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  #1  
Old 11-16-2019, 07:58 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Default Your voice

Of course there have been a lot of thread about ways to learn to play guitar and play it better. It could be getter a better tone, or learning finger independence and picking patterns,
barre chords, etc.. Also there are questions about whether to take lessons and if so from a private teacher or from some online courses.

However I'd would guess most forum members are primarily interested in singing - the guitar is more or less a backup to the voice. Yet I have not seen (maybe I just missed seeing
those) any threads about ways to get better at singing - getter a better tone and range, being more expressive, etc.. Any singers here working on exercises for your voice, taking
lessons and so forth, or do you feel that is not necessary?
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:19 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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From 1977 to 1983 I performed a lot as a solo acoustic artist doing 80% vocal material and 20% instrumentals. I never thought my voice was as good as my guitar playing so I was glad to form a duo in 1983 with a very good singer and songwriter (and sing harmony once in awhile).

Fast forward many years and I realized that I needed to have more confidence even singing backup, plus I wanted to sing lead on a few tunes as well.

I finally went to a voice teacher to truly learn how to use my voice - exactly the advice I would give to guitarists who feel like they are held back by their lack of knowledge/ability.

In less than a year, I've gone from being mildly embarrassed by my voice to having a lot of confidence and even singing lead. It was a huge and positive change.

Just as there are guitarists who feel they don't need lessons, there are vocalists who feel the same. However, I now realize the value - even though I resisted it for quite awhile.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:51 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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There are occasional threads about improving as a vocalist. I have benefited from some of the resources that have been suggested. I’ve got a CD by Roger Love, and most recently completed the superior singing method by Aaron Anastasia. This has been especially helpful, I feel like my range and control have both improved from working with it.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:22 AM
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Gordon and Reeve, thanks for the replies guys. I'm guessing most people do not feel they need to bother with a voice teacher or other outside help. Glad you two did and found it beneficial.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:01 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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A singing forum here might not be a bad idea. It goes hand in hand with the playing, just as much as songwriting does. Most of us probably aren't innately gifted in that area; we have to figure it out. Some people here probably have a lot to share about it.
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Old 11-18-2019, 12:22 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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My son and his wife, my daughter-in-law, both teach voice at the local college. From my viewpoint they are very good at what they do. I have seen some great examples where my son has taken a couple of different male singers who didn't seem like they had any idea how to sing and turned them both into very respectable singers for musical theater.

I have had a little coaching in the way of voice lessons, but my best approach has been recording myself. I have used a tape recorder since I was 16 years old. If a person is aware of correct pitch, limited vocal range, volume, dynamic range, expression, and tone, using a recorder combined with a lot of practice can help a person improve.

But not everyone has a good ear, not everyone is self critical enough to improve on their own. My son and his wife use recorders for every lesson they do. Sometimes it takes an outside vocal coach or instructor to help a person make corrections.

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Old 11-18-2019, 07:33 AM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
My son and his wife, my daughter-in-law, both teach voice at the local college. From my viewpoint they are very good at what they do. I have seen some great examples where my son has taken a couple of different male singers who didn't seem like they had any idea how to sing and turned them both into very respectable singers for musical theater.

I have had a little coaching in the way of voice lessons, but my best approach has been recording myself. I have used a tape recorder since I was 16 years old. If a person is aware of correct pitch, limited vocal range, volume, dynamic range, expression, and tone, using a recorder combined with a lot of practice can help a person improve.

But not everyone has a good ear, not everyone is self critical enough to improve on their own. My son and his wife use recorders for every lesson they do. Sometimes it takes an outside vocal coach or instructor to help a person make corrections.

- Glenn
Recording is what i do and it gives you a relatively check pretty quick, more than once i felt like quiting singing after listening to myself lol. But i just come back stronger, Recording yourself is the first thing i would do.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
My son and his wife, my daughter-in-law, both teach voice at the local college. From my viewpoint they are very good at what they do. I have seen some great examples where my son has taken a couple of different male singers who didn't seem like they had any idea how to sing and turned them both into very respectable singers for musical theater.

I have had a little coaching in the way of voice lessons, but my best approach has been recording myself. I have used a tape recorder since I was 16 years old. If a person is aware of correct pitch, limited vocal range, volume, dynamic range, expression, and tone, using a recorder combined with a lot of practice can help a person improve.

But not everyone has a good ear, not everyone is self critical enough to improve on their own. My son and his wife use recorders for every lesson they do. Sometimes it takes an outside vocal coach or instructor to help a person make corrections.

- Glenn
Hi Glenn

From a music educator's perspective, I took voice lessons, sang in choirs, madrigal groups, and ensembles all through college. I had 4 years of operatic lessons.

But on the weekends I sang folk, which is highly stylized. Then I started playing in rock bands (anything but operatic).

