Jul 062009

A few days ago I put down vocals on two more songs for my current recording project. The instruments were recorded back in April and May.

I have been working hard at my vocals lately in two areas, technical tightness and emotional expression. (sorry about the alliteration, that was an accident but I will leave it there to appear more clever than I am.)

On technical stuff, I am simply hitting my pitches better all the time. (I have spent a lot of time trying to sing correctly, and so lately the practice seems to be finally paying off. I guess I have a lot of bad singing habits to unlern.

The emotional expression is continuing to become more important to me. I really sing loud a lot of the time, but I still sound fairly stiff and deadpan. Van Morrison is loud but full of expression. Same for Mick jagger, Robert Plant, Janis Joplin, Mahalia Jackson, all the great singers. So I’ve been working at focusing my mind off the music that I’m singing and putting my attention on feelings, memories, and stories. zI don’t mean that I forget about the song; I mean that I try to sing without worrying about my mouth shape, my pronunciations, the pitches I am singing, etc.

While recording vocals for a song, I sing the same song maybe eight times on average, hopefully getting about five good takes. So the movies and stories running in my head keep changing from take to take. But I find that once I start hitting a deep emotional spot, I stay there until I take a break. I hope that it will add some more touch and expression to the vocals at the end. We’ll see when we sit down later to edit this stuff.

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