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Demo Area for Newbies - Feedback for those starting out

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Comments

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited September 2015
    Hi, @Elementom,

    You're still not on pitch on "not". The very first notes of the song are a bit flat, so you're coming right out of the gate with pitch issues. If you don't start out on pitch, it's unlikely that the rest of the song is going to get better. It's as if you have knocked over the first dominoes as you are trying to set up a whole box full in a formation. It will be hard to make things go according to plan.

    You are using a very dark, covered sound. That makes it hard to hear pitch in the first place. It would be better if you brighten the tone and uncover the sound.

    Again, singing a song is a lot of moving targets, one after the other, for several minutes. You need to be able to prove you can sing scales correctly, where the notes are simplified, the vowels are kept steady, and the like. If you don't get your basic building blocks put together right by using standardized scales and exercises, then you are going to have a really hard time singing songs, where every word uses different vowels, the intervals between the notes are constantly varying, and every verse is different.

    If you level the playing field, and get the basics worked out first, you will have a lot better chance of eventually singing with some decent technique.

    If you try to learn to sing by simply singing songs and asking what to fix, it's almost impossible, if you aren't getting the basics of singing scales correctly mastered first. Scales give us a way to isolate what happens on individual vowels and pitches, and allows us to break down the elements of how singing songs is properly done.

    We need to back up and get you doing basic lah scales correctly, with proper technique and on-pitch.

    Did you work the Basic Pitch program and practice those drills? You need some proficiency in pitch recognition and matching. Pitch is non-negotiable in singing. It has to be corrected if it's off. Step one is to recognize if there is a problem, and if so, to take action to deal with it.

    You may have some work ahead of you to become more accurate at your listening and pitch-correction skills. If so, then avoiding that won't help.

    This is a good place to work that out, here in the newbies demo section. We won't condemn you for having issues. We will help you to work on it. We won't tell you that it sounds good if it doesn't, though. That wouldn't be fair to you. This is the best place on the planet to work this out among others that may be having the same issues.

    Let's get you dialed-in. Let's work on scales and Basic Pitch exercises. It will be worth it. Without getting that fixed, there is no reason to advance to the next harder level. It won't fix itself. This may not be easy for you, but that's your decision. If it's worth it to you, you will knuckle down and tackle this. We will help you with honest suggestions and without putting you down. We're on your side.

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • monkshoodmonkshood Posts: 15Pro
    edited September 2015
    Hi, first demo post and first try of a LAH scale...

    https://soundcloud.com/user-112576292/ktva-lah/s-V1Nnf

    Does anyone know how the soundcloud embedding works? Thanks!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    I'm not an expert on the embedding. It may depend on your browser. Internet Explorer is notorious for not being very compliant.

    Your sample sounds good.

    You could brighten the tone a bit. Try to use more cord closure, to make it a bit less breathy.
    Get more of that bright "Ping" like when Ken demonstrates "It's the LAH!!! AH!!!" Really bright and pingy.

    As you go higher in the scale, try to push down on your innards. Remember to keep this support going also as you go back down the scale. You are a little pitchy on the lower notes, but these may be getting a little below your range. Keeping support for low notes also can help to keep the pitch stable.

    OK. So you have posted a singing demo, and you have survived. Not bad at all. So that means you're IN with the rest of us, now! There, that wasn't so bad, now, was it?

    Support is one thing we all have to work on and develop. It will transform your voice. Read lots of posts in the diaphragmatic support area and ask for help on what you don't understand.

    Each person has to figure out how to feel that and control it within their own body, but it really makes a difference.

    You're one of us, now!

    Welcome to the club. Stick around. Grow your voice with us!

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • monkshoodmonkshood Posts: 15Pro
    Thank you so much Bob, these comments are really useful, I will definitely read the Diaphragmatic Breathing and Support area and watch the videos on breathing now.

    Usually whenever I sing with other people or among loud drums nobody can hear me, could this be related to not brightening the tone enough and being too breathy?
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @monkshood,

    Your voice will cut through better when it is brighter with more cord closure. You also need either good monitors that you can hear well, or the band to play a little less loud, or both, in order to be heard without oversinging. It is also easier to hear whether you are on pitch or not when you sing with more brilliance and clarity.

    Too much breath in the sound will dry your cords out and bring on hoarseness easily.

    Bob
  • monkshoodmonkshood Posts: 15Pro
    @highmtn

    Thank you so much again! I definitely notice hoarseness in my voice and feeling dry at the moment.
  • stratmanstratman Posts: 364Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @monkshood I embed my Soundcloud clips using chrome on my iPad. Just pasting the Soundcloud link in a message works. I'm quite impressed with your first post ... No vocal speed bump. I've spent months eliminating my vocal break :'(

    Rob
  • monkshoodmonkshood Posts: 15Pro
    @stratman
    Thanks, next time I will try with Chrome instead of Firefox.
    Thanks for your encouraging words, I'm still struggling a lot with these exercises, I often have vocal breaks. Also, thank you for your documenting your very quick and impressive progress, it's incredibly useful and motivating!
  • Hello , I need to improve this song, could you give me some advice?, Thanks

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    The main thing that stands out to me that could be improved is that you are singing with accentuated consonants. This makes the singing choppy and keeps you from maintaining an open throat. An open throat would sound more sonorous. You could practice this song on the ah vowel and try to develop it into more contiguous vowels, by de-emphasizing the consonants and emphasizing the vowels, with a bias towards the open AH vowel.

    You're doing a lot of things right, but remember we sing on vowels. Consonants are interruptions in those vowels, and need to be handled artistically and musically.

    All the Best.

    Bob
  • boomba212boomba212 Posts: 53Volume 1
    edited November 2015
    Hi @highmtn and all,

    Here is a clip from a Shinedown song ("45") that I was attempting the other day. Can you tell me all the things I need to work on? I will warn you-- it gets really loud at times when I was trying to sing higher and apparently didn't move away from the mic. Anyway, when I was trying to sing this, I was trying to use mask, and I thought I wasn't sounding too bad, but now that I listen to it, it sounds pretty crappy, especially when I get high and loud. So any comments and advice are appreciated. Thanks!

    https://soundcloud.com/user450608230/45-mp3/s-k7Tx1
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited November 2015
    @boombah212,

    I was unable to get your demo to play.

    I have to say this.

    It's not the best to put up a recording of a song and ask "what are all of the things I need to fix?" if you haven't first gone through and demonstrated that you have mastered all of the techniques of all three KTVA volumes.

    I know that evaluating a song seems like a reasonable thing to ask, but first, before we get to anything like a complete song and your delivery of that song, we need to hear your basic LAH scale, then we need to go to the next step after that, and then the next, and so on.

    We may be able to give you a few pointers on a song, but we need to really hear the basics of your voice on basic lah scales first, to make sure you are doing the basics correctly. If you don't have the those things mastered, it is not likely that you will be doing a song with the proper techniques.

    Songs are rapid-fire machine-guns of all of the basics flying at you one after the other. If you haven't perfected the basic building blocks of singing first, it's just almost impossible to listen to a song and then tell someone how to fix it. Which one of the two hundred things that I hear shall I start out with? I can only be very general in a case like that.

    The moderators here need you to start with the basic LAH exercise, and then build from there. Songs are very advanced if they are to be done well, and they rely on your mastery of all of the KTVA building blocks. We can tell you a lot by hearing the laboratory standard: the basic, LAH scale. It is the great equalizer, the GOLD STANDARD that gives us an opportunity to hear your tone, your support, your pitch, your vowel modifications, and more. You need to have all of those components worked out in order to sing a song well.

