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MrBolodenka
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Hi there. I'm not exactly new to the forums, but if you were here about...a couple of years ago, you may recognize my voice. And...it really hasn't improved since then, despite practicing on and off. Two samples below, both in .Ogg format.

Two samples. First is an abridged version of "Awake" by Josh Groban.

Awake (It's terrible)

Second is "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra. I sang it in the same Key as in this video: That's Life

Here is me singing:

That's Life (even worse)

I have been trying to access my head voice for years, though I often get frustrated after a period of 6 months and give up, then come back after a few months. I don't sing professionally, but I enjoy singing and would like to sound decent, if not the best that I can. I don't like the tone of my voice, I have a poor range, and to top it all off, my annunciation is atrocious.

I've done searches of all kinds looking for information, and I've run out of new pages and new info. I've tried lip rolls to help - nothing. I've tried humming in the same tone that I talk in - nada. I've tried relaxing my throat and keeping my larynx still and I still can't do either of these. I'm out of ideas, and I can't get a personal trainer.

Help?

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Well it surely isnt the calamity you sold us :P. But really isnt comming nice.

Sounds quite insecure, lacks more definition and really trusting your voice to respond. Which of course wont solve by looking at the mirror and saying: you are the man!

Drop me an email if you want, Ill see what I can do.

Anyhow, all solutions will take more than 6 months and you will have to decide to commit and do it, or not. The pattern must brake. GL!

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1) I've been insecure since I was 11 (I'm 23 now) and as you said, I don't think it's helping...

2) As for trusting my voice, I hate my regular speaking voice and I have a hard time believing that my singing voice will be able to deliver in terms of overall performance. That...and I have severe trust issues, though I don't know how much that plays into it (don't trust my own judgement of other peoples character).

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1) I've been insecure since I was 11 (I'm 23 now) and as you said, I don't think it's helping...

2) As for trusting my voice, I hate my regular speaking voice and I have a hard time believing that my singing voice will be able to deliver in terms of overall performance. That...and I have severe trust issues, though I don't know how much that plays into it (don't trust my own judgement of other peoples character).

Ah, a classic case of "singing is mental"

That kind of mentality, the insecurity and lack of trust in yourself, WILL make it impossible to sing well if you don't do anything about it. I would recommend seeking therapy or treatment. If this is really as bad as you make it sound.

Maybe it could just be a matter of understanding that calling yourself insecure and not trusting others is basically your own choice you have made. Based on a false assumption that you cannot change your mentality to be secure and trust others. Well, the reality is, you can, if you believe you can change.

Try that first...start believing that you can get better at anything if you practice it. The cool thing about that belief is it's factually true, so you have no reason not to believe it.

What you are doing now is practicing without believing it will improve your singing. That's not much different from not practicing. And that's why you haven't been improving. You need a positive, hopeful attitude while practicing in order to get better.

You need to believe that you can improve at singing first (and you can...anyone can). Only then will you actually progress in your singing.

Get your mentality together first, that's my advice. However you go about doing that. Maybe you just need to make a conscious change of attitude, or maybe you are really stuck in a rut need some kind of other form of help. But singing is as mental as it is physical. Your mentality must be working right in order for the physical components to start working right.

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Ah, a classic case of "singing is mental"

That kind of mentality, the insecurity and lack of trust in yourself, WILL make it impossible to sing well if you don't do anything about it. (1) I would recommend seeking therapy or treatment. If this is really as bad as you make it sound.

(2) Maybe it could just be a matter of understanding that calling yourself insecure and not trusting others is basically your own choice you have made. Based on a false assumption that you cannot change your mentality to be secure and trust others. Well, the reality is, you can, if you believe you can change.

Try that first...(3) start believing that you can get better at anything if you practice it. The cool thing about that belief is it's factually true, so you have no reason not to believe it.

What you are doing now is practicing without believing it will improve your singing. That's not much different from not practicing. And that's why you haven't been improving. You need a positive, hopeful attitude while practicing in order to get better.

(4) You need to believe that you can improve at singing first (and you can...anyone can). Only then will you actually progress in your singing.

