Sorry, another how can I improve thread.

witm8

New member
Afternoon all,

I just stumbled across this forum, firstly very informative. Cracking site

Well basically I have absolutely no intention on giving up the day job, and have no desire to become a 'singer' - but to distance myself from the stress of the day job, I do love to pick up my guitar and sing a song or two - so I'm not coming on here thinking that I'm the next Michael Buble

This is only done by myself, and never to an audience. Recently I bought Garageband for my iPad, and an apogee jam for my electric guitar. I did try using my acoustic and the iPad mic, but needless to say that wasn't the best.

Anyway, I thought that I would upload some anonymously to a soundcloud account, for my own personal reason, not trying to become something.

Some of the results are (fairly) good, and some slightly less. Some recorded using my iPad mic and acoustic guitar. Others recorded using my apogee jam and again my iPad mic.

How can I up the vocal quality a bit more - I know that getting a mic would help considerably, but y'know, just make my voice sound that touch better? Some little tip that I can take home with me, and see what happens.

My soundcloud is soundcloud.com/tim-summers

and I've pulled a few of my less bad songs into a playlist at the top:

soundcloud.com/tim-summers/sets/random-tangents-best

FYI:

  • I’d pick you every time: Acoustic Guitar & iPad mic. (personally I think that this song is a little too high for my ‘range’ (garageband)
  • 99 Balloons from down under: Electric guitar, apogee jam, iPad mic (garageband)
  • Sally Cinnamon: Electric guitar, apogee jam, iPad mic (garageband)
  • Idlers dream: Acoustic Guitar & iPad mic (garageband)
  • Walk on the wild side: Electric guitar, apogee jam, iPad mic (garageband)
  • Two Fingers: Acoustic Guitar & iPad mic
  • Summer Cats: Acoustic Guitar, iPhone (Reaper)
  • Lightning Bolt: Electric guitar, apogee jam, iPad mic (garageband)
  • Albion: Acoustic Guitar & iPad mic (garageband)

As you don't know me, and I don't know you, then be as critical as you want. It's only face-to-face that I'd get upset :thumbs up:
 
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guitaristic

prophet of Dave
It's not the "How Can I Improve?" threads that get old...it's the "Uhhh can I sing?" threads. :D I found your voice pleasant enough to listen to. I think your style of music fits you well.

If I had to pick stuff for you to work on, it'd be learning the "technique" of breathing right while singing. You have a good voice, but it sounds kinda thin because I don't think you have a very strong foundation for it. That'd be my #1 recommendation.
 

mixsit

Well-known member
Wow I think you're sounding fine. Good pitch, nice vocal and acoustic tones (I like the small body guitar tones and style. Seems fitting, simple, direct.
 

witm8

New member
If I had to pick stuff for you to work on, it'd be learning the "technique" of breathing right while singing. You have a good voice, but it sounds kinda thin because I don't think you have a very strong foundation for it. That'd be my #1 recommendation.

Thanks for the tip, that is indeed something that I thought of myself (but as usual didn't really take any further than that). I think that at lunch today I'll have a browse around the web and have a look for some breathing whilst singing information

It's all too common for me, that I forget to breath (at the correct points during the song), then by the time it comes to the end of the verse I nearly pass out as I'm singing with a tinyest bit of breath right from the bottom of my lungs. Usually, this is in the final verse, and everything previous has gone 'ok', so I can't really be bothered to record the whole vocals/song again so I leave it as it is (with the last few words of the verse sounding like a 90year old woman who's been smoking 40-a-day)
 

witm8

New member
Wow I think you're sounding fine. Good pitch, nice vocal and acoustic tones (I like the small body guitar tones and style. Seems fitting, simple, direct.

Many thanks, it's good to have some feed-back, as like I said in my origional post, I don't play to any of my family/friends. Well, saying that I did the other weekend after we'd been out on the beers and came back to mine, but my guitar playing was just as rubbish as my mates singing - even though at the time we though that we sounded like Oasis doing a gig in my front room at 3:00 in the morning.
 

tashmoo

New member
It's not the "How Can I Improve?" threads that get old...it's the "Uhhh can I sing?" threads. :D I found your voice pleasant enough to listen to. I think your style of music fits you well.

