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Old 12-07-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
ScotlandScott
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Do I have potential to be a Decent singer?

Hi,

I'm a 16 year old boy that wants to sing pretty good. I want to sing like, well... me. I want to have a unique voice that people can recognize. I've never had formal training and can't afford it (I really want a vocal teacher). All I have is asking people to give me some constructive criticism on this forum, I guess.

Me and my friend were jamming with our guitars and one of us suggested starting a band. It was a brilliant feeling: I was about to start a band! Then I asked: What about vocals? We both decided we can't sing well. I gave it some thought and for about a month I've just been practicing matching my voice with chords and notes on my guitar scales and singing songs. So I want to be the vocalist now.

I've been trying to experiment with pitch, vibrato(I think), and different factors. When I last recorded it sounded almost monotone, very nazely and boring; I tried to fix that. Did it work? I have trouble breathing when singing; I often run out of breath and found that it makes me hit the wrong note or hit the note but with poor quality.

I started to experiment more towards the second half of the recording. But I'm not going to lie. I made a few mistakes when singing this song.

Whenever I sing, I tend to put on an accent. American perhaps? But normally I have a Scottish accent when speaking. Should I be using my normal Scottish accent or continue with my weird American typed accent I use? I guess I like the sound of both :P


Please! Please give me as much advice that I can to improve.

*In-case you're wondering, I have been in music classes at school for years now. I can read, write and compose etc formally in standard notation. I know quite a lot of concepts etc.


Song Name: Polly
Artist: Nirvana
Link: https://soundcloud.com/scotlandscott/polly-vocal-test
Note: I played this songs with open chords instead of powerchords. I like the sound

I had a blocked nose as I recorded this (silly to record when ill, I know) but it felt right to do it! (and nobody was home)

Any and all advice is appreciated greatly!

Scott
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:01 PM   #2
RealUnrealRob
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I think you sound good, but I can't tell because the guitar is far too loud.

-As to running out of breath, etc, make sure you're breathing with your diaphragm, and spacing your breaths at the right spots. Breathing with your diaphragm takes practice if you aren't doing it already; your chest shouldn't move much and your stomach/abs should do the work.

Last edited by RealUnrealRob : 12-07-2012 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:08 AM   #3
HotspurJr
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Couple of points:

First of all, you need to work on your sense of pitch. You're a little pitchy on some notes. You get better as you go on this, but because you're not real confident in this area, you're trying to emulate Kurt's timbre rather than just his pitch. The key to sounding like yourself is to be able to separate timbre and pitch so that when you copy someone, you're just copying their pitch - but you can't do that without a good ear.

Second of all, you're swallowing your words. You need to practice projecting. Try to put the words out in front of you instead of back in your throat. Open your mouth more. Yeah, the guitar is too loud but the real problem is that you're swallowing your words. I've heard guys on microphones with this problem and you still couldn't tell what they were doing. Imagine that you're singing to someone who's standing ten feet in front of you. How does that change how you sing?

For now, also, you need to forget about "performance" - you need to focus on breathing and clear articulation. You need to be really precise in your vowel sounds - go through the lyrics and really notice what the vowels are. You can only really sing vowel sounds, to make sure you really identify them clearly.

Then make sure you "close your words" by singing the final sound of the word. Are you really pronouncing the T at the end of "first" for example?

I don't really know how to explain proper breathing in a bulletin board post. Yes, you're breathing from your diaphram, but you're also holding your chest open the whole time, in the position where it would be as if you had just taken a full breath. (So your chest doesn't move when you sing, only your belly). This takes a lot of practice.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:33 AM   #4
ScotlandScott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealUnrealRob
I think you sound good, but I can't tell because the guitar is far too loud.

-As to running out of breath, etc, make sure you're breathing with your diaphragm, and spacing your breaths at the right spots. Breathing with your diaphragm takes practice if you aren't doing it already; your chest shouldn't move much and your stomach/abs should do the work.


Thanks for the breathing advice.

I'm sorry about the guitar being too loud. I'm using a blue yeti mic and it's a bit too powerful. May I'll check out the section on the forum about mics etc.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:34 AM   #5
ScotlandScott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotspurJr
Couple of points:

First of all, you need to work on your sense of pitch. You're a little pitchy on some notes. You get better as you go on this, but because you're not real confident in this area, you're trying to emulate Kurt's timbre rather than just his pitch. The key to sounding like yourself is to be able to separate timbre and pitch so that when you copy someone, you're just copying their pitch - but you can't do that without a good ear.

Second of all, you're swallowing your words. You need to practice projecting. Try to put the words out in front of you instead of back in your throat. Open your mouth more. Yeah, the guitar is too loud but the real problem is that you're swallowing your words. I've heard guys on microphones with this problem and you still couldn't tell what they were doing. Imagine that you're singing to someone who's standing ten feet in front of you. How does that change how you sing?

For now, also, you need to forget about "performance" - you need to focus on breathing and clear articulation. You need to be really precise in your vowel sounds - go through the lyrics and really notice what the vowels are. You can only really sing vowel sounds, to make sure you really identify them clearly.

Then make sure you "close your words" by singing the final sound of the word. Are you really pronouncing the T at the end of "first" for example?

I don't really know how to explain proper breathing in a bulletin board post. Yes, you're breathing from your diaphram, but you're also holding your chest open the whole time, in the position where it would be as if you had just taken a full breath. (So your chest doesn't move when you sing, only your belly). This takes a lot of practice.


Thank you so much for your advice! I have taken notes down so that I can begin working on the issues immediately.

I would like to ask about accent: I sing with an American type of accent yet when I speak I have a.my original Scottish accent. Which should I use?

Many thanks!
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
HotspurJr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotlandScott
I'm sorry about the guitar being too loud. I'm using a blue yeti mic and it's a bit too powerful. May I'll check out the section on the forum about mics etc.


It's not an issue of the power of the mike.

It's might be a function of the mike placement. It's mostly a function of you playing too loud and singing with poor projection.

Quote:
I would like to ask about accent: I sing with an American type of accent yet when I speak I have a.my original Scottish accent. Which should I use?


Do what comes naturally. Don't try to put on somebody else's accent just because you're singing. Right now you want to remove ALL artifice from your singing. Eventually you'll be able to work some of it back in, but for now, just really focus in the note and vowel sound.
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