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Taking the plunge and posting my singing...

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(@thewalrus)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8
Topic starter  

Been lurking for a while and thought it about time I asked for some advice. I'm fairly sure I know what my problems are, power being the main one, but I think I'm probably a bit too close to my own voice to really be able to tell.

Anyway here it is; me dubbed over “That's the Way” by Led Zeppelin. It's a really bad recording for which I can only apologise and I do miss a couple of cues but for 2 in the morning I'm satisfied with that lol.

http://www.zshare.net/audio/13535976cd263e1c/

Like I said power is my main problem and even despite searching through this and other forums I just can't make a change; it's as though I hit a road block at a certain volume. Also, what exactly is the normal singing volume, if there is such a thing?


   
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(@thewalrus)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8
Topic starter  

Wow that bad I've cleared out the entire forum! :shock:

Anybody dare to listen? I've tested it and it almost definitely won't kill you; not sure about the family pet though.


   
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 KR2
(@kr2)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2717
 

Nah, we're still here.
It would take a lot worse singing than that to clear the forum.
Some pretty bad stuff has been posted here.

OK, here's my opinion. Not bad at all.
You're hitting the notes. The choice of song you're singing doesn't have a large range though.
The most obvious thing that is lacking is confidence.
And that comes with experience and practice.
The fact that you missed a couple of cues means you haven't practiced enough.
And the hesitancy and lack of confidence can be heard.
When you can sing with the attitude that "this song is mine"; "I own this song", it is going to come across a lot better.
But then again, I don't sing.
But I listen really, really well . . . despite what my wife says.

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
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(@jersey-jack)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 189
 

I think you're fine as well, but overdubbing your voice on Robert Plant's is self-defeating in a number of ways. First, we can't easily isolate your voice from RP's; second, the differences in fidelity are distracting--your voice is tonally out of whack (I'm not talking about pitch here) with the second generation Led Zep in the background (recording of a recording in what appears to be a pub?); finally, because RP provides a guiding vocal for you, your pitch may be "artificially" stabilized--that is, RP's voice helps bring your voice into correct pitch. This last bit is kind of like crawling straight along the side of a pool rather than swimming your own straight lap.

Now, none of this should be taken as criticism of your vocal quality; your voice sounds quite nice to my ears! 8) I'm only saying that it's hard to assess your voice because of the nature of the recording. Do you have access to recording software and a decent mic? You could then sing over a backing track--yes, karaoke, I suppose, but at least this will bring your voice into the sunlight! Better yet, can you (or a friend) play along on piano or guitar? If all else fails, there's acapella!

I look forward to hearing more!


   
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(@thewalrus)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8
Topic starter  

The recording was done with a cheap desktop mic into Audacity and then put over the album version of the song; and it was done at 2 in the morning with me trying not o wake anyone up, hence the general crappiness of it. Yeah I know, just like a real recording studio right? lol :D

Anyway thanks for the critique, not sure about a couple of things though. When you say the differences in fidelity are distracting do you just mean the way I sing the song compared to Plant? And when you say my voice is tonally out of whack, well to be honest you've lost me completely. Is that a problem with my voice or is it that it just doesn't mesh well with Robert Plant's?

Also, I have a lot problems with the terminology associated with singing; for example I know the definition of tone but not what that definition means if you follow me. I mean what exactly differentiates between a good tone and a bad tone and what should I be aiming for?

I'll definitely do a few more recordings; I don't think I can really afford a better mic but I think I can set the one I have up a lot better. I'll also have the house all to my self for a few days in around a week so I should be able to put something much better together.

Btw any tips on just getting more power or getting over that wall my subconscious likes to put up whenever I reach a certain volume?

Thanks again


   
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(@nathan080)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 131
 

Hey there,
I agree with JJ, its very hard to tell when someone sings with the other vocals in the background... maybe just do it a cappella so we can give you more feedback. But you sounded good! So don't hesitate to do more
I'll definitely do a few more recordings; I don't think I can really afford a better mic but I think I can set the one I have up a lot better. I'll also have the house all to my self for a few days in around a week so I should be able to put something much better together.

Btw any tips on just getting more power or getting over that wall my subconscious likes to put up whenever I reach a certain volume?

The mic didn't sound too bad imo, but just back sure you have it set up well :).

And as for power, you shouldn't be concentrating on volume, theres more to it than just shouting, think about where you are directing your voice... most singers make the mistake of singing in their throat or nose, think about trying to hit the wall at the back of the room when you are singing. You can try placing your hands in front of your mouth, and every word you sing you mimic pulling them out of your throat with an invisible string... sounds crazy I know, but it helped me get a better grasp of my direction, might work for you too.

Also, sit up straight... try standing up if your not already,
Keep on singing,
Nath

From Your Influence...
http://www.overplay.com/BandProfile.aspx?BandId=e78b497f-4f31-4182-8659-e8b6fa91d582

http://www.youtube.com/user/FromYourInfluence


   
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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

Well.....you can sing, identify the correct pitch and have a pleasing tone. All good.

Was it recorded when you were afraid of waking the neighbors, room mates, family?

Here is my suggestion, try again with a backing track of the same song if you can find it.

Get a decent mic and stand and place it about six feet from the wall. On the wall in front of you place an 8x10 picture of someone you love. Back away from the mic a bit, 6 to 10 inches and sing the song to the person in the picture. Pretend they are standing wherever the picture is.

Voice is full of such nuance it's hard to fake meaning it. So stop singing to the mic and sing TO someone, even when you don't have that person or a picture in front of you.


   
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(@jackss565)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 233
 

Congratulations for posting. I agree with most of the previous posters, try singing it on your own, will make it clearer and then you can get some more detailed feedback.

