Singing, how do you feel about it?

Discussion in 'Lessons & Techniques' started by Layne Matz, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    Im not particularly fond of my voice but over time and much glass shattering effort its getting better. I cant sing while I play anyways, however there are a ton of songs that I would like to record or perform except i dont think i can count on a vocalist to be familiar with all the slight vocal mannerism of all the music I have listened to. If they dont even know the song, how can I expect yhem to adequately sing it with great feeling or lyrical and chordal accuracy?

    How do you feel about singing? How about singing while you play? Any tips for that?

    Its my understanding that not eveyone can play at a highly articulate level while singing at an equally articulate level. Some can, Jimi for example was excellent at this as well as many of the great old bluesmen.

    Do you have any favorites that sing and play very well at the same time?
     
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  2. Paully

    Paully Active Member

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    James Taylor.
     
  3. Chubbles

    Chubbles Active Member

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    I lost my singing voice at puberty. As a matter of national safty, I no longer sing. Millions would die.
     
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  4. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

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    This I find odd. You want a vocalist to sing songs exactly the way the original song is sung? What's the point of that? Just put on the record if you want to hear it done the same way.

    Isn't the idea of a cover to do it your own way? The Beatles did The Isley Brothers "Twist And Shout" so well and in their own way that most people just think it is a Beatles song, not a cover. Wouldn't you want your vocalist and your band to make the song your own?
     
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  5. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

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    I can sing and play, but I can do each much better alone.

    I do it a lot though at my church, especially when it's just me and an acoustic. I'll switch rhythm patterns and volumes and maybe even fill out a softer part with an arpeggio whole while singing, but don't ask me to fingerpick, solo, or riff while I'm doing it. It will end in disaster. :rofl:

    I also don't sing as dynamically while playing. I hit the notes, but I don't add much to it. I've been working on this more though, and I'm slowly improving. :thumb:

    As for how to do it... Practice. Take a line, play it and just try to separate the parts in your mind, and sing/play it over and over until you get it down. That's the only way you can improve... There's no magic fix for it.
     
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  6. Didds

    Didds Active Member

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    I used to be alright at it when I was little. But once my voice broke I lost the ability. I'm slowly regaining my voice and learning to sing while playing which is getting easier with practice. It's good because now I can actually sing some of the songs I've written.

    As for my favourite Singer/Guitarists, I'd say Henrik Frieschlader, Courtney Barnett, SRV and Chuck Berry
     
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  7. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    Its not that i want to perform everything to a recorded T. Not at all, but in some cases i would like it to be sung in a certain fashion in accordance with how I'm performing it on a guitar and what im basing my playing off of originally. There are a TON of different recordings of CC Rider all of them a little bit different from one another. If i was playing for example Leadbellys Slide guitar version of the song I need the vocalist to sing a bit more in that fashion rather than say Mississippi john hurts version which is actually the version I like more. Bulk of what I woulf be playing would be blues, jazz, and folk classics. When playing in the style of a certain version of something it can be essential that vocals make the right changes. When performing a lot of these songs I'd ratehr be closer to the originals ratehr than farther away from them. When I go to solo i dont usually try to play it the same exact way ive heard it played before. For some songs there are licks that i want to hear and play and they fit oh so well that to substitute my own unique lick wouldnt sound as articulate. A good example of this is Light My Fire, theres plenty of room for unique improvisation but with the improvisation in my mind i bring in and use a lot of the original licks that really make the song what it is IMO. At the beggining of the guitar solo for instance there is a lot of play with scales and modes that is hard to follow in terms of theory but playing it by ear isnt very difficult if its already ingrained in your brain.

    Remember, Im 18 and I am comfortable with trying to copy the musicians that inspired me in the first place. Thats not all I seek to do but its a starting point for greater things. I do play songs of my own songs as well but i dont usually find this as pleasent, that feels more painstaking because I'm trying to get it just right how I want it to sound. If I'm covering an old blues number i often will try to take it in my own direction while still remaining true to delta/chicago blues style. I love the piedmont walking blues style playing but i havent been able to play it very well- maybe someday. The Delta and Chicago blues are more comfortable for me.

    The one vocalist that i have played with had totally differnet influences than I did and didnt know any of the songs i wanted to perform so we just ended up playing some weird fusion stuff that didnt turn out too great. This was during a 'session' that took place in the acoustic room at guitar center Nashville. After that experience i want someone who has all the versions of a given song in mind and can draw from these as resources.

