Getting Started with Singing!

Want to know more about cables and adapters? Is DJing the right way to go? Which violins go well with your guitar? It's time to find out!

Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Versilaryan » 12 Nov 2011 13:02

I’ve noticed an increase in “Help me with my singing!” threads lately, so cue another tl;dr from yours truly!

So, singing is a natural part of who we are. It’s the musical instrument built into our bodies, so it’s natural that we are born with the knowledge of how to sing, right?

Not really. Just like with any instrument, you can go a long way without learning the basics, but eventually, people that worked on a solid foundation will overtake you and you’ll have to spend long months unlearning and relearning something you’ve lived with for a while.

So that’s what this guide is for. Hopefully you can learn something to get yourself started on the right track should you require your own vocals for a piece!


Super special thanks to Overkillius for helping me with this guide! A lot of the stuff I never formally learned wouldn’t be on this guide without him! ^.^


Breathing and Breath Support

This is probably the most important section of the guide, especially for new singers! Before you start working on any other aspect of singing (of anything, really), you need to get down to the basics. And you can’t get much more basic than breathing, right?

Breath support is a two-part problem. First part is, you’re probably not breathing correctly. Secondly, your diaphragm is a really weak muscle.

So first things first: you need to breathe using your lower lungs. When you breathe, your shoulders should not rise and your stomach should inflate. Try this exercise. First, make sure you’re standing or sitting up straight (which is what you should be doing when singing anyways). Take a HUGE breath (it doesn’t matter how). Then, force that air down as far as you can make it go without it hurting too much. Your stomach should visibly expand, and your shoulders should be relaxed. Even your chest shouldn’t be too much bigger. Congratulations, you’ve discovered your lower lungs!

Most people live their lives without ever really using that part of their lungs, which is why the first few times you do this, it will hurt a little. But this is where you should be breathing all the time when singing. Eventually, as you use more of your lungs more often, it should stop hurting. (If it doesn't, then you're really not doing something right!)

Secondly, you need to use your abs when singing. This is what people mean by "using your diaphragm". The misleading thing about using your diaphragm is that you're not really using it to support your air. All it knows how to do is contract, pulling more air into your lungs, and relax, letting your lungs return to their natural state. Relaxing doesn't sound very supportive at all, so try this out.

Put your hand on your stomach, take a large breath (breathing like I just told you!), open your mouth wide, and breathe out as much as you can as fast as you can. Find someplace isolated (if you're self-conscious) and give a shout, again with your hand on your stomach. Notice how the muscles in your gut tighten when you force air out of your lungs like that. To a lesser degree, that's what you should be doing whenever you're singing, no matter how loud or soft, how high or low you go. It will stabilize your airflow, helping remove shakiness from your voice as well as fixing a whole host of other problems.

Now, be careful not to tense up when you're singing. Think about it like your lower abs are holding up your lungs. You aren't trying to do sit-ups, or show off that manly six-pack. Nor should you be using the muscles in your ribcage, your pecs, or anything else. Use your gut to hold up and maintain airflow. Imagine that you're carrying a large box. You need to support it enough to keep it in the air, but no more than that. Tensing muscles in your chest or midsection is akin to having more people pushing that box down while you're trying to carry it. It just doesn't work out.

So now that you know this, let’s dispel a myth. Breath support does not mean to use more air! There is a difference. Sometimes, especially if you want to sing really softly, you don’t want to completely tank up, ‘cause that makes it harder for yourself. But if you don’t sing that without supporting your air, you sound wimpy or tense. And you don’t want to sound like that, do you?

(And while I'm at it, singing louder doesn't necessarily mean to use more air -- and likewise, singing softer doesn't meant to use less air. Singing louder means you have to use faster air. And granted, that means that you'll run out of air faster, so you need to use more air. But you should never get into the habit of tanking up for loud notes and then singing soft notes wimpy. Soft notes need air, too!)

So if you’re doing this right, you should feel a little tense in your gut, ‘cause obviously, you’re using your abs. But now, your shoulders shouldn’t feel tense, your chest shouldn't feel tense, and by extension, your neck shouldn’t feel as tense as it was, either. That’s good. ‘Cause that lead right into the next big point!


Stay relaxed while singing.

I don’t think I can stress that point enough, so I’ll stress it again. Stay relaxed.

This has two major effects on the body. One, if you’re performing, you’re probably going to be nervous. A nervous performance is a poor performance, so loosen up and don’t be nervous!

The second, and more important one is that tension in your body equates to tension in your singing, which causes a whole host of problems from shakiness to straining. And if you have too much tension, you can ruin your voice! One of the big points of using your abs and breathing using your lower lungs is that it frees the upper half of your body to stay relaxed while still supplying breath support. If you tense up somewhere else, then what’s the point?

