Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

The first time you heard yourself singing


Ross Brown

Recommended Posts

Maybe a dumb post, but I wonder if others feel the same as I do about singing. (If you are a good singer, this post is not for you....)

 

 

Alright, I have recorded myself singing a blues tune, nothing special. I sang with the CD turned way down and I sang through our band's PA and recorded it with a crappy little digital recorder. I sound like I just drank drano. Some of that was too much effects and some was me. Pitch was not too bad.

 

Then I did the same thing with Stormy Monday, Eric Clapton's version. What a joke. I must admit, I was much more enthusiastic with my version than him, but I sounded ridiculous compared to him. Drano and pitchy, compared to EC.

 

I plan to play it for my wife, who has never heard me sing before because I was always too self conscience about being bad. She asked to hear me and I agreed, as long as I could record it first. I would love to try to sing with the band (mine, not Eric Clapton's)so I will decide if I will continue to try, based on her opinion.

 

Question: When you hear yourself recorded singing, what do you think? I think I am bad but how do you really know. I trust my wife will keep me from embarassing myself. She is honest like that....

"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 49
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Question: When you hear yourself recorded singing, what do you think?

 

I think I sound like a genius rockstar sent from hell to steal your women and booze.

 

I think I am bad but how do you really know.

 

You should probably learn to trust your instincts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question: When you hear yourself recorded singing, what do you think?

 

I think I sound like a genius rockstar sent from hell to steal your women and booze.

 

I think I am bad but how do you really know.

 

You should probably learn to trust your instincts.

 

yea.... I guess I am feeling manic too... Hang in there, it will pass.

"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My cousin once said to me, "didn't you use to have a problem with your singing?" I said, "no, it was the audience that had the problem."

 

The first time I heard myself sing on tape was when I was in high school. I thought I sounded ok and you can actually hear one of those tapes on my website.

 

I'm still singing but I know my limitations.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know what I sound like--a bull moose getting run over by a Mack truck. I am what I am, and it is what it is. It's not like I'm gonna ever be Robert Plant or something, and I'm cool with it because my voice works for what I do.

 

If you are "vocally challenged" like I am, the best thing you can do is keep working at it and develop something that sounds cool within whatever abilities you have. For example, while I have a lot of power, decent rhythm and plenty of attitude, my range is limited, and complex melodies are not my friend. Consequently, I'd call myself more of a modern-day blues-shouter with rhythmic elements tendencies. I stay away from high notes and extended notes and keep any harmonies really simple. I'll never be confused with Chris Cornell, but I don't suck, either.

 

Another thing to remember is that you need to connect with the lyrics you're singing--sell that sucker and belt it out to the back row! Make people feel what you're singing--think about the words coming out of your mouth and what they mean. This can entail a sort of "method acting" approach sometimes, but I think you get the point.

 

Also... never forget that confidence will sell a song even when great technical ability isn't present. That's where confidence comes into play. Find a natural spot for your voice in the songs (i.e. a range that feels comfortable) and attack the songs. Find your motivation, then practice hitting the material with everything you've got until you know the lyrics in your sleep.

 

Nobody turns into a singer overnight... you have to work at it.

 

The first time I ever actually heard my voice tracked in an individual setting (i.e. just my voice--not me with a gang of other dudes doing back-ups), I thought I pretty much sounded like me doing the stuff I was supposed to be doing for the song. I didn't think I sounded good or bad--I just thought it sounded like the song. I hope that makes sense.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eric;

If I do end up singing, I also see myself as a blues "shouter" as you put it. I have a good sense of the songs and can and do feel them. I do belt them out(in my very limited experience) which is maybe part of my problem. It sounds rough.

 

Complex melodies will not be my friend either.

 

Might be nice to have my crappy garbled voice break up the monotony of our lead singers pretty voice. Throw in a gritty blues tune now and then. We'll see. I might just chicken out, depending on what my wife says. Just wondered what others experiences were with hearing themselves singing and getting used to it... and having others hear them....

 

"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do I have to?