If I had to pick stuff for you to work on, it'd be learning the "technique" of breathing right while singing. You have a good voice, but it sounds kinda thin because I don't think you have a very strong foundation for it. That'd be my #1 recommendation.

Yep, what he said.
Learn to breathe properly. Use your diaphragm. Singing is all about support. Look around on the Internet and search for those techniques. They will help you immensely.
 

witm8

New member
Well I tried to breath differently, I honestly didn't know how difficult it was going to be. Basically I had to think about every breath that that I was taking, using the diaphragm and also when to breath etc. I thought that breathing was just breathing - I couldn't have been more wrong lol

Anyway, I did another song, using this new technique.

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/i-wanna-be-adored

I'm not sure how different it sounds, but I do know that I wasn't nearly passing out at the end, so it must have been better for me (maybe not on the ears though)

I'm in the middle of doing another, it's going to take a bit of learning, but thanks for the tips.
 

witm8

New member
I just thought that I would pop back on here, just to say thanks for the few nuggets of feed-back that I received after my origional post.

The 'get your breathing right' was probably the best advise that I've ever received - apart from my Dad when I was about 16 who said to me one night: "You can always judge a girl by their shoes Son, that's why you can never find a nice girl in a club" Still not entirely sure what he meant by that, but hey-ho.

Ever since that, I've been concentrating on getting my breathing right, and initially I found it a complete nightmare, but now I'm starting to get the hang of it and it's becoming more natural. I still find myself correcting myself mid-song occasionally.

I had last week off work - school holidays here in the UK, so I needed to look after my little lad, so was messing around with my guitar, and whacked out another tune.

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/my-song-30-copy-4

I know that it's a bit 'breathy' during some points, but I'm not fussed it's only a mess around. It's also only recorded on my iPad microphone - acoustic guitar and vocal. Garageband for the old joanna (all sounds a bit better when listening through headphones or such)

:guitar: thanks all.
 
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guitaristic

prophet of Dave
I just thought that I would pop back on here, just to say thanks for the few nuggets of feed-back that I received after my origional post.

The 'get your breathing right' was probably the best advise that I've ever received - apart from my Dad when I was about 16 who said to me one night: "You can always judge a girl by their shoes Son, that's why you can never find a nice girl in a club" Still not entirely sure what he meant by that, but hey-ho.

Ever since that, I've been concentrating on getting my breathing right, and initially I found it a complete nightmare, but now I'm starting to get the hang of it and it's becoming more natural. I still find myself correcting myself mid-song occasionally.

I had last week off work - school holidays here in the UK, so I needed to look after my little lad, so was messing around with my guitar, and whacked out another tune.

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/my-song-30-copy-4

I know that it's a bit 'breathy' during some points, but I'm not fussed it's only a mess around. It's also only recorded on my iPad microphone - acoustic guitar and vocal. Garageband for the old joanna (all sounds a bit better when listening through headphones or such)

:guitar: thanks all.

Cool dude I can definitely hear an improvement! Keep working on it. You have a very pleasant sounding voice, and it definitely sounds like you are supporting/breathing better because it seems to be more strong-sounding now.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
25 years ago, my vocal coach gave me this (along with several other) breathing exercises to do: While you walk, breathe in sharply for 1 step, breathe out, as evenly as you can, for seven. Keep repeating this as long as you walk. You will find that breathing with the diaphragm comes naturally after a very short time. Continue the exercise and you'll build power, lung cap, breath timing, and a lot of other beneficials. Are you recording your practices? This is very key, if you want to sound really good. Use your guitar (or piano or anything that you can make a note hold with). Then sing the note you hear. Do this several times with several notes at random. Work on major and minor scales holding each note for 3-4 seconds. Start by breathing between notes, but as you get stronger, breathe only between every other, then every third, etc. Listen to the recordings of your practices immediately. Identify problems that you have (sliding into notes, running out of air, etc.) Don't spend more than 15 minutes at a time on these to begin with. Build your voice like a bodybuilder builds delts and pects (there's muscles in there that need work).
Above all, Happy Singing! :D Hope some of this helps...
 

witm8

New member
I like it, you can sing. is the guitar a hollow body? kinda has the Buddy Holly sound. Thanks

I'm currently using 2 main guitars:

For most things I'm using an Ibanez Hollowbody AF75.

