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Luciana Segovia
post Dec 7 2009, 03:37 AM
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Hello ZEN! Welcome to the vocal MTP of december!!!

Please post here your CV:

tell me if you have ever sung, if you know something about vocal technique and please also post your influences and favorite music.

ps: if you have any video or audio of you singing... please post it too .


Thank you

This post has been edited by Luciana Segovia: Dec 7 2009, 03:40 AM


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zen
post Dec 7 2009, 04:56 AM
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Hi Luciana,

First of all, let me say that I'm thrilled to be your student. My first singing instructor EVER smile.gif

I started off singing in the bathroom when I was a child, a habit that I still enjoy till this day .... although the genre's vary depending on the water pressure and temperature.. laugh.gif
I was in a metal band LOTS of years back (almost 10), where i took up vocals since we could;nt get along with most of the vocalists we auditioned.
We covered lots of megadeth and metallica tracks.. I was by no means a vocalist but got the job done as it was more about performance once we were on stage smile.gif .. although the recorded demo was horrible in terms of my singing.

I have always wanted to learn how to sing properly but never could. My voice is the kind that one either loves or hates !! Got a nasal voice.
I have troubles singing high pitch and know nothing about the techniques involved. I've never focussed on the correct breathing technique either and my jaw sometimes starts to hurt after a while. I used to smoke back then, so that obviously affected the song delivery.

I mostly listen to metal but when it comes to singing, my voice is not suited for growls and high screams, so I stick to all sorts of rock and grunge with melodious vocals. Although, I would love to have a pitch like Bruce Dickinson from Maiden ... ah wishful thinking rolleyes.gif

I havent sung in a lot of years now, so this was a great oppurtunity for me to learn to sing the correct way and overcome the lack of confidence. This is more like my make or break scenario ... first and last scrodinger's cat experiment, where I will determine if i can really sing or not.

I would like to work on my pitch and "find" my voice really. Coz not being able to sing songs at the recommended pitch has always been my weakness.
I always had to change the key of songs to adapt to my own key ( .. can sort of sing in F but not C or E).

I have to 'feel' the lyrics in order to sing, otherwise i just dont make an attempt sometimes.

So there we have it, this is the best I could do without any professional singing lesson in my life. now it's over to you to mould my voice to reach it's true potential. smile.gif

I'll present 3 takes:

(1) Broken by Seether sung by me on a karaoke track. Created this slideshow to go with it as well. Clearly there's a lack of confidence and a bit too nasal tone going on there.





(2) Colin Hay - Overkill cover (mp3 attached to this post) - I also played the backing guitar on this one. The sound shreeeks a bit coz of a cheap pc mic.

(3) Stone temple pilots - Plush cover (mp3 attached with the post) -- Sang this on a karaoke backing track. Ok i must admit, i was quite drunk when i sang this .. U can judge it by the amount of aggression and the feel in it .. laugh.gif

All of the above were recorded via a pc microphone. Do i need to buy a proper professional mic for the assignments? I'm happy to, just let me know which one.

Looking forward to the first assignment.

Cheers
Zen

This post has been edited by zen: Dec 7 2009, 05:01 AM
Attached File(s)
Attached File  overkill_cover_Zen.mp3 ( 4.52MB ) Number of downloads: 139
Attached File  plush_zen.mp3 ( 11.64MB ) Number of downloads: 166
 


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Luciana Segovia
post Dec 7 2009, 07:10 AM
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ZEN!! wow!.. this explanations will help us a lot!

First of all, I think that you have a great voice! very nice to hear... very rocker sound!
it sounds on pitch, very important thing, cause you don't have to start in a beginner level, congrats for that! ...but sometimes i feel your voice insecure and it's clearly because there's no technique.
i'll answer you some things you wrote to me, and then i will tell you what's the next step.


" I started off singing in the bathroom when I was a child, a habit that I still enjoy till this day .... although the genre's vary depending on the water pressure and temperature."

laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif ( so funny)


"My voice is the kind that one either loves or hates !! Got a nasal voice"

I don't think so... is not a nasal voice.. then I will show you a real nasal voice. And your voice it's imposible to hate! is so nice!


"I have troubles singing high pitch and know nothing about the techniques involved"

If you don't know anything about vocal technique it's obvious that you have troubles singing high pitches, and i'll tell you why. The first part of vocal technique is the warm up...do you ever warm up your voice?
Warm up helps a lot to train the vocal cords cause they are muscles. and the muscles have memory, they will memorize all the pitches you train, so when you sing, your voice will sound more confidence.


"I've never focussed on the correct breathing technique either and my jaw sometimes starts to hurt after a while"

You will have to train your breathing technique cause that's going to help you in the high notes, there's no other way. And we have to work relaxing the jaw, that's why it hurts you.


"I used to smoke back then, so that obviously affected the song delivery"

If you do not smoke any more, there will not be a problem.


"I always had to change the key of songs to adapt to my own key"

Well....that's a good thing!. Change the key of an original song because you can't singing it, it's more healthy that don't do it!. Then when you train your vocal cords with warm ups, maybe you'll feel confidence singing in a different pitch than yours, but change it, it's a good thing for now.


About your 3 takes:

(1) Broken by Seether: Sounds on pitch but insecure all the time. This will disappear with warm ups. Believe me!

(2) Colin Hay - Overkill : Really sounds great!... you can feel that you are singing confortables notes, like on your pitch right?..
Thing to develop in this song: - the first "day after day", its the attack of the first note, to strong.. don't you feel that?
- and the last word of the song, trembles...the rest... perfect!

(3) Stone temple pilots - Plush: it's the worst one.You are out of tune many often, and the agression is good,but I promise that you can do it much better without alcohol. I swear it!!!

please don't feel bad for my feedback, I want to show you that you can develop your singing 100%. In fact, your songs sounds really good for someone who never took singing lesson!

well, your first assignment of course it will WARM UP!

HUMMING: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/misc-less...nging-lesson1/3

Be careful, Im a girl so my pitch is an octave higher than you, ok? Always practice an octave lower than me.

When you do this exercise, you have to try to put down your Larynx, like when you suppress a yawn. Your mouth is close but everything inside is open.. right? That's the "M" I want in this exercise.

about practice: routine is good. I always prefer 10 minutes a day than an hour only one day.. ok?. practice this and if you can, i need to film yourself showing me your face and your neck. I have to see if your adam apple goes down while you are doing this exercise.
and try to post that video on friday or saturday...

If you have doubts, feel free to ask me EVERYTHING you want WHENEVER you want.

cheers! and good luck!

This post has been edited by Luciana Segovia: Dec 7 2009, 07:12 AM


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zen
post Dec 7 2009, 08:35 AM
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Luciana,

Thanks for the wonderful detailed reply, appreciating my voice and most importantly.. believing in me.. tongue.gif

What a great analysis !!! I'm impressed !! You've pin pointed all the right areas that I need improvement in.

Nope, I've never done any exercise or warming up ever!! i straight away used to dive into singing.
And i don't smoke anymore either, so that'll help. smile.gif

As for my takes, i purposely threw in the plush cover to show you how badly i can sing .. but I do have much worse takes (in fact a LOT of them) that are primarily used to torture my friends.. laugh.gif
And the overkill cover, you are right about the attack on that phrase but i don't know how to control that. Some words just come out stronger than the others. It's also to do with the movement of the head or the mic when hitting strong/loud words (i think , ive seen singers do that). And i also dont know how to control the trembling of the last note. But yes, that song was probably the most comfortable in terms of the notes that i can hit.

I'll NEVER EVER feel bad about your feedback. In fact, i want my instructors to be very straight forward and direct with me. I'm used to taking a lot of criticism. There is nothing you can say that'll make me feel bad. Coz that's how one improves the most. Just stick to the plan, work on that feedback and practice smile.gif

The lesson link you provided goes to a page that says "404 couldn't find the page you're looking for .. but here are other great lessons (i like the optimism even if the link failed) smile.gif " I think it's coz of the /1/3 at the end of the link.. Did you mean only this link?
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/misc-less...inging-lesson1/
or all the 1 2 & 3 as they are all related to warm ups?

I'll record a video by the weekend. Should i be standing for this or sitting will do? (of course standing right? but it will hard for me to move my webcam that high sad.gif will try)
The video of that lesson covers the notes of 1 octave but the backing track goes nuts and covers more octaves smile.gif
In my recording, should I only cover the part you are covering in the video or the entire 2 octaves as per the backing track?
If I have to cover the part you are covering in your video, then I think I am ok with the pitch and octave of the video in terms of humming it. But if I have to cover the entire backing track, then I'll have to start with a much lower pitch in the beginning since it goes much higher towards the second octave..

