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Recording yourself can be a boon or a bane

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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
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I recorded Working Class Hero last night, with headphones singing along with John Lennon. When I am singing with a recording I think I am right on target. But the playback of my voice alone tells another story. :roll: Boooring! Ending notes too sharp or too flat, or "spoken". Only parts of it sounded like the song. Of course, that I was sitting in front of the computer and not really projecting my voice didn't help.

I'm reluctant to post the recording because of the F-bomb in the lyrics. Maybe I'll try something a little more family-oriented like Heart Of Gold.

All in all I was pretty disappointed to learn that I don't sing as well with recordings as I thought I did. I thought of it as that proverbial "can't carry a tune", though I'm not really sure what that means. :( Nor what it means to sing "on key". I have yet to learn different keys (and many other things).

[edit] I came across this:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080612112628.htm
From this they identified two phenotypes of impaired singing: off-pitch singers with perceptional deficits who don't know they're landing on the wrong notes,

Me. :oops:
and poor-pitch singers who can tell they're off and sing anyway.

Those with guts! :wink:

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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cnev
 cnev
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Ah yes the reality of a recording. Well Frank the good thing is you can tell that your off and should be able to work on improving those areas.

But the impaired singing types is right on even though I don't think you need a study to figure that out, either they have no clue they sing off key or they know it but don't care. Unfortunately I know it and don't care when I'm messing around by myself because I do like to sing, but I've really given up on trying to do anything with my voice and would rather spend the time I have improving my guitar skills.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
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Ah yes the reality of a recording. Well Frank the good thing is you can tell that your off and should be able to work on improving those areas.

Oh indeed. I have to first figure out just what I'm doing wrong. I have to do that myself. If I had the money I would take voice lessons at the music center also. I would take keyboard and bass lessons too. And I would have to be retired and flushed with cash. :lol:

Anyhoo... I think nervousness and tensing up is a big culprit. I kept worrying that the door was going to burst open and someone was going to walk in. It's definitely a psychological and self-esteem issue. Remember how I put myself down in my video before I even started playing and singing? :roll:
But the impaired singing types is right on even though I don't think you need a study to figure that out, either they have no clue they sing off key or they know it but don't care. Unfortunately I know it and don't care when I'm messing around by myself because I do like to sing, but I've really given up on trying to do anything with my voice and would rather spend the time I have improving my guitar skills.

My late aunt once sang Happy Birthday so badly that her dog started howling. I almost did too. :P But she didn't care and enjoyed it.

One of the reasons I want to learn chord/melody playing is for those times when I don't want to, or can't sing with a particular song.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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robertwsimpson
(@robertwsimpson)
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Just keep recording yourself and remember to support with breath! The more you do it, the more comfortable you will get with hearing yourself, and the more practice you get, the less you will find your voice drifting. It's just like going to the gym. You need to exercise the parts of your body you are using, and you'll see improvement!

Keep it up!


   
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Chris C
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When I am singing with a recording I think I am right on target. But the playback of my voice alone tells another story. :roll:

:mrgreen:

I think we all get that. I joined a local choir just to try and get myself to do more singing (we meet most Thursday nights for a couple of hours).. You wouldn't believe how fantastic I sound when I'm standing next to a good singer... :wink:

But over the months, the degree of dreadfulness that I'm covering up has diminished. I'm slowly narrowing the gap between my 'fanstasy voice' (based largely on imagining that I'm faithfully following the guy standing next to me) and my actual voice (which I can check by cupping my hand up to my ear, or singing solo).

I feel that I learn a lot from singing along with a professional or competent singer, and I've also learned to be patient about the time scale of the improvements. I think we all expect that (because we use our voices to talk every day) that the singing should pull into line fairly quickly, whereas we accept that guitar will take a lot of work. Once you accept the need to work on controlling your voice in the same way that you would for any other instrument, it seems to come along at a reasonable rate. That's the way it seems to me anyway.

Stick with it. It's well worth it. :)

Cheers,

Chris


   
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Jersey Jack
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Remember that the bad sound you hear on the recording is as much of an illusion as the good sound you hear in your head. Why? Because people tend to have an exaggerated positive impression of their voices when they hear themselves from inside their heads--internal resonance, bone conduction, etc., sweeten the sound in a way that is not audible outside the skull.

So when you first hear yourself on a recording (including voicemail) the result is often equally exaggerated--shock, revulsion even--but what causes the negative reaction is the difference between this sound and the sweet sound inside your head.

Over time, and over repeated recording, this revulsion will diminish and even go away. You may well find yourself liking your voice. That's what happened to me, but it took a lot of recording and listening back.

Get started. Record yourself everyday.


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
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That makes an awful lot of sense. Thanks. Yeah, I plan on doing it over and over with different songs to see whom I match.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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Rum Runner
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The way I see it, there are two general qualities that need to be mastered in singing. First is pitch- what you would call singing in key, i.e., singing the right notes. That is the first quality to master. There are tools to enable you to do this. I used a program called "Singing Coach Unlimited" The program comes with a headset with a mike that you sing into while the tune is being played, and you can tell if you are matching the right notes.

The second, and I believe more challenging quality, is tone. This is what make different singers sound different. It's very much like playing the same note on a good quality guitar vs a marginal one. They are both the same pitch- but one sounds much nicer than the other. You can't use a computer program to judge tone. Here is where it really helps to record yourself and listen back. As said in previous posts, you don't sound the same to yourself as you do to others hearing you, so I think it really helps to have a mechnaism to hear wehat you really sound right.

Your tone is shaped by a lot of things- your breathing, the way you hold your tounge, How open you are in the back of the throat. It's really quite complex; there are a lot of muscles involved, and they are not all in the mouth and throat!

The best way to start to pilosh your tone might be to get a book on singing- a fairly basis one, that describes the anatomy and the basic way to control your breathing and various muscles. There are general principles and common pitfalls that prevent people from having good tone. Then sing some basic exercises- there are scale patterns, like 1-3-5-3-1, repeating vowel sounds like ooo and eee. These will help you shape the tone so you can focus on just what your voice sounds like rather than all of the other intracacies associated with singing a lyric.

Anyhow, this is what i have learned after a year of voice lessons. I think that just about anyone, with practice, can develop at least a passable quality of singing voice.

Regards,

Mike

"Growing Older But Not UP!"


   
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Minotaur
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Thanks Mike. I bought Singing For Dummies a couple of months back but I haven't really paid attention to it yet. I listened to part of the cd.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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Rum Runner
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I have singing for Dummies myself. It had all of the basics in it, although I didn't really connect with a lot odf what was in the book until I started taking voice lessons. Now the material reinforces a lot of what my teacher told me. I seem to recall the CD has a lot of vocal exercises on it. I'd encourage you to work on the exercises. It's a good way to focus on getting the right pitch and shaping your tone without having to focus on the intricacies of learning a song. Think of the vocal exercises the same way you would about playing scales or other types of exercises on the guitar. They are meant to help you tone your technique.

When I practice singing I'll do about 10 minutes of various vocal exercises and then spend the rest of my time working on songs.

Regards,

Mike

"Growing Older But Not UP!"


   
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