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Old 12-14-2008, 08:56 PM   #1
justin_fraser
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The Singing Thread

Well guys, the last singing thread was freakin' huge, so we figured that it was time to start up a new one. As you might have figured out, this is the thread where all questions pertaining to singing go. If you make a thread in the MT forum about singing, it will be closed, and the mods will tell you to come here, guaranteed.

Rules of the singing thread

There are only 3 rules guys, and they are pretty easy to follow.

1. No spam - this one should be pretty easy to follow. If you have a question, you ask
it. If you have a response to a question, you post it. Simple as that.

2. No flaming - this should also be really easy to follow. Just like our mothers have been telling us all of our lives; if we donít have anything nice to say, donít say anything at all. Not hard at all. If your question doesnít get answered or it doesnít get answered the way you like, just ask again and be more specific, donít flip out on that person.

3. This is a renewed version of a old rule. This rule is no screaming questions. We do have a sound clip done by our own z4twnny (rock on Z!), so go to the bottom of this first post to find that. However, if you have a question, PM him, do not ask it in here, because posting that clip is going extremely far in the first place. My one hope with it is that the screaming questions will go away. And be so careful with it guys. You can ruin your voice so easily with screaming if done wrong.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sing?
Expel air through your mouth while making a noise pleasant to the ear. Easy enough I would think

But here are a few lessons that SingingSabre has written to help beginnersÖ
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/colu...ing_part_1.html
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/colu...ing_part_2.html
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/colu...ing_part_3.html
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/colu...ing_part_4.html

What about breathing?
Almost all of your breath should come from your diaphragm. Now you ask what a diaphragm is. It is a muscle right under your ribs that basically controls your lungs. When you breathe, your diaphragm contracts and air is brought into your lungs. When you breathe out, your diaphragm relaxes and air escapes through your mouth or nose. To breathe using your diaphragm, you have to imagine you are almost breathing from your toes. Breathe from deep within your stomach and you should feel your head go back and your chest should rise up. You may look stupid doing this, but you will get so much more air using your diaphragm. Now try breathing without your diaphragm. You can do this by raising your shoulders as you breathe. You will notice that you get considerably less air in your lung, therefore less air support.

How do I resonate?
Think of your head as acoustic guitar (as singingsabre put it). When you sing, if you raise your eyebrows, open your mouth, and almost put a smile on (even if its fake, doesnít matter), your tone will increase considerably. Thatís because the sound can resonate a lot more in your head, just as an acoustic guitar can resonate with all that space inside of it. If you try to sing with a scrunched up face with your eyebrows down as if you were mad, your tone will be very weak. Try them both out, and you will see. Now you may feel like an idiot for singing like this, but the truth is, when you are singing, people canít tell facial expressions so an extreme extent. Its not a fashion show, itís a singing show. You are there to sing and make great sound, not a great face.

How can I not be so nasally?
This is a problem that many singers face. You can mostly avoid this by opening your soft palate. You may ask what the soft palate is, well snort, the thing that vibrates, thatís your soft palate. Raise this by raising your eyebrows just like you would to have lots of resonance. Another trick so that you arenít nasally (and this is the greatest trick in all of singing for me) is to keep your tongue at the bottom of your mouth rather than at the top. When you sing, air has to pass through your mouth. When your tongue is at the top of your mouth, the air has no where to go except through your nose, therefore creating a nasally sound. When you put your tongue more to the bottom than the top of your mouth, the air will go through your mouth and you will notice insane results immediately

How can I expand my range?
One of the most asked questions in the singing thread, and the answer never changes no matter who the person. Just sing! Every person has a different range and you cannot expect to be able to sing super high like lots of your heroís. I am a low bass, and I know that I will never be able to sing along with some of my favorite singers. Thatís just how it goes. Although there is a little thing called falsetto, itís not the same. So just practice singing, and if you are a beginner you will find your range rather quickly. If you have been singing for a while, it will be much harder to expand your range. Thatís why you have to accept your range for what it is but that doesnít mean you should just give up. Keep singing, because I know guys that went from grade 10 only being able to sing middle C, to be able to sing the E above it by grade 12.

