stop singing off key?

Discussion in 'The Musician in U' started by greenghoul, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Hey everyone, so whenever I write a song or something and I'm singing along while playing guitar to get a feel for the vocal melody, it always seems like I'm off-key. Even when I'm doing cover songs it feels that way.

    Does anyone have any tips? One way that I was thinking was to sing along with my guitar in order to "tune" my voice. Thoughts on that? I'm sure it'll help, it's better than nothing.

  2. You sure your guitar is in tune?
  3. It's in tune, even when I try without the guitar it feels off from what I have in my head =\
  4. Go take singing lessons.... seriously, you have to know how to breathe properly to support higher notes + sing on pitch better.

    Also record your voice and practice practice practice. Do major/minor scales, and do chromatic scales.

    But you can't teach this to yourself, you really need a teacher or else you'll do it wrong and screw up your voice. Just take a few lessons until you got down the breathing, that's the most important part. After that you can look up youtube videos on vocal tips and practices.
  5. kk I'll check it out, it's a lot of diaphragm breathing, right? If that is the case, I shouldn't have a terrible problem, I have a pretty high lung capacity.

    what kind of places will give singing lessons?
  6. There is a lot to singing the diaphragm is a small part,

    In terms of getting on pitch, well a lot goes in to that, it's all about pushing the right amount of air out at a steady rate while having all of your facial/neck/chest pretty much everything relaxed.

    A good singing teacher can really help, but there's a lot of them that don't know what they're doing they just know how to give you exercises and stupid techniques.

  7. Yeah I agree with this, that's why I took choir at school.

    The vocal teacher I had, to be honest, was trying to get more money out of me. Within the first week of choir I learned more in the 1-2 months i had singing lessons from a coach.

    I definitely recommend taking choir classes at college or something. (I took mine in high school)
  8. Yea, choir is great, I had it for a semester in high school before I ever thought about singing and did nothing in it, but an ex had choir in college and I went to some of their practices and shows and they know their stuff, when I was becoming interested in singing.

    I met this lady like 4 months ago and she wanted to teach me voice so I accepted and she's just a superb teacher really really fantastic, I think I got lucky I tried lessons one other time and it was just showing you exercises but with no regard to why you're doing said exercises, was very pointless.
  9. Play what you are singing on piano or guitar while you sing. Since you'll be playing the same thing your ear will start to hear it better and better. The more you do it the better your ears get.
  10. as others have said, practice! singing lessons are the way to go- everyone can sing in tune if taught how.

    another easy way to help yourself is to record yourself singing and then listen to it. good luck! music is the best part of being a human.
  11. There is a LOT to singing. But basics first.

    #1: Breathing. The most important part of singing.

    Breathe from your chest, not your diaphragm, diaphragmatic breathing is a misnomer. Put your hands on your waist, with your upper finger on your bottom rib, the other fingers on your belly. The goal of the game is to make it so that you belly is the only thing expanding. If your ribs move out, you're doing it wrong.

    That will take awhile, (I'm still working on it 2 months after getting lessons, even though I've been singing for 4 years I never did it with proper support) because you have to reverse a function of your body that is normally under unconscious control.

    #2 Breathe support: Inhale, exhale on a 's' sound and try to maintain EVENNESS of the 'sssss', you want an equal 'ssssss' not ''. Stop when you feel like you're pushing on your chest and it feels strained.

    #3 Vocal Warm-ups: There's many, and I'm not gonna go through them all because I'd be writing about 20 exercises, but it's important to warm up before you sing to make it easier to sing, and thus, reduce tension and strain.

    #4 Scales: Builds vocal tract muscle memory as you learn to do different notes at different intervals and sing the right pitch. A good one I use is the 1 (tonic) of a scale, and go 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1, 5, 1. In other words, in the Key of C, C D E F G F E D C, G, C
    In the key of F, F G A Bb C Bb A G F, C, F.

