#1
Hey there,

I'm a guy who likes to sing. However whenever I sing it always feel awkward to me.
I guess I'm not a fan of my own singing voice (if that's possible) but others tell me i'm pretty good at singing, I'd just need lessons.
I'm looking to improve myself.
I have 3 major issues with singing the way I look at it, and they are related.

1. I feel like I'm singing through my nose a lot, and I don't know how to sing from "the bowels", which brings me to problem 2.
2. I'm not confident enough to be a lead singer yet (our band lost the singer and I'm looking to take over until we find someone else in the small town we live in)
3. When I sing it always sounds softly (example: https://soundcloud.com/warmastah/sitting-waiting-wishing-jack) but when I try to sing louder it just sounds terrible to my ears, and I'll have a harder time reaching the higher notes.

Is there any special tip someone could give me on how to become more confident, and how to strengthen my voice?

Thanks in advance.
My Soundcloud

My beginner rig:

Epiphone Goth G-400 SG
Line 6 Spider IV (Don't judge me, I was young and stupid)
Stagg SW203N
Yamaha APX500
Last edited by BjarnedeGraaf at Nov 14, 2013,
#2
The best way to sing with power, is to use support while you sing.
My singing teacher told me about that and like most things with singing, it's pretty abstract so hard to describe but try to sing while flexing your lower abs or squeeze your butt cheeks together, that's called singing with support.
My sister paid an hour of singing lesson for me to try out and you would be amazed at the amount of stuff that I've learned in that first hour.
So my second advice would be to find a teacher and go to a couple of lessons.
I was lucky to meet a teacher that was awesome so I stayed with her but like I said, that first hour made it all happen to me.
#3
I dunno, in the recording you don't sound nasal at all; but if you feel like you're singing through your nose, that means you're a little too tense in the back of your mouth. Basically, if you close your pharynx a lot by raising the tongue towards the back of your palate, your voice will get that "chipmunk" sound. You must relax your throat and tongue when singing as much as you can; when relaxed, you shouldn't be nasal. It takes practice to relax though... so don't feel frustrated.

As for "bowel singing" or singing with the diaphragm... It's hard enough to explain it to somebody in person, but with text it's even harder. You might want to check your acquaintances or your friend's friends for somebody who could teach you to support your singing. There are quite some internet articles on that too (some are good). You could also search for a vocal coach, but I understand not everyone wants to do that. I (or someone else on this forum) can try and explain it to you, but there will be no one to correct any mistakes in person when you practice.

Your first point is actually also the root of your problems 2 and 3. With proper technique comes confidence, and because breath support is a fundamental skill for a live singer, you must learn it to be able to physically endure singing in front of a crowd for a period of time. Otherwise you'll blow your voice. You will also sound better. When you know how to do it, you'll trust your voice more and thus your confidence will grow.
Loud singing is especially dependent on breath support and being relaxed in the head and throat area. Without it, this will also blow your voice. Since you posted quite a soft song on your Soundcloud, we wouldn't know how you sound when singing loud, but what I did hear sounded quite O.K. Final point, no special tip. It's like guitar, it must be practiced. Repeatedly. Build your breath support, gain consciousness over your diaphragm, since that's a foundation for any singing, be it pop or opera or something between.
#4
thanks a bunch guys, you have given me some stuff to work with!
My Soundcloud

My beginner rig:

Epiphone Goth G-400 SG
Line 6 Spider IV (Don't judge me, I was young and stupid)
Stagg SW203N
Yamaha APX500
#5
Quote by Pierre-Claude
try to sing while flexing your lower abs or squeeze your butt cheeks together, that's called singing with support.

I find this approach very misguiding, or in fact; completely wrong. Simply tighteting your abs or butt cheeks won't affect the diaphragm in a positive way. Most likely there won't be any noticeable change in your support, but if anything you would also tighten your throat/body.
Singing should be comfortable. You dont see opera-singers tightening their abs, you see them being completely relaxed with a "large" posture.
And yes, the same rules apply to all kinds of genres. You can easily apply opera-technique to metal-songs.
Dont tighten your abs, since they won't help you at all, they have no effect on airflow and/or your tone. What you want to do is work the diaphragm (also a muscle). It's partially an autonomous muscle, we don't consciously think about breathing all the time.
However, we can take a breath with our "stomach" which is the diaphragm. Supporting is "tightening" (don't like that word) the diaphram to support/restrict the airflow.
If you are holding a note for a long time, you will eventually run out of air. You should start feeling this in the stomach, it's the diaphragm working, and feels differently from tightening your abs.

Try this:
Take a breath of air, directing the air into your stomach (like you normally would). Don't take too big a breath. Then begin to sing a note in a comfortable register, just hold it. While doing this, try to keep your stomach from becoming "thin" (I couldn't really find a better word).
Your stomach should not feel like jelly, buth neither should it feel competely hard as were you tightening your abs.
Another way to think of it, is to try to let as little air out as possible.
Last edited by KrisHQ at Nov 17, 2013,
#6
...dude your voice is awesome....I´m no expert but I am old(er) and used to feel exactly the same way you did...both about my singing and guitar playing....which kept me in my basement until I was 35. When I finally decided "f*ck it...I´m starting a band" I realized that I was really being way too self conscience and that the perfection I was seeking has basically been holding me back from getting better. I´m now comfortable in my role as lead singer and after the nervousness of singing was put aside I started looking into techniques.

From your recordings I´m guessing your sitting down...don´t...stand up. If you smoke...quit and mabye start joggin, swimming or anything that will help with conditioning....expand your lung capacity and learn to controll your breathing (yoga...I´m not shitting you....I´m a mans man....rock´n´roll, motorbikes, beer and whisky and still won´t tell my friends that I do yoga but I swear that doing yoga will help you strngthen your core and help you learn wich muscles do what round your stomach giving you totall controll over your diaghram )and you will get more "umph"...but your basically stuck with what you´ve got singing wise (which you should be frikin greatful for)....just learn how to make it better.

here´s some advice I posted recently all of which I have found of great help when trying to learn to live with what I was born with:

have you studied about singing teqniques... correct diaphram use , open mouth and loose jaw, nasal singing, correct posture and so on?...if not that´s probably a good start.

heres a few tips if you´re a newbie

* open mouth with loose jaw, you should be able to put you finger inbetween your chin and the back of your upper teeth, your jaw should not be pertruding and tense
*put your hands at your waist (right above your hips) and sing from the bottom of your tummy, every time you push a note push your hands into you side to remind yourself to focus on your diagphram
* try standing with correct posture and just lean forward a little...someone once told me you should stand like your coat was still on the coat hanger...I call it a "scare Crow pose"
*know your song.. as soon as you feel insecure it shows...knowing the text makes a huge difference
*nasal singing can be your thing but you can change your tone if you can contol it....just try singing and plug your nose....does the sound stop or alter?...then it´s nasal. Work with with humming "N" and "M" to open your nasal passage and then pretend your standing in a smelly room when talking to close it
*work out!!....your lugns need to be at their best, jog every once in a while and practice breathing exercises
*practice....a guitarist will spend 2-4 hours a day playing....how often do you sing?
*Always...ALWAYS warm up your voice.....scales with "AH" sound, scales with "mini-mani-mini-mani", deep "hugh" (like james hetfield) sounds from the diaghram....your basically like a tube amp and you´ll break if you play it cold-start!!
*find your vocal range, this is something you can tell after a while....like a good amp you need supple headroom so don´t push your highs to the max every single time....nobody like false singing

hope this was of some help ;-)
I believe in god, jesus and the holy ghost.....or as i call them Angus, Kirk and Lemmy