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The amateur Mandarin Song Covers

Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
Hi everyone! I can't believe that it's been 6 months since I joined this forum. I have learned so much but I know I have a long way to go. After some hesitation, I've decided to start this thread as a way of further improving myself. For those who know me, you have heard me singing English songs. My first language was actually Mandarin but, having moved to Canada at a pretty young age, I ended up being mediocre at both Mandarin and English. However, that hasn't stopped me from singing Mandarin songs since they, at least to me, have a different flavor from songs in other parts of the world.

What's the intention of this thread then? I hope to do my own assignments (hopefully regularly) where I post covers of Mandarin songs in this thread only. I hope to apply what I learned to those covers while also using this opportunity to, hopefully, gauge any improvements I make. I know Mandarin and English can be quite different so I'm curious how certain areas will be change. Do note that a lot of the Mandarin songs I sing are older songs due to this weird clash of what I experienced from growing up in Canada and what my parents brought me up to.

Without further ado, my first cover is a song called Da Hai (大海). Da Hai is Ocean in Mandarin. From my understanding, this song is about how the Ocean holds a lot of our memories and our pain that were washed away over time but never truly forgotten. I don't think I really conveyed the feelings well but maybe one day...



Feel free to give me feedback even if you don't understand the song. I appreciate any advice on my long road to being a decent singer.

Comments

  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 2,639Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    Hi @Rick_amateur, mate,

    wow, that is a big surprise. I had no idea that you had an asian background. I always thought that you were a native english speaker because your english seemed to be so very good (for a German, like me).

    It is very impressive to hear you singing in mandarin. And how you performed is really beautiful. I enjoyed that I was not distracted by the lyrics and could concentrate on your singing. Man, your voice grew so good.

    I could copy & paste my comments from the last renditions. If you work on your chest voice, resonance (ping) and support your singing will go through the ceiling.

    And I also want to say this: Rick, I am so happy that you became a contributing member to this community. You take part in every assignment and are giving feedback. That is great. Sometimes I am ashamed that I do not have (take) enough time to give more feedback. You are always reacting to feedback. I hope you will stay with us veeeeeerrrry long. You are dedicated and this is making a difference. I like you, you are a great guy. I hope we will have a lot singing fun together.

    :+1:

    Doc
  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    Hi @doc_ramadani,

    I spent most of my life in Canada so my English is certainly better than my Mandarin. I also never developed an accent so it's very difficult for people to notice my Asian background.

    Translating the lyrics isn't something I can do very well as my Mandarin has limits. I can read and talk at an intermediate level which isn't good enough to translate sentences into understandable English. Personally, I like to have as little as possible on screen so it's mostly my singing.

    Regarding chest, resonance and support, those are things I'm working on at the moment. As we all know, these things take time so I don't expect an instant positive change immediately. I am allocating more of my practice time on chest so hopefully that will see some improvements in a few months.

    I became a contributing member to this community because it's such a great community. I'm also learning so much from this opportunity. I also know that people have real life so good feedback isn't always possible. Still, I'm getting lots of good feedback that keep me busy in improving. I also intend to stay here for a long time and keep learning. You are also a great guy and I'm glad to have the chance to meet you here. :smile:

    Rick
  • maximgottmermaximgottmer Posts: 1792.0 PRO
    HI Rick, what a nice suprise this song. Sounds good.
    You can improve on opening the throat and support, to get a free souding voice (as the most of us). Good luck. Maxim
  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    @maximgottmer

    Thanks! I'm working on that throat and support. It's a slow work in progress.
  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    Hi everyone! I had a bit of free time and decided to do this song. It's one of my favorites but sadly I didn't do it justice. There are still so many things I need to work on. I hope to get this done today so that, in the future, I can attempt the song again and hopefully notice some improvements.

    My second cover is a song called Wo shi yi zhi xiao xiao niao (我是一只小小鸟). Why is this one of my favorites? I feel this song really relates to my life. The direct translation of the song name is: I'm a small bird. The first two lines of the chorus are: I'm a small bird. I want to fly but I can't fly any higher. The song is talking about pursuing a dream but unable to achieve it. In the meantime, you are faced with many challenges along the way. When you're young, you wish to grow up just as a small bird wanting to reach the end of the branches to take flight. Yet, you realized that, once you reached the end, you suddenly become prey to hunters and have no one there to protect you from harm.