    Another example for you, if i want to play Down By the River I need the vocalist to fill in that gap left by the instruments for the powerful verses. I dont think they can effectively do that without even first knowing and 'feeling' the essence of the song in its original forms. One recorded versions is not what I would base a cover off of usually, you can draw from all the availabel recordings, be they session or live performance. As they say, theres more than one way to do just about anything in life.

    TL;DR
    When playing a cover, sometimes its too take the original versions to new places and sometimes its to pay homage and satisfy the desire to mimic my inspirations techniques and use those to my advantage. Especially when it comes to old blues songs, it probably works best when the vocalist knows the feel, rhythm, and essence of the original versions.

    Sorry if i cant adequately describe how i feel about this.

    Look, if im playing Baby Please Dont Go or some other blues standard i may not want to vocalist taking the lyrics to some strange place unless they do it tastefully which is often not the case as they are merely mimicing their own inspirations and applying it where it is not needed or wanted. Its a comfort thing.

    I heard something somwhere about Serving the Song, some covers are best served by mimicing the original because no matter what its not goingnto be exactly the same. Im not 'professional' enough to play a cover note for note. Part of the beauty of music.

    Note: when playing coltrane songs i love to transcribe his soloing to guitar and try to mimic it, its a real challange with grwta rewards if you like that sort of thing. Thats not to say i dont play my own riffs and licks in conjunction with ones I've heard and cherry picked to use at the right time. Like the opening lines for My Favorite things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  8. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    I definitely agree with your list:thumb:
     
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  9. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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  10. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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  11. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Active Member

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    I don't. I suck at singing.
     
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  12. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    If howlin wolf can do it... I am sure your fine
     
  13. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    I sing and play but it's somewhat limited. In many cases, the singing helps me keep time for my playing and vice versa. In other cases, I just can't do it lol.

    Often times, either the playing or the singing has to take a back seat to the other, whichever one I'm emphasizing at the moment. There's times when I'm keying in on the vocals so the guitar playing is either stuck on a chord or minimalized while I'm busting out a vocal.

    Other times, I'm humming or "oooo yeah-ing" while I'm concentrating in a tougher guitar part.

    Either way, I'm no Geddy Lee. I've seen that dude pump out the most intricate stuff on bass, sing like the devil and keep keyboards going with his feet on the pedals, all at the same time. The guy was amazing in his day.

    Also, I've been blessed by being part of the gravel voice club. There's a long line of them- Peter Criss, Bob Segar, Rod Stewart, Eric Moore, Cub Koda, Steve Earle, Joe Cocker, etc. Put them all together and you get my voice.

    It makes it so much easier than trying to hit them weird high notes and people seem to like it so....there.
     
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  14. Southwind

    Southwind New Member

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    My voice is nothing special so I've always stayed a backups singer. Here is an example.



     
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  15. cheshiergrin

    cheshiergrin Active Member

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    I can sing and play a few songs, of course I sound amazing:rofl:
     
  16. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    A demeanor like that demands demonstration.
     
  17. cheshiergrin

    cheshiergrin Active Member

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    Well your invited to the next Karaoke night :wow::facepalm:
     
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  18. cheshiergrin

    cheshiergrin Active Member

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    Well here is an embarrassing one from a while back, I was just learning to put it together:facepalm:

     
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  19. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Active Member

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    Im not bad at singing yikes much better than guitar ( relatively ) but singing comes naturally for me guitar takes total concentration for me no need to try both at same time.

    An example of someone does both well at same time theres Butch Walker of course. Steve Winwood. Some people dont like pick one his singing or guitar work but for me Neil Young!

    If you dunno who Butch Walker is you really should ha ha!

    Practicing both at same time im not interested but for someone young sure you should!
     
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  20. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Active Member

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    Layne a couple more thoughts. To sing well one has to relax and use the stomach to drive air while the neck throat are like the fretboard. You get sound volume from your belly/diaphragm ...

    You need to practice daily but stop before you overuse muscles. You need to find the range that suits you and your body and get comfortable in it ... that range ... singing outside your natural range can be done but its best to develop singing first in your range.

    Probably most important is hearing yourself sing and stay on pitch or close to it. One easy way is cupping a hand behind an ear to bounce more sound into it.

    Find a singer that you like thats close match to your natural range. James Taylor works for me everyones different. Work on tunes from that artist while you relax and sing.

    Working too hard singing is counter productive.

    Scales yeah sure try major and minor scales in your range eventually.
     
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