Well ... how's my little voice? Okay, so it needs serious work! Right?

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music_junky7LEVEL 43

Post by music_junky7GOLD

Hello SingSnap,

Yes, I have finally done it! I have made a recording! But ... alas it has come up unsatisfactory, at least to me. I know the saying about how each of us is his or her own worst critic, which definitely applies to me; I can be pretty hard on myself, so don't be afraid to tell me I totally suck at singing. I can take it! I won't run away and cry.

I am a perfectionist, which I suppose can be good or bad. After two weeks and still coming up short, I finally said "Who cares?" I'm not a professional singer, but then after listening back, I had doubts. Ever since I was a little girl, I've constantly set the bar way too high for myself. I liked trying to sing songs that I considered to be hard for me. I guess I wanted to challenge myself. For some reason I always had expectations for myself that were beyond my level of vocal skill. So, that brings me to the crazy idea to make my first SingSnap recording a karaoke version of a classic Celine Dion song! What?!

Now, please understand that I'm not trying at all to compare myself to Celine Dion. I think trying to compare your own voice with a professional one, especially one that has been professional for years and has had extensive training and stage performance experience, even though it can challenge you to work harder to become a better singer, it can also leave you more insecure about your own voice. I remember watching American Idol, and people all the time were attempting songs from "the big three": Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and the late Whitney Houston . In the 1990's, these women were the ballad queens, belting out and sustaining notes like nobody's business. And ever since then, people think that's the bar that has been set for them. They feel like they have to be able to do that in order to impress judges, or even just to be considered a good singer at all. They think there's some mysterious secret to it; you can either do it or not. You either have "it," whatever "it" is, or you don't. And I disagree with that. These types of singers are not only talented, but they had to get training and learn how to actually use the voice in order to pull off those impressive tricks and make them sound absolutely effortless. It's part talent, larger
part skill.

I'm not some little girl trying to sing like Celine anymore. I really just wanted to start off with this song because she was the first singer I heard who inspired me to sing, and this is one of my favorites. But with that said, I am comparing myself to, um, myself. You see, I think I can usually hit a really solid high note with a good balanced mix. It's like if I'm singing along with the original artist's voice, I feel like I can do it right. But when I'm singing by myself, with a karaoke track, I'm a lot more self-conscious about my voice.

When I was trying to record this song, one of the major issues I had was the line "my world is a better place because of you". My problem was this: I can make the smooth transition between registers so that my voice doesn't crack, but I was conflicted about just how to get the right sound in there. I felt like when I listened to myself, it sounded too breathy, so I thought I should put more chest in there. But when I did that, my voice felt stiff and I couldn't nail that part in the way I wanted to. Somehow I lost the balance.

There's the trouble I've always had when listening to my recorded voice. When I'm trying to do things right, somehow I end up sounding lighter and weaker than I'd like. But when I need to get loud, sometimes I find myself pushing too hard. I especially noticed that when I used to sing onstage locally.

Another thing is breathing: for some reason I feel like I have to use more air, and breath control I have never mastered. And so all the air just whooshes right out, which gets me into trouble when I have to hold a note. But here's the confusing thing: when I'm doing breathing exercises, I feel like I can control it. But when I actually sing, it's gone. This is odd to me.

Another problem is that I seem to have trouble letting my jaw drop and opening my mouth wide enough.

Even though I have a training program, I haven't actually been to a voice teacher in person for several years. So maybe I know what I'm doing, or trying to do, or maybe I don't. Maybe I've just lost something.

My goal isn't really to be a professional singer. I think I'm past that fantastic dream of my childhood, and I understand now, as an adult, that it's not realistically possible in my future. These days, my goal is just to sing as well as I am able.

All this might sound like I'm stressing over how I sound so much that I can't just relax and enjoy singing. Not true: I enjoy it very much. It's just that when I'm recording myself, and I know other people are going to hear it, I want to give my best. And sometimes that means I feel like a singer in a studio! I'll never set foot in a studio, so what do I know?

Okay, I think that's quite enough rambling. You came here to hear the darn recording, didn't you? Well, here it is.

Because You Loved Me

There's a part of me that seriously wants to scrap this recording and just do it all over again. But before I go to all that trouble, or try to record another song, I want to see what you guys think.

