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Hi from a life long dreamer

sam.ksam.k Posts: 41Pro
edited September 2014 in Welcome
Hi All,

I've wanted to sing like a rock star since I was a teenager (twenty years ago now) but back then I didn't have the right teachers or mentors and had no idea how to find the right ones. I was also generally full of crap and didn't have a clue how to be successful at anything. I sang in choirs, had vocal lessons with classical trainers who didn't like rock, and was also in multiple garage bands, but I always sucked and nothing ever came of it. After trying to forget it for more than a decade the dream just won't go away.

Now I am in a very different place in my life where I finally have the self discipline, motivation, personal space, and the right attitude to succeed. I have been learning from free Internet resources for a few months and have improved a little, but I still felt I was lacking good teaching and mentoring. I hope I am not speaking to soon when I say I think I have finally found it here at KTVA. I just bought the "complete bundle" a few days ago and I am really excited to finally have the right resources to achieve my dream.

My own assessment of my voice so far is:
  • I think I have a good range, not sure on octave numbers but between my MIDI keyboard and Ableton live seem to think it is D1 to D4 (I think that translates to D2 to D5 in the language most people use? *shrug*)
  • My pitch is not bad
  • I have terrible tone and sound wobbly and strained, in particular sustaining long a notes sounds particularly bad
  • I have no control of my vibrato at all
From these things and what I have learned elsewhere I think I need to work most on my breath support and opening my throat.

I have watched the first 18 chapters of volume one already and the first thing that immediately jumps out at me is that even when I sing to the very top of my range, my Uvula DOES NOT MOVE AT ALL! It just hangs there right in the middle of the back of my throat like a dead fish. Any tips on how to get it moving would be greatly appreciated.

Finally I'll leave you with a vocal demo I recorded a week ago. I know it's not very good and it makes me cringe too, but I think it serves as a good "before" video.



Cheers,
Sam

Comments

  • ragnarragnar Posts: 410Pro
    Welcome aboard Sam.

    1. D2-D5 sounds right based on your demo. (in any case D1 is insanely low, so that would be unlikely).

    2. Pitch is essential, so good for you :)

    3. Listened to your demo and yes your tone is not amazing but it ain't that bad either, and you have some range to work with. You are singing with too much of a squeeze on your vocal folds and not much of an open throat. Lucky for you, these are exactly the things Ken specializes in fixing :)

    4. Vibrato is one of the last things in the chain of learning so don't worry, it will come more naturally as you develop your technique.


    Be patient and watch the videos over and over again. Progress will come.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 11,541Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Hi, @sam.k,

    Nice to meet you, and thanks for the nice introduction and video.   Yes.  I think you have made the right choice.  We're glad you're here, too. 

    Don't worry too much about the uvula.  It will eventually find its way.  Something you can do to help with the overall lift of the soft palate is to smile into the vowels, with a toothy smile and raised cheeks.  Lifting the soft palate helps to create a nice cavern at the back of the throat and also to close down the passage into the nasal cavity a bit.  It's kind of the variable valve between the oropharynx and the nasopharynx.

    You are correct in your assessment that the common denominators in several of your issues are breath support and Open Throat.  

    Watch and rewatch the videos periodically, as you will always notice something you didn't notice previously in them.  There is just so much detailed information that it's hard to keep focused when your mind grabs new info and runs with it.  Follow Ken's instructions as closely as you can, and practice like you mean it, like this is something that is very important in your life.  Your results will be in direct proportion to the time, effort, focus, and diligence you apply to your training.

    Welcome to the forums!

     

    Bob 

  • sam.ksam.k Posts: 41Pro
    Hi ragnar and highmtn,

    Thanks for your feedback and taking the time to watch my video, I really appreciate it. :)

    Guess what! After doing the volume 1 workout just now. I screwed around looking at the back of my mouth with a mirror and yawning and whatnot and managed to get full control of the muscles that pull up the uvula! I was able to fully pull it all the way up as an independant muscle movement (not while singing). I still need the mirror so I can tell I am pulling the right muscles, but I reckon if I do that at some point during every practice session then I won't need the mirror after a week or two.

    YAY!

    I have already been practicing for 2 hours a night, three to four nights a week for a couple of months now just doing basic warm ups I picked up from the Internet and then singing songs I like. So I am confident that I have the self discipline to do the KVTA program. Honestly if I had not already been doing that I probably would not have felt the money was justified, but since I have already proven to myself that I am committed, it was easy. :)


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 11,541Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Hi, @sam.k,

    Funny you should say that, because I happened to stop by a mirror after responding to you and checked out my uvula, and watched as I raised my cheeks, etc.   I also found that isolating the muscles actually works better than raising the cheeks, but it's not something you can easily write about for people to be able to learn and do, other than finding it for themselves.

    It was funny, because I saw that I could make my uvula go up and down at will,  in time to music, or whatever.  That's how much control over it you CAN have, but who wants to do that?  It is useful to discover those muscles and isolate them so that you can exercise control over the velopharyngeal port, which is the variable valve to open up the back of the throat and close down a bit on the nasal passage.

     

  • Hello. Sam.

    While reading your introductory message I had a mixture of feelings. We have so much in common. I never cared about what people say about my love and devotion for singing and my 22 year quest for improvement, full of ups and downs. However, it's nice to find sb like me out there.
    I believe we have finally found the way to reach our dream here at KTVA.  I bet even you and I would be surprised if we told each other all we've been through to get where we are now.

    I listened to your demo. I think you have huge potencial to develop. 

    Thanks for your question on the uvula. It's helpful for me too.

    I would really like to keep in touch with you, if it's ok by you.

    Regards.

    Sebastian.
  • davo165davo165 Posts: 59Pro
    Me too, always wanted to be an awesome singer, got close a few times but always lost the technique before I could master, fixing lotsa bad habits now tho with programmes help :)
    David. Australia .
  • sam.ksam.k Posts: 41Pro
    Hi sebastiancelesner, sorry for the late reply! I'm happy my post struck a chord with you, it's a lonely road and we all need encouragement. I'd be happy to share my experiences with you any time, feel free to message me!

    Hi davo165, yeah I can relate, so many things get in the way and kill your motivation, glad to hear you are back at it.

    Cheers,
    Sam


  • Sam K, yes it is inded. As David Coverdale wrote in Whitesnake's song "Here I go again": "...cause I know what it means to walk alone the lonely street of dreams" In his 20s he was already a famous singer but only he knows what his fight was; and this is the case for us all. Only each person knows what they've been up to but I know you and me have overcome a lot. I still am. But KTVA has given me lots energy and motivation and I have faith everything will be awesome.
    Do you prefer to stay in touch here at the forum or via email? I think (not sure how this works) that if we post here, we may be giving the moderators extra work in vain cause I imagine they get a notification for every post but if we keep talking to each other, I wouldn't like to bother them. so just in case my e mail is sebastian.celesner@gmail.com

    Would be awesome if one day we could talk via webcam and tell each other's stories. I imagine that conversation full of strong, different emotions.

    So let's keep in touch and as Ken says: "Sing your ass off!" Love this phrase.
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