What is falsetto?
Falsetto is that little girly voice that guys have. To achieve falsetto, you have to crack your voice and keep it like that. Itís not a very practical way of singing, but for myself not being able to sing that E above middle C, Iíve gotten good enough from practice to disguise it from my chest voice.

How do I sing and play guitar at the same time?
Also a very common question, and one with an article in our own MT sticky here. It is right near the bottom of the sticky and will help you a lotÖ
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...ad.php?t=503032

How can I take care of my voice?
On days that you are singing, try to only drink water (not cold) and tea. Coffee, pop, and alcohol are not good choices to drink on a day that you are supposed to sing. Especially if you have a gig of some sort. Dairy products also hinder your vocal cords. When you drink milk, it leaves behind a film in your throat which is not good for singing. This can be washed out with some water. And donít smoke guys, itís not good for you.

How can I stay in tune?

This comes with practice. Itís best to practice with live instruments as you will get a feel for whatís going on. Keep in mind that itís very rare to have perfect pitch and to be able to hold a note for a long time without wavering off, so donít get discouraged. Just keep practicing and it will get better.

How can I scream/growl?

Ok guys, after how many years of this thread, the truth is out, but its not up for debating. We have a sound clip done by a MT regular on how to scream. Its just the basics, but will stop all the stupid threads. I can not stress enough how dangerous screaming really is. You can ruin your voice so easily with it. If you feel any pain, stop immediately. Only do it when you feel no pain. So heres the link...

Screaming Clip


Try to ask your questions as clearly and detailed as possible. Doing this will ensure you are getting the right advice. Lets keep this place a learning environment and hopefully we can help many people improve their singing. Now, question time
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Screaming Help
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:15 PM   #2
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any further tips at all on getting rid of nasal sound other than those in the first post? (which are great tips i must add)
also, anything to help projection across all of the range? i can hit good volumes on parts and not so good on others. just practise or are there some good techniques?
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:18 PM   #3
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I have a Question

If your sorta new too singing Regularly, how do you keep from losing your voice constantly?
thats a problem ive had, and its taken almost 3 days too get it back
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallica Meat
I have a Question

If your sorta new too singing Regularly, how do you keep from losing your voice constantly?
thats a problem ive had, and its taken almost 3 days too get it back

from my experience, if you lose your voice, you're pushing too hard, possibly for volume? just practise a lot but not forcing volume. build yourself up from quieter as you progress and eventually your voice will get used to adding more volume to it when needed. otherwise, im unsure
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallica Meat
I have a Question

If your sorta new too singing Regularly, how do you keep from losing your voice constantly?
thats a problem ive had, and its taken almost 3 days too get it back


The only solution is to sing with proper technique. In nearly all cases, that means taking lessons.

Keep doing what you're doing and you will risk requiring surgery to even get your proper speaking voice back.

CT
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I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

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Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaming Chaos
any further tips at all on getting rid of nasal sound other than those in the first post? (which are great tips i must add)
also, anything to help projection across all of the range? i can hit good volumes on parts and not so good on others. just practise or are there some good techniques?


Check www.thebelcantotechnique.com and go to the How it Works tab. The lift of the throat helps to relax the throat. The mask of the face helps to get the voice out of the throat and in front of the face.... the beginning of projection. Inhalation helps with resonance. The hold of the breath helps with projection.

The nasal sound specifically happens as a result of the sound being produced and resonating too far towards the soft palate and into the throat. You want the sound to resonate in your sinus cavities, which means having the sound away from your throat and soft palate. Placing it in front of your face helps to keep it away from your throat too.

CT
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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
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Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaming Chaos
any further tips at all on getting rid of nasal sound other than those in the first post? (which are great tips i must add)
also, anything to help projection across all of the range? i can hit good volumes on parts and not so good on others. just practise or are there some good techniques?
I've found tilting my head back and extending my neck (but don't strain your neck) and looking upwards helps a bit with resonation and not sounding nasally. Smiling also helps alot. Pity it makes me look like a dick, but it'd probably be great for recording.

