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Stevie Wonder - For once in my life

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breakin
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Hi everyone!

This is a song that I've just started working on. Hopefully I can do it more justice shortly. If so I upload a new recording so you can follow my progress (should anyone be interested).

I'm mostly interested if there are some trained ears that can give me any pointers. Am I on the right way, or should I do something drastically different? I try to do inner smile and sing in the mask, above the nose. Pinching nose doesn't change anything. I don't think I've properly managed to incorporate the crying sensation, at least not consicously. The last verse was done in a separate recording (I never could get that one good ever).

Some things I've noted myself:

* Perhaps my onsets are too hard?

* I'm off with the timing at some points. I also miss some words because I don't know the lyrics well enough.

* I slide into micke-mouse-falsetto/headvoice at two points. Is this totally wrong or should I just mask it better?

* When I go into mickey-mode there is a sound like the "flanger" effect in a sound program. I've not added any effects however. Why is this?

Here is the link:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19750082/recordings/steviewonder-foronceinmylife-oops.mp3

I can take some heavey critique on this one, I'm not 100% happy with it but I did several takes. I'm aware of timing problems and missing a word here and there, let's not focus on that for now!

NOTE: If I stop singing and you wait for me to start again, welll.... waiting won't help. I didn't record anything at the end!

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Hey Breakin!

First of all let me tell you that I realy liked your voice. Very marketable. The only issue I saw is the high notes which you sing in falsetto. I am no expert but in my opinion you need to Learn to access your head and mix register. But other than that I see a huge potential bro!

Keep it up! Would love to hear it with a full headvoice.

VA

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Thanks!

I will keep working on this song, it is good because it is quite high but not impossible (down the road that is!).

I think I managed to sing some quite high notes without falsetto, but in some verses almost all of them sound very falsettoish. Funny the last verse didn't feel like that singing it but it came out that way. Never could get it right!

Thanks for the comments!

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Man, not sounding good. A few things that I noticed.

Thanks for taking the time to commenting, and for being honest. As I wrote this is work in progress so I'm more asking for critique than anything else!

The placement on the low notes is too high, its sounding nasal, bring it more within your mouth.

I try this singing in the mask thing so I tried to stay there most of the time, mostly to be ready for whenever high notes arise. It is quite new to me. I've done my fair share of belting so I'm trying to adapt new passagio behaviour. Listening back I can agree that I shouldn't use that for the lower tones.

And on the beginning of the passagio you are comming easily, very nice and natural, but then you brake into the mickey thing. What for?

I'm asking myself the same thing. I think I'm tensing somewhere, possibly releated to breathing. Sometimes I manage to postpone the mickey-thing for a later note, but it's like I don't have a non-mickey-headvoice from B4 and upwards. I just can't get it to work. When I sing it feels like the sound becomes more and more shrill until it is at a singular point above my nose. At that the sound is very pinched I guess, and shrill. I talked a bit about in this thread http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=5038. Feel free to share any insights.

As I'm said I'm working on this song. Hopefully I can make a better version some time!

Cheers!

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Breaking. Consider what you are saying.

You are comming natural and comfortable. But then it breaks. So you think of relaxing a tension.

You are not wrong. But it can very well be that this tension is showing up because you are trying to relax it or release your voice. This region requires more pressure, the total effort only increases from here.

Do not change your voice, try mapping the exact place where it happens, down to the semitone, and then try sliding slowly a half step jump from and into it.

When doing it, use just the very beginning of a yawn to spread you voice in the back, but do not let it flip or change, and dot try sending it back, just give room, keep it the same as far as the emission is concerned.

Its much harder to do it, then to write or read it of course, also on the low note, use this forward approach you are using right now.

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Hm okey that sounds like a good tip. Slowly going in and out of the area.

Somehow I feel that my sound becomes to shrill/tight before I break though, like I loose resonance and then I fail like you say. Not having enough energy. Should I do this on the very tone where I break, or where I think I loose the good sound?

About the forward placement. It almost feels like I'm having a cold with a heavy presence above my nose. When I pinch it no sound is in the nose. But when I go higher I kindof loose that feeling. Should I hold on to that feeling or has the resonance moved away?

Thanks so much for the help! I agree I'm not "there" yet!

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This is pretty much the goal of the basic trainning of registering, its not an easy task, and this song needs it to be working perfectly to be delivered. So dont worry about not sounding good, its normal and its thousands of times better than forcing your voice into an ok way to do it

Keep the same intention, and give room. You wont feel it forward if you dont do it like this, as it will strain or spread wide. You need suport pressure, the beginning of the yawn, a solid chest voice properly placed forward and the same intention as you shift the strategy.

I would begin looking closely on how to nail the placement on chest voice.

GL man, do get orientation of a coach if you can. Will make your life much easier.

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This is pretty much the goal of the basic trainning of registering, its not an easy task, and this song needs it to be working perfectly to be delivered. So dont worry about not sounding good, its normal and its thousands of times better than forcing your voice into an ok way to do it

Keep the same intention, and give room. You wont feel it forward if you dont do it like this, as it will strain or spread wide. You need suport pressure, the beginning of the yawn, a solid chest voice properly placed forward and the same intention as you shift the strategy.

I would begin looking closely on how to nail the placement on chest voice.