Get your mentality together first, that's my advice. However you go about doing that. Maybe you just need to make a conscious change of attitude, or maybe you are really stuck in a rut need some kind of other form of help. But singing is as mental as it is physical. (5) Your mentality must be working right in order for the physical components to start working right.

1) Been in therapy for years. I'll explain that in a few more bulletin points.

2) One of the things I've been in therapy for is insecurity and severe trust issues. I choose not to trust people because of what happened many years ago. If I can't even trust my own family, I can't afford to trust my friends. Allowing people to get close to me is not worth the risk of getting burned again. I don't even trust my therapist, who I have been seeing for a little over 6 years.

3) That's something that I've known works but it doesn't seem to help my singing. I do this with everything that I want to get better at, whether it be science work, gaming, or anything in between. If I want to be better, I do what it takes to get better. But that isn't working for my singing, and I have the same mental state/lack of confidence regarding my singing as other areas in which I have vastly improved.

4) As stated in point 3, I do believe that I can get better with practice, but I haven't been trained or properly educated. And the confidence thing is an issue which I will explain in the next and final point.

5) My mentality hasn't been in working order for 12 years. As a result of events that occurred in middle school, for some reason I left the school with more emotional and mental trauma than I thought was possible for that situation. The end result was the development of a very serious mental disorder which I won't say publicly; but to explain it mildly, it has left me extremely paranoid, anxious, defensive, insecure, and self conscious. Because of the emotional and mentally scarring events, it has also left me very cynical and bitter.

I'm taking meds of course, and I'm in therapy. But, again, I've hit a brick wall. No matter how much I want to change, and no matter how much I make a conscious effort to change, it doesn't happen. I've been at this for years, and there has only been improvement in my mood; and because of the meds, I don't have serious problems (I mean end up in jail or dead within a month serious) that would occur if I was off the meds.

*EDIT*

Too long, didn't read:

1) Mental disorder causing mental and psychological instability

2) I haven't heard another singer with a voice similar to mine, which I like, because I don't want people to think that I sound like someone else; I want my voice to be unique...but I don't like the sound of my voice.

3) I don't like the way my voice sounds because I mumble...very badly. My annunciation is appalling, and I'm going to need a lot of help to correct it (I can't count the number of times people have told me that I could be a ventriloquist).

Summary of what to do:

1) Get past the mental block

2) Speech Therapist

3) Vocal Coach

4) Sing my heart out

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No problem, that's helpful info.

Particularly the parts about getting better at other things besides singing despite the same lack of confidence. Is there any chance those other things didn't really directly involve the body too much? You see, the difference with singing is, you are your own instrument. You're not working with other objects, it's all inside of you and all controlled by your brain. I believe singing is a little more directly affected by the brain than other skills that involve separate equipment that is part of what helps you do the task. I don't know for sure, that's just my theory.

That being said, not getting access to the right techniques also has something to do with it. There is a lot of bogus out there in the word of vocal pedagogy.

You know, you can actually use your mistrust to your advantage here. Be skeptical of everything you come across. Do a search online and look for vocal teachers that can establish credibility. The best vocal teachers are also great, active singers. They also have videos of their teaching online. So they establish credibility both in their ability to sing and their ability to teach. Lastly, a combination of both: the ability to correctly demonstrate what they are teaching. And then obviously, you have to like what they are doing. Pick a teacher whose voice and teaching style you are fond of. Most of these teachers who have a good presence online also offer skype lessons so you can take lessons with them from wherever you are, or offer home study vocal programs. That stuff is what I'd recommend if you really want to get better. Do you research, pick the right teacher for you, make the investment through time and money.

Most local teachers aren't that great, and also have less of a way of establishing their credibility, so you can't really trust them. That's why I recommend the above instead.

Going back to the mental stuff. First off, sorry if I pressured you into revealing more than you wanted to. I'm going to assume for now that you've tried everything you can and your condition just can't be fully treated at this point in time. Though I would recommend being perfectly honest with your therapist or psychiatrist about hitting the brick wall, and possible seeing a different therapist or psychiatrist, if you haven't already done that.

