Singing Forum by Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy
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My first post

Hello everyone, I bought the course some time ago and I've been taking lessons with a teacher that uses Ken's method, and I have to say the improvement is unbelievable, I used to take lessons with a teacher that taught Bel canto-David Jones method and even though it wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was looking for, and I had a lot of tension because of that ng tongue position....but anyway I've been doing the program for 5 months and I am now in volume 2, support has been kind of hard for me because of IBS (pain associated with it) and getting rid of all those Bel canto ideas and old habbits is complicated too, but I think I have accomplished that. I am not really into rock, so belting extremely chesty notes is not my goal but I would still like to belt with a lighter quality, without it sounding like headvoice. I am going to post a sample of something I was singing while I was warming up, I made it as bright as I could and is not loud, I find it easier to sing at a moderate volume, kind of like you're holding back...I think it's kind of brassy though. Oh and sorry about slurring the words, I am introducing consonants very slowly.


Comments

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,566Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited May 2014

    @NicoMateo

    It's good that you've gotten to a point in KTVA where you are ready to start posting demos.

    The noise and voice in the background is very distracting. It covers your voice partially and makes it hard to hear the details in your voice.

    It may just be the quality of the recording, but to me it sounds like you still need to brighten the tone.  It's a little covered-sounding to me.  David Jones has his students use a darker tone and has them round the lips.  KTVA would have you open the mouth and throat much more and make the tone ping more. 

    Could you re-record your voice in a room without all the conflicting sound on the recording? 

    Also, if you would do a standard LAH arpeggio with the piano accompaniment low in the background, that would be a good standard that we could use to compare where you are relative to most other demos.

    I look forward to hearing more from you. 

    Thanks.

     

    Bob

  • Singer93Singer93 Posts: 12Pro
    edited May 2014
    Hi Bob, thanks for the reply :) , I recorded myself doing the Lah with a brighter tone, I am trying to run away from that covered sound....and actually recording myself doing the scale was a good exercise I just realized I was singing off-key in some parts which is something that I need to work on, and as you can hear towards the end, my low notes are not very good either, I feel uncomfortable going below D3 but I think it's maybe because I need to make the tone brighter



    By the way Bob, when I go this bright my tongue kind of blocks my mouth and I lose that half yawn sensation, it that normal?
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,566Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    You are singing this much higher than Ken's voice, which I can barely hear in the background. 

    You are having some pitch issues, but the fact that you are aware of that is good, because that means you can begin to focus more on pitch accuracy.

    It would be helpful if you could be a little closer to the microphone to cut back even more on the background noise.  Also hearing Ken's tracks a little stronger could help to compare your pitch and tone to Ken's. 

    I think you need to work on your support more.  That will help to bolster your tone.  It's still a little airy, as well.  If you can get some more cord closure, that will buff your tone up a lot and cut back on the mixture of tone to airy sound. 

    Thank you for doing Lah Arpgeggios.  That is the Gold Standard that helps us to compare apples to apples and get students on the right footing. 

    If your tongue is blocking your mouth when you go bright, then you are very likely raising your larynx, which is NOT the way you want to brighten your tone.  You want to use Open Throat, and Closed Cords.  Just like Ken in It's The LAH!!! AHH!!!

    I hear good qualities in your voice.  You need to nail down some of these basic moving target items to get yourself on a solid, good track.  Keep working your exercises and making adjustments to these issues of cord closure, tone, and breathiness.

    Good Singing to You!!

    Bob

  • Singer93Singer93 Posts: 12Pro
    edited May 2014
    Thanks for the feedback Bob!!!, I am focusing on keeping my tongue flat while keeping the tone bright, I was practicing with the little boy's voice today and I think that helps keeping the tone bright, could you take a listen and tell me what you think? :)



    It may have not taken away the covered sound completely but I think it helped a little
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,566Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited May 2014

    Your voice is sounding much more stable in this clip.  Your pitch/intonation is better, as well.

    You're kinda doing random runs and trills, which sound nice, but for the most part we need to hear you doing Ken's exercises to see how you're coming along on the basics of the KTVA program.

    I think you have a lot of potential, but you need to get on a solid track and get all of the basics down pat.  After that, you will find that your random jamming will be significantly improved, and you will be able to do much fancier free-style singing at that point.

    Give us some basic meat-and-potatoes KTVA exercises and we'll get you moving through all of the basic fundamentals of proper singing.

