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The Nearness of You (Cover Sarah Vaughan/Norah Jones etc)-Sokhna-Dior

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BlackieJane
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Hi there,

I'm very new to all this. I've sang for years just because it makes me happy, but i recently thought i'd try to actually SING a song with deliberate intention rather than just in passing. I've never had any lessons, and i'm not really sure how to start doing this. I listen to a lot of music, but would definitely say that some of my influences are Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Bessie Smith and Norah Jones.

This was done sort of as a dare. I only got one take (my piano man was eager to get out of that suit) and was obviously nervous at the idea of other people hearing me sing, so i already know that with confidence, things will flow better, but i was just hoping for some non-family/friends feedback to help me move forward.

Thanks so much for your time

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Beautiful voice! Smooth and easy. Definitely a good song choice for you. I think technically, you're doing a lot of great things. You do many things so naturally. I do think that some of your stylizing (which you do a great job of) gets in the way of your voice being free. It's like your voice is trying to free itself and relax, but the music is getting in the way. Sorry, I can't think of a better way to describe it right now.

I think a vocal coach rather than a voice teacher would probably be a better fit for you right now, particularly if you stick with songs in this range and genre.

Definitely go get some coaching. You have great potential! :)

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Thank you so much for the feedback!

I'm just relieved you don't think i suck. I know i can be hypercritical of myself, and so when it comes to singing, i just assume i'm doing everything wrong and have to build my way up from ground zero, so to hear that i'm naturally doing some things right is a much better start than i expected. Although...i don't know what those things are...if you could be a bit more specific so i can be conscious enough to keep doing those things!

In terms of the style...i think that when i sing, i'm grasping at a blues vocabulary that i don't have. I keep trying to find the blue note, but i'm not even really sure where it is, so my choices end up sounding odd. lol...i'm also coming to terms with what my voice actually sounds like. It was kind of shocking when i heard myself recorded for the first time. I didn't sound anything like i imagined in my head. My pianoman, commented on the sweet sort of innocent quality to my voice, where i always imagined i'd sound more like a strong vaudeville-ish type broad with "mama" for a first name.

Anyway, i really appreciate the feedback!

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You are definitely being hypercritical!

Let's see if I can be more specific about what you're doing naturally well.... You occasionally fall into a beautifully free vibrato that is NOT controlled, and that's a good thing. There are other times where your voice is straight tone, and I suspect you're not doing straight tone on purpose. In those times, you are controlling the sound, possibly in your attempts to improvise or find the "blue note," as you described. Improvising, believe it or not, actually takes practice. Learning how to hear those bluesy scales/riffs/tones and then applying them is not something that comes naturally to most people. You already have a good grasp of what it should sound like, but it will just take some more time in learning how to control it, and then even more time learning how to let it go. Does that make sense?

I agree with your piano guy. "Sweet and innocent quality" to your voice is a good way to describe it. That doesn't mean that you don't have that "mama" sound in you somewhere. I hear echoes of her and I believe that with good coaching and good practice, you'll have some serious versatility in your range of songs.

One of my favorite artists is Eva Cassidy. Listen to these two songs and how they contrast. Sweet and innocent in one. Wailing, bluesy mama in the other.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGwDYBWEDSc

(mama sound around 2:00)

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Just a fast note: Yeah, you sound really good!

Just to give you also an opinion from someone who does not normally listen to this kind of music.

In general terms of qualitiy you really sound beautiful!

You could just go to a bar around the corner and perform this song there. :)

The thing with hearing your voice is really weird but I think after a few recordings you should begin to like yourself.

At least you should admire the certain qualities your voice can produce. :)

Listen to it often, thats how I got used to the idea of "that is me".

All the best,

Lucca

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Aspiring Singer: thank you so much for your feedback. I agree...I definitely need to learn to relax and not force the style. I'm definitely going to try to be more natural (ironic right? lol). Thank you so much for the encouragement!

Lucca: thanks for listening! I really appreciate the kind words. Again, I'm just relieved you guys don't think I suck :o) And I've been listening to myself more like you suggested, and I'm getting more used to it. Thanks again for listening!

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  • 3 months later...

Hi BlackieJane! I think you have a really beautiful voice, you are so gifted...you sing with soul and with a natural technique.. I think this kind of songs actually fit you perfectly... if those are the kind of songs you want to sing i only can say congratulations just sing them because you do them great! get a repertoire, find a place and sing, the audience will thank you! The rest would be developed with time, i mean i know in this song you are a little nervous, i know it is weird to hear our own voice at first, nothing you cannot issue with some experience (doing this more times)...

I think your talent is bigger than this kind of songs, that is why is hard for me to find things to help you to improve... i`m not saying this song you choose is easy but it is easy for you! maybe if you pick up a song that is a challenge for you, i don't know some aretha franklin song for example (i believe you have the talent for this).. i could say more..

Congratulations!

Sorry for my english, i didn't use the translator this time, just speak with my heart :)

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I agree with the others. You have a good voice for this genre, which I call torch songs. Mostly what Vaughan, Holiday, and others like them sang.

So, keep on singing. I do, no matter how many times I get critiqued in a negative fashion. I just don't know when to quit and neither should you quit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bono & Ronws thanks for the response!

I feel like I've come a long way since I recorded this (it was my first recording). It feels like ages ago. But I'm really appreciative for the feedback I got bc it really made me work hard to improve my sound and style

Bono, I'm not sure I'd do an Aretha song very well. I'm not really a belter (yet). I'm working on finding my belting voice, but I find that I'm having a hard time with it because 1)Being loud and belting things aren't really a part of my personality...so I often feel like a phony when I try to belt. 2)I CAN be pretty loud when I try to be, but it makes me feel awkward (phony), so it ends of sounding really tentative.

So I could do an Aretha cover, but it wouldn't be very Aretha sounding lol

Thanks a lot for listening though!

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