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Hello everyone

wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
edited June 2012 in INTRODUCE YOURSELF
I purchased the the three singing courses last year but I have not really done the exercises as I have been having health problems. But now that I am starting to get better, I am planning really to alot some time to do the courses.

Anyway, my greatest dilemma is that I have problems hearing whether I am singing the right key or not. My ear is not trained although I can sing but I find it hard to be on key, even in low notes. When I sing, my siblings and parents tell me that I am out of tune. I do not know whether I am just not paying that much attention to what key I am singing in or I am "tone deaf". Any tips to hear notes better?

If you wanna hear my sample, I posted it on the vocal demonstration thread.

Thanks.

Best Answers

  • GuevaraGuevara Posts: 140
    Accepted Answer

    Hi WV,

    Welcome to the KTVA forum; Sorry to hear that you were too unwell to start the course when you first purchased it. Well I'm no expert but the good news is I think that it is quite rare for someone to be completely tone deaf; so it is probably a case of getting some basic technique working for you. for example, correct posture, breathing/breath control and diaphragmatic support.

    As for hearing your own notes better, well using the open throat technique and the bright sound that Ken demonstrates in Volume 1, should help you in that department.

    One other thing I might add is to practise your singing away from the family if you can; while their input might be helpful it might also discourage you if the comments are negitive. However, I'm sure they will notice an improvement if you follow what ken says in the videos and start to do the Volume 1 exercises.

    Gary 

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569
    edited June 2012 Accepted Answer

    wv,

    I don't know if you have access to a piano or another instrument that you could use, but it might help if you did a lot of practicing trying to match notes.  Play a B-flat, for example and see if you can match it closely.  Then do a B-natural.  Can you tell the difference?  Can you sing the difference by singing a B-flat and following it with a B-Natural? 

    Play random notes and match them with your voice.  Is that easy or hard for you to do?   Can you tell if your note is higher or lower? 

    Pitch matching is a skill you will have to learn in order to sing.  It's a matter of listening very carefully, both to the pitch you need to sing, and at the same time the pitch you are making with your voice, and then adjusting your own pitch up or down to be spot-on to the desired pitch.  This is easier said than done if you don't know how to do it, but it can be learned.

    There are software programs available that include tuners that show if you are flat or sharp.  Don't get discouraged if you use one of these and it says you are off-pitch.  I have one installed on my computer and it shows that my pitch is all over the place... That's because Truly Perfect pitch is a myth.  I actually have very good pitch, but the program shows that it is very hard to stay absolutely on the money.  Very, very close is actually good enough.  But off enough for people to be able to tell it's off is annoying to listen to, and something we all want to avoid. 

    A famous vocal coach from another program has students buy a pitch pipe, and you hum into it and try to match the pitch.  As you try to match the pitch of the pitch pipe while humming into it, you hear the oscillation of the frequency cancellation as you fall flat or go sharp of the correct pitch.  When the note you are humming is approaching and then finally right on the exact pitch, the oscillations slow down and then stop altogether, much like when you are tuning a guitar and listening to the harmonics get into tune.

    You might be able to teach yourself a few things about your own ability to match pitches by trying something like this, either by using a pitch pipe or a harmonica. 

    I listened to your demo, and you do have a good voice, however your pitch did drift at times.  Somehow you are losing your sense of what key you are in, in certain parts of the song.  It's a matter of reference.  If you lose your reference, the calibration of your sense of pitch will be affected.  Your sense of pitch is your compass, your sense of direction in music. 

    When you hear your recording played back, can you hear those parts where your pitch drifts?  If you can, then listening back to your own recordings is a tool that will help you immensely if you will zero in on where you are losing your pitch and learn to listen with that much focus as you are actually singing.  Another way to zero in on this is to listen to the track of your voice soloed, with the music track turned off completely.  This can be brutal, because we will really hear our mistakes without that nice blanket of music to cover up our owies, but if you use this method as a learning tool, you can learn from your weaknesses and turn them into your strengths!

    As Gary says, stay the course, and follow Ken's instructions.  Keep trying, even when you feel like it's slow going.  You will pass milestones of accomplishment as your voice strenthens.  Building your breath support will aid in allowing you to better control your pitch.  Keep your voice as bright as you possibly can.  This will help you more than anything to allow you to hear your own voice inside your head, and to be able to distinguish one pitch from another.  Our voices are variable instruments.  Like a fretless bass, finding that "right" spot where the note is spot-on can be challenging.  You don't see too many fretless guitar players, now, do you?  That just might sound awful...

    With KTVA, you have the tools in your possesion to improve your voice dramatically.  Work through the program, and spend all the time it takes to learn all of the techniques.  Because of the difficulties you are having with pitch, you will be best served to really focus on learning to discern pitch, match pitch, and listen to your own voice relative to the song you are working with. Don't forget to learn to really support the breath, and really brighten that tone!  

