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Yes, Ken has said that proper support does resemble the way you tense your abs when somebody is about to punch you in the gut. Also it's like the way you bear down to raise yourself up for a situp.
The main important thing to REMEMBER is to RELEASE that tension at the end of the phrase or scale. A split-second of relaxation, like your heart resting between beats. That rest/relaxation is JUST as IMPORTANT as the tension, because without the relaxation/release, you won't last through one song, let alone a whole set or an entire performance.
BUT, we're not going into training by swapping gut-punches with one another. No need for that. It's just a word-picture.
I'm 45 and don't really sing, but I've always wanted to be able to sing just for my own personal satisfaction. Got the program on May 13th and started practicing in my car to and from work (only time I have right now) started to notice a difference so I downloaded "Faithfully" sound track and recorded a little bit on June 4th (up thru "along the wire"). Kept practicing in the car, then things seemed to start getting easier so I recorded another section of the song on June 22nd using the same USB mic on my computer, but I held a paper towel in front of the mic to cut down on the "pop".
I plan to keep recording new parts of the song every few weeks as I progress so that hopefully I can hit the high parts at the end of the song when I'm done. When I'm finished, I'll hopefully be able to hear steady progress as I play through the entire song.
Still a long way to go, but I'm excited to continue on with the program
Interesting version of this tune. Very laid-back rendition. Nice guitar and vocal sounds. Bob
Interesting version of this tune. Very laid-back rendition. Nice guitar and vocal sounds.
eh-ksp-Lehn Very short and light fly-by on the consonant ksp
Also, be aware that when a syllable has a consonant in it, we sing on the vowel and only close on the consonant. So if we were singing the word "Ordered" we would sustain the O, then only pronounce the r of the first syllable for an instant at the end of the syllable. Then on the last part of the word, we sustain the "eh" part. We don't sing it like Orrrrrrrr derrrrrrrrrred , we sing it like Ooor-deeeeeehrd. You don't sing R's, T's, S's etc... Only the vowels. The consonants can start and close the vowels, but we don't vocalize on them.
Maximize the vowels, and minimize the consonants.
These are cool tracks, @hanne.k
The band rocks and so does your voice. It's well-recorded and sounding good.
Thanks for sharing your progress with us. It's great to see that you are doing well!
You are really starting to understand support, pitch and the stamina / technique required to sing a song like this. (I like the Latin approach on guitar, wish I heard even a little more of tha :-t).
Now if I could encourage you to balance a little more of open throat with mask. You are relying almost totally on mask must at several points I'd like to hear more warmth in the sound.
Before you atttempt this, stay with the way you are singing the song currently and develop longer more legato phrases as you cut them short. You may be doing this for a "style" think which I understand but now it time to build the upper mid voice even more and doing this will really help.
Once you have done that, then take into consideration about what I saw "warming" up the sounds.
If necessary, you can stay with the exact way you are approaching the higher notes, but now in the mid and lower registers balance out the warm form mask by shooting the sound up into the head rather than bringing it down so much into the front of the face.
I know this is easier for you for now, but in the long run, what I am asking you to do will not only give you more body, power and less shrill and eventually more range becuase you will introduce mask "later / higher" than you are right now.
Sounds pretty good. You already know that you need to work on buiding up your support mechanism. That is key to building a solid foundation upon which to continue building your voice. You're on your way.
I like this demo. Keep 'em coming!
Decent professional presentation.
The top is a bit weak and could be better supported (especially for this style of music).
But you have clear tone (support will also help you pitch as well and give you a little more grit) :-)
Could you please lower the key for the chorus a few steps? Just kidding! Wow! That one is Really Down Low!
You will find, like all of the rest of us here, that you will need to improve your breath support, and really open up the throat. The KTVA exercises will really give your upper range a workout and stretch your voice in the upper areas.
Looking forward to your progress.
Sounds good, jasonm!
You're coming in the door with a lot of skills.
Listen to everything Ken says in the videos. You will find that if you do as he says, your voice will grow even more, in range, tone, and strength!
Nice to have you here!
Jimmy, you're coming in the door at KTVA with a very nice sounding voice and good pitch. I listened to the three songs your link leads to. Very interesting sound. Nice and Bright!
