7

I think I hit the pitch fairly well. But for some reason, it just sounds weird and off-putting for me. Is there an underlining problem that I can't see here? I don't have any vocal training but I do sing a lot when listening to music.

This one sounds terrible

https://vocaroo.com/i/s1FDkak8Cfpl

This one for some reason sounds a little better I think

https://vocaroo.com/i/s1CZzIdowedZ

  • I don't think you sound terrible - as you say, you can basically hit the notes. If you really want to be a singer, you probably need to look to improve the tone/timbre, power, and stability of your notes, and start to work on your own style of singing and finding your own voice, rather than being someone who "sings along". These are probably some of the things that a vocal coach could help you with - is it possible that you could have some lessons? – topo morto May 12 at 8:42
  • Could you elaborate a bit more? I hear these buzz words before but I was wondering if you could explain them to me a bit more and maybe how a vocal coach could help me improve them. – Tienanh Nguyen May 12 at 9:05
  • Hitting the "pitch" is not as simple as it seems. There are a few parameters which you should keep an eye on: consistency (i.e. being able to go back to the first note without external reference), quality of your voice (you can train this, but I don't mean general quality, but whether you're struggling to hit the notes or not), external detrimental factors impacting your voice (smoking, etc.). In essence, "pitch" is an elusive thing, and depends on context, i.e. orchestration, tonal consistency and tunings used for accompaniment. – Agnes K. Cathex May 12 at 9:09
  • To be honest I am not a singer or a singing teacher, so I don't think I would give you a good explanation. But I think you basic question here is good - I hope you get some good answers. – topo morto May 12 at 11:11
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    If you don't have any training then get some. Hitting notes does not mean you will sound good. The quality of your voice comes from support and having the proper resonance in your head. If you have no idea what these are you will not be able to really sing. Eventually you will hurt your vocal cords. – ggcg May 12 at 11:14
3

(Pre-note: this sounds very critical but constructive criticism is the best way to improve, I actually think you sound quite good!)

Your pitch is generally good however there are definitely times where it goes off (particularly ends of phrases). The main problem, is that you're singing very nasally (lots of airflow through your nose cavity).

When singing, imagine the sound is coming from a bit lower down in your throat rather than it coming through a "hole between your eyes". This sounds weird but is a common analogy amongst singing teachers.

Also, you are singing quite quietly which can contribute to the more raspy/nasally tone, so simply by singing louder you will improve your tone quality. However, by singing louder your pitch may suffer a bit, so you need to find a balance and focus on singing slightly louder whilst maintaining pitch.

The song you are singing sounds fairly high up in your range, which is a likely reason for the slightly strained sound, so perhaps try picking a slightly lower song (or transpose that song down a tone).

Finally, use vocal exercises. I highly recommend this channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/EricArceneaux, watch his videos on "opening up the voice" and extending range.

Hope I helped.

  • Hi, Thank for the great answer. This explains a lot. Also, How do I know whether I'm straining or not since prior to you telling me I'm straining, I thought this song was within my range? – Tienanh Nguyen May 14 at 0:50
  • Well only you can actually tell if it feels like you are straining. It sounds to me like you are (although I could be wrong) because of the slightly raspy sound. Watch this vocal coach on YT called Tristan Parades (I think I spelt the surname wrong); he does analysis of others singing so it might help you identify some of your own faults :). If you think it’s in your range then it may well be, in which case you need to focus on bringing the sound more into you mouth and chest rather than your throat - try it and you’ll see what I mean :). If you need more help then just say! – Ben Hughes May 15 at 9:06
  • Then I don’t think I am straining and this is also kind of the reason I asked this question. When singing all of this it feel pretty easy and natural which is a good sign I think, but when I recorded it just sound bad to me and that why it kind of confuse me since I dont feel any discomfort when singing it. – Tienanh Nguyen May 15 at 9:18
  • @TienanhNguyen okay that’s good that you know what straining feels like! So you need to focus on bringing the sound down. Do this exercise: sing a note and try and get the sound vibrating in various places (high up at the back of the throat; purse your lips and near the front of your mouth; sing with lots of breathiness; sing with not much breathiness). And notice how you make different timbres (like the quality of the sound which is what you want to improve). From what I can hear, you’re singing incredibly breathy (breathy is a good pop technique but I think you’re using a bit too much)... – Ben Hughes May 15 at 9:31
  • is there like an example you can point me to for like bringing the sound down and the differences between breathiness? – Tienanh Nguyen May 15 at 9:34
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I don't know what you used as pitch reference, but when autotuned to A=440Hz F minor, it sounds perfectly fine to me. Reminds me of Pet Shop Boys (and Espen Kraft) https://vocaroo.com/i/s0gj0LpXtEIL

Nowadays people use effects and auto-correction for vocals, just like they use all sorts of faking gadgets for guitars, keyboards, drums and other instruments. Even live on stage. Sure it isn't the best situation imaginable, but if you just want to make modern pop songs, I don't think your singing is a show-stopping problem.

-1

No-one likes the sound of their own voice!

It's a lightweight style of singing. You're not 'filling' the notes or supporting them properly. But it's an acceptable style for some types of pop music.

Who are you imitating? Try imitating a stronger singer! Or you could always take some lessons.

  • 1
    The links work fine for me - they're just embedded <audio> elements in the vocaroo page, so should be fine in any modern browser..? – topo morto May 12 at 12:37
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    It doesn't need Flash. I haven't allowed Flash anywhere in this building in 4 years & it works just fine without it. – Tetsujin May 12 at 12:50
  • Likewise, no Flash here - as I said, I'm just seeing/hearing an <audio> tag that links to an mp3 and a webm. Maybe the page falls back to a flash mode in some circumstances? – topo morto May 12 at 13:37

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