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Audioslave - Show me how to live.... why is it SO HARD??

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Hello there, this is an audio recording from my band's last rehearshal, we played the song only once or twice till now, so we are still working on the mistakes, so to say.

But I'm starting to feel that at my level its impossible for me to sing this DAMNED chorus, I mean, I've heard Cornell singing this live and he also seems like he is straining all over the place, and since I like me some challenge I decided to introduce this song to the band.

So, what exactly is my problem, what am I doing wrong? The chorus goes like B4 A4 G4 and I seem to be able to nail the first "Nail in my hand, from my creator, you gave me a life now, show me how to live" and then I have this choking feeling in my mouth/throat and feel like I dont have enough energy to sing the rest of it, as you can hear my voice starts thinning out and sounding shit(the first part is also a bit strainy though...). And after that my lower back feels like I did heavy deadlifting and Im just exhausted. The thing is my voice doesnt feel tired or hurt after that, I just rest for 1 min and can sing some more...

I have a couple of theories, for example that I am just taking too much breath in and tensing, so my throat tenses.

Or that my support is just not strong enough yet. I don't know, suggestions?

Here is it, the chorus starts at 1:23, this "choking" feeling starts around 1:36, u can hear it at 1:40. Second chorus at 2:13 and CHOKE on 2:22. The second is just plain painful to listen....but please bear with it :D


Recorded with a camera, I just extracted the audio, so the quality is not awesome.


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I can hear you have the trouble with this one as I have, though you sound a lot better than I do :P I think one problem can be that you get the feeling that you should really push since its got rasp and is very aggressive, but I know at least for me I lose the "sweet spot" and I actually get a fuller sound when I "back off" mentally.

I would like to say though you have a killer vibrato. You should check out fair to Midland, you could come really close to that singe's sound if you wanted I think

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Thanks, maybe I am pushing too much, yeah, maybe thats why my intercostal muscles get tired and i dont have the energy to support the next line.. I'm goingo to try singing it lighter and without rasp next time, to see what happens :)

I checked Fair to Midland, they sound very cool, the problem is that if I introduce them to my band for example with the song Musical Chair, Im pretty sure at least the bass player is going to hate me, it sounds pretty technical...

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Very true. The more I consolidate the basics the greater improvements I see all over my range. However, once every now and then one wants to check the progress (aswell as just singing something cause you feel like it) and then the hard songs you can't really do becomes something of a benchmark.

Anyways, keeping working on the basics is indeed the foundation and nothing will be good on top of it if.that sucks :)

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Well, I can speak for myself, I like challenging songs, it just pushes me to sing songs that im still not supposed to sing, on my level I mean. And since im young and hasty, it just makes things worse :)

But you are saying that its maybe the basics that im missing - well isnt breath support one of the basics ? Im not looking for a quick fix -> its obvious thats not gonna happen. I just need a direction or an advice, thats it, since music is just a hobby for me and im studying to become a doctor, I am never going to train so hard as you did, but that doesnt mean i should just give up singing that song right? ;)

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Sorry, but that's not a valid argument for me.

If you study Karate once in a week, you can achieve the black belt in 5y, maybe, even if you don't want to become a MMA professional. Am I wrong? So, in this case, what motivates the practicer?

I have one pupil in brazilian 'The Voice'. And I have another one that works in a big IT company as Latin American Manager. Who do you think that sings in a higher level?

The truth is: If you want to do something really good, don't look for shortcuts. What really should motivate you is to know that you can reach higher and it just depends on you.

But you don't have to believe me... I'm just an old guy that.. sings - and reached the purple belt in Ju Jutsu.


