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John Mayer - A Face To Call Home.... Critics!

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kaznie
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Hey MVW!

I've recently uploaded a new video on YouTube and I would love some critique! The more the merrier, I'd like to learn ;)

I've also gotten an older video on YouTube (Why Georgia), which can be used for comparison. Any better/worse?

Video:

Thanks!

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That sounded pretty good.

One thing that I have noticed is that when singing a "Laid back" type of song a person tends to lay back a little too much and looses support on lower notes. They tend to go a little flat at times.

Believe it or not I just heard of John Mayer yesterday.

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Ooooow, better check some songs, he's quite the legend already ;)

About the singing tip, thanks! When listening back, I heard that whenever I loose concentration, or concentrate on guitar playing rather then singing, my notes go flat. So... back to the drawing tables ;) Making these videos really puts you right on the facts, great learning experience!

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You mean local dialects as in my native language, using different sounds then the English language, or do you mean the original artist's local dialects?

It's quite hard for me (Dutch) to hear how Dutch my English sounds haha. So... prety Dutch then?

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accent can be a style thing.

For example, you say eench by eench, the way that you would say them in your native language. Dutch and German (which I am familiar with) pronounce the letter 'i' as ee. If you want a more american sound, sing it as ehnch by ehnch (or phonetically in german, since I know that language, aen-ch bah aen-ch.) You lose the accent for a bit after the guitar break because there, you are singing and your vowels are more open.

Guitar playing was fine, nice and crunchy. Nice video, excellent idea to have the stark lighting from outside. You are half in light, half in shadow. Simple and elegant, perfect for this song and this style.

I liked your feel on this song, accent aside.

American is also an accent, perhaps more widely varied since we are such a large country. As well as use of words. In the northeast of USA, they say "standing on line." Here, in the South, we say "standing in line." Here, we say soda. Other regions say pop, both meaning a carbonated soft drink, like Diet Coke.

Up north, someone might say, "I am prepared to ..." Down here, in some of the smaller towns, we might say "Ahm fixin ta ..."

Even the way we put words together. Tim McGraw does that in the song "Live Like You Were Dying."

"I went skydivin', I went rocky mountain climbin'" When actually, a proper english phrase would say "I have been climbing in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado." It lends a regional flavor to the song. Though he might still be singing with italian vowels. So, phonetically, in english, it would be "ah wehnt rahckeh mahntehn clahmehn" The accent is in the word contraction and in the redneck engineering of words into a phrase.

So, yes, I can hear you are dutch. And some it is consonants. Americans are usually lazy on consonants. Thought that can create a hard sound, as well. Instead of saying without you, we might say withouchoo.

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Haha, very cool to read about the 'inch by inch' part, you're very right ! And about the guitar playing.... as you might have noticed I'm more a singing guitarist then a guitar playing singer, so the guitar parts are emphazised. Good to hear it's jumping out ;)

Anywaaaaaaays, thanks for your help!

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Everyone in my family sang, mostly along with the radio. In 1974, I started teaching myself guitar. And now I could accompany myself singing. But thought of myself as a musician, a guitar player who could sing. Along about 1988, I got serious about developing the rest of my range of singing and made a switch to where I was then a singer that could play some guitar. There are plenty of guys who can play guitar so much better than I can. And I can hit an A5 repeatedly and make their ears hurt. So, we each have talents.

Just the same, as you may have learned, as I did, singing while playing your own accompaniment requires some arranging skills. I have to arrange a guitar part to serve my singing. So, while it might a bit sparse on the guitar wizardry, it is to serve as a harmonic background to the singing.

Good stuff, I would like to hear more of your work.

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Does not sound bad man, but its kinda too constant as it is now. I dont think its good yet.

Your voice is sitting too backwards in the mix, and I also hear it is not quite open yet, some technical work to bring it forward and open would help.

And man, this kind of song lives on the interpretation line. You need to work more, much more on the dynamics, specially on the beginning. I know the song is low and already is soft, but you will have to go even softer at some spots, use the closed vowels for this purpose too. Also the timming is a bit off on a few of the phrasings, which is also one of the crucial points on his songs.

I loved the light on that video, it brings an awesome feel. Hang to that :).

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Thanks Felipe, great advice. What you're saying, could I rephrase that as my vocal performance is kinda boring? Because that struck me to haha. John Mayer uses very breathy tone and I'm kinda worried about using such tone, because it's probably not ideal for your voice. This cover was with a much clearer tone, and probably also more neutral, rendering it a little boring. I'm actually getting vocal lessons within a few months from now, so hopefully it'll get better. Voice is quite closed and I can't seem to fully relax my throat while singing, there's always tension.

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There will always be tension in whatever you do. There is tension in the arm when you pick up a frosty mug of bier, or even a shot of akvavit.

You don't have to go breathy. You can follow Felipe's advice and go softer without being breathy. By going softer in your voice, not Mayer's.

That is, you can sing like Mayer, but not AS Mayer.

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Yeah it kinda becomes boring because there is not much variation, you know?

There is no need to use air all the time, or even use it at all, you can go soft without becoming airy. Dont think of copying his tone, but rather try to figure what he does in terms of variations of intensity. If he is doing, air - soft - air. You can do soft - mid - soft, and the feeling will be exactly the same (in my opinion better, but this is a matter of taste).

Still if you are beginning the lessons, wait until there, after you relax more it will be much easier to do it.

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