot of potential. Simply saying she is good won't fix the problems she has to make her great and may give her a false sense that she is good enough. I can't help with the vocal stuff that much(Besides the obvious musical aspects that are common across all instruments). In fact no one on this forum can really help much through "comments". It will take a real life person to take her to the next level.

I do have some experience with this and know several young musicians who have a lot of talent. One thing they all lack is focus and they are simply riding the "talent" wave thinking it will carry them to success. It may or may not but from statistics it the same as playing the lotto. All of them also get tons of compliments about how good they are even though they are not as great as these compliments would suggest. They have issues: Singing issues, mic issues, performance issues, image issues, etc. Some of them think they are the great because no one ever says anything different... but if they were 10 years older they would just be the next Joe and no one would care(in fact most older musicians were those kids). It's sad but that's just the way it is.... So I might seem harsh but I just hate to see good people with talent fail because they didn't understand the "real world"(not necessarily their fault). With the right knowledge it will increase the chances of success dramatically(this is simply a fact that anyone should understand. It applies to just about everything).

Since you said "us beginners" I assume you mean that you are starting out too and have issues. First: You have noticed that when you feel good you sing better and when you feel lousy you sing bad(or at least do not like it)? Why? It's because of emotions and you can't express them as easily when you are not feeling right. Confidence goes hand and hand with that. (it's hard to be confident when you are feeling like crap and when you are feeling really good you tend to feel really confident(maybe always)). Try to act more confident even pretending and see if you notice anything different(it will be subtle at first since it will be hard to pull it off). Many good people have the fear of being perceived as arrogant and also of embarrassment. These two things kill true artistic expression. First, if you are a good person and not arrogant now you will probably never be(although at times people may think you are if you have a lot of confidence(some people call it overconfidence)). Second, the only way to get over embarrassment is to embarrass yourself. This is because embarrassment is a inner issue as there is no such thing as embarrassment outside your mind. This is why some people can do "embarrassing" things but it doesn't come off that way. For example, if they get up and start dancing all stupid but are having fun then it is seen as goofing off but if they look like they just don't know how to dance then it seems embarrassing. Why? BECAUSE they feel embarrassed and you pick up on it! You feel their uneasiness just as we(or some of us at least) felt Jewels uneasiness.

You may not realize it but there is a sort of sixth sense with emotions and it's the most important thing when communicating. If you feel the emotion people, most people at least, will feel it from you. It also feeds back on itself. You are not confident because you feel you can't sing. Because you feel you can't sing you sing worse than what you can do. You know that you don't have the experience to sing great or the technique so this then reinforces the idea that you can't sing as well and depending on who you are this can be debilitating. Everything starts with technique. Once you get the technique down it all becomes mental. If you think you can't sing you won't be able to sing. If you think you are a bad singer you ARE a bad singer. If you think your voice sucks then it does suck! Why? Because you are the own best just of yourself! No one will judge you as honestly as you will judge yourself. Some people learn to lie to themselves but that generally works in the opposite way(they think they are better than they are). But you will say "People tell me my voice sounds good" but I think it sucks! Well, that is because you hear your voice differently and much more intimately than anyone else ever could. So, it might suck to you but what that means is that it may be ok to others(the transmission of sound may effect the characteristics of the sound which may make it suitable for others). You may think your voice sounds different from others so much so that you think it's wrong. This is because of the transmission of sound through the body rather than through the air THAT no one else can hear but you! So you prejudge yourself but you are judging against the wrong criteria. You might record yourself and what do you say?!?!? "NO WAY I SOUND LIKE THAT?!?!" which is proof that you simply hear your voice differently than it really sounds to others. You are not used to how you sound to others so it feels weird that you sound like that which creates less confidence(cause now you are not sure how you really sound) which again makes you sing worse than you really can.

I can say from my own experiences that being confident makes a huge difference. It can be exactly what you need to get better. Try it, stop being so hard on yourself and see how much you improve(it's very difficult to do but if there will be moments that will prove it for you and you just have to be paying attention for it). For example, when I was younger and working on a piece for guitar I played the hell out of it and knew it inside and out. I was very confident that I could do it. I was always nervous bout performing before because I was afraid of making mistakes. This confidence, which I got through practice, let me to play the piece and everyone was amazed. I knew it wasn't fake because I felt it too. It was different. When you get those feeling you don't like to yourself because you know it's real(of course lets not get into the metaphysical so we can actually get somewhere). Once it happens for you, you will understand and it will chance your life. When you become confident you'll express the emotions properly and people will accept them properly and those are when the magic happens. Practice is very important because knowing something really well gives you large amount of confidence. Being healthy is another. Having the right atmosphere is another.

If you talk to seasoned musicians they will tell you similar things about moments when everything was right and it was better than drugs, sex, or whatever. Athletes call it "The Zone" and you can't get there when you are not confident. (I know you understand this since that is what you pointed out.... I'm simply exhausting what true confidence is. Pats on the back are good but there are many other types required)

Anyways, I'm sure you don't care about the "lecture" but I do it for you, for me, and for anyone else. Chances are you'll have to learn the hard way like everyone else... just the way we humans are.

