Honest, Fair & Friendly Critique

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samiam171

Edited post by samiam171GOLD

Hello, Everyone! Welcome to the Honest, Fair, & Friendly Critique thread! This thread will be referred to as the HFFC, from here on out.

Myname is Stef. I'll be your host and judge as long as I'm able. Upon looking through this folder, I noticed that there are a number of threads offering "honest" or "brutally honest" critique. Well, honest critique is something we all want. However, we all also want constructive criticism and a friendly atmosphere, non-inclusive of the fear that can come with putting yourself out in the open like these threads tend to.

I would like to offer to critique anyone's work who would like my input. I don't like tooting my own horn or behaving as though I'm superior to anyone else here. Fact is, I'm not - I'm only possessing of a large amount of training. In fact, if you look through my recordings, you'll find plenty of mistakes. I am a classically trained singer, trained in the craft for approximately 10 years. I have a broad knowledge of technique and private teaching practices, and a solid knowledge of music in general.

What I'll be touching on in my Critiques?
1. Tone Quality - How pleasant is your voice to listen to?
2. Pitch - How accurate are you?
3. Overall Performance - Was your performance anything like the original? If not, were your changes appropriate? How was your presence (if you're on camera)?
4. How can you improve?

I will offer a rating on the song by request only. Otherwise, I will only offer constructive criticism, as well as some general pros and cons.

Things I won't do:
1. Tell you whether or not you "have it". Everyone 'has it' if they want to.
2. Put You Down.
3. I won't do anything you DONT want me to. Don't want to be rated from 1 - 10? Let me know. Want your critique in a PM? Let me know. I understand that this can be difficult for some.

If the thread becomes too busy, I may have to begin making a list. Until then, however, just post if you'd like a critique.

You'll receive a banner on your recording.
Once you receive this banner, I've heard your recording, and your critique is on its way. I will post your critique IN THIS THREAD, unless you ask me otherwise!
Please be aware, I generally work long days. I will usually be online either early in the morning or late in the evening, so it may take at least a few hours before you hear back. I will always do my best, though!

Now, please post at will! I can't wait to hear from you. If you have any questions, please ask!

Oh, and please no colored font in the thread, so that my posts may be seen by those who are waiting for a critique!

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Banner for listens:

Jubi

Edited reply by JubiGOLD

Gravity r/b4b63441d

Okay I will be the first..........

A self-harmony moment. No ratings please. I don't mind the critique being in the thread. Thank you

Both Sides Now
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/af74687a4

samiam171

Edited reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi, Jubi - First of all, this is really a beautiful recording. I enjoyed listening, thoroughly. You have a rich, yet soft and pleasant voice - and that's a combination that will win every time.

Tone Quality is wonderful. I happen to love this song, and
your tone is actually perfect for it. The only time I hear
thinning in your tone is on some of the higher notes. Its not
anything difficult to fix. Its partly a breath support issue.
When you know you have higher notes coming up, don't necessarily
take in more breath, but consider how you're using the breath
you have. Put a concentrated effort into distributing your air
evenly across the phrase. (to exercise this ability, inhale until
your lungs are full, and your belly is distended. Make a hissing
sound as you exhale, attempting to make your exhalation take as
long as you are able to. Do this regularly, and you'll find your
breath support improving greatly. ) You can also help train yourself
to go into your "head voice" by placing a hand on top of your
head directly before those higher notes. Your voice will do
what its supposed to do - Putting your hand on your head corrects
posture errors and focuses your attention where it needs to be.

Your pitch is also great. I only heard a couple errors, and they
were the direct result of what I touch on above. They're the kind
of errors that singers make all the time. They're typically not
noticeable in live performances, but they always come back to
haunt you in recordings!

The overall performance was fantastic. I truly enjoyed listening
to every second of it. The harmony was a real treat. It added
interest to a song that's beautiful, but quite repetitive. There
was energy in the performance, even though its a mellow song. Also,
aside from the harmony, you did quite a bit to "own" the song,
and really stylize it to your advantage.

Overall, I think this was a real winner. BRAVO, friend!