    I believe you can do this!

     

    Bob :)

Answers

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    Thanks for replying. I really appreciate your input but this is actually what I am talking about. When I am recording my voice with an instrumental track or karaoke, the whole song I thought I was on key (just the parts within my range). When I played it back, I sounded few notes lower than the original key. Also, sometimes I do not recognize I am not on the right key, until someone tells

    I do not know whether I just don't listen to the notes attentively or I just get anxious about it because of the negative criticism I recieved my from my parents.

    I will follow your advice. Thanks again.
  • GuevaraGuevara Posts: 140Enrolled

    Really superbuperb advice there Bob, and if I can just addd one more thing for WV to consider; Maybe when you are working on a song don't try and tackle the whole thing all at once; maybe just work and concentrate on the first verse and the chorus; Keeping a high consistant standard all the way through a whole song with middle eights, pre-choruses and variations in melodies from verse to verse can be very hard work if you are having some pitching issues at this stage.

    Keep working at it WV!!! 

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    edited June 2012
    Thanks guys for your pieces of advice. I really appreciate your concern and I will always keep your pointers in mind.

    @Bob, I do not know how B-flat sounds like or B-natural. I do not even know what key I sang my demo on. I guess I really should enroll in piano lessons.

    With regards to hearing my pitch drifts, yes I am aware of that. Actually as far as I know, it mostly happens when I sing the chorus or the bridge or anywhere in the song when it the key shifts big. But you know, I guess this problem of mine might have been brought about by health woes. I always have nasal congestion and swollen throat, and a feeling of something blocking my hearing. I have it checked and just waiting for results. Hopefully, I can get better soon. 

    @Guevara You are right. I have to tackle things one at a time. It will not do me good if I can't sing on key. I hope I can get past through this pitch problem. I do not expect to improve my range in a short period of time, but rather to be more on key when singing.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited August 2012

    wv,

    Your health problems may indeed play a role in your difficulties discerning pitch.  Your ears have a direct connection through the eustacian tubes, which we use to equalize the pressure in our inner ears when we change altitude or when atmospheric pressure changes due to weather conditions.  If you have any infections in your throat or sinuses, they have a direct route into your inner ear which can affect both hearing/pitch and Balance.  Imagine how having your sense of balance compromised could possibly have an effect on your ability to discern other things, such as pitch.

    Hopefully you are under the care of good physicians who are getting you properly diagnosed and treated in this regard.

    On the other subject of most of your difficulties being related to shifts in parts of the song, like going to the chorus, the bridge, back to the verse, etc...  It might help to do a little music theory, maybe even just some basic guitar lessons, something to give you a hand-hold.  Pitch-matching is essential, but so is an ability to learn INTERVALS. 

    Here I'm talking about things like learning to sing a 3rd, a 4th, or a 5th interval.  The reason for this is that many pop, blues, or rock songs have a structure to them where the beginning of the verse is the main chord that is the key of the song.  Then the verse progresses to the 4th chord.  Then back to the 1 (the key the song is in). Then the progression goes through all three, the 5th, the 4th, then back to the main beginning chord.  The chorus then usually starts out on the 4th, and so on.  Learning these intervals helps you to anchor your inner musical compass to learn where you are and where you should be.  For example when you sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, little star" the interval between the first and second "twinkles" is an interval of 5 steps.  As in the "Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do" scale, the first "Do" is the 1, and the "So" would be the 5, or the second "Twinkle". 

    There are perfect pitch programs out there that teach some of this stuff.  Those programs don't teach you how to use your voice like KTVA does.  You need some reference points to help you get a handle on your pitch.  All music is based on reference Keys, pitches, intervals, types of scales (i.e.Major, minor, etc.), but if you have a basic handle on pitch and intervals, you don't necessarily need all that music theory stuff to be able to instinctively sing on pitch or on key. 

    It is possibly that after you get your health issues corrected that your hearing will improve to the point that you can better discern pitch.   If not, then you may need to take additional steps to grasp the concepts of finding your internal tuner and locking in to it.  

    Best of luck wv, and we're cheering you on!

    Bob

     

     

     

  • GuevaraGuevara Posts: 140Enrolled

    @WV good to hear that you are getting these health issues looked at. It sounds like you may have some kind of sinus infection and post nasal drip which can effect/inflame the vocal cords, the throat and cause ear blocking etc. I have suffered in the past with this kind of thing (although in a milder form).  

    And what Bob say about learning the acoustic guitar is good advice; it can really help you to understand the basic structure of music and how it relates to songs, so you will know what key you are in and what notes you are singing. And it is great fun and quite easy to learn (once you get past the initial sore fingertips), and you can then provide your own backing when singing.