Then post college I was in at ground-level of the modern worship movement (EARLY 1970s) where we were basically singing music composed by singers from bar-bands. As we married, had kids and grew up, we just adapted the style from the bands to church.

I led worship in bands for over 35 years, and the techniques I learned from taking opera lessons, singing in plays, choirs, ensembles etc certainly served me well when it came to supporting from the diaphragm (not the throat) and other solid basics.

I'm not sure most people would benefit from the level of lessons I had (I have a degree in elementary/secondary instrumental and vocal school system music programs). But the techniques which were most beneficial could be 'coached' on a less strenuous level in a year or less.



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Old 11-18-2019, 02:38 PM
alnico5 alnico5 is offline
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I am a guitar player that sings, not a singer who plays guitar. Guitar was my focus 50 years ago. I wanted to play in a band. I can sing four sets by myself if needed, but all four guys in our band sing and we both sing in our acoustic duo.

What I find interesting about my singing is, I am better at 67 than I was at 17. I can sing much higher. I did it by using a little internet research on vocalizing.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:00 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi, unlike alnico5, I regard myself as a singer who plays guitar.

After seeing Tom Rush in the early/mid '60s - I determined that I wanted to swap drums to sing, and for that I needed to learn guitar.

I knew that my singing was limited but for a long time really didn't know how to sing, but started writing songs - teenage angst etc.

In the '70s I became a bluegrass musician mostly playing Mando and Dobro so didn't need to sing much apart from mediocre harmonies. The eighties took me out of music due to a long illness but I slowly became a lecturer and actor and learnt a bit more about projecting my voice.

In the early '90s a lady singer at a club I went to declared that she was to become a sining teacher and I volunteered to become her first client, and she really helped my find my voice (and my confidence!).

I had to learn to sing (and talk) again in 2017 after my throat cancer treatment. I got some help from a voice coach but basically I had to force it to work by myself.

It is not as good as it was and it hurts to sing and speak but it is better than the croaks and squeaks I had at one time.

It takes a lot of concentration now.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:27 PM
Mojo21 Mojo21 is offline
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I have regular singing lessons and it’s the best investment I have ever made. I could sing reasonably well prior to lessons but the improvement has been massive. My teacher doesn’t baffle me with vocal science but rather just works on fundamental techniques and reinforces them over and over. My range has increased and the quality of my voice has really come along.

I’m into songs and not particularly interested in instrumentals so the investment in singing has been worthwhile.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:46 PM
Frostie Frostie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Currie View Post
From 1977 to 1983 I performed a lot as a solo acoustic artist doing 80% vocal material and 20% instrumentals. I never thought my voice was as good as my guitar playing so I was glad to form a duo in 1983 with a very good singer and songwriter (and sing harmony once in awhile).

Fast forward many years and I realized that I needed to have more confidence even singing backup, plus I wanted to sing lead on a few tunes as well.

I finally went to a voice teacher to truly learn how to use my voice - exactly the advice I would give to guitarists who feel like they are held back by their lack of knowledge/ability.

In less than a year, I've gone from being mildly embarrassed by my voice to having a lot of confidence and even singing lead. It was a huge and positive change.

Just as there are guitarists who feel they don't need lessons, there are vocalists who feel the same. However, I now realize the value - even though I resisted it for quite awhile.
This tracks my own experience almost exactly. I tried several online and DIY instruction programs but found there was nothing as effective- for me - as real-time, in-person feedback from an expert teacher.
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:12 AM
Mojo21 Mojo21 is offline
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Same here. I tried several online vocal lessons but it wasn’t until I did face to face lessons that I improved.

The trouble with all online learning platforms is one of feedback. In one to one lesson you interact with the teacher in real time.
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Old 11-23-2019, 06:07 PM
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Singing for many years I developed certain personal criteria for myself. Articulation, inflection, volume control and accent-neutrality. Self-awareness is where it starts.

Articulation - Strive to be understood. Absolutely no slurring or mumbling.
Inflection - Coloring the lyrics. Steven Perry and Freddy Mercury were masters. This is where words become artful conveyances of the score.
Volume Control - Don't trail off to an inaudible extent.
Accent-Neutral - The Beatles did not sing in their natural English accent so don't sing their songs in your own southern drawl or, yo...yo... da Bronx don't woik heah. At least make the attempt to achieve an accent neutral voice. Mel Gibson dropped his Australian accent to give himself a broader range of acting possibilities and it paid off for him.

Singing is an aural art form. It's an act to be treated no differently than any visual art form like stage acting or dancing. It's just another form of expression and rendered appropriate to each song with respect to the original artist. Being yourself does not apply unless it's your own music.
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Old 11-24-2019, 11:00 AM
Pura Vida Pura Vida is offline
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I had some vocal coaching in high school to prepare for school musicals, and it definitely helped me improve. I've been thinking about taking some online or in-person lessons, both for me and my kids, to improve my singing technique and confidence. Appreciate all the good info, here.
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