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I'm truly terrible, no spring chicken and a computer dummy - so not sure if or what I should order.

I think being able to sing would be very healing for me if it's possible, and watching Ken's youtube videos have been the first thing that has made me think that perhaps it might possible. I don't need to be the "best", but I do need to be able to follow things easily. That's where my concerns lay. A lot of the things listed in what is included I won't need at all. I don't want to perform. I just want to sing well for myself and it seems like half the materials of the pro package is geared to performers. I also would need to know EXACTLY how much and what to work on every day. I'll do it if it's straight-forward, but if it's the least big "ambiguous" I could easily get overwhelmed or discouraged. I imagine that I could use some hand-holding. So, I was thinking that being able to post my awfulness for guidance would be a necessity, but for all I know maybe the best thing is to just get the weekend warrior???

My one redeeming quality (but also a curse) is that I have a really good ear (that's why I know I'm so awful - I just can't seem to "fix" it). I play the classical violin and I have always assumed that I just own a lousy instrument in my throat and that there's no hope for me so I should just make sure never to sing. I can't tolerate listening to others sing out of tune either btw. That's why if this isn't likely to work I would just be torturing myself (listening to myself trying) and would prefer not to if it's not going to pay off in the long-run. All instruments need to be learned, so I do understand that the ONLY way for me to be able to sing is to practice and to have a good teacher, but I also know that some instruments can be just made too badly to ever be able to be played in tune. Can any throat be trained to be in tune and make a good sound if given enough time and practice with these methods? Should I even try?

Will the videos be a step by step, do this today kind of thing? I don't have a camera so will someone help me to figure out how to record just my voice to get help? If it's even possible, is there a package that's just designed to make it so that I don't cringe when I sing? Practicing daily for a year - no problem - IF I'm not just throwing away my time (when I could be using it to get better at a good external instruments instead).

Has there ever been anyone that just couldn't do this?

If I order the weekend warrior and it starts to work and then I want to upgrade to the pro package, could I do that and pay the difference? Is there some sort of guarantee on the weekend warrior that if I try it for a time and still stink, that I could return it?

I know that these are a lot of questions, but this would be a big deal for me to undertake this project of trying to create a diamond out of a piece of coal. I'm intrigued, but still quite confused. I truly appreciate anybody's information or opinions!

Thank you in advance

Comments

  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I forgot to add one of my questions. How long is each DVD/CD or "lesson" and does Ken actually bring you through what you need to practice, or does he give you instructions of what to practice? How do you know when you are ready to go to the next step?

    How much practicing would I do each day and will that be part of the DVD or something I turn of the DVD to do on my own? Is there even a prescribed amount of time to practice?

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 10,109
    edited March 6 Vote Up0Vote Down
    @Dorothy,

    Yes, singing can be very healing. Yes, it is possible that this might work for you.

    The program starts everybody out at a beginner level, and starts you out from scratch. Even advanced singers need to stop and start from the beginning to ensure that they are doing even the most basic things correctly. Many good singers are not singing correctly and they're headed for vocal problems if they never pause to learn the basics of building a strong foundation for the voice at the beginning.

    Each person can decide how much time and energy they want to put into the program, but for the Main KTVA course, a minimum of 1 hour per day, 5 or 6 days per week are recommended if you want to see reasonable, steady growth in your voice.

    The videos explain to you HOW to do the exercises and a lot of the why. The exercises themselves are actually on audio CD's (that will play on your computer). You go through the Audio exercises twice per day, and that takes you about an hour. They are exercises that help you to grow your vocal accuracy, vocal strength and stamina, as well as to improve your tone. You say you have a very good ear. That should help. It's the people who can't hear when they're off-pitch that have to train their ears. You already have that. The exercises should help you to grow agility with your voice as far as learning how to pitch your voice. Your ear will come into play there.

    There are techniques that will help you to get better with control over your voice. And as you most likely know very well, getting good at any instrument requires focused practice.

    Proper practice makes perfect, not just mindless practice.

    Much of the improvements you make will be a direct result of the muscle-memory you build from repetition of proper practice.

    You get virtual hand-holding here. Not too much, because we want you to learn to be a big girl and fly with your own two wings.

    Weekend warrior is a great starter program. It doesn't have nearly the amount of exercises that the main program has, and you won't be as challenged by it, but you might find that it's fine for you. It teaches the same principles as the main course, but just doesn't delve that deeply into driving you further into the true potentials of your voice. WW has fewer exercises, and fewer videos, but it's a good program. Less information, because it's a weekend thing. For those who just want to learn a bit about the voice and call it good.

    This isn't something that happens instantaneously. Your classical violin-playing probably wasn't "instant" either. Right? If you're a musician, then you know the drill.

    The being able to sing on-pitch thing is a real challenge for some. For some, it's overwhelming. For others, it's a flawless victory over challenge. You may be somewhere in-between those extremes. I would think that anybody who can play a fretboard without fret-markers should be able to figure out how to harness a pair of vocal cords and show them who's boss.

    I always thought I had an awful voice, and I think I was right. Now people tell me all the time how much they love to hear me sing. I find that very healing.

