Hey everyone! I have been having a lot of trouble with my voice and was wondering if there was anyone here who might be able to give me some pointers on how to improve - singing is always something that I have wanted to do well, but after a year of practice, I'm beginning to think there is something wrong with the way I have been practicing, because I don't really notice any difference in my voice between then and now. (please see the link below for an example) I think I know what the problem is - I can't hold a steady note for beans. I think this is a problem relating to breath support and generating a steady stream of air, because it becomes especially pronounced when I try to hold more quiet notes during which you can hear the breath more, and there seems to be a variation with the flow of air.
This is especially troubling for me because I do a lot with making music in my free time, and it has always been my dream to produce my own songs, and I feel like I am right on the doorstep, as I am already fairly well-versed with Cubase along with several instruments, but the one thing that I can't do is sing. And I know that there are ways to manipulate the pitch of one's voice within programs on the computer (with Autotune, for example, or with VariAudio within Cubase), but I made a vow long ago to only use such methods as a last resort.
In the past year or so, I have been under the wing of a couple of different personal vocal coaches, but I haven't really made that much progress with either, and I had to stop lessons with the last because of financial troubles. So I know that there is no substitute for personal vocal lessons with a real human being, but just in case the solution is something really obvious that the last two teachers just happened to carelessly miss, what kinds of exercises should I do to fix the problem that I have with holding a steady pitch? Would lip trills and other exercises on musical scales help? That's mostly what I did with my last teacher. I have been reading a lot online about incorrect palatal technique being the source of "pitchiness" when singing. Is that what my problem is? Or should I be focusing on some sort of breathing work?
Or, more simply, do I just need to sing more songs and material? My teacher told me that I was over-thinking the entire thing and taking the fun out of it. I just was always under the impression that singing with my current flaws would only help me become better at whatever I was doing wrong, but maybe I was wrong all along. What do you think? The only reason why I am frustrated is because I feel totally lost - I would like nothing better to improve, but I feel like I have no idea what kind of a routine I would have to employ in order to start taking steps in the right direction.
I have included two public Dropbox links below that I think add detail to the problems I mentioned relating to pitch - in Cubase, one can analyze the pitch of an audio file through time, which is what is indicated by the black line over the colored rectangles - each rectangle represents a single note, but the black line can be used to further inspect the pitch variation at any given time, with higher positions being higher pitches, and vice versa. I have done this with both my voice (the first image) and the vocals of one of my favorite tracks, featuring an experienced singer. The black line that results from my voice is without pattern, going up and down without any order (which is what I think causes the unpleasantness), while the line of the other singer takes on the characteristic of a sine wave, which I also assume is what causes the very pleasant vibrato of his voice. I forgot which song of mine I analyzed for the second track, as I took the photos in Cubase a while ago, but I don't think that diminishes the value of the comparison.
Hey there! Listened to your soundcloud track, only the first one seems to be a bit bent down, but not too bad overall! Definitely a great foundation for improvement. Not too sure where you are located, but we are music school in Temecula. We have some great vocal coaches that provide singing lessons in Temecula. Check out our page and get some information to see if we could help you out! Good luck!
I have a potential solution - my music school is launching online lessons via Skype in two weeks and I'm looking for volunteers for the instructors to practice on with the new software, hardware and technology before we go live. It will be a free 1/2 hour lesson with a university educated instructor for you if you're interested.
It is a breath problem that you are having. You need to work on using your diaphragm more in order to support a cleaner stronger sound. Once you have the strength, then the pitching should become much better.
Breath support and a forward sound which reverberates around your 'face mask' or sinuses is key to a clean projected sound. Does your singing teacher do breath exercises with you?
I do think that your confidence is playing a role in this as well, your teacher may be right that you are thinking too much and it is destroying your confidence. Singing can have a lot to do with your state of mind as well.
hope this helps a bit