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Newbie frontman seeking criticisms (Painkiller, Dream On, I don't wanna miss a thing, etc)

AlvisAlvis Posts: 48Enrolled
Hi all, this is Alvis Yu, a 28 yr dude based in Tokyo.

To put you into the context, I started the course on July 30, 2016, and have been working on Vol. 3 for about half a year now. I do my vocal workouts almost always 5 days a week, and at the end of the session I'll train alongside the "bridge building sliders" video in Vol3 as a finisher.

I can feel that my vocals have grown by bounds, and have received similar comments from my fellow bandmates.
But I am a very ambitious frontman who wants to be in a band that fares well locally as well as internationally, hence the reason I am seeking criticisms here on my part.

As titled, I am currently the frontman of a hard rock cover band that started about half a year ago. We've covered Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and Loverboy. I've uploaded some of our better performances on SoundCloud, and below's the links:


(My apologies for the "talking" part. This was a rehearsal right before our first live show, and I was practicing how to engage with the audience as a frontman.)

https://soundcloud.com/alvisyu/immigrant-songmp3/s-545h7?in=alvisyu/sets/dream-weaver
(Immigrant Song; please do not share the secret link above. Thank you!)

I don't wanna miss a thing (Aerosmith)

Painkiller (Judas Priest) - only the highest part:

(P.S. I was just having fun with the song in the end of my cover band's 3-hour rehearsal in the studio.)




I'd appreciate greatly any feedback you have to share :)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
On a relevant note, it sounds to my untrained ear that my drummer's tempo is a bit messy, and it's especially bad in the tracks below (secret links; please do not share) I know there are many vocalists (or vocalists-musicians) here, so I am hoping you can help me figure out exactly what goes wrong with our drummer... THANK YOU!!! As a newbie frontman, I can really use your insightful opinions!
Another Bites the Dust live
https://soundcloud.com/alvisyu/another-one-bites-the-dust-live-farewell-party/s-O6Y9V?in=alvisyu/sets/dream-weaver#t=1:05
Immigrant Song live
https://soundcloud.com/alvisyu/immigrant-songmp3/s-545h7?in=alvisyu/sets/dream-weaver
I can't quite put my finger on it. I am hoping @highmtn can also chime in as he's a drummer himself. Many thanks in advance!

Thanks again for your time! I look forward to hearing from you all!

Comments

  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • The first thing I listened to was Dream On and didn't even see your comment about the drummer. His off-tempo playing was the thing that stood out most to me.

    If he were here and I were encouraging him, I'd say: It's okay. Keep working on it. Practice with a metronome every day and soon you'll be a groove monster.

    But to you, I say: his tempo is ALL OVER THE PLACE. It sounds like he's throwing off the rest of the band. He might be trying to follow along with the guitarist, while the guitarist is trying to follow along with him, or something. He needs to have the best sense of rhythm in the group and play along to his groove while people follow him. To a degree of course.

    ---

    About your vocals, I gave some tracks a listen. There's a lot going on in these demos, so it's hard to hone in on any single thing. It could be the recordings, but it doesn't SOUND like you're using support hardly at all, especially in Paranoid. You have a musical ear, which allows you to hit the first part of a line pretty well, but then it falls out of tune towards the end. It's not your fault. I think you're just running out of breath and control because you're not supporting. Again, though, it could be the recording.

    I like where you are musically. Keep it up and feel free to ask about specific things.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 10,424Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Just as an FYI, guys, not to be intrusive, but... These are posted in another post, and we like to keep from doing duplicate posts. I know you're not trying to spam the forums, but we're starting to get more people posting the same thing in multiple places. Let's keep it over at this other location:http://forum.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/discussion/15/post-your-demos-and-videos#latest
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 10,424Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    It starts getting crazy when parallel discussions about the same thing are going on.
  • AlvisAlvis Posts: 48Enrolled
    edited June 14 Vote Up0Vote Down

    The first thing I listened to was Dream On and didn't even see your comment about the drummer. His off-tempo playing was the thing that stood out most to me.

    But to you, I say: his tempo is ALL OVER THE PLACE. It sounds like he's throwing off the rest of the band. He might be trying to follow along with the guitarist, while the guitarist is trying to follow along with him, or something. He needs to have the best sense of rhythm in the group and play along to his groove while people follow him. To a degree of course.

    Thank you for much for the validation! I wasn't too sure but now I think I know what's been amiss the whole time...It's not easy when the rest of the band is still newbish; in cases like this, we can really use a solid drummer who can help us lock in. But when the drummer is also faltering, what should we do as a band...?

    About your vocals, I gave some tracks a listen. There's a lot going on in these demos, so it's hard to hone in on any single thing. It could be the recordings, but it doesn't SOUND like you're using support hardly at all, especially in Paranoid. You have a musical ear, which allows you to hit the first part of a line pretty well, but then it falls out of tune towards the end. It's not your fault. I think you're just running out of breath and control because you're not supporting. Again, though, it could be the recording.

    I like where you are musically. Keep it up and feel free to ask about specific things.

    First of all, thanks for the encouraging words, @blondiewales ! I really appreciate it.
    The thing I want to know in particular is whether or not my renditions of Dream On and Paranoid (the ending where I sing the riff of Heaven and Hell) are alright or on the right track as far as KTVA's method's concerned. I've become a bit of a screamer as I've been working on my head voice and mixed voice (mostly using the said "bridge building sliders" video).

    About the support, I thought I had it...I'll dig more into it regarding this topic. I must add, though, I am not 100% sure if I am utilizing my rib cage expansion/support correctly or not. Thanks again for your insightful pointers!

