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Unread 03-27-2008, 09:57 AM   #16
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You say it's fine to have a lower voice, do you? Fine, name me one, just ONE well-known worship leader who's songs are widely known that has a low singing voice. I don't feel personally that I'm straining a lot to hit those notes, it's just sustaining them. Both of the singing teachers I've had have told me that I'm probably closer to a tenor.
I know you're frustrated. OK, I'll be blunt. I don't see you becoming a famous worship leader. I don't want to trample your dreams, but like Randy Jackson would say on American Idol, "Just tryin' ta keep it real!" I doubt that any of the famous worship leaders had to struggle with their voices as much as you have with yours. If your goal is, however, to participate in the praise and worship group at your local church, then that might be altogether possible. Our previous praise and worship leader before the one we have now had the most awesome baritone. People still really miss his voice. One guy told me he could sit and listen to him for hours. So, yeah, I think it's fine to have a lower voice. It's the one God gave you. What you do with it is up to you.

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Unread 03-27-2008, 03:25 PM   #17
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Sorry, I didn't mean it like that, I just feel like I've been given such a desire to lead worship, and lacking the gift to do it. I guess I'm tired of hearing "well, not everybody can do..." all the time. I'll try to record something that's not so high, hopefully that might be better.
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Unread 03-27-2008, 04:06 PM   #18
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Is this any better? Does it sound any more comfortable, more relaxed? When I recorded this I worked very hard to relax. By what you say, do you mean that well-known people are the kind that can sing well without any training?
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Unread 03-27-2008, 05:05 PM   #19
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Is this any better? Does it sound any more comfortable, more relaxed? When I recorded this I worked very hard to relax. By what you say, do you mean that well-known people are the kind that can sing well without any training?

It was ok till you got to the chorus then you went flat and pretty much stayed there.

Can you hear yourself when you sing? It helps me to stay in pitch by putting my hand by my ear to ear my voice.
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Unread 03-27-2008, 05:46 PM   #20
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I know this is gonna sound weird.. but try singing from your face. Definitely keep your air support but don't use your throat as much... Focus on moving your lips more and keep your tongue forward. I think your problems lie with the fact that most of the songs you sing are out of your range so you're gonna have to stop trying to sing it from your chest and start singing it in a head voice. Second.. you're getting almost NO air support. You will find that notes are easier to hit when you have air support. Third, relax your shoulders, just do it. Fourth keep your tongue straight. My vocal instructor told me that tone follows your tongue. You will be able to hear yourself better and thus be able to fix your own mistakes.

Also, try to match your voice with notes on a piano. Do it. Just do it.
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Unread 03-27-2008, 06:00 PM   #21
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I hope this doesn't get taken the wrong way, but could you tell me what you think my range actually is? Like - above what note should I not try to sing in my chest? Also, there is no keyboard/piano that I have access to. But I do have access to several guitars. (Sigh) Maybe I just don't have what it takes to become a good singer. Maybe I should just concentrate on my guitar playing.
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Unread 03-27-2008, 06:29 PM   #22
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I hope this doesn't get taken the wrong way, but could you tell me what you think my range actually is? Like - above what note should I not try to sing in my chest? Also, there is no keyboard/piano that I have access to. But I do have access to several guitars. (Sigh) Maybe I just don't have what it takes to become a good singer. Maybe I should just concentrate on my guitar playing.
75 bucks at walmart will get you one that will suffice for singing help. The problem is that most of your range is probably below the range of the guitar... a keyboard or piano will give you a wider range for you to work with.

Have you ever seen a professional vocal coach? I think I've asked this before...

I believe that everybody can sing, they just need to be taught...

I know it's expensive but vocal coaching is really the only way for some people. I can tell you the same thing over and over again on the internet and without being able to respond in real time as you're singing, I can never really help you.

One question, what's your posture like when you are singing?
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Unread 03-27-2008, 06:33 PM   #23
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Is this any better? Does it sound any more comfortable, more relaxed? When I recorded this I worked very hard to relax. By what you say, do you mean that well-known people are the kind that can sing well without any training?
That's a misconception--it depends on the artist, but I'd say the majority of the best vocalists have had a lot of vocal training or have taught themselves, perhaps through imitation of other singers.

