Blues in the Night

I feel like if you walked into a bar, and I was playing piano, you'd say "Oh look,. they have a piano player". But if I started singing, you'd say "I guess it must be open mic night."

What would you say are the issues I need to work on in this song?


  • Gaston_JaureguiGaston_Jauregui Moderator, Enrolled, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,004
    Hey Mick how are you? i would definitely try make the sound brighter in every phrase, a little more smile on your face could help, im gonna post you a video where Ken talks about this so maybe you could relate to that and work on it, he also explains how you could start out with only vowels and then add consonants on the phrasing of your songs, and at the end gives a very good exercise

    hope i was helpful
  • MickMick STREAMING - THE COURSE Posts: 21
  • MickMick STREAMING - THE COURSE Posts: 21
    Hi Gaston!

    I just looked you up on youtube and heard you sing "Crazy". Damn! Any advice you give me, I will follow to the letter. Thanks for taking the time to help me. Your response gave me some ideas and raised some questions, which I thought was easier to put in a video

  • DiegoDiego Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,139
    edited May 2018
    By having an open throat, you'll get a brighter sound.
    Smiling can give you a better Shape to achieve an open throat.
    if I am wrong, feel free to correct me) @Gaston_Jauregui
  • Gaston_JaureguiGaston_Jauregui Moderator, Enrolled, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,004
    @Diego yes it´s true, however an open Ah sometimes can be a little bit complicated, some people dont know how to do a Bright AH thats why Ken has the famous phrase "its the law Ah"
  • Gaston_JaureguiGaston_Jauregui Moderator, Enrolled, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,004
    @Mick first of all you have to understand that every vowel has a different size,
    if you say them you´ll feel each one differently
    Say a big AH and you´ll feel really big space on the back of your throat
    now say EE and you´ll feel a very very small space in the back of your throat
    same happens with UH as WHO is Very Small
    OH is BIG but DARK (not as big as Ah)
    and EH as LED is kind of Medium sized

    so the problem is that you cant make the thorat open and close with each vowel you are saying while you sing, if you notice in the excercise on the video i posted you of Ken, he explains that as you go higher you move less and less your Jaw, but everything comes from AH

    so picture it this way
    every time you say a vowel you make a tube in your throat, but it can be big or small
    so it better be big so every vowel FITS inside that space
    otherwise you´ll have to try to reopen it, and wont end well... :P
    what happens is that if you keep the mouth open as an AH vowel and try to say EE you´ll end up saying something like EH which is ACTUALLY THE VOWEL MODIFICATION OF EE

    if you say UH with an open AH you´ll fell it like OH as LOVE
    this is more less how it works
    the point is to keep the throat open most of the time as in the exercise
    or as much as you can, but you MUST keep it open in the high notes

    this doesnt mean you shouldn´t do them as Ken explains them individually in the program
    but this is how you apply them for singing

    hope i explained myself

  • Gaston_JaureguiGaston_Jauregui Moderator, Enrolled, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,004
    something came up this is a really broad answer but i´ll try to explain myself better within an hour or so....
  • Gaston_JaureguiGaston_Jauregui Moderator, Enrolled, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,004
    edited May 2018
    ok , here i come again Gaston round 2: :P

    im glad that you watched the Aerosmith cover song, cause if you noticed, every time i open my mouth to say a melody line, i don´t reopen MORE i keep the same size of the mouth till the next breath, i might close my mouth to say consonants, but the space inside is the same ALL THE TIME, you will see Ken does this too on other songs...

    this is because as you watched in the first video i sent you with Ken doing an exercise, you saw as soon as he started going higher in the scale he stopped moving his jaw, he even says it in the video

    i made a couple of drawings

    hope i don´t make this a lot more complicated than it is...hahah

    this are the ITALIAN vowels and kind of the throat size or space on each one of them

    so as you can see, every vowel has a different size, if you say them you´ll feel it on the back of the throat

    so basically you cannot change the size of the space while you are singing.... you might move your mouth but gotta be careful to not spoil the space you created when you did that line...

    as you see in this example i made it really clear with a big AH to an EE is a very drastic change, but this happens with any vowel change if you don´t respect the space....so its even more complicated, this is one of many reasons why we break, or not reach a note...