Flattening my tounge like (I think) CT said also helps alot.
Quote:
If your sorta new too singing Regularly, how do you keep from losing your voice constantly?
As in, you run out of breath? Make sure you are singing with your diaphram (you should be using your stomach/abs, and not your upper torso, to sing) and let out as little air as possible but make as much sound as possible (if that makes sense). I guess you have to find a balance between how much air you let out and the volume you make.

Just a few tips my sister gave me (who's an awesome singer)
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:03 AM   #8
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cheers for the tips guys, much appreciated
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaming Chaos
any further tips at all on getting rid of nasal sound other than those in the first post? (which are great tips i must add)
also, anything to help projection across all of the range? i can hit good volumes on parts and not so good on others. just practise or are there some good techniques?


I'm not sure what exactly you mean by nasal sound (it can mean a lot of things), do you have an example. Just for your information, during correct singing there is no resonance in the nose, you should be able to shut your nostrils with your fingers and the sound should be exactly the same. I believe only certain (and rarely used) vowels require resonance there.

Regarding volume, you should find higher parts easier to sing loud and lower parts harder to sing with high volume (obviously dependant on your range). This is perfectly normal. Low notes are hard to sing loud, but there are tricks around this. This will be a bit technical, but bear with me and I'll try make it as simple as possible.
Firstly, any note sung is not a single solitary note but a harmonious group of notes of varying volumes (with the exception of certain vowels).



If you look to the left of this diagram (its a bad example but I can't find anything better) it shows a Bb4 and G4. Notice the range being sung and the strength shown by the thickness of the lines. How the lower frequencies are weak and the middle ones are strong. Even when singing lower notes correctly this does not really change. The low notes will still not be as prominent, but manipulation of the voice can essentially trick the ear into perceiving the lower note as the most prominent.

This is done through manipulation of vowels and is particularly useful at sounding out notes you otherwise could not. This is an advanced technique best understood with a teacher who can tell you where you are aiming wrong.

Essentially, for yourself, if you are having trouble maintaining volume on a particular piece, then seek to alter the vowel so as to have maximum resonance. This page here I find useful since it demonstrates the vowels for you. Remember that closed vowels (ah as in 'father') are harder to put volume into whereas open vowels (eeee as in 'beet') are easier to produce loud volume in. (just so you know, I believe the reverse is also true).

I'm not sure if that helps you or not, I think I've gone on more of a tangent than answering the question, but its just something useful I've been learning about recently.
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
The only solution is to sing with proper technique. In nearly all cases, that means taking lessons.

Keep doing what you're doing and you will risk requiring surgery to even get your proper speaking voice back.

CT


I have questions about that as well. I've never lost my voice singing or screaming, and on only a few occasions have I felt any amount of pain. When I sing a lot my tone never really changes except it gets a bit more full (maybe just because I get warmed up), but when I'm not singing it has very slight effects on my voice. Like when I'm talking with no breath support in a quieter voice, it cracks a lot more.

This doesn't happen often. Basicly, tl;dr, I'm just wondering how much change in your voice is too much? I don't think that any singer (save the few who know true Bel Canto, of course), can sing for a good amount of time without experiencing any changes. Is that true?
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:10 PM   #11
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This is an idea I mentioned in the Chat thread, but could one of the singing gurus make some videos demonstrating proper technique and stick 'em on YouTube? I mean, all that you guys have typed up on the first post is brilliant and all, but some people learn best by listening and doing, not necessarily reading the theory. I, for one, learn a LOT better when I can actually hear/see the difference between right and wrong technique.

Just a thought, but I think it'd be really good for all the beginners here.
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:25 AM   #12
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Would a classic rock type grit be considered screaming? I'm thinking Bon Scott, Steve Tyler, Axle Rose, Blackie Lawless, etc. I'd like to know how to get that quality into my voice.
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:39 AM   #13
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^yes and no

Melodic screamers (like Alexi Laiho from Bodom and Mikael Ňkerfeldt from Opeth) probably use similar techniques to how Rob Halford grits his voice in some of his songs. They're still playing a melody, just gritting it up to various levels.