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Somehow, I expected my examples to be discounted.

And I don't particularly care for American Idol. Maybe two winners that lasted past the competition. Kelly Clarkson, to name one. And she still had to prove herself outside of the competition. She's a success because she is a good singer, regardless of her AI status.

American Idol is not the barometer of what is hot. Unless it's all about R & B trilling. Notice how the country singer contestants never win. It's either an R & B singer or an "ambercrombie and fitch" type voice that wins. In which case, Jewels is better off not aiming for what is mediocrity. And there is nothing wrong with an ambercrombie and fitch type voice. I happen to have one of those, at least on certain days.

If it was all about vocal perfection and the perfectly crafted image, we would not have a Bob Dylan. And I don't by that convenient debate argument that "that was a different time, this is now." If that were trye, Kurt Cobain would have not changed the music world. He was anti-image, detuned voice, detuned guitar. In fact, the dirtier or "grungier," the better. Hey, that might be a genre ... hmmm ....

Granted, the Doc Marten shoes and the flannel shirt became "the look."

Do you think campy drag might ever catch on? Oops, Twisted Sister already did that. How about the inadvisability of being a tatooed skinhead and singing about corruption and hypocrisy? Crud, Henry Rollins already did that.

The music "biz" is full of people who broke the mold and were rejected at first, only to become the standard, later.

As for country music, there is a style to it and Jewels already has it. She doesn't need to be Lady Gaga and that would be out of place. What she needs to look like is a country girl singing her heart out. Oops, she's already doing that. Her clothing is as simple as stuff worn by Martina McBride in her videos. And her singing is as straightforward and resonant as any country singer.

True, she may need a performance coach once she gets to a bigger stage. There is more visuality to cover. But you don't need a Busby Berkeley routine when all you have is a 10 by 10 foot stage. For she is going to earn her chops the old-fashioned way. Performing every little gig she can get to.

And when it comes to country music, my examples are totally on point.

And evidently, I am approximately one of maybe two or three people that understands the country music audience enough to know that Jewels already has several things in place.

That being said, you are right in that connecting with the audience is very important. But you can't always be looking at the camera. In fact, on stage, you need to sing to the audience, which is not always located at the red light on the camera.

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With such statements like

"And evidently, I am approximately one of maybe two or three people that understands the country music audience enough to know that Jewels already has several things in place."

and the fact that you fail to understand my logic as it is probably based and no one, not even the magnificent ronws can claim to know a 100% way to success. I can only make general statements that apply to the average case and your "counter examples" that you claim are simply extreme cases(in the 0.01% percentile) that are not very relevant. If Jewels is going to be one of those people then she will be regardless.

The problem is your perspective. 99.999999% of people do not win the lotto. That is fact(ok, my number may not be exact but it is close enough for discussion). Just because 99.999999% do not win doesn't mean people do not win(that's why it's 99.999999% and not 100%). In fact someone wins almost all the time. You think just because I look at the probability that ignore the 0.0000001% it somehow means that no one can win. I play the lotto once in a blue moon because I know if I don't play I can't win. BUT I do not spend my life saving on it because I know enough about probability that it will not make much of a difference(I might win if I did but the chances are so low that I'm more likely to go broke that way). Look up the gamblers fallacy and you'll have your logic staring you right in the face. Of course your logic is what have given us some great musicians.... sometimes not knowing when to quit and being stupid to the "facts" staring you right in the face what it takes to succeed. Unfortunately as I have pointed out, there are hundreds of thousands who didn't make it for everyone one person you can point to that has. Very bad odds if you bet your whole life on it.

Also, what you claim about Jewels maybe true BUT how many Jewels are there? Do you get out much? As I said, I know a handful of girls in my town that are the same way. Do you know how much competition Jewels has? You need to get with the times... different world we live in than 10, 20, or 30 years ago. MUSIC IS A BUSINESS! If you fail to understand that, then I'm afraid I can't help you. It maybe a said reality and it shouldn't be that way but it is. (Although there are different levels of success and you can be successful without being a sellout it is getting harder every day)

Anyways, not sure why I even bother. You have your "logic" and I have mine and it seems they are not compatible. I like to hedge my bets and go with what is most likely to happen while you seem to be the guy with the mentality that lets it ride all on #49 because you think your destined to win.

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Hey, Stretto, at least you recognize me as Magnificent ronws. Therefore, you can't be totally wrong.

And I didn't realize that I "needed" your help.

In some ways, yes, I let it all ride on #49. Go big or go home. You are either all in, or out. In fact, in singing, and you may learn this as time goes by, you have to commit to a note. Holding back or hedging a bet will place undue strain in your throat.

When it comes to you actually recording yourself and putting it up here to be reviewed, if you choose to do so, it won't matter how much you have prepared, you have to submit it without knowing the outcome.

But really, in your last post, your just putting words in my mouth because you can't lose a debate or discussion, ever, amen. You have to put words in my mouth so that you can "prove" them wrong and "win." In debating tactics, it's called a straw boss. Good luck with that.

