learning to sing

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
stockylocky
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learning to sing

Post by stockylocky » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:22 am

Ok so I wanna learn to sing coz I've had a few lyrical ideas knocking about. The problem is my singing voice is poo poo. Can anyone recommend any learning materials/software which could help me to get better? I did a google search and got a lot of very crappy looking hits, anyone used software to learn to sing? Any help appreciated!
Cheers

4.33
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Re: learning to sing

Post by 4.33 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:50 am

brett manning ftw

102455
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Re: learning to sing

Post by 102455 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:30 pm

Antares Auto-Tune "ftw" :mrgreen:

doghouse
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Re: learning to sing

Post by doghouse » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:57 pm

I am totally serious about this: churches are almost always looking for more choir members and often don't even care about your religious affiliation. I was a terrible singer until I joined the choir and within a few months I was a lot better at singing in tune, having breath control, etc.

Best part is it's free 8)

distaudio
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Re: learning to sing

Post by distaudio » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:56 pm

I first started out singing in choirs (not a church one) and it was a great grounding for the fundamentals.

In saying that if that isn't your style it is a great idea to get one on one singing lessons even if it is only for a few times. You will get a good foundation for the correct stance, breathing and basic technique.

Once you are comfortable with the basics there are plenty of decent videos on youtube teaching different techniques. Vocal fry, yawn technique etc.

I would avoid the suggested Brett Manning route unless you simply want to sound like everyone else or like that untalented carrot head from Parabore. Might be ok for the basics but I wouldn't take it any further. Develop a style that is yours that sets you apart from other singers. Too many singers sound the same to me now days.

With the right foundations you can get to a level you want and once you are there you will remember the techniques that got you there and will use them. For example, the yawn technique has allowed my voice to get to Chris Cornell like ranges.

stockylocky
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Re: learning to sing

Post by stockylocky » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:56 pm

Sorry guys really couldnt bring myself to do the choir thing.... Im really into voices like Jamie Lidell, Radiohead, voices with character, not strictly conventional. Im assuming learning the basics is a must though ??? Feel a little shy bout lessons for some reason :oops:

icedsushi
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Re: learning to sing

Post by icedsushi » Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:43 pm

Start by recording yourself in the privacy of your own studio, I'm new to it also & that's what I'm doing. Pick apart the recordings & adjust accordingly to train yourself to the sounds you want to hear. How your voice sounds while you're singing doesn't sound the same as when you hear it played back or what the other person hears.

The choir thing would surely increase your comfort zone & good for pitch, but I don't think it contributes much at all to developing personal style. IMO, developing your own style & sticking with it is the most important thing rather than perfect technique.

I'm looking for suggestions as well...

moonpie
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Re: learning to sing

Post by moonpie » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:04 pm

I took lessons to improve my backing singing which was... poor. I took lessons for a year and really really recommend them. Singing teachers get all types of singers, good and bad. If you think you have a musical ear, you will be fine. Cause youll constantly try to correct yourself. Theres one thing singing teachers can do better than anybody else and thats improve your confidence. Cause trust me - some of the excercises will make you feel ridiculous. And looking and sounding that ridiculous once a week, and singing as loud as you can is sorta empowering. And eventually you dont give a shit how you look, you just want to get better.

Some teachers are better than others at doing pop. Pop is essentially your aim, which is usually idiosyncratic and in essence a bad vocal technique (as apposed to classical.) To train your voice though - excercises and such, its so much better to do it from a classical perspective. As youll wreck your voice and tire yourself out if you do it without an open throat. Although during excercises youll sound like a really cringeworthy opera singer, youll just have to learn to have a balance between what pop/rock requires and classical. No doubt, youll improve your range and volume more than you could ever on your own.

And especially important, youll improve your ear no end.

Again, some teachers love new students regardless of age, while others will be a bit more... er... not helpful.

Dont be afraid of taking lessons. Just be honest with the teacher when you ring them up. Say youre a complete beginner, youve been playing music for forever, maybe youd like to be good enough to join an amateur choir or backing singer or lead singer.

Last piece of advice - work on the teachers terms. They know what theyre doing, and while you mightent initially see why you should delay learning certain songs you like, or why you should learn songs you think are cringeworthy - it all helps. And youll be a better musician after. Then - with the lessons and after - its all down to practice and routine. And if youre not singing harmonies in a band, or joining the choir, its much harder to keep everything youve learned up.

MPGK
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Re: learning to sing

Post by MPGK » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:58 pm

doghouse wrote:I am totally serious about this: churches are almost always looking for more choir members and often don't even care about your religious affiliation. I was a terrible singer until I joined the choir and within a few months I was a lot better at singing in tune, having breath control, etc.
Good idea, I'd look for a gospel choir though, something with power where you're not tempted to develop a small homophone choir voice (don't get me wrong here, this can be a good thing).