One of the biggest culprits for tensing up your voice is your jaw. When singing, your jaw should be a little loose and should not be tense at all. Not only does that help eliminate tension in the neck, it means your jaw hangs lower, resulting in more open, resonant vowels. These benefits keep compounding!

So before you go and sing something, move your jaw around, wiggle it, make lots of silly faces. Loosen it up, and then make sure it stays loose when singing. Just like proper breath support, it will take time and practice to do it without thinking about staying relaxed all the time. But eventually, you should be able to do it automatically, and then you’re set!


Speak properly while singing!

When singing, there are a lot of little problems with word pronunciation that aren’t immediately apparent in normal speaking. Additionally, there are probably a lot of other things going on musically that your listener has to pay attention to, so words can easily get lost in the mix. So, the first rule of proper pronunciation is to overenunciate everything.

Go in front of a mirror and say something. A short line. Then, say it while exaggerating every single movement your mouth makes. Chances are, you probably spoke it much more clearly than you normally speak. Good. Now, you don’t have to exaggerate nearly that much to be understood, but you get the idea.

If you’re performing onstage, then your audience can identify the words more simply by watching your mouth, too. Extra bonuses everywhere!

Okay, now that you’re enunciating your consonants, how about vowels? First thing to keep in mind is to keep your vowels open. Keeping your jaw loose will help with that, but you have to go the extra mile and open your mouth wide for those “aahs”.

Secondly, learn to sing dipthongs correctly. A dipthong (yeah, I know, funny word) is a vowel that’s actually made up for multiple vowel sounds. Take for example, “play”. When you say it, it sounds like “pleh-ee”. There are actually two distinct vowel sounds in that “ay”, so you need to take that into account. And “pony”. That “oh” sound is actually an “uh - oo” in quick succession. If you say it really slowly, you’ll hear it.

This goes hand in hand with speaking clearly. You almost always want to stress and hold out the first vowel so that you don’t have these vowel changes muddying up your words. For example, if you were to sing the word “play”, you’d sing it “plaaaaaaay”, with that last “ee” sound really short at the end of the note, as if it were a consonant. Bearing this in mind, go ahead and listen to your favorite singer and pay attention to how they hold out vowels. Chances are, they’ll do this, so get cracking on it!

This applies to a few consonants, too, especially r’s. Unless you really want to emphasize that r, you want to apply this same treatment to them, even more so than if it were a vowel. In fact, it’s often fine to just completely omit the r at the end of a word. People will still understand what you’re saying.

And now you know how to speak while singing. Now, take in mind the style of music that you’re singing. Country actually tends to do the opposite with dipthongs, where they’ll sing the first vowel sound quickly and sustain the second one. And especially with things like rock, R&B, or anything that’s supposed to sound more rough and down-to-earth, you’re not going to want to pronounce everything properly. But however you say the words, make sure you say them clearly.

If there’s enough of a demand, I’ll do an audio/visual thing and upload it to Youtube to help demonstrate these points


Okay, then, what about the actual ‘hitting notes’ part?

There isn’t much to say here, except practice.

One thing that can help a lot is to sit down with a piano, guitar, or some other instrument you can play while singing, and just play and sing every single note one at a time, not caring about tempo. Focus on hitting every note spot on without scooping up into it. You can add all the scooping and fun stuff later. The important thing is to hit the pitches.

Then, eliminate the piano. If you know you’ve had problems singing certain pitches, use it as a reference, but only after you’ve sung the note in question. The idea is to get those pitches ingrained in your head, not learn to copy off a piano.

Once you’ve got the notes down, sing it with rhythm, but at a much slower tempo. Again, keep focusing on hitting all the notes as perfectly as you can. And once can do that, speed it up. And then speed it up some more, until you can sing it well at the correct tempo.

One last, important thing to know about pitch is to approach the pitch from the top. Do not scoop up from below. Especially with high notes, this will help immensely with hitting pitches accurately. It’s really tempting to search for notes as you’re singing and our natural tendency is to start flat and then move upwards. If you can eliminate that, you can hit pitches more accurately.

---

So I hope this helped you somewhat -- if you have any questions, post or PM me and I’ll do my best to answer! (That goes with changes you’d like to see to the guide, too! I’m always open to suggestions.)
Last edited by Versilaryan on 06 Apr 2012 00:46, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Versilaryan
 
Posts: 453
Joined: 03 Jul 2011 17:58

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Facade » 12 Nov 2011 13:45

great guide too bad i have very little to sing and no microphone worthy of recording it :/
https://facadeofages.bandcamp.com/album ... o-the-dark
Spoiler Quotes:
DerpyGrooves wrote:The secret to a good song has everything to do with the relationship of the verse and the chorus to one another


ONEHOODASSPONY wrote:Image
User avatar
Facade
 
Posts: 2313
Joined: 22 Aug 2011 18:26
Location: Anywhere
OS: Windows 7
Primary: Fl11 + Lsdj
Cutie Mark: None

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby H8_Seed » 12 Nov 2011 14:32

Versilaryan wrote:Secondly, you need to flex your abs when singing. This is what people mean by “using your diaphragm”. But the misleading thing about using your diaphragm is that you’re not. All it knows to do is contract, making more room for your lungs, and relax, forcing your lungs into their natural state, and relaxing doesn’t sound like supporting at all. So try this out.

