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My first lesson and an initial review 'The Four Pillars'

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washy21
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I took the plunge and purchased the new student edition of The Four Pillars of Singing. just over one week ago. I was initially concerned that this product was only aimed at those wanting to develop rock style vocal ability; However, an email to Robert, which received a very prompt reply, put my fears to rest.

The Four Pillars is comprehensive to say the least! My opinion is that before diving into any workouts, purchasers of this vocal programme might want to spend several hours over several days becoming familiar with the media and methodology of the programme. Once the methodology is grasped it does however feel reassuringly solid and it has a lot of information to keep even the most advanced singer learning. It was easy to download and set up the training environent; there are clear instructions on how to proceed.

I decided to book my first of three lessons about one week after purchase. This gave me more time to explore the media and prepare the suggested applications such as Evernote for recording workouts. I also bought a little Pockettone for pitch recognition, and the spectrum analyser software — minimal cost really.

I was unsure of what to expect from the Skype lesson simply because I had never used Skype before. But when the lesson time arrived it was immediately apparent that Skype is an incredibly viable platform in which to have vocal lessons — it was brilliant. I chatted with Robert for five minutes and he was really supportive and understanding of my own personal goals. Before long I was commencing aspects of Robert's foundation building routine, and it's fair to say that I was noticing an immediate change in my ability. Robert is very firm in his belief that you have to work hard on these early routines. Of course I know I have a lot of work to do but really, even in that initial lesson you realise how basic exercises start to change your voice at once. Personally, I needed to wait to speak to Robert before starting workouts but this is not needed if you are confident that the work you do is correct in technique.

I would also add that one of main reasons I chose to be a student with Robert was the fact that he is a true educator — not just a trainer. Without getting into semantic arguments about the nature of education, I feel it is important to be educated as well as merely trained. I'm not sure what Robert makes of this personal opinion, but having someone who can distil and convey theoretical concepts (including rules, principles and conventions) is very welcome.

In a while I will post a better review for anyone who is interested and you are welcome to message me. But in the meantime I would give my recommendation to buy 'The Four Pillars' to anyone looking to pursue better singing.

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Awesome review. I'd love to hear a sample of you now, and maybe another one after a couple of months just to see how it goes. :)

Yeah, like a before and after comparison.

We already know Robert is a good teacher. And normally, we only get to see teacher-student vids where the student is pretty well advanced.

But really, the improvement is not just whether you sound more awesome but how much more your endurance increases. To me, the proof of training is how much more manageable and repeatable your singing can become. Especially if you record stuff.

Even on my own amateur recordings of covers, there are times when I may have to sing the same thing over again a few times, usually because my timing was off. Or I botched a lyric. And so, I have to repeat the line, again.

If your singing improves not only in tone and fullness but in endurance, you are really getting somewhere.

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Hi All

I'm probably not going to post a 'now' video or audio for some personal reasons. I am not totally new to singing either so it would perhaps not be a really meaningful exercise - especially for those that want to see a complete novice rise to a singer.

But honestly, take it from me, I am not a great singer, so in the fullness of time when I do post something you can be totally sure that what you here will be the result of my work on The Four Pillars.

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Hi All

I'm probably not going to post a 'now' video or audio for some personal reasons. I am not totally new to singing either so it would perhaps not be a really meaningful exercise - especially for those that want to see a complete novice rise to a singer.

But honestly, take it from me, I am not a great singer, so in the fullness of time when I do post something you can be totally sure that what you here will be the result of my work on The Four Pillars.

I greatly regret that I didn't do as I was going to when I started to work on my vocal technique. I started from zero. Just totally being nigh tone-deaf, and, coming from a totally non-musical family, had a hard time getting started due to self consciousness, social pressure etc.

I had in mind that once I did actually set out on a routine I'd vlog my progress and do a single song that I'd record every week. I was going to record some tidbits of the exercises here and there, and talk about what it felt like to practice and just singing overall. That would have been really interesting to look back on. I'm not that great, but I'm definitely far better than I used to be, and it's hard to think about how difficult some songs were, and how easy they are now.

So you might wanna really think about it. :) If nothing more, it's a social experiment, and it'll tear down whatever apprehensions you have brought about by your self consciousness.

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I will re think it - but I'm just not keen on posting stuff online - especially at the moment.

I will perhaps record some snippets of my workouts so that over time I can see how that has changed. For example, today I have been continuing work on the TMV Foundation building exercise which also entails quack and release. I know that I get some attempts much better than others so maybe that is something I can post so that in the future people can see progress - hopefully.

I am a bit self conscious and this is mainly because I feel a bit too old to be doing this. However, my musical aims are in line with where I am at age wise so I guess it's no big drama.

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I will perhaps record some snippets of my workouts so that over time I can see how that has changed. For example, today I have been continuing work on the TMV Foundation building exercise which also entails quack and release.

At least do that, for your own files, whether you share them here, or not. Just to keep track of your own progress.

Sometimes, I keep a bad recording of myself as an object lesson to pay better attention, for example.

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Hi All

Okay - here is a link to a file where I am trying to perform Track and Release and Release and Release. This is my starting point and I know it's not great but this is where I am up to after about four days.

https://soundcloud.com/jdw21/track-and-release-start-of

The workout is not exact because I am very new to recording but this is it.

But already, during this workout what I have discovered is that it is the ability to manipulate the acoustic sound by dampening the larynx that is the key to moving forwards. At times I feel like I can really control the quota of air delivered and make the larynx tune that air but then I seem to loose it.

When I compare this to the vocal coaching I had previously I did not really achieve or understand vocal compression, acoustic tuning or larynx dampening but Robert's explanation pretty much made me realise the reality of this very quickly. Still - a long way to go.

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