    Practice those on your own for free, I'm paying $60 per lesson for this info.

    Piano is more helpful than guitar for singing practice, but will work as long as its in tune

  12. "Breathe from your chest, not your diaphragm, "

    You are paying $60 for the wrong information.....

    You definitely do NOT sing from your chest. You should get a new teacher.
  13. Yea, this info is way off, no offense.

    Your diaphragm is one of the most powerful muscles in your body, you will strain your voice over and over until you can't sing if you aren't going to use it. Btw, what you're describing is using your diaphragm lmao, besides the unconscious thing. You're aiming for how you unconsciously breathe, not the opposite.

    Also, there's no such thing as warming up for singing. You do exercises for specific purposes. The reason you want to run through some exercises before you sing is so you can get focused on the proper way to sing, which is relaxation of all your neck/throat/face/tongue/chest muscles. You do scales because they are helping you to sing that way, although if you're singing improperly while doing them there's no point to them. A number of exercises are to help your pronunciation as singing is different than speaking.

    Anyway, I guess I should qualify what I'm saying by showing my own singing;
    Color Me Cupid - Home
  14. No, I'm not paying for the wrong information.

    I'm telling him to breathe from the chest because if I tell you to breathe through your diaphragm and take a deep breath you're going to pump your diaphragm out in the effort to do so. True diaphragmatic breathing should show your chest (lower abdomen.. area below your ribs maybe chest wasn't a good word) as the only thing expanding, if your ribs expand you are breathing incorrectly. I was explaining diaphragmatic breathing, because as I said, it is a misnomer, and most people take it wrongly.

    When you breathe through your diaphragm your diaphragm is the part of your body rising and it allows air into your lungs when you inhale. Because your lungs are located in your lower abdomen, your lower abdomen is what rises when you inhale properly. This breathing into the lower abdomen is how you breathe diaphragmatically.

    Then, as you exhale, your diaphragm lowers as the air is expelled from your lungs, the 'ssss' exercise is to even this expulsion of air, to make for good tone and evenness of said tone. You want to blow as little as possible to create the 'sss' sound, and that slows the down movement of the diaphragm, making it so that it takes less air to create tone, and therefore, increasing your breath support.

    I said it was a misnomer in my first post, breathing into the chest isn't 'chest breathing', it's a sign of diaphragmatic breathing.

    I said that was what you do, maybe YOU didn't understand ME. You do an exercise consciously over and over to wire that into your unconscious breathing. How the fuck do you expect to change your breathing if you do nothing consciously to change that unconscious, the unconscious doesn't change by itself.

    Yes, the exercise I am describing is using the diaphragm, that's how you build breath support.. slowing the down movement, the expulsion of air, from your lungs, so that you create the same tone, with less effort.

    The exercises I were going to explain were all exercises designed to loosen up jaw tendons, throat muscles, the tongue, etc. I don't know what you're saying when you say there's no warming up for singing.. that's exactly how I warm up before I sing, do all the loosening and breathing exercises, then do some scales, and then get down to business.

    Even Pavarotti himself said that he learned from Beniamino Gigli that no matter how advanced you are you must warm up the voice for optimal performance..

    As for your Color Me Cupid performance of Firefly, I'm not hearing the vibrancy of an open vocal tract (could be the effects you layered on top). If you wanna prove me wrong though show me an example of you holding a couple notes out, I can hear the difference.

    So, no, I'm not wrong, you guys misunderstood me.

    And to be honest, I'm more qualified than (probably) anyone in this thread because I've been singing for 4 years, the advanced high school chorus for two of them, I'm a voice performance major, I've spent countless hours reading about the vocal mechanism (and demonstrated that understanding to you above), and the lessons I take are from a grammy-nominated musician/composer, so I think his teachings hold more legitimacy then your quick write-off of 'It's wrong' just because you saw the words 'breathing from the chest.' Which is exactly what it was, or you just don't have an understanding of the vocal mechanism.

