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Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: March 12th, 2015, 2:15 pm
by MrPixelSheep
Hello fellow musicians,

My name is Joe, I am from the UK. I am 25 years old and I can play guitar pretty well, to the point where I can play stuff like Andy McKee, John Butler Trio and percussive style guitar. So I would say I'm intermediate on guitar. I'm at a point in my life where I want learn how to sing and have a bearable singing voice while playing guitar. I can sing and play guitar at the same time but I sound really, really bad when I sing. Is there any advice anyone can give a beginner? Like I'm just so lost when it comes to learning the basics of singing. Is there any exercises someone could recommend? Has anyone learned how to sing on there own or would you guys recommend a vocal teacher? I could post a short clip of how I sound when singing if that helps? :]

Thanks,

Joe

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: March 13th, 2015, 8:19 am
by Diceman
To sing well you must practice singing . Play a major scale on your guitar and immediately sing the same scale both ascending and descending . Next go up a half tone and repeat . So if you started with a C scale you would then play a C# scale and then a D , etc.
Do this until you reach the tops and bottom of your singing range . Start slowly and concentrate on singing the correct pitch for each note . In time your voice will become better at changing to the correct pitch . You can also record yourself and listen to it for a better indication of what you actually sound like . Don't be discouraged . Nobody is really ever completely satisfied with the sound of their own recorded voice .

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: March 16th, 2015, 4:04 am
by MrPixelSheep
Hey Diceman,

Thanks for the help man! Just by practicing what you told me to do I have already noted an improvement in my voice. Really, thanks for the help! Much appreciated :]

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: March 17th, 2015, 5:09 am
by Diceman
You're welcome . Some people think that singing is a magical gift that can't be done by everybody and that isn't the case at all . It can be learned just like how playing guitar can be learned .

When people learn that I play guitar they often tell me that they always wanted to learn an instrument when they were younger . I tell them it is never too late to learn . Singing is the same .

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: March 18th, 2015, 3:00 pm
by notes_norton
First of all you MUST learn to breathe properly. Proper breath support is the most essential thing you need.

1) When you take a breath, DO NOT expand your chest. Instead expand your belly. Your diaphragm should move down when you inhale, causing your belly to expand. See picture:
Image

2) Keep your throat relaxed - not doing so can cause nodules and end your singing career like it did Julie Andrews

3) When singing and your belly is slowly contracting, tighten your abdominal surface muscles as if you are anticipating someone punching you near your navel

These things will give you proper breath support. Proper breath support will make it easier to control your voice to sing the right notes, will give you your best tone, and will keep you from damaging your vocal cords.

First symptoms of nodules are gravelly voice (ala Stevie Nicks) and after that, no singing ability at all. There is an operation to remove them, but it's likely to fail as it did Ms. Andrews. It ended her Broadway career in an instant.

The rest is all practice.

Insights and incites by Notes

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: June 25th, 2015, 10:51 pm
by Guitarkite
As a guitar instructor and vocal coach, I felt I should make a few comments, and give you a few tips...

1. First off... Why have you waited until now to start working on your voice!!! During the years spent learning to play guitar, you should have been practicing on your voice!! Okay, well hindsight's 20/20, and you can't change the past... But still, I had to say it.

2. As someone stated earlier, singing is not magic... It is something that can be learned... But it also not just an "afterthought"... Imagine the years you spent getting to the point where you're competent enough on guitar that people actually "want" to hear you play... Learning to sing well may take THAT long or longer!

3. Now this is not all bad news... There are some tips and tricks that can help speed the process... One of the first things I ask aspiring singers to do is take this little test: Of these four basic elements of singing, how would you rate them in order of importance? (Remember, this is for a contemporary solo artist... Not opera or choir.)

A. Range - (how low or high you can sing)
B. Intonation - (how accurately you can hit the desired pitches)
C. Diction - (how well you can be understood)
D. Timbre - (the overall tonality of your voice... i.e. nasally, gravelly, breathy, etc...)

Most wannabe singers put these in roughly the order I listed them... A and B often get interchanged, but this is the most common ordering... Everyone's obsessed with Range and Intonation, and no one give crap about Diction or Timbre... Timbre is almost universally placed last! Now the truth...

A. Timbre - You could have incredible range, perfect intonation, and impeccable diction... But if your timbre is not good, no one will want to listen to you!
B. Intonation - It's important... but no where near as important as timbre! Think of all the singers out there whose voices everyone loves, even though they're often a little "pitchy"
C. Diction - Not that important... You don't want to unintelligible, but singing is not a grammar contest.
D. Range - Dead last for a reason... If you only have a 1 octave range, but have nailed down A and B, people will still love your singing.

I say this because A and B are where your focus should be... And don't rely on just listening to yourself as you sing in your car... Record yourself singing and critically analyze what you hear... Is it too nasally? Is it too breathy? Adjust, and record again. Get other people's opinions... But not your friends or family (unless you have brutally honest friends and family).

Work on that, and I'll post more later.

