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I don't Know Why I Didn't Come - Norah Jones

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kendroid
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I have some breath support issues, but whatever. I'm stuck at home with an injury and am sitting on the couch in a slightly awkward position - not the best way to achieve proper breath support. That issue aside, I would like some critiques. Give it to me straight! :)

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I thought that was really nice. You've got a very natural vibrato and there was a hint of a more classical voice behind that. Have you had classical coaching?

On the breath support point - maybe that is an issue if you are aware of it - I'm not really an expert on that but it actually sounded like you just lacked a bit of confidence on the highest notes so went deliberately softer?

Nice cover though.

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That's exactly it, Chris. Stick around a while and you will find people with false modesty. They come in, promising the song will be crap and it's fine because they are actually looking for applause but don't want to be as crass as asking all that.

They like the beautiful swan story where they are the great unknown, only to find they are, indeed, the next voice gift from the gods, which actually relates to a feeling of being the center of the universe.

Means they are as full of ego as I am, which is somehow comforting. :)

They just pretend they don't have ego and sometimes, others are foolish enough to buy that.

Sorry, Kendroid, to borrow your thread for this. It's just that you are not the first to come in here, promising that your singing is crap and beyond redemption and it turns out to be fine. So, either there is deception or you really cannot hear yourself, in which case, it's something of a miracle being able to sing a song completely on pitch without hearing yourself. I am doubting the latter.

So, applause, applause, brava.

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Ron - I disagree there. Not everyone who it turns out can sing a bit actually thinks this themselves particularly if you hear yourself differently to how your recorded voice sounds. I know for me it isn't false modesty it is genuine self doubt so I wouldn't like to guess the inner workings of the mind of others. (Well ok sometimes I do but I'm not always right :D).

I do know where you are coming from of course - I think back to school when the person next to you in art would utter the famous "my picture's rubbish" hoping you would say it wasn't but I think because singing is such a personal thing that for a lot of people it is a big step to expose yourself to criticism and there is almost a feeling of compulsion to point out the flaws that you have identified yourself before everyone else does.

Maybe that is what people see as false modesty but I wouldn't call it that. Also if you came straight in saying "I am a singing God" it probably wouldn't be well received - unless of course you were.

And it's Liam by the way not Chris. Cheers.

Kendroid - equally sorry to hijack your post!

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Hi, I disagree as well! I think some people, like myself, genuinely have issues with self-confidence. I have got to the ripe old age of 36 and every time I do something that takes me out of my comfort zone, I take a little step out one toe at a time and test the water. This person doesn't have a name, just like me because they are too shy to put one up just yet. With regards to my singing, this is a new venture for me and as your friends will always tell you you sound fab, (except my husband who said I'm rubbish!) this is quite a good place to get an objective view on what you sound like. I am also extremely self critical, so yes I hear my mistakes, but I am probably likely to think they are a whole lot worse than they are, and I'm still finding it a little strange just listening to myself. Nobody wants to be one of those people you see in singing competitions who are full of confidence, and think they are brilliant, when in reality they are awful!! So I say, build this girl's confidence up, she needs it!

And Kendroid, the song was great, you have a beautiful voice :)

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Then why do I keep calling you Chris?

Maybe I can sing but my memory is what I forget things with.

Kendroid, you are a fine singer and I do agree with Liam, your biggest problem is self-confidence, of which you will need some. False or not. Fake it 'til you make it.

Me, I have no shame. I am not a singing god. And I keep my old recordings, pitchiness and all, as a reminder to me to watch what I am doing.

But being a musician, and a singer is a musician, we must feel that we have something to offer and it does take some kind of bravado. Bobby Blotzer, the drummer from Ratt, when he was talking about Stephen Pearcy in particular and singers in general, surmised that being a singer is a special thing because you get out there in front of people and perform with just your body.

You cannot go to Charvel or Jackson Guitars and have them build you a "voice." It is all on you. And whatever God (if you believe in God or whichever religion you practice) gave you.