Your voice sounds much better in this register in that, your tone sounds a lot better. It's not as gravelly as it is in the other examples that you posted above.

Also: You've just got to accept where your voice is and learn to live with it. A superb voice will make up for current trends. Nobody would ignore a beautiful bass who happened to lead worship.

As to figuring out your range; go to your guitar and start on a note that is comfortable for you. Then start playing the chromatic scale down. As soon as it becomes difficult for you to hit notes and it hurts/feels like it's straining, stop. That's where your lower range stops. Do the same for your higher range. Range is one of those things that can be expanded with proper technique, though.

Also, I suggest that you do not play guitar when you sing unless you are playing the notes that you're singing along with your vocals, and then only to make sure you're matching the proper notes.

You really need to get a good voice teacher; it's pretty difficult to teach all of these things over the internet unless someone can actually see what you look like when you're singing.

When you practice singing, try standing in front of the mirror so that you can see what you look like. Roll your shoulders back, put your feet about shoulder/hip width apart. Imagine that someone is pulling on the back of your head with a string in order to straighten your posture. Right now, what I think you need to work on is producing a warmer tone; try singing on a lot of ahhs and just eschewing lyrics for now. Make sure your ahhs are very open, drop that jaw!

With pitch, things that will help tremendously will be posture, correct vowels, lifting your soft palate (that part in your mouth that you can feel lift when you yawn), and dropping your jaw.

It may be considered inappropriate to call you out on this, but don't be so defeatist. I am also of the belief that anybody can learn how to sing. You just have to realize that you will need a lot of practice. These things will not come easily or immediately. You may not even notice a difference immediately. You'll have to retrain how you breathe, how you shape your throat, how you shape your vowels, and how you hold yourself, among other things. If you keep working on these things over and over they will get better; you've just got to work at it.
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Unread 03-28-2008, 09:03 AM   #24
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Is this any better? Does it sound any more comfortable, more relaxed? When I recorded this I worked very hard to relax. By what you say, do you mean that well-known people are the kind that can sing well without any training?
I think that the range was better for you. Before I give a "critique," let me ask you....
What did you think of it? I'm assuming that you listened to it before you posted it?
What errors did you notice?
What part of your vocals would you like to change and why?
Did you notice anything in your tone/timbre?
Did you notice anything in your enunciation?



By the way...you do very well on the guitar. I am just learning and am horribly pathetic. I don't know if I'll ever be able to sing and play at the same time.
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Unread 03-28-2008, 02:54 PM   #25
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That's a misconception--it depends on the artist, but I'd say the majority of the best vocalists have had a lot of vocal training or have taught themselves, perhaps through imitation of other singers.
.
I think that everyone can be taught to sing the best that they can. That personal best varies from person to person. Some people have a much higher aptitude than others. I'd bet that most of the well-known worship leaders started off sounding pretty good.

I could learn the basics of drawing...tricks and tips to properly create a portrait. I don't think I'll ever be a top-notch artist though. I'm just not that gifted in that area. With singing I think that there are a couple of limiting factors. There is a mental/brain component and also a physical construction component. Some people are built with better instruments. That doesn't mean we shouldn't make the most of the instrument that we have. One theory that I've heard for some people who seem ungifted in musical abilities (tone-deaf) is that their early childhood did not contain much exposure to music (mind/brain part). I think this would mean that they never developed the ear for music. You know it's a lot easer for children to pick certain things up. You can learn a language as an adult, but it's much harder. I would assume that singing is the same way.

