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Old 09-26-2009, 04:47 PM   #1
axemanchris
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Welcome (and important info)!! Read this before posting!!

Sticky: Welcome (and important info)!! Read this before posting!!

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Posting in the Singing Subforum will require you to follow all the usual UG rules. You know... no flaming other members or other artists; stay on topic for the thread; check the stickies, and that sort of thing. If you've found this, you're probably familiar with them already anyways. For a more comprehensive guide, check the New Members Q+A Forum http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...ad.php?t=748419 and the Pit Rules http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...ad.php?t=891308.


FAQ

You will find a small number of sticky threads on a lot of the usual questions - range and register, screaming/growling, etc. Please refer to those stickies and post in there for some of the more usual types of questions.

Im tone-deaf and have the worst voice in the world. Is there hope for me?

Absolutely!

Chances are, you aren't really tone deaf. If you can tell the difference between Whitney Houston and Luciano Pavarotti, then you're not tone deaf. You might not have a great ear, but the good news is that the better you sing, the better your ear gets, and the better your ear gets, the better you sing, etc.

I was a terrible singer. Very terrible. If I can learn to sing, anyone can learn to sing! Having been of the mind-set of "I have the worst voice in the world," I know well what that feels like. You can overcome it. It'll take time and practice, though - probably lots of it. But you CAN get there!

How can I tell if I am straining?

The "straining checklist:"

1. Watch yourself in the mirror. (all singers are vain.... go ahead... you'd LOVE to watch yourself sing in the mirror, no? hahahahahaha)
Are you turning red?

2. Do you see veins popping out, especially in the neck area?

3. Do you look like a Chimpanzee squawking out a battle-cry?

4. Singing should be natural and appear effortless. After singing, do you feel like you've just run a 7-minute mile?

5. Does your voice sound tight, throaty, raspy, gravelly, compressed, squeezed out, etc?

If you answered yes to any of those, you are most certainly straining.

Can I learn to sing on line, or through videos?

Sorry.... no, not really. There is no substitute for a proper teacher. We can, however, give you some advice and suggestions here.

You can learn to do all kinds of things from books and videos, but singing is two things that are hard to impart in any other format beyond private instruction.

1. Singing with proper technique involves learning how it "feels" - the physical sensation of singing properly. When you're doing it right, an instructor can provide you with instant feedback. When you've done it correctly a number of times, you memorize that physical sensation of singing properly. Try to tell somebody how to yawn, for instance. Sure, they might open up their mouth really wide and make an "Awwwwhhhhmmmm" sound, but are they *really* yawning? Of course, not.

2. Singing is a physical skill, but you can't see the mechanism that you use to create your voice. You can read about guitar and learn where to put your fingers, but do you know how good your technique is without someone who knows watching you and providing feedback? Sure, you could read a book about swimming or driving a car or karate and have some vague sense of how it is supposed to go, but without someone who can see the bigger picture to guide you, the odds are significantly stacked against you.

Knowing you are singing correctly is indicated by a combination of tone, physical cues, and an awareness of what internal sensations are created. Only a live instructor can guide you through with any real level of success.

How do I breathe with my diaphragm?

Easy diaphragm guide:


1. Yawn. Note the difference between how your body responds during yawning and when you breathe normally? You're using your diaphragm! The added bonus of this is that, when you yawn, your throat opens up and your uvula (the punching-bag-shaped thingy in the back of your throat) lifts up and out of the way - an ideal position for singing without strain.

2. Lay on your back and relax. Seriously... do it. Don't just say you did. Do it. Relaxed? Good. Notice that your chest doesn't rise as much as your lower abdomen? That's because you're using your diaphragm!

3. Now, considering those two above, stand up and poke your index finger at least an inch or so into your abdomen 3-4 inches below your sternum (breastbone). When you breathe in, you should feel your abdomen push your finger outwards as if you were poking a balloon in a similar fashion. Here is how to tell if you are cheating here in this step.... When you press your index finger in, does your abdomen bounce back like a balloon? If so, you're doing it right. If the resistance against your finger is such that it feels like you're pressing into something very solid, you're cheating by merely tightening up your stomach muscles.

Can I extend my range? How?

The short answer is yes, you can extend your range. There are a couple of qualifiers, though.