    Bob

  • Singer93Singer93 Posts: 12Pro
    Hi Bob, thanks for the reply :) , I think that little boy's voice really helped, I applied it to the workout I did today and it felt easier, I think I still have to practice my vowel modifications with that sound because I tend to forget about them, but here is the lah exercise, I don't know if it sounds better in comparison to my first lah post but it felt a lot easier and the sound felt smaller, kind of like it was under my control and my voice didn't get tired like it used to.


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,566Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Sorry.

    I couldn't get your soundcloud track to play this evening.

    Maybe it will work tomorrow.  It may be a soundcloud issue. 

    In the meantime, keep working out.

     

    : ^ )

     

    Bob

  • Singer93Singer93 Posts: 12Pro
    Sure :) just let me know if the link is broken and I will change it
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,566Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    OK.  @Singer93,

    Your file worked today on Soundcloud.

    I'm still having issues with being able to hear your voice clearly and I also can't hear Ken well enough in the recording.

    It sounds like the first and last part of each scale you sing is off pitch, and then the middle is correct.

    We really need to hear you tracking on the same notes as Ken.  In order to do that, you need to start on the same note Ken starts on and sing the same intervals in the scales. 

    There is so much background noise in your recordings, and Ken is so low in the mix, that it is very difficult to give you a good read on just what you are doing right and just what you are doing incorrectly. 

    You seem to slur the notes together a lot.  You need to sing distinct notes in your scales.  It's OK to blend from one note to the next, but it shouldn't be one long slider.  You have a lot of high range, but you need more control.  Keep working the exercises.

    Please make your next demo with both yourself AND Ken's playback voice closer to the mic, whether it's a phone, a webcam, whatever.  You are so far from the mic that the cars going by and other people in the room are as loud as your singing. 

    Look at the sound waveforms on your soundcloud files.  See how your voice just barely ever gets louder than the constant background noise?  That thick bar that goes all the way across your file should not be there.  That's the background noise.  It's very, very distracting and hides all of the nuances of your voice from us.  We can't give you very good feedback with very bad recordings.

    Look at the waveforms on other people's soundcloud recordings.  You won't see or hear all of that background noise.  Usually on most recordings there is NO audible background noise. This is nothing more than experimenting a little with trial and error and making corrections by Listening to what you have recorded and then making corrections based on what sounds good and what sounds not so good.  It's about mic placement.  Please listen to your own recordings and make sure you are giving us what we need to be able to evaluate your progress before submitting it to the world.

    You DO have some issues that can be corrected but your recordings are almost unlistenable.  Help us to hear you better.  Please.

    Thanks.

     

    Bob 

     

  • Singer93Singer93 Posts: 12Pro
    Hi Bob, thanks for the advice, sorry for the late reply, but I´ve been trying to find a way to reduce the noise, I think I reduced most of it in this recording, there's still some room noise but I think it's not a bad as it was before....This is NOT the lah exercise, this is just me singing a song to check If I could remove the noise, I pulled away from the mic a some points but I think my voice is more audible now, please tell me if it sounds better and if I am not covering the sound and I will record the lah exercise....thanks Bob :)


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,566Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited June 2014

    We're making some progress here on the recording process.  This is better.  I could see that before I even listened to your recording by looking at the waveform graphic display.

    There is still a bit of a problem, however.  Listen to the playback.  There is a kind of "masking" of the sound, where the voice sounds overly "gated".  Are you using a noise reducing setting of some kind?  If so, it's set with too high of a threshold, to where the beginnings and endings of your words are cut off, and this also makes it hard to listen to.  It's too artificial-sounding.

    I know you're just trying to comply with my request to avoid the background noise, but we can't do it by chopping off the quiet parts of your words. What's left after the chopping is insufficient to judge properly.

    I appreciate that you are working on this.  Not everybody has good recording equipment or even good quality cell phones that can record their voice.

    At 0:21 and 0:23 your voice is too loud and goes into distortion.

    Your voice (what I can hear of it) does not sound covered at this time.

    Please keep working to get the sound better.  The recording still has too many recording inconsistencies to give you much meaningful feedback.  Once you get a good recording sound worked out, you should be able to duplicate the process for future demos, and we can get a little further down the line with progress evaluations.

    Bob

  • Singer93Singer93 Posts: 12Pro
    Hi Bob thanks for the feedback...I did use a noise reducing tool, so I know its not the best...I am still figuring out the right sound that I am supposed to have, because since the teacher that I spent most time with taught the classical way, for some reason I tend to cover the sound and I feel like its harder to sing with a cover sound than with a brighter one

    https://m.soundcloud.com/singer9393/bright

    Here is a new recording, hopefuly it sounds better than the last ones and hopefuly the sound is bright and not cover
    Thank you so much Bob :)
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,566Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Hello again, @Singer93.