    Yes, we will get some songs submitted and will try to give an overview on what needs to be adjusted, especially from visitors to the site, but pinpoint details are only going to be helpful in instances where the student has done their homework and prepared their voice to deliver the techniques that are here for you to learn. Applying those techniques properly is what great singing is all about... then you can put your heart and soul into it.

    Looking forward to hearing your basics.

    :^)

    Bob
  • boomba212boomba212 Posts: 53Volume 1
    edited November 2015
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @boomba212,

    Thanks for putting a Lah demo up. I can hear some things that you should correct to help get your voice dialed-in a little better as a baseline.

    Your throat is not open enough. If you listen carefully, there is a little bit of Ng, or "ungh" in your LAH. Video would have been easier to sort this out, but it sounds like your tongue is not forward enough out of the back of the throat. If your throat is more open, unclogged by the tongue, it will have a brighter AH that pings and pops more. To make the NG sound, we close off part of the sound to the mouth by arching the tongue and let most of the air go to the nose.

    Listen to the bright, pingy sound Ken is making when he demonstrates "It's the LAH!!! AHH!!!" It's totally Open in the Throat. It's bright. It's very "AH" like the doctor has you do when he's looking all the way down your throat. The doctor makes you open up so he can see down there.
    Ungh is not AH. We sing on the AH (or LAH) to practice getting that open throat, and most of our other vowels will be variants of this OPEN AH.

    Ken has a saying: All vowels stem from AH, except EE and sometimes Ooh.

    Your support is a little weak. There is a wiggle in your breath that will stabilize if you push down on your diaphragm somewhat when singing, pressing down more as your scales go up. Keep pressing down until you are about 3/4 of the way back down the scales.

    Your pitch wanders a bit. Getting your support strengthened will help with this, but I think you should work through Ken's Basic Pitch program and practice the exercises in that program. It will help you to get more centered on your pitches. You have good range, but you need to exercise more control on your pitch. Singing high is not a problem for you, but on a number of notes you were singing flat. You need to work on your pitch accuracy. Pitch is a non-negotiable part of singing. It's either on pitch or off-pitch. You may need to train your ear, your brain, and your voice to work together to assure that your pitch is spot-on.

    Once you get your pitch reigned-in, you have plenty of range.

    Around 1:53 I noticed that your AH sounded much better than it did at the beginning of of the exercise where I said you were singing "ungh" instead of AH. Maybe you were more warmed up, or maybe you were not comfortable or confident in the range the exercise started at.

    The pitch is still wandering at that point, though.

    The next scale starts off better. Still needing more support. Open up that throat in the back. Make it ping.

    So your assignment for now is:
    1. Basic Pitch. You will find that program here on the forums in the area called "VIDEOS FOR ALL KTVA STUDENTS". Work that program, and make sure you understand everything Ken is saying and having you exercise to build. You will train your ears, your brain, AND your voice.

    2. SUPPORT. You need to build your support. Please go to the students only area called Diaphragmatic Breathing and Support. Read up in that area and try to get a concept of what support is. There are also videos in the students-only video section, including recordings of the KTVA webinars on Support. You need to have support to lean on when doing vocal exercises and also when singing.

    Get those two elements working for you and then let's check you out again to see how you're doing.

    Good job on getting this demo together. Videos can tell us even more, so don't be shy about posting a video demo.

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • boomba212boomba212 Posts: 53Volume 1
    @highmtn Thanks so much for all the feedback. I'll be saving it and will keep coming back to it for future reference. I have a couple of questions regarding what you said:

    1) When you say to push down on my diaphragm, I am not exactly sure what that means. If I push down (or do what I think you mean), my belly comes out, and I guess my lungs must be filling up with more air. Is this what I'm supposed to do, while going for higher notes? It seems odd to be inhaling air WHILE singing (while air is coming out), but is that what you're saying?

    2) To open my throat more, can I stick my tongue out like I've seen Ken do in his cover song videos? He hasn't said to do that yet in the lessons, so I don't know if that's something I shouldn't do yet.

    Lastly, is pitch really something that can be learned? If so, I have total motivation to spend time and learn it, and when I get into something, I dedicate myself fully to it. I just want to honestly know though if I'm tone-deaf or such and have no potential, because in that case I don't want to waste time. Thanks!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @boombah212,

    1. This is a good question. You are Resisting the escape of the air. You want to meter the air out, and the way you do that is by pushing down instead of just releasing the diaphragm to come up like it otherwise normally do. You're RESISTING the release of the air, NOT Quite inhaling, that's too much, but it's very much LIKE inhaling, except not enough to cause the air to reverse... you just want to compress it and slow it way down. Push down to feel a compression in your guts and a slowing of the release of your breath.

    2. Just move your tongue forward, where the tip is touching the back of your bottom teeth, and let the back of your tongue come away from the back of your throat. You can hold the tongue flat to the base of the jaw, or better yet, if you can, make the tongue concave, with a furrow down the middle and the sides slightly curled upwards. That will open a clear channel for the air to come directly from your throat, unimpeded.

    There are sites on the internet that you can find with the search term "Tone-deaf test". You can see whether you are truly tone-deaf. It is a very small percentage of the population that is truly tone deaf. I don't think from listening to your demo that you are tone-deaf at all. You do have a need to sharpen your listening skills as you sing and to correct your pitch in order to have good intonation. Some students are better than others at improving this. It's something that you as an individual will have to be steadfast in working through, if you truly want to be able to sing and to be admired for your voice. Singing On-Pitch is a must. Pitch can be improved. Some students learn it very quickly, but if it is something you are not aware of, or don't have an ear to discern, it can be an uphill effort. If you want to sing, you will have to defeat the pitch monster, or the best tone in the world won't help your intonation.

    Pitch discernment can be learned, but will take your full attention and dedication to conquer it. If you want to sing well, and if this is one of your weaknesses, you will have to train and work to improve your ear, your brain, and your voice to work together, on the fly, to get your pitch-seeking missile guidance system working in your favor.

    I'm serious about you getting serious working Ken's basic pitch program. You will probably have to dedicate some serious effort and time to the exercises in that program. I say go for it! If you want to sing, there is no way around Pitch.

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • boomba212boomba212 Posts: 53Volume 1
    @highmtn I am glad you told me about the online tests. I did a couple, including the one from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and I got a 100% on both, so that definitely makes me feel better. I guess i just need to practice matching pitch and intervals. I will do so and return in a while with another demo. Also, regarding my tongue question, you said the tip should be touching the back of my teeth. My tongue does this even without trying to pull it forward. I don't know if mine is longer than normal or not, but is it OK to stick it out like Ken does in his singing videos? Thanks!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @boomba212

    First of all, I'm glad you took the pitch discernment tests and know now that you are not truly tone-deaf. You just have some work cut out for you, to hone your listening skills and improve your ability to closely-match pitches.

    Don't beat yourself up if you find some of this hard to do at first. Some take longer to build this skill than others, but it CAN be learned. You've really got to WANT IT, because it's KEY to good singing, and it will take some time and effort.

    It's OK to let your tongue come forward, but be aware that the tongue is capable of taking many shapes and even sizes. You can kind of rest the tongue against the lower front teeth, and have the back of the tongue move forward. That can tend to make the middle rise, but if you raise the sides of the tongue and make a furrow down the middle, that can help to keep the tongue down somewhat.

    Some students use an inexpensive keyboard or a virtual keyboard from the internet to practice matching random pitches. Some use a chromatic guitar tuner (with a built-in mic) to practice holding pitches.

    None of us are perfect with our pitch, but we all need to learn to be as close as we can be. If we are getting feedback that we are off-pitch, it's time to train on being On-pitch. Teaching our own ears to hear that difference is a BIG PLUS. That skill will be very helpful.

