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Can't seem to sing in rhythm too well... help?

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serica
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Since it's my first post on here, I'd like to say hello to y'all :)

 

I've loved singing practically forever, although it was more along the lines of "humming under my breath in the shower" rather than actual singing, with all the techniques and stuff. Only a year ago have I started actually taking classes. It seems that I have decent musical hearing and I sing alright within my range (which is contralto-ish, but also kind of mezzo-ish... and about 2.5 octaves, so nothing to brag about). Now here's the problem: I have some damn problems fitting into the rhythm. I can hold it for a bar or two, but when things go south, boy do they stampede there - I enter too early or too late, I try to slow down or speed up, then I miss a cue again and heaven forbid an accompanist has the ill luck of playing for me (my wonderful boyfriend usually plays this part and suffers miserably for his kindness), because then they get confused and well, shall I put it bluntly, shit goes down fast. So it's not that I don't HEAR the rhythm, it's just that my body seems to be allergic to it. 

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One of the easiest ways is claping your hands to the music.

 

First without singing, and making sure you are on the beat, just following the music.

 

Then repeat, singing and claping your hands.

 

Then sing.

 

 

This should improve, continue doing the 3 steps and eventually you will force yourself to stay in the rhythm.

 

Another solution is dancing to the song.

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I know I might come across as a naysayer, but what problems I might have with rhythm while singing go double for dancing. I'm basically paralysed when I have to dance. 

 

The clapping thing never worked for me the few times I've tried it (again, I hear my mistakes, but all it does is making me more anxious and less rhythmic with my clapping; I can't even clap rhythmically when someone else sings!).

 

Sorry for being so difficult about it  :unsure:

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Buy a Metronome, find a poem and recite it at various speeds, then apply to your singing. Mark out breathing spots so you learn to breath in the places that work without interrupting your rhythm. If you a real contralto I'd love to hear it, can you post something or have link to a song???

 

This metronome thing is actually a good idea, seeing how the beat can change in an actual song o: Thanks for a great piece of advice!

 

As for my voice... well, the "ishes" are there for a reason. I feel like my voice is too light to be a true contralto, but then again I can reach pretty low (F3 is the lowest I've consciously gone in a song after a proper warm up, though I might have delved into E3 on one occasion, I'm not sure) and can't go too high - I have one or two notes where my voice basically cracks and then comes the dreaded head voice. Now, here's the sample: it's short and rough, mostly because my neighbours don't really like me singing at 10:30 PM...

 

http://picosong.com/VJad/

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@serica I understand.

 

If there is too much difficulty (and this is normal, you just never learned it), my advise would have the help of a musician friend with it. As Darius suggested with the help of a metronome, and then finding something, anything, that you can do on the beat.

 

 

Its also a very good idea to keep it playful... There are videogames that could help with it. Patapon for the PSP would hit the spot, the GuitarHero/Rockband series are also about rhythmic articulation.

 

The more boring way would be getting a method, like P. Bona, and going through it with the help of a metronome... But seriously, Patapon is more fun :P

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And don't give up the clapping thing.   Early in my guitar playing efforts I had some real issues, and a total lack of limb independence.  So I clapped/tapped like a fiend while listening to music, doing things like tapping feet to the quarter note pulse, and tapping hands to the eighth notes.    It may take a while to get it down, but it will come.

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Ok first off beautiful tone. Now I'm going to try to be clear in this because there are varying standards by which people on here measure. I go by traditional Operatic standards. This to me is a true contralto voice. If your doing pop/rock you could get away with call that contralto or mezzo, it is more in a spoken / speech level mode. in Opera we go by what is sustainable. I hear an under developed Full Lyric Soprano. Maybe you are just not accustom and train in the upper register. I honestly believe if you had adequate support in an opera style you would go the D above high C easily.

 

Trying singing with this and sustaining the notes, I don't think your voice floats that deep in the lower register. May just be the recording you sent.

 

'>

 

If your going to sing pop/rock your good, won't matter too much. if you are planning more classical/ opera/broadway-musical type career or to do more sustained type vocalizing. You may want to find out for certain as you will train more specifically to the desired properties of your voice type. I am a Dramatic Lyric Tenor with Spinto abilities. I need more punch than a Lyric Tenor. Singing thing like Steve Perry are to light a registration for my voice. If I sing it I sing it with my weight. When I was doing rock I tried many lighter styles, very pretty but when you go from that to trying doing Di Quella Pira, then you lack support. I know train specifically for the desired qualities for my voice type and then sing whatever I choose with the natural weight of it.

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Anyway, the other guys have good advice. 

 

Here is something else you can do. Listen to music with a strong beat, especially 4/4 time. and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. Before vocalizing, just clap. Clap only on 2 and 4. In most pop songs, that is the snare drum hit.

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So, Serica, are you interested in training for opera? Just a trivia question.