Getting a teacher would be even better. Don't be afraid to try different teachers, the human voice is the most personal and individual instrument there is, and even the most experienced and talented teacher may be the wrong choice for you because you're simply not talking the same language.
moonpie wrote:Pop is essentially your aim, which is usually idiosyncratic and in essence a bad vocal technique (as apposed to classical.)
Not true. The human voice is capable of producing any sound it can in a healthy way. Good pop/jazz vocal teachers know this. The difference in classical and pop technique is simply the answer to the first question you have to ask yourself before you sing any note: "How do I want to sound?" - to simplify, a classical singer usually wants to sound voluminous (not the same as loud), while the pop singer usually wants to sound flexible and individual. You could also say that the classical Belcanto teacher will help you develop a big artificial voice while the pop/jazz/rock teacher will try to get the most out of your natural voice. It's a personal choice, mine was a combination of both.
moonpie wrote:To train your voice though - excercises and such, its so much better to do it from a classical perspective. As youll wreck your voice and tire yourself out if you do it without an open throat.
Not entirely true either. I still use classical songs as means of "vocal hygiene", to remind myself of said "open throat", which is a way to describe a relaxed larynx. But that's because I started with classical singing and it's fun and keeping the volume of my voice in shape. A good pop teacher will give you exercises with the same goals that a good classical teacher would give you: exercises for breathing, exercises for vowel sound and diction, exercises for "support" (interaction between breathing, larynx and diaphragm), exercises for relaxation and exercises for the ear.
What a good teacher will also do is let you sing the music you want to sing, and the exercises should be oriented towards this music, in other words oriented towards flexibility.
Last edited by MPGK on Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

moonpie
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Re: learning to sing

Post by moonpie » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:57 pm

moonpie wrote:Pop is essentially your aim, which is usually idiosyncratic and in essence a bad vocal technique (as apposed to classical.)
Not true. The human voice is capable of producing any sound it can in a healthy way. Good pop/jazz vocal teachers know this. The difference in classical and pop technique is simply the answer to the first question you have to ask yourself before you sing any note: "How do I want to sound?" - to simplify, a classical singer usually wants to sound voluminous (not the same as loud), while the pop singer usually wants to sound flexible and individual. You could also say that the classical Belcanto teacher will help you develop a big artificial voice while the pop/jazz/rock teacher will try to get the most out of your natural voice. It's a personal choice, mine was a combination of both.

The OP mentioned Thom Yorke, probably my favourite singer ever. So I was approaching it from the mindset that most of our favourite artists and singers are famous because of their weaknesses. Thom singing from his diaphragm probably wouldnt make him a better singer! I dont lose sleep over this. :) I hope I didnt sound like I thought one style of singing was better stylistically. I found it extremely hard at the beginning to hit top notes without relaxing my larynx and using my diaphragm and just the way I learned and I understand it. That its better to go all the way and do excercises with the full use of your voice and then you can scale it back. Probably not so open.

I did a mixture of classical and some jazz excercises at the start. But the jazz only after I had learned to totally open up my voice. And most of the music I learned to sing was blues and jazz.
icedsushi wrote:To train your voice though - excercises and such, its so much better to do it from a classical perspective. As youll wreck your voice and tire yourself out if you do it without an open throat.
Not entirely true either. I still use classical songs as means of "vocal hygiene", to remind myself of said "open throat", which is a way to describe a relaxed larynx. But that's because I started with classical singing and it's fun and keeping the volume of my voice in shape. A good pop teacher will give you exercises with the same goals that a good classical teacher would give you: exercises for breathing, exercises for vowel sound and diction, exercises for "support" (interaction between breathing, larynx and diaphragm), exercises for relaxation and exercises for the ear.
What a good teacher will also do is let you sing the music you want to sing, and the exercises should be oriented towards this music, in other words oriented towards flexibility.[/quote]

I know what your saying. The last sentence I would disagree with though - em - the problem with this view is... its the reason all x factor contestants sound the same. And although good technically are very very boring. I think a good teacher should always push students to try new styles and new music and the best music for their development. As the choices for songs that most students pick initially (especially beginners) arent the best for their development and getting their moneys worth singing an hour a week. I was just giving advice from a students perspective - that you should just go in with an open mind. (Children are different to adults of course, and you have to keep them interested as a teacher and you should encourage them no matter what you think of the music. Hopefully then they hear something valuable in something else. If youre an adult musician going I think you should have the attitude - "Gimme what you got!") We both dont know what type of teacher (if any) the op might try. And I was just letting him know what to expect because he said he would find it daunting. Not necessarily what is ideal teacher.