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • AloisAlois Posts: 50Pro
    Hey all!
    Im about 3 months in to the program and recently switched to volume 2 workouts.

    Here is my take on free falling by tom petty. Voice has some compression and eq from my tc helicon play acoustic pedal, but no pitch correction.

    All kinds of advice is greatly apreciated!

  • AloisAlois Posts: 50Pro
    Also the harmonics is software emulated from my pedal ;)
  • stratmanstratman Posts: 364Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    edited November 2015
    @boomba212 if you have an iPad, try out erol singers studio. It gives you visual feedback regards how accurate your pitch is.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @Alois,

    Sounds a little bit sharp on the word "good".

    In general, more support would help. There are a few uncertain pitches that could be more defined and steady with a bit more support.

    Your tone is nice. A little brighter might also help you to discern the close pitches.

    You have a good start on a good sound. The harmonies aren't quite what they should be, even if they are manufactured.

    Have you submitted a Basic LAH? We might be able to dial-in your voice a little better with that.

    Bob
  • AloisAlois Posts: 50Pro
    Awsome advice @boomba212 i will check it out!

    Yeah i did @highmtn! about a month ago, you told me to work on support and brightness! And thats where i still am :)

    I will post a new Lah Scale shortly! Im trying to work ojn my mask to make it alittle brighter.
  • ruid888ruid888 Posts: 16Member
    Am I supposed to post my vocal demonstrations over this topic?
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @ruid888
    Yes, post a link to your demos here.

    Bob
  • ruid888ruid888 Posts: 16Member
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Hi, Rui.
    You have an interesting voice. Your range is good, and your pitch is good, with just a few places where it could improve.

    You are using a little too much air in your voice for good, healthy singing. Your voice sounds a little husky, which may be due to the amount of air you are using, or it may be that you just like that sound. Using that sound too much can cause you to be unable to sing in a cleaner voice.

    You could use a little more support on the higher notes to give your voice more stability.

    This is a hard song to sing, and you did a good job on it.

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • ruid888ruid888 Posts: 16Member
    Thank you, it really helps me to get some professional aid. I will try to record a better sample in a near future. I didn't really like the sound of my voice because of my constant use of too much air in singing. The day I recorded this sample was one of those really cold days, where you feel your chords are just too strain. I might need to take a better look at some good quality vocal warmup exercises. Do I really have the potencial to get big?
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @ruid888

    You have great potential to improve your voice. You are already demonstrating that you can work your voice with strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others.

    You need to adhere to a strict course of action to do and to practice the right things in the right way, in a regular schedule of workouts.

    Of course everyone at this site knows that Ken Tamplin's methods are the methods that will bring the most out of your potential, that plus your own dedication to making it work.

    If you work your voice properly, you will achieve very good results. Your voice will grow like you never thought it could.

    That doesn't mean you will automatically be rich and famous. It means that you will have a voice that will knock people off their feet. Becoming a big star takes more than a great voice. It takes luck and a lot of hard work. But with a Great Voice, you definitely increase the likelihood that it would be possible for you to succeed in music. People will be impressed by your improvement, and you will be much more proud of your sound.

    So why not grow your voice into all that it can be?

    All the Best, My Friend!

    Bob
  • ruid888ruid888 Posts: 16Member
    Thank you Bob! I'll make sure I get to my full potential! :)
  • @highmtn Thank you for the tips, I'm trying to fix, vowels and open throat, is being a little hard for me, but I hope achieve this...
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @BruceKiske,

    Just keep working towards your goals, and focusing on correcting the things that need a little work. You'll get there!

    Bob
  • ruid888ruid888 Posts: 16Member


    Another Queen demo, I'm trying to work some aspects which you told me before.
  • cabaktcabakt Posts: 3Pro
    edited January 2016
    Hello I'm new in the program, this is my current singing status the lyrics where not so accurate sorry :wink:, any feedback is appreciated, thanks guys.



  • AloisAlois Posts: 50Pro
    Here is a quick recording from a verse of "Who Says" by John Mayer, I realy try to focus on kepping the "yawning" fealing and a completley open throat, im still struggling with support but its getting better and better :)

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @ruid888,

    This is an improvement over your previous version. You still need to improve your breath support, however that is also improved over your previous version. Also your vibrato is a little over-shaky, at times. I think it would soung better if you would smooth that out a bit.

    Pitch is more accurate. The husky, airy sound has been improved to a better, more consistent tone.

    Good job at the improvements.

    Bob
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @cabackt,

    Pitch drifts a little. Some notes you overshoot, others you undershoot. Your vibrato is a bit wiggly. That will need to smooth out some. Nice tone at times. You have a nice voice, lots of potential. You just need to tame it, and make it do more what you want it to do.

    It's a good starting place.

    Dig in to the exercises and do what Ken says. You'll begin to see improvements. Send in a basic LAH scale when you're ready. That will tell a lot about your voice and what control you have over it.

    All the Best!


    Bob
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @Alois,

    Your lower D's and E's on "says" and "I can't" are a little pitchy. Try to make these lower notes a little brighter and you will be more able to discern intonation on these lower notes. Also, be advised that low notes need a particularly stiff bit of extra support, which will also help with pitch stability and consistency.

    This is a good recording, nice job. Your vocal tone is pleasing and has a nice quality to it.

    Bob
  • stratmanstratman Posts: 364Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Almost completed a full year. Mostly been on volume 2 exercises ... growing chest. Gave vol 3 another go today and was pleasantly surprised that I can make it through without a register break.

    In this example, I'm in the upper part of my passaggio (in the chorus).

    Old man ... Neil Young

    Rob

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @stratman,

    This sounds pretty darned good. Congratulations for taking your time and doing things right.

    I like your tone on the verses.

    On the A4's in the chorus I think your doing too much of a hard "OH" sound on "Old Man".

    That can make it more of a strained sound, even if you are able to hit the notes. You are also sliding up to the A4, and these are the kinds of notes that Ken tells us he likes to "come up from behind, and drop down on the notes". In other words, it's easy to undershoot the pitch, so to avoid that, try coming in a little high and drop down to the center pitch. That will help to avoid the perception of coming in flat and squeezing up to the note.

    I think you should try to do it more like AH-ld m-eh-n t-ehk eh l-ehk eht meh l-ahf, Ahm eh laht l-ehk ya-oo w-ehr

    Even the Ah's are going to be more like "aw" as in loft at an A4.

    Don't think I'm tearing you down. This sounds pretty impressive, and you have really come a long ways. I'm wanting to help you get some of those little irregularities buffed-out to help your voice shine more.

    You've got a lot of the Neil Young qualities (the things that make Neil Young fun to listen to) going on in your tone. You are on a good track.

    Bob

  • stratmanstratman Posts: 364Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Thanks @highmtn . I'm happy with the verses but totally agree the chorus A4's need work. Will try the landing on pitch idea. Rob
  • AloisAlois Posts: 50Pro
    Tank you @highmtn, support will come! So will pitch and brightness :)
  • dshelbydshelby Posts: 4Pro
    edited January 2016
    https://soundcloud.com/david-shelby-2/when-i-was-your-man-coverI think I may have posted this in a wrong area but just got my course last week. I'm normally a country dude so this was a stretch and it's not perfect but it's a start :)
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
  • dshelbydshelby Posts: 4Pro
    edited January 2016
    Thanks, @highmtn if ya hear anything feel free to let me know what I can do to make it better. Headed to Nashville right now to Record Tomorrow. Again, I normally sing lower so this was fun.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Oh, here's my comment!

    It's best to post one time. You'll get comments, but if it's scattered around the forums in different posts, it gets hard to converse in so many places.