You do offer some good advice, here and there, as if you read a book about it, or something. And yes, it's a lot of hard work and not everyone will get to the Lady Gaga stage of success.

Ray Wylie Hubbard doesn't do big monster tours and he is a success. So, is Shake Russell, who helped Clint Black write "Nothing but the Taillights," and his one if his songs was synchro-licensed with a weekly tv show, at one time.

Our friend, Allan, a local country music legend is working on yet another tribute to Ray Price.

So, I guess who do have some idea what variation of style and presentation there is in country music. That's part of being "magnificent ronws."

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Hi there,

Unfortunately I don't have time to read every post in this thread right now but did want to take a moment and let you know that you are doing VERY well so far! Great tone and very few minor issues with pitch. To me the biggest thing for you to work on is really expressing what the words are saying. Live the song as you are signing it. Try to just be in the moment. Hard to do I know but once you reach that comfort level, it will make a huge difference to your overall performances. You have the talent kiddo....just needs a little refining and a dash of confidence. Keep it up!!! :)

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Did I miss something here with this category?

I thought it was to critique her performance on vocal ability and share any insight (if we had some) on how she could perform it better, without pounding our chests at an attractive girl who carries a tune.

Do I think she has potential... yes.... but that's irrelevant... Do I think she can make it one day - who knows... there are tones of factors that come into play here, and THAT is NOT what this category is about.

To make it in the industry, you have to have a lot more then singing abilities.. Does she have the package? Maybe, but that doesn't matter , as the focus here is about singing and singing only...

So, please... if you can't critique just her singing, then don't comment...

The way this thread is going, I feel like I'm on a dating site .. geeze..

So with that said:


1. Try to open your mouth more, to keep the residence pure

2. You need more support with the diaphragm and to cut back your air. You are letting too much pass your chords, which could be stylistically desired, but will dry your vocal cords out fast and limit your range further down.

3. When you start to sing higher, try not to 'attack' the consonants, this will help you get into pure FULL head voice, without thinning out at the top.

4. Keep a bright sound to your voice by smiling through your phases. This will keep the sound bright and forward.


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And Jewel, I expect to write some original stuff, too.

I'm not sure anyone here has an idea of how much money Ray Wylie Hubbard made when he wrote "Redneck Mothers" and then Jerry Jeff Walker made it a monstrous, huge hit, at least in the country music world.

That's where the regular money is. As far as "package," make sure it's one that you can maintain for decades. Then, again, you decide. Not some AI judge-wannabe. What do I mean by that? Look at k.d. lang. She can sing anything she wants to. Does she have the flashy "package" of Madonna, Lady Gaga, or even the "package" of Reba McIntyre? No. Often, she actually wears a dark pant suit. And sings whatever she pleases, beholden to no one's "image."

Gretchen Wilson wears jeans and a t-shirt, for real. And really does go muddin' and 4-wheelin'.

Anyway, good luck.

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And to answer another question, yes, this is a section in which to review and critique. Once in a while, such as in my case, someone will point out that I am pitchy or crashing notes. And they are right and that is a technical issue to be addressed.

And a number of other reviews are based on aesthetics and psychology. Such as not looking at the camera enough. Well, actually, that's a performance issue. Or a presentation or style issue, and not directly a problem with the actual singing, itself.

Nothing wrong with giving advice about that, either. And usually you know you are good on stage by watching the audience in front of you. Also, some people are more comfortable in a live situation. One recording engineer I have been reading notes that some singers in the studio and can relax enough to do the track if there are people to perform to. Others need candlelight solitude.

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Lastly, you know what happens when you play a country song backwards?

You get your dog back, your spouse back, you back out of whatever dastardly mistake.

Donny and Marie Osmond had a variety show when I was a kid. Marie said, "You rock and roll people ... if you break a toe, you're out of work for 6 weeks."

Donny said, "Yeah, if you country people break a toe, you write a song about it."

I guess you had to be there.

The upshot is persistence. People with less talent than you have, Jewels, have "made" it, but there is no guarantee of "success," especially if that success has not been defined.

Some of the country singers I have mentioned have had all the success that they want or can handle and never once were on AI and would not be caught dead on that show. They just go out and do it, image or not.

The times I have gone to see a country singer, the audience could not care less what the singer was wearing or how many dance steps they knew or even how their hair was done.

They came to hear the song. And drink beer.

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I see what you are saying David, but I'll let it be known that I appreciate EVERYTHING Ron posts. He knows we see eye to eye, and he critiques more than just about the song, yes, but that is what I need anyway, so I can see myself in the future somewhere on a stage. If he believes that I can make it to the Grand Ole Opry one day, then I need to believe as well. As for stage performance, that is a piece of cake, I love crowds and an audience, and like to sing in small campfire groups, it's almost like hanging out then, but as for the virtual audience, since I have never recorded myself, let alone showcased it until this month, it is still new to me, so with each upload I will continue to refine and get better.

P.S. I would check out the homepage if I were yall, and scroll down about half way, just sayin! :)

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