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Improving faster
February 19, 2015
1:53 am
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OwenKorzec
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Okay sorry if this sounds too much like a looking for the secret of singing thread. I understand everything takes time, but I'm just get really fed up with slow progress as I feel like it SHOULD be faster. i AM in a rush to get better and I'm willing to admit it. At the same time I don't want to take shortcuts that will fail me later and I'm getting to a point where I'd almost rather just kinda cut everything off and solve fundamental underlying issues than be putting on "bandaid" techniques to my voice for the rest of my life.

That being said, what has helped you guys pick up the pace in your improvements as singers? I'm already taking lessons regularly and I'm always practicing as much as my voice and schedule will allow but sometimes I don't feel I'm the most focused at it and I may be working in too much bad muscle memory.

At the same time maybe I just don't understand how to be patient about the process of singing because I just want to get up on stage and do it but people seem to be so done with listening to mediocre singing and they want me to cheat myself out of my own development by constantly recommending me to stay in my comfortable range that already sounds nice which obviously just evades my weaknesses not strengthens them.

Anyone been in this kind of phase and have advice?

February 19, 2015
4:42 am
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Mivke
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What helps me most in times like that I trying to take a step back, breathe and refocus on comfort. I know it sucks to hear cause you really want to go to these juicy parts but it's all really in the basics. If you have a problem on say A4 and above, that is usually NOT where that problem starts. Usually it's alot sooner than that and an experienced teacher will be able to help you with that.

I've been seeing wonders working with Felipe and also ALOT of help from Dan, Dante and Jens. Haven't had the pleasure to talk to Phil yet though but I know you are working together with good results.

Lastly, times like these will come. Gain and progress are often achieved in plateaus, meaning sometimes it feels like we are just standing still or even moving backwards. But if you try to make that progress FEEL linear instead and not just go by the benchmarks of your results, I at least find it easier to "keep on grinding" :P

And also, don't forget to just sing for the fucking joy of it :) That is after all what it should all be about.

Cheers!

February 19, 2015
9:11 am
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DeffStarr
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Owen, I get like this all the time and Phil will tell you he hounds me about it all the time.

Looking back 2 years ago when I first started my voice was decent but there were many pot holes in the road.
Now I have so much more to my voice than before, yes there are still bumps but even your favourite artist has an off day.

There's day I can sing F4-G4s fine, currently tackling A4. There's days when D4 is a pain in the neck, literally.

When I first started practicing I expected to sing with ease in a couple of months, looking back I can see that it's just not possible. There's a lot of work involved and perseverance.
My head voice was horrendous only a few months ago and it's grown so much and I barely do head voice exercises.

My biggest problem is I grab the note too much and squeeze and squark for it. I had a mind set of light light light and it has caused me many problems, my main focus now is keeping my natural tone and keeping it darker, not too dark but just a dash.

How often do you practice a week? How long for? How much do you sing, no scales etc? How long for?
Do you gig? Do you sing for live audiences?

Singing live has really been a challenge for me, I don't mind singing for a crowd but I'm not used to the instrumentations, the refractions of the room, the mics, the monitors. I only started gigging 3 months ago and only done 6 so far, but I've been singing in general so much longer. Albeit my voice isn't anywhere near where I want it to be, you just have to keep going.

I've been noticed by a lot of managers and labels, why? Perseverance and gigging.

I've been scouted by Sony/SYCO to go into a band, I went ahead and the band felt I wasn't right, but now I have a contact within Sony that is keeping me on their books.
I've been contacted by some major manager's of artist and bands so it's all about connecting.

There's plenty of times I want to quit, like now, I've just lost my job and I have all these gigs coming through but I'm not being paid for them and I need money for transport, food, everday life. It's frustrating. Then I need money for studio time etc.

Keep going, you may not notice the small changes in your voice, but they're happening.

February 19, 2015
4:16 pm
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OwenKorzec
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Thanks for the responses. I apologize for the whiny vibe of my first post. I've been very stressed out due to my busy school schedule and just kind of not calm in the head and Phil is hounding me about that too.

