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Voice permanently in 'gentle' mode?

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Meness
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EDIT : Have I improved, guys? I can bridge better, but it doesn't sound too different from what I posted originally... And these are y current slides (26/01/14)

I posted my cover of "The Beginning" by ONE OK ROCK in the critique section of the forums. The replies I got stated that it sounded like I held back a lot. And that was true, I covered that at night and tried to be quiet. So I covered it again, this time without trying to be quiet. Although better, there wasn't much difference. I let my friend listen to the cover to ask whether my voice was okay and he replied that my voice was okay; just that it didn't really fit the song...it was too gentle. It would work for a piano version though.

And then it just hit me about what exactly was wrong about voice, as I had been wondering ever since I started singing seriously and training my voice why my singing just didn't sound good. I wouldn't have realized it without my friend...my voice is too gentle to sing rock songs and generally all the music I want to sing.

Now I'm wondering, is it my technique that's not enabling to enter 'rock' mode? I only started taking singing seriously when I discovered head voice and my upper range, since all my friends discouraged me by saying that I sing very low and can't hit 'nice' notes. They even categorized me as a baritone. Truth is, I am a tenor (as far as I can tell; one person has called me out as counter-tenor though). Anyway, so I was self taught in this head voice and mixed voice thing. I thought that I had been singing in mixed, but now I'm wondering whether I actually am. All I've been doing is pulling my head voice down so that my bridging is at a middle C. Is this automatically mixed voice? Or do I need to do more to beef it up?

For reference this is the cover I made.

And this is the original song :

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Get a teacher and study. There is nothing baritonal in your voice, you simply dont know how to do it. It will take a lot of trainning, but you can get results IF thats what you want.

The first phrase of the song is airy, out of pitch and wavering, resumes the problem, still too weak and uncoordinated. You are not in gentle or whatever mode, needs to train. Its very poor. Forget this non-sense and work. Your friends discouraged you because it simply does not sound good.

So orientation, a lot of study, and patience, because it will take time before you can do agressive stuff decently.

GL.

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There is nothing baritonal in my voice, I acknowledged that in my opening post.

I get the airy, wavering and weak part. But I don't get the "resumes the problem" part. I understand that it's poor, that is why I'm asking for help. Forget what nonsense? And again, I DO want to work, that is why I'm posting here asking for help. I am starting to think we're having some miscommunication here; my friends discouraged my singing when I did not have access to my head voice. They were not complaining about how bad it sounds, but rather how I couldn't hit high notes. They fundamentally even misjudged me as a baritone, which is why I have disregarded everything those people have to say.

I am currently working a part time job to afford a teacher. Do you have any exercises that you can suggest I do in the meantime.

Thanks for your time.

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Meness I would if I thought it would work. But it wont. You can use the search tool in the forums and tons of exercises will pop, I dont recomend trying to do stuff blindly and alone.

You need to do the exercises that are correct for you and you need to them correctly. Even if I could say the best exercise just from the audio clip, the chances of you doing it correctly on your own are too low.

So if you are working to get the teacher, then get it and start working. From the confusion on what you wrote on the op, I am positive it will do you good. And please send the results later, wanna hear you singing good man.

GL and get to work.

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Welcome man.

I agree with Felipe and Justin regarding getting good training, and not embedding bad habits. It will save you a lot of time in the long run.

On a positive note, at least you aren't straining in chest voice to sing this stuff, that's good. You've discovered some head voice there, but it's very unstable/undeveloped and airy like Felipe stated. At this stage you have a vast disparity between the tone of your head and chest and a very abrupt transition. It will take some serious study and ball busting practice (correct practice!) to build strength and a consistent tone between registers.

I have a general principle of not instructing on things, as I'm no master myself. BUT a small piece of advice would be to work your co ordinations gently first, maintaining consistent volume and tone. Only then can you start to add power and rock out - beef it up (assuming you are embedding the correct technique).

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JustinOtherSinger : Thank you for the link and I will try to find a good teacher here. It's quite hard as I don't really trust the vocal 'teachers' here.

Felipe : This was one of the reasons I posted. I had been following Brett Manning's Mastering Mix program for the past three months. And honestly (and not conceitedly), I can say I've improved a lot from straining chest voice, very sucky bridging, and very sucky head voice to my current state.

Thank you and I will send you results when I have lessons!

Nick_D : Yeah, bad habits were the first thing I tried to get rid of about four months ago when I started working on mixed voice. I used to strain a lot. Thank goodness I could drop that habit (with much effort and patience in four months). I can say that my transitioning has improved. I can do my sirens with no breaks now. I had a BIG disparity three months ago if you listen to the clips I linked Felipe to above. Mmm that's noted.

Thank you for the replies so far guys! I appreciate it, truly. I really love singing and would like to sing to the best of my abilities. I will be searching for vocal teachers locally. But if that fails maybe I'll get an online lesson.