Also, should i be buying a pro mic for this? Or any good mic for home singing/ recording? If yes, which one? If no, still .. which one? laugh.gif

Looking forward to learning all the right techniques from scratch.

Zen

This post has been edited by zen: Dec 7 2009, 10:55 PM


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Luciana Segovia
post Dec 9 2009, 04:29 AM
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Hi Zen!

I'm sorry about the link!...
you have to do the lesson number 1 : https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/misc-less...inging-lesson1/
and number 2: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/misc-less...inging-lesson2/

You can be sitting while you do the exercises, it ok. And try to sing when you feel confortables the notes. It doesn't matter if the backing track goes all around the piano, you need to sing only the notes you can feel confortable.ok?
and let me see in your videos if we need to buy a mic






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zen
post Dec 10 2009, 11:01 PM
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Hi Luciana,

I've been humming and mooin and maaa'in laugh.gif and here it what i can present till now.. it was so much fun !! (not for the others listening to me of course) laugh.gif .. They thought I had gone nuts and started speaking to spirits or somethin.. lol

I did it standing and here are the takes.. ive adjusted the view so you can see the neck. And that space-age looking thing is really a microphone !! tongue.gif .. voice may go a bit high in some parts, i could'nt mix it or adjust the levels properly.. And that lack of sync towards the end is all coz of youtube processing mad.gif

The worst part of the experience was that i am NOT used to recording myself singing in any video. Id probably do a bit better if I'm only recording an audio.. It is just too freaky and weird to me... I look like a retard !! laugh.gif so somehow I'll have to overcome that .. I hesitated before uploading this too , haha

For what it's worth , its the first video of vocal mtp on gmc .. (good or bad) laugh.gif .. It can only improve from here for everyone involved..





Thanks !!


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Luciana Segovia
post Dec 11 2009, 03:30 AM
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Zen!! Congratulations!!!! you are the first one!!! cool.gif wink.gif exelent job!

The humming is perfect!... you have a perfect pitch!... wink.gif

huh.gif I imagine that you don't used autotune.... riht? Cause it must not be used!

In the vowel melody 1, be careful with the attack of the notes, maybe you can do it more relaxed. And I can hear in the second melody like you are loosing air in the "U" part... be careful with that. It doesn't mean that you have to do this video again, but each exercise or assignment will be adding to your routine of warm up... this is the only way to develop your singing, PRACTICE... smile.gif

Well congrats!..you passed

This is your new assignment: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/misc-less...inging-lesson3/

only two exercises, the first one for control the air while singing, and the pitch. The second one, to improvise something.

ps: You have a week to practice and then you have to post the video of the second assignment only, but keep practicing all.

good luck!



















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zen
post Dec 12 2009, 04:42 AM
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Luciana..Thanks for the feedback smile.gif . Ya, i do run out of air quite easily .. not able to sustain or lets say gradually release the breath .. the next assignment should help me with that. The improvisation bit seems a bit hard.. hope I can do it. And there was no autotune used anywhere, infact I don't even know what autotune is smile.gif .. will look it up.

2 questions:

1. Regarding attack - I do tend to get a bit aggressive in singing when hittin higher notes.. its jst habit, will try n relax .. any tips to fix this.
2. Loosing air on high notes - subconsciously, i feel more exhale is required to hit higher notes, which is wrong.. therefore i loose air in exhale more quickly when going up the scale .. how to address this?

edit- added 2 questions

13 dec - struggling a bit with the improvisation sad.gif .. will keep trying.

This post has been edited by zen: Dec 13 2009, 07:42 AM


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Luciana Segovia
post Dec 14 2009, 05:36 PM
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Hi Zen!

I will answer your doubts:

Attack: The vocal cords are set in the larynx (the voice box or "Adam's apple"). They are tiny folds of skin, attached either side of the windpipe. Think of them as a window shutters. During breathing, they open to allow the air to pass in and out, but when you prepare to sing, the shutters close leaving just a "chink" of light between them.
The pressure of the column of air underneath the cords sets them vibrating and a sound is made. This sound is amplified by the spaces in the throat, and it escapes through the mouth.

The larynx mechanism is very delicate and can be easily damaged by harsh treatment. An aggressive start to the note is very bad news. The start of the note should be smooth and gentle, caress is a better word than attack. One teacher likens the start of the note to letting in the clutch of a car, there shouldn't be a jerk or a shock, but a smooth movement.
You can jerk the attack by being too earnest, too stiff: makeit easy, relaxed, "stroke" the start of the note, a gentle movement.

Loosing air: Don't worry, this topic will be your next assignment.

ps: Be patient with the improvisation, is the first one I guess, so it's normal you are feeling like you can not do it. But I know you can!!! come on!!! wink.gif




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zen
post Dec 16 2009, 10:15 PM
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Hi Luciana,

Thanks for the amazing replies. At one time, it felt I'm reading a medical journal. smile.gif You have great knowledge.. Thanks for sharing it with us.

I have tried to incorporate the slow gradual start to notes in this lesson.

You will also hear my long inhale in between notes. I still cant time it right (the inhale, so I can get the maximum air in) just before the note, and the start of the note seems a bit rushed.

My voice still trembles when I try to sustain the notes.

Also, the voice starts to sound bad, if I increase the attack and get a lil loud.. If I'm doing it low and controlled, it sounds ok.

As for improvisation, nothing really came to mind. I would've done a lil better over a proper chord progression instead of C,C#,D,D#. This was very difficult sad.gif but i tried to sing one type of melody coz it was stuck in my head.

Anywayz, here are the takes for this lesson smile.gif






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Luciana Segovia
post Dec 19 2009, 08:17 AM
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Hi Zen!

I noticed that you could control the attack of the note. So much better! Congrats!
But... I noticed a huge bad habit you have: loosing air.

When you are singing a fairly long phrase, the pressure which forces the air to escape through the vocal cords must be sustained, otherwise your voice will sound as through you are running out of breath. It will sound weak or pale, and may have a wobble. At any point during singing a sustained phrase, you must be using the minimum amount of breath necessary and you must also sopport the pressure of its scape.

( sorry about my English) But I make a video for you.





exercise 1

How to breathe correctly?

Step one

Good posture:
First, stand up straight, with your feet shoulder width apart. Roll your head around to ease any tension in your neck. Then hold your head level, with your chin parallel to the ground, not tipped up or down. Let your shoulder blades slide toward the centre of your back so that they're back and down. If you do this, your chest will be open instead of collapsed, which is just what we want.
Slumping, or ever rounding your shoulders forward slightly, partly collapses the upper rib cage and keeps the muscles between the ribs from being able to expand to accommodate the lungs as they fill with air. What we are looking for is the physical ease that comes from good alignment.
Now bend your knees slightly (just relax and unlock them) and tuck your pelvis under. This slight adjustment helps ensure that the diaphragm can function at maximum capacity.

Step two

Inhale:
Put your hand on your stomach, with your middle finger or your belly button. All the action that follows should take place in the space between the base of your ribs and just below your belly button. Keeping your shoulders in that beautiful, open position, back and down, imagine that your stomach is a balloon, and as you inhale, let it fill with air. Concentrate on filling this "balloon" only. And when it's full, blow the air gently out through your mouth. Don't feel alarmed if you see only a small movement of your stomach. When you quit pushing breath in and just let it flow.
In a very short time, your inhales should be free on chest and shoulder action, and you ought to be able to inhale without stomach tension. Don't worry if you get a little light-headed at first. That's because you're bringing more air into your system than you're used to and possibly hyperventilating. This will pass, and your body will appreciate all the life-giving oxygen you're feeding it.

Step three

Exhale:
This is supposed to be the easy part, the release. As we exhale, the body is designed to allow the stomach to fall easily back to its normal position. It doesn't take muscle to exhale, just relaxation. But when we exhale, many of us use force. We tighten. We make it a hundred times harder than it's supposed to be, thinking, mistakenly, that to get the volume we want, and to hit the high notes, the best thing to do is to fire out voices out cannon.
As you exhale, keep your hand resting on your stomach, and be conscious of when your muscles tighten. You can massage your muscles softly as you exhale to remind them to relax. And if need be, as you're learning, you can also help your stomach in by pushing gently with your hand, which creates less pressure than using your abdominal muscles. Remember, the goal is not to pull anything in. Just let your stomach fall to its neutral position.


exercise 2

Here is another exercise which will quickly show you how much air should be scaping. Sing in front of a lighted candle without making the flame flicker. As we have said earlier, singers don't blow out the breath, it is under pressure only as far as the vocal cords. Thereafter, it dispenses and escapes through the mouth. It is not forced out of the mouth, then, and so the flame should not move if you are singing properly.
Hold the candle about nine inches from your face, sing the assignment, easily, gently, with proper breath support and crescendo if you wish. The flame should barely move. It's a very old exercise, but a valuable one.