PS - Thanks for being the guinea pig

Jubi

Reply by JubiGOLD

Gravity r/b4b63441d

My pleasure to be the first for experimentation. Some of that lack of air may come from the fact that I have asthma. A constant battle for me. Funny thing, I started out here on SS as a mid to high range singer (mezzo soprano) and very limited in my song choices. So I have been purposely picking out songs to practice my lower ranges and throw in my upper range. Yes, I learned those breathing techniques in vocal lessons. Guess I have become a bit lax in using them, lol. Thanks for the critique and advice

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

My pleasure to be the first for experimentation. Some of that lack of air may come from the fact that I have asthma. A constant battle for me. Funny thing, I started out here on SS as a mid to high range singer (mezzo soprano) and very limited in my song choices. So I have been purposely picking out songs to practice my lower ranges and throw in my upper range. Yes, I learned those breathing techniques in vocal lessons. Guess I have become a bit lax in using them, lol. Thanks for the critique and advice Jubi

I'm glad you've had success widening your range - its exciting when you start seeing results. As for the asthma - that's a tough obstacle. I have many asthmatics in the family. Unfortunately, the severity is not always of your choosing. I commend you for growing in spite of some difficulty in that department - You really do sound fantastic!

Stef

Jubi

Reply by JubiGOLD

Gravity r/b4b63441d

Yes, I am very happy I could reach the high and low notes with ease, lol. Something I couldn't do in the past. Regarding the asthma, I always wondered why I couldn't be long winded in songs. Now I know. I'll work on picking up the breathing thing and come back for another critique. I am all about musical growth and improvement

Soleilyn

Reply by Soleilyn

Well then, since it's December now, how about a Christmas classic? I'd love your feedback on my rendition of Silent Night: http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/b96403b90

And thank you for doing this! We can all benefit from honesty and friendly criticism

All the very best
Taylor

Soleilyn

Reply by Soleilyn

(oops, I better flag this! - Newbie still learning the ropes)

Soleilyn

Reply by Soleilyn

Actually, if you don't mind listening to a second I'd love to hear your thoughts about this one as well (Angel by Sarah McLachlan): http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/bb954cc90

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi, Soleilyn - Sorry to keep you waiting! I've been away from the computer for a bit, but I will be listening in very shortly (the next hour or so). You're not ignored!

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Soleilyn -

Thank you so much for visiting and allowing me to listen - Both
of these songs are incredibly beautiful! I very much appreciate
that you supplied me with two songs of somewhat contrasting
style - it really allowed me to get a grasp on your voice in
general. So, lets get to it:

Your tone quality is fabulous. You remind me of a lilting welsh
or irish singer. Your tone is focused and has a lilt very
common in that form of folk singing. In fact, you remind me of
Martha Tillotson - who is not very well known, but has a few
albums on iTunes. Your vibrato is unique and controlled, which
adds an unusual sort of beauty to your voice overall. As far as
the quality of your voice is concerned, I don't think there's
much you could do to improve it.

Your pitch is spot on, so my comments to follow have nothing to
do with that. The thing I would like to encourage you to look
at is your higher notes (which I have a feeling are actually
somewhere in the high-middle of your range). I get the feeling
that some of the higher notes in Angel are resting right at
your vocal break, so you're "powering" through them (please
correct me if I'm wrong on that point). Either way, I'm hearing
your air flow switch from the pure head-voice that you use to
produce that beautiful lilt, into the nasal passage, and a few
of them are resting in your throat. They don't sound bad, by
any means, but focusing your attention on keeping your head
voice going through those notes will help you push through
them, provided that your support level doesn't change, with no
more effort than your lower to mid-range notes.

The overall performances on both songs are wonderful. On Silent
night, there's not a lot of focus on dynamics, but there doesn't
necessarily need to be. On Angel, your strength in dynamics
begins to show through - They were both very, very lovely. You
should be proud, for sure!

Stef

Soleilyn

Reply by Soleilyn

Thanks so much Stef, I *really* appreciate the feedback! I went and listened to Angel again so I could catch the points you made and they make complete sense. You're right about the notes being around the high middle of my range and I can hear what you mean about it sounding like I'm 'powering' through them. Actually that's a result of a (bad perhaps lol) conscious stylistic choice more than anything - it just perhaps didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped it would. Because of the nature of the song I was trying to add some more "umph" and I wasn't sure I'd get that effect by having the notes just 'hover' know what I mean? But I think you're right, keeping it in my head voice would help them sound smoother and I don't think in hindsight it would effect the emotive element of the song at all.

I'm thrilled you made the comment about a Welsh or Irish singer - I have a friend who is a fantastic musician and happens to own a little recording studio so we're thinking about collaborating on a CD of traditional Celtic folk music. It's great to get some unsolicited encouragement! So thanks so much!

By the way I've been listening to some of your recordings, absolutely beautiful! Also, your puppy is so cute!