I'm really looking forward to hearing what you're going to sound like after working Ken's exercises for a good while!
It's going to be a wonderful journey!
Your demo is very short. Your voice sounds good. You're using distortion.
Make sure you go back and sing cleanly without distortion after singing like that with distortion.
Otherwise, you will lose the ability to ever sing cleanly if you spend too much time singing distorted vocals.
You have a nice voice. Your pitch is good. I think you could benefit by building your support, especially when you go into head voice. Ken's exercises will really build your voice.
Darn words! Always getting in the way of the singing!
I think the title change and the updated chorus will be an improvement. More appropriate to the genre.
I think it's cool that you found that cassette and can hear the changes so plainly in the character of your new, improving vocal quality as compared to a sample just a few years old.
So which Boston tune are you thinking of? Smokin'? Long Time? ??
1) For the openness, just OPEN THAT THROAT UP!! AH!!! AH!!!! Like the video. Make it really ping!
2) If you can't tell where your voice is shifting into head, there are a lot of people reading this who wish that was their problem. Most people are trying very hard to smooth over their passagio. If you want to reveal where yours is, then try doing some slides, going upwards very, very slowly. Lean into the sound enough to try to feel and hear the larynx shift into head voice and try to make a deliberate speed bump. Try to get a real Country and Western Yodel out of that Adam's Apple! If you feel that shift and hear that little yodel, find the note on which it happened, quickly with a piano. That's your secondo passagio.
If yours is at C5, then that helps to explain why it is so undetectable on your vocal demos. I heard a hint of it yesterday when I listened to your demos, and it Was high, near the turnaround point in the scale. The higher you can get in chest voice, the more difficult it is to tell when someone goes into head, because chest sounds very much like head voice in that range.
If you can improve the open sound, get more ping, and bolster your support, you will be on a really good track with your training!
Nice track, nice tune, good work!
P.S. Good job on Soulshine, too. ;^)
You should practice the A4's and G4's a bit. The pitch is a little shaky on those. A lot more support is needed for those notes. Those are tough notes, so please don't be offended. Work on that support and spend some time singing sustained G4's and A4's until you don't have to reach so hard for them. It takes a lot of strength.
I listened to all the three songs that you have on Soundcloud. You have a strong, clear voice. In the two first songs, Funky Music White Boy and Come Together, I hear that you have some pitch issues that you need to adress for your voice to develop to its full potential. In the last song, White Wedding, your pitch is fairly ok. I don't know why there is a difference between these songs. Maybe you do?
I recommend that you go to the KTVA forum Volume One section called Better Pitch and Tone and download the BASIC PITCH PART ONE program. After working that program, you can send us demos where you perform the Basic Pitch exercises. From that we will be able to help you identify the problem and help you learn to discern pitch better. Here is a link to the Basic Pitch Part One:
I encourage you to keep on singing, because your voice has potential, and I like your attitude!
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@opgalliano, we 'accent people' need to make ourselves heard.I am representing the vikings (I'm from Norway)!
I commented on this demo previously in your introductory post.
I listened again, and I still think this sounds really good.
I have a couple of items of feedback for you.
I like the use of Mask and how it richens your tone. There are two places where you need to open up a bit, where the mask gets in the way. At 1:41 and also at 3:08 where you do the "to you" you need to open up and not let the mask overhang the notes.
Also, at 2:53 where you do a three-note walkdown on "And" you could use a little more support.
That's not bad at all for a song like this. Overall, I would have to say this is a great recording.
I'm looking forward to hearing a lot more from you.
You have a very good voice.
I would like a critique from anybody on my recent cover of "madness" by muse. This isn't how I sing all the time, but when I sing in this style it always feels the best to me. I'm all ears and I look forward to hearing some good advice. Thanks!
Hey, marc! Good job tackling a tough song.
As a suggestion, I would recommend that you listen to the WayPoint videos on Vocal Tract shaping and start moving towards keeping your vocal tract open to the dominant vowels, line by line.
Also, your delivery is a little spikey, in that it's broken up into little pieces by consonants.