 

Anyway, the other guys have good advice. 

 

Here is something else you can do. Listen to music with a strong beat, especially 4/4 time. and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. Before vocalizing, just clap. Clap only on 2 and 4. In most pop songs, that is the snare drum hit

 

That is a little rude dude. I answered her question regarding rhythm , she also asked me another specific question and sent me a link, which I answered legitimately. I realize not everyone like, sings or is interested in Opera. That is why I was very specific in my answer. No need for the digs. I do notice many people on here are stuck in the throat. Are you listening to the voice or the other sounds? again when your eating the mic it pics up everything, when the mic is a few feet away or your in an acoustic setting it picks up the voice. A violin player here the scratching of the bow, the audience does not. The application and how your going to use it, does matter.

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That is a little rude dude. I answered her question regarding rhythm , she also asked me another specific question and sent me a link, which I answered legitimately. I realize not everyone like, sings or is interested in Opera. That is why I was very specific in my answer. No need for the digs. I do notice many people on here are stuck in the throat. Are you listening to the voice or the other sounds? again when your eating the mic it pics up everything, when the mic is a few feet away or your in an acoustic setting it picks up the voice. A violin player here the scratching of the bow, the audience does not. The application and how your going to use it, does matter.

I was not meaning to offend you. I have edited my post. I did not realize that you were sensitive to questions by others. I will do my best to avoid offending in the future. Probably by censoring myself.

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I'm not sensitive to the questions of others, that was  not a question. " Anyway the other guys have good advice" isn't a question, comes off as say I didn't have good advice. A metronome is generally used by musicians for those things and I was specific to tell here pop/rock usage is different from Opera. Not everyone likes Opera and not everyone like rock/pop/metal. She should be aware of all options and choose what works for her. I don't want to get off on bad terms that just sounded like a personal stab. Please refrain from judgment until you know me. I go on about Opera because that is what I came here for, I love all music.. not too much rap lol some, but not much. Robert has plenty of Rock/Pop/Metal people on here. Just another prospective I throw in.

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Dude I'm pretty sure that by 'other guys', Ron meant everyone else but himself.  I did not read that as saying 'everyone else except for the guy who asked about opera'.

 

Your interpretation seems incredibly paranoid. 

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I'm not paranoid, his statement was Are you interested in Opera? Did you see anyone else mention Opera in the thread. Non the less it not a big deal, just struck me as an uncalled for remark.

 

I was not meaning to offend you. I have edited my post. I did not realize that you were sensitive to questions by others. I will do my best to avoid offending in the future. Probably by censoring myself

 Please don't censor anything, I'm not trying to make a big deal out of it.. we're all good here, no worries.

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I'm not paranoid, his statement was Are you interested in Opera? Did you see anyone else mention Opera in the thread. Non the less it not a big deal, just struck me as an uncalled for remark.

 Please don't censor anything, I'm not trying to make a big deal out of it.. we're all good here, no worries.

   Asking whether the OP is interested in Opera is an important question. Other styles of music have a definate beat that one can follow to get the rhythm pattern down.

   I am a bass player and I follow the drums so the bass snare relation is what keeps me on the beat. If I did not have a drummer to keep me in line I have no idea what to follow to stay in time with the music, Especially if the beat actually changes with the mood instead of staying a steady 1212

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Ok first off beautiful tone. Now I'm going to try to be clear in this because there are varying standards by which people on here measure. I go by traditional Operatic standards. This to me is a true contralto voice. If your doing pop/rock you could get away with call that contralto or mezzo, it is more in a spoken / speech level mode. in Opera we go by what is sustainable. I hear an under developed Full Lyric Soprano. Maybe you are just not accustom and train in the upper register. I honestly believe if you had adequate support in an opera style you would go the D above high C easily.

 

Wow, that's a new one :huh:  I've never heard anyone describing my voice as soprano, my teacher actually said I was a "mezzo with shades of alto". My speaking voice is very deep, too. So yeah, that comes as a bit of a surprise. Maybe I should start a new thread about my vocal type specifically? I'm a bit obsessed with classifying myself and stuff, so I'm kind of uneasy now. Thanks for the compliment, by the way!

 

Well, I do ENJOY Broadway stuff and whatever opera my dad has on in his car (I never bothered to check the names), but I've been told that at 18 it's too late to become an opera singer, so... yeah. I sing some Broadway stuff from time to time, and for my singing classes I've actually done two Broadway songs, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from JCS and "I Can Hear The Bells" from Hairspray. Anyway, I do want to keep singing, seeing how my boyfriend has so much faith in me that he keeps egging me on to sing one of the songs he's written with him accompanying and to post it on YouTube. I'm too much of a perfectionist to do it now, but I have a good motivation to work on my voice  :D  

 

 

And don't give up the clapping thing.   Early in my guitar playing efforts I had some real issues, and a total lack of limb independence.  So I clapped/tapped like a fiend while listening to music, doing things like tapping feet to the quarter note pulse, and tapping hands to the eighth notes.    It may take a while to get it down, but it will come.

