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Open Arms by Journey (cover)

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whitelighter
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPQVQ6arEFU

I'm generally more into folk & classic rock, but I've been told my singing lacks expressiveness. I figured if I could sing a song like this & make it sound sincere, I'd have an easier time with others.

I think I'm still having trouble with expressiveness and sound nervous. Constructive criticism is welcome.

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I do see what you're saying. It does seem a bit lacking dynamically. I would guess you *are* nervous, and are afraid to open up. But hell, you've stepped up by posting a video for everyone to see, and that's a big deal. That alone is "opening up" in a big way.

I would also say listen to the song, but do not try to emulate Steve's tone. Look for where he's crooning, and where he's "belting", then incorporate it into your own singing.

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I'm sure you had some initial apprehension in posting the video on Youtube to begin with, yes? But you overcame it, and you can do the very same with your fear of letting go. However, don't give yourself a "deadline". That's unnecessary pressure, which will make matters worse. I'm not sure what you're worried about, though. Do you live with others, and you're afraid of them overhearing you?

You've already subjected yourself to the possibility of being negatively criticized by lacking "expressiveness", so you have to ask yourself how it would be any worse to be possibly negatively criticized for being expressive. Either way, you've already put yourself "out there", so you may as well make the most of it.

Oh, and another thing, and this is simply what *I* would do for the song in this setting, but it's ultimately up to you. To break up the monotony, I would strum the chords for the chorus, as opposed to arpeggiating them. Going into the chorus with the powerful strums may compel you to "wake up" vocally, if that makes any sense.

Keep at it, and don't give up.

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You have a great sounding voice. When singing a song like this put yourself in the situation. If you have someone special in your life or even someone you want in your life think of them. Think about being away from them for a while and how you would feel being back together with them.

You already know the song. You know what it is about. You sound great singing it. You do not need to worry about any of those things. Now you just need to FEEL the song and let those feelings come out.

Maybe if you slide the Capo up a few frets and sing a little higher you can get yourself to put a little more emotion in the song.

Some do not agree with me but I believe that singing is driven by emotions.

Another note: If you had not mentioned the lack of expressiveness I would have just said GOOD JOB KEEP SINGING. :)

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Did not like it man, sorry, comming too weak and kind of mumbled.

Teacher, trainning, and good luck! :)

He knows that. He's asking our advice on how to improve.

Dynamics play a major role in being expressive. Soft and mellow in places and louder and more forceful in others.

You are singing the same volume and attitude throughout the song. The beginning verse would be soft and mellow. Going into the chorus would be a little louder and forceful. Changing rhythm patterns on the guitar can also add to expression. The parts that are more intense strum or pick the guitar a little more forceful to add to the emotion.

Just some suggestions to create enthusiasm.

Listen to lots of different songs and pay attention to how the voice and music change attitudes and volume within the songs to create tension and movement.

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It's funny that you have stage fright and I think it's funny that you have a login that comes from a creature from "Charmed" aka "witches 90210." (I said that out loud.)

For you have posted a video of yourself. Whereas, when I have posted a video, I use still pictures of my dog because he is prettier than I am. That's him, in my avatar. Shadow, a mix of Siberian Husky and Labrador Retriever. But he kind of looks like a timberwolf.

You have good pitch and I am glad that you sing in a key that was comfortable for you. You just need to sing like you expect someone on the other side of the room to hear you.

Stagefright - the condition where you are more worried about how you feel about how others perceive you than you are about the song. Sing it like you are a fan of the song, not like you are the worst human being on Earth waiting for others to crucify you. Believe it or not, most audiences are not expecting you to fail, they are expecting to hear the song. So, give it to them. And get over yourself.

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Thanks for the comments and suggestions - I'll try to keep as many of them in mind as possible. I'm glad some of you heard some good things in spite of all the room there is for improvement.

My nickname is indeed from "'Charmed" (whitelighters were guardians of witches). I use that screen name since I'm a fan of Holly Marie Combs.

I never thought about using pictures rather than video; I guess i just assumed I should show my face to prove it's me singing, but maybe it isn't that important.

I know I'm getting on up there, so I'll be careful not to damage my vocal chords.

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Thanks for the comments and suggestions - I'll try to keep as many of them in mind as possible. I'm glad some of you heard some good things in spite of all the room there is for improvement.

My nickname is indeed from "'Charmed" (whitelighters were guardians of witches). I use that screen name since I'm a fan of Holly Marie Combs.

I never thought about using pictures rather than video; I guess i just assumed I should show my face to prove it's me singing, but maybe it isn't that important.

I know I'm getting on up there, so I'll be careful not to damage my vocal chords.

For your intent it was good to see you sing this. Lack of expression in the song is also seen from your face and body. You are barely moving. your eyes are fixed on the camera or microphone. Your audience will also take cues from your posture and facial expressions. Your singing and guitar playing will also.