If it can't be fully treated, well, you can do your best trying to learn the techniques despite the mental handicap. It should probably still work to some extent as long as you can get your hands on the right resources that will really teach you how to sing well. You probably will never be amazing because of the mental condition, but you should be able to get up to close to the skill level of other things you can do despite your mental condition.

If all else fails, don't worry about it, just sing okay and leave it as a therapeutic hobby. I think I have read/heard somewhere that singing can be therapeutic for the mind, and have personally felt that it can create a bit of a natural high sometimes. You don't need to hold onto expectations of having to perform or record something good. I wouldn't recommend not singing at all just because you think you are not good at it. If you like the concept of singing, do it. Heck, maybe if you just stop worrying about it, you might end up getting better at it.

Have fun with it, do whatever makes singing the most enjoyable for you. Whether it's no longer caring how you sound and singing your heart out in the shower, or investing thousands of dollars in quality vocal training and going on to become a professional singer, or anywhere in between...do what your heart desires.

I wish you the best of luck. Keep your hopes up.

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No problem, that's helpful info.

Particularly the parts about getting better at other things besides singing despite the same lack of confidence. Is there any chance those other things didn't really directly involve the body too much? You see, the difference with singing is, you are your own instrument. You're not working with other objects, it's all inside of you and all controlled by your brain. I believe singing is a little more directly affected by the brain than other skills that involve separate equipment that is part of what helps you do the task. I don't know for sure, that's just my theory.

That being said, not getting access to the right techniques also has something to do with it. There is a lot of bogus out there in the word of vocal pedagogy.

Going back to the mental stuff. First off, sorry if I pressured you into revealing more than you wanted to. I'm going to assume for now that you've tried everything you can and your condition just can't be fully treated at this point in time. Though I would recommend being perfectly honest with your therapist or psychiatrist about hitting the brick wall, and possible seeing a different therapist or psychiatrist, if you haven't already done that.

If it can't be fully treated, well, you can do your best trying to learn the techniques despite the mental handicap. It should probably still work to some extent as long as you can get your hands on the right resources that will really teach you how to sing well. You probably will never be amazing because of the mental condition, but you should be able to get up to close to the skill level of other things you can do despite your mental condition.

If all else fails, don't worry about it, just sing okay and leave it as a therapeutic hobby. I think I have read/heard somewhere that singing can be therapeutic for the mind, and have personally felt that it can create a bit of a natural high sometimes. You don't need to hold onto expectations of having to perform or record something good. I wouldn't recommend not singing at all just because you think you are not good at it. If you like the concept of singing, do it. Heck, maybe if you just stop worrying about it, you might end up getting better at it.

Have fun with it, do whatever makes singing the most enjoyable for you. Whether it's no longer caring how you sound and singing your heart out in the shower, or investing thousands of dollars in quality vocal training and going on to become a professional singer, or anywhere in between...do what your heart desires.

I wish you the best of luck. Keep your hopes up.

Thanks for your understanding. The only reason I sing is because I love to sing; it does make me feel better. The main thing that's holding me back is the fact that I sound much different in my head when I speak and sing than I do to other people. When I speak, I don't hear myself mumbling (other people hear me mumbling), I don't hear a muffled voice (which is what other people hear). My voice is clean, crisp, clear, and to myself, I sound...well, very good.

And that's what makes this so frustrating...I sound good, but only in my own head. My voice isn't terrible to others, but it isn't as good as what I hear, and that's what I'm looking to achieve. I don't know exactly why this is, and it's very strange and intriguing. From what I understand, it is related to the shape and size of the sinus cavities. I have a deviated septum, and I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that it isn't helping anything. If that's the case and I can't change it...well I'm not sure I'll sing around anyone.

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Thanks for your understanding. The only reason I sing is because I love to sing; it does make me feel better. The main thing that's holding me back is the fact that I sound much different in my head when I speak and sing than I do to other people. When I speak, I don't hear myself mumbling (other people hear me mumbling), I don't hear a muffled voice (which is what other people hear). My voice is clean, crisp, clear, and to myself, I sound...well, very good.

