Any Singers Here?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by cslewis, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. cslewis macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    #1
    Hi, all!

    Thanks a lot for all of the help everyone's given me here in the past. I hope that you guys don't mind too much, though, because I have a pretty big problem. I'm trying out for my school's show choir in 2 1/2 weeks, and I would really love if you guys could give me some advice for better singing. I'm supposedly a baritone, but I'll be singing the tenor part in the choir. I'll need to sing this song, 'Footloose' from, well, Footloose.

    I have a few problems with singing well. I can't really project my voice, sometimes it cracks, and it just doesn't sound strong or confident. Are there breathing exercises I should do? Vocal exercises? A way of controlling my diaphragm? Seriously, I would appreciate any advice from anyone here.

    Thanks a ton! You guys rock.
     
  2. altaprod macrumors regular

    altaprod

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    #2
  3. CompUser Guest

    #3
    Watch the "Total Eclipse of the Heart" music video by Bonnie Tyler. Get some pointers from her. Really open your mouth when you sing, put your body into it, throw your hands up, flail them around. ;) (inside joke)
     
  4. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #4

    OK OK, I've actually won some awards at my university for singing (not to brag, but for you to know you aren't getting noob advice).

    So you want to sing better. First, depends on what you want to sing. opera is about breathing. Pop is about clarity and inflections.

    So if you could get back to us with that, that would be helpful.

    Since its a choir I would assume its more breathing. Are you a tenor/bass?

    1st, sleeping basically resets your voice. your vocal chords get very out of shape, so don't take a nap before your audition.

    2nd. Take about 10 BIG breaths. Completely fill your lungs and then exhale. That will open your system up. 'Feel' yourself as you inhale to know what it feels like, get to capacity, then hold. for as long as you can, then exhale. repeat. This is really help, you will feel like you can sing a note for 10 minutes.

    3rd. Can't project? sure you can. Can you yell? Can you get mad? This isn't EXACTLY right, but really projecting, I mean celine dion/josh groban style is basically controlled yelling. After you have the breathing thing above under control, try singing a song completely in tune. Then restart, open your mouth slightly wider, and start 'pushing' your air out of your lungs faster as you sing/hold longer notes.

    (many singers actually hold their stomaches with one hand and then push 'physically' as they need to belt it out and have a constant air stream).

    4th. Confidence. I don't know if you know what you are singing in the audition or not, but confidence is key in everything. If you can't look at the person auditioning you, don't. Act like you are completely alone in your room/car, and just let it come naturally. Then when you are done acknowledge the person. I think if you practice the things above, you'll feel more confident. Come on strong at the begining of the audition or it will be all down hill from there. If you start out weak, it will be very hard for you to want to get stronger later, start strong, and hone back if you want.

    If you do mess up, it will at least show energy. Choir teachers can train energy, they can't create it.

    ;)
     
  5. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

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    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #5
    i don't sing, but, i do a lot with music.

    in my opinion - confidence is everything. if you can believe you can do it, then you will. :)
     
  6. cslewis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    Jul 23, 2004
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    40º27.8''N, 75º42.8''W
    #6
    Wow, thanks a ton!

    I'm not 100% sure what voice type I am... our chorus director has a lot on his plate and I sang very quietly for my 'vocal jury' to determine my voice part... more of that self-confidence.

    The song we're singing is 'Footloose', from an old movie. You can hear the sing if you click on the first hyperlinked 'Footloose' in the original post.

    Thanks a ton for your other advice. I'll practice them the next time I get to sing, which will be at 8:35 next morning. :D


    What do you do to warm up?
     
  7. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #7
    Well a lot of people do runs, to stretch their voices (which is good, but boring). Honestly, I sing josh groban songs, 'to where you are' 'when you say you love me' etc several times spot on exactly as he sings it and then I consider my voice warmed up. not exactly glamorous but much more fun ;)
     
  8. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #8
    I've always wanted to ask this question about singing; Can anyone sing if they learn how to? I know there are restrictions to vocal range and stuff, but can anyone be taught to sing somewhat good?
     
  9. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #9
    no. not everyone can. its kinda like being creative. you can't teach someone to be creative. You can give them the tools, you can practice emulating others work, but really, if you're tone deaf, you can't learn around that.

    Don't get me wrong you can definitely improve, but you won't wow anyone if you know what I mean. Its much more natural than that. you have to feel it, I guess its like dancing too. You can learn all the moves but if you don't feel it then its never going to be that good. ;)
     
  10. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #10
    What I'm askin is if I practice enough. I could get some kind of singing style down, that isn't horrendous, right?
     
  11. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

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    Feb 2, 2006
    #11
    totally :cool:
     
  12. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #12
    Very cool to hear. I'm goin to look into it more.
     
  13. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    Location:
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    #13
    I tend to disagree. It depends on what style you want to sing. If you want to be a Wagnerian Operatic singer then the answer is probably "hell no" but if you want to sing pop, etc. then i would say yes.

    The main thing is taking some lessons, singing from your diaphragm, clarity as to diction and of course pitch. Pitch comes with practice and critical listening (and by this i do NOT mean listening to a song 100 billion times to "learn" the song.) Critical listening to create a sense of internal pitch (not perfect pitch) is what i am referring to. Sadly, many singers lack this. I am having a vocal composition performed soon and my vocalists choke on some of the melodic fragments that contain tritones and defiantly screw up anything other than basic rhythms. So make sure that the basics of music are being built simultaneously with vocal style so that you dont fall into being the stereotypical vocalist that can only sing in one key at one tempo. lol Perfect practice and critiquing. Wash and repeat ad nauseum.

