Not f-ing around - need no sunshine

This topic is listed in Singing & Songwriting Tips. It has been viewed 682 times and 2 replies have been made.

voxEladyLEVEL 35

Post by voxEladyGOLD

blown into the nether regions! I need the harsh stuff. What can I pull off or not?

I have HAD it with feeling jealous of people who are making a living entertaining, I want IN. Went to the Puddle of Mudd show on Friday because my boyfriend was invited by the frontman Wes, and somehow that really drove the point home that I want the job he has. Don't really care if its show tunes or what...

I don't play guitar or anything, but I have to learn given that Wes gave my boyfriend a guitar and an amp so I have no f-ing excuses anymore. Time to get serious about music at least for myself if not for fame or fortune. I have an instrument that I already know pretty well - well enough to improvise with and fine tune and that is my voice. So I need some outside ears that don't need to be nice to make sure I don't hate them.

I don't trust the comments here that are just from the featured pages, everyone is too nice. And I don't trust my pals to be brutal enough to help me focus on the work part. So I implore the kindness of strangers - or rather lack of same, to tell me what I need to know.

There is little I can offer by way of compensation for that consideration, but I have been trying to decide how best to choose who to give my promo gift gold memberships to -- I have 2 month long to distribute -- as I don't have any idea how to choose with so many who would benefit, so how about if I offer those to the folks that offer me some advice that I can use to improve, and if you already have a gold membership and can't use it yourself, you can pick someone who does not yet have one and I will gift it to them instead... Say I could put everyone's name in a hat if you contribute on this thread and have a drawing of two names in a few days or a week? (It's not quite as pay-it-forward-y as I had intended when I bought them since I am offering it as a reward, but I do need the opinions and I am going to buy some more for valentines day anyway. THOSE will only go to anyone who is ordinarily frustrated with that holiday for whatever reason. =) )

Anywhoo - Today is a good day to look at some of the stuff I have recorded if you are so inclined, as it is my NO FEAR experimental day of just trying shit I don't usually do and letting it go out to see if I can't broaden my reach some to new places I hadn't expected. I have a general reluctance to try rock stuff that is ballad-y or heavy like the stuff Wes can do. I need a new outlook on things, and sometimes the best way to find out what you're made of is to make some mistakes. I am making a LOT of those today, so there will be some raw untrained and unpracticed stuff to shape there if it is a potentially new avenue for me...

So I guess that is that. If you are feeling like you need to be brutally honest today, here's your chance to do it with impunity. Hit up my recordings page and have at it. I will appreciate whatever perspectives you have on what is good or bad or both and what I should focus on.

Cheers!

JustjaydanceLEVEL 20

Reply by Justjaydance

Ok - I read your message and im British so I'm incredibly honest.. Lol

I never mind giving advice but just don't appreciate the back lash from giving it sometimes. I am a production singer and choreographer in England so do know what I'm talking about to a point! It's hard to judge anyone on this app because there is the "make me sound better" effect and also some people go full out on equipment to help make themselves sound more bearable. People on this "app" are too nice and although saying "omg wow - fantastic" when clearly it isn't - I don't feel helps anybody! Id rather someone be constructive and said "that wasn't my favourite maybe try this instead!" But hey - that's my opinion.

But I'll judge and give you advice on what I've heard.. Hope it helps

You're tone and feeling in your songs "part of this world" for instance are beautiful - you can tell you're a fan of the song and the way it was written - no fault there. Plus other songs you've done really are heartfelt - no problems there!

Your problem is your breathing and support to each note. You don't breath properly when you should therefore fall flat on certain notes. Songs are written almost scientifically - knowing when to breathe to be able to HIT that note or pitch at the right time. Without that support and control - you're singing (what we say here in Our shows) singing blind... You should be thinking "right I need to make sure I breath here!" Or "I need to make sure I control this note and end it quick"
It's hard and takes years of practice - youtube have some amazing self help videos. Try scales - and pitching scales.. It will help. And push from the diaphragm NOT straining your throat!

Secondly - stop singing the song like the artist - it won't help establish you as an independent artist IF that's what you're trying to do. If lady ga ga sang like Adele the songs wouldn't sound the same she wouldn't be lady ga ga with the rough edgyness that Adele doesn't have. Find out yor style - your thing! What would make someone turn on your song and go "wow that's Blah blah"
Britney has her sound / CELINE has hers / MARIAH hers / Ariana / GAGA / beyonce... They all have there own "thing" (rifts/ warbles/ spoken) what's your thing that makes you YOU...

Like I said - it's only advice - take it or leave it but hopefully it helps and maybe/hopefully it's made you see things from a different angle. You're not bad at all - not like some of the people on here hitting 400+ views...it shocks me what people class as "wow amazing" you're not terrible - at all... Americans seem to be a lot nicer and tread carefully lol.. In UK we're just blunt lol

If you were bad I wouldn't have spent 30 mins writing this.. I'm writing it because I believe you have potential with your voice. Hope it helps.

Good luck and happy singing xxx
Jay xx

voxEladyLEVEL 35

Reply by voxEladyGOLD

OMG thank you so much!! I wish I had seen this back when it was written, but I just saw this now!

I totally agree that I have to find a way to not sing each song like the artist, which is one of the big hurdles I am trying to overcome. My biggest problem with that is that I am a natural mimic, and often the way I first hear a song is the way it sounds most "correct" in my mind from then on. I don't consciously try to sound like the person, but it is the way I end up perceiving the song since I don't have much experience with singing something I have never heard sung by someone else.

This is such a difficulty for me that my best bet in that vein is probably to sing something that is more traditional such that SO MANY DIFFERENT people have sung it, and there is not any definitive version of that tune implanted in my brain already - something as ubiquitous as Happy Birthday, or common holiday carols or cultural folk tunes. The only time I have successfully given a whole new spin to a song was to have someone teach me a melody that I have not heard a recording of over and over again to fall into imitating - it was because I had gone to audition for a friend's band but had no idea what sort of music they played, and I had accidently mistaken another auditionee for someone who was already part of the group. I had assumed the song he was singing was one of theirs, and asked him to teach it to me

Turned out that it was a song by Iron Maiden that he was auditioning with -"Flight of Icarus" - but since I had never listened to that sort of music, I had no idea it was a metal/hard rock tune and my rendition was much more lyrical because I didn't even have the benefit of the backing music to give me a sense of what it should be like. It was actually a unique interpretation of a popular tune on my part, mostly because I had no idea what the popular tune sounded like. I wish I could do that with stuff I am already familiar with, but it is so hard to break the mold that I hear in my head to reimagine it as if it were my own.

Anytime I do that deliberately, I always feel like it is forced and artificial rather than organic, or like it is trying to be something for the sake of being different than the original way I hear it because it is always just how I hear it that I will imagine it from then on, at least until someone else puts a new spin on it that I hear and appreciate as such later on, but I don't know if that is really the same as how I hear that person who did that as their own either, you know?

I find it even more difficult to do that with songs using the backing tracks of familiar songs as I heard them originally. It feels sort of "wrong" to do it any other way than a direct cover. I haven't figured out how to develop what would be my OWN sound, because I don't think I really have one of my own unless the song is one I have learned without hearing anyone else sing it first, or at least anyone else that I have heard enough times to associate as the style of that song.

I even remember when I was in my high school madrigal group and the new director was trying to arrange us in standing order via optimizing the vocal blends of the various voices. He kept running into with me, seemingly confused as to why he wasn't getting the sound he expected when we all sang together. I realize it might well have been because he would isolate us by pairs to try and pinpoint the issue, but I blended differently depending on whomever he would pair me with as I would naturally adapt my tonality to whomever I was singing with at that moment but when the group was all together, I'd no longer hear them in isolation to match to and probably sounded more like myself than whomever was near me then, which of course, would NOT be the same way he'd heard me singing when paired, and didn't have the same effect in the group sound, which seemed a bit baffling. He moved me all over the section not quite understanding why it wouldn't seem to work as he expected. I didn't realize it at the time, or maybe he could have helped me figure out then what my "own" voice actually was to stick with it...

So especially this is what I would like to know about how to work on - as the technical things like breath support is totally more understandable and a matter of practice more than concepst, I think. Choosing to place my breaths specifically in the phrasing will help and working on vowels tones and placement a deliberate plan for each tune will be the remedy to that sort of improvement, I think, and at least I get that as far as how to gabout and making better habits for that rather than just "singing in the shower/car" type plan of attack, yes?

What can I do to make an exercise of freeing my mind from the initial interpretation of song I am familiar with already? That part is what eludes me the most. I have discovered that difficulty through the several auditions for xfactor/idol/the voice and getting the feedback of how it was sort of problematic that I had such eclectic tastes, mostly because what they were looking for was something they could define as a genre first, to understand what category I would be fitting into to know if it was what they could use. The only really popular singer that I know of who does this defying of genre is Sting (my absolute favorite, artist wise), but this particular habit of remaking/reinventing himself with each album is also why many of his fans are disappointed with some of his output when it is not more of what they liked about him originally. I love that he explores new territory, even when I don't always like all of what he discovers. (couldn't get on board with that one "Last Ship Sails" thing at all, though - wash't m y cup o tea.

But if I ever sang those songs, I'd probably do it just like he did...

I did try to do a lot of songs that I don't usually consider comfortable for me, just to push the envelope and see if something interesting shakes out. Some of them are shared here, like grender benders and hard rock tunes as they might force a unique interpretation, I leave them up even if they aren't the best vocally - I am hoping to learn something new from the efforts and have had some neat surprises!

Thanks so much for the feedback! This is exactly what I was looking for.