 

I sing in the shower, like most closet singers who are self conscious. But I did record myself singing on one occasion while singing in the shower (... please don't ask...). It was a Fates Warning tune, "Monument" if I recall, and I thought when I sang, I was hitting the right pitches. When I listened back, I was an octave (maybe two?) below him LOL. And I know I have a slur when I speak, and I think that came through on a few words. So I'm now way more self-conscious and any little confidence I had is now gone.

 

I fear for anyone who does happen to hear me sing in the shower or while I'm driving...

[Carvin] XB76WF - All Walnut 6-string fretless

[schecter] Stiletto Studio 5 Fretless | Stiletto Elite 5

[Ampeg] SVT3-Pro | SVT-410HLF

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first time I heard a recording (and this goes back to when I was a kid making goofy music with my cousins) I remember thinking how much "thinner" I sound in my head.

 

I'm amazed at my own range - not of notes, but how much I can sound decent and how much I can suck. With Stonefly, I do both every time we go out. I can sing some stuff, and some things work pretty well. For example, we do the Allman's Blue Sky and I sing the harmony - it sounds pretty good. I try to sing the harmony for Surrender, and some of it I reach, some I don't. One thing I've learned is to stop trying to reach what I'm likely not going to reach.

 

I used to do the leads in Stonefly, and it was hit-or-miss.

 

In the Christian theatre group, I sing closer to where my range is, and I can hear myself (always a challenge in rock), and I do a bit better than average.

 

As much as I'd love bass lessons, I need singing lessons.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eric;

If I do end up singing, I also see myself as a blues "shouter" as you put it. I have a good sense of the songs and can and do feel them. I do belt them out(in my very limited experience) which is maybe part of my problem. It sounds rough.

 

Complex melodies will not be my friend either.

 

Might be nice to have my crappy garbled voice break up the monotony of our lead singers pretty voice. Throw in a gritty blues tune now and then. We'll see. I might just chicken out, depending on what my wife says. Just wondered what others experiences were with hearing themselves singing and getting used to it... and having others hear them....

 

Rough is OK... just learn what kind of "rough" you are... and then refine it to something you can realistically use. If pitch isn't your strongest point, work on phrasing, emotion and selling the song with everything you've got.

 

I was lucky enough to come up in bands that developed a need for more vocals as they developed their sounds. I went from not having a microphone anywhere near me onstage to double-tracking my backing vocals in the studio and now doing 98% of the vocals in my present band.

 

The biggest element is confidence, and that only comes with experience and time and practice. Don't sweat what it sounds like now... look for the good stuff you CAN do, and focus on developing that. The more you do it, the better you will get.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My sons made fun of my singing as they were growing up, but now they want me to sing some backup lines in our band.

 

I did quite a bit of singing "back in the day". (Sometimes it sounded good on the tapes, sometimes not so good.)

The 2 most important things I learned were:

1. Change the key to fit your range.

2. Don't "shout it out". The quieter you sing, the more control you have over your voice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first time to hear my voice was in about 1946. My dad bought a wire recorder and we all heard our recorded voice for the first time. I could not believe that was me. Then we got a 78rpm record recorder, It had a cutting arm and a playing arm. It was a slight improvement. Then the magnetic tape recorder cam along. It was a great improvment, But I still did not sound like me. I don't sing out in public but I have a fairly good voice. Too bad it does not sound like me.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I'm a good singer. Made money at it, got call backs, and people tell me without being ask, but no matter how much I've heard playback, to me, my voice sucks. It's mainly because what others hear is totally different than what you hear through your head.

 

First time I had to sing at a gig I was scared to death. I was just doing backups and it was my first band. I think half the time I was on stage, when not singing, I would turn my back to the crowd (which wasn't many) and act like I was trying to closely listen to my amp, as an excuse not to face the people.

 

To me, it never goes away completely, just gradually diminishes. I will probably always have a little edge on the first song of the night.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sing lead only when I have to. I do mostly backups. I have heard myself on tape and I'm ok for the most part. I don't think I'm going to be the next American Idol though. Well, maybe the next William Hung.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Erik gives extra-spectacu-awesom-excellent advice. As always. And manages to remain dead sexaaaaay throughout it all.

 

Voice is an instrument. No one expects to walk up to a piano for the first time in their life and bang out some Chopin, Liszt or Mozart. So why do we expect to be able to sing like Mariah Carey without practice?

 

Trial by fire isn't so bad. Not many places to hide your voice on karaoke night (except the ocean of reverb they drown you in). And if you do singer/songwriter open mikes it's just your voice and your instrument. Great incentive to practice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Erik and Eric hit it dead on! You couldn't play bass the first time you picked it up...it took learning and practice. The same is true of vocals.

 

The most important things are: 1) Hit the right pitches, 2) have good tone, and 3) convey emotion. If you have to sacrifice tone to hit the right pitches, then do so...bad pitches sang with good tone are still bad pitches.

 

So, work on hitting the right pitches first. As you practice that, you'll start to discover what gives you better/worser tone. And realize that "good tone" is a very relative thing...you may think you sound aweful, other folks may think you sound unique and pretty incredible (some may think you sound aweful too). Work on phrasing, and on putting emotion into it. Those things can unquestionably make a not-so-great voice with limited range sound like a great voice.

 

The person who immediately comes to mind for me is Scott Stapp from Creed. If you just listen to his voice, it really isn't anything great or special...on some songs his voice isn't even what I'd consider "good". However, he knows his limitations, he knows how to phrase things in a way that works, and he definitely knows how to convey emotion with his voice. Those things make his voice fit Creed's music incredibly well (with a few effects thrown in)...end result is that he is essentially an excellent vocalist even though he doesn't have a great voice. He got there by taking what he had, practicing many hours to develop what he had, and using it to it's fullest potential.

 

Ross, I'd say go for it and keep practicing! Record yourself again a year from now, and you'll be thoroughly surprised at how much you've improved.

 

I've come a long way over the years (but still have plenty to go before I'd even consider myself "good"). I've learned to just sound like myself though...some folks think that's good, some folks don't. I don't usually care too much what other folks think, so I judge for myself whether something *sounds good* or not.

 

And as far as backups...again, concentrate on hitting the right pitches. Seriously, your tone can just be aweful BUT if you hit the right pitches, the backups will just sound lovely. If you don't believe it, try recording yourself doing a lead and some backup harmonies.

 

And it's definitely true that (like anything else), the more you do it, the better you get at it. Good luck with it!

Dave

 

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that I've heard myself recorded a few times I've realised just how wrong I was.

 

:D

 

haha, that is what I thought too! :D

 

Although, to be fair, I do not have a real recording studio to best capture the erm... nuance's... yeah im gonna use nuance... of my voice. :D

 

So I blame the tools! :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, a blast from the past...I believe this is the first time I actually heard myself sing on a recording. This is an old cassette-based 4-track recording done in a garage with my band from ~15 years ago...I had been playing bass for ~3-4 months and had just attempted singing while playing. Some of my very early songwriting too. I'm singing the lead vocal, guitarist and keys do backups on the choruses. IIRC, we recorded the instruments on two tracks, then overdubbed the lead and backup vocals...this didn't come out too bad for a low-end cassette 4-track. Can you dig it?

 

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/criticalfix/HideMeAway.mp3

 

Dave

 

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Dave, That was fun to listen to. Sounded pretty good. My biggest fear is not hitting the right pitches, I agree. I am trying to find some songs that will fit my limited abilities and then work on them. I have one so far. I will probably look for some gritty blues tunes since our singers voice is just too pretty for those (and he doesn't "feel" them).

 

Thanks Erik. Great advice.

 

If this is something I end up doing (and we haven't even talked about playing and singing at the same time, but I think I can work on that), what do you think about having two very different vocal sounds in one band? A crappy rough, marginal voice and a very nice, perfect pitch, smooth voice. How do you arrange the sets? I don't see me doing more than a handful of songs.

"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...