Take a moderately large breath, open your mouth wide, and breathe out as much air as you can as fast as you can. Notice you’re using your abs to force that air out. That’s what you should be doing all the time (to a lesser degree) when you’re singing, regardless of how loud or soft, how high or low you go. What this does is it stabilizes your airflow, helping remove shakiness from your voice as well as fixing a whole host of other problems.


First, I want to say that this is an excellent guide for newer singers, and it hits on all of the major talking points. However, this is something that (with all due respect, of course) I'm going to nitpick about.

It's easy to mistake the proper muscles for breath support as the abs, because that's where it feels like the sensation is coming from. However, it's dangerous to tell new singers this, because if you use your abs to support your air, you're actually clenching up your diaphragm as well (this is a problem that I still struggle with, so it's kinda easy for me to talk about). This is the exact opposite of what you want, because if you "flex" your abs you're limiting the amount of air that can pass through the vocal folds. This leads to improper breath support, which then leads to a very squeezed sound because you have to force your vocal folds together to get the amount of sound you're aiming for. This is dangerous and tires out the voice very quickly.

Basically, flex your abdominal muscles like you're about to take a punch to the stomach. Now try to breathe in and out. It feels very labored and forced, and you have to really concentrate on it. This is not what the goal is, and I'm sure you don't think so either. You have to be careful which terminology you use when you talk about singing, because even though it's all in similar places, using the wrong muscles can seriously damage your voice.

The muscle that you should actually be using for the breath support is the diaphragm. You are correct in saying that as you sing, it should be contracting. However, when you take in your breath, your diaphragm stretches to accommodate the air in your lungs. Basically, your diaphragm acts as a billows: it doesn't draw in or let out air unless you tell it to. When you stretch it, it expands and pulls air into your lungs. When you let it relax, it pushes the air out. It should be a very easy process when you do it right. When you feel that flexing in your belly area, that is the diaphragm being stretched to its full potential, which is a good thing.

Unfortunately, I can't remember physiologically what is happening when I'm describing this sensation, but it is the correct sensation to have. I have many metaphors for this, but I'll just use the simplest one: when you sing out, you should feel like your diaphragm is supporting the weight of your breath, almost as if the air in your lungs was you and your diaphragm was an exercise ball you were sitting on top of. When you put your weight (the air you breathe) on the ball (your diaphragm), it expands out to the sides, or stretches. when you take weight off the ball (breathe out), the ball expands up and down, returning to a relaxed state. So when you sing, the proper way to support your breath is to imagine your diaphragm as carrying the weight of your breath, if that makes sense.

Whoo, I did not mean to write this much, but it's a complicated thing, the voice. Like I said, the rest of your guide was absolutely spot on, and you're doing a great service by teaching people how to sing. We honestly need more talented, articulate vocalists like you, Versilaryan.
"The sky isn't falling, it's being thrown at us!!!"
User avatar
H8_Seed
 
Posts: 61
Joined: 07 Nov 2011 18:32

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Versilaryan » 12 Nov 2011 15:23

I guess I stated that wrong. Let me reword that section. xD

What I was taught, though, as both a vocalist and a trumpet player, was that the diaphragm is a weak muscle. You can't really control it in the way that you need to in order to properly support your breath. From a scientific standpoint, muscles only know how to do one thing: contract. When they're not contracting, they're relaxing. When you breathe in, your diaphragm contracts and pulls your lungs outwards, forcing them to take in more air. When you breathe out, your diaphragm relaxes and allows your lungs to go back to their original shape. Think of it like a balloon -- if you can somehow pull the balloon and force it to expand, it will take in air. Then, when you let go, it'll deflate.

Furthermore, when your lungs are relaxed, there's still a good amount of air left in them that you can't force out without using muscles that aren't your diaphragm.

That's why I mention the silly, little exercise where you take in as much air as you can and force it all out as quickly as possible. That forces you do do more work than just relaxing your diaphragm, as well as forcing all the air out of your lungs. If you pay attention to what muscles are tense when you do this, especially if you take pains to relax /everything/ before and during it, you'll notice you're actually using your lower abs to push the air out (and as you get more forceful or get to that last little remaining bit of air in your lungs, your upper abs, too).

What's wrong with flexing your abs as if you were about to get punched is that when you do that, not only are you tensing your abs far more than you need to when singing, you're also contracting your pecs and the muscles that hold your ribcage together. Hence, creating tension in the upper half of your body and ruining your vocals.

