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Help! How is my voice?

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Marshall2000
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Hello! Just joined the forum! Great to see a thriving community! 

I am a beginner singer! I had around about 5 lessons late last year but had to stop them because of prices. 

Im hoping someone can listen to me sing the last chorus in Adele's hometown glory! I am really struggling with the falsetto notes. Im not sure if they're in tune or sound fitting with the rest!? Please bare in mind; I could not sing a note in tune before lessons!!! Also, this was recorded on my mobile so I apologise for the quality. It is acapella as well. I get really conscious when singing along to music. I know you can't judge me properly with acapella, but is it listenable? If it sounds ok, I'll repost with music. It isn't in the original key also, that is too low for me. Thanks for your time! 

 

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Anyone got anything for me? What's the colour of my voice like? Some say it has a very nice buzzing quality to it? I know I'm pitchy in a lot of places, I'm starting lessons again soon and I am currently training my ear with my piano.

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Hello, i like the sound of your voice. It is hard to judge without the back track and I dont know the song.

You have a really nice quality to your voice so please record with accompaniment. Also I am having trouble understanding the words, so maybe better Annunciation will help.

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Thankyou very much for your comment. I will soon post with music. I'm surprised you haven't heard the song before. Adele's music is very ballad based, so I'm not sure if your a fan of that genre. I find it rather easy to sing her songs due to our similar ranges, so most of her songs I can sing in the original key. But there is some exceptions, hence this one. She has a lower range than me, which is sad to say I am a 16 year old male.
 
But anyway, I shall post something soon but it will not sound pleasant. As I have stated above, I struggle with music. Strangely xD

 

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Don't worry about genre. That's the beauty of this forum. You can get comments from people who don't necessarily follow the genre. Such as me. I think you sang well, though I don't follow Adele. Do you sound like her? No, of course not, and I really don't care. But you sang well and that should mean something, whether I have the cred to comment on adult contemporary ballad, or not.

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Yes, articulation is a big factor here. It's very hard to decipher the lyrics here.

1. Speak the words first and listen for the consonants and how they are formed. Duplicate them in the song as you would speak them. If your speech is clear, the song lyrics should sound clear.

You have a nice tone and the pitch is pretty good for singing a capella. Not many people know how to stay in tune without musical backing.

I would say your biggest issue with this piece was enunciation. Your consonants are a little too sloppy. Other than, it's actually quite good.

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Yes, articulation is a big factor here. It's very hard to decipher the lyrics here.

1. Speak the words first and listen for the consonants and how they are formed. Duplicate them in the song as you would speak them. If your speech is clear, the song lyrics should sound clear.

You have a nice tone and the pitch is pretty good for singing a capella. Not many people know how to stay in tune without musical backing.

I would say your biggest issue with this piece was enunciation. Your consonants are a little too sloppy. Other than, it's actually quite good.

Ok! I will work on that? Really? It's in tune? xD. I couldn't sing a note in tune last year! Anyway, I have another question. At my lessons, we did a range testing exercise. The lowest note I can hit is a E3, the highest in chest is an F5. I can't hit the note on its own. But when it's apart of a slide, I can hit it fine.

I posted the same video on a different forum and apparently I hit a D3 in this and hardly get past a D4 in chest. Now I know I cannot hit that D3 so I'm confused with why they're saying that. Could it be the recording? I recorded it using an IPhone and I know they're infamous for messing up voices. So what is going on?

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 If your speech is clear, the song lyrics should sound clear.

This is a good tip... however,... we are not speaking, we are singing and the frequency, vowels and required physiology are different then speech... I'm over simplifying, but the higher the frequency is away from optimal speech frequencies, the more "we" all have to modify, balance, and adjust things to make it work. That being said... we want to articulate as closely to speech as we can when singing, but the higher the note, the more difficult it will be to do that... therefore, relevant to Kevin's helpful tip, I would add this caveat.... Provided that the musculature and coordination to do so is there... which is built through training and a lot of singing.

