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This singing thing is complicated...

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muzza
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I've been having singing lessons for just over a year now and I really thought I'd be better than I am by now.

I'm always annoyed by people who sing beautifully, but have never taken a lesson. How is this possible? Did they just stumble upon the correct technique when they first started?

My teacher tells me stuff that either goes straight over my head, or I just can't seem to do what she's asking me to do. I still don't know what head voice or chest voice is. I think I'm only using chest voice. I don't know the difference between forced falsetto and natural falsetto. Now I hear you lot talking about 'passagio' - yet another new word.

I just want to be able to sing nicely. Why is it so hard?

I'm building up to posting a video in the critique section, but I'm hesitant.

FWIW, I do have a good ear. I used to be able to tune a guitar to within a few cents of concert pitch. I can't do it any more, but I can tell when a guitar is even SLIGHTLY out of tune.

Maybe that's why I find it so hard. My ear is too accurate for my voice?

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Hey Muzza!

Yes, it isn't the easiest thing to do. I have been singing for nearly 20 years. Had some professional vocal training here and there. Just in the last few days, since I noticed i get hoarse when singing higher pitches, and usually after short 45 minute exercises, i understand that I have issues with my support. So you find out thinks about your technique as you go.

Best of luck any how! :)

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Hey Muzza, It certainly can be tricky. But can I tell you from experience that practice and patience seriously pays off. A lot of this forum talks about technical stuff, If you don't understand it, ignore it for now and move on. Don't get disheartened, instead put your effort into singing, sing as much as yoou can. Pick 5 songs that are really easy to sing and 5 that are a bit more difficult and work on them.

The thing that you might have realised about singing is that there are tons of different methods, which tell you different things. What have you learned so far in your voice lessons? Seriously post a video, it will really help, and it's the most honest opinions you'll get by the most knowledgeable people, all for free, make the most of it I say :D

In terms of words, don't get too hung up on them. You say your ear is good, use that to your advantage and record yourself, listen to your voice over and over.

The thing with all these different methods is they use different words for things. Passagio is just the break area between your chest voice (speaking voice, lower) and head voice (higher, whoop whoop for joy or cuckoo and thats your head voice) There is an area that most singers need to work on between these 2 registers called the passagio or you may hear it be called break or bridge too, same thing. You may hear people that don't refer to chest or head voice at all, they think of the voice as 'one voice' They are all different methods, but essentially everyone wants the same thing, to bridge from their chest voice to their head voice without a flip or yodel. This makes a bit of mastering, patience, practice and good guidance but can certainly be done.

Go ahead and pop a video up, you'll get loads of constructive criticism and things to work on :D Good luck

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I've been having singing lessons for just over a year now and I really thought I'd be better than I am by now.

I'm always annoyed by people who sing beautifully, but have never taken a lesson. How is this possible? Did they just stumble upon the correct technique when they first started?

My teacher tells me stuff that either goes straight over my head, or I just can't seem to do what she's asking me to do. I still don't know what head voice or chest voice is. I think I'm only using chest voice. I don't know the difference between forced falsetto and natural falsetto. Now I hear you lot talking about 'passagio' - yet another new word.

I just want to be able to sing nicely. Why is it so hard?

I'm building up to posting a video in the critique section, but I'm hesitant.

FWIW, I do have a good ear. I used to be able to tune a guitar to within a few cents of concert pitch. I can't do it any more, but I can tell when a guitar is even SLIGHTLY out of tune.

Maybe that's why I find it so hard. My ear is too accurate for my voice?

Simple, you need a new vocal teacher. A better one, that can explain the terms he or she uses.

I can personally recommend skype lessons with Rob Lunte. I have been studying with him for just over a year and I can now sing as good as, if not better than, I expected to be after a year of practice. He's better than all the other three vocal teachers I've taken lessons with combined.

Of course, the teacher/student dynamic is individual, so it's up to you to find out what teacher you can understand best. The internet is a great resource for this, you can find videos on youtube of various great vocal teachers teaching and decide you like the teaching style of one, then go on to take skype lessons with that teacher. Most of the bigger name ones offer skype lessons in this day and age and they work great.

Clearly you sound confused, but there could be too reasons for that. One possibility is that you don't know enough about real vocal science so you're having trouble understanding vague terms. The other possibility is that you aren't working with simplified terms that explain the goings on of singing to a singer that can't keep up with the scientific terminology. So keep that in mind as you make your decision. Do you feel you need a teacher that departs from the complex science and explains things in laymen's terms? Or one that departs from vague generalized terminology that lacks a clear definition, and instead tells you the scientific reality of what's happening, even if it is complex? Or someone whose teaching style falls somewhere in between?

Some singers are gifted and didn't need lessons. There's many reasons it can happen that way. It tends to be a combination of genetics and the environment they grew up in. But don't let it make you envious of them. Understand that are not gifted, so your situation is different. This isn't easy for you and you will not learn to sing nearly as quickly as them, but you are willing to work harder than the gifted singers to get to the skill level they have naturally.