    You can get really inexpensive webcams. There's a place near my house that's kind of a local version of WalMart that I've seen them have old models of webcams for five or six dollars. Webcams have a microphone built-in. So if you can get one of those, they aren't that hard to learn to use. Videos are really best to make demos for critiques and feedback, but audio is OK. You still need a microphone for audio, so the webcam is a viable option.

    I honestly don't see how you could not like your voice better if you spent a year applying Ken's instructions to your voice. Has there ever been anybody that was just an epic fail? Yes. But it wasn't because Ken's program doesn't work. It works for thousands of people. Not everything is right for every person, though. So theoretically, you could be that one out of thousands that is incapable of benefiting from the program. Statistically, your odds are very low for that to happen.

    Some people do ask to upgrade. I'm not sure how that works out. If you think you may want the full program, then I would suggest that you get that. You could write to ktvahelp@gmail.com to inquire on that point before you make up your mind.

    If you do the main program, it's divided up into Volumes 1, 2, and 3. You would most likely do each volume for a minimum of 12 weeks. By the time you're at volume 3, you are doing some pretty extensive exercises. About 1 hour per day. 5 or 6 days a week. One year later, you look back and go "Wow."

    All the Best.

    Bob
  • Thank you Bob!

    You gave me the real key pieces of information that I needed. The CD's have the hand-holding then. CD's that I listen to and sing the exercises along with for an hour a day in a progressive way is ideal. Just the instructions without the CDs is what would be overwhelming. Will the CDs work on my CD player? Yes, I still have CD players. :) I'm assuming they come in MP3 format as well? Am I assuming correctly that each level of CD would be one hour that I would practice for 3 months or more? How many hours of video instruction are there on actually singing on the DVDs and how many hours of exercises on the CDs? Is each CD just one set of exercises that I do forever or a progression of exercises?

    I just bought a guitar. The hubbie and I went into a guitar shop and I picked up guitars and started playing progressive notes. He asked how I could do that without ever having played the guitar and I said, "It's basically a violin that I can't play out of tune and sounds particularly good with pizzicato." I wanted a guitar to better be able to learn music theory. It's hard to get a grasp of how chords work on a violin. The interesting part of is that the salesperson learned quickly that I could hear and I told him that none of the things he was showing me were better than an extremely inexpensive guitar I heard online so he had to find something to convince me to spend more. He brought back a guitar that was light years better but had superficial cracks that he would sell for half price. I'm on my way to the luthier today. I have a violin from the 1800's that has had lots of cracks. I'm a lot less afraid of cracks than bad sound. :) What you say about having a good ear gives me hope. It's not only that I can't hit the notes, it's also that the tone quality (timbre) of my singing voice is also awful. I don't care if others like my voice or not to tell you the truth, it's ME who needs to like it. I don't want to perform, I just want to be able to enjoy singing! If it's just a question of practice and not that I have a guitar with a warped neck that will never play right or that is just too "cheap" to be able to get good tone out of - that I can do! A little bit better won't do though. Listening to myself at present is torture.

    I just saw that there is a 60 day guarantee. Would 60 days be enough time to evaluate if I will be able to create a voice that I don't mind hearing? If I were to return it, do I need to actually mail it back and is there a restocking fee and all that kind of jazz?

    I guess I need to be more specific about video. I have a camera but it is not setup for my new computer situation and will not be able to be setup. I have a headset because I spent the last two years on Skype learning Spanish by doing language exchanges with people in Spain. (This learning on line thing is amazing). It's a lousy microphone of course, but might that do?

    Thank you for answering my questions so fully and kindly!

  • The audio exercises are mp3. A lot of students make their own CD's from the mp3's to drive around or play in CD players.

    The audio exercises are around a half hour, but you go through it twice. Once at a low volume, practicing bridging into head voice, and the other half at a little bit stronger volume and resisting going into head voice.

    Each Volume (1, 2, and 3) has it's own set of exercises. While you are in Volume 1, you do the Volume 1 exercises twice through, each day. Likewise, on Volume 2 you do those exercises instead of the Volume 1 exercises. You can always go back to previous exercises if you want to mix it up a bit, but you don't skip ahead until you're prepared to step up to the next level. Some students spend more than a year on Volume 1. It's just how fast or how slow and deliberate you want to go about it. We all learn in different ways. So it's self-paced.

    This program pretty much lasts you the rest of your singing life. As long as you want to keep progressing, you just keep practicing the exercises, and very slowly, new skills, and new notes show up. The things that seemed hard before start to seem much easier. At first it can seem a bit overwhelming, because there are a lot of things you never considered before, most likely. After a while, those things become "the way" that you know, and instead of seeming hard, they become your rock-solid foundation. The rock upon which your voice is build. Your strong tower of strength.

    If you don't like what happens to your voice, then yes. You should return the product. You won't need it anyway, if you don't like it. I tend to think that you've just never learned to open up your instrument and get the potential out of it that has been there all along. Our voices are capable of making a variety of sounds, but most people don't know how to access those different modes and tonalities. If anybody can help you, KTVA can help you. KTVA can help you to remove the felt mutes that are muffling your voice, pull the cotton balls out of the f-holes of the body of your instrument, and get you ringing like a strad.

    You have to do the work.

    So your language lessons on skype did not use a webcam?
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