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Some Neil Young covers for critiquing. Open mic night.

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muzza
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I've been taking singing lessons for over a year now and feel I should be better than I am. Some of you may have read my post on the 'technique' forum, I'm finding the whole thing very complicated.

Anyway, sorry about the fidgety 10 year old cameraman (who broke the tripod the day before) and the loud background chatter. I've edited the length of the videos but could probably have cut a lot more out.

When I hear these vids, I think I'm pretty nasal and seem to have a speech impediment, like a sort of lisp. There doesn't seem to be any strength and I'm not quite reaching the high notes, which I don't think are even that high.

And my timing/tempo is all over the place.

Anyway, time to let the criticisms flow...

First video; Neil Young - Old Man

Second video; Neil Young - Out on the Weekend

Third video; Neil Young - My My Hey Hey

Fourth video; Pete Townshend - Behind Blue Eyes.

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From what I could hear your voice sounds pretty good. I couldn't really hear if and when you were off pitch.

Something that seems to make a difference for me is to "OWN" the song. In other words when you are on the stage in front of people convince yourself that the message in the song is the most important message that those people will hear and it is your duty to make sure they hear it.

What this will do is give you a sense of " Confidence", "a purpose for being on stage", It will help you sing a little louder and with more energy.

This doesn't really have anything to do with technique but it will help with stage presence. It will help to make notes that you sing more stable and the sound will be more full because you are singing with a sense of purpose.

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You uploaded "Out on the Weekend" twice. Of Neil's work, I like "Old Man" and "Hey, hey, my, my."

You don't sound too nasal, at least in this real life setting. However, yes, a smidge flat on some high notes in "Old Man," as well as in "Behind Blue Eyes."

To me, the easiest fix for that, quit speaking the songs and sing them. When singing, the voice is an instrument, kind of like an harmonica, rather than an organ of speach. I am not saying one should blur the consonants or lose articulation. But simplify the vowel sound, eliminate dipthongs (vowel sounds changing within a syllable).

By the way, I think you have the right sound in your voice to cover Neil Young stuff, if you so choose.

The other part of singing is breath control. If you try to sing this like speaking, the breath will not remain engaged the way it needs to be for singing. So, pretend the voice is a wind insturment. Because, in reality, it is.

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You uploaded "Out on the Weekend" twice.

Duh! Fixed...

Ron, I can see what you mean about singing the song instead of 'speaking' the song. The reason I do Neil Young songs is because they're relatively easy and I'm still not a confident singer. I'd love to be able to sing more challenging songs, BUT... I still think I should be much better than this by now.

Listening to it briefly again (it's painful for me to listen to them) I thought my voice was very 'tight', or 'constricted. My talking voice is lower.

I don't understand the 'dipthong' comment. Could you point out an example? (If you can stand to watch it again...)

MDEW, I've been told the 'owning the song' thing before, but I liked your explanation better.

ElWin - what can I say. I WAS trying to sing them note for note. Oh dear...

I've been fighting a chest cold for the last 2 weeks and yesterday it turned into bronchitis, so it may be a while before I get to record myself again.

Thanks very much for the honest feedback. You're all too kind. These comments are much more constructive that friends and family just saying 'it was good'.

So, is there hope for me then? (I'm 53, btw)

Maybe time for a different singing coach?

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I don't understand the 'dipthong' comment. Could you point out an example? (If you can stand to watch it again...)

The word my is a dipthong, a combination of ah and ee. Pick one to be dominant. Ah is more open and louder. Ee is more closed and softer or more intimate, depending on how you resonate it. So, for volume, sing it as MAH. If you really want to, add short ee at the end, though it won't really be necessary. The audience knows the word and they will hear MY, even though you are singing MAH.

Thanks very much for the honest feedback. You're all too kind. These comments are much more constructive that friends and family just saying 'it was good'.

We will collectively be your "wing man." Letting you know you have artichoke between the teeth before you go and talk to someone. :D It took me a while to realize that a comment is about the sound that was made, not about your worth as a human being. A sound that can be altered or changed. Kind of like a martial arts instructor correcting your stance or a movement.

So, is there hope for me then? (I'm 53, btw)

As much hope as there is for any one of us. I'm 49. Bob (Videohere) is 59 but I think he turns 60, this year. MDEW is 50. Owen is 18. Lord Adon is 17. So, age doesn't really matter.

I have been singing a really long time and still make mistakes, still learn new things. My voice is new to me, each day. Like other musicians, we singers are never truly "finished." The day you are finished is the day they are bringing flowers to put on top of your casket. (I like Old-Fashioned roses and I will be cremated and scattered in the Pacific Ocean, if anyone cares to know ... :cool: )

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And I really liked your cover of "Hey, Hey." And I agree with Elwin, you sing it with a better tone than Neil. And your pitch was good on that one. You were probably relaxed and that made all the difference.

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Hi, heard a piece of Behind Blue Eyes man.

Sorry but the result is not compatible with one year of work, at all, its an easy song, and its all very, very crude...

Something is not working well, at this stage thinking of resonance/registration is counter-producent and its no wonder that it confuses you, I recommend finding another teacher, and then working with discipline, without daily trainning nothing happens.

Think of it like learning to play the guitar, you dont play better because you go the class, but because of the practice time at home and the structure of the approach.

GL!

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Think of it like learning to play the guitar, you dont play better because you go the class, but because of the practice time at home and the structure of the approach.

GL!

I taught myself to play guitar. And it shows. :lol:

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without daily trainning nothing happens.

That right there... Felipe's droppin' them truth bombs again.

Until I started practicing every day carefully, and doing the correct exercises with attention paid to building specific coordinations, the results were slowly there.

By the way, I think you are definitely on the right track. Focus on honing coordination and control. Watch singers you admire and pay attention to what they do with their mouths, faces, and bodies as they sing. You can learn a lot from that as well as learning from their sound.

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