Singing is more definitely complicated but the more your practice it the simpler it gets.

But it shouldn't be too confusing. If you are confused about the terminology, I really think you need to find a new vocal teacher who can explain it to you.

For me it is complex but understandable.

It's not about your ear. I have a great ear too...music theory, tuning precision, relative pitch, perfect pitch, you name it I probably have it...none of that negatively affected my ability to learn to sing.

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Although 1 year is not such a long time when we talk about singing. Its not that short either.

Confusion regarding terminology that you are supposed to be using, not good. If chest and head are being used, you must know what it means or else its all shooting on the dark.

Anyways its not easy. But it does not have to be witchcraft. What is your teacher telling you about it? How will this confusion go away?

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muzza,

remember this key fact: your voice is controlled by your mind.

one of the reasons you are finding it hard is your "perception" or belief of it being hard. you have to erase that belief and replace it with a positive belief...now.

learn to talk to your voice and fill it with positive thoughts....it will see to it what you get your wish.

....singing is a lifetime journey.....the voice takes it's time developing...you'd like to, but you cannot rush it.

some of the biggest obstacles in learning to sing well is lack of patience and self confidence.

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Encouraging words everybody. Heartfelt thanks.

I love my singing teacher but I have growing doubts about her teaching style. The majority of her students are children, she's got an incredibly powerful voice (think 'Adele') and she is very positive and encouraging.

I think the problem is I'm just not practicing enough. I also think I'm not practicing because I'm still not sure I know what I'm doing when I'm practicing, so I'm constantly finding other things to do. (If I could just sing as well as I can procrastinate...)

I've got some footage of me from a recent open mic night. It's not my best performance, but all my weaknesses are there in full sight. I'll edit the clips today. Time to bite the bullet and post them. (Arrrgggh!!)

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I've got some footage of me from a recent open mic night. It's not my best performance, but all my weaknesses are there in full sight. I'll edit the clips today. Time to bite the bullet and post them. (Arrrgggh!!)

Don't make excuses. Do the best that you can, every time, whether it's "stellar" or not. This is separate from lessons, whatever. Singing is mental, which is what Bob mentioned.

That is, don't prematurely kick your own butt. Let us do that for you. :lol:

When you set others up to expect failure, often they will find it. And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for you. And this gets in the way of real learning. Don't expect to make a mistake. Make your mistakes honestly, so to speak. Then you can fix those.

Don't want to hear about allergies, colds, the dog ate your homework, the avocados at the store are not ripe enough, whatever.

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Muzza everyone learns at their own pace. Some people get it quick, some don't, some need to practice, some dont some practice for years and still have problems. There is no one answer but if you feel your instructor is going over your head with stuff find someone new or teach yourself with what you got. Its not rocket science but its not cut and dry either. good luck just keep moving forward

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also muzza, it takes a lot of courage to go through the "i suck stage."

sometimes we don't improve as singers because we can't allow ourselves to suck......it's a very vulnerable place to be.

follow me? check out the video. bob

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Thanks, so much, Bob, for posting that. So important. And don't forget Mark's other advice. Live is a singer. You are not this or that person who does this and sings. You are a singer that also does this or that for a paycheck.

So, if you are a video store owner and operator, you are actually a singer who pays the rent by running a video store. Just as Bruce Dickinson is a singer who pays the bills flying commercial airliners.

Rikki Rocket is a rock and roll drummer who makes the mortgage payment with his own drum manufacturing company.

Geoff Tate is a singer who owns and operates a winery, which pays for the fully dressed Roadking in his garage.

And on, and on.

You are first, a singer.

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Thanks, so much, Bob, for posting that. So important. And don't forget Mark's other advice. Live is a singer. You are not this or that person who does this and sings. You are a singer that also does this or that for a paycheck.

So, if you are a video store owner and operator, you are actually a singer who pays the rent by running a video store. Just as Bruce Dickinson is a singer who pays the bills flying commercial airliners.

Rikki Rocket is a rock and roll drummer who makes the mortgage payment with his own drum manufacturing company.

Geoff Tate is a singer who owns and operates a winery, which pays for the fully dressed Roadking in his garage.

And on, and on.

You are first, a singer.

Ron this is seriously one of the most awesome posts ever.

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Ron this is seriously one of the most awesome posts ever.

Merci, Mssr. LeBeau. Certainement, n'est pas?

I am merely relaying the wisdom I receive from another, wisdom that seems to help me and describe what I think is the proper perspective. And I think it's okay to think of yourself as a singer, regardless of your level of skill. Regardless of how much or how little singing you have done before and how much more training you may now need. Once you view yourself as a singer, it changes your thinking and then you can make progress.

At least, that is how it has worked for me. Along about 1988, I decided I was a singer who can play guitar, rather than the other way around. Some guys can be considered proficient in both. I had to pick one.

So, over the years, my guitar playing has been maintained in order to accompany my singing. I sang before 1988 of course, but I really decided I was a singer, then. Anyway. others' mileage may vary.

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