I can't speak to you about singing like Chris or many others on this forum as I too am only a student. But I can speak to you about learning or training. Using the karate, or martial arts comparison, I can relate. I am now 56 years old and have studied martial arts since I was 11. However, I made my most gains after becoming very serious 30 years ago. By serious I mean by stopping bouncing around to different styles but focusing more on fundamentals (basics) and what makes them tick. This could end up being a very long post so I'll have to cut it short. But, even today in my teaching, I try to get students to be patient and work on the small things. Not one thing or a "special" technique or training technique. Work on many things. Work on them until they build a whole. A house isn't built by a good carpenter or a good hammer swing. It isn't built by learning the perfect way to lay a piece of plywood. It is built by all these things and more combined with that good carpenter, who is good because he has absorbed all these things and made them his own. It's a oneness with all you have mastered. Once you do things without thought it becomes technique. At that point it may not even look like the original technique. But the fundamentals are there. the principles.

I read through the techniques section a lot and I am amazed. There is a lot of good advice but at the same time I see allot of absorption of that advice to a degree beyond what I think necessary. In my opinion it causes confusion. It is my opinion that at times , some trainees (many) can look so deep at a technique or a "how to" that they actually look passed it thus missing the point. Then it doesn't work for them and it creates more frustration. Sometimes that is what is meant by trying too hard. You can go too far you know.

I have literally tried to un-train fighters. Well, I should say wannabee fighters, from what I call technique syndrome. They work on technique so much and so "perfect technique" minded that they miss how you have to apply that to the actual task you are training for. They become masters of 'technique' and nothing else. Technique and actual fighting are two different animals as are technique and actually singing.

Ok...nuff said.

Back into my hole. :D

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Chris and Tommy raise some good points. Patience. The single most valuable asset to a student of any venture, fighter training or singing. Just the same, it is often the little subtle things that are learned that unlocked abilities.

Back when I was studying Tae Kwon Do and Aiki-jujutsu, I would spar with a guy was close to me in height and build and he gave me a valuable tip. Guys of my stature don't have to block most kicks with our arms, which opens our top end. We can block most people's kicks with our legs, leaving our top end protected. And that the most effective kicks are from the waist down. For they are fast and hard to block. And most people are going to still try and block those with their hands and arms, leaving them open. Of course, I would still do some high kicks now and then, to stretch. But train like you will fight.

But just as important was something I learned from my friend, Lee, who was a SEAL in his younger days. Not only do you immobilize and damage at least one appendage (in military combat, he who causes the first injury almost always wins the confrontation,) but do unto others before they do unto you. Which is mental. Most people hesitate and that is their undoing.

This is all leading to what is your (in general) intention and purpose.

Tommy has already stated his in other posts. He wants to sing well enough for himself and others, the few times he sings in front of others.

Overdrive - What is yours? Planning on being a rock star? Then Tanya's advice is very applicable. Start writing your originals. Any band that has ever made it big wrote their own stuff and became known for it.

Chris - you mentioned 15 years of lessons and coaching. So, do you plan on being a coach or voice instructor? I bet you would be excellent at it. You could also be a pop star. Or rock star.

What is my intention? - I have no idea. No one is interested in hearing 70's stuff. And, I am middle-aged, so, I'm not sexy. And I have a job with a sure paycheck and cannot go on the road to "maybe" make some money. If I had a record out that had just reached gold status, I would bring home what I am making, right now. I have bills and obligations that will not rest. If I was 20, all over again, with no home, sure, I could do it.

So, I sing for the joy of singing. It is not a "job" to me. So, I might be in the same category as your student who is a doctor. Singing, for me, has to be fun. Nor do I view work as needing to be full of stress, though my job has a load of stress that defies description.

Does that make me less valid or less serious, as a singer? Who knows? I'm sure opinions will vary.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm always reading something like these here...

Why do you ALL think that there's only "one or two techniques you're doing wrong" that turns a song "hard to sing"?

Can you just considere that maybe you're not doing the basic as it should be?

I see many of you trying to sing loud, in a higher pitch or agressive... Can you sing "Yesterday" (Beatles) in a decent rendition, for example?

I can sing Show me how to live as easy as I breath. But I don't just wake up and decided "I'll sing this". There was more than 15y of hard training IN CLASSES 'til I get there.

Excellent repost here. Rep point for that.

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