    The song also speaks of many sleepless nights when you wonder if only your tomorrow won't get better. You also wonder if happiness is merely a myth that's unattainable in life. Finally, you have a tough decision in life when it comes to your dream. Do you choose to cave into life's pressure or hold onto your dignity and keep pursuing your dream? At our critical moment, we cannot have both. This is more or less the meaning I got from translating the lines. Overall, I really enjoy the song due to the meaning behind it.

  • sagemacgsagemacg Posts: 2252.0 PRO
    edited July 5
    Thank you for posting these! I can't offer feedback that you aren't already aware of, but it's really cool to hear these tracks in Mandarin and to read your commentary on their meaning. They sound so much more poetic than english pop. My thanks to you for sharing these with us :) :star:
  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    @sagemacg

    I do notice how songs with very different languages have their own styles, even if they have similar genres. It's rather interesting when you get a chance to listen to songs in other languages and get a feel of what they have. I'm just happy you liked listening to them. :smile:
  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    At this point, it feels like I'm doing this as a weekly thing. I do enjoy singing these so it's not a chore. However, these do show how much more work I need to put into my singing. The improvements will hopefully happen a step at a time.

    My third cover is called Peng You (朋友) and the song name literally translates to Friend. The song doesn't seem very complex but I usually find the simpler songs packing a lot more meaning. As the title suggests, this song is about friendship. It starts off speaking of walking alone through the wind and rain while experiencing mistakes and teary moments. You will then recall during your loneliness the times you were loved and wonder about the dreams you once had.

    We then reach the chorus where it starts off by stating that: Friends walk together forever and those days never return. All we have is a promise that lasts a lifetime and friendship that's solidified over a cup of beer/wine. Next, we have: Friend are never alone and you will know when you hear the word friend. You will have wounds and pain but you will keep going knowing that you still have me.

    For the meaning, this is the best I can come up with. Most of it is literally line by line translation but I think what I typed above makes sense.

  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 2,639Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    Hi Rick, my diligent comrade,

    that was very nice. To me, and that is my personal opinion, it sounds that you are closing down the the sound as higher as you go. Try to do the opposite. Watch Volume 2 vids. on vowel modifications. They might help you. And I want to hear you with a bright "PING", Rick

    Doc

    PS.: your progress is very, very goof. Congrats, mate!
  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    Hi @doc_ramadani ,

    Thanks for the feedback! I'm just trying something that I saw in Volume 3 regarding the breathe control where I'm trying not use as much air as before. After you recommended support and mentioned me using too much air, I've been working on better air control. It's a weird situation where I think I need more practice before I can figure it out. I understand the importance of that ping but I also want to avoid using so much air whenever I sing to avoid drying out my chords. I guess I still have a long way to go nonetheless. Thanks for listening!

    Rick
  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    My fourth cover is called Wang Qing Shui (忘情水) and the song name translates to Forget Love Potion. As the name suggests, this is a song for those with a broken heart. The song speak of a person being young and chasing dreams. After traveling long distances to faraway lands, you turned around to find that love you once knew was gone and you feel pain from the regret of losing it. Only those who have been heartbroken understands your pain. In response, you want a cup of the potion that helps your forget your love which has overcame any wind and rain you faced so far. You hope the potion will, despite you being drunk and heartbroken, make it so you will never shed any tears. That's about the gist of it. My translations certainly needs more work.

  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 2,639Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    Hi Rick,

    you improved on the vowel singing much. The mandarin language seems to have a lot of nasal sounds and consonants. Did you try to sing the songs on only the vowels. This was very distracting for me at the beginning but helped me a lot. Maybe you want to try the same approach.

    I can hear that you have more resonance in your voice. Very good. I think it is only a matter of the until you are able to sustain high notes with good resonance.

    May I ask you for another english song? - I liked the Zak Brown song you chose for the weekly assignments.