After watching the vocal tract videos, come back and try to sing this song more legato, or strung together like a string of pearls, rather than a series of spikes. Make your phrases long and linked together with light consonants joining all of the pieces into long, contiguous, continuous phrases.
Be sure to support like there's no tomorrow, especially all of those high notes. You have pretty good pitch. The added support and more legato approach will really help to put more of a shine on your performance. This technique will also allow you to open up and really employ the advantages of Open Throat Singing.
You have a lot going for you. Incorporate these KTVA techniques into your singing and grow that much more!
I have some of the same comments on this song as I gave on Eye of the Tiger.
You have a strong voice and a pretty good range.
What I notice a lot in both of these demos is again the spikey way the really loud notes shoot up above the level of the rest of the song.
It would be an improvement if you could try to make a more consistent, contiguous flow of sound, vs a less consistent, spikey flow. When you use more real support for the high notes, they will lay more into the track than shoot up above the rest. Support will enable you to sing those high notes more musically without shouting them.
The result will be a more pleasant and polished finished product.
Please don't take this as a put-down. It's intended to give you a leg up!
When you got your mojo workin' on your support, you will push down on your guts, and when you do it right, you will notice that instead of blasting loudly, your high notes will be sung, not blasted. Your voice will sound full, but not overfull. Your volume on the supported high notes will be more even with your lower, easier notes. In fact, all of your notes will sound easy, because they will be easier when you support.
The word "support" can make people think you are putting more force into the sound. In fact, you are controlling your volume, keeping it from peaking by reducing the volume with more support each time you would otherwise force more air out to hit a note. When you push down, you reduce the force of the outgoing air.
Put your effort into support rather than tightening your throat muscles or forcing blasts of air out. Instead, work on getting a more consistent flow, powered entirely from your abdominal area with a downward force.
Actually there are a lot of improvements in this consonantless version. You are beginning to get a more consistent flow, which will help with keeping the vocal tract in the open position.
I agree with ragnar in that is still has shouty moments, especially when you are reaching for your high notes. I also agree with ragnar that you are not that far from getting it right.
Consistency in the level will really work wonders on the listenability of your voice and give it a more professional sheen.
Don't worry so much about adding the consonants back in. I think you should try what you did in this version a little more to get the hang of it a bit more. Then add the very least amount possible of consonants. Just a HINT of the consonants, the minimum possible. See how little consonant you can get away with restoring. You'll be surprised at how little consonant it takes to make people THINK you sang it the normal way. Less is more with consonants.
Good job on trying something that seems goofy, but is really a gateway to great singing. This is a big step in the right direction for you.
This sounds much more even, consistent, and supported, relaxed and natural.
And your backup singers seem to be inspiring you to do your best.
Try to brighten it up some more. Open up, too. It's a little pinched and closed-down. Like marc said, make it more AH. This is a really good first try. You're on a good track. I expect good things from you.
I think this is the best demo you've put up so far. I'd like to hear some more chairo, or brilliant tone. You've got the Oscuro, or bass component fine, but we need some more bright sound simultaneously. So smile into the sound (I see your teeth, but make sure it's wide and open) and put a little mask into it. Don't overdo it, but put some more highs into the tone.
It's a little choppy. Not nearly so bad as what I've mentioned in the past. But it would be improved if you would string the words together like a string of pearls, into long phrases that aren't so chopped up. Much better than before, though, when I told you that you were much too inconsistent with your volume changes. Try to make the words more contiguous. Not a blur, but more connected than these chopped fragments. Sustain the chopped words more. While you're at it, don't forget to support, support, and support. ; ^ )
At 2:45 you're going to have to work on this part. It's unsupported and therefore weak, and it's at a prominent point in the song. Too prominent to allow any weakness. So spend the time on that point in the song building it to the strength that will be needed to actually pull it off. This note will take some tone and power from the gut.
Speaking of guts, you've got a lot. You keep on putting it on the line, and litte-by-little you are asking and listening and coming back for more. Each time gets a little better. Keep it up and you will be unstoppable. Never give up!
Actually the ugly mug aspect is good. It's better to see and hear you than to just hear you. More information it better than less.
Good Singing to You, marc!
