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Say Yes cover by Elliott Smith

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tisul
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I recorded this track by track, and it took a bit over 3 hours. It was my first time using cubase. I'm still using the crappy 8 dollar mic, but it sounds way better than recording everything in one go, and allows me to fix mess ups, which is nice.

I'm still having trouble with going into some of the higher registers. Timing is also still a bit of an issue, but I think that's because it's my first time singing along with a prerecorded track (I recorded the guitar prior to the vocals).

In full disclosure, I added some EQ to the vocal channel and some very very mild reverb.

What do you think? How is my pitch? And any tips for the mixing/recording side of things? Also, I think I completely botched the second verse, so yeah.

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You sound like someone without any vocal training - which is not uncommon, so don't feel bad. Your voice is full of air, I don't hear any support, you waiver in and out of tune a ton. I would suggest, if you are serious about singing, that you get some instruction - a coach, a singing program to follow, read some books.. There is a ton of free stuff on youtube that can help you with some basics to start with, but they will not get you very far.

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I agree with Keith that you are having a problem with pitch. Sometimes, you are on, sometimes, not. Breath support is pretty much non-existent. Though I don't know the song and maybe that spoken kind of delivery is what is meant to be. You have a great tone in your voice. I'm willing to chalk it partially to not being used to singing against playback, a problem I also had, at one time. One trick is to anticipate the musical phrase by a split second, rather than waiting to hear the chord or accompaniment. If you are waiting to hear the chord strum, you are already too late. As for pitch, take the notes that went off or wobbled and hold those. Find the pitch on the guitar and just hold that note. Get it into your muscle memory.

This may be a soft volume song where you are expected to sing close to the mic. But, for now, sing it like you are wanting someone on the other side of the room to hear it. That will drive you to put more oomph into it, which will up your breath support. Later, you can go back to the softer side of it with a better air supply.

One other little secret. Even at low volume levels and speach level pitch like this, believe it or not, you should not sing like you speak. Singing is being a musical instrument, not just reciting poetry.

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It is better, in my opinion. I think you backed off the mic a little, which made you sing a little louder, which may have helped. The pitch sounded better, though plenty of the notes were scooped. Scooped is where the note starts at one point and ramps up to the true pitch.

There are many ways to describe breath support. Some teachers would start students by having them say "hey!" as if they were calling someone across a crowded room. But first, you draw in air, with an "aw" shape to your mouth. And breathe in by letting your belly expand. Don't heave your chest. Keep the chest relatively neutral. Sit up straight or stand up straight, but not rigid. Whatever constitutes sitting straight for you.

Do you ever whistle? Use the breath pressure you use for whistling. Another exercise that is often taught is to either make the z sound or to bubble your lips (called lip bubbles.) If you have thin lips like I do, you may have to press in on your cheeks with a finger on each side to make your lips pout a bit. The reason for this is that to make your lips bubble requires a certain amount of breath pressure and air speed. This will be a good start for what is called breath support.

And you don't have to do it for hours. In fact, it is better to do these things for no more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Reason being, if you go on too long and get tired, you will compensate in the wrong way. The aim is to build a good habit and only do the good habit. As soon as you drift from that, stop. Give it a rest, feed the dog, washes the dishes, whatever.

And practice some more of singing across the room.

And, tune the guitar. That way, when you want to practice a note, you are on the right note. We can only sing what we hear and if you are hearing something wrong, your body will follow suit.

I think you would have a great voice for folk music, especially storytelling, like Arlo Guthrie ("Alice's Restaurant") or Ray Wylie Hubbard ("Redneck Mothers").

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