Listen to the Music - The Doobie Brothers [cover] provide feedback

I just recorded a cover of this song. I’d like some feedback on how to improve my singing.

Consider areas around tone, pitch, dynamics, and phrasing. Thank you for watching and I look forward to your feedback!

Listen to the Music - The Doobie Brothers [Cover]


  • Options
    michaelmusicmichaelmusic 2.0 ENROLLED Posts: 267
  • Options
    DannyOc3anDannyOc3an 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 668
    edited July 2022
    hey there Michael nice to see you again

    nice job dude. Anyone who hears it would enjoy your performance no doubt. Since you ask for some feedback, we always could try to pinpoint anything that to our ears may improve the performance to a certain degree, although that alone may be subjective to each listener

    In this regard, I would say maybe try to go a bit less staccato on some verses (like overpronouncing each word) (listen at your 0:35" - 0:50" timeframe, as an example) and instead go with a continuous vowel placement which slightly morphs into closely related vowels. I can tell you correctly do this every now and then so I know you have the concept, only stay mindful of it during the whole song. The idea of "not focusing on the words, but focus on the vowels instead" helps when kept on top of your mind during singing. So as you read the lyrics, try to avoid the tendency to "read out loud" those words, and instead shift your focus to how that particular set of vowels will feel in your throat and how you can place them as close to the AH as possible so they come out as a long continuous vowel with slight shifts; if you know what I mean. What also helps is to pre-train the song line by line and vowels only. Spend some time dissecting each phrase and finding the placement of all those vowels, and relate them all to the mother AH. It's worth the time. When the time comes for the full song you already know the path the vowels should take and how they should feel. This is kind of different than focusing on the words, it will make you avoid abrupt changes, avoid overpronounced closed vowels, minimize consonants altogether, and instead make you produce a continuous long sound with the AH everpresent in the back of the throat.

    As a second observation, while this would be even more subjective to the listener, I could say watch your larynx and see if you can keep it a bit lower -at least in a more neutral position- (you're high in range so it defaults to raise), this way you gain some more space and roundness. I've found that thinking of setting a yawning larynx right before each phrase helps. Remembering it again and again before each scale or phrase. ("yawning larynx, then sing.. yawning larynx, then sing... yawning larynx, then sing"... and so on). It helps to open a wider pathway so the sound benefits from more room available to pass through, giving a bit more of a round placement (like less pinchy). Not that you're pinching it, only that the sound flavor would be more on the rounder side than on the pinchy side on your throat (more space), and then complemented with the masky brightness you are projecting forward.

    Again, nice job and take this only as a reminder to fine tune tiny aspects... B)

  • Options
    GuyChanGuyChan 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 171
    edited July 2022
    Hey there ! You did a really appreciable job with this sing. I can clearly hear improvement since last songs you did, which is great. Is this that lessosn with Ken that gave you some kick ? haha ;)

    I think your phrasing plays a big role in this song. There seem to be quite a lot of words in that song. So you have to be really careful about how you pace your breath throughout the song. I think you could get a little more groove around the phrasing, and that you should pay special close attention to how you phrase freely the words in the song. Sometimes, I feel like you have to rush a little bit to be able to make the whole phrase, or it slips just a bit off groove. Try to be more resting on the music, more smooth and groovy. It's also beacuse you're playing guitar, which is really cool. It requires some work to do that, but if you can get to a point where you can rest, and sing with soul without having to rush through the beat, you'd be in a great place. This would be a great sign of professionalism, which you are really close to, by the way. Keep on !

    Your phrasing and pacing actually influence a lot your tone, pitch and dynamics. Your phrasing has to do with pacing the breath, and muscle memory for open throat technique. Because if you tense up on the breath, you lose open throat. And if you lose open throat, you lose pitch and tone, and therefore have to rush through the phrase to relief the throat. See how everything is related to each other ? You can hear that you start to loose stamina around 2:35 at the end of the song. Stamina is also a component you have to work on, as all of us haha

    So, I think in steps, first is support, then placement (I like your high and light placement by the way, it's nice that you're not bringing so much weight up top, good tone there), from that work on pacing, and muscle memory for open throat to hold (this will come overtime. All of it, actually. But you're on a great track !

    Overall, your pitch is good, but because of the other components, you have to be careful, cause it can mess with ita little bit. Also, you're playing guitar at the same time. This is yet another thing to deal with, that can mess with all the other components. What I would advice is of course to learn the song without the guitar at first. Just learn the song with the guitar and the voice separatly, and then bring those two together. I don't know if you do ? When you work on your vocals, don't take the guitar. Learning to sing the song correctly (with good technique and soul), to play the guitar parts (with good technique and soul), and to sing and play at the same time (with good technique and soul) are three different jobs. You shouldn't mess and mix that too much. Bring the two first steps as close to perfection as you simply need to, and then move on to the thrid step.

    Kudos to you, this is very good, I can see that you're working, cause you're improving, which is really appreciable to observe. This encourages and motivates myself in my own journey.

    Keep on rocking, I'm looking forward to hear more of you mate. ;)

  • Options
    TerenceTerence 3.0 Streaming Posts: 364
    Great song and tough to pull off alone with no harmonizing vocals. The whole thing takes place within a narrow perfect 6th and hammers the same notes (right in the passagio areas) over and over. You've mastered those areas now which is really impressive and your tone is unique and very pleasing, as well.

    I would enjoy listening to you perform this song live. My head wouldn't be filled with thoughts of what you could do better so you're already there from that standpoint. You're asking for thoughts, however, so here's a few possibilities.

    The song is meant for a band and also relies on (requires) harmonies to round out a high and rather monotonous melody. Maybe the band/producer put them everywhere for that reason. I see the doobie brothers or Tom Johnson always have BG harmonies on their acoustic versions. Without that luxury, maybe...

    — Start the bridge an octave lower and work your way up to finish at the recorded melody or even above for a grand finish.

    — Start a few choruses with the lower harmony first, the standard melody next, the upper harmony next before finishing with an improvised bluesy version of the last line "all the time...."

    — Invent interesting alt melodies anywhere you think would add interest.

    A big part of this song is the predictable train-like droning rhythm guitar groove. You do it well for a long stretch but practicing to a metronome might be useful to keep it on track. Especially while concentration naturally drifts to your vocals.

    You're at the point in your vocal development where your true voice shines through and it's a pleasure to hear, Michael. Thank you for bringing us along and trusting us to throw out a few thoughts here and there.
  • Options
    michaelmusicmichaelmusic 2.0 ENROLLED Posts: 267
    Some great points from all of you and I will implement these suggestions for my practice! Thank you all.
Sign In or Register to comment.