    You are still sounding somewhat covered.  Especially at 0:11 it sounds even more covered.

    Probably video of you would provide more clues to exactly what you are doing, but I suspect you are not smiling wide, with raised cheeks and your upper teeth bared.  You need to direct the sound at the hard surfaces of the roof of your mouth, and also let some of the sound come from the mask.

    These random bits of songs are nice, but I would like to hear you do some standard KTVA exercises.  Those are the Gold Standard.  That's where we can ensure that you know the techniques and can utilize them in your singing of songs.  If you don't get those principles down, you won't be able to implement them into songs.  You have a good voice, that's not the problem.  We need you to have good techniques. 

    Please, if you can, do video of you singing Lah arpeggios. Include some of the backing track in the background so we can hear that you are on key and on pitch with the reference track, but also make sure that we can clearly hear your voice above the sound of Ken or his guitar or piano track.

    This is a good recording this time.  Thank you very much for getting that figured out.  It will help a great deal for your future recordings to be of this quality.  Your previous recordings were problematic.  So now, let's get you squared-away on some of the basics to make sure you're on the right track.

    All the Best to You!

    Bob

  • Singer93Singer93 Posts: 12Pro
    Hi Bob :smile: , almost a year after my last post. Long story short I had given up on the course (and basically singing) after getting frustrated. I am taking it back now and today I was rehearsing a little bit. Just wanted your opinion on this so I can basically start over where I left and improve everything that needs to be improved. By the way I was just playing around with the song, I don't know the lyrics or the melody.



    Thank you so much!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,566Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Welcome back, @Singer93. Nice to hear from you again. I reveiwed your previous recordings and remember the troubles we were having hearing your voice over all of the background noise.

    Your new recording has background noise in it too, but at least the recording of your voice is prominent and clear. In other words, I can hear your voice fairly well for the first time. You have a very nice voice, and you should stick with the program now, so that you can get the benefits it will give you in improving your vocal techniques.

    As you said, you are just kind of doing some random licks in your recording, but at least you are sounding pretty good.

    So how about you start working out on the exercises every day, and then send in a sample of you doing the basic LAH exercise, so we can listen carefully to that and tell you how you're doing?

    I'm not sure what's going on in the background when you record. Maybe you're just in a place where there are a lot of people all the time? It would be better if that background noise wasn't there, but it's not the end of the world. As long as we can hear you clearly, we can proceed.

    You sound good. Start doing the workouts and see how you can build your voice to be even better.

    All the Best!

    Bob
  • Singer93Singer93 Posts: 12Pro
    Hi Bob!, Thanks for your comments!

    I took some time to reply but I was waiting until I got a bette mic.

    I think I was getting frustrated because I hadn't let go of all the baggage from previous singing courses and I was somehow trying to combine everything with what Ken was teaching me. I have been doing the course everyday for 2 or 3 weeks now and I have been following every advice or "rule" that Ken talks about in the course and I finally let go of all the influence of past courses. I feel like my voice is finally growing, I am able to sing louder now (and higher), which I was afraid of doing before and I think I am getting the idea of what support is. Here is a recording of me doing the Lah exercise (If you hear a woman's voice, that is Ken's spanish translation) :smile:

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,566Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    @Singer93,

    This is sounding better. You should make the tone a little brighter. Your throat isn't quite as open as it should be.

    Your top note in each scale should be higher. You are not going a full octave up to the top note. Instead you are taking a "shortcut" and not going up to the actual top note. Listen carefully, and see if you can tell what I'm talking about. You are close, but you aren't getting the full benefit of the scales unless you sing them correctly, and go all the way to the actual top note each time.

    These scales are far better for making progress than random clips.

    Good for you for finally getting serious enough to follow Ken's instructions and to leave the old courses behind. You don't want to combine nonsense with Ken's no-nonsense instructions. Do it Ken's way, and you will make the most progress.

    Your support isn't bad. Brighten up the tone and make it ping more, open the throat more, and go up all the way to the proper top note on each scale.

    Good job.

    Bob
  • Singer93Singer93 Posts: 12Pro
    thanks for the input Bob!

    Here's another recording of the exercise opening more the throat, I dont know if it is open enough but it feels easier like this (with the tongue in a spoon shape-kind of like yawining). is it bright enough now? if I try to go brighter the left side of my throat hurts

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,566Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    This is better. It still sounds like it needs to be brighter. Are you smiling and baring your teeth? It sounds like maybe you have your lips covering your teeth. Hard to tell with an audio-only demo. Your throat should not hurt by brightening the sound. You want to reflect the sound off of the hard surfaces of your teeth and hard palate, with an open jaw.


    Bob
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