Articulation in a singing configuration takes strength, coordination and developed skills... something Kev. is well aware of. I just want to clarify for people that articulating in true speech mode, is not the same thing, contingent upon frequency. If... the lyric is very low, in the chest voice, etc... it STILL is not the same thing, but a lot easier. The higher you go, the more tricky it becomes and the more strength and experience you need to pull it off. 

Am I the only singer in the world that has noticed that articulation and just about everything gets more difficult the higher you sing?  I don't think so, that is a universal experience for everyone... thus my point. 

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Exercises don't always tell you the whole story about your range or abilities. I know people that can sing very high in a vocal exercise but struggle in songs and students who can sing notes in songs they can't in an exercise. It's partially confidence and fear - how your thinking reacts to a given task. Some singers are more relaxed while singing but tense when they vocalize because they think of it as "practicing" and become more fearful than they should.

Vocal exercises are usually done with open vowels which keeps the voice open and creates a better airflow because there are no words to disrupt or "chop" it up.

The first thing you want to do is change your vocabulary and think about "singing" notes rather than "hitting" them.

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Ok thankyou all for the posts. My numbering was also screwed up. I though my range was from E3-F5, turns out its E2-F4. When I sang middle C, I thought I was hitting it dead on. Turns out I was singing it an octave lower. So what am I? A tenor still? For some reason this has really deflated me and made me feel like my voice is worse than it actually is. Is the range I have decent?

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Articulation of consonants should be almost identical to how you speak them - quickly and softly. Vowels need to change slightly as we sing higher because as you blend into head resonance, the open vowels tend to start to sound similar. Consonants need to become more clear the higher you sing, otherwise it's just a mish-mosh of indistinct words.

The best piece of advice I ever got about articulation was this - sing as if the audience is deaf and needs to read your lips. If you over (or under) enunciate they can't read your lips because they learn to read lips by watching natural conversation. There are some adjustments to be made between speech and singing - but not many. I don't think it's as complicated as Robert alludes to - at least you shouldn't be thinking it's complicated.

A good benchmark to start with is speak the lyrics and notice how to enunciate the words. Try to emulate that but soften it slightly so it flows.

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Exercises don't always tell you the whole story about your range or abilities. I know people that can sing very high in a vocal exercise but struggle in songs and students who can sing notes in songs they can't in an exercise. It's partially confidence and fear - how your thinking reacts to a given task. Some singers are more relaxed while singing but tense when they vocalize because they think of it as "practicing" and become more fearful than they should.

Vocal exercises are usually done with open vowels which keeps the voice open and creates a better airflow because there are no words to disrupt or "chop" it up.

The first thing you want to do is change your vocabulary and think about "singing" notes rather than "hitting" them.

​I totally agree with you Kev. 

Vocal exercises are usually done with open vowels which keeps the voice open and creates a better airflow because there are no words to disrupt or "chop" it up.

This is an important point... REALLY important. Although it doesn't have to be this way, typically vocal training spends its time on big, open, singer friendly vowels... as a beginner, it should be that way. And often, we don't have a lot of consonants in our training workouts... so when we transition to singing, all of a sudden you have to contend with two added variables:

1). Narrowed Vowels

&

2). Consonants

BOTH, conspire to compromise your game... so the lesson really is... make sure you train narrowed vowels as well as open vowels and if you have workouts that have text/words in them, great because that means they have consonants in them... and the best thing you can do to get really good at narrowed vowels and consonants is singing songs where narrowed vowels and consonants appear regularly...  

:z-coffee:

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Articulation of consonants should be almost identical to how you speak them - quickly and softly. Vowels need to change slightly as we sing higher because as you blend into head resonance, the open vowels tend to start to sound similar. Consonants need to become more clear the higher you sing, otherwise it's just a mish-mosh of indistinct words.

The best piece of advice I ever got about articulation was this - sing as if the audience is deaf and needs to read your lips. If you over (or under) enunciate they can't read your lips because they learn to read lips by watching natural conversation. There are some adjustments to be made between speech and singing - but not many. I don't think it's as complicated as Robert alludes to - at least you shouldn't be thinking it's complicated.

A good benchmark to start with is speak the lyrics and notice how to enunciate the words. Try to emulate that but soften it slightly so it flows.

​I guess I need to simplify my point...

Yes, articulation in singing can or is as Kevin advocates (... these things are never absolute in singing technique, lots of variables involved...), but the main point I want to make is... that doesn't make it easy. Articulating the verse of "Highway Star" on a high Bb is not the same as articulating it on a low Bb in true speech mode. Yes, the articulators can and maybe should move same or similar when singing, but IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE INTRINSIC MUSCULAR STRENGTH TO DO IT... on a high Bb, it ain't going to happen.

To achieve what Kevin is advocating, you have to have exceptional muscular strength and coordination... the issue here that is creating the difference is frequency. If you articulate in speech mode, at a frequency that conducive to speech mode, and where you have spoken your entire life, it is going to be extremely easy... if you try to do the same/similar articulated movements at a frequency, volume, rate of speed, complex melodic patterns that far surpass anything "melodic" patterns speech ever engages in, ... running around on stage, etc... you name it... all things related to the singing experience that are not related to the speaking experience... for a high note... it is not going to be extremely easy.

If it was, Kevin and I would be out of a job and this forum would not exist. 

Articulation, Physiology & Acoustics of speech are NOT the same as singing... the hard stuff.

Sorry, but this is not how I speak (video below)... If I spoke with the same physiology, acoustics and melodic complexity required to sing this song, I would sound like a frickin moron and they would lock me up or conclude that I have a speech impediment or marshmallows in my mouth... But put these trained strength and coordinations into a song... and it starts sounding like singing... not speaking.

I really like Kevin's point and I think its valid, I'm only adding to it that to achieve "speech-like" articulation when singing... the hard stuff... it takes great strength and experience.... and that requires training!

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Ok. I understand now. I will work on that. But can you tell me how my range is? Is decent? I just feel really bad now after my realisation. I know quality, tone and technique are more important than the range, but how is it? I am a tenor right?

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Marshall,

I listened to your file... 

You have a nice tone to your voice and clearly have lots of potential... and you seem to "feel" your singing. It is soulful. I think you have what it takes to be a great singer and this is a nice "thing" you posted. It is however,

1). A bit pitchy... if you are going to sing a cappella, give yourself a cue with a pitch pipe and make sure you remain in that key.

2). With this clip, it is hard to determine your range or voice type. We would need to know your voice better and train with you in a lesson. I am going to go out on a limb here and just take an educated guess, but it cannot be validated given the lack of content we have to listen to, but I would guess that you are a tenor.

Regarding range.. if you want range, most people have to train... per my points above... that requires that hunker down and get to work... training the musculature required to do it, learning about vowels, learning how to balance your respiration, etc... lets call this "Extreme Singing"... to do that, you have to train.  Can you do it? Sure, I think so based on what I heard, but the only thing that is standing in your way is frankly... your decision to make a commitment to training and working on it. That would mean you invest in a training program with good content in it and you get a coach... precisely what Kevin and I do for people. You want to expand your range?  You want to have the articulation Kevin is advocating and the strength and musculature I am advocating... train. Make a commitment to your singing. Take action, don't just sit with what you got... even if what you got is nice (and it is...), do something with it. Grow it... train. With my program, for most people, in about 90 days ... if you really get after it, you can see major results.. I think its the same with Kevin's program too. You have to just get off your duff and start running around the track. 

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Marshall,

I listened to your file... 

You have a nice tone to your voice and clearly have lots of potential... and you seem to "feel" your singing. It is soulful. I think you have what it takes to be a great singer and this is a nice "thing" you posted. It is however,

1). A bit pitchy... if you are going to sing a cappella, give yourself a cue with a pitch pipe and make sure you remain in that key.

2). With this clip, it is hard to determine your range or voice type. We would need to know your voice better and train with you in a lesson. I am going to go out on a limb here and just take an educated guess, but it cannot be validated given the lack of content we have to listen to, but I would guess that you are a tenor.

Regarding range.. if you want range, most people have to train... per my points above... that requires that hunker down and get to work... training the musculature required to do it, learning about vowels, learning how to balance your respiration, etc... lets call this "Extreme Singing"... to do that, you have to train.  Can you do it? Sure, I think so based on what I heard, but the only thing that is standing in your way is frankly... your decision to make a commitment to training and working on it. That would mean you invest in a training program with good content in it and you get a coach... precisely what Kevin and I do for people. You want to expand your range?  You want to have the articulation Kevin is advocating and the strength and musculature I am advocating... train. Make a commitment to your singing. Take action, don't just sit with what you got... even if what you got is nice (and it is...), do something with it. Grow it... train. With my program, for most people, in about 90 days ... if you really get after it, you can see major results.. I think its the same with Kevin's program too. You have to just get off your duff and start running around the track. 

Thanks Robert. I will no doubt look into your course. I would like to increase my range and have better control of my low notes. Also, as stated above, articulation needs a lo of work. I might post something with music in the future!!! Thanks everyone who posted :D

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I guess I just think of articulation differently. To me, its the least important part of the chain in singing - the manipulation.

Lyric mapping is where you find how to articulate the words properly for the given song. Each genre treats it somewhat differently. Classical/Broadway/Cabaret tend to stress near perfect diction, whereas modern music is more "fast and loose" with diction. Words combine, consonants get shortened/altered, closed vowels get opened etc., but they're close to how to say them

A good example of an exception is the word "Fire". Almost no one sings it as they would speak it. It ends up as "Fie-yah". Same goes for "higher" - it ends up as "high-yah". If you sang it as you speak it it sounds too "broadway".

Again there are exceptions to that in modern music as well; Dennis DeYoung of Styx, Kevin Dubrow of Quiet Riot were both overly articulate singers who "chewed" on every word near perfectly. The opposite of that would Kurt Cobain, Bob Dylan, Eddie Vedder who under articulate and most people find it hard to understand them.

The whole point here between Robert and myself is to find what works for you. There are very few "hard and fast" rules in voice training because each person is different. Unique in how they think, how they learn, their confidence level, ability to experiment, etc. and so on.

Experimentation is the most eye-opening teacher.

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Ok thankyou all for the posts. My numbering was also screwed up. I though my range was from E3-F5, turns out its E2-F4. When I sang middle C, I thought I was hitting it dead on. Turns out I was singing it an octave lower. So what am I? A tenor still? For some reason this has really deflated me and made me feel like my voice is worse than it actually is. Is the range I have decent?

​Yeah, I don't care about your range or getting into a debate on another board. Sing the song and don't worry what is the highest note or the lowest. What matters is how well you sing the song and if the audience likes it, not whether or not you "win" a debate.

 

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Ok thankyou all for the posts. My numbering was also screwed up. I though my range was from E3-F5, turns out its E2-F4. When I sang middle C, I thought I was hitting it dead on. Turns out I was singing it an octave lower. So what am I? A tenor still? For some reason this has really deflated me and made me feel like my voice is worse than it actually is. Is the range I have decent?

​Your range is perfectly fine and healthy. Stop worrying... its all totally normal. You now have a clear path and guidance on what you need to do... 

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This is just vowel modification... combined with the benefits of a /y/, which is a voiced glide that compresses the vocal folds... let me point something out here... /y/ is a great consonant because it compresses the vocal folds. 

In this example you have a vowel modification combined with the /y/.

 

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