I could go to Guitar Center in Plano, Texas and pick out a Gibson Flying V guitar, flametop maple finish, gold-plated humbucker pick-ups. I could get Roland or MXR's latest digital effects unit. My trusty Fender 85 amp. Ernie Ball Slinkies (strings.) I can pick all the parts and pieces to build the "perfect" guitar system and these are external pieces and if one part of it fails, I can blame to manufacturer and have it fixed.

Not so with the voice. So, have faith in yourself.

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Ron - you've just made me start drooling with all that guitar talk :P

I have a Flying V that is made just like I described but it is a Hondo. And it was re-worked by a luthier named Travis in Dallas and I got it at a pawn shop that was also called the Screaming Eagle Guitar Exchange. Back in the 90's. It was there that I also bought used, my Fender 85 amp that does 200 watts (rms, I can rattle the floorboards) and a Roland GS-6 digital effects unit made for rack-mount.

I have found that I like the humbuckers for a better "fat" sound than even the PAF's that are on my ancient Memphis copy of a Les Paul standard. Plus, I like the action on the Flying V better, as well.

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I thought this was really good, actually. Great tone and a nicely controlled vibrato. If you ever perform this in front of a crowd, I do believe you will get a very positive reaction.

I have to agree with Ron about the false modesty issue, though. It has always irked me, although in your case, you could be legitimately unaware of your own ability, who knows? However, also keep in mind that no one likes a braggart, either. This doesn't mean you can't be "confident". You deliver the confidence within your performance itself. Part of selling yourself is believing in yourself.

So, always let your singing do the talking. People will formulate their opinions on their own based on what they hear.

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So, always let your singing do the talking. People will formulate their opinions on their own based on what they hear.

And that is what I would find most refreshing. Enter the ring, sing your thing, don't preface it with I am crap or I am God.

No apologies, no excuses.

But, to be fair, it's tough for people to do just that. Depending on our life experiences, we may engage in various amounts of humility or bravado because it has served well in other arenas of our life, or, at least, we thought so.

"That's life/ that's what all the people say/ you're riding high on Monday, shot down in May. Each time I find myself flat on my face/ I pick up myself up and get back in the race. That's life and I can't deny it. Many times I thought of quitting, babe. But my heart wouldn't buy it. If I did not think it was worth my time, I would just roll myself up in a big ball and die."

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And that is what I would find most refreshing. Enter the ring, sing your thing, don't preface it with I am crap or I am God.

Precisely.

I don't know if it's a matter of my growing up in a different era and having performers like Diamond Dave showing the world how you rule the stage or what, but I hosted several open mic nights here in town over the last year, and I can't even begin to tell you how many younger "indie hipster" types would perform, and go into a long self-deprecating intro before playing. Now, I'm aware in some cases, it could be for comedic effect, but even then, it often makes me cringe.

I just can't imagine putting your proverbial "blood, sweat, and tears" into perfecting your craft, and actually wanting to be perceived as an underdog. It makes no sense to me. But to each their own and all that jazz, I suppose.

(steps off soapbox)

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Exactly, Validar. Like the lyrics in that one alt rock song. "I'm a creep. I'm a loser ...." I cringe when I hear that. And wonder about the generation that finds "that" validating.

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Wow, I didn't realize this would set off such a tangent. I am aware that self confidence is something that I lack, particularly in my singing. That's why I posted on this board. I wanted to get some feedback and hopefully some technical advice to help improve my voice, because, let's face it, no matter how good you get you can always get better.

