Singer (not) in a rock and roll band

Doug_LatimerDoug_Latimer Member Posts: 17
edited March 2018 in INTRODUCE YOURSELF
Hello all

I'm a latecomer to singing publicly. About five years ago, I felt it was time to poop or get off the pot, so to say, and had been hearing a spot on my local (Madison WI) community station for "live band karaoke" with the Gomers - great musicians who've been around for over thirty years.

I went, attempted R.E.M.'s "Driver 8", which was sadly appropriate as a train song, 'cause it was a wreck. But I persevered, and was a regular till the shows ended year before last. The performances were uneven, to be kind, but appreciated in the main by the audience, who I felt could see I really cared about connecting with them and communicating the emotion of the song.

Since then, I've been trying to scare up some folks who share my musical tastes via craigslist, and although there've been numerous nibbles, nothing has come to fruition. So I'm consigned to creating barest of bones audio files, and posting the R.E.M. work (my favorite artists, if you haven't sussed that) to a fan group, garnering a few "Likes" and "Loves". Obviously, it doesn't compare to live performance, but there it is.

Sorry to be so long winded. If you're interested, I post the files here


At present, there are over 200. Some are better than others; all could do with a re-do, which I frequently do ... um, do.

You'll notice a distinct strain in my voice. I have sinus issues and possible LPR (silent reflux), which can wreak havoc with my vocal cords, as well as a damnable tendency to try to control when recording, but I think they're fairly on pitch, and won't injure your delicate ears too badly. -g-

Any honest and constructive analysis is welcome.


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    You're running your own ads, right, trying to scare up some opportunities? Your odds of hooking up with someone are better than if you and 20 other singers are answering other people's ads. I'm in a band still today, that was a Craigslist Ad I happened to see. That was over 11 years ago and hundreds of gigs ago. Probably closer to a thousand gigs. I was lucky and happened to see someone looking for a drummer. I relentlessly pursued getting them to audition me.

    On your songs, make sure you nail that first note right out of the gate. You tend to slide up to some of your opening lines. First impressions are very lasting. Nailing pitch has a lot to do with breath support and having your voice ready for accuracy and precision.

    You have good taste in music.
  • Doug_LatimerDoug_Latimer Member Posts: 17
    edited March 2018
    Yeah ... at 61 I'm set in my musical ways, and really only want to do what moves me, so I'm hoping there are some other folks out there who are keen on the same material, but after a couple of years of posting my ad every few days, I ain't putting scared money on it.

    Possibly what you're hearing is a lack of confidence in what's gonna come out of my mouth, especially if it's out of my comfort range right off the bat. I'm still working on the zen thing - the journey, not the destination - but it don't come easy after decades of American male programming.

    I like to think I have some discernment in my musical affinities, although if a song's just a hoot to sing, taste may take a back seat (see "Our Lips Are Sealed" -- not stinky exactly, but compared to "In Your Eyes", well ... ). I'd like to add some old school soul to my repertoire - Marvin Gaye, Al Green et alia - but those folks were so amazing at the "atmospherics" that I just don't think I'd do them justice.

    Thanks for the feedback. Here's probably my best turn on stage

  • Doug_LatimerDoug_Latimer Member Posts: 17

    I guess we're done here ...
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    Actually, you're just getting started. This is just the howdy section. Pleased to meet you!
  • Doug_LatimerDoug_Latimer Member Posts: 17

    Okay then ... what would you suggest would be a rational road to trod here? As you know, I'm pumping out these files - 230 at present - none of which I'm truly satisfied with.

    Should I ask for constructive critique? Advice on particular passages that are vexing me no end (See "near wild hea-ven" in ... um ... "Near Wild Heaven")?

    Lead on, MacDuff
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    If you were a KTVA student, we would be asking to hear you doing your lessons. It's applying the techniques that are the basics of singing that makes songs sound better. It's actually backwards to try to explain to someone how to fix songs, when most of what is missing is basic technique to apply to those songs.

    You're doing good songs. Your voice is a bit inconsistent through the songs. Some notes a little below pitch, some running low on air, or the air consistency being uneven. These are things that we train on without the added baggage of lyrics or song-singing, to get consistency in the tone, pitch, and sustain of one vowel at a time. Only after getting those basic foundational blocks in place do we try to dissect songs that consist of a myriad of these techniques, happening constantly, rapid-fire, one after the other.

    We start with training on the AH vowel and work on a number of benchmarks, then add more vowels, one at a time. This is kind of a lab-conditions way to ensure the basic voice has a firm footing, before adding the varibles of song-singing to apply the techniques and foundational principles to.
  • Doug_LatimerDoug_Latimer Member Posts: 17

    Unfortunately, I can't afford lessons at this time. I'm also a little leery of the investment due to my experience with a couple of voice teachers, spending hundreds of dollars for pretty much bupkes. I felt I was diligent in practicing what they preached, but my ignorance combined with their possible arrogance in what they saw as "the way" conspired to cost me money, time and confidence.

    So, that being the case, what can I do here that would be of benefit to me?
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    Learn what you can. What we talk about here are many of the same things Ken talks about in his singing videos. I, too, spent too much money on singing lessons that were just a scam, so I know how you feel about that. I went through a LOT of courses, and got very little. Ken's course is the real deal. I waited a whole year before I bought it, thinking I would buy it when I "had the money". When I finally bought it, I had no more money. Just a year down the drain that I could have been benefitting from growing my voice.

    It's the best money I ever spent on myself. Years later, my voice is still growing. It takes time to grow the voice. It won't grow without using the proper methods.

    The majority of the forums is students-only and there we go over all of the aspects of the KTVA course. Most of the public area is more broad and general vocal-related fun, and there are demo areas where people post their songs. We can get into some details on technique, but the real nitty-gritty nuts and bolts of HOW is part of what the KTVA method is all about, and involves application of the techniques taught in the course.

    What you can see here is that there are a LOT of very happy vocalists that are all on personal journeys to grow and improve their voices, and they all realize that this takes considerable time and application of the correct methods of singing. We also have lots of people here trying to see if this is just another bogus singing scam, which it is not. That should be evident by what you see in the areas of the forum that are accessible. People helping one another master some very involved information and methods.

    Everything we talk about here is in accordance with what Ken teaches. If someone comes here and starts trying to promote or defend other methodologies, that's fine, but not here.

    My big regret is that I wasted that year that I knew Ken was the real thing, but I procrastinated. And I'm no procrastinator. But I AM thrifty, to a fault. I'm so glad I finally got past that. I've improved so much, it's not even funny.

    You're very welcome to be here. Join in the conversations that you can access. Be a part of our gang here. You're a singer. This is the place to be!

  • Doug_LatimerDoug_Latimer Member Posts: 17

    Much obliged, Bob

    I tried one online program whose member forum was pretty much moribund, at least during my short time there, and the material itself didn't resonate with me, either. Luckily, there was a money back guarantee, of which I availed myself.

    I'll poke around here and see what's doing.
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