Jordan:
I sing daily, throughout the day where I can fit in. I don't keep enough track of how long I do - it tends to end up being mostly warming up, little performances at school, or messing around, not enough focused practice or recording. Generally hours a day, just not the most focused or dense hours. I do gig and sing for live audiences but mostly as a backing vocalist, or like one lead song in a comfortable range - these situations that don't challenge my stamina much

February 19, 2015
4:55 pm
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daniel formica
San luis Obispo, Ca
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What is your daily practice routine and daily or weekly singing routine? Is it perfect practice or if you do a lip bubble are just throwing it out there. When you get to your passagio are you trying to " bridge" later as some would say or are you approaching the bridge correctly and getting to the other side. How many songs do you sing if say someone offered you a gig this weekend for a thousand dollars and you needed the money and the set was 3 45 min sets. Could you do it? When you read about singing or talk and offer advice do you really know what you are telling them or just saying it because you read it and heard that it works

February 19, 2015
8:12 pm
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Phil Moufarrege
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I've already kinda covered this in email Owen but I'm gonna do it again. I apologize for sounding like an old man but sometimes we need it...

Great posts by Mivke, Jordan and Dan.

The answer to your frustration is in your writing:

OwenKorzec said
Okay sorry if this sounds too much like a looking for the secret of singing thread. I understand everything takes time, but I'm just get really fed up with slow progress as I feel like it SHOULD be faster. i AM in a rush to get better and I'm willing to admit it. At the same time I don't want to take shortcuts that will fail me later and I'm getting to a point where I'd almost rather just kinda cut everything off and solve fundamental underlying issues than be putting on "bandaid" techniques to my voice for the rest of my life.

But then you go on to say:

OwenKorzec said
I sing daily, throughout the day where I can fit in. I don't keep enough track of how long I do - it tends to end up being mostly warming up, little performances at school, or messing around, not enough focused practice or recording. Generally hours a day, just not the most focused or dense hours. I do gig and sing for live audiences but mostly as a backing vocalist, or like one lead song in a comfortable range - these situations that don't challenge my stamina much

Your desires aren't aligned with your actions.

You are doing good but it isn't what is going to get you "progressing as fast as possible" like you say you want. Like I said in the email, if you want it you have to make it happen. If you can't make it happen then you waive the right to complain about it. If I want to be killer I need to be training at least 3 hours a day and I'm not doing that, so I'm not gonna complain at why I'm not where I want to be. The first hour is just a warm up pretty much. You are only opening up the voice, it is establishing good habits but the real gold is when you use that voice when it is in the sweet spot.

If you want to get faster progress, take double lessons where you can be warmed up in the first hour and use that voice in the 2nd hour, and practice more focused during the day. Dan raised some good points about having a set of songs ready that you sing and getting into the mixed voice smoothly without pulling or squeezing. thin out the voice and strengthen that mixed voice. Get your entire range free even if it's thin...THEN You add the weight as the voice ALLOWS you. You either make room in the schedule or if you can't then you lose the right to complain because complainign when there is no action to remedy it will only make you feel worse, it gets you in the victim mode and leechign off others with bad energy.

OwenKorzec said I apologize for the whiny vibe of my first post. I've been very stressed out due to my busy school schedule and just kind of not calm in the head

OWN IT DUDE!!! fuck the stress! you have to man up and decide "what am I gonna do about this??" When I was in college and working night shifts and got super tired I simply didn't turn up to school. You have all the power to fix the problems bro! there is a price to EVERYTHING, so yeah your grades might go down a bit but who cares really? If you really do care though then it is your CHOICE to continue studying and so if you keep saying "im stressed im stressed" you aren't fixing hte problem you're just identifying with that state, fuck that man! own it and make it work or cut it out and fuck it off or if you don't want to be so extreme about it just take a break and chill out. You already told me you plan to take a break, so maybe all of this is the sign you need to know you should do so NOW! there is a lesson everywhere if you seek it out bro. Even in me writing this to you I'm seeing the lessons for myself, because I'm just as guilty about all this shit.

