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Progressing Faster.. almost no exercises

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Hi everyone, I have been "missing in action" for a while but recently I've been just working hard and still trying to enjoy my social life.

I do basic hums, sirens, ay-uh slides... pretty random actually.. I even followed TVS to the tea for a while.

But now things are different.. I go out a lot and I even let my female friends know I sing. Now I sing ALL the time... LIVE.

but the point is.... after like 2 or 3 months of this my voice became freakishly more beautiful... sometime I'll turn down the radio and sing a song perfectly LIVE... and I could never get this result before without singing to people LIVE... like friends and family.

Also I'll sing the song top down, bottom-up, sometimes even with accents so by the time I sing it live to a person I have already gone through is so much the "best version" generally comes out.

ALSO.. the volume of my mix.

Cannot physically be soft... if I'm singing to a person... when In nature was that ever helpful? LOL I have never got so many compliments and even people who heard me 3 months ago.. said i got WAY better.

Ofcourse humming and stuff helps but the fact that I tried and failed so many times live... REALLY helped me. I take feedback too and try and improve for the next time =P

I can't stop getting better now.... and now that I've added back in exercises.... even when I do have a vocal breaks I can still sing most songs fine purely because I have done it before... live... I don't let little glitches stop me !

What is this phenomenon? How is it that LIVE singing to my friends even to songs I don't know helped me 10 times more than any vocal program or exercises.

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If you want to become better at vocalizing, vocalize.

If you want to become better at singing live, sing live


The thing with singing live is you learn how to use your current vocal ability to the best it is. You learn how to do what your voice can do and don't do what your voice can't do. Vocalizing is for learning how to do what your voice can't do yet. But you can get through pretty much any song, using your voices current skills, you just have to be creative...maybe change the melody or arrangement or key or dynamic, whatever works, and then perform it that way, perform it in YOUR voice. This makes you not a better vocalist but a better SINGER, someone people are going to give more compliments to because you learn know how to put your best foot forward, vocally. Performing live also raises confidence. It takes nerves. is real experience. The list goes on. There are so many benefits to performing live.

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That's great Jay.

Singing is the only way to bring it all together. Many people have told you that it is time to start singing.

I am glad to hear that you can now hear the progress for yourself.

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Live singing is the ultimate test. There is often more stress than in rehearsals, which affects your singing, more distractions, unexpected things happening, you have to move on stage more, sing for longer periods, etc. You don't quite know your REAL skills as a singer until you've done many live shows.

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I've always been an advocate that if you could let your body unconsciously do its thing, it would most likely be the "right" thing. So If you are singing without thinking specifically about the exact way you are breathing, where your tongue is at etc, you most likely will do the right thing.

However, most people can't get into this state, so that's where having training to fall back on helps. Not to mention if somehow from just singing along to records at home etc you've ingrained bad habits, where the bad habits feel natural.

Training also is obviously imperative if you want to extend your range and the musculature isn't there.

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nope, disagree...again bob?......yup.....

singing is great, that's the performance use of the voice.....the storytelling side....but you still need to exercise the voice, working out the voice is going to enrich your tone, keep you conditioned, and help you to become even better in ways you cannot always anticipate.

you've still got to warmup/down......(whatever degree it takes)

take it (the voice) out for a spin each day and always see what it can (and cannot) do on any given day...assess it.....monitor it......stay in touch with it.......talk to it......

it doesn't have to be a regimented ton of scales, you can make your own exercises...but work it

have a light day, and a heavy day

the time to do all this is when you're off stage...

singing songs alone will not do it.....and do want to figure things out when you're up on stage?

don't you want to sing more demanding songs? don't you want to challenge yourself? don't you want to explore more voices within your voice?

i'm trying to get across that there is so more the voice is capable of........

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I do think it's important to both vocalize AND sing. After all 95% of the people on this forum do that.

The question is what is the best ratio. I guess that's individual.

One thing's for certain though. You can become a singer by only singing. You cannot even become a singer by only vocalizing. By nature you are not a singer if you never sing.

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isn't it opera students that only vocalize for several years before they take on songs?

That's a culture thing. It has to sound a certain way when they hit the stage or it's not opera.

In contemporary music, frankly, no one gives a $%# as long as you're on pitch. So you have nothing left to lose, really. Pick an easy song, if you can sing it with decent pitch and rhythm, you're ready to go.

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Daniel, I wish you had not said diaper. Now, I am stuck with an image I did not want. Curses!

I was not going to reply to this thread but they are hard to give up, like potato chips.

Jay did not say that he does no exercises what so ever. What he said was he does the basics, randomly. Which I think is valid. Because it is not how much you do something or how often you do it but HOW you do it.