    To the OP, wall in to the audition like you are "teh best evor!!!!!". But really, walk out like you own the place, the audition and the song. Know that the audition itself is a silly formality as you already have the part, and really, they should be paying you big money to even be in your vocal presence. Sounds silly, but you probably wont have the problem of being shy!

    Warm up on arpeggios (do me sol me do) in various keys. I also hear some vocalists sing a pitch and then "fall away" from it quickly and smoothly. I assume this is to get the flexibility going.

    Good luck!
     
  14. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #14
    For most musicals, you can kinda force your voice to adjust to a song if needed. I can carry a showtune but can't sing to a rock song. I guess it depends a lot on what your trying to do.

    Good luck!
     
  15. ChrisWB macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #15
    Hey there. I'm a classical singer in Chicago.

    Proper voice lessons would help you immensely. Where are you located? At this point in your life your voice is still developing. It will be impossible for you to sound as good as a famous singer who's in their thirties, so don't feel bad! Your voice will also not have settled in to any one role. You may turn out to be a baritone or a tenor.

    That being said, always warm up before you sing. This will help with the cracking. Be sure never to press your voice. Never sing from your throat or you're likely to damage or lose your voice.

    Breathing exercises are useful, but running around the block will do the same thing if you're new to singing.

    Yawn. Can you feel the space created by your soft palate rising? That's the feeling you should have when you sing. If you can get your body to feel like you're yawning when you sing you'll be able to project much better. Never push your voice. Let it resonate naturally through your nasal cavity.
     
  16. cslewis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    40º27.8''N, 75º42.8''W
    #16
    Wow! Thanks a lot for everyone's help here!

    I feel horrible. I'm not even 100% sure what my vocal part is. D'you think that's because I'm still developing? Also, how would you get rid of a nasal-ish sound in words like 'me'? And what about vibrato? I'm awfully wobbly, how can I 'tighten it up'? Lastly, I have a kind of wispy/flat manner of singing. How can I make it bright and energeic? I don't know anyone to give me a voice lesson... :(

    If I sing something and post a link, can you guys give some suggestions? I want to sound my best...



    Thanks again!
     
  17. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #17
    What do you expect from throats? :p
     
  18. ChrisWB macrumors 6502

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    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #18
    Yes. Some male singers do not have a definite vocal part until their late twenties. Mens' voices develop until their mid thirties. You have a long way to go.
    It depends on what you want to sound like. For a classical style, keep the sides of your mouth closer together and have your lips forward. Do not spread your mouth.

    Actually, the nasal sound is quite useful. That is where you resonate your sound to make your voice project more.
    This is probably not a case of vibrato but rather a case of you being nervous/unsure. To make your sound brighter, keep your the sound forward in your mouth. Make sure you're providing enough space as possible by keeping your soft palate raised. You can tell if it's raised by looking in the mirror and seeing if your uvula is hanging down. If it is, your palate isn't raised and you will sound flat, wobbly, wispy, etc.

    A voice lesson would really do much more than anything you can read on the net.
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    Yeah, go to karaoke bars. It's not just asians that do it. Ok, it is, but just make some asian friends. :p

    Darn, I was hoping the answer would be a "yes." I just want to sing better than I do now. Right now, I can sing a song like "Wonderwall' because I can't sing high notes. Heck, even some of the notes in Wonderwall is a challenge. I sing "low pitch," I believe. I was wondering if I could work on that aspect, or if I was stuck with what I have.

    I also find that by singing "from my throat" rather than my diaphragm, I have better range. I actually don't have bad range as long as I sing using just my throat, but I hear that isn't good.
     
  20. w_parietti22 macrumors 68020

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    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #20
    As I told you in our little IM convo I ABSOULUTY suck at singing. No help here.
     
  21. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #21
    That's what I do. You can be loud and off key and it doesn't matter, but you get to practice in front of an audience. I try to drink lots of water so my throat doesn't get dried out, lemon and honey help too. As do cough drops, but don't get anything strong or use one right before you sing because you don't want to be numb there. If your voice cracks, that's ok, just smile and hold your hand over your throat while looking surprised and apologizing like it never happens to you. If you get nervous or lose it because you screwed up early on, the rest of your performance will suffer. Let it go and move on, using it to get louder and higher and realign yourself so you're on key. I hold my finger in my ear or use an ear plug though, because I can't stand that speaker being in my ear.

    Bring a tape recorder or go to a place you can be recorded so hear how you did. It's ok if you suck, it's karaoke. But you get pretty good instantaneous feedback even if you don't.
     
  22. cslewis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    Jul 23, 2004
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    #22
  23. jmurphy macrumors newbie

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  24. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

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    #24
    Do you have a piano? If not, find a guitar tuner or something online and work on hitting the basic notes ( C D E F G A B ) in that order, and back down again. You ideally want to be able to do it without any music backing you.

    You sound very unsure of what you're singing. My best advice is, next time you're home alone, just belt that **** out. If you sound awful, who cares. No one heard you. You'll learn alot about your voice that way.

    Shock yourself with how loudly you can sing while staying in tune.
     
  25. ChrisWB macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #25
    Don't be embaressed. You have a fine voice, especially with no training. If you practice, you've got nothing to worry about. I would definitely classify you as a baritone. You're certainly not a tenor.

    I agree with Caleb's recommendations, but don't belt it to the point where you hurt yourself. Just keep a forward sound and work on hitting the right notes.
     

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