I didn't realize how self-depricating my post sounded, but now that I am aware I will be careful not to preface my performances with anything similar. I guess I was trying to pre-emptively comment on what I expected to be the main critique, but I see now how that came off and it is something I will take care not to do again. I sang in choir for many years, but have never had any formal voice lessons. I have been given mixed messages over the years (some people think I sing well, others not so much) so I thought I'd post my voice online, anonymously, for some unbiased opinions. A good friend of mine recently has been encouraging me to sing more (I am always too shy to sing in front of other people), which is what prompted me to record my voice and come here in the first place. I recently forced by this friend to get up and sing in front of a crowd, but just like always I was so nervous that I was trembling and accidentally (or subconsciously?) held the microphone so far away that they could barely hear me. I was so nervous that I was still shaking 10 minutes after my performance was over and I was back in my seat. Recording my voice anonymously is much easier for me. I think people can be kind to your face and say what a good job you did, but I have never received any real feedback with any substance. I mean, if the same people are clapping and telling everyone else in the room they did a great job, it starts to make you wonder if they're just being kind.

It really isn't about fishing for compliments, though. I know I can carry a tune, but am not as certain about the overall quality of my voice or what I can do to improve my sound. There is a very strong break between my registers, which listening to my voice now I think has improved as I have matured, but is still there (hence the weaker sounding higher notes someone mentioned above). I really was hoping to receive more technical advice, but I am quickly learning that there isn't a whole lot of that on this particular forum. I guess I will stick to finding professional voice teachers in my area.

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If there is something that you are having trouble with, Post a song that shows the trouble. Many times we get people who post a song and truely are in need of help.

I surely understand how someone can be good at singing and not be sure of the quality. As you said Friends and Family are not the best critics. Some will say you stink when you are good. Others will say you are great when you are only so so.

I am not a teacher so I can not give any advice of any merit. All I can say is I would like to hear more from you.

The next time you get in front of a microphone just remember that the audience would like to hear you also. :cool:

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Kendroid - if you read through these threads you will find a lot of very technical talk both on the critique and the technique pages. The reason nothing has been forthcoming for you is because you sound great!

As MDEW says you should post something that really highlights the problems you want to fix i.e. the break between registers and you will get more useful feedback. Your post wasn't that self deprecating so don't worry about it but I'm guilty of the same so I guess the moral is just post it and let everyone else make their own opinion.

Please don't be put off posting further because I'd like to hear more from you.

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Like I was telling someone else, Kendroid.

No excuses, no apologies. You do the best you can do any given day you pick up the mic.

Now, here in lies the difference. If the recording you are doing is live, like in front of people, or akin to a live performance, then, yes, points for continuity in the song without stopping.

However, some here feel that a recording should be as close to perfect as possible, as a sign of one's hard work. That if you have a part of a song you think needs to be re-worked, then re-work that part. Which may mean taking a whole month to do one song. But that can be what is expected, at times. And case in point, there are a few members who do take about a month to come up with one new recording. Because each recording is crafted as if it were a pro studio release.

Which is alien to me and I am still learning about recording, myself. When I was a kid, guitars were still made out of dried and cured pterydactyl and we used real cat gut for strings. Rock music was someone beating sticks on stones, like "2001 Space Odyssey." So, I really didn't have much to record with and it was one cheapie mic. So, I learned how to play in front of people.

When I was a kid, I most admire the guy you might see in the park who could play one guitar and sing for anyone who might happen by. To me, that took guts.

Fast-forward to today. Plug-n-play recording tech, designed for home pc, apps for smartphones. Portable digital recorders of surprisingly high quality that are freakishly inexpensive.

Professional recording and editing software priced for the home hobbyist. Local seminars in how to use this stuff.

In my own all thumbs approach, I can do things with my old computer and Audacity that would be a science fiction dream with my Panasonic portable 5" reel-to-reel tape recorder that I had in the early 70's. (I got it for Christmas in 1972, I think.) You plugged in the little mic that was better quality than the little one that was built-in. Then, you pressed play and record at the same time.

Anyway, don't apologize, just do what you can do.

And others here are paying quite a compliment. They could find nothing to critique of what you posted here. They want to critique, offer advice, be the one who teaches you. It would help if you made a mistake they could help you correct.

:D

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