I'm not sure I'm explaining this very well....
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Unread 03-28-2008, 02:54 PM   #26
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Well, let's see...the main thing I don't like about it is that my voice seems to have no "edge" to it, if you know what I mean, it seems...muffled, or distant. I guess I mean I don't feel that it could cut through a mix at all. I did notice some flatness at times, a few spots were probably just because I wasn't sure what note I should be hitting, or I was running out of breath. Nasal in some spots, I'd say. The tone is what I dislike most, it's too dark and I'd like to lighten it up at least a bit. The parts that sounded worst were when I got to words like "weary". I can't really put it into words.
What would I like to change? Definitely my upper range I really want to improve, I want to be able to get out the parts that get really passionate at the end of a lot of songs. Know what I mean? There's lots of parts in songs that require kind of an "exclamation mark" and that can't be done in a lower range. Is that just something better left to guys that naturally have a super-high voice?

Thanks, that's my Taylor. I've been told I play it very well.

AXguitar - yes, I am taking singing lessons. I've had 2 different teachers in the past few years.
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Unread 03-28-2008, 03:22 PM   #27
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Well, let's see...the main thing I don't like about it is that my voice seems to have no "edge" to it, if you know what I mean, it seems...muffled, or distant. I guess I mean I don't feel that it could cut through a mix at all. I did notice some flatness at times, a few spots were probably just because I wasn't sure what note I should be hitting, or I was running out of breath. Nasal in some spots, I'd say. The tone is what I dislike most, it's too dark and I'd like to lighten it up at least a bit. The parts that sounded worst were when I got to words like "weary". I can't really put it into words.
What would I like to change? Definitely my upper range I really want to improve, I want to be able to get out the parts that get really passionate at the end of a lot of songs. Know what I mean? There's lots of parts in songs that require kind of an "exclamation mark" and that can't be done in a lower range. Is that just something better left to guys that naturally have a super-high voice?

Thanks, that's my Taylor. I've been told I play it very well.

AXguitar - yes, I am taking singing lessons. I've had 2 different teachers in the past few years.
Thanks. I think one of the things you'll have to do is repeatedly listen to yourself with an objective ear and try to determine what things you want to change. As far as your tone being muffled. I'd have to agree. Again, I'm no voice coach, but it sounds to me like someone told you you were singing through your nose and so you decided that no air whatsoever could pass through your nasal passages while singing. In other words, you sound kind of stuffed up. Do you have problems breathing through your nose? I do. M's and N's at the end of words sometimes sound funny because of it. I think that jengoesup is right and that there are many technique things that you can do to improve. The throat position, for example, can influence how full, rich, and resonant your voice sounds. Do as jen suggested and play around with some of those things. You can really hear how your voice changes, for example, when you try to sing "Ah" sort of straight, then make it go kind of breathy, then try to sound like an opera singer....while never changing pitch. Notice how your throat position changes when you do that.

As a bit of encouragement. I know a lady on our team who has a wonderful voice. She's always had a really nice tone, but she often sang flat. ..never quite made one of the intervals near the beginning of a song and never returned to the right key. It turns out that it was a combination of nerves and technique problems. Now she sounds wwaaaayyyy better. She leads a lot of songs now. So, don't be so down. There are ways to improve.
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Unread 03-28-2008, 11:25 PM   #28
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Well, let's see...the main thing I don't like about it is that my voice seems to have no "edge" to it, if you know what I mean, it seems...muffled, or distant. I guess I mean I don't feel that it could cut through a mix at all. I did notice some flatness at times, a few spots were probably just because I wasn't sure what note I should be hitting, or I was running out of breath. Nasal in some spots, I'd say. The tone is what I dislike most, it's too dark and I'd like to lighten it up at least a bit. The parts that sounded worst were when I got to words like "weary". I can't really put it into words.
What would I like to change? Definitely my upper range I really want to improve, I want to be able to get out the parts that get really passionate at the end of a lot of songs. Know what I mean? There's lots of parts in songs that require kind of an "exclamation mark" and that can't be done in a lower range. Is that just something better left to guys that naturally have a super-high voice?

Thanks, that's my Taylor. I've been told I play it very well.

