Singing is a story telling in rhythm and rhyme, with pitches, and with emotions. The story helps to ptich the emotions.
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One’s ability to sing depends on many factors working together (that is, your body is working in harmony). Probably the biggest cause of not being able to sing is a malfunction of one of these factors (thereby causing non-harmonious sounds).
To name a few:
- The connection between your hearing and your vocalizing.
- Your mind’s perception of your singing.
- The control of your vocal tract.
- The understanding of your vocal tract.
- The audience’s hearing.
- The type of music.
- Body tensions.
- Understanding of harmony.
- Singing emotional interpretation.
- All the other things mentioned in the above postings.
- The voice itself—this may be worth only 40%, in light of the above. (So, yes, if one is genetically gifted, he is 40% ahead.)
Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, and Louis Armstrong both have awful voice, as well as Nancy Sinatra—they did well though.
If you’ve tried all the other things mentioned in above postings, then this says you haven’t found the malfunctioning piece. My guess is that what’s missing is somethings that is not well taught in standard singing methods.
Stress tenses certain parts of the body, such that your vocal apparatus is misshapened, and singing becomes so much more difficult. Being calm is easier to move into the next emotion in the musical interpretation. But as any stressed out singer (any most major pros were at one time starving-stressed) can tell you, it is entirely possible to sing when stressed.
Stress can even help certain types of singing. For example, if you’re sad, and emote sadness, singing sad songs can sound better. Of course, singing happy songs is more difficult.
As for your instructor– she got it partly right.
Where did the information Skype is half-duplex come from? I did a quick search, and some people believe it’s half-duplex in sound card and full duplex in USB stereophones. This information doesn’t make sense either.
Anyhow, Skype, like Voice over IP, suffers mostly from latency–an inherent problem with the Internet that is difficult to solve. There is a lag time due to electronics relay and congestion delays (not the speed of electricity). Echo is usually used in telephony to reassure the talker’s own talk– telephony without echo sounds funny for the talker.
Telephony is designed to carry principally the higher frequencies of normal speech, which is what is needed for speech understanding. Bassy parts of speech are unnecssary for speech comprehension, so is truncated to reduce bandwidth requirements. As such, if one listens carefully to a regular phone call, it sounds tinny. Bell Labs probably spent hundreds of millions of dollars doing research on this one topic and designing telephony to fool our hearing effectively.
Our minds are very clever at reconstructing the intended sound, so even though the sound may be tinny, a hearer can actually reconstruct most of the true sound. However, telephony does not capture the true sound.
Skype is worse than regular telephony for a number of reasons:
2. Lesser bandwidth, which means greater truncation of sounds.
3. Inferior receiver sender equipment.
4. Lesser proven reconstruction technologies of initial captured sounds.
Cell phone usually have inferior microphones and can even be worse.
Land lines are what telephony technologies are designed for, and will sound best, if one buys the more expensive equipment.
It makes me mad to hear singing instructor who believes they are doing students a favor by saving a few dollars with Skype. In addition to the problems mentioned above, the best way to use Skype is with a headset, and I haven’t seen too many expensive Skype headsets yet (which tells me that its receiving sound exterperlation and its sending mic is lower quality). And if both sides are using headsets, the problem that comes about is occlusion effects in singing from wearing headsets.
In summary, telephony equipment is designed to create an illusion of the sender’s true send, and actual sound is vastly superior. Then in the order of quality– 1. great land line telephony equipment both sides 2. great cellular equipment 3. great sound cards 4. great headset 5. great Skype, 6. and mediocre and inferior equipment all under. I’m aware that I’m bound to be attacked by Skype advocates who say, you can hear this or that well. My response is– listen to it carefully and try to reduce the power of one’s own mind to reinterpret, and you’ll see that telephony including Skype is inherently inaccurate.
Current young kids rebel against their rock-generation parents by doing several things:
1. Instead of going heavier–they go with music their parents detested — crooners and big band.
2. My generation, as a stereotype, hated other generations’ of music– this generation accepts all (and they are musically correct on this, which would have irritated their parents’ generation.)
3. Instead of heavier, they go with cruder and more provocative– rap.
4. Instead of melodic, they go with wordy– hip hop.
5. Instead of being hippies, they go with being gangsters (which really scare their parents, just as hippies scared their parents).
Guaranteed–they will find a way to bug their parents. This is how kids grow up and establish their independence in the West.
Dead doesn’t mean no one is doing the music; some big band singers still made it into the rock generation–but most found another occupation. Some punk bands still exist.
A question is asked by Snejk at www.themodernvocalist.com ‘s forum “As a bariton, I have noticed that it’s WAY harder to find a band to sing for. I know this because I am a FAIRLY good singer, but I can not sing the high notes the bands want in their songs.
Now this has exclusively been the case. Since I love rock and metal and want to front such a band, there is no way I’ll turn to country just because my voice isn’t high.
I can start with answering why I prefer high pitched singing over middle/low; ENERGY!!! EMOTION!!! SMOOTHNESS!!!”