GL man, do get orientation of a coach if you can. Will make your life much easier.

Right. I actually have a vocal coach and I will work on this song with her. Hopefully I can nail down a better recording soon.

I notice that when I try the first part of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8zroG9QWNc

I naturally end up in headvoice at G#4 rather than E4. Perhaps that is my problem; late bridging. I've also been belting around A4/Bb4 before so I have that in my baggage, being used to that.

Thanks for all the pointers!

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yea pretty sure everyone has covered what I'm going to say, really pitchy, but you have an interesting voice, kinda like the guy from hotchip. Your confidence was lacking a bit in your delivery so it sounds like your issues are coming from rehearsal and not knowing the song as well as you should.

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yea pretty sure everyone has covered what I'm going to say, really pitchy, but you have an interesting voice, kinda like the guy from hotchip. Your confidence was lacking a bit in your delivery so it sounds like your issues are coming from rehearsal and not knowing the song as well as you should.

Hadn't heard hot chip before but I kinda like it. Not what I was going after right here but still!

I've analyzed the comments and myself I think the reasons why it came out as it did was:

* I used high placement on too low notes (inner smile, singing in the mask)

* I have a high larynx tendency which was exxagerated as I went up without raising the soft palate

* I did make multiple takes. After a while I knew that the high parts were hard so perhaps I was anxious of them.

I also have a condenser microphone and I didn't add any base in mix (which most of the dynamic microphones do in the microphone) so that made it even brighter in sound I guess.

I got some compliments of lower passagio behaviour. I think I use some twang and actually hold it together somewhat. There were some notes where my placement was correct and my larynx not too high. I'm gonna keep praciticing, hopefully that will make perfect someday ;)

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I pretty much agree with Felipe (I tend to do that, it seems), that you're lacking in the technique department. You seem to have an ear for melody so that's a good thing, since you will already have a head start on many people who don't. But your lack of technique is affecting not only your range and high notes, but your tone and pitch on the low notes as well. Doing some vocal training will help you with that and, like Felipe, I really suggest that you develop a fairly solid CHEST voice before you start working on your high notes all the time. You can do it and you have the potential, man! Cheers!

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jonpall:

Thanks for the compliments on musicality! Felipe did have some very good points, I'm trying to start working on that.

I actually already do have a proper chest voice. At least I think I do! I sang for many years below my passagio. Not until some year ago I breached it at all (except for falsetto). So it is just know I'm starting with that, and I'm a bit confused ;)

For this recording I tried to sing with a high placement all the time which, I now realize, came out wrong :) I do think I'm ready to start the work on blending chest/head :) Possibly I need to develop head voice first. Changing between high/low placement is also something I can't do very well or at all.

A2-D4 I can sing with one voice sortof, then I have to change placement and I have a hard time doing it gradually.

Typical low-tenor stuff, I'm not at all unique at all in this department.

I'm not defensive - I need to improve - but I've sung in chest voice actually. I promise! I'll try to do a recording of that the next time as a contrast!

Thanks for commenting! Always nice to read what you write as I have the CVT-book and you usually talks about CVT!

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Hi breakin! I think it's pretty simple, if you have the cvt book, try to sing an entire song below your passagio and sing it mostly in overdrive, but some neutral and curbing maybe here and there for added dynamics. Then post it here. What you're missing on that track of yours to have a more solid chest voice is to increase your volume a bit and sing while holding your breath (being even slightly breathy robs you of power). I don't mean that you should sing as loud as you can - but a bit louder. Try that to start off with, post it here and see where it takes you. That's what I would suggest. I'm sure you'll nail it out of the park after just a few tries. Have a nice day!

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Hi breakin! I think it's pretty simple, if you have the cvt book, try to sing an entire song below your passagio and sing it mostly in overdrive, but some neutral and curbing maybe here and there for added dynamics. Then post it here. What you're missing on that track of yours to have a more solid chest voice is to increase your volume a bit and sing while holding your breath (being even slightly breathy robs you of power). I don't mean that you should sing as loud as you can - but a bit louder. Try that to start off with, post it here and see where it takes you. That's what I would suggest. I'm sure you'll nail it out of the park after just a few tries. Have a nice day!

I will! Currently I'm in new york, but once I'm back! Anything fun happens on saturday in new york?!

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Is it just me, or does he have a Michael Jackson kinda tone? :) I want to try this song too sometime :)

Nice!

The song is hard! Stevie makes it sound so easy! I've been giving it more love but i need to work on my voice. Baby steps!

Whatever Michael there is in there is probably due to the high placement. I'm somewhere between baryton and tenor (although more on the tenor side i think), but not as light/high as MJ. He has very good technique though so hard to compare!

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This is a really challenging song in Stevie Wonder's range. I've sung it in Paul William's (Temptations) range:

http://soundcloud.com/killerku/foronceinmylifebest

And there is no way I could comfortably be in Stevie's range without utilizing a real heady/falsetto sish tone. It wouldn't sound 'Stevie,"

You utilized a rather nasally piercing kind of tone, which is unique and your pitch was pretty good.

I think you could benefit from connecting into the voice a bit more and focusing on your chest voice too without having to flip into the falsetto so much. You might even try transposing down. If you could mix more richness into the nasal kind of tone without completely removing the playful/piercing personality I think you'd reach closer.

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