So: with this new technique do the last assignment again, please. And for improve your improvisation too, you'll do your 3rd assignment:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/misc-less...inging-lesson4/

Good luck Zen!

Luciana

This post has been edited by Luciana Segovia: Dec 19 2009, 08:18 AM


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zen
post Dec 21 2009, 10:48 AM
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Luciana, thank you ..i love your video response .. it helped me understand my mistakes so much clearer .. i think reading text would've got me a bit confused.. so thanks a lot for the effort. Much appreciated. This is my first biggest hurdle and I'm practicing hard to overcome it. I've also studied your post almost 10 - 15 times now to ensure i don't miss anything.

Part of the problem is psychological too as its directly related to my hesitancy or confidence in my voice and singing. So I don't open up completely while singing.. working on it too.

I don't have a candle but i will get some. I know its weird, who doesn't have a candle? .. Well, that would be me laugh.gif .. guilty !!
But I did run through a couple of lighters while practicing and almost burnt my fingers a couple of times laugh.gif .. I understand very well now what you meant by differentiating air and voice. Wouldnt say the flame is not moving at all but it is at times ... especially at the start and end of the exercise/note. But its getting better.

Work's got me a little busy but I'm waking up to early alarms to ensure i work on this bad habit.

I'll try and record both breathing and resonance lessons in the next 2 days for you. Hope this is ok.

I'm struggling a lot with improvisation in both lessons.. my mind just goes blank sad.gif

This post has been edited by zen: Dec 21 2009, 11:02 AM


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zen
post Dec 22 2009, 11:50 PM
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Luciana, here it is.. Stiil a lot of mistakes but i only hope that its
gettin a bit better... Years of bad habits take some time to kill .. I
also notice that i was a bit off in the pitch in some areas..Will keep
recording more if this is not ok.






Question: How do I draft a warm up routine? Currently I start from lesson 1, sing along your video for 3-4 times, then move on to lesson 2 (do it 2-4 times with your vid) and so on ... Am I doing the right thing? How much time should I be spending on each? Should I be doing the slow tempo versions (inside the lessons) a lot or focus on the main lesson at speed. Should I warm up softly and slowly or sometimes make it loud as well in terms of voice decibal level?

edit - added question smile.gif

This post has been edited by zen: Dec 23 2009, 12:38 AM


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Luciana Segovia
post Dec 30 2009, 07:16 AM
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Excelent Job Zen!!

See the difference?? now you are singing notes! yeah!
About the improvisation, its ok! don't worry.. takes a lot of time!... for me, your improvisation was excelent, this exercise is for free your singing...free your mind and learn to enjoy to sing.
you pass the assignment of breathing! Congratulation!!!!!!!!!!!

About the assignment of Resonance: don't want to sing the "H" ( this video will explain to you)




Your routine will be your assignments, I always prefer 10 minutes a day than an hour only one day. Yes, the order is correct. Remain about the fix things, and concentrate. You can start with 10 min the first 2 days, then with 15 min per week and then 20 minutes, NO MORE THAN THAT.

Your next assignment is this: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/misc-less...inging-lesson5/

we'll star to manager your register.... good luck!


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zen
post Dec 30 2009, 08:25 AM
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Luciana .. cant thank you enough for the vid and your valuable feedback !! rolleyes.gif You are an awesome instructor !! Feels good to pass the assignment..

I'm taking a mental note of all my mistakes and working on them in each assignment..

The problem of "He" vs "E" .. I can fix that very easily .. I just didnt realize it or gave it much importance .. but thanks for pointing it out.. Seems like every little vowel can affect the voice control .. I know you havent asked me for the vid again but just for my practice and logs, I'll record one and post here next time.

I like assignment 5. smile.gif

Voice is a bit damaged from a lot of cold drinks n ice creams over the festive season but you will get a take within a week.

Timing my breathing so I dont loose breath in between a melody or note is my biggest challenge at the moment.. which I am noticing in most assignments .. So i will keep focusing more on the breathing assignment for a while amongst others...

p.s - Bought some shure sm58 for recording .. https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=32868

This post has been edited by zen: Dec 30 2009, 11:51 AM


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Luciana Segovia
post Jan 9 2010, 07:15 PM
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4 ASSIGNMENTS COMPLETE


Well Zen , I'm so happy you want to continue in January... so I will close this thread.

Congratulation


Luciana


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