    The good news is, you have identified a problem area in your singing and you are looking for ways of solving it.... this is basically what everyone at KTVA is also going through, so you are not alone. If you work consistantly and methodically on it things will improve. Hopefully resolving the health issue will make things easier for you WV.

    Best wishes, Gary 

     

  • GuevaraGuevara Posts: 140Enrolled

    ...And just one more thing WV, you mentioned that you don't know what B-flat or B-natural etc. sounds like or what key you are singing your demo in. Well if someone played a random note on a piano and asked me what note they had just played, beyond guessing, I would not be able to say what note it was. Or if I hear a random song on the radio, I would have no idea what key it is in, even if I was to sing along to it;

    Only by closely studying the songs that I am actually working on do I find this stuff out, and I think that this is the same for many singers. Yes there are a vast number of singers who don't care about what key they are in and the names of the notes they are singing and that's completely cool. You can have all the technical knowledge in the world but what counts is what your audience hears.

    Anyway keep us posted on how things are going for you, all the best, Gary 

  • KokonuhtKokonuht Posts: 658Member, Enrolled
    Here's a tip you could try.

    Google virtual piano.

    Press on a note that is comfortable for your voice. Maybe a B3? or C4? 

    Next, get a tuner. A guitar tuner actually works too.

    Hit the note and let the tuner detect it.

    Next, try to reproduce that same note and look at the tuner whether it's the same not or not.

    Hope this works lol!
  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    edited June 2012
    FInally, I have the time to be back in this forum. By the way, I could not thank you guys enough for your suggestions.

    This is what I have been up to in the last few days. I followed your suggestions guys so I bought a pitch pipe app on my iPhone and seems to served its purpose. I was so amazed to find out that I barely hit a note that I wanted to. I guess I really have to work very hard to sort out my pitch matching ability.

    And I can hear the difference between B3 and B-flat3, and even C4, which is a good thing I guess. Unfortunately, It is hard for me to emulate these notes by will. I have problems identifying the notes of the sound I am making as if I cannot hear myself hit them. When I try to do B3, I mostly of the time hit A3 or G3 according to the pitch pipe. I cannot seem to associate the notes to my voice very well. It feels like something blocking my hearing.

    It is frustrating but this problem of mine may have stemmed from my throat problems as I have been getting ear ache as well. I guess I have chronic ear infection. Anyway, I am just waiting for the results of my throat swab, and hopefully I will get the necessary treatment,
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    wv,

    The first step to solving a problem is to identify it.  I think with everyone's help, we may be finding ways of helping you to get some of the basics of identifying pitches for a starter. 

    Good for you for trying to get a handle on the pitches.  Every journey starts with a first step.  All of us here are, as Gary pointed out, on our own journeys and we all have things to learn and improve upon, and things we feel inadequate about.  The joy is in the journey.  Take one step at a time.  Break problems down to the basics and you will get a handhold on your voice.  It may take a long time, but you can make progress.

    Keep up the good work!  :^)

    Bob

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    Hi guys,

    So here are the other demos from me but now accompanied with piano and backtrack. I would appreciate guys if you could check my pitch on these two songs. I would like to know how far off I am from the original keys.

    The first is California King Bed by Rihanna in Original Key. I really did struggle throughout this song because it is beyond my range.

     

    The second one is Wherever you will go by The Calling.



    Thanks in advanced.


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    In California King Bed you are right on key until you get to the runup to "Between Us". It's like you lose your reference during the scale going up to that part and then you are continuing at an interval that is no longer in the key of the song.  By the time you reach "King Bed", because you got off-course in the scale going up, you end up in a different key than the song.  You need to learn the vocal runup, note for note.  It's like you lost your way, and the reference note your internal compass is using is now wrong.  It's not like your voice sounds bad, taken out of context, but in reference to the song, it's in conflict now. 

    I think this is fixable, but it's a matter of keeping references to get you to and from different landmarks within the song, on-key, much like Gary Guevara suggested...  Learn the chorus separately.  Get it down.  Learn to tie the end of the verse into the chorus without losing reference.  Practice that runup into the chorus until you end up in the proper key at the top of the scale.  Then your reference will be right, and your voice will sound right on the chorus, all the way through.  It's similar to taking a wrong turn without realizing it and looking around and going "where am I?"  It's very disorienting when that happens.  Your hearing problems that you've described may be partially responsible for the difficulties in negotiating scales that may be long or of an unfamiliar path (pentatonic run, blues scale, jazz run, anything innovative or different...)

    I think kokonuhtz's suggestion that you utilize a chromatic tuner to practice learning to match pitches is a great idea.  My thought is that you really need to anchor your sense of pitch and your abilty to sing a given note on command.  One of the things that is essential to good singing is to eventually hear the right pitch in your mind before you make the sound.  That way, when you begin the onset of the note, you don't have to slide up or down to be on pitch, and you are in key and on pitch all the time.  Part of this comes from good hearing.  Part of this comes from good listening.  Part of this comes from doing your homework and disciplining yourself with scales and pitch-matching.  You have to coordinate listening, pre-vocalizing thought processes, and the actual act of singing.  If you're off, you have to make corrections, or you'll go further off-course. 