    Doc
  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    @doc_ramadani

    Thanks for the feedback! There are indeed a lot of nasal sounds in Mandarin and apparently there are front and back nasals. I guess that might be why it sounds really different from other languages. As for singing with only the vowels, Mandarin is weird where there are 6 major vowels and four of them are quite different from those of English. I think trying to sing only vowels will make my head hurt as I'm much more accustomed to the English vowels now. I might try this for my English songs but my brain probably can't handle different vowels than those I'm used to.

    As for resonance, I decided to stop worrying about it as much and just kept working on the basics. That might have helped me get some progress overall. I'm definitely going to keep working on my foundation and everything else will likely fall in place.

    Regarding the Zac Brown song, I will put that on hold. I want to go through the assignments in order so it might be a couple of weeks before I get to that song. Hopefully, you hear a better rendition than what I can manage for now.

    Rick
  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    My schedule is changing so I only have time to do these covers every Sunday.

    Below is my fifth cover and the song is called Tian Liang Le (天亮了). The song name is translated into Daybreak. This song is based on a true story where a horrible tragedy happened. A cable car malfunctioned and a family was supposed to fall to their deaths. However, the parents sacrificed themselves to save their son from death. The song is supposed to be from the viewpoint of the son who survived this tragedy. The singer of this song, Han Hong, actually adopted this little boy and wrote this song in remembrance of the incident. Singing this song made me realize that I have some ways to go before I can add emotion to my singing. I guess I'll focus on the basics for now.

  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    Below is my sixth cover and the song is called Ni Shi Wo de Yan (你是我的眼). The song name is translated as: You are My Eyes. The singer and writer of this song was born blind but had a surgery at 4 years old that gave him a bit of vision so he can at least see somewhat. At 15, he lost his sight again. He wrote and sang this song in appreciation of those who helped him with his life as they are helping him see more of this world in addition to the warmth and encouragement they have given him after he lost his sight again.

  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    Below is my seventh cover and the song is called Fu Qing (父亲). The name is translated as father. This is a song I want to eventually nail down since I want to sing it properly to my father. At this point, there are lots of issues that I can only improve bit by bit. Many of you probably correctly assume that this song is meant for one's father as a way to say thanks.

    The song begins by talking about us always asking something from our fathers and never thanking him. It wasn't until we're older that we realize being a parent isn't easy. Then, we wish we can go back in time to the days when we held our fathers' hands as a child. Now, we wish time to slow down so our fathers won't grow older. We wish to use whatever we have to help him live longer. We also want to give what care we can, even if our care is incomparable to what we received from our fathers.

    Then, we thank our fathers and recognize what he did to support our family while he tried his best to give the best things to us. We then asked if he's proud of us or still worried about us. The chorus ends by saying that the child our fathers has been so concerned of has finally grown up.



  • Rick_amateurRick_amateur Posts: 1992.0 PRO
    Life got busy and I did miss a couple of weeks. I really have no good excuses other than getting lazy. I also am focusing on fixing my nasality which seems tougher since there's more nasally words in Mandarin. Regardless, below is my eighth cover and the song is called San Bai Liu Shi Wu Li Lu (三百六十五里路). The Li in the name is a Chinese distance which is about a third of the English mile. The song name is three hundred sixty five Li of road. As the name suggests, it speaks of the journey we travel in a year and speaks of our experiences.

    It begins by saying the sleepy nights cannot stop my journey where I have been drifting for many days and night while sleeping outside and facing the elements. For my dreams, I'm willing to endure loneliness and solitary. As I shake off the dirt of foreign lands, I begin my journey into faraway lands and pursue my dream with full passion. I walked a part of the journey everyday for three hundred sixty five days for year after year. As time gradually passes, I'm still persistent in the dream I began pursuing ambitiously way back when and that ambition has never burned out. Since I left my hometown, how many three hundred sixty five days have passed?

    We have the chorus where we have two variations. One is I travel through all four seasons after three hundred sixty five Li of road and I mustn't let that journey be wasted. The other is I travel from hometown to foreign lands after three hundred sixty five Li of road and went from a youth to a senior.

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