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi, Peter! Sorry to take so long getting to you - Its been a heck of a day or two! I'll have your critique ready for you within the next couple hours! Stef.

samiam171

Edited reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi, Peter -

I'm so glad you found me! What a lovely, soft voice you have! I very
much enjoyed all three of your recordings. I appreciate that you gave
me a few to listen to - it helps me learn more about your style and
where some of your strengths and weaknesses may be. First of all, your
song choices were all lovely! And, they were all three really good and
appropriate songs for your voice in particular.

Your tone quality is very lovely. You have an easy tone, very soft and
pleasant to listen to. However, I feel that you would greatly improve
your overall technique with a little more support. Support doesn't only
help pitch, it also helps volume. You can still have that beautiful, soft
voice, even if you focus your tone and up your volume just a little bit.
Try exercising the lungs and diaphragm to help gain some more of that
support. A good exercise for this:

This is also quick and easy. Try doing this for a few moments each time
you sing, and you'll notice a difference. Lie on your back on the floor
or another firm surface. Its important that you don't use a bed or couch,
as you'll find yourself unable to produce the sort of results you need.
Place two or three heavy books on top of your sternum, above the stomach
but below the breast bone, i.e at the top of the "V" of your ribcage.
Attempt to breath to your diaphragm. You'll see the books rise quite a
bit. Take a few long, even breaths and get used to the weight. Then, pick
a note that is comfortable for your voice. Take a deep breath, then sing
that note in an "ahh" or "ohh" in as smooth and focused a tone as you can
manage, and draw the note out as long as you are able. Continue to do this
as often as possible, and try to add some more notes, or begin to use this
as a warm up method and really test your breath support.

Your pitch is quite good. I only hear a few little places where it could
be better, but you'll find that this won't be a problem if your work on
supporting your notes. If you try to really work on keeping your head
voice as you hit higher notes, you'll find that your volume will improve,
but that your light and pleasant tone won't be adversely affected. If
you notice that you're getting nasal or that you're straining from the
throat, place a hand on top of your head and continue singing. Your
posture will be corrected, and most people who try this exercise find
that their tonal placement improves as well.

Your overall performances on all three songs were lovely. I like that
you work very hard to make each song your own - And you do so very
nicely. The main thing I would work on is dynamics. A good key is to
listen to the track once through without singing - most of them will
tell you where the natural ebb and flow of the piece lies. Otherwise,
just try to think of what about the song you would most like to
ephasize, and use volume and tone to your advantage in order to
tell the story you'd like everyone to hear! You're doing wonderful,
my friend - It was a pleasure to listen

Stef

lily04

Edited reply by lily04GOLD

Hi Stef. I'd love if you'd listen to and get your input on this song. The track is awful, but the only one in the SS library, so I didn't take this recording all that seriously. But I'd like your thoughts on what I did with it nonetheless.

Summertime
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/watchandlisten/play/b574b2cae

This is a 2nd I'd like you to critique if you wouldn't mind listening to another. I can nitpick this one to death and am interested if you'll echo my thoughts on how to improve this recording, but again..I'm interested to hear what you think of it.

Autumn Leaves
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/watchandlisten/play/bc752ae80

Thanks for this thread and for the time you take to listen and give constructive criticisms.

Oh..and go ahead and post your critique here and give me a number and rate me =)

Suz

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi, Suz! Good to see you here I'm off to bed for tonight (literally laying in bed with the laptop, lol), but I will get to you tomorrow after work! Thanks for your patience! I look forward to listening!

Soleilyn

Reply by Soleilyn

Hi Stef,
I'd really love to get your feedback on another song if you don't mind... it's Don't Cry for me Argentina from Evita, so a very different style than the last one I gave you

http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/b8aa0cc3c

Many thanks!
Taylor

PeterWokley

Reply by PeterWokley

Hi Stef!

Wow! Some very good and useful tips there. Very much appreciated your time on this and look forward to trying the techniques you mentioned.

Thanks again!

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi, Peter - I hope you find my advice helpful. Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to help And come back with more songs! I love listening

samiam171

Edited reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi, Suz!

Again, thank you SO much for patiently waiting! Let me start
of by saying that you sound wonderful! You have a crisp,
sweet voice, and with quite a bit of depth. In other words,
you have a lot to work with. I also really enjoyed your two
song choices - they both really compliment your style - and
I'll talk about that some more in a moment.

You said that you would like a rating. I'm going to rate
you a solid 8.5 - and I'll explain why below.