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meness, get the mental side working....

...are you committed? are you going to put the time in to doing the work? do you know that the mind cannot tell the difference between that which is real or vividly imagined?

you can do it if you put your mind to it. start from the very beginning...learn how the voice works, learn how you must breathe to sing...it all begins with the basics.

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My advice would not be get a teacher just yet. Find some songs that are easier to sing like speaking on pitch. then slowly build from there. You say you had training.. Well go back to the vocal exercises and approach them different. When you feel like you can't go higher without some sort of strain coming in then don't go higher, work below that doing crescendos on each note starting light and getting louder without any glitches or breaks. then i would sing 10 -20 songs perfect, easy songs, don't push the voice strength will come later as you get used to say lifting 10lbs 100times then lift 20lbs 50 times. Get really used to singing and sounding good without strain, then get a teacher..

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Agree with Daniel, go back to your vocal exercises and work on taking the strain out your voice.

Work on freeing up your voice and connecting it to the breath, don't worry about trying to get a 'style' on it, that will come later, just find that unstrained, free, well connected and supported sound.

The reason why your getting that strained sound up high is that your pushing the chest voice up. You are not allowing it to go through the passaggio into your middle voice. A good teacher will be able to guide you with this and help you build a good healthy instrument. Remember it's a muscle you can tell it what to do, but you need to know how to do it in the right way. That's why a teacher is so important.

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Get a teacher and study. There is nothing baritonal in your voice, you simply dont know how to do it. It will take a lot of trainning, but you can get results IF thats what you want.

The first phrase of the song is airy, out of pitch and wavering, resumes the problem, still too weak and uncoordinated. You are not in gentle or whatever mode, needs to train. Its very poor. Forget this non-sense and work. Your friends discouraged you because it simply does not sound good.

So orientation, a lot of study, and patience, because it will take time before you can do agressive stuff decently.

GL.

Geez, way to be encouraging.

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VIDEOHERE : Yes, I am committed. I do exercises from Mastering Mix and sing daily, if that's what you mean by putting in work. Yes I understand that as well.

Does it really sound as if I can't sing at all? I ask because I've got compliments for my singing before. Enough for me to be asked to perform for them. But I was straining chest voice, then. I did not have a clue about head voice and so there were some notes that were always hit and miss. I've been doing breathing exercises for as long as I can remember. And I do sing from the diaphragm if that's what you mean.

Danielformica and michaelparksinging : Thing is, I don't feel any strain at all (unless you're listening to some of the clips I linked Felipe to). I've only ever felt strain when I sung with purely chest. After working at Mastering Mix for three months, I found that bridging early really made a nicer transition and caused no strain. So I dropped my bridge which was at a G4 to C4. And I've never sung with strain again.

eggplantbren : I know it seems discouraging but at least it was constructive, so it's all good :)

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Meness wrote: Does it really sound as if I can't sing at all?

Meness, these fellows are giving you some tough love, so let me slip in one compliment. I like the underlying tone of your voice; it's pleasant to me. All the more reason to proceed with great care and discipline, and with professional guidance. Daniel's interesting advice perked my ears, because when my daughter was born, I learned tons of easy kids songs that never challenged my range at all. I sang and played my ukulele to her every day. I think it was good for me! (her, not so sure...)

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JustinOthersinger : That was very informative, thank you! I didn't know that you guys were referring to a different kind of strain. I thought singing with strain just meant a tight and painful throat, which I don't experience. I get it, it takes time. And I will give it as much time as possible. Thank you :)

MdM : It might be tough love, but at the same time I'm really grateful for Felipe's first post. It just means that I can improve so much more. At first I was quite upset at the tone of my singing and that I couldn't change anymore because everyone just said it's decent singing. But yeah, what Felipe said means that I can improve I guess :) Pleasant as in gentle? Haha thank you anyway :) I don't really know what songs are easy for me, though...as I said that I don't feel strain singing any of the songs I sing :/

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Wow, Ron, what did you write?

VIDEOHERE : Yes, I believe I can. Nowhere had I showed any doubt about that. This thread was not posted to ask, "hey is my voice too gentle? can I sing with it? does it sound okay?". I posted this thread after training for about three months on my head voice which before was extremely feminine and much weaker to now which I myself could hear some improvements (not too thinned out). I was glad that I had progress, but I was still disappointed with the tone I have. Everyone around me suggested that I sing pop stuff which I sounded pleasant at. But I don't like that. I posted this thread to ask whether I was really singing in head voice or just pulled down head voice. Somehow a lot of people misunderstood my post.

tl;dr : Yes, I believe I can sing. I'm not here to fish for compliments. I'm here to take constructive criticism and advice on how do I improve towards the sound I want. I asked this, "Does it really sound as if I can't sing at all?" because I interpret your earlier post as stating that I've been doing everything wrong, and I need to restart. If that's really what you mean, then I'll take note of that and work on that.