Loosen up! Get into the groove. Even a slow ballad has a groove to it.

Learn to move a little and look around the room a little while you sing. Movement will add more life to your performance and your singing.

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you (and so do I) are not that young anymore

Just curious - at what age does a person start being considered "not that young anymore"?

Lack of expression in the song is also seen from your face and body.

Part of the problem is that I'm always this way, not just when I'm singing, which makes it especially challenging, but I'll try to keep it in mind & loosen up.

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Well, MDEW and I are only one year apart. We're probably not so young, anymore. So, I'll be cryptic. I was born the year that Ford first introduced the Mustang. Clue: it was a half-year model in it's introduction. It was also the same year that the Beatles came to America and appeared on the Ed Sullivan show.

Am I not so young, anymore? In a few short years, AARP will start sending me solicitations.

Or is like the lyric in a country song, "Old enough to know better, still too young to care?"

On the other hand, there's been a few guys on this forum who are young enough to be my son, and trying to teach me about singing. And they just might be right, sometimes.

C'est la Vie.

Que sera,sera.

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I just turned 43, and haven't even begun to think of myself as "old". I've maintained essentially the same physique since my early 20's, my hairline hasn't budged, no gray, and I feel great. I spent my 20's and 30's in horrible fear of entering my 40's, but it's been great.

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You just need to sing like you expect someone on the other side of the room to hear you.

Something just kinda clicked when you said that - I think it may increase may projection significantly.

I just can't understand why someone that is trying to make something with his body - as sing - but can not accept that age

No, I accept it, and appreciate the word of caution. I really didn't mean to make such a big deal about the age thing (I'm 42). I can't afford formal vocal instruction, but I'll be careful not to strain my voice. In fact I'm glad you pointed it out before I did do damage.

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Sing in any level is hard body training. I just can't understand why someone that is trying to make something with his body - as sing - but can not accept that age it's not exactly what it's written in that self motivating books.

But if you really want to believe that age is just something figurated and make music with vocal folds it's a matter of tricks and magic you'll learn in an internet forum, go ahead. Maybe you'll sing well... have faith!

People seems to live in another world, sincerely... And it's amazing how others spend their time and useless words about "how smart I can be behind the keyboard using ambiguous words".

PS: Remember, I'm almost 40. It's not just a kid tongue.

There goes my dream about fronting a VAN HALEN tribute band. :(

But I can still sing James Taylor. :D

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Yeah, and I'm 49 and I sound younger than most of you guys, anyway. Probably all the Diet Coke I drink. That bht is one good preservative.

That, and my deal with Satan to have the folds of destiny.

:lol:

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i would say work on projection. On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being quiet and 10 being loud) I would say you are singing at a 3/4. try and make it a 5/6 without pushing too hard. Like ron said, imagine a clear calling voice like 'hey you over there' not shouting but clear and try and keep that same volume up while your singing.

And perhaps some diction exercises. I don't usually like these but I reckon you might benefit from them as you can't really hear the words too well. Good luck and keep singing :D

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Ha.. dude... you actually sounded good.. you have a very nice voice hiding behind ya there..

Seriously... Project more.. build your confidence, because you do sound good... great vibrato on this song, timbre when you project more is spot on.... You did mumble from time to time, and kept yourself closed down.. but Meh.. you're learning man... over all it was nice.

Some tips for ya.... Take a deep breath, and exhale ALL THE WAY OUT.... almost to the point you feel your lungs ready to collapse.... take a deep breathe, and repeat a few times..

Shake your hands by yourside and if possible give a loud shout (open throat of course so you don't hurt yourself)....

This will relieve a HUGE amount of stress / stagefright for you...

Then, when you are singing, open your mouth more and increase the volume of a bit more then speech level (for a song like this)... Pretend you are singing to someone at the back of the room..

If you need to, close your eyes, and picture the words that you are singing... Paint a storyboard in your head that allows you to paint a picture for others to see (hear)..

Like I said above.. you have a nice voice -- I enjoyed your tone...

You can do it, and CONGRATULATIONS for posting a video of yourself singing man... Most people will only do sound.. then others will do sound with still picture of something NON-them... then those that are a bit braver with show slides or a single picture of themself with their music, and finally full on youtube type of posts (like yours)..

So.. yeah..

rock it dude... rock it.... .

Keep up the great work....

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Since I accidentally deleted the video at the top of this thread, I'm wondering if I should start just start a new thread, but anyway I tried it again last night employing all of the suggestions I've gotten (which I really appreciate), such as projection, diction, expressiveness, etc....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT592_mONCc

I know it still needs work but was hoping for feedback. Part of my problem with facial expression is, like I said, I'm always like that, not just when singing. I'm afraid my voice started to crack at the very end. I've never really worried that much about showing my face on camera since people do it all the time on youtube.

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