These are my thoughts, obviously these are generalizations:
I question whether it’s true that tenors have the advantage while IN a LIVE band; I believe they have a stage presence disadvantage; but tenors do have an advantage in recordings and song selection.
Prior to Rock and Roll, we had crooners, frequently baritones. Rock and Roll can be understood as a youth rebellion to big band music. (When R&R’s era expires, it’ll be baritones again).
With R&R, came the electric guitar, bass, and drums and major influencers such as the tenor Beatles. The tenor fits in better with these instruments. The drum and bass provide the low undertones-–the tenor voice generally has to break through the bass and drum to create the “voice” of the band. The baritone competes against the drums and bass. Telephony can further explain this. Telephones cut the bass notes and carry the treble, so as to reduce bandwidth requirements, and because the treble is what articulates the vocal understanding. The tenor voice can “articulate” better against the electric bass and drums.
(Weak sound cards also don’t carry bass well. And unfortunately, to capture bass well usually requires condensor mics.)
Furthermore, R&R and younger people’s music frequently are rebellious– a yell, a scream–the expression of the youthful rebellion. Tenors again fits in well with younger pop music style.
Then, there’s the impact of recordings. Back when R&R started, audio speakers were small, and most still are (excluding the high-end audio equipment, e.g. your clock radio, mall music speakers, which are much more common). Bass doesn’t carry as well in these small speakers. So, historically, get air play to sound good, tenors worked a lot better. So, much more songs were written for and promoted for tenors.
Live music works differently. A deeper voice expresses more power, more leadership, more variety of moods, and can create stature, fear, and respect. Unless a tenor voice is really loud (very rare), a baritone has stronger stage presence and audio effects.
Audio tastes continue to evolve. The R&R era is ending (it took 30 years for the crooners to go too). This means that emotions of rebellion (screaming, yelling) are becoming less popular.
And more importantly, women’s taste have changed. Starting in the 60s, young women expressed their rebellion in part through their music selection. Whereas women traditionally loved the male baritone, starting in the R&R era, many women preferred also tenors. The aging of the women also affect strongly. Younger women prefer higher pitch male singers (in part because they’re babyish cute); older women prefer more standard male baritones (in part because this is a gender differentiation). As the population gets older, bassier male voices are more preferred.
So, the era for the high-pitch tenor Beatles has already ended, and it’s also time for you, as a musician, to move on. Audiences come to be entertained (not to hear tenors or baritones). What has not ended in audio-appreciation are novelty, breaking taboos, creating emotional impact (even if it’s done by shock). Though music has often become more complex, these are also evolved to be cruder.
So, your job as a musician, is to convince auditioning bands that they need to go toward a newer sound–one that’s beyond the high tenors they’re familiar with. One that creates different types of emotions. One that works for live music instead of recordings aimed at small audio speakers. Because society is getting more vulgar, I suggest the emotion to utilize for baritones is fear or power. Shock too—big speakers. Of course, a smooth male bass always goes over well anytime.
Bottom line. Jim Morrison (Doors), John Caye (Steppenwolf) were rock stars with bassy voices. Better still–full voices: Gary Puckett (and the Union Gap), Eric Burdon (and the Animals), Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdink. (Is it just a coincidence that Morrison’s and Caye’s bands had keyboards? I think the other male singers also relied more than guitar-bass-drum) In short, male bassy voices have lesser song selections, but are bigger, more powerful vocal stars, particularly live.
Compared to the EV767, the 967 is a muddier mic on the bass, meaning, that it is less precise between each tone emitted. But, it does sound somewhat nearly as full, and because, in my opinion, the EV767 is frequently too bassy-full, the 937 is actually a better sound frequently for my voice.
The 937 has a roll-off switch, a big advantage.
Even though he sways constantly, B. B. King creates a consistent circumference around the microphone, so as to generate a consistent volume sound.
Previously, the highest recommended was the Beyerdynamic Opus 89 (which I haven’t tried). Are there any more developments on best dynamic mic?
Here’s what I dislike about current best rated mics:
EV 767– Good aggressive bassy mic. Difficult to get screaming highs or really bassy booming lows or aggressive lows.
Audix OM5 –good on aggressive highs.
AE6100–excellent range mic, but lacks aggressiveness.
Sennheiser e935– requires lots of vocal power to get full effects. Excellent boomy bass. Smooth mic–not for aggressive singing. Think Billy Idol or Frank Sinantra for best effects.
EV 967– a bit thin. Good single mic, because it has rolloff button.
SM58– tenor mic.
I wanna a do-it-all aggressive mic. High screams with aggressive lows, along with overall aggressive sound. An OM5 high with EV737 mid to low with e935 boom.
I’m planning to sell my 937 (doesn’t fit my mix of mics), so if anyone wants a slightly used 937.
This is a great full range microphone, that is a terrific microphone for, in particular, women. There are better mics in the highs and lows, but for full range, this is sensitive, sounds great, and does a good job overall.