First, everyone's range has an upper and lower limit. Simple physics says that any string of a given length and thickness can only vibrate so fast. Since you cannot adjust the length or thickness of your vocal cords (though some techniques talk about "zipping them up", but whatever... more on that in another section), you will hit a point where it is physically impossible to produce notes lower or higher.

Second, improving your range takes time. You won't do it in two weeks, or two months, or even six months. A rate of a semitone every year or two is considered about right, until such time as you hit your limit, of course.

How to extend it? Slowly, and on a regular basis, start in the middle of your range singing intervals of only a few notes. Move downwards one semitone at a time until you can't comfortably (ie. properly) sing any lower. Now work your way back up to the middle, and then up to the top, one semitone at a time still, until you can't properly sing any higher. Eventually, these upper and lower limits will improve. The first thing you will notice is that your original upper and lower limits will become gradually easier to produce, so you will sing them with better tone and with less effort. As the original maximums become stronger, you will be able to build on them and extend upwards one semitone at a time.

When you hit your physical limit, continued practice will allow the notes on either extreme end of your range to become stronger and more focused with less effort.

Why does my voice not sound like me when I hear a recording of it?

When you hear someone else's voice, or when someone else hears your voice, the voice is heard as the sound waves travel through the room and eventually arrive at your ear drum. Those sound waves are subject to a small degree to the conditions of the room.

When you hear your own voice, you hear it distorted by two factors. One, your ears are behind your mouth, so you are hearing your voice from an unusual direction. A more significant factor, though, is the fact that as your vocal cords vibrate and produce sound, that sound resonates in your chest and/or your sinus cavities before coming out of your mouth as sound. You actually sense the vibrations that occur as part of this resonance and perceive it as sound. That sound travels through the various parts of your body before arriving at the inner ear, and that sound is then mixed with the sound that comes out of your mouth. It's almost like your voice is being blended with a second, different voice that nobody else except you hears. When you hear your voice on tape, you are hearing it without the mixing of that familiar "second" voice.

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

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Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:27 PM   #2
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That's great this forum happened, it was really necessary and should be useful. Good job Chris.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:54 PM   #3
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Glad this forum has happened!
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:46 PM   #4
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whoa, I just noticed this, I'm guessing it's only been up a few days?
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:11 PM   #5
axemanchris
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Just went up today!!

Thanks for the support. I've been pushing for this for ages. Becoming a mod helped in this cause.

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:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:10 AM   #6
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So this is what you meant by "something much better" in the singing thread the other week. Good stuff
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:39 AM   #7
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Congratz Chris! And thanks for the entire singing forum!
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:10 PM   #8
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Way to go Chris!
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:29 PM   #9
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Awesome to see this sub-forum up. I'll get proper vocal coaching one of these days..
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:17 PM   #10
axemanchris
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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:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:27 PM   #11
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hey, I just noticed on the main forum page it doesn't have this forum under the MT subforums. figured I'd point that out.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:32 AM   #12
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Sweet, a singing forum. Looking forward to utilizing it!
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:13 AM   #13
axemanchris
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@horsemen - thanks for the heads up. I'll put in an official request.

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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 10-03-2009, 03:49 PM   #14
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Oh wow, sweet! Finally! Way to go CT you're the man
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:19 PM   #15
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Suggestion. Make an official "What Songs for My Range Thread?" sticky. And have suggestions for basses, baritones, tenors and the some for both or in between. I feel like it's likely the subject will come up quite often.
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meh, I've listened to every radiohead album and honestly don't get what everyone loves about them.....


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Old 10-04-2009, 11:10 AM   #16
axemanchris
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Thanks! And good idea.

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:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by 3holepunch
Suggestion. Make an official "What Songs for My Range Thread?" sticky. And have suggestions for basses, baritones, tenors and the some for both or in between. I feel like it's likely the subject will come up quite often.


This is a really good idea - i'm all up for it
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:04 AM   #18
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Holy crap, I had NO idea they created a singing forum. Nice job, whoever was behind this! I'm going to hang out here more often.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:07 PM   #19
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The idea about a thread with song-recommendations sounds great. I'm all for that. I need som songs for basses that I can sing ^^. I can handle some lower baritone stuff aswell.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:31 PM   #20
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I may be making a reappearance... I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to revamp the original lessons I made, though. Dang, that was a long time ago!
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