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  • Learning to sing. Advice?

    I want to learn how to sing, so that I can provide backing vocals for my band and also hopefully sing some of my own songs. Does anybody have some advice for new singers on how to develop better vocal control? I have a lot of difficulty hitting a pitch, and even with a tuner in front of me I have difficulty shifting up or down slightly to try to bring my voice in tune. I also have difficulty keeping my voice steady, and there's a kind of warbling sound when I try to sustain a note.
    Endivera on Facebook

    My rig:
    Music Man Stingray > Ampeg PF-500/PF-115

    "You ARE the bomb." - Verlian

    "I'd pose with a First Act bass in front of a wall of Rogue practice amps for a bag of Doritos and a 40oz of Steel Reserve." - C7

  • #2
    Don't smoke
    Get a vocal coach or buy some vocal lesson CD
    Do some warm ups
    Do some strengthening exercises

    or do like a lot of people, just sing until it sounds good.
    Hamilton Steele CD's / Hamilton Steele MP3 Downloads / Hamilton Steele iTunes

    Comment


    • TanishaLoveXO
      TanishaLoveXO commented
      Editing a comment

      I agree totally with our post


  • #3
    Any warm ups or strengthening exercises you'd recommend, or a site with some? I've been trying the "sing until it sounds good" bit, but it's rather depressing at this stage

    And hello, fellow Edmontonian
    Endivera on Facebook

    My rig:
    Music Man Stingray > Ampeg PF-500/PF-115

    "You ARE the bomb." - Verlian

    "I'd pose with a First Act bass in front of a wall of Rogue practice amps for a bag of Doritos and a 40oz of Steel Reserve." - C7

    Comment


    • #4
      Best Advice is to Join a Beginning Choir, look at your local junior colleges see if they have any voice programs, also a singing teacher would help alot.
      http://www.youtube.com/100JamesX

      Comment


      • #5
        Any warm ups or strengthening exercises you'd recommend, or a site with some? I've been trying the "sing until it sounds good" bit, but it's rather depressing at this stage

        And hello, fellow Edmontonian


        http://www.singingvoicelessons.com/courses.html
        I use the warm up CD before I gig or record. Nice cause it has male and female warm ups separately. Also has some strengthening exercises.

        With regards to just singing, I think you need to figure out what you can sing without straining - songs in your comfort zone... You can progress to higher ranges with exercise over time. It's important to hear yourself and realize when you are off pitch and practice those parts. You need self-realization as to your abilities, plus rewards for achieving milestones (and to stroke your ego). And mostly don't smoke...lol...
        Hamilton Steele CD's / Hamilton Steele MP3 Downloads / Hamilton Steele iTunes

        Comment


        • #6
          Thanks, I'll check out that link. I really don't know where my comfort zone is. I try singing along to the stuff I listen to, but I can't seem to hit a pitch anywhere without straining. I know it'll come with practice, but right now, it's just damn frustrating
          Endivera on Facebook

          My rig:
          Music Man Stingray > Ampeg PF-500/PF-115

          "You ARE the bomb." - Verlian

          "I'd pose with a First Act bass in front of a wall of Rogue practice amps for a bag of Doritos and a 40oz of Steel Reserve." - C7

          Comment


          • #7
            All of the above .... PLUS ....

            Learn to breathe properly -- this is the most important thing you can do



            The worst thing you can do is expand and contract your chest while singing. It inhibits control and it can cause damage to your vocal cords. Do not tense your throat.

            Breathing with your diaphragm is the natural way to breathe. Look at a newborn baby or a pet (dog, cat, gerbil) and you will see them doing it correctly.

            Practice a lot. Sing long tones, scales and arpeggios with different syllables like la, na, da and ma.

            Insights and incites by Notes ♫
            Bob "Notes" Norton
            Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
            Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box and add on styles for Microsoft SongSmith
            The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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            • #8
              A shower really helps your singing--and it never boos or makes snarky remarks.

              Comment


              • #9
                Since you're in a band I will assume that you have adequate pitch perception.


                Record yourself singing a song. Note what sounds good and what doesn't (this is not only a matter of being in key or not - articulation, resonance placement and vowel usage matter more than you'd think).

                Make a list of these shortcomings.

                Attack and fix one point on your list at a time. If you need help with this step and don't know what to do, get a vocal coach or ask here on the forum.


                Don't lose heart!
                I'm Masklin. How was your day?

                Comment


                • #10
                  I think you need a vocal workout CD and maybe a vocal teacher (if you can afford it).