 

Actually, you just gave me an idea... maybe I could try playing an instrument? That does seem to improve the sense of rhythm in people. 

 

 

@serica I understand.

 

If there is too much difficulty (and this is normal, you just never learned it), my advise would have the help of a musician friend with it. As Darius suggested with the help of a metronome, and then finding something, anything, that you can do on the beat.

 

 

Its also a very good idea to keep it playful... There are videogames that could help with it. Patapon for the PSP would hit the spot, the GuitarHero/Rockband series are also about rhythmic articulation.

 

The more boring way would be getting a method, like P. Bona, and going through it with the help of a metronome... But seriously, Patapon is more fun :P

 

 

Heh, you got it, nothing like gamification to keep a person going  :P

 

Sorry I'm not replying to all of your posts, but the running theme of the metronome on here has convinced me to start practicing with it, hopefully I'm gonna get better at rhythmically tapping (and then maybe even singing) relatively soon :) Thanks!

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I'm a drummer. Hold a beat with one hand (1, 2, 3, 4). First count with the beat.

 

V = voice the number or word

T = tap with hand

-  = rest

 

 

1   2    3    4

V   V   V    V

T   T   T    T

 

Then start saying 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 while still tapping on the the 1,2,3,4

 

1   and  2  and  3  and   4  and

V    V    V    V    V    V    V    V

T     -    T    -     T    -     T    -

 

Then tap 1,2,3,4  while saying the ands

 

 

1  and  2  and  3  and  4  and

 -   V    -     V    -     V    -     V

T   -     T    -     T    -    T     -

 

 

Now keep 1,2,3,4 tapping, but this time say

 

1    ee   and   a     2    ee  and    a     3    ee  and    a     4    ee   and   a

V     V     V     V     V     V     V     V     V     V     V     V     V     V     V     V

T     -      -      -      T     -      -      -      T     -      -       -     T     -      -      -

 

 

Then  keep tapping, and only say ee.

 

1    ee   and   a     2    ee  and    a     3    ee  and    a     4    ee   and   a

-     V      -      -      -     V      -      -      -     V      -       -      -     V      -     -

T     -      -      -      T     -      -      -      T     -      -       -     T     -       -     -

 

 

And the same for 'a'

 

1    ee   and   a     2    ee  and    a     3    ee  and    a     4    ee   and   a

-      -      -      V      -      -      -     V      -      -      -     V      -     -      -      V

T     -      -      -      T     -      -      -      T     -      -       -     T     -      -      -

 

 

 

Go as slow as you need to to get it right. Write down your own patterns where the voice falls on different places in the beat.

 

This isn't how I learned, but it's basically breaking down a lot of the fundamentals for someone who is struggling. :)

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This might seem strange or extreme...but if u buy a cheap 100$ guitar and learn simple minor and major chords (takes about 2-3 months) and practice singing and an instrument with songs that may help with overall rythm and you learn an instrument in the proccess.

 

I teached my mom to play guitar by simply strumming chords like metronome. like killerku described but instead of a tap you strum a chord. She got it really quickly and now when i go to her place me and her always do small jam sessions where she would play and i would sing.

 

Remember most of the songs you listen is in a simple 4/4 meter (unless you listen to some heavy progg), and that sound like 1 2 3 and 1 2 3 and 1 2 3 and...so its not that hard but i know first hand that it might seem daunting.

 

Approach it as something simple. And remember with these things it pays off to really listen. Dont worry about pitch or quality fo your tone too much but just getting inside the beat. Repetition is key.

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Well, I do ENJOY Broadway stuff and whatever opera my dad has on in his car (I never bothered to check the names), but I've been told that at 18 it's too late to become an opera singer, so... yeah. I sing some Broadway stuff from time to time, and for my singing classes I've actually done two Broadway songs, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from JCS and "I Can Hear The Bells" from Hairspray. Anyway, I do want to keep singing, seeing how my boyfriend has so much faith in me that he keeps egging me on to sing one of the songs he's written with him accompanying and to post it on YouTube. I'm too much of a perfectionist to do it now, but I have a good motivation to work on my voice

 

Absolutely not too old, Pavarotti didn't start studying until he was 19 , he was a soccer goalie and many others started very much later. Either way if you like Broadway styles a little bit of opera training may enhance that, if you just want to sing pop or rock a more speech level type training might be better. regardless beautiful voice, take care of it and let it bloom.

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And I think Caruso was as old when he started. And actually came in from fighting on the docks, where he had worked with his father. Literally kicking butt one day, then, a few years later, kicking butt vocally.

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