    I'm serious when I say you have a good set of pipes.  Your voice, when on pitch, sounds good.  It does at times sound unconfident, and when it loses course, it goes off pitch. 

    Identify your problems and take one step at a time to make one correction at a time.  Celebrate your accomplishments when you have little victories.  Don't beat yourself up when it seems hard. Give yourself time and give yourself a few breaks.  Improvements will come if you want them badly enough to take the time and effort to allow them to take hold. 

    Like I said, we're here to cheer you on. 

    Go, WV, GO for it!!!

    Bob

     

  • GuevaraGuevara Posts: 140Enrolled

    Hi WV, firstly, if you have earache I would get that checked and treated ASAP, don't ignore it.

    Secondly, your singing; You actually have a really good tone to your voice and I think "Wherever You Will Go" by The Calling is a perfect song choice for you. Yes it was a bit pitchy here and there but nothing that can't be corrected with some dedicated work on the KTVA program, combined with working closely on your songs and really fine tuning them so you are singing the exact melody line from the orignal recording. (You were in the right key, but was the chorus sung in the correct octave?)

    This means going over the song line by line until every note is right. You can be singing something in key but if you are not singing the correct melody line it can sound a lot less authentic and impressive. You know like sometimes when you see your favorite singer live and they have changed or embellished the melody of their hit song? well it can be done tastefully and to good effect and sometimes it's done out of pure lazyness and poor technique, you don't want that:-) 

     

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    Thanks guys again for your input. You guys rock!



  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    So far, I have improved quite a bit in terms of matching a tone with my voice. I have no plans in the near future to purchase the chromatic scale I due to monetary reasons, but the pitch pipe app on my iPhone along with listening to a song attentively have been doing great wonders to my pitch matching ability. Although I am still quite far from being able to know when I am out of quickly, I am more than happy with my progress. In time, I'll get there.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Good job WV!!!!  That's Great News! 

    Keep up the good work!!  Step-by-step, you will eventually be delighted with the results you will get if you just keep working towards one improvement upon another!

    Take your time and enjoy the journey.  Don't forget to smell the roses along the way!!

    Bob        :^)

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    edited July 2012
    @hghmtn Thanks.

    Anyway, I have observed recently that everytime I speak my larynx goes up. It is exactly the same when I sing. What is the best thing to do about it?
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    WV,

    Go to a mirror.  Yawn and watch your larynx.  It goes down. 

    Now do your LAH exercise.  Oops!  Is your throat open like in the beginning of a yawn?  If it is, then your larynx will go down just like it did when you yawned.  That's part of your placement for Open Throat singing.  It will automatically put your larynx in that position. 

    Monitor yourself and ensure that your throat is open, and use a mirror until this becomes embedded in your singing habits.

    Bob

  • dingodingo Posts: 119Enrolled
    Hello and welcome. I agree with the others you have a nice voice. Looking forward to hearing more songs from you.


  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled

    @dingo Thanks for your compliment.

    @highmtn Thanks again. I have read your comment on the head/chest connection thread. Would my head voice be airy or not?

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    WV,

    Head can be airy, or it can be a more closed-cord head voice.  Keeping it sharp rather than hooty will help to reduce the airy quality and give more presence.  When the cords are really open, it goes from head voice to full falsetto.  Most folks don't really want their high range to be dominated by a falsetto-sounding voice.

    That's one of the reasons we steer folks away from the airy sound.  It's okay if that's what you want.  Most would prefer something that instead sounds like a high continuation of the full chest voice, hence the tendency to want to reduce airy sounds.

    Bob

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    edited July 2012
    Ok, guys I'm back. I have just started taking anti-biotic today and hopefully will help me clear my sinus infection (according to the gp).

    Anyway, I have recorded another sample which is Faithfully by Journey. (Please bare with quality of my recorded video.) I did not include the high parts in the end as I have not trained enough to able to hit those notes. Actually I have not done the scales, just the diaphragm exercise as I am still resting my voice. And I have been doing a lot of listening to instrumentals to help my pitch matching skills. So here is the video from me:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xryzfk_faithfully-by-journey-cover_music

    Please comment on how did I do on my pitch. I think I was flat in some of the high parts but generally I was in key??
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited July 2012

    wv,

    You started out sounding very good and on-pitch.  Unfortunately, by the time you got to "Wheels go round and round" you had lost your reference, and remained off-course for the rest of the song.

    Your voice sounds great, even has a lot of Steve Perry qualities.  Somehow you have to get a handle on locking in your pitch radar on the target pitch.  Once you get off-course, it's like a train off the tracks.  We've got to get you back on the tracks.

