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Into and asking for advice: John

johnzhangjohnzhang Enrolled Posts: 2
edited February 2012 in The Singer's Lobby
Hi everyone, I'm John and it's a pleasure to be here.

Name: John Zhang
Age: 25 (2012)
Gender: Dude
Location: Suburb of Los Angeles
Genre: Hard rock, soul, classical (listening only).
I like The Eagles, Metallica, Bon Jovi, The Beetles, Sam Cooke, etc,  basically anyone with strong vocals.
I'm bilingual and I used to sing mainly Chinese songs, now I'm switching to English songs, because there are more quality music in English than there are in Chinese.

Experience: No one in my family sings or plays musical instruments,  so not until the age of 18 (2005) did I realize that I sucked at singing. It was a karaoke session with friends and my singing pretty much made everyone leave the room :P I tried to teach myself with materials I found online and improved from "unbearable" to "bearable", and then the improvement stopped.
In 2010 I saw Ken on YouTube and immediately bought the DVDs; Ken's voice blew me away! After only a few weeks my range jumped by half an octave! A few months later I even had people complimenting me on my voice. I stopped practicing because I was satisfied with the results; my original goal was just to get better at karaoke. Naturally my voice deteriorated from the lack of practice. 
Now it's 2012 and I'm back with a different goal. Every time I sing I feel happy, fulfilled, satisfied, so I thought wouldn't it be great if I can make a living out of singing? I know I'm not a good singer, but I have improved from a very bad singer to an okay singer, so I know that I can become a good singer, especially with help from the KTVA. Currently I'm just working on improving my voice and have no professional experience with singing.

Question #1: For all the musicians out there, please share your experiences. I have heard of the starving musicians stories, is it really that bad? Am I nuts to start at 25 years old?

Question #2: What's the difference between a good singer and a great singer? Besides the perseverance, what's the difference between someone who can sing and someone who can make a living out of singing? 

Question #3: How  do I change my status from member to enrolled? What's the Difference? (I have purchased the KTVA DVDs direct download).

Happy singing.



  • KokonuhtKokonuht Member, Enrolled Posts: 658
    Welcome John! I agree with you on Chinese Songs ._. Most of them are just sad love songs or happy love songs. Like most of them :\

    Question 1 : I'm not a musician...(as an occupation) so I wouldn't know.. maybe someone else could help :P

    Question 2 : There are plenty of good singers that earn a hell lot of money. In this current day, as long as you sound good and your music has the feeling of "I want to hear more of you". You're pretty much set to go! At least that's what I think :). Personally, I don't make living out of singing but I think that there are lots of people who can sing but don't really know where to "promote" themselves. So yeah... self promoting is important :D!

    Question 3 : You should be changed soon :)

    Once again, welcome aboard!!

  • KokonuhtKokonuht Member, Enrolled Posts: 658
    Oh and the difference between enrolled and a normal member is that you gain full access to other parts of the forum :)

  • johnzhangjohnzhang Enrolled Posts: 2
    Thanks Rayhan. I loled at your comments on Chinese songs, it's so true.
  • reessereesse Enrolled Posts: 159
    hey thanks for sharing !!! COOL story.
    to 1) I introduced myself as Reesse on here  !!  hahah
    2)it really is all about how bad you want it!! ENOUGH SAID :)
    3)I think this will do it for you not sure... ;/
  • KokonuhtKokonuht Member, Enrolled Posts: 658
    You are now already enrolled btw :D. Also, I don't think it's nuts to start at 25... I don't think it's nuts to start at any age at all lol. Music doesn't have an age limit to it ;) Just like studying :D! If you're having a hard time looking for bands etc. You could always start with youtube then try promoting your videos :D! Though make sure they have quality ;)
  • JenniferCampionJenniferCampion Member Posts: 28

    Here are some ideas... combine them at your own discretion.

    1. Self promotion through such things as youtube and forums for musicians and singers.

    2. Go searching any local gig spots and eventually there will be musicians there who will be missing a singer or starting a band from scratch.

    3. Some music shops advertise bands looking for singers and vice versa, you could advertise yourself or find a band that would give you an audition.

    4. Produce your own demos with such software as Audacity (or Pro Tools if you can afford it) and give or sell them to small independant record stores (not the big chains) as self promotion to get you started if you write your own material. You could use the demo as extra proof of your abilities at an audition (here you would be permitted to use cover versions in this case presumably).

    5. Go and apply for a college music course provided the college in question is known for a good turnout of gigging and recording bands. (I tried that once, they said they'd have taken me but the course was full, so if you go down this road, apply early on)

    6. If you play guitar well enough to support yourself singing, try a local gig spot that has some spaces to fill or an open mic event. Then take it from there if you want a stint as a singer-songwriter, even if you don't want that, it's still a start.

    7. If there are friends or family of yours who can play the required instruments well enough to back you up, start a band with them, but ONLY if they want to pursue the project as genuine work NOT as a play thing.

    8. If you are a known DJ, producer or sound engineer or in any other media or music related role, just find a few excuses to let your hidden talents 'slip out' one day, get the people round you talking; you never know, some of these guys have contacts you could only dream of...

    9. Keep your hand in at karaoke. Some places have competitions for this sort of thing where money is the prize. The bigger the competition, the more people hear you...and you never know who might be there if the karaoke is in a pub or club where live bands play. Someone might make you an offer.

    10. Go to all the gig spots where current band members are found, be complimentary of those whose style you like, befriend them. Ask them to keep an eye on the opportunities for you, who is in need of a singer. They may eventually ask you to start a project sometime themselves.

    P.S. It can be extremely hard work in a professional band. My Uncle did it. The pay for the gigs sometimes ends up going to the upkeep of the equipment and not a lot else. You need to invest plenty cash on the career for this way to work and you need to know how to use it correctly.

    My suggestion is to get a back up career in a related buisiness (within the arts, media or events organization) if you're not in one already that you KNOW will give you enough to survive. At the same time try out being semi-professional as a singer first, get a feel for the demands on you that way, if your popularity grows well enough, you can go professional and ditch your back up if you want to. If your popularity does not rise enough to live off singing alone the you have a career in a closely related subject while maintaining the joy of being semi-professional with your singing. That way it's a win-win situation. This one requires determination either way.

    Hope that answers your question. Good luck in your endeavours.


  • JenniferCampionJenniferCampion Member Posts: 28

    Oh, and your question about the difference between a good singer and a great one...

    You can look at it in two ways, side by side.

    Firstly there's the basic side of it, a good singer can employ adequete singing technique and is therefore pleasing to the listener. But, a great one can excel with singing technique and therefore makes an impression of greatness upon the listener.

    Secondly, there's the deeper way of looking at it. A good singer has the ability to convey some emotion in the songs they sing. A great singer conveys thier whole self into the songs they sing.

    Remember, technique is about expanding your ability to express yourself so without love of the music, love of the performance and love of being the performer, technique does nothing. Techniques are your toolkit for the art of self expression. Simple as that. Combine them both and you will be great.

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