Your tone quality is really beautiful. I hear a lot of
versatility in your voice - I can hear bits of folk,
broadway, jazz , and pop in your tone and the way you
choose to interpret songs. This really gives you the edge -
this is why artists like Brandi Carlile are so popular
right now. The only thing I see as really standing in
your way is some of your stylistic choices. You really
do a great job of adding trills and lovely runs and
ad-libs between verses to own the song and bring
something new to the table. Be careful, though, that
you carefully plan WHERE you're going to add some of
these things. I'm hearing your tone flatten during
some of the more complicated runs, producing a less than
perfect pitch. Not "bad", per se - just not as good as it
could be. For a good example, listen to the end of your
recording of "Autumn Leaves". I can really hear your
passion take off - and that's an excellent thing. However,
I hear you losing some of the perfection I heard earlier
in the song. Try to really think about how you're going
to attack that part of the song before you get to it,
then do the best you can to support those notes and get
the crisp, clear sound you have toward the beginning.

In "Summertime" (which is beautiful - don't worry about
the track - so many of them are terrible!), I would
really like to see you play around with dynamics, and
use your voice to create texture in the piece. Its a
very "Jazzy" piece, in many ways. I hear you produce an
airy, jazzy tone in Autumn leaves, towards to end. Try
bringing that tone to "Summertime", adding texture
during some of the verses. i.e, a soft and airy "Summertime,
and the living is easy... Fish are jumping, and the cotton
is high...." Then start to push out with your big broadway
voice on "Your daddy's rich, and your mama's good-lookin'".
I hear you adding plenty of dynamics towards the end of the
song, but using the versatility of your voice to texture
the song will sound brilliant.

On "Autumn Leaves", I don't hear much that needs to be
changed. Watch out for that ending. Otherwise, You could
definitely do with some of that same texturization. Perhaps
start the song with that soft, breathy tone, and little to
no embellishment. Then, use that embellishment to really
help the middle move forward, then I would back off a little
bit and treat the whole song like a wave.

I think you have tremendous potential. Improving your
recordings isn't going to have much to do with becoming a
better singer - You've got everything you need. Improving
your technique is going to come down to how you decide to
use the tools you have at your disposal. And, you have plenty
of them!

I'm sorry, I've rambled on a bit Hope this has been
helpful! It's been a pleasure! Stef.

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi, Taylor

It's so nice to see you back again! You sound magnificent, my friend - You're going to have a HUGE following here!

Now, on to the song - This is one of my absolute favorites! I can't fault anything about your voice on this one. It's really perfect. I have a few little nitpicks for you, though.

I'd like to see a clearer dynamic change on the last verse, after the instrumental interlude. In order to create the emotional dynamic the song calls for, that last "Don't Cry for Me...etc" needs to be at least a forte, probably a double forte - perhaps lounder, depending on how loudly you started the song. Right now, I would say its sitting at about a mezzo-forte, and is pretty close to the rest of the song in volume. Punching up the volume will really allow for that beautiful and dramatic drop-off when you get to "have I said too much...".

And just one more little thing: You're closing to the ends of your words far to quickly. For example: "Looking out of the window, staying out of the sunnnnnnn". Try to keep your words open. It isn't hurting your pitch, and as long as you're recording into a microphone, it doesn't hurt the clarity of the word. The words would just sound nicer if they were more open -"suuuuuuun".

This is really it, for me - nothing major You sound maaaahvelous!

Soleilyn

Reply by Soleilyn

Excellent advice! I hear what you mean about closing words too quickly - I think I was over compensating because someone else suggested I might want to round out the close of my words a little more... gotta remember consonants aren't an all or nothing sorta thing, oops LOL!

For volume I was wondering if you have any tricks for mic use? I find when I try to pump up the volume I get a sort of ringing or feedback from the mic - might just be that I'm using a headset mic rather than one designed for singing :\ but if you have any suggestions about how I might get over that hurdle... or even suggestions for a decent (and cost effective) mic I can buy that would be great too.

As usual, very, very insightful advice - you're fabulous girl!

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Mics are tricky, for sure. As for cost-effective options, try guitarcenter.com. They have used equipment, usually for very reasonable prices. I spent 100US on mine, and its really pretty decent.

Because we have some mixing capabilities, I usually try to set my microphone on a pretty low setting. Go into the "recording devices" folder of the computer, and to the properties of the microphone, specifically. Don't set the mic volume in 'properties' higher than 65. Then, when you get to the mixer, try to find the highest possible setting that you can hit the loudest note in the song without clipping. If the rest of the song is too quiet, you can always balance the sound more towards voice than track when you get to the mixer.

Hope that helps!