    I'm still convinced that this is fixable, but it's not going to happen by itself.  You will have to train your ear to hear what it is to be on pitch.  Then you will have to train your voice to sing the pitch you hear.  Eventually you will "hear" the pitch in your mind before you make a sound and the pitch will be spot-on when you first make a sound.

    Hopefully, much of this will be alleviated by getting over the sinus problem.  But still there are learnable skills at play here, and you will need to take steps to tackle them one at a time.  If this were happening to me, I would be doing exactly that.  There was a time when I would "sing" and whatever came out, just came out.  I didn't really know much about the mechanics of singing.  One step at a time, I have overcome one problem and then another, until at this stage I'm doing a fairly good job of feeling good about my voice and my abilities. 

    You have to decide if you are ready to tackle one challenge after another to get a better handle on stabilizing your runaway voice.  I'm serious, the quality, the tone, the sound of your voice is awesome, but the pitch is a problem that must be overcome. 

    Don't give up. Give it all you've got.  You need to do a LOT of musical Target Practice.  Shoot baskets all day long with your voice.  Get a cheap electronic keyboard at a garage sale or a pawn shop.  Record yourself.  Hit a note and match it. Hit another random note and match it. Record all of this and listen back to the recording. Can you hear if you are matching the note you played?  Flat or sharp? Spot on?  Repeat, again and again.  Train your ear, then train your voice.  Train them to work together.  Get the train back on the tracks.  Do this, and you will blow everybody away!

    We're rooting for you!

    Bob

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled

    Thanks for your input. Again, I could not thank you even more.

    I just listened to my recording again and you were right. Sigh! It's kinda frustrating to hear I have not improved that much with my pitch. Well, at least I got the first few lines right. I must really have to buy a keyboard now. Hopefully by the end of the month or summer, I would be a lot better. 

    Anyway, I find it hard to listen to my voice and the music altogether. It seems that my voice is too loud that it is all I can hear. Any suggestions to hear my voice and the music better together?

    Also, what software can you recommend to check whether my voice is on pitch or not? I really need this as I can't rely at the moment with my ears.

    Thanks again, Bob.

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Yes.  wv, To hear the music and your voice together you need a way to mix the sound and put it all into headphones.

    A small mic mixer could do the trick. The cheapest ones cost about a hundred dollars, but you could find one on eBay or craigslist for less if you shop a while and search. You plug your ipod or CD player in and have a volume fader for that, and you plug a microphone into another channel which also has a volume fader.  You have volume and tone controls on each input channel.  Most mixers like this also have a headphone output.  Some have effects like reverb and echo built in. You then plug the output of this mixer into your computer's audio input via an adapter cord, or in some cases via USB. After this, it's a matter of what recording software you are using.  

    This would give you the ability to increase or decrease the volume of the music relative to your voice and vice-versa.  If you've ever heard someone singing along to an ipod or CD player while they are wearing headphones, often they are unable to tell if they are singing on-key because they can't hear their own voice relative to the song they are rocking out to.  They think they are singing on-key, but because the music is loud relative to their voice, they can't really tell.  Because of this, their pitch may drift on and off.  In their head it may sound great, but to a passer-by, it may sound not-so-good. It's a matter of working with the volume level of the music tracks and the volume of the vocal tracks to find a "sweet spot" where YOU are able to HEAR Both the pitch of the music AND the pitch of your voice SIMULTANEOUSLY.  You have to constantly monitor all of this throughout the song, so as to prevent yourself from drifting off to another dimension, a dimension of both sight and sound.  There it is, the signpost up ahead...  The TWILIGHT ZONE!!!

    Getting these tools will involve a little cost, but if you are resourceful, you can find this stuff second-hand and it will work just as well as brand-new.  Much of my own equipment was previously-owned.

    Good singing to you, my friend.

    Bob

  • dingodingo Posts: 119Enrolled
    I do agree you have a great Steve Perry quality about your voice. Keep working at it. I am also going to work on pitch using Bob's suggestions.

    You might try working on one or two phrases at a time. 

    Being deaf, I really have to pay attention to how it feels in my head. I think that is part of hearing yourself like Bob is talking about, The music loud enough for a reference and being able to hear your voice along with it. 
  • GuevaraGuevara Posts: 140Enrolled
    Hi vw, that's good news about getting on the antibiotics. 

    You know, that Journey song is a real tough one to pull off so kudos to you for getting in at the deep end; What I'm hearing (and I am not a vocal coach or expert on these matters) is this; Clear, bright tone, this is a very good thing and a great starting point. There are areas that sound really good and in tune, so you can sing in tune, but you need to be consistent. 

    What I am not hearing is conviction and belief throughout. The way to get that is to understand exactly what the song is about, exactly how it relates to you and the person/situation it is about. Also knowing the melody inside out, which will give you more confidence and belief in what your singing about. 

    Many people I know can sing bits of songs very well, but singing an entire song from beginning to end and making it sound good/convincing throughout takes some real hard work. Don't expect to pick up the mic and produce a flawless version of a Journey classic in a couple of days/weeks/months.  

    Hopefully your health issue will be sorted soon and then you can really start to apply yourself and focus without distraction on getting your voice where you want it to be.  

    Bob's advice is spot on and I've been learning a lot reading this thread, so thanks guys.

    Gary 
  • pmacpmac Posts: 58Pro

    Hey Wv ,

    There is a software programme called Sing and See that lets you record your voice and also see what notes you're singing in a graph and as notes. It also has a built in virtual piano so you can work on target notes.I got it in a sale a while back so i am not sure what the price is now but it seems to do the job. I personally still like to play a note on my guitar and match it that way but it is good to check yourself on. Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    Paul

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    Thanks guys. You know I probably am tone-deaf. Well, if my pitch matching ability does not imrove with the help pf the things you mentioned, I do not know what else to do.
  • GuevaraGuevara Posts: 140Enrolled
    Hi wv

    I think your idea of having the pitch application on your iphone is a good idea. Also it would be good idea to get some feedback from Ken on your singing. Maybe email him a sample for evaluation or take up the free 10 minute skype consultation that comes with the course.


  • Ken TamplinKen Tamplin Posts: 433Administrator, Moderator

    WV I agree with a lot that has been said here.

    Another very key element is Timbre.

    You start with a "darker tone" in you lower register and then then when you go up you change your Timbre (which is fine) except you need to know that lower darker tones will sound "flat" compared to a "brighter timbral sounds" (this is especially true when you go up into your upper register).

    Bob is correct about holding down a whole note on a guitar or piano and matching the notes (especially in 1/2 tones) up and down a scale. Record this and listen back to it to hear what I am talking about so that you can be self regulating.

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled

    @Ken Thanks for bringing up the timber. You are right, that's another reason why I sounded off key on my last recording. I was trying to emulate Steve Perry's voice but could not sustain it on high parts of the song.

    Trying to match a note with a piano is difficult. I always sing a different note other than what I am supposed to. I will give it another try but with more determination. Hopefully, I can get past this pitch problem.

    Oh, when you say 1/2 tones, do you mean like A# and stuff..Sorry for my ignorance. 

    Thanks again guys, youy all rock!!

     

     

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited February 2013

    wv,

    Singing half-note scales would be singing all of the notes, so on a piano keyboard, yes, you sing all of the white AND all of the black notes.  The distance between each of these keys is called a half-step, and half-steps are the smallest denomination of notes in standard music.  There are such things as semi-tones, which are half of a half-step, and cents, which are much smaller. 

    When I was much younger, the school music teacher came around looking for candidates for school band.  They gave a test, which consisted of tones.  They would play two tones, and you responded as to whether the second tone was higher, lower, or the same as the first tone.  They play notes that are semitones or less apart, and you have to concentrate to discern whether the second tone is the same or not.

    This would be a good exercise for you.  I did well on that test and they tried to make a trumpet-player out of me, but I refused and became a drummer.  Learning a sense of same, higher, or lower would give you an ability to discern sharp/flat/spot-on!  If you can't tell, then you need to sharpen your listening skills so that you will have an internal compass for pitch.  Without this, you are randomly hitting notes and hoping they will just come out right.  With this skill, your brain knows what interval the next note is relative to the one you just sang.  You go there knowing that it will be right.  You don't have to slide up or down, you just nail it.

    Bob

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    edited July 2012
    @Bob Thanks for explanation. You always give me answers that I needed.

    Couple of months ago, I downloaded the trial version of Ear Training software. There are several type of exercises to choose from and I picked the one in which I had to play the given set of keys, on the virtual piano together. Since I do not know how to play the piano, what I used as a reference was that the left half of the piano are set of lower keys, the right side the higher ones. Then, I had to play every note on the piano until I heard the right set of keys. At first, it was very difficult. My ears were like bleeding, metaphorically. After few days, I did notice a vast difference. It seemed I was hearing the notes better and my brain could process the notes I heard faster.

    I am going to add this Ear Training exercises to my routine in pitch-marching. I guess this would help warm up my ears and brain.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    wv,

    This is encouraging.  It sounds to me like you are teachable regarding pitch discernment.  Since this is something that is important to you (and rightfully so), if you are willing to spend the time programming your brain to learn how to become a pitch sharpshooter, you will, in time, conquer the nemesis that has been spoiling your quest for melodic bliss!!! 

    One step at a time, you will become the master.

    Take your time, and do it right!

    Bob

     

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled

    Hi, everyone. I am back again after some few weeks hiatus.