2iaxsmx.jpg


Ibanez.com | Hollow Body Guitars | AF75

It's been my guitar of choice for the past 10 years or so, for a multitude of reasons. I use this, with my Apogee Jam into Garageband on my iPad.

My acoustic is a Epiphone EJ-200

2ccvtc0.jpg


EJ-200

I've only had this for about 3 or 4 years. I needed a new acoustic. I use this directly into my iPad using the standard iPad mic and garageband

I've got a few other ones that I occasionally use, but not all that often, if even at all

23mtvnd.jpg


My 'recording set up' isn't the best, :facepalm: it's probably very typical of most budget home recording set ups, this was taken the other day whilst I was messing around.

2e3790w.jpg


Next on my list is a Gibson J45 :guitar: - I'm about 3/4 of the way saving for it at the moment. I've wanted one of these ever since I started playing, and I am planning on treating myself.

1 more photo - The picture of my guitars, there's the acoustic on the left of the picture, propper battered old beast it is. Well my Mum found a photo of me playing it and written on the back is March 1984 when I was 9 - that's 30 YEARS AGO - OMG !!! And it's still going strong.

2uz2vdu.jpg


Ha Ha, and I've still not got any better. Anyone would have expected to be pretty bloody good after playing for 30 years - not me lol
 

witm8

New member
I tried another one yesterday:

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/big-jet-plane

I think that I'm slowly starting moving in the right direction and the breathing is starting to become more 'natural'

I'm still using my iPad built in mic on Garageband. Think that if I actually if I invest in a actual mic that may improve things a tad more.
 

slug

New member
Yes, A really good mic is the first thing your voice hits ,don't get good mic or a decent mic ,get a great mic
 

witm8

New member
Yes, A really good mic is the first thing your voice hits ,don't get good mic or a decent mic ,get a great mic

I did do just that, bought myself an Apogee Mic (I already have an Apogee Jam for my electric guitar) - I doubt that it's in the 'great' catagory, but it was the best that my budget (ie the Mrs) would allow me to spend, and even then I didn't tell her the actual price.

Still getting used to it, but I'm pretty amazed whith the difference that I'm hearing already. Knocked myself up a de-esser thing out of a wire coat hanger and a pair of my Mrs tights - seems to do the job, looks bleedin awfull though !!

I've been messing around with using my new mic to record on my acoustic guitar as previously I was only using my iPad mic - blimey that makes a massive difference as well !!

This is the first try at a song using my new mic for Vocals and Guitar. I'm still getting used to things, but it was better than I expected.

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/pine-trees
 

witm8

New member
Yes, A really good mic is the first thing your voice hits ,don't get good mic or a decent mic ,get a great mic

Me again - so I bought myself a mic - a Shure SM58, seems to be one of the most widely used, so I went with the masses.

Without all the fancy sound boards etc, I found that my usual timid quiet singing (to make sure that no-one actually hears me outside of the 4 walls) didn't really do it. So, I made sure the neighbours were out, and went into the Garage to have a blast.

Came back out with this:

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/listen-up

1. Acoustic Guitar - did the chords / rhythm
2. Added some vocals
3. Overlayed the - ding/ding/ding/ding bit on my electric.

T'was actually quite enjoyable actually being 'free' to sing louder than a whisper. I admit that this was my 2nd take as the first one I went a bit over the top and come the end I needed to stop as I was going rather light-headed and needed to sit down :)

Ohhhhhhhh, did I say that I bought myself a new acoustic guitar:

This little beuaty of a Gibson J-45 :guitar:

2mer4sh.jpg
 

Mickster

Well-known member
Hey witm8.........not bad..especially for an early try. And congrats on the J45...........nice! So........you seem to have the same problem many people have who first try to record and mix their voice have. They make the vocal too low. Bring it up a bit. It may need some additional EQ at that point but it's too hard to tell with it so low in volume. The guitar sounds nice but covers your vocal mids for sure. In any case.........nicely done and keep at it. Just my 2 cents.
 
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