Jack


   
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(@thewalrus)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8
Topic starter  

Wow, didn't think the feedback would be this positive; thanks for the boost in confidence!

Anyway, I'm taking onboard all your advice and although I'm stuck with the kit I've got I've got it set up much better now and like I said I've have a few days on my own to take advantage of. I'm recording a couple of tracks to sing over and I might a do a few things a cappella.

Does anyone have any ideas for a song that would give good representation of my singing ability? Preferably something that can be sung a cappella.

Also does anyone know of a good source of songs sans vocals?

Cheers again


   
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 KR2
(@kr2)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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How about House of the Rising Sun?
You do the vocals and I'll do the guitar.
Here's Robert Zimmerman singing it:
House of the Rising Sun
Here's a group called Frigid Pink:
House of the Rising Sun

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
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(@thewalrus)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8
Topic starter  

Well due to realising I'm not really very good with Audacity and the fact I've never bothered learning to play a song all the way through I didn't get anywhere near as much done as I would have wanted too. So little in fact I've only got the first verse of Wish You Were Here lol; but I'm hoping to do a few quick things tomorrow.

My main thing is still getting power; I think my singing comes across as a little half hearted because of it and I feel like I'm fighting my subconscious to let go. I've got a couple of other things but I don't want to taint your critiques.

So here you go…

http://www.zshare.net/audio/14373228bb442bfd/


   
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 KR2
(@kr2)
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What a great choice of song.
I can't sing but that's one of those songs that tempts me and makes me regret that I can't.
Again, you're ahead of the game in that you are hitting the notes.
You did a good job.
And again, I'm going to say that what you need is experience and practice to get the confidence.
That's what you were saying about "fighting to let go". So you already know that I guess.
I'd like to hear you let go.
I can't reach out through the Internet and bite you.
And if you realized how many people just don't care anyway . . . .
So what do you have to lose?
The thing about that particular song is the ending notes. The wavering slides from one note to another make it unique.
You did a job job on some of those. Others you pooped out on.
Maybe that's what you were talking about when you felt you couldn't let go.
Go for it, dood.

Something that comes to mind: When I was in elementary school, we were learning World History and the topic was on ancient Greece. One person of note was a famous orator . . . can't remember his name . . . but what I remember was that to train his voice, he would walk down to the seashore and try to talk above the waves crashing against the rocks. Now, as kids, we took that information and thought, that's pretty clever. Today, if you saw some guy shouting at the sea, you would tell your kids to stay away from that man. They probably did back then too.
So, the moral? I don't know. Maybe if you're going to be good at something be willing to be perceived as kooky?
And have fun with it. I mean, you gotta laugh.
Anyway, the circumstances and places where you can "let go" are restricting.
So, maybe just in your bedroom and let 'er rip until someone starts banging on the walls or cries "Mercy!"

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
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(@jersey-jack)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 189
 

I like this version a lot. Nice job! :mrgreen: The pitch was very good, and while the tone wavered slightly here and there, the result was all-in-all a success!

One observation: I agree that you need to let go a bit. Where your singing falters, your voice sounds tense, constrained. But looseness shouldn''t always equate to power. I think your volume is just right for the song, and if you are aiming to let go in the sense of turning up the volume, I think that would be a mistake.

I'm sensitive to this issue because it has become huge for me lately. I have a lot of power/volume, and in fact I tend to bellow. I've only recently realized how damaging this is to my tone! I'm so insecure about hitting/holding a note, that I push it out violently--it sounds strained, tense, and LOUD!

Thus, for me at least, loosening up and letting go is learning how to sing softly. It is finding my natural voice, which is much closer to speaking than to shouting.

And, you know, we have microphones! 8)


   
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(@thewalrus)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8
Topic starter  

Thanks, though being the masochist I am I was kind of hoping for a bit more criticism; something I could focus on improving and maybe have one of those “eureka” moments where everything just clicks and I'm the new Freddy Mercury lol. Ah well, I guess I'll just have to settle for patient practice.

Listening back I have identified a few personal faults though; the main one being that I didn't really know the song well enough, I learned both the guitar and vocal parts as I was recording them, I don't think I was comfortable enough with the song. I was slightly over stretching in terms of trying to generate volume as well. I also think that I was subconsciously trying to imitate Gilmour's accent which along with the volume thing does seem to have affected my voice.

I do have a more immediate problem though; a few days before recording this I was getting used to the mic and stuff but I hurt my throat pretty badly. The back of my throat was very raw; I barely spoke for three days afterwards and it healed enough for me to record Wish You Were Here. However I still feel like there is a lump at the back of my throat that makes me feel like I'm constantly trying to swallow something. It also feels a little dry and I think I can see a pinkish grey lump which might be the problem. Any idea how long this might take to fully heal and how can I prevent it happening in the future?

Cheers

Mike


   
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(@jersey-jack)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 189
 

I think that with that kind of symptom you should see a doctor. Whatever you do, don't sing until your throat feels better.

As far as criticism: You're clearly at an early stage in the process, and it wouldn't make much sense to start unpacking everything. The initial result is good, very good, but it's difficult to assess your voice fully because some of the problems you're having are related to the guitar.

There is no "eureka" moment, I'm afraid! I truly wish there were. Learning to sing is rather more difficult than learning to play the guitar. Your body is your instrument, and this means not only muscles but emotions. The wood and steel of a guitar are always in the same mood, so a technique learned on guitar is usually right there for you when you next pick up the guitar. Not so the voice. Here it's two steps forward, one step back, over and over again. :cry: One does make progress over time, but not without regularly circling back to bad places.

At least that's been my experience.


   
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