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#1 2014-12-05 16:07:54

Bzean123
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Registered: 2014-05-09
Posts: 110
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Beatles Cover - Whatcha think?

Hey guys

Just testing out my new recording setup with an 'In My Life'cover.

https://soundcloud.com/bzean123/in-my

What can I improve singing-wise? Comments appreciated!

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2014-12-05 16:07:54

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#2 2014-12-07 14:05:59

KillerKu
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Registered: 2011-10-05
Posts: 607
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Re: Beatles Cover - Whatcha think?

You have a timbre I've never heard before. So personally it offers me a new perspective on singing. This has strengths and weaknesses which I'll go into for you. It's taking me a bit of time to digest exactly what it is unique about it, but I think it might be partly how you place vowels, it sounds like there is an undercurrent of maybe short e (edible) and short a (apple) to your tonal quality which gives it an off kilter from mainstream coloring.   

Your pitch is pretty good. Enunciation is clear. My suggestion would be to experiment taking each vowel in the the English language (and your native language if it's not native), and try taking each vowel and 'leaning' partially into another vowel. Try to slowly transition from one vowel to every other one to explore different sound colors in between. Like me to may.   mee -ayyy.  Mee to eye. Meeeye! My to Er. Mire. Really dig into the feelings and tonal colors of each vowel. Listen to how each vowel resonates in a unique way, and how many different spots there are in between every vowel. 

I advise this as you may be able to take some of your current distinctive placement into a slightly mainstream timbre by modifying slightly away, without losing the core identity of that 'little' quirk that could really catch a listener's ears.

Almost all of my favorite singers have some kind of quirk. Something special, something unique, but it's usually blended into something a little more stereotypical, yin is the quirk, the yang is 'predictable 'singing. I feel like you still have more convention you can add safely. So basically, seek to find the exact amount of stereotypical 'singing' that works for your art as far as vocal placement and balance that against the uniqueness.

How much stereotypical  sound you will need to catch a listener's ear depends heavily on culture and what kind of art you're making. But if you retain that tonal 'hook' you will stand out. People will recognize you, and identify with your unique identity. If you lose this hook completely you'll run the risk of becoming relatively more faceless and 'just another singer, in a crowd of singers that can indeed "sing" (tm), but doesn't really stand out as an artist.'

There's a huge palette that you can dip into. Pretty much endless possibilities. The voice is a paintbrush and the sound spectrum is a canvas. Work on color palettes. right?

Last edited by KillerKu (2014-12-07 20:58:55)

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#3 2014-12-07 20:53:38

Bzean123
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Registered: 2014-05-09
Posts: 110
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Re: Beatles Cover - Whatcha think?

KillerKu

I'd like to thank you for taking the time to listen and respond. This is exactly the kind of feedback I am looking for. I will certainly give your suggestions a try.

When I listened back to the recording the vocals definitely sounded a bit harsh to me, at least in the context of this particular song. However, I wanted to make sure there was a bit of oomph to the singing and also I really wanted to see what others thought.

After reading your comments and relistening I can also hear that I am hitting the vowels really hard. I've been doing vocal exercises for some months now, working hard on developing resonance (and without any feedback whatsoever - I don't have a teacher and only just got set up to record myself). I think that might have something to do with how I am attacking the vowels. I appreciate you pointing that out - I will definitely work on refining my vowel sounds.

I'll give this song another go within the next day or two to see if I can make it a bit more '├žonventional.' Please weigh in again and let me know what you think. Thanks again.

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#4 2014-12-07 21:21:13

KillerKu
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Registered: 2011-10-05
Posts: 607
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Re: Beatles Cover - Whatcha think?

It's good to hear unique voices and passionate singers. If your'e looking for a bit of oomph, you can try to use a bit more of your resonators. If you kind of widen the back of your throat (comfortably, it can feel a bit like you have a little egg space opening back there) you can get some extra resonance in the low mids which might balance out some of the harsher tones.

Another way of getting oomph, is to almost literally say something similar to oomph (bit more like umph). It can engage similar mechanisms to a kind of powerful singing:

Take listen to one of my favorite singers: Toots Hibbert, listen to this section at about 1:10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnzeLIz8UfQ

He illustrates it perfectly: "Give it to me one time: Umph!!!!"