We're just having alternate views, and not necessarily helping the OP now. Which I hope hes not more intimidated of trying a teacher after our posts! So sure we'll agree to disagree.

Anyways - best thing I ever done and the single most important thing that helped me be a better musician. Hope you had the same experience!

moonpie
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Re: learning to sing

Post by moonpie » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:58 pm

Ugh. That ended up weird. Its not highlighting my quotes. Sorry about that!

LoopStationZebra
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Re: learning to sing

Post by LoopStationZebra » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:26 pm

Let us be the judge of whether or not your singing voice is poo-poo.

We're going to need WAV files.

Stat!!!!!!


:x
I came for the :lol:
But stayed for the :x

MPGK
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Re: learning to sing

Post by MPGK » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:51 pm

moonpie wrote:I was just giving advice from a students perspective
Well, I'm giving advice from a studied teacher's perspective. ;)
I just want to clear up a few things here.
moonpie wrote:Thom singing from his diaphragm probably wouldnt make him a better singer! I dont lose sleep over this. :)
There's a slight difference between OP and Thom Yorke (I love Radiohead, btw). Thom started singing and songwriting in his early teens. He knows his voice because he has started to use it before it was fully developed. Believe me, if Thom knows it or not, he's using a great technique. I've seen him live twice, and he's doing loooong tours. Wouldn't surprise me if he had a vocal coach!
Where was I? Oh yes. That's the gist of it: knowing your voice. It's all there. You have all the vocal chords and all the muscles you need, you just need to learn how to use them. I'd have to guess how how old OP is (are you reading this? ;) may I ask?), but if he's any older than 18 and has never sung frequently before, he'll probably need a teacher who will "re-introduce" his voice to him by means of exercises. And with increasing age (I don't want to scare anyone here ;)), it's more work: most people develop bad vocal habits because they don't have to really use their voice anymore. (Fun fact: we are born with the perfect singing voice - ever wondered why babies can cry and cry without getting a sore throat?)
I hope I didnt sound like I thought one style of singing was better stylistically. I found it extremely hard at the beginning to hit top notes without relaxing my larynx and using my diaphragm and just the way I learned and I understand it. That its better to go all the way and do excercises with the full use of your voice and then you can scale it back. Probably not so open.
You do have a point - classical vocal training actually aims for keeping or regaining the ability to perform a healthy "Primal Scream", the most overtone-rich, more specifically resonant sound producible by the singer's vocal tract. From there, it's much like a subtractive synthesizer. We use filters to form vowels and LFOs to create vibrato or tremolo. :)

In pop music it's the same. And that's why a lot of exercises are the same too. The key is finding the balance between a rich tone and the ability to shape it without hurting yourself. Because in pop music, you're doing a lot more shaping. To be precise, mostly the same shaping you do when speaking normally. And that's what I meant by "artificial" voice: no one would actually say things the way Pavarotti sings it. Good pop/jazz singers explore the different ways to say something and simply put notes on it.
the problem with this view is... its the reason all x factor contestants sound the same. And although good technically are very very boring. I think a good teacher should always push students to try new styles and new music and the best music for their development. As the choices for songs that most students pick initially (especially beginners) arent the best for their development and getting their moneys worth singing an hour a week.
I won't disagree with you that it's a teacher's job and responsibility to widen the student's horizon. But where is the point in purely classical exercises (developing a voice that can fill opera halls) when all the student wants to do is sing pop/rock? It's not about modesty, it's about focus.

moonpie
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Re: learning to sing

Post by moonpie » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:10 pm

MPGK wrote:
In pop music it's the same. And that's why a lot of exercises are the same too. The key is finding the balance between a rich tone and the ability to shape it without hurting yourself.

I won't disagree with you that it's a teacher's job and responsibility to widen the student's horizon. But where is the point in purely classical exercises (developing a voice that can fill opera halls) when all the student wants to do is sing pop/rock? It's not about modesty, it's about focus.
Sorry, yeah this is what i was thinking along the lines of, that sometimes the students desire to sing a certain way can harm em. But youre right of course, its down to the teacher to sort of accommodate (and find a good technique somewhere among the screaming!). But yes, i will leave the rest in the hands of the expert! :) This is just the way I approached my own lessons and I got benefit from it.

Im a teacher too, just a humble guitar teacher! So thats where my overlap in experience is. Ive to teach miley cirus on the way to bach sometimes! :)

zsazsa
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Re: learning to sing

Post by zsazsa » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:29 pm

the rock-n-roll singer's survival manual by Mark Baxter is a great book.
It gives you insight in how singing works and valuable trainingexercises.
and it's pretty cheap.
http://www.amazon.com/Rock-N-Roll-Singe ... 533&sr=8-2

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