    :smile:

    Bob
  • stratmanstratman Posts: 364Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Hi Guys. Attempting a sustained F#4 in this one (high for me). Trying to keep the air back here ... is it working? comments?

    Rob

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @stratman,

    Your voice is sounding better than ever on all of those notes leading up to the F#4's. There, you're hitting the notes a little hard. Sounds like you need to be using the "shock absorber" of pushing down more to take the blow off of your cords. So yes, it's working, but not enough. The F#'s are needing more holdback on the breath.

    Also, see what happens if you go to the "O as in Loft" mod for "All" and "Fall". "It" should avoid the "ih" sound and substitute "eh". "Take Me" can be softened as "tehk meh", and so forth.

    You can also experiment with using "little h's" at the onset of these high notes, to round them off just a bit, so that the beginning attack isn't so hard on your cords. As Ken would say, let the notes ride on a tiny cushion of air. It's kind of a balance of good cord closure while singing, but not holding the gate shut so tight at the beginning of those higher notes, if that makes sense to you.n That way, each new note doesn't have to knock the door open from a locked position. The idea is to keep the stream of air going without complete shutdown, and to tie notes together when appropriate. When you have to blast the gates open for repeated onsets, it's harder to mitigate the volume of the high notes. High notes have to get a note going on cords that are tensioned more in order to make the higher pitch. So you need to help the note to get through without having to blast it with any more air pressure than it takes to get the note to sound. That initial sounding of the note can be helped by not over-adducting the cords, and even ever-so-slightly leaving the door ajar. Again, finding a balance in a technique that began with closing the cords in order to learn to do so, but now needs a slight adjustment in the other direction.

    As I said at the beginning of this reply, your voice is coming along very nicely. You are getting your own character and sound, and it's great to hear how well you are doing, compared to your earlier demos.

    All the Best.


    Bob
  • stratmanstratman Posts: 364Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    One year anniversary for being with KTVA ... Today :)

    @highmtn I pulled back the air quite bit as suggested. It's amazing how little volume is lost but certainly easier to sing.

    I tried Angels again with the dreaded F#4 I'm struggling with. Of interest though, is that I seem to be able to do the G4 quite controlled (I think) as in the first note of the following:



    To put this in context of my range, here's the higher part of the song with C5 .... not pretty but gives an example of my current head voice sound.



    Now that F#4 in Robbie Williams song Angels. I certainly feel more comfortable singing this way (softer .. Less air) but is it better than the last post?



    Rob
  • ladyninja93ladyninja93 Posts: 9Enrolled
    Hi guys! I am currently working out with Volume 1. Here are two links of me singing the LAH scale two different ways: one on the lighter side, and the second in what I assume to be the "call voice."

    1) Lighter Lah Scale: For this one, I'm not sure if I'm singing in a light chest voice throughout or if I blended or flipped into head voice in the upper range of the scale.




    2) "Call Voice" Lah Scale: In this clip, I'm trying to build and stretch chest voice; however, I am not sure if I am singing too hard or louder than necessary. I don't feel any pain or strain.




    Please let me know which one is the proper way to perform the "Its the LAAH" scale, what I am doing correct/incorrect, and how I can make it better.

    Thank you!! :)

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited January 2016
    Both of these sound good. You are correct that the second example is more of a chest-stretching kind of sound, leaning toward the call voice in the upper mids.

    Your voice will continue to grow as you do your workouts over the long term. You are going to do well.

    The lowest scales are a little too low for your voice. Your voice may adapt to these, or they just may always be a little too low for you. Don't let that bother you. Just sing the ones that are in your range and don't worry about notes that are above or below your range.

    On a few of these scales you took a "short-cut" and sang the top note a half-step low. On others you went all the way up to the proper note. I see a keyboard in the background, so that is good. You can use that to check yourself out to make sure you are singing the correct melodies, and to do repeat exercises on scales that may give you trouble.

    Remember, this scale is a one-octave 1,3,5,8,5,3,1, so the top note (on this scale) will always be an octave above the low note. So if the bottom note is a C, then the top note will be a C, etc. Bottom note E, top note E...

    Your tone is good. Your pitch is good most of the time. Record yourself often and get really comfortable with hearing the sound of your own voice, and listening for little things that you can do to improve it. That is a good way to speed up your progress.

    Your softer scales are using the part of your voice that you would use more on softer parts of a ballad or an R and B song. Your second set of scales are getting closer to the sound you would use when you want to belt it out and get some extra excitement going vocally. That voice takes longer to develop and requires a lot of practice.

    The more you work the scales and listen again to the video instructions, the more AHA moments you will have and the faster your voice will develop. As your voice strengthens and becomes more stable, you are going to become quite the singer.

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • skewzmeskewzme Posts: 1Member
    Trying to find my voice. Considering Ken's course. Here's a song I'm writing and working on that is pretty representative of the direction I think I need to go. Feedback most appreciated, good and critical.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Nice tune, @skewzme. You have an interesting voice, and a pretty good range in your chest voice. The distortion you have in your voice has a nice sound to it, but I'm not so sure if it might be creating a little bit of unnecessary wear and tear on your voice. It can be hard to clean your voice up if you use a distorted sound too much. Do you still have the ability to sing clean?

    Ken's course would build strength and more range for your voice, and give you some solid foundational vocal knowledge for you to rely upon, That can keep you singing well for years to come. Ken shows you how to use a distortion that won't hurt your voice, as long as you remember to always clean it up after distorting it. He also shows you how to avoid going hoarse at gigs, and how to grow your voice more than you might think possible.

    Nice of you to stop by and give us a listen.

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • jcrogeljcrogel Posts: 1Pro
    I started not long ago, doing vocalizations everyday but I am still trying to kick in old habits. I am encouraged since I am seeing progress from when I started. I need honest feedback and opinions.

    I apologize for the short tracks and mismanagement for the microphone and the volume :)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/tvo4vnqznb6ttt5/Across the universe.m4a?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vmoe71ahysbcnow/One.m4a?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ppe1liy0t04141c/Woman.m4a?dl=0
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @jcrogel,

    You could use just a little more support to help you hit those higher notes dead on, where you are scooping up to them now. Also support will just beef up the tone a bit as well.

    If you haven't already watched Ken's lessons on minimizing consonants and singing songs on the AH vowel without consonants, and then on all of the right vowels without consonants, that is important to learn to make your vowels more contiguous and continuous, and to reduce the consonants to the extent possible. That will help you a lot with singing of songs.

    Your voice sounds nice. Your pitch is pretty good. You may want to slow your vibrato down a little bit. Ken shows you the "ghosting extercise" in the vibrato lessons. Ghosting is good for helping to get a nice, slower speed on vibrato.

    You sound like you're on a good track.

    Bob
  • KonKon Posts: 2Member
    edited February 2016
    Hi all,

    Great to be here! here is a link to one of my songs called "The Fallen" - please let me know your assessment.
    I welcome all comments good and bad as this is how we grow as artists.https://commitsamantha1.bandcamp.com/track/the-fallen

    Thanks

    Kon
  • EnglishTea123EnglishTea123 Posts: 76Enrolled
    Hello, KTVA!



    I am posting up my progress here. Today, while practicing, I learned that it is easier to sing when I bend my body forward. What I mean by that is that, since I have to play the scales on the keyboard, I usually practice sitting down. To compensate for the loss of support, I bend my body forward as if I were doing situps. The problem is that I can't really differentiate what I am doing differently by bending forward, compared to just sitting or standing straight up. It helps me with support, but I don't really feel any tension on my lower belly or my solar plexus. My solar plexus just expands a bit more when I bend forward.