    So I have just done the LAH scale and I would like to get your opinion about how did I do. My pitch still really need some work, so I do not really expect much in that matter. But rather, I wanna know if I have connected my chest voice with my head voice (I hope I haven't cause I want to still grow my chest voice) and if I have opened my mouth enough to produce the bright tone and have given enough breathing support.

    Thanks again.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na1S_d-ypq0&feature=youtu.be

     

      

     

  • KokonuhtKokonuht Posts: 658Member, Enrolled
    Hmm it seems that pitch really is an issue here. You're doing a totally different scale than what Ken is doing. Aside from that, I think you have a nice voice. 

    That being said, I feel that your throat needs to be more OPEN... more AHHHH in it. Like how Ken does it with the bright sound!

    Also, I don't think you're going into head voice at all. The scale that you did made the highest note... around a... G4 I think? So yeah... still too early to go into head. As for breath support... yeah definitely needing more x.x!

    As for the pitch problems... I'm pretty sure @highmtn has a good way of training pitch :o
  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    Would i be able to stretch my chest voice as high as E5 or G5(I know I am dreaming with this)?
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    wv,

    It's been a while since we've heard from you.  Good to see you're still here!

    The goal is to get your chest voice up to an A4, Bb4, B4, or C5.  Higher is great if you can manage to get there.  Many tenors start out with a passagio around F or F#4.  It's a lot of work to inch it up beyond that.  Many can get on up to D5, E5 and higher in chest, but it takes a lot of work and effort for most.  Head voice can go even higher.

    By the way wv, are you going to participate in the webinar this weekend?  The topic is "Tone and Pitch".

    I think Ken is going to have some really good information for us again this time!

    Bob

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    edited December 2012

    Hey guys,

    I'm back again. Please critique my cover of "One Thing" by One Direction. I only sang the first part of the song as the rest is quite challenging for my range. I would really appreciate your input especially with regards to my pitch and tone, and anything you think I need to improve on.

    wv.

    Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q_82MHFoLQ&feature=plcp

     

     

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    edited December 2012
  • sspatricksspatrick Posts: 1,278Moderator, Enrolled
    Hey wv,

    Good news, your pitch isn't too bad at all. You seem to be following the melody for the most part. It does drift in some spots. Try adding more brightness to the tone, sing into the mask/front of your face. Really copy the bright lah from volume 1 and approach the song with that tone. If it seems too bright, it's probably right! This will help pull up your pitch. Also add more support. You have a nice tone to your voice and I think working in these two items will improve it even more. If you are having trouble with certain areas isolate the melody notes find them on a guitar or piano and sing the ah vowel. Work in the appropriate vowels afterwards. All the best!
  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    Hey, I just recorded a song right now. Would you guys mind telling me if i sang the song with my throat opened enough? Thanks.


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Hi, @wv!

    Long time no see.  First of all, I want to congratulate you, as your pitch did not drift at all, not one little bit in your 53-second clip.  I'm ecstatic.  You've been practicing, and I've been concerned that you might give up!

    It's a relatively simple melody, but you stayed on the tracks!  I'm proud of you!

    On your throat question, It sounds nice and open.  I would like for you to brighten up the tone more.  Brightening up the tone helps with pitch discernment AND it makes for a really nice projected tone.  Brighten it up until it sounds TOO bright, and that will probably be just about right.  You really want the tone to have some PING in it.  Direct the sound upward and forward into the mask. Bounce it off the roof of your hard palate and your teeth.  Keep that AH! very open and wide with the smiling cheeks.

    Put just a little more AA (as in hat) into your AH, but make sure it's still AH.   

    Bob

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    edited February 2013
    @highmtn thanks very much for you comments and suggestions.

    With regards to my pitch, I have just discovered the main culprits as to why It always drifts most of the time - my jaw keeps on moving and I use to much vibrato to compensate for my lack of support. When I recorded the most recent song, i tried very hard to lock the jaw position and reduced vibrato greatly. I always made sure that support was there all the time. Thankfully, I was able to be more consistent with my pitch with the help of these changes.

    About the open-throat thing, am I supposed to feel something like my forehead opens up when I brighten the tone. I am always afraid to do that because I might be going to my head tone instead.

    Thanks again and thank you for your time.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    wv,

    Kudos for figuring out the importance of maintaining a static jaw position, and reducing the vibrato to help stabilize your pitch.

    Your Open Throat feeling will be much like the feeling of the beginning of a yawn.  As you make your "It's the LAH!  AH!" sound, just make sure that it's as bright and AH as you can make it, so that it doesn't sound dark or covered.  You want it to sound wide open (but not so open that it's strained) and that the AH vowel is pure and projected, unobstructed by your tongue.  You want a throat that is fully opened horizontally as well as vertically, ringing and pinging into the mask.

    If it sounds too bright, it's just about right!