                  I'm a big fan of Anne's Peckham's "The Contemporary Singer".
                  The CD is worth the price of the book alone.

                  It has a complete vocal workout on the CD. In just 2 weeks, my voice
                  completely changed. I'm going to assume that you have good pitch perception
                  since you're in a band.

                  IMHO, what separates the workout from others is that it feels more like vocal
                  gymnastics. The exercises uses different sounds and work different parts of the throat/vocal cords/whatever.
                  Also, the CDs contain the workout WITHOUT time-wasting descriptions and lectures.

                  I've been doing it for 2-3 months now and my voice/throat feels so relaxed and agile.
                  Over time, I can feel my range expanding.

                  There are basically 2 workouts you can do:
                  Warmup + Level 1 Workout (Low Voice) + Advanced Workout (Low Voice)
                  Warmup + Level 1 Workout (High Voice) + Advanced Workout (High Voice)

                  Warmup = 8 minutes
                  Level 1 = 13 minutes
                  Advanced = 10 minutes

                  31 minutes total.

                  It's nice because you don't have to put any thought into planning your workouts.
                  Just pop in the CD (or rip it to an ipod), do the exercises and you're done.
                  Really easy.

                  I do the high workout on Mon,Wed,Fri and the low workout on Tue,Thu,Sat.
                  On Sunday, I rest.

                  After the workout, I do scales for 15 minutes and
                  then I either practice songs or work on drills/exercises from other vocal method books.

                  Anne Peckham also has another book (Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer).
                  It's basically another set of exercises you can do in place of the other workout.

                  Also, here are some other vocal method authors:

                  Roger Kain
                  Brett Manning
                  Dena Murray
                  Seth Riggs
                  Elisabeth Howard
                  Jaime Vendera
                  Elisabeth Sabine (Jaime Vendera learned a lot from Elisabeth Sabine)

                  The Roger Kain book (The Complete Vocal Workout) and Jaime Vendera's "Raise Your Voice" are rock-oriented
                  (especially Kain's book which emphasizes singing/screaming hard and loud). So you maybe want to look at them.

                  Another book you might want to look at is Jaime Vendera's "The Ultimate Breathing Workout.
                  You'll learn to breath properly and be able to hold notes for over 60 seconds (the author can).

                  Comment


                • #11
                  I also have difficulty keeping my voice steady, and there's a kind of warbling sound when I try to sustain a note.


                  I find that my pitch is more stable if I take deeper breaths, move more air and sing a little louder.
                  Video playing guitar at the beach - www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4OTqDn0JqE
                  Music video - Maersk rescue from pirates, original pictures, NAVY SEAL museum - www.youtube.com/watch?v=22fJQ8t8ZY8
                  Broken Hearted Surfer - Original Surf music and video featuring local Florida surfers - www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aFXhNoRhHw

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                  • #12
                    Thanks for all the advice. I'll look for some of the books mentioned the next time I'm at a music store, which will hopefully be this weekend.

                    Showers might help my singing, but I find it hard to get clean when the water avoids me.
                    Endivera on Facebook

                    My rig:
                    Music Man Stingray > Ampeg PF-500/PF-115

                    "You ARE the bomb." - Verlian

                    "I'd pose with a First Act bass in front of a wall of Rogue practice amps for a bag of Doritos and a 40oz of Steel Reserve." - C7

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Depending on your learning style books could be good, but i feel ever since i joined choir and other voice classes I have improved alot more. I had singing success for years but I really didnt know what was going on. The best way to learn is from being taught by a another person in real life!
                      http://www.youtube.com/100JamesX

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Hey, Derek, great that you want to learn to sing!

                        A great way to improve your tuning is to record yourself singing, then really micro-analyze every note. Notice which notes are bang-on and which ones are under or too high. You'll probably surprise yourself, as this can one of the quickest way to improve!

                        Good luck

                        Andrew
                        WANT TO SING BETTER?

                        Just visit http://JustHowToSing.com to get all the answers!

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          It's a good idea to make sure you are looking after your voice whilst learning to sing. Over the years, you will hear it time and time again; drink lots of water! Well, fluids in general. You really need to keep your vocal chords continuously lubricated and avoid dry-air singing. The last thing you want is a sore throat and damaging your voice irreversably. Warm teas with lemon and honey are one of my faves before singing but you will ALWAYS find bottles of water in my bag. My car footwells are like a water bottle graveyard! Haha!
                          sore throat singing

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