Singing Tips for the Reluctant

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Dave_VaderDave_Vader Frets: 210

Wrote this the other day after a fairly unfortunate vocal gig on Saturday night.

Suddenly thought you lot might actually be interested in it.

Singing is hard, tips to make it less hard are always welcome


http://davedoesntwriteanythingever.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/some-rather-more-helpful-things-that-i.html

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  • midlifecrisismidlifecrisis Frets: 1272
    excellent. id like to add, throw in a few audience singalong songs, gives you a chance to mime along to them.
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  • Dave_VaderDave_Vader Frets: 210
    Honestly, I have done a few gigs with a singer who can't hit the high Take Me Home in paradise city, and always but always sticks the mic into the crowd so he doesn't have to.
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1457
    Living on a Prayer is another good on for that too.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19429
    jpfamps said:
    Living on a Prayer is another good on for that too.
    Also known as 'the confidence destroyer'.
    Seriously hard song to do well.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

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  • bloodandtearsbloodandtears Frets: 609
    octatonic said:
    jpfamps said:
    Living on a Prayer is another good on for that too.
    Also known as 'the confidence destroyer'.
    Seriously hard song to do well.
    Even Bon Jovi have changed the pitch and delivery of this song live now.. I reckon that Sambora always sang the higher bit anyway...

    When I had lessons.. the biggest thing is confidence... singing into a mirror was advised.. you are your own worst critic...
    My trading feedback

    is it crazy how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how crazy it is?

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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 434
    Always warm up first.

    Get the lyrics and melody into your muscle memory by practising over and over and over and over again. Being able to sing instinctively will really help if you get tired, disorientated or panic on stage.

    Don't hesitate or hold back - you'll go flat. Even singing softly requires full commitment.

    It's better to sing the wrong lyrics (or even a wrong note) with apparent confidence.

    If all else fails pretend the mic has broken then "fix it" in time for the next (easier) song.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3662
    @Dave_Vader just read the blog some great points about knowing your limits and changing keys .

    A couple of points that have helped me 

    Decent monitoring is everything ... if you can't hear yourself you will generally push too hard which will hurt your voice, if your gonna sing go IEM'ed from day 1 .... seriously they instantly piss all over wedge monitors when it comes to hearing yourself 

    Down tune a semitone ... 3 out of the 4 bands I'm in all downtune a semi, even Living on a Prayer is do-able in Em when your down a semitone

    Try and get the rest of the band to do some decent backing vocals and the occasional lead vocal so it's not one guy carrying every song all the way through 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • BintyTwanger77BintyTwanger77 Frets: 1245
    If you think a note is too high, imagine you're going to hit the note an octave below just before you sing it. It relaxes the muscles that tense up before a tricky high note, and the worst thing you can do on a high note is put too much strain on your neck muscles. It keeps you nice and grounded and more relaxed.
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  • ModellistaModellista Frets: 944
    edited April 13
    Some good tips here and on the blog. I agree about practising in the car - it's the only place I'm  by myself with a stereo system for an hour a day and nobody can hear you scream. And I also agree about not singing sat down, although in a car it's difficult to stand up! Basically it means if you can hit a note sat down in a car, even with difficulty, it's going to be a lot easier when stood up later that evening at the Dog And Duck. Even after three pints. 
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 927
    Some good tips here and on the blog. I agree about practising in the car - it's the only place I'm  by myself with a stereo system for an hour a day and nobody can hear you scream. And I also agree about not singing sat down, although in a car it's difficult to stand up! Basically it means if you can hit a note sat down in a car, even with difficulty, it's going to be a lot easier when stood up later that evening at the Dog And Duck. Even after three pints. 
    Ah so thats why they've stopped fitting sun rooves!
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 3037
    edited April 18
    imho the single biggest thing to overcome with singing live is being self-conscious 
    once you overcome that, the rest is about practice and technique..

    note though, that with practice, you can improve your technique, skill and intonation
    but there's only so much you can do about your tone..
    great tone is something people are born with..
    that said... there are plenty of singers that didn't possess great tone or even great skill that were essentially 'good enough', but they made up for it through sheer showmanship and presence... and a knack for doing the right / cool thing
    Jagger for example..
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 434
    Clarky said:

    there's only so much you can do about your tone..
    great tone is something people are born with..
    that said... there are plenty of singers that didn't possess great tone or even great skill that were essentially 'good enough', but they made up for it through sheer showmanship and presence... and a knack for doing the right / cool thing
    Jagger for example..

    Well said. There is also the matter of identifying what music your natural tone/range suits. There's no point in trying to be the next Axl Rose if you're Johnny Cash.

    In a covers band sometimes you just have to accept that you shouldn't sing the song you'd like to and not take it personally. 



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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 3037
    edited April 22
    Clarky said:

    there's only so much you can do about your tone..
    great tone is something people are born with..
    that said... there are plenty of singers that didn't possess great tone or even great skill that were essentially 'good enough', but they made up for it through sheer showmanship and presence... and a knack for doing the right / cool thing
    Jagger for example..

    Well said. There is also the matter of identifying what music your natural tone/range suits. There's no point in trying to be the next Axl Rose if you're Johnny Cash.

    In a covers band sometimes you just have to accept that you shouldn't sing the song you'd like to and not take it personally. 



    I guess the thing about a covers band is...
    Are you trying to do a tribute style authentic recreation?
    or just playing the song your own way?

    personally I prefer the later... be creative...

    in the DC Band we play a few King Crimson songs
    ok so in our case they're not exactly covers cos DC is a former member of Crimson
    we don't try to recreate them.. we put our own spin on them..
    this included rewriting big parts of them too..

    so... make the song your own... bend it to your voice and the tone of the band..
    playing other people's songs don't mean you have to be a slave to the original..
    this includes changing the key if it's possible so that it sits in the vocalist's sweet spot..
    play every note as if it were your first
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