  • Well, it depends on your relationship with the drummer. If he's your friend, you might not want to just kick him out. See if he's interested in listening to a metronome while playing. Some drummers do that. They should all practice with one. As should all musicians.

    It's hard to tell if you're on the right track with your current demos because there's so much going on. Some lines are probably better than others. Support is the key to almost everything, though, so if that's amiss, most of your other stuff will be off too. Get a second opinion from someone on the forum, because I could be mistaken.

    It kind of sounds to me like you're clenching your abs tightly and singing like that. This combined with holding your breath produces a similar tone to yours. I know because I sang like this for a while. It will stabilize pitch and give a little tone, but that's it. Support does engage the abs, but not quite in that way. When you get it, you should know.
  • AlvisAlvis Posts: 48Enrolled
    edited June 15 Vote Up0Vote Down

    Well, it depends on your relationship with the drummer. If he's your friend, you might not want to just kick him out. See if he's interested in listening to a metronome while playing. Some drummers do that. They should all practice with one. As should all musicians.

    The tricky thing is that 1) he's my friend, 2) he does practice with a metronome at his own studio and will bring it to the band rehearsal sometimes, 3) he seems to be completely oblivious to his drumming issues, and 4) he's one of those helplessly optimistic guys who rarely listen to others' criticisms (he often plays it down and trashes the critics in private). I have already had an honest 1-on-1 talk with him regarding his drumming, but I am not sure if he took it well or just thinks I am being a jerk all of a sudden. It's not that I can suddenly hear it, but it's just that I wasn't as experienced or musically inclined as I am now, and after seeking criticisms on our band from musicians and musically inclined friends, they've all validated my concerns that I had had all along, but I simply couldn't quite put my finger on it. Sorry for going off-topic talking about drumming here, but as the drummer is supposed to be the stable engine of a band, the drummer will affect the rest of the band, either positively or negatively?

    It's hard to tell if you're on the right track with your current demos because there's so much going on. Some lines are probably better than others. Support is the key to almost everything, though, so if that's amiss, most of your other stuff will be off too. Get a second opinion from someone on the forum, because I could be mistaken.

    It kind of sounds to me like you're clenching your abs tightly and singing like that. This combined with holding your breath produces a similar tone to yours. I know because I sang like this for a while. It will stabilize pitch and give a little tone, but that's it. Support does engage the abs, but not quite in that way. When you get it, you should know.

    I totally agree that support is the key. I am hoping I'll get a second (or even third) opinion on my vocals here :smile: I do feel like I clench my abs very very tight (but I relax them in between phrases) when I do my vol.3 workouts. I don't pay too much attention to that when I sing, though. But chances are I do clench my abs while I am at it. I hope How do I engage the abs the correct way? Is there any discussion on this already?

    Thanks again, @blondiewales. I greatly appreciate your insight and replies!
  • AlvisAlvis Posts: 48Enrolled
    I just like to update that my drummer has taken your feedback and my feedback. As such, he's going to take drumming lessons. I am very pleased to hear that and hopefully you will too.

    On a relevant note, I'll start a new heavy metal project soon. I"ll post recordings when we have any.
  • @Alvis Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. I've been pretty busy.

    I'm glad your drummer is going to take lessons. Musical skill comes with time and we all have our individual strengths, both relative and absolute.

    I listened with some proper headphones to your vocals, and you definitely aren't always supporting the way you should. The beginning of "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" kind of confused me as to whether you were supporting or not (the tone was pretty cool), but when the chorus came it, it became clear to me that you weren't supporting.

    How to correctly support and engage the abs is a HUGE topic. Search around the forums. It's a journey for most vocalists, me included. A good indicator on whether you're correctly supporting is to feel underneath your chin. There's a muscle there called the digastric muscle. Try to tense it. Feel it? When you're properly sustaining a note, especially a higher one, your digastric muscle won't be tensed. Don't support and it's hard as a rock.

    There's a lot of metaphors that help people with support. Here are some:
    • Sing "on" the breath.
    • Imagine your voice is a beach ball floating on top of a fountain. The water is the air.
    • Push down
    • Lean
    • It should feel like going to the bathroom
    The best way to find support is to find the sound. If you want, you can post a single line or phrase and I can tell you much easier if it's well-supported. Using my opinion, anyway. I'm kind of surprised no one else has posted in your thread yet. I'm pretty confident in being able to identify an unsupported voice, but my advice is very, very far from the gospel.
  • AlvisAlvis Posts: 48Enrolled
    edited June 22 Vote Up0Vote Down
    @blondiewales
    Thank you so much for your reply and the detailed analysis. The metaphors are very easy to understand. I'll keep those in mind when i work out tonight. Thank you so much!

    I'll dig more into support on this forum. And thank you for liking my tone :smile:

    Bob was kind enough to critique on my workouts, and you can find the link (along with my workout links) here: http://forum.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/discussion/15/post-your-demos-and-videos/p19

    Hope the tracks will shed some light on this matter. I always thought I had proper support, but maybe I've been mistaken all along, or I haven't been utilized it properly...

    Looking forward to your feedback, and any advice from my fellow singers is of course appreciated :smiley:

    (EDIT:
    I'll just post my secret links below so that it's easier for you :smiley)

    Here's the secret link to my LA recording:
    https://soundcloud.com/alvisyu/la-scale/s-AKy1O?in=alvisyu/sets/ken-tamplin-vocal-academy/s-clhxc

    Slider: https://soundcloud.com/alvisyu/vol3-slider/s-nbxeT?in=alvisyu/sets/ken-tamplin-vocal-academy/s-clhxc
This discussion has been closed.