I'll definitely reword that section, though, so future readers don't fall into that trap. =) Thanks for your input!
User avatar
Versilaryan
 
Posts: 453
Joined: 03 Jul 2011 17:58

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby H8_Seed » 12 Nov 2011 16:16

Crap, I look like a fool now because I got contracting muscles/relaxing muscles mixed up haha

The thing that I was talking about with clenching your abs though was to teach the reader the wrong way to go about things, so we both agree that this is bad technique and will cause problems down the road.

The issue that I'm having is that you shouldn't be using your abdominal muscles at all. It's for the same reason you said: when you contract your abs, any part of them, they're connected to all of the rest of your chest, like your pectorals, etc. This pulls everything in and down, and makes you way more tense. If you're breathing and supporting properly with the diaphragm, then your abdomen will still feel "hard" (for lack of a better word), but your actual abs will be relaxed and so will the rest of your body.

The diaphragm is not a weak muscle at all. Think of it this way: it exercises itself every minute of every day from the day you're born until the day you die. If it were a weak muscle, with the nature of how air pressure works, you wouldn't be able to breathe.
"The sky isn't falling, it's being thrown at us!!!"
User avatar
H8_Seed
 
Posts: 61
Joined: 07 Nov 2011 18:32

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Versilaryan » 12 Nov 2011 17:13

Just gonna say, your back muscles, your leg muscles, and your abs all exercise themselves for the grand majority of your life from the day you're born, not only resisting air pressure, but the weight of your body, too. The diaphragm can't be weak to fight air pressure, but it's not nearly as strong as your other muscles. It's like how the force of gravity is powerful enough to keep the cosmos in order, but it's many magnitudes weaker than, say, electromagnetism (or any other force, for that matter).

It's not contracting your abs that's the problem -- it's if you contract other muscles, too. I still stand by my statement that the diaphragm really can't do anything to support the air and that your abs really are what do the work. It's how I sing and how I think about singing, whether I'm singing a jazz ballad or belting Broadway musicals. But I'll reword the section again to take less focus off "flexing" the abs, because that might give the wrong idea, like you said, about tensing up and using the wrong muscles to support the air.
User avatar
Versilaryan
 
Posts: 453
Joined: 03 Jul 2011 17:58

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby H8_Seed » 12 Nov 2011 17:43

Hehe we could argue until the cows come home, but it really won't make a difference in the end, so I'll just say that I'm glad you're taking my feedback into account, and you have a very well thought out, organized, and easy to read guide here :)
"The sky isn't falling, it's being thrown at us!!!"
User avatar
H8_Seed
 
Posts: 61
Joined: 07 Nov 2011 18:32

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Versilaryan » 12 Nov 2011 17:57

Thanks! ^.^ And I really appreciate the time you spent to read and comment on it!
User avatar
Versilaryan
 
Posts: 453
Joined: 03 Jul 2011 17:58

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby PinkieGuy » 12 Nov 2011 19:45

Versilaryan (and OverK):

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS. This is all stuff I'll now work on to try and improve my vocal performances. In particular, the diaphragm/Ab support stuff is something i'll work on to try and remove some of that breathyness from my songs.

Quick question: apart from practice, are there any techniques that can assist in shifts between Head, Chest and Falsetto voices?
JackleApp wrote:THIS IS A HEINOUS ABUSE OF POWER BUT

YOUR MOD COMMANDS YOU
User avatar
PinkieGuy
 
Posts: 257
Joined: 10 Jul 2011 06:29
Cutie Mark: Blank flank

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby ArtAttack » 12 Nov 2011 22:47

I'm about to get started singing things, so I'll be sure to come back and check on this ^_^
Name: Sam
DAW: FL Studio 10
Genre: French Electro, Electro House, Complextro, Dubstep
Current Projects:
SECOND ALBUM
BALLOON PARTY: Tourniqakes
Lots of remixes omg
User avatar
ArtAttack
 
Posts: 213
Joined: 29 Jun 2011 21:22
Location: Wisconsin, USA
OS: Horse OS
Primary: Not yet specified.
Cutie Mark: idiot mark

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Interrobang Pie » 13 Nov 2011 06:20

All I ever do is talk to a beat but I'm sure I'll find a use for this somewhere!!!!!!!
A great man wrote:Circuitfry: fries circuits of this whole topic, one at a time (I know that's not how servers work, but Puns work all the time)
Interrobang Pie
 
Posts: 687
Joined: 01 Jul 2011 14:49

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Kragt » 13 Nov 2011 07:46

Great guide, covers a lot of the stuff I learn in my lessons.

I'm not sure it will help much but here are some things I have been taught/figured out so far also general practice things.

WARNING: I am not an expert, if anything seems wrong feel free to point it out or ask so I can change it to be be better.