So much power. Almost like the guy is gonna punch the song into submission, right? The trick with this sensation, is you need to try to lift the feeling out of your throat. You don't want to be like 'umphing' your throat, you want to feel it more your support muscles (diaphragm, chest) and you want to let the sound go up and out, not strangle you. :P

If you want to try, do it lightly at first and don't make it too breathy. See if you can feel some engagement that way, in your core. When people learn to sing with some of this engagement it can give some serious power.   

Anyway, know that if it feels strained, it's wrong, right? Rethink it, retry, do it different. Don't repeat it. You don't have a voice teacher right now, so you should take care. This kind of 'oomph' can be done very well, or get caught in your throat, you'd want the former.

Last edited by KillerKu (2014-12-07 21:26:27)

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#5 2014-12-07 22:38:48

Bzean123
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Registered: 2014-05-09
Posts: 110
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Re: Beatles Cover - Whatcha think?

KillerKu

Nice. Thanks for the advice. I think I'm getting some decent resonance in the lower part of my range, but I thin out a lot when I get into head voice. I'm still pretty new at singing in head voice, so its gonna take some time to figure out what works. I'll definitely try your advice.

That's funny - I love that Toots song and used to sing it before I started training my voice. Haven't sung it in a long time though.

I'm gonna get back to 'In My Life' but was singing 'Tennessee Waltz' earlier and figured I'd record it. Does this sound a bit more conventional?

https://soundcloud.com/bzean123/tennessee-demo

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#6 2014-12-08 13:13:04

KillerKu
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Registered: 2011-10-05
Posts: 607
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Re: Beatles Cover - Whatcha think?

Weird, I had a post here but it looks like it got gobbled up by the forum as a lot of posts disappeared. I'll summarize what I was saying:

Your lower end there is actually really cool. And you're spot on that it's more main stream. I'd totally listen to your voice.

It's still very distinct though. It's a country ish song and I can hear some twang, but it's not stereotypical country. It's like your voice almost doesn't fit into any box I can think of, not even any nationality I'm familiar with. It has like a British component but also American. It's really fascinating and jumps out.

The closest reference point I could place, is maybe like a much more polished Mick Jones from the Clash? You're less breathy, beefier (suspect lower voice type) Iess pitchy (I love him, but he's all over the map live, definitely has punk rock ethos),but I can her a little inflection there that reminds me of him. I can never heard anyone that sounded remotely like Mick Jones.

You listen much to the Clash? His lower voice is evident here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGv3DtW48DI

Upper register is in a more heady tone heady tone:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3Yl4ehzX-o

I sang along with him awhile back:

https://soundcloud.com/killerku/traininvain

Sound nothing like him though. Maybe you should sing one of his songs? Just for kicks, could be interesting. You should keep working on your voice man. I think your voice could go really cool places.

Last edited by KillerKu (2014-12-08 13:16:25)

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#7 2014-12-08 16:25:08

Bzean123
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Registered: 2014-05-09
Posts: 110
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Re: Beatles Cover - Whatcha think?

Thanks Killer....my voice wants to live in that lower area. Gotta get control of the head voice now. Working on it.

I've listened to a bit of the Clash, but never worked on any of their songs. Nice job on your version! A bit of warbling really works for that song.

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#8 2014-12-08 16:34:48

KillerKu
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2011-10-05
Posts: 607
Reputation :   

Re: Beatles Cover - Whatcha think?

Bzean123 wrote:

Thanks Killer....my voice wants to live in that lower area. Gotta get control of the head voice now. Working on it.

I've listened to a bit of the Clash, but never worked on any of their songs. Nice job on your version! A bit of warbling really works for that song.

Hahah. Yeah I think Smokey Robinson put a quiver in my voice, and it's been creeping out ever since. I'm gonna keep it.

The Clash lead me to Toots, actually, with their great version of Pressure Drop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyv16mZakVE

I'm indebted to the Clash for many reasons now!

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#9 2014-12-08 17:36:07

Bzean123
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2014-05-09
Posts: 110
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Re: Beatles Cover - Whatcha think?

This is the first I heard their version of pressure drop. Cool.  Izzy Stradlin did a nice version too.

For me it was the reverse. I grew up listening to ska, reggae etc, then later discovered punk.

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