    Anybody with similar experience???

    Thanks!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @Kon,

    Cool recording. Nice vocals.

    Bob
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @EnglishTea123,

    Most of your highest notes in each scale are just a touch flat. That means just a little more support is needed.

    As to your bending forward, it's hard to tell without seeing video. Seeing the ceiling instead of seeing you doesn't give us a chance to help you with that.

    The term "Appoggio" means "to lean on", and is the way the classical singers of old described their support. You may be using this "leaning" support. Ken often refers to "leaning into the sound" little-by-little. He's speaking metaphorically, but still, if you are seated, you may be needing to add some additional support in order to compensate for the fact that you are seated when playing the piano.

    I sit at a drumset when I sing, so I don't have the greatest singing posture, either, and have to compensate abdominally to ensure that I am using sufficient support. I mostly gauge that by the amount of load I am keeping OFF my vocal cords.

    Other than those top notes, you are sounding pretty good. Make sure you are getting all the way up to the top note. You are ending the note just before you slide all the way up to the high note. Don't be too quick to bail out of the high note.

    Good job, so far.

    Bob
  • EnglishTea123EnglishTea123 Posts: 76Enrolled
    edited February 2016
    @highmtn

    Thank you, Bob! I think I have improved tremendously over the past few weeks! It's incredible.

    I will definitely work on those things that you have mentioned. I am looking forward to posting more videos and hearing more feedback!

    Also, I will film myself the next time hehe
  • pummeluffpummeluff Posts: 1Pro
    Hi,
    i'm new on KTVA. I'm from Germany and i'm 44 years old.
    First let me say i'm sorry for my bad english.
    I have absolutely no experience in singing. I only sing when i'm alone in my car.
    So on this years valentine day i decided to give my wife a different gift.
    I bought a usb Mic got me some free Software and recorded some of her favourite Songs.
    I know this is far away from prefect but i had a lot of fun during the recording.
    Now i'm here, starting with part1. I think i found something that makes me feel good.
    Please feel free to leave a comment.
    Here are the first two recordings:

    https://youtu.be/pSFTi9MltNY

    https://youtu.be/qp1PSZ3tsEA
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Hello, @pummeluff!

    What a nice gift. Based on what you've said about being totally new to singing, I have to say that I'm impressed with what you have accomplished.

    It's super-cool that you have found something that makes you feel good in singing. That's really why we all love to sing. We all like to feel good.

    I'm going to give you a few suggestions that will help you to improve your singing. Don't let any of this make you feel bad. Use it to help you to feel even better about your voice.

    You have a pretty good sense of melody and pitch. At times, your pitch drifts just a bit out of tune, but for the most part it's pretty good.

    Keep the bright tone as bright as you can. It's easier to hear if you are in tune properly when you keep it bright, and it also sounds better, even on the low notes. Keep it bright.

    Support: Remember to push down on the high notes, and always sing from your core, not your throat. Your body is your instrument. Learn to play it.

    Improving your support will improve your tone and your pitch. Proper pitch depends on strong support.

    If you haven't done so, study what Ken teaches in the basic pitch program. You may have some insights from thinking through and exercising what he teaches in that program.

    Most of your pitch drifts happen on the end of phrases. So be sure to keep that support going all the way to the end of the last note of each phrase.

    Make sure when you sing with a distorted voice that you cut back the air. Don't push your voice to get that sound. It's done safely with a more gentle feeling. When you are in Volume 3 you will learn about that. Pay strict attention to those instructions.

    So, I'm giving you this feedback because I hear a singer in you that is doing a pretty good job, and these few items that I've mentioned will help you to sound even that much better, and to feel even better about your singing. Make sure that any feedback you receive on your voice is only an encouragement for you to feel and sound even better about your voice.

    You're doing a really good job.

    Bob
  • ladyninja93ladyninja93 Posts: 9Enrolled
    Back again! After working on the LAH scale for quite a bit, I tried to apply it to a song that I've had trouble singing in the past: Unfaithful by Rihanna. When I first sang it, it was very throaty, nasally, and the notes were very "jerky" and far from smooth. I could never reach the chorus, the "I don't want to do this anymore, I don't want to be the reason..." (which really isn't high at all.) But after applying a bit of Ken's technique, some of what he was saying was starting to click when practicing this song.

    However, I am still somewhat confused about how to release the sound for singing, and my perception of what it is to release a singing sound shows in the demo and when I do my LAH scales (I will post LAH scale tonight). When I hear Rihanna sing this song, as well as other singers cover it, it seems very smooth and effortless, and I can hear the air flowing and breath support. When I sing this song, I don't feel like it's forced or strained, but I can hear it sounds more spoken rather than singing. When I do allow more air to flow, I find it harder to control the voice and sing on pitch. What am I doing that's different?

    Thanks,

    Shamara

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=PePNOvFiQlw
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited March 2016
    @ladyninja93,

    Shamara,

    You're actually asking a lot of good questions here, and there isn't a short answer.

    First of all, you have a nice voice, and you're doing a good job. Rihanna did this in a recording studio, on a $5000 mic, plugged into several million dollars worth of gear. You're standing in a room in a house. You would sound like a million bucks if you were the one standing in the recording studio.

    But there are some differences in how she's using her voice.

    She's using more cord closure than you are. That gets a lot of tone without using much air. She's creaking a little with just a touch of vocal fry on some of her onsets. That gets that creaky sound at the beginning of a lot of her phrases. It's easy to over-use something like that, but it's OK to have as one of your colors for your voice, if you do it tastefully.

    She's singing more from her core. You're singing with the sound placed up high in the head (nasal or pharyngeal) and from the throat. Try to sing more from the gut. The engine. Let the sound come from the gut and the nasal and throat can be more the "shapers" of the sound that comes from your core. That will give you more tone to work with when it reaches your pharyngeal area.

    As to the "Jerky" aspect, there is a whole section on "How to Apply KTVA to singing songs" both in the How to Sing Better program AND here in the Forums. There is a process for breaking songs down and applying what you are learning here. I would prefer to have you read that information here and watch Ken demonstrate it in Volume 2, and then we can jump into the discussions that are already there, maybe take a few lines of this song and talk about them.

    Check that out, and then get back to us in the http://forum.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/categories/applying-ktva-methods-to-songs area!

    You are on a good track.

    Bob
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @ladyninja93

    Oh. I just noticed you are listed as "member". If you bought Ken's program, you should have student access at least.

    You may need to write to [email protected] and request a forums upgrade. Paste into your message a copy of your purchase receipt from paypal or whoever you paid through. Upgrades are usually sent to the original email you bought the program through, so if you have another email address, you may have been given an upgrade and don't know it.

    Let them know your username and the email you bought through.

    There is a TON of information you can't see without a student or PRO account here on the forums. Contact KTVA at that address and find out what to do.

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • ladyninja93ladyninja93 Posts: 9Enrolled
    @highmtn,

    Thank you for a timely and helpful response as usual! I will definitely focus on singing from the gut rather than the throat when I do my LAH scale tonight.

    Also, I forgot to respond to your last post about upgrades. I sent my receipt for Volume 2 to [email protected] early February. I just checked my Paypal to see which email I purchased the program with, and no upgrade was sent.

    I will email them again. Just in case, should I leave a message on the Facebook page or is there a phone number I can call?

    Thanks again!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    I will forward this message to KTVA. They will contact you via email.
  • PandaMomPandaMom Posts: 7Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Hi,

    I spent all day yesterday downloading KTVA, and I can't wait to start practicing today. So, as a record of my voice pre-KTVA, I recorded a couple of songs on my phone this morning, when I had 20 minutes between dropping kids off at school and going to work myself. Sorry the quality is BAD, and after 8 years of singing without music, I've completely lost my sense of rhythm, so I messed up in several places.