Vowels:
As an exercise, find a pitch you can sing, then move from one vowel to another while trying to maintain that pitch. You may need to record yourself to make sure you maintain that pitch. Usual pattern is "Ah-Eh-E-Oh-OO." After you do it once, find a new pitch and do it again.
For getting these sounds, for me here is tips for making them:
Ah (As in 'Car" BTW) - Get your tongue low and flat, get it out of the way, mouth should be pretty open too.
Eh (As in Ken(ya) XD) - I do not fully understand this one yet, I havn't had trouble with it so I don't know what I do exactly yet to make it come out good.
E -(As in Tea) - For this one I always feel like I am singing and placing my voice higher in my head, along with raising the roof of my mouth.
Oh - (As in Code) - For me this one feels primarily like a lip placement to get to right. I never notice my tongue doing much for this nor the rest of my mouth apart from moving to a natural position.
OO - (As in Food) - This always feels like Oh but with pursing your lips more and making the opening between your lips smaller.

Getting these vowels right will help with your diction (pronunciation of words while singing is the definition I use of this word BTW) more accurate and clear.

Pitch exercises - Apart from just picking a pitch and playing it, for more melodic practice I use arpeggios and other patterns to get practice moving between specific intervals (particularly the common ones found in songs that arent stepwise motions.) Patterns I use are...

13531 (1 being your starting pitch, 3 being the third above it, 5 being the fifth above the original pitch)
154321
1358531 -5 1 (-5 is the 5th below the original note, This is the octave of the 5th you sang going up.)
142531

Just move this half steps up and down as your practice.
As a note from just me, I seem to be able to hit the higher pitches easier when doing it as part of an exercise or melody. This may be just me. (I frequently get told I am an unusual student.)

Practice helps, make sure when you practice you are in a good singing posture, likewise for when learning a song. If you sit lopsided while learning a song, your brain will remember that and you will sing it lopsided without meaning too. "Perfect Practice makes perfect"

Vocal Health:
Keep hydrated, drink lots of water, or eat juice filled fruits. I don't say drink fruit juice as some of them have loads of added sugars that are not good for your voice.
Avoid Dairy products shortly before singing.
Do not drink anything with caffeine shortly before singing.

There is a huge list of Do's and Dont's you can likely find online. I had a copy given to me by an instructor at some point, but sadly it has disappeared. XD

Your nose:
I live in the southern US, and I have been told this means there is a larger chance that I will sing from the nose when learning or sing through the nose. To avoid this, pinch your nose shut and sing. Get the sound out there through your mouth.

Also as for breathing, breathes taken through the nose are deeper breaths, use breathing through the nose to load up on air for heavier or higher passages in a song.

Projection:
This matters more for singing live rather than on a microphone, but you want your voice to fill the room. This means you want to project your voice outward. For me this means focus on getting my voice into the back corners of the room I am in.
My instructor says "You should tickle your teeth when you do this." I have never felt this before but I thought it would be worth mentioning.

Learning a song:
This is how I was taught is the best way to learn a song.
For a beginner, start with the pitches of the song first.
Just sing the whole song on Lah till you get the pitches right. Then add words. Then refine diction and apply crescendos and decrescendos or any other effects.
Then add body movements (for live performances only XD.)

Body Movement: Your body (hands, head, legs) should not move too much when singing, they can distract your focus on the singing, which is why you wait to add them last once you got the singing down.
However a tip I received from a guest speaker (operatic bass who was a voice doctor) was that when going from one portion of a song to another and they are very different. Like one is really low the other is really high. To ease the transition, take a small step forward to help your body adjust.
(I can't remember his exact words but this was the gist of it as I remember it.)

I think this monstrosity of a post could use a rest point right about now. ^_^;; I hope these tips will be helpful to anyone looking to improve their singing. Again if anyone sees anything wrong with anything I have written feel free to point it out. Getting the correct information out is really important.

Have a wonderful day everypony!

P.S. I am looking for singing projects to try and use my voice for the pony community. If you got the notes down on paper I can try me best to work with you! ^_^
Kragt
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 04 Nov 2011 18:31

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Trixie » 18 Mar 2012 11:50

Here's a tiny tip: no cold drinks before or while singing, and nothing hot, like coffee, either. Room temperature drinks are good though!
"[5:49:48 PM] Bass Clopper: I reget getting the 17 inch
[5:49:53 PM] Bass Clopper: Harder to fit than the 15 was D:"
User avatar
Trixie
 
Posts: 52
Joined: 30 Oct 2011 14:09

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Flinckie » 06 May 2012 15:18

Interesting read. Too bad I have a pretty annoying accent. Not that it matters anyways, since I am a horrible singer.
Skype: Flinckie
Add me if you want to chat.

My genre of choice is orchestral, but I experiment a lot.

