#1
[editor's note: this post has now been optimized for your convenience...just look for the bold numbers to see if it's a question you'd like to answer]


background info, feel free to skip

I've been trying to sing for about 8 months now, and I feel I've made quite a bit of progress...but one thing I recently 'discovered' while trying to find my natural singing voice, is that although I can sing comfortably anywhere between F2 and F5, it doesn't mean I should

or rather, I don't like the way my voice sounds (timbre?) when singing outside of B3 to C4.

basically, I like my voice best in this range

(slight detour: interestingly enough, B3 is what I'm normally speaking in and C4 is about the highest I'll ever go when talking...does that mean that B3 to C4 sounds best to me because I've been listening to myself use those notes most of the time for years....or is it because I've spent years using these notes that my vocal folds can produce these tones very cleanly and effortlessly?)


1. I like my voice best between B3 to C5...how should this affect my songwriting or performance of other people's songs?

anyways, for my songwriting, what does this mean?

If I write songs in the key of B, will it mix very well with my voice? Should I only use chords whose root notes are in the B3 to C4 range?

and if I want to cover someone else's songs, should I figure out what key it's in and then transpose it to B (or whatever is required to bring the notes mostly within my favourite range?)

(I don't have perfect pitch, so to figure out the key I basically sing note by note and find the notes on the fretboard...then put them all together to see what scale it is...is there a more efficient way?)

Basically, I feel that I've got a few important pieces of a puzzle and now I'm trying to figure out where they go and how to use them...any help would be appreciated!


2. What do I need to know to fill in the musical blanks?

When I start writing a song and I hear the next chords/notes in my head...I want to know where I should generally be looking, it feels like the first few notes/chords that I write already have a certain relationship but I don't know enough theory to know what it is and therefore narrow down my choices for the next chord/note...currently I do a lot of guess and check.

I will still do what I think sounds best, but I think that knowing what generally follows (based on what I've done already) will make my songwriting a more enjoyable experience.

Where do I start?


3. How do you analyze songs?

Also, if I find that I really like a certain artist's music and I want to know why I dig it so much...how do I begin to analyze it? Do I start by looking at the chord progressions or scales..or....?


Again, any help would be appreciated!
Last edited by mybsaccownt at Aug 30, 2008,
#2
ok FYI when people see a wall of text they run but I felt I should answer

so staying within about 2 octaves is prolly the best you can always go higher and lower but you dont wanna have the majority of the melody too high or too low

and just because you best voice starts in B doesnt affect the your songs chord progression because throughout the song your not always gonna singing the tonic otherwise it'd sound like the song was forever ending, just sing in whatever octave your voice is comfortable with a range like yours you'll be able to work around it

so again I didnt really make it clear play in any key you want I prefer to make each song in a different key

as for theory it alot to learn but regardless of what they tell you your music isnt gonna be wrong, yeah theres rules but I know all rules just so I break them, Theory is Theoretical so you dont have to follow, I'll admit it really pulls together and make sense of what your doing and of course it make a much better musician and songwriter but you dont Have to know it

now analying the music, look at the key figure it out then look at the chord progression... odds are if you listen to rock all the chords our gonna be the the same key, and it that case it's easy to figure which scale to use to solo

I hope that helped...
#3
Quote by mybsaccownt


anyways, for my songwriting, what does this mean?

If I write songs in the key of B, will it mix very well with my voice? Should I only use chords whose root notes are in the B3 to C4 range?

and if I want to cover someone else's songs, should I figure out what key it's in and then transpose it to B (or whatever is required to bring the notes mostly within my favourite range?)

(I don't have perfect pitch, so to figure out the key I basically sing note by note and find the notes on the fretboard...then put them all together to see what scale it is...is there a more efficient way?)

Basically, I feel that I've got a few important pieces of a puzzle and now I'm trying to figure out where they go and how to use them...any help would be appreciated!

I've been wondering this too. I would think that if your voice is in B, that you would have to write your song in B, no?