P.S. If you have just read all my overly detailed blah-blah-blah ramblings, listened all the way through my subpar recording, and you're still with me, and you still want to respond in any way, thank you and may God bless you! You are amazing! I know this was not my best performance in the world, and it really could have been a thousand times better. But at least it wasn't "All By Myself" or "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" ... wait, wouldn't I have to be a gold member for those? No matter; I won't even touch them. lol

Before I finally shut up, am I right or wrong to be this concerned about my voice? Do I need major improvement, like a complete vocal makeover, or do I just need to get over it and chill out? Also, should I delete this one and try again, keep it and move on to something else, pretend it never happened, or just try to find something easier? Or maybe I should just leave songs like this to the pros and go sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in private! I know anybody can do that!

Thanks for hanging in there, and before I rattle on about anything else, I'm done with this long-winded post.

music_junky7LEVEL 43

Reply by music_junky7GOLD

Aaccha I just read your comment on the recording, and honestly I don't think it's the microphone but my voice. I am using a headset, which might cause some people problems in the listening experience. The volume on my microphone is set at 100%, so I can't turn it up any higher. I think I need to work on ... something vocally, but I can't decide exactly what that is.

ZZ-EdLEVEL 67

Reply by ZZ-EdGOLD

You are talented.
Your singing is wonderful.
Your performance is brilliant.

But...DEAR GOD...you are UNBEARABLY VERBOSE.

(This coming from someone who has been known to get a bit "long winded")

Is your goal to sing...or to write a book?

Frankly, the answer isn't obvious.

music_junky7LEVEL 43

Reply by music_junky7GOLD

I realize that post was way too long. Heaven help me! I guess I don't know how to get straight to the point and I have to write my thoughts or something. Sorry.

ImaChristian2

Reply by ImaChristian2GOLD

LOL @ ZZ-Ed. But I think my friend Ruby has you beat when it comes to long posts. Its about time you got that song done, Girl. Ed is really a good singer so if he says your good thats awesome! I'm going to listen to you now. I'd like to thank you both for the laugh first, though. BAAHAAhahahahaha! LOL! LOL!

ImaChristian2

Reply by ImaChristian2GOLD

Here is the link to Music junkies first song. Its gewd!

http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/bc9674393

ZZ-EdLEVEL 67

Edited reply by ZZ-EdGOLD

I realize that post was way too long. Heaven help me! I guess I don't know how to get straight to the point and I have to write my thoughts or something. Sorry.music_junky7

No need to be sorry.

But, I guarantee you, very few will read it all.

It was simply too much.

But...really no need to be sorry.

Just assume that we are all suffering from short term memory loss and if a thought cannot be conveyed in under a minute...we usually forget what we are talking about.

OK...better make that 30 seconds.

ZZ-EdLEVEL 67

Reply by ZZ-EdGOLD

However...if you are looking for real criticism.

Your vocal has a fragile quality in this performance. Which is not bad it's simply part of your sound and it's very nice indeed. Nothing wrong with that. Your pitch seems perfect...which is a pleasure to hear. Weak areas? Toward the end there were some sustained notes that were held while the chorus sang under you. Only here did I find any fault. The sustain seemed weaker than it should have been. Perhaps it would have worked better to have simply shortened it. Either that...or commit to it and go for broke. But, you seemed to "hold back" and simply ride through it with very little energy. Almost like you were concentrating more on execution than...dare I say it...emotion?

Otherwise...outstanding. Most on SS would kill to be able to sing this well.

Notice: I am not a singer. A singing coach. Don't go to concerts. But have a ridiculously large and expensive to maintain vinyl record collection. (which means absolutely nothing when it comes to the subject at hand) And many people are of the opinion that I haven't a clue what I'm talking about. Simply...be aware. They could be right.

socomicefoxLEVEL 80

Reply by socomicefoxGOLD

Ill get to the point simple you are a great singer. You have a voice and confidence that is not scared to challenge them high note songs. Keep this up music_junky7 you are talented. See I would say sing songs that fit your voice but what I hear is a voice that is natural and 100% is up to challenge any song that is high notes and keep growing the voice stronger. Again you are a singer and very talented at it keep the good singing up.

music_junky7LEVEL 43

Edited reply by music_junky7GOLD


Your vocal has a fragile quality in this performance. Which is not bad it's simply part of your sound and it's very nice indeed. Nothing wrong with that. ZZ-Ed

I need to work on support, definitely!