The high note at 0:15 needs work. It's out of reach for you presently, so that means work with it till it gets more comfortable and sustainable.
Now, your consonants. You have fully mastered de-emphasis. Now, in your case, it is time to dial them back in some, as your words are not intelligible enough. Good job, because previously you were over-emphasizing them, but now you need to slightly dial them back in to where you are just grazing over the consonants enough to restore a bit more intelligibility. You have gotten really good at the "string of pearls" method of sustaining the contiguous vowels, and I am proud of you for that. Now we need just the right amount of consonant to get you back into the center you need to be in. Not too far to the left and not too far to the right. Just Right.
I see a bit too much tension in your neck muscles, so try relaxation there. Look at the still photo of you before we click to see your video. Your tendons in your neck are pretty tight. Relax that. Also, you are doing a little bit of overkill on the big teeth. Again, you are following previous requests to open up and bare the teeth, which you have done obediently. Now dial that back just a bit as well. Not too much, and not too little. Just right.
You are really getting close. You just overcorrect a little bit each time. Each time you also get a little closer to just right. You've come a long way in just a relatively short amount of time. Keep up the good work. You are on a good track.
It just about kills me to say this, but I think you still need to put a skoshe more consonant back in to improve intelligibility a little more. I know you're just doing what I suggested to minimize the consonants, but I still think you're still overcorrecting that a bit.
Another stylistic request is this: Yes, I have been critical of overly staccato or choppiness in the past, and largely you have corrected that, however when you do your stops or rests, in those spots it still seems a little abrupt. It's like you should hang that note just a moment longer, or maybe taper it off a bit where it doesn't seem so chopped-off. Listen to those parts and see if you hear what I'm hearing there.
I have to tell you that you are improving noticeably and I'm really liking that you are putting so much work into this and getting real improvements, month-by-month. Overall, your pitch is getting more solid.
I would agree with Scott that more support would benefit the overall tone, pitch, and strength of your voice. Think sing it more from your core than from your throat. If you listen carefully, it does still sound a bit throaty, and would benefit by coming more from your core.
Also a little more brightness, as Scott says, would benefit the tone. A touch of Mask, not too much, and a little more Ping from the bright open throat.
You keep coming back with Eye of the Tiger, and I think you've got a Tiger by the Tail!!! It's a hard song to pull off, and you are as hard to pull off of that song as a pit bull! Keep slugging!! Take your lumps from the critiques, make your improvements, and before long, you will have this one down to a "T".
I also sing the song "God Bless the USA", and also sing it at a VFW post periodically. It IS a song that stirs emotion, both in the singer and in the audience. I, too, have had everyone stand up and put their hands over their hearts as the song is performed. To have a room full of veterans pay that kind of respect and honor makes you really pour your heart into the song! It's humbling and gratifying.
The song always gets a ROAR of applause and cheers.
Regarding your new demo: I'm not sure if it's just because you've chosen a tune that is so well-suited to your voice, but in my opinion, this is your best work so far.
The tone in your voice is really starting to jell into something that is very pleasant to listen to.
Remember when I was telling you some of your demos were hard to listen to? You've turned that completely around!! You miss the pitch a bit at 0:56 on "everybody" but that is a minor nit-pick. Overall, you are to be congratulated for working so hard and improving so much, even in the face of many critiques that may have been a little harsh. Your pitch is improving and becoming much more accurate as you continue to work your voice and take your evaluations seriously.
Everyone, please join me in applauding marc for his perseverance and steadfastness. He knows what he wants and he has the guts to keep working and working.... and it's working!!!
Way to go, my friend!
Yes, @marc, you are still overcorrecting by underenunciating consonants. You need to move a little to the right, back towards the consonants. Ironically, the underenunciation has helped you to attain the musicality in your voice. Now the trick is to move just enough consonant back in so that it's less difficult than it is now to understand your words, but while still retaining the sustained, vowel-dominant vocalization you are now centered in.
The difference is subtle, and prone to overcorrection. You are so close. Just a bit more consonant and you'll have it. Not too much!
You seem to be right on track towards your objectives.
My comparison to the sound of the Beach Boys with regard to the harmonies had mostly to do with the fact that the Beach Boys were admired AND popular for the overall pleasant sound of their harmonies.