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Sorry, Meness.I wrote a longish reply. And Bob, our admin, thought it was too verbose. Which is the polite way if saying that I wrote too much and should write less. Otherwise, why that comment? I thought it supported the idea of dedication but I did not phrase in how much "hard work this all is."

So, to try and fit in better within the forum, I deleted my post. And I will try to be more reticent in the future.

At least, I will try.

So, you missed out because someone more important than I thought I said too much.

good luck ....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey! so it's been about 2 weeks since I first posted this. I've been reading the CVT book recently and have been attempting to improve. I was wondering if any of you experts could help me check whether my 'progress' is actually progress or should I stop singing first in case of damage?

Click

I absolutely adore my voice in the 1st part. This is the first time I've actually liked my singing tone. The second one is me going through a song and attempting to correct mistakes.

As I've asked...am I using correct technique here? Or am I doing something harmful?

Thanks in advance.

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:/ Still airy, and now forced backwards.

If you absolutely cant get instruction, and the CVT book will not help you in this sense, find an easy song to work, brake it down to parts and try to make it sound good and comfortable, nail the song. Will render a much better result than blind application of ideas.

Get a few songs to really work. To the point YOU like to listen to it.

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Hi Felipe, thanks for the fast response before I head to bed! :D

I've been trying to keep a sharp ear ever since you first said airy, but I can't pick it up no matter what. I've actually improved bridging after reading the CVT's chapter about support and controlling the release of air. I sang these songs while holding my hand in front of my mouth, and I do not feel air but rather just heat. Unless you mean a different sort of airy, I just don't hear it :/ Please help me figure this out! Also what does it mean by 'forced backward'? You mean the air is forced backward?

Like I said, I absolutely love listening to the first track. It's the first time I've ever liked listening to my own singing so much. And before it sounds like I just don't want to listen to your advice (because I do and appreciate it a lot), I have to say that those songs were 'very easy'. They don't feel difficult and it's very comfortable to sing them. I've keep keeping careful vigilance on whether my throat hurts after singing, and it doesn't. There's no tension...

Thanks for not giving up on me, Felipe! :D

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Try this one... But please dont insist on it if its uncomfortable in any way for you.

Find a place where you can be without concern with others, and pretend that you are calling someone thats walking on the street a few meters ahead of you. Not very far, 6 meters or so, you have to call his attention. Try a "Hey Mike".

But really pretend, set the whole scene on your head and go with the situation, notice how the Mah of Mike feels. Notice how its stronger, and yet there is even less air and its comfortable, and yet you dont have to think on holding back air or anything, it just happens.

Again, if it feels uncomfortable, if it hurts you, if you feel dizzy, even if you feel shy and held back when doing it, its best to not do it.

This will not correct anything, but will give a better picture of how the work must flow. Good luck.

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Meness:

I listened to your cover. I thought I would write with suggestions some specific things you could train to address some of the areas that are most obviously in need of help, and will respond to some practice. As you get further along, extend the range.

1) The first thing I hear is that your vowel enunciations (production) are not spot on-pitch. To work this, practice individual vowel onsets in your middle voice and practice your tuning with a solid pitch reference, like a keyboard.

2) Second: sustain your vowels clearly within the syllables so they take more of the time, and so the consonants take less. Practice a syllable by singing an initial consonant rapidly and clearly, sustaining the vowel for a few seconds, and then adding on any final consonant. The thing you think about is what vowel you intend to sustain... head for that, and make all the other sounds (consonants and other vowels (i.e. dipthong or tripthong sounds) go by as rapidly as is consistent with clarity.

I hope this is helpful.

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@ Felipe : I've tried your suggestion, but it feels no different from when I'm singing :/ maybe I'm too used to it? Though after further practice from reading about support in the CVT book, my range has increased quite a bit. That high C in the cover I posted in the first post feels more....boomy now, not as closed as before. Out of curiosity, does this sound airy to you? click

@ Steven : Does that mean that when I sing certain vowels I slide onto pitch instead of hitting the note straight away? If so then thank you for pointing it out cause I don't seem to realize it at all.

Thank you, I have been doing that recently but I'm not really sure how the desired result should be. As in, how long a vowel or consonant goes by is determined by the song, right?

Also what is your say on Felipe's comment on my singing being airy? I'm just trying to make more sense of it as I can't notice this 'airy'-ness.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've been asked by a friend to sing one song for his band's gig in a month. I am both excited and nervous at the same time. Practice more and more? :|

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felipe, that's a great exercise. I get my students to say 'hey you'!! embarrassing as it might be!!

If I were you, I'd go back to basics. Get good control over your chest voice first, like everyone else has said, sing as many comfortable songs as you can and really nail them. I get the feeling you're trying to run before you can walk possibly. Get something like singing for dummies! No offense meant, there are some really good exercises in there

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