I believe the secret sauce to success in life is: aim high, work fucking smart at it, eat cleanly and shut the fuck up.
expand and contract, put in the work then relax, put in the work then relax. sleep a lot. eat a lot. work SMART. then shut the fuck up. The more you entertain the wineyness the more it overcomes you and weakens your force to make shit happen in life and also drags others down. doesn't mean bottle it up, hell, cry into a pillow if it helps you release, scream out your lungs! i am not saying bottle it up. it means listen to the problem internally, accept that you feel this way and start looking for solutions and BRAINWASH YOURSELF to thinking you can overcome the problem BRAINWASH yourself into believing everything is gonna be fine and dandy because then you truly will be able to overcome the issues.

And finally the art of gratitude. really your life is actually great man, be thankful for the opportunities and challenges here that are going to forge you into a stronger character.

I am not saying this thinking I'm some master this is just as much for me as it is for you.

@PhilMoufarrege
Online Vocal Coach, Singer/Songwriter
Grow-The-Voice.com | PHILMOUFARREGE.com

February 20, 2015
12:48 am
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OwenKorzec
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daniel formica said

What is your daily practice routine and daily or weekly singing routine? Is it perfect practice or if you do a lip bubble are just throwing it out there. When you get to your passagio are you trying to " bridge" later as some would say or are you approaching the bridge correctly and getting to the other side. How many songs do you sing if say someone offered you a gig this weekend for a thousand dollars and you needed the money and the set was 3 45 min sets. Could you do it? When you read about singing or talk and offer advice do you really know what you are telling them or just saying it because you read it and heard that it works

Great questions to ask myself.

daily practice routine: not a steady routine. lately it has just been mostly warming up just enough, and practicing songs i have to sing at school. not always songs i like but sometimes. then somewhere in there about 4 hours a week practicing what i really want to, challenging things, songs I love etc. This is all I find I can fit in at the moment but I am pushing to extend what I can fit in. vocal lesson once a week usually

in the summer when i have lots of time i do more of a 2-3 hours a day 6 days a week thing

also i don't do enough running whole songs through or in playlists etc. i do mostly phrase work. not enough super patient perfect warming up either

weekly singing routine: i have my backup vocal gig, one or two 3.5 hour shows every weekend. singing all the stuff for school - 4 classes a week i have to perform or record a new song for (mostly performing)

perfect practice: not perfect enough. i always mentally focus on my technique but i often don't focus on the right things it seems. sometimes when i warm up on my own i feel like fuck something up and i just get myself off track, not like i'm hurting myself but just throwing my voice way off balance

bridge: i do it right in exercises once i'm warmed up, so like all the way up to C#5-D#5 no flip at a reasonable soft and loud volume (medium volume is still tough) but if i try to apply this to songs there are a lot of remaining ugly sounding problems that show up so ultimately it doesn't transfer over to my performing yet.

gig scenario: not by this weekend. if i had a blank schedule and a few weeks to prepare i think i could do it. with my current hectic schedule who knows how long (although in practice i would just skip all of my classes for a few weeks and it would be well worth the $1000 plus the performing experience)

talking about singing: most of the time i really do know it personally but only based on my own experience which is limited or my ear for singing which my own voice hasn't quite caught up to yet

Dan if you see any specific huge problems there let me know but to me it seems like I just gotta work on getting my stuff more together on ALL of these things.

Thank you again everyone for writing, supporting, helping, getting me to think harder about what I need, I really appreciate it.

February 20, 2015
3:53 pm
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mystarryeyes
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Wise words from Phil, that certainly touch a nerve or two with me, and no doubt many others reading through his post. Truth is, I think most of us need a catalyst to inspire us to push onwards and upwards, at times, the fact that Phil understands and cares enough to be that catalyst, is definitely a good thing for the rest of us, I feel.
Keep the faith Owen!

Cheers, everyone,

John

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