    Oh, what the hack, here goes.

    1) A Chinese pop song: https://soundcloud.com/user-258719352/bubbles

    2) An operatic (kind of) piece. Warning, coloratura repertoire here, LOL, turn your volume way down. https://soundcloud.com/user-258719352/mirage

    Any comment will be very appreciated. Please don't spare my feelings. ^_^

    Thanks,
    Lam
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @PandaMom,

    Interesting demo for a newbie. I think I heard a D6 in there close to the end. You also had a lot of low notes in your chest range in the pop song. So you have a lot of range already. So now you get to build some power and different tones. You have pretty good support as well. I think you'll like the ha-ha exercise at the end of the Volume 3 workout.

    Some of what you may find adds to your palate of vocal colors and power will be increased cord closure, a bit more support and tone, and exercising and building your upper mid chest voice. It will be interesting to see how you do with stretching your chest voice range. I think you'll do quite well.

    Bob
  • PandaMomPandaMom Posts: 7Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @highmtn,

    Thank you for your comment. You are right that range is not my problem, but I really need to improve my tone and power. I also need to work more on my lower register, and try not to move into head voice too soon. (For years I dared not use my chest voice, because it hurt when I did. But these two days, after doing the Lah-ah-ah, it seems much easier to sing in my lower register.) My cord closure is not as good as it used to be simply because of so many years of not singing correctly, so I am sure KTVA will help. My support is also not consistent, which I am already working on since I watched Vol #1 today.

    Talking about that, I am officially pissed now because of the whole vowel modification thing. Why the heck did I not know about this before? I mean, of the voice teacher that I worked with, and the numerous online courses that I bought, none of them has mentioned, let alone explain, how important vowels are to singing. Now I understand why I have problem with certain phrases of certain songs even though they are well within my range. I am glad Ken has explained it finally (even though it is still a bit over my head and it will take time to learn).

    This is all so exciting. I have already learned so much just from Vol#1. Still need to the audio workout yet. Can't wait!

    Thanks,
    Lam
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited March 2016
    All of our singing takes place on Vowels. Consonants are interruptions to how sonorous our singing can become. We will learn to minimize the consonants and maximize the vowels. When the vowels go up in pitch, we have to make adjustments so that the vowels don't get top-heavy.

    Any singing system that ignores these laws of physics does not deserve to be taking people's money in the name of "teaching how to sing". They are leaving out many of the most essential, important parts of true singing, and charging a fortune for it. How can you call something "360" when it leaves out everything that is actually important? I think ZERO is more like it.

    Sadly, most of the other courses are scams, or at best, slickly-produced quickie courses, designed to teach you a few "tricks" and make you think you're learning to sing. They even mention stuff like this will "trick the voice into" whatever... You don't "trick" the voice if you want to sound like a PRO. You TRAIN the voice. You can't "trick" the audience. They want the REAL voice, not something from a Fake program designed to teach you to trick your way through a performance.

    This method requires your "sweat equity" to actually BUILD your voice, with proven methods to grow and transform it. "Tricks" don't work for that. Ken does not "trick" his students.

    You will do well in this program.

    Bob
  • Eddie123Eddie123 Posts: 6Pro, 2.0 PRO
    edited April 2016
    Well, here's my first video of the LAH's - be careful, it recorded real loud. The recording started slightly late, and you can hear as I switch from the camera mic to the one I'm singing in.
    Feel free to be as critical as you like, I can take it! I want to get better!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    This sounds pretty good, especially after you said that bit about the dying animal...

    Smile more. Your lips are a little rounded, covering your upper teeth more than they should be. Smile high into the cheeks, and expose your upper teeth, and that will help the sound to be brighter, which we want.

    At about 0:47 you need more support. Push down on your guts, on your diaphragm. That will help you to get that high note. Keep your throat wide open there. You are going through your secondo passaggio around F, F#4, which is normal. You just need a lot of support there. Your AH should probably be modified to Aw as in Loft or Law right in that area to help you sound those notes out. Above that you are in head voice. If you can, try to stay in chest voice, without going to the soft high voice (head voice). That is where Ken wants you to be stretching your chest voice (your lower voice) up into those notes. It's hard to do, and takes time to get there, but that's what will really make your voice shine. Unfortunately, you may make a few dying animal sounds as you are going through that process. What you are doing is fine for now, but you need to try to extend your lower voice into a CALL VOICE that will do those same notes you are hitting above 0:47 in a stronger, more emphatic voice.

    You took your head voice all the way up to B4. If you work hard, eventually you should be able to get your chest voice all the way up there, maybe even up to C5 or better. That takes a lot of work, but if you manage to accomplish that, all of the others at the karaoke bar will be in awe of you.

    To hold on to your chest voice you will have to increase your diaphragmatic support and to some degree, your volume.

    Around 2:50 you lose your support and default into head voice on the second scale. Again you go to the light head voice, rather than maintain the chest voice sound. As before, this is OK, but not what you really want. You want to hold your ground and stay in chest voice. It's OK to lighten up on the tone, but don't go quite so soft, if you can help it. You WILL have to try those notes softly at first, but as you are able, start to lean into those heady notes as you become more used to them.

    The section from about 3:20 on, where it's pretty high, you are kind of pitchy. Up until that point, your pitch has been pretty good. From that point, in the high notes, it's a bit random. Again, stronger support is needed, a bright tone is needed, good cord closure is needed, and the longer you can maintain chest voice, the better your head voice will sound when you do have to resort to it. From about 3:49 you are back in tune with the exercise and no longer roaming away from the correct pitches.


    Nice job. Smile more... a cheeky smile. Expose the upper teeth. Really Brighten up the sound. Support: Push down to go higher. Sing from the core, not from the throat.

    Yes. Time does pass much more slowly when the red light is on.

    All the Best!


    Bob
  • Eddie123Eddie123 Posts: 6Pro, 2.0 PRO
    This is exactly the kind of detailed advice I needed.
    Last year I couldn't get anywhere close to finishing either of these scales. I wish I had done some recordings because event though I still have very far to go, the difference between now and then is astounding to me. I had really done no singing at all and started from ZERO.
    I'm encouraged I'm on the right path and look forward to forward to kicking butt (vocally).
  • PALMHEADPALMHEAD Posts: 11Pro, STREAMING PRO
    Hello guys,

    I'm on my fourth day of the volume 1 program and I'm wondering if i'm doing all exercises correctly. I have a few doubts about the AH vowel that maybe you guys can help me with. Am I doing the exercise correctly?
    Be brutally honest please, there is no progress otherwise :)

    I have added the videos here:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/apb47i3t4rfnb99/AAASBdUlrpu_o-BJkFS-C8y0a?dl=0

    thank you in advance.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Hi, @PALMHEAD

    I appreciate your enthusiasm, but please keep the demos down to one or two at a time. Otherwise, a moderator won't be able to take much time to look for details. The most important exercise we want to hear is the basic LAH triad scale (Track 5). If you don't get that one right, then you need to stop and fix it.

    Be sure to smile. On Track 5 you have your jaw open nicely, but you should smile and show your upper teeth, and smile up into your cheeks as well. That will help the sound to be brighter. Rounding your lips over your teeth makes a darker, more covered sound that is harder to keep from going flat. Raising the cheeks also helps to raise the uvula.

    In your demo, it would be better if the playback were a little softer, so we can hear your voice clearly and not mistake Ken's voice for yours. Often when students submit demos, the opposite is true and we ask them to please include some playback. We need to hear the detail in your voice AND the chords Ken is playing so we can compare and give you good feedback.

    Also, video is great for demos. A better view of you would be less of the wall above your head, and to be able to see you down to about your beltline, so we can watch your abdominal breathing.

    Your tongue is a little high, especially on the LAA exercises.

    All the Best.

    Bob
  • PALMHEADPALMHEAD Posts: 11Pro, STREAMING PRO
    Perfect. Thank you very much Bob. I will follow your advise and correct myself.
  • ermanozermanoz Posts: 10Pro
    Hi Guys!

    I have been working on volume 1 for three weeks and now I need your help. On the exercise "Ah vowel", I tried to push my chest voice as long as I felt comfortable without vowel modifications. Afterwards, of course I tried to utilize the vowel modifications to get the notes. If you can give your feedback honestly, I would be so thankful! :)
    Thanks in advance.

    https://dropbox.com/s/tzyhfcjm69411ap/Ah Vowel Test_1_15.04.2016.m4a?dl=0

    Kindly,
    Erman
  • boomba212boomba212 Posts: 53Volume 1
    Hi @highmtn and all,

    I'm on Vol. 2 and put up a demo of myself doing a scale a few months ago, and Bob advised that I work on pitch, among other things. So, I've been working on pitch etc. and here is a recording of me from today, attempting a Shinedown song. Could you all please tell me what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong (I'm sure a lot of wrong)? Thanks!

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5m-ivWbEJJ5VmVhel9EVTlvNjA
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Hi, @boomba212

    This song is a little advanced for where you are presently. Most of the high parts your notes are a half-step or two flat. This song will take a lot more support and some compression on your voice. Your tone is good on the notes that are in your range.

    I think you should post a demo of your basic Lah scale and let us give you some advice on that. You need to get all of your basic building blocks in good order before trying to attempt more difficult songs.

    Good to hear from you again.

    Bob
  • boomba212boomba212 Posts: 53Volume 1
    Thanks @highmtn, I will post a video lah scale soon. For the lower notes that are in my range, was the pitch somewhat OK?

    Thanks.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    On the very first low notes, no. Those are not very close to the correct pitch. If you want to get those notes right, I recommend just listening to the chord Ken plays on the guitar, then stopping the playback and then you singing a single LAH, and holding a long note on just that low, first note. If you don't get the first note right, the rest of that scale is likely to be off, as well. Practice nailing that first note on the first two or three scales in the exercise. If you do that, you may be able to find the adjustments to get a good tone and pitch, even on those first few scales.

    After you have successfully matched that first low note, then unpause the playback and sing that scale. Repeat on the next one. Eventually you should be able to sing the scales right out of the gate without having to pause. Until then, try doing a sustained long note and finding what you have to do to sing the right first note.

    Bob
  • boomba212boomba212 Posts: 53Volume 1
    highmtn said:

    On the very first low notes, no. Those are not very close to the correct pitch. If you want to get those notes right, I recommend just listening to the chord Ken plays on the guitar, then stopping the playback and then you singing a single LAH, and holding a long note on just that low, first note. If you don't get the first note right, the rest of that scale is likely to be off, as well. Practice nailing that first note on the first two or three scales in the exercise. If you do that, you may be able to find the adjustments to get a good tone and pitch, even on those first few scales.

    After you have successfully matched that first low note, then unpause the playback and sing that scale. Repeat on the next one. Eventually you should be able to sing the scales right out of the gate without having to pause. Until then, try doing a sustained long note and finding what you have to do to sing the right first note.

    Bob

    Thanks @highmtn -- I was talking about the Shinedown song that I posted. I guess you are talking about the lah exercise I posted a while back?
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Yes, the stopping playback was a suggestion for the Lah exercise.

    On the shinedown song, there are so many things going on that need correction that it's too much to give a note-by-note critique. There are a number of places where the pitch is not correct and some places where it's fine. That's why posting songs to be told what to work on is so random. With the LAH exercise, we are focusing on the main vowel that must be right before anything will be right. We are focusing on pitch on simple arpeggios. We are focusing on vowel modifications in an orderly manner.

    Songs are much more random in nature, and if you don't yet have the basics of singing scales and applying vowel modifications with accurate pitch, it's a bit overwhelming. A song needs to be at least 90% accurate, in just about every way, before it becomes a good evaluation tool.

    That's not what someone wants to hear, because after all, the purpose of singing the scales is to be able to sing your favorite songs well. But if you don't do the foundational work to build a voice that is capable of singing shinedown songs then it's like wanting to buy a box of shingles and nail them to a house that isn't built yet. First you build the foundation. Then the frame. Then you run some plumbing, etc, etc...

    One of the main things you need to work at is support, as that is needed in order to have more consistent pitch. Without a more solid support, your pitch will waver and your pitch will be somewhat inconsistent.

    Your voice IS improving, but you have more work to do on the basics. Pitch is still an important issue.

    Bob
  • boomba212boomba212 Posts: 53Volume 1
    highmtn said:

    Yes, the stopping playback was a suggestion for the Lah exercise.

    On the shinedown song, there are so many things going on that need correction that it's too much to give a note-by-note critique. There are a number of places where the pitch is not correct and some places where it's fine. That's why posting songs to be told what to work on is so random. With the LAH exercise, we are focusing on the main vowel that must be right before anything will be right. We are focusing on pitch on simple arpeggios. We are focusing on vowel modifications in an orderly manner.

    Songs are much more random in nature, and if you don't yet have the basics of singing scales and applying vowel modifications with accurate pitch, it's a bit overwhelming. A song needs to be at least 90% accurate, in just about every way, before it becomes a good evaluation tool.

    That's not what someone wants to hear, because after all, the purpose of singing the scales is to be able to sing your favorite songs well. But if you don't do the foundational work to build a voice that is capable of singing shinedown songs then it's like wanting to buy a box of shingles and nail them to a house that isn't built yet. First you build the foundation. Then the frame. Then you run some plumbing, etc, etc...

    One of the main things you need to work at is support, as that is needed in order to have more consistent pitch. Without a more solid support, your pitch will waver and your pitch will be somewhat inconsistent.

    Your voice IS improving, but you have more work to do on the basics. Pitch is still an important issue.

    Bob

    Gotcha, @highmtn (the part about starting with the basics-- I don't think I got the basics down yet though, ha!). Here is a video I just made of me doing the lah exercise. As I say in the video, at first when I was recording, I noticed that my upper teeth weren't showing at all, so in this take, I tried to show them more. Also, as far as "support" goes, I've always been a little unclear as to exactly what that means, but from an earlier answer of yours to a question of mine, what I've gathered is that part of "support" means to tense up my diaphragm so that air comes out less quickly, so I tried to do that here. Thanks for all your help!

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5m-ivWbEJJ5WTRFbjdWcW5rYlk
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    It's not just "tense" the abdomen, but to "push it in a downward direction as you exhale". This helps you to reverse the tendency of all the air to want to rush out. Instead, you meter the air out at a controlled pressure level.

    So, yeah, on the first two scales of this latest video, the pitch is not the pitch of the scales, especially on the first note. So just stop the playback and make sure you can sing a Bb 3 which is the first note of the first scale. Then do the whole scale. Next up, B3. Get that set on your cords, and then do the scale. After those scales you're doing well. It's a little airy, so a little more cord closure would be beneficial. So try to make it sound more like Ken's tone when he demonstrates "It's the LAH!!! AH!!!" really bright and pingy. A bright timbre.

    After the pause where Ken talks, at about 0:43, you are back to covering your upper teeth. You do have your jaw nice and open, but your cheeks (as well as your teeth) should be raised in a smile.

