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Help with songs that don't suit my voice

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washy21
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Hi All

Could I ask some opinions please: is it worth continuing with a song that you feel does not suit your voice? In my case the song is Sting's Fields of Gold.

The best (male) renditions I hear of this song - including Sting's, - all seem to have a fair bit of breath in the vocal delivery and I assume that this kind of vocal delivery portrays a sense of intimacy that is congruent with the songs meaning. I am a novice singer, currently studying the four pillars of singing, but whilst I feel as though I am making progress in other songs this particular song is really frustrating me because my voice is far more focused in tone and I can't seem to get sufficent control to put it across.

As I understand it a breathy voice is generally frowned upon, or have I got this wrong?

Here is a cover that I discovered which illustrates what I mean.

Hope this makes sense.

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Breathiness and texture are different things. Adding a "husky" quality to your voice is just a matter of getting the technique right. Nobody's vocal cords like (or work any better) with excess air. It's all a matter of finding the balance that comes with technique that comes with training that comes with time.

If I'm not totally mistaken, sting's approach is like a very lightly adducted but connected mix. So "mix pulled down?" I dunno, it doesn't really have any "cry" to it..

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If you want to work on a song that doesn't suit your voice you'll have to break it down into simpler tasks and spend months even years working up to the full thing. Most programs don't explain how to do this so you'll just have to take lessons with a coach

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I sing some songs that don't match my voice. Because I want to. Sometimes, I get applause. Other times, not so much.

But, yeah, I like the advice of Khassera and Owen. Work toward what you want and see how close you get. And just because you have not got there on the first or second try doesn't mean you should quit trying.

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I mean, it should be almost the same as practicing any other instrument. You try the first couple of fast runs at the original speed and sound shite. Then you slow it down to a crawl, nail every pitch, every note like the original, and run through the whole song like that, or just a phrase. Once you have that down pat, you…. do it again. And again. Then you might speed it up. Then you'll realise it's not that hard.

That's how I practiced the guitar part to I see Fire, and even though a good guitarist will say it's not hard, to me, it was one of the hardest finger-picking songs next to Trucker's Atlas (Sun Kil Moon's version) that I've learned.

EDIT: Lmao at the auto edit for finger picking. Way to overprotect the forum.

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Thank you for these replies.

From what has been said it would appear that the lesson to be learned is one of having the will to deconstruct the song as it applies to my own voice and allow plenty of time in order for a good performance to appear.

In fact controling the dynamics of my voice is an issue I am aware of and I guess this song exposes that weakness — especially if you are inspired by the Eva Cassidy version.

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yes, you will eventually come across songs where you literally have to break it all the way down to syllable by syllable, and vowel/vowel shade by vowel/vowel shade.

but this task will make you feel your way through the singing you need to do and will make you a better vocalist.

be sure to get a hold of a live version to listen to.

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I mean, it should be almost the same as practicing any other instrument. You try the first couple of fast runs at the original speed and sound shite. Then you slow it down to a crawl, nail every pitch, every note like the original, and run through the whole song like that, or just a phrase. Once you have that down pat, you…. do it again. And again. Then you might speed it up. Then you'll realise it's not that hard.

That's how I practiced the guitar part to I see Fire, and even though a good guitarist will say it's not hard, to me, it was one of the hardest finger-picking songs next to Trucker's Atlas (Sun Kil Moon's version) that I've learned.

EDIT: Lmao at the auto edit for finger picking. Way to overprotect the forum.

No idea how the word "finger picking" was auto edited ??? :rolleyes: I fixed it for you....

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