But, yes, with or without diaper, I think you get better at singing live by singing live. Yes, that is so philosophically deep. Which is not to devalue some exercises. I was trying to match Daniel's accent but it's subtle. It's not very yankee. I think it would be easier for me to mimick Bob's accent because it is so pronounced and thick. :lol:

Then, again, I sometimes stink at accents. I tried to sound like Glenn Hughes but have not yet mastered the midlands accent and I think I sounded like the gekko from the Geico ads. :/

My only technical points in reviewing singing is pitch accuracy and relevant volume. Everything else is style and interpretation.

What I would really like to know is this, Jay. Now that you are becoming more comfortable singing in front of others, such as whole songs, how about sharing with us one whole song? You should know me, I am the king of "good job."

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More thoughts.

I was just watching Lunte's vid with Sergio doing sirens and onsets. An insight came to mind. Whether you do sirens, scales, or discrete vocalises or just practice songs, practice is the key.

Let's say that lots of scales doesn't feel like it is doing much for you. Well, doing some scales can help if you are working with an instrument. Just the exposure should tune up your pitch recognition. Aside from that, let's say that you just work on songs.

What if a part of a song is tricky? Then you need to work on that part, find the transition that works for you. And you may reference an earlier exercise that irons out that one point. And you will need to do this with every song. Basically, build each song into your voice. And it is just as much work as doing scales by rote, just for the sake of doing scales.

In the siren vid, attention is pointed to maintaining the formant. Keeping the ring. Which may or may not require minor adjustments in how you resonate as you move up or down in pitch.

So, you might work one thing at a time. But the idea is to build a habit of doing what is right.

Are there songs that are made of sirens starting at G3? Of course not. Are the songs that use a lot of slides, even? Of course not. What does it really have to do with singing a song?

Because the technical exercise, which does not have to sound pretty or anything, is about tuning the instrument. So that when you do a song that is going to A4, you don't have to worry that you can make it. You already know that you can. Doing some exercises, even if the exercise is just trying different ways to sing a song, that is the training that gets you ready to sing. Singing is the next step and that requires work, too. For now, you are into arranging the song. Even if you are going to use the same essential melody arrangement, how are you, the specific singer, going to do that? Like a song map. Notes of what you are doing at what point.

So, the difference between technical exercise and singing is like the difference between law school and practicing law.

I also wonder if different people can expect the same results from exactly the same thing. For some,sirens might be the key, for others, it's discrete scales and not always the 8 tone. Others might do better with vocalises because it feels like singing but one is actually working technique.

At the very least, learning some technique gives you the idea of how to learn a song. You have a tricky part in the passaggio. Well, how did you do that when practicing a vocalise? You did fine in the vocalise, right? Well, take that part of the song and make it a vocalise. Put it back in your comfort zone. Then stick it back in the song. Which means that the vocalises in practice were not what helped the song, but the ability to do vocalises in general, does help. And to use the process, rather than some specific vocalise that bears no melodic similarity to the song you are learning.

Too many people think you should just be able to launch into a song and do it, carte blanche.

I think training and practice teaches you how to approach a song.

Sometimes it is mentioned that there are natural singers who don't seem to need much training. And they may not have had many lessons, if any. But what is being missed in the conversation is that they sing almost every day. Whole songs, parts of songs, whatever. That is practice, too. That is, they might be a natural and sound good. But they don't sound good because they thought about it.

They sound good because they sing every day, in a way that is correct for them.

And that's practice, whether it feels like it, or not.

And I think it's okay to practice mainly by singing songs, and to also engage in some exercises to get past a sticking point or just to limber up or refresh.

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On one hand, with no orientation singing is the best thing you can do to improve, if there is no other way.

On the other, I remain skeptical about these results and this progress until something tangible is there to be heard, as in singing a song ;).

I, too, have been waiting to hear a whole song as proof that learning to sing live has improved live singing for Jay. I don't disagree with the notion, I just want to hear Jay's results.

However, if I remember correctly, and maybe I don't, I thought Jay already has 4 Pillars, more than enough material that he could pick any one or two things and work on those, even as a warm-up, before launching into songs. I like Lunte's vocalises more than I like scales.

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isn't it opera students that only vocalize for several years before they take on songs?

Bob - i've had my share of that kind of training and there is a very strong concentration on songs / arias from day one. A surprising amount of time is spent interpreting the lyrics and getting into the right emotional state for the song. After all, opera is stage acting / story telling. Maybe there are other programs that are different, but that's been my experience. You're always working on a song or two.

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thanks geno..

brother ron, you had a good analogy to support my take on this.

just like a good doctor...he never stops learning between office hours and operations....he still furthers his education..he's better be ....lol!!!!

i swear by scales and not even regimented scales.........just the flexing workout you get from them. there's a lot to be said from just taking the voice for a spin.....every day.

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