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Voice Journal S 2017 Mar 7-13

Mar 7
Abigail said I sang the song the best yet. She had me work on onset, not saying an H sound, but the same idea, and she had me bend my knees for it to remind me to breath deep and support from below. Also, she said if I sing too heavy in chest voice, I won't be able to get back out of it--and there's THAT mystery solved!!! Midterm Tuesday. I asked if I could bring in a song and get some help on vowels and pronunciation, and she said yes.
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Mar 8
Sight-singing and interval practice today.

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Mar 9
Omg have I ever learned a hard lesson today. I can only sight-sing in one key. I have a fixed map in my head, and it needs to be a sliding map. It's not a happy thing to discover when one is trying to sight-sing a midterm. Dear gods.

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Mar 10
Worked on my own music yesterday and today. Enemy Lines is the song I want to submit to the songwriting contest this year, so I'm getting it ready for both Abigail's and Dr. Mays' help. I think I have the chords corrected now, and the lyrics corrected as well. When I sang it for the recording, I tried hard to put everything into practice. If Abigail will let me use it for my second song, I can make my own accompaniment. Karaoke by Cathie, lol...

The big challenge is this is chest voice and in order to get volume, I end up going heavy. I played the original to compare it to this one and wow, the difference!! I was singing softly with a mic right next to me. It sounds like velvet, like I'm purring over the song, and my voice is much lighter. Doing it loudly as hard rock sounds VERY different. Never thought I could manage that! But I don't know if I like it better. The song is rewritten and the music is better, but is my voice? I don't know.
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Mar 11
Awwww man!!! I went flat on the very. last. note. Doggone it!! Enemy Lines is in my range. It's Gm 1 to 5, and that low G just isn't that low---my range drops to the 5 below that!! But dang, I'm singing it very heavy and flat. I hate to say this, but maybe I need it in another key. Or, yanno, maybe I need Abigail to teach me how to sing it properly. The odd thing was that even when I tried to sing it all velvety like I did the original, I couldn't--and when I sang softly I had a LOT of trouble sustaining the notes without wobbling, but when I sang it loudly, I was just fine. I dunno whether that was a matter of needing to warm up (the soft version was at the beginning), or whether I just pull in more air when I sing loudly. But I do know that I made yet more changes to it today, so I have to try re-recording it tomorrow. I don't like the hard rock style so I'm going back to the original (which is labeled "garage" but it sounds techno to me). And I worked on remembering all my proper singing techniques, supporting from below, keeping my shoulders and neck relaxed, aiming the tone at that resonating spot, getting deep enough breaths, paying attention to the onset of each phrase and getting my support in place before I sing--I really tried to do it well and to apply everything I could remember. But I forgot to sing ugly. Maybe that will be the difference I need tomorrow.
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Mar 12
*sigh* I've lost the beautiful part of my voice. I just sound like everyone else now, and I'm not very good at all. The only songs I liked today were the ones where I came sorta close to what I sounded like last year. Totally lost that velvety softness, totally lost the smoothness of my sustained notes, totally lost my ability for expressive phrasing. It's really discouraging. My chest voice used to be beautiful. Now it's just loud.

I did sing for a good long time today (an hour or more spread out over three stop-and-start hours), and I paid attention to everything I could, remembered to sing ugly (that seems to aim my voice a little differently), worked on supporting from the bottom, worked on pronunciation and delaying consonants. Still have to rehearse Candle on the Water. But I'm really discouraged by the unbeauty of my voice on the recordings.
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It's really gone. I sing softly and it's just not the same. I listened to a song I recorded two years ago and then I cried. This is devastating.
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One thing after another today. I came in from outside and sat down to practice. Now I cannot sing in head voice. I warmed up and seemed to be doing fine, but I absolutely cannot sing this song. My voice absolutely will not sing these notes. Finally gave up after multiple false starts and notes so badly out of tune they weren't even the right notes. I'll try again tomorrow.
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Mar 13
Rehearsed this morning in a practice room, half-voice. Did okay. Several times through.
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Not so good tonight. Had to pull up the Helen Reddy youtube because I was doing so badly. Can't hold on to the words. Can't keep a good tone. Can't hit the pitches accurately.

Unless, of course, Helen is doing all the work, and then I relax and am fine.

Alternated between that and the karaoke. Stumbled around a lot and had some trouble with sinus drainage, but did much better once I sang with Helen.
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