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Started singing a few months ago and would appreciate input


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Hey everyone. I recently started singing and doing some warm-ups and exercises that I've found on things like Youtube videos and various websites. I haven't really progressed much in terms of the variety of exercises I am doing (just lip trills and singing different scales). Part of this is because I am afraid of damaging my voice since I do not have anyone to provide feedback as I'm trying to improve.

I've been really into Lewis Capaldi recently and here are some links of me singing segments of three of his songs:

https://voca.ro/3DmRJFdl0hE (Someone You Loved, original key, I think)

https://voca.ro/7jXNat88MVu (Forever, lower key)

https://voca.ro/oGWkrq9BHdu (Bruises, lower key)

If anyone can give these a listen and provide feedback on things like voice type, problem areas, things to try, or just general comments, that would be great! I'm hoping I can take the comments and criticisms to learn more about the types of songs I would be able to sing well and what I can most expect from my voice going forward. I would also appreciate if anyone thinks from those clips that there are certain exercises I can be doing to patch up any problems.

Thanks!

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Hi and welcome to the forum,

I had a few listens to your clips. I think you sound not bad for someone who only started singing a few months ago, but there's definitely room and potential to improve much more. In my opinion, it's pretty difficult to make progress using exercises off of Youtube and websites. Not all vocal programs and techniques are created equal. Regardless I would probably prioritize vocal health above all else for new singers. I find it best when singers establish good vocal habits early on in their vocal journey. If a singer picks up too many bad habits, then it may take more time to correct things, stalling progress even further. This is why getting a voice teacher is an invaluable resource, they can guide you to do things in the right way and can help you make the appropriate adjustments in real-time. 

From what I heard in the clips, you currently sound like a baritone. Though voice type isn't always obvious in new singers. Usually a singer's voice will change gradually as they train their voice over time. When I started with my first voice teacher I sang like a bass-baritone. Now after training with my current teacher for a number of years, I'm actually a tenor. Regarding technical issues, I do hear some tongue tension in your sound, especially when you're singing the lowest notes in the 'Bruises' clip. I think vocal exercises using 'rolled R' or consonant L might help with this issue. 

Hope this helps. Feel free to send me any questions.

 

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Just took a listen to Forever, cool voice.

I think the most effective way you could improve it is to take care on how you are attacking the notes, you are doing something called "portamento" to the notes you want to sing, a slide, but you often begin on a pitch that is not the one you intend to sing and slide up or down, depending on what the phrase is.

Try to have it very clear in your mind how you want to attack the note, before you begin the song, really imagine that you are already singing it and then attack.

The problem with this is that often the note you slide "from" is not in pitch or the scale/tonality of the song, and it gets in the way of the performance. Of course, if that´s what you want to do in a particular place, it could sound good, but in this clip it sounds not intentional.

I hope it helps!

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Thanks for the replies davie and FelipeCarvalho. 

davie: I would agree that getting a vocal teacher is important, but I would prefer to do that in person. I had plans for signing up for either group vocal classes or 1-1 lessons at the local music school, but the coronavirus outbreak happened and I had to put this on hold. I've been excited to get started though, so I went ahead and looked up some Youtube/online things that I can do. Already I can say that I feel better(?) about my voice. That said, I do feel a bit silly sometimes just singing and not having any idea if I'm doing it right haha.

Thanks for listening to the clips. I'm not surprised by your assessment as "baritone". I guess voice types don't really matter much if you aren't doing operatic things anyway? I've always found myself to have somewhat of a dopey voice if I sing without effort and kinda just speak-sing. Baritone or bass was what I expected from how I hear myself. In terms of my range, from following notes on a piano, I find that I can go from C2 to Bb4 in my modal voice, but obviously the extremes are limited in quality and texture (above even just around D4, I start to have to "belt" or do a mixed thing, probably incorrectly).

FelipeCarvalho: Thanks for listening and giving that feedback! I agree and I would attribute it to my not-so-great confidence in going for a pitch! I'll try to work on this. Something else that is readily obvious from the clips now, to me, is that I don't have any type of dynamics in volume going on. This must make for a boring listening experience!

 

Thanks again to both of you!

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Hey guys. I sang "Lover Don't Leave" by Citizen Shade in the link below: 

https://voca.ro/2VYjp7NqPu9

I think it's a really good song, but relatively obscure, so please give the original a listen regardless of whether you listen to me singing!

I tried to focus more on correct vocal placement and vowel sounds this time around. But I definitely did not do perfectly throughout the whole song. Any comments or criticism is welcomed.

Thanks

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Hi kqcl. I have listened to your clips.

I think that your pitch sense is fine. Have confidence and trust it.

Don't overthink your pitch. You are "aiming" naturally.

Think very, very carefully before you attempt to make adjustments to something that comes naturally and doesn't need adjustment. It can be irreversible!

Each and every note that we sing consists of a heap of related frequencies (the "lowest" is called the fundamental).

We have to practise balancing that heap. so that it is not shifting unintentionally from one note to another (i.e all shifting is a matter of deliberate expression).

So, as a singer, you have to learn to listen deep into your entire tone, so that you can hear what the low partials are doing, and what the higher partials are doing. Make sure they are working smoothly together on each note.

It is very easy to tune into the sweet spot of your voice and ignore the rest.

In your clips I think that the lower partials in your tone are slightly more responsive than your higher partials (I definitely wouldn't call it "scooping"). My advice would be to look for exercises to bring them up to balance. That may involve singing things that are not particularly your favourites, but which give your higher partials more of a workout.

 

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Thanks @kickingtone! I know what you mean about tuning to my sweet spot and ignoring the higher bits... I'll see what I can do about it in terms of training the latter. I think it's going to be a disaster at first lol.

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22 hours ago, kqcl said:

Thanks @kickingtone! I know what you mean about tuning to my sweet spot and ignoring the higher bits... I'll see what I can do about it in terms of training the latter. I think it's going to be a disaster at first lol.

You definitely have to be positive... bullish even... with these things. Go for it!

You are way past any "disaster" level already. And, in any case, nothing is really a "disaster" unless you make it one (by giving up, for example).

We all know that any achievement feels really good.

For me, discovering consistent problems or mistakes feels even better! They are a ticket to improvement -- an exciting "aha!" moment! I can't wait to fix the problem and hear the improvement.

The most challenging things are inconsistent mistakes: the things that seem to work one moment, and break the next. But finding the reason for the inconsistency is like a treasure hunt.

The whole process is fun!

 

 

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