    Bob

     

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled

    Hey guys just want your input with regards the brightness of my tone. I was off pitch in most part of the song, especially the chorus. I can't hit any thing above F#4 at the moment with my full voice and the chorus first note is A4. That's the "nevermind" part. Thanks guys.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_fFPXoVdnc

  • sly2sly2 Posts: 9Pro
    Wow, sounds very good, great job. The difference between now and 9 months ago is amazing.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Sounds good as acapella, but it would be helpful to hear you in relation to some  backing tracks.

    This sounds far better than anything you've posted in the past.  Now let's see how it tracks along pitch-wise with a backing track.

    sly2 is right, the difference between now and 9 months ago is shocking!  Now let's see how you track along with a reference pitch.  You just might be breaking through, finally!

    Good work!

    Bob

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled
    edited April 2013

    Hey, so this is my demo of the same song with backtracking. I only did the stanza and refrain. The chorus is too high for me.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xytf7u_somone-like-you-cover_music

    Link fixed.

    Only I kinda had a hard time matching the speed of this song. I used the back tracking same as the original instead of the slow one, which Adele has used her in live performances.

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited April 2013

    @wv ,

    For some reason, this most recent link isn't working.  Your old links still work, so it isn't my software for YouTube.  I click on it and the image of a YouTube link disappears, but nothing comes up.  I just have a white screen and silence.

    Please check it out and maybe do a new link.

    Thanks.

    Bob

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    wv,

    I just listened to your fixed link.  The first note on the word "I" is supposed to be E4.  You sing a note that is between E4 and Eb4.  It's noticeably flat. It's just a flat E4.  After that, you're right on the money for the rest of the track!

    As it started out, I'm thinking "Oh, No!" but right after that note you sound really good for the rest of the clip.

    I'm really happy for you, because that's the first clip of you that has sounded really, really, good.  The first note does not sound good, but after that, it's really good.  Can you hear that pitch problem on the first note?  That's the same problem we've been talking about since you started out on the forum.  The fact that you are right on pitch afterwards is really a breakthrough, and the possibility of you recognizing and correcting the initial problem at the beginning means that you could really begin to start singing on pitch all the time and moving on to improve other aspects of your voice. 

    I've recorded some songs that the first note was difficult to hit and what I usually do in a case like that is just practice the opening of the song over and over and over.... until I can sing it in my sleep.  Then I hit "record" and capture it sounding perfect.  From then on, I use that as my model, and I can hit it correctly from the start from that moment on.   

    I'm really proud of you, wv.  You've got to learn to consistently discern the good notes from the bad notes and monitor yourself to correct these pitch issues.  The sound of your voice when you are on pitch is very interesting.  You have talent.  Be vigilant!  Fix these pitch issues and you will be on your way! 

    Bob

  • wvwv Posts: 36Enrolled

    @highmtn, thanks again for the heads up. I kinda heard it too, but was not that sure. E4 is one of my high notes right now. So when singing it I have to use full support or else I will sound flat. Also, I was a bit uncomfortable with the speed of the song. Adele sings this song live usually slower, that's what I have gotten used to. Again, the vibrato made  me sound flat. I do the vibrato when I cant hit the notes instantly or I am not feeling confident to sing the first note. I hope that my progress continues. 

    Anyways, I checked the prices for on-line lessons by Ken and to my suprise that they have gone up already. With regards stretching your chest, when I had free my ten minute consultation last year, Ken was able to make me hit A4 ( I think, it was the chorus or before that of "I'll be there for you" by Bon Jovi). He just actually made me open my mouth as wide as I could and sang the note for me and then let me sing it to him. Right now, I can't hit A. I can sometimes hit G4, but not always. Do you think if I start stretching my chest voice, would be a bit easier for me to hit G4 and A4, and in less time??? 

    Thanks again.

     

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,569Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    wv,

    Certainly, if you stretch your chest voice, the more you stretch it, the easier notes like G4 and A4 become. Stretching can be a very lengthy process.  It certainly has been for me.  But out of nowhere, after seeming like my limitations would never move.  Boom.  More notes.  Less effort. 

    Support really, really helps with this process.  Trying to sing with insufficient support is just plain crazy.  You just can't force those notes, but when you support properly, they can just ease on out.

    Remember, you want to sing those notes, not hit them.  You will really have those notes when you can sing them and sustain them and relax into them. 

    I think you need to really focus on the particular notes that are giving you difficulties, and learn to hear them properly in your head, and learn to have them come out of your mouth correctly and dependably through practice.  Record the songs you want to sing.  Identify the problem notes.  Practice correcting the problems until they are no longer problems.  Then sing the whole song through until you've got the whole thing down, notes all on pitch and knowing that you're right on the money.  Some of this is confidence level and some of this is mechanics.  Both of those issues are fixable.

    So fix it.  I'm pretty sure you can do this.

    Bob 

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