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Trying to Belt and Sounding Shrill

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Overdrive
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You sound shrill to yourself? Or to others? Shrill compared to what?

A number of people can belt but it will not make you sound like some singer that you admire. And trust me, without even hearing what you are talking about, you won't sound to us like you think you sound to yourself.

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My guess is that there might still be tension somewhere but I can't figure it out. And I definitely haven't shown others yet, because I don't like it. It sounds bad to myself. I'll post a clip... but it's laughable...

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First I think we need to know what you believe belting is, since it means a lot of different things to different people. Belting to me, is singing with a controlled shout or yell. The technique is used often in Broadway musicals, but not for the vast majority of a song, usually just for the final part of it.

Some people consider belting to be just singing very loudly and powerfully. Belting is certainly loud and powerful, but it's not the only means of getting a big loud tone, nor is it necessarily the most efficient means. If you just want to sing with a big powerful tone, the belting approach may not be the way to start out.

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Remy has a good point. There have been a few times with a high note that someone thought I was screaming. It was not a scream but a sung note with lots of volume in head voice, as opposed to what I think of belt as being what people often think of as a loud tone in "chest voice."

Ethel Merman was a belter.

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It starts out with normal singing and then the second half is my idea of belting. The song example is Never Too Late by Three Days Grace. Today I was inspired by this video of the same song to try to learn to sing powerfully: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yUBOX26U7g (he's way better than me)

And yeah I've been singing for years.. but it doesn't show haha I'm not naturally talented at singing, but I still love it.

Also the very end of my clip is hilarious to me, I failed :P

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This first thing I would focus on is learning the basics and sticking to them. Just focus on making a clear crisp tone and breath management. Keep practicing you will get better

Crap I've heard that a million times. I don't know what I'm doing.

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I used to sound very similar to how you sound. Not my voice, but in the way I was producing my sound. I can only give you another tip that you have probably also heard a million times already, but this is what helped me. Find someone that can sing what you wish to sing, and knows how to teach it.

It has helped me ALOT, and it hasn't taken 10 years either. I'm FAR from finished, really just started, but the joy of progressing is there almost from day one and you won't regret it. Just make sure both you and your teacher know each others goals, and that you trust him/her enough to go through with it and do the exercises as told as often as told.

Good Luck mate!

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Pretty awful from an aesthetic point of view :D

But I don't think you're too far away. I did some recordings just when I learned to bridge that sounded kind of similar (18 months or so ago). If I'm slightly better today it's because I focused on coordination and not power.

Don't focus exclusively on powerful high notes - your voice needs a balance all around (even comfortable low notes are wobly in the recording). Even if it's boring sustaining weak notes, it's a building block.

Accept that it takes a couple of years work annd slow progress to reach a useful state. Play with vowels, placement and twang in a softer voice and try to find power with resonance and support (less air not more).

Don't try to intentionally add distortion until you can produce a healthy and resonant clean note at the desired pitch and vowel. Grit is icing on the cake.

Get a coach if you're not patient and willing to take the risk of not progressing. The good news is that the lesson learned in support and resonance will add power to lower notes as well (or at least maintain power at lowered effort).

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Overdrive, to get the kind of sound you're looking for, you don't need to belt.

IMO you should focus on a few things...

1) Make sure you're not constricted. Laugh silently to retract the false vocal folds. Alternatively stick your fingers in your ears and adjust your breathing so that you are still breathing but can barely hear the inhalation, or not at all. Both of these (or a combination of both) will release constriction.

2) Secondly, get your larynx lower. Your tone sounds shrill because your larynx is rising too high on the high notes and is choking off the sound. Do a big yawn/sigh and this will give you the feel of a lower larynx. Now to keep it low through the duration of a song, you need to learn about vowel modification. I can't explain to you how to modify each and every vowel over a message board, but I can tell you a good exercise to get you started is to practice switching between "AH" and "EE" only using your tongue and not moving your jaw or mouth at all.

Rob has a good video explaining some basics of vowel modification here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BPz97iT_KQ

3) Do you know what support muscles are? If so, are you using them? If not, I can give you a brief explanation, but again it's something that's difficult to teach over a message board. There's a few threads on this already that might be a little helpful.

As others have said, the quickest route to getting all of this down is investing some money in a good teacher. They really can teach you enough to put you on the right path in just a few lessons. You don't need to take a lesson every single week for months or even years to get good at this.

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haha the recording is very funny, I really hope someday in the future I can look back at it and see a big difference.

What sucks for me right now is that I'm living in Greece, at least for 2 more years, and I don't speak Greek. Finding a teacher that speaks English well is going to be difficult... and finding one that teaches what I want to learn? It might be really difficult... Can I get better with practice, an online course maybe, or will they not have the same effect as a personal teacher?

and I love distortion :P

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I highly recommend taking lessons over Skype. That's what I did and it worked wonderfully.

I haven't personally studied with Rob or another TVS coach, but having watched their videos and read their stuff, I can tell you that they know what they're doing. I can say with almost certainty that they can teach you what you want to learn, including distortion.

There's several other very knowledgeable teachers who post on this forum that you might look into, if you want to shop around. But the people at TVS really know their stuff, especially the kind of singing you want to learn, and you really can't go wrong there.

Bottom line, before you book a lesson, tell your teacher what you want to learn and ask them if they can teach it to you. And if you're not getting results within a lesson or two, find another teacher. But note that when I say results, I don't mean you can do everything you want to within a lesson or two. By results, I mean, that you can feel that you're beginning to resolve your issues and improve your singing.

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haha the recording is very funny, I really hope someday in the future I can look back at it and see a big difference.

What sucks for me right now is that I'm living in Greece, at least for 2 more years, and I don't speak Greek. Finding a teacher that speaks English well is going to be difficult... and finding one that teaches what I want to learn? It might be really difficult... Can I get better with practice, an online course maybe, or will they not have the same effect as a personal teacher?

and I love distortion :P

The course will not do you much justice if you don't have anyone helping you address what YOU need to do. You need to take some live lessons with someone even if they are online.

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over, a lot of this kind of singing is very attitudinal. very mental, very aggression based. you need to psyche yourself up to sing like this.

it's not for everybody, nor for every voice. it can be very taxing.

but assuming you want to move towards this type of sound, you must work with someone who can free you up a little......(i can hear you holding back)....i can hear "tentitiveness" in your voice.

this is fearless singing....you need to work with someone who can loosen you up and bring out your voice.

i focused mainly on the mental, but there's the training too, more fold compression, more support, all of it.

does this help?

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You sound shrill to yourself? Or to others? Shrill compared to what?

A number of people can belt but it will not make you sound like some singer that you admire. And trust me, without even hearing what you are talking about, you won't sound to us like you think you sound to yourself.

brother ron, you know i love ya buddy, but i have to raise my hand on this one...."but it will not make you sound like some singer that you admire."

sure it possibly could, why not?

i still believe you can take your voice just about anywhere if you are willing to work hard enough at it.

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