My Youtube
My Soundcloud
My EQBeats
User avatar
Flinckie
 
Posts: 131
Joined: 27 Apr 2012 07:51
Location: Iceland
OS: Windows 8
Primary: FL Studio 11
Cutie Mark: Horsestrings

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Sonarch » 16 Sep 2012 11:51

Question:
How do I tell if I have recorded a good-quality sample or not? I just don't know how an unedited vocal bit is supposed to sound, so I can't tell if I need to find a better recording area, get a better mic, etc...
And I also don't really know what can be fixed with software. Can anyone help me out with that?
My goal is to be capable of making any kind of music that strikes my fancy, and do it well.
Twitter @SonarchMusic
Soundcloud
Tumblr
User avatar
Sonarch
 
Posts: 1007
Joined: 15 Jun 2012 11:12
Location: Maine
OS: Windows (Big circular ones)
Primary: FL Studio

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Stu Beef » 16 Sep 2012 19:19

Honestly, if it's isolated it should sound as good as you want it to sound (barring if you wanted to throw a bunch of effects on it). The dynamics might not be as tight as you want them, and MAYBE if you know that perhaps a certain frequency needs to be backed off to clear it up you can do that, but essentially when you record it should sound about as good as it is going to get right then. Personally, I find the production process is just getting everything to sound good together.

Also, man this thread is old, but I wanted to bring something up for discussion:

From the OP: "When you breathe, your shoulders should not rise and your stomach should inflate."

As a wind player, I've experienced a bit of controversy regarding this technique. I've heard that, yes, your shoulders should NEVER EVER RISE EVER because that means you're TENSE. I've also heard that you generally only tell that to young students/beginners because they are likely to breathe high and thus ONLY breathe from the chest up to the shoulders and be tense all the time. Personally, I'm more on the side that says, "yes, your shoulders can rise...only after the rest of you has expanded to take in air." I've been taught to think of breathing in terms of quadrants:

1) the lower abdominal area (where we'd say the diaphragm is relaxing/descending in order to allow the lungs to expand)
2) the lower back (I forget exactly what's going on here)
3) the chest (there's a bit of lung sack that needs space up there)
4) the back of the neck/shoulders (there are still muscles up here that need to get out of air's way)

So, following this, there will be a slight rise in the shoulders. Essentially, the philosophy is that breathing is a natural process that just kind of happens; so long as you let your body do it! The thing is, we normally don't need the amount of air required to sing or play a wind instrument, so when we try to take in and put out more than we are used to, we inadvertently hinder this natural process. I find that I can remain relaxed while experiencing expansion all the way up to the shoulders, and there's definitely more air in me if I allow that to occur. The difference in the volume of air that one takes in if they believe one or the other may seem minimal, but once you get far enough along, people may wonder how you've gotten so far without breathing properly (taken from several instructor's anecdotes).

For me, this is actually a really important topic of discussion, because (as a current and perhaps future teacher of brass students) breathing is pretty much all I talk about!
User avatar
Stu Beef
 
Posts: 172
Joined: 03 Sep 2012 23:36
Location: Sunny So Cal

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Sonarch » 16 Sep 2012 22:23

Huh. Maybe i'll record something and post it to make sure it sounds good, then, since I can't effectively judge the quality of my own singing beyond "not terrible."
My goal is to be capable of making any kind of music that strikes my fancy, and do it well.
Twitter @SonarchMusic
Soundcloud
Tumblr
User avatar
Sonarch
 
Posts: 1007
Joined: 15 Jun 2012 11:12
Location: Maine
OS: Windows (Big circular ones)
Primary: FL Studio

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby GumsOfGabby » 17 Sep 2012 07:28

Flinckie wrote:Interesting read. Too bad I have a pretty annoying accent. Not that it matters anyways, since I am a horrible singer.


I know that feeling all too well (especially the accent part :P) Thanks for the guide OP, I will be practicing these points a fair bit when no one is home!
Youtube | Soundcloud

Skype: gumsofgabby
FL/Massive noob

Need a bit of feedback? Don't be shy to send me a PM along with your sample.
User avatar
GumsOfGabby
 
Posts: 163
Joined: 29 Aug 2012 09:28
Location: A Land Down Under

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby Inkpony » 19 Sep 2012 03:01

I had been doing vocal covers, and I've always been a decent vocalist, my biggest problems being clear enough pronunciation that it the words won't get lost when I process the vocals, and hitting notes accurately (Which, doesn't actually matter when processing, but would still be nice to be able to do)

When I came across this and started reading yesterday, I started doing all these exercises and scanning through what H8 said as well, trying to find the proper muscles to use when singing. I must say that it's challenging, but I appreciate this guide, and hope to become a much better vocalist by practising some of these exercises!

Thanks much for taking the time to write it!
Primary Alias: Inkpony
DAW: FL Studios
Instruments: Massive, Kontakt, Harmless, Sytrus, ASynth (Not to be mistaken with Absynth)
Orchestral: EWQLSO (Run through Kontakt)


Youtube -- Soundcloud
User avatar
Inkpony
 
Posts: 71
Joined: 11 Mar 2012 20:00
Location: Alabama

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby nerevars » 17 Sep 2013 12:39

Better resurrect this thread.