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: January 24th, 2016, 4:12 am
by 3Strings
MrPixelSheep wrote:Hello fellow musicians,

My name is Joe, I am from the UK. I am 25 years old and I can play guitar pretty well, to the point where I can play stuff like Andy McKee, John Butler Trio and percussive style guitar. So I would say I'm intermediate on guitar. I'm at a point in my life where I want learn how to sing and have a bearable singing voice while playing guitar. I can sing and play guitar at the same time but I sound really, really bad when I sing. Is there any advice anyone can give a beginner? Like I'm just so lost when it comes to learning the basics of singing. Is there any exercises someone could recommend? Has anyone learned how to sing on there own or would you guys recommend a vocal teacher? I could post a short clip of how I sound when singing if that helps? :]

Thanks,

Joe
How's the singing coming along Joe? I wonder if singing is something you can really learn because I'm someone who seems to only have one tone to my voice. If I try to go high I sound like a wailing cat. I can go pretty low though.

IS singging something that just comes naturally or can you actually learn to sing?

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: January 24th, 2016, 3:14 pm
by notes_norton
I feel your pain.

I started in bands playing mostly saxophone and doubling on bass and/or rhythm guitar when needed. I didn't consider myself a bassist or guitarist at that point, but if I was shown what I needed to play on that particular song, I could do it. (I actually learned bass and guitar much later). I didn't sing.

We lost singers in our band. A few of them over the course of a couple of years. Singers just seemed difficult to replace. They also seemed flighty and not as committed as the rest of us. I don't mean to imply singers in general are like that, I've worked with some real pros, but it seems that since the investment level is low, you get a number of people who are naturals but not serious.

I remember one, she was really a good singer, worked well with the band, practiced her part before rehearsal, and really enjoyed it. Then her boyfriend gave her "the choice" - "It's me or the band" and she chose him. I've seen girlfriends do the same thing so this isn't by any means a sexist post. It's just that we had to cancel a lot of gigs from that one so it sticks in my mind.

So I decided to learn to sing. If I can't depend on others, I'd just have to depend on myself. I make a living doing music and nothing but music, so having as many skills as possible insures my adaptability, therefore survival in the every changing music business. I now sing and play sax, flute, wind synthesizer, guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard synth. Plus as a duo I create my own backing tracks so I don't have to depend on other people's work. It has served me well.

Back to singing (sorry for the tangent).

I started with easy songs to sing. At that time it was Jimmy Buffett level singing, nothing needing great control or large vocal jumps.

I already had breath support (see previous post) from sax playing, and the vocal coach I saw was delighted about that. Without breath support the voice is weak and the tone is wimpy. He said breath support is the first thing he teaches, and until the student doesn't get that, he won't go any further.

Slowly I added more and more songs with ever higher skill levels. I practiced at home, and as a gigging musician (6 nights a week back then) I practiced every night on stage (if you can't practice on stage, where CAN you practice <wink/grin>).

It took years. I became an adequate singer and finally very good singer. I don't have monster singing chops, my singing instrument is limited, but I can certainly hold my own and be a lead singer in a band. Right now in our duo, I sing about half the songs.

As Guitarkite noted, it takes time and practice. It can be done, but you have to work on it. The muscles have to be built up, and you need to learn control. This comes with practice and time.

If you start singing a lot, here is some more advice. (1) don't drink cold drinks while singing - like all muscles, the muscles that control your voice work better and are harder to injure when warn (2) don't drink alcohol as it tends to dry out the vocal folds (3) probably doesn't need to be said, but I will anyway, don't smoke - the tars from cigarettes can hurt your voice and impair your lungs.

Start with easy songs, songs you can cover. While singing them, work on your breath support, tone and intonation. And sing them often. Sing every day if you can. Remember to keep your throat relaxed and to breathe properly. Have patience with yourself. The longer you do it, the better you'll get.

Insights and incites by Notes

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: October 10th, 2016, 3:22 am
by martinstan
First of all find your pitch. Are you a male tenor? Most rock singers would fall into this category. You can check by singing to the note C on your A string( 3rd fret) then try and sing the note A on your B string (10th fret).

Once you have established your range then you have something to work with. By the way, with correct practice you can raise and lower your pitch quite dramatically.

Certainly as previous posters have suggest, correct breathing i.e. from the diaphragm will give better note control.

Check that you can sing in tune by running up the major scale from G to F.

Any question then please reply. I teach singing and playing guitar so I can help.

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: December 13th, 2016, 3:40 am
by Avery24
Guitarkite wrote:As a guitar instructor and vocal coach, I felt I should make a few comments, and give you a few tips...

1. First off... Why have you waited until now to start working on your voice!!! During the years spent learning to play guitar, you should have been practicing on your voice!! Okay, well hindsight's 20/20, and you can't change the past... But still, I had to say it.

2. As someone stated earlier, singing is not magic... It is something that can be learned... But it also not just an "afterthought"... Imagine the years you spent getting to the point where you're competent enough on guitar that people actually "want" to hear you play... Learning to sing well may take THAT long or longer!

