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Old 11-21-2006, 08:52 PM   #1
tj
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Default For the singers

We've heard all the mega rock stars go on about 'finding your own voice' and to try not to be tempted to imitate other people's way of singing. Does anyone have any tips for finding your own voice?
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:56 AM   #2
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i was actually thinkin the same thing this week. im trying to figure out mine and ive been singing for years between choir and bands that ive played in. i still havent found "my voice" and im getting fustrated.
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:42 AM   #3
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If you listen to different people sing, everyone has a different way of doing it... the way they sing certain syllables, little things they like do with their voice...etc. It just develops with time and experience I guess. Actually I think it's more of the tone or timbre of the voice than anything else. I more of have a problem with sticking to a contemporary style of singing when I need to- occasionally I tend to drift back to the whole classical thing.

On a similar note, does anyone realise how you tend to unconciously 'imitate' the original singer's vocal style when doing covers?
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:03 AM   #4
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I think I found 'my voice' really late. And I think it happened gradually for me:

1) As a teen I sang a lot and took lessons and had bands and stuff. I remember the first time I expressed emotion through my singing, it gave my singing teacher goosebumps, she said. It totally surprised me, I didn't know I had that ability. I could never go back from there, I was a real screamorama throughout my teens with Aretha Franklin as main influence. And I remember wondering a lot about finding my particular sound, and worried if my voice just sounded like everybody else's. I guess I was often mimicing other singers at that point, and I was too insecure to let my own voice happen. But it was a great start for me, made me wanna be a singer.

2) I took singing lessons combined with Alexander tecnicque - a sort of body therapy where the goal is for your body to find balance and function the way it should, as opposed to the way you've forced it to work because of stress etc. I remember a particular lesson where I really found MY voice, it wasn't forced, I didn't try to make it something it wasn't, my body felt in balance and out came a clear beautiful sound I had never really heard before, and my singing teacher said: THAT is Cecilie's raw, basic voice, and that's certainly how I felt it too. It was my body and all of me making beautiful sound in a way I hadn't felt before, even though I had taken loads of lessons before and thought I had found a my voice, but it was never 'my voice', it was just style.

3) I had some rough times, matured, had to face difficoult things. Death, loss, hopelessness. And also life, beauty, awakenings. My need to sing and use my voice grew stronger, cause I needed to connect on a different way with my sorroundings, I needed to let things out. Singing made my life make just a little sense again, it became a necessity like nothing else. So the need to express myself through my voice made me find 'my voice', without really looking for it. Things had to come out the way they were and so they did, I couldn't not let it happen. It felt like this: I had to sing, or I'd die inside.

4) I got internet, and suddenly discovered the sort of music my voice could express itself in. The world really opened up to me. So many songs to sing, so much beautiful music to indulge in! So I finally found the means to express my voice through, and started making my own songs, and it feels more true and right than anything I've ever done.

Your voice isn't 'your voice' so much cause it has this or other particularly brilliant, unique sound. I believe it won't appear to you, if you're digging for it, it won't be forced. It happens when you let it happen without pushing, without wanting anything particular to happen. It becomes 'your voice' when it can sing your soul. It's not so much a sound as it is a matter of a connection between your inner life - your thoughts and emotions - and your sorroundings. When you find 'your voice' it's an experience of being able to communicate you to the rest of the world.

At least that's what I found.
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Last edited by cille; 11-22-2006 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Had two numbers 1. Man, numbers are HARD.
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:06 AM   #5
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cille, you've got two number ones!

Fantastic post though, very moving and inspiring to read. Good on you, girl!
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niko
cille, you've got two number ones!
2 x pee??
that's right, I'll correct it. and thanks.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:00 PM   #7
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Wow... Cille that was some really great points you made there. I've never seen anyone explain it like that, you did a great job of putting all that into words.

Thanks to you I now feel strangely inspired.

Is the Alexander technique a specific type of therapy or do they design in to suit your particular needs? I've heard that it does wonders for musicians, especially string players.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:34 PM   #8
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It started to develop for me when i started writing my own material. When i did that I had no subconcious urge to copy the original vocalists. Nowadays I put my own voice onto any song I cover and i prefer it that way because it makes the song seem more interesting to people who know the original.

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Old 11-22-2006, 12:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liswyn
Is the Alexander technique a specific type of therapy or do they design in to suit your particular needs? I've heard that it does wonders for musicians, especially string players.
I don't know why but here in Copenhagen, singing is often combined with Alexander technique, but I don't know if that is just a regional coincidence, and I don't know what it's like in other parts of the world. I guess basically, Alexander Technique is just sort of lessons in how to sit down and stand up the way the body is "designed" (intelligently or through evolution, i don't know ) to. And yeah, I've also heard of it being good for musicians cause it sort of puts the spine back into place thus relieveing muscle tensions that can inhibit one's breathing or arm movement, etc. It seems kind of crazy, cause most of it is just sitting down, standing up, lying down, getting up while the therapist adjusts your posture. I think it depends a lot on the therapist, how helpful it can be, but I feel I have benefited a good deal from it.
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:17 PM   #10
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Great comments Cille! I'm really interested in this Alexander lark. I've never heard of it before. Does it exist in Ireland? It sounds pretty interesting!
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:55 PM   #11
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I thought it was taught only in drama schools...well I've learnt something new today
Great speech anyway, Cille...congrats
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:14 PM   #12
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cille i u made some great points especially at the end where u say to not force it, but to let it come in time. thats funny that u took an alexander course, im in school to become a doctor of physical therapy (only 1 year left!!!) and we learn some alexander techniques for rehab. its amazing how things can correlate in so many ways from singing to rehab.
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Old 11-23-2006, 10:01 AM   #13
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I see... the Alexander thing sounds pretty helpful and interesting. Off to find out more about it...
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liswyn

On a similar note, does anyone realise how you tend to unconciously 'imitate' the original singer's vocal style when doing covers?

yes! though i think I have found my voice now, people frequently, frequently ask me at gigs which side my irish roots are from, or announce that they did not know I was irish/part irish. I'm not remotely irish!! I just listen to so much Damien and other Irish stuff, and have been doing so since long before I began performing myself, that I appear to have adopted the accented R's and softened K's. So now it seems i have an odd mixture of irish, british, and american combined in there - but I don't mind because to me, that's 'my voice.' I think your voice is always going to be influenced by what you listen to, and providing you are not copying anyone then you can call it yours.
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Old 11-24-2006, 11:28 AM   #15
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Yes, I think to a certain degree your voice is going to partly be influenced by the type of music you listen to, because that's where we all learned from in the beginning anyway. My friend has a habit of taking on another singer's 'style' when singing a certain song so he doesn't end up sounding and pronouncing words like the original singer. I find it really weird.
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