So, I want anyone to give me an advice to how should I change to make me a better singer.

So this is a sample of my vocal, recorded with my Sony Ericsson W8. Raw unedited.
https://soundcloud.com/catalistic/not-a-music-my-vocal-sample

and with a celemony melodyne, this is what I got
Image

with that, I hope anyone can guide me so I can sing like a singer.

NB: Please go easy on me and sorry for my English
https://soundcloud.com/catalistic/galang-syahya-until-we-meet-again-remastered

https://soundcloud.com/catalistic

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/user/nerevars[/youtube]

Want to talk? just PM me!
User avatar
nerevars
 
Posts: 10
Joined: 09 Oct 2012 22:27
Location: Indonesia
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Primary: FL Studio
Cutie Mark: Symphonic Orchestral.

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby itroitnyah » 17 Sep 2013 15:18

What culture are you? I want to say indian, but I can't tell by the accent, haha. I'm horrible with accents.

Anyways, if you read through this guide, it should help you. Lemme just stress some of the main points.

> Loosen up. Scrunch your face up really tight, then open your face up really wide. Stretch your arms, tilt your head and message the part of your neck that feels the tightest, focus on swinging your arms back and forth straight out in front of you to get both sides of your brain working together.

> Stand up straight, let your shoulders sag. If you feel on the back of your neck, you should find a few bumps running up the center that are the top of your spinal cord. Hopefully your mom taught you good posture, because that's important here. Your head should balance on your spine so that you do not feel as if you need to use any muscles to keep it in that position, and when you rotate your head to the left and right, the only noticeable muscles are the ones that are pulling your head to either direction.

> Run through your voice scales. Much like with an instrument, running through the "Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do" scale will help phenomenally with singing. Run through it a few times, and each time start the bottom "do" at a slightly higher pitch than you originally started it until you cannot comfortably hit the top "do". Practice going both up and down. In addition to these, you should follow up with some voice warm ups. Follow the pitch of the do-re-me scale, but instead with various vowel sounds, such as "ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh" (from do to do and back down to do again) so that you get a feel for transitioning between vowels and consonants. Besides those, also be sure to practice doing a "siren" where you just go "doooooooo" starting at a low pitch and increase pitch, much like a siren. Hold it at a high note for when your siren goes up, and the low now for when it goes down.

> Grab a piano (preferably) and hit the C note, practice just going "aaaaaah" or "oooooooh" or such until you can hear yourself match the pitch. You'll be able to tell when you do so because your voice and note will blend together. Practice hitting higher and higher notes, without trying to force or stress the note.

> Shape your mouth properly. Like said above, practice shaping your mouth to the words. It'll make it much easier to sing them on pitch. For lower bassier sounds, shape your mouth into an "O", and for higher sounds, open your mouth taller. If you widen your mouth, it'll give you less control over your vowels and consonants. Most of your power comes from the chest, so practice using your stomach muscles to push air instead of making muscles in your chest do all the work. Sorta suck your stomach in as you sing, is what I mean.

> Properly pronounce the words. Whenever we say a word, such as "light" or "mountain", it's just natural to half skip some of the consonants, making the words sound like "ligh" or "mounain". Be sure to clearly pronounce the consonants.

> Practice just following the pitch of the song that you want the lyrics to follow by just holding out vowels until you can properly match the pitch. Once you can do that, practice singing the lyrics over and over again until you have it down.
Image Image I am no longer an active member. here
My studio: [List of equipment]
User avatar
itroitnyah
 
Posts: 2482
Joined: 02 Mar 2012 20:27
Location: Wisconsin
OS: Windows 7
Primary: FL Studio 11
Cutie Mark: Blank flank

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby nerevars » 17 Sep 2013 20:12

itroitnyah wrote:What culture are you? I want to say indian, but I can't tell by the accent, haha. I'm horrible with accents.

Anyways, if you read through this guide, it should help you. Lemme just stress some of the main points.

> Loosen up. Scrunch your face up really tight, then open your face up really wide. Stretch your arms, tilt your head and message the part of your neck that feels the tightest, focus on swinging your arms back and forth straight out in front of you to get both sides of your brain working together.

> Stand up straight, let your shoulders sag. If you feel on the back of your neck, you should find a few bumps running up the center that are the top of your spinal cord. Hopefully your mom taught you good posture, because that's important here. Your head should balance on your spine so that you do not feel as if you need to use any muscles to keep it in that position, and when you rotate your head to the left and right, the only noticeable muscles are the ones that are pulling your head to either direction.

