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Neil Young's "Old man" demo. Need advice on improving the chorus.

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Hey guys. This one was more of a shirt vocal experiment than a proper cover, so I skipped all the cool guitar parts, because I can't play them... yet. I just really wanted to sing this song :lol:

Like the title says, the chorus is a problem area for me. It sounds too strained for my liking, even though I like some parts. Especially in the second chorus. After recording I thought about doing a lot of scales around the chorus area for a few days and see if that helps, but any other ideas would be appreciated! My goal is to be able to whip out the guitar and sing songs like this one effortlessly...

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Hey, thanks for the comment!

This was done in 2 takes. I have to sit down when playing the guitar because currently I don't own a guitar strap :lol: Therefore I had to record the choruses standing up because I need all the breath support I can get for them. I got through them sitting down, but I thought they might sound better standing(which they did).

This is what I use for recording: http://electronicmusictutorials.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/m-audio-fast-track-usb-mk2-review/ Came in a neat little package with ProTools SE(lite) included. Then I just have a shure sm58 with a pop filter plugged in along with my guitar:)

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Dude I can totally see where your coming from! Singing and playing at the same time is a b*#ch excuse the language. I heard from Ken Tamplin that you lose at least 30% of your support alone sitting down let alone playing an instrument like guitar or piano at the same time. Theres some interesting finger picking patterns in that song so that was a good take.

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Hey guys. This one was more of a shirt vocal experiment than a proper cover, so I skipped all the cool guitar parts, because I can't play them... yet. I just really wanted to sing this song :lol:

Like the title says, the chorus is a problem area for me. It sounds too strained for my liking, even though I like some parts. Especially in the second chorus. After recording I thought about doing a lot of scales around the chorus area for a few days and see if that helps, but any other ideas would be appreciated! My goal is to be able to whip out the guitar and sing songs like this one effortlessly...

First off, thanks for NOT trying to sound like Neil. He is iconic, in his own way, with a particular nasality that he can get away with.

Anyway, yeah, the chorus sounds kind of raspy, which some can interpret as "strained." If that is the sound you going for, then fine, leave it like that. If you want a softer sound, then practice the high part in falsetto for a little while, then brighten the resonance from there.

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I like the raspiness. It give song a different feel from the original.

My advice is keep singing the song the way you sing it. It will get easier in time. You already know you can sing the notes. I have found that Sometimes it is the thought of the high notes that makes it strained.

Now instead of thinking high and thin to reach the note sing in your natural relaxed voice and see what happens.

I have done that with BTO's "You Ain't seen Nuthin Yet". It was always just out of my reach until I stopped trying to get that thin raspy sound and sang relaxed and full. Then the note was there free and strong.

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I like the raspiness. It give song a different feel from the original.

My advice is keep singing the song the way you sing it. It will get easier in time. You already know you can sing the notes. I have found that Sometimes it is the thought of the high notes that makes it strained.

Now instead of thinking high and thin to reach the note sing in your natural relaxed voice and see what happens.

I have done that with BTO's "You Ain't seen Nuthin Yet". It was always just out of my reach until I stopped trying to get that thin raspy sound and sang relaxed and full. Then the note was there free and strong.

Amen. Listen, Painless, to the words of MDEW. I like how you did it but if you think it sounds too strained, fix it until you like it. Or, are you going off of what someone else said?

Another hard part about singer development - not everyone will be fan, no matter what you do. Like Rick Nelson sang in "Garden Party," you can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself."

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Thanks for the input fellas! Don't get me wrong, I like a good raspy voice very much. Chris Cornell (for example) is one of my all time favorites. It's just that I'd like to make it take less effort for me to sing that high(really high chest). I know it's hard to please everyone as a singer, but I'm just thinking about my future vocal health at the moment. I think I could make it sound better after working on that particular high range and making the notes flow freely before adding some rasp to give it style.

Anyways, I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

about what MDEW said "Now instead of thinking high and thin to reach the note sing in your natural relaxed voice and see what happens."; My current problem is that when I try to sing it in my natural relaxed voice, I sort of just break into falsetto. I need to find a way to get higher(and hit all the right notes) with similar "fullness" but a little less strain. If you listen carefully to my version, it gets pitchy at some parts during the chorus. Because I'm not in complete control. It's just out of reach.. I want to be able to sing it without fear of messing up a word or 2 during the chorus because of instability. That is my goal at the moment :)

Edit: About what you said about high notes sounding strained because you're anticipating them. This has happened to me(and most others I presume). But I'm thinking one way to get around that is to simply work towards strengthening the edge of one's range.

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