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Vocalist Troubles

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(@gyokushin)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 12
Topic starter  

Hi,

I’ve recently started a band with a friend of mine, who has been an amazingly good karaoke singer for years. But now that we have started practicing in a band, he is having a lot of trouble with his voice, to a point where he can only sing one or two songs. This is also affecting his enthusiasm and motivation to continue.

I've read a few of the posts on here about similar issues, but im specifically wondering if anyone has any information on what he can do to get his voice better and what he can do in the future to stop this from happening again?

Thanks


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

lots of practice and paitence.
practice on his part.
paitence on your part.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@gyokushin)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 12
Topic starter  

lol. thanks dogbite.

The patience shouldnt be a problem, as im still learning to play the guitar :)

What type of exercises do you reckon? I mean, hes never been taught to sing at all. And no-one in our band has any suggestions for him of what to practice other than just trying to sing the songs, which is what he has been doing that has messed his voice up. One of the songs we practice is 18 and Life by Skid Row, whcih i guess is quite a hard song to sing, cause of the vocal range.

Thanks


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

lol. thanks dogbite.

The patience shouldnt be a problem, as im still learning to play the guitar :)

What type of exercises do you reckon? I mean, hes never been taught to sing at all. And no-one in our band has any suggestions for him of what to practice other than just trying to sing the songs, which is what he has been doing that has messed his voice up. One of the songs we practice is 18 and Life by Skid Row, whcih i guess is quite a hard song to sing, cause of the vocal range.

Thanks

Yeah, this is where things get complicated. Until you realise there isn't a law that says you have to copy the original note for note - it's always better, when doing cover songs, to make it recognisable but put your own stamp on it. If the singer's uncomfortable with the key a song's in, it's up to the musicians in the group to change key to suit the singer. Example - Ben E King's original version of "Stand My Me" used four chords - G, Em, C and D. When Lennon covered it on the Rock'n'Roll LP, he moved the whole song up two semitones - used A, F#m, D and E. There are two ways you can do this - either play A, F#m, D and E chords, or put a capo on the second fret and play G, Em, C and D.

It's up to the band to experiment and find a key the singer's comfortable with.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@cassie8916)
New Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3
 

I don't know if this will help you but I had a similar problem and found that the karaoke version was in a different key than the original. I couldn't sing it. He should make sure you are doing it in the same key as he sings it at karaoke. Many people who get up to sing can't sing without the words so a fancy stand somewhere near could help..

Another hint: I went to hear a friends band. Had a new singer. I wondered why some of her singing was cutting off at the end of the lines. Happens she was turning her head away from the mike to read the words. Simple solution was to place the stand in front of the mike.

Good luck!


   
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(@guitbusy)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 93
 

If I were a betting man (I am too cheap) I would go with the key doesn't fit the lead singers voice. A good thing to start would be to identify what the lead singers vocal range is, and then you will have to make sure the songs you are playing are transposed to fit his range. He can search the internet for warm up exercise and things like that to help his voice, but general strength comes from correct use, meaning a lot of singing in his range. The tips and techniques help at the top and bottom of the range, but I suspect he isn't ready to work on those things yet, the key is to get the band playing in his range, and him practicing there.

Older Newbie


   
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(@gyokushin)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 12
Topic starter  

Thanks for the replies,

Speaking to the rest of the guys in our band, our vocalist can actually sing in the correct key for the song, although it probably is in the higher end of his vocal range. When we started he couldnt hear himself sing over the sound of the instruments and one of our members was saying that he had to strengthen his voice and to sing louder, which i think is what messed his voice up in the first place.

We did actually managed to sort out the levels the other day cause we had a bigger room with less feedback, and even though his voice was still messed up a little, he managed a lot better than before. :)


   
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(@portia)
Reputable Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 179
 

from the sound of it he may just be trying to push it way too hard to be heard over the band which is a really easy way to strain the voice ... if he was doing fine w/ the karaoke thing (which is a situation where volumes are not usually a problem) and then the problem came about when he got into a band situation ... especially when you say he couldn't hear himself and someone actually said 'sing louder' - that's my guess ... it can feel like a whole different ballgame and it's easy to feel like you have to start straining (which is not good) ... a singer not being able to be heard in a live band situation is really not going to be solved by the singer singing louder - the volume levels of everyone need to be adjusted so that he can sing at a COMFORTABLE level and still be heard.


   
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(@jersey-jack)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 189
 

And make sure that the speaker has an adequate monitor. I purchased a TC Helicon personal monitor speaker, which installs right into the micstand itself and delivers my voice right back into my face, and this made a significant difference. In fact, I think the monitor is more important to vocal performance than the quality of the mic (assuming that the mic isn't really cheap, of course). If you use wedges, put one right in front of him. Or use in-ear monitors. However you do it, make sure your singer has his voice blowing back in his face! 8)

Jersey Jack


   
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(@coleclark)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 417
 

yeah i would think it would have to do with pushing to hard cause he cant hear himself, also the tension of being nervous and trying to nail all the notes can cause your throat to tense up heaps, causing damage and your range disappears very quickly, you can still sing but cant go high without pushing harder and harder, trick is to keep to throat relaxed, even if this means missing a few notes, in time youll get better at singing without straining to 'keep a hold of our voice'


   
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(@ccourtney)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 62
 

Warm up, hydrate, keep your neck warm (wear a scarf), and practice singing scales while playing them on the guitar. Lay off the milk, coffee, and alcohol before practicing or performing. Stretch your entire body - a tension-free body is the best instrument to sing through. Yoga is great for your vocals.

Also, a good cardiovascular workout plan can do wonders. Also, don't be afraid to get lessons (provided its a good teacher). If you can't find a teacher, this book is excellent:

http://www.amazon.com/Find-Your-Voice-Self-Help-Singers/dp/0634074350/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1199190370&sr=1-4

http://www.myspace.com/courtneychris


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Speaking to the rest of the guys in our band, our vocalist can actually sing in the correct key for the song, although it probably is in the higher end of his vocal range. When we started he couldnt hear himself sing over the sound of the instruments and one of our members was saying that he had to strengthen his voice and to sing louder, which i think is what messed his voice up in the first place.

If you can barely hear him sing, and you mentioned feedback as well, then the band is way too loud. You've got to bring it down. And I can speak from experience that if you constantly strain your voice that it will be damaged. I used to be a pretty good singer at one time until I spent an extended time over-pushing my voice. I have had problems with my voice ever since.

No matter how much you like a particular song, if the singer can not sing it naturally, you should drop it. The pros will go through many hundreds of songs to find songs that fit their voice naturally. They will never sing a song that is difficult for them.

I read once that you should sing a song a few days without music to find the key that is natural for yourself. Then you play your instruments in that key.

But even if the singer can sing the song, if the band is too loud he will push and strain for volume, and damage his voice. Turn down.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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