    Your pitch is really pretty good after you get past those first low notes. I think there is just too much coming at you at once on that shinedown song.

    Getting support to work for you will help a lot in many ways, from your consistency of sound, to your tone and steady pitch.

    Good job on getting this video up and on the things you are doing that are right.

    All the Best!


    Bob
  • boomba212boomba212 Posts: 53Volume 1
    highmtn said:

    It's not just "tense" the abdomen, but to "push it in a downward direction as you exhale". This helps you to reverse the tendency of all the air to want to rush out. Instead, you meter the air out at a controlled pressure level.

    So, yeah, on the first two scales of this latest video, the pitch is not the pitch of the scales, especially on the first note. So just stop the playback and make sure you can sing a Bb 3 which is the first note of the first scale. Then do the whole scale. Next up, B3. Get that set on your cords, and then do the scale. After those scales you're doing well. It's a little airy, so a little more cord closure would be beneficial. So try to make it sound more like Ken's tone when he demonstrates "It's the LAH!!! AH!!!" really bright and pingy. A bright timbre.

    After the pause where Ken talks, at about 0:43, you are back to covering your upper teeth. You do have your jaw nice and open, but your cheeks (as well as your teeth) should be raised in a smile.

    Your pitch is really pretty good after you get past those first low notes. I think there is just too much coming at you at once on that shinedown song.

    Getting support to work for you will help a lot in many ways, from your consistency of sound, to your tone and steady pitch.

    Good job on getting this video up and on the things you are doing that are right.

    All the Best!


    Bob

    Thanks so much for the analysis and tips, Bob! I will work on them and post a hopefully better video in a few days/weeks when I think I've improved. About "cord closure," is that something I can control consciously? I don't know how to do that. Or do I just restrict my air more in order to accomplish that?
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    The sound Ken Makes when he demonstrates "It's the LAH!!! AHH!!!" is the sound of good cord closure.

    Do a search here in the forums on "the hut". Read that and try it.
  • PALMHEADPALMHEAD Posts: 11Pro, STREAMING PRO
    Hi guys,

    I'm on my 10th day and wondering if i'm doing the Ah vowel exercie correctly and if i'm breading properly to build a good support for the future. I know that my pitch needs serious work, and i'm following the basic pitch program so i wil get there eventuatly.

    Here is a link to the video:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/jdc6ljrekzc9mk7/10thDay.mp4?dl=0

    Thank you

    Kind regards,
    Fernando Alves
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @PALMHEAD,

    This is an improvement over your previous demo. Your pitch is improved, as well. Keep working the pitch program, as it is helping.

    Your posture is good. You are correctly raising your cheeks and your upper lips off your teeth. The sound is bright. Your abdominal breath looks good. I think you can expand your chest a bit more. You're correctly breathing from below, but you should maintain ribcage expansion. You keep your lungs 1/2 to 3/4 full the entire time you are singing, only relaxing that expansion occasionally in a break in songs or scales. Then you resume that static expansion. You should kind of keep the chest up (with the shoulders hanging down) as if your sternum were hanging from a string like a puppet. This keeps the weight of your ribcage completely off of your lungs and allows the belly breathing to fully control the exhale from the diaphragm only, instead of the weight of the collapsing ribs squeezing the air out.

    Keep up the good work.

    Bob
  • EnglishTea123EnglishTea123 Posts: 76Enrolled
    @highmtn

    Hello, Bob, and anyone else who might assess or evaluate my practice video! Haha! First of all, I don't know what's up with my hands and face when practicing lol so please disregard that xD

    I am posting up my progress here. Although I went a bit flat on A4, I think my Bb4 and B4 were much more solid than they used to be. I really hope I am not the only one who think/thought so. I am still not too sure exactly what it means to push down on diaphragm, but I think it means something like keeping my rib cage open and expanded and let the abdominal do what it needs to do. For this practice session, I tried a something new. To "feel" my support, I placed both of my hands on either side of my abdominal--below the ribs--and as I sang the scale, I pulled in on my abdominal as if someone had grabbed me by the sides and was pulling back on me. My sides felt like they were expanding. It was like trying to stretch out the rubber band sideways, and I felt the resistance.

    Also, for this practice session, I started using vowel modification. I found out that I can stay on pure "Ah" vowel--or so I think--until G#4 before transitioning into "Aw" as in Loft. Now, I am not completely sure if my modifications are working as they should be, so if you guys could assess me on that, that would be awesome.

    (In case nothing about my post makes sense, since I am writing and posting this with naturally closing eyes due to sleepiness, I would like to sum it up :D. Is my support getting stronger and more proper? And am I doing the vowel modifications properly? Am I practicing correctly in general?)

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited April 2016
    I would recommend that you don't pause before the high note, and that you get up to pitch sooner. You are dwelling on the note that you start your slide up to the high note too long and not on the high note long enough, so the high note sounds flat.

    Your first note in the exercise isn't on-pitch, but after that, it's mostly on.

    Your support is good. Your mods sound sufficient. They're subtle, but that's how they are supposed to be. You're not splatting. You'll need more support for those high notes, but the rest sound supported enough.

    G4 for Loft is fine. You should keep practicing, and your voice will strengthen to the point that these top notes aren't a stretch for you anymore. Lots more support for the top notes is needed, and dwell on the correct top note with less slide-time.

    Good Job.
  • EnglishTea123EnglishTea123 Posts: 76Enrolled
    Thanks! And, yes, I did notice that I have this bad habit of dwelling on the note before the high note. I'll work on that. It's amazing to me how hard G4 used to be and now it's getting easier and easier to produce tone at that specific range. I am very glad to hear that my support has gotten stronger and that my vowel mods are sufficient. I'll continue to work on them. Thanks!
  • Eddie123Eddie123 Posts: 6Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Made use of the suggestions you gave on the last video (I think.) Am I on the right track? Feel free to lay into me. My first karaoke will be in 1 week!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,514Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Sounding better. Try to put a little more ping and sting into the tone. Really bright with some more bite. Excellent job on staying in chest voice up to the Bb4. I'm not even going to mention that you were a little flat on the Bb4, because you did such a good job of getting up that high in chest. Super.

    Listen to that again, and see if you can hear where you high note needs to be about a half-step higher to make the grade. That will be important when you are performing in front of people. We are here to let you know to work on that, without booing you. The Karaoke crowd might be a little rougher after they've had a few beers. Work on nailing those high notes right on the money.

    The high notes from about G4 down are fine and spot-on. The G#4, A4, and Bb4 need to be spot-on, too.

    Your support is good this time. Improved.

    On the second scale, try to land on each note for a moment. You're slurring a little too much. I know. It's fast. Keep practicing. Stop the playback and do it a little slower if you need to, in order to get each note on a little landing pad by itself. Then work on speeding it up. In this scale you made it all the way up to a B4 in chest voice (albeit a little flat). You are doing very well on stretching your chest voice. The flatness on the high notes is just something you have to go through in order to stretch the voice. You are getting there, and I think you will keep going beyond this in time, and on-pitch as your voice strengthens and you get even better with support. Remember, the higher the note, the more you have to push down to help you get the note out. This will actually decrease the pressure at your vocal cords by letting your gut take the brunt of the force and push it into the floor.

    The Karaoke showdown is drawing closer. Keep up the good work. Knock 'em dead. Show them you know how to belt in chest and support the notes.
    Work on getting that brighter sound. You're almost there.

    Bob

  • PaigeStormbladePaigeStormblade Posts: 14Member
    edited May 2016
    some thing from 2007 cant set it to embed so
  • PaigeStormbladePaigeStormblade Posts: 14Member
    in review with reverb nations curation team
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