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QUESTION: Hi Dr. Ford,

I'm an 18-year-old guy who loves singing and writing songs. Would you mind rating my voice and one of my song? And would you tell me my vocal pluses (if any) and minuses (I bet I have many)?
Some like it (my voice) and some don't but I just can't figure out why. So, please help me.
Here is a link to my song: https://soundcloud.com/black-rose-hex/bad-guy-gone-good
and here is a link to my cover of "every time": https://soundcloud.com/black-rose-hex/everytime-by-britney-spears-cover
Can't wait for your answer.

ANSWER: Hello Shofwan-

I listened to your two songs. If I am to be blunt, you need vocal coaching from a profession and skilled / trained coach. I think if you devoted the time to honing your craft with someone you respect, you could developer your talent into something marketable and salable. As it stands now, you sound like you are doing an impression of someone and that you are not singing in your own voice. Additionally you have some pitch issues. I think if you studied, you would develop better vocal agility, stamina, support, and general tone quality that would showcase the artist you are.  All this said, people love you or hate you, that's life. Cater to the ones that love you, ignore the haters.

At this point I would not recommend spending any money on Production until you train and your vocal coach and you together decide it's time to push forward. That's not to say you shouldn't enjoy the songwriting and demo recording process, I just would caution you to jump into any large contract yet.

If be curious to hear you after you discover your real voice and not the Britney immitation. I say this with honest curiosity, and I hope I didn't hurt your feelings. All the greats have Vocal coaches. Consider the music business like the Olympics of singing. Every Pro athlete has a coach.

Best of luck-
Doc

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: This is what I really want to know. Thank you very very much. Well, I'm asking this follow-up question just for making sure. Do I impersonate Britney or I sound like her? Personally, I never meant to impersonate anyone.
Thank you anyway, and you didn't hurt my feelings at all. You motivate me instead to find my true voice. Thank you so much.

Sincerely yours,
Shofwan

Answer
Shofwan-

Well to be fair to you, I don't really know. I would just urge you to find the sound that sounds unique to you, and while that can be inspired by Britney (there's nothing wrong with that), just realize that we already had a Britney... and that she is not what is ultimately popular now. I think if you are to succeed in the Music Business, finding your own special personal identity with your voice is it will take... something that is you an no one else... so one day young artists will "be inspired by" you.

And I promise the only way you are going to do this is with a Vocal coach. You need to be running scales, drills, agility exercises, pitch exercises, interval training, placement and breathing technique... all the things that are considered "foundations" so that your muscles know how to work properly and optimally, so you can create are an not think about the techniques... because they are second nature.  Did you see Lady Gaga perform "Sound of Music" at the Oscars last night?  That feat of excellence was due to training and proper technique. And she is now being lauded as "epic", by people who didn't care before when she was just making pop records.  To succeed we must do what is popular, but to succeed we must also bring excellence.


Doc

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DrFord

Expertise

I can answer questions about; Recording Theory and hardware, advanced music theory and application, songwriting, industry level audio production / mixing / mastering, copyright, publishing, recording hardware and software, and musical instruction.

Experience

As a Producer and Composer, I have music featured in over 100 MTV / VH1 / E! network shows, and several international feature films. As a full time audio engineer, producer, and songwriter I have worked with industry greats, mentored up and coming artists, and have dedicated my life to music and music education. My production tutorial series is available online at http://www.groove3.com/str/from-drop-to-top.html is featured alongside Grammy award winning engineers and has received critical acclaim internationally.

Publications
Authorized Pro Tools Users Forum - "DUC" duc.digidesign.com Music Tech Magazine (future publications)

Education/Credentials
I am a certified Pro Tools operator, Music Theory and Audio Engineering degree holder from M.I. Hollywood, and authorized trainer of several applications.

Past/Present Clients
http://www.groove3.com/str/from-drop-to-top.html

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