> Run through your voice scales. Much like with an instrument, running through the "Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do" scale will help phenomenally with singing. Run through it a few times, and each time start the bottom "do" at a slightly higher pitch than you originally started it until you cannot comfortably hit the top "do". Practice going both up and down. In addition to these, you should follow up with some voice warm ups. Follow the pitch of the do-re-me scale, but instead with various vowel sounds, such as "ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh" (from do to do and back down to do again) so that you get a feel for transitioning between vowels and consonants. Besides those, also be sure to practice doing a "siren" where you just go "doooooooo" starting at a low pitch and increase pitch, much like a siren. Hold it at a high note for when your siren goes up, and the low now for when it goes down.

> Grab a piano (preferably) and hit the C note, practice just going "aaaaaah" or "oooooooh" or such until you can hear yourself match the pitch. You'll be able to tell when you do so because your voice and note will blend together. Practice hitting higher and higher notes, without trying to force or stress the note.

> Shape your mouth properly. Like said above, practice shaping your mouth to the words. It'll make it much easier to sing them on pitch. For lower bassier sounds, shape your mouth into an "O", and for higher sounds, open your mouth taller. If you widen your mouth, it'll give you less control over your vowels and consonants. Most of your power comes from the chest, so practice using your stomach muscles to push air instead of making muscles in your chest do all the work. Sorta suck your stomach in as you sing, is what I mean.

> Properly pronounce the words. Whenever we say a word, such as "light" or "mountain", it's just natural to half skip some of the consonants, making the words sound like "ligh" or "mounain". Be sure to clearly pronounce the consonants.

> Practice just following the pitch of the song that you want the lyrics to follow by just holding out vowels until you can properly match the pitch. Once you can do that, practice singing the lyrics over and over again until you have it down.


I'm Indonesian, if you ever heard of it :P

Well, I tried to follow the guide, but I want to hear more specific advice. But, well, as you can hear, I still bad at it.
https://soundcloud.com/catalistic/galang-syahya-until-we-meet-again-remastered

https://soundcloud.com/catalistic

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/user/nerevars[/youtube]

Want to talk? just PM me!
User avatar
nerevars
 
Posts: 10
Joined: 09 Oct 2012 22:27
Location: Indonesia
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Primary: FL Studio
Cutie Mark: Symphonic Orchestral.

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby itroitnyah » 17 Sep 2013 21:07

Haha, I sorta figured you were something like Indonesian or Indian (the Asian Indian, not the Native American Indian).

Well, how more specific do you want us to get? There isn't really anything we can say that will magically make you the next male version of Rihanna. Vocals have a lot more to do with the condition of your body than you may think. Try sitting down and resting your head on a table and sing a song. Then, stand up straight and try it. Obviously sounds a lot better, doesn't it? That's obviously a bit of an extreme example, but you get the idea. Just practice practice practice getting your voice to stay on pitch, relaxing your body, breathing properly as mentioned in the main post, singing while pronouncing everything clearly, run through the do-re-me scale, etc. Look at all the advice given throughout the thread, and don't just nod your head and go "ok", try it out. If somebody says don't drink cold or hot water before singing, don't do that. If somebody says avoid dairy shortly before singing, do that. If somebody says flex your abs when singing, do that. But, I cannot overstate how important it is to practice practice practice.
Image Image I am no longer an active member. here
My studio: [List of equipment]
User avatar
itroitnyah
 
Posts: 2482
Joined: 02 Mar 2012 20:27
Location: Wisconsin
OS: Windows 7
Primary: FL Studio 11
Cutie Mark: Blank flank

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby JSynth » 19 Sep 2013 16:07

This thread could not be more perfectly timed. I am actually planning on recording for my album these next few weeks.
https://soundcloud.com/jasper-synth/back-at-me
Jokeblue wrote:You fool. You've doomed the Spam thread to yet another, inevitable :3 spam.

My Tumblr
My YouTube
My SoundCloud

DAW: Logic Pro 9
Plugins: Sylenth, Sausage Fattener, Komplete 9, NI The Mouth, Ozone 5, Bitspeek
User avatar
JSynth
 
Posts: 726
Joined: 12 Dec 2012 10:48
Location: not in the snow anymore
OS: Not Windows
Primary: Logic 9
Cutie Mark: yo face

Re: Getting Started with Singing!

Postby electro-blitz » 12 Mar 2014 10:33

i would like some feedback on some of my singing practices as well, if that's possible.
I'm not really a forum user, so i wont be on that much, i do will check regularly to see if anyone answered or provided feedback.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kuYNNnf6dw
(Apperenly the youtube bbcode aint working for some reason..)

do note i have 12 years of singing experience, and still learning something everyday, but i'm up for any kind of critic, as long as its constructive :wink:
"I'm a pegasus full of right, defending friends is my pride, defending ponies is my goal, without the fear that i would end up cold." E-BLITZ
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
My Youtube
My Soundcloud
My Deviantart
User avatar
electro-blitz
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 28 Dec 2013 19:20
Location: Netherlands
OS: windows 8
Primary: FL Studio 11
Cutie Mark: Singing

Next

Return to Hardware/Tracking/Performance Advice



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest