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How do I make my voice sound better?

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shimada
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Hello everyone,

I am really just wondering if any of you have any advice to help improve my voice, I have only recently started to enjoy singing but I don't enjoy my own voice so much and would love to sing a bit better. I have no ambitions to perform so I probably wouldn't take professional lessons but would consider some kind of home study. It isn't a long clip but it demonstrates my voice (recorded on a dictaphone) which I seem to be able to control better in the lower ranges (I'm female). My main issues are that it lacks power, sounds airy and nasal and I don't much like my diction. Also singing gives me a sore throat after a short while.

Here is the clip: https://soundcloud.com/user-344131319/cry-me-a-river-clipwma

It actually sounds worse than I realised but its is only singing for fun so any tips would be great!

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Shimada, what are you talking about man? You got a nice singing voice dude! It is not even half annoying as mine. ;-)

If you like singing, you should develop your voice and skills, even if you don't plan at the moment to front a band or start doing gigs. You just need to find a good coach (several excellent ones right here at the forum) or/and a vocal method (there are a few good ones) that makes you feel comfortable and start the journey of vocal discovery. Yes, you could do it by yourself, but it is way harder, and it is not for everybody, besides, it would take years and years longer than if you were guided by a coach. Keep on rocking

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Thank you for the feedback Gneetapp and for the the link to the other thread about singing methods seems like a great starting point. I will consider getting a teacher if funds will stretch .

Also not sure if you actually mean it that way or not but you called me man and dude and I'm a girl. Maybe I am just being paranoid because I know my voice is quite low.

Thank you again so much!

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I will consider getting a teacher if funds will stretch .

Also not sure if you actually mean it that way or not but you called me man and dude and I'm a girl. Maybe I am just being paranoid because I know my voice is quite low.

Thank you again so much!

Hi shimada, I am so sorry for the confusion. I hope you didn't feel offended by me not recognizing your gender through your singing voice. In my defense, those notes you sang were in an intermediate octave, so it could be a man or woman singing. Besides, even though you sang softly, you used a low resonance, very bluesy. Regarding the thread I linked, it was because you said you would consider a home study. Cheers

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No I wasn't offended at all Gneetapp! I know my voice is a bit androgynous that is what put me off singing for a long time but I am trying to make the best of it. I was just saying in case it affected your or anyone elses feedback.

Thank you so much again for your help and advice :)

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Improving the voice is the same as getting to Carnegie Hall. Practice, practice, practice. And Gneetapp has already given the advice I would offer.

As for gender confusion, oh well, shrug it off and start covering songs by k. d. lang. 

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Shimada, finally getting back to you.. it has been a really hectic day, I am in the process of bringing online the world's largest online vocal technique training system.  Arguably, the most comprehensive home study program in the history of mankind... no kidding. Check it out! www.TheFourPillarsofSinging.com

Regarding your vocal sample:

1. From the short sample you shared with us, I have to agree with Gneept, you have a very lovely voice that has potential. I can tell that if you trained seriously, you could go very far... but that is entirely up to your fortitude, patience and work ethic... like anything worth a damn in life. Your voice is good.

2. You sample is a bit pitchy, but that is not to worry. I doesn't mean you have bad ears, it just means you don't have technique.

3. I have heard this sort of thing before on this forum, specifically.... your voice is way too under resourced. One reason it sounds light, windy and perhaps a bit feminine is because you barely have any compression or muscle behind that voice. There is just almost no application here?! This is typical with beginners that don't know how to drive their voices.  Training will change that.

4. I hear a subtle androgynous vibe, but I knew you were a man when I heard it. it still has masculine sound color... but my advise would be to get some training and bring in a lot more masculine sound color with more muscle and application... your sleeping at the wheel, if you want to become a real singer, you will have to train. 

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Thanks Robert, I really appreciate your feedback just one thing though I am a woman! Don't worry I am not offended at all if you think I sound masculine I know that it is true not sure why that is really, not sure I like it but it is what it is.

If that has any impact on your feedback please let me know also I totally hear what you all are saying about the training and I will give it some thought. Would like to try and improve a bit privately before taking lessons so as not to embarress myself too much.

Thank you again :)

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Oops... ok, honestly... you sounded a bit like a gay man... but it doesn't matter... 

I have some tough love for you.

Would like to try and improve a bit privately before taking lessons so as not to embarress myself too much.

No. This is not how singer's think. The amount of concern you should put into feeling embarrassed when you train or sing, after about the 2nd lesson... is 0! There is not time or energy available to deal with this sort of fear. NOT IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE A SINGER, and you want to be serious.

So if you want to get more serious about singing, be prepared to walk naked with it all hanging out in front of the world in the beginning and smile, keep you head held high and repeat to yourself, "...I'll have the last laugh".

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I really like this. I don't think you sound like a man, but I think once you start exploring more higher resonance frequencies it might sound a bit more clear to people.

A quick tweak might be to take a vowel in between on (ah) and apple (a). Try to feel around with that vowel, it should feel kind of bright if you do it right. Try to place the sound forward and high, while not lifting the upper back half of your throat (soft palate) too high or too low (will sound very nasal). You could try twanging a little bit (tip of tongue near bottom row of teeth, arching back up and wide, until it reaches the molars).

Cause right now, you're quite heavy on lower resonance, which I've heard is not uncommon for contraltos, but volume and clarity without any push or anything could likely be found with those right away.

The longer game is a life time of training your voice, possibly with some amount of educational resources (anatomy, singing theory, teachers, programs, etc). There's good advice on the forums, but it's extremely randomly distributed, where as if you got something like Rob's 4 Pillars it would be organized and feature complete in complete order.

Honestly, your pitch was actually pretty good and it already has a pleasant timbre. I'm a huge contralto fan, so I'll really be looking forward to seeing your voice progress. You should really train this, cause you'll be able to get it really big but feminine. A lot of my favorite singers explore all sorts of zones in the voice to express different emotions, but you'll have a bit more room than a lot of women do for the size. It should be cool.   

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Robert thank you again for your comments, I get what you say about needing to find that confidence.

KillerKu thank you for the great feedback and specific advice. I am beginning to see that the voice really is an instrument which needs to be learned and practices with no simple short cuts. I am trying the tip you suggested but I have a bit of a sore throat at the moment so will wait to recover from that and use that time to look into my options.

Thanks again!

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I agree with all the great advice everyone has given. I have always preferred a lower female voice to a soprano. I think Ellise on this forum is a fantastic singer and I think you should listen to clips of her for solid examples of a fantastic female voice that has a very mature darker quality to it but with great compression and extended range. I love the vocals of the late great Jimmy Scott and he was know for having an androgynous haunting quality to his voice. I truly think you sound like a woman with a lower voice and that's nothing to be ashamed of. Practicing something you love to do is worth it. I gave up being embarrassed to rehearse years ago but I totally understand the fear as I was a very shy singer for many years. I hid behind my guitar playing in bands etc and yet now very few people even know that I play guitar as most people just know me as a singer so you can for sure do the same. Robert is a great teacher and has so much useful info for you if you have the drive and desire to go for it.:4:

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