Your pitch seems perfect...which is a pleasure to hear. ZZ-ed

That's nice.

Weak areas? Toward the end there were some sustained notes that were held while the chorus sang under you. Only here did I find any fault. The sustain seemed weaker than it should have been. Perhaps it would have worked better to have simply shortened it. Either that...or commit to it and go for broke. ZZ-ed

I knew that sustained note would give me trouble. Note to self: work on breathing exercises ... a lot! This is, I think, one of my biggest issues. Or it could be the fact that I have weak muscles and need to start doing situps.

But, you seemed to "hold back" and simply ride through it with very little energy. Almost like you were concentrating more on execution than...dare I say it...emotion?ZZ-ed

I don't think I had much physical energy by that point. I probably expended too much of it on practicing. Maybe I was too determined to get it out because I hadn't recorded yet, and way too focused on technique. Note to self: chill out!

Otherwise...outstanding. Most on SS would kill to be able to sing this well.

ZZ-Ed

Well, that's flattering. Thanks everyone for the feedback and for putting up with me. You all are amazing to do so! I needed this. I just went through a really bad afternoon/evening listening to somebody in my house yelling, rambling on and on and on about the same issue; and said person constantly repeats the same comments over and over, as if we're deaf or something, never shuts up to let someone else speak, because we're all full of excuses and our feelings or point of view don't matter, and loves to hear their own voice. Maybe I go too far in writing, but at least I don't yell at people! Anyway, disregard this as it's just what's in my head. I'm glad to be getting so much positive feedback. Now I'm off to bed.

P.S. I don't know when I'll make another recording here; I'm waiting for things to calm down. Until then, I'll work on training. For now, I'm out. Good night all.

ZZ-EdLEVEL 67

Reply by ZZ-EdGOLD

Perfection is highly overrated.

Less perfection...more production.

Talk (write) as much...and as long as you like.

You're among friends here.

And we don't yell...

Although we may occasionally write in all CAPS.

Cinderella80LEVEL 73

Reply by Cinderella80GOLD

Goodness! That was very beautiful! You have a very ethereal sound to your voice. I adore your tone very much. Well done!

music_junky7LEVEL 43

Reply by music_junky7GOLD

Now I'm listening to music on the Internet and I seem to be hearing that song everywhere!

music_junky7LEVEL 43

Reply by music_junky7GOLD

Two nights ago, I was watching a video from a vocal coach, and I made an amazing discovery! I am definitely trying this one again, when I get the time.

RowdyYatesLEVEL 72

Reply by RowdyYatesGOLD

You have a beautiful voice and this song was a great showcase of that. The only thing that I took note of is that you seem to be holding back a little. Other than that, excellent pitch and wonderful high notes. In reading what you initially wrote, on this post, I know that, for myself, once I hit the record button I am more self-conscious of what I am doing and am not easily satisfied with the result. It seems like, once you hit record, my personal bar goes way up. Keep singing and enjoy what you are doing, because you do it wonderfully!!!

music_junky7LEVEL 43

Edited reply by music_junky7GOLD

The only thing that I took note of is that you seem to be holding back a little. Other than that, excellent pitch and wonderful high notes. RowdyYates

Thank you for that. And I think I have discovered now, or rediscovered, how to let go on the exhale. For a long time, I had been trying to squeeze the diaphragm, which was probably causing unnecessary tention and cutting off my airflow, kind of like squeezing an untied balloon or a Ziplock bag. Instead of doing that, I have discovered that just letting the air flow gives me greater support, I can sustain a note better and longer, and my overall sound gets better because I'm not just pushing so much air out at once. And yeah, I'll just say it; that one note was, um, total crap.

In reading what you initially wrote, on this post, I know that, for myself, once I hit the record button I am more self-conscious of what I am doing and am not easily satisfied with the result. It seems like, once you hit record, my personal bar goes way up. RoudyYates

I am the same way, going bak to the days when I used to record myself on cassette. If not recording, I could sing a song and belt it out like crazy and think I was big stuff. lol But as soon as I hit the Record button, I would become very unsure of myself and the recording wouldn't come out as well as I wanted.

Keep singing and enjoy what you are doing, because you do it wonderfully!!!RoudyYates

Thanks again. I enjoy this very much; I am just trying to get technically better, because I know I can. It's not that easy without a coach, but I guess you just have to deal with some things in life.