JWHMan2002

Reply by JWHMan2002GOLD

Hi Stef. If you dont mind giving this one a listen it would be great. The song is Tears in Heaven by Eric Clappton. Country is my style and I tryed to put that twist on it. Let me know what you think.
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/watchandlisten/play/bc723217c
Thanks for taking the time to listen and help people improve.

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Hey, there, JWHMan2002 - Good to hear from you Just getting the day started, and I'll be by to listen in a little bit! Thanks! Stef.

JWHMan2002

Reply by JWHMan2002GOLD

Thank you Stef. =-)

sabathiel

Reply by sabathielGOLD

First of all thank you for providing your time and trained opinions on these message boards. Here are a couple of my recordings for you to critique. I intentionally gave you 2 recordings because they reflect my 2 different vocal styles. One is me using my higher pitch vocals commonly I use for pop, rock or r n b songs. I think it is called "head voice". The other recording is my lower pitch vocals which I mostly use for jazz/swing/big band style music. I think it is called "chest voice". Please provide ratings so I can refer to the ratings for comparisons either for these 2 recordings or for comparisons for future recordings in order for me to judge which style of which recordings are better.

"Knife" (Rockwell) r n b ballad in a high pitch register tenor vocal style
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/c1a6d4f94

"You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You" (David Campbell, originally by Dean Martin in a slow tempo style) swing/jazz/gig band in a lower/middle pitch register baritone vocal style

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

JWHMan2002

James - (I hope I can call you James?)

Thanks so much for patiently waiting! I was
performing in concert tonight, so had a crazy day!

This was wonderful! You have a really nice, crisp
voice. It's a great mix of country and rock, very
pleasant to listen to. I think you definitely got
that Country twist into the song, and making it
your own.

Your tone production is great, and your pitch is
spot on. The only thing I would encourage you to
look at is the beginnings of phrases. These are the
only spots where the pitch becomes somewhat
questionable (not bad, but not perfect). Try to
visualize notes before you sing them, so that you
can hit them directly, without sliding into the
pitch.

The only other thing I'm going to nit-pick is your
word pronunciation. I think you would produce a
superior tone if you opened your words just a
little more. Your overall tone will improve if
you're careful to open vowel sounds (I know that
this contradicts what you're looking for in a
"Country" sound, but you only need to pull the
sharp focus off of 'ee' and 'aah' sounds slightly
so that it pulls the tone production out of the
nasal passages).

I think this is a brilliant recording. Very well
done, and you sound marvelous. There's very little
for you to fix, as far as I'm concerned!

Stef

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Sabathiel -

These are some diverse song choices, my friend! Both
are very interesting- "Knife" is new to me. You sound
great on both of these songs. You have a very smooth
tone, very lovely.

As far as your tone quality is concerned, you have
great volume and general sound. You have a very
pleasant voice overall. Its strong, but has very
little vibrato. I feel that you could produce a
better result on your high notes if you relaxed a
little. You're really pushing hard into those notes,
and the result is that your pitch begins to slip.
There's a point where your effort to support a note
turns into "too much". In your case, your pushing
is causing you to sit just under the pitch. You're
correct in that this higher range is meant for
your head voice. It's called "head voice" because
you want your tone to come from high in the head,
rather than your nose, throat, or chest. Lifting
your eyebrows and opening the back of your throat
while singing higher notes is the first step. Then,
only support the note as well as necessary, and let
your voice float up to the note, as though a wave
of sound is coming up over your head.

Though your recording of "Knife" is very nice, Its
obvious to me that you're much more comfortable
with "You're Nobody...". You are far more at ease,
and most of the song is in a clearer range for you -
and when you come to the higher notes in the song,
you breeze right through them, because you're
relaxing through the notes.

Both of these songs are wonderful recordings. You
sound very excellent. I'm going to rate you a 6.5
on "Knife" (though I think this could be stellar
with just a little more work), and a 9 on "You're
Nobody...". The crooner style fit you much more
comfortably.

Stef

sabathiel

Edited reply by sabathielGOLD

Thanks for your opinions. Yes I am more comfortable with my chest voice because it is less of a struggle and I don't strain as much hitting the high notes. That is the reason why I pick two very different styles. One being jazz/big band style which is a walk in the park compared to R n B which is probably my weakest vocal style which probably requires vibrato the most. I am not so proficient in the use of vibrato. I pretty much like to hit the notes "straight" without much bending. Knife is probably a bit too high for me to sing and that is why I feel less confident on the upper register of that song and that comes across. If you don't mind can you also critique this one more song which is a song that I am quite comfortable doing and confident in doing in my high pitch register. It is the acoustic version of U2's "One" mashed up with The Beatles' "Let It Be". This song probably reflects my vocal style in the pop rock vocal style much more than "Knife". I chose Knife because I didn't want to submit songs that I think I do a reasonably good job but a song that challenges me. So if you don't mind can you give me your informed opinion on this song that I think I don't struggle much with in the mainstream pop genre as opposed to the swing jazz genre because most of the songs that I sing are pop rock style.

"One/Let It Be" acoustic style as covered by Boyce Avenue:

A rating will also help for comparison with other recordings. Thank you.

sabathiel

Edited reply by sabathielGOLD

To be fair I'll submit another song from the pop rock genre but this is one is more challenging than the one in the post above. I think I only barely manage to hit the high notes on this song and singing it was vocally draining not like the song above which is relatively a walk in the park. This song also requires me pushing the notes hard because I don't know any other method of hitting the notes without pushing for it hard. The reason for submitting this song is again as a comparison between what I consider an easy song for me to sing and a harder one. I don't want to only submit songs that I think will get me decent reviews because that means I won't get much constructive criticisms which is what is required to improve. So be as petty as you want to be with my songs so I know what to work on. Although swing jazz big band style sung with the lower register chest voice is probably my best genre my CD collections are mostly from the
pop/pop rock/rock genre because it is more mainstream and gets more exposure commercially and it is what most young people listen to. So when I go to karaoke bars I mainly sing these mainstream songs and once in awhile throwing in a swing jazz big band song for variety. And yes people tell me swing jazz ala crooner vocal style is the best genre for me but I don't just want to sing so people think I am good but I sing because I enjoy singing different styles of music as well. I also do a darn good Bob Dylan impersonation which is one of my first recordings on Singsnap ("Like A Rolling Stone"). I know Dylan isn't exactly the best singer in the world but his unique singing style is so much fun to impersonate for karaoke.

"Misery" (acoustic version by Maroon 5)

This acoustic version by Maroon 5 is sung 2 full steps lower than the non acoustic version. I simply cannot sing the original version because it is way too high for me. My vocals don't even come close but even this acoustic version is somewhat challenging for me and has some falsettos in it. However I sing it with less falsetto than in the original recording.

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi, Sabathiel -

Good to see you again. Sorry to take so long in getting back to you. I've been performing in several concerts, and its just mercilessly busy!

I like both these songs. They're both good for you. On "Let it Be" I'm going to rate it a solid 7. I think you sing the song very nicely in places. But in the higher areas, I hear you sliding up to your pitch. You're hitting it, but not straight on. Your sound will be far more pleasant if you don't slide into your pitch.

In "Misery", you're hitting your high notes MUCH better than you have been in your other songs. However, you're compensating by shouting the notes. Try using just as much support as you would to shout, but sustain notes solidly instead - You'll be happier with the result, and it won't be nearly as hard on your voice! I'm going to give you an 8 on this one.

Hope this helps!

Stef

sabathiel

Reply by sabathielGOLD

I never thought the harder song would get better marks. I have a few questions though. I have never had any vocal lessons but there is this one thing that I keep wondering about. Why is it when I sing in a karaoke bar live with real good sound equipment I hit the high notes with less effort than I do if I am recording at home. It seems to me at the karaoke bar when I hear myself on the speakers which is often very loud I feel my confidence is lifted when singing the high notes. It's like thinking in my head "wow I can hear myself loud and clear I don't have to raise my voice ("shout" as you put it) to push the high note. While at home I hear myself less on my earphones because the sound is less powerful and it's like I just have to raise my voice louder to hit those higher more difficult notes or else I won't feel confident hitting them. It's like unless the vocal is loud I feel I am not hitting that high note cleanly or feel I am hitting it at the center of the note. And when the volume of the vocal when singing live at the karaoke bar is not loud enough I will struggle hitting the high notes because as I said previously unless I hear my vocal loud and clear I don't feel I can hit those high notes cleanly and when I raise my voice if the vocal volume is low I will strain my vocals. So I always tell the DJ to increase the volume of the vocals during songs that I feel are challenging with high notes that I think will cause me problems if the volume of the vocals was not loud enough. Is this a common problem in singing or is it merely psychological or both? Generally to sum up, loud volume on vocals and being able to hear yourself loud and clear on the PA system will mean an easier job singing the high notes or even any notes. And low volume and not being able to hear yourself loud and clear means having problems with hitting the notes particularly the high challenging notes.

Also another problem is when singing falsetto live in a bar I am less confident because the falsetto has much less power than your real voice and it doesn't come out that loud on the speakers. But when singing at home I can hear myself loud and clear on my earphones when singing falsetto. That is why I have no problem singing falsetto when recording but I tend to not sing falsettos (unless I have to because the notes are just to high) live in the bar. These are the mysteries that I encounter in my singing. I don't know if this is only problems in my head or other singers encounter them as well. Also the louder you sing it seems that the easier you hit the high notes and that means the louder the sound system is being played the easier you hit those notes as well. Maybe there are singing techniques that I don't know and vocal exercises that needs to be regularly practiced to hit the high notes without raising your voice or needing louder speakers volume or with less effort that comes across to the audience.

I also don't know what you mean when you say about "One/Let It Be":

"But in the higher areas, I hear you sliding up to your pitch. You're hitting it, but not straight on. Your sound will be far more pleasant if you don't slide into your pitch".

I am not hitting it in the center of the note? I think I know that part. But what does "if you don't slide into your pitch" and "sliding up to you pitch" means? Do I sing it over the note? Also what does this mean?:

"Try using just as much support as you would to shout, but sustain notes solidly instead".

daytripzip

Reply by daytripzipGOLD

Hi Samiam

I see you gave my friend Jubi a passing grade... How'd that happen? *lol*
I'm just kidding. She's a FABULOUSLY WONDERFUL Singer!

I don't have anything to submit but I do have a comment.
And it's that Art is Self Aware but not Self Conscious.
And so everything that is learned should be absorbed and then Forgotten.
Otherwise, we end up with Performances that meet Glee Standards but offer nothing for the Heart, Mind & Soul

I've been reading on the Thread and truly enjoying Your Critiques.
Good luck with this venture although as demand for your insights grow- so will the demands upon your time fair Lady!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,
Rick

Jubi

Edited reply by JubiGOLD

Gravity r/b4b63441d

Awww thanks for the compliment my friend. Merry Christmas everyone

Hugs Rick ;)))

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Sabathiel -

Your issues with hearing and confidence are very comment, and not unfounded at all. We all perform better, and with more confidence when we can hear. Unfortunately, there's not a lot you can do to get around it. All you CAN do is make things so that they're the best they can be for YOU, and try to work through whatever obstacle you have. If there's one thing I've learned, there's no perfect venue, and hearing / sound is probably the most common difficulty.

I also don't know what you mean when you say about "One/Let It Be":

"But in the higher areas, I hear you sliding up to your pitch. You're hitting it, but not straight on. Your sound will be far more pleasant if you don't slide into your pitch".

I am not hitting it in the center of the note? I think I know that part. But what does "if you don't slide into your pitch" and "sliding up to you pitch" means? Do I sing it over the note? Also what does this mean?:

"Try using just as much support as you would to shout, but sustain notes solidly instead".

What I mean is that its taking you time to find the note. Most often, I hear you starting below the pitch, then sliding up to it to correct the error. The good thing is that you're getting to the note, and pretty quickly. However, you'll find that hitting the note directly doesn't really require more effort. It does require effort to get out of the HABIT of sliding up to the note - its a common habit, and can become part of your stylistic routine, therefore difficult to break yourself of it.

When you feel yourself really reaching and "shouting" to reach those notes, pay attention to how you feel your body supporting those "shouts". Now, think about using that same support, but in a conscious way and use that power to create long, beautiful, strong notes.

Hope this clears up any confusion!

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi Samiam

I see you gave my friend Jubi a passing grade... How'd that happen? *lol*
I'm just kidding. She's a FABULOUSLY WONDERFUL Singer!

I don't have anything to submit but I do have a comment.
And it's that Art is Self Aware but not Self Conscious.
And so everything that is learned should be absorbed and then Forgotten.
Otherwise, we end up with Performances that meet Glee Standards but offer nothing for the Heart, Mind & Soul

I've been reading on the Thread and truly enjoying Your Critiques.
Good luck with this venture although as demand for your insights grow- so will the demands upon your time fair Lady!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,
Rick daytripzip

Hi, Rick!

Thanks for stopping by! And, yes, Jubi is a fabulous singer I'm glad you've been enjoying the thread - and, yes, the time commitment has been a struggle for me the last couple weeks. After Christmas, my life melts back into a more stable pace, and things like this become far more possible. Merry Christmas to you!