AXguitar - yes, I am taking singing lessons. I've had 2 different teachers in the past few years.
I would say that a huge part of that dark tone comes from where you are singing from... Like i said... try focusing your voice from your face... well... that's really the only way I know to describe it... like the roof of your mouth... that to me is where i get that lighter/brighter/softer almost boyband like tone when I want it....
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Unread 03-29-2008, 11:06 AM   #29
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Sorry, I didn't mean it like that, I just feel like I've been given such a desire to lead worship, and lacking the gift to do it. I guess I'm tired of hearing "well, not everybody can do..." all the time. I'll try to record something that's not so high, hopefully that might be better.
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Is this any better? Does it sound any more comfortable, more relaxed? When I recorded this I worked very hard to relax. By what you say, do you mean that well-known people are the kind that can sing well without any training?
If you're willing to listen to what someone you've never met before who can't sing at all (me) and someone else you've never met before, that I've never met before either, that probably can't sing either, and isn't even talking about singing--if you're willing to listen to what these people have to say, I think I can help you some.

My suggestion is to read these blog posts:
http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/showing-up
http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com...-be-everything

They're ostensibly about learning Japanese. In reality, they're some of the best things I've ever read, and they apply to every learning situation you will ever encounter in your entire life. Simplified, they say this: you can learn anything you want to learn as long as you practice enough.

To bring this somewhat back to music, I've been playing guitar for something like 7 years. I've seen people who've been playing for only 1 year who can play circles around me. Why? I'll tell you this much, it isn't because they're just better than me. In those 7 years, I've probably practiced for an average of around 30 minutes per day. That's about 1250 hours of total practice. These people who are much better than me probably practice around 4-6 hours a day. In one year, that's 1460 to 2190 hours of practice. Some particularly crazy people (who we'd probably end up calling gifted) practice around 8 hours a day. In one year, that's almost 3000 hours. So, tell me. Who's really played guitar longer: me or them? At my current rate, it'll take at least another 10 years to have practiced as much as them. So tell me. Why aren't I as good on guitar as them? What are the chances that it has something to do with natural talent? I'm guessing absolutely no chance at all. The more you practice something, the better you will become.

I'm a terrible singer. On average, throughout my life, I've probably sang about 1 minute per day, considering the only singing I've ever done is in church with the congregation. That gives me about 125 hours of practice with singing. No wonder I suck. I've never practiced.

My advice: sing constantly. If you sing 8 hours a day, record yourself singing and play it back to listen to how you do, sing along with songs and try to get to where you can sing them perfectly, and other things which generally make for good practice, I imagine you'll be a better singer than me by the end of the week (though you probably are already), a better singer than most worship leaders by the end of the year, and a better singer than most professional singer by the end of the decade. The people who grow up to be great singers are the ones that, as a baby, their parents couldn't get to shut up because they sang ALL THE FREAKING TIME. No one grows up never singing in any context and suddenly becomes a superstar. You can't. You have to learn. Learning takes practice and time.
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Unread 03-29-2008, 01:14 PM   #30
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Bobthepalmettobug makes a good point. Experience and practice do play a major role in how good you can sing. I think a lot of what makes someone good at anything is passion. When you have passion for something you work on it very hard. Most people consider me a good singer and I get asked to do a lot of solos. My older sister is also a very good singer and has done some professional singing. That might make it look like I've come by my talent genetically but neither my mom or dad were very good singers. My dad is almost completely tone deaf. I can't think of anyone else in our extended family that can sing as well as my sister and I. My sister had a very strong early passion for music. It was probably her passion that gave me an early exposure and appreciation for music. My sister's passion for music was much stronger than mine so she was the one who majored in music and is twice as good a singer as I am. Fortunately some of her passion rubbed off on me. I have been singing in choirs since I was about 6 years old. I have also had many years of coaching from my sister and several choir directors. Even now, I still have to continue to sing and work on singing correctly in order to keep singing well. When I slack off, it shows. Singing has very little to do with being endowed with great pipes. It's mostly about technique. We are all born with good vocal technique; All babies can cry for hours without ever getting hoarse. It is when we learn how not to cry by tightening our throat that causes problems with our vocal technique. You once had perfect vocal technique; If you have the passion to work hard, you can relearn how to do it again.
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