    So the only way to do this right is by RESPECTING THE SPACE you started with at the begining...
    you can do it with ANY vowel, but since some vowels are smaller, your space will be smaller, and when you try to reopen, you´ll break, or rasp in a wrong way, and lose range too, and if you do respect the space in a small vowel, you will have to stay in that space and the sound will not be big, plus, error range will be bigger, because you are trying to sing in a smaller space, adding consonants...

    This is why AH is the MOST IMPORTANT VOWEL and Ken says it all the time...because the AH is the BIGGEST vowel of all!!! so its easier to fit everything in the space of a big vowel, than to fit everything inside a small one... not that is imposible, but is way better with a big space, and safer

    so to conclude and answer your question how you do this, what i do, is i make the space of a big vowel before the beginning of every phrase with a big smile in my face , and respect it
    hope this did help

    (BTW note that the Eh space is smaller so you gotta be careful with OH and AH in that example, cause those are bigger than EH)


  • MickMick STREAMING - THE COURSE Posts: 21
    Gaston , this is amazing! Thanks! Im going to take a few days to digest this and get back to you with what Ive learned.
  • MickMick STREAMING - THE COURSE Posts: 21
    Let me ask you one question, to take things out of the realm of theory and give me a concrete example I'm working on-

    In the song I posted, the highest notes is between the asterisks

    "Hear the lonesome whistle, blow-*in* cross the tresstle, Whoo-eee"

    Are you saying dont go and try to pronounce it as Blow-uhn" but rather keep my throat as wide as I would if I was saying AH and just try to say ii (as in ick), and what will come out will be UH?

  • Gaston_JaureguiGaston_Jauregui Moderator, Enrolled, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,004
    No, what im trying to say is that if you keep your throat open it will be easier to make the modifications because your throat is already open, so you dont have to reopen it and close it while you modify
  • bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,647

    I really liked the way you explained this here. I think some people underestimate the space you should and CAN create in your throat by using the yawning sensation. More so, it's very crucial to re-yawn into the sound where possible, otherwise you are pushing for the notes instead of sliding into them with correct open throat technique. Together with the knowledge of vowels, their sizes and modifications, this will help a lot when talking strictly about what is going on in the throat. There is of course much more to singing than this.

    Oh and your covers on youtube are awesome, great job!

    All the best,

  • Gaston_JaureguiGaston_Jauregui Moderator, Enrolled, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,004
    @bentk completley agree on that! The yawn is crucial! And thanks! I still have a lot to work on too, but this is a big part of the game that took me a lot to understand, so this is why i put it in drawings haha cause i know some people will try to reopen the space with the mouth instead of a yawn at the time of a vowel modification
  • Gaston_JaureguiGaston_Jauregui Moderator, Enrolled, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,004
    edited May 2018
    @Mick in your particular "Blowing" question i would modify to EH not to UH
    so basically (and try to read this as italian vowels cause im latin american) i would start with an open AH with a smile and say:

    so basically the AH is mod for the o from blOwing
    the oh is mod for U or W
    and the EH mod from EE (ing)
    but it kind of comes natural because you started on an "Ah"
    so you dont really think of it that much if you start with the "ah vowel"

    Btw the AH is not supposed to be uncontrolable is just meant to be a little wide and bright, is just a slight change

    hope this make sense, you actually said it kind of right in the second 46 of your video, you just werent paying attention
    plus your highest note is a D

    so you haven´t really gotten to your passaggio yet, so you don´t have to worry that much

    hope i was clear, sometimes i have the feeling i say too much info and can be overwhelming


  • MoftemMoftem Enrolled Posts: 114
    @Mick You're off to a great start! Nice piano playing. Katie Melua is always a solid choice. Or did someone else in fact write the song? I like your voice. Some more brightness and ping will do you great. Keep doing your exercises with consistency. I believe in you!

    Oh and @Gaston_Jauregui I just saw some of your Youtube stuff as well. You kick ass!
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