And that's what makes this so frustrating...I sound good, but only in my own head. My voice isn't terrible to others, but it isn't as good as what I hear, and that's what I'm looking to achieve. I don't know exactly why this is, and it's very strange and intriguing. From what I understand, it is related to the shape and size of the sinus cavities. I have a deviated septum, and I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that it isn't helping anything. If that's the case and I can't change it...well I'm not sure I'll sing around anyone.

Deviated septum definitely doesn't have to do with it, I don't think. Such a minute detail.

What you hear in your head that others don't hear is bone conduction, you're hearing the sound inside your head plus the outside sound, together.

Don't know the science behind why it sounds way different in their head to some people and then others, like myself, the voice sounds pretty much the same, inside or outside.

Though I have learned for me that if I am singing nasal I may sound better to myself then to a listener. So that could be it. Nasality fools the singer. Often sounds good to them yet horrible to the listener.

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About the singing sounding better in your head, To hear yourself as others here you use a P.A. and microphone when you sing or practice. If you cannot do that, Make a stand with a piece of card board folded in a right angle that you can sing into. The sound will bounce off of the cardboard and be directed to your ears.

I have noticed that people who cannot sing a lick ,and know it, tend to sing more in a casual public but non professional environment (while working, jogging, doing chores, visiting family) than those of us who actually want to sing in public. Because we know our sound is not the way we want it.

I am like you in that I am an introvert. I have learned and taught myself to be quiet. The exact opposite of what we need to sing and have it sound good to us and others. Even when in a room by myself I still hold back because someone on the outside or in another room may hear me. That is my battle.

I do know the effects of this. Even when singing a song by someone like FRANK SINATRA that is in our comfortable range we will sing it too light.The sound will end up HALF CONNECTED (I made that up). We will not use a full strong voice and it will sound week.

Confidence in ourselves is what is needed. You have already shown your determination by tackling this for as long as you have. You have given us the chance to hear you sing. You have revealed some of your insecurities.

You are confident in your desire to sing and be good at it. Use this as your strength.

Singing is emotional. Even a laid back slow song is driven by emotion and desire. "That's Life" the song is full of determination and emotion. ( I"LL SHOW YOU!!! YOU CAN"T PUT ME DOWN!!!! I"LL BE BACK ON TOP!!!).

A quiet determination.

Sorry for the long post. Hope it helps.

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Short and curly answer -- either crap or get off the pot...

6 months, then you quit, will not work man... You need to practice atleast an hour a day, doing various exerices for 6 days a week , every week... It's a ongoing thing..

Maybe, because you are doing the hums, and whatnot, at speech level, it is not helping (surprise surprise).. you need something that has more dynamics then a SS / SLS approach then..

Look up the 4 pillars here with the dude Robert Lunte, or Ken Tamplin Sing better then anyone else can....

Or even a coach around you...

Either or.. you need to commit or the results will be the same...

You don't have a bad underlining tone man... but your support is bad, your breathing is bad, your control is bad.

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In a similar vein of tough love, ala Onacor. Sing.

Here's the thing. Let's say that you get a coach and he guides you to a sound that he says is good, even if it feels "odd" to you. Do you have the wisdom to accept his or her wisdom, or will you continue to let your self-doubt rule over and ruin everything in your life?

I am no good at fixing people. Electrical stuff? Sure. Cars? Somewhat. People? Not a clue.

So, step away from the self-centeredness and treat your voice as an instrument and then, improve that instrument.

If the sound of your voice is different and not as pleasant in the view of others and yet you thought it sounded fine, then learn to make the sounds they find pleasant. And when it sounds or feel odd to you, ignore your misgivings.

Or learn underwater basketweaving.

I used to sing "Dust in the Wind" way too loud. Geno convinced me to try it quieter and it resulted in a better performance and sound and I had to learn how re-calibrate how it sounded to me. So, I have been where you are, in that regard.

It is something that can be fixed. So, fix it. No retreat, no surrender.

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