WallyGB

Reply by WallyGBGOLD

Hi Samiam. I have a few song's for you to Critique.
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/watchandlisten/play/bb814679c

WallyGB

Reply by WallyGBGOLD

Hit the button by mistake.Here's a few more.
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/watchandlisten/play/c0966ffcc

WallyGB

Reply by WallyGBGOLD

Take your Time.Thanks for all your Hard Work.

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Hi, Wally! Thanks for dropping by I'll have your critique for you tomorrow evening. Thanks for your patience!

widdy

Edited reply by widdy

Hello I would like you to listen to " Polishing The Armor "
this is a Christian/Gospel tune I wrote and recorded some time back. I'm not sure how to put it here on Sing Snap without losing it's sound quality.

http://myspace.com/jeffwiddicombemusic

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Wally -

Thanks for so patiently waiting for your critique! You
gave me a lot to listen to, and it was very enjoyable. You've got
two major styles going on, and you handle both of them quite well.
First, you have have songs like Bob Dylan's, which you cover very
nicely. The style reminds me a lot of Rusted Root. Then you've got
these wonderful classic R & B tunes, and you do just as well there.
You're a dynamic performer, and very capable in your genres.

As far as your tone quality goes, you have an appropriate tone
quality in each of the songs I listened to. You changed the quality
based on the genre, and did quite well of it. I think you have a lot
of texture to your tone, which makes for an interesting listen

One point to denote about your style, in particular:
Perfect pitch is not a requirement for enjoyment. Because of the way
you approach notes (which is very open, quick, and bold), your pitch
is often imperfect. Very often, you're just under the pitch. HOWEVER-
that did not diminish my enjoyment of these songs in any way. I would
encourage you to try to correct what you can - it'll make you more
versatile. Try to visualize the note you're going to hit, as you hit
it. It focuses your attention on where you need to be, instead of
allowing yourself to drift. Make sure your notes are supported as
much as possible: Before you start a phrase, think about how much air
you need to make it through. Didn't get it right the first time? Try
again, and add more pressure from the diaphragm, perhaps a little more
air. If you practice with these methods in mind, when it comes time
to perform a song, your body will follow through with these techniques
without your mind being occupied with them.

Again, these performances were fresh and enjoyable. I think you're
an entertaining vocalist. You do very well in the genres you've chosen
to show me. However, you may need to evaluate your pitch and support
techniques if you move on to other genres and slower songs.

Hope this helps! Thanks for allowing me to listen!
Stef

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

Widdy

Hi, Jeff! Thanks for stopping by What a pleasure
to listen to this! Its a beautiful song, my friend - well done!
I enjoyed it very much.

I think you have a marvelous voice. Its a great
combination of country and classical. Your tone is rich and
very pleasant to listen to. As far as your tone goes, I don't
think there's much you could do to improve it.

This performance was very nearly perfect: There's
very little for me to pick apart, here. The only thing I
heard is some wavering in your tone during some of your
longer runs and trills. Generally, this is an air support
issue. When you go into an elaborate run, where you need to
add styling and interest, those extra stylings take up extra air.
Therefore, your trills get a little clunky, and your run gets
weaker instead of stronger.

Its a pretty easy problem to fix. This is the
breathing exercise I recommend:

Lie on your back on the floor
or another firm surface. Its important that you don't use a bed or
couch, as you'll find yourself unable to produce the sort of results
you need. Place two or three heavy books on top of your sternum,
above the stomach but below the breast bone, i.e at the top of the
"V" of your ribcage. Attempt to breath to your diaphragm. You'll see
the books rise quite a bit. Take a few long, even breaths and get used
to the weight. Then, pick a note that is comfortable for your voice.
Take a deep breath, then sing that note in an "ahh" or "ohh" in as
smooth and focused a tone as you can manage, and draw the note out as
long as you are able. Continue to do this as often as possible, and
try to add some more notes, or begin to use this as a warm up method
and really test your breath support.

Again, I think this was a beautiful performance. Top
shelf, my friend! Stef

WallyGB

Reply by WallyGBGOLD

Thank you Samiam! Thank You for all your time. :)I think you gave a fair and Honest Critique. Love your detailed approach! I was worried you'd just look at perfect Pitch!,,,Which we all now???? Or Some should know ain't everything! Beatles ,Stones ,Dylan! BUT working toward's perfect Pitch is my GOAL!:)
You Confirm,What I think are my strength's and Weakness's! Thank you!Happy Holiday's to You!

samiam171

Reply by samiam171GOLD

I'm glad to have been of help, Wally - Please let me know if there's anything I can help you with. I'm glad to have had to the opportunity to find you

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