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How to Develope Style?

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Joki42
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Hi, I've been singing for many years and have tried many styles without trying to mimic another artist, yet my voice never sounds "right". I can't put my finger on what it is. I practice exercises and techniques regularly. I don't have a problem with hitting notes clearly. I give plenty of emphasis and my natural range is C3 - F5. Yet, my voice just seems to be missing something.

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Hi,

Part of your problem could be that you HAVEN'T been mimicking other artists. Building style is about learning the inflections, intensity and good habits that your favourite singers have. How bright/dark their vowel shades are, how heavy or light their intensity is in the phrases, how they roll in the vibrato (toward the end of each note or near the start) etc.

You are the sum of your influences and how well you bring those forward.

Right on!

Building your own style is hard work. You first have to figure out what you like. Then you have to develop good listening and mimicking skills.

Start with one of your favorite singers, learn one of their songs that you like, and try to copy the exact phrases, licks, inflections, vocal weight, tone, etc., as closely as you can. You're not going to be able to duplicate the tone exactly but you can come close. Then take another song from another singer you like and do the same thing. And so on. You will slowly start to develop your own style as all these elements come together in your voice.

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That's a great question I've currently started asking myself. Can't figure out what I want to do with my own voice - now that I know that I can "have one".

I've started doing, by intuition what Phil has suggested. I'm listening to various singers and songs, the ones that I assume that would come more naturally to me (it's not about technique at this point but more about stylizing...) and sing along and imitate the elements I like. With almost every instrument - our vocabulary and style are based on tricks we picked from other musicians. Your "own thing" is the way you combine them... even more than inventing something no one has ever used (also happens though).

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Thank you very much. That is great info. Although I have not been trying to copy anyone, I still try different styles, like blues and folk. Maybe I just have the 'Ol "don't like my own voice" thing. Or I'm just too critical. Anyways, I will try your advice. I'll see if I can send you an audio. Fare warning, it will be a raw cell phone audio. LoL

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Of course - none of us liked our own voices at the beginning. A big part of developing your own style is developing a vision of your future self. Envision yourself on stage singing - are you in a rock band? an R&B band? in a coffee house with acoustic guitars? are you in an Opera? What is your vision?

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After technique you need "Emotional projection", "Confidence", and Story telling skills.

Songs are stories set to music.

Even if the Lyric is only "Body, Body, Shake your Body, Baby" set to a drum beat. You still need to project some meaning to seeing that body shake. Other wise it is just noise.

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i have found in my singing life which started very early the artists i tended to like were the artists i had the inner "feeling" i could sing similar to and wanted to.

then much later in life i ran across artists i liked i thought i could sing like, but physically couldn't. that's when i made the decision to learn voice to achieve capability and development i was lacking, whether it was range, intensity, dynamics, depth of tone....coloring...etc.

the beautiful thing is once you achieve capability to sing the songs of one artist that really challenged you, you find there are more artists you are now capable of singing as well.

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