3. Now this is not all bad news... There are some tips and tricks that can help speed the process... One of the first things I ask aspiring singers to do is take this little test: Of these four basic elements of singing, how would you rate them in order of importance? (Remember, this is for a contemporary solo artist... Not opera or choir.)

A. Range - (how low or high you can sing)
B. Intonation - (how accurately you can hit the desired pitches)
C. Diction - (how well you can be understood)
D. Timbre - (the overall tonality of your voice... i.e. nasally, gravelly, breathy, etc...)



I say this because A and B are where your focus should be... And don't rely on just listening to yourself as you sing in your car... Record yourself singing and critically analyze what you hear... Is it too nasally? Is it too breathy? Adjust, and record again. Get other people's opinions... But not your friends or family (unless you have brutally honest friends and family).

Work on that, and I'll post more later.

Most wannabe singers put these in roughly the order I listed them... A and B often get interchanged, but this is the most common ordering... Everyone's obsessed with Range and Intonation, and no one give crap about Diction or Timbre... Timbre is almost universally placed last! Now the truth...

A. Timbre - You could have incredible range, perfect intonation, and impeccable diction... But if your timbre is not good, no one will want to listen to you!
B. Intonation - It's important... but no where near as important as timbre! Think of all the singers out there whose voices everyone loves, even though they're often a little "pitchy"
C. Diction - Not that important... You don't want to unintelligible, but singing is not a grammar contest.
D. Range - Dead last for a reason... If you only have a 1 octave range, but have nailed down A and B, people will still love your singing.

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: January 7th, 2017, 11:46 pm
by Aubrey
Lots of thanks for this deep and very helpful explanation to learning i really appreciated to your advise lots of thanks again..... hope MrPixelSheep this advise helpful to you to improve your voice

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: January 25th, 2017, 3:23 am
by CieraBrier
Strum. Then, go back and play each string individually, while still playing the chord. Make sure each string rings out clearly. A major: Take your index, middle, and ring finger, and place them on the second frets of the second, third and fourth thinnest strings on the guitar

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: February 10th, 2017, 1:23 am
by Brooklyn19
Avery24 wrote:
Guitarkite wrote:As a guitar instructor and vocal coach, I felt I should make a few comments, and give you a few tips...

1. First off... Why have you waited until now to start working on your voice!!! During the years spent learning to play guitar, you should have been practicing on your voice!! Okay, well hindsight's 20/20, and you can't change the past... But still, I had to say it.

2. As someone stated earlier, singing is not magic... It is something that can be learned... But it also not just an "afterthought"... Imagine the years you spent getting to the point where you're competent enough on guitar that people actually "want" to hear you play... Learning to sing well may take THAT long or longer!

3. Now this is not all bad news... There are some tips and tricks that can help speed the process... One of the first things I ask aspiring singers to do is take this little test: Of these four basic elements of singing, how would you rate them in order of importance? (Remember, this is for a contemporary solo artist... Not opera or choir.)

A. Range - (how low or high you can sing)
B. Intonation - (how accurately you can hit the desired pitches)
C. Diction - (how well you can be understood)
D. Timbre - (the overall tonality of your voice... i.e. nasally, gravelly, breathy, etc...)



I say this because A and B are where your focus should be... And don't rely on just listening to yourself as you sing in your car... Record yourself singing and critically analyze what you hear... Is it too nasally? Is it too breathy? Adjust, and record again. Get other people's opinions... But not your friends or family (unless you have brutally honest friends and family).

Work on that, and I'll post more later.

Most wannabe singers put these in roughly the order I listed them... A and B often get interchanged, but this is the most common ordering... Everyone's obsessed with Range and Intonation, and no one give crap about Diction or Timbre... Timbre is almost universally placed last! Now the truth...

A. Timbre - You could have incredible range, perfect intonation, and impeccable diction... But if your timbre is not good, no one will want to listen to you!
B. Intonation - It's important... but no where near as important as timbre! Think of all the singers out there whose voices everyone loves, even though they're often a little "pitchy"
C. Diction - Not that important... You don't want to unintelligible, but singing is not a grammar contest.
D. Range - Dead last for a reason... If you only have a 1 octave range, but have nailed down A and B, people will still love your singing.

Thanks for the help man! Just by practicing what you told me to do I have already noted an improvement in my voice. Really, thanks for the help! Much appreciated :]

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: June 14th, 2017, 10:54 am
by PansyPuckett
MrPixelSheep wrote:
March 16th, 2015, 4:04 am
Hey Diceman,

Thanks for the help man! Just by practicing what you told me to do I have already noted an improvement in my voice. Really, thanks for the help! Much appreciated :]
I can go pretty low though. IS singging something that just comes naturally or can you actually learn to sing? I wonder if singing is something you can really learn because I'm someone who seems to only have one tone to my voice.

Re: Can play guitar. Want to progress with singing now

Posted: November 8th, 2017, 9:38 pm
by MusicOLoveR
Do you have any videos? for us to watch and critics?