  15. I apologize if I didn't understand what you said. "because you have to reverse a function of your body that is normally under unconscious control." to me, implies that you need to do something opposing to what your body does under unconscious control. You don't need to 'change' anything to breathe with diaphragm, you simply need to unlearn tendencies that you consciously apply. But now that you've expanded on what you said I see that you make sense. When you make a statement like "Breathe from your chest, not your diaphragm, diaphragmatic breathing is a misnomer." you can see where the confusion could come from, it's fine you've cleared it up and it was just confusion, don't get too defensive now.

    Warming up is a loaded term, but we seem to agree on the premise of them so I have no qualms. Although it's not to loosen up, it's simply to get focused so to speak.

    How are you more qualified than anyone in this thread? The teacher I use is one of the most talented people I've ever run across, she is 64 and can sing like a beast, at 64. This isn't my conjecture on the matter of singing, it's coming from someone with 40+ years in singing. And you're 20 years old, no? Still a little young to be saying you're probably the most qualified in the thread.

    You chose one of 4 songs I have up, that one happens to have been recorded a long time ago, the other 3 are more recent, and what you're describing is the production on the song like you said. Where is your link?
  16. I said probably most qualified.

    As in I'm probably more qualified than people who are uninformed, or have the wrong information. Seeing as I have actually studied voice, and am pursuing it as a major in college would give me the qualifications to say that in general I would be more qualified than you (the general person, not necessarily you).

    Those are my qualifications, but more important are my mentor's.
    Cantor Bruce Benson

    I'm not saying he's 'grammy-nominated ooooo' like the web site kinda does, but you don't get grammy-nominated for being shitty. He has many famous friends, Bruce Springsteen through Clarence Clemons, Maurice Gibbs of the Bee Gees, Rod Stewart, etc. What's more important is he knows his shit as he was one of those go to college and get your degree musicians instead of a fuck school get famous or go broke ones, so he has multiple degrees and knows his shit to the tee. He was taught by a child prodigy Roland Wyatt, who conducted professional orchestras at age 16, and went on to get many various degrees in music.

    This tops your teacher, who probably (MAYBE.. this would be best case scenario) just studied voice and was a singer, and has the right knowledge of how to sing. Teaching that to you is another thing. But if she's perfect in those two areas, she's still less qualified than my teacher.

    As for the song that I chose, I didn't purposely do that, I clicked on the youtube tab and that was the only video I saw. If you want a link I can make one in a day or two, my mic is at my friend's house. I can tell you it's most likely gonna come down to a taste thing though, unless I manage to pull out the voice only my teacher can get out of me so far, then you're just out of luck ;P
  17. I specifically used the word probably in my reply, and no, your teacher does not 'top' my teacher. I'm waiting for you to qualify anything you're saying with anything other than describing your teachers qualifications or your 2 years of high school chorus and being a voice major. That song has a distortion plugin as well as tuning, a double with both being panned as well as other production techniques as we were going for a 'dirty' pop sound, and like I said it was from a while ago when I hadn't even taken lessons and had been singing for like 6 months, with no musical background whatsoever. I think it's pretty good for what it is, but cherry picking it as some example of your great ear for hearing the 'vibrancy of an open vocal tract' isn't the best case. Get that link if you want to actually qualify your statements, you don't have to do it just for this argument I can tell you're not some moron when it comes to singing, if you can't understand how all this confusion came about based on your first post well I don't know what to tell you.

    Debating on here about who's teacher is more qualified or better is as dumb as it gets, and assuming that my teacher is just someone 'who probably (MAYBE.. this would be best case scenario) just studied voice and was a singer' is an absolute joke. I understand you're defensive, people get this way about this stuff, and you're young.

    Btw, I, ME, not my teacher, have a couple of 'famous friends' in the industry, that's absolutely meaningless.
  18. at least you can acknowledge the fact that you are singing off key, i know people who have no clue they sing off key......

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