But non-melodic screamers (as heard in screamo and *core music) uses completely different techniques and is pretty much just barking out words in time to the music.

To get a melodic scream, follow this link: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...er.php?u=258661
This really helped me.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:31 AM   #14
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how bad are pure throat screams for you? it sounds better for me, and i have more control over it, but im worried itll eventually mess me up.

oh, and if growls come from pushing from the diaphram, how can my screamer growl at less than a speaking volume?
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:37 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by xrawrockkillsx
how bad are pure throat screams for you? it sounds better for me, and i have more control over it, but im worried itll eventually mess me up.

oh, and if growls come from pushing from the diaphram, how can my screamer growl at less than a speaking volume?
Don't. Honestly this will be the best advice anyone can give you about your voice. Stop throat screaming and scream using z4's method (the link I gave you). That idiot from bullet for my valentine or avenged 7 fold or something destroyed his voice and needed surgery just to start singing again.

I'm not really that good at it, but I think all you do is apply pressure in your diaphram (I know Chris want's to E-slap me at the moment) and lower your voice to a whisper. It should come out raspy and gritty. Painless and relatively safe and you can still maintain a singing melody (which is the most important part of singing).

Seriously, don't scream with your throat. Best case scenario you have a permanently raspy voice or you get a few throat warts which go away, worst case scenario is that you become a mute.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonofthenight
^yes and no

Melodic screamers (like Alexi Laiho from Bodom and Mikael Ňkerfeldt from Opeth) probably use similar techniques to how Rob Halford grits his voice in some of his songs. They're still playing a melody, just gritting it up to various levels.

But non-melodic screamers (as heard in screamo and *core music) uses completely different techniques and is pretty much just barking out words in time to the music.

To get a melodic scream, follow this link: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...er.php?u=258661
This really helped me.


Not sure if you're referring to me, but if you are, thanks for responding

Listening to that, I can come to a conclusion that what I'm talking about is definitely not screaming. What I seek is a (instead of specific singers, maybe they're more recognized by their band) AC/DC (older), W.A.S.P., Aerosmith, Buckcherry (not older, but same type of goal), etc. type sound. I just envy them for their ability to sing with a edge to their voice.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by lcphr3ak
Not sure if you're referring to me, but if you are, thanks for responding

Listening to that, I can come to a conclusion that what I'm talking about is definitely not screaming. What I seek is a (instead of specific singers, maybe they're more recognized by their band) AC/DC (older), W.A.S.P., Aerosmith, Buckcherry (not older, but same type of goal), etc. type sound. I just envy them for their ability to sing with a edge to their voice.
Same-ish technique (I think), just don't apply it as heavily.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:56 AM   #18
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Don't. Honestly this will be the best advice anyone can give you about your voice. Stop throat screaming and scream using z4's method (the link I gave you). That idiot from bullet for my valentine or avenged 7 fold or something destroyed his voice and needed surgery just to start singing again.

I'm not really that good at it, but I think all you do is apply pressure in your diaphram (I know Chris want's to E-slap me at the moment) and lower your voice to a whisper. It should come out raspy and gritty. Painless and relatively safe and you can still maintain a singing melody (which is the most important part of singing).

Seriously, don't scream with your throat. Best case scenario you have a permanently raspy voice or you get a few throat warts which go away, worst case scenario is that you become a mute.


i can do one from like the very back/bottom of my throat to where it doesnt hurt my throat at all. i have the one that sounds great, but it sucks a weewee for my throat so im probably not gonna do it, but is the other one safe?

thanks for the growling tips. ill try it.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by demonofthenight
Same-ish technique (I think), just don't apply it as heavily.


I guess, it'll probably take some work (it seems like what he is doing is a lot different), but I can see what you're saying
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:26 PM   #20
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Hey guys, question:

When im sorta singing to a song while playing (no mic - just sort of singing like i think i would with a mic) i appear to be hitting the right notes and have it sounding right,but when i eventually sing into a mic at practice or whatever, its usually slightly off, even after i warm up.
Can the volume of my singing effect my pitch?
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