Just because there are many overdubbed vocals does not necessarily create an appealing sound. In your case, as with the Beach Boys, Queen, the Beatles, and more, the sound is enjoyable. The aforementioned groups, at least on their recordings, accomplished their final products through multitracking. In fact, all of them were pioneers in the craft of multiple vocal and instrumental tracks when the process was still in a more experimental stage.
Thanks bob, I appreciate the review, it's good to hear some positive feedback.. me personally, I was waiting to hear something about the shaping of my consonant sounds.. That's what I'm working on more than anything right now.. some things that I feel need the most work with me is perfecting my vowel mods, shedding weight, getting a complete understanding of head and chest mix voice, and getting my consonants just right, so that I'm pronouncing words clearly but not to the point where im choking off my support. Anyone else have any observations?
Nice job on this one. It is a good song, but I'm not sure if it's quite as good as the banana song.
Good production as usual. Well-supported. Nice tone on your voice. Pitch is on the mark. It comes across well.
Every time I watch your videos on that balcony it makes me wonder what your location is. Nice vistas.
See you next Wednesday.
Nice video. Your voices sound good together. I like that you have your friends do songs with you. That's cool.
Always like hearing from you and seeing what you're up to.
Keep 'em coming. Every Wednesday...
; ^ )
It's very hard to do, but you should try to sing straight, without vibrato for the time being. It's hard to resist something like that after it has been ingrained in your singing, but it is important to UNlearn it if it is incorrect vibrato.
When you get to the point in your KTVA lessons that deal with vibrato, you can re-learn proper vibrato. Also, there are some free student videos on the forums that cover proper vibrato techniques.
You are correct that you don't want an oscillating larynx to be your source of vibrato.
Regarding your latency issues, I would recommend investing (yes, I know cost is a huge factor) in a small $100 line/mic mixer with a headphone output that will allow you real-time monitoring while listening to previously-recorded music tracks while singing along.
You can isolate your vocal track to one aux output that is sent to the computer/recorder, while listening to a "headphone mix" that is independent of the track you are presently recording.
It's important to look at the ins and outs (gosintas and gozoutas) on any mixer before you purchase. A second-hand item from online auctions might lessen the pocketbook pain.
Just a suggestion.
You WILL go insane trying to monitor what you did half a second ago while needing to keep up with where you presently are AND prepare for what's about to come. Real-time monitoring is an issue you need to work through, unless someone has a free software fix for you.
You may have to adapt your Mic to an XLR connector in order to use it with a mic mixer. Most mic mixers don't have an input for usb.
I'm using an Alto ZMX122fx as an all-purpose mini-mixer on my computer. It's good for practicing through etc.
You can buy one brand-new for $120, and probably find a used one on eBay for less. Something like this would give you more options.
It has built-in effects like reverb and echo. The effects are somewhat limited, but for the price, you can't beat it. You can E.Q. your inputs, sing along to CD players or mp3 players by plugging them into the mixer and controlling the volume of the songs as you control the level of your mic. The headphone volume level can be good enough to monitor yourself as you sing along. You send the output to your recorder. There are Left, Right, and Auxilliary outputs that can be just your vocal going to the recorder, while you are listening to the complete mix, etc...
I'm not trying to sell anybody this one mixer, it's just one that caught my eye in Guitar Center one day, and I just had to have it.
I use it all the time for simple practicing and computer recording purposes. I have bigger consoles that I use for more intensive projects, but this thing is great for everyday use at the computer. Buy a few adapter cords to come out of the headphone jack on your computer, and go in through the line input on the computer.
Good Recording and Singing to You!
Wow! I missed your last few demos... not sure why I didn't see them.
Lotsa Rise Above! Sounds good. I like the background vocals you're adding. 800 subscribers, eh? Not bad...
Of this batch, Tragedy+Time is my fave...
Oh, it's almost Wednesday already!
Yes. Your voice has new, pleasing tone, more rounded, less nasal, from the gut rather than the throat... seems to have reserve power to spare... AHA!!! You are making very good progress. Keep up the diligent work. It pays off. Keep pressing on that inner tube!