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My Cover "Lately - Stevie Wonder" (beginner)

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XiaoH
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Hi, I've been lurking on this forum for a while and now decided to post ! So I've been practicing by myself singing by myself for a couple of months, and this is my cover of Lately:

http://soundcloud.com/siegeddd/lately-cover-9-22-2012

Please feel free to critique as harshly as you would like, since I would desperately like to know what I really need to focus on.

Some things that I've noticed for myself:

- Diction/Pronunciation needs work, feel like I "swallow" a lot of my vowels and my words are not crisp

- Stamina

- Need more support , a lot of times, notes sound breathy and pushed, and some words feel like they have more support than others

- Tonality could use a bit of work, but this was done w.o backing track

My Goals ( way long term dreaming hehe):

-I would like to sing with a strong supported crisp voice on every word/note ( get a voice like clay aiken)

- Be Comfortable singing higher range in song ( A4 and higher possibly), currently I can hit G4 comfortably in exercises with certain vowels, but very inconsistently in song

- Most importantly, be able to perform with confidence

Another question of mine is, is training voice more similar to training a muscle where overtraining may actually be counterproductive, or practicing an instrument where progress is mostly directly proportional to the amount of practice time.

Please give me your advice and criticism~ Thanks!

On a side note, I have a bit of funds for lessons,etc.. I was planning to purchase Pillars ( cant afford skype lessons). Those who have used it what do you think of it? Or should I use that money and find a local vocal coach. The benefits of that it would help target what I really need work on, but I'm afraid they would just assign me basic exercises that I have already been practicing, and also the travel time is about 1 hr ( there and back).

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Your description of your voice was accurate, which doesn't happen often. And yes, 4 Pillars will take you where you want to go.

There have been a few different answers on how much, if at all, singer training is similar to other muscle training programs in other athletic endeavors. I have been singing a long time and I cannot remember if it felt straining to me, at first. To me, it always felt like a matter of coordination. And, to me, more of a matter of coordination of breath support and resonance than anything specifically in the throat. Others opinions will differ.

I would suggest not worrying about whether it's a muscle-building exercise. Simply do the exercises you will find in the program.

I have the 4 Pillars and I would also suggest, that if you buy the program, pay really close attention to what Robert Lunte does with a vowel sound. It says as much as pages of words.

You could also get lessons with a local coach. And will likely be working on stuff that will fit you into their sound ideal. As opposed to Robert, who will take whatever genre you want to sing and get you there. He has had students who's styles ranged from hard rock to heavy metal, to theater, to torch songs, to country. And I can't think of a student who has not benefited from him.

The advantage of lessons with a local coach is that they can hear your voice without artifact, such as sound effects or compression of the voice caused by bandwidth of internet transmission, phone mics, whatever.

You can also buy one lesson with Robert at a time. And I believe the deluxe package actually includes one skype-based lesson.

As well as other users of 4 Pillars for support, here in this forum, amongst the discussions of all other systems under the sun.

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