How do you find out what key you sing in?
#4
Quote by NightEmbers
ok FYI when people see a wall of text they run but I felt I should answer


noted, and corrected

thank you



just sing in whatever octave your voice is comfortable with a range like yours you'll be able to work around it

so again I didnt really make it clear play in any key you want I prefer to make each song in a different key


I'm a little bit worried that if I just sing wherever I feel most comfortable...that I will be singing the melody in a different key than the chord progression

It takes me quite a bit of work to figure out the key of a song, and if I went through checking how I sing each note to make sure if I was still in the proper key...well, that's more work than I want to do really...

hmm...should I just trust my voice/ears to guide me?

I mean, the songs I've written, I just sing whatever I feel like singing without figuring any of the theory out and I do believe the vocal melody agrees with the chord progression


(On second thought, I don't ever know if I am singing in a particular key unless it's someone else's song and I'm pretty sure I'm hitting the right notes.)

Perhaps a 'just go with the flow' approach works best here.


I'll admit it really pulls together and make sense of what your doing and of course it make a much better musician and songwriter


these are the benefits I seek...is there any short cut for someone who will be doing only acoustic guitar stuff (acoustic rock, folk rock, etc.)? Where do I start learning...what is it that I need to know?



I hope that helped...



Yes, your post was very helpful, thank you very much.


Quote by The Spoon

I've been wondering this too. I would think that if your voice is in B, that you would have to write your song in B, no?

How do you find out what key you sing in?



It seems that way, but I don't know.

It's not really so much a key as it is a range of notes that I feel sound best.

I literally sat down with the guitar and sang any random word in a low pitch that sounded good to me, I found it on the guitar and took it lower and lower until it didn't sound good anymore. Then I did the same thing for a high pitch, I just randomly sang a higher pitch that sounded good and increased the pitch until I didn't like the sound anymore.

It's very subjective, but I just did my best to let my voice go where it wanted to and let my ears decide if it should go anywhere else.

There are other notes that sound good that are outside of this range, but the range between B3-C5 is all good (I checked by singing along to every note in that range as I played it on my guitar).


I just figured this would be a decent way to find out and I'm pretty confident with the results.

As for my criteria of what notes sounded 'good' ...well, my ears liked it...sorry I can't help more than that. It did seem that those good notes had an effortless vibrato and seemed to resonate more.

I hope that gives you enough to get some idea.
Last edited by mybsaccownt at Aug 30, 2008,
#5
anyways, for my songwriting, what does this mean?
It means that if you like your voice between B3 and C4, you should try to make vocal melodies in this range.

If I write songs in the key of B, will it mix very well with my voice?
Probably. B3 to C4 contains all 12 notes so you can sing in any key you like.

Should I only use chords whose root notes are in the B3 to C4 range?
You could do that, but you could also use any other chords you like.

and if I want to cover someone else's songs, should I figure out what key it's in and then transpose it to B (or whatever is required to bring the notes mostly within my favourite range?)
Yes, but it won't necessarily be B.

I don't have perfect pitch, so to figure out the key I basically sing note by note and find the notes on the fretboard...then put them all together to see what scale it is...is there a more efficient way?
If you have sheet music of the song, look at the key signature.

If not, look at the first and last chord of the song, if it's the same (eg starts on Am, finishes on Am) then it's probably in that key (A minor). If not, go with the last chord. However, this method doesn't always work.

For a more reliable method, look at the notes used in the song as you described.

Where do I start?

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/general_music/the_crusade_part_i.html
Do I start by looking at the chord progressions or scales..or....?
Yes, but also look at dynamics, texture, structure, mood etc.
Quote by The Spoon

I've been wondering this too. I would think that if your voice is in B, that you would have to write your song in B, no?

How do you find out what key you sing in?
You don't sing in a specific key, but your voice is limited to a range. If that range is more than an octave, you can sing in any key.


hmm...should I just trust my voice/ears to guide me?
Yes
these are the benefits I seek...is there any short cut for someone who will be doing only acoustic guitar stuff (acoustic rock, folk rock, etc.)? Where do I start learning...what is it that I need to know